dc:creator=BehrRafael   35

short thread on a conversation many people having in parliament: 1. everything proceeds from presumption that there is no majority for May's deal. Also, there is no majority for no deal ...
short thread on a conversation many people having in parliament: 1. everything proceeds from presumption that there is no majority for May's deal. Also, there is no majority for no deal ...
UK  EU  Brexit  withdrawalAgreement  Parliament  PeoplesVote  softBrexit  politics  MayTheresa  dctagged  dc:creator=BehrRafael 
5 days ago by petej
Brexiteers have lost sight of the greatest free trade prize of all | Rafael Behr | Opinion | The Guardian
No developed country trades purely on “WTO rules”. The idea that Britain should be the first to give it a go has gained currency in the Conservative party from sheer embarrassment. It is not a model for post-Brexit trade, it is a euphemism for failure to understand the true value of EU membership. It conveys a deep unwillingness to admit any kind of dependency on our European neighbours, even the mutually beneficial dependency of the single market – the largest, most sophisticated free-trade zone in the world, conceived and driven in large part as a British initiative, by Conservative governments.

This is the sad island where a generation of Tories find themselves intellectually discredited and marooned. They wanted to unchain Britannia and they ended up uncoupled from their own history, unmoored from basic geography, and adrift from economic reality.
UK  EU  Brexit  trade  customsUnion  RaabDominic  MayTheresa  FoxLiam  WTO  failure  dctagged  dc:creator=BehrRafael 
august 2018 by petej
The Brexit walls are closing in on Theresa May from two sides | Rafael Behr | Opinion | The Guardian
May’s legacy as prime minister will be recorded as the collision of those two dramatic electoral events: the one that put her in charge of Brexit and the one that robbed her of the means to do it her way. The Eurosceptic ultras brandish the 2016 result – the single word “leave” – as licence to demand whatever they want. But parliament, elected a year later, has the authority to define Brexit in other, more moderate ways. In popular cultural terms, the referendum was the bigger deal. In constitutional terms, parliament is paramount. The contest between them is nearing its endgame and May looks more like a bystander than a player.
UK  EU  Brexit  politics  ToryParty  MayTheresa  hardBrexit  customsUnion  divergence  borders  Ireland  NorthernIreland  ERG  DUP  Parliament  democracy  dctagged  dc:creator=BehrRafael 
february 2018 by petej
David Davis is bluffing on Brexit. And now it’s clear for all to see | Rafael Behr | Opinion | The Guardian
Through all the bluster, swagger, faux joviality, arrogance and complacency of the committee’s star witness one sharp truth shines through. A decision was made last summer to define Brexit as a requirement to leave the single market and the customs union – an action that would quite obviously have enormous consequences for the UK’s economy – and the secretary of state notionally responsible for enacting that decision at no point set about the task of rigorously investigating what those consequences might be.

But a deeper subtext to the Davis argument (one he might not even consciously know) is that it would be a mistake to let the EU know what the UK’s judgment of Brexit’s impact on the domestic economy would be because the impact is so harsh. In other words, if the commission knew that the UK is actually afraid to go through with some of the harder Brexit plans promoted by Theresa May, the talks become a dictation of the terms of surrender. That is indeed the way things have played out so far. The great fear of exposing the government’s hand flows from the relative weakness of the cards it holds.

The bluffer fears being called. Of course, the EU side has understood the relative strengths and weaknesses of the UK position for longer and far better than May or Davis. The prime minister and her secretary of state have been kidding themselves. To sustain the delusion, they have tried to avoid scrutiny in parliament and, by extension, deceive the British public. Is the whole of the government’s Brexit strategy built on lies and obfuscation? Well that depends on what your meaning of the word “is” is.
DavisDavid  UK  EU  Brexit  impact  assessment  analysis  reports  disclosure  dishonesty  secrecy  dctagged  dc:creator=BehrRafael 
december 2017 by petej
Dunkirk reveals the spirit that has driven Brexit: humiliation | Rafael Behr | Opinion | The Guardian
I fear we are about to rehearse the cycle of shame and resentment all over again. There are two routes ahead, neither free of humiliation. The enactment of Brexit will complete an economic, diplomatic and strategic devaluation that is prefigured already in sterling’s post-referendum slide. Britain will be measurably smaller on the world stage. The reversal of Brexit, or its dilution into some pale simulation of the status quo, requires a plea in Brussels for more time and a fresh start. That will be hard to distinguish from a grovel.

Either way, there is disappointment in store for many leave voters who anticipate a national renaissance. If they don’t get Brexit, their democratic will is denied; if they do, and it makes them poorer, their faith is betrayed. Each path risks incubating more bitterness.

The case for pressing on, in deference to the verdict of the ballot box, has undeniable political and emotional urgency. And once that course is set, a kind of dogged British stoicism sets in even among many Brexit-sceptics. It is not quite optimism, but a determination not to be defeatist. Surely there is some muddle-through solution, some Dunkirk-spirited, make-do-and-mend compromise that gets us all to the other side of Brexit with national dignity still afloat. I certainly hope so. But it is a risky business, seeking comfort in history’s miraculous escapes. They are, by definition, exceptional.

Also, we are not at war. In the national story Britain tells about itself, Dunkirk is a preamble to heroic isolation followed by magnificent military redemption. It is a powerful tale but a rare one. It masks a more banal lesson from the evacuation: retreat is no one’s favourite manoeuvre, but sometimes it is the best one available. Sometimes, when a plan goes wrong and disaster is visible on the horizon, it is time to swallow pride, and turn around.
UK  Dunkirk  defeat  history  humiliation  nationalIdentity  WorldWarII  France  Germany  DeGaulle  EEC  EU  Brexit  trade  economy  negotiations  politics  dctagged  dc:creator=BehrRafael 
july 2017 by petej

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