Today: We have no concrete news on what Brexit plan Whitehall intends to pursue, nor when it intends to trigger article 50. The government does not know what it wants and is not yet equipped to ask for it.
Tomorrow: PM Theresa May
returns from her 1930s–style Alpine walking holiday to face up to
Mission: Pull the UK out of Europe without huge economic damage and political anger.
She hasn’t much of a choice.
Options: Hard or Soft Brexit?
The “soft” approach costs.
Triggering article 50 whenever, sometime between now and end of 2017 or further down the line means:
1)taking time to negotiate an exit and preferential trade arrangements,
2) not caring about the impact on other EU countries,
3) hiring consultants, trade and legal experts in EU law at astronomical costs. The extra cost of negotiating Brexit is reckoned to cost £5bn – which taxpayers will have to pay.
4) Putting other government projects on hold as Brexit negotiations go ahead.
5) Once Article 50 talks are over, spending years writing out a satisfactory UK-EU deal on trade access, the rights of British citizens living in Europe and EU citizens living in the UK and negotiating WTO arrangements.
Comment: This is a rather bizarre fall-out since we were told that leaving the EU would reduce bureaucracy, costs etc,
What’s a “hard” Brexit?
The U.K. simply informs Brussels that it has left the EU. Westminster repeals the 1972 European Communities Act, unilaterally taking the U.K. out of the EU. To be honest, some Tory MPs are putting forward a proposal to scrap the 1972 European Communities Act and leave “immediately”. This plan is actually is “on the table” Tory MPs call it “unilateral continuity”. Other countries call it “perfidy”
It would require a vote in parliament and might well be voted down!
1) UK’s reputation in tatters. If London broke its international treaty obligations, that would jeopardize its chances of striking deals with the U.S. and China, which would see it as an untrustworthy partner.
2) Although the EU could sue for breach of treaty, a hard brexit might actually suit it.
3) Illegality. It would weaken Britain’s hand in negotiations, which would be needed to tie up thousands of loose ends ranging from pensions, healthcare, EU citizens here and UK citizens there.
- Quick strike. The UK seizes the advantage
- The EU want to get Brexit over and done with. It doesn’t want or need a long, long, to and fro, tug of war with Eurosceptic British colleagues over their mindset being incompatible with the EU’s basic goals. Advancing cooperation and monetary and immigration reforms will probably be easier without the UK at the table
- It satisfies English/Welsh Brexiteers, thus keeping the majority population happy.
- It forestalls any UK break-up. No Indyref 2 for Scottish independence . No Irish “land-grabbing” over border arrangments.
Checkmate Scottish nationalists and Irish Republicans/nationalists, north and south of the border, soon to become an EU frontier.
Comment: What’s not to like for the UK govt?
What about Northern Ireland?
By withdrawing from the European Union, and vowing to abandon the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), the UK tears up several key clauses in the GFA/Belfast Agreement, and effectively repudiates the 1998 peace settlement. Any prediction as to where this could end up is, in my view, worthless as no road-map of any type has been produced or even hypothesized.
And what of Scotland?
Brexit could cost the Scottish economy billions of pounds.
Nicola Sturgeon published an analysis of possible Brexit consequences, saying the Scottish economy could lose between £1.7bn and £11.2bn a year by 2030 – depending on whether there was a hard or soft Brexit
.“What today’s publication illustrates is that, whatever the final form of Brexit – whatever ‘Brexit means Brexit’ turns out to mean – the old argument that the UK somehow delivers financial security for Scotland, no longer holds water. Brexit will be deeply damaging to Scotland’s economy and finances.”
If the UK opts for a quick “hard” Brexit, Scotland remains part of the UK, with no chance of Indyref2. With a soft Brexit, the UK risks losing Scotland. Scotland suffers with any type of Brexit.
Whether it opts for a hard or soft Brexit, the GFA and all later agreements with Ireland are dead ducks. Power-sharing’s gone, Stormont’s gone – Ireland’s repudiation of Articles 2 and 3 of its constitution is wiped out – all as if it never was!
Query: So does a hard Brexit mean waving
to an Independent Scotland and a Re-unified Ireland?
After all , whatever happens, remember Westminster’s blatant arrogance
“It was a UK Referendum You have to abide by what the English majority decide because there are more of us”