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💩 The Real Brexit Plan – The Singapore Scenario
« Reply #180 on: September 19, 2019, 01:15:40 PM »
https://truepublica.org.uk/united-kingdom/the-real-brexit-plan-the-singapore-scenario/

The Real Brexit Plan – The Singapore Scenario
16th September 2019 / United Kingdom


Bloomberg News – August 2nd: Boris Johnson Widens Push for Singapore-Style Free Ports in the UK.  Boris Johnson’s government is expanding plans to create 10 free ports in the U.K., which he says will boost the post-Brexit economy.

Daily Telegraph 2nd July – Boris Johnson plans Singapore-style tax-free zones around UK to power post-Brexit economy.  “The benefits of tax-free zones in the country will boost the post-Brexit economy”.

Singapore Online 25th July – “despite the possible negative effects of a no-deal Brexit, there could be opportunities, such as Singapore seeing some “safe-haven flows from any ensuing flight to quality”, or people moving money to safer investments.”

The headlines of a post-no-deal Brexit world to some paint a picture of promised sunny uplands. It will be. For some.

 
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Charles Woolfson is Professor emeritus at the Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society (REMESO), Linköping University, Sweden. Since arriving in Sweden in 2009 after a decade of residency in the Baltic states, he has written on East-West migration from the newer EU member states, and on the impacts of radical austerity programmes in the Baltics following the crash of 2008.

Woolson wrote an article in the London School of Economics that the plan to turn Britain into some sort of Singapore, itself one of the worst performers in the world for inequality and worker exploitation, is merely a ‘race to the bottom’ to the significant detriment of existing standards.
Boris Johnson’s real agenda: The ‘Singapore scenario’

 

In Johnson’s eyes and those of fellow ardent free-marketeers, a ‘Singapore scenario’ would be achieved by an ultra-business-friendly environment with low or zero corporation tax, low wages, weak trade unions, vestigial welfare provisions and a significant temporary migrant ‘non-citizen’ workforce (around 30 per cent of the total workforce), largely without the protection of national labour laws or access to welfare provisions.

Yet, as the Prime Minister of Singapore pointed out, the transposition of a Singaporean model to the UK is not so simple. Currently, the UK government spending on the public sector accounts for 40 to 45 per cent of the GDP, while for the Singaporean government it accounts for a mere 16 to 17 per cent of the GDP (Bloomberg News, 2018). Furthermore, the Singaporean economy, while ranking second in the World Bank index of 190 countries in terms of ‘ease of doing business’ (pro-business regulation), is also accompanied by powerful regulatory social controls and an extensive system of government patronage (Trading Economics, 2019).

Social inequalities in Singapore are rising. A recent review of 157 countries in terms of commitment to reducing inequalities ranked Singapore overall at 149, among the 10 worst performers, and at 157 in terms of redistributive progressivity of tax policies (Development Finance International and Oxfam Report, 2018). Noting a decline in ranking since the previous year, the report concludes, ‘On labour, it (Singapore) has no equal pay or non-discrimination laws for women; its laws on both rape and sexual harassment are inadequate; and there is no minimum wage, except for cleaners and security guards’. As a prescription for a post-Brexit labour market, a ‘Singapore scenario’ leaves a lot to be desired.

None of this has dampened enthusiasm for turning Britain, free of European regulation, into some kind utopian free-market paradise. Johnson’s trademark rhetoric has consistently excoriated the EU for ‘trussing the nations together in a gigantic and ever-tightening cat’s cradle of red tape’. It was exemplified by Johnson’s theatrical appearance before the cheering Conservative Party faithful on the final leadership election hustings. Brandishing of all things, a kipper, Johnson claimed (incorrectly, as it happens) that ‘Brussels bureaucrats’ required that each kipper sent through the mail be accompanied by a coolant bag, an unnecessary and ludicrous burden on business.

There are echoes in Johnson’s buffoonery with the 1980s satirical BBC TV series, ‘Yes, Minister’. A 1984 Christmas special edition depicted an incompetent and opportunistic James Hacker as Minister heading the Department of Administrative Affairs, reluctant to sign a Xmas card to a Brussels Commissioner (one rather French-sounding ‘Maureece’ by name). In contention was a proposed Brussels directive to standardize the ‘EuroSausage’ and re-designate the ‘Great British Sausage’ as an unappetising ‘emulsified high-fat offal tube’. In the same election hustings speech, Johnson proclaimed, kipper to hand, ‘And when we come out, therefore, we will not only be able to take back control of our regulatory framework and end this damaging regulatory overkill but we will also be able to do things to boost Britain’s economy, which leads the world in so many sectors’ (New Statesman, 2019).

Hostility to EU regulation is merely a surrogate target for hostility to regulation in general, seen as holding back burgeoning British free enterprise. To realise full ‘regulatory divergence’ from EU controls (the glittering prize of a no-deal Brexit), Johnson has now proposed the creation of free economic zones or free ports, offering lower import taxes and customs tariffs, favourable manufacturing locations, and looser regulation to lure investment in up to 10 ports around the country. These free ports will be situated mainly in declining and ‘left-behind’ areas such as Teeside. Such zones are not specifically precluded by EU regulations, although it is true to say that they are regarded by the Commission as potential havens for counterfeiting goods and money laundering. In fact, over 80 exist within the EU, the majority in the newer member states of Eastern Europe. Besides providing free-enterprise zones where capitalism can be let loose to do what it does best, their attractiveness for employers is that they are typically insulated from employment protection and minimum wage legislation, while collective bargaining and trade union representation are generally non-existent. Free ports are ‘the Singapore scenario made real’ in the UK context. They will be the forward positions in a greater national project of wholesale deregulation accompanied by comprehensive labour subordination, UK-apore as one big free port.

 
The post-Brexit foreign trade and investment environment

Ironic, therefore, is the announcement by Brexit-supporting Sir James Dyson, one of Britain’s most celebrated entrepreneurs of the relocation of his corporate headquarters from England to Singapore. This comes only a few months after a previously announced ongoing UK investment programme, much welcomed by Theresa May, and portrayed as a sign of business confidence in Britain’s post-Brexit future. For Dyson, the business logic is presumably compelling. While preserving his UK sites, the company already has manufacturing and new R&D facilities in Singapore, in part following a previous relocation from the UK. The Singapore investment is proximate to profitable East Asian markets for his luxury products, not to mention providing a suitable base for Dyson’s new plan to develop electrical automotives. Not least, however, the move to Singapore potentially offers zero corporation tax. A further incentive is access to labour markets in the East Asia region providing both compliant and relatively cheap human resources when compared to the UK. Dyson Ltd presents a paradigmatic example of ‘foot-loose’ capital investment shopping for regulatory regime advantage in a globalised ‘race to the bottom’. As a pointer to the investment potential of a post-Brexit Britain, Dyson’s decision is ominous.

An additional dimension to the post-Brexit competitive challenges facing the UK economy is the fate of existing foreign direct investment. Japan, for example, is a significant investor in the UK. Nissan, Toyota, and Hitachi between them account for 40 billion pounds (nearly half of Japanese direct investment intended for the EU in 2015 and 144,000 UK manufacturing jobs. Japanese business has sought reassurances that the UK will remain in the European customs union and single market, a demand that is profound anathema to Johnson.

In or out of the single market and customs union, the fact is that the EU is itself remoulding the global trade and investment environment through an extensive series of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), several of which it was hoped would be with potential trading partners for the new ‘Global Britain’. Recent among these is the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) of 2017. This will remove nearly all significant tariff barriers to trade. While the UK has already one of the least regulated labour markets in the EU, such agreements place further competitive pressure on a post-Brexit UK to show even greater ‘flexibility’ on labour and other standards. It is pressure to downgrade that will surely intensify as the UK government embarks on the mammoth task of ‘replicating’ forty years of existing European trade deals or tries its unskilled hand at forging new ones. If preliminary exchanges with the US regarding food safety standards in a future trade deal (specifically, the acceptability of chlorine-washed chicken) are anything to go by, the prospects are not enticing.

 
Labour migration: an unresolved contradiction

Theresa May’s successful wooing of Nissan investment in Sunderland may prove to have been only a temporary demonstration of foreign investor confidence in the future of the UK economy. As the Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned, ‘Japanese businesses rely on inexpensive labour from Eastern Europe in the manufacturing and agricultural industries in the UK’.

Labour migration, the toxic driver of the Brexit debate, will present unique challenges to a free-market Johnson government, not least as its internal logic would suggest a more liberal and open regime. Migration, therefore, presents an unresolved contradiction at the heart of the ‘UK-apore’ project. To appease his core supporters it is more than likely that Johnson’s government will be forced, reluctantly or otherwise, to replicate much of the exclusionary path towards continued free movement of labour that informed the policies of his predecessor.

As Central-Eastern European migrants return home, (or refuse to come to the UK for the wages and conditions on offer) both of which increasingly they appear to be doing, UK nationals will need to be ‘persuaded’ to accept those low-paid ‘3D’ (dirty, dangerous, and demeaning) jobs that they had previously rejected. The ‘Singapore scenario’ applied to the UK would mandate a downgrading of current welfare and labour standards in a massive recalibration of labour expectations of the domestic labour force. Such a recalibration would be achieved by a radical shrinking of what remains of the welfare state, combined with a raft of ‘incentives’ to accept whatever jobs are on offer.

Questions of the downside of globalisation are not new but much accentuated by Britain’s current precarious political and economic conjuncture as it departs from the EU. In short, Boris Johnson’s ‘UK-apore’ can only be realised in a ‘race to the bottom’ to the significant detriment of existing standards. If the business model of labour and welfare devaluation in a ‘Singapore scenario’ is the pathway towards Britain’s economic salvation, then such standards now become integral to the democratic politics of post-Brexit Britain.
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💩 The UK is gearing up for its dirtiest election ever
« Reply #181 on: September 21, 2019, 08:23:06 AM »
https://edition.cnn.com/2019/09/21/uk/uk-election-analysis-intl-gbr/index.html

The UK is gearing up for its dirtiest election ever
Luke McGee

Analysis by Luke McGee, CNN


Updated 0848 GMT (1648 HKT) September 21, 2019
An exterior view shows a sign by the main entrance of the Supreme Court in London, Monday, Sept. 16, 2019. Britain's Supreme Court this week will rule on whether Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson overstepped the law when he shut the legislature for a crucial five-week period. Johnson portrays himself as more convinced than ever that Britain will break with the EU at the end of October. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)


London (CNN)Boris Johnson has been backed into a corner over Brexit. Partly through his own missteps, partly from the growing opposition to his "do-or-die" Brexit plan, Johnson is a man for whom the losses are piling up, while the UK is a country running out of time.
All of the remaining Brexit options facing Johnson -- and to a larger extent the UK -- lead to one place: An early election. The only real question is whether it happens before or after Brexit.
Whenever it happens, the next election will be vicious, nasty and personal.

"For many Conservatives, (opposition leader) Jeremy Corbyn embodies the very politics that they most loathe, while in Corbyn's Labour Party, Boris embodies the out-of-touch privileged elite," explains Matthew Goodwin, Professor of Politics at the University of Kent. "When there's so much to play for, it's impossible to see how it can't get very personal."
Supreme Court to consider ruling on Boris Johnson's suspension of Parliament
Supreme Court to consider ruling on Boris Johnson's suspension of Parliament
Here's where things currently stand. A couple of weeks ago, Johnson asked the Queen to suspend Parliament, ostensibly to restart the parliamentary session and return with a fresh legislative agenda. It was merely a coincidence, of course, that many lawmakers were also agitating to close down the option of a no-deal Brexit on October 31.
But before the suspension took effect, a majority of lawmakers conspired to seize control of parliamentary business and passed legislation that, in theory, forces his government to request a Brexit extension from the European Union if it fails to negotiate a deal.
So even if Johnson's real intent had been to shut down that effort, it didn't work. And to make things worse, the UK's highest court spent this week hearing evidence alleging that Johnson misled the Queen over his motives for suspending the UK's legislative body.
The outcome of this case comes early next week, but in some respects, it doesn't matter a huge amount. Whether Parliament is forced to return early or not, the political reality of Brexit will collide with Johnson soon enough. And given the lack of a majority for anything, an election would be the only way to fix it.
Why will it be so vicious? The political atmosphere in the UK is more hostile than it's been in decades. Corbyn and Johnson are not only miles apart in terms of their politics, their parties also hold one another in open contempt.
Here's how one Conservative source spells out the likely attack lines the party will run on Corbyn. There's his past association with alleged anti-Semites; his support for a second Brexit referendum but his decision to remain neutral in any campaign; his record on national security and whether he could be trusted to protect the nation; and as the source puts it, unkindly but revealingly, his "generic weirdness."
"He's just an easy target, isn't he? Anything you say about him being hard left or confused on Brexit or dodgy associations has the added benefit of being true," the source says. "Like Trump, there's always a tweet."
Nigel Farage slams 'pipsqueak' Luxembourg PM

Nigel Farage slams 'pipsqueak' Luxembourg PM 01:41
Corbyn's supporters, meanwhile, point to Johnson's privileged background, which they believe makes him blind to the effect of his policies on people who don't come from the same walk of life as him. Early in his bid to lead the country, for example, Johnson boasted that no politician had defended bankers as much as he did. "I defended them day in, day out."
Corbyn's aides point to Johnson's readiness to conclude a quick trade deal with US President Donald Trump. Such a deal, they argue, would require the UK to dilute its standards for food imports, and to open up parts of the National Health Service (NHS) to American commercial interests. While Johnson flatly denies that the NHS would be on the table in trade talks with the US, it's a powerful line of attack. As the UK's former Conservative finance minister, Nigel Lawson, once put it: "The NHS is the closest thing the English people have to a religion."
More urgently, Labour strategists point to Johnson's willingness to leave the EU without a negotiated deal. Corbyn was instrumental in the parliamentary plan to avoid a chaotic exit that the government's own research suggests could lead to food and medicine shortages.
If Labour wanted to run an attack along the lines of Johnson being willing to play politics with the health and well-being of British families, it would be very powerful. And it's a message that Labour aides are privately saying will be a feature of the election campaign.
What's unique about the current political climate is that the two main political behemoths are being squeezed by smaller parties on the fringes of the Brexit debate. First, the Liberal Democrats, who last week vowed to cancel Brexit altogether if they won a majority at a general election. "There is no Brexit that will be good for our country," said leader Jo Swinson at the party's annual conference. She pointed to the economic harm that Brexit will exact on poorer communities and the damage it would do to people in need of urgent healthcare.
Boris Johnson leaves Luxembourg PM alone at joint presser

Boris Johnson leaves Luxembourg PM alone at joint presser 02:21
Given that the Brexit vote was won on a narrow 52%-48% mandate, a party willing to stop Brexit in its tracks is set up to be successful. Successful enough, as it happens, that the Lib Dems finished in second place at the UK's most recent national vote -- the elections to the European Parliament.
And in first place? The Brexit party. Nigel Farage's new political movement is campaigning on a ticket to not just leave the EU, but to leave without a deal. The potency of its message presents a terrifying prospect for both Labour and the Conservatives. Many Labour MPs represent areas of the country that voted strongly in favour of leave. The Brexit party says that Brexit has exposed Labour as a party that has disdain for its voters. "It thinks they are thick, old and it doesn't really want them any more," says a Brexit party spokesman.
On Johnson and the Conservatives, the party's job is even easier. "Boris said he would rather be 'dead in a ditch' than ask for an extension," the spokesman explains. "He's dug that ditch himself, and if we've not left the EU on October 31, we'll gladly push him in it."
So, the election will be horrible, deeply personal and divisive. But where will it all end up?
All the parties' different Brexit options end in trouble
All the parties' different Brexit options end in trouble
"There's no agreement (among pollsters) on how each party is doing, so we don't really know what the starting point of this election campaign is," says Will Jennings, professor of politics at Southampton University. While it's unlikely that the Lib Dems or the Brexit party would ultimately win a general election, Jennings believes that there would be a repeat of the dynamics that played out in the European elections.

Because of the UK's peculiar electoral system, that points to no single party winning a majority. That will lead each faction to claim that it has the democratic mandate to push ahead with the most extreme version of whatever its election manifesto promised.
So, after an inevitable election, a brutal campaign, a country more divided than ever and a government with little-to-no clear mandate, where, after all this, will Brexit end up? A bigger mess than it is today, is the most likely answer.
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💩 Supreme Court: Suspending Parliament was unlawful, judges rule
« Reply #182 on: September 24, 2019, 05:09:22 AM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/FFJ7IEPUUAo" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/FFJ7IEPUUAo</a>
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💩 The court was wrong Boris Johnson tells MPs
« Reply #183 on: September 26, 2019, 12:00:02 AM »
The Brits do GREAT Political Kabuki Theater!

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<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/_r_w8vMF0So" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/_r_w8vMF0So</a>
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💩 Boris Johnson could soon be forced to stand down as prime minister to make w
« Reply #184 on: September 27, 2019, 05:46:54 PM »
This is the Brit equivalent of Trumpovetsky being forced to stand down to be replaced Pelosicrat.  ::)

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https://www.businessinsider.com/jeremy-corbyn-could-be-made-prime-minister-under-plan-snp-2019-9

Boris Johnson could soon be forced to stand down as prime minister to make way for Jeremy Corbyn
Adam Bienkov
13 hours ago


    Boris Johnson could soon be removed from office under a plan being pushed by opposition parties.
    Johnson's opponents fear that he will find a way of forcing Britain out of the EU without a deal next month.
    The Scottish National Party now believe the only way to prevent this happening is to make Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn a caretaker prime minister.
    Under the plan Corbyn would become prime minister for a few weeks in order to delay Brexit and call a general election.
    Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Boris Johnson could soon be forced out of office, in order to make way for Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn to become prime minister. Here's why.

The UK prime minister is currently the leader of a minority government, following the defection of one former Conservative MP to the Liberal Democrats and Johnson's own decision to expel 21 members of his own party.

Johnson's advisers originally believed this would only be temporary and that opposition parties would swiftly vote for a general election, which some polls suggest he would win.

However, the opposition has other ideas and are currently blocking a general election until Brexit has been delayed beyond its current deadline of October 31.
Boris Johnson is running out of road
jeremy corbyn boris johnson profile
Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson Getty
This presents a problem for the prime minister, who insists that he will not delay Brexit, despite members of Parliament passing a law instructing him to do so.

This means that Johnson may ultimately have little choice but to resign. However, allies of Johnson are briefing that he will take a different course and find some way of circumventing the Brexit delay law.

Former Conservative prime minister John Major warned on Thursday that this is exactly what Johnson is planning.

As a result, the UK's opposition parties are growing nervous and believe they may have to act first in order to prevent Johnson finding some method of forcing Britain out of the European Union next month.
The caretaker prime minister 'has to be Corbyn'
nicola sturgeon jeremy corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn and Nicola Sturgeon Getty
The Scottish National Party, which is the UK's third-largest party, now believes that the only surefire way to prevent Johnson forcing through a no-deal Brexit is to remove him from office and replace him with Jeremy Corbyn as a caretaker prime minister.

Under the plan, Jeremy Corbyn, who is the leader of the second-largest party in parliament, would briefly enter Downing Street with the sole purpose of delaying Brexit, before triggering a general election.

Responding to a tweet on Friday suggesting that opposition parties should temporarily install Corbyn as prime minister, the Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon replied: "Agree with this," adding that "Nothing is risk free but leaving Johnson in post to force through no deal - or even a bad deal - seems like a terrible idea to me."

One senior SNP source told ITV's Robert Peston that Corbyn would be the only realistic choice for the role.

"It is increasingly clear that we will have to install a new prime minister via a vote of no confidence so that we can request a delay to Brexit and hold an election," the source said.

"The convention is absolutely clear that it is the leader of the opposition - in this case, Jeremy Corbyn - who should become prime minister in those circumstances.

"Trying to find a compromise candidate, a national unity candidate, is too complicated, especially in the time we have. Whether people like it or not, the temporary prime minister has to be Corbyn."
Johnson's opponents see Corbyn as a lesser risk
Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn Getty
Winning a vote in the UK Parliament to make Corbyn prime minister looks tricky, however. Even with the SNP's support, Corbyn would still need the votes of all other opposition parties as well as a significant number of former Labour and Conservative MPs in order to become prime minister.

Given that some of those former Labour MPs left the party specifically because of their opposition to Corbyn, this looks like a very difficult task. The UK's fourth-largest party, the Liberal Democrats, are also reluctant to install Corbyn, even for a short period, with their leader Jo Swinson describing him as "unfit" to be PM.

However, time is running out to prevent a chaotic exit from the EU.

And if push comes to shove, Johnson's opponents may ultimately decide that a few weeks of the Labour leader in charge, is less risky than allowing the current prime minister to remain there any longer.
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💩 Brexit: New UK plan for Northern Ireland to stay in single market
« Reply #185 on: October 02, 2019, 09:54:53 AM »
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-49909309

Brexit: New UK plan for Northern Ireland to stay in single market

    38 minutes ago


Image copyright AFP/Getty Images

The government has delivered its new Brexit proposals to the EU, including plans to replace the Irish backstop.

The plan, outlined in a seven-page document, would see Northern Ireland stay in the European single market for goods, but leave the customs union - resulting in new customs checks.

The Northern Ireland Assembly would get to approve the arrangements first and vote every four years on keeping them.

The European Commission says it will "examine [the proposals] objectively".

The UK is set to leave the EU on 31 October and the government has insisted it will not negotiate a further delay beyond the Halloween deadline.

Speaking at the Conservative Party conference earlier on Wednesday, Boris Johnson said the only alternative to his Brexit plan was no-deal.

In a letter to European Commission's president, Jean-Claude Juncker, the prime minister said the new proposals "respect the decision taken by the people of the UK to leave the EU, while dealing pragmatically with that decision's consequences in Northern Ireland and in Ireland".

Government sources said they believed they could enter an intense 10-day period of negotiations with the EU almost immediately, with the aim of coming to a final agreement at an EU summit on 17 October.
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John Campbell, the BBC's Northern Ireland business editor, said the UK's acknowledgement there would be new customs checks for cross-border trade would make it very hard for the Irish government to accept the package.

The EU will analyse these proposals and probably keep the door open to further talks with UK so there's no risk of being blamed for a no-deal Brexit.

They will likely welcome the massive increase in regulatory alignment proposed for Northern Ireland - which a few days ago was only going to cover food and agriculture and now covers virtually all goods.

The UK will also allow the European Court of Justice to administer EU law in Northern Ireland.

The customs arrangement is based on a lot of trust and a lot of checks, including at "dedicated premises" which sound a bit like the customs infrastructure the EU wants to avoid.

But there will be lots of information about goods travelling into Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK, which the government could share with the EU.

There's also a big problem with the exit mechanism for the Northern Irish Assembly: is this handing the DUP a veto, and what happens if they decide to end the backstop arrangements?

Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party - long-term critics of the backstop and partners of the Conservative Party in Parliament - gave a cautious welcome to the proposals.

In a statement, the DUP said the plan "demonstrates commitment to working with our neighbours" in Ireland and respected "the integrity of Northern Ireland's economic and constitutional position within the United Kingdom".
Media captionPM: Boris Johnson: "It (no deal) is not an outcome we want... but is an outcome for which we are ready"

But Sinn Fein said the plans were a "non-starter" and accused their former power-sharing partners of "working against the interests of the people" of Northern Ireland.

And Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the deal was "not acceptable" and "worse" than Theresa May's agreement, as it "undermined" the Good Friday Agreement that secured peace in Northern Ireland.
What is in the proposals?

The prime minister has set out details of his plan to replace the Irish border "backstop" in the current Brexit agreement.

The backstop is the controversial "insurance policy" that is meant to keep a free-flowing border on the island of Ireland but which critics - including the PM - fear could trap the UK in EU trading rules indefinitely.

Under Mr Johnson's proposals, which he calls a "broad landing zone" for a new deal with the EU:

    Northern Ireland would leave the EU's customs union alongside the rest of the UK, at the start of 2021
    But Northern Ireland would, with the consent of politicians in the Northern Ireland Assembly, continue to apply EU legislation relating to agricultural and other products - what he calls an "all-island regulatory zone"
    This arrangement could, in theory, continue indefinitely, but the consent of Northern Ireland's politicians would have to be sought every four years
    Customs checks on goods traded between the UK and EU would be "decentralised", with paperwork submitted electronically and only a "very small number" of physical checks
    These checks should take place away from the border itself, at business premises or at "other points in the supply chain"

The government is also promising a "New Deal for Northern Ireland", with financial commitments to help manage the changes.
Image caption Mr Johnson has written to the European Commission president about his proposals
What's the reaction been?

Later, Mr Johnson will speak to Mr Juncker on the phone and the two sides' negotiating teams will also meet, while the UK PM will also speak to his Irish counterpart.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the EU would study the proposals carefully and she "trusted" the bloc's Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier to maintain European unity.

But opponents of Brexit in Parliament indicated they would not support the proposals, unless they were accompanied by the promise of another referendum.

The Lib Dems said the proposals would deal a "hammer blow" to the Northern Irish economy while the SNP said it gave the DUP a veto over the proposed alternative to the backstop.

"This is not a way forward," the SNP's Ian Blackford told the BBC. "It is window dressing from the government."
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💩 Boris Johnson’s Brexit Plan Hits a Wall in Brussels
« Reply #186 on: October 04, 2019, 05:06:16 AM »
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/03/world/europe/boris-johnson-brexit-eu.html

Boris Johnson’s Brexit Plan Hits a Wall in Brussels


Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, England, on Wednesday.Credit Oli Scarff/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

By Stephen Castle

    Oct. 3, 2019

LONDON — On Thursday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson appeared to have accomplished what his long-suffering predecessor, Theresa May, never could. He rallied support among lawmakers for a plan to extricate Britain from the European Union and won praise from some of the same legislators who had tormented Mrs. May.

One Conservative Party lawmaker even seemed to compare Mr. Johnson to Moses, the biblical figure who descended from the mountain with new commandments.

But diplomats in Brussels greeted his Brexit plan frostily and pointed out a series of gaps and problems. It was an ominous sign that, after more than three fraught and exasperating years of debate in Parliament, Brexit was heading once again for a deadlock — this time in Brussels.

European Union leaders have been polite, at best, about Mr. Johnson’s proposal. On Thursday, Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, said he had told Mr. Johnson he was “open but still unconvinced.”
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A less-diplomatic reaction came from an influential committee of the European Parliament, which declared the plan to be not “even remotely” acceptable. The European Parliament would have a veto over any deal.

“On the parliamentary side, it is plausible that Boris Johnson could scrape a majority together,” said Sam Lowe, a senior research fellow at the Center for European Reform, a research organization. “But on the European Union side, it is not a workable deal.”
ImageThe big problem is how to avoid checks on goods at the politically sensitive border between Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, and Ireland, which will stay in the European Union.
The big problem is how to avoid checks on goods at the politically sensitive border between Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, and Ireland, which will stay in the European Union.CreditPaul Faith/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The real question now, many analysts say, is who would get the blame for any negotiating failure over Mr. Johnson’s plan. That could be critical in swaying sentiment in a British general election, which everyone expects to happen soon.

If Mr. Johnson is ultimately forced to delay Brexit, he will want to blame others, analysts say, and the European Union does not want to be in the cross hairs. “No one wants to be the bad guy,” said Mr. Lowe.

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Though Parliament has approved legislation to force Mr. Johnson to request a Brexit extension if he cannot get an agreement, it is also denying him a general election until he does so.

The same Parliament had foiled Mrs. May’s Brexit plan after she managed to reach a deal to get Britain out of the bloc. Three times she brought the plan before lawmakers to ram it through Parliament, and three times it failed.

This time, so far, Mr. Johnson seems headed in the opposite direction, getting support from Parliament but not the European Union.

Mr. Johnson has promised to leave the European Union on Oct. 31 “do or die.” His latest proposal aims to avert the possibility of a potentially disastrous withdrawal without any formal agreement. The big problem is how to avoid checks on goods at the politically sensitive border between Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, and Ireland, which will stay in the European Union.

The prime minister’s plan aims to minimize customs checks, keep them away from the border and leave Northern Ireland obeying many of Europe’s product standards and regulations for goods, providing there is consent from the population.

On Thursday, Mr. Johnson softened his approach and was a symbol of reason itself in a performance in Parliament that was the mirror image of his last combustible appearance, during which he was accused of using highly provocative language.

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This time, he moderated his tone and promised to “strain every sinew” to get a Brexit deal, as some of the most vociferous Conservative hard-liners signaled their support for him.

Steve Baker, a prominent member of a group of pro-Brexit Conservative lawmakers nicknamed the “Spartans” because of their die-hard opposition to earlier compromise plans, said there was, at last, “a glimpse of a possibility of a tolerable deal.”

Mark Francois, another Conservative member of Parliament, said that the prime minister’s new proposal was based on “what many of us wanted all along,” including ideas that had been approved in a vote in Parliament.

That was significant because Mr. Francois is not just any Brexit supporter; he is the hard-liner’s hard-liner — someone who once publicly ripped up a letter from a German aerospace executive that warned about potential consequences from Brexit, then added that his father, a World War II veteran, “never submitted to bullying by any German. Neither will his son.”

Significantly, Mr. Johnson had already received support from Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, whose 10 lawmakers are allied with his Conservatives. Many analysts see the unionists as critical to assembling a majority in Parliament because, on issues related to Northern Ireland, they are influential among a larger number of Tory hard-liners who meet together as the European Research Group.

The opposition Labour Party lawmakers thought to be most likely to rebel and support Mr. Johnson to help him get a Brexit deal through did not speak up. But Frank Field, who recently left Labour to sit as an independent, was supportive.

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Mr. Johnson appeared to have a small majority of lawmakers backing his latest proposals for resolving the Brexit crisis. But many see the question of a parliamentary majority as largely academic, including Anna Soubry, a former Conservative lawmaker who opposes Brexit.

She said that Mr. Johnson “thinks he has got the support of Parliament, but he can’t get any support from the E.U.”

Mr. Lowe said that Mr. Johnson was trapped in a Catch-22 that would be familiar to his predecessor, Mrs. May. To get an agreement from European leaders, he would have to make significant concessions, and that would cause his new supporters in Parliament to melt away.

“What we are all waiting for is a general election,” Mr. Lowe said.

As expected, the opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn, said he would oppose Mr. Johnson’s plan, which he said was designed to open the way for an agreement on trade that would be an “America-first deal with President Trump.”

That prompted one Conservative Brexit supporter, Michael Tomlinson, to seemingly compare Mr. Johnson to Moses, saying that even if he had brought tablets down from the mountain, the opposition would have grumbled.
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Offline Surly1

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Re: BREXIT! The FUN Begins!
« Reply #187 on: October 04, 2019, 05:24:09 AM »
Teaching Boris Johnson Three Dates of Destiny
Strategic Culture Foundation by Andrey Areshev / 33min 



1839, 1937 and 1941 – These are three dates for blustering, bullying British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to learn before he sends Britain’s two new aircraft carriers to the South China Sea where the Chinese if they wanted to could sink them within minutes.

Date Number One: In 1839, Britain, then the mightiest sea power and empire the world had ever seen, went to war in the name of international free trade to smash China’s desperate efforts at border security.

The Chinese wanted to stop the flood of opium into their country grown in British India that was destroying their society, the oldest and most populous civilization in the world. Their efforts at border security and their war on drugs never had a chance. The British smashed them.

A tidal wave of economic depression, despair and opioid crises then swept China over the next decade: It led to the rise of the Taiping, a wild militaristic pseudo-Christian sect that was as murderous and merciless as Nazism or Communism.

By the time the Taiping Rebellion was over in 1865, 40 million to 50 million Chinese had died – at least eight times the death toll of the US Civil War at the same time.

Date Number Two for Boris Johnson to learn before he lectures China yet again about freedom of navigation in the South China Sea is 1937: The year that World War II truly began.

In July 1937, the Imperial Japanese Army landed at the mouth of the Yangtze River and drove 180 miles up it in three months to China’s modern capital city Nanjing. Along the way they killed – usually with bayonets and swords to conserve ammunition – as many as three quarters of a million Chinese civilians.

Once the Imperial Army reached Nanjing, things got even worse. The torture, rape, slaughter, beheading and dismembering of Chinese women ranging in age from younger than five to over 90 was so horrifying, so monstrous that even the deputy head of the Nazi Party in the city German engineer John Rabe was appalled.

Acting on his own initiative and with inconceivable bravery he set up an international humanitarian zone. Armed with nothing but bluff, he saved an estimated three hundred thousand lives and is revered by the Chinese people to this day.

Therefore twice in one century, inconceivable, genocidal-scale suffering and horror came upon the Chinese people as a direct result of invasions launched by dominant sea and air powers in the South China Sea. No wonder China’s leaders remain obsessed with the region today.

Boris Johnson may choose to ignore those horrific lessons of history – untaught to this day in schools and universities across both the United States and the United Kingdom.

But there is a third date that should give him pause: 1941.

In the late fall or autumn of that year, Winston Churchill, Britain’s legendary war premier, but also a highly alcoholic, blustering military bungler with a ludicrous 19th century conception of war, sent two capital ships, the battleship Prince of Wales on which he himself had sailed and the battlecruiser Repulse to the other side of the world, believing they would terrify Japan into leaving Britain’s Eastern Empire alone.

Three days after the Japanese air attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese Navy Air Force bombers and torpedo planes sank both warships in only 30 minutes of operations.

Today, the new British aircraft carriers Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales are as vulnerable as obsolescent and as easy to sink by submarines and missiles as the Prince of Wales and the Repulse were by air attacks nearly 70 years ago.

Boris Johnson reveres Churchill and openly seeks to emulate his alcoholic intake. He seeks to strut the world stage and affects a global role for his tiny offshore island even more impossible to sustain now than it was in Churchill’s time, when it took both the Soviet Union and the United States to rescue the British from Nazi Germany.

The aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth – Britain’s proud new pride and joy – is a joke. The Brits cannot even supply aircraft to fly on it and have to be bailed out with trouble-plagued F-35s from the US. But it is a prime symptom of the childish sleepwalking that is bringing a vulnerable, overcrowded island nation of 65 million people to total destruction.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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💩 Brexit: BoJo CAPITULATES!
« Reply #188 on: October 04, 2019, 12:53:56 PM »
Let's Kick-the-Can AGAIN!  ::)

I can't believe the Brit Lawyers still wear those silly wigs.

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Johnson faces new constitutional crisis as Brexit talks grind to a halt.
« Reply #189 on: October 04, 2019, 03:00:01 PM »
Johnson faces new constitutional crisis as Brexit talks grind to a halt.
t appears increasingly unlikely PM will hit deadline for deal laid down in Benn act.




Boris Johnson is careering towards a fresh constitutional crisis, after insisting there will be “no delay” to Brexit just hours after government lawyers promised in a court in Scotland that he would obey the law and request an extension if he failed to clinch a deal within a fortnight.

The prime minister tweeted that there must be “new deal or no deal – but no delay”, echoing the words he used in his party conference speech in Manchester on Wednesday.

The dramatic scenes in court came as Brexit negotiations all but ground to a halt after the EU rebuffed UK requests for them to intensify over the weekend. It now appears increasingly likely Johnson will fail to hit the deadline for a deal laid down in what he calls the “surrender act”.

EU sources said there remained considerable doubt as to whether there was any basis for such discussions, given Johnson’s insistence on there being a customs border on the island of Ireland.

Meanwhile Julian Smith, the Northern Ireland secretary, was told by a series of senior figures in Belfast that the “Stormont lock” envisaged in the proposal is unworkable, setting up a race against time to rework that aspect of the plan in time for the 17 October European council meeting.

The European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act, drawn up by rebel MPs and passed by parliament, states that if Westminster does not agree to a Brexit deal by 19 October, the prime minister has to write to the EU seeking an extension to article 50 until 31 January.

In extracts of legal papers submitted by the government to the court of session in Edinburgh, that emerged on Friday in a case brought by anti-Brexit campaigners, the government appeared to accept for the first time that it would have to make the request.

The papers, which the government declined to publish in full, stated that the prime minister accepts “he is subject to the public law principle that he cannot frustrate its purpose or the purpose of its provisions. Thus he cannot act so as to prevent the letter requesting the specified extension in the act from being sent.”

Campaigners brought the legal action to force Johnson to comply with the requirements of the act, also known as the Benn Act, after a series of suggestions from Downing Street sources that Johnson believes he has found a loophole in the law that will allow him to leave the EU on 31 October regardless.

The UK government refused to release copies of its submissions in this case to the media despite repeated requests by the Guardian, the BBC and other news organisations.

Key excerpts of its pledge were read out instead by Aidan O’Neill QC, the lawyer for the green energy millionaire Dale Vince, the SNP MP Joanna Cherry QC, and the lawyer and anti-Brexit campaigner Jolyon Maugham QC.

O’Neill told Lord Pentland, the judge hearing the case, that Johnson had repeatedly contradicted that position, including in the Commons on Wednesday, by insisting the UK would leave on 31 October “come what may”.

As a result, O’Neill said, the court still needed to issue legally binding orders to force Johnson to comply with the Benn Act in an interdict, or injunction. If the prime minister refused to do so, O’Neill could return to court to ask for Johnson to be fined or jailed, he added. Pentland is due to give his ruling on Monday.

No 10 declined to comment. Yet senior government figures, including some cabinet ministers, continue to insist privately that while they will obey the law as narrowly interpreted, they can still avoid any delay to Brexit.

An attempt to circumvent the law would almost certainly result in another bitter court battle for the government – but Johnson’s allies hope he could thereby present himself as the man trying to “get Brexit done” in the face of obstructionist remainers.

With a Brexit delay forced on him, Johnson could then fight a general election on a platform of a hard Brexit.

Senior government insiders suggest that to confront the challenge from the Brexit party, the Conservatives would have to promise to strike an even tougher bargain than the one the prime minister is currently offering to Brussels.

The backbench rebels who drew up the Benn bill hoped to avert a no-deal Brexit; but Johnson has angrily accused them of undermining the government’s negotiating position.

In Brussels on Friday, a European commission spokeswoman said: “We have completed discussions with the UK for today. We gave our initial reaction to the UK’s proposals and asked many questions on the legal text.

“We will meet again on Monday to give the UK another opportunity to present its proposals in detail.” The spokeswoman added that the proposals did not “provide a basis for concluding an agreement”.

A senior EU diplomat said: “If we held talks at the weekend, it would look like these were proper negotiations. The truth is we’re still a long way from that. We need to work out quickly whether there is the opportunity to close that gap.”

But the Irish deputy prime minister, Simon Coveney, speaking after a meeting in Belfast with the Northern Ireland secretary, struck a more upbeat note, saying a deal was “not mission impossible”.

“I believe it is possible to change that [approach including the old backstop] but we have to make sure that while we change the approach the outcome has got to be the same,” he said, adding that he believed “it’s possible to do that with goodwill and energy on all sides” next week.

But Smith was told by several parties at the meeting that the proposal, backed by the DUP, to give the devolved government the final say on Brexit arrangements in the region after Brexit was a non-starter.

One source with knowledge of the meeting said: “The message has gone back from all quarters in Northern Ireland from Sinn Féin to the Traditional Unionist Voice that this is unworkable and it will destabilise the institutions and the Good Friday agreement and is not plausible – and in light of that, if he is serious about getting a deal, he has to come back with something more realistic.”

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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Re: Johnson faces new constitutional crisis as Brexit talks grind to a halt.
« Reply #190 on: October 04, 2019, 03:50:59 PM »
It will be interesting if BoJo tries to single-handedly pull off the Brexit without the consent of Parliament.  He'd probably be jailed, which wold make him a Martyr for the Brexiteers.  But does he have that kind of guts?

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Re: Johnson faces new constitutional crisis as Brexit talks grind to a halt.
« Reply #191 on: October 04, 2019, 06:02:04 PM »
It will be interesting if BoJo tries to single-handedly pull off the Brexit without the consent of Parliament.  He'd probably be jailed, which wold make him a Martyr for the Brexiteers.  But does he have that kind of guts?

RE

If he takes a page from Trump, he'll just brazen it out, knowing Severn. if he comes to doom he'll be comfortably pensioned off to some Jimmy-Savile-style cild buggery in retirement.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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Re: Johnson faces new constitutional crisis as Brexit talks grind to a halt.
« Reply #192 on: October 04, 2019, 07:33:46 PM »
It will be interesting if BoJo tries to single-handedly pull off the Brexit without the consent of Parliament.  He'd probably be jailed, which wold make him a Martyr for the Brexiteers.  But does he have that kind of guts?

RE

If he takes a page from Trump, he'll just brazen it out, knowing Severn. if he comes to doom he'll be comfortably pensioned off to some Jimmy-Savile-style cild buggery in retirement.

I'm not quite so pessimistic about that.  The Globalists really don't want a Brexit, it's contrary to the One World Goobermint.  If/When BoJo fails, I think he gets hung out to dry.  Same with Trumpovetsky.  Time will tell of course.  The clock is ticking down here.

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💩 Boris Johnson Tells Merkel Brexit Deal Essentially Impossible
« Reply #193 on: October 08, 2019, 01:21:20 PM »
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💩 Farage: 'You patronising stuck up snob!'
« Reply #194 on: October 13, 2019, 01:11:05 AM »
Nigel is BACK! (again  ::) )

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