The end of another day. Next week, hopefully, you’ll have Caron back…

And so, another eventful day is over. I placed my first correspondent into permanent moderation, and kept the show on the road as far as possible. I leave you with the thoughts of the President of the ALDE Group in the European Parliament, Guy Verhofstadt, who is clearly looking forward to negotiations on Brexit…

It does appear that Boris hasn’t worked out yet that the problem of holding a position of responsibility is that you can’t keep on making things up.

Goodnight!

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13 Comments

  • the abolition […] of obstacles to freedom of movement for persons, services and capital

    Well, there has never been complete freedom of movement of services within the EU — the protectionist countries keep blocking it — so perhaps Boris could start there.

  • Eddie Sammon 16th Nov '16 - 10:55pm

    This is important because it makes the idea of “Europe-wide reform” of free-movement harder because it would require treaty change (by the looks of it).

    However, we won’t be in the EU, so things can be done.

    In general I don’t see Guy Verhofstadt as an ally over brexit. He complained that the EU were being too soft with us, which wasn’t very soft, so he basically wants punishment to keep his federalist dream alive (which punishment probably won’t achieve).

  • I can’t stand the buffoon Boris but something will have to give in these negotiations a quick google search showed we had a significant trade deficit with the Netherlands in 2015. For those of us who supported remain we will not get what we want or, I doubt, the next best thing in membership of the single market. We need to get the best possible deal otherwise everyone (especially those like Germany and the Netherlands who we have the largest deficit with) will lose out. To do this we need a lot less posturing from all sides which will not happen until the next round of elections on the continent are over (if at all).

    Perhaps taking those who want to posture out of the picture completely would help.. Boris for Ambassador to Antartica maybe!

  • Im as pro Europe as they come but the main reason so many accession nationals came to UK was because Germany disabled free movement around the time Poland joined, and nearly all the other EU countries followed suit. The handful of exceptions, led by UK then absorbed the overwhelming majority of people whose countries had clamped down on travel and opportunity for many years under Communism. So now I find some of the pontificating about the sanctity of free movement rather hollow. Why doesnt Boris make this point. He really is as useful as a chocolate teapot.

  • Richard Underhill 17th Nov '16 - 10:33am

    Boris said “Prosecco” to the Italians. Is he likely to say “Champagne” to the French?
    Is he likely to try to train FO staff to copy his style?
    Seriously now, some of them loyally copied Margaret Thatcher’s style, which had an effect on the UK’s influence in the EU.

  • The UK won’t be a Member State once we leave so Article 3 doesn’t apply – or have I missed something? Perhaps Boris needs to read Guy Verhofstadt Article 3 of the Treaty of Rome!

  • Much as I look forward to having Caron back, its always nice to hear other voices; perhaps you could do bank holidays?

  • Mark Valladares Mark Valladares 17th Nov '16 - 2:29pm

    Malcolm,

    Boris was opining on the status of freedom of movement as a stated pillar of the Union, so he was talking nonsense.

    Frankie,

    Thank you for your kind words. Think of me as a kindly retired doctor, coming back to mind his old practice in time of need. If the LDV team are short-handed, they know where to find me…

  • Thank you Mark. Still getting to know faces here. The website didn’t crash so take it the ship was steered well!

  • Steve Way

    “Boris for Ambassador to Antartica maybe!”

    Just a continent? Not grand enough, let’s give him a planet, Jupiter may be big enough for his ego.

  • Article 3 won’t apply to us if we leave, so its existence doesn’t justify trying to impose these aims on non-members.

    Maybe Verhofstadt would like to explain why the EU has just signed a free trade agreement with Canada that offers free trade without freedom of movement, yet would be unwilling to sign one with the UK offering the same conditions.

    Apart from that, Boris is indeed loudmouth and a loose cannon and the sooner he can be sacked and replaced with someone competent, the better.

  • However, if I were Boris I would point out to Verhofstadt Article (k) which says that the EU’s purposes include:

    “the association of overseas countries and territories in order to increase trade and promote jointly economic and social development.”

    Signing a free trade agreement with the UK falls fairly and squarely within that.

  • I find the discussion of the free movement of people is undertaken without considering the historical context. However this is not to say that Article 3 was not meant to mean to decrease the barriers of people from moving between the six original members of the European Economic Community.

    According to Wikipedia Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) states:
    “(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State.
    (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.”

    This was not a right for people to go to live in another country, but to move around their own country freely and leave their country and return.

    If the EU was administered like the UK then it would make perfect sense to have free movement of people within the EU just like there is free movement within the UK. In the UK we recognise that the south-east of England and London have an economic pull on people and resources and therefore the government tries to reduce this pull by its regional policies. It is clear that the EU has failed to address these issues. There is a population movement from eastern EU countries to countries such as Germany and the UK. There is also a movement from southern countries such as Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece northward. And the EU has no policy to stop these trends let alone reverse them. (I think the situation in Lithuania is becoming very serious.)

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