Transition Guidelines

It seems that the Brexit negotiations have reached some agreement with regard to the transition (EU) or implementation (UK) period. Full details are in the linked document, 23-euco-art50-guidelines, prepared for the European Council (it’s only seven pages long). The numbered items are titled “Guidelines – 23 March 2018” but unlike earlier guidelines leave more room … More Transition Guidelines

Revealing Appointment

On February 21 Jean-Claude Juncker called a short-notice press conference to announce that the European Commission had appointed Martin Selmayr, previously head of cabinet, to the post of Secretary-General, effectively the head of the EU’s civil service. What interests us, and others, is the process by which this appointment was made and the disdain it … More Revealing Appointment

On the Other Hand

Polls suggest that potential Leave and Remain votes haven’t changed much since the Referendum though some have swapped sides, either frightened or disgusted by what has since happened. The EU is proving a tough negotiator in the Brexit talks, even an inflexible one. This promises to do us harm when we leave yet many still … More On the Other Hand


Financially Speaking M. Barnier: “There is no place [for financial services]. … There is not a single trade agreement that is open to financial services. It doesn’t exist.” May: “The EU has included financial services, to varying degrees, in quite a number of the trade agreements that they have already established with other countries.” The … More Shorties-15

Divide or Rule?

A tourist asks a local for directions to Dublin. The Irishman replies: ‘Well sir, if I were you, I wouldn’t start from here’. (Apology: this old joke has also been told about a Scotsman, a New Yorker and probably others, so no disrespect intended to the Irish in particular.)  If you wanted an invisible, frictionless … More Divide or Rule?

Can EU be Reformed?

“I have never understood why public opinion about European ideas should be taken into account.” Attributed to Raymond Barre, former French premier and European commissioner This quotation accurately, honestly and succinctly characterises both the original and the current attitudes that underpin the whole European Union project. The whole is a castle built on the sands … More Can EU be Reformed?