AuthorTopic: BREXIT! The FUN Begins!  (Read 10598 times)

Offline azozeo

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Re: Kamikaze Boris Johnson Risks Becoming Britain’s Shortest-Serving PM
« Reply #150 on: July 25, 2019, 11:21:05 AM »
Kamikaze Boris Johnson Risks Becoming Britain’s Shortest-Serving PM
Johnson doubles down on an unlikely bid to take Britain out of the European Union in just 99 days. A dangerous early election could be the only way out of his aggressive gambit.

Nico Hines
London Editor
Updated 07.25.19 7:51AM ET / Published 07.25.19 3:48AM ET

Oli Scarff/Getty
LONDON—Boris Johnson’s first act as British prime minister was to launch himself on a spectacular collision course with reality.

Instead of pivoting towards conciliation as he stood on the steps of Downing Street, the new Conservative leader lashed out at the “doomsters” and “gloomsters” who have failed to extricate Britain safely from the European Union over three agonizing years of negotiation at home and abroad.

Even before the Queen formally invited him to become Britain’s next prime minister, a raft of anti-Johnson Conservative lawmakers had quit the government in protest. The new PM chose to respond with a purge of his opponents in the most savage cabinet reshuffle in decades and the appointment of one of the most controversial bomb-throwers in Westminster as his senior adviser.

Johnson, who led the Leave campaign during the Brexit referendum, claims he can solve the Brexit conundrum in just three months. It’s either a pledge of great bravery or colossal hubris. Either way it is very likely that it will lead to Johnson putting the keys to No. 10 on the line in an early general election.

Twice on Wednesday he repeated the campaign pledge made to Conservative Party members, who selected him to replace Theresa May, that he would have Brexit wrapped up by Halloween. He says he wants Britain to leave the European Union with a new deal, which means either convincing Europe to abandon the red lines it's stuck to since 2016 or forcing the House of Commons to change its mind and approve a version of May’s deal that was brutally rejected by lawmakers on three occasions.

The only other option is to take Britain out of the E.U. without a deal, which parliament also has voted against repeatedly. He could try and force a No-Deal Brexit through against the will of Parliament, but that would break with centuries of political precedent.

Johnson finds himself in an almost impossible position. It’s going to take more than optimism to secure Britain’s exit from the E.U., but he made it clear that he would take personal responsibility for doing just that. “The buck stops here,” he said, as crowds of protesters booed and shouted over his first speech as prime minister.

If Parliament won’t let him deliver what he has promised to deliver, he’s going to need a new Parliament—and that means an election.

The big strategic question facing Johnson on the first night in the apartment above his new offices at No. 10 is whether to face up to reality before he crashes headfirst into the obstinacy of EU leaders and parliamentary opponents, or wait until after the damage has been done.

If he spends the three months trying to negotiate a new deal with Europe and convince a skeptical parliament to accept it, he runs the risk of being forced into an election soon after October 31 when he has failed to deliver his trademark pledge. Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party is waiting in the wings and ready to crush the Conservatives just as they did in this year’s European elections.

The alternative would be Johnson calling a snap election ahead of the deadline and asking the nation to back his vision by returning a more strongly pro-Brexit set of lawmakers to rubberstamp his approach.

Either of those scenarios could leave him at risk of usurping George Canning, who was Britain’s shortest-serving prime minister—in office from April 1827 for 119 days until his premature death at the age of 57.

Johnson’s best chance of avoiding that ignominy is to convince the current parliament to back whatever deal he can eke out of Brussels. Unfortunately for him, May has handed over a tiny working majority of just two lawmakers in the House of Commons, which means Johnson will be sweating over every vote.

The parliamentary arithmetic makes Johnson’s cabinet reshuffle all the more surprising. By losing at least half of the cabinet of lawmakers he inherited from May, Johnson has created a whole host of new enemies.

He fired Jeremy Hunt, his final opponent for the leadership, as well as Hunt’s backers Liam Fox and Penny Mordaunt, even though they were arch-Brexiteers. The Remain-leaning lawmakers have also been booted out of a cabinet that May had tried to balance between the rival factions.

Johnson has disregarded that notion and appears to be rebuilding the Vote Leave organization inside No. 10.

One outgoing minister told The Daily Beast: “It’s the Brexiteers’ wet dream of a Cabinet. The test is whether securing, as they have, every office of state they can now deliver Brexit. Backs to the wall, Dunkirk spirit, underdog rhetoric won’t be enough. The clock is ticking and all hinges upon success—the prime minister, the government, the party, the country.”

Perhaps the clearest sign that Johnson is planning a scorched earth policy rather than looking to build consensus is his choice of Dominic Cummings as senior adviser. Cummings was portrayed as the genius behind the Brexit referendum win—played by Benedict Cumberbatch in a recent HBO movie—but he is also known as one of the most abrasive characters in politics.

He became one of the few people in modern times to be found in contempt of parliament earlier this year for refusing to appear at a committee hearing, and former Prime Minister David Cameron once reportedly described him as a “career psychopath.”

Cummings has been scathing not just about his Brexit opponents but many of those on the same side. He attacked the group of hardline Brexiteers whom May struggled to control, saying they should be “treated like a metastasizing tumor and excised from the U.K. body politic.”

He described the pro-Brexit lawmaker tasked with negotiating the May deal as “thick as mince and lazy as a toad.”

Cummings is also renowned as an electoral strategist, raising the prospect that he has been appointed to help oversee an impending election, or perhaps even a second referendum, if that becomes the only option left on the table.

Johnson has sidelined the party’s big beasts and surrounded himself with a cadre of political outsiders like Cummings and his new Home Secretary (interior minister) Priti Patel, who was forced out of May’s cabinet when it emerged that she had been holding secret meetings with the Israeli government behind the prime minister’s back.

Johnson likes to ham up comparisons between himself and Winston Churchill, but after writing a biography of the leader who prevailed against Hitler in World War II he should know that Churchill’s over-ambitious and under-prepared early forays did not always end in success.

In World War I, Churchill drew up a bold plan to open a second front by attacking the Ottoman Empire, but he was not granted the number of troops he requested. In a fit of blind optimism over reality, Churchill ordered an amphibious attack on what is now Turkey to go ahead anyway. The result was the notorious bloodbath at the Battle of Gallipoli.

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💩 Johnson tells EU: ditch the backstop or there will be no-deal Brexit
« Reply #151 on: July 27, 2019, 06:24:58 AM »

July 27, 2019 / 3:17 AM / Updated 2 hours ago
Johnson tells EU: ditch the backstop or there will be no-deal Brexit
William James

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson cautioned the European Union on Saturday that the Irish backstop, which he said was undemocratic, needed to be ditched if they were to strike a Brexit divorce deal.
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson reacts as he meets engineering graduates on the site of an under-construction tramline in Stretford, near Manchester, Britain July 27, 2019. Ben Stansall/Pool via REUTERS

Johnson, since taking office on Wednesday, has repeatedly warned that if the EU continues to refuse to renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement agreed by his predecessor, Theresa May, then he will take Britain out on Oct. 31 without a deal.

His biggest demand is that the most hotly contested element of the Brexit divorce agreement - the Irish border backstop - be struck out of the Withdrawal Agreement, a demand that has angered Ireland and perturbed other EU capitals.
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“If we get rid of the backstop, whole and entire, then we are making a lot of progress,” Johnson said, when asked if it is was only the Irish border backstop that he wanted changed.

Speaking before a Stephenson’s Rocket, a 19th century steam locomotive, in the northern England city of Manchester, Johnson dedicated most of his speech to improving public services, transport and the internet and driving up economic growth.

European leaders are prepared to talk with Britain’s new leader over Brexit but have so far insisted they will not reopen the Withdrawal Agreement. Many EU diplomats think the United Kingdom will hold a snap election soon.


Johnson said he did not want a no-deal Brexit, which investors fear will send shock waves through global markets and hurt the world’s economy, but that the United Kingdom had to prepare for a no-deal.

Ireland is crucial to any Brexit solution, or any Brexit meltdown.

The backstop is an insurance policy designed to prevent the return of border controls along the 500 km (300 mile) land border between Ireland and Britain’s province of Northern Ireland that were ended by the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said the question of the unification of Ireland and Northern Ireland will inevitably arise if Britain leaves the EU without a divorce deal on Oct. 31.


“The approach of the UK government is not going to be disengaged or aloof or waiting for them to come to us: we are going to try to solve this problem and we are going to do it in a spirit of friendship and cooperation,” Johnson said.

“But we can’t do it as long as that anti-democratic backstop, that backstop that seeks to divide our country, divide the UK, remains in place,” he said. “We need to get it out and then we can make progress, I think.”

The Withdrawal Agreement that May struck in November with the EU says the United Kingdom will remain in a customs union “unless and until” alternative arrangements are found to avoid a hard border.

Many British lawmakers oppose the prospect of being bound to EU rules and customs duties that would prevent Britain doing its own trade deals and leave it overseen by EU judges.

Reporting by William James, editing by Guy Faulconbridge
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💩 Jeremy vs Boris in the Battle for all the Brit Marbles?
« Reply #152 on: July 28, 2019, 08:38:10 AM »
Another Circus Clown Show to look forward to!


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Offline RE

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💩 Brexit and Boris Johnson Send the British Pound on a Slide
« Reply #153 on: August 01, 2019, 12:30:08 AM »

Brexit and Boris Johnson Send the British Pound on a Slide

Brexit supporters in London last year. Since Boris Johnson, another supporter, became prime minister last week, the British pound has lost nearly 3 percent of its value against the dollar and the euro.  Credit Andrew Testa for The New York Times

By Peter S. Goodman

    July 31, 2019

LONDON — The British pound has long possessed a mystique that transcends its marginal role in the global economy, conjuring memories of its dominance in the imperial age. But lately the currency has devolved into a sign of Britain’s diminishing fortunes in a present dominated by Brexit.

As the country slides toward the European Union’s exits, the latest pressure on its currency comes in the form of the new prime minister, Boris Johnson. Mr. Johnson has insisted he is prepared to accept the expensive chaos of leaving the European Union without a deal governing future relations.

Investors have taken his ascension last week as the impetus to evacuate their money ahead of a potential disaster. They have sold the pound. The currency has lost nearly 3 percent of its value against both the American dollar and the euro since Mr. Johnson took over.

The slide is expected to continue, perhaps right up until Oct. 31, the day that Britain is scheduled to depart the European bloc.

“The markets see turbulence for the economy,” said Kjersti Haugland, chief economist at DNB Markets, an investment bank in Oslo. “They see the potential for the economy to contract abruptly.”

The decline in the pound is at once a reflection of the market’s recognition that Britain has been economically weakened by Brexit, and a cause for distress.

The drop effectively raises prices for a vast range of British imports, from fruit and vegetables shipped in from Spain to chemicals and industrial parts made in Germany. It increases the costs of international travel, just as Britons flock to the beaches of the Mediterranean for summer holidays.
ImageA truck carrying Dutch flowers onto a ferry bound for Britain. The pound’s decline effectively raises prices for British imports.
A truck carrying Dutch flowers onto a ferry bound for Britain. The pound’s decline effectively raises prices for British imports.CreditAndrew Urwin for The New York Times

In theory, the weaker pound should bolster British exports by making them relatively cheaper than those produced by competitors in Europe, North America and Asia.

But given that Britain imports more than it exports, the net effect is negative. Whatever advantages exporters might gain would almost surely be canceled out by barriers to trade across the English Channel if Britain really leaves Europe without a deal.

Most broadly, the decline in the pound signals that investors see less need for British currency in the future, because Brexit is already reducing the appeal of doing business in Britain.

Economists have produced a dizzying array of estimates on the ultimate costs of Brexit, and especially the disruption to trade if confusing new customs checks are established on both sides of the English Channel. A no-deal Brexit would leave the British economy 2 percent smaller than otherwise by the end of 2021, according to a recent report from Oxford Economics, a research institution in London. The hit would be twice as bad by the calculations of the Office for Budget Responsibility, the official British forecaster.

From the auto industry to aerospace, major international companies have over decades set up plants in Britain, exploiting its proximity to the single European marketplace. The more likely a rupture across the English Channel, the less valuable Britain becomes as a base of operations.

None of this is new. Mr. Johnson has merely intensified pressures that have been at play since June 2016, when Britain shocked the globe with its referendum vote in favor of abandoning Europe. The pound plunged more than 10 percent against the dollar the next day. Ever since, the currency’s value has served as a gauge of Britain’s overall economic prospects amid the bewildering wrangling over Brexit.

Inflation resulting from a weaker pound prompted households to limit spending, yielding slower economic growth. Businesses have held back on expansions. Major international companies — Nissan and Honda among them — have shifted production beyond Britain.

A factory in Northern Ireland, whose border with Ireland is a point of contention between Mr. Johnson and the European Union.CreditPaulo Nunes dos Santos for The New York Times

But if this has become a familiar trajectory, Mr. Johnson has injected a substantial element of unpredictability.

His predecessor, the highly scripted Theresa May, abhorred drama even as it consumed her tenure. Mrs. May initially claimed willingness to accept the turmoil of a no-deal Brexit if the alternative was an unsatisfactory arrangement. She then spent most of three years trying to walk back that formulation through negotiation, capitulation and the finessing of previous positions.

Eventually, Mrs. May forged a compromise with Europe that was almost universally panned. Those opposed to Brexit denounced Britain’s departure from the European single market, which allows trade to proceed from Greece to Ireland as if the European bloc were one enormous country. Those favoring Brexit blasted Mrs. May’s deal as a form of vassalage that would prevent Britain from striking its own trade deals with the rest of the world.

In a series of votes, Mrs. May’s deal went down to defeat. Then, she departed, handing the tangled knot that is Brexit to Mr. Johnson, a former journalist whose factually deficient reports from Brussels decades ago helped turn the British public against the European Union.

The new prime minister has a penchant for finding the center of controversy and an eagerness for headline-capturing political fisticuffs. He took office vowing to end what he has portrayed as British deference in the face of vindictive European inflexibility.

He would demand a reopening of negotiations and especially the scrapping of an element of Mrs. May’s deal known as the Irish backstop, a complex bit of maneuvering designed to prevent the reimposition of a border between Northern Ireland — part of the United Kingdom — and the independent Republic of Ireland. The net effect was to keep Britain inside the European customs union indefinitely and retain free-flowing trade until the two sides work out a permanent arrangement that ensures no hard border.

European officials have been resolute that negotiations cannot be reopened, while the backstop must endure. That leaves Mr. Johnson headed toward a collision with Europe, or on the verge of a politically perilous flip-flop.

Mr. Johnson campaigning for Brexit in 2016. The new prime minister was touring Britain again this week.CreditChristopher Furlong/Getty Images

Mr. Johnson has alternately dismissed the risks of a no-deal Brexit and insisted that he was willing to crash out of the bloc at the end of October if need be. During a tour of the United Kingdom this week, he has toggled between pugnacity and reassurance.

On Monday in Scotland, Mr. Johnson was booed. He declared that there was “every chance we can get a deal” with Europe, but he also pronounced the Irish backstop “dead” — an apparent contradiction. The same day, Michael Gove, a member of Mr. Johnson’s cabinet who is overseeing preparations for a no-deal Brexit, said the government was “operating on the assumption” that this would be the outcome.

On Tuesday, sheep farmers in Wales excoriated the new prime minister for imperiling their livelihoods by jeopardizing exports to Europe. A no-deal Brexit threatens steep tariffs on lamb exports, they said, raising the prospect of the mass slaughter of soon-to-be-unsellable animals.

Experts are divided on what is really going on. Mr. Johnson may be bluffing, seeking to force Europe to reopen talks by convincing officials that he is unafraid to crash out of the European bloc. Or perhaps he is merely seeking to position himself and his Conservative Party as the victims of European intransigence ahead of national elections that are likely to follow if Europe does not budge.

Or maybe he is intent on securing his legacy as a hero among hard-core Brexiteers, the man who finally liberates Britain from killjoy European bureaucrats. But if he pursues a no-deal exit to the end, Mr. Johnson risks a mutiny within the Conservative ranks. A few members of Parliament could join the opposition to bring down the government, and an election would follow. If Mr. Johnson pursues an unexpected compromise — perhaps extending the Brexit deadline or agreeing to version of an Irish backstop — he risks a revolt from the other side of his party.

No one knows what will happen, a phrase that has gotten a vigorous workout since the Brexit referendum. Meanwhile, the markets are absorbing the variables and coming away with a less-than-robust appetite for pounds.

The moves in the currency markets are now gradual, reflecting a continued downgrading of sentiment rather than a meaningful change to the economy. But as Oct. 31 draws closer, bringing the cliff edge into sharp relief, the pound could plunge. Britain could well descend into recession.

“The currency markets are making their own judgment that it will be bad for the economy,” said Peter Dixon, a global financial economist at Commerzbank AG in London. “The more the rhetoric gets cranked up, the more likely that sterling comes under pressure.”
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💩 Could a No Deal Brexit be the beginning of the end for the UK?
« Reply #154 on: August 03, 2019, 12:22:02 AM »
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💩 What’s More Unpopular: No-Deal Brexit or Prime Minister Corbyn?
« Reply #155 on: August 17, 2019, 06:02:57 AM »

What’s More Unpopular: No-Deal Brexit or Prime Minister Corbyn?

By Joshua Keating
Aug 16, 201911:55 AM

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
Animation by Lisa Larson-Walker. Photos by Jon Super/AFP/Getty Images, Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images.

There was a lot less talk about the U.K. and the EU reaching a new withdrawal agreement this week. The two sides can’t even agree on conditions for starting new negotiations. The consensus view seems to be that the U.K. is headed for a no-deal Brexit on Oct. 31, unless Parliament can stop it.
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This week in Labour: Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn unveiled his plan this week to stop Prime Minister Boris Johnson from pulling Britain out of the EU without an agreement on the future relationship between the two. When Parliament returns from recess in September, Corbyn will call a no-confidence vote in Johnson’s government. There’s reason to think this might succeed: Johnson’s coalition has only a one-seat majority, and a significant number of Conservative MPs oppose a no-deal Brexit. If it does, Corbyn will ask Parliament’s smaller parties and the rebel Conservatives to support him as prime minister, for a “strictly time-limited” government which would ask the EU for a Brexit extension past the current Oct. 31 deadline, and then call a new general election. In that election, Labour would campaign on a pledge to hold a new referendum on Brexit, with an option for remaining in the EU. (This represents a bit of a shift: Labour was previously vague on whether it supports a new referendum.)

The main hitch in the plan is Corbyn himself. Because of his leftist views, allegations of anti-Semitism in the party under his leadership, and his vague stance on Brexit, the Labour leader is a controversial figure whom many moderate Remainers will be reluctant to have as prime minister. The Scottish National Party—the third-largest in Parliament—signaled it was on board with the Corbyn plan. The Greens and the Welsh nationalist Plaid Cymru are somewhat on board but would prefer to have a referendum before a general election. But Jo Swinson, newly elected leader of the Liberal Democrats—the fourth-largest party—opposed the plan, calling Corbyn “divisive” and saying he couldn’t command Parliament’s support. She proposed two other moderate MPs as consensus figures to lead a caretaker government.

This week in America: U.S. national security adviser John Bolton paid a visit to London this week, where he met with Johnson, reiterated the Trump administration’s support for Brexit, and promised that Britain would be “front of the trade queue” for a new deal with the United States once it leaves Europe. There have been worries in Britain that a trade deal with the U.S.
could lead to U.S. firms bidding for contracts within the National Health Service and concessions on food safety. (“Chlorinated” has been a big point of concern.) Bolton promised that agreements could be reached sector by sector rather than all at once, which could ease a few concerns. But back in Washington, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that no U.S.-U.K. trade deal would get through Congress if a no-deal Brexit led to the imposition of a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland—which many fear would endanger the region’s peace process.

This week in the economy: The British economy shrank by 0.2 percent between April and June—the first contraction in a quarter since 2012—amid growing global fears of a new recession. Sajid Javid, chancellor of the exchequer, dismissed fears of a recession saying “the fundamentals of the British economy are strong,” but opposition leaders blamed the uncertainty caused by Brexit and Conservative leadership. The Bank of England expects the British economy to grow 1.3 percent this year, revised down from a previous projection of 1.5 percent.

Days until next deadline: 77 days
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August 17, 2019 / 2:59 PM / Updated 9 hours ago
UK faces food, fuel and drugs shortages in no-deal Brexit: Times, citing official documents
Kate Holton

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will face shortages of fuel, food and medicine if it leaves the European Union without a transition deal, jamming ports and requiring a hard border in Ireland, official government documents leaked to the Sunday Times show.
FILE PHOTO: An anti-Brexit protester is seen outside the Cabinet Office in London, Britain July 29, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville

The Times said the forecasts compiled by the Cabinet Office set out the most likely aftershocks of a no-deal Brexit rather than the worst case scenarios.

They said up to 85% of trucks using the main channel crossings “may not be ready” for French customs, meaning disruption at ports would potentially last up to three months before the flow of traffic improves.

The government also believes a hard border between the British province of Northern Ireland and the Republic will be likely as current plans to avoid widespread checks will prove unsustainable, the Times said.

“Compiled this month by the Cabinet Office under the codename Operation Yellowhammer, the dossier offers a rare glimpse into the covert planning being carried out by the government to avert a catastrophic collapse in the nation’s infrastructure,” the Times reported.

“The file, marked “official-sensitive” — requiring security clearance on a “need to know” basis — is remarkable because it gives the most comprehensive assessment of the UK’s readiness for a no-deal Brexit.”

The United Kingdom is heading towards a constitutional crisis at home and a showdown with the EU as Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly vowed to leave the bloc on Oct. 31 without a deal unless it agrees to renegotiate the Brexit divorce.

After more than three years of Brexit dominating EU affairs, the bloc has repeatedly refused to reopen the Withdrawal Agreement which includes an Irish border insurance policy that Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, agreed in November.

Johnson will this week tell French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the Westminster parliament cannot stop Brexit and a new deal must be agreed if Britain is to avoid leaving the EU without one.

The prime minister is coming under pressure from politicians across the political spectrum to prevent a disorderly departure, with opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn vowing this week to bring down Johnson’s government in early September to delay Brexit.

It is, however, unclear if lawmakers have the unity or power to use the British parliament to prevent a no-deal departure - likely to be the United Kingdom’s most significant move since World War Two.

Opponents of no deal say it would be a disaster for what was once one of the West’s most stable democracies. A disorderly divorce, they say, would hurt global growth, send shockwaves through financial markets and weaken London’s claim to be the world’s preeminent financial center.

Brexit supporters say there may be short-term disruption from a no-deal exit but that the economy will thrive if cut free from what they cast as a doomed experiment in integration that has led to Europe falling behind China and the United States.

Editing by Guy Faulconbridge
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💩 Boris Johnson to find Irish border solution in 30 days
« Reply #157 on: August 22, 2019, 12:21:04 AM »
hahahahahahahahahahaha! 🤣



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