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Labour’s Brexit Policy |
To sum up – I started with three simple rival ‘narratives’ of Labour’s underlying position on Brexit. I’ve articulated my own interpretation of Labour’s position, which implies that all of these narratives have something to them. In my view, Labour’s preferred Brexit outcome involves significant breaks with existing EU governance rules. The leadership wants those breaks to be in the area of neoliberal constraints on socialist policy-making; much of the PLP wants those breaks to be in the area of freedom of movement. In a scenario where Labour is in government without the Brexit deal having been concluded, those two categories of negotiating priority will be in tension. Nevertheless, the tension between those two categories of negotiating priority is (I would argue) not as fundamental as the tension between some of the Conservatives’ commitments. Moreover, unlike the Conservatives, Labour have been quite careful not to articulate any commitments that cannot be backed down from towards greater compatibility with existing EU rules. Thus in a scenario in which Labour were negotiating with the EU, I would expect Labour to make an effort to achieve a set of concessions around EU rules, and if those concessions could not be achieved, to capitulate in the direction of a more liberal existing-EU-institutions-aligned position.
UK  EU  Brexit  politics  LabourParty  Remain  Leave  trade  economy  Bennism  Euroscepticism  immigration  borders  freedomOfMovement  customsUnion  singleMarket  ambiguity  tactics  flexibility  ToryParty  redLines  negotiations  strategy 
9 days ago by petej
If Corbyn gets his hands dirty he can avert a hard Brexit | Martin Kettle | Opinion | The Guardian
May's position is neither substantial nor sustainable. It is disjointed and delicate. It bears repeating, after Tuesday’s volte-face, that it was May herself, not the EU, who created the all-UK backstop that she is now seeking to unpick. But the deeper truth, which she must have known when she originally agreed to it in 2017, is that the backstop was an attempt to reconcile three promises that are almost impossible to fit together in one consistent policy.

The first of these is May’s promise to leave the customs union, which she made because she knows that the Thatcherite right of her party, including some of the most fanatical long-term advocates of Brexit, attaches immense importance – though it was barely mentioned in 2016 – to an autonomous trade policy. The second is her promise to Ireland, which in law and by treaty she is duty bound to make, that a new trade regime would not cause the creation of a hard border of any kind. And the third is the promise she made to the DUP after the 2017 election that she would not permit customs and regulatory divergence between Britain and Northern Ireland.
UK  Brexit  politics  CorbynJeremy  LabourParty  customsUnion  singleMarket  backstop  MayTheresa  amendments  BradyGraham  ERG  DUP  dctagged  dc:creator=KettleMartin 
7 weeks ago by petej
Ivan Rogers’ Brexit bombshell, digested | Martha Gill | Opinion | The Guardian
There is a contradiction at the heart of the argument made by many of those advocating no deal. They say both that WTO terms are good enough for the UK to trade on, and that Britain’s prosperity depends on it striking multiple trade deals abroad.

Rogers puts it like this: “You cannot simultaneously argue that it is perfectly fine to leave a deep free trade agreement with easily our largest export and import market for the next generation, and trade on WTO terms because that is how we and others trade with everyone else – and argue that it is imperative we get out of the EU in order that we can strike preferential trade deals with large parts of the rest of the world, because the existing terms on which we trade with the rest of the world are intolerable.”
UK  EU  Brexit  negotiations  politics  delusion  sovereignty  agency  power  Article50  transition  EU27  withdrawalAgreement  singleMarket  LancasterHouse  freedomOfMovement  WTO  noDeal  trade  freeTradeAgreement  services  transparency  secrecy  dishonesty  RogersIvan  speech  Liverpool 
december 2018 by petej
Another Europe is Unlikely: Why Socialist Transformation Won’t Happen Within the EU | Novara Media
Putting to one side the continued influence of financial institutions and special interest groups on European politics, a more fundamental challenge comes from the national interests of the most powerful states within the EU. For Germany, the priority is reducing inflation and resisting any attempt at debt mutualisation – the guaranteeing of the sovereign debt of other states. For France, it is transforming the rhetoric of ‘ever closer union’ into reality. For the Visegrád group (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia), it is maintaining their authoritarian grip on power and securing the EU’s borders.
EU  capitalism  regulation  singleMarket  rules  financialisation  UK  stateAid  reform  EuropeanCommission  democracy  socialism  politics  dctagged  dc:creator=BlakeleyGrace 
december 2018 by petej
Take it from a Norwegian MP: we don’t want Britain in the EEA | Heidi Nordby Lunde | Opinion | The Guardian
More importantly to me, I do not believe it is in Norway’s interest to invite the UK into the Efta bloc. It would certainly upset the balance within Efta – and thus our relationship with the EU. Further, the EEA agreement presupposes a consensus between the countries to harmonise with the same EU laws and regulations the UK wants to veto. These are the laws and regulations we rely on to have frictionless access to our most important market. A veto from one country affects the other countries: letting the UK join Efta and the EEC agreement to veto parts of it could undermine the agreement for all of us.
UK  EU  Brexit  Norway  EEA  EFTA  singleMarket  regulation  freedomOfMovement  migration  NorwayPlus  politics 
december 2018 by petej
Clear-cut Brexit legal advice reinforces backstop concerns | Politics | The Guardian
It has often been a complex debate, but Cox cuts through. Northern Ireland will remain in the EU’s single market for goods while Great Britain does not, meaning that “GB is essentially treated as a third country by NI for goods passing from GB to NI”. It is language that did not take long to trigger a hostile reaction from the unionist party that is supposed to prop up May’s government.
UK  EU  Brexit  withdrawalAgreement  backstop  Ireland  NorthernIreland  legal  advice  CoxGeoffrey  singleMarket  borders  DUP  ERG  politics 
december 2018 by petej
Theresa May rules out Norway-style Brexit compromise with Labour | Politics | The Guardian
However, on Thursday May repeated her rejection of the “Norway plus” model and suggested she would not be prepared to offer it as a compromise arrangement because it would mean the continuation of freedom of movement. That is regarded in Downing Street as the hardest of the prime minister’s red lines.
UK  EU  Brexit  withdrawalAgreement  MayTheresa  politics  LabourParty  BolesNick  KinnockStephen  NorwayPlus  singleMarket  EEA  freedomOfMovement  StarmerKeir  noDeal  redLines  intransigence 
november 2018 by petej
Brexit: A brief history of the backstop
London wanted multiple technical fixes and the future relationship to fix the border, Ireland and the EU wanted "principles" and "commitments" this side of the divorce.
UK  EU  Brexit  negotiations  backstop  borders  Ireland  NorthernIreland  customsUnion  singleMarket  GoodFridayAgreement  regulatoryAlignment  MayTheresa  VaradkarLeo  veto  politics 
october 2018 by petej
The Guardian view on Theresa May’s Brexit strategy: failing on two fronts | Editorial | Opinion | The Guardian
The banal truth is that the EU asserted its combined interests as a multi-member union (with Ireland benefiting from collective solidarity), while the UK wasted months failing to even understand its own interests. The backstop impasse has arisen at the collision point of two contradictory British objectives. One is Mrs May’s capitulation to Brexiter demands for severe rupture from EU markets. The other is her commitment to honour the Good Friday agreement.

It should be obvious what has to give. The refusal to countenance long-term participation in the single market and customs union was made rashly, without consideration for the economic implications, back in 2016. The unwisdom of that choice has been highlighted by every subsequent turn of events. It is not a stance that can comfortably command a majority in parliament. Instead of adapting to political realities at home and abroad, broadening the scope of what Brexit might entail, Mrs May has narrowed her options on both fronts. She is struggling to get a deal and struggling to persuade a domestic audience that the deal she might get is worth having.

Fear of defeat in parliament lies behind government moves this week to limit the opportunities for MPs to amend the motion approving or rejecting Brexit terms. Ministers are hoping to arrange what has been advertised as the “meaningful vote” as a binary choice between the prime minister’s deal and no deal at all. Such a stark menu would, it is imagined, intimidate MPs into accepting any kind of orderly withdrawal over the prospect of a chaotic one. This desperate manoeuvre reveals an administration that has run out of ways to win arguments around Brexit and is resorting instead to procedural subterfuge.

In Brussels this week, Mrs May played for time and was indulged by EU leaders. Their post-summit statements exuded weary patience and cautious optimism. They recognise that the main obstacles to progress are in Westminster and that the onus is on the British prime minister to find some room for manoeuvre at home. Since that is the requirement for success in the negotiations, Mrs May should be thinking of ways to keep options open – and so allowing parliament to put options on the table, too. Instead, the prime minister seems determined to keep closing down channels for potential compromise. It is neither an honourable nor an effective strategy.
UK  EU  Brexit  negotiations  MayTheresa  singleMarket  customsUnion  backstop  borders  Ireland  NorthernIreland  GoodFridayAgreement  Parliament  ToryParty  politics  Guardian  editorial 
october 2018 by petej
Will Nissan stay once Britain leaves? How one factory explains the Brexit business dilemma | News | The Guardian
“The deal [is] tangible evidence of the benefits to the UK of membership of the European Community; Nissan [has] chosen the United Kingdom because it [gives] them access to the whole European market. If we were outside the community, it is very unlikely that Nissan would have given the United Kingdom serious consideration as a base for this substantial investment.”


In fact, after Cornwall, the north-east receives England’s second-highest amount of EU structural funding proportionate to its population, according to a report compiled before the referendum for Sunderland’s public and private sector partnership, the Economic Leadership Board. The current round of EU funding, being managed by the region’s local enterprise partnership, is £437m between 2014 and 2020. Nissan itself, according to Farnsworth’s research, has received £450m in loans from the European Investment Bank, and £347m in grants and other public funding, from the UK and EU.
Nissan  cars  manufacturing  business  Sunderland  employment  jobs  HodgsonSharon  Brexit  EU  components  supply  just-in-time  efficiency  singleMarket  customsUnion  WTO  noDeal  GhosnCarlos  Renault  Mitsubishi  investment  costs  unemployment  deprivation  poverty  industry  ThatcherMargaret  HeseltineMichael  Japan  Honda  Toyota  grants  government  Unite  tradeUnion  GibsonIan  uncertainty  RamsbothamJames  dctagged  dc:creator=ConnDavid 
october 2018 by petej
Financial Globalisation Has Been a Disaster. Brexit Gives Us a Chance to Resist It | Novara Media
The left was right to campaign against leaving the EU in 2016. Based on the tenor of the campaign, it was clear the Leave campaign would embolden the xenophobes and nationalists that exist across the class spectrum in the UK. This prediction was proven chillingly correct with both the spike in hate crime that followed the referendum and the movement that has emerged around Tommy Robinson over the last few weeks. The left should deplore and, if necessary, physically resist such acts of violent racism.

But fighting fascism does not mean accepting globalisation. The fact is, working class people are right to be pissed off about global economic and financial integration – especially those in the places that have been most ravaged by it. Financial globalisation has led to the concentration of capital in a series of financial entrepots, more integrated into the global economy than they are with their own countries. Rather than using this capital for productive investment, these centres have repurposed it for the kind of financial wizardry that caused the 2008 crash. London is in many ways the global financial hub par excellence, with the City of London the vampire squid sucking on the face of the global economy.

The left should be making a case for Brexit that involves resisting financial globalisation, whilst welcoming immigrants from the parts of the world that have been most ravaged by both colonialism and free market neocolonialism.
finance  economics  politics  globalisation  financialisation  neoliberalism  anti-globalisation  IMF  WTO  protest  activism  StiglitzJoseph  KrugmanPaul  TheLeft  France  nationalisation  Greece  Italy  EU  Euro  singleMarket  UK  Brexit  referendum  campaigning  immigration  intervention  economy  dctagged  dc:creator=BlakeleyGrace 
june 2018 by petej
European Commission - PRESS RELEASES - Press release - Speech by Michel Barnier at BusinessEurope Day 2018
Take the case of personal data: all economic sectors work with personal data, ranging from the financial sector, to the health industry and to the transport sector.

In the Single Market, we have a modern and very detailed regulatory framework that allows for the "free movement" of personal data. This facilitates the collection and exchange of such data. It also provides for supervisory mechanisms, overseen by the Court of Justice of the European Union.

The UK is going to leave this regulatory framework. In the future, the transfer of personal data from the EU to the UK will be subject to strict rules. These rules are designed to protect a fundamental right.

Allow me to be precise on this point.

The transfer of personal data to the UK will only be possible if the UK provides adequate safeguards. One example to ensure that adequate safeguards are in place is an "EU adequacy decision". This is an autonomous EU decision. There can be no system of "mutual recognition" of standards when it comes to the exchange and protection of such data.

In the Single Market, we have a modern and very detailed regulatory framework that allows for the "free movement" of personal data.

The same rule goes for standards underpinning free movement of products and services.

In the absence of a common discipline, in the absence of EU law that can override national law, in the absence of common supervision and a common court, there can be no mutual recognition of standards.

The Single Market allows for fluid economic exchanges because it is a living system that we adapt permanently.
UK  EU  Brexit  singleMarket  customsUnion  regulation  personalData  economics  politics  dctagged  dc:creator=BarnierMichel 
march 2018 by petej
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