Tag Archives: single market

Theresa May torpedoed her own Brexit deal – by forgetting to tell her DUP partners the details

Oops: Theresa May probably looked as shell-shocked as this image after she took her call from Arlene Foster and realised her career is on the brink of disaster.

Is this the stupidest mistake ever made by a United Kingdom prime minister?

Theresa May seemed to be at the verge of signing an agreement with the EU27 on the vexed issue of the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland – meaning she would have met the deadline for Brexit talks to have made enough progress to move onto trading conditions. Here’s an excited Donald Tusk:

And an equally-excited Laura Kuenssberg believed it was a done deal too:

But what exactly was the deal? Here’s Robert Rea to explain:

Wait. What? The deal means a different regulatory framework for Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK? But the DUP won’t agree, because it wants Northern Ireland to function on the same terms as the rest of the UK? Isn’t that a big problem?

And we’d also need ECJ jurisdiction to make it work. In other words, we might as well remain in the EU, it seems – unless we’re really desperate for worse trading conditions with the EU27 than we currently enjoy.

Of course it didn’t come to that in the end. As Mrs May was settling down to her working lunch with Jean-Claude Juncker, DUP leader Arlene Foster convened a press conference in the UK.

She said: “We have been very clear. Northern Ireland must leave the EU on the same terms as the rest of the United Kingdom. We will not accept any form of regulatory divergence which separates Northern Ireland economically or politically from the rest of the United Kingdom. The economic and constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom will not be compromised in any way.

“Her Majesty’s Government understands the DUP position. The Prime Minister has told the House of Commons that there will be no border in the Irish Sea. The Prime Minister has been clear that the UK is leaving the European Union as a whole and the territorial and economic integrity of the United Kingdom will be protected.

“We want to see a sensible Brexit where the Common Travel Area is continued, we meet our financial obligations, have a strictly time-limited implementation period and where the contribution of EU migrants to our economy is recognised in a practical manner.”

The Guardian tells us: “May was forced to pause discussions to take a call from Arlene Foster. The unionist leader, whose party currently provides the Tories with a working majority in the Commons, told the British prime minister that she could not support Downing Street’s planned commitment to keep Northern Ireland aligned with EU laws.”

The Guardian added: “In London, Tory Brexiters, including Iain Duncan Smith and Jacob Rees-Mogg, told the Brexit minister Steve Baker, and the prime minister’s chief of staff, Gavin Barwell, that they were also rallying behind the DUP’s stance.”

Here’s the bombshell:

This appears to be correct. The Guardian again: “The DUP’s fury had prompted by a leak early on Monday of a draft 15-page joint statement from the European commission and the UK which suggested Britain had bowed to the Republic of Ireland’s demands by accepting that ‘in the absence of agreed solutions the UK will ensure that there continues to be continued regulatory alignment’ with the internal market and customs union.”

The irony is that Mrs May had to ally with the DUP after losing her Parliamentary majority in a general election she called in order to solidify support for her version of – you guessed it – Brexit. To retain her role as prime minister, she made it impossible to achieve the stated aim of the election.

So Jeremy Corbyn was right on the button when he tweeted the following:

And so was Paul Lewis:

What next? Well, Mrs May won’t be giving the “major statement” she had planned to offer to the House of Commons tomorrow:

The Independent has speculated that her failure to reach an agreement over the Irish border could bring Mrs May’s premiership to a crashing end (and not a moment too soon, in This Writer’s opinion):

“In history, some British Prime Ministers have had their premierships wrecked by the “Irish Question”. Others, in more recent times, have been destroyed by Europe. Theresa May is unique in managing to combine both famously intractable and insoluble issues into one lethal cocktail. And so, it seems she is about to swallow the poison.

“The Government is perfectly happy to concede ‘special status’ for Northern Ireland/Ireland in the Brexit talks – anathema to the Ulster Unionists. This is because the Government desperately needs to get onto the second phase of the process – the trade talks for the whole UK – and MPs, without being too crude about it, are happy to sign whatever the EU sticks under their nose and worry about the consequences later.

“In the end, they will risk their support from the DUP to get moving on Brexit. Jobs (Tory MPs’ included) are at stake. After all, ministers such as David Davis always say that “nothing’s agreed until everything’s agreed”, so having now ratted on the Democratic Unionists, they can, in due course, re-rat on the Irish and the EU, after a trade deal is sorted out.

“With a bit of luck, some creative ambiguity and some more bribes and false promises for the DUP, Theresa May might just pull it off. Perfidious Albion would have foxed the Unionists in the wider national (i.e. Tory) interest.

“For such an unlucky Prime Minister, it would be a bit of a turnaround – but, as in horse-racing and football, the form book does count for something; the litany of May’s calamities suggest she won’t, in fact, get away with it.

“The DUP could quite conceivably get so angry that they’d scrap their agreement with the Tory-minority Government and resolve to get rid of them. Then May would have to appeal to the Opposition parties, especially Labour, to rescue her in the Commons.

“Fat chance. If Corbyn wants, he could find any number of grounds for voting May out of office, but failure of Brexit is a pretty good one. He could then either cobble together a new Frankenstein coalition or, more realistically, follow the provisions of the Fixed Term Parliament Act to secure a fresh general election. With an eight-point poll lead over the Conservatives, wouldn’t you?

“Of course that would mean the DUP would let in the “Sinn Fein-loving Corbyn” (as they might see it), so they’d have a tough choice, but they might have sufficient fear about what their constituents in Ulster would do to them if they kept the treacherous Tories in power that they’d feel they have nothing to lose.

“In which case we’d have an election in, say, February.

“The incoming government would ask, if it was sensible, to put Brexit on pause while it changes policy, and the EU would happily oblige if there was a chance of reversing Brexit – via, say, a second referendum. Or Corbyn and Keir Starmer could just agree to stay in the single market and some version of the customs union. Arlene Foster might in fact be able to live with that.

“In which case, by spring, it would all be over for May, Boris, Gove and the old gang, and they could get on with their civil war in earnest.”

While we await that development, we’ve had this one. The Guardian, yet again: “The news was then seized upon by Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, who suggested that any promise for Northern Ireland could be replicated for Scotland. That call was followed by similar suggestions from the London mayor, Sadiq Khan.”

Apres nous, le deluge (“after us, the flood”, for those who don’t know their French, or the history of the French Revolution).  Others leapt in to demand the same considerations, leading to the following (semi-)satirical comments:

But is this tweet satirical or not?

Time will tell. Tick tock, Tories…


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Corbyn’s wariness of the Single Market is reasonable – but is it because the UK follows the rules?

Jeremy Corbyn appeared on The Andrew Marr Show as the Labour Conference kicked off.

Those of us who have been arguing for continued Single Market membership have a little food for thought here.

The EU does attach conditions on membership. Topically, EU rules demanded the privatisation of the Royal Mail (I’m told by an employee). That’s why it was sold off on the cheap by Vince Cable into the hands of money-grubbers who are doing their best to ruin their workers’ lives – hence the current threat of strike action.

But my Royal Mail friend had another nugget of wisdom – he reckons the EU tried to impose this demand on other countries, like Germany, but they rejected it. And nobody pushed the point.

So, why did the UK accept all these EU rules when everyone else just picks and chooses whatever they fancy and throws away the rest?

Perhaps the way forward is just to tell the EU-rocrats we’ll stay in after all – but on the same terms as countries like Germany.

How about that, Europe?

Jeremy Corbyn has said he is wary of committing to stay in the European single market because it would restrict the powers of a future Labour government to implement party policies.

the Labour leader said he wanted tariff-free access to the single market with a close relationship to the EU, but said he was wary of committing to full single market membership… “That has within it restrictions on state aid and state spending. That has pressures on it, through the European Union, to privatise rail, for example, and other services. I think we have to be quite careful about the powers we need as national governments.”

Corbyn said there was some dispute about how far governments could stretch state-aid rules, suggesting the government could have acted more decisively to protect the UK steel industry, something the Conservatives had said was constrained by EU rules.

Source: Corbyn says he is wary of committing to stay in European single market | Politics | The Guardian


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Why should Scotland get preferential treatment over the Single Market, compared with the rest of the UK?

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Kezia Dugdale, the liability leading Scottish Labour. No wonder he’s got that look on his face. [Image: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire/PA Images].

We should all be wary about news reports featuring Jeremy Corbyn, after The Guardian was caught out peddling fake news about a mythical three-line whip on Article 50.

But this seems authentic. The EU referendum was UK-wide and, while the SNP may consider Scotland to be a separate nation, it isn’t. The decision affects it as much as Cumbria or Cornwall.

What’s really interesting is the thin-skinned response by Nicola Sturgeon to Mr Corbyn’s scathing remarks about the SNP.

“I know that many Scots believe that the best pathway to redress the current situation is via independence. Perhaps this isn’t surprising when problems of unemployment, industrial decline, and exploitation seem so persistent,” he said.

“Yet these are exactly the issues of the north of England, the Midlands and other English regions.” And he said supporting independence “ignores the reality” of political and business power being controlled by “the establishment” in both England and Scotland.

Ms Sturgeon’s reply ignored the substance of his argument and concentrated on an ad hominem attack that had nothing to do with the issue at hand:

Oh, is that right? Or is it just an attempt at distraction from the issues of unemployment, industrial decline and exploitation? I think the latter.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has delivered a blow to Nicola Sturgeon’s plan to keep Scotland in the European single market when the rest of the UK leaves by saying that exiting the market must be “a UK-wide decision”.

Scotland’s first minister has threatened to hold another independence referendum should the UK government ignore her plea to find a way to retain Scotland’s membership of the European trading bloc.

However, at a Scottish Labour event in Glasgow on Friday morning, Corbyn said he will not support a special Scottish deal when it comes to single market membership and will instead argue for “market access” for the whole of the UK.

Source: Corbyn Says Scotland Will Leave The Single Market With The Rest Of The UK – BuzzFeed News

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Theresa Mayfly’s contradictory Brexit speech opens the door to more confusion

Tired and small: Theresa May’s appearance emulates the way the UK will appear to the rest of the world after Brexit.

It is astonishing to see political commentators attempting to take Theresa May’s Brexit speech seriously. They should attack it for the rubbish it is.

She said the UK has to leave the European Single Market – but will seek “the greatest possible access to it through a new, comprehensive, bold and ambitious free trade agreement”. In other words, she wants us to be both outside and inside the single market at the same time. We knew that already.

Likewise, with the European Customs Union, she said the UK must leave in order to negotiate its own trade deals – but she also wants tariff-free trade with Europe, which isn’t possible outside the customs union. In other words, she wants us to be both outside and inside the customs union at the same time. We knew that already.

She said that both Houses of Parliament would be able to vote on any final Brexit deal – but did not explain what kind of vote this would be. Will it be a “take it or leave it” offer – accept what the Tories have negotiated or it’s over to WTO rules for everything? If so, what is the point in asking the Lords – the “revising” house – to consider it, as no revision will be requested or possible? It seems she wants to provide the illusion that our democratic institutions are involved, while actually trying to blackmail them into supporting her. We knew that already, also.

One aspect we can all agree we knew already was Mrs Mayfly’s determination to control immigration – despite the fact that, as Home Secretary, she had access to EU-approved controls on immigration for six years and never used them. So her words, that while wanting to continue to attract “the brightest and best to study and work in Britain”, “we will get control over [the] number of people coming to Britain from the EU” ring hollow. Under the EU rules she never implemented, she had power to send EU immigrants back to their own country if they weren’t students, didn’t have a job, couldn’t produce health insurance or evidence that they were using their own funds to live here. So controlling immigration is a non-story. The only thing that ever stopped Mrs Mayfly from controlling EU immigration was Mrs Mayfly.

A more plausible reason for leaving the single market, then, is Mrs Mayfly’s determination to stop the European Court of Justice determining matters relating to the UK – but she couldn’t even be honest about this. The European Court has influence only on matters of EU law, and cannot overrule any country on its own national law. Restrictions imposed by the European Court include maintaining workers’ rights, for example, and the quality of goods. Mrs Mayfly wants to scrap UK workers’ rights – and that’s why she wants us to leave the single market. But she didn’t want you to know that, so it seems the Tories have instructed their compliant media to distract us with complaints about immigration instead.

Claims that Mrs Mayfly wants to guarantee the rights of EU citizens living in the UK appear to be false, according to information seen by This Writer. Mrs May has said she wants to be able to confirm those rights as soon as possible, indicating that these people are to be considered “negotiating capital” with the EU – but I have seen evidence that at least one EU citizen, attempting to assert those rights recently, was told this was not possible. This suggests that the Conservatives have already decided to curtail those rights. Her claim to protect those rights seems false, therefore, and her promise to develop them in pace with the changing labour market suggests she will remove them as it becomes expedient to her corporate masters.

There were good aspects to her speech – but they were common-sense things. Of course the UK and EU should continue sharing intelligence and policing information. That’s about protecting us all from crime and ensuring our national security.

But what about the difficulties facing Northern Ireland, where the peace process is about much more than simply maintaining an open land border with the Republic of Ireland?

It is all nonsense and waffle. Theresa Mayfly might just as well have stood up and spent her time saying “Blah blah blah Brexit,” over and over again. As far as her tenure in Number 10 is concerned, she should probably start contacting removal companies now.

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Norwegian model may not be the UK’s answer to single-market access, says Norway

Børge Brende: ‘There has been a consensus in Norway that it is in our interest to be a part of the single market.’ [Image: Mark R. Cristino/EPA.]

Børge Brende: ‘There has been a consensus in Norway that it is in our interest to be a part of the single market.’ [Image: Mark R. Cristino/EPA.]

Mr Brende is very probably correct; the Norwegian model works for Norway because so many of its exports go directly into the EU; UK businesspeople want to expand their markets outside that bloc.

Also, with Norway paying into the EU for access to the single market, and implementing the now-infamous ‘four freedoms’, including free movement of people across borders, ‘Leave’ voters would be justified in asking how, exactly, their wishes would have been obeyed if the UK follows suit.

This Writer is slipping into the belief that, if ‘Brexit’ is to take place, then it must indeed mean ‘Brexit’, as Mrs May is constantly telling us; her ministers should stop trying to negotiate some all-encompassing deal with the European Union as a whole and get down to individual deals with individual member states.

That will certainly mean hiring a few more civil servants – but that is the price a Conservative Government must pay if it is to be considered democratic.

We can judge Mrs May and her gang on their choices.

Britain must understand that there is no “silver bullet” over Brexit that would permit single market access without paying into the EU and being bound by some of its rules, Norway’s foreign minister has warned ahead of a meeting in London.

Børge Brende, who was due to meet his UK counterpart, Boris Johnson, on Monday, as well as the Brexit secretary, David Davis, and the international trade secretary, Liam Fox, said his country’s model of access to the single market without being part of the EU was seen there as a success.

This did not mean it would necessarily work as well for the UK, Brende told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“We were very clear that there is no silver bullet in this context,” he said. “Being a part of the single market, as we are, also means to implement all directives, and we are not in the room when these directives are decided on.

“But there has been a consensus around this in Norway that it is in our interest to be a part of the single market, and that is what we have to contribute. On top of this we also do funding for countries in the EU that are the new members, but also those that are facing the biggest challenges when it comes to development.

Asked if the single market choice facing Britain was the same – to have more control or to be richer – Brende said Norway’s access to the single market since 1992 “had served our country well”, with 70% of its exports going to the EU.

Brende added: “We have also implemented all the four freedoms,” referring to the single market principles of the free movement across borders of goods, people, services and capital.

Source: Norway tells Britain: no Brexit ‘silver bullet’ over single market access | Politics | The Guardian

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

If the UK is willing to pay to stay in the Single Market, why leave the EU at all?

David Davis was asked if he would ‘consider making any contribution in any shape or form for access to the single market’ [Image: Parliament TV/BBC Parliament].

David Davis was asked if he would ‘consider making any contribution in any shape or form for access to the single market’ [Image: Parliament TV/BBC Parliament].


The answer should be obvious to everybody: Leaving the EU means the UK will no longer be subject to all those pesky protections for the human rights of its citizens, or the rights of working people.

That is the real aim of Brexit – stripping you of your hard-won rights.

And paying to stay in the Single Market will benefit international businesses – but you will pay for it.

Where is the assurance that businesses who profit from the single market will contribute to the cost?

None has been offered.

And none is likely to be offered.

This proposal is nothing more than the next step in the great ‘Leave’ con.

How many of you are going to write to your MP and say that you won’t pay for big businesses to profit?

David Davis has suggested that the government would consider making contributions to the EU budget in exchange for access to the single market, saying his Department for Exiting the EU would consider all options to get the best deal with the bloc.

During questions in the House of Commons, the Labour MP Wayne David asked if the Brexit secretary would “consider making any contribution in any shape or form for access to the single market”.

Davis said the government would look at the options during the article 50 process over the next two years.

“The major criterion here is that we get the best possible access for goods and services to the European market,” he said. “And if that is included in what he is talking about, then of course we would consider it.”

Source: Brexit secretary suggests UK would consider paying for single market access | Politics | The Guardian

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook