Brexit. Why do Brits want Out of the EU?

Walter Hinteler
Reply Mon 15 Nov, 2021 01:14 pm
The Guardian view on Brexit escalation: leave Frost out in the cold
The Brexit minister’s fundamentalism is the opposite of what the UK needs in relations with the EU

One early complaint made by British Eurosceptics about EU membership was the undue influence of “unelected bureaucrats”. So there is some irony, or perhaps just hypocrisy, about the power wielded by Lord Frost over a vital area of national interest.

Lord Frost sits in the cabinet as Boris Johnson’s Brexit minister by virtue of a peerage. He has never faced election. He has been a bureaucrat (at the Foreign Office) and an industry lobbyist (for scotch whisky). In the latter role, he was unimpressed by the economic case for Brexit. “Even the best-case outcome can’t be as good as what we have now,” he wrote in 2016.

Lord Frost’s current position is different, but it unintentionally vindicates his old view. He is upset by the barriers to trade raised by Brexit, especially as they affect Northern Ireland. Last week, he repeated a warning that the government was prepared to trigger article 16 – an emergency brake clause in the Brexit deal – if British objections to the Northern Ireland protocol are not satisfied. The EU responds that significant concessions have already been offered with no reciprocal engagement and that UK demands regarding European court jurisdiction are unreasonable, being peripheral to the practical matter of trade flows.

The treaty envisages article 16 as a remedy for specific problems with the operation of the protocol. But Lord Frost’s complaint is the “imposition of EU law” as adjudicated by the European court of justice. That is a function of Northern Ireland remaining in the single market for goods – a choice agreed by all sides to avoid imposing a land border on the island of Ireland. If the UK is now rejecting that compromise, it is, in effect, repudiating the whole deal. Article 16 triggered on that basis would be seen as a hostile act and met with robust counter-measures.

A trade war is not inevitable. A landing zone for agreement is discernible through the rhetorical fog. Ending European court involvement is a non-starter, since it means rejecting the unique regulatory status carved out for Northern Ireland in deference to the Good Friday agreement, which is at the core of any Brexit agreement. But governance structures could be tweaked to filter the court’s judgments through bilateral arrangements that allow Downing Street a face-saving new sliver of sovereignty. If that ideological itch is scratched, technical solutions on customs follow.

It is plainly in Northern Ireland’s interests for the UK government to focus on the implementation of the protocol and stop raising doubts about its legitimacy. The UK economy, struggling to bounce back from Covid, does not need any more uncertainty or trade disruption. Those imperatives are understood in Whitehall, where not everyone shares Lord Frost’s fundamentalism. The Brexit minister himself has said he prefers a “consensual way forward”, easing the government’s finger from the article 16 trigger as the hazards loom larger.

But a deal requires a change in direction from Downing Street and Mr Johnson does not like to be seen to compromise with Brussels. Nor does he engage with Brexit detail before a crisis forces his hand. That crisis is imminent. If the prime minister thinks article 16 is a lever for strengthening the UK’s position, he is badly mistaken. If escalation is the route advised to him by Lord Frost, he needs new counsel.
0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Wed 17 Nov, 2021 04:09 am
Lord Frost says triggering article 16 remains an option but he is hopeful of deal on Northern Ireland

Brexit minister says UK not trying to move checks to Irish border
The Brexit minister, Lord Frost, has said suspending parts of the Northern Ireland protocol by triggering article 16 of the agreement with the EU is still a “very real option” but has indicated that he hopes a deal can be done by Christmas.

He has also given assurances during a visit to Northern Ireland that the UK is not trying to move border checks and controls from the Irish Sea to the Irish border.

Frost met the Democratic Unionist party (DUP) leader, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, in Belfast on Tuesday night and will be meeting the Sinn Féin leader, Michelle O’Neill, on Wednesday morning.

“We very much hope that we’ll be able to bring those talks to a conclusion, that’s what we would most like to do. If we can’t, if they can’t be in agreement, then obviously the famous article 16 is a very real option,” he told BBC Good Morning Ulster.

Frost also criticised the EU’s threat to retaliate with sanctions that include tariffs or the termination of the UK’s entire trade deal as unhelpful.

“I don’t see why it would help … for the response to that from the European Union to be sanctions, retaliation and making trade more difficult,” he said.

He repeatedly said article 16 was a “perfectly legitimate option” and rejected arguments that pulling the plug on the protocol would be a hammer blow to businesses that see the special arrangement for Northern Ireland as a unique “best of both worlds” opportunity to access Great Britain as well as the EU’s single market.

Business leaders also met Frost on Tuesday and reported that it was “the most positive” meeting they had had with him since the row over the protocol broke out.
0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Wed 17 Nov, 2021 09:09 am
Trade surges between Northern Ireland and Ireland after Brexit
However, data shows negative impact of leaving EU on trade between republic and Great Britain

The value of trade between Northern Ireland and Ireland has rocketed since Brexit with cross-border business increasing in both directions, official data shows.

Figures released on Wednesday by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) in Dublin show that the value of imports from Northern Ireland surged by 60% in the first nine months of 2021 and are now valued at €2.8bn (£2.37bn).

Trade in the other direction has also increased, with a 48% rise in exports to Northern Ireland from the republic, bringing the total value of trade to €2.57bn for January to September 2021.

Comparative figures are not available to show any changes in trade between Northern Ireland and Great Britain since January as the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency does not collect such data.

However, the CSO figures alone will bolster the arguments by the Brexit minister, Lord Frost, that the UK’s departure from the EU has damaged trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland but boosted traffic with the republic.

He is currently in Northern Ireland for talks with business and political party leaders and told BBC Radio Ulster on Wednesday that the trade links between the region and Great Britain were being “worn away”.

“I think in aggregate, the trade links with Great Britain and Northern Ireland are about three times as big as those with Ireland and the single market. So in aggregate those links in Great Britain are incredibly important. So it’s those [links] that are being sort of worn away by the way the protocol is working, and that’s why it’s so important to deal with them,” he said.

While the trade flows between the republic and Northern Ireland are increasing, the CSO figures show they also represent a fraction of the country’s overall business, accounting for just 2% of exports and 4% of imports.

They also show the negative impact of Brexit on trade between the republic and Great Britain, once its single biggest trading partner.

Although exports were up by 36% to Great Britain, where no Brexit checks yet apply, imports almost flatlined, rising just 2%.

September figures from the CSO showed a 32% year-on-year drop in exports from GB to Ireland in the first seven months of the year, with notable declines in food and live animals, all now subjected to documentary and physical checks on arrival in the republic.

The 2% rise in exports from Great Britain in September compared with the same month in 2020 suggests the decline has been arrested with the overall value of imports for the first nine months down by 21%.

Business leaders have blamed the Brexit checks and controls that now exist at Irish ports and airports, with paperwork and health certification required for all imports from Britain.

Data collected by the CSO is a valuable measure of the impact of Brexit. From January the statistics agency separated out all trade to Northern Ireland in its data to produce monthly reports to account for Brexit.
0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Sun 21 Nov, 2021 01:00 pm
Hundreds of campaigners from the group “Border Communities Against Brexit” demonstrated yesterday at Flurrybridge in Carrickcarnon, a border town between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Damian McGinty, from Border Communities Against Brexit, told the crowd that the majority of people in Northern Ireland opposed the UK’s exit from the EU.

“Don’t forget, 56% voted to remain and we voted to remain in the EU and by any calculation that is a majority. And a majority also support the protocol, the DUP do not speak for us.”
Mr McGinty took aim at Brexit chief negotiator Lord Frost, and called his approach to Brexit “disgraceful”.

“The European Union have a critical role to play here,” he said.

(Sources: press agencies and Belfast Telegraph
Walter Hinteler
Reply Sun 21 Nov, 2021 01:03 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Oaks and other trees cannot be imported into Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK since January because of different phytosanitary regulations in the EU and the UK. In Northern Ireland, the rules of the EU Customs Union and the Single Market apply. This was agreed by London and Brussels. This is to prevent a hard border with EU member Ireland and new conflicts in the former civil war region.

Minister David Frost fears problems for Queen Elizabeth II's 70th Throne Jubilee next year because of Brexit rules. In preparation for the celebrations, the Crown launched a major project last year in which volunteers were asked to plant oak trees in honour of the Queen. In addition, 70 woodland areas across the country were chosen for special support. Now, however, the actions in the British province of Northern Ireland can no longer be continued, Frost wrote :

Mail on Sunday: Brexit row threatens plans to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee by planting English oaks in Northern Ireland as Lord Frost hits out at Brussels over the protocol
0 Replies
Reply Sun 21 Nov, 2021 05:17 pm
Meanwhile, as discussions stall between Germany and Russia over the opening of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, a gruesome mass WW11 grave has been discovered in Novaya Buryavillage in the Lomonosovsky district of Leningrad that includes 675 children believed to have been drained of blood to treat wounded German soldiers.

Over in Brussels Europes latest day of rage continues with mass riots after Germany revealed compulsory vaccinations are unavoidable. WHO forecast 500,000 EU deaths over winter.

France surrenders in fish wars and N.I. is as they say; Ein Sturm in einer Teetasse.
Reply Sun 21 Nov, 2021 06:49 pm
Thanks for pointing out the Nazis committed war crimes, I don't think anybody knew.

This country is going to hell with Brexit.

It looks like we're going to have the same carcinogenic food additives the Americans eat.

**** Brexit, and double **** the Brexiteering scumbags.
0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Mon 22 Nov, 2021 10:11 am
UK won’t suspend Northern Ireland Brexit deal before Christmas, cabinet minister says
The UK will not suspend the Northern Ireland Brexit agreement before Christmas, a Cabinet minister has said.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the international trade secretary, said the government would "absolutely not" trigger Article 16 before the end of the year.

The comments appear to signal a softening of the UK's strategy in Brexit talks over Northern Ireland.
0 Replies
Reply Mon 22 Nov, 2021 06:12 pm
Germans will be 'vaccinated, cured or dead' in a few months, health minister warns as country mulls compulsory jabs and Austria wakes up to life in lockdown amid Europe's Covid crisis.

Vorsprung Durch Technik
Walter Hinteler
Reply Mon 22 Nov, 2021 10:28 pm
Actually it was the acting federal health minister. And not in a few months, but by the end of the year he said.
0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2021 06:42 am
A post-Brexit scheme to draw the world’s most celebrated academics and other leading figures to the UK has failed to attract a single applicant.

The visa route open to Nobel laureates and other prestigious global prize winners in the fields of science, engineering, humanities and medicine – among others – was described as a joke by experts after ministers admitted its failure to garner any interest.

New Scientist: UK visa scheme for prize-winning scientists receives no applications
Not a single scientist has applied to a UK government visa scheme for Nobel prize laureates and other award winners since its launch six months ago, New Scientist can reveal. The scheme has come under criticism from scientists and has been described as “a joke”.

In May, the government launched a fast-track visa route for award-winners in the fields of science, engineering, the humanities and medicine who want to work in the UK. This prestigious prize route makes it easier for some academics to apply for a Global Talent visa – it requires only one application, with no need to meet conditions such as a grant from the UK Research and Innovation funding body or a job offer at a UK organisation.

The number of prizes that qualify academics for this route currently stands at over 70, and includes the Turing Award, the L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science International Awards, and various gongs awarded by professional or membership bodies both in the UK and elsewhere.

“Winners of these awards have reached the pinnacle of their career and they have so much to offer the UK,” said home secretary Priti Patel when the prestigious prize scheme launched in May. “This is exactly what our new point-based immigration system was designed for – attracting the best and brightest based on the skills and talent they have, not where they’ve come from.”

But a freedom of information request by New Scientist has revealed that in the six months since the scheme was launched, no one working in science, engineering, the humanities or medicine has actually applied for a visa through this route.

“Chances that a single Nobel or Turing laureate would move to the UK to work are zero for the next decade or so,” says Andre Geim at the University of Manchester, UK. Geim won a Nobel prize in 2010 for his work on graphene. “The scheme itself is a joke – it cannot be discussed seriously,” he says. “The government thinks if you pump up UK science with a verbal diarrhea of optimism – it can somehow become a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

“Frankly, having precisely zero people apply for this elitist scheme doesn’t surprise me at all,” says Jessica Wade, a material scientist at Imperial College London and a diversity in science campaigner. “UK scientists’ access to European funding is uncertain, we’re not very attractive to European students as they have to pay international fees, our pensions are being cut and scientific positions in the UK are both rare and precarious.”

“It’s clear this is just another gimmick from a government that over-spins and under delivers,” says shadow science minister Chi Onwurah. “It is not surprising that the government has failed so comprehensively to attract scientists from abroad, given their lack of consistent support for scientists here.”

A Home Office spokesperson told New Scientist that the prestigious prizes route makes it easier for those at the “pinnacle of their career” to come to the UK. “It is just one option under our Global Talent route, through which we have received thousands of applications since its launch in February 2020 and this continues to rise,” they said.

Neuropsychologist Dorothy Bishop at the University of Oxford says other visa routes are already quick-moving for top scientists and says it is odd that this scheme was launched in the first place.

Andrew Clark at the Royal Academy of Engineering says his organisation is happy with the number of applications they have seen recently across all immigration routes for foreign scientists. “In many cases applicants would be eligible for multiple routes,” he says. “We wouldn’t want to focus on the use of any particular route over a six-month period, but rather the overall success.”

The idea of prioritising entry to the UK for science award winners is flawed, according to geoscientist Christopher Jackson at the University of Manchester, who in 2020 became the first black scientist to host the Royal Institution’s Christmas lectures. Jackson says these awards are inherently biased and an immigration system based on them will only replicate science’s lack of diversity.

“How we measure excellence is very nebulous,” says Jackson. “These awards favour certain people – those who are white, male, heterosexual, cis-gendered – and reward them based on their privilege.”

Of the over 600 Nobel science laureates from 1901, just 23 are women. No award has ever been given to a black laureate in a science subject. “Studies show that most scientific award winners are white men of European descent and often working at American universities,” Jackson says.

Similar patterns are seen in those who win some of the other awards eligible for the prestigious prize visa route. Of the five who have won the Institute of Physics’ Isaac Newton Medal and Prize since 2015, none have been women. Only one woman has won the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Prince Philip Medal since 2014.
Walter Hinteler
Reply Wed 24 Nov, 2021 08:14 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Brexit chief Lord Frost said leaving EU single market would cost Brits £1,500 each
Britain's chief Brexit negotiator warned that leaving the single market and customs union would cost £1,500 per person, it has emerged.

Lord Frost is now among the hardest line Brexiteers in the government – this week arguing that the UK needs to ditch a European-style economy entirely.

He is pushing hard to drive European judges out of the Brexit deal, and oversaw taking Britain out of the single market and customs union.

But before the referendum while a lobbyist for the drinks industry Lord Frost struck a different tone – acknowledging Brexit's massive costs.

He told a Scottish Parliament committee in 2015 that the "single market and single trade policy" were major benefits of EU membership.
Walter Hinteler
Reply Wed 24 Nov, 2021 10:55 am
@Walter Hinteler,
UK ‘in the dark’ about risk of queues from new EU border checks, government admits
The UK is in the dark about new post-Brexit biometric border checks threatening chaos for holidaymakers visiting the EU, the government has admitted.

Transport chiefs have raised the alarm over long queues when the entry/exit system (EES) – requiring data to be collected at the border for all non-EU arrivals – is introduced next year.

Quizzed by worried MPs, the Cabinet Office acknowledged it did not know how the checks will be implemented – as the number of cross-Channel tourists is expected to bounce back after Covid.

Asked what it would mean for car or coach passengers, Emma Churchill, the director general of the border delivery group, said the French government had yet to disclose its plans.

“So I can’t tell you exactly how the French intend to implement the entry and exit system,” she told the Commons public accounts committee.

The hope was that the checks could be brought in “without starting to cause those queues backing up”, Ms Churchill added.

Meg Hillier, the committee chair, called it “a big concern”, while a Conservative, Richard Holden, urged the government to work to avoid “disruption”.

“What’s really worrying me is you have got potential Covid checks and biometric passport checks will come in at some point,” he told a panel of Whitehall top civil servants.

The checks are expected be particularly difficult at the “juxtaposed controls” with France – which are on the UK side of the Channel – but will be introduced across the 26-nation Schengen Area.

Unlike the looming Etias visa-waiver program – similar to the ESTA required for travel to the US – they cannot be carried out in advance, at the booking stage.

The entry/exit system was developed while the UK was an EU member, but will now have implications for travellers from this country because of Brexit.

The inquiry – asking four government departments about the impact of Brexit border measures – saw all express confidence that the imposition of import controls, from January, will go smoothly.

Jim Harra, the chief executive of Revenue and Customs, admitted the “significant costs’ businesses must pay to trade with the EU – despite the Leave campaign repeatedly insisting Brexit would cut red tape.

“There’s no doubt that it’s part of the cost of leaving a customs union, that you have to bear that burden,” he said, insisting the government had been “transparent” about that.
0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Wed 24 Nov, 2021 01:01 pm
The upcoming new German government, a "traffic light coalition" [because of the colours of the three coalition parties Social Democrats, Greens and liberals]has addressed the public for the first time.

Among others, the three-way coalition agreement – installing Olaf Scholz of the Social Democrats as Angela Merkel’s replacement – backs “countermeasures” if the UK fails to abide by its obligations.
It commits Berlin to “a common European policy towards the United Kingdom” and to “seek close bilateral cooperation within this framework”.
But it adds: “We insist on full compliance with the agreements that have been concluded, in particular with regard to the Northern Ireland Protocol and the Good Friday Agreement.
“In the event of non-compliance with the agreed standards and procedures, we are committed to the consistent application of all agreed measures and countermeasures.”
0 Replies
Reply Sun 28 Nov, 2021 11:54 am
This lecture by Timothy Snyder might be appropriate here concerning brexit. Snyder says that if the British think they will return to the comfort of the old British nation-state, they're mistaken because the British nation-state never existed. By leaving the European Union they are attempting to form a nation-state that has never existed before.

With closed captioning:
0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Tue 30 Nov, 2021 01:32 am
Exporters move away from traditional Dublin to Britain routes to avoid Brexit red tape.

Goods shipped directly from Ireland to EU up by 50% in six months
Volumes of goods shipped directly from Ireland to the EU on new Brexit-busting ferry routes have rocketed by 50% in the past six months as exporters seek to avoid travelling across land through Great Britain, according to official data.

Figures published by the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) show significant traffic diverted away from the traditional routes between Dublin and Britain to some of 32 new ferry services direct to ports such as Le Havre, Cherbourg and Dunkirk in France and Zeebrugge in Belgium.
The IMDO report shows freight volumes from Dublin port to Liverpool and Holyhead in Anglesey down 19% in the first three-quarters of 2021 compared with 2020 and down by 30% on the two routes from Rosslare in south-east Ireland to the Welsh ports of Pembroke and Fishguard.

“It is clear that the new trading arrangements between Ireland and the UK have had a significant and negative effect upon ro-ro [roll-on roll-off lorry haulage] freight traffic between the two countries,” the IMDO report said. “Underpinning all of these trends are the new customs and trading arrangements between Ireland and the UK that came into force on 1 January 2021,” it added.

“One-third of all ro-ro in the Republic of Ireland now operates on direct routes to ports in the European Union, up from a 16% share in 2019,” the IMDO said.

Traffic for the second and third quarters of this year show Irish Republic to EU traffic is already up by 52% compared with the entirety of 2019, it added.

The decline in demand for the ferry services to Wales and Liverpool has also seen Northern Irish ports receiving a Brexit dividend, with freight volumes hitting “unprecedented highs in 2021”.

Historically, Northern Irish hauliers have preferred the Dublin-Holyhead route as the quickest way to access markets in the south and south-east of England, but some have now eschewed the route “to avoid the new customs requirements involved between Ireland and UK ports”, the reports said.

It has meant an uplift in traffic in Northern Ireland’s three ports, with a 15% rise in Belfast, 18% in Larne and 20% at Warrenpoint.

The rise in the number of ferry services going direct to France, from 12 before Brexit to 44 in 2021, along with concern about possible delays over customs checks in Dover and Calais, has helped fuel the diversion of trade from the Republic direct to the continent.

Rosslare Europort has benefited most. It is now taking 49% of EU traffic, with another 49% going through Dublin and 2% via Cork.

On Saturday, Rosslare Europort said, it had its busiest day in its history. Its general manager, Glenn Carr, put the increased demand down to the desire to avoid the UK, but also a reduction in trade with Great Britain because of Brexit red tape and cost.

“In particular industries, we’re definitely seeing where traditionally a lot of goods were sourced in the UK or exported to the UK, there’s been a switch to Europe,” he told journal.ie. “We definitely see it in the port in terms of the mix of goods that are there now – ingredients, food, dairy, pharmaceuti

0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Wed 1 Dec, 2021 11:46 pm
In October, the USA withdrew metal tariffs on EU imports - except for the Brexit country Great Britain. According to a report, Washington wants to stick to this until the Northern Ireland issue is resolved.
According to the Financial Times, the US Congress is concerned that the UK could exercise the Article 16 emergency clause.

Financial Times: Brexit fears hold back US-UK trade deal
0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2021 11:58 am
Brandon Lewis struck a hopeful tone after Irish minister Simon Coveney said reaching an agreement by the end of the year would be a ‘tall order’.

UK ‘optimistic’ on Brexit protocol deal despite blow to December target
Brandon Lewis has said he is an “optimist” when it comes to the prospect of a deal with the EU on the Northern Ireland Protocol, but triggering Article 16 is still on the table as “substantive gaps” remain between the two sides.

The Northern Ireland Secretary made the comments at a press conference at the Foreign Office on Thursday, following a meeting of the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference.

He struck a hopeful tone after Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said on Wednesday that reaching an agreement on the protocol before Christmas was “unrealistic”.

Brexit minister Lord Frost previously said both the UK and the EU wanted the dispute “settled one way or the other” before the winter.

... ... ...
0 Replies
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2021 01:59 pm
I'm thinking Great Britain may have a hard time of it on their own especially if Scotland and Northern Ireland breakaway. It's no longer the British Empire, and the European Union helped after that loss.

Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2021 02:27 pm
You don't say.

Actually we'd be a lot better off without Northern Ireland.

That's one hell of an albatross to have around our necks.

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