LibLink: Layla Moran: Don’t be fooled: The Chequers Plan is economic suicide

You might be fooled into believing, because of the gnashing of teeth amongst the Tory Brexiteers, that the plan thrashed out at Chequers, on which today’s White Paper was based, is hardly any Brexit at all.

Don’t believe that fiction, says Layla Moran, writing for Politics.co.uk.

First, though, she compares and contrasts two holders of that high office of state of Foreign Secretary:

The contrast between Carrington and Johnson is striking. Carrington served in Churchill’s cabinet yet was the more modern figure, seeing the importance of nations working for the common good. Johnson, in contrast, invited a photographer to capture for posterity his gurning visage as he signed his departure from Carlton Gardens having presided over Britain’s abject retreat from the world. Johnson has written a biography of Churchill, and sometimes seems to think he IS Churchill – but Churchill would have viewed Johnson as a dangerous charlatan.

She pointed out the weakness of our negotiating position:

From the moment Theresa May, crazily in my view, triggered Article 50, all the EU had to do was tick down the clock like some winning football team at the World Cup. Roughly half our exports go to the EU, yet the most exposed country to Britain in the event of a no-deal Brexit – Germany – sends just 9% of its exports to the UK. Sure, tariffs and lack of regulatory alignment would damage Germany, but nothing like it would Britain. In rare moments when Johnson was forced to face this brutal logic, his response was “f*ck business”. If that seemed an odd look for the self-styled ‘party of business’, actually it would be British workers and their families who would be economically devastated.

And then the inadequacy of the White Paper to deliver anything for the country at all:

For she has proposed a customs union in goods but not a single market in services. Yet services make up 80% of the UK economy. The EU enjoys a major trade imbalance with us on goods, so why propose the free trade of goods but not of services where we excel? But in Brexit circles, proving you are something of a lemming marks you out as a true believer – a hero even. So by their own warped standards, Boris and co really should be congratulating May, the prime lemming.

So what should May do?

If May were a courageous statesperson she would seize this moment. She would declare that she tried to deliver the hard Brexit of her Lancaster House speech, but that it simply wasn’t possible without causing unimaginable damage to living standards and life chances. As a patriot, she had to change course and if any of her MPs thought she had done wrong, they should challenge her.

You can read the whole article here. 

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49 Comments

  • John Marriott 13th Jul '18 - 5:06pm

    But… it might be the only deal in town. If the EU rejects it, not to mention parliament as a whole, then we might be in real trouble economically

  • @John Marriott – I suspect that this is the reason for Johnson and Davis agreeing to it and only later finding their ‘principles’ and resigning…

    Before Friday’s events I had concluded that any agreement reached on Friday, stood a high chance of not getting the approval of the wider constituency of Conservative MPs, before it was even submitted to the EU. now looking back and having read the paper handed out to MPs that is full of dressing and lacking in real meat, I expect the EU to raise some serious questions over the UK proposals.

    Given Parliament will recess on 20-Jul and not return until 5-Sep, I expect sh*t to hit the fan and everyone to be stirred up ready for the autumn conference season…

  • “the self-styled ‘party of business’”

    It would be more accurate to call them the party of ‘snouts in troughs’. To get to ‘business’ requires a thick layer of political lipstick.

    May’s plan is NOT going to be accepted by the EU. The Cabinet has still not managed to get its collective head around the fact that the EU has its own red lines. May & Co have somehow convinced themselves that ‘cakeism’ (having it AND eating it) is fine and dandy despite being clearly told multiple times that it’s not.

    Richard North, a one-time adviser to Farage, but advocate of staying in the EEA, is appalled and has a good write up of why that is.

    http://eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=86930

    I gather there is a Russian word with no direct English equivalent that translates roughly as ‘not agreement-capable’ in the sense of too disorganised, divided, incompetent or whatever to have a grown-up negotiation with let alone cut a deal with. That would seem to be the perfect description of this Cabinet. We really need an English equivalent. Anyone?

    That said, and Richard North notwithstanding, my reading is that the EU side is becoming alarmed – not so much for the consequences for Britain which I think they’ve given up on – so much as for their own multinational companies with deep investments in Britain including key parts of their supply chains. The fallout for Airbus in particular, but also for the car makers and others, of a hard Brexit, in fact of anything except a super-soft Brexit, would likely to be catastrophic.

    So, I think there might be some sort of deal offered, perhaps an extended transition period (5 years?), with just enough face-saving elements to have a chance of not being blown up by the ‘ultras’ to buy the time needed for Airbus and others to repatriate their supply chains.

    Either way that would leave the UK in a parlous position. For nearly 30 years the UK’s core development strategy has been to seek inward investment, selling itself as a convenient, stable English-speaking bridgehead into the world’s biggest market.

    That’s no longer credible but there is no alternative in sight. Clever (NOT!)

  • John Chandler 13th Jul '18 - 7:08pm

    I’m not convinced the EU is alarmed, other than at the recklessness of the UK’s government (and, to a lesser extent, our alleged opposition).

    EU countries are set to gain a lot of business, and are already preparing for the UK crashing out with no deal by redirecting supply chains elsewhere. The aircraft and car manufacturing will shift to the continent; finance and tech seem to be heading to Ireland, Germany, and even the Netherlands (seriously, the London Stock Exchange is looking to relocate there!). The larger companies do seem to be trying to defer to the last moment, in the hope of a reprieve, but they are definitely making plans.

    If there is an extended transition period, all it’ll do is give a chance for companies to move out of the UK at a more leisurely pace.

  • Brexit was always going to be a mess. There (in my opinion) are only two valid and logical reasons for voting leave

    1. You wanted sovereignty to be the sole preserve of the UK government and bugger the cost.
    2. You believed although there would be much pain in the short to medium turn in the long term it would be worth it.

    Any other reasons given by brave Brexiteers to be blunt lack logic and reflect rather badly on the people pushing it. They are effectively saying I’m delusional, facts and logic are not for me. Unfortunately the majority of the Brexiteers belong to the delusional “Cake”, “Lexit”, “Not much will change”, “That will stop foreign being spoken in my little village”, “I really hadn’t a clue” and “I stuck one too the man” groupings. For those particular groups as has often has been stated a learning experience awaits them, because

    Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other.

  • I do wish researchers for Lib Dems Mps would do their homework. Lord Carrington was not a member of Churchill’ S cabinet. He was a junior agriculture minister.

  • nvelope2003 13th Jul '18 - 8:30pm

    Gordon: The English word is mess

  • David Raw,
    Yes it’s important to get these details correct. Lord Carrington later served in cabinet under Macmillan. His passing reminds us how impoverished of talent the Tories now are.

  • David Becket 14th Jul '18 - 1:11am

    David Raw
    And Labour as well as ourselves, one of the main problems with British Politics

  • The game must be played to the bitter end: Parliament will not dare a crash-out
    i wish I shared your optimism Arnold, given how Parliament and the House of Commons has behaved so far and has largely abdicated responsibility, I suspect we are heading to a messy crash out of the EU next March, for which the UK will have made no preparation for…

  • Peter Martin 14th Jul '18 - 7:29am

    @ Arnold,

    “…..and the country is prepared for the national humiliation of remaining after all.”

    That’s just not going to happen.

    It’s great to have someone like yourself arguing the Remain case in such strident terms. With your calls that the there has to be “unconditional surrender” and “the people won’t be a problem next time” you make, as I think it was Dav who said, an ideal “movie villain”. If you didn’t exist I’d be tempted to invent you!

    The people are always going to be a problem to anti-democrats like yourself and the EU.

  • THe EU, although happy that, at long last, there is something (anything) on which to negotiate, certainly won’t accept this paper in its present form.

    Months ago the UK government agreed that the £39 billion ‘exit fee’ was for existing commitments and not dependent on future deals; however, when presenting the white paper to parliament, Raab reneged on that agreement. Given our government’s history on ‘reinterpreting’ promises, the EU will want every paragraph written in blood.

  • Peter Martin 14th Jul '18 - 8:02am

    It looks like Jean Claude Juncker has read the May Plan and it’s driving the poor man to drink! Just when President Trump is the guest of honour at an important EU meeting!

    https://www.facebook.com/polsatnewspl/videos/2122985644619322/

  • Arnold,
    Only the full horror of a hard Brexit would purge us of the populist. If Brexit was stopped before that you’d have brave Brexiteers squealing “Stab in the back, “We was betrayed”. Even with a hard Brexit you’d still get a large number using those excuses. I’m afraid although we can see it will burn for the brave Brexiteers all they can see is pretty colours and shapes and they want to touch them. Do not touch the flames we cry, but as sure as night follows day, you know they will scream “It burns, it burns” as they touch the flames.

  • Paul Reynolds 14th Jul '18 - 9:33am

    As the article states, Layla Moran wrote ‘For she has proposed a customs union in goods but not a single market in services’.

    Indeed. Succinctly put. The reason ? Keeping physical goods in the single market and customs union is what the UK’s internationalised corporations have demanded, lest they are forced to relocate, and such arrangements are necessary to avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland. Without these arrangements there would be a reverse negotiation with the EU, ie the EU proposes something harmful to the UK, and we negotiate for something even more harmful. So the reason for proposing phyical goods stay in the customs union and single is that the UK has been FORCED reluctantly to do so by economic and political realities. That leaves the UK going into the EU negotiations with the cliff edge in services. However this is not the 1970s. Due to modern commercial practices services are not so separate from physical goods. This is not just because of IT. Larger businesses used to provide much of their ‘services’ in house, but now most services, from cleaning to accounting and financial hedging (and IT) are contracted out. If, like the Brexiters you have never been inside a modern company, and your knowledge of economics comes from 1970s textbooks, services are something completely separate from physical goods. The same UK channels that forced Theresa May into trying to keep physical goods in the single market and custioms union willnow force May to do the same for services. It is rather painful to watch.

  • Peter Martin.
    I’ve tried to shy away from calling parts of the remain camp and the EU undemocratic, but sadly they are. They’re obsessed with the idea that people voting against them is evidence of “populism” rather than the failure of their technocratic and somewhat authoritarian “end of history” vision after a mere 20 odd years.

  • Populism Glen is just a polite way of saying idiotism. I’m afraid given the total failure of the brave Brexiteers to plan for Brexit, idiotism actually is the correct word for the whole Brexit shambles. Of cause in a democracy idiotism often prevails, but pointing out it is idiotism isn’t undemocratic it’s just a fact.

  • Franky
    Cool story, bro.

  • Peter Martin 14th Jul '18 - 10:10am

    @ frankie,

    “Of cause” should be “Of course”.

    I don’t normally like to correct anyone’s grammar, but when someone assumes those who hold a contrary P.O.V. are all guilty of “idiotism” and confuses their own opinion with “fact”, I can make an exception!

  • @ Glenn
    The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. Winston Churchill lol

  • Peter Martin 14th Jul '18 - 10:37am

    Mrs May’s proposals look to have done nothing much other than to displease each side of the debate in equal measure.

    The choice for the UK is ultimately going to be to join the EU 100% (euro, Schengen, no opt outs etc) as will be required in the United States of Europe that is coming, or be out 100%. There needs to be a USE to make the euro function properly. Otherwise the strains will tear the EU apart. Emmanuel Macron is quite right about that.

    I know which option the UK population will choose. It makes no sense to try to kick the proverbial can down the road will some horrible fudge now.

  • Correct away Peter, my English teacher was amazed I passed my O level, but then as my wife likes to point out ” you know your dislexic”. “How do you work that out” I ask “I’m far too old to be dislexic, it hasn’t been invented when I was at school”. To which she replies because all your kids are, dislexia is herditory and I’m not. Perhaps I should ask the milkman if he is.

  • I suspect that @peter Martin may be right and 100% in, or out, are the real options. At which point it perhaps dawns on people that the position we had, in the EU but out of the euro, wan’t so dreadful ?
    Given the age profiles of the in/out camps, one might presume that in 10/20 years time, or less, there will be a clear majority in Britain for joining the EU. Given how long it will take to renegotiate our entry, shouldn’t we make a start now ?

  • Ultimately the EU will reject the PMs Chequers deal and allow the clock to tick on. At which point we will be on the brink of a Political and Economic crisis. Teresa May will have no choice but to go back to the country in referendum and say it’s a hard Brexit or we stay in the EU. Lib Dem’s should resist the temptation to say, we told you so!

  • Little Jackie Paper 14th Jul '18 - 1:24pm

    ‘Roughly half our exports go to the EU, yet the most exposed country to Britain in the event of a no-deal Brexit – Germany – sends just 9% of its exports to the UK. Sure, tariffs and lack of regulatory alignment would damage Germany, but nothing like it would Britain.’

    ‘The EU enjoys a major trade imbalance with us on goods’

    Am I to understand that Layla Moran thinks that this is a positive thing?

  • Little Jackie Paper 14th Jul '18 - 1:42pm

    Chris Cory – It is worth pointing out here that there is a credible argument that age was not the factor in the referendum that many seem think it was . See figure 2 here.

    https://voxeu.org/article/brexit-cry-financial-pain-not-influence-old

    It is also perhaps noting that the only difficulty I suspect the UK would have in ‘renegotiating’ membership would be EMU. I will leave to you whether that would get through a referendum. If you look at the accessions in general many countries have rapidly agreed most chapters. Iceland (in the EEA) agreed pretty much everything except for fish in about 18 months, albeit that the Icelandic Parliament later withdrew the application.

  • Christian: yes that is my reading of the situation as well. Fingers crossed.

  • Martin – The Norway arrangement won’t fly. Labour will vote it down and so will 60 or so Brexiteers. There is no majority in Parliament for anything except another referendum

  • @Little Jackie Paper
    Re: ‘The EU enjoys a major trade imbalance with us on goods’
    Am I to understand that Layla Moran thinks that this is a positive thing?

    No just a brutal statement of truth; the Brexiteers and T.May’s government have chosen to deny reality and made their stand on sand claiming that this is somehow better than the high ground, the EU currently occupies…

    I suggest you read Richard North’s article that Gordon links to.

  • Peter Martin 14th Jul '18 - 3:43pm

    @ Martin

    If I’m “right wing”, or even “ultra right wing”, then so are/were Tony Benn, Dennis Skinner, Michael Foot, and Jeremy Corbyn for much of his career. I know this is a LibDem blog so I try to avoid giving you the standard Morning Star line of the EU being a “capitalist club”. I’d be OK with that if it were a successful capitalist club but the PTB in the EU don’t even understand how capitalism works well enough to be organise a common currency properly. If the common currency is a failure then everything they try to build on that is likely to be a failure too.

    So what’s my point? The lack of democracy in the EU obviously. But even so, the EU would work much better, even with a lack of democracy, is they were more inclined towards growth and weren’t so debt averse. How can the party of Keynes not realise that all the stuff we hear about “expansionary fiscal contractionism”, a discredited economic neoliberal/ordoliberal theory that forms the basis of the so-called Stability and Growth Pact, isn’t complete and utter nonsense?

  • Peter Martin 14th Jul '18 - 3:56pm

    @ Roland @ Little Jackie Paper

    If you’re looking for facts and figures on German/UK trade this is a useful link.

    https://www.destatis.de/EN/FactsFigures/NationalEconomyEnvironment/ForeignTrade/Tables/OrderRankGermanyTradingPartners.pdf?__blob=publicationFile

  • Little Jackie Paper 14th Jul '18 - 5:09pm

    Roland – I’m quite sure as a statement that it’s true. It just sounds like Layla Moran’s argument is:

    The EU is a set of trading arrangements – under that set of trading arrangements the UK has a big trade deficit – we should have more of the same of those trading arrangements.

    It just seems like a rather odd pro-EU argument. Unless she thinks a big trade deficit is a good thing on political grounds or she has some big idea for EU reform?

  • Little Jackie Paper 14th Jul '18 - 5:19pm

    Gordon –

    1 – I don’t agree 100% with Richard North, but I think he gets more right than wrong. I certainly agree with him on the EEA.

    2 – Sorry, I don’t think I understand from your comment. Are you saying that the EU’s political arrangements are a good thing? And that the quasi binding-by-the-back-door nature of the EU has been a positive? Surely you can see the constitutional deficit and the problems there at the very least?

    Indeed one could quite reasonably ask why the EU institutions have done so little work stewarding A50. At base all the UK has done is exercise an explicit treaty right.

    It really hit me with the Lisbon Treaty ratification. At the time I didn’t realise quite how serious that was but looking back that was a big problem in terms of the EU’s constitutional deficit.

    With hindsight we should never have gone down the Maastricht route in 1992, pretty much every PM since then has been fighting the fallout from Maastricht ratification. But that’s for another day.

  • Little Jackie Paper 14th Jul '18 - 5:21pm

    Christian – ‘The Norway arrangement won’t fly. Labour will vote it down and so will 60 or so Brexiteers.’

    But what if a referendum passed it? Norway’s arrangement is after all a very sensible one.

  • Peter Martin 15th Jul '18 - 7:11am

    @ Martin,

    So you’re saying that because the right wing support Brexit, therefore anyone else who supports Brexit must be right wing too?

    Dear Arnold Kiel, Remainers, Leavers, and anyone with an open mind.

    Arnold says:

    “Brexit is impossible, will not happen, and the people will eventually appreciate that simple fact.”

    Many of us have been warning for years, especially after the Maastricht and Lisbon Treaties, which should never have been ratified, that the EU is like the spiders web and the UK has been losing sovereignty. This was routinely pooh-poohed by the pro EU side who cheerfully described the process as “pooling” sovereignty.

    We should all accept that Brexit is probably going to be much more difficult than was generally supposed prior to the referendum. However, if we say it’s impossible now , or even too difficult, we’ll be locked in to the EU for ever. We won’t get another chance.

    This will mean we won’t ever again have any leverage. If we’re told to make provision to start using the euro we’ll have to do that. It will probably start with us having to abide by the rules of the so-called Stability and Growth Pact. More accurately the Austerity, Destabilisation and Stagnation Pact. If I’m right and the EU changes into the United States of Europe, we’ll become a part of that. We’ll end up with a similar status to California or Tennessee, relative to the USA. We won’t have a choice.

    If we make the effort, and get out now while we still can, we’ll end up like Canada.

    It is our choice now but it won’t be for much longer.

  • William Fowler 15th Jul '18 - 7:32am

    Lovely future then, most of the talented and well paid will follow the car, aerospace and finance companies off to the EU, the currency will crash leading to a massive boom in tourism so the remaining populace, with little money to pay welfare, will be forced to entertain the foreign hordes in the hope they will find an EU partner to take them to live in the booming EU… I have got my druid costume ready and am erecting a mini-stonehedge in the front garden as well as sprucing up the spare rooms for paying guests

  • Peter,
    Arnold is merely pointing out that the people who are leading us out of the EU are very right wing. Now you knew that when you voted for Brexit, it is therefore only fair to point out you signed up for that form of Brexit. You knew who would be representing, you therefore can’t claim it isn’t your sort of Brexit or that are not your leaders (You voted knowing the facts didn’t you?). At best Peter you can claim to be mislead, but what you can’t claim is you didn’t get the Brexit you voted for.

  • But William will you be able to compete with the brave Brexiteers. They will be more than happy to entertain the hordes of tourists by shouting “Get off of moi land, “No foreign spoken here” while jumping up and down with puce red faces. I fear a Brexiteer in their little village will be much more entertaining than you dressed as a druid.

  • Peter Hirst 15th Jul '18 - 1:12pm

    Though I agree, it is also important to offer those who voted for Brexit something and understand their view. We can’t allow unfettered immigration from anywhere. We must preserve our place at the table of major countries, willing to sacrifice for what we believe.

  • Peter Martin : Is Canada so much nicer than California ?

  • nvelope2003 15th Jul '18 - 5:10pm

    Peter Martin : Is Canada so much nicer than California ?

    Why do Brexiteers still think that things were so wonderful before 1973 when my recollection is that the UK was in a terrible mess, endless strike, major industries collapsing and general disatisfaction which caused massive turnarounds at by elections, mostly to the Liberals.
    Apparently the Queen told Donald Trump that Brexit was very complicated. Perhaps she should tell the Brexiteers who still seem to think it can all be sorted out in a day or two. Should anyone who thinks such an issue can be dealt with overnight really be taken seriously ? Those who I have heard saying that do not always seem to be the poor or disadvantaged making a protest about their problems but some may be those whos situation is not as grand as it used to be.

  • Neil Sandison 15th Jul '18 - 5:23pm

    The Brexiters argument appears to be any connection to the EU makes us a vassel state however it was clear from Trumps comments that if we wanted a good deal with the US we had to play by their rules and become the US junior partner a US minor state .Trade would mean lower food standards ,US work and employment conditions ,The likely hood that as we have seen in the past that should economic circumstances get tough in the US their companies would return to Uncle Sam leaving whole UK industries or sections of it without support and large scale unemployment .The super rich Brexiters would just move their money to the next sucker state willing to except US domination and our imploding economy would contract into yet another recession .

  • Peter Martin 15th Jul '18 - 6:32pm

    Neil Sanderson,

    “The Brexiters argument appears to be any connection to the EU makes us a vassel state”

    Not at all. We just want a deal not an imposition. For example, there’s no objection to the UK collecting tariffs for the EU, when the need arises, but it has to be reciprocated by the EU being prepared to do the same under similar circumstances. If the ECJ wants to have jurisdiction over EU citizens in the UK then the UK courts need jurisdiction over UK citizens in Europe too.

    @nvelope 2003,

    It’s matter of opinion on the relative ‘niceness’ of the two. I’m sure it wouldn’t be too hard to make the same case for Canada to be a part of the USA, using the same arguments as for the UK to be a part of the EU.

    A single market, a common currency to help trade, freedom of movement of capital and labour, the prevention of another war between the two etc. But that’s for Canadians to decide. Just as it is for the UK to decide on our own independence.

  • Little Jackie Paper –

    I wasn’t saying anything about the EU’s political arrangements. What I was saying is, that whatever you or I might think of those arrangements, we can’t just rip up 40 years of cross border investment (going both ways) and expect there not to be MASSIVE fallout.

    If that happens in the context of ‘no deal’ (or even a very minimalist deal) as May’s repeated comment that “No deal is better than a bad deal” implies then the damage will be off-scale. The ‘Ultras’ may not understand that (blinded by fundamentalism?) but the EU side certainly does. If push comes to shove, it have to devise some way of mitigating the fallout on its side.

    I’m not sure what you mean by saying the EU has done “so little work stewarding A50”. They have in fact played with a commendably straight bat – for instance making it clear from the outset that leaving the ‘club’ would entail loss of privileges and issuing a stream of ‘Advice to stakeholders’ notices (ignored by the UK press) highlighting issues. Conversely, the UK side has taken refuge in magical thinking, and repeated refused to abandon ‘cakeism’ because the saner elements in government found themselves staring into the abyss when they studied the consequences – yet the referendum demands they must press on.

    In effect, they are the dog that chases the cars on the day it caught one.

    FWIW, I realised at the time of Maastricht that the EU was veering off course and Lisbon made it worse, much worse. However, I don’t want to leave the UK simply because I don’t like the current thrust of government policy. Ditto the EU. Therefore, I have consistently argued since the early 1990s for EU reform.

    The EU is a political project and, as such, can be politically reformed (although the establishment will fight back as they always do). So, the sensible course of action is to join with others to drive reform. Unfortunately, the Lib Dem establishment seems committed to the idea that politics stops at Dover and that the job of their MEPs is to act as cheerleaders for whatever silliness came out of Brussels thereby not only missing an open goal but putting the ball in their own net. Oh, dear!

  • Little Jackie Paper 15th Jul '18 - 9:29pm

    Gordon – I think that we agree on 95% of this. A few observations.

    1 – Looking back the UK should not have ratified Maastricht. There simply wasn’t the backing. It left us with a GOVERNMENT that is thoroughly and utterly Europeanised in its work and outlook and a POLITICS that is still fighting the 1990s. What you think about that is another question. But to my mind the mistake here was back in 1992. You say, ‘I wasn’t saying anything about the EU’s political arrangements.’ I don’t think you can have this discussion without thinking about those arrangements.

    2 – You say, ‘The EU is a political project and, as such, can be politically reformed (although the establishment will fight back as they always do). So, the sensible course of action is to join with others to drive reform.’ I’d love to believe that. But I just can’t see it given how reform has gone since 1992 and I fail to see how the UK can, ‘drive,’ from outside of the EZ. I am astonished by how many on the REMAIN side see the EU as something other than, ‘establishment.’

    3 – My feeling is that had REMAIN won in 2016 there would have been another referendum in the next couple of decades when the-then PM would have had to talk about political union. This is a discussion we should have been having over the Constitution/Lisbon but politicians ducked it.

    4 – I agree with you completely that no economy could do a handbrake turn on 40+ years of policy. For now the EEA is the right option. Then we take it from there with a meaningful degree of political separation. It’s what we should have done in 1992. The rule-taking point is a red-herring given that we have been in-principle rule-takers since QMV and direct applicability for the ECJ.

    5 – The EU (any union) works best where there reciprocity – and that includes flows of people that look reciprocal. The EU just doesn’t seem to grasp the reciprocity problem.

    6 – At a minimum the EU should have had informal negotiations pre A50. The European Parliament appears to have envisaged such a step (p3) http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2016/577971/EPRS_BRI(2016)577971_EN.pdf. At best the EU has been pig-headed and it acts as though it thinks that A50 is in there to make up the word count.

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