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Thursday, 15 October 2015

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I agree the outcome of this is unknowable. The possible outcomes are definable, perhaps, something like this, but which one the needle of fate settles on, who knows.

Roughly in order of desirability, imho: -

(1) "At our feet, not our throats". Britain leads a successful rebellion in the EU, Jerries and Brussels crack, and accept that a fully reconstituted multi-speed EU must rise from the ashes of the old EU. A "Motte and Bailey castle" Europe, where those states who wish for fiscal union and a fully featured single currency do so in the "Motte" under the austere stewardship of the Jerries, and the free spirits leave the Euro to float in the "Bailey" under the "light touch" leadership of Blighty. The Jerries and Brits de facto run the whole of Europe on generally Thatcherite lines with a free market; the Jerries in charge of the Motte with extra rules and regs, and the Brits in charge of the Bailey with just the Thatcherite and free market baseline.

(2) "Two Europes". Britain leads a failed rebellion in the EU, and does a Brexit (or is ejected), and some other rebel states follow. The remainder are absorbed into a Jerry dominated federal Europe. Britain leads the rebels with an even "lighter touch" than (1). Some of the rebel states find they're out of the habit of running their own democracies, which was why they joined the EU in the first place, and without the Jerry "system, system, system" keeping them on the straight and narrow, they collapse and become failed states. Jerries take them back, in time, but on the cruellest of austerity terms that makes the current Greek situation look like a cake walk. Possibility that Britain regresses not quite to a failed state, but something like the 1970's. Worse still, has to do what it did in the seventies: Swallow its "almost a failed state" pride and re-join the EU, on the cruellest ...

(=3) "Billy No Mates". Britain leads a failed rebellion in the EU, and does a Brexit (or is ejected), and no-one else follows. They were all talk and no trousers. Just like the Greeks this year. Oxi - bolloxy. And a German dominated super-state exists on the continent, with 21 miles of salt water between us and it.

(=3) "Oath of fealty to the Krauts". Britain doesn't even really rebel. Turns out we were all mouth and no trousers. Dave comes back with fuck all, and the Brits say yes to the EU anyway. And a German dominated super-state exists on the continent, and Blighty is a vassal of it.

Dave's gonna have to play his cards to perfection. Even if, as I've already said long before your new mate James Kirkup who is the first in the mainstream media to mention it ...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/eureferendum/11932990/Why-voting-to-leave-the-EU-might-not-actually-mean-Brexit.html

... we have to have several referenda (it's ok, I won't say I told you so - ooh, I already did :-) ). Dave will need space as he ducks and dives.

By George, it's going to be helluva ride.

SoD

I used to stay at a small hotel and n Penrith, run by a cheerful Italian who was doing up the large terraced Victorian house. One night there was a torrential downpour and a guest came downstairs, complaining that water was pouring into his room.
" Sir,,Sir - no so louda please!" he said . " You have no paid for shower. Everybody will want"

Duffers. You are correct that the just like Syria the general public is deliberately misinformed by the government and by lazy and incompetent journalists.

One source I've always found reliable information and analysis is EUReferendum. I wouldn't want to spend an evening in the pub with North, but he knows his onions alright, and I would recommend it.

And if Blighty being only a few steps away from failed state status might seem far fetched, here's another article that describes another alarm bell that's been ringing ominously for a couple of decades: -

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/11934689/Tom-Watson-had-the-police-in-his-thrall-that-is-the-real-scandal.html

SoD

SoD - it's been clear for years that the police are now part of the problem not part of the solution.

I was brought up in a household and a community where the police and authority in general were respected. Nowadays that is no longer true and the police (and authority in general) have only themselves to blame.

However to pretend that is true only in the UK would be mistaken. The UK is merely sinking back to the level of the rest of Europe and the world. The US is seeing/has seen the same phenomenon.

Your idea that Britain by staying a part of the EU can somehow protect itself from this type of decline would be laughable if it weren't (regrettably) so widely shared especially amongst the political class, the british propaganda corporation, guardian readers and other members of the low-information classes.

At some point in the future, the UK will no longer be a part of the EU. That is certain. When that felicitous state affairs will come about, and whether it is because it has had the good sense to leave, or whether it is because the EU has broken up in acrimonious dispute it is impossible to say at this point; in my view it is more likely the EU leaves us than the reverse.

I hope when that happens not too many people die. The death throes of empires are never pretty, and as we have seen in former Yugoslavia, once the fascist demagogues are in full voice there is no limit to the depths of human depravity that they seem able to call up.

And certainly there is no good case for staying on to the end of the ride.

SoD, I'm going with option 3(b), and I think this is what call-me-Dave is counting on, too.

The influence of the political class is just too great for people to take the brave option.

65% for staying in, is my prediction - that's if the referendum ever actually happens. Old cast-iron may have a trick or two up his sleeve yet.

Andrew the official name for 3(b) is associate membership and it's a red herring. It brings us no advantage we could not have by leaving in an organised and adequately negotiated fashion (itself a big ask, I realise that), but fundamentally, provided when we invoke article 50 of the Lisbon treaty and say we going to leave and set in motion the 2 year period of negotiations, it is as certain as anything can be that continued access to the single market will be top of the list of negotiaed points not least because the UK is a net importer of German cars and other stuff.

By being out we have full representation at the major international fora where most legislation is decided nowadays anyway rather than 1/28th representation we have at the moment (ie rather less than Eritrea or Iceland).

As I said earlier my expectation is that the EU itself will collapse in acrimony before we get to leave, and we might well be last out, switching off the light as we go, except they'll probably have gone off by themselves.

In fact reviewing the global situation which our wonderful political class has cleverly created for us (\sarcasm alert) I see a number of worrying situations which cannot end well.

The only think that gives me the slightest comfort is the thought that things are seldom as bad as they seem, and seldom as good.

SoD, you carefully forgot one other option which is more likely than the ones you chose. That is, the UK, irrespective of any other nation's decision, simply votes to leave, renegotiates the trade deals, which the Euros need more than we do, and then gets on with the rest of its life! The Germans are now 'buying' the Turks by promising them entry into the EU provided they continue to look after 3 million immigrants. So apart from the other pig-ignorant justices on the European Court, most of whom would have difficulty spelling 'democracy and liberty', we can look forward to a Muslim from Turkey whose President is busy installing single-rule whilst slaughtering the Kurds who the Americans look upon as their ally!

Cuffers, yes, there is much to admire over at EUReferendum but alas, Dr. North's relentless Yorkie attitude ('I'm right, you're wrong, fuck off!) makes Geoff Boycott sound quite reasonable!

Cuffers.

"the official name for 3(b) is associate membership and it's a red herring"

I disagree. Associate membership, along the lines described by Hannan, is exactly what I would want ...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/eureferendum/11937395/Heres-what-David-Cameron-should-demand-from-EU-leaders-in-Brussels.html

... and that's option (1).

Hannan's arrangement is exactly the Bailey of the Motte and Bailey castle.

If the Jerries agree to that then they're most definitely at our feet not throat. The precedent it would set for others to follow would be well understood by them and everyone. They would be throwing in the towel on a "one size fits all" "single speed" Europe. We would have the Motte and the Bailey competing for the affections of the member states, a sort of political Thatcherism, and the invisible hand would force both the Motte and the Bailey to improve their respective propositions to the member states.

And yet it would still be one Europe, with the block advantages.

Oh, and one final observation: The French would be utterly marginalized with respect to Blighty. Inside the Motte the Jerries would keep them well under control, sort of in the dungeon really. Doing that would also keep the Jerries quite busy, rather like the Sunni Shia conflict I propose to keep our enemies busy, a squabbly distraction for our friends. Leaving Blighty more political space to bustle in, in the Bailey and the rest of the world.

SoD

Popsy.

"SoD, you carefully forgot one other option which is more likely than the ones you chose. That is, the UK, irrespective of any other nation's decision, simply votes to leave, renegotiates the trade deals, which the Euros need more than we do, and then gets on with the rest of its life!"

If I believed that Britain was truly capable of making a go of it alone it would be an option of its own. But I don't think we are, yet. We're in better shape than the seventies when we joined the EU, but I'm not at all convinced that our politic, constitution, et al, is robust enough for total independence. Hence your optimistic option is my option 2 or 3a.

A spell in the Bailey, as proposed by Hannan, would be a chance for Blighty to flex its 40 year lame political and constitutional muscles, and fix up a few things. Like the Sweaties. The Corbyn mentality. The public sector. The 100bn deficit. The constituency boundaries so that the right thinking majority can have its rightful say. Then who knows. All options are open: Leave, rejoin the Motte, or bimble around in the Bailey.

SoD

"If I believed that Britain was truly capable of making a go of it alone it would be an option of its own. But I don't think we are, yet."

So there goes a thousand years of self-rule - alright, forgetting the Normans for the moment although we soon Anglified them! I don't know where your pessimism comes from, SoD. Do you truly in your heart believe that this country will do better (assuming one can define that catch-all phrase) when it is run by a mixture of Bulgars, Turks, Latvians, Germans etc., etc? And including the French who detest us with a venom?

Yes, we on our own will make our cock-ups but they will be *our* cock-ups, not those imposed on us by bloody foreigners who will refuse to even recognise that what they have done is a 'cock-up'! (NB: the Kaiserin inviting the Syrians to come to Europe one day and then bribing the Turks to keep them the next day!

An association membership of the EU would not Mean giving up 2000 years of self rule. It keeps us out of the Motte, where we would indeed lose it, and makes the EU acknowledge it.

SoD

SoD we have already given up self rule and the baleful consequences are all around.

The only thing certain about staying in the eu is that nothing is what it seems. As assocaite members we would have even less control than now over decision making, in an organization which is striving, on the evidence, to control and homogenise every aspect of life on the continent. And making an utter pigs ear of it. The results would be disastrous for us.

The only thing we need from them is access to the single market, something which is virtually certain under any scenario.

You idea that the Uk would be unable to make a go of it on its own is, I'm sorry, ridiculous.

On one thing I agree with you, associate membership is the most likely outcome of the current process for all the reasons you describe. It appeals to reasonable people and seems like a good old fashioned British compromise. Camoron will trumpet it as a triumph, and the press will be all over it like a cheap suit.

We'll come to regret it later, but it is also true that the whole rotten structure will have come tumbling down in the mean while.

I am sure I am not the first person to think that the Uk will probably be the last member of the eu to leave. Not that I like the idea but weighing the probabilities...

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