Brexit: UK to leave single market, says Theresa May

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Brexit: UK to leave single market, says Theresa May

Postby Zaune » 2017-01-17 10:33am

BBC News

Theresa May has said the UK "cannot possibly" remain within the European single market, as staying in it would mean "not leaving the EU at all".

But the prime minister promised to push for the "freest possible trade" with European countries and to sign new deals with others around the world.

She also announced Parliament would get to vote on the final deal agreed between the UK and the EU.

But Labour warned of "enormous dangers" in the prime minister's plans.

Mrs May used her much-anticipated speech to announce the UK's priorities for Brexit negotiations, including:

Maintaining the common travel area between the UK and Irish Republic
Tariff-free trade with the EU
A customs agreement with the EU
New trade agreements with countries outside the EU
Continued "practical" sharing of intelligence and policing information
"Control" of immigration rights for EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU
A "phased approach"

Mrs May said there would not be a "blow-by-blow" account of negotiations, set to get under way after Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is invoked by the end of March.

It was not her intention to "undermine" the EU or the single market, she added, but she warned against a "punitive" reaction to Brexit, as it would bring "calamitous self-harm for the countries of Europe and it would not be the act of a friend".

She added: "I am equally clear that no deal for Britain is better than a bad deal for Britain."

She said: "This agreement should allow for the freest possible trade in goods and services between Britain and the EU's member states.

"It should give British companies the maximum possible freedom to trade with and operate within European markets and let European businesses do the same in Britain. But I want to be clear: what I am proposing cannot mean membership of the single market."

Mrs May added: "It would, to all intents and purposes, mean not leaving the EU at all. That is why both sides in the referendum campaign made it clear that a vote to leave the EU would be a vote to leave the single market."


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Re: Brexit: UK to leave single market, says Theresa May

Postby Crazedwraith » 2017-01-17 10:49am

Have they just conceded the Supreme Court case then? I heard a lot about at the time and then silence and the news stories all had the general assumption of Article 50 being invoked on time at the end of March.

Does anyone still think May is trying to get out of this?
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Re: Brexit: UK to leave single market, says Theresa May

Postby Civil War Man » 2017-01-17 11:18am

Zaune wrote:So, yeah. Been nice knowing you, everyone. I'll try and wrap up all my ongoing fanfiction projects before I starve to death.


There is speculation that one of Trump's priorities will be to cut a sweetheart free trade deal with the UK in order to insulate them from the consequences of leaving the single market, then offer that same carrot to other EU countries in order to entice them to follow the UK, with the end goal of causing the total breakup of the EU.

Talking Points Memo

Most people in this country, certainly most members of the political class and especially its expression in Washington, don't realize what Donald Trump is trying to do in Europe and Russia. Back in December I explained that Trump has a plan to break up the European Union. Trump and his key advisor Steve Bannon (former Breitbart chief) believe they can promise an advantageous trade agreement with the United Kingdom, thus strengthening the UK's position in its negotiations over exiting the EU. With such a deal in place with the UK, they believe they can slice apart the EU by offering the same model deal to individual EU states. Steve Bannon discussed all of this at length with Business Week's Josh Green and Josh and I discussed it in great detail in this episode of my podcast from mid-December.

Now we have a rush of new evidence that Trump is moving ahead with these plans.

One point that was clear in Green's discussions with Bannon and Nigel Farage is that Trump wants to empower Farage as its interlocutor with the United Kingdom. Given Farage's fringe status in the UK, on its face that seems crazy. But that is the plan. And it is a sign of how potent Farage's guidance and advice has become for Trump's view of Europe, the EU and Russia.

Two days ago, the United States out-going Ambassador to the EU gave a press conference in which he opened up about Farage's apparently guiding role in the Trump world and what he's hearing from EU Member states.

From the The Financial Times (sub.req.) ...

Donald Trump’s transition team have called EU leaders to ask “what country is to leave next” with a tone suggesting the union “is falling apart” this year, according to the outgoing US ambassador to the bloc.

In a pugnacious parting press conference, Anthony Gardner warned of “fringe” voices such as Nigel Farage, the former UK Independence party leader, holding influence in Washington over Mr Trump’s team.

Speaking days before leaving office, Mr Gardner said it would be “lunacy” and “the height of folly” for the US to ditch half a century of foreign policy in order to support further EU fragmentation or become a “Brexit cheerleader” in Brussels.

“I was struck in various calls that were going on between the incoming administration and the EU that the first question is: what country is about to leave next after the UK?” he said.

“The perceived sense is that 2017 is the year in which the EU is going to fall apart. And I hope that Nigel Farage is not the only voice being listened to because that is a fringe voice.”


Today in a new interview with the Germany's Bild and the Times of London Trump expanded on these goals dramatically. Trump leveled a series of attacks on German Chancellor Angela Merkel, suggesting he'd like to see her defeated for reelection and saying she'd hurt Germany by letting "all these illegals" into the country. Trump also called NATO "obsolete", predicted other countries would soon leave the EU, and characterized the EU itself as "basically a vehicle for Germany."

Trump and Bannon are extremely hostile to Merkel and eager to see her lose. But what is increasingly clear is that Trump will make the break up of the EU a central administration policy and appears to want the same for NATO.

My own view is that Trump and Bannon greatly overestimate America's relative economic power in the world. Their view appears to be that no European country will feel it is able to be locked out of trade with a US-UK trade pact. An America eager to break up the EU seems more likely to inject new life into the union. However that may be, Trump and Bannon clearly want to create a nativist world order based on the US, Russia and states that want to align with them. The EU and NATO are only obstacles to that goal.

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Re: Brexit: UK to leave single market, says Theresa May

Postby Zaune » 2017-01-17 11:30am

Unfortunately for him, the number of European government officials dumb enough to trust any deal he offers is probably quite low. Especially in member states with Russia on their borders.
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Re: Brexit: UK to leave single market, says Theresa May

Postby Raj Ahten » 2017-01-17 11:58am

If Trump can push through trade deals in record time I think everyone would have to seriously rethink his abilities. Since when do such things ever go quickly or smoothly? Only desperation on the UK's part may help with speed but that wouldn't bode well for what the deal would give them. Plus just due to geography any deal with the US is garbage in comparison to trade with Europe. I don't see US manufacturers wanting to set up in Britain due to a new free trade zone or the like. It's not like labor is any cheaper there.

Also it still seems like any actual change to relationships is years away.

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Re: Brexit: UK to leave single market, says Theresa May

Postby Civil War Man » 2017-01-17 12:52pm

Raj Ahten wrote:If Trump can push through trade deals in record time I think everyone would have to seriously rethink his abilities. Since when do such things ever go quickly or smoothly? Only desperation on the UK's part may help with speed but that wouldn't bode well for what the deal would give them. Plus just due to geography any deal with the US is garbage in comparison to trade with Europe. I don't see US manufacturers wanting to set up in Britain due to a new free trade zone or the like. It's not like labor is any cheaper there.

Also it still seems like any actual change to relationships is years away.


For the record, I wasn't saying he would necessarily succeed (in fact, given his actual abilities, it would probably be a disaster). But if there's one thing he's good at, it's making grandiose promises that he cannot possibly keep and tricking people who want to believe him to buy into the scam. If it's true that one of his priorities is to cause the breakup of the EU, then he or his people could easily have contacted May and promised some sweet deal that would allow the UK to leave the single market with no negative consequences. Then, assuming she believed that he could actually pull it off, it could make her think that she could dictate terms to the EU and explain her "We get everything we want or we walk" bravado.

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Re: Brexit: UK to leave single market, says Theresa May

Postby Raj Ahten » 2017-01-17 01:22pm

Civil War Man wrote:
Raj Ahten wrote:If Trump can push through trade deals in record time I think everyone would have to seriously rethink his abilities. Since when do such things ever go quickly or smoothly? Only desperation on the UK's part may help with speed but that wouldn't bode well for what the deal would give them. Plus just due to geography any deal with the US is garbage in comparison to trade with Europe. I don't see US manufacturers wanting to set up in Britain due to a new free trade zone or the like. It's not like labor is any cheaper there.

Also it still seems like any actual change to relationships is years away.


For the record, I wasn't saying he would necessarily succeed (in fact, given his actual abilities, it would probably be a disaster). But if there's one thing he's good at, it's making grandiose promises that he cannot possibly keep and tricking people who want to believe him to buy into the scam. If it's true that one of his priorities is to cause the breakup of the EU, then he or his people could easily have contacted May and promised some sweet deal that would allow the UK to leave the single market with no negative consequences. Then, assuming she believed that he could actually pull it off, it could make her think that she could dictate terms to the EU and explain her "We get everything we want or we walk" bravado.


It is true that May has a very weak hand. She kind of has to grasp at any lifeline, no matter how retarded, in order to have any negotiating position at all. I just don't see it all working out for her as the issues involved are so complicated they defy quick resolution and the type of demagoguery Trump is bringing into play on the issues works less effectively the more things drag on. Also who is to say the US congress will be all far some free trade deal with Britain? Hell Trump may find the protectionist Beast he's unleashed beyond his control.

I must admit though I'm still counting on logic and self interest to mean something and we are living in times where emotion seems to be making the rules.

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Re: Brexit: UK to leave single market, says Theresa May

Postby Tribble » 2017-01-17 01:54pm

Crazedwraith wrote:Have they just conceded the Supreme Court case then? I heard a lot about at the time and then silence and the news stories all had the general assumption of Article 50 being invoked on time at the end of March.

Does anyone still think May is trying to get out of this?


Which court case? IIRC there are a couple still working their way through:

One is whether or not Article 50 has to have a vote in parliament

Another one is whether or not revoking Article 50 is sufficient to withdraw from the EEA as that involved a earlier separate treaty, and that treaty has a different withdrawal mechanism. IMO this case is the more important of the two as it largely determines the strength of the UKs bargaining position (see below).

And yes, until Article 50 is actually invoked and/or the other EEA treaty is repealed, I will remain skeptical. There have been plenty of times when a government preaches one thing over and over yet at the very last minute changes course. When they invoke Article 50, then it's confirmed.

It is true that May has a very weak hand. She kind of has to grasp at any lifeline, no matter how retarded, in order to have any negotiating position at all. I just don't see it all working out for her as the issues involved are so complicated they defy quick resolution and the type of demagoguery Trump is bringing into play on the issues works less effectively the more things drag on. Also who is to say the US congress will be all far some free trade deal with Britain? Hell Trump may find the protectionist Beast he's unleashed beyond his control.

I must admit though I'm still counting on logic and self interest to mean something and we are living in times where emotion seems to be making the rules.


The strength of the UK's hand heavily depends on whether or not the UK's EEA agreement is separate from the EU Treaties. If the courts rule that that the two treaties are separate and that parliament must vote separately to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty and Article 127 of the EEA agreement, then the UK's hand is stronger. They could simply invoke Article 50 and withdraw from the EU, then revert to the EEA while negotiating a separate trade agreement for however long that takes. While also being able to negotiate trade agreements with other countries outside the EU. The EU would probably not be able to prevent this as the EEA treaty is pretty explicit that only the member state in question has the right to decide whether to leave the EEA or not. If the courts rule that invoking Article 50 also means leaving the EEA then the UK's hand is weaker since they would automatically leave the EU and EEA within 2 years, barring an extension (which is unlikely atm). Of course, this assumes that May would be willing to use that intermediate step for leverage.

And speaking of the EU, nearly everyone understands that it desperately needs major reforms if it is going to survive. Yet the response to every single crisis from Brussels seems to be "bury our heads in the sand and hope the status quo prevails" rather than doing anything meaningful. The Eurozone is still a disaster (with Italy being the next major crisis) and the EU still remains fundamentally undemocratic in nature. Brexit is yet another instance which presents the EU with an opportunity to do something productive and fix some of its underlying issues, yet so far all I've seen is "punish the UK as much as possible".
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Re: Brexit: UK to leave single market, says Theresa May

Postby Crazedwraith » 2017-01-17 02:03pm

Tribble wrote:
Crazedwraith wrote:Have they just conceded the Supreme Court case then? I heard a lot about at the time and then silence and the news stories all had the general assumption of Article 50 being invoked on time at the end of March.

Does anyone still think May is trying to get out of this?


Which court case? IIRC there are a couple still working their way through:

One is whether or not Article 50 has to have a vote in parliament.


I meant this one. Considering they're apparently having a vote either way now it seems to have been made superfluous.
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Re: Brexit: UK to leave single market, says Theresa May

Postby Tribble » 2017-01-17 02:06pm

Crazedwraith wrote:
Tribble wrote:
Crazedwraith wrote:Have they just conceded the Supreme Court case then? I heard a lot about at the time and then silence and the news stories all had the general assumption of Article 50 being invoked on time at the end of March.

Does anyone still think May is trying to get out of this?


Which court case? IIRC there are a couple still working their way through:

One is whether or not Article 50 has to have a vote in parliament.


I meant this one. Considering they're apparently having a vote either way now it seems to have been made superfluous.


Fair enough. It's the ladder one then that's the more important as it largely determines the UK's bargaining position (if May has the foresight to see it that way of course).
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Re: Brexit: UK to leave single market, says Theresa May

Postby Juubi Karakuchi » 2017-01-17 06:39pm

May's appeal over Article 50 is still going through the Supreme Court; but there seems a broad consensus that she will lose.

Assuming she does, then ultimately this will come down to a Parliamentary vote, and that is pretty much the last thing that might stop Brexit. A majority in Parliament is dead against it, and she may have played into their hands by pushing for a Hard Brexit. The one thing that could force them to back her is fear of losing their seats to UKIP, but there are certain factors in their favour. The most immediate is that at least some Leave voters did not specifically vote for a Hard Brexit; Boris Johnson did promise that Britain would stay in the Common Market, after all. When combined with Bregret and demographic shifts, they might just be able to pull it off.

But there is another reason for them to oppose May too. Brexit has exposed a lingering fault line within the Tory party, and it's very much in Labour's interest (not to mention Lib Dems and others) to lever it open. Voting down May's Brexit deal will drop her right in the gazunda, and will at the very least force the Tories to waste time and credibility choosing a new leader.

In that respect, this Stoke by-election could be highly relevant. If Labour loses the seat, they may either panic and go full-on UKIP-lite in a desperate (and futile) attempt to keep voters on-side, or they may conclude that they've lost those seats anyway, and that supporting Brexit will ultimately gain them nothing.

One other thing worth considering is the Northern Ireland elections. They're set to take place in early March, but there has been speculation that they may force May to miss her March deadline to activate Article 50. This adds a certain context to her rhetoric; the need to appease the pro-Brexit MPs and ensure that they don't smell treachery. That said, I don't think any other approach was ever likely for that very reason. The only Brexit they would ever tolerate is a Hard Brexit, and they have the power to end her premiership.

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Re: Brexit: UK to leave single market, says Theresa May

Postby Thanas » 2017-01-17 07:17pm

German industry opinion:

German industry welcomed Theresa May’s speech for providing clarity but made clear that it believed a hard Brexit would do substantial damage to business ties between Britain and the European Union.

Volker Treier, head of the German Chamber for Industry and Trade said that the speech had at last ended a debate about “cherry-picking” but that a “hard Brexit” would limit chances of growth “on both sides of the Channel”, with Great Britain likely to take a harder hit.

"After Brexit is completed, German businesses are planning to reduce their economic investment on the island. Another consequence would be write-offs to the tune of billions, because German business had invested into Britain because of its membership of the single market. Such write-offs would then not be reinvested."

Leaving the single market and the customs union, Treier said, “lowered the economic attractiveness of the [British] island”.

"To date, German companies have built up factories and businesses to the value of 120 billion euros. These companies employ around 400,000 people in Great Britain."
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Re: Brexit: UK to leave single market, says Theresa May

Postby mr friendly guy » 2017-01-17 09:10pm

Even if the UK wanted to leave the EU but remain in the single market, would the EU accept that? We may never know now, but my inclination would be not unless they also sign up for other EU rules like free movement of people, which would never fly with the Brexit crowd. So a hard Brexit would have more likely happen anyway, compared to a soft Brexit.
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Re: Brexit: UK to leave single market, says Theresa May

Postby Tribble » 2017-01-17 10:55pm

mr friendly guy wrote:Even if the UK wanted to leave the EU but remain in the single market, would the EU accept that? We may never know now, but my inclination would be not unless they also sign up for other EU rules like free movement of people, which would never fly with the Brexit crowd. So a hard Brexit would have more likely happen anyway, compared to a soft Brexit.


Again it depends on whether or not in the UK's case the EEA agreement is separate from the EU agreements, if so they are in effect two separate entities and it is entirely possible to leave the EU while remaining in the EEA. If this is the case the EU wouldn't have any say on the matter either since the EEA agreement contains its own exit clauses and those clauses do not give the EU the power to kick an EEA member out of the EEA unilaterally IIRC.

Whether or not the court sees it that way and/or whether or not May would use that as an interim step while working out a different agreement is of course up in the air. IMO while the former is likely, the ladder probably isn't.
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Re: Brexit: UK to leave single market, says Theresa May

Postby Thanas » 2017-01-18 02:12am

Tribble wrote:Again it depends on whether or not in the UK's case the EEA agreement is separate from the EU agreements


No, Article 50, as explained by the commentary when it was introduced, severs ALL ties.


Predictably, Europe was not impressed with her speech:
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/20 ... ss-leaders

Hard Brexit will hurt UK more, say EU diplomats and business leaders

European leaders and industry chiefs welcomed the clarity brought by Theresa May’s Brexit speech, but said the course she had chosen would hurt Britain more than the remaining EU member states.

Donald Tusk, the president of the European council, summed up the bloc’s official reaction in a tweet: “Sad process, surrealistic times, but at least more realistic announcement on Brexit. EU27 united and ready to negotiate after article 50.”

Less officially, Volker Treier, of the German chamber of industry and commerce, made it clear that Britain’s departure from the single market and customs union would do substantial damage to business ties between the UK and Germany.

“Without a doubt a hard Brexit limits chances of growth on both sides of the Channel. But for Britain the economic damage is likely to be greater,” Treier said, adding that the UK had chosen to “lower its economic attractiveness”.

Many on the continent were also sceptical about the prime minister’s ability to follow through on her promise for the UK to be “a great, global trading nation”. The French centre-right MEP Alain Lamassoure said Britain had chosen to sink itself.

He said: “It’s clear the interest for the British is 500 million customers in Europe, not just 65 million in Britain. When May comes to negotiating with a country like China, she can only offer 65 million British customers. It’s a kind of economic and business suicide.”

An Italian government official said he doubted the UK could be as strong outside the EU as it was within it. “Good luck on being a ‘global Britain’,” he said.

Guy Verhofstadt, the chief Brexit negotiator for the European parliament, accused May of pursuing tactics that would “hurt British people”.

"Threatening to turn the UK into a deregulated tax heaven will not only hurt British people—it is a counterproductive negotiating tactic"

In her speech May said she did not believe Europe would harm “German exporters, French farmers and Spanish fishermen” in an attempt to hit Britain with a punitive deal.

In Spain, however, Javier Garat, the president of Europêche, which represents 80,000 fisheries workers across the EU, said a mutually agreeable deal was the preferred option, but British workers stood to lose far more than their continental rivals if things turned ugly.

“When it comes to exports, 68% of all the UK’s fish products are exported to the EU, much of that to Spain,” he said. “If anyone’s going to lose out in the market it would be the UK, not Spain.”

Thomas Prouza, the Czech Europe minister, said on Twitter May’s wishlist looked “a bit ambitious”, adding: “Trade as free as possible, full control on immigration … where is the give for all the take?”

Speaking to the Guardian, he criticised her address as a “domestic policy speech” that declared “what Britain could take from the table” without explaining what it would bring in return.

“On the one hand, she wants to be part of the customs union but at the same time she will want the UK to have its own trade policies towards other countries,” he said. “That’s one thing that going to be hard to square. She has also not spelled out in sufficient detail how she wants to address the rights of all those citizens currently living in the UK and what agreement could be struck to guarantee the British citizens living in EU countries.

“I expected more details about the status of people living and working in Britain and currently paying taxes. Still very fresh in our memory is the proposal ... a few months ago about British companies publishing lists of foreigners they employ. People are worried not only about physical attacks but about the threats to their jobs. This current atmosphere is really damaging.”

Several commentators and organisations said their – and the EU’s – top priority must now be to protect the single market. “The EU has to show a united front,” said Dieter Kempf, the president of the federation of German industry (BDI).

“There can only be one motto for politics in Brussels and Berlin during the Brexit negotiations, to keep together and strengthen Europe. The four basic freedoms are immovable. There must not be borders for goods, services, capital and workers.”

EU institutions have resolutely refused to negotiate until the UK government triggers article 50. Jean-Claude Juncker, the European commission president, who had been briefed on the speech, was due to speak to May later on Tuesday.

EU ministers were generally diplomatic and positive. Germany’s foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, welcomed “a bit more clarity” and the fact Britain was seeking “a constructive partnership, a friendship, with a strong EU. That is good.”

Sandro Gozi, Italy’s undersecretary for European affairs, was also pleased that May had at last confirmed what many had long suspected. “It is now finally clear what they want. They want to leave for good and they want a full Brexit.”

Gozi told BBC’s Newsnight on Tuesday night: “What I found rather odd about Theresa May’s speech is that she says that the UK shouldn’t be half in half out, after all the UK has always been half in half out in the European Union. We have given to Brits so many exceptions since you joined the economic community in 1973.”

Poland’s minister for European affairs, Konrad Szymański, welcomed May’s indication that securing a deal on the rights of EU citizens in Britain – and British citizens in the EU – was “the right and fair thing to do”.

He also told May that Poland would insist that any plans to control immigration to the UK “must be proportionate and ensure fair treatment of all EU citizens, regardless of their professional profiles”.

The Irish government welcomed May’s commitment to maintaining the pre-EU common travel area between Britain and Ireland, and her promise that there would be no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

Several politicians and commentators on the continent were critical of aspects of the speech, particularly the perceived threat to turn Britain into a tax haven if it were to be shut off from the single market.

Philippe Lamberts, the co-chair of the Greens-European Free Alliance group in the European parliament, described the speech as a slap in the face for anyone who hoped a future UK-EU relationship would be about more than just economic cooperation.

The French liberal MEP Sylvie Goulard welcomed May’s generally friendlier rhetoric toward Europe, but said the prime minister’s threat to turn Britain into a low-tax island amounted to blackmail.

She pointed out that May’s speech also contained no direct reference to the €60bn (£51bn) Brexit bill being prepared by the EU Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier. “This is her version of what a good deal would look like, and there is still a lot of work to do,” Goulard said.

“Blackmailing partners is never a good thing,” she added, saying that the whole issue of tax was “very worrying. As far as I know, the UK is a member of the OECD and is committed … not to encourage tax avoidance.”

The implied threat led one diplomat present at Lancaster House to say: “If you are willing to sell your soul, make sure that you have something to sell.”

Another said the framework of the speech was a “bit of a strange mixed bag”. “The prime minister said she shared our values, but then there was a not very implied threat to be a tax haven, trying to drive down conditions across Europe,” they said.

Jean-Claude Piris, a former head of the European council’s legal service, said the speech contained no big surprises except the proposal for “a bizarre customs union” with the EU, which he said would not be allowed under the World Trade Organisation’s GATT accord.

“Otherwise she is asking for the moon, which is normal at the start of negotiations,” Piris said. May said in her speech she wanted a completely new customs agreement but had an open mind about how to work this out.

Other commentators, such as the former Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt, saw the speech simply as a retreat from Europe. He said on Twitter that Britain seemed to be seeking something slightly less than Ukraine’s free trade agreement with the EU.

“I regret the approach the UK government has taken,” he said. “I think most of the EU would have preferred a closer relationship with the UK.”
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Re: Brexit: UK to leave single market, says Theresa May

Postby Tribble » 2017-01-18 12:40pm

Thanas wrote:No, Article 50, as explained by the commentary when it was introduced, severs ALL ties.


Is commentary legally binding? I'm not an expert in EU law so I'm not sure on that point. I know that in common-law commentary is generally not legally binding though it may be persuasive. I don't actually see any mention of the EEA in Article 50, nor any mention that Article 50 supersedes Article 127:

Article 50
1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.

3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.

4. For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it.

A qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with Article 238(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

5. If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.



And here is Article 127 of the EEA


Each Contracting Party may withdraw from this Agreement provided it gives at least twelve months' notice in writing to the other Contracting Parties.

Immediately after the notification of the intended withdrawal, the other Contracting Parties shall convene a diplomatic conference in order to envisage the necessary modifications to bring to the Agreement.



My understanding is that while the EEA adopts EU legislation, it's not actually a part of the EU itself and is in effect a separate organization and agreement. This is the issue that has been raised in court, and it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

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Also predictably, Europe doesn't use the opportunity to take a serious look at its institutions to see what's working and what's not. Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead!
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Re: Brexit: UK to leave single market, says Theresa May

Postby K. A. Pital » 2017-01-18 04:36pm

Problem is, why should the EU cut a special deal for Britain - or even consider it?

Norway and the others get none. Britain is not special, out is out. It is no longer the Empire, just a tiny island nation among many in Europe.
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Re: Brexit: UK to leave single market, says Theresa May

Postby Tribble » 2017-01-18 04:54pm

K. A. Pital wrote:Problem is, why should the EU cut a special deal for Britain - or even consider it?

Norway and the others get none. Britain is not special, out is out. It is no longer the Empire, just a tiny island nation among many in Europe.


I've never stated that the EU wants to; quite the opposite in fact, what they want is to punish the UK as much as possible to set an example for others. However, it's a question in law, not a question of desires. The EEA and the EU are as far as I know two separate entities and if the UK is a member of both I'm not sure that a separation of one automatically means a separation from the other, legally speaking. The legislation is rather murky on the subject which is why it is being brought up in court.

Of course it would be a moot point if the UK invokes article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and article 127 of the EEA agreement at roughly the same time.
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Re: Brexit: UK to leave single market, says Theresa May

Postby Thanas » 2017-01-18 09:42pm

Tribble wrote:My understanding is that while the EEA adopts EU legislation, it's not actually a part of the EU itself and is in effect a separate organization and agreement. This is the issue that has been raised in court, and it will be interesting to see how it plays out.


A prerequisite for being a member of the EEA is being a member state of the EU or the EFTA. Britain is not the latter and does not wish to be. As soon as they are no longer a member of the EU the legislation regarding the EEA does not apply to them anymore as it only applies to those two groups of states.

Also predictably, Europe doesn't use the opportunity to take a serious look at its institutions to see what's working and what's not. Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead!


I am all for reform but member states do not want to. Do you propose Germany force a reform through over the objections of several sovereign nations?
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Re: Brexit: UK to leave single market, says Theresa May

Postby Tribble » 2017-01-19 12:00am

A prerequisite for being a member of the EEA is being a member state of the EU or the EFTA. Britain is not the latter and does not wish to be. As soon as they are no longer a member of the EU the legislation regarding the EEA does not apply to them anymore as it only applies to those two groups of states.


Does it say that anywhere specifically in the EU Treaties or the EEA agreement? The closest bit to address this that I know of is Article 126 (1):

1. The Agreement shall apply to the territories to which the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community is applied and under the conditions laid down in that Treaty, and to the territories of Iceland, the Principality of Liechtenstein and the Kingdom of Norway.”


Was the EEC the contracting party, or was each territory (including the UK) a contracting party? If the ladder is the case it would imply that the UK is subject to EEA and EU rules whether or not it is part of the EU unless it invokes Article 127. IMO its an ambiguous enough clause that a court ruling to determine exactly what it means is necessary, are there any court cases that you know of?


I am all for reform but member states do not want to. Do you propose Germany force a reform through over the objections of several sovereign nations?



First it should be noted that I was referring to Europe, not just Germany. No point in doing the blame game, as there is plenty of it to go around, and IMO the current mess is no single entities fault in particular. And I'm not proposing that Germany (or any other EU state) try to force anything. However, the EU and its members seem to fully recognize the need for major reforms, whatever those reforms may be yet for whatever reasons they have deliberately chosen not to do anything meaningful. IMO that's a recipe for disaster because the EU as currently designed (and especially the Eurozone) is inherently unstable and things will inevitably spiral out of control unless there is a major overhaul.
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Re: Brexit: UK to leave single market, says Theresa May

Postby madd0ct0r » 2017-01-19 12:31am

Tribble, what would be your ideal set of major reforms?
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Re: Brexit: UK to leave single market, says Theresa May

Postby Tribble » 2017-01-19 09:08pm

madd0ct0r wrote:Tribble, what would be your ideal set of major reforms?


IMO the biggest problem with the EU is that it expanded too rapidly (with some countries joining when they shouldn't have) while simultaneously moving too slowly on the economic / political integration front; in essence the EU is both too large in terms of membership and too small in terms of political and economic powers to be stable long term. Bearing that in mind, here is what I think:

First, there should really only be three tiers of relationships:

A Free-Trade-Area such as the original EEC and NAFTA. Each member has a vote, to prevent "democracy by fax" by the more integrated tiers.

A Common Market, which the EEA currently is. --> free movement of goods, capital, services and persons. Again each member has a vote to prevent "democracy by fax" by the higher tier.

A full political / economic union such as the USA and Canada --> members are officially sub-sovereign entities to the larger EU State in all aspects. Note that this doesn't necessarily mean there should be one EU- type country right off the bat. It might be better to have a "Northern EU" and "Southern EU" for example, which may decide to merge later on when conditions are right. For the purpose of voting in the lower tiers as the EU state is a single nation it only gets one vote (this prevents the EU state from absorbing members and using their vote to arm twist other countries into joining)

Or in other words, once it reaches the point where a monetary union and/or greater political union is desirable than what the EEA provides for IMO it is better for countries to skip the intermediate steps and go straight into becoming an integrated nation state. IMO half-measures like the Eurozone are inherently unstable - they are kind of like the Articles of Confederation vs the US Constitution, and do not appear to work well in the long run.

As to which nation should belong to which... I'm not sure the best way to go about it. Perhaps the best way is to simply have a full reset of EU relations and have each member vote on which tier they wish to be in, with some additional requirements for countries which wish to join the full EU nation state. Moving within the tiers down the road should be possible as well, but not easy to do (particularly with joining / leaving the EU).

As for actual government, the executive/ legislative branches of the EU must be directly elected by the people as opposed to the current setup (where groups with significant legislative and executive power like the European Commission are not.) That's another big problem I have with the EU, as to me the idea of a legislative/executive branch being "elected" via political horse-trading instead of direct elections via the people lacks democratic legitimacy. This isn't a unique problem with the EU (Canada has an unelected Senate, the UK has the House of Lords etc) but at least those unelected houses tend to stay out of the way of the elected governments. Two-level government seems to work out ok in most jurisdictions (lower-level which is population based while the upper-level has equal members for each state). And while YMMV on this one in particular, it might be better to have a more ceremonial-type president while the executive more or less rests with the party with the most seats in the lower-level government (in order to avoid too much deadlock like the US has).

Those are a couple of things I can think of at the top of my head. Of course, there are personal opinions, and I could certainly be wrong. And of course it's probably very unlikely to happen (especially given the present climate). Note that I've been focusing more on the broad-strokes rather than specific policies / specific situations for different countries, though I could go into those as well if you wish.
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Re: Brexit: UK to leave single market, says Theresa May

Postby Crazedwraith » 2017-01-24 06:26am

That ruling came through. Posting here as we don't need another Brexit thread. BBC's live feed as there doesn't seem to be proper article

The Government does need to consult the UK Parliament but not any devolved bodies basically.
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Re: Brexit: UK to leave single market, says Theresa May

Postby Thanas » 2017-01-24 06:31am

All the reforms proposed by Tribble just show that he has no idea of the logistics and complexities involved. Just try having one proposal translated into 24 languages. Now imagine the chaos of having three different groups but who are all affected by it one way or the other. It is just not feasible.
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Re: Brexit: UK to leave single market, says Theresa May

Postby Tribble » 2017-01-24 12:29pm

Thanas wrote:All the reforms proposed by Tribble just show that he has no idea of the logistics and complexities involved. Just try having one proposal translated into 24 languages. Now imagine the chaos of having three different groups but who are all affected by it one way or the other. It is just not feasible.


The EU largely solved this a long time ago:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages ... pean_Union

There already are three different groups who are affected by policies in one way or another. If the EFTA, EEA and EU were unable to effectively communicate they would have never been able to form in the first place.

What exactly are you suggesting? What would your ideal set of major reforms be?


That ruling came through. Posting here as we don't need another Brexit thread. BBC's live feed as there doesn't seem to be proper article

The Government does need to consult the UK Parliament but not any devolved bodies basically.


Which doesn't come as much of a surprise, as basically the only constitutional law in the UK is that parliament is sovereign.
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