Brexit: The Great Game

Back in the day, when the United Kingdom joined the Common Market, the media pumped out propaganda whilst avoiding detailed data and coherent comment like the plague.

In those distant days the Balance of Payments made headlines and the Government’s Foreign Exchange Controls meant gap year travellers [like myself] had to obtain special approval before they could purchase the necessary currency and Traveller’s Cheques.

The new currency controls are likely to bring back memories of the Sixties and Seventies when holidaymakers were only allowed to pack £50, the equivalent of £700 today.

The limits were brought in by Harold Wilson’s Labour government in 1964 in a doomed attempt to narrow a huge balance of payments deficit and revive the economy.

Travellers had their passports marked with the amount of foreign currency they had bought at the bank.

Memories of a doomed currency limit
The Telegraph – Richard Alleyne – 16 Jun 2007

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1554684/Memories-of-a-doomed-currency-limit.html

Back then, Economists introduced a new culinary delight to Britain: The European Waffle.

Economists baked-up ill-informed Cost Benefit Guesstimates where the Cost was defined as abandoning [vaguely] 50% of our established Trading arrangements with the Rest of the World for the unquantifiable Benefit of enhanced Trading opportunities with the European Common Market.

The United Kingdom European Communities referendum of 1975, also known as the Common Market referendum and EEC membership referendum was non-binding referendum held on 5 June 1975 in the United Kingdom to gauge support for the country’s continued membership of the European Communities (EC) – often known at the time as the “Common Market” – which it had entered on 1 January 1973 under the Conservative government of Edward Heath. Labour’s manifesto for the October 1974 general election had promised that the people would decide “through the ballot box” whether to remain in the EC.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_European_Communities_membership_referendum,_1975

The quality of information has only deteriorated since joining European Common Market.

This was amply demonstrated by the unedifying spectacle that was the Brexit Campaign where opposing groups of politicians and spin doctors cooked-up some good old-fashioned European Waffles for a new generation of junk food connoisseurs.

Since then the Government’s contribution to the debate hasn’t risen above the level of circulating a few Blue Pills containing empty platitudes and media sound bites.

Britain’s shock vote to leave the European Union in June propelled May to power and the former interior minister has been under pressure to offer more details on her plan for departure, beyond an often-repeated catchphrase that “Brexit means Brexit”.

May says to trigger EU divorce by end of March, sterling falls
Reuters – Elizabeth Piper and Guy Faulconbridge – 2 Oct 2016

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-may-article-idUSKCN12208C

BREXIT-BACKING MPs have condemned a Commons committee report because it criticised Theresa May’s claim that “no deal is better than a bad deal”.

Brexit report ROASTED after criticising May’s ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’ claim
The Express – Will Kirby – 4 Apr 2017

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/787563/brexit-committee-report-criticise-theresa-may-no-deal-better-than-bad-deal-dominic-raab

However, a few determined commentators on the internet have been producing substantive Red Pills containing well informed comment and unsettling information that indicates [for example] only 14% of Britain’s Trade is currently with the Rest of the World.

From what has been reported in the UK press on a daily basis, it doesn’t look like negotiations between the UK and Europe are going well.

To highlight the scale of the challenge that the UK faces, this chart shows the share of total UK trade by trade agreement.

According to Bruegel, approximately 51% of UK trade today is conducted with the EU, 4% with nations that are in the EEA or have a customs union agreement, and 9% under existing EU preferential trade agreements (PTA).

A further 21% of trade is conducted with nations that have a PTA under negotiation.

In March 2019, unless some form of deal is agreed, the UK will have to negotiate trade deals with the majority of its current trading partners.

This would be a major challenge as complex trade agreements are not easy to negotiate and often take years to agree to.

If the UK finds itself outside the European Union Single market and the EU Customs Union, tariff and non-tariff trade barriers (like quotas, embargoes, and levies) are likely to be implemented between the UK and its main European trading partners.

Some sectors and companies may face much more restricted access to the European market, and that will prove to be a significant headwind to UK economic growth in the short-term.

Here Are Some Of The Scariest Charts In Finance To Celebrate Halloween
BondVigilantes.com – Anthony Doyle – 31 Oct 2017

https://www.bondvigilantes.com/blog/2017/10/31/here-are-some-of-the-scariest-charts-in-finance-to-celebrate-halloween/

Confronted with the “no deal” advocates who airily assure us that, without a specific exit deal we can happily fall back on “WTO rules”, I have for a long time been concerned as to whether these so-called “rules” are quite the panacea that they are apparently held to be.

In fact, it seems to be the case that the “WTO rules” per se are not rules in any ordinary sense, in that they can be directly actioned or implemented in such a way as to bind the parties to any specific courses of action.

The key to this was expressed last Sunday by Booker in his column, where he stated that “WTO rules” were “not ‘rules’ at all but merely principles that must govern any trade agreement“.

Brexit: WTO option still needs deals
Eureferendum.com – Richard North – 31 Oct 2017

http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=86654

It is difficult to find the exact point at which I started pointing out the problems that might arise after Brexit as a result of inadequate customs facilities on the other side of the Channel.

However, it is certainly the case that I was in full flow September 2016 – over a year ago. Then, I was writing that France “as we know” has limited infrastructure to deal with the extra customs requirements arising out of Brexit. And European officials, I said, “admit they are only just beginning to understand the scale of the Brexit challenge”.

Brexit: still failing to catch up
Eureferendum.com – Richard North – 30 Oct 2017

http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=86653

In his pieces, headed, “The terrible Brexit prophecy of Ivan Rogers is coming true. We should have listened”, Booker tells us that, last week, one of the chief spectres at the Brexit feast was Sir Ivan Rogers, who last January resigned as our vastly experienced ambassador to the EU, after warning against “ill-founded arguments and muddled thinking” in our approach to leaving it.

This was just before Theresa May’s announcement that we were to leave the single market and the European Economic Area (EEA), to seek a one-off trade deal that would give us the same “frictionless” access to the market we have now.

On Wednesday, writes Booker, Sir Ivan tried to explain to the Commons Treasury committee some of the realities inevitably resulting from our decision to become what the EU classifies as a “third country”, with “no more rights than Yemen or Venezuela”.

And the picture he painted, although diplomatically couched, was devastating.

Brexit: spelling out the consequences
Eureferendum.com – Richard North – 29 Oct 2017

http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=86650

If you swallow the Blue Pills then everything is just fine and dandy and the British Government is being open, honest and truthful.

If you swallow all the Red Pills then triggering Article 50 [without a coherent and detailed plan] initiated a two year Thelma & Louise road trip towards oblivion.

Theresa May will call on the British people to unite as she triggers article 50, beginning a two-year process that will see the UK leave the European Union and sever a political relationship that has lasted 44 years.

A letter signed by the prime minister will be hand-delivered to the president of the European council at about 12.30pm – as she rises in Westminster to deliver a statement to MPs signalling the end of the UK’s most significant diplomatic association since the end of the second world war.

Article 50: Theresa May to call on UK to unite after letter triggers Brexit
The Guardian – Anushka Asthana and Rowena Mason – 29 March 2017

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/mar/28/theresa-may-to-call-on-britons-to-unite-as-she-triggers-article-50

Slowly, but surely, people are beginning to sense something is wrong.

00:26
How did she not see this question coming?
Would you vote for Brexit if the referendum was held today?
I mean it’s a pretty obvious question to ask.
With, surely, only one possible answer if you’re the person in charge of Brexit.
Lie for fuck’s sake – but answer the fucking question.
It’s pretty simple Theresa: “I have changed my mind and I fundamentally believe that Brexit is a massive opportunity to…”
Fucking lie.
First day at politics school: “Can you look someone in the eye and lie?”
“Good. Right. You’re in.”
She can’t even do that.
Fucking useless.


Time to F**k off Theresa! – Jonathan Pie – Oct 14, 2017

The sweet and innocent song of the Lesser Westminster Warbler no longer soothes.

While song of the Abandoned Brussels Bureaucrat becomes more demanding and vengeful.

MEPs on Tuesday morning backed a motion by 557 votes to 92 that said negotiations should not be allowed to progress to the future relationship between the UK and the European Union unless there is a “major breakthrough.”

Barnier added that there was still “serious divergence” over the financial settlement, making it clear that taxpayers of the remaining 27 EU countries should not have to pay more to facilitate Brexit.

EU parliament votes to delay Brexit negotiations
Business Insider UK – Adam Becket – 3 Oct 2017

http://uk.businessinsider.com/eu-parliament-says-there-has-been-insufficient-progress-in-brexit-talk-2017-10

Apparently, the taxpayers of the 27 don’t have to pay for the consequences of the decisions they didn’t take BUT the taxpayers of the 28 do have to pay for the consequences of the decisions they didn’t take.

He said: “We will never accept for the 27 to pay what was decided on by 28, it’s as simple as that. The taxpayers of the 27 don’t have to pay for the consequences of the decision that they didn’t take. So, no more, no less.”

EU parliament votes to delay Brexit negotiations
Business Insider UK – Adam Becket – 3 Oct 2017

http://uk.businessinsider.com/eu-parliament-says-there-has-been-insufficient-progress-in-brexit-talk-2017-10

As Brexit dissolves into farce and fantasy there is a growing suspicion the set piece Negotiations by Press Conference are just badly choreographed Kabuki featuring the “three key objectives” as poor substitutes for the three tenors.

“The European Council must state that” sufficient progress “has not been achieved on the three key objectives of the EU – the protection of the rights of EU and British citizens, the clarification of Britain’s financial obligations and the resolution of the border issue in Ireland and Northern Ireland,” the press service said. European Council.

European Parliament does not see enough progress on Brexit
Front News International – 28 Sept 2017

https://frontnews.eu/news/en/14458/European-Parliament-does-not-see-enough-progress-on-Brexit

Kabuki is a classical Japanese dance-drama.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kabuki

This impression is underlined by the classic Catch 22 nature of this Kabuki drama.

The EU won’t negotiate a Trade Deal until the “three key objectives” are resolved.

The UK can’t resolve the “three key objectives” until there’s a Trade Deal.

And it’s evident the Kabuki is in dire straits when the actors have to instruct the audience to stay seated until the Final Act begins on “the 59th minute of the 11th hour of the last day”.

Davis had told the Brexit select committee that he believed the EU would only finalise the deal at the last possible moment. “It’s no secret that the way the union makes its decisions tends to be at the 59th minute of the 11th hour of the last day.
That’s precisely what I would expect to happen here. I am quite sure in my mind that we can do that,” he said.

David Davis says he ‘expects and intends’ Commons vote on Brexit deal
The Guardian – Heather Stewart and Rajeev Syal – 25 Oc 2017

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/oct/25/david-davis-mps-might-not-get-vote-on-final-deal-until-after-brexit

Thus we arrive at the position where Red Pill consumers suspect the British Government is playing another Great Game that involves Never Letting A Good Manufactured Crisis Go To Waste.

Reading the British teas leaves is a very subjective art form.

There is a possibility a last minute Manufactured Crisis could be used to bounce the British electorate into accepting an oven ready Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership [TTIP] with the USA.

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a proposed trade agreement between the European Union and the United States, with the aim of promoting trade and multilateral economic growth.

The negotiations were halted indefinitely following the 2016 United States presidential election, but by mid-2017, representatives of both the US and the EU expressed willingness to resume the negotiations.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ttip

There is also a possibility a last minute Manufactured Crisis could be used to bounce the British electorate into re-joining the EU on far less favourable terms e.g. no rebate, accepting the Euro with a European Treasury function, and full Military integration [PESCO].

A broad consensus by all EU Member States on the modalities for launching Permanent Structured Cooperation in the field of defence could lead to a legal decision as early as December, with some 30 projects for concrete cooperation between countries already on the table.

Permanent Structured Cooperation on defence could be launched by end 2017
European Union – External Action – 08/09/2017

https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage_en/31832/Permanent%20Structured%20Cooperation%20on%20defence%20could%20be%20launched%20by%20end%202017

Watch the UK Column News – 26th October 2017: https://youtu.be/-0xPI8nzBWc

Watch the UK Column News – 21st June 2017: https://youtu.be/MFRJmmHfQXY

And finally there is the Crash and Burn option where the Oligarchs sell short and then fight with the Vulture Capitalists over the juiciest morsels of the charred remains.

One world, one money
A global currency is not a new idea, but it may soon get a new lease of life

The Economist – 24 Sep 1998
http://www.economist.com/node/166471

The British live in interesting times.

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10 Responses to Brexit: The Great Game

  1. simonjkyte says:

    The real prob with WTO is that the UK has not signed the current status. The EU negotaited to sign on our behalf

  2. oldbrew says:

    One conundrum for the EU 27 is that they sell more to the UK than it does to them.

  3. cadxx says:

    I was thinking about the Common Market referendum the other day and it occurred to me that it was not just the EU, but just about everything in Britain went on the downward slide starting during the 1970’s:

    Decimalisation: Not only coins but weights and measures. The coins were rounded up and everything was more expensive. But by far the most confusing was the weights and measures, as some things were metricated and some were not. The overall cost over the years must have been huge:

    BBC: “It is 200 years since Napoleon backtracked on his grand scheme to make his empire metric, but today the British remain unique in Europe by holding onto imperial weights and measures. With the UK’s relationship with its neighbours under scrutiny, can it ever adopt the metric mindset?” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16245391

    As an engineer, I found I could work with metric numbers but not think in metric. I used to convert everything back to imperial in order to have some idea of size.

    Health and safety rules took-off: Idiots were trained (read brainwashed) to impose the most idiotic rules imaginable – complete lack of common sense. I recall being dragged over the coals for entering an empty room without safety protection, because it had a yellow line around it’s extremities. The cost to the country must have been enormous and we have now seen the culmination of this fanatical overzealousness with the horrific fire at Grenfell Tower in west London – none of it works when money is involved.

    And to top it all off, in the early 1980’s this was followed by Thatcherism and de-industrialisation, loved by both parties until the 2007-8 financial crash:
    “Thatcherism brought the worst recession since the 1930s between 1981 and 1983, destroying one fifth of our industrial base and doubling unemployment – and that was before war was declared on the miners.” http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/margaret-thatchers-time-power-destroyed-1819478
    What did we do to deserve Maggie May?
    cadxx

  4. malagabay says:

    Excellent point…
    But I wouldn’t be surprised if the Malfunctioning May is replaced by a freshly minted Macronesque Messiah

    Gavin Alexander Williamson CBE (born 25 June 1976) is a British politician of the Conservative Party.
    He was first elected at the 2010 general election as Member of Parliament (MP) for South Staffordshire.

    Williamson was Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Patrick McLoughlin as Secretary of State for Transport prior to being appointed PPS to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, in October 2013.

    On 14 July 2016, he was appointed Chief Whip in Theresa May’s government, and on 2 November 2017 he was appointed Secretary of State for Defence.

    Williamson supported the United Kingdom’s remain campaign during the 2016 EU membership referendum.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gavin_Williamson

  5. malagabay says:

    I hope the Westminster Bubble logo means Britain still has a good sense of humour…

    https://www.ukparliamentweek.org

    https://www.ukparliamentweek.org/blog/uk-parliament-week-2017-lego/

  6. malagabay says:

    It looks like they are getting their ducks in a row

    Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative government will collapse in 2018 and trigger a fresh general election, according to research from Morgan Stanley.

    Morgan Stanley’s basic argument for suggesting that the government will collapse in 2018 is that May will be able to tread a tightrope of just about satisfying both the moderate and more radical wings of the Conservative Party — as well as the general public — until the end of 2017, but not for much longer.

    MORGAN STANLEY: Theresa May’s government will collapse in 2018, triggering a fresh general election – Business Insider UK – Will Martin – 4 Sept 2017
    http://uk.businessinsider.com/morgan-stanley-may-government-to-collapse-in-2018-2017-9

    But will they go they go all the way with their freshly minted Macronesque Messiah forming a new party of Labour Blairites and Conservative Remainers?

    That would kill two birds with one stone i.e. Luddite Labour and Creaky Conservatives.

    It would also consign any idea of a Brexit to the memory hole of history.

    Forward comrade colleagues to the promised land of Agenda 21.

  7. malagabay says:

    The moment the shit hits the fan captured on video…

  8. malagabay says:

    Looks like I was wrong about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

    There is a possibility a last minute Manufactured Crisis could be used to bounce the British electorate into accepting an oven ready Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership [TTIP] with the USA.

    The preferred oven ready option appears to be the Trans-Pacific Partnership!

    21:38

    Afshin Rattansi

    … here in Britain neoliberal pipe dreams are arguably actively being dreamt even before today’s second Chequers away day to debate Brexit with Theresa May.

    Her trade secretary Liam Fox has apparently been very busy.

    Joining me now is the director of NGO Global Justice Now Nick Deardon.

    Nick thanks for coming back on.

    What has Dr. Fox been up to?

    Nick Deardon

    He’s been very busy.

    His trade bill scraped through the Commons on Tuesday night and the next morning he announced the consultations on four new trade deals and two of them we were particularly worried about.

    One is joining up to the TPP.

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a bit strange for a country so far away from the Pacific and the other is of course the major trade deal with the United States that we know he is absolutely desperate for and we think both of those, frankly, fly in the face of Theresa May’s proposals for what we call the Chequers plan now for frictionless trading goods.

    Afshin Rattansi

    This is all under the radar.

    This mainstream media is all about the soap opera of her divided cabinet at all of these things.

    This has been bubbling underneath the surface.

    Nick Deardon

    Well I think people like Fox have are very good actually at creating facts on the ground.

    Just simply outmanoeuvring the prime minister.

    I mean several members of the government are very good at manoeuvring her and I think that’s what he’s done here.

    He’s just pushed this forward as if it’s something completely uncontroversial and of course we need
    these wonderful trade deals and so I’ll get on with it without actually anybody noticing that these things really fly in the face of a lot of what Theresa May has been planning in her Brexit because.

    Afshin Rattansi

    Your Global Justice Now people – they must have details of it.

    Someone must have details of it.

    What does it mean for our National Health Service, our transportation or railways?

    What’s he negotiating?

    Nick Deardon

    So first of all we’ve got the TPP.

    A lot of people thought the TPP was dead when Donald Trump pulled the US out of it.

    But actually the remaining countries are preparing to ratify the TTP…

    But it’s still a free trade area and of course what we’ve talked about many times is that trade today is not just about reducing tariffs – it’s essentially about setting a whole load of new rules which dictate the way your economy can operate…

    One of the things that’s particularly important in new trade deals is around standards, protections, things like workers rights, food quality, how we can protect the environment.

    All of these things are up to grabs in trade deals.

    How much we pay for our medicines.

    Whether we’re allowed to have a National Health Service that remains fully, or brought back into into, full public ownership.

    All of these things are up for grabs in new trade deals.

    Afshin Rattansi

    Given what you know about Donald Trump’s attitudes to private versus public, arguably, because there are contradictions there.

    Would Dr. Fox, do you think, put on the table the idea that the National Health Service is an unfair monopoly and could be broken up?

    Nick Deardon

    I think what we’ve seen in the past whenever Dr. Fox talks about public services is a deep scepticism towards them and he would much prefer they were run by the private sector and, therefore, I think a trade deal…

    Afshin Rattansi

    He denies that I have to say.

    Nick Deardon

    He does – but you know there are quotes from the past if you look and we know certainly that some of the back benches who were supporting his version of Brexit are very dubious about public services…

    One of the reasons these people are so obsessed with trade deals is essentially trade deals are vehicles for deregulation and liberalization nowadays.

    And they are vehicles for that in a wrapping paper that sounds quite nice.

    We all love trade.

    So you put something in a trade deal and that makes it enforceable under international laws.

    It’s an international treaty and it also means it kind of happens under the radar.

    You know, MPs as we found this week when we tried to back an amendment that Caroline Lucas was putting down to give members… power over trade deals.

    They wouldn’t accept any of it.

    So all of this talk about parliamentary sovereignty – actually our MPs have no power to stop toxic trade deals.

    So they are nice vehicles for deregulation and liberalisation and that’s why I think Fox is on the front foot over this putting out a consultation that will be fairly below the radar unless we make it otherwise – which we intend to do – and that will essentially allow him to sign away all sorts of standards and protections and our right to control our own public services.

    So on and so forth – to slip these into a trade deal with the United States.

    Now at the end of it to say: Well it’s what they insisted upon – the United States insisted upon this – we can’t do a trade deal with them.

    And we give into this.

    And of course we know that Trump is going to be arguing a very America first agenda.

    We know he does not like a public National Health Service in this country.

    We know he does not like the prices that we pay for our medicines in this country and he thinks they should be far more like the United States system where you know so many people are priced out of decent health care.

    We’re worried that all of this could come in via a trade deal with the United States…

    Afshin Rattansi

    The contrary view, one that Tony Benn would argue rather than Dr. Fox – I suspect, would be that actually it is these individual trade deals offer far more democratic control – at the moment is the minority Conservative government – future Labour government – then the big macro globalization trade deals that you seem to be favouring.

    Nick Deardon

    You know there’s big problems with that too…

    We have campaigned against the World Trade Organization for the last 20 years… but the difference is we don’t simply want to rip up all international rules and let the most powerful country dictate absolutely everything.

    I mean Trump doesn’t like it.

    Not because he cares that it’s bad for the Mexicans or was bad for Ghana or whatever..

    He simply thinks it means that he – as the big man in the world – can’t do absolutely anything that he wants and our point is of course we need multilateral rules but actually what we want to do is take the power of the bully out of that and give all countries an equal – a proper equal say – in how these rules are set.

    And not simply allow them to become vehicles for deregulation and liberalisation.

    + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

    Out of the European Union and into the Trans-Pacific Partnership

    In a somewhat surreal twist, in what is already an increasingly surreal global landscape, UK trade minister Liam Fox announced last Wednesday, 18 July, that the government will do a public consultation on whether the UK should seek to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) once the UK leaves the European Union next March.

    Quite rightly, many think this move is ridiculous as we are nowhere near the Pacific.

    The idea of Britain joining the partnership defies the logic of what is a regional trade bloc.

    It appears to be a desperate act by a desperate government that is making the majority in this country feel more and more apprehensive each day by its perplexing Brexit plans.

    Britain: the newest ‘Pacific Island’ paradise?
    GlobalJustice.org.uk – Dorothy Grace Guerrero – 23 July 2018

    http://www.globaljustice.org.uk/blog/2018/jul/23/britain-newest-pacific-island-paradise

    The most remarkable aspect of the Brexit political clusterfuck is the way the main protagonists have [from the very beginning] sidelined the most expedient oven ready solution.

    The EEA is really the only realistic mode of exit if we want to avoid wrecking the UK economy.

    Moreover, the UK would be a proud participant of Efta and it would be an excellent platform from which to launch our future trade strategy.

    The EEA is only 27% of the EU acquis.

    It leaves trade governance intact and most of it is based on global treaties and standards we would adopt anyway so there is little point in wailing about being a “rule taker” which isn’t actually true anyway. The UK will have a say.

    The EEA is the closest there is to a clean Brexit because everything else is a very long and messy process which will do enormous and unnecessary damage.

    Moreover, the EEA is designed for continual re-evaluation so the process of Brexit can be flexible and continuous.

    The EEA is the only intelligent Brexit – 23 July 2018
    Pete North Politics Blog

    http://peterjnorth.blogspot.com/2018/07/the-eea-is-only-intelligent-brexit.html

    When looking for a “way out” it’s usually best to simply retrace your footsteps…

    The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is a regional trade organization and free trade area consisting of four European states: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

    The organization operates in parallel with the European Union (EU), and all four member states participate in the European Single Market and are part of the Schengen Area.

    They are not, however, party to the European Union Customs Union.

    The United Kingdom was a co-founder of EFTA in 1960, but ceased to be a member upon joining the European Economic Community.

    In early 2018, MPs Antoinette Sandbach, Stephen Kinnock and Stephen Hammond have all called for the UK to rejoin EFTA.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EFTA

    If you want to understanding the implications of a “no deal” Brexit then it’s advisable to read the EU’s own publications and/or Richard North’s excellent http://www.eureferendum.com blog.

    It was Mrs May’s in her Lancaster House speech who declared that “no deal for Britain is better than a bad deal for Britain”.

    That was on 17 January 2017, almost exactly eighteen months ago.

    Natural curiosity alone might suggest that one should start exploring precisely what that entailed.

    Certainly, it set me off on a trail which produced multiple posts all pointing to one inescapable conclusion: “no deal” is not a credible option.

    About a year later the European Commission started its series of Notices to Stakeholders, setting out the consequences of the Brexit without a formal, ratified agreement.

    Largely ignored by UK politicians and media alike, the Commission has now upped the ante with the publication of COM(2018) 556 final – a communication on: “Preparing for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union on 30 March 2019”.

    Accompanying the Com is a press release and an annex listing the 68 Notices to Stakeholders so far published, plus a downloadable factsheet which sets out “Seven things businesses in the EU27 need to know in order to prepare for Brexit”.

    Brexit: heads in the sand – EUReferendum.com – Richard North – 20 July 2018
    http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=86937

    Sectorial illustrations of preparedness challenges and actions

    Transport, including aviation – Brexit preparedness

    Depending on the mode of transport (air, road, rail, maritime, inland waterway), the EU sets rules for the safety, security, and access to the EU market.

    These rules usually create distinctions between EU operators and third country operators and provide access to those who comply with EU requirements.

    EU transport businesses should carefully assess whether the change of status of the United Kingdom from a Member State to a third country impacts their operations, and should take the necessary preparedness measures.

    The Commission has published 10 notices relevant for the area of transport (air transport, aviation safety, aviation and maritime security, road transport, rail transport, seafarer qualifications, maritime transport, consumer protection and passenger rights, inland waterways, industrial products), which set out in clear terms the implications of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU’s legal and regulatory framework, e.g. in the area of aviation safety, in the absence of any particular arrangement, thus providing stakeholders with the requisite clarity on the baseline situation to which they were advised to adapt.

    Customs – Brexit preparedness

    When the United Kingdom becomes a third country, and in the absence of an agreement providing otherwise, the customs administrations in the EU, i.e., national customs authorities, will have to enforce EU rules for both exports to and imports from the United Kingdom.

    This means that the formalities that currently apply to trade with non-EU countries will apply, including the submission of customs declarations for goods shipments and the related controls to ensure compliance.

    Duties and taxes (notably VAT and excises) will have to be accounted for.

    Financial services – Brexit preparedness

    Over the years, the United Kingdom in general and the City of London in particular has become an important financial services centre, also thanks to the Single Market.

    Many operators, including from third countries, have established themselves in the United Kingdom and operate in the rest of the Single Market based on the passporting rights enshrined in the EU financial services legislation.

    These passporting rights will cease to exist after withdrawal.

    Food safety – Brexit preparedness

    When the United Kingdom becomes a third country, and in the absence of an agreement providing otherwise, the strict EU rules in relation to sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) conditions and controls on animals, plans and their products, will apply to the United Kingdom as any other third country.

    Pharmaceuticals – Brexit preparedness

    EU pharmaceutical law requires the marketing authorisation holder for a medicine to be established in the EU. Moreover, medicines manufactured in a third country undergo specific controls upon importation.

    Personal data – Brexit preparedness

    Currently, personal data can flow freely between the Member States of the EU, when the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679) is respected.

    Once EU law ceases to apply to the United Kingdom, the transfer of personal data from the EU to the United Kingdom will still be possible, but it will be subject to specific conditions set in EU law.

    Professional qualifications – Brexit preparedness

    EU law provides for a facilitated recognition of professional qualifications obtained by EU citizens in other EU Member States.

    Citizens holding a professional qualification obtained in the United Kingdom should consider whether it is advisable to obtain the recognition of a professional qualification in the EU27 while the United Kingdom is still a Member State.

    The Commission published a notice on EU rules on regulated professions and the recognition of professional qualifications.

    It advises in particular EU nationals with UK professional qualifications obtained prior to Brexit to consult relevant nationals authorities on the need to obtain recognition ahead of 30 March 2019.

    Preparing for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union on 30 March 2019

    Click to access communication-preparing-withdrawal-brexit-preparedness.pdf

    If your activity relies on certificates, licenses or authorisations issued by UK authorities or by bodies based in the UK – or held by someone established in the UK – these may no longer be valid in the EU post-Brexit.

    When exporting products to third countries with which the EU has a Free Trade Agreement, exporters may enjoy a preferential tariff rate if the products have enough «EU content» according to rules of origin.

    Post-Brexit, you can no longer count on UK input to the finished product being considered as EU content.

    You should therefore examine your supply chains and start treating any UK input as “non-originating”, in order to ensure EU preferential origin for your goods.

    To protect health and safety and the environment, EU rules restrict the import/export of certain goods to and from third countries – for example, live animals, products of animal origin, and some plants and plant products, such as wood packaging.

    Imports/exports of certain commodities are subject to specific permits or notifications, for example in the case of radioactive material, waste, or some chemicals. Post-Brexit, goods destined to or coming from the UK will be subject to these EU rules.

    You should take the necessary steps to ensure compliance with the EU’s import/export prohibitions and restrictions.

    Post-Brexit, the transfer of personal data from the EU to the UK is still possible, but it will be subject to specific conditions set in EU law.

    Seven things businesses in the EU27 need to know in order to prepare for Brexit

    Click to access IP-18-4545%20Brexit%20Preparedness%20Factsheet.pdf

    EU Preparedness Notices
    https://ec.europa.eu/info/brexit/brexit-preparedness/preparedness-notices_en

    In other words: Legacy media is not a reliable source of information.

  9. cadxx says:

    “Hotel California”

    Last thing I remember
    I was running for the door
    I had to find the passage back to the place I was before
    “Relax,” said the night man
    “We are programmed to receive
    You can check-out any time you like
    But you can never leave!”
    https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/eagles/hotelcalifornia.html

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