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Posts Tagged ‘Brexit’

Boris Johnson’s German and French dealings

Posted by hkarner - 24. August 2019

  Date: 23-08-2019
Source: The Economist

Britain’s prime minister hopes the EU is softening its line on Brexit. It isn’t

WHEN HE became prime minister, Boris Johnson insisted that he would not be a supplicant visiting continental capitals to plead over the terms of Brexit. Unless the European Union agreed in advance to ditch the Irish backstop from the current Brexit withdrawal agreement, he would not talk to his fellow leaders at all. Instead, Britain was ready to leave the EU on October 31st, with or without a deal. Yet this week he flew to Berlin and Paris to see Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron before going on to the G7 summit in Biarritz.

Beforehand, Mr Johnson wrote to fellow European leaders to repeat that the backstop, intended to avert a hard border in Ireland in all circumstances by keeping the United Kingdom in a customs union with the EU, must go. He also insisted that, contrary to promises to adhere to many Brussels rules so as to preserve a level playing-field, Britain must have freedom to diverge from EU regulations. Despite this uncompromisingly hard line, he was politely received by the German chancellor and the French president. Mr Johnson’s supporters promptly talked up the results, claiming that Mrs Merkel had given him 30 days to produce an alternative to the backstop, while Mr Macron had conceded that the withdrawal agreement could be amended. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Boris Johnson ‚confident‘ EU will back down in Brexit talks

Posted by hkarner - 21. August 2019

Date: 19-08-2019
Source: The Guardian

PM says ‘backstop just doesn’t work’ in run-up to meetings with Merkel and Macron

Johnson claims he is confident EU will shift its position on backstop

Boris Johnson has claimed that EU leaders will change their positions and allow the UK to scrap the Brexit backstop in the withdrawal agreement.

As the prime minister prepares for face-to-face talks with Angela Merkel of Germany and Emmanuel Macron of France this week, he acknowledged there would be “bumps in the road” before any agreement to drop the plan to prevent a hard border in Ireland.

It follows the leak of cabinet papers this weekend warning that carrying out Johnson’s threat of a no-deal Brexit would cause “incredibly serious” economic harm. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Guardian view on preventing no deal: do whatever it takes

Posted by hkarner - 21. August 2019

Date: 20-08-2019
Source: The Guardian Editorial

Cabinet Office documents have laid bare the destructive impact of leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement

Divisions remain frustratingly strong … Jeremy Corbyn (pictured) plays a part in many of these divides, but he also has to be part of any solution.’

Boris Johnson has been prime minister less than four weeks. In the absence of parliament, he has made a spirited attempt to pretend that British exit from the European Union would be straightforward. Brexit will definitely take place on 31 October, he has insisted. It will either involve the EU abandoning the Irish backstop or there will be no deal. The difference scarcely matters to Mr Johnson, who insists Brexit will be a trouble-free exercise in whatever form it comes, whose dangers have been exaggerated and whose rewards underestimated.

Every bit of this was false when Mr Johnson first concocted it. It is even more threadbare now – and getting more dangerous by the day. However, we may now be witnessing the first faint wisps of recognition from within the government that things are not going to work out as they pretend.

Cabinet Office documents on the likely aftershocks of a no-deal Brexit were leaked at the weekend. They covered every aspect of public policy. They are devastating. All of the impacts are bad; some are likely to be enduringly so. But the Johnson government’s response to the leak was telling. Ministers focused on issues of process, not on the documents’ substance. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Is Britain Becoming a Failed State?

Posted by hkarner - 21. August 2019

Date: 20-08-2019
Source: by Chris Patten

Chris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong and a former EU commissioner for external affairs, is Chancellor of the University of Oxford.

Failed states used to be largely the preserve of the developing world, where the institutions of democracy do not have deep roots. But given the extent to which the Brexit campaign has undermined Britain’s institutions through lies, it is reasonable to worry that the country will soon come to resemble a tinpot dictatorship.

LONDON – What is a failed state? Not so long ago, when I was Britain’s Overseas Development Minister, and later European Commissioner for External Affairs, I would probably have tried to answer the question by pointing to specific examples, including several countries in Latin America and Africa.

I would have highlighted tribal conflicts, military coups, economic failure, extremes of poverty, and high mortality rates. I might have referred to the failure of more prosperous societies to ensure that globalization helped everyone and did not leave some communities trapped in deprivation. In addition, I would certainly have mentioned systems of government that had ceased to deliver what they were intended to do, and certainly what outside well-wishers hoped and assumed they would do. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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No 10 furious at leak of paper predicting shortages after no-deal Brexit

Posted by hkarner - 20. August 2019

Date: 19-08-2019
Source: The Guardian

Government figures seek to play down predictions of food, medicine and fuel shortages in leaked document

Downing Street has reacted with fury to the leak of an official document predicting that a no-deal Brexit would lead to food, medicine and petrol shortages, with No 10 sources blaming the disclosure on a hostile former minister intent on ruining Boris Johnson’s trip to see EU leaders this week.

The leaked document, detailing preparations under Operation Yellowhammer, argues that the most likely scenario is severe extended delays to medicine supplies and shortages of some fresh foods, combined with price rises, if there is a no-deal Brexit on 31 October.

It said there would be a return to a hard border on the island of Ireland before long and a “three-month meltdown” at ports unable to cope with extra checks. Protests could break out across the UK, requiring significant police intervention, and two oil refineries could close, with thousands of job losses, according to the documents. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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How Greta Thunberg became the new front in the Brexit culture war

Posted by hkarner - 18. August 2019

Date: 17-08-2019
Source: Guardian

Nigel Farage and his hangers-on need a new rallying cause, so they’ve turned on this 16-year-old with frightening vitriol

Greta Thunberg. ‘What’s funny about the idea of a teenage girl sinking to the bottom of the sea?’

She looks both younger than her age and old enough to have the cares of the world on her shoulders. Face scrubbed clean, dressed in a severe black jacket, Greta Thunberg stares unsmiling from the cover of this month’s GQ magazine. It’s an arresting, even unsettling, image: her outstretched finger points accusingly at the reader, in the manner of a wartime recruitment poster. Your planet needs you, millennials.

Back in the 1990s, posing for men’s magazines in your knickers was a rite of passage for young actors and pop stars not so much older than Greta, but that feels a very long time ago now. Here is a cover girl designed not to titillate male readers but to nudge their consciences, and very successfully, too. Successfully enough to make her some powerful enemies.

The perennial rightwing agent provocateur Arron Banks this week tweeted, “Freak yachting accidents do happen in August”, over a picture of Greta sailing across the Atlantic in order to avoid the carbon emissions of flying. A joke, he insisted, but what’s funny about the idea of a teenage girl sinking to the bottom of the sea?

Something about female eco-warriors seems to bring out the worst in a certain kind of man, whether it’s Nigel Farage accusing Meghan Markle of destroying Prince Harry’s popularity with her woke enthusiasms, or the Australian shock jock Alan Jones suggesting this week that the New Zealand prime minister, Jacinta Ardern, should have a “sock shoved down her throat” for daring to argue that Australia go further in reducing emissions. Choke her, drown her, whatever; just shut her up. Who do they think they are, these women telling us how to live? Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Loud, obsessive, tribal’: the radicalisation of remain

Posted by hkarner - 18. August 2019

Date: 17-08-2019
Source: The Guardian By Daniel Cohen

They hate Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn. They no longer trust the BBC. They love civil servants, legal experts and James O’Brien. And now, consumed by the battle against Brexit, hardcore remainers are no longer the moderates.

On 25 October 2017, a pensioner living in the Netherlands created a new hashtag. Hendrik Klaassens was concerned about the rise of Europe’s far right and wanted to bring campaigners together on Twitter. He settled on #FBPE: “Follow Back Pro EU”. Klaassens didn’t specifically have Britain in mind, but within a few days of his tweet, anti-Brexit Twitter accounts started using the hashtag. Before long, they were adding it to their usernames, so that it would appear whenever they tweeted. And in late November, when Mike Galsworthy, an influential anti-Brexit campaigner, posted a widely shared video on Twitter urging his followers to embrace it, #FBPE really took off. It wasn’t a memorable hashtag, but it didn’t need to be. The people consumed by their resistance to Brexit now had their own way to communicate, to find each other in the crowd. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Eurocrats know Boris Johnson well, making no-deal Brexit more likely

Posted by hkarner - 17. August 2019

Date: 15-08-2019
Source: The Economist: Charlemagne

Familiarity breeds contempt

The last time continental Europeans felt they were dealing with an easily readable, straightforward British prime minister was in the late 1990s. Tony Blair charmed his continental colleagues. He wooed the French in their own language, led fellow heads of government on a bike ride through Amsterdam during a Dutch-led summit and made common cause with fellow “third way” social democrats like Gerhard Schröder, Germany’s then chancellor. Set against the backdrop of the “Cool Britannia” popularity of British music and fashion, this all suggested that Britain had finally cast off its conflicted post-imperial garb and was embracing a modern, European identity.

The glow faded when the Iraq war sundered Mr Blair from the French and the Germans. Then came Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Theresa May, who were all harder to place. All three made nice at European summits but flirted with the Eurosceptic tabloids at home. Mrs May took office in July 2016 after the country had voted for Brexit. But who was she? She ruled out a second referendum—then considered the most likely outcome in some continental capitals—but did not seem to be “of” the Brexiteers. At times she posed as a Thatcher-style Iron Lady; at others as a sensible Christian democrat. Buffeted by events, she was hard to define and left little lasting impression.

Boris Johnson is a different matter. Unlike his predecessors, Britain’s new prime minister is a familiar personality on the continent. Many in Brussels know him, by reputation or in person, from his time as a reporter there in the 1990s, when he spun highly exaggerated stories about the eu and helped pioneer the outraged Eurosceptic style in the British press. Continentals also know him from the London Olympics in 2012, when his performances as the capital’s buffoonish, zip-wire-riding cheerleader-in-chief caught the attention of the foreign press. Most of all they know him as the villain of the Brexit campaign; the man with a lie about the cost of eu membership on the side of his big red campaign bus who achieved the sort of victory of which nationalist populists on the mainland could only dream. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Posted by hkarner - 14. August 2019

FURCHE-Kolumne 273 Wilfried Stadler

Was für eine unglückliche Fügung: Inmitten sich aufschaukelnder Handels- und Währungskonflikte zwischen den USA und China ist Europa faktisch handlungsunfähig. Der langwierige Komplettaustausch aller Entscheidungsträger nach der Europawahl verbannt uns bis mindestens Ende Oktober auf die Reservebank der Weltpolitik. Was in normalen Zeiten kaum aufgefallen wäre, wird nun zum Glaubwürdigkeits-Problem. Fatalerweise verfestigt sich nämlich der Anschein, dass die Geschichte auch ohne die Mitwirkung von Europas Repräsentanten weitergeschrieben wird.

Getoppt wird dieser Eindruck noch durch die Brexit-Krise. Als sich die Abgeordneten der englischen Austrittspartei am Tag ihrer Angelobung im EU-Parlament beim Erklingen der Europa-Hymne demonstrativ wegdrehten, lieferten sie einen traurigen Beweis für den Grad an Absurdität, den ihr so hitzig verfolgtes Vorhaben  mittlerweile erreicht hat. Über den Ausgang dieses zuletzt von ihm in Eigenregie übernommenen Sommertheaters verrät der neue Premier Boris Johnson nur so viel: am 31. Oktober sollen – mit oder ohne Deal – die Zugbrücken hochgehen. Ein englischer Freund und Brexit-Gegner meinte kürzlich sarkastisch, wohl nicht zufällig werde dies der Abend von Halloween sein.

Der Ton, den Johnson dabei – wenn auch meist geistreicher – anstimmt, kopiert das Rollen-Modell des amerikanischen Präsidenten. Dieser macht bekanntlich aus seiner Verachtung gegenüber gemeinschaftlichen Zielsetzungen und übergeordneten Wertvorstellungen kein Hehl. Auf seinen Streifzügen durch den diplomatischen Porzellanladen bereitet es ihm offensichtliches Vergnügen, auf vielen der mühsam errungenen Kostbarkeiten des Multilateralismus herum zu trampeln – vom Boykott des Pariser Klimaabkommen bis zur Aufhebung des vor dreißig Jahren zustande gekommenen Atomwaffensperrvertrages. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The very idea of a united kingdom is being torn apart by toxic nationalism

Posted by hkarner - 12. August 2019

Date: 11-08-2019
Source: The Guardian: Gordon Brown

Boris Johnson’s Brexit strategy is imperilling centuries of common purpose. It can’t be allowed to succeed

Pro-EU and pro-independence groups protest during the Conservative leadership hustings in Perth, Scotland, in July 2019.

The first step to solving a problem is to see it clearly. And if we are to understand why we are facing not only our most serious constitutional crisis since the 17th century but an unprecedented economic calamity precipitated by a no-deal exit from the EU, we must recognise that nationalism is now driving British politics.

Having set almost impossible terms for any negotiation with Europe and preparing to renege on legal obligations to pay our debts to the EU – the economic equivalent of a declaration of war – Boris Johnson’s government is hell-bent on conjuring up the absurd and mendacious image of the patriotic British valiantly defying an intransigent Europe determined to turn us into a vassal state.

His soundbites, pledging token sums for the NHS and 20,000 more police on the street at some future date, cannot disguise a government driven not by the national interest but by a destructive, populist, nationalist ideology. And with Scottish nationalists pushing a more extreme form of separation and Northern Ireland’s unionists becoming, paradoxically, Northern Irish nationalists – digging in, even if it means, against all economic logic, a hard border with the Irish Republic – we are, at best, only a precariously united kingdom. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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