More on Brexit

October 2021 Forums General discussion More on Brexit

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  • #219139
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    So the staunch unionists see it as breaking a tie with the UK, treating it separate, and the reason they protested recently.

    While Sinn Fein see this preservation of the single market as part of their project for a united Ireland and don’t want to see that broken.

    But is Johnson’s actions sufficient to end the Good Friday Agreement and have the return to violence which I think is the main concern of NI people?

    Or is it the customary posturing by the polarised politics of NI?

    #219346
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant
    #220033
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    The UK’s Brexit “divorce bill” covers the UK’s share of EU debts and liabilities during 47 years of membership, such as paying for infrastructure projects, pensions and sickness benefits for EU officials.

    It is €47.5bn (£40.8bn) according to estimates from Brussels that are higher than the government’s forecasts. €6.8bn, is due for payment by the end of the year.

    In 2018 the Office for Budget Responsibility put the Brexit bill at €41.4bn (£37.1bn). During the Brexit negotiations, British government officials said the final bill would be around £35-39bn.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/jul/08/brexit-divorce-bill-higher-than-uks-forecasts-brussels-estimates

    #220178
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    RobertS once more produces the goods by finding this article featuring the observations of ex-member and proliferate Socialist Standard writer, Stephen Coleman, now Professor of Political Communication at Leeds University.

    https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/politics/five-years-on-from-brexit-referendum-we-still-define-ourselves-by-how-we-voted-says-leeds-academic-stephen-coleman-3287095

    “This never was primarily about economics except for a very small number of people who were the ones who really pushed hard to make it happen, but for the average voter it was about culture and it was about history.

    “What does it mean to be British, who should come into the country, where is the country positioned in the world, who is it close to? And those are kind of cultural questions, the statistics I’ve mentioned suggests they just persisted for at least half or getting on to two thirds of the population. That is how they still define themselves.

    #220180
    ALB
    Keymaster

    That seems a reasonable analysis and interpretation. Brexit does seem to have been an issue that interested ordinary non-political people more than the sham Tory/Labour fight at elections. Pity it revealed how narrow-minded most were. But I suppose that was predictable in view of the years and years of patriotic and nationalistic propaganda that people have been subjected to.

    I also noticed, despite the idiot adverts in the link, another point Steve Coleman made:

    “ you have Conservatives up here in the North, who are voting because they think the Conservative Party is going to do what Labour used to do which is spend more on them,”

    They’re in for a shock, not that Labour did much for them either. Isn’t this what in US is called pork barrel politics?

    #220234
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    The UK has launched an attempt to substantially rewrite the Northern Ireland Brexit protocol that enables either the UK or EU to suspend part of the arrangements in extreme circumstances.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/jul/21/uk-substantially-rewrite-northern-ireland-brexit-protocol

    #220236
    ALB
    Keymaster

    A perfect example of perfide Albion. Clearly Johnson signed the Northern Ireland Protocol with no intention of implementing it just to be able to say he had “got Brexit done” and win an election on that basis.

    He hasn’t got Brexit done as is now becoming evident. Not over Gibraltar either.

    I don’t think the EU will give way on this. The notoriously perfidious Johnson is about to find that he can’t have his pork pie and eat it.

    #222157
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant
    #222258
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    Not directly related to Brexit but reflecting EU thinking on the UK, explaining why France has not made diplomatic protests over the new US-UK Australia defence pact, the French minister explained France had seen “no need” to recall its ambassador to the UK, as he accused the country of “constant opportunism”.

    “Britain in this whole thing is a bit like the third wheel,” he said.

    OUCH!

    #222444
    ALB
    Keymaster

    No such step was followed for London, with France’s Europe minister, Clement Beaune, suggesting that was because the UK was a “junior partner” which had accepted its “vassalisation” by the US.
    Beaune told reporters the UK was subordinate to the US on foreign policy issues post-Brexit, accusing London of having returned to Washington’s “lap”.

    This is an accurate description of UK foreign policy since Brexit and would have been one of the things the section of the capitalist class that won the referendum envisaged.

    I imagine Beaune had in mind Johnson’s statement that the UK was withdrawing from the EU because it didn’t want to be a “vassal” of Europe.

    The UK has always had no choice but to be a vassal either of the US or part of a project to create a European state. For 50 years the ruling class decided to go for the latter. Now it’s government policy to swing back to the US.

    The news this morning is that the US says that a comprehensive trade deal with the UK is not on their agenda but so desperate are the government to get in with the US that they are now thinking of applying to join the former NAFTA trading bloc between the US, Canada and Mexico with all the sacrifice of “sovereignty” it involves. It’s out of the frying pan into the fire as far as that’s concerned.

    Why don’t they simply apply to become the 51st state of the USA?

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 3 days ago by ALB.
    #222679
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Looking as if the Brexit Tory government has been hoist by its own petard. The fuel crisis is really bad. Queues outside petrol stations. People unable to get to work because they can’t get petrol for their car. The press saying the disruption could last for weeks.

    That there would be less EU lorry drivers was expected. In fact intended by Brexit. The haulage firms had been warning for weeks of a shortage of drivers but the hardline Brexiteer Home Secretary refused to listen to them and told them to train and hire British drivers before finally being forced into a U-turn.

    It looks like too little too late. If the disruption does last for a month or so the government will be in for an Autumn of Discontent which they could have avoided if they hadn’t been so ideologically opposed to allowing workers from the EU back.

    #222995
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Just been (7.15 am) to try to get some petrol. Hardly panic buying as it’s a week since this started and I waited till now so that those who really needed it could fill up. But the petrol station was closed.

    This feels like “Brexit meltdown” with the implications of re-erecting customs posts between the UK’s biggest and nearest market for physical goods and supply of extra workers are becoming clearer. And this is before import controls have been fully implemented, which will make things worse. Madness even from a capitalist point of view.

    Not that the financiers who funded the Brexit campaign are worried. It doesn’t affect them. They are freed from any possible EU restrictions on their activities and get trade deals with far away countries to export their financial “services”.

    Meanwhile ordinary workers get harmed in the crossfire between the two rival sections of the capitalist class. Unfortunately some turkeys voted for Christmas.

    #222999
    rodshaw
    Participant

    There’s apparently a shortage of about 100,000 lorry drivers and last I read the govt. plan is to let about 5,000 from Europe get temporary visas till the end of the year. Fat lot of help that is, surely. I can see some sort of disruption for months to come, not just at petrol stations but in supermarket supplies and home deliveries. One good thing that may come of it is better rates for the drivers.

    And for the rest of us, at least it may mean less lorries trying to carve you up on the motorway. Assuming you have the petrol to get there.

    I wonder if we’ll see an intensified campaign for people to switch to electric cars?

    Many workers in the UK have been clearly disadvantaged by Brexit. It’s sometimes hard to maintain the WSM position that voting to be in or out of the EU was of no relevance to workers.

    #223001
    ALB
    Keymaster

    I suppose it could be argued that there were various types of Brexit and Johnson and his crowd chose to go for the most extreme version. If Britain (I say Britain rather than the UK as Northern Ireland is still in the Single Market — and doesn’t seem to have these problems) had left the EU’s political institutions but stayed in the Single Market and/or the Customs Union then this sort of thing would not have happened. Didn’t Theresa May want to stay in one or the other? In other words, the referendum result didn’t have to be interpreted in the way it has been. But that’s the problem with referendums. You don’t know how they are going to be interpreted.

    #223360
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    No Polexit?

    Poles demonstrated on Sunday in support of European Union membership after a court ruling that parts of EU law are incompatible with the constitution

    https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20211010-thousands-take-part-in-pro-european-demonstrations-in-poland

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