Despite not hitting the headlines at the moment, things are happening which will affect the future relationship between Britain and the EU. The Academy-Award-winning film All Quiet On The Western Front was based on the novel Im Westen nichts Neues by Erich Remarque, which translates literally as ‘Nothing New In the West’. The phrase was … More All Quiet On The Brexit Front
For this quiescent period in the negotiations we present a selection of previous posts, grouped under several themes. As EU-UK trade negotiations approach their deadlines things seem to have ‘entered the tunnel’ (to use the EU’s phrase) and the covid pandemic has taken priority over everything else. We have used the lull to review some … More Reading Guide – 1
The Single Market and Customs Union never worked to the advantage of the UK economy. If the shoe won’t fit, don’t wear it – walk away. That’s good advice from a podiatrist and an appropriate analogy for an economist or lawyer. The EU has never been a comfortable fit for the UK economy or legal … More Does the Shoe Fit?
A level Playing Field refereed by the EU’s judges and the effective continuation of the Common Fisheries Policy stand in the way of reaching a trade agreement, unless these demands are bent, or the UK caves in. There is not a lot of Brexit news to review at the moment except that with deadlines approaching … More Going Round the Bend, Again
It demands a level playing field to reach a trade agreement with Britain but it is not level itself. We wouldn’t keep harping on about the EU’s Level Playing Field mantra (LPF) if they would stop insisting on it in the Brexit negotiations while flouting it themselves. In our last post  we remarked on … More Will EU Level With Us?
Current and proposed subsidies and bailouts will ensure ever greater divergence between the EU nations’ economies. When France and Germany (strictly Macron and Merkel, the two powerful leaders) proposed their EU rescue package (18 May) they both opened the way for the Commission and constrained that way. Their proposal gave the Commission approval to borrow … More EU Rules: Bend Them, Stretch Them, Any Way You Want Them
The EU projects a powerful message about the unity of its member nations but in practice this is skin deep and breaks down under pressure. Why would anyone write this? “For all the virtue signalling, EU countries do what suits them best for themselves, not the world nor even their buddies in the Union.” Leaders … More Values without Practical Meaning
The EU’s negotiating mandate demands that the UK agrees to the opposite of what the EU has requested or agreed with other nations. On Wednesday (27th May) the UK’s chief Brexit negotiator, David Frost, was asked during the (virtual) meeting of Parliament’s EU Scrutiny Committee whether there was a chance of agreeing a deal if … More Hypocrisy
Germany’s constitutional court has challenged the legality of the European Central Bank’s bailouts, which must finally result in a form of fiscal union or else break the eurozone apart. On 5 May the German Constitutional Court issued a judgement stating that the Bundesbank (Germany’s central bank) should stop buying government bonds under the European Central … More Courting Disaster
EU supporters find it difficult to explain how their enthusiasm for the project is justified by outcomes and to relate its promises to its federal agenda. And they need to explain the lack of solidarity. The day before Europe Day (9 May 2020) Dacian Ciolos, a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and ex-PM of … More Has ‘Europe’ Had its Day?