Discussion:
Will the UK get an EU deal? Probably not. Focus on WTO and new trade deals
(too old to reply)
James Harris
2017-09-08 17:06:05 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Will the UK get an EU trade deal by Brexit day (29 March 2019)? On
balance it seems to me to be unlikely. And I wonder at the UK
government's optimism.

Of course, their optimism may be for positioning - and it certainly
helps to go in to a negotiation with a positive frame of mind; they may
have a publicly positive position and a privately cautious one. But I
would say that there are reasons to see it as genuine.

It must be said that David Davis has spoken with counterparts in the 27
EU states and he knows what they said. None of us do. But I could
believe that two things have not sufficiently been accounted for:

1. The intransigence and self-focus of the EU itself. Davis seems to
expect it to behave reasonably - which I find surprising.

2. The effect of European-leader groupthink. Evidence is that when the
27 leaders get together they are driven by a groupthink herd mentality -
probably led by Germany - which is negative, remote and foolishly
impractical.

I think the Brits are right to try for a good EU deal but not for them
to expect one. I would like to see them also plan an alternative along
these lines:

1. Exit the EU. Migrate EU trade to WTO terms
2. Adopt deals with agreeable existing partners
3. Prep now to sign new trade deals ASAP
4. Work now with businesses which are likely to be impacted

ATM the UK government seems to have too many eggs in the EU basket and I
don't see much contingency planning.

How do you guys think the negotiations are likely to go?
--
James Harris
Mark, Devon
2017-09-08 20:57:41 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
I think we are likely to just fall out of the EU, as things stand. When/if that happens I expect us to have few, if any, significant new deals with other countries, that will kick in soon after. I see friction then in much of our current trading with the EU. I see other EU countries strengthening their trading with each other...re-engineering/re-skilling etc...in efforts to fill the gaps left by the UK exit. This will take time, but I expect that to happen...all the years of expertise/advantage we have built up in the UK we are, it appears, prepared to give away to other countries. Here in the UK I expect our economy to gradually contract, inflation and unemployment to rise, and uncertainty in government. Basically I do not, and never have, said we won't survive it all...but I expect we'll be poorer as a country, more isolated and less influential.
James Harris
2017-09-08 21:26:59 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Mark, Devon
I think we are likely to just fall out of the EU, as things stand.
That's possible though I would hope that if that happens then both sides
would go through an implementation period to migrate to WTO and there
would not be the purported "cliff edge" of a sudden change.

(In reality, the two sides look as if they could be heading for a
seemingly interminable extension that looks suspiciously like EU
membership.)
Post by Mark, Devon
When/if that happens I expect us to have few, if any, significant new deals with other countries, that will kick in soon after.
We should be able to maintain the current non-EU trade deals that we
have already as part of the EU as long as the parties with whom the
deals are arranged are willing. For example, we should be able to adopt
the EU deal with South Korea.
Post by Mark, Devon
I see friction then in much of our current trading with the EU. I see other EU countries strengthening their trading with each other...re-engineering/re-skilling etc...in efforts to fill the gaps left by the UK exit.
Agreed, and the UK would likely do the same.
Post by Mark, Devon
This will take time, but I expect that to happen...all the years of expertise/advantage we have built up in the UK we are, it appears, prepared to give away to other countries. Here in the UK I expect our economy to gradually contract, inflation and unemployment to rise, and uncertainty in government.
I too can see us losing a lot of EU trade over time but surely we will
be able to build new global trade links we don't have already, no?
Post by Mark, Devon
Basically I do not, and never have, said we won't survive it all...but I expect we'll be poorer as a country, more isolated and less influential.
Poorer in the short term, maybe, but as we build new trade surely we
will overtake the moribund and unmotivated EU - as long as our
government handles its restored powers well.

While I can see a point in a lot of what you say above I don't
understand the "less influential" point. Just now some of our foreign
policy is subsumed into the EU (and it wanted to take away more). The
EU's common voice may not have matched ours so we were silenced or even
countermanded. By contrast, once out we will be free to make our own
voice heard wherever we want. The great UK should never have been just
1/28th of the EU!
--
James Harris
James Hammerton
2017-09-09 16:22:46 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by James Harris
Post by Mark, Devon
I think we are likely to just fall out of the EU, as things stand.
That's possible though I would hope that if that happens then both sides
would go through an implementation period to migrate to WTO and there
would not be the purported "cliff edge" of a sudden change.
To avoid the cliff edge, some sort of an agreement will need to be made
to e.g. give businesses time to adjust to the new trading arrangements
needed for Britain to trade with the EU under "third country" status.
ISTM that would amount to extending existing arrangements, i.e. the
single market and various aspects of the customs arrangements so that
British companies can continue to use them until they're able to use the
new arrangements. Which sounds suspiciously like a transitional deal of
the sort many have been speaking about ad nauseum already, especially as
the EU won't allow this to occur 'for free'...

Regards,

James
--
James Hammerton
http://jhammerton.wordpress.com
http://www.magnacartaplus.com/
James Harris
2017-09-10 13:53:40 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by James Hammerton
Post by James Harris
Post by Mark, Devon
I think we are likely to just fall out of the EU, as things stand.
That's possible though I would hope that if that happens then both sides
would go through an implementation period to migrate to WTO and there
would not be the purported "cliff edge" of a sudden change.
To avoid the cliff edge, some sort of an agreement will need to be made
to e.g. give businesses time to adjust to the new trading arrangements
needed for Britain to trade with the EU under "third country" status.
ISTM that would amount to extending existing arrangements, i.e. the
single market and various aspects of the customs arrangements so that
British companies can continue to use them until they're able to use the
new arrangements. Which sounds suspiciously like a transitional deal of
the sort many have been speaking about ad nauseum already, especially as
the EU won't allow this to occur 'for free'...
Agreed though I would add that the EU spoke of a transitional period
well before I heard the UK mention it. They want a transition too.

In a select-committee hearing Davis said that he was trying to avoid
being seen to ask for things that both sides would want - so that such
things were not seen as concessions to the UK.
--
James Harris
m***@btopenworld.com
2017-09-11 10:05:07 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by James Harris
Post by Mark, Devon
I think we are likely to just fall out of the EU, as things stand.
That's possible though I would hope that if that happens then both sides
would go through an implementation period to migrate to WTO and there
would not be the purported "cliff edge" of a sudden change.
The operative word being 'perported'. The cliff edge notion is an invenction of the remain lobby who, face it, have been right on precious few occasions.

There will not be a cliff edge if things remain as they are. Things won't change and the stagnation process will continue until whatever transition period be it 2 ,3 4 years or whatever they come up within. During that time Brexit stands still.

If March 29 2019 comes with out any FTA, nothing will happen is that trading will continue as normal except that trade in both directions will become subject to WTO tariffs. Remind me which country/region exports most to the other and where these tariffs will go?

Contrary to wht you believe, traded with the EU is ot going to cease. Trade is carried out between suppliers and customers and not governments who contribute nothing towards the productive process.


There will be no new trade agreements. They are not allowed under the terms of the customs union. external tariffs for imports from counties with whom we do want trade relations. £8bn net subscriptions will continue to flow from UK into EU coffers and at the end of it all thee will be calls for the transition period to be extended.

A formal transition period will yield the worst of two worlds.

We vote to get out so lets go.
James Harris
2017-09-11 13:08:18 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by m***@btopenworld.com
Post by James Harris
Post by Mark, Devon
I think we are likely to just fall out of the EU, as things stand.
That's possible though I would hope that if that happens then both sides
would go through an implementation period to migrate to WTO and there
would not be the purported "cliff edge" of a sudden change.
The operative word being 'perported'. The cliff edge notion is an invenction of the remain lobby who, face it, have been right on precious few occasions.
There will not be a cliff edge if things remain as they are. Things won't change and the stagnation process will continue until whatever transition period be it 2 ,3 4 years or whatever they come up within. During that time Brexit stands still.
If March 29 2019 comes with out any FTA, nothing will happen is that trading will continue as normal except that trade in both directions will become subject to WTO tariffs. Remind me which country/region exports most to the other and where these tariffs will go?
That's true for goods. There's more to it, though. Even under WTO terms
we would needs agreements on all sorts of things to be in place by
Brexit day. Fortunately, the EU needs them as well.
Post by m***@btopenworld.com
Contrary to wht you believe, traded with the EU is ot going to cease. Trade is carried out between suppliers and customers and not governments who contribute nothing towards the productive process.
There will be no new trade agreements. They are not allowed under the terms of the customs union. external tariffs for imports from counties with whom we do want trade relations. £8bn net subscriptions will continue to flow from UK into EU coffers and at the end of it all thee will be calls for the transition period to be extended.
A formal transition period will yield the worst of two worlds.
We vote to get out so lets go.
--
James Harris
m***@btopenworld.com
2017-09-11 17:52:54 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by James Harris
Post by m***@btopenworld.com
If March 29 2019 comes with out any FTA, nothing will happen is that trading will continue as normal except that trade in both directions will become subject to WTO tariffs. Remind me which country/region exports most to the other and where these tariffs will go?
That's true for goods. There's more to it, though. Even under WTO terms
we would needs agreements on all sorts of things to be in place by
Brexit day. Fortunately, the EU needs them as well.
There are two types of trade Trade in goods and trade in services.

There is no single market in services and probably never will be since services do not take material form and so travel on paper or by wire etc. and include services like consultancy where human resources are involved. It is impossible to put such trade under customs control.

Further where we are talking disputes, the mechanisms of such resolutions is usually set out within the contract concerned to be resolved either under the law of the country in which the contract is signed or by direct agreement between the parties as to which system of law should apply.

Which of all the countries of the world is the one system that is the most respected anywhere and is copied in country after country? Where is the country
with the most experienced corporate lawyers?

It's not a question of the EU passing restrictive laws.

Further any law that is deemed as intended to restrict trade with another member contravenes WTO rules.
James Hammerton
2017-09-11 21:30:34 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by m***@btopenworld.com
Post by James Harris
Post by m***@btopenworld.com
If March 29 2019 comes with out any FTA, nothing will happen is that trading will continue as normal except that trade in both directions will become subject to WTO tariffs. Remind me which country/region exports most to the other and where these tariffs will go?
That's true for goods. There's more to it, though. Even under WTO terms
we would needs agreements on all sorts of things to be in place by
Brexit day. Fortunately, the EU needs them as well.
There are two types of trade Trade in goods and trade in services.
There is no single market in services and probably never will be since services do not take material form and so travel on paper or by wire etc. and include services like consultancy where human resources are involved. It is impossible to put such trade under customs control.
Further where we are talking disputes, the mechanisms of such resolutions is usually set out within the contract concerned to be resolved either under the law of the country in which the contract is signed or by direct agreement between the parties as to which system of law should apply.
Which of all the countries of the world is the one system that is the most respected anywhere and is copied in country after country? Where is the country
with the most experienced corporate lawyers?
It's not a question of the EU passing restrictive laws.
The cliff edge does not arise from the EU passing new restrictive laws.

It comes from us one day being a full blown EU member to the next day
trading with the EU under 'third country' status.

Now you might ask what's wrong with trading with the EU on third country
status, after all most of the world does so without trouble.

The problem however is the sudden *transition* from a system where we
trade with the EU without needing customs checks to one where customs
checks are required (alongside a lot more bureaucracy) and the volume of
UK/EU trade is well above the capacity of the existing facilities and
border inspection posts to handle.

This is not because the EU is applying new laws and procedures
specifically to the UK, but because it is applying the same laws and
procedures to the UK that it presently applies to non EU/non EEA
countries (and which are thus WTO compliant laws).

To put this another way - the EU is a protectionist club and its members
benefit because they can trade with each other without having to jump
through the various hoops non members have to jump though in order to
trade it with. We are currently a member and will soon no longer be a
member, ergo we'll be made to jump through the same hoops as other non
members (unless we agree a deal otherwise). Those hoops represent the
'cliff edge'.

To give you an idea of what is involved, please read this:

https://eureferendum.blogspot.co.uk/2017/02/brexit-on-becoming-third-country.html

Note that the author of this article backs up his claims with citation
of relevant EU regulations.

ISTM the cliff edge is real, but even many remainers don't understand
why it arises.

Regards,

James
--
James Hammerton
http://jhammerton.wordpress.com
http://www.magnacartaplus.com/
m***@btopenworld.com
2017-09-12 08:25:11 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by James Hammerton
Post by m***@btopenworld.com
There are two types of trade Trade in goods and trade in services.
There is no single market in services and probably never will be since services do not take material form and so travel on paper or by wire etc. and include services like consultancy where human resources are involved. It is impossible to put such trade under customs control.
Further where we are talking disputes, the mechanisms of such resolutions is usually set out within the contract concerned to be resolved either under the law of the country in which the contract is signed or by direct agreement between the parties as to which system of law should apply.
Which of all the countries of the world is the one system that is the most respected anywhere and is copied in country after country? Where is the country
with the most experienced corporate lawyers?
It's not a question of the EU passing restrictive laws.
The cliff edge does not arise from the EU passing new restrictive laws.
Nobody has said it does!

You have clearly misunderstood my post which was about trade in services.

I reiterate that, by the nature of such services, it is impossible to subject these to customs control.

However, lets take a look as trade in goods.
Post by James Hammerton
It comes from us one day being a full blown EU member to the next day
trading with the EU under 'third country' status.
We'll start with simple mail.

Millions of items of mail criss cross the globe every day the bulk of them without let of hindrance. If every package that crossed international borders were to be opened and examined, the system would simply choke up.

So how is the problem overcome? What happens when you take a package to the Post Office destined for a non EU address? You are of course asked what is in and the clerk writes down what you say on a green sticker which is then affixed to the package.

En route some of the packages will be X ray scanned Even fewer will be actually opened. This denies any abuser of the service the guarantee of security of the service since he can't ever be sure whether his package will be part of those small samples and it can be traced back to him.

The system is known as 'self declaration' It works because customs authorities in different countries are prepared and do work together.

Containers are nothing more than glorified packages. It's hardly surprising to find therefore that they are treated similarly to the mail system. If every container entering a port had to be unpacked and examined, then the port would indeed seize up. Of course that does not happen. Containers are packed and *sealed* either at the port of departure or even at the point of departure (in the case of 'self declarers'. The manifest (list of contents + the number on the seal) is transmitted electronically to every customs border across which it will pass. When it reaches such a border the customs authorities there have the option to break the seal an open it up. This preserves any uncertainty already spoken of.

If the customs choose to open it, perhaps for a solely random check. Then if nothing contentious is found then it is simply resealed and the new number of the seal transmitted along the line. A dodgy container make be tracked along the line so as to gain information as to illicit supply chains. The wrongdoer has no way of knowing.

It's in every countries' interest that goods pass through ports smoothly which they do since goods flow in quantity between EU and non EU countries every day. Do you seriously imagine every consignment is examined by customs? These stories of trucks blocking the M2 in Kent as they wait for clearance in Calais
is a nonsense invented by alarmists and eagerly picked up by those who don't want Brexit at any price are nothing more than that. If Calais seizes up then it seizes up in both directions and that is in nobody's interest.

It has already been announced that the UK will seek a solution to the NI/UK border situation through technical means. Technical means that already exist and are in regular use.

I'll tell you something else too. EU airports and airspace are not going to be closed to aircraft taking off from UK airports either. What good reason could their be for dislocating global air traffic (don't forget all the connections!) If I am wrong, how long would the domestic and non involved users of these services tolerate such an inconvenience? The answer is they wouldn't and would be screaming for the blood of their politicians who are not particularly held in high esteem anywhere.

If we are going to yield to 'bogeyman' stories then we will never have Brexit. We have had enough of those already and they have come to nought.

Brexit will be a success and we shall set an example for all the other nations doing badly within the EU. They may or may not follow us but God, how it will empower them within which is Germany's fear!
Ophelia
2017-09-10 13:30:47 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Mark, Devon
I think we are likely to just fall out of the EU, as things stand.
That's possible though I would hope that if that happens then both sides
would go through an implementation period to migrate to WTO and there
would not be the purported "cliff edge" of a sudden change.

(In reality, the two sides look as if they could be heading for a
seemingly interminable extension that looks suspiciously like EU
membership.)
Post by Mark, Devon
When/if that happens I expect us to have few, if any, significant new
deals with other countries, that will kick in soon after.
We should be able to maintain the current non-EU trade deals that we
have already as part of the EU as long as the parties with whom the
deals are arranged are willing. For example, we should be able to adopt
the EU deal with South Korea.
Post by Mark, Devon
I see friction then in much of our current trading with the EU. I see
other EU countries strengthening their trading with each
other...re-engineering/re-skilling etc...in efforts to fill the gaps left
by the UK exit.
Agreed, and the UK would likely do the same.
Post by Mark, Devon
This will take time, but I expect that to happen...all the years of
expertise/advantage we have built up in the UK we are, it appears,
prepared to give away to other countries. Here in the UK I expect our
economy to gradually contract, inflation and unemployment to rise, and
uncertainty in government.
I too can see us losing a lot of EU trade over time but surely we will
be able to build new global trade links we don't have already, no?
Post by Mark, Devon
Basically I do not, and never have, said we won't survive it all...but I
expect we'll be poorer as a country, more isolated and less influential.
Poorer in the short term, maybe, but as we build new trade surely we
will overtake the moribund and unmotivated EU - as long as our
government handles its restored powers well.

While I can see a point in a lot of what you say above I don't
understand the "less influential" point. Just now some of our foreign
policy is subsumed into the EU (and it wanted to take away more). The
EU's common voice may not have matched ours so we were silenced or even
countermanded. By contrast, once out we will be free to make our own
voice heard wherever we want. The great UK should never have been just
1/28th of the EU!

James Harris

==

I agree but I very much doubt that those in the EU that sell £70 billion
worth of goods to us will take that lying down

Why would we sell only to 'global trade'?
--
http://www.helpforheroes.org.uk
Ned Latham
2017-09-08 23:06:06 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Mark, Devon
I think we are likely to just fall out of the EU, as things stand.
When/if that happens I expect us to have few, if any, significant new
deals with other countries, that will kick in soon after. I see friction
then in much of our current trading with the EU. I see other EU
countries strengthening their trading with each
other...re-engineering/re-skilling etc...in efforts to fill the gaps
left by the UK exit. This will take time, but I expect that to
happen...all the years of expertise/advantage we have built up in the UK
we are, it appears, prepared to give away to other countries. Here in
the UK I expect our economy to gradually contract, inflation and
unemployment to rise, and uncertainty in government. Basically I do not,
and never have, said we won't survive it all...but I expect we'll be
poorer as a country, more isolated and less influential.
You bloody right in your assessment.
Who needs a constantly whining and complaining elitist UK in Europe!
James Harris
2017-09-09 08:52:22 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Ned Latham
Who needs a constantly whining and complaining elitist UK in Europe!
Indeed! A pro-Brexit argument that I agree with was that both the EU and
the UK would be happier as separate entities. For example, they can head
for their desired political integration without the UK continually
holding them back.
--
James Harris
Ophelia
2017-09-10 13:04:16 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Ned Latham
Who needs a constantly whining and complaining elitist UK in Europe!
Indeed! A pro-Brexit argument that I agree with was that both the EU and
the UK would be happier as separate entities. For example, they can head
for their desired political integration without the UK continually
holding them back.


James Harris

==

What does it have to do with him anyway? Why is he so bothered or does he
just like to stir it?
--
http://www.helpforheroes.org.uk
James Hammerton
2017-09-09 16:17:00 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Mark, Devon
I think we are likely to just fall out of the EU, as things stand. When/if that happens I expect us to have few, if any, significant new deals with other countries, that will kick in soon after. I see friction then in much of our current trading with the EU. I see other EU countries strengthening their trading with each other...re-engineering/re-skilling etc...in efforts to fill the gaps left by the UK exit. This will take time, but I expect that to happen...all the years of expertise/advantage we have built up in the UK we are, it appears, prepared to give away to other countries.
How exactly would we be giving away our expertise and advantage to the
other countries?
Post by Mark, Devon
Here in the UK I expect our economy to gradually contract, inflation and unemployment to rise, and uncertainty in government.
What exactly would be causing the contraction, inflation and
unemployment you envisage occurring in this scenario?

Regards,

James
--
James Hammerton
http://jhammerton.wordpress.com
http://www.magnacartaplus.com/
James Hammerton
2017-09-09 16:14:21 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by James Harris
Will the UK get an EU trade deal by Brexit day (29 March 2019)? On
balance it seems to me to be unlikely.
In earlier discussions, you indicated that you viewed "no deal" as
actually involving an exit deal of some sort rather than literally no
deal whatsoever (the outcome if we simply twiddsle our thumbs until of
the Article 50 deadline expires).

As I recall you agreed that no deal whatsoever was not desirable. Are
you now of the view that no deal whatsoever is likely or that no trade
deal (or transitionary deal) is likely?

And I wonder at the UK
Post by James Harris
government's optimism.
Of course, their optimism may be for positioning - and it certainly
helps to go in to a negotiation with a positive frame of mind; they may
have a publicly positive position and a privately cautious one. But I
would say that there are reasons to see it as genuine.
It must be said that David Davis has spoken with counterparts in the 27
EU states and he knows what they said. None of us do. But I could
1. The intransigence and self-focus of the EU itself. Davis seems to
expect it to behave reasonably - which I find surprising.
2. The effect of European-leader groupthink. Evidence is that when the
27 leaders get together they are driven by a groupthink herd mentality -
probably led by Germany - which is negative, remote and foolishly
impractical.
I think the Brits are right to try for a good EU deal but not for them
to expect one. I would like to see them also plan an alternative along
1. Exit the EU. Migrate EU trade to WTO terms
2. Adopt deals with agreeable existing partners
3. Prep now to sign new trade deals ASAP
4. Work now with businesses which are likely to be impacted
ATM the UK government seems to have too many eggs in the EU basket and I
don't see much contingency planning.
How do you guys think the negotiations are likely to go?
I find myself thinking that any concessions (from either side) will only
appear at the last minute and there's still some time to go before we
reach the last minute...

NB: I don't mean literally the last 60 seconds before the Article 50
expiry, I mean the latest point at which a deal can be realistically
agreed, which looks to be about 6 months before the Article 50 deadline
(due to the need for ratifications).

Regards,

James
--
James Hammerton
http://jhammerton.wordpress.com
http://www.magnacartaplus.com/
James Harris
2017-09-10 13:32:09 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by James Hammerton
Post by James Harris
Will the UK get an EU trade deal by Brexit day (29 March 2019)? On
balance it seems to me to be unlikely.
In earlier discussions, you indicated that you viewed "no deal" as
actually involving an exit deal of some sort rather than literally no
deal whatsoever (the outcome if we simply twiddsle our thumbs until of
the Article 50 deadline expires).
Yes, and I still believe that no deal whatsoever (the cliff-edge
scenario) is simply infeasible. I am pretty sure we will get to a
withdrawal agreement though all the important stuff will be done at the
last minute. That is the EU's usual approach and the UK cannot make them
change the way they do these things.
Post by James Hammerton
As I recall you agreed that no deal whatsoever was not desirable. Are
you now of the view that no deal whatsoever is likely or that no trade
deal (or transitionary deal) is likely?
Very much that I suspect no trade deal will be done by 29 March 2019.
The EU is simply not very interested in working one out. Some of its
members are, of course, but those members would accept an extension of
existing arrangements for the time being and the UK is already offering
an extension. That's not what I would call a transition but effectively
a way of kicking the can down the road. Such an extension (which I would
think would be part of the withdrawal agreement) could get approval from
the European Parliament and the Council, as well as both houses of the
UK Parliament.

Of course, they'll have to resolve the situation somehow. They could go
for long-term can kicking or finally get the job done. Personally I hope
they resolve matters sooner rather than later. Britain should have a big
neon sign out: Open for business - open to the 90% of the world which is
not the EU.
Post by James Hammerton
And I wonder at the UK
Post by James Harris
government's optimism.
Of course, their optimism may be for positioning - and it certainly
helps to go in to a negotiation with a positive frame of mind; they may
have a publicly positive position and a privately cautious one. But I
would say that there are reasons to see it as genuine.
It must be said that David Davis has spoken with counterparts in the 27
EU states and he knows what they said. None of us do. But I could
1. The intransigence and self-focus of the EU itself. Davis seems to
expect it to behave reasonably - which I find surprising.
2. The effect of European-leader groupthink. Evidence is that when the
27 leaders get together they are driven by a groupthink herd mentality -
probably led by Germany - which is negative, remote and foolishly
impractical.
I think the Brits are right to try for a good EU deal but not for them
to expect one. I would like to see them also plan an alternative along
1. Exit the EU. Migrate EU trade to WTO terms
2. Adopt deals with agreeable existing partners
3. Prep now to sign new trade deals ASAP
4. Work now with businesses which are likely to be impacted
ATM the UK government seems to have too many eggs in the EU basket and I
don't see much contingency planning.
How do you guys think the negotiations are likely to go?
I find myself thinking that any concessions (from either side) will only
appear at the last minute and there's still some time to go before we
reach the last minute...
NB: I don't mean literally the last 60 seconds before the Article 50
expiry, I mean the latest point at which a deal can be realistically
agreed, which looks to be about 6 months before the Article 50 deadline
(due to the need for ratifications).
Agreed.

How do you think David Davis is really doing? He has an offer which is
good for the UK and good for the EU27, and his conversations with the 27
nations have convinced him that they want to engage with us. And he
seems to think that as time passes - possibly by December/January - the
27 will begin to pressure the EU to talk trade. But is he right or is he
naive?

What concerns me is that he seems willing to put off our signing new
trade deals even in a so-called transitional phase, and is so confident
of getting a good EU deal that he is, thereby, in danger of missing the
opportunities that Brexit should open up. He seems possibly to be
putting too many eggs in the EU basket. How does it seem to you?
--
James Harris
James Hammerton
2017-09-11 21:15:34 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by James Harris
Post by James Hammerton
Post by James Harris
Will the UK get an EU trade deal by Brexit day (29 March 2019)? On
balance it seems to me to be unlikely.
In earlier discussions, you indicated that you viewed "no deal" as
actually involving an exit deal of some sort rather than literally no
deal whatsoever (the outcome if we simply twiddsle our thumbs until of
the Article 50 deadline expires).
Yes, and I still believe that no deal whatsoever (the cliff-edge
scenario) is simply infeasible.
Why do you regard it as infeasible that we may end up with no deal
whatsoever? What would block that scenario? Even Flexcit (the
eureferendum.com EEA based plan for Bredxit) considered that this could
occur unintentionally if time simply ran out before the relevant
negotiations could be concluded.

I am pretty sure we will get to a
Post by James Harris
withdrawal agreement though all the important stuff will be done at the
last minute. That is the EU's usual approach and the UK cannot make them
change the way they do these things.
Agreed that it is likely everything gets done at the last minute!
Post by James Harris
Post by James Hammerton
As I recall you agreed that no deal whatsoever was not desirable. Are
you now of the view that no deal whatsoever is likely or that no trade
deal (or transitionary deal) is likely?
Very much that I suspect no trade deal will be done by 29 March 2019.
The EU is simply not very interested in working one out. Some of its
members are, of course, but those members would accept an extension of
existing arrangements for the time being and the UK is already offering
an extension. That's not what I would call a transition but effectively
a way of kicking the can down the road. Such an extension (which I would
think would be part of the withdrawal agreement) could get approval from
the European Parliament and the Council, as well as both houses of the
UK Parliament.
Of course, they'll have to resolve the situation somehow. They could go
for long-term can kicking or finally get the job done. Personally I hope
they resolve matters sooner rather than later. Britain should have a big
neon sign out: Open for business - open to the 90% of the world which is
not the EU.
Post by James Hammerton
   And I wonder at the UK
Post by James Harris
government's optimism.
Of course, their optimism may be for positioning - and it certainly
helps to go in to a negotiation with a positive frame of mind; they may
have a publicly positive position and a privately cautious one. But I
would say that there are reasons to see it as genuine.
It must be said that David Davis has spoken with counterparts in the 27
EU states and he knows what they said. None of us do. But I could
1. The intransigence and self-focus of the EU itself. Davis seems to
expect it to behave reasonably - which I find surprising.
2. The effect of European-leader groupthink. Evidence is that when the
27 leaders get together they are driven by a groupthink herd mentality -
probably led by Germany - which is negative, remote and foolishly
impractical.
I think the Brits are right to try for a good EU deal but not for them
to expect one. I would like to see them also plan an alternative along
1. Exit the EU. Migrate EU trade to WTO terms
2. Adopt deals with agreeable existing partners
3. Prep now to sign new trade deals ASAP
4. Work now with businesses which are likely to be impacted
ATM the UK government seems to have too many eggs in the EU basket and I
don't see much contingency planning.
How do you guys think the negotiations are likely to go?
I find myself thinking that any concessions (from either side) will only
appear at the last minute and there's still some time to go before we
reach the last minute...
NB: I don't mean literally the last 60 seconds before the Article 50
expiry, I mean the latest point at which a deal can be realistically
agreed, which looks to be about 6 months before the Article 50 deadline
(due to the need for ratifications).
Agreed.
How do you think David Davis is really doing?
It's hard to say.

There doesn't seem to be much sign of progress but then I'm not sure
there was ever likely to be much sign this early on unless the govt had
opted for the Norway option (and possibly not even then).

Until there's a deal on the table ready to be signed, we're not going to
be able to make a full judgement on this.

He has an offer which is
Post by James Harris
good for the UK and good for the EU27, and his conversations with the 27
nations have convinced him that they want to engage with us.
I take it you mean he's putting forward an offer which is good for both
us and the EU27.

And he
Post by James Harris
seems to think that as time passes - possibly by December/January - the
27 will begin to pressure the EU to talk trade. But is he right or is he
naive?
I hope he's right, but if the EU continue to insist on the sequencing of
NI, divorce bill and citizens rights before anything else can be
considered, I'm not sure what can be done about it.

What I do find myself thinking is that one cannot really tackle the NI
border without tackling a large chunk of the trade issues and thus I
find the EU's stance on insisting on trying to deal with the NI border,
the 'divorce bill' and citizens rights before the future trade
relationship is even considered isn't fully coherent as a result.

Also, the EU27 probably can't react very quickly to UK proposals except
in the event that all 27 think the proposals should be rejected -
Barnier's hands are to that extent tied until the EU27 (plus the EU
parliament and commission) have deliberated and (failed to )come to a
conclusion, hence slow progress is to be expected.
Post by James Harris
What concerns me is that he seems willing to put off our signing new
trade deals even in a so-called transitional phase, and is so confident
of getting a good EU deal that he is, thereby, in danger of missing the
opportunities that Brexit should open up. He seems possibly to be
putting too many eggs in the EU basket. How does it seem to you?
I take your point about trade deals during a transitional period.

His apparent onfidence in getting a deal seems out of kilter with the
media narrative (but I'm not sure I'd expect otherwise) and with
comments from the EU (but I'm sure I'd expect otherwise either).

I wonder how much of the stuff for public consumption is a pantomime
whilst the real stuff grinds out elsewhere...

I am a little concerned that the government hasn't explicitly addressed
the "no deal whatsoever" scenario, as it leaves me unsure as to whether
when they talk about no deal, they mean no trade deal as opposed to no
exit deal. It's an important point to be taking on trust.

I also worry that even an exit deal would have to cover a lot of ground
and the clock is ticking...

Regards,

James
--
James Hammerton
http://jhammerton.wordpress.com
http://www.magnacartaplus.com/
James Harris
2017-09-13 01:54:18 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by James Hammerton
Post by James Harris
Post by James Hammerton
Post by James Harris
Will the UK get an EU trade deal by Brexit day (29 March 2019)? On
balance it seems to me to be unlikely.
In earlier discussions, you indicated that you viewed "no deal" as
actually involving an exit deal of some sort rather than literally no
deal whatsoever (the outcome if we simply twiddsle our thumbs until of
the Article 50 deadline expires).
Yes, and I still believe that no deal whatsoever (the cliff-edge
scenario) is simply infeasible.
Why do you regard it as infeasible that we may end up with no deal
whatsoever?
The people dealing with this are aware that far, far too much depends on
there being a deal, even if the deal is just to arrange WTO trade and
sign various interoperability agreements. It would be what the sides had
to do if they could not agree a trade deal in time.

The only way I could see there being no deal whatsoever would be if
there was a bad-tempered breakdown of the talks. And even then, it would
need to be a seriously acrimonious rupture - maybe if they were to
declare war on each other. ;-)

I /can/ see the EU side getting more and more unpleasant as time goes
on. And I can see short-term tactical walkouts. But I can't see the two
sides letting 29 March 2019 come completely unprepared for.
Post by James Hammerton
What would block that scenario? Even Flexcit (the
eureferendum.com EEA based plan for Bredxit) considered that this could
occur unintentionally if time simply ran out before the relevant
negotiations could be concluded.
Perhaps the best way to explain how I see it is to note that there is
essentially a ready-made fallback. If the two sides can't agree a trade
deal then they get to a point where they accept that it is not going to
happen. Then for trade they arrange to go to WTO. If they don't agree an
open skies deal then maybe they extend the existing agreement pro tem.
If they don't agree on access to UK waters then the EU27 may get 6
months to prepare to lose all access. And so on. The idea that the two
sides will simply run out of time and wake up on 29 March with blank
pieces of paper is surely far from credible.

...
Post by James Hammerton
Post by James Harris
How do you think David Davis is really doing?
It's hard to say.
There doesn't seem to be much sign of progress but then I'm not sure
there was ever likely to be much sign this early on unless the govt had
opted for the Norway option (and possibly not even then).
Agreed.
Post by James Hammerton
Until there's a deal on the table ready to be signed, we're not going to
be able to make a full judgement on this.
He has an offer which is
Post by James Harris
good for the UK and good for the EU27, and his conversations with the 27
nations have convinced him that they want to engage with us.
I take it you mean he's putting forward an offer which is good for both
us and the EU27.
Yes. That seems to be his approach. He expects the 27 to like the deal,
and they may do so. His deal, though, may not be good for the EU itself.
And that may indicate a touch of naivety.

I fear that he may be too optimistic about how the EU and the 27 as a
group will behave.
Post by James Hammerton
And he
Post by James Harris
seems to think that as time passes - possibly by December/January - the
27 will begin to pressure the EU to talk trade. But is he right or is he
naive?
I hope he's right, but if the EU continue to insist on the sequencing of
NI, divorce bill and citizens rights before anything else can be
considered, I'm not sure what can be done about it.
What I do find myself thinking is that one cannot really tackle the NI
border without tackling a large chunk of the trade issues and thus I
find the EU's stance on insisting on trying to deal with the NI border,
the 'divorce bill' and citizens rights before the future trade
relationship is even considered isn't fully coherent as a result.
Also, the EU27 probably can't react very quickly to UK proposals except
in the event that all 27 think the proposals should be rejected -
Barnier's hands are to that extent tied until the EU27 (plus the EU
parliament and commission) have deliberated and (failed to )come to a
conclusion, hence slow progress is to be expected.
I wonder if Davis is taking EU machinations sufficiently into account.
Post by James Hammerton
Post by James Harris
What concerns me is that he seems willing to put off our signing new
trade deals even in a so-called transitional phase, and is so confident
of getting a good EU deal that he is, thereby, in danger of missing the
opportunities that Brexit should open up. He seems possibly to be
putting too many eggs in the EU basket. How does it seem to you?
I take your point about trade deals during a transitional period.
His apparent onfidence in getting a deal seems out of kilter with the
media narrative (but I'm not sure I'd expect otherwise) and with
comments from the EU (but I'm sure I'd expect otherwise either).
I wonder how much of the stuff for public consumption is a pantomime
whilst the real stuff grinds out elsewhere...
I am a little concerned that the government hasn't explicitly addressed
the "no deal whatsoever" scenario, as it leaves me unsure as to whether
when they talk about no deal, they mean no trade deal as opposed to no
exit deal. It's an important point to be taking on trust.
Iron hand, velvet glove. I'd like to see the UK side do things to show
the iron hand is there such as

* Prepare seriously for no deal and make lots of reassuring noises that
it is just for backup in the very unlikely event that ... etc, etc.

* Tell the EU it has no right or competence whatsoever to say what trade
deals we can or cannot make now in time for 29 March 2019 when we leave
the customs union. And let the world know we are open for business.

* Start building up regional trade boards and gearing up UK companies
for more international trade.

In fairness, some of those things are being done already but they are
low key. There seems to be too much expectation that we will get a good
EU deal and can focus on other trade later. For example, ministers have
said that we might not even be able to negotiate new trade deals during
the transition period!
Post by James Hammerton
I also worry that even an exit deal would have to cover a lot of ground
and the clock is ticking...
Yes, though their get-out-of-jail-free card is the so-called transition.
That allows them effectively to stop the clock on a number of issues,
though I accept that even with a "transition" period lots of legal
matters will still need to be resolved by Brexit day.
--
James Harris
m***@btopenworld.com
2017-09-13 08:04:30 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by James Harris
Post by James Hammerton
Why do you regard it as infeasible that we may end up with no deal
whatsoever?
The people dealing with this are aware that far, far too much depends on
there being a deal, even if the deal is just to arrange WTO trade and
sign various interoperability agreements. It would be what the sides had
to do if they could not agree a trade deal in time.
And who is to be the ultimate arbiter over the policing of these "interoperability agreements" Not he ECJ I hope!

More to the point are they necessary except possibly at local levels.

There is a UN agency called World Customs Organization

http://tfig.unece.org/contents/custom-cooperation.htm

This is the forum for any such discussions. Let those who are actually going to do the job decide how it shall be done.

In fact they have already decided. "interoperability agreements" clearly already exist. Cargos *do* cross all EU/non EU borders every hour of every day. Brexit will merely extend those borders.

Further to that, there is more to customs control than searching ships, trucks, containers etc. Todays customs agencies are cooperative, technologically based and information led.

Further even to that the worlds customs officers are looking for more than dutiable goods. There is no single market in narcotics, guns and other weapons, live animals, exotic species and products therefrom, even meat for human consumption. Customs vigilance will be necessary even if all tariffs the world over are abolished.

Don't look for difficulties and making excuses for politicians. The one thing they are good at is thinking up their own in order to perpetuate their nonsenses.

If the talks fail, there is just one sensible thing they can do and that is go home rather than building on that failure.

Just remember it was politicians that created the EU in the first place and subsequently broadened its remit.
Incubus
2017-09-11 08:59:40 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by James Harris
Will the UK get an EU trade deal by Brexit day (29 March 2019)? On
balance it seems to me to be unlikely. And I wonder at the UK
government's optimism.
Of course, their optimism may be for positioning - and it certainly
helps to go in to a negotiation with a positive frame of mind; they may
have a publicly positive position and a privately cautious one. But I
would say that there are reasons to see it as genuine.
It must be said that David Davis has spoken with counterparts in the 27
EU states and he knows what they said. None of us do. But I could
1. The intransigence and self-focus of the EU itself. Davis seems to
expect it to behave reasonably - which I find surprising.
2. The effect of European-leader groupthink. Evidence is that when the
27 leaders get together they are driven by a groupthink herd mentality -
probably led by Germany - which is negative, remote and foolishly
impractical.
I think the Brits are right to try for a good EU deal but not for them
to expect one. I would like to see them also plan an alternative along
1. Exit the EU. Migrate EU trade to WTO terms
2. Adopt deals with agreeable existing partners
3. Prep now to sign new trade deals ASAP
4. Work now with businesses which are likely to be impacted
ATM the UK government seems to have too many eggs in the EU basket and I
don't see much contingency planning.
How do you guys think the negotiations are likely to go?
I think we're at the pointless tennis stage and when the reality of the
deadline sinks in on both sides, we might see some movement. In the
meantime, Remoaners will continue to moan and Leavers will emphasise the
need to walk away without a deal if need be.

In terms of what is likely to be agreed, it's impossible to say.
Ideally, there would be creativity on both sides and a willingness to
achieve the best deal for everyone but the EU seems determined to punish
the EU for leaving hoping that it will go badly for us in order to set
an example to other EU nations of what they can expect if they choose to
leave.

I hope there is no deal as I believe that would be best for Britain - no
compromise, just WTO rules and an end to free movement.
James Harris
2017-09-11 09:33:35 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Incubus
Post by James Harris
Will the UK get an EU trade deal by Brexit day (29 March 2019)? On
balance it seems to me to be unlikely. And I wonder at the UK
government's optimism.
Of course, their optimism may be for positioning - and it certainly
helps to go in to a negotiation with a positive frame of mind; they may
have a publicly positive position and a privately cautious one. But I
would say that there are reasons to see it as genuine.
It must be said that David Davis has spoken with counterparts in the 27
EU states and he knows what they said. None of us do. But I could
1. The intransigence and self-focus of the EU itself. Davis seems to
expect it to behave reasonably - which I find surprising.
2. The effect of European-leader groupthink. Evidence is that when the
27 leaders get together they are driven by a groupthink herd mentality -
probably led by Germany - which is negative, remote and foolishly
impractical.
I think the Brits are right to try for a good EU deal but not for them
to expect one. I would like to see them also plan an alternative along
1. Exit the EU. Migrate EU trade to WTO terms
2. Adopt deals with agreeable existing partners
3. Prep now to sign new trade deals ASAP
4. Work now with businesses which are likely to be impacted
ATM the UK government seems to have too many eggs in the EU basket and I
don't see much contingency planning.
How do you guys think the negotiations are likely to go?
I think we're at the pointless tennis stage and when the reality of the
deadline sinks in on both sides, we might see some movement. In the
meantime, Remoaners will continue to moan and Leavers will emphasise the
need to walk away without a deal if need be.
In terms of what is likely to be agreed, it's impossible to say.
Ideally, there would be creativity on both sides and a willingness to
achieve the best deal for everyone but the EU seems determined to punish
the EU for leaving hoping that it will go badly for us in order to set
an example to other EU nations of what they can expect if they choose to
leave.
I hope there is no deal as I believe that would be best for Britain - no
compromise, just WTO rules and an end to free movement.
I agree that going to WTO would probably be a good option as long as it
is accompanied by other things such as

* time for firms here and in the EU27 to prepare
* temporary support for the few sectors where tariffs will make a big
difference
* putting sensible migration measures in place
* gearing-up on building non-EU trade links

ATM the government seems to expect to get a good EU deal and I am not
convinced they are doing enough to prepare for full independence.
--
James Harris
Incubus
2017-09-12 11:55:34 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by James Harris
Post by Incubus
Post by James Harris
Will the UK get an EU trade deal by Brexit day (29 March 2019)? On
balance it seems to me to be unlikely. And I wonder at the UK
government's optimism.
Of course, their optimism may be for positioning - and it certainly
helps to go in to a negotiation with a positive frame of mind; they may
have a publicly positive position and a privately cautious one. But I
would say that there are reasons to see it as genuine.
It must be said that David Davis has spoken with counterparts in the 27
EU states and he knows what they said. None of us do. But I could
1. The intransigence and self-focus of the EU itself. Davis seems to
expect it to behave reasonably - which I find surprising.
2. The effect of European-leader groupthink. Evidence is that when the
27 leaders get together they are driven by a groupthink herd mentality -
probably led by Germany - which is negative, remote and foolishly
impractical.
I think the Brits are right to try for a good EU deal but not for them
to expect one. I would like to see them also plan an alternative along
1. Exit the EU. Migrate EU trade to WTO terms
2. Adopt deals with agreeable existing partners
3. Prep now to sign new trade deals ASAP
4. Work now with businesses which are likely to be impacted
ATM the UK government seems to have too many eggs in the EU basket and I
don't see much contingency planning.
How do you guys think the negotiations are likely to go?
I think we're at the pointless tennis stage and when the reality of the
deadline sinks in on both sides, we might see some movement.  In the
meantime, Remoaners will continue to moan and Leavers will emphasise the
need to walk away without a deal if need be.
In terms of what is likely to be agreed, it's impossible to say.
Ideally, there would be creativity on both sides and a willingness to
achieve the best deal for everyone but the EU seems determined to punish
the EU for leaving hoping that it will go badly for us in order to set
an example to other EU nations of what they can expect if they choose to
leave.
I hope there is no deal as I believe that would be best for Britain - no
compromise, just WTO rules and an end to free movement.
I agree that going to WTO would probably be a good option as long as it
is accompanied by other things such as
* time for firms here and in the EU27 to prepare
* temporary support for the few sectors where tariffs will make a big
difference
* putting sensible migration measures in place
* gearing-up on building non-EU trade links
ATM the government seems to expect to get a good EU deal and I am not
convinced they are doing enough to prepare for full independence.
I imagine they are behind the scenes. Unfortunately, the Remoaners seem
to think that unless it is written out in bright red crayon that they
can understand, that there isn't a plan.
Loading...