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Politics of Chequers, No Deal, etc

Politics of Chequers, No Deal, etc

Old Oct 19th 2018, 10:30 pm
  #1606  
 
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Default Re: Politics of Chequers, No Deal, etc

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
Let me put it another way - do you hear no negative connotation in the term "federal superstate"? It's loaded.

And "ever closer union" means all sort of things. Personally, I consider the goals of a decline in aggressive nationalism, the absence of war between states, the ability to mingle freely without bureaucratic interference, the sharing of funding and support for the arts, sciences, and more, the uniform protection of human and workers' rights over a wider area (thereby strengthening them), the ability to trade together seamlessly and as a counter force to the US and Chinese giants (especially where trade and political goals intersect), are all the product of and benefits of an ever closer union. The term"federal superstate" implies all those things that we were told to fear, particularly "loss of sovereignty", EU armies, EU "making our laws" etc.

The EU is a voluntary organization - those who enter are mutually and freely agreeing to be bound by the same rules and regs. Of course some individuals within those entities don't want that, and they are free to not want it. And when a referendum is offered up they are free to express that opinion and if they make us leave then they make us leave. Both in the EU and in the UK, government is by the consent of the governed, and the fact that I think people made a shortsighted, ill-informed choice which was more of a stab in the dark than anything else doesn't change that.
Of course it has negative connotations because the majority of EU citizens, yourself included it seems, doesn't want such a thing. But that's what is happening whether you like it or not. The things that you count as positive and negative are both part of the European project. You have to decide whether it's a price worth paying or not. The British electorate decided it was not.
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Old Oct 19th 2018, 10:37 pm
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Default Re: Politics of Chequers, No Deal, etc

Originally Posted by DaveLovesDee View Post
I am not a supporter of an EU Federal superstate, and I have never seen a poster here wanting one. But the American Federal superstate seems to have resolved it's issues for the most part.
At what point would you say 'No' then?

One of the UK's Opt outs is from this ever closer union. Which is an EU thing, not the 60 years ago ECSC.
The 'opt out' of which you speak were some warm words from Donald Tusk which were never implemented. 'Ever closer union' has always been part of the European project - try reading the first paragraph of the Treaty of Rome again.
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Old Oct 19th 2018, 10:41 pm
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Default Re: Politics of Chequers, No Deal, etc

Originally Posted by jimenato View Post
That's probably the most loaded strawman I've ever seen.

Firstly, I don't know one remainer that would be content to the UK do that - you have made it up.

Secondly, is the EU is actually aiming to be a European federal superstate? It has never said so. I think you made that up too.

Thirdly, assuming you think that 'ever closer union' equates to 'we are aiming to become a European federal superstate' (which it doesn't) we were specifically exempt anyway.
Based on its track record of the last sixty years at what point do you think that the EU will say, "That's enough"?
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Old Oct 19th 2018, 11:00 pm
  #1609  
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Default Re: Politics of Chequers, No Deal, etc

Wow, you ARE scared of the EU
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Old Oct 20th 2018, 1:00 am
  #1610  
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Default Re: Politics of Chequers, No Deal, etc

Taking a step back a little, I spent time with my niece in UK when I was back there this month. She's an economics grad, and seems to be fairly smart (hard to be objective when family is concerned). While several Brexiters I've met are clearly bigots, I was surprised to hear she voted for Brexit, and proceeded to explain why. The essence of what she told me was that the EU is fundamentally flawed due to the way the economy is managed and controlled, something that was a problem from the start but greatly exacerbated by the inclusion of 'poorer' countries such as Greece.

Not being an economics nerd, I didn't understand all she said but I did do a fair amount of reading about the subject and I think I can see the problem. In my wanderings, I came across this article which seems to explain what my niece was saying. To extract key components:
The EU—or more specifically, the euro zone—suffers two major flaws: its common currency and its lack of a central fiscal authority. Both ...make it next to impossible for the EU to ever heal its most broken economies—Greece, Spain, Italy, and Portugal.

The first problem is that 19 countries share a common currency, the euro, despite yawning disparities among these members’ trade competitiveness. Those nations that can’t boost their exports sufficiently are unable to let their currency depreciate in response to market demand. That leaves them persistently unable to compete globally.

This is compounded by the second problem: The lack of a continental treasury to compensate for a region’s economic weakness. Consider a federation of states that actually works—the United States. Alabama has a weaker private sector than many other states, and likely runs a trade deficit with them. But the US federal government doesn’t demand Alabama live within its more constricted means. By collecting and redistributing taxes, the federal government can rebalance wealth disparities among its states. It shifts some of the taxes it draws from other states to Alabama, and keeps the Alabama economy humming. The EU can’t do that. It can’t offset individual countries’ deficits because it lacks a central treasury.
There is a third huge flaw in the EU that’s not a structural issue, but rather stems from its leaders’ fanatical refusal to let governments run deficits. This is both ideological—based on a misguided yet deep-rootedfaith in neoliberal economics—and bureaucratically ordained. A section of the EU’s foundingMaastricht Treaty forbids member governments from running a budget deficit greater than 3% of GDP, and limits government debt to 60% of GDP. While in the past these limits had been disregarded often enough, since the 2008 global financial crisis, they’ve formed the basis of the EU’s austerity policies. Meanwhile, the paramount responsibility of the European Central Bank is maintaining “price stability.” Employment is but of ancillary concern.
The full article is here: https://qz.com/721089/the-case-for-brexit/

I have no opinion on the quality of the site in general (never seen it before), but I felt this article was pretty level-headed. Do those who chose 'remain' agree with this analysis?

Last edited by Steerpike; Oct 20th 2018 at 1:03 am.
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Old Oct 20th 2018, 1:37 am
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Default Re: Politics of Chequers, No Deal, etc

Originally Posted by Annetje View Post
Wow, you ARE scared of the EU
Go and read Yanis Varoufakis' book on his negotiations with the EU and then come back to me on that. The EU is not a benign organisation. It is perfectly happy to sacrifice the well-being of its citizens to serve its ideology. Steerpike has helpfully provided a primer. Monetary union requires fiscal union which in turn requires political union.

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Old Oct 20th 2018, 7:45 am
  #1612  
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Default Re: Politics of Chequers, No Deal, etc

I'm interested in the way conservative Eurosceptics have lately begun to seize on the constraints of the Eurozone - in the past they appear to me to have been the biggest cheerleaders for just such economic policies. Still are, as far as I can tell, when it comes to UK economics.
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Old Oct 20th 2018, 7:48 am
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Default Re: Politics of Chequers, No Deal, etc

Originally Posted by BritInParis View Post
Go and read Yanis Varoufakis' book on his negotiations with the EU and then come back to me on that. The EU is not a benign organisation. It is perfectly happy to sacrifice the well-being of its citizens to serve its ideology. Steerpike has helpfully provided a primer. Monetary union requires fiscal union which in turn requires political union.
Are you talking about the UK?
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Old Oct 20th 2018, 10:36 am
  #1614  
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Default Re: Politics of Chequers, No Deal, etc

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
Taking a step back a little, I spent time with my niece in UK when I was back there this month. She's an economics grad, and seems to be fairly smart (hard to be objective when family is concerned). While several Brexiters I've met are clearly bigots, I was surprised to hear she voted for Brexit, and proceeded to explain why. The essence of what she told me was that the EU is fundamentally flawed due to the way the economy is managed and controlled, something that was a problem from the start but greatly exacerbated by the inclusion of 'poorer' countries such as Greece.

Not being an economics nerd, I didn't understand all she said but I did do a fair amount of reading about the subject and I think I can see the problem. In my wanderings, I came across this article which seems to explain what my niece was saying. To extract key components:


The full article is here: https://qz.com/721089/the-case-for-brexit/

I have no opinion on the quality of the site in general (never seen it before), but I felt this article was pretty level-headed. Do those who chose 'remain' agree with this analysis?
Interesting - and it's gratifying that the quality of the discourse seems to have improved so much over the last couple of days with informative posts like this one and the one about the Ireland situation.

Must say that most economists are very pessimistic about Brexit but there is the chance I suppose that your niece could be a Galileo - a lone voice proved right.

The only other economist I know who is pro Brexit (there are almost certainly others) is Patrick Minford of the organisation Economists for Free Trade formerly Economists for Brexit (I think he's the only member) who has some rather strange ideas - like Brexit will mostly kill of UK manufacturing but that doesn't matter.

That said - it's certainly true that many economists and politicians are uneasy to say the least about monetary union without fiscal and political union. As they want to remain, presumably they feel it's a situation worth having for the benefits of membership

So the question is - is leaving the EU with all the problems associated with that worth it to avoid that situation?

The supplementary question is - will we actually avoid the fallout from whatever might be the consequences (what they might be I don't know) from that situation by leaving? We're somewhat separated from the situation anyway by not being in the Euro - would we be made any more immune by a further degree of separation?
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Old Oct 20th 2018, 10:50 am
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Default Re: Politics of Chequers, No Deal, etc

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
Taking a step back a little, I spent time with my niece in UK when I was back there this month. She's an economics grad, and seems to be fairly smart (hard to be objective when family is concerned). While several Brexiters I've met are clearly bigots, I was surprised to hear she voted for Brexit, and proceeded to explain why. The essence of what she told me was that the EU is fundamentally flawed due to the way the economy is managed and controlled, something that was a problem from the start but greatly exacerbated by the inclusion of 'poorer' countries such as Greece.

Not being an economics nerd, I didn't understand all she said but I did do a fair amount of reading about the subject and I think I can see the problem. In my wanderings, I came across this article which seems to explain what my niece was saying. To extract key components:


The full article is here: https://qz.com/721089/the-case-for-brexit/

I have no opinion on the quality of the site in general (never seen it before), but I felt this article was pretty level-headed. Do those who chose 'remain' agree with this analysis?
I do (agree), however I don't agree with the premise it's based on. It presumes that the necessary political and fiscal union is fundamentally bad, but it isn't. Even as Brit in Paris points out, that's the fundamental flaw. It always has been. And those leading each of the 27 know this. They have varying degrees of support for it, and the concept of achieving it is met with plenty of resistance, because of the fear of "loss of sovereignty", just as US States did in its early days.

But regardless of your views on the so-called "superstate", it's simply the practical reality (as even those opposed to it illustrate), and pretty much inevitable at some point. What form it takes remains to be seen, but when it does, it will become a far more influential global entity than it already is, and the weaker members will become much stronger and enjoy a much healthier politico-economic status.

As far as Britain goes, well, it doesn't want to be part of it (and like many here, actually fears it), yet ironically, wants the benefits of it. Leaving it at this point is not a very effective way to achieve that, and will likely lead to the UK's marginalization, but that's what the UK (unwittingly) seems to want, so, that's what it will get.

In the mean time, the EU is moving on to more important things. As it should.
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Old Oct 20th 2018, 1:47 pm
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Default Re: Politics of Chequers, No Deal, etc

Originally Posted by jimenato View Post
Must say that most economists are very pessimistic about Brexit ...
Including the redoubtable Mr Varoufakis, who, despite the bruising clashes he had with the creditors in striving to avoid Greece being dealt another so-called bailout whilst keeping it firmly inside the Eurozone, is adamant that the UK is better off inside the EU than outside.

Just thought I'd add that aspect to the Brexiter fan-worship he got above
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Old Oct 20th 2018, 1:51 pm
  #1617  
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Default Re: Politics of Chequers, No Deal, etc

Originally Posted by BritInParis View Post
I didn't claim any such thing but if the EU continues to suggest the solution to every problem it faces is 'more Europe' then it has the potential to unravel quickly. We're heading out the door, Italy elected a Euroseptic government which is flirting with the idea of abandoning the Euro and the Visegrad countries are increasingly resisting the diktats issued by Brussels. Each time the citizens of EU's member states have resisted being frogmarched down the route of a superstate and each time they have been ignored or asked to try again until they give the correct answer.
Yeah yeah, frogmarching, give the correct answer...standard tabloid stuff.

Don't you you think the big problems we face, migration from Africa, climate change, technology risks, meddling in our economy/politics by China and Russia is better served by "more Europe"?

Hasn't the world changed in the last sixty years? Become more integrated, more mobile? Why do you think the old model is inherently stronger.
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Old Oct 20th 2018, 2:01 pm
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Default Re: Politics of Chequers, No Deal, etc

Originally Posted by BritInParis View Post
I didn't claim any such thing but if the EU continues to suggest the solution to every problem it faces is 'more Europe' then it has the potential to unravel quickly. We're heading out the door, Italy elected a Euroseptic government which is flirting with the idea of abandoning the Euro and the Visegrad countries are increasingly resisting the diktats issued by Brussels. Each time the citizens of EU's member states have resisted being frogmarched down the route of a superstate and each time they have been ignored or asked to try again until they give the correct answer.
Yeah yeah, frogmarching, give the correct answer...standard tabloid stuff.

Don't you you think the big problems we face, migration from Africa, climate change, technology risks, meddling in our economy/politics by China and Russia is better served by "more Europe"?

Hasn't the world changed in the last sixty years? Become more integrated, more mobile? Why do you think the old model is inherently stronger.
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Old Oct 20th 2018, 2:24 pm
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Default Re: Politics of Chequers, No Deal, etc

Originally Posted by Red Eric View Post
Including the redoubtable Mr Varoufakis, who, despite the bruising clashes he had with the creditors in striving to avoid Greece being dealt another so-called bailout whilst keeping it firmly inside the Eurozone, is adamant that the UK is better off inside the EU than outside.

Just thought I'd add that aspect to the Brexiter fan-worship he got above
Varoufakis didn't exactly work wonders for the Greek economy during his short tenure in power. His macro-ecomomics theories didn't even pan out back when he worked at Valve as I recall.

He's an entertaining and likable guy but shouldn't really be lecturing the British establishment on anything.
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Old Oct 20th 2018, 2:45 pm
  #1620  
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Default Re: Politics of Chequers, No Deal, etc

Originally Posted by amideislas View Post
I do (agree), however I don't agree with the premise it's based on. It presumes that the necessary political and fiscal union is fundamentally bad, but it isn't. Even as Brit in Paris points out, that's the fundamental flaw. It always has been. And those leading each of the 27 know this. They have varying degrees of support for it, and the concept of achieving it is met with plenty of resistance, because of the fear of "loss of sovereignty", just as US States did in its early days.

But regardless of your views on the so-called "superstate", it's simply the practical reality (as even those opposed to it illustrate), and pretty much inevitable at some point. What form it takes remains to be seen, but when it does, it will become a far more influential global entity than it already is, and the weaker members will become much stronger and enjoy a much healthier politico-economic status.

As far as Britain goes, well, it doesn't want to be part of it (and like many here, actually fears it), yet ironically, wants the benefits of it. Leaving it at this point is not a very effective way to achieve that, and will likely lead to the UK's marginalization, but that's what the UK (unwittingly) seems to want, so, that's what it will get.

In the mean time, the EU is moving on to more important things. As it should.
Good points.

I was assuming that the EU had an insoluble problem WRT the Euro without fiscal unity on the assumption that that was the ongoing situation but of course federalisation would fix that it.

So the question if they do go down that route is - would we be unduly affected as a) we are not in the Euro and b) we are exempt from further integration.

And, as we leave, will we be any better protected from whatever people seem to think is so bad about it anyway?

Further - whether we are in or out - is further EU federalisation really that bad?

Last edited by jimenato; Oct 20th 2018 at 2:47 pm.
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