Would it Be a Disaster ?

Behind all the hype and noise concerning the Brexit negotiations between the UK and the EU which in truth may merely be the usual smoke and mirrors one associates with anything EU and mandatory at every Council of Ministers they have ever held. The final deal may well have been sketched out and agreed upfront long since and the rest is designed to make it look ‘important, hard won’ and not too easy.

But suppose it isn’t and the possibility of there being no deal is very real, from a UK perspective would that be such a bad thing ? I suspect that the answer to that is no and indeed, no deal would favour the UK far better than actually having one with the EU. Continue Reading →

Why Bother ?

It has always been the nature of the EU that little which is said publicly has much to do with the underlying realities and “drama” has to be injected into just about everything. A prime example at Council of Ministers meetings is the apparent need to hold “make or break” meetings well into the early hours to try and paint a picture of a “Titanic struggle to reach a final agreed position” when one suspects that it was all tied up well before hand by the civil servants before anybody actually arrived at Brussels.

With this in mind, what to make of the current state of the Brexit negotiations and if they are actually that bad, what is the best course of action for the UK to take ? Continue Reading →

Rule as a Minority Government

It has been a truly shitty passage of time recently in the UK with the Manchester massacre followed by London Bridge and now the dreadful events at Grenfell Tower where the death toll is likely to exceed both the previous events. The result of the General Election was not great either but regardless of whether I agree or disagree with the result, my instinct is to trust the gut reaction of the British electorate.

If politics is the ‘art of the possible’ then perhaps Theresa May and the Tory Party should grasp the point that handled rather better than their general election campaign was, she may well have have been dealt a very strong hand and might be best advised to rule as a minority government. Continue Reading →

Quo Vadis President Trump ?

It has been an interesting week in terms of International politics and all centred on one man, the President of the United States, Donald Trump. I must be honest and say that to a large extent, I have felt rather cheered by events if only because he is demonstrating an ability to be a bit unpredictable and far more pragmatic compared with Obama and that has unsettled his adversaries.

But what is perhaps more interesting is the signs that Donald Trump is indeed learning on the job and making some positive ‘adjustments’ as he goes which is no bad thing either. Continue Reading →

The Right Call

As in any negotiation, there are often doubts as to which path to follow, which ‘thing’ to push and which to hold back on but sometimes and once you have taken a decision, you can get confirmation that you were right by the reaction of others. When Boris Johnson announced that he was calling off his trip to Moscow, the voices of minnows such as Tim Farron and Alex Salmon criticising him were just the utterings of a pair of born losers but the amount of noise being generated by the Russians is proof of having made a good call.

Given the situation, like moving a piano, there can only be one voice directing how things are moved, one voice to ensure that there are no misunderstandings because the stakes are far too high to allow for any error and right now that has to be an American voice. Continue Reading →

Brexit Begins

So today is an historic one, it is the day that we formally trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and start the two year process of extricating the UK from the EU as a member state. Obviously there is much speculation both in the UK and within Europe on how this will all go but with one common theme, fear and uncertainty on all sides.

The main reason for this is because following the debacle of the aborted “EU Constitution” which was rejected by both the French and Dutch electorates, a crude rehash became the basis of the Lisbon Treaty with Article 50 tacked on to assuage those fearing a ‘Federalist Agenda’. The problem was that it ( Article 50 ), was never intended to be actually used like some kind of nuclear weapon so frankly exactly how it might work in reality was never fully worked out. Continue Reading →

As the Time Approaches

One of the more interesting things concerns the not so subtle changes we are seeing over the up coming Brexit negotiations in the British media. For six months it has mainly consisted of the ‘Remoaners’ led by The Economist and Guardian, telling all and sundry how the economy is about to collapse on the one hand and on the other, the Leavers led by The Mail, Express and to some extent The Telegraph painting a picture of some kind of modern day ‘Promised Land’.

Both camps were totally wrong sadly, life is a bit more complicated than that but finally we are starting to see articles written from the perspective of the other members of the EU and they aren’t confident about the process and outcomes either. Continue Reading →

A Good Job, Now We All Wait

As far as can be possible, Mrs May in her speech outlining her aims towards negotiating Brexit from the EU was a reasonable presentation and nothing she said was illogical indeed she picked up on the comments coming back from the EU and acknowledged them fully in the points she raised. She has quite rightly refused to “give a running commentary” but obviously needed to stake out her ground at some moment in time and prior to formal negotiations starting.

So having done her bit, we will wait on the EU but it is going to be a wait for most of this year due to there being general elections in the Netherlands, France and Germany, this will take us all the way through to October/November before anything meaningful can happen. Continue Reading →

Theresa May as Prime Minister

There was an interesting article in The Economist where they sought to trash Theresa May in her role as Prime Minister by questioning whether she knows what she is doing. Of course what lies behind this is the lingering pain and upset that The Economist still feels about the result of the EU Referendum when the stupid public didn’t heed their admonitions and instructions on what to vote !

http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21713837-after-six-months-what-new-prime-minister-stands-still-unclearperhaps-ev

Still there are some interesting points to be made even if they are beyond the journalistic skills of The Economist to attempt. Continue Reading →

A Resignation – Does It Matter ?

The resignation of the UK’s Ambassador to the EU, Sir Ivan Rogers has caused a fair amount of column inches in the Media but frankly the only question to ask is “Does it really matter ?” I for one would say that it is irrelevant for a whole number of practical reasons and suspect that those who think it important are those same people who have yet to grasp or accept the EU Referendum result.

People really do need to have come on board by now, the UK’s situation has changed and it won’t be going back to where it was as a member of the EU and there is the need to understand that and accept that fully. Continue Reading →