Brexit, EU & UK 2019 – Part II

Written by  //  June 2, 2019  //  Europe & EU  //  No comments

The Guardian Brexit
BBC: Brexit: All you need to know about the UK leaving the EU
‘Order! Order!’: Parliament Speaker Is Brexit’s Surprise Star and Villain
Brexit, EU & UK 2018
Boris Johnson for Prime Minister,
and Other Ways that the Brexit Mess Could Get Even Worse

The humbling of Britain
The “enemies of the people” are not those opposing Brexit, but the reckless politicians who have brought us to this act of self-harm.
(New Statesman) This is not “taking back control”. This is not the proud, independent, liberated Britain that the Brexiteers promised. It is grotesque, calamitous, an epic act of self-harm brought about not by some war or disaster but by our own stupidity. And the true “enemies of the people” are not those opposing this catastrophic Brexit. They are not the million decent people from every background who marched in London last Saturday, or the five million who have petitioned to revoke Article 50, but those whose lies, zealotry, and political recklessness have all but broken Britain. For posterity’s sake, those self-styled “patriots” who have so grievously betrayed their country should be named and shamed.
The public was not clamouring for a referendum on EU membership. Cameron called it for the narrow purpose of uniting his party and fending off Ukip. He offered an ill-informed electorate a binary choice on an extraordinarily complex issue of profound constitutional importance without even the safeguard of a 60 per cent threshold for approval. 27 March 2019
John Keiger: How Brexit could lead to Frexit
(The Spectator) Similar geographies on the northwest European continent, similar populations (66 and 67 million), economies (5th and 6th by GDP), colonial histories, 3rd and 4th nuclear powers, two of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, leading members of Nato and, until 2019 (probably), equally prominent members of the European Union. The similarities continue to trip off the tongue: the Commonwealth and Francophonie; trade patterns characterised largely by trade surpluses outside the European Union; historical communications and undersea cable networks dating from empire that still dominate international traffic; and a military-industrial partnership second to none.
… what if Britain leaves the European Union and makes a success of it? What if the EU, as seems not unlikely, plunges further into political and economic crisis? What if France, that other state with a heightened tradition of national sovereignty, also comes to realise that the European community years should merely be a parenthesis? … What then if Brexit led to Frexit? And what if the two exits led to a Franco-British Union with a combined GDP ranked 3rd in the world, military power arguably second – and a formidable rugby team. (8 April 2019)

1 June
Trump calls on Britain to ‘walk away’ if EU does not concede to its demands
(Globe & Mail) Just before his state visit to Britain was to begin, President Donald Trump subverted diplomatic norms by rattling an already precarious political situation there: He suggested that the next prime minister of Britain “walk away” from trying to reach a deal to withdraw from the European Union and that the far-right populist Nigel Farage be sent in to negotiate.
In an interview with The Sunday Times, of London, Trump also said he had told the current prime minister, Theresa May, who announced last month that she would step down after repeatedly failing to get her Brexit plan through Parliament, to sue the bloc for greater leverage in talks. May left her government in a weaker position, he said, for not threatening to walk away “in the form of litigation or in the form of a request.”
Brexit chaos has lost London its spot as the world’s top financial center
(Quartz) With just five months to go until the UK is scheduled to leave the European Union, the nation is now preoccupied by a Conservative Party leadership contest, and Brexit talks have stalled. The sense that the country is heading toward a no-deal Brexit, with no transition agreements, has always frightened the financial sector, which heavily relies (paywall) on frictionless trade links with the EU and free movement of people to attract the best talent.
After three years of limbo over what Brexit might look like, more than $1 trillion in assets being transferred (paywall) out of London, and thousands of jobs moved to the continent, London has lost its spot as the world’s top financial center to New York, according to a survey of financial executives by consultancy Duff & Phelps.

24 May
Roger Cohen: Britain on the Brink of Boris Johnson and Chaos
Theresa May exits but the Brexit impasse will endure for the simple reason it makes no sense.
The center is weaker than ever before in Britain. The political makeup of the country is in flux. The very survival of the country is in question, torn by intra-Irish tensions over the European Union and Scotland’s strong desire to stay in the union. The poison of Brexit keeps on giving for the simple reason that it makes no sense.
Johnson, if chosen, could try to call an early election to bolster his position for a hard Brexit, but Farage’s party will eat away at the Tory vote, and, in the words of Hugo Dixon, the deputy chairman of a grass-roots movement for a second referendum, “If Johnson opts for a pact with Farage, that would cause yet further havoc.”
…  A leadership contest will begin in May’s Conservative Party and the winner will become prime minister, with the task of resolving the Brexit debacle. Her most likely successor, given the extent of rabid pro-Brexit sentiment among Tories, is Boris Johnson, the unscrupulous, ramshackle, flip-flopping, dissembling former foreign secretary, whose uncertain relationship with the truth and unwavering narcissism resemble Donald Trump’s.
“He’s got what it takes,” Trump, who will visit Britain early in June, has ominously proclaimed of Johnson. The adulation has been reciprocated. Both are men gifted in the dark art

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