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Posts Tagged ‘Brexit’

Brexit: Why Brussels seems relaxed about the end game

Posted by hkarner - 18. April 2018

Date: 17-04-2018
Source: BBC

With less than a year until „Brexit Day“, a number of issues remain unresolved
After all the impatient European foot-tapping, the incessant talk of ticking clocks and of Article 50 time running out, there’s a distinctly laid-back air in Brussels at the moment when it comes to Brexit.

„Relations are a lot more normalised between the UK and the rest of the us after the Salisbury attacks and the show of solidarity with Britain at the EU leaders‘ summit two weeks ago,“ one European diplomat told me.

„Besides which,“ he added with a glint in his eye, „we know the Brexit drill by now.

„The UK makes a fuss, tells us things are unacceptable – like the financial settlement (the so-called Brexit bill), and like allowing EU citizens the right to stay permanently in the UK, even if they only move there in the transition period after Brexit – but the British Government gives in, in the end. Even if they dress up the fact to make it more acceptable at home.“ Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »


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Sorry, Brexiters. Banking on the Commonwealth is a joke

Posted by hkarner - 15. April 2018

Date: 14-04-2018
Source: The Guardian

As director of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, I know what this institution does – and the notion that it can pick up the slack when the UK leaves the EU is nonsense. By Philip Murphy

‘So, Professor Murphy,” said the voice at the end of the line. “What does the Commonwealth mean to you?” It was 2014, and I had agreed to do a live interview about the Commonwealth for a radio talk show. Media interest had been sparked by the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, and while I waited, phone in hand, for my turn to speak, the presenter was busily soliciting Commonwealth-related thoughts from anyone he could find on Glasgow’s streets that morning.

Finally, just as the clock was ticking towards the very end of the show, the presenter turned his attentions to me. But I was stumped by the question. What does the Commonwealth mean to me? It was only since I had become director of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies (ICwS) a few years earlier that it had “meant” anything much at all. And what was that meaning? Lots of drinks receptions in the hollowed-out citadels of Britain’s former imperial power? Endless well-meaning conferences exploring how the Commonwealth could achieve its “true potential”? Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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To converge or diverge? After Brexit, that is the question

Posted by hkarner - 15. April 2018

Date: 14-04-2018
Source: The Economist

Most businesses prefer convergence with EU rules—with a few exceptions

TEARING up red tape has long been a dream for those who want to leave the European Union. The belief that business is stifled by Brussels bureaucracy is powerful. Yet ask those subject to the rules and you get a different picture. A new report from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), based on interviews with thousands of the business lobby’s members, small and large, finds that in areas ranging from aerospace and energy to life sciences and telecoms there is no great wish for a bonfire of European regulations. Instead, as Carolyn Fairbairn, the CBI’s boss, puts it, the opportunities for divergence in a few areas are “vastly outweighed” by the costs of deviating from rules needed to ensure smooth access to the EU market.

These days regulations and standards matter more than tariffs for frictionless trade. That is why companies that trade with the EU, by far Britain’s biggest market, fret about the erection of non-tariff barriers. And it is not only big exporters that are concerned. EU regulations affect their supply chains, right down to the smallest firms, as well as seemingly unrelated sectors. The CBI report makes clear, for example, that compliance with the EU’s REACH chemicals regime and data-protection standards is crucial for carmakers and consumer-goods firms alike.

A second finding is that most firms like the predictability of EU rules. The report calls the EU’s single market, based on some 19,000 legislative acts, the world’s most sophisticated rulemaking entity. That is why many EU standards are becoming global ones. What British firms fear is having to comply with a second set of domestic regulations as well. It would be difficult and expensive to replicate the EU’s regulators for airlines, medicines, food standards, nuclear safety and so on. That is one reason why Theresa May’s government hopes to be able to stay in many such agencies. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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“Global Britain” Is Already on Its Own

Posted by hkarner - 26. März 2018

Mark Malloch-Brown, a former UN Deputy Secretary-General and British cabinet minister, is Chair of the Business and Sustainable Development Commission, and of Best for Britain, an organization fighting to keep the United Kingdom in the European Union.

British voters‘ decision to leave the EU may have been motivated mostly by domestic issues such as political dysfunction and immigration, but the costs of departure are being felt first on the foreign-policy front. The international response to the recent nerve-agent attack in Salisbury, England, suggests that the costs will be high.

LONDON – British Prime Minister Theresa May has finally had a good crisis. Responding to the nerve-agent attack on former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the placid market town of Salisbury, England, May projected strength – including to her fellow European leaders – by demanding that the Kremlin answer for the crime. As a former home secretary, security is clearly her strong suit, and she has now gone a long way toward repairing her tattered authority in Parliament.

Moreover, May also managed to reach an agreement with European Union negotiators on a 21-month transition period for the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the bloc. And yet, despite May’s personal successes, this week might well be remembered as the moment when the foreign-policy costs of Brexit became clear. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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What about next time?

Posted by hkarner - 25. März 2018

Date: 23-03-2018
Source: The Economist

Britain pulls off a diplomatic coup against Russia at the EU
After Brexit, it will be a lot harder

ONE question confronting Britain and the European Union is how to maintain foreign-policy and security co-operation after Brexit. Theresa May, Britain’s prime minister, often notes that failure to find agreement would harm the security interests of both sides. On March 22nd that observation found a pointed form of expression at an EU summit in Brussels, following the recent nerve-agent attack on a Russian émigré and his daughter in Salisbury. After some agile British diplomacy the EU’s 28 leaders issued a joint statement declaring that the only plausible explanation for the attack was that Russia was responsible for it.

This language, tougher than Mrs May had dared to hope, clears the way for further collective EU action, including on beefing up defensive instruments against Russian hybrid warfare, later this year. Nor was the European response limited to words. The EU’s ambassador to Russia has been temporarily withdrawn to Brussels, and on March 26th several countries, possibly including France and Germany, are expected to announce that they are following the British example and expelling Russian diplomats. Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, reportedly asked her fellow leaders to state which of them would agree to do so. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Handel ist für Briten größte Klippe bei EU-Ausstieg

Posted by hkarner - 24. März 2018

Die britische Premierministerin Theresa May fordert einen maßgeschneiderten Handels-Deal mit der EU, wie ihn die Welt noch nicht gesehen hat. Doch die EU-Staatenlenker wollen von „Rosinenpicken“ nichts wissen.

Ein Jahr vor dem offiziellen Ausstieg Großbritanniens aus der Europäischen Union (EU) wissen Politiker auf beiden Seiten des Ärmelkanals immer noch nicht, was die Zukunft bringt. Denn trotz zahlreicher Verhandlungsmarathons und einer de-facto-Verlängerung der EU-Mitgliedschaft für die Briten steht den Unterhändlern die größte Hürde noch bevor. Sie müssen einen Handelsvertrag unter Dach und Fach bekommen und insgesamt in Vertragstexte gießen, wie man nach dem Goodbye der Briten zu Europa zusammenleben will.

Und da haben beide Seiten konträre Vorstellungen: Die britische Premierministerin Theresa May fordert einen maßgeschneiderten Handels-Deal, wie ihn die Welt noch nicht gesehen hat. Die Kommission hingegen, die die Verhandlungen für die gesamte EU führt, stellt May lediglich Handelsverträge in Aussicht, wie man sie mit Drittstaaten wie Kanada abgeschlossen hat. Da wäre aber die auf der Insel starke Dienstleistungsbranche weitgehend ausgeklammert.  Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Posted by hkarner - 22. März 2018

Date: 21-03-2018
Source: YaleGlobal by Jolyon Howorth
Subject: Britain Tries Cherry-Picking on Brexit

The EU and the UK have reached agreement on a transition period for planning Brexit through December 2020. The aim is for orderly negotiations and withdrawal even as British negotiators try to cherry-pick among EU benefits while resisting EU regulations. As the old saying goes, Britain cannot have its cake and eat it, too, explains Jolyon Howorth, a visiting professor of political science and international affairs at Yale University. Howorth reviews Britain’s limited choices and how Brexit will influence British politics in the months ahead. The governing Tory party, like the nation, is divided on Brexit yet hopes to retain power throughout the negotiations. The Labour Party meanwhile supports Britain joining the European Union Customs Union – a system that allows trade without duties, taxes or tariffs among themselves but prohibits negotiation of trade agreements with third countries. The Tories, hoping to delay a general election and loss of power, may put a Brexit package up for a referendum vote by the people once again, adding to uncertainty.

British leaders prepare citizens for a post-Brexit trade agreement with the European Union that brings more pain than benefits Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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EU Agrees on Brexit Transition Terms but Ireland Issue Remains

Posted by hkarner - 20. März 2018

Date: 19-03-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Under the terms agreed, the U.K. would continue implementing all EU rules until the end of 2020, while having no say in future decisions

BRUSSELS—The European Union agreed Monday on the broad terms of Britain’s two-year transition deal after leaving the bloc in March 2019, according to an EU official familiar with the discussions.

Under the terms, agreed between the EU’s 27 national diplomats dealing with Brexit, the U.K. would continue implementing all EU rules under the jurisdiction of the bloc’s top court until the end of 2020, while having no say in future EU decisions.

The island of Ireland—in part EU territory, in part U.K. territory—remains “an issue” for the Brexit deal, the official added. Irish officials have warned that the re-emergence of a border on the island could threaten a 20-year-old peace accord allowing people and goods to move freely. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Frankfurt woos London bankers

Posted by hkarner - 18. März 2018

Date: 15-03-2018
Source: The Economist

The Brexit dividend pitch

“THIS is our biggest asset!” gushes Eric Menges, the chief executive of the FrankfurtRheinMain promotional body, whirling his arm. The views from his panoramic office are impressive: Frankfurt’s skyscrapers and cranes to the east, its sprawling international airport to the south, the thick forests of Hesse and the vineyards and villages of the Taunus mountains, where Mr Menges lives, to the north and west. “For a 9am flight I can get up at 7am,” he boasts, as the shadow of an intercontinental airliner flickers over the tops of the pines. From this office he hopes to reinvent continental Europe’s financial centre, already home of the European Central Bank.

Brexit helps. Of the banking jobs that have left London since June 2016, more have gone to Frankfurt than anywhere else. After a recent visit Lloyd Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs, tweeted provocatively: “Great meetings, great weather, really enjoyed it. Good, because I’ll be spending a lot more time there.” In the last month alone Deutsche Bank announced the relocation of its client business to Frankfurt and Credit Suisse moved 250 jobs there. But Emmanuel Macron, France’s president, is pushing for Paris and in November nabbed the London-based European Banking Authority. Frankfurt’s early lead may not hold: “The Brexit process is not complete,” cautions one top European banker. So Frankfurt’s marketing men, like Mr Menges, are stepping up. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Global Britain or globaloney

Posted by hkarner - 18. März 2018

Date: 15-03-2018
Source: The Economist: Bagehot

The government’s post-Brexit foreign policy of “global Britain” is incoherent

THE idea of a global Britain has become the foundation stone of Britain’s post-Brexit foreign policy. Theresa May says Brexit “should make us think of global Britain, a country with the self-confidence and the freedom to look beyond the continent of Europe and to the economic and diplomatic opportunities of the wider world”. Boris Johnson, Britain’s foreign secretary, declares that “whether we like it or not we are not some bit part or spear carrier on the world stage. We are a protagonist—a global Britain running a truly global foreign policy”.

But what does the phrase mean? The Commons foreign affairs committee, newly energised under Tom Tugendhat, summoned the great and the good of the foreign-policy establishment to answer this question. The results were disappointing. Some confessed that they hadn’t a clue. The Foreign Office submitted a memorandum consisting of little more than a set of aspirations with no details about how to put them into practice. Mr Tugendhat’s committee worries that “global Britain” cannot be the basis of foreign policy because it is little more than an “advertising slogan”. This columnist thinks the problem goes deeper. Global Britain is three badly thought out ideas rolled into one. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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