Brexit Britain from Abroad: UK Failing to Have Its Cake and Eat It
Britain Caves in on Divorce Deal
The proposition that Britain could have its cake and eat it during Brexit, as the foreign secretary Boris Johnson once said, was always dismissed as a fiction by opponents. On Wednesday, it was quietly interred by the government as it capitulated on the amount it will have to pay for a divorce settlement.
And this was not Britain’s first capitulation over Brexit, nor — almost certainly — will it be the last, analysts said.
What Mr. Johnson was saying was that Britain could secure the economic benefits of membership in the European Union without paying a penalty or being subject to its rules, particularly on the free movement of labor within the bloc.
On Wednesday, Britain reportedlyagreed in principle to a divorce check of around $47 billion to $53 billion in the hope of securing the start of talks on a future trade arrangement with the 27 nations.
Work to be Done
"The negotiations are not yet over." With these words, the EU’s Brexit chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, on Wednesday in Berlin at an event of the Federation of German Industries (BDI) and the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) debied speculation that, in the financial talks with London, the Gordian knot has been broken through. Previously, the British Telegraph had reported that Britain was willing to pay a sum between 45 and 55 billion euros to settle the EU exit bill .
Barnier made it clear that negotiations between London and the remaining 27 EU states will continue over the next few days. Next Monday, a meeting between the British Prime Minister Theresa May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is planned. Then it should be clear whether sufficient progress has been made on the three issues of separation - the finances, the rights of EU citizens in Britain, and the Irish border regime.
If this is the case, the EU Summit in mid-December will kick-start the next phase of talks, which will be a post-Brexit transition in March 2019 and future trade relations between the EU-27 and the UK.
Irish Border Key to Talks Progressing
The head of the largest group in the European Parliament has said there can be no progress towards the second phase of the Brexit negotiations if Britain does not provide assurances on the border to the satisfaction of the Government.
German MEP Manfred Weber, who is the chair of the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), has told RTÉ News that the Irish issue is of equal importance to the other key issues of Britain’s financial liabilities and the rights of EU citizens.
"It is for us absolutely clear that all three items – citizens' rights, the question of the bill, and the question of NI – are equally treated," he said.
"Brexit means [the UK] leaving the European Union. That means for us, as representatives of the European Union, that we are defending from now on the 440 million EU citizens, and [not] British interests. That is very clear and that has to be understood in London as well.
"That means extremely concretely that Irish people are in our interest, and Irish interests are in our interest, and that’s why we are defending this."
British Public Ignorant on Brexit
British journalists and commentators mutter about EU/Irish conspiracies, refer to Irish Border concerns as “new”, suggest this is all part of a strategic game to secure unification-by-consent and wonder breathlessly if Dublin will “back down”. Back down to what? What precisely is “new” about Irish Border concerns? And where is the evidence that the Irish campaigned en masse for Brexit as part of this cunning reunification strategy?
Hoey tweets about her visit to a “smooth” Swiss/German/French border crossing, eyeing it as a model for “land border issues NI/ROI”. Some model. Not only was she posing in front of a very large customs post, she seemed unaware that Switzerland is in Schengen and the European Free Trade Association.
Her infantile suggestion that Ireland should pay for the Border implies a very particular obtuseness. It was the hard Brexiteers’ blatant lies and bluster that led directly to this juncture, whereby the “NI/ROI” Border automatically becomes the EU/UK border, one which Ireland is bound to enforce by treaties and also by an aversion to providing a back entrance to Europe for sub-standard, non-EU-compliant goods.
Meanwhile, the hard Brexiteers crash on with their Dambusters fantasy game; blast your way towards Empire 2.0 via the World Trade Organisation and never mind WTO rules about controls at border crossings. And the vital mission to keep the citizens in pig ignorance lurches on with the government’s refusal to publish 58 Brexit sectoral impact studies (rumoured to be the stuff of nightmares) , with the controversial bits excised, which – get this – may or may not exist.
Paris Seduces Finance Post-BrexiT
Good news! Paris was chosen by the EU's EU Affairs Ministers on the evening of Monday evening to host the European Banking Agency (EBA), representing a success for Emmanuel Macron’s strategy to attract in the Hexagon the actors of the City disappointed by the Brexit. The installation of the EBA in the French capital is indeed a strong argument to encourage the big international banks to take the same path. Everything remains possible to win the battle of the post-Brexit. "There are a large number of structuring projects: the Olympic Games, the World Expo, the new stations of the Grand Paris Express," said Geoffroy Didier, vice-president President (LR) in charge of housing, “We must - State, Region, Metropolis - show a regulatory and legislative stability. Our investors are very sensitive to the legibility of public action.” With the President of the Region, Valérie Pécresse, they traveled to London, on November 14, for a road show, co-organized with Paris Europlace, on the theme "Developing investments and settlements in Île-de-France", before meeting investors from the London tech scene.
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