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  1. #11

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    In any bureaucracy, the people devoted to the benefit of the bureaucracy itself always get in control, and those dedicated to the goals the bureaucracy is supposed to accomplish have less and less influence, and sometimes are eliminated entirely.
    [Pournelle's Law Of Bureaucracy]

  2. #12
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    On the subject of Brexit.......

    Nobody other than those in the room and maybe direct reports from that room have a clue what's going on in the negotiations.

    I negotiate for a living......it's not done until it's done. Whilst negotiations are always a meeting in the middle ( there must be an overlap of positions in order to create a frame for agreement) there is all manner of posturing and public positioning to the outside. Note the EUs comment that David Davies is a 'bad negotiator ' in who's eyes?

    For those desperate to see a public capitulation on our key points, remember that in monetary value the EU has more to lose, the annual trade deficit with the EU is circa 100 billion annually. Don't take any account of media saying that's only x% of the EU's total trade so it's not that important to them.....it's the actual s and s that count. There's no UK mk2 sitting on the sidelines waiting to replace us.

    Sit tight, anything not agreed by the deadline will be extended by mutual consent- as that's in both parties immediate interest. I believe remaining part of the European Science community is being considered, as it's in the interests of both parties- you can read the same for security and defence.

    It's a pity we haven't got a better government at this time, I much preferred Cameron to have risen above it and carry on, but he pegged too much of his reputation on the remain bandwagon.

    That's my two peneth worth.....

  3. #13

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    Heero, Brexit means Brexit.

    It's just that no-one knows what Brexit actually means ....

  4. #14
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    I've collated a series of tweets that a " Leave " staffer named Oliver Norgrove made yesterday in relation to tariffs and non-tariff barriers. It makes for interesting reading and , if true , suggests that a hard Brexit will be an unmitigated disaster. A soft Brexit would seem to be the worst of all worlds. You've got to say that we are in one hell of a mess and this is going to be all consuming for the government for years to come. Meanwhile austerity continues and our public services continue to be degraded. By all accounts those two great windbags Farage and Johnson don't do detail . Who knew ? ........




    "So the Treasury is supposedly planning for a no deal Brexit. As a Leaver, this is terrifying. The WTO option is, bluntly, suicide. Several things happen when we leave eschewing negotiations with the EU. Firstly, we rely on GATT/WTO rules for facilitating trade. This has a profound impact upon our tariff arrangements with the EU, which currently are non-existent.Upon leaving the EU and becoming a 'third country', the EU is LEGALLY OBLIGED to impose on us the same tariffs it does other WTO members. Note that when I say 'other WTO members' I refer to those with whom the EU does not have Free Trade Agreements.At the heart of the WTO framework is a principle called Most Favoured Nation (MFN). It means members can't discriminate.If they do onto one they must do uniformly. A tariff here for one country means a tariff here for every other country. There are certain exemptions to this rule, such as if a member is a CU or has FTAs with members, and slightly different rules apply.This is how the EU has been able to negotiate preferential tariff schedules over many years. It remains influential and powerful.So, the EU applies to the UK new tariff schedules, which are inferior to those provided by membership. Prices at home are spiked.If the U.K. decides to retaliate, then it would need to do so to all other WTO members, as per MFN equal treatment rules.This is why Patrick Minford says: 'let's go to unilateral free trade'. But this doesn't even begin to fix things.

    A good way to spot a fraud or an amateur in Brexit/trade debate is to look for those who talk about trade purely in terms of tariffs.Tariffs are an issue, but a small one. The real economic minefield that lies behind the WTO door is a web of non-tariff barriers.Tariffs have indeed come down globally, but this drainage has exposed the magnitude of NTB issues we are left to deal with.As an EU member the UK enjoys a harmonised system of regulation. The benefit of this is the removal of technical barriers to trade.Outside of the EU, conformity (or regulatory convergence) is not enough to smooth trade flow. We need to prove we conform to standards.This is where customs cooperation comes in (which has nothing whatsoever to do with the Customs Union).Where there exists large amounts of trade between two trading partners (like EU+China), MRAs or equivalents built into FTAs are useful.MRAs are Mutual Recognition Agreements. MRAs promote trade facilitation by helping to assess conformity to standards.By eschewing EU negotiations, we will have to rely on WTO mechanisms, such as the TBT and SPS Agreements. This will be arduous.Unlike the EEA, these provisions aren't effective. No country trades with the EU solely using such terms. There is a reason for this.There will be clashes at external borders, whereby UK/EU will not be able to assess whether standards have been complied with.his will cause chaos. We will see delays at shipping ports, lorry queues on motorways stretching miles, wasted/devalued cargo etc.


    This may sound minor, but take the perspective of an exporter, or even a consumer expecting a product, and you realise it isn't.NTBs are more important than tariffs because their externalities cause far more profound (and often unseen) economic problems.Goods will not reach their destinations. Some may make it but scraping their sell-by or use-by dates. In other words: pandemonium.This is just a brief picture I am painting. There is a lot I don't know. I am trying to learn in time to warn enough people against it.So when Nigel Farage speaks of the WTO option by comparing possible EU tariffs with our budgetary contributions, this is LAUGHABLE.The problem extends far beyond tariffs, which will themselves be painful. The WTO option would be self-harm on an unimaginable scale."
    Last edited by carrowmore; 13-09-2017 at 10:03 AM.

  5. #15

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    The sides have become so entrenched. Anything even slightly negative raised by business leaders, economists or politicians is dismissed as Project Fear. Any concerns by laymen is Bremoaning.

    The desire seems to be to shut down debate and put our unquestioning faith in a handful of individuals that many of us didn't vote for, because they know best.

    Which seems to be the kind of thing many people that voted Leave wanted to get away from.

    Whole thing makes my head hurt. Even if Leaving is the best thing for the country, the terms of our exit are what will deliver a better future.

    I hear what you're saying Andy about negotiating. But if you're a negotiator - surely our team should be doing a better job of controlling the multiple conflicting narratives coming out of the government's mouth? They do not look in control. Friends on the continent take great delight in assuring me we are a laughing stock.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heero View Post
    Is Brexit still on?
    Not if the repulsive Bliar (did anyone else puke on Sunday morning when his ego was massaged by Andy Marr?) and the rest of the bankers and Establishment bods get their way.

    It just won't happen Heero, there's too many mouths in troughs for the Establishment to be bested.
    "...hooking mortality is higher than you'd expect: further evidence that as a numbers game, catch-and-release fishing isn't always as straightforward as it seems"
    John Gierach


    Fed up of debating C&R - see Hidden Content

    Unless otherwise stated, data used in any graph/figure/table are Crown copyright, used with the permission of MSS and/or EA and/or ICES. MSS / EA / ICES are not responsible for interpretation of these data by third parties

  7. #17
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    There was a(nother) great interview with Yannis Varufakis on Saturrday. Apparently he's written a book documenting the standard EU negotiating strategies.

    I like Varufakis though I disagree with his pretty extreme political stance. He's an idealist and a career socialist influenced by his parents, education and environment, the sort of guy you'd want running the show but only if we lived in a perfect world.

    However, he is extremely sharp and witty and I love to hear his opinions which I find give a balance, though the radical stance is hard to take. Another thing worth pointing out, clever guy that he is he's also been wrong quite a lot too, and I tend to think he'll be proven wrong in the subject of this interview.

    If you haven't heard it I recommend a listen - highly entertaining if nothing else. Starts at about 08.10

    BBC Radio 4 - Week in Westminster, 09/09/2017


    Andy R, could not agree more with your post. The 'negotiations' if that's what we are to call them at this stage are still in the circus phase. I'm not in the slightest concerned when I hear the media comment, nor Barniers nor Davies, the real stuff will be happening beyond scrutiny, which in this case is good. And to think I was formulating an insulting post about Shropshire in retaliation to your earlier luke warm review of the planets No1 holiday destination. Thing is, I couldn't think of a damn thing to say about it though - apart from this of course - the thing that finally put Shropshire on the map

    Last edited by ozzyian; 13-09-2017 at 03:16 PM.

  8. #18
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    Remember the line about returning democracy and sovereignty to parliament?

    Evaporated in short order didn't it? Mr Davis should be, if he isn't, ashamed of his brand new 'power to correct the statute book' without going to Parliament.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dryfly View Post
    Remember the line about returning democracy and sovereignty to parliament?

    Evaporated in short order didn't it? Mr Davis should be, if he isn't, ashamed of his brand new 'power to correct the statute book' without going to Parliament.
    Reminds me of how Seth changes the rules in the middle of a game he's not winning.

  10. #20
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    On the other hand, certain parts of British society would apparently prefer (and deem it more democratic presumably) that a bunch of unidentified and un-elected foreign nationals operating without proper oversight hold those powers in a foreign parliament.

    It's a bit rich in my view for that section of society to have a moan because they disagree (on the basis of democratic scrutiny) on the method and accountability in repatriating those powers from a manifestly undemocratic organisation.

    I suppose I should be pleased that the expectation is so high but I always have a smile at the irony. It's like finding 40 quid in a pair of trousers you haven't worn in 3 years then complaining it's not 50

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