Barnier – his ‘wish list’ …


The article by Pieter Cleppe in the DT has details of what he calls the EU’s ‘Brexit unicorn list’. It’ll be presented and debated at the EU Summit on the 13th of December – the same day when we’ll all be licking our wounds after the vote count. Under the title “As Britain goes to the polls, the EU is preparing a brand new list of ‘Brexit Unicorns’” (paywalled link) are some jaw-dropping details. Apparently they believe in the EU that Johnson will get a majority. If, as some comment posters now start to believe, it’ll be Corbyn & Swinson in No 10 – don’t believe her for a moment when she said she wouldn’t support him! The lure of power will be too great to resist! – then we and the EU need have no worries. It’ll be Remain, on worse terms.From the article (my emphasis):

“But what will the EU be demanding? Statements and leaks from Brussels suggest the following.

Their first demand will be that Boris Johnson breaks his promise not to extend the eleven months transition period if he wants a proper trade deal. As one EU diplomat put it, “the choice is either no deal Brexit 2.0 or to extend the transition period.” Another senior EU diplomat added that “not in my wildest dreams would I imagine” the possibility of the EU agreeing a zero-tariff, zero-quota deal by 2020, which would permit divergence from EU rules on workers’ rights and environmental protections.

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has said that trade and security will be prioritised, but “we cannot do everything in 11 months, we will need more time.” It would be possible, he conceded,  to negotiate “the principle elements” of a free-trade agreement to avoid an economic cliff edge before the end of 2020. Only covering part of cross-Channel trade, however, this would be expected to hurt UK services access.

Even if the UK did request a transition extension, it would be on the extra condition of paying a “proportional” contribution to the EU budget. Though there are potential ways to fudge this, for example, by amending the Withdrawal Agreement itself by retroactively changing the provisions for transition extension, the EU’s cooperation will still be needed.” (paywalled link)

Keen Brexiteer eyes will immediately have spotted the condition of paying ‘a proportional contribution’ to the EU. Why all the Red and Yellows always blame ‘Toree Austeritee’ when in fact the money we could use here goes into the bottomless coffers of the EU is beyond me … Next (my emphasis):

“A second EU demand is that the UK agrees to grant the EU access to British fishing waters before the end of June, and it sees this as a pre-condition for any trade deal. An EU diplomat adds that the fisheries issue, where the UK is seen by many to have a strong negotiation position, “needs to be resolved by June, so in four months.” According to the withdrawal agreement, the decision on whether or not to extend the transition is also due by then.

Thirdly, the EU will demand so-called level playing field commitments to guarantee that the UK will not undercut European social, tax and environmental standards to gain competitive advantage after Brexit. If not, the UK should expect a response in kind; Barnier has warned that “access to our markets will be proportional to the commitments taken to the common rules”. He even redefined a refusal to copy the EU’s failing model of excessive regulation when exporting to continental Europe as “dumping”.” (paywalled link)

That comes under ‘what’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is also mine, and anything left on the floor is mine as well’. Do not be surprised if many Leavers and Remainers who want this done and over with will think that we might as well Remain and vote Red or Yellow. They may also vote anything else just to punish Blue. To continue (my emphasis):

“Fourthly, security cooperation will be a further condition of an EU-UK trade agreement, specifically, finding an alternative to the European arrest warrant and providing access to crime-fighting databases.  

In this regard, EU officials have pointed out that if the UK becomes a competitor and diverges, this will not only result in reduced EU market access, but it will also hurt cooperation in other areas. One official explains “We want leverage in these areas”, “to keep the UK in the continental Europe’s orbit”. In the past, the EU and the UK have cited aviation, carbon pricing, anti-money laundering, illegal migration, data protection and sanctions on rogue states as areas of post-Brexit cooperation.

“A fifth demand is that the new relationship should be governed by a single overarching deal, instead of a patchwork of bilateral agreements, which is for example the case in the EU-Swiss relationship. The latter has been rocky lately, due to EU attempts to push a single framework onto the Swiss, which would force them to accept the power of the European Court of Justice and to align with EU rules in return for market access.” (paywalled link)

It is the same EU power grab we’ve come to know and detest in the Brexit negotiations. Now it comes with more particulars, but the aim is the same: keep us subjugated and punish us every which way. Do not forget the reasons behind this: the dodgy state of the economies in EU member states and the need for more and more money from us to keep Germany and France happy. And don’t forget that most of the metropolitan Remain elite is depending on EU money … Here are the concluding paragraphs, describing the ‘dream’ of EU bureaucrats gone all misty-eyed about exerting their power over us in perpetuity:

“The EU does consider there to be separate areas of cooperation and roughly sees three key ones: trade, security and research. It however wants everything to depend on everything else. They will likely demand some kind of permanent framework in place to govern the relationship, with a coordinating body and two EU-UK summits per year.

There’s more. The European Union will also attempt to make the UK sign up to freedom of movement in return for tariff-free market access. Barnier has repeatedly spoken of the link between the frictionless movement of goods and people. Never mind the well-documented exceptions to this rule; the EU for example carved off free movement of people from its trade deal with Ukraine.

This is an extraordinarily ambitious wish list, and one which seems especially ludicrous given EU officials’ tendency to accuse the UK of “unicorn thinking”. Still, it is Christmas I suppose…” (paywalled link)

Yes, Christmas is coming, and on my list to Santa Claus is that we leave on WTO rules. It can be done, but I suppose I also ought to ask Santa Claus to hand out steely spines and brass balls to Johnson and his negotiators. If it’s Red in Downing Street, then I’ll ask him to grant us all the intestinal fortitude to stand up to the dictators in grey suits, here and in Brussels, so that we can show them that we’re prepared to defend our democracy with all the means we possess. As the terrorist attack last week showed, our spirit of defiance is not dead yet!


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