back to article Chief EU negotiator tells UK to let souped-up data adequacy dream die

The European Union's chief Brexit negotiator has poured cold water on the UK's dreams of a special deal on data adequacy* after it leaves the bloc. In a speech given over the weekend, Michel Barnier said that the UK "needs to face up to the reality of Brexit" and the way the EU's decision-making systems work. The UK has …

  1. msknight Silver badge

    The more I listen to the EU...

    ...the more I conclude that it is the EU itself that is trying to have its cake and eat it.

    The situation being faced is unprecedented, and their insistance on all or nothing, is an impractical approach when there are so many joint programmes still running. If anyone is being inflexible, then to my mind, it is the EU, while at the same time making it look like they are being utterly fair in not allowing a "third country" into the sphere.

    That's one of the problems with the world today... it's gone all binary, when the true, honest path, is somewhere in between.

    For the record, I was a remain voter until I heard Junker start talking after the vote. The more he talks, the more I conclude that the EU has strayed far off its political course and the project needs to be reset.

    1. DropBear Silver badge

      Re: The more I listen to the EU...

      ...the more I conclude that it is the EU itself UK that is trying to have its cake and eat it.

      1. }{amis}{ Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: The more I listen to the EU...

        They are politicians their entire life revolves around the idea that the not get to have their cake and get to eat it, once they are done with their cake they get to go after everyone else's cake!

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: The more I listen to the EU...

      The legal foundation of the system is based on EU Court of justice having the ultimate authority.

      Uk is asking this to be specifically dismantled solely in its favor and replaced by something fuzzy to serve its interests. Why should the EU agree? Doubly so considering that other non-members like the eea, Serbia, etc agree to the jurisdiction without throwing toys out of the pram.

    3. iron Silver badge

      Re: The more I listen to the EU...

      Err no. In what candy coloured fantasy universe of unicorns and rainbows would it be acceptable to quit something and still be a part of it? If you quit a club you can't still take advantage of member benefits. This is just another example of the UK government sticking its head in the sand and singing "lalala I can't hear you" to itself while the adults look on in bemusement.

      1. msknight Silver badge

        Re: The more I listen to the EU...

        @iron - the candy coloured universe where the EU says, "Yes, we'll trade with you, but if you want to do that, you run your country according to our laws, and you trade with who we tell you to trade with, on the terms we negotiate." ... simplistic, in order to make the point.

        The fact that we're still in the EU and our representatives have been jaunting all over the place, making deals, leads me to the conclusion that the average Joe is being fed a load of crap, does nothing to aid clarity.

        1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

          Re: The more I listen to the EU...

          @msknight, you say the EU says 'we'll trade with you...on the terms we negoitate', but we *were* the EU. We negotiated these things, and from a position of strength. But no more.

        2. strum Silver badge

          Re: The more I listen to the EU...

          >our representatives have been jaunting all over the place, making deals,

          Not a single deal has been made.

    4. J J Carter Silver badge

      Re: The more I listen to the EU...

      ...the more pleased I am we're Brexiting!

      1. rtfazeberdee

        Re: The more I listen to the EU...

        Now there's an admission of not knowing the facts

        1. msknight Silver badge

          Re: The more I listen to the EU...

          "I think its more that the EU has baked its cake, is enjoying eating its cake. The UK wants it to change the recipe to something less palatable."

          It's only palatable to the EU politicians... who have been changing the recipe in their favour for many years. Now those further down the food chain, don't like how it tastes - "Six More Countries Want Referendums to Exit EU" - https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/international-news/europes-current-economy/five-more-countries-want-referendums-to-exit-eu/

          As for believing my statement.... I voted remain ... fact.... if we faced the same vote again, I would vote leave.

          "British ‘deserters’ will not be welcomed back into Europe – European Commission president " - https://www.rt.com/uk/343796-british-deserters-brexit-juncker/

          "Jean-Claude Juncker: UK faces hefty Brexit bill" - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-39042876

          I have seen no article where Juncker compained that he had been misquoted, or otherwise challenged these reports... so I have to conclude that he meant what he said.

          ...and he spoke in French in Italy, where English is spoken twice as much as French, to make his point...

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-Oc2JIn8No

          The EU is a worthwhile project. The way it is currently run, however, is not.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The more I listen to the EU...

            "As for believing my statement.... I voted remain ... fact..."

            Posting 101:

            Putting "fact" or "FACT!" after a statement doesn't make an internet post any truer. Or more believable. Quite the opposite.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: and he spoke in French in Italy,

            So ?

            Or is that an attempt to smear people who can speak additional languages to English as somehow inferior ? Like the ex-colleague who complained when I spoke French to the delegation from our Brussels head office over lunch.

            1. Dr_N Silver badge
              Go

              Re: and he spoke in French in Italy,

              >Like the ex-colleague who complained when I spoke French to the delegation from our Brussels head office over lunch.

              That sums up brexit Britain for me.

              1. grumpasaur

                Re: and he spoke in French in Italy,

                Really? The OP criticising a Frenchman for speaking French didn't do it for you?

                1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                  Re: and he spoke in French in Italy,

                  The OP criticising a Frenchman for speaking French didn't do it for you?

                  Who said he was a Frenchman?

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: and he spoke in French in Italy,

                >Like the ex-colleague who complained when I spoke French to the delegation from our Brussels head office over lunch.

                That sums up brexit Britain for me.

                Really? How petty (a word with interesting etymology in the circumstances). How do you react to the criticism that Président Macron received from the French a few weeks ago when he dared to make a speech in English (which he speaks well), instead of using French and an interpreter? Is that not even more parochial?

            2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

              Re: and he spoke in French in Italy,

              Like the ex-colleague who complained when I spoke French to the delegation from our Brussels head office over lunch.

              Surely that depends on the circumstances? If your Brussels colleagues are comfortable in English and your ex-colleague doesn't speak French, then switching the conversation to French would be impolite and at best could be seen as an attempt to exclude him. On the other hand, if the Brussels folks have little English, trying to make them feel welcome would be appreciated and your ex-colleague should have accepted that.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The more I listen to the EU...

            @msknight

            "...and he spoke in French in Italy, where English is spoken twice as much as French, to make his point..."

            Seriously? Oooh the bad Frenchman. How naughty of him! Bloody French, eh? Speaking foreign. Whatever next?

          4. Walter Bishop Silver badge

            Re: The more I listen to the EU...

            @msknight: "The EU is a worthwhile project. The way it is currently run, however, is not."

            The EU is not a worthwhile project and not what we voted for in the first place, a Common Market, they can stuff the rest. I recall recently where the French President complained about the UK not totally opening Calais and taking 'our' refugees. What has any of this got to do with free trade - answer nothing. Two things that swayed the Brexit vote, arrogance on behalf of EU commissars and the economic migrant/refugee crisis.

            1. ardj

              Re: The more I listen to the EU...

              @Walter Bishop - re @msknight's comment: As a fervent remain voter, I have upvoted you, because you are perfectly correct: E~U arrogance (esp, German and Juncker) and the immigrant issues had a lot to do with why people voted leave. I just think that they should not have been the overriding issues.

      2. julian.smith

        Re: The more I listen to the EU...

        The more I'm pleased that the UK is exiting .... spoiled brats

        British (hubris + arrogance) = self harm

    5. Gordon Pryra

      Re: The more I listen to the EU...

      "EU itself that is trying to have its cake and eat it."

      Actually, considering the UK is the one asking for stuff, I think they are being pretty restrained.

      We threw our toys out of the pram and expected to be treated with respect whilst simultaneously allowing Farage to open his mouth for our side and having a negotiation team who have treated the job as just a fully expense'd city-break without having to do any actual work.

      The more I think of it the more obvious it is that this is all be design.

      After all the people implementing "Brexit" for the UK

      1) all voted to remain

      2) went to school (had the minimum levels f education required)

      3) have a lot to loose in the suicidal jump to being a small island with no power in the world.

      In other news, what would we say to some outsider demanding a say in how we govern ourselves? Would we even bother to reply to them?

    6. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: The more I listen to the EU...

      it's gone all binary

      No, it was always binary. It's the Johnsons, Goves, Rees-Moggs and Murdochs of the world that spread the fantasy of a third way.

      What you have to realise is that there are treaties in place - complex meshing treaties that have developed over the life of the EU. Given sufficient time and sufficient will, it might be possible to painstakingly renegotiate those treaties and then get them re-ratified through every country's federal and state legislatures. But there isn't the time (we leave in March) and there is unlikely to be the will since the other member states don't really get enough out of it.

      It might well be possible to find a more rational settlement starting with a blank piece of paper and an infinite amount of time, but we start from where we are and have to end when the clock expires and Barnier is quite correct that the only way this is going to happen is if the EU can cut and paste an existing arrangement for the UK. There will be no bespoke deal, there cannot be a bespoke deal.

      The UK started the clock without any idea what sort of outcome it wanted: it's not really the fault of the EU that last orders have been called for the Table d'Hote dinner menu while the UK is still hankering after the a la Carte lunch.

      And frankly, the EU is now considerably more bothered about Italy than it cares about the UK.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: The more I listen to the EU...

        And frankly, the EU is now considerably more bothered about Italy than it cares about the UK.

        And rightly so, Brexit is only a risk for the EU if it's successful long-term, Italy could bring the eurozone crashing down in a matter of months.

        What's the ‎€/popcorn rate these days?

        1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Unhappy

          "The United Kingdom needs to face up to the..reality of Brexit,"

          True, but since they haven't done so by now the chances of it happening are practically zero.

          Since the Leave result the £ is work 8.7% less against the Euro than it was.

          Recruiting of NHS nurses in foreign countries dropped 92%. People seem to think they are not welcome in the UK, and at least 52% of the UK population who voted agree with them*

          But the ship of fools will sail on.

          *What's that you say? You didn't mean the nurses? What did you think "Brexit means Brexit" meant exactly?

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: "The United Kingdom needs to face up to the..reality of Brexit,"

            Recruiting of NHS nurses in foreign countries dropped 92%.

            Not quite. Recruitment from EU countries (foreign? surely not!) dropped by 96% in the year after the Brexit vote (almost 1000 fewer candidates), hardly surprising given the initial uncertainty over residence status, but EU citizens make up only a small proportion of UK nursing staff. Most non-UK nursing staff come from the Philippines (20,000+), with many others from India and the Caribbean where they don't have a language problem coming to the UK. Recruiting nurses has been problematic for years, just due to costs. It's hard to live in London on a nurse's salary, no matter where you come from.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "The United Kingdom needs to face up to the..reality of Brexit,"

              >Most non-UK nursing staff come from the Philippines (20,000+),

              Please stop exaggerating statistics to make your point. Most non-UK nursing staff originate from India, with the Philippines in 2nd with 15,391 (https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-7783#fullreport).

              Irish is 3rd, and a number of EU countries make up most of the top 10 countries of origin for NHS staff.

              1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                Re: "The United Kingdom needs to face up to the..reality of Brexit,"

                Please stop exaggerating statistics to make your point. Most non-UK nursing staff originate from India, with the Philippines in 2nd with 15,391

                The report you quote is for "NHS staff" in general, which includes everyone from Doctors to Janitors, not just nurses.

                I took my figures from a BBC report that quotes the "nursing and midwifery council" which presumably has accurate figures for nurses. From their graph ~23000 from the Philippines, ~16000 from India

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: "The United Kingdom needs to face up to the..reality of Brexit,"

                  >>Please stop exaggerating statistics to make your point. Most non-UK nursing staff originate from India, with the Philippines in 2nd with 15,391

                  >The report you quote is for "NHS staff" in general, which includes everyone from Doctors to Janitors, not just nurses.

                  >I took my figures from a BBC report that quotes the "nursing and midwifery council" which presumably has accurate figures for nurses. From their graph ~23000 from the Philippines, ~16000 from India

                  So, the NHS employers only 15,391 people that originate from the Philippines (as per the official government report I linked to), but there are 23,000 nurses in the UK from the Philippines?

                  Perhaps there are ~7,000 Filipino nurses in private employment (or possibly bank/agency nurses), but it appears you are 50% out.

                2. soulrideruk Bronze badge

                  Re: "The United Kingdom needs to face up to the..reality of Brexit,"

                  @ Phil O'Sophical

                  I hate to point this out, but that post of yours appears to make your argument even less valid.

                  You claim that the number quoting 15,391 members of NHS staff covers all workers from the Philippines within the NHS, your words being "The report you quote is for "NHS staff" in general, which includes everyone from Doctors to Janitors, not just nurses." At no point do you refute this data as being inaccurate.

                  You then go on to claim your figures are correct citing an unlinked BBC report, which claims there to be ~23,000 nurses from the Philippines.

                  As you didn't claim the other persons figures to be inaccurate, in fact you went out of your way to claim they just represent different data, I cannot see how 15,391 NHS workers from the Philippines across all jobs, can suddenly jump to 23,000 nurses from the Philippines.

                  Surely, there must be LESS nurses because we assume at least one person from the Philipines is not working as a nurse/midwife. That would give us a maximum potential of 15,390 nurses from the Philippines.

                  Do you see my struggle?

            2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: "The United Kingdom needs to face up to the..reality of Brexit,"

              "It's hard to live in London on a nurse's salary, no matter where you come from."

              That's true. But there are one or two hospitals that serve the provinces too :-)

              1. veti Silver badge

                Re: "The United Kingdom needs to face up to the..reality of Brexit,"

                It would help if the EU would face up to that, too, and stop trying to punish the UK for having the temerity to vote wrong.

                If one thing is more clear than anything here, it's that Barnier himself doesn't believe Brexit will happen. He thinks Britain will pull back at the last moment. Merkel, Macron, Juncker and others have been at pains to make it clear that's still an option, and frankly it's the one they expect to happen. I'm not sure about May - I think it's her preferred option, but she's increasingly coming to the realisation that it won't, which is why she looks so disheartened.

                The trouble is that as long as everyone is labouring under that misapprehension, they're not treating the negotiations as "real". All this is just for show, it will only work if Brexit doesn't happen. There is, as far as I can tell, no contingency in place for the plan going wrong - just like there wasn't before the referendum.

                It's really time to do something about that, because the current plan - to bluff and intimidate the British public into, by some far-from-clear means, pulling the plug on the whole thing - shows every sign of going truly appallingly wrong.

                1. Rob D. Bronze badge
                  Facepalm

                  Re: "The United Kingdom needs to face up to the..reality of Brexit,"

                  @veti

                  >It would help if the EU would face up to that, too, and stop trying to punish the UK for having the temerity to vote wrong.

                  Pushing every advantage you have when negotiating may feel like punishment from the perspective of the weaker party but it's just the way the world works (the real world, not the one populated by unicorns dancing on rainbows).

                  Just wait until the UK is trying to negotiate a trade deal with the US. That relationship is going to feel like a really special kind of punishment then.

                  1. Roland6 Silver badge

                    Re: "The United Kingdom needs to face up to the..reality of Brexit,"

                    Just wait until the UK is trying to negotiate a trade deal with the US. That relationship is going to feel like a really special kind of punishment then.

                    We already have an example of UK incompetence wrt to the US in the 2003 US-UK Extradition Treaty: its negotiation, ratification and then blind adherence to it...

          2. TheVogon Silver badge

            Re: "The United Kingdom needs to face up to the..reality of Brexit,"

            "Since the Leave result the £ is work 8.7% less against the Euro than it was."

            So great for exports then. And why the FTSE has been at record highs.

            "Recruiting of NHS nurses in foreign countries dropped 92%"

            You mean that they might actually have to pay our nurses enough to be able to recruit more of them?

      2. tip pc

        Re: The more I listen to the EU...

        i wonder what your views will be once Italy crash out of the EU project?

    7. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: The more I listen to the EU...

      ...the more I conclude that it is the EU itself that is trying to have its cake and eat it.

      Seems so. Barnier's comment that "This autonomy allows us to set standards for the whole of the EU, but also to see these standards being replicated around the world." is practically American in its arrogance: "We'll set the standards alone, and we expect everyone else to adopt them".

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: The more I listen to the EU...

        Not really - just any business that wishes to do business within the EU

        1. msknight Silver badge

          Re: The more I listen to the EU...

          I do have to admit that Sturgeon was performing top notch politics. Standing up for Scotlands interests in the negotiations in parliament (rightfully so) and thus being part of the cause of delays as the UK decides on what it asks from the EU... and then hopping over to the EU and criticising the UK for not getting on with the job. "Poli" latin for Many ... "Ticks" blood sucking creatures. ... I love that quote.

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: The more I listen to the EU...

            I do have to admit that Sturgeon was performing top notch politics.

            Absolutely. It's truly impressive how she manages to spin "Scotland is better off out of the UK" and "The UK is worse off out of the EU" as both being right for the same reasons. You can tell she studied Law, and not something like Logical Analysis.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: The more I listen to the EU...

              @Phil O'Sophical:

              "Scotland is better off out of the UK" has no contradiction with "The UK is worse off out of the EU", if Scotland is *in* the EU, and the UK is out.

              Makes more sense than "Scotland is better off in the UK" and "The UK is better off out of the EU"

              1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                Re: The more I listen to the EU...

                "Scotland is better off out of the UK" has no contradiction with "The UK is worse off out of the EU", if Scotland is *in* the EU, and the UK is out.

                Except that the EU leaders have been consistently clear that if Scotland leaves the UK it leaves the EU, and if the UK leaves the EU then all of it does, so there is no situation where Scotland is in the EU and the UK is out, unless Scotland declares independence post-Brexit and applies to join the EU, Schengen, Eurozone and all.

            2. Lars Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: The more I listen to the EU...

              @ Phil O'Sophical

              I don't think your "Logical Analysis" is all that good at all, She and SNP, the Scottish National Party are for an independent Scotland. She was for remain regarding the EU referendum like most of Scotland. She has been straightforward regarding independence and the EU all the time. Who knows, Scotland might fit in with the Nordic countries very well.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: The more I listen to the EU...

                Who knows, Scotland might fit in with the Nordic countries very well.

                I doubt it, they haven't got nearly as much money to give away as the EU has. But they're welcome to Scotland if they want it.

            3. NerryTutkins

              Re: The more I listen to the EU...

              "Absolutely. It's truly impressive how she manages to spin "Scotland is better off out of the UK" and "The UK is worse off out of the EU" as both being right for the same reasons. You can tell she studied Law, and not something like Logical Analysis."

              Is it any different to brexitter/tory logic, which is that the union is bad, if it is European, but good, if it's the UK? I mean, the UK actually has far more autonomy and power within the EU, than Scotland does within the UK, not least because unlike the EU, where no country is more than 20% of the population, England is 80% of the UK, so its voters can pretty much determine what happens, regardless of what the non-English vote for. Brexit being a case in point.

              1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                Re: The more I listen to the EU...

                Is it any different to brexitter/tory logic, which is that the union is bad, if it is European, but good, if it's the UK?

                Not the same at all. Scotland wants to leave the union of the UK, because it thinks it will be better alone. That's exactly the Brexit leaver position in the EU, yet for Sturgeon Scotland is right to think that, and the UK is wrong. That's contradictory.

                I mean, the UK actually has far more autonomy and power within the EU, than Scotland does within the UK, not least because unlike the EU, where no country is more than 20% of the population, England is 80% of the UK, so its voters can pretty much determine what happens

                That makes little sense. Scotland actually has far more power in the UK because it's MPs may hold the balance of power in Westminister. The UK has no such similar power in the EU. You're quite correct that Scots dislike the way that English voters can pretty much determine what happens, which is the same argumen used by leavers as regards the UK within Europe, the EU gets to decide what happens & the UK has little say in it.

            4. Greg Fawcett

              Re: The more I listen to the EU...

              Her position could be more accurately stated as "Scotland is worse off out of EU, and hence better off out of the UK", which is entirely consistent with "the UK is worse off out of the EU".

            5. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: The more I listen to the EU...

              "It's truly impressive how she manages to spin "Scotland is better off out of the UK" "

              And considering that Scotland is currently running a higher budget deficit than Greece wouldnt that have gone well?!

      2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: The more I listen to the EU...

        Seems so. Barnier's comment that "This autonomy allows us to set standards for the whole of the EU, but also to see these standards being replicated around the world." is practically American in its arrogance: "We'll set the standards alone, and we expect everyone else to adopt them".

        This belies a fundamental lack of understanding (or deliberate misrepresentation) of what Barnier is saying. The EU has (pretty good) regulations about how member states can allow personal data to be used (see GDPR). These sit on the basic tenet that an individuals data belongs to them, and they choose who gets access to it and for what purpose. Part of this is to not allow personal data to be passed to third countries unless they have similar regulations to protect that data.

        For example, an insurance company operating in France cannot collect the information about you it needs in order to insure your car and then pass that information onto a data processing company based in a country where it could be sold on for profit (for example, countries where an individual has no rights to such data like North Korea, Russia, or the US). This is all perfectly logical.

        'Adequacy' in this sense is simply a way of saying, "your regulations are good enough". What UK.gov is trying to do is get itself into a situation where it doesn't have to worry about being declared 'adequate', and still be involved in that decision-making process, despite not being part of the EU and not being under the jurisdiction of the ECJ, which is the governing body for making sure people adhere to those regulations. A cynic would suggest that May specifically wants this because otherwise there would be no way we would get the adequacy rating without her having to give up her data-collection fetishism, which blatantly breaches the whole concept of an individual owning the data about them.

        What Barnier is saying, in short, is that if other countries want to play with EU data, they have to do it according to EU rules. The EU isn't trying to make other countries follow the rules for their own citizens, although the up-shot is that if a country were to say that they protect the data of EU citizens, and not their own citizens, then there would be political pressure from within their own country to adopt the same protections for everyone.

        Just because the EU are the first bloc to adopt such regulations doesn't mean that they are being arrogant, in the way that the US tries to project its laws overseas.

        Of course, this is only a problem for countries which don't accept that individuals have the right to control their own personal information. You do agree that this is a good thing, right? Because otherwise, you would be advocating a situation where either the state, or the rich and powerful directly control the personal information of individuals. One of those options sounds like Stalinism to me, whilst the other sounds like fascism. Feel free to disagree, but both of those ideologies have been shown to be somewhat flawed by history (unless you're a fan of mass murder).

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: The more I listen to the EU...

          This belies a fundamental lack of understanding (or deliberate misrepresentation) of what Barnier is saying.

          Not at all. For the record I think the principles behind GDPR are good ones, and the UK should adopt them in or out of the EU (the actual implementation of the regulation is an ambiguous wordy mess that will make lawyers rich,. but that's another story). In practice the UK consumer and data protection rules have always goine further than EEC/EU ones, so that's shouldn't be a problem.

          What Barnier is saying, in short, is that if other countries want to play with EU data, they have to do it according to EU rules.

          He is also saying that they will tolerate no input from other countries into the definition of those rules, even if that might be beneficial all round, which is arrogant. The EU is entitled to ignore such input, of course, but part of valid international politics is sitting down together and discussing how things which would affect everyone could be done.

          The UK is suggesting that it should have a consultative role in discussing and formulating rules which all European countries (inside and outside the EU) will be expected to follow. That's not an unreasonable position, it would indeed be in the best interests of all EU businesses to cooperate.

          It would not, however, be in the interests of those running the EU. Hence Barnier's position of "We're not interested in your views, they are our rules, our decisions. Everyone has to accept them or fuck off." which is not helpful.

          The EU knows that a successful Brexit would damage its image, and just as with Galileo it will not tolerate that. The UK has to lose, even if the EU loses something as well. No "win-win".

          1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

            Re: The more I listen to the EU...

            He is also saying that they will tolerate no input from other countries into the definition of those rules, even if that might be beneficial all round, which is arrogant.

            When I'm having a discussion with my partner about what we are going to have for dinner, am I then being arrogant if you stick your head through my kitchen window and tell me that I should be eating brexit-brand™ gruel for dinner and I tell you to fuck off?

          2. no_handle_yet

            Re: The more I listen to the EU...

            Nope. He's not saying he's not interested in others opinions. He's saying that when all the opinions are in and the drafting starts you don't get to wield a red pen and you don't get a vote which is what May is asking for. Would you expect New Zealand to get a "consultative role" that went any further than expressing an opinion from the sidelines ? What about Mexico ? Or Japan ? The fact is, when we leave we have no more right to special treatment than any other non-member. We will have exactly the same influence as any other non-member. That is what being a non-member means.

            I get the impression that many people believe that our former membership should grant us some sort of favoured nation status.

          3. Rob D. Bronze badge
            Stop

            Re: The more I listen to the EU...

            @Phil O'Sophical

            > He is also saying that they will tolerate no input from other countries into the definition of those rules, even if that might be beneficial all round, which is arrogant.

            The relevant counter-quote is even in the headline for the article: 'We cannot, and will not, share decision-making autonomy with a third country'.

            If it needed spelling out, everyone can have their say, but all those non-EU countries (like the UK, Russia, Guatamala, the US, China, etc) will not be invited to have special status in deciding the rules that the EU puts in place in the future - because they are/will be non-EU countries.

            The UK position isn't just unreasonable, it's effing delusional.

        2. no_handle_yet

          Re: The more I listen to the EU...

          Thanks for the posting the first rational and accurate statement of what Barnier was saying.

          1) you want to play with an EU citizen's data then you treat it at least as well as the EU does. An adequacy agreement.

          2) you want to be out of the club then don't expect to have input into how we treat our citizens' data.

          simple really.

        3. Rob D. Bronze badge

          Re: The more I listen to the EU...

          @Loyal Commenter

          > or deliberate misrepresentation

          You probably could have stopped right there.

      3. Adrian Midgley 1

        Re: The more I listen to the EU...

        You miss the point.

        The EU have observed our standards being adopted elsewhere, not demanded it, in the same way California's standards have been adopted across the USA in many things. The standards are good, and compliance with them pragnatically ensures compliance with others, thus avoiding doing the work twice.

        If the EU allowed the UK as a third country to interfere with the EU standard then other their countries would expect similar opportunities.

        There is nothing in it for the EU in subordinating any element of its standards to outsiders, so they won't.

    8. Mark 110 Silver badge

      Re: The more I listen to the EU...

      "...the more I conclude that it is the EU itself that is trying to have its cake and eat it."

      I think its more that the EU has baked its cake, is enjoying eating its cake. The UK wants it to change the recipe to something less palatable.

    9. rtfazeberdee

      Re: The more I listen to the EU...

      "For the record, I was a remain voter until I heard Junker start talking " - i have yet to believe this statement

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The more I listen to the EU...

        "For the record, I was a remain voter until I heard Junker start talking " - i have yet to believe this statement

        Why? It's basically saying "I would have voted remain until I learned the facts", which is probably true of many Leave voters.

        1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Unhappy

          ""I would have voted remain until I learned the facts",..probably true of many Leave voters."

          Sadly only after they had voted.

        2. ardj

          Re: The more I listen to the EU...

          @Anonymous Coward

          ' "For the record, I was a remain voter until I heard Junker start talking " - i have yet to believe this statement

          Why ?'

          - because everyone knows that Junker is an incompetent lying weasel, like so many poly-ticks gents, and he is just one of the crosses we have to bear in this imperfect world, where the EU itself is thoroughly unsatisfactory, and yet about a million times better than any other grouping around.

    10. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

      Re: The more I listen to the EU...

      ...For the record, I was a remain voter until I heard Junker start talking after the vote...

      For that you get a down-vote. How dare you raise doubts about the single indivisible hegemony which shapes our destiny? I suspect you of being Greek or Italian...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The more I listen to the EU...

        Didn't the Greeks and the Romans invent the idea? Or did that go over my head?

    11. Walter Bishop Silver badge

      Re: The more I listen to the EU...

      'msknight: "...the more I conclude that it is the EU itself that is trying to have its cake and eat it".

      The UK is being punished with such ferocity as a deterrent to anyone else wanting to leave the European Project. The reality is that it is barely keeping afloat. A two-tier system run for the benefit of the few. The rest drifting in and out of perpetual bankruptcy being rescued by more "loans' from the IMF and the European Central Bank. I recall once, where a private bank owed lets say 4 billion to a country, once the bank came to restructure, the country ended up owing the bank 1 billion. They must have been laughing into their soup.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The more I listen to the EU...

        Punished? Really? ...... Hey guys, I want to leave the golf club I've been a member of all these years. But i still want to come back and play golf; and decide how the club is run; and use the bar; and maybe keep my seat at the club table; and parking space. But this golf club isn't for me. FRO.

        1. MrXavia

          Re: The more I listen to the EU...

          "Punished? Really? ...... Hey guys, I want to leave the golf club I've been a member of all these years. But i still want to come back and play golf; and decide how the club is run; and use the bar; and maybe keep my seat at the club table; and parking space. But this golf club isn't for me. FRO."

          No, its more like "I want to leave this business I am a shareholder in and have paid a lot of money into every year, I would like to keep doing business with you but if you want me to follow your rules, i'd like a say in them"

          It is all about perspective... Now I don't agree with Brexit, but I also think the EU is corrupt and wasteful.. And it was obvious we would be punished for leaving, and our government is too focused on cutting net migration to actually see the bigger picture...

    12. BitEagle

      Re: The more I listen to the EU...

      It's clear that the EU is looking to impose a strict interpretation of its own rules on the departing UK, as is it's right and as was in all truth eminently predictable.

      It's equally clear that UK politicians of all hues expected, and in some particularly deluded cases continue to expect, that the EU will come to a comfortable political arrangement, of the type that governments typically agree when their mutual interests align. Since it is now clear that this will not happen it would behove the UK government to start negotiating from a position of strict legal obligation and contractual commitment.

      Anything above this should be reserved for an eventual Free Trade Agreement when we have left the EU.

    13. Vanir

      Re: The more I listen to the EU...

      The more I realise it does not listen to the peoples of the EU.

      And why should it when its powerful top institutions are not democratically accountable.

      The officals of these institutions do not have to go and knock on doors and persuade us the people that what they do is in our interests. They would have to listen to our concerns and hopefully get a feel of the political landscape that, as politcians, they have a duty to acquire.

      Why else are 'populist' political parties gaining traction in Poland, Hungary, Austria and now Italy.

      The intolerant institutional idealism of the EU at its core is as dangerous as any religious based idealism.

      1. strum Silver badge

        Re: The more I listen to the EU...

        >its powerful top institutions are not democratically accountable.

        A damn sight more democratically accountable than Whitehall.

    14. MarcusArt

      Re: The more I listen to the EU...

      We need to have clear and robust agreements on law enforcement interagency data sharing. We need to make sure we have solid rules to protect the right to privacy. We need simplified and forward thinking methods to access information that protects citizens in the UK and in the EU. We need to have data protection policies that EU and UK citizens can understand and that minimise the impact on small and large businesses.

      We won't get any of that in or out of the EU. Politics gets in the way. To be part of Europe as a group of interacting sovereign nations working to a common good was a darn good idea. Yes to Europe.

      Did we want a wasteful and corrupt beurocractic hegemony? Did we want another layer of lawmaking and policy enforcement on top of our own legal and political framework? No. No to the Political elite of Brussels. No to the Troika and the crippling financial hold of the ECB. No to the secret privitisation of key infrastructure they enforced in France and other EU member states.

      Will leaving the EU fix all this? Unlikely. However if we don't start coming together to support each other as an independent United Kingdom and work as a strategic partner with countries in the EU we will fail.

      We are leaving for a range of reasons and it looks like it will be messy and expensive. Were we lied to? Yes we are always lied to

      we will always be lied to.

      It's all like some horrible divorce. Emotions are high and fear is running rampant.

      Can we not make a positive decision to make the best of it? At the end of the day politicians won't sort anything out. It will be down to people working hard and building bridges trying to negotiate one small step.

      Data sharing will be a mess. It has been a mess. It WILl be a mess.

      Let's not slag each other over this. We are in it together. Tally Ho! :-)

      1. eldakka Silver badge

        Re: The more I listen to the EU...

        > We need to have clear and robust agreements on law enforcement interagency data sharing. We need to make sure we have solid rules to protect the right to privacy. We need simplified and forward thinking methods to access information that protects citizens in the UK and in the EU. We need to have data protection policies that EU and UK citizens can understand and that minimise the impact on small and large businesses.

        The UK needs that.

        The EU? Not so much. Since the EU doesn't really need it, why should they give a flying fuck what the UK needs/wants?

    15. Adrian Midgley 1

      Re: The more I listen to the EU...

      Balls

    16. Mark Wallace

      Re: The more I listen to the EU...

      What a thoroughly daft thing to say.

      When the UK leaves the EU, it will stop being part of the EU, and will therefore have as much right to take part in the EU's decision-making and governace as Russia, Patagonia, and Mars have.

      Conversely, the UK will not be bound to accept any governance from the EU, Russia, Patagonia, or Mars.

      How you can interpret the UK's desire to interfere with the decision-making and governance of the EU as "the EU trying to have its cake and eat it", I have absolutely no idea.

      Your interpretation is so upside-down that I can only assume you arrived a it under the table.

  2. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Well, duh

    Is it really a surprise? You can be in the EU and opt out of things, but you can't be out the EU and opt in to things.

    Why? There's about the same legal basis for the UK doing that as there is for Australia doing that, i.e. none. All the remaining 27 countries would have to re-write every law and treaty that makes the EU what it is to accommodate the Tory party's exceptionalism. Presumably if you went to Eton and Oxford this seems perfectly normal to you, but not to everyone else.

    1. msknight Silver badge

      Re: Well, duh

      "Is it really a surprise? You can be in the EU and opt out of things, but you can't be out the EU and opt in to things."

      That's not the problem. The problem is the things that we're already in.

      It looks to me that the EU is willing to cuts its own nose off to spite its face, as it will loose the contribution of the UK in existing projects.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Well, duh

        Perhaps the UK should stay in the EEA? (The ballot paper never mentioned leaving the EEA.)

        Otherwise, if you leave absolutely everything so there's no legal basis at all for what you want to do, this is what happens when you do that.

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Re: Well, duh

          Perhaps the UK should stay in the EEA? (The ballot paper never mentioned leaving the EEA.)

          And also want to leave the ECHR, which is not part of the EEC. (May has wanted this for far, far longer than just since the referendum).

          It's as if they just arbitrarily decided to pull out of anything with 'Euro/Europe/European' in the title.

          Honestly wouldn't surprise me to hear that the UK will be declared no longer a part of the continent of Europe next....The textbooks will all have to be changed.

          It's not bloody surprising the EU doesn't want a rogue state with a potentially divergent legislation involved, I don't blame them.

      2. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

        Re: Well, duh

        You could look at it that way, or alternatively you could look at the decision as 'pain now, or pain later'.

        There's going to be pain for both us and the EU. If the EU lets us stay, the pain occurs later when UK and EU law or regulation differ, plus it also encourages other countries thinking of leaving.

        If the pain occurs now, the EU has time to arrange for other countries to take up the slack. There's 27 of them, so they have a fair choice..

        1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

          Re: Well, duh

          ..If the pain occurs now, the EU has time to arrange for other countries to take up the slack. There's 27 of them, so they have a fair choice....

          Which one of them is going to take up the UK position in the financial world? Or pay the UK share of the budget?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Well, duh

            >Which one of them is going to take up the UK position in the financial world? Or pay the UK share of the budget?

            Given the size of the UK service industry that is supplying services into the EU and will not be allowed to shortly, I would guess a big chunk will come from taxes and increased GDP within each beneficiary country.

          2. Paul Smith

            Re: Well, duh

            "There's 27 of them, so they have a fair choice....

            Which one of them is going to take up the UK position in the financial world? Or pay the UK share of the budget?"

            Financial services accounts for roughly 7% of the UK GDP at about £120b. Since Frankfurt, Paris and Dublin have already picked up a good deal of the financial markets business and most of the rest will follow, the income from that should help offset the 'pain' of losing the UK' s share of the EU budget. I wonder what the May and crew have lined up to replace that source of income?

            1. H in The Hague Silver badge

              Re: Well, duh

              "I wonder what the May and crew have lined up to replace that source of income?"

              Innovative jams, delivered by unicorn to countries offering golden opportunities.

              Unfortunately, for the providers of my professional indemnity insurance (in the UK), they're likely to lose me (in NL) as a customer. Just one tiny example of UK businesses being cut off from a very large market at their doorstep, against their will.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Well, duh

              "Since Frankfurt, Paris and Dublin have already picked up a good deal of the financial markets business "

              They really haven't. Financial institutions have mostly opened tiny satellite offices in the EU with a skeleton staff so they can make local executions where needed. The vast majority of people who matter are staying put. After all if you have ever visited Frankfurt you would realise that next to no one wants to move there. And no trader wants to pay French taxes.

              1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

                Re: Well, duh

                They really haven't. Financial institutions have mostly opened tiny satellite offices in the EU with a skeleton staff so they can make local executions where needed.

                I suggest taking the duckmobile tour along the old docks in Dublin. "tiny satellite office" my arse. 7 floors+ glass blocks standing in lines with a sole graffity covered old garage left in between - Bono's old recording studio which he is refusing to sell. And this is just one district, there 4-5 more spread around the city growing at the same rate all pre-sold to major banks. Most have taken full buildings too.

                1. TheVogon Silver badge

                  Re: Well, duh

                  "I suggest taking the duckmobile tour along the old docks in Dublin. "tiny satellite office" my arse. 7 floors+ glass blocks standing in lines with a sole graffity covered old garage left in between - Bono's old recording studio which he is refusing to sell. And this is just one district, there 4-5 more spread around the city growing at the same rate all pre-sold to major banks. Most have taken full buildings too."

                  Mostly unrelated to Brexit though. It's always been a cheap offshoring location and it has the advantage of being English speaking. A few banks are considering relocating a few staff. Nothing much of note.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Well, duh

                    >Mostly unrelated to Brexit though. It's always been a cheap offshoring location and it has the advantage of being English speaking. A few banks are considering relocating a few staff. Nothing much of note.

                    Have you ever been to Dublin? It isn't cheap compared to most UK cities, and certainly isn't compared to the Eastern side of the EU.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Well, duh

              Since Frankfurt, Paris and Dublin have already picked up a good deal of the financial markets business

              Nice try. Got any proof, or is this just more EU fake news?

              1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

                Re: Well, duh

                Nice try. Got any proof,

                As a matter of fact yes. Just go there and have a look. I did - I had a job offer so I took the family down to Dublin exactly a year ago.

                The wife had a look and put a veto on it with a very simple reasoning: "There is no way in hell we will be able to get a house within 30 miles with our resources if we have to queue in with all the bankers which are moving into the new offices on the riverfront".

                They are there for you to see - just walk down Hanover Quay. If you have a look on streetview, it is from right after BrExit day when they started raising the old buildings. They are now nearly to roof level and will be ready for use by BrExit date and there are more of them in the queue. Very few of them are shared blocks - most are bought stock by banks. If anything will have "tiny figurehead offices", it will be the city, not the other way around.

          3. Lars Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: Well, duh

            "Which one of them is going to take up the UK position in the financial world? Or pay the UK share of the budget?".

            Don't worry, it will be a combination of the size of the budget, the amount payed out to some countries* and perhaps a slight increase for the ten who pay in more than they receive. Some business will leave the UK for the EU and be helpful in that respect. The UK is less than 15% of the EU.

            Things will be solved as before, what would be the choice.

            *thinking of Poland and Hungary who are on a dangerous traction since some time and might end up with much less support.

      3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: Well, duh

        The problem is the things that we're already in.

        Which as of March 2019 is none. That is what BrExit means. Exit.

        UK is negotiating what it can have post-BrExit and has refused to either accept the reality or propose an acceptable alternative.

        The reality is - if there is a dispute anything and everything in Eu ends up at the door of the ECJ. That is the reality. UK has declared that it will NOT accept it.

        It has failed to propose any other alternatives either and what we are seeing is the result of that.

        As long as these two will remain as they are today the answer will still be the same - No.

        1. msknight Silver badge

          Re: Well, duh

          "Which as of March 2019 is none. That is what BrExit means. Exit."

          Can't be done. Not in todays world where countries need to work together. Total exit is unrealistic. We've got to work with our international neighbours, even when there's an ocean between us. Perhaps even more so when the water is only a few miles across.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Well, duh

            "We've got to work with our international neighbours"

            Of course, and that will happen. Simply, it will not happen anymore through participation as a member inside the EU institutions, but instead through negotiation of an outside 3rd party with the EU. Since many others have done so already, there's no doubt it's possible.

            1. sebt27
              FAIL

              Re: Well, duh

              "Of course, and that will happen. Simply, it will not happen anymore through participation as a member inside the EU institutions, but instead through negotiation of an outside 3rd party with the EU."

              That's a nice idea, and would produce a vaguely-sensible Brexit. But it's not going to happen. As a Leave voter I know was telling me* over the weekend, if that was the aim then triggering Art.50 ASAP and starting a 2-year countdown, when no-one had a clue even what they wanted, was pretty frunking stupid.

              May did it to appease the screaming WANTZ MY BREXITZ NOW! toddlers over at the Mail. And guaranteed that there would be no chance of Brexit ever working.

              * for "telling me", read "ranting furiously"

          2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            Re: Well, duh

            Can't be done. Not in todays world where countries need to work together. Total exit is unrealistic.

            In that case, which idiot signed the request to do just that without a plan b? Nobody in the EU would have given a shit if the UK took ten years or longer to work out what it was going to do before enacting the clause to leave the union. But the Tory press would have gone ape shit and that's all that seems to matter.

            As things stand the request was made, and the UK has about five months to come up with a workable arrangement for a transition period that is acceptable every single of the other 27 member states.

            1. tip pc

              Re: Well, duh

              @Charlie Clark

              In that case, which idiot signed the request to do just that without a plan b?

              the EU asked us to not drag it out so we complied.

      4. rtfazeberdee

        Re: Well, duh

        No, we are currently in, if things go badly then we are out due to small minded xenophobia and not listening/understanding the facts

      5. soulrideruk Bronze badge

        Re: Well, duh

        "It looks to me that the EU is willing to cuts its own nose off to spite its face, as it will loose the contribution of the UK in existing projects."

        Oh right, blame the EU for instigating Brexit, and blame the EU for coming up with the slogan Brexit means Brexit.

        I love the way people with absolutely no idea of what Brexit meant try and claim what is happening is not what was supposed to happen during Brexit. This is exactly what every right-minded person knew would happen if brexit was succesful, it seems all those who championed Brexit were not in that category.

    2. Gordon Pryra

      Re: Well, duh

      Its not the Tory party.

      ITS TEH WILL O THE PEOPLE!!! (tm)

      Which is what I thought we had elected politicos for, so that the "WILL 'O THE PEOPLE" gets tempered by those with some knowledge of the subject.

      Sadly anyone willing to do their job in the best interests of the British people gets accused of Treason by foreign newspapers and has the mob set on them.

      The majority of the Tory party voted remain, in fact I think we can lump all the political parties (well Labour and Conservative) into the same camp.

      We can call this camp "the idiots who gave allowed the masses the chance to prove their stupidity."

      Why the hell did Camaron trust us?

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Well, duh

        Its not the Tory party.

        ITS TEH WILL O THE PEOPLE!!! (tm)

        Sorry, I don't buy that.

        If that were the case, the minimum would be pushed, as it is, the current leadership are using it as an excuse to pull out of anything and everything 'Europe', even when not directly tied to the EU.

        This is what happens you throw around binary choices - real life seldom has such choices

        Premise: You are low on money.

        a) 'rob a bank'

        b) 'don't rob a bank'

        Like the referendum, neither is much a solution, but one adds a lot more headaches, although it 'might' solve your problems for a while, if you can manage it.

    3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Well, duh

      You can be in the EU and opt out of things, but you can't be out the EU and opt in to things.

      Technically speaking, why not? Works for Norway & Switzerland. It's politics, anything is possible.

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: Well, duh

        Technically speaking, why not? Works for Norway & Switzerland. It's politics, anything is possible.

        Oh ffffs... how many fff.. times should I say it - they OPT in under the condition that all disputes are resolved by the ECJ. That is how it works - there is a dispute resolution mechanism.

        UK is neither accepting the current opt-in conditions (ECJ), nor proposing a suitable alternative dispute resolution mechanism. In fact, it wants to opt in WITHOUT any dispute resolution mechanism in place. That as an idea is in the realm of "whatever you are smoking, you should be sharing it".

        The whole negotiation as it is at present is bogus - it is a classic case of putting the donkey behind the cart. It should have STARTED with "what would be the dispute resolution mechanism once UK leaves" and everything being taken from there. Instead of that we are in cherry-on-the-cake-picking mode which will ultimately fail for this exact reason - you cannot have 20 different dispute resolution mechanisms and seamless trade at the same time.

      2. LDS Silver badge

        "Works for Norway & Switzerland"

        EEA/EFTA have far more stringent requirements than UK is willingly to accept - including the free circulation of people, and they also contribute to some EU funds. In exchange they are included in the decision making process.

        See http://www.efta.int/~/media/Files/Publications/Bulletins/eeadecisionshaping-bulletin.pdf

        Switzerland has AFAIK bilateral agreements only, and far less power in shaping EU rulemaking (but hiding politicians & friends money, of course <G>).

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well, duh

        "Technically speaking, why not? Works for Norway & Switzerland. It's politics, anything is possible."

        Norway and Switzerland are not participants to the decision-making in the way the UK would like to be. The EEA solution has been rejected by the UK already, not by the EU.

      4. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Well, duh

        1. Can't be done. Not in todays world where countries need to work together. Total exit is unrealistic. We've got to work with our international neighbours, even when there's an ocean between us. Perhaps even more so when the water is only a few miles across.

        2. Simply, it will not happen anymore through participation as a member inside the EU institutions, but instead through negotiation of an outside 3rd party with the EU. Since many others have done so already, there's no doubt it's possible.

        3. Technically speaking, why not? Works for Norway & Switzerland. It's politics, anything is possible.

        The UK's red lines are the SM & CU and the ECJ, which also rules out the EEA and EFTA. That's the politics.

        If you say you don't want to be a part of any existing way of working with the EU then complain the EU doesn't want to work with you, well, who's fault is that exactly? If you want something else, special, just for the UK, then that's that Tory party exceptionalism again.

      5. tfewster Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Well, duh

        > Works for Norway & Switzerland

        Norway & Switzerland buy in. Their money gets them into the clubhouse, they still have to follow club rules, but they don't get full membership or a vote.

      6. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

        Re: Well, duh

        You can be in the EU and opt out of things, but you can't be out the EU and opt in to things.

        Technically speaking, why not? Works for Norway & Switzerland. It's politics, anything is possible.

        Norway and Switzerland may not be Members of the EU but they signed up for Associate Membership and agreed to what the EU demanded to get that (*).

        Britain doesn't want Membership, doesn't want Associated Membership, doesn't want any kind of membership at all, doesn't want to agree to or be bound to any EU rules.

        That's why we cannot have what other people get. Out means out and, if we want out, that's what we will get.

        (*) Kippers consider Norway and Switzerland to be in the EU because of that.

      7. Lars Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Well, duh

        "Works for Norway & Switzerland.". Yes, but neither agreements satisfy May at the moment. Both are available.

    4. Herring`

      Re: Well, duh

      Is it really a surprise? You can be in the EU and opt out of things, but you can't be out the EU and opt in to things.

      Theresa May: "Brexit means Brexit!"

      Daily Mail: "Hooray!"

      Barnier: "Brexit means Brexit"

      Daily Mail: "Boo!"

      1. John Mangan

        Re: Well, duh

        @Herring' Beautifully put! Masterful!

        I'm sorry I have but the one up vote to give.

      2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Well, duh

        Theresa May: "Brexit means Brexit!"

        Daily Mail: "Hooray!"

        Barnier: "Brexit means Brexit"

        Daily Mail: "Boo!"

        I wish I could up-vote this more...

        1. LOL123

          Re: Well, duh

          >> I wish I could up-vote this more...

          Totally.. it so succinctly summarises the brexiter's arrogance and double standards.

    5. David Lester

      Re: Well, duh

      The real problem which both the UK and the EU have to grapple with post-Brexit is WTO non-discrimination rules.

      Anything the EU does for the UK, without a trade deal (and no one's expecting that for five to seven years), can then be claimed by any other nation in their trade deal with the EU. And similarly for the UK, which will have no trade deals in place, and therefore for whom every other WTO member is a "Most Favoured Nation".

      So, if the EU accepted our request to sit in on GDRP, then a similar request from Russia, China, or more plausibly the USA would need to be looked on with similar favo(u)r. This may go some way towards explaining the current local difficulty.

      Just accept the Swiss view: no negotiation with the EU is ever actually over.

  3. Joe Harrison Silver badge

    Gordian knot needs scissors

    More and more rumours of an October general election.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Gordian knot needs scissors

      The interesting point will be whether the Labour Party conference will allow a debate/vote about Brexit policy.

      A recent study suggests that Labour could take quite a few Tory seats if they appealed to Tory Remain voters. It also indicates that Labour could lose several seats if they don't have the support of Remain voters from their own party or non-Tories.

      1. Adam 52 Silver badge

        Re: Gordian knot needs scissors

        Corbyn had his chance to do that and blew it. If he U-turns now nobody will trust him.

        1. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: Gordian knot needs scissors

          "If he U-turns now nobody will trust him."

          No one trusts him anyway.

    2. eldakka Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Gordian knot needs scissors

      > Gordian knot needs scissors

      I don't think that'll cut it (ba-dum-tish).

      Nuke it from orbit, it's the only way to be sure.

  4. sabroni Silver badge

    Irish abortion referendum.

    That's a mandate.

    The paltry 2% leave got should never have been enough to trigger this clusterfuck.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Irish abortion referendum.

      The paltry 2% leave got should never have been enough to trigger this clusterfuck.

      I presume you mean 52%?

      Why not? The French only voted 51% in favour of creating it. A 65% threshold for the "create" vote would have avoided the clusterfuck ever seeing the light of day.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Irish abortion referendum.

        Cherry-picking your referendum, I see.

        Please do also remember that in 1972, we French voted 68.3% in favour of admitting you in, so that you British could confirm staying by 67.2% a couple of years later.

        So, err, that 65% threshold you asked for? Well, it was reached, thanks for asking.

        1. Spasticus Autisticus
          Mushroom

          Re: Irish abortion referendum.

          EEC, I think - before my time. Economic partnership, great idea, all the rest of the United States of Europe shit was where it went wrong.

          Icon for the EU - which is were its heading, unfortunately, unless the EU 'leaders' get their shit together.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Irish abortion referendum.

            "EEC, I think - before my time. Economic partnership, great idea, all the rest of the United States of Europe shit was where it went wrong."

            It appears that is an extremely common misunderstanding in the UK. From before the EEC creation, ie, from the ECSC itself, it was explicitly stated that the economic community was the way to a political goal, that would bring lasting peace in Europe. The EEC was never the end, the EU was meant to come long before the UK joined. See the Schuman Declaration, 1950.

            It's really striking that so many British citizens are not aware of that.

            https://europa.eu/european-union/sites/europaeu/files/robert_schuman_en.pdf

            1. BitEagle

              Re: Irish abortion referendum.

              It's not surprising, it was deliberately omitted from the debate as Heath and Wilson realised that otherwise we would choose to leave.

        2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: Irish abortion referendum.

          So, err, that 65% threshold you asked for? Well, it was reached, thanks for asking.

          For the common market, which was a good thing. We should have kept it.

          The EU, as political empire-building by power-hungry civil servants, was not wanted. Most countries didn't get a vote and whilst places like Italy would have voted in favour (oh, how times change!), opinion polls in the UK at the time were showing 62% opposed, even Denmark voted "No" by 50.7% and had to be asked again to get the right answer. France voted for it by just under 52%.

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: Irish abortion referendum.

            >The EU, as political empire-building by power-hungry civil servants, was not wanted.

            But it was wanted and by Westminster!

            Successive Westminster governments backed it by negotiating and signing the founding treaties. Westminster has no ground whatsoever to complain it didn't like what was happening, it had a seat at the table - if it failed to use its position and access effectively then that isn't anyone elses fault but the UK's.

            Brexiteers, do seem to have missed Farage's point: the mess the UK is now in (wrt the EU) is wholly down to the incompetence of Westminster. And here we are relying on Westminster to suddenly become competent and negotiate with the EU that is favourable to UK interests, something it has demonstrably failed to do so over many decades as a member...

          2. strum Silver badge

            Re: Irish abortion referendum.

            >For the common market, which was a good thing. We should have kept it.

            Hypocritical nonsense. In 1975, the 'No' campaign's main plank was 'loss of sovereignty'. Everyone knew that integration was part of the package. It was never just 'a common market' (and the text of the Treaty of Rome made it doubly clear).

          3. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

            Re: Irish abortion referendum.

            For the common market, which was a good thing. We should have kept it.

            As a remainer it is what I could compromise on. I believe it is what most leavers wanted and voted for; removing ourselves from the political diktats they didn't like or want and going back to the old 'common market' thing.

            That's what Farage and others were promising when they said 'wouldn't it be terrible if we were like Norway and others'. It's what Hannon and others were saying when they said 'no one was talking about leaving the single market', 'only an idiot would do that'.

            But then, when leavers had voted for that, it was bait and switch, they were told they couldn't have that. Out meant out, and the common market was classified as being in the EU through the back door so it was never an option.

            The irony is that it was 'project fear' which kept warning out meant out. Leave campaigns were telling us this was nonsense because they knew that if people actually knew what they were voting for they never would have.

            In that respect leavers are being more screwed-over than remainers are.

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Irish abortion referendum.

        The French only voted 51% in favour of creating it.

        Fortunately, this meant that the French government didn't have to offend sensibilites by pointing out that referendums have no legal force in France.

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: Irish abortion referendum.

          that referendums have no legal force in France.

          Nor in the UK, but there's little point in having one if you're going to ignore it.

          1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

            Re: Irish abortion referendum.

            that referendums have no legal force in France.

            Nor in the UK, but there's little point in having one if you're going to ignore it.

            Not strictly true; (IANAL but IIRC...) UK law does provide for referendums that are binding, provided that their enabling bills do something like setting minimum thresholds, and allow all registered voters to have a say (like the Scottish independence referendum did). The brexit referendum explicitly did neither of these things (no minimum threshold, and excluded EU citizens that have the right to vote in the UK as well as UK citizens living abroad for more than a certain number of years). It was also explicitly non-binding.

      3. Phil W

        Re: Irish abortion referendum.

        "I presume you mean 52%?"

        Nope, more like 4% because that's the difference between the Yes/No result.

        But the constant argument by ardent Brexiteers that a whopping 52% majority of the population voted to Leave is extremely annoying.

        52% is a very slim majority, If I cut a cake into 2 pieces one of 52% and one of 48% you wouldn't even be able to spot the difference that readily.

        Another important point is that the turn out was not 100%. So it was 52% of the people that actually voted, and whose votes weren't discarded. In December 2017 (closest published figure) there were 46,148,000 people registered to vote, in the referendum 17,410,742 people voted to Leave and 16,141,241 voted to Remain.

        As a percentage of the registered voters that's 37.73% Leave 34.98% Remain. Your ~38% vs ~35% result seems a bit less convincing now.

        Of all the people who could vote, 38% were bothered enough about the way things are to vote to change it. Certainly you can argue that only 35% cared enough to try and prevent it, but that's a flawed argument because you cannot say why the 27% of voters didn't vote trying to claim them for either side is just plain wrong.

        The general consensus about most things in life is that in a group/organisation the burden to drive change is on those who want it and then you need a majority to agree, and in many other situations not voting is considering not being for the change in one way or another.

        This is achieved by simply counting abstentions as against or by setting a minimum turnout, or making voting mandatory. Having a minimum required turnout is most common, from small voting scenarios to large, in company/organisation board meetings and some government houses this is known as "having quorum".

        Putting aside Brexit as a specific issue. Is the consent of 38% of the country's population sufficient to initiate massive legal and constitutional change? I certainly don't think so.

        1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

          Re: Irish abortion referendum.

          ...Is the consent of 38% of the country's population sufficient to initiate massive legal and constitutional change? I certainly don't think so....

          That's because you lost. If you had won it would be "we must abide by the wishes of the majoirty - that's democracy"...

          1. Phil W

            Re: Irish abortion referendum.

            "That's because you lost."

            No it's because I believe major change on binary decisions that can't be undone should require real majority consent.

            If we'd had the same percentage results but an =>85% turnout, or the same turnout as we got but a real solid majority like =>70% leave, I wouldn't dispute it at all.

        2. BitEagle

          Re: Irish abortion referendum.

          Well if you don't like it...

        3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: Irish abortion referendum.

          Having a minimum required turnout is most common, from small voting scenarios to large, in company/organisation board meetings and some government houses this is known as "having quorum"

          True, and 72% turnout would certainly meet most such requirements.

          Is the consent of 38% of the country's population sufficient to initiate massive legal and constitutional change?

          If not then you've just invalidated almost every election over the past 100 years.

          We went into the EU on the basis of a decision by Parliament at a time when John Major was PM. In the previous election the tories obtained 41.9% of the votes with a 77.7% turnout. That doesn't meet your criteria either, so was the massive legal and constitutional change of entering the EU valid?

          1. strum Silver badge

            Re: Irish abortion referendum.

            >you've just invalidated almost every election over the past 100 years.

            Every election over the last 100 years came with an 'oops' clause; a quick opportunity to reverse a mistake.

            1. Phil W

              Re: Irish abortion referendum.

              "Every election over the last 100 years came with an 'oops' clause; a quick opportunity to reverse a mistake."

              THIS! Exactly this! I wouldn't exactly describe it as quick, but changes made by one government can largely be undone less than 5-10 years after they were made by the next one should the public vote in someone else because the results were unpopular.

              However in the case of the UK's EU membership, it isn't possible to ever undo the change. Even if we had another referendum in 5 years and decided to rejoin the EU, we wouldn't be in same position we are now.

              If we were to rejoin as a new member we wouldn't get the special allowances to not adopt the Euro and other measures that we put in place for ourselves due to our negotiating power when the treaties were written. As a new member we'd have to adopt the Euro within a short time frame, loosing control of our banking and interest rates. We'd most likely be forced into Shengen as well, which we currently don't have to be in.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: Irish abortion referendum.

                @ Phil W

                "However in the case of the UK's EU membership, it isn't possible to ever undo the change."

                So we should never undo anything that cannot be redone? We should be trapped in the EU regardless of how bad it turns out because we can never rejoin without the opt outs? Sounds pretty dumb to me.

                "If we were to rejoin as a new member we wouldn't get the special allowances"

                And this is the problem. You have so little faith in the utopia project you love so much (the EU) that you dont want to join it fully? Your not really selling the EU when you say you want to be in it but not really fully in it. How are we leave voters who dislike the EU with our opt outs supposed to see this wonderful land of hope and glory you believe in when you dont want to join it?

                "We'd most likely be forced into Shengen as well, which we currently don't have to be in."

                Forced? Is it something we wouldnt want to be in? In this fantastic rainbow and unicorn EU? Dont you want the Euro and all the rest of the EU embrace? Every problem the EU has seems to conclude the same result 'more Europe!' (do note they mistake the EU for Europe). Their aim to be the US of Europe and federalise.

                1. Phil W

                  Re: Irish abortion referendum.

                  @codejunky

                  No of course we can do things that can't be undone, my point was that if you're going to something that can't be undone it should be with the consent of an actual majority of the population not ~38%.

                  You seem to misunderstand my position on the EU. I don't like it in it's present state, I think it's mess of beurocratic bullshit with lots of stupid ideas like the single currency.

                  I certainly believe it has benefits, but most of these are related to the EEA, single market and customs union. The ECHR has done a good job at preventing our government from being a bunch of total bastards. I'm not in favour of total centralisation of everything that the EU is aimed at, most especially not the single currency. (The single biggest problem with the EU right now though is that douchecanoe Juncker).

                  But that's why our existing membership with opt outs is the best option.

                  To decide the EU isn't perfect so we must be better off out and quitting without any idea of what that will entail is like deciding you'd be better off quitting a job you don't enjoy without bothering to look for another one first.

                  My reason for wanting to remain in is simple and doesn't really come down to whether I like the EU or not it's a simple equation as to whether we as a country (and I personally) are better off in the EU or out.

                  As an absolute certainty we're better off in the EU in the short to medium term, no-one with half a brain could argue that we're better off now than before Article 50 was triggered. The value of our currency is substantially reduced, major companies and banks are beginning to relocate large portions of their business out of the country, the already crippled NHS is facing massively increasing staff shortages because foreign doctors and nurses feel unwelcome.

                  In the long term? Things might well be OK, but only OK not some fantastical land of milk and honey trading with the poorer non-EU countries that Boris and co promised. It will take at least a decade to get us back to the financial state we were in pre-Brexit if not longer and that's just to get us back to where we were.

                  If there were ever a good time for Brexit it would have been at a time of economic plenty not in a stagnant plateau at the tail end of a recession.

                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: Irish abortion referendum.

                    @ Phil W

                    "No of course we can do things that can't be undone, my point was that if you're going to something that can't be undone it should be with the consent of an actual majority of the population not ~38%."

                    Thats why we had a referendum. Do we remain or leave, the people who cared of the 100% voted and leave won the vote. Job done. Following that was a general election where the one party offering remain didnt do very well. Either way it is a larger support than to join the EU where we had no vote nor any choice. *heading off the stupid argument someone will likely reply with: common market != EU.

                    "But that's why our existing membership with opt outs is the best option."

                    You have just spent a chunk of text telling me how crap the EU is and justifying leave to avoid that crap. So no our existing membership with opt outs is obviously not the best option. The ever closer union does require standardising more and more which will eat through our opt outs eventually (to be in the EU). And with the jellyfish (Blair, Cameron & May) so far we will see those opt outs vanish quicker than our rebate that was not on the table for negotiation (Blair) or our opt out of bailing out Greece/Euro (Cameron).

                    "To decide the EU isn't perfect so we must be better off out and quitting without any idea of what that will entail is like deciding you'd be better off quitting a job you don't enjoy without bothering to look for another one first."

                    The idea of leave was already known. Economic recovery, reduced import costs, a competitive advantage over the EU (also noted by the EU). Thats on top of the control of our own borders and sovereignty.

                    "My reason for wanting to remain in is simple and doesn't really come down to whether I like the EU or not it's a simple equation as to whether we as a country (and I personally) are better off in the EU or out."

                    My reason for wanting to leave is a simple equation as to the country being better off outside the EU. The EU is in multiple self inflicted crises and quickly got their excuses for the EU collapsing as brexits fault.

                    "As an absolute certainty we're better off in the EU in the short to medium term"

                    That is questionable. Yes there will be adjustment but the damage we have is from negotiation, not leave. There will be a changing of jobs to be more global looking instead of just EU looking, is that bad? To be removing the dependence on a block in multiple self inflicted crises? So far we have been promised 2 of the last 0 recessions. One the day after the vote to leave and one when we finally hand in article 50. Now that has been moved to some nebulous point in the future (i.e. next business cycle recession).

                    "no-one with half a brain could argue that we're better off now than before Article 50 was triggered"

                    I will argue with that. The currency fell and we actually started recovering back to normal. The US is unwinding QE, the UK is looking to increase the base rate, the EU is still years behind recovery and still expanding stimulus and members are still struggling! We have full employment as does the US and the EU is still bad. The dragging of negotiation (when we should have walked away) and desperate attempts to ignore democracy are certainly a problem but thats not leave.

                    "The value of our currency is substantially reduced"

                    You are welcome. The BoE and gov have been trying to do this since 2008. Our currency was overvalued and the drop finally allowed the BoE to consider increasing the base rate. Unfortunately bad weather and the ongoing attempts to keep us trapped in the EU are reducing that effort.

                    "major companies and banks are beginning to relocate large portions of their business out of the country"

                    Brass plates are being set up yes. Businesses that are dependent on the EU yes. So? We are at full employment and our dependence on the EU puts us in a dangerous position as other members are finding.

                    "the already crippled NHS is facing massively increasing staff shortages because foreign doctors and nurses feel unwelcome"

                    The NHS recruits globally. This is an interesting argument as remaining in the EU traps us with an EU immigration problem which reduces the capacity from outside. I have friends from the EU, US, Asia, Russia, Middle East and Africa. All pretty much have to come over as students and put up with a red tape immigration process except for the EU friend. My Russian friend loves this country and wants to move here, but isnt willing to be a student so is struggling to find a way. So immigration wise the EU is a problem. NHS wise this isnt even an issue.

                    "Things might well be OK, but only OK not some fantastical land of milk and honey trading with the poorer non-EU countries that Boris and co promised"

                    Might be ok, might be better than ok. The land of milk and honey is failing, that is the EU. The wet dream is drowning and shows little sign of improvement. When the dream meets the real world the real world always wins and the EU is discovering this.

                    "It will take at least a decade to get us back to the financial state we were in pre-Brexit if not longer and that's just to get us back to where we were."

                    What state when? How are you judging this? We recovered from the recession quickly and the threat used against leaving is we 'might' grow slower than in, which means we will continue to be better off even under pessimistic views. After all the crap you identified of the EU you seem shockingly certain that things are worse outside the EU. The EU being a falling share of the worlds wealth.

                    "If there were ever a good time for Brexit it would have been at a time of economic plenty not in a stagnant plateau at the tail end of a recession."

                    Bad news for you, we are in the boom phase. This isnt the tail end of recession, we passed that a while ago. We need to be getting back to a normal that is ready for the next recession due any time according to the business cycle. The US is getting ready, the EU is nowhere near and we need to choose. Tie ourselves to the EU which has a bad track record or rejoin the world and be responsible for our own country.

                    1. Dr_N Silver badge

                      Re: Irish abortion referendum.

                      I can't wait for brexit.

                      At least then we'll see what the real world holds-in-store for the UK.

                      And we won't have to put up with codejunky droning on-and-on-and-on-and-on about the hated EU. Because the UK will be out and they'll be no-one left to blame (or maybe even congratulate) but the brexit elite and their hangers-on and propaganda wing.

                      Role on 1st January 2021, I say!

                      1. codejunky Silver badge

                        Re: Irish abortion referendum.

                        @ Dr_N

                        Finally a brexit comment of yours I can at all agree with!

                        1. Dr_N Silver badge

                          Re: Irish abortion referendum.

                          Oh, and the blue passport.

                          I just can't wait for my brexit blue passport. Probably the only advantage I'm going to see. So I need to make the most of it.

                          1. Roland6 Silver badge
                            Pint

                            Re: Irish abortion referendum.

                            >I just can't wait for my brexit blue passport.

                            Well given the fun and games over years I've had with French businesses getting my address right, I won't be surprised if the passport has on its cover:

                            "Royaume-Uni de Grande-Bretagne et d'Irlande du Nord."

                            1. Dr_N Silver badge

                              Re: Irish abortion referendum.

                              It'll just say "England" as the French don't tend to differentiate between "Angleterre" and GB/UK/The Other Three.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Irish abortion referendum.

                "As a new member we'd have to adopt the Euro within a short time frame, loosing control of our banking and interest rates. We'd most likely be forced into Shengen as well, which we currently don't have to be in."

                Obviously true, and possibly one way to eventually salvage real progress out of this mess.

                The other way is to get out, stay out, and stay out of the EU's way as they move forward. Doesn't do much for the UK, but at least clears the way for the majority of Europe to move on.

          2. Phil W

            Re: Irish abortion referendum.

            "True, and 72% turnout would certainly meet most such requirements."

            Indeed it would. However the quorum being in place doesn't generally affect the majority requirement i.e. only 75% of the board/Senate vote but it still requires more than 50% of the total membership of the board/Senate to pass.

            It works well this way for those type of organisations because they have a much smaller total membership who are generally whipped into line one way or another. So although only 75% turn up almost all of that 75% will vote the same way, thus giving a real majority of over 50% of the membership.

        4. strum Silver badge

          Re: Irish abortion referendum.

          >As a percentage of the registered voters that's 37.73% Leave 34.98% Remain.

          And, of course, we have no way of knowing what proportion of that 37.73% wanted out of the Single Market and the Customs Union. On the other hand, we can be pretty sure what the 34.98% wanted - the status quo.

    2. Ken 16 Silver badge
      Holmes

      There was some advance planning too

      The Citizens Assembly heard expert testimony and deliberated for two years before making recommendations. A cross party committee sat for both houses to agree the form of words, what it meant to existing legislation and what new legislation would be proposed if the referendum passed. Then the Referendum Commission issued unbiased information on those to avoid partisan propaganda.

      It wasn't just who had the biggest bus and jobs with the newspapers.

    3. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

      Re: Irish abortion referendum.

      Actually, counting those who did not vote as being happy with either position, it's more like 70-30...

    4. BitEagle

      Re: Irish abortion referendum.

      Sadly you can't change the rules after the event.

      But it's nice to see that you favour respecting referendum results.

  5. Valeyard

    but we're the main offenders

    When it comes to mass data collection and the amount of effort a government puts into spying on innocent citizens.. WE'RE the bad guys, the rogue state these laws are specifically and rightfully set up to counter against

    why the hell would they give us a waiver

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Thing With Brexit

    ... is that it means Brexit.

    Stop talking Britain down!

    Roll on 31/12/20 when all of the UK's problems will be cured by taking back control and the judicious application of the Sovereign Will Of The British People.

    Strong and Stable.

    We're in this Together.

    Empire 2.0

    They Need Us More Than We Need Them.

    Blue Passports.

    Pint Glasses.

    Inches & Miles.

    Jumpers For Goalposts.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: The Thing With Brexit

      And cake, don't forget the cake!

    2. Roger Mew

      Re: The Thing With Brexit

      One does not need to it does that on its own. We want this , we want to do that, .. and if not we are going to throw the baby out the window. Stop the TWIT lot now and save money and get Gove and crew to return the costs. Even Nigel Lawson wants a Carte de Sejour that is granted to those that want to work here in France. Kick him out the day after Brexit for no Visa and as an unwanted foreigner.

  7. Blockchain commentard

    Won't share with a 3rd country

    But a second country is fine. Oh, America has bagged that spot !!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Won't share with a 3rd country

      "But a second country is fine. Oh, America has bagged that spot !!!"

      Yep, too bad the USA are not part of the UK anymore. Well, I grant you, as a 3rd party, they're still influencing the UK's policy just as if they were still inside.

      1. Jan 0

        Re: Won't share with a 3rd country

        > Yep, too bad the USA are not part of the UK anymore. Well, I grant you, as a 3rd party, they're still influencing the UK's policy just as if they were still inside.

        Where do you live? Haven’t you noticed that they are still inside? Don’t you hear the USAF “protecting” you by flying from a former RAF station most days?

        The USA is inside and we vote for their poodles.

        1. Adam 52 Silver badge

          Re: Won't share with a 3rd country

          El Reg hasn't done the recent USAF near miss story. Probably doesn't fit the editorial narrative.

  8. John Mangan

    It's become increasingly clear ..

    that the Brexit negotiations (on our side) have more to do with saving the Tory party than the 'will of the people', the good of the country or future economic prosperity.

    It doesn't surprise me at all that the EU considers that a low priority item.

    If I was them my priorities would be:

    1 - the good of the EU

    2 - retaining whatever benefits of 'associating' with the UK that are compatible with '1'

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    n - The Sun becoming a red dwarf

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    x - the Heat Death of the Universe/The Big Rip

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    The Tory Party

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's become increasingly clear ..

      Well of course the Brexit "negotiations" are more about saving the Tory party from a right royal split-up than ensuring that the best interests of the UK are served.

      Because that was what the referendum was about in the first place and, unsurprisingly, singularly failed to achieve.

      Still, now we have termination of pregnancy for NI inhabitants to further squeeze TM's balls.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Happy

        Still, now we have termination of pregnancy for NI inhabitants.

        Not to mention UK Abortion clinics protesting at "Unfair competition " from newly opened ones across the boarder.

        Hef**kinglarious.

      2. John Mangan

        Re: It's become increasingly clear ..

        "Because that was what the referendum was about in the first place and, unsurprisingly, singularly failed to achieve."

        I agree that the referendum was solely and clearly about the Tory party and de-fanging UKIP but I suspect many people harboured a belief (hope?) that that they would then set about 'taking back control' and 'getting the best deal for Britain' in the subsequent negotiations.

        Unfortunately even this has faint spark has been quenched by the last 18 months of blind incompetence.

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: It's become increasingly clear ..

          It's also clear that it's going to end the Tory party.

          Whatever May agrees to is going to annoy at least half the Tory base, and split the party in twain.

          Cameron's legacy is a poorer UK, May's is a split and irrelevant party.

          The only question is which party will replace them. It doesn't seem likely to be the Lib Dems, so perhaps the Greens?

          1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
            Unhappy

            It's also clear that it's going to end the Tory party.

            You wish.

            With UKIP reduced to roadkill Conservative MP's instinctively know that they are "Better together."

            Of course someone will have to pay for this colossal clusterf**k and you can bet that Johnson, Gove, Mogg and their ilk aren't going to admit, in any way, shape or form, that they might have got it (just a little bit) wrong.

            So anticipate a posse of the 1922 Committee riding out to deliver Messrs May and Davies to face a long list of "Crimes against Brexit," after which various candidates (probably also Johnson, Gove and Mogg). No doubt Mogg's view on abortion will be go down very well with the average DUP supporter in the street (with the bowler hat and full Lodge regalia).

            1. Phil W

              Re: It's also clear that it's going to end the Tory party.

              "No doubt Mogg's view on abortion will be go down very well with the average DUP supporter in the street"

              As much as I detest Mogg, and am pro-choice, I actually have no problem with his view on abortion. In the interview where he was questioned about it he made it extremely clear that it was his personal view and not the position of the Government or Conservative Party, and that he was not trying to put it on the political agenda. He was explicitly asked about his view on abortion and gave an honest answer.

              I can respect a politician being able to hold a personal view that is unpopular that they don't try and push onto the political agenda without a mandate to do so from their voters.

              1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
                Unhappy

                As much as I detest Mogg, and am pro-choice, I actually have no problem with his view on abortion.

                And as a backbench MP who's not in charge of a Ministry it would remain his personal interest.

                But he's being talked about as a future party Leader.

                Apparently he appeals to the grass roots activists. A bit like Corbyn, but for the hutin/shotin/fishin/hanging/drawin/querterin brigade.

                As party Leader I think he will feel a bit more inclined to make his views party policy.

                OMFG It's looking like Michael "Double Brutus" Gove is looking like the sensible choice.

                Who saw that one coming?

              2. codejunky Silver badge
                Thumb Up

                Re: It's also clear that it's going to end the Tory party.

                @ Phil W

                "I can respect a politician being able to hold a personal view that is unpopular that they don't try and push onto the political agenda without a mandate to do so from their voters."

                Just wanted to say very well said. We dont value politicians enough to be able to do this, instead people seem to expect a politician to hold their views personally as well as politically.

          2. Roger Mew

            Re: It's become increasingly clear ..

            Vote Liberal as it is the nearest to real non lefties policies. In fact if a lot of Labourites also really read their hearts they would be more liberal also. We must stop the extreme right and those on the left. Stop Brexit now.

        2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Unhappy

          "..many people harboured a belief..that they would then set about 'taking back control'"

          Yes, they probably did.

          The technical term for them is "Banjo's"*

          *From the John Malkovich line in RED 2 "I knew she'd play him like a banjo at an Ozark hoedown."

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      Brexit negotiations..have more to do with saving the Tory party than the 'will of the people',

      And what gave you the slightest idea they were ever about anything else?

      The referendum was CMD's paln to pull the rug out from under UKIP and stop defections to the Siren call of Farrage.

      It's been a resounding success. The Kippers are smoked and no Tory MP wants to join them. Mission: Accomplished.

      Of course the UK economy is collateral damage, but that only matters to the 95% of people who make < £70k/PA IE not him. They are kind of f**ked.

  9. Ben1892
    Coat

    Chief EU negotiator....

    ...does his job.

    However, I think in the case though, the EU used to have a safe harbour agreement with the US, why could they really not have a similar deal with the UK - after all we've implemented the DPA, GDPR and PECR. Barnier obviously thinks they are weak on this point, so needs to come out guns blazing with an announcement to feign strength.

    At least we've stopped banging on about Galileo .... it's OK I'm getting it, mines the one with negotiating for dummies in the pocket

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Chief EU negotiator....

      "why could they really not have a similar deal with the UK"

      That's exactly what the negotiatior say will happen, the article's conclusion is a bit messy IMO. The point is that it will come as a negotiation with a 3rd party, while the UK is demanding to just stay inside the institution and participate to the decisions as an insider.

      1. tfewster Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Chief EU negotiator....

        The UK should offer to attend in a consultancy role only. And as we all know, consultants are taken more seriously than permies ;-)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reading the comment thus far my brexit bingo scorecard is almost at a full house. Just waiting for someone to mention immigration.

    The EU aren't going to allow us to be part of something but not accountable to something.

    The UK aren't going to part of something we are accountable to but have no say.

    These two rules apply to nearly every part of the negotiations.

    It's either going to be another general election or a full brexit where everything goes to pot.

    If it is another election then I fully expect another referendum where people will again choose brexit for the reasons of how these negotiations have gone. We are in the age of "one up to the man" so logic goes out of the window.

    1. tfewster Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Plus none of the major parties have the guts to tell the Great British People "You were wrong - We're smarter than you, so forget democracy". Though that's the whole point of Representative Democracy, that you elect someone to do a job you can't or won't do, and expect them to make decisions that are best for the country.

      Best face-saver would be to say "The EU are making this impossible, so we'll have to stay in the abusive relationship for the foreseeable future".

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Plus none of the major parties have the guts to tell the Great British People "You were wrong - We're smarter than you, so forget democracy"

        It's OK, the EU is saying it, as is has been for years. Look where that has led.

  11. codejunky Silver badge

    Ha

    Didnt the EU cry about us not being clear on what we want? I wonder if this is an honest attempt to organise data transfer after we leave or if the negotiators are trying to get the full brexit May seems incapable of accepting.

    1. AdamWill

      Re: Ha

      "Didnt the EU cry about us not being clear on what we want?"

      Yes. That doesn't mean that once we *are* clear on what we want, it is automatically the case that we get it. There are multiple requirements! I know, no-one told us it was going to be this hard, that we'd have to come up with negotiating positions that are *both* clear *and* vaguely sensible and remotely palatable to the other side, you know, the one that's in by far the better position in the negotiations. Terrible.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Ha

        @ AdamWill

        "Yes. That doesn't mean that once we *are* clear on what we want, it is automatically the case that we get it."

        Good job I didnt even suggest such a thing. However that does put an end to the idea that we must give the EU what they want because its what they want.

        "I know, no-one told us it was going to be this hard, that we'd have to come up with negotiating positions that are *both* clear *and* vaguely sensible and remotely palatable to the other side"

        Why? The EU refuse to do that. They managed clear but not sensible. They have said the negotiation is over if we dont agree to their demands. Our answer should be to walk away as there is no negotiation, but May wont allow that. So I am hoping the negotiators are responding in kind and we can drop this 'negotiation'.

        "the one that's in by far the better position in the negotiations"

        That would be us (except for May). We are leaving the EU, there is nothing the EU can do about it, job done. The EU needs our money to prop it up it can negotiate. The EU needs access to UK territory they can negotiate. If the EU dont want to negotiate we cant force them nor should we try. Lets just walk away agreeing the negotiation is over.

  12. tiggity Silver badge

    As expected

    It is in the EU interests to ensure UK gets a really bad, financially & politically shafting deal

    This will discourage other countries from leaving & make EU membership attractive as its a nice earner for members (all the intangible benefits of frictionless customs borders etc outweigh the net inward payments to EU by the UK - when Brexit occurs we will see how huge tiose intangibles were).

    Thus EU negotiating team giving zero concessions - this was always going to happen (unless you had a brexit fantasy vision) so no surprise.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: As expected

      I think you're under-estimating the economic boost we will enjoy when we start exporting plastic clothes pegs to China without petty-fogging EU regulations getting in the way. That's a HUGE market.

      <Sigh> Cthulu, we need you!

  13. 0laf Silver badge

    So they won't deal with a third country. Who is this second country that has bagged all the good stuff?

  14. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    UK: "We demand zero friction trade, Controlled movement of furriers and no ECJ dispute resolution.

    The EU: "F**k right off."

    And if I headed the EU negotiating team I'd have said the same thing.

    Outside the reality distortion field excreted by most of the UK newspaper titles on this subject the British politicians involved are about to discover what it feels like when "S**t gets real."

    Unfortunately so is everyone in the UK who didn't vote or thought this was a colossal waste of time

  15. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    The more I listen to the EU...

    The more amazed I am by its arrogance.

    In Italy the pro-EU President has just vetoed the elected Finance Minister because he says the EU wouldn't like him. This is a person elected by the people, and refused office by EU technocrats. The same thing happened in Greece, and Catalonia.

    Don't the 'Remain' voters understand what freedom is?

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: The more I listen to the EU...

      Don't the 'Remain' voters understand what freedom is?

      Of course they do. It's what EU politicians tell them they have already.

    2. John Mangan

      Re: The more I listen to the EU...

      I'm failing to understand something in your post - if I read it correctly the pro-EU 'Italian' president vetoed the choice of 'Italian' Finance Minister - for whatever reasons.

      How is that the EU's fault? What EU technocrat refused the appointment? You haven't said. The ITALIAN president isn't an EU technocrat he is an Italian official.

      Please explain.

    3. sebt27
      Thumb Down

      Re: The more I listen to the EU...

      "In Italy the pro-EU President has just vetoed the elected Finance Minister because he says the EU wouldn't like him. This is a person elected by the people, and refused office by EU technocrats."

      Huh? As another commentard has already asked, how is the President of Italy an "EU technocrat"?

      "Don't the 'Remain' voters understand what freedom is?"

      Yes. All too well. Deciding your cabinet on the basis of not pissing off important neighbours before you've even started work is a terrible restriction of freedom, deliberately imposed by the fascist EU Reich/neoliberal EU/EUSSR (delete according to taste).

      Luckily, in the UK we're "free". We just appoint Boris Johnson.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The more I listen to the EU...

      >Don't the 'Remain' voters understand what freedom is?

      Yes, and the freedoms I have now and are going to lose are worth a damn sight more to me than anything you could ever give me to replace them.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The more I listen to the EU...

      @Dodgy Geezer

      "Don't the 'Remain' voters understand what freedom is?"

      Maybe not but they appear to understand an org chart better than you.

  16. James 47

    What the UK gets in any deal will really be decided by how much hurt French and Spanish fishermen receive.

  17. agurney

    The paltry 2% leave got should never have been enough to trigger this clusterfuck.

    That didn't work for the Scottish independence referendum in 1979.

    Around 52% of the voters supported the proposal, however Margaret Thatcher had determined that at least 40% of the electorate had to vote yes for it to progress .. so of course it didn't.

    If only Cameron had taken a leaf out of the Iron Lady's book we wouldn't be where we are today.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will be fascinating to see how it plays out in Italy. Barnier might be rather busy soon. The EU might not have much cake left to eat.

  19. Garymrrsn

    It appears that those who sold the benefits of Brexit to the UK voters failed to mention that some of those benefits were not theirs to sell.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Barnier's speech indicates that the group is not about to offer the UK an easy ride.

    Of course not. Regulatory bureaucracies exist mainly to punish those found outside of the political orthodoxy. Ironically, the unintended consequences of said punishment often seem to harm everyone else, too. But that's fine. Regulators are unelected and unaccountable. Their jobs are safe.

    1. H in The Hague Silver badge

      Re: Barnier's speech indicates that the group is not about to offer the UK an easy ride.

      "Regulatory bureaucracies exist mainly to punish those found outside of the political orthodoxy."

      Methinks they exist mainly to protect consumers against dodgy businesses. And to protect honest businesses against dodgy competitors.

      "Regulators are unelected and unaccountable."

      - Most regulators are civil servants, therefore always appointed, never elected.

      - Regulators are accountable to the governments which appointed them, and implement the regulations proposed by those governments and approved by the parliaments.

      Which country are you living in? Which regulators are you unhappy about?

      1. LOL123

        Re: What about auto-updates?

        I'm a bit amazed and worried about how people don't seem to understand the role of regulators or even how governments work.

        Michael Barnier was appointed by elected EU ministers - all 27 of them agreed.

        Do they expect every single decision maker in government to be a directly elected person and therefore a politician? Are they expecting every single position in government to be voted for by the electorate?

        This is ridiculous.

        I don't understand why these leavers expect the EU to show, what they put in so many words, is actually nothing more than charity. It makes no sense to disadvantage the whole EU bloc for this one country called UK. What on earth does the UK offer that would want them to offer this special treatment to the UK to the detriment of all the other 27 member states and to the dissatisfaction of all other countries outside of the EU (US, Canada, Australia).

        Even if you argue as a leaver that the UK is leaving the EU for such "uncharitable" behaviours of the unelected EU, you cannot in another breath expect charity. The argument given here by the leavers come from an emotional thought process, not a rational one.

        You can blame the EU how much you want, but at the end of the day the incompetence of the UK in handling this process cannot be ignored. It is solely on the UK to own the problem they chose to face. It is for the UK to solve this, not to whine about not getting their bidding.

        If this is the best that can come out of the phase that the politicians actually are supposed to good at, the talking and the deal making, then I fear for the phase after brexit, where the talking isn't going to do anything.

        Thus far it would seem that British politicians are only successful at fooling British people - Farage, Johnson, Corbyn...

        Facebook CEO snubs UK parliament, but attends US congress and the EU parliament - a prelude to where the UK actually stands. Actions speaking louder than words and all that.

        Here's to one of Farage's speeches from a Trump retirement golf village in Spain easing the post brexit hurt and pain until the UK starts selling to.. somebody else (TBD)...

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: What about auto-updates?

          I don't understand why these leavers expect the EU to show, what they put in so many words, is actually nothing more than charity. It makes no sense to disadvantage the whole EU bloc for this one country called UK.

          While that is largely true, it also makes no sense for the UK to enter negotiatons with it's first bid being the minimum it will accept.

          Most political negotiations, especially those held in the full public eye, start with posturing. Both sides make fairly outrageous demands, and use the reaction to gauge how much they should tone them down for the next round. In the meantime the real negotiators are in a back room working on something more reasonable. It's a game, the politicians are the players & we're the game tokens...

          1. LOL123

            Re: What about auto-updates?

            >> It's a game, the politicians are the players & we're the game tokens...

            Like I said the UK cannot get a special position (vs the member states and all other WTO nations) that you allude to as the outcome of "negotiations". This "negotiation" and "posturing" is a pretense of the UK government for the British electorate's entertainment.

            You seem to believe a genuine negotiation is happening. The fat chips are on the EU side, and the UK has a bad hand as well.. To top that the UK chips are not worth very much on the Brexit negotiation table so even a bluff from the UK is worthless.

            I think the game the UK politicians played is actually over with and the dirty ones won - when Gove, Farage, Johnson and such played with the British electorate. It's one thing to spew differing opinions and arguments, it's quite another to willfully mislead and undeniably the lot literally lied to get to their end.

            They've sweeped the table of the worthwhile chips now, none are committed to UK anymore and they're all past the peak of their political careers. None of these Brexiter politicians have anything to lose, and are well heeled in the EU and the US.

            Corbyn just goes wherever the wind and the gutters take things..

          2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
            Unhappy

            "It's a game, the politicians are the players & we're the game tokens..."

            One which the UK negotiators seem exceptionally p**s poor at playing.

            Maybe HMG should have outsourced it to Crapita?

            Or the CEO of Carillion isn't doing anything at present.

            Those guys have run rings around HMG "negotiators" for years.

            1. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge

              "Maybe HMG should have outsourced it to Crapita?"

              Nope - Big and Expensive- I mean British Aerospace.

              Just look at their track record for negotiating with the MOD.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What about auto-updates?

          "Do they expect every single decision maker in government to be a directly elected person and therefore a politician? Are they expecting every single position in government to be voted for by the electorate?"

          Of course!

          Electing judges, sheriffs, district attorneys, and the like has already produced the world's best justice system, in the United States.

          Follow the leader!

  21. StuntMisanthrope Bronze badge

    Chaise Longue? No, I've just arrived...

    So do you choose A. Les Miserables or here's what you could 'ave won! #motorboating

  22. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Victim playing

    UK wants to quit the flatsharing to stop to pay the rent, but still wants a room and a word on how the flat is managed!

    The most hypocritical part is UK being offended when others answer UK to sod off.

  23. Roger Mew

    It is time to drop brexit, the we want it all our way attitude of the british government has to stop. "They want it their way" attitude of the government is stupid beyond regard. They seem not to be aware of the Eire and Northern Irish problem, for example how are you going to stop cars going over illegal crossing points, replace the old signs that said "This is an illegal crossing point into Northern Ireland" and 50 yds further on "You are now in Northern Ireland!" , It is stupid and so is Brexit, many millions that could have been spent on the NHS. Worse, if the UK government had got people to display their ID at the hospital receptions and doctors then many millions would have been saved. Seems the letters spell out TWIT,

  24. Claverhouse

    I'm unclear why the EU institutions are bawled at for being unelected.

    Not a fan of democracy, but all British and European citizens have the right to directly elect their MEPs to the European Parliament. If there's a problem with the last it's gonna be because it's a parliament, not because of voters not being given choices.

    The elected British and European governments all have direct input and direction over the whole European Institutions and laws etc..

    Outside the farce of voting for parliaments and councils, I've never heard of 'British Citizens' having any personal or delegated powers over British Institutions such as the Bank of England, the British Army, the NHS or the hypothecation of taxes.

    Nor American Citizens wrapped in Old Glory waving the Constitution whilst stroking their eagle, either.

  25. Teiwaz Silver badge

    Not a fan of democracy, but all British and European citizens have the right to directly elect their MEPs to the European Parliament.

    It's the Commission 'bit' - 'take back control' doesn't really work as a rallying cry for the general public if it's the Governments themselves that were disinclined to relinquish that control to a Democratic Europe in the first place, so we get a Politicians and Bureaucrats only club at the top manipulating things and being manipulated over high level private meetings, fine meals and various other ego puffing exercises.

    Better to have pushed for more power transferred to the properly elected body from the appointed side - but that's not the control the government want going to the electorate.

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