Meat Wad

Brexit, WTF

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2 hours ago, Mambo Kings said:

What is it that the opponents to the Backstop suggest?

 

1 hour ago, LeoV said:

A free trade deal between EU and UK, Malthouse compromise.

The exiting models underpin all the options floating around that address Irish border. So Norway, Norway Plus and Switzerland models all depending on their Customs Union and Single Market status via EFTA or EEA however all have free movement so zero attraction to Brexiteers.

Then Canada model via CETA giving Single Market (but not all goods & services) access to UK is a favourite of some but has a hard border with the exceptions and naturally no free movement. CETA took 7 years to negotiate.

So there is the Canada Plus Plus Plus model which is Single Market UK access for all goods and services. This is the one that relies on technology at the Irish border and the only one that is close to stopping a hard border yet doesn't involve free movement of people.

And further afield a Singapore model has been mooted as it's Asian member's have everything except free movement of people.

Then quite apart from all the negotiated models there is fuck Ireland and leave under WTO rules which puts the UK at the bottom of the world trade pile. This is the Farage backstop.

So Canada Plus Plus Plus the closest that gives Single Market access without any EU control, limits free movement and uses technology to solve Irish border issue. However Canada and EU took 7 years to negotiate CETA and this is more complex with no exclusions.

Sovereignty is the issue driving Brexiteers and so makes the Irish border hard to solve. The irony is it is the same sovereignty that caused them to hang onto a small piece of Ireland that is now strangling their leaving EU ambitions.

 

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The beauty about Brexit is you get new words to add to your vocabulary. Technology to help solve the Irish border issue is called "Max Fac"

Despite Norway signed up to EEA with Single Market (but not in Customs Union) access being the obvious candidate, it is still only trialing a system with a few hundred trucks.

https://theconversation.com/can-technology-and-max-fac-solve-the-irish-border-question-expert-explains-96735

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15 hours ago, Mambo Kings said:

All the ERG politicians who are tearing their hair out about the backstop with meaningless slogans have failed to propose an alternative.

They have proposed alternatives. Just not ones that can be demonstrated to work.

I am "remain" but the backstop is a clearly catastrophic proposition for the UK. We are asked to hand over the eye-watering divorce bill and then enter a negotiation phase in which the UK has given up any possibility of walking away. Who in their right minds would agree to that?

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40 minutes ago, dogwatch said:

They have proposed alternatives. Just not ones that can be demonstrated to work.

I am "remain" but the backstop is a clearly catastrophic proposition for the UK. We are asked to hand over the eye-watering divorce bill and then enter a negotiation phase in which the UK has given up any possibility of walking away. Who in their right minds would agree to that?

I've got to politely disagree with this. Firstly, the divorce settlement is only what the UK owes, nothing more, and is less than half of what the government now thinks HS2 will cost. It's a small amount in the scheme of things.

Secondly, the UK is never in a position to walk away from trade talks with the EU, so this is not an effective negotiating position, and the EU know it. That is just economic suicide and politically impossible for any party. A trade deal with the EU will have to be done, and it will be done on the EU's terms, but I suspect will be fair to the UK too.

The problem is that, if this is negotiated by the current government, the trade deal won't be able to include free movement of people, and thus can't avoid a border somewhere, and with the current balance of power, that border would be between NI and RoI, hence why the backstop is SO important, to both the EU, and the conservative party. It is the only thing that will make the conservatives negotiate a decent, sustainable relationship with the EU.

I can fully understand why those seeking complete autonomy don't like it, but they can only not like it if they want this border. The backstop will make the border be between GB and NI, and whilst the DUP will scream and shout, they'll soon calm down when they see the economic boom this will bring to NI. The parliamentary DUP have to maintain their "Union" position otherwise they have no reason to exist, but senior DUP people in NI have been saying for a while that even reunification would be preferable to Brexit for NI, so I don't think they will need too much financial incentive. The border can be worded to make it sound like the Union is maintained, to ease the political pain, and that will be enough.

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4 minutes ago, hump101 said:

Secondly, the UK is never in a position to walk away from trade talks with the EU, so this is not an effective negotiating position, and the EU know it.

Yes and that's acknowledged by all except a minority of a minority. It's not the point. The backstop hands over all negotiating power before you even start.

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35 minutes ago, hump101 said:

A trade deal with the EU will have to be done, and it will be done on the EU's terms, but I suspect will be fair to the UK too.

Correct but trying to do it a 2 minutes to midnight is loony soup. Closest thing to date in the real world is Canada Single Market CETA deal with no Customs Union.

7 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

Canada and EU took 7 years to negotiate CETA and this is more complex with no exclusions.

 

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8 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

Sovereignty is the issue driving Brexiteers and so makes the Irish border hard to solve. The irony is it is the same sovereignty that caused them to hang onto a small piece of Ireland that is now strangling their leaving EU ambitions.

The best quote from you, IMHO, and I agree with Canada plus plus as a good outcome for the UK and the EU, only a pity the NI question remains. And tech not up to snuff, so a backstop needed till it is.

Hidden in that Malthouse deal is actually a managed NO Deal hidden. A reason ERG members are behind it, they would love a managed No Deal.

Dogwatch, the 5 to 10 billions a year to be paid for a while is nothing in the grand scale of Brexit. As Hump says.
And the backstop is there because the UK wants something like that to keep legislative control over all the UK , not "giving' it too the EU.
In all situations the UK would have a bad negotiation position, they want to leave. They had a good position when they wanted in, and got good deals, it is just logical.
Now it is the reverse.
Anyone thinking the EU would give the UK a party, presents and cake by the Withdrawel was fooled.
More then 900 days wasted since ref, time that could be used to get a real trade deal in place. Because of the close regulation between us that would be tough but possible.
A withdrawel agreement could have been done in 100 days, left 800 days for trade negotiation.
But the UK choose for delays and infighting. Then there was after years of work an agreement that was very loose ended but with a No Deal as default. And May wanted it, but the UK said No. This makes the UK negotiation position even worse, nobody with who you negotiate can bring that deal over the line... And that with 45 days left.

About walk away rights.
Only very powerful states can walk away from a negotiation, and still expect their wish list would be the result. The UK is just not power full enough. So you need both sides. Just work out a trade deal. Or walk away and get a default No Deal. So you can walk away, you are not tied to talking with the EU.
With a No Deal, hard borders, just a notch above that is the EU wish, no borders. Which can only work with a backstop as backup plan, or let NI be under EU law.
It is binairy, control the borders or not, no in between.

If you look at it from a distance the solution is clear to see but one politically absolutely not feasible.
Or a hard border
or NI compliance in Eu law and regulations with Ireland,
or Ireland leaves the EU.

 

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3 minutes ago, dogwatch said:

Yes and that's acknowledged by all except a minority of a minority. It's not the point. The backstop hands over all negotiating power before you even start.

At the end of the day the problem is still the same as always. Now that they have voted for and made Government invoke article 50 Parliament can not agree on what they want.

Parliament can try to do whatever the f they want in politics. Since the unlimited backstop is supposed to be the(!!!!11!1) problem they could have sent the agreement back with an amendment. Something along the lines of "The duration of paragraphs xx to yy aka the backstop is limited to 5 years unless all parties agree to an extension." That would have punted the ball back to the EU nicely. Accept the change or not, look like the problem if not..

But they did not. So we are still in a situation where the EU and the member states have negotiated with the UK government, the EU side accepted the results (!) and UK parliament then rejects the treaty with no clear (or even muddy) indication of what they would accept instead. Well, at least nothing that would even be remotely acceptable to the EU.

UK parliament decided to invoke article 50 and leave the EU as it is their right to to so. It is also their decision that blows up the GFA at the same time as collateral damage.

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43 minutes ago, dogwatch said:

Yes and that's acknowledged by all except a minority of a minority. It's not the point. The backstop hands over all negotiating power before you even start.

Because the UK negotiating position is entirely based on blackmail using the NI border?

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The Irish problem will never go away. Threatening to start blowing shite up again because there is a border between two countries shows just how fucked up they are. Best to just nuke the whole country and start again. 

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Oh, one point to remember why the EU is not breaking open the withdrawel agreement;
It needs then to be discussed with 27 states again and being approved by them.
That is a very tough process and the EU wants to avoid that by all means, thinking of Spains wishes with Gibraltar this agreement will be the best the EU can offer.
It is already a magical trick this agreement was made in the EU according to the public who thinks the EU is collapsing.

Only an addendum can be expected from the EU.

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2 minutes ago, Gissie said:

The Irish problem will never go away. Threatening to start blowing shite up again because there is a border between two countries shows just how fucked up they are. Best to just nuke the whole country and start again. 

There is one way it will go away: Don't nuke it up, just give it up.

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Remain Tory MP's will the come in action ?;
Hope they have better trained brains them some dogs...

The theory of “learnt helplessness” developed by the American psychologist Martin Seligman suggests that creatures stop trying to escape from harmful situations if they feel they have no control over their surroundings. In experiments on dogs in the 1960s, one group was taught to avoid an electric shock by pressing a lever, while another had no way of controlling the current. Then the animals were placed in a box that was divided by a low wall with the floor electrified on one side. The ones that had learnt to avoid the shock quickly realised that they could jump over the barrier to get away from the electrified floor, but those that had not been trained to stop the pain just lay down and whimpered.

Paywall; https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/comment/mps-must-act-if-theresa-may-carries-on-sleepwalking-79nm3bbqx

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31 minutes ago, Gissie said:

The Irish problem will never go away. Threatening to start blowing shite up again because there is a border between two countries shows just how fucked up they are. Best to just nuke the whole country and start again. 

We've got enough nuke issues in that part of the world, its called Sellafield

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12 minutes ago, rgeek said:

There is one way it will go away: Don't nuke it up, just give it up.

That won't work either, try googling the Troubles.

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1 hour ago, mad said:

That won't work either, try googling the Troubles.

More like 1666, 1912 and 1920 than 1970.

It may depend greatly on the approach taken. The way it was going was towards a NI with its own identity and administration. The NI administration already co-ordinates with their counterparts in the Republic. It's a short step from a devolved NI as part of the UK to a devolved NI as part of a dual all-island administration. A much shorter step than from there to a single administration out of Dublin.

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I don't see the need for NI under a single Dublin administration right now. If they self-govern for a while they can align themselves as they please, and the benefits of which direction will be self-evident over time. NI as a country wouldn't be the smallest in the EU, so they should have a good understanding of how they would be treated as members. They could then remain autonomous if they choose to.

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May;
delay again, just hold your collective nerve because she will get a meaningful deal...

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In response to a question from the Conservative pro-European Dominic Grieve, who says article 50 will have to be passed because parliament does not have the time to pass all the legislation, May says normally the Commons would need to study a treaty for 21 days before it can be ratified. But in this case that will not be necessary because MPs will have already debated these issues. This will be reflected in the EU withdrawal agreement bill, she says.

Ok, May sees no problem with a vote on 29th of March.

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42 minutes ago, WGWarburton said:

UVF.

Would be no longer a problem for the New English Nationalist

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49 minutes ago, hump101 said:

I don't see the need for NI under a single Dublin administration right now. If they self-govern for a while they can align themselves as they please, and the benefits of which direction will be self-evident over time. NI as a country wouldn't be the smallest in the EU, so they should have a good understanding of how they would be treated as members. They could then remain autonomous if they choose to.

Depends on further meaningful federalisation of the EU really. That is the gift of the Belfast Agreement that people are desperate to keep alive. It really isn't the issue it was ... or rather it wasn't the issue it was.

Go to 20 mins for a better explanation...

 

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At 27 minutes, Leave voters 80 to 90% willing to throw a piece agreement away, as long as a exit is done. Wow.
Good piece BTW.

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So 10 DUBS have amazing power to topple the government, and will not agree on anything that makes NI different then the rest of the UK, and willing to use that power...
Around 36 min in.

So no border in the Irish Sea, which there already is for Non Eu citizens (operation Gulliver).
So same border between NI and Ireland as between Dover and Calais.

Can May work around the DUP ? BY holding new elections (when ?) and hope to get more seats ?

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1 hour ago, LeoV said:

So 10 DUBS have amazing power to topple the government, and will not agree on anything that makes NI different then the rest of the UK, and willing to use that power...
Around 36 min in.

So no border in the Irish Sea, which there already is for Non Eu citizens (operation Gulliver).
So same border between NI and Ireland as between Dover and Calais.

Can May work around the DUP ? BY holding new elections (when ?) and hope to get more seats ?

That's exactly what she tried to do in 2017, it could hardly have gone more badly wrong...

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7 hours ago, Gissie said:

Best to just nuke the whole country and start again. 

 

6 hours ago, mad said:

That won't work either, try googling the Troubles.

 

5 hours ago, rgeek said:

More like 1666, 1912 and 1920 than 1970.

It may depend greatly on the approach taken. The way it was going was towards a NI with its own identity and administration.

 

3 hours ago, hump101 said:

I don't see the need for NI under a single Dublin administration right now. If they self-govern for a while they can align themselves as they please, and the benefits of which direction will be self-evident over time. 

 

2 hours ago, rgeek said:

Depends on further meaningful federalisation of the EU really. That is the gift of the Belfast Agreement that people are desperate to keep alive. 

Gissie saying it is "Best to just nuke the whole country and start again." Mate I think that a tad extreme.

Maybe the answer lies just in history as Geek refers to being the root of the problem starting in 1666 then through to 1912, 1920 and then 1970.

So just move the border north and add 2019 to the 4 centuries old list. That does away with the Backstop snd Friday Agreement shit. Fuck most of the those new UK border walls post Brexit are already in place :-)

NI-map.thumb.png.9fe9de4e2c8d0dbf84d6826b7bef500b.png

298580647_images(5).jpeg.8b998ce56f5322ee649fd9180cc34918.jpeg

 

 

images (14).jpeg

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15 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

Sovereignty is the issue driving Brexiteers and so makes the Irish border hard to solve. The irony is it is the same sovereignty that caused them to hang onto a small piece of Ireland that is now strangling their leaving EU ambitions.

 

7 hours ago, LeoV said:

The best quote from you, IMHO, and I agree with Canada plus plus as a good outcome for the UK and the EU, only a pity the NI question remains. And tech not up to snuff, so a backstop needed till it is.

Why thank you Leo. I came up with that thought just thinking if only the parents of Rees Mogg, Farage and Boris did not lose central heating when they both retired for the evening all those years ago. Ironically probably half pissed (which I hear leads to birth deformaties) they were celebrating because Maggie Thatcher sacked a bunch of Welsh miners who cut off their gas.

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Guardian journalist;
@jessicaelgot

This scenario would have seemed unthinkable just weeks ago and now seems one of the most probable - A final offer at the March 22 EU summit, with the offer of a short A50 extension. A vote in parliament the following week. If lost, then no deal.

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Oh and no borders in NI please, just put the hardcore unionists at Rathlin island.

From guardian politics live;
Unionism could be an energetic and energising voice in the debate around Irish unity, Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald has said. As the Press Association reports, her comments came after a DUP MLA sent a letter warning unionists they may not be able to vote to keep Northern Ireland in the UK. North Down MLA Alex Easton contacted his constituents asking them to register in case there is a vote on Irish unity. The letter emerged hours after DUP leader Arlene Foster claimed there was no possibility of a border poll. McDonald said people should not “feel anxious” about a border poll. Speaking outside Leinster House in Dublin, she said:

People shouldn’t feel a sense of threat around the prospect of a border poll or the debate that will lead into it or the Ireland that will emerge from it.

This will be a collaborative and collective process. We won’t write the blueprint for a new united Ireland.

Unionism needs to be accommodated and welcomed and become a very energetic and energising voice, and perhaps a challenging voice, in the debate around Irish unity and in the debate around the securing a referendum on that matter.

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and us overhere have always been ever so proud being the masters of surrealism ... we humbly have to bow down to our cross channel brethren, we're totally outclassed, they are in a league of their own

p.s., for the non-froggie savvies : this is not a pipe

margritte-this-is-not-a-pipe.jpg?w=950

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18 minutes ago, Laser1 said:

NHS stockpiling body bags to prepare for no-deal Brexit reveals Tory minister

Hope they remembered the 650 that will be needed at Westminster.

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This article a year old following the General Election about the 100 year old tradition of Nth Ireland Irish republicans refusing to take their seats in Westminster and so validating British sovereignty over their neck of the woods. Worth a read for anyone who thinks claims of stability in Nth Ireland being on a knifes edge are exaggerated and the Backstop is not that important as many Brexiteers claim.

Reinstating a hard trading and movement border that save for security during the Troubles and up to the GFA that hasn't been there for 45 years with republicans trapped north of it (and with a West Belfast minority an island surrounded by unionists). A Hard Brexit literally takes NI back to first peak of the Troubles in early 70's just pre EU UK . Fuck me a ticking time bomb.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/06/sinn-fein-mp-british-parliament-irish-republicans-brexit

948179535_images(14).jpeg.3083a8534033af2c6b2a8cb48d17ec44.jpeg

b4.gif

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12 hours ago, rgeek said:

Depends on further meaningful federalisation of the EU really. That is the gift of the Belfast Agreement that people are desperate to keep alive. It really isn't the issue it was ... or rather it wasn't the issue it was.

Go to 20 mins for a better explanation...

 

 

 

Starting at 57:50, if what he says about Boris Johnson is true, and if I were British, I would seriously looking at how to sue Johnson for treason...

 

 

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13 hours ago, rgeek said:

Depends on further meaningful federalisation of the EU really. That is the gift of the Belfast Agreement that people are desperate to keep alive. It really isn't the issue it was ... or rather it wasn't the issue it was.

Go to 20 mins for a better explanation...

 

This really is a must listen for anyone who wants to get into the head of an intelligent and reasonable Irishman about the fragility and frustration of their situation. An interview with someone with a  more polarised view would be scary.

Some great and interesting stuff I have never heard of. 137 boarder crossings in Eastern Europe, 230+ in Ireland. Over 80% of Leavers willing to sacrifice the Irish peace process. Part of GFA every person in Nth Ireland is by law entitled to EU citizenship and Brexit can't change that. The EU showing no evidence of leaving Ireland stranded and EU have a offer on the table that gives Nth Ireland the best of both worlds which DUP won't accept as it makes Nth Ireland different to the UK. EU has 75 trade deals that UK thinks they can replace overnight. Nissan bring into UK 3 million parts per day and the electorate where they are voted to leave. It stocks half a days worth of parts, after that factory closes down. The Italian Job movie analogy of the bus full of gold balanced on the cliff. Referendums are not part of English political psyc explains the managing stuff up. Concept of a two stage referendum to fix the mess. Boris's 2 newspaper columns and he was instrumental in Leave result.

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1 hour ago, Laurent said:

Starting at 57:50, if what he says about Boris Johnson is true, and if I were British, I would seriously looking at how to sue Johnson for treason...

 

That is true I mentioned it upthread ages ago with reference. The context was with reference to his 2 newspaper columns was he has no political conviction but is a gambler who makes a bet then hopes when the dice fall he is on the right side of history. That bet was against Cameron and fueled solely by personal ambition.

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3 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

This article a year old following the General Election about the 100 year old tradition of Nth Ireland Irish republicans refusing to take their seats in Westminster and so validating British sovereignty over their neck of the woods. Worth a read for anyone who thinks claims of stability in Nth Ireland being on a knifes edge are exaggerated and the Backstop is not that important as many Brexiteers claim.

Reinstating a hard trading and movement border that save for security during the Troubles and up to the GFA that hasn't been there for 45 years with republicans trapped north of it (and with a West Belfast minority an island surrounded by unionists). A Hard Brexit literally takes NI back to first peak of the Troubles in early 70's just pre EU UK . Fuck me a ticking time bomb.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/06/sinn-fein-mp-british-parliament-irish-republicans-brexit

948179535_images(14).jpeg.3083a8534033af2c6b2a8cb48d17ec44.jpeg

b4.gif

There is an unfortunate saying in conflict resolution that the grandparents must die. By which they mean that its the grandchildren of a conflict who have the first opportunity to move on, but it's really the great-grandchildren who are the first to be free. As can be seen from the personal experiences of a number of prominent DUP members the children carry scars of their own it can be difficult to move on from. Equally, grandchildren still have a significant story passed on to them by their grandparents.

The Belfast Agreement was what? 1998? When did plantation start? 1666? So that's 800 years of attempted subjugation of Ireland, 400 years of Unionism in NI and just 20 of peace.

There just hasn't been enough time.

Whether there will be a "no, we really don't want to go back there" reaction to this hard Brexit nonsense is hard to judge.

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44 minutes ago, jack_sparrow said:

DUP won't accept as it makes Nth Ireland different to the UK.

 

The "make NI different from the UK" argument is bullshit. NI is different from the rest of the UK.

The DUP has been an active, some would say dominant, member of the devolved NI Assembly. They were quite happy as recently as 2017 to promote a corporation tax rate for NI of 10%. Progress on the devolution of corporate tax rates for NI is a fundamental part of their confidence and supply agreement with the Tory party!!

When it suits them the DUP are quite happy to see different economic arrangements in NI than Great Britain. In fact, they are simultaneously campaigning to create different economic conditions AND to stop different economic conditions between NI and Great Britain.

So you have to conclude that a hard border is instinctively what they want from Brexit, even though they know the economic damage it would do to the real NI economy. Nor are they fans of the EU, a body that can easily be seen as capable and willing to set in and cover the Great Britains subvention of the NI state.

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15 hours ago, hump101 said:

I don't see the need for NI under a single Dublin administration right now. If they self-govern for a while they can align themselves as they please

They couldn't agree on whether to send out for pizza or Chinese.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-politics-46801068

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17 minutes ago, dogwatch said:

They couldn't agree on whether to send out for pizza or Chinese.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-politics-46801068

Interesting to watch the Martin McGuiness speech linked to in the middle of that skit. A reminder of the endemic corruption at the heart of the collapse of Stormont. Something no one in Britain would put up with from Westminster.

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Oddly enough, as a Brit and one who is not turned on by the whiff of cordite,  I nevertheless find myself agreeing with Martin McGuiness. 

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16 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

 

 

 

 

Gissie saying it is "Best to just nuke the whole country and start again." Mate I think that a tad extreme.

Maybe the answer lies just in history as Geek refers to being the root of the problem starting in 1666 then through to 1912, 1920 and then 1970.

So just move the border north and add 2019 to the 4 centuries old list. That does away with the Backstop snd Friday Agreement shit. Fuck most of the those new UK border walls post Brexit are already in place :-)

NI-map.thumb.png.9fe9de4e2c8d0dbf84d6826b7bef500b.png

298580647_images(5).jpeg.8b998ce56f5322ee649fd9180cc34918.jpeg

 

 

images (14).jpeg

Still think the nuke option is better than just adding another date. Plus there is the added bonus of the cloud. East gets the poms and west gets the yanks. Sweet. 

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4 hours ago, rgeek said:

When it suits them the DUP are quite happy to see different economic arrangements in NI than Great Britain. In fact, they are simultaneously campaigning to create different economic conditions AND to stop different economic conditions between NI and Great Britain.

Thanks, that i did not know.

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5 hours ago, rgeek said:

There is an unfortunate saying in conflict resolution that the grandparents must die. By which they mean that its the grandchildren of a conflict who have the first opportunity to move on, but it's really the great-grandchildren who are the first to be free. As can be seen from the personal experiences of a number of prominent DUP members the children carry scars of their own it can be difficult to move on from. Equally, grandchildren still have a significant story passed on to them by their grandparents.

Lot of wisdom in that. I've personally seen a punch-up between an Aussie born of Serb descent when he found himself at a party with another Aussie born of Croat descent. The migrant parents had nicely inculcated their hatreds into their children.

It didn't go down at all well with the native born Aussies there who told the idiots in no uncertain terms that if they were going to carry those hatreds on, they could piss right off back to where their parents came from.

Unfortunately in Ireland North and South, it's a civil war with a lot of nasty (on both sides) religious bigotry thrown into the mix.

FKT

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17 minutes ago, Gissie said:

Still think the nuke option is better than just adding another date. Plus there is the added bonus of the cloud. East gets the poms and west gets the yanks. Sweet. 

And it's in the Northern Hemisphere with a slow air interchange with the Southern Hemisphere so little effect on us. Bonus. Double points if the fallout goes across France as payback for their South Pacific tests. 

FKT

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May's plan ? :
 

ITV’s Angus Walker released a wonderful scoop last night. He happened to find himself in a hotel bar in Brussels where he heard Olly Robbins, the government’s chief Brexit negotiator, chatting in a voice loud enough to be heard about what will happen next in the Brexit process.

Assuming that Robbins was not engaged in an elaborate act of subterfuge (which seems very unlikely), there were two important revelations in what Robbins said.

  • Robbins said that he expected the final vote on Brexit to take place at the very last minute. He talked about a decision point in “the week beginning end of March”. Presumably that would be the week beginning Monday 25 March, after the EU summit (starting on Thursday 21 March), and only four days before Brexit (Friday 29 March). This confirms what Jeremy Corbyn and many other MPs were saying in the Commons yesterday; that Theresa May is running down the clock.
  • Robbins said that he expected MPs to be presented with a final choice between backing May’s deal and a long extension of article 50. This is also very interesting, because most of those accusing May of running down the clock were doing so on the assumption that she would end up offering MPs a choice between her deal and no deal. If Robbins is right, then May has or will conclude that a no-deal Brexit would be unacceptable.

Here is Walker’s story. And here is an excerpt.
Olly Robbins said that, in his view, he expects the choice for MPs to be either backing May’s deal or extending talks with the EU.He expects MPs in March to be presented with backing a reworked Brexit deal or a potentially significant delay to Brexit, he told colleagues last night.
“The issue is whether Brussels is clear on the terms of extension,” he was overheard saying. “In the end they will probably just give us an extension” ...Robbins added that he thought the fear of a long extension to article 50 might focus MPs’ minds.
He suggested: “... Got to make them believe that the week beginning end of March... Extension is possible but if they don’t vote for the deal then the extension is a long one...”

On the Today programme this morning Stephen Barclay, the Brexit secretary, was asked if what Robbins reportedly said reflected government policy. “No,” said Barclay. He stressed that extending article 50 was not the government’s plan, and that it was not something the UK could do unilaterally anyway. But he did not sound particularly angered by the Robbins story, and he did not absolutely rule out article 50 being extended.

 

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I know it is the SUN;

RESHAPING THE BACKSTOP: Essential reading this morning from the Sun’s man in Brussels Nick Gutteridge, who has lots of in-the-weeds detail about how the backstop might be tweaked. He reports EU officials are working with Britain to drag the process out until those crucial last days of March, with the next (and indeed Britain’s last) European Council summit on March 21 penciled in for 11th-hour revisions. “Diplomats dismiss this week’s reopening of negotiations as ‘smoke and mirrors’ designed to run the clock down and heap pressure on parliament,” Gutteridge reports. One diplomat tells him: “This is nothing but delay tactics mostly focused on the U.K. itself. It’s all pushing it into March. March is going to be frantic, then come March 21 this is when things need to culminate.” Playbook can hardly wait.

About those revisions: Gutteridge reckons a “surgical keyhole operation” is under discussion for the Withdrawal Agreement, with extra wording to be added in ensuring the backstop would be reviewed every six months. This falls short of the time limit or unilateral exit clause requested by Britain, but at least suggests No. 10 is making some kind of headway. The second shift in this revised Brexit deal would be to give the political declaration on the future relationship more legal clout. “Sources said options under consideration include turning it into a legal instrument or depositing it at the U.N.,” Gutteridge reports. He’s tweeted out the story as a useful Twitter thread too, if you’re that way inclined.

So would this cut the mustard with Tory MPs? As things stand, the answer is surely no. But ask them again in the last week of March, with Britain days from either a no-deal Brexit or a “lengthy” extension (h/t Olly Robbins), and who knows how that answer might change?

https://www.politico.eu/newsletter/london-playbook/politico-london-playbook-presented-by-bp-eavesdropped-her-right-in-it-delaying-tactics-valentines-day-love-in-canceled/

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Good luck negotiating all that: Say POLITICO’s Jacopo Barigazzi and David Herszenhorn, who report that patience with Theresa May in Brussels is at breaking point after the past two months. “May’s decision to postpone the ratification vote in the House of Commons on December 11 prompted dismay,” they report in a piece for Brexit Pro subscribers. “Apart from the five-week delay it introduced, leaders and their diplomats were irritated because London had insisted on calling a special European Council summit on a Sunday in November. Downing Street wanted the media hit of rapid approval for the deal by EU leaders ahead of the December vote that, in the end, never happened.” Neither, Playbook would add, did the media hit of approval.

And there’s more: “Consequently leaders found themselves dealing with Brexit at a scheduled December summit that was supposed to be devoted to other pressing issues,” Jacopo and David report. “The December summit was a turning point,” an EU27 diplomat tells them. The report goes on: “May was unable to say what was required to secure her parliament’s backing. She evidently needed and wanted leaders to renegotiate the deal, but could not or would not say so. In the room, [Emmanuel] Macron and the other leaders expressed their disappointment, while Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte tried to act as mediator, an EU official said. ‘Often she was so confused that many leaders got even more upset,’ the senior diplomat said.” Ouch

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BRITAIN OUT-FOXED: Scoop of the morning comes via the Sun’s Matt Dathan, who has been leaked an internal assessment of Liam Fox’s attempts to roll over all 40 of the EU’s international trade deals so they still apply to Britain. Spoiler: It’s not going too well. The leak comes complete with a handy “traffic light” chart showing which trade deals are classed as green (good to go for March 29), amber (in serious trouble), red (way off track) or black (hahahaha no chance). The green box has only six countries listed, while nine are stuck on amber. The red and black combined, however, have a whopping 23. “We’re not going to get many of the deals over the line in time now,” a minister tells Dathan. “What we hope to have instead is letters of understanding with all the remaining countries, which will go some way to reassuring business.”

‘Easiest trade deal in history’: The whole thing is pretty embarrassing for Fox, who (as the FT’s Jim Pickard notes), told cheering activists at the Tory party conference in 2017: “I hear people saying ‘oh we won’t have any [free trade agreements] before we leave.’ Well, believe me, we’ll have up to 40 ready for one second after midnight in March 2019.” It seems the “up to” was doing an awful lot of work that day.

Pressure on the FCO? Eagle-eyed readers may also note that most of the red-light trade deals seem to be the responsibility of the Foreign Office, rather than DIT. (Department International Trade, Liam Fox's department- LeoV)

68f56d3b-7386-44b2-ba9e-da0379f86078.jpe

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It seems the leaking of information is growing at the moment...

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Oh;
https://www.politico.eu/article/five-levers-to-tackle-uk-economic-shock-of-no-deal-brexit/

You have to wonder which of the 5 will hurt the EU on the long run...
Short term damage is already calculated for in the EU. It is now about long term damage. A political unstable No deal outside the EU, or an unstable UK in the EU...

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Under a Non Disclosure Agreement, they still leaked;
Seems the Sun journalists getting the best leaks... it is a Pro Brexit paper...

HAULAGE HELL (typical header style of The Sun, a snowdrift is cold from hell)
Firms face £1,000 fines if they fail to answer 38 question survey every time they cross the Channel in No Deal Brexit
The plans involve forcing haulier to answer 'safety and security' questions for each of their loads

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/brexit/8415683/no-deal-red-tape-sparked-fury-amongst-truckers-could-fined-1000-per-consignment/

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Food for Brexiteers;

On the Today programme this morning the director of the German economic think tank IFO, Prof Gabriel Felbermayr, said that some German businesses wanted the EU offer concessions to the UK over Brexit and that the BDI, the German equivalent of the CBI, was out of step with many of its members in opposing a renegotiation.

I think the EU should, as a quick-fix at least, offer to remove both the backstop and the withdrawal agreement’s current time-limit on the mobility of goods and capital, so that the provisional agreement would keep the EU and the UK in a joint customs territory association even after 2020, without making a difference between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

------------

A pity his way forward in negotiations is a dead end, UK wants out of joint customs, and for joint customs the backstop is needed as safeguard.. and will then not be used.

Othr good news, the inflation is 1,8% very good number,

 

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4 hours ago, rgeek said:

The "make NI different from the UK" argument is bullshit. NI is different from the rest of the UK.

The DUP has been an active, some would say dominant, member of the devolved NI Assembly. They were quite happy as recently as 2017 to promote a corporation tax rate for NI of 10%.

Geek I don't disagree but remember NI is one of 4 countries comprising the UK and each has their own laws that are devolved from the UK except England I think which is legislated direct by UK Govt? So there is an element autonomy over certain things.

However if NI was to have the best of both worlds as promoted by the EU to solve the Irish issue, namely in terms of sovereignty NI is still part of the UK but NI can continue as if NI was still part of the EU with no hard border. Because of the GFA peace deal every Irish citizen is legally entitled to a UK and or Irish/EU citizenship and which Brexit can't change.

However the DUP who hold the balance power have not accepted this because goods moving between each of the 3 remaining post Brexit counties of Great Britain will be treated differently than goods moving between and of those 3 countries and NI even though on sovereign terms NI is still part of UK. Their reasoning this trading arrangement dilutes our union identity blah blah.

Now whether the DUP's Remainer constituents are aware of this in detail I doubt. Conversely Sinn Fein Leaver constituents I suspect are all over it and  supportive as it is a pretty generous deal by the EU. However with 80% of Conservative Leavers in Great Britain are willing to sacrifice Irish peace so little appetite there to embrace the concept. Ordinarily Teressa May's responsibility would be to communicate this properly to everyone in Nth Ireland. However neither Republican or Unionist trust one thing she says.

The DUP could probably unlock this blockage but the bastards have no intention of giving up their stranglehold over the Conservatives in Westminster. The are actually little different than hard core Brexiteers willing to take the UK to the edge of the No Deal cliff. Also maybe no less stubborn than their Ulster loyalist paramilitary forebears during the Troubles who loved a bit of tit for tat.

They are selfish pricks.

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1 hour ago, LeoV said:

BRITAIN OUT-FOXED: Scoop of the morning comes via the Sun’s Matt Dathan, who has been leaked an internal assessment of Liam Fox’s attempts to roll over all 40 of the EU’s international trade deals so they still apply to Britain.

Pressure on the FCO? Eagle-eyed readers may also note that most of the red-light trade deals seem to be the responsibility of the Foreign Office, rather than DIT. (Department International Trade, Liam Fox's department-

 Eagle-eyed readers may also note the list excludes USA and China that represent nearly 40% of UK's total non EU trade. 

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Belgium and Lithuania;
no extension for the UK.
But you never know in the EU if they are against it for real or for political reasons, egg to get a return somewhere if they let that position go.

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@jack_sparrow What's the difference between:

having different corporation tax and exemption rules from the rest of the UK

and

having different import tax and customs rules for the rest of the UK

?

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1 hour ago, jack_sparrow said:

 Eagle-eyed readers may also note the list excludes USA and China that represent nearly 40% of UK's total non EU trade. 

And that Israel and Palestinian Authority both are on the will be passed list. Do they know ?
So they will have fish I think (Faroe) , Diamonds (Israel), tropical fruits (Palestinian), wine (Chili) and gold (South Africa) and gold and medicines (Swiss).
Looks like the priority was gold and diamonds to dazzle, wine too booze and fish and chips for night snack and medicines and fruit for the hangover.
It is fun to play with;
https://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/visualize/tree_map/hs92/import/gbr/pse/show/2017/
https://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/

 

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13 minutes ago, LeoV said:

Belgium and Lithuania;
no extension for the UK.
 

Where do you get that from?

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1 minute ago, dogwatch said:

Where do you get that from?

Guardian politics live;
UK backstop demands would 'weaken economic development of Europe', says Belgian PM

Daniel Boffey

The prime minister of Belgium, Charles Michel, has backed a ‘no deal’ over a ‘bad deal’, despite his country’s vulnerability to a cliff-edge Brexit.

“Clarity requires me to say that between a ‘no deal’ and a ‘bad deal’, I prefer a ‘no deal’, which will have the merit of clarity and responsibility”, said Michel, in comments reported today in the Belgian media. Speaking in Bruges, the Belgian PM added: The backstop is not a detail, both for guaranteeing peace in Ireland and for the integrity of the domestic market, its capacity for economic development, employment and investment.

A good deal is on the table, but the British parliament is trying to take us toward a bad deal. The British parliament’s demands on the backstop would weaken the economic development of Europe, a risk for our businesses and our jobs.

The comments made on Tuesday echo those of the Lithuanian president, Dalia Grtbauskaitė, who claimed last month that a no deal Brexit would be better than continued uncertainty.

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^

That does not say no Article 50 extension.

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It implies it, if you favour a hard deal over a bad deal. And a good deal is the May deal.

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Could be hand waving;
his words:
“Tussen een ‘no deal’ en een ‘bad deal’ verkies ik een ‘no deal’. Dat heeft tenminste de verdienste van de duidelijkheid en de verantwoordelijkheid”,

Between a 'no deal' and a 'bad deal' I prefer a 'no deal'. This has the merit of clarity and responsibility.

----------------------

He does not speak over a managed No Deal, that is a No deal with an extension.
And remarks that business should not be kidnapped by the UK government.
It is in my native language and to me it says, MAy deal with backstop or NO deal, no more dilly-dallying.

 I would not be surprised if a few of the 27 will block an extension.
 

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35 minutes ago, rgeek said:

@jack_sparrow What's the difference between:

having different corporation tax and exemption rules from the rest of the UK

and

having different import tax and customs rules for the rest of the UK

?

One saves the Good Friday Agreement and the other saves you money?? 

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British politicians come across as very immature amateurs trying to deal with grown up issues like peace in Northern Ireland and Global Trade.

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Party before country!

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4 minutes ago, IPLore said:

British politicians come across as very immature amateurs trying to deal with grown up issues like peace in Northern Ireland and Global Trade.

I'd gladly trade Donald Trump for Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg, or even Nigel Farage.

 

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7 hours ago, LeoV said:

It seems the leaking of information is growing at the moment...

couple of days ago, there was a little bit of commotion because security services were warning eurocrats and the like that in restaurants around EU headquarters there are Ruski and Chines spies just trying to listen in on talks, now what a surprise !

and then you have this scoop of a brit negotiator being overheard by a journo ... how odd... the umpteen bars and restaurants around the Berlaymont area must have the times of their lives these days, they have been known for years to be the first and best places to gather your info ;)

 

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36 minutes ago, cms said:

Party before country!

Or in chinless punter speak - (weekend) party before (the) country (house is sold to an oriental interest). 

Anyway...  how, in the context of the sentiment that is expressed by a few of EU27 leaders, is a "lengthy extension to A-50" even possible?  

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1 hour ago, cms said:

Party before country!

Myself ...... before Party ....... before Country.

Fixed!

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2 hours ago, crashdog said:

Anyway...  how, in the context of the sentiment that is expressed by a few of EU27 leaders, is a "lengthy extension to A-50" even possible?  

Only if there is a deal to be made that is clear and to the EU minimum wishlist.
Not gonna happen with this;
“They are pretending to negotiate while they still don’t know what they want and how they want it,” the source said, who described this week’s meetings as “kicking up dust” and a series of “photo opportunities and pictures”. “We are willing to negotiate, but there is nothing on the table from the British side.”
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/feb/13/kicking-up-dust-little-sign-of-progress-in-uk-eu-talks

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4 hours ago, captain_crunch said:

I'd gladly trade Donald Trump for Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg, or even Nigel Farage.

 

I did not vote for Donald but you cannot be serious comparing those three infants to the heavyweights negotiating US Trade.

The UK referendum was in June 2016. Trump was inaugurated on Jan 20 2017.

Since June 2016, the UK has basically made zero progress.

Since January 2017,

(1) The US has renegotiated NAFTA (the North American equivalent of the European trade zone).  The Europeans are very critical because higher percentage of autos has to come from within the zone.

(2) More importantly, the US has completely overhauled its corporation tax structure to level the playing field with overseas competitors (I couldnt be bothered to explain to an earlier poster why the US is so focused on the unfair terms of trade created by high VAT, low taxes and free healthcare in the UK vs US companies who have to pay their own way and also pay VAT in the UK......but it was a major discussion over here)

(3) The US will get concessions out of China. It is too early to tell what they are yet.

I could not bear to spend an hour on a boat with Trump........but the depth of talent in US government is undeniable.  They would eat those three for breakfast. Can you imagine Jacob Rees-mogg trying to negotiate with Wilbur Ross or Gary Cohn ?   Puhlease! 

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1 hour ago, IPLore said:

I did not vote for Donald but you cannot be serious comparing those three infants to the heavyweights negotiating US Trade.

The UK referendum was in June 2016. Trump was inaugurated on Jan 20 2017.

Since June 2016, the UK has basically made zero progress....

I could not bear to spend an hour on a boat with Trump........but the depth of talent in US government is undeniable.  They would eat those three for breakfast. Can you imagine Jacob Rees-mogg trying to negotiate with Wilbur Ross or Gary Cohn ?   Puhlease! 

Wow ..what a comparison.

You clearly have no appreciation of the debilitating effect of the referendum on the Westminster system, noting referendums are not part of the UK's psyc.

For a proper  comparison imagine since Trump's inauguration his Wall idea escalated into California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas (all with large Mexican populations) wanted to cede from the US?  Words like trade and corporations tax restructuring would not have even been mentioned if that had occured. 

As for comparing UK politicians (2 back bench MP's) to their Whitehall equivalents in Washington who are not career public servants but rich business mates of Trumps??? You might need to try another example there.

BTW I imagine Rees Mogg on the end of a hook but have yet to see anyone get the better of him in a debate. I'm not even sure US politicians even know that art?

Ohhhh and Whitehall public servants got paid over Xmas. Their 800,000 Washington counterparts weren't so lucky.

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6 hours ago, cms said:

Party before country!

And still most of the country hasn’t cottoned on to this yet!! 

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6 hours ago, captain_crunch said:

I'd gladly trade Donald Trump for Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg, or even Nigel Farage.

 

Not even at our dumbest would we do that. Thanks for the offer though. 

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2 hours ago, IPLore said:

(2) More importantly, the US has completely overhauled its corporation tax structure to level the playing field with overseas competitors (I couldnt be bothered to explain to an earlier poster why the US is so focused on the unfair terms of trade created by high VAT, low taxes and free healthcare in the UK vs US companies who have to pay their own way and also pay VAT in the UK......but it was a major discussion over here)

 

Companies collect VAT but it is consumers not companies who pay VAT.

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8 hours ago, cms said:

Party before country!

 

5 hours ago, rgeek said:

Party = Country

 

1 hour ago, mad said:

And still most of the country hasn’t cottoned on to this yet!! 

Save for Boris before Boris's character of the day, Boris before Wife & Family, Boris before Girlfriends and Boris before Lovechild. If Boris doesn't get this not sure how the country is supposed to work it out. Will ultimately go down in history as one of the most despicable politicians of all time. 

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People sometimes lose sight of a major issue here . .  

As an aspiring internationalist, I have long admired the EU for standing firm on the movement of both people and capital.  

NAFTA, in contrast, allows capital to move pretty freely, but not people. 

I'm hugely suspicious of trade deals that favor big capital over actual human beings. 

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51 minutes ago, Panoramix said:

Companies collect VAT but it is consumers not companies who pay VAT.

could have fooled me, every quarter a huge VAT check heads of to the UK GOV, from all companies, regardless of any profit or loss, hence my previous comment that its a turnover tax.
UK gov get a vat cheque from every step in the process, only way to get it back is for the last company in the chain is export of out the EU

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2 hours ago, Panoramix said:

Companies collect VAT but it is consumers not companies who pay VAT.

 

1 hour ago, Sailabout said:

could have fooled me, every quarter a huge VAT check heads of to the UK GOV, from all companies, regardless of any profit or loss, hence my previous comment that its a turnover tax.
UK gov get a vat cheque from every step in the process, only way to get it back is for the last company in the chain is export of out the EU

Nonsense Sail "VAT style turnover" taxes are not a cumulative turnover tax and are related to profit and loss.

That VAT cheque very Quarter is net "VAT Input Credits" attached to cost of production. So any VAT surplus or credit the Govt recieve/apply is only the difference between VAT applied to income less that on cost for every commercial entity in the chain. So it is directly related to profit or loss.

The only way for the Govt to apply no input credit and retain the full amount of VAT is usually via the last person in the chain being the retail consumer who can't secure a credit just as Pano says.

For goods and services sold to anyone not subject to VAT, such as any entity sitting outside the UK, VAT is not collected by the vendor entity. So the Govt only ever recieve the above difference collected to that point and with nothing further that can be collected nor returned to anybody.

It is futher noted on the subject that most Governments with a VAT style tax still collect it irrespective of the place of purchase being overseas. That can even include having the vendor company overseas like Amazon or Ebay collect it on their behalf and remit it to them, instead of collecting that tax individually and in small increments from their own resident entities.

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