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Discussion > How Strong is the EU's Case For a Brexit Payment from the UK?

But, staying with medicines, if you have 1) a trade organisation (the EU) that demands free movement of goods, and 2) different national organizations giving different medicine accreditations, there is a conflict that will be resolved in favour of free trade. It follows therefore that it is more economic and reasonable to create an all enveloping agency to acredit medicines across Europe.

If you accept free movement of goods, capital, people and so on (which we did, without reservations) you must also accept central control of anything that affects those freedoms. What I don't think was clear from the outset was how all-encompassing those controls would turn out to be. But we signed up to them.

Sep 19, 2017 at 10:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

Sep 19, 2017 at 10:04 AM | Supertroll

Yes, agreed. So why did this "Central Control" manage to ignore so many people?

Volkswagen Audi Group (VW) represents an EU success story. Good German quality, design etc being introduced across Europe into Spain (SEAT), Czech (SKODA) etc, using tried and tested mechanicals and components with variations in the bodywork and styling to match different markets, prices, expectations and aspirations. Working conditions, hours, Health and Safety, job security all benefitted too, along with local economies remote from Germany.

VW is a great example of what can be achieved within the EU. Unfortunately, VW got a bit overconfident about designing and producing what the EU wanted its people to drive.

Sep 19, 2017 at 1:13 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

GolfCharlie. So who prosecuted VW, The EU or Germany (given that it was the USA that originally found them culpable)?

Sep 19, 2017 at 1:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

They make VWs in China. China is not part of the EU. The globalisation of the auto industry dates back to Ford and Nuffield. The first Nissan was an Austin 7, as was the first BMW. The EU dimension is of limited relevance, and I wouldn't be surprised if this was the case in most fields.

Sep 19, 2017 at 2:12 PM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

Supertroll, it was the USA that prosecuted initially.

Industry insiders clearly knew something was "not right", but the EU had done nothing about it.

It is tempting to think that US Manufacturers had had enough of VW and other EU imports, or even cars manufactured to satisfy EU Testing and Approval Regulations.

I don't think it was though.

It has become a mess created by the abuse of central control.

Aircraft design was sewn up by US, until Airbus came along. So far, this is working for Airbus, the EU and Europeans.

Sep 19, 2017 at 2:21 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Sep 19, 2017 at 10:04 AM by Supertroll

"If you accept free movement of goods, capital, people and so on (which we did, without reservations) you must also accept central control of anything that affects those freedoms. What I don't think was clear from the outset was how all-encompassing those controls would turn out to be. But we signed up to them."

Exactly, except that it is on record that that is what the plan always was, well before the end of WWII. It is why, in the Sixties, Britain's attempt to join the Common Market was thwarted: we wanted trade, not political union. As far as the public were concerned, there was nothing to have any reservations about! :) It is why the Brexiters are now so wary of any deal: once bitten, twice shy, or 'fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me'. So, it isn't what they might do as much as what they have already done!

In addition, Britain has had a very different History and legislature, in part because we are an island and had a very successful empire. So, to be voted down so often (especially when we have been shown to be right: Schengen, Euro, EAW, etc and then suffered their mistakes) has been frustrating, if only because our creative industrialists have been used to getting the job done and find playing politics, when developing internal laws, something that foreigners do!

Much of the recent British influence on Europe has been due to all of them loosing in WWII, where as we won, supposedly.

And with English being such a global language, Britain, England in particular, is a magnet for anyone seeking their fortune through hard work, or not.

The EU doesn't have a demos, it is too big to be a unified political entity without coercion, and the attitude of the EU Elite have been dreadful.

It is like starting at a dreadful school or university, where you looked forward to making it your platform to succeed in the future, and you either think that getting used to the drugs, the civil disorder or whatever is worth it, or you don't, and leave.

Yes, they might have had a good sports hall, or a good bar, or even some good lecturers, but once you have decided that it isn't worth the candle, there is no point in harping back, at least until you have left and started what ever replaces it,

Sep 19, 2017 at 2:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobert Christopher

Sep 19, 2017 at 10:04 AM by Supertroll

Another negative of being in the EU is this:

The British Government wanted to know whether it was worth investigating generating electricity from Thorium fuel.

They asked Brussels (because that is what they do), who passed them onto CERN (who knew about High Energy Physics research, not Thorium), who passed them onto the French (as they know a lot about Uranium reactors, not Thorium).

The French, in order to protect their nuclear industry, said it wasn't worth it.

No matter how worthwhile it might have been, how do you stop such a stupid chain of events happening again? They have had over 40 years to sort this out, so leaving appears to be the only option left.

Government advisers are supposed to be intelligent, the most intelligent if the rumours are true, yet they appear to disengage their brain when Brussels is in the loop.

And it means that any discussions are not between collaborative equals.

Sep 19, 2017 at 2:41 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

A perfect example of how to ignore an argument. If you are a Brexiteer, the EU is the devil incarnate and the UK has been so so mislead and oppressed.

Noli arguere conversis or
wej legh bIDameH

Sep 19, 2017 at 3:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

Sep 19, 2017 at 3:04 PM by Supertroll

"A perfect example of how to ignore an argument"

As we have grounds to be very wary of any deal that we do with the EU, it does seem to be pointless attempting to negotiate any sophisticated win-win deal with them. It needs to be kept simple, with any add-ons unconnected with the overall package.

When we have the EU's leading country's trade minister not taking Brexit seriously, with whom are you expecting to participate in meaningful negotiations?

Express: ‘It's just political chatter’ German trade chief says Brexit is FANTASY and WON’T happen

Or is it gentle banter between friendly nations? :)

Sep 19, 2017 at 3:53 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

The alternative view is that ever-deeper Union and a federal state are good things, and instead of duplication and cost being the fault of the EU, it is the fault of the individual member states, who should sign up wholeheartedly to the project and allow their national QUANGOs and similar bodies to wither away, since their areas of activity are now covered by EU bodies also.
Sep 19, 2017 at 8:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

I think you come close to hitting the nail on the head there. It has become increasingly clear that EU bodies are/were expecting to take up the ruling mantle in most areas, at the expense of the regional barony (i.e. Nation states). But the Barons have never formally agreed to that, and the people were never even asked. There aren't many historical examples of political institutions ruling to abolish themselves, so we are let with duplication, at best.

Why on earth would anyone want one government for the price of two?

Sep 20, 2017 at 4:39 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

At the end of the day, national (or national grouping) interests tend to form policy pronouncements. Here's CHina's view of recent developments in the EU, as reported by Russia Today (but not, so far as I am aware, by the BBC):

China expresses concern over EU push to curb foreign takeovers
China expressed concern on Monday over a proposal by European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker to limit its ability to buy up European companies in the infrastructure, hi-tech manufacturing and energy industries. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the EU had for a long time been promoting free trade and making investment easier. Closing the door will not achieve lasting development, he added. “Practicing trade and investment protectionism for short-term interests, from a long-term perspective, the losses will outweigh the gains,” Lu said. He urged the EU to respect World Trade Organization principles, especially non-discriminatory principles, in any measures it adopted. (Reuters)

Sep 20, 2017 at 8:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Sturgeon et al might like to reflect on this report on Russia Today:

Independent Catalonia would need to apply to join EU - Juncker
An independent Catalonia would have to apply to join the European Union, the president of the executive European Commission said on Thursday, adding that such a policy would apply to any new state. Catalonia’s parliament has laid the ground for a referendum on independence from Madrid on October 1, although Spain’s Constitutional Court has suspended the vote. Judges are now considering whether the legislation contravenes Spain’s constitution. “If there were to be a ‘yes’ vote in favor of Catalan independence, then we will respect that opinion. But Catalonia will not be able to be an EU member state on the day after such a vote,” Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said. (Reuters)

Sep 20, 2017 at 8:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Also from Russia today; better late than never, I suppose:

Juncker announces new code of conduct for EU executive members
Members of the European Commission will have to wait two years before taking up new employment after they quit the EU executive under a new ethical code of conduct proposed by the President of the Commission on Wednesday. Seeking to bolster the public’s trust in the EU institutions, Jean-Claude Juncker called for more enforced ethical standards and greater transparency in the Commission. The code of conduct will be enforced from February 1, 2018, and will apply to all current members. This comes after Juncker’s predecessor Jose Manuel Barroso caused public uproar after joining US investment bank Goldman Sachs to advise it on Brexit, and former Commissioner Neelie Kroes was reprimanded for not declaring income that would effectively have reduced her pension. (Reuters)

Sep 20, 2017 at 8:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Sep 20, 2017 at 8:15 AM | Mark Hodgson

China has done very well out of the EU outsourcing manufacturing to China. Now China is after the bits they have not already got.

China has "invested" in many countries around the world. Investing in an EU town in deep industrial decline could create a mini-China within the EU.

If Juncker is against it, we can assume that China will not be invited into the Eurovision Song Contest.

Sep 20, 2017 at 11:30 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

"Jean-Claude Juncker called for more enforced ethical standards and greater transparency in the Commission. The code of conduct will be enforced from February 1, 2018"

Sep 20, 2017 at 8:24 AM | Mark Hodgson

If the EU had thought of that, when it was still the EEC or Common Market ......

Sep 20, 2017 at 11:52 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Sep 20, 2017 at 8:20 AM | Mark Hodgson

Does Catalonia seek to be Independent of the EU as well as Spain?

It does seem to be an area of confusion, that has caused the SNP to rethink what they thought they knew about Scottish thinking.

Sep 20, 2017 at 12:23 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

It would appear there can be life beyond the EU, and fair play to the BBC for a reasonably balanced report (even if it doesn't make the main page of their news website (unlike the vitally important climate story "Canada MP sorry for Catherine McKenna 'climate Barbie' remark" which does). Anyway, here's the good news:

UK strikes research deal with US in run-up to Brexit:

The UK and US have reached a deal to develop a special relationship for science.
An agreement between the two countries aims to make it easier for researchers to travel, collaborate and share facilities.
US science bodies are said to be "eager" to take advantage of research opportunities lost because of Brexit.
Possible strategic areas of collaboration include:
synthetic biology
information technology
GM research
The agreement, signed by the Science Minister Jo Johnson and his US counterparts, states that national laws will "seek to facilitate" freer movement of people and scientific equipment.
Speaking in Washington, Mr Johnson said that the deal would help to ensure that the UK would maintain its global lead in many areas of research.
"Our continued collaboration with the US on science and innovation is beneficial to both of our nations, and through this agreement we are sharing expertise to enhance our understanding of many important topics that have the potential to be world changing," the minister added.
British researchers are being encouraged to foster links with other nations. While most if not all research leaders are still dismayed by the referendum result - some are beginning to see advantages for greater collaboration with the US.
For example, there is scope for greater freedom in research in synthetic biology and information technology because biotechnology and privacy regulation is less restrictive outside the EU.
For their part, US science bodies see Brexit as an opportunity for them. US research leaders are anxious that American research groups fill any shortfall left by the UK's departure from the EU, rather than their rivals in India and China.
Mr Johnson announced that the government had pledged £65m to participate in a US-based and led international project to learn more about sub-atomic particles called neutrinos. He said he hoped it would be the first of many more UK research collaborations with the US.

NB I have quoted selectively to get the positive part of the story across. The BBC report does contain a few negatives on the back of our leaving the EU and the damage it is said this might cause to scientific collaboration etc.

Sep 21, 2017 at 11:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

suggestions of divisions within the EU?

Sep 21, 2017 at 1:23 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

golf charlie, it could be interesting once more sensible politicians within the remaining EU member states realise that the line taken by the EU could jeopardise a trade deal, given the importance of a trade deal with the UK to many EU member states. If May is smart, she will use her speech to start to divide and rule, in order to obtain sensible progress and an end to EU intransigence. However, I'm not holding my breath.

Sep 21, 2017 at 8:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Sep 21, 2017 at 8:26 PM | Mark Hodgson

The "Hard" v "Soft" Brexit terminology has all originated from Remainers, with EU support, possibly hoping for publicity over a reversal in opinion and mandate from the UK. Some of the UK media have been encouraging this.

News of the the size of the EU's likely Divorce bill was leaked/hinted at by the EU and printed, before any formal meetings or announcements were made.

This seems to have been the EU's strategy for negotiations, and it has not softened up public opinion in the UK. If anything, the reverse has occurred.

If other EU States are now voicing their concerns about what the EU's Hard Brexit approach means for them, then that is probably better for the UK and EU. It also raises further questions about the EU's attitude towards the UK since BREXIT, and in the months running up to BREXIT.

Other Europeans critical of the EU can look at the EU's treatment of the UK for the years/decades leading upto BREXIT.

May has a speech to make. It will be her first statement of what she wants, following various spats between those who would like to replace her.

Macron and Merkel have been too busy with domestic issues to risk being tarnished by acrimonious EU conflict. The EU needs Merkel to resume control of the puppet leadership of the EU, perhaps by pulling in their loose strings.

Sep 21, 2017 at 10:37 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Italian press blaming Merkel and Macron for Hard Brexit.

Sep 22, 2017 at 2:19 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

A win for Merkel, with less than a third of the vote. This probably strengthens Macron within the EU.

Both are now aware of opposition to the EU from within their own countries, and are going to be relying on coalitions to maintain their respect within the EU.

Sep 24, 2017 at 8:07 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

A slightly less positive opinion about Merkel's victory:

Item 4 (out of 5). Berlin will play hardball with Europe on refugees

"German patience over Europe’s lack of solidarity on the refugee front was already wearing thin. After Sunday’s result, look for outright confrontation with countries like Poland and Hungary. In the view of many Christian Democrats, the AfD would have never gotten this far if other European countries had taken in their fair share of refugees instead of letting Germany bear the burden. It’s payback time."

Who decided that other European countries should take their fair share of refugees?

Sep 25, 2017 at 12:34 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

This thread is "How Strong is the EU's Case For a Brexit Payment from the UK?"

Shouldn't this be changed to:

How Strong is the EU?

(Only kidding!) :)

If Theresa Maybe doesn't get her skates on, there won't be an EU with which to 'not-negotiate-but-just-repeatedly-meet-half-way-until-we-agree-with their-original-demands':

AmericanThinker: Angela Merkel's Pyrrhic Victory

Express: 'German vote shows federalism has FAILED' Vanis Varoufakis says four years of EU collapse
FORMER Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has predicted the disintegration of the European Union in the wake of he German election results.

At least someone has the right idea:
Express: 'You said you'd accept the result!' Former Bank of England boss lashes out at Remainers
FORMER Bank of England boss Mervyn King demolished Remainers' ongoing campaign to keep Britain in the single market and customs union.

Sep 25, 2017 at 1:26 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

I could have saved myself a lot of time and trouble, though it's nice to see my analysis confirmed elsewhere (even if, as Remainers are entitled to point out, this is a report prepared by pro-Brexit lawyers):

Oct 14, 2017 at 9:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson