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Brexit - The Chequered Flag


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2 hours ago, bmck said:

I'm not sure, to be honest. However, the European tradition doesn't contain, at its core, a fundamental conception of liberty. Their laws are still mostly dervied (like Scotland's partially are) from Roman Law. It's a continent used to being ruled. They have no conception of ancient liberties. Whilst we may be a monarchy, we are hardly subjects. It's they who have to evolve with the times to remain. However, the list if countries in whom it's not their interests is endless. Make no mistake - in the who needs more debate, geopolitically the EU needed the UK more than the other way round. We had two options: invest fully, fix and run it, or leave, in my view.

Yep, I agree. 

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4 hours ago, ChelseaBoy said:

Step in the right direction as Albanian gangs now run the herion trade in the UK. 

Hopefully Rita Ora and Dua Lipa will be repatriated for crimes against music.  

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This made me laugh.

 

Michel Barnier wants to ‘take back control’ from Brussels. That’s right, the man best known to us Brits as the EU’s hardline Brexit negotiator – who tried to make it as painful as possible for Britain to leave the EU – is now complaining about the EU smothering national sovereignty.

 

The reason for this is that Barnier has thrown his hat into the ring for the French presidency. And given that a lot of French people really don’t like the EU he has decided to make some loud Eurosceptic noises on the campaign trail.

 

This week, Barnier slammed the European courts. ‘We must regain our legal sovereignty so that we are no longer subject to the rulings of the European Court of Justice’, he told a rally organised by Les Républicains, the party he hopes to represent.

 

A few months ago, he raised more than a few eyebrows when he called for France to tighten its borders. He called for a rethink of the EU’s passport-free Schengen area. He even proposed a temporary moratorium on all non-EU immigration – a proposal far more isolationist than any prominent right-wing Brexiteer has ever come out with.

 

His standing has got to be a ploy to leech a few votes away from the real euro sceptic parties. Surely he cannot be that much of a hypocrital remainer, oh the irony.  

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16 minutes ago, ChelseaBoy said:

This made me laugh.

 

Michel Barnier wants to ‘take back control’ from Brussels. That’s right, the man best known to us Brits as the EU’s hardline Brexit negotiator – who tried to make it as painful as possible for Britain to leave the EU – is now complaining about the EU smothering national sovereignty.

 

The reason for this is that Barnier has thrown his hat into the ring for the French presidency. And given that a lot of French people really don’t like the EU he has decided to make some loud Eurosceptic noises on the campaign trail.

 

This week, Barnier slammed the European courts. ‘We must regain our legal sovereignty so that we are no longer subject to the rulings of the European Court of Justice’, he told a rally organised by Les Républicains, the party he hopes to represent.

 

A few months ago, he raised more than a few eyebrows when he called for France to tighten its borders. He called for a rethink of the EU’s passport-free Schengen area. He even proposed a temporary moratorium on all non-EU immigration – a proposal far more isolationist than any prominent right-wing Brexiteer has ever come out with.

 

His standing has got to be a ploy to leech a few votes away from the real euro sceptic parties. Surely he cannot be that much of a hypocrital remainer, oh the irony.  

Do you have a source for this?

 

I need to bask. 

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2 hours ago, Rousseau said:

Do you have a source for this?

 

I need to bask. 

Certainly, bask away ;) 

 

https://www.spiked-online.com/2021/09/10/is-michel-barnier-a-eurosceptic-now/

 

this one also

 

https://www.politico.eu/article/michel-barnier-brexit-france-candidate-eu-campaign-trail/

 

more detailed on his actual campaign

 

https://www.politico.eu/article/france-eu-uk-michel-barnier-election-president/

 

 

 

Edited by ChelseaBoy
update data
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Remainers constantly told us before the 2016 referendum that we had to stay in the EU to get access to its single market. But to me that was one of the main reasons to get out the EU. Being in the EU and the single market meant paying a hefty annual fee & unable to negotiate trade deals with other countries throughout the world.

Now the U.K. can do its own trade deals without the consent of Brussels that will give it the freedom to do whatever is in its own best interests. And it won’t be long before others Euro nations want to do the same

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Thoughtful take on shifting global alliances.

 

Wolfgang Münchau
Aukus is a disaster for the EU
If you treat the UK as a strategic adversary, don’t be surprised when the UK does the same.

The Spectator

 

It is hard to overstate the importance of the so-called Aukus alliance between the US, the UK and Australia — and the implicit geopolitical disaster for the EU. The alliance is the culmination of multiple European failures: naivety at the highest level of the EU about US foreign policy; Brussels’s political misjudgements of Joe Biden and his China strategy; compulsive obsession with Donald Trump; and the attempt to corner Theresa May during the Brexit talks. If you treat the UK as a strategic adversary, don’t be surprised when the UK exploits the areas where it enjoys a competitive advantage.

 

The EU has outmanoeuvred itself through lazy group-think. While German political parties are still discussing the pros and cons of Nato, the Biden administration is moving beyond Nato towards a multipolar defence strategy. Nato remains a pillar but it is now supplemented by informal Indo-Pacific alliances. One of them is the quad: the US, Japan, India and Australia. Five Eyes is an informal intelligence alliance between the US, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand. Aukus is a nuclear submarine pact between the US, the UK and Australia. This is the variable geometry of the new international order — whereas the monolithic EU is stuck with its 27 veto-wielding members in the foreign affairs council.

 

The UK’s investment in modern defence technologies (and some of their civilian offsprings) are of a different order to other European states. It is natural that the US turns to the UK for this specific project aimed at containing the influence of China.

 

Rory Metcalf, head of the National Security College at the Australian National University, writes in the New Statesman that the deal was struck on the sideline of the Cornwall G7 summit in June. Australia was seeking greater protection. What persuaded the Australians to drop the French contract was the willingness by the US and the UK to share their nuclear technology. Metcalf concluded that the UK had become part of something momentous in the Indo-Pacific.

The Aukus alliance brings risks for the UK too. The main one is not so much the ire of the EU but the possibility of being drawn into a future war in the Indo-Pacific. Theresa May, now a backbench MP, yesterday raised the possibility of a war in Taiwan. But right now this alliance constitutes another post-Brexit triumph for Boris Johnson after the quick deployment of vaccines.

 

So where does this leave Europe? At this point, there are three broad options for the EU. The first option is to continue to muddle through without direction, accompanied by some ineffective grand-standing schemes like a special reaction force. This is the PR-based version of European integration. It would work well with the media but wouldn’t solve the problem. Second, move towards strategic autonomy from the US, developing the freedom to strike a distinct relationship with China based on strategic interests. This presupposes a discussion of what the strategic interests are. In a second step, the EU would need to create a legal and political framework in which these strategic interests to be enforced, a monumental task. Third, reinforce the strategic alliance with the US.

The option of strategic autonomy seems the most desirable one — but it requires a total reboot of the EU’s constitutional order. This is not a policy shift or another PR exercise. The issue goes beyond qualified majority voting in the foreign affairs council. The reason Trump and Biden did what they did is that they campaigned for their policies and got elected. The EU is built for a customs union and a single market. It is only half-built for a monetary union. It is not at all build for a strategic defence union.

 

Real strategic autonomy requires treaty change: the creation of a federal union in which foreign policy and security constitutes a delineated area of EU competence. It would need to be complemented by a fiscal union to tax and raise debt. It would require constitutional change in some member states, like Germany for example. The adult version of strategic autonomy is a very serious undertaking. The discussions that have been taking place on this subject in European capitals are not in that category.


Aligning with the US is not a good option since Washington is clearly pushing its own unilateral interests. This means that the default option is to continued muddling through and pretending that some symbolic military co-operation — like joint headquarters or a small fast-reaction force — constitute something real. In the meantime, member states will pursue their own national trade and investment policies with the likes of Russia and China — the EU’s role will continue to be relegated to setting some minimum legal protection under current EU treaties. The EU did not manage to dissuade Germany from the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, but the European Court of Justice did manage to enforce rules about access and fair competition within the German-Russian deal. That’s better than nothing, but the EU foregoes an opportunity to pursue its geostrategic interests.

 

So what of France, the spurned member in an isolated EU? Paris is still shell-shocked. Backstabbed and betrayed is how Jean-Yves Le Drian, defence minister, described the impact. This new alliance has economic, strategic and political implications for France and Europe that are yet to be evaluated. France is one of the few nuclear powers present in the Indo-Pacific through its overseas territories. It is home to 1.5 million French citizens and 8,000 soldiers. Naturally, it has a strong strategic interest in the region. The US has demonstrated that it can bully everyone around it and make its allies swallow nearly anything. It is understandable that Drian, who negotiated on behalf of France during the original Australian deal, must feel like it was a waste of time. But maybe not if he and Macron can find the right way to move forward.

 

What role will France play in the future? It is the only EU country with a serious stake in the Indo-Pacific and it is the only nuclear power in Europe apart from the UK. The biggest risk is falling back on historic narratives. Charles de Gaulle grew hostile to US and UK dominance in Nato. He pulled the French navy out of the joint command and prohibited Nato nuclear weapons from being stationed in France. This time may be different. France made it clear in its first statement in response to Aukus that co-operation with Australia and the US is to continue. Its longer-term response will need to be predicated on avoiding the temptation to burn bridges. The US, UK and Australia better come up with some ideas.

 

Domestically, this new geopolitical reality plays right into the election campaign for the French presidency. France also holds the next EU rotating presidency, with a common European defence strategy already on the agenda. Suddenly, the geopolitical role of France is back on the table. This is home turf for Macron, more so than for his opponents. The question is whether Macron can steer France through the motions of humiliation and build a fresh European narrative in this new world of geopolitical alliances.

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9 minutes ago, ChelseaBoy said:

Thoughtful take on shifting global alliances.

 

Wolfgang Münchau
Aukus is a disaster for the EU
If you treat the UK as a strategic adversary, don’t be surprised when the UK does the same.

The Spectator

 

It is hard to overstate the importance of the so-called Aukus alliance between the US, the UK and Australia — and the implicit geopolitical disaster for the EU. The alliance is the culmination of multiple European failures: naivety at the highest level of the EU about US foreign policy; Brussels’s political misjudgements of Joe Biden and his China strategy; compulsive obsession with Donald Trump; and the attempt to corner Theresa May during the Brexit talks. If you treat the UK as a strategic adversary, don’t be surprised when the UK exploits the areas where it enjoys a competitive advantage.

 

The EU has outmanoeuvred itself through lazy group-think. While German political parties are still discussing the pros and cons of Nato, the Biden administration is moving beyond Nato towards a multipolar defence strategy. Nato remains a pillar but it is now supplemented by informal Indo-Pacific alliances. One of them is the quad: the US, Japan, India and Australia. Five Eyes is an informal intelligence alliance between the US, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand. Aukus is a nuclear submarine pact between the US, the UK and Australia. This is the variable geometry of the new international order — whereas the monolithic EU is stuck with its 27 veto-wielding members in the foreign affairs council.

 

The UK’s investment in modern defence technologies (and some of their civilian offsprings) are of a different order to other European states. It is natural that the US turns to the UK for this specific project aimed at containing the influence of China.

 

Rory Metcalf, head of the National Security College at the Australian National University, writes in the New Statesman that the deal was struck on the sideline of the Cornwall G7 summit in June. Australia was seeking greater protection. What persuaded the Australians to drop the French contract was the willingness by the US and the UK to share their nuclear technology. Metcalf concluded that the UK had become part of something momentous in the Indo-Pacific.

The Aukus alliance brings risks for the UK too. The main one is not so much the ire of the EU but the possibility of being drawn into a future war in the Indo-Pacific. Theresa May, now a backbench MP, yesterday raised the possibility of a war in Taiwan. But right now this alliance constitutes another post-Brexit triumph for Boris Johnson after the quick deployment of vaccines.

 

So where does this leave Europe? At this point, there are three broad options for the EU. The first option is to continue to muddle through without direction, accompanied by some ineffective grand-standing schemes like a special reaction force. This is the PR-based version of European integration. It would work well with the media but wouldn’t solve the problem. Second, move towards strategic autonomy from the US, developing the freedom to strike a distinct relationship with China based on strategic interests. This presupposes a discussion of what the strategic interests are. In a second step, the EU would need to create a legal and political framework in which these strategic interests to be enforced, a monumental task. Third, reinforce the strategic alliance with the US.

The option of strategic autonomy seems the most desirable one — but it requires a total reboot of the EU’s constitutional order. This is not a policy shift or another PR exercise. The issue goes beyond qualified majority voting in the foreign affairs council. The reason Trump and Biden did what they did is that they campaigned for their policies and got elected. The EU is built for a customs union and a single market. It is only half-built for a monetary union. It is not at all build for a strategic defence union.

 

Real strategic autonomy requires treaty change: the creation of a federal union in which foreign policy and security constitutes a delineated area of EU competence. It would need to be complemented by a fiscal union to tax and raise debt. It would require constitutional change in some member states, like Germany for example. The adult version of strategic autonomy is a very serious undertaking. The discussions that have been taking place on this subject in European capitals are not in that category.


Aligning with the US is not a good option since Washington is clearly pushing its own unilateral interests. This means that the default option is to continued muddling through and pretending that some symbolic military co-operation — like joint headquarters or a small fast-reaction force — constitute something real. In the meantime, member states will pursue their own national trade and investment policies with the likes of Russia and China — the EU’s role will continue to be relegated to setting some minimum legal protection under current EU treaties. The EU did not manage to dissuade Germany from the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, but the European Court of Justice did manage to enforce rules about access and fair competition within the German-Russian deal. That’s better than nothing, but the EU foregoes an opportunity to pursue its geostrategic interests.

 

So what of France, the spurned member in an isolated EU? Paris is still shell-shocked. Backstabbed and betrayed is how Jean-Yves Le Drian, defence minister, described the impact. This new alliance has economic, strategic and political implications for France and Europe that are yet to be evaluated. France is one of the few nuclear powers present in the Indo-Pacific through its overseas territories. It is home to 1.5 million French citizens and 8,000 soldiers. Naturally, it has a strong strategic interest in the region. The US has demonstrated that it can bully everyone around it and make its allies swallow nearly anything. It is understandable that Drian, who negotiated on behalf of France during the original Australian deal, must feel like it was a waste of time. But maybe not if he and Macron can find the right way to move forward.

 

What role will France play in the future? It is the only EU country with a serious stake in the Indo-Pacific and it is the only nuclear power in Europe apart from the UK. The biggest risk is falling back on historic narratives. Charles de Gaulle grew hostile to US and UK dominance in Nato. He pulled the French navy out of the joint command and prohibited Nato nuclear weapons from being stationed in France. This time may be different. France made it clear in its first statement in response to Aukus that co-operation with Australia and the US is to continue. Its longer-term response will need to be predicated on avoiding the temptation to burn bridges. The US, UK and Australia better come up with some ideas.

 

Domestically, this new geopolitical reality plays right into the election campaign for the French presidency. France also holds the next EU rotating presidency, with a common European defence strategy already on the agenda. Suddenly, the geopolitical role of France is back on the table. This is home turf for Macron, more so than for his opponents. The question is whether Macron can steer France through the motions of humiliation and build a fresh European narrative in this new world of geopolitical alliances.

 Always good to stick it up the frogs horrid people 

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