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Archive for the ‘Battle for Europe’ Category

Tory split on Brexit opens

Posted by seumasach on August 29, 2016

A senior Conservative told the paper: “There’s a tussle going on here. The chief culprit is the chancellor.

“He has taken the position that there are no red lines, that you’ve got to stay part of the market and it doesn’t matter what you give way on. Hammond is operating as a blocking mechanism.”

Soon the divisions in the Labour Party will pale in comparison with those in the Tory Party. Hammond’s position is de facto “remain”. Remaining in the single market means remaining in the EU or possibly the EEA. The latter option is really quite pointless since it is merely a kind of downgraded membership. Hammond’s goal will be to split the Brexit camp and neutralise it: this is all too easy since they lack any coherent programme. As soon as a negotiation plan becomes an imperative the enormity of the Brexit fiasco will be there for all to see. As so often throughout history the worst thing that can happen to an oppositional movement is that they are put into power. Soon they will long for the old days of endless complaining and finger-pointing and, it has to be said, lying about the EU without any need for an alternative geopolitical vision.

Britain will retain access to single market and curb migration under plans considered by Theresa May


28th Auigust, 2016

Britain will retain access to the single market for financial sector and the car industry while curbing migration under plans being considered by Theresa May.

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TTIP has failed-but no one is admitting it, says German Vice-Chancellor

Posted by seumasach on August 28, 2016


“The UK was seen as one of the strongest supporters of TTIP in the EU, so its departure following the Brexit vote would remove one of the US’s closest allies in the talks.” 

Brexit is accelerating the uncoupling of Europe and the USA and the emergence of an independent Europe. In this sense, Brexit has been entirely salutary. Contrary to the myths pedalled by the Brexit camp, Britain has exerted great influence inside Europe- but it has been largely negative. If Britain now seeks a trade deal with the USA they will be in weak bargaining position and if it any ways resembles TTIP that will render a trade deal with Europe even more difficult than it would be anyway. In trying to negotiate trade deals with conflicting blocks our dilemma is worryingly reminiscent of that of Ukraine. Ukraine’s interests lay with the Eurasian free trade area but her “identity” pushed her towards the chimera of a deal with the EU.


28th August, 2016

The free trade negotiations between the European Union and the United States have failed, but “nobody is really admitting it”, Germany’s Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel has said.

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Is Theresa May trying to replicate Merkel’s approach to China?

Posted by seumasach on August 23, 2016

“At the moment, however, the Sino-British “golden era” in relations, ushered in by Chinese President Xi Jinping and Cameron last fall, looks like in shambles. Faced with a choice between America and China, May could indeed think that the tested relationship with Washington remains “more special” than the blossoming one with Beijing.”

Asia Times

22nd August, 2016

While British Prime Minister Theresa May probably may like to take a leaf out of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s book, she is no stateswoman like her counterpart nor is Britain comparable to Germany in geopolitical terms. As Merkel effectively engages China and Sino-German trade turnover grows, Beijing sees Germany as the locomotive that pulls the EU economic and political trains. On the other hand, post-Brexit Britain, faced with a choice between America and China, may finally opt for the tested relationship with Washington.

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Brexit X-men: how the prime minister’s key negotiators are coping

Posted by seumasach on August 22, 2016

It may be that something will happen this autumn to distract attention from the travails of the hopelessly divided Brexit camp, something like a financial crash. This could put the whole process on the back-burner much to the relief of Johnson & co who simply don’t know what they are doing, just as millions of Brits simply didn’t know what they were voting for in practice. Failing this deus ex machine the divisions within the camp will be there for all to see rendering the necessary pre-article 50 agreement on a brexit plan impossible.


21st August, 2016

When Boris Johnson was working for the Daily Telegraph in Brussels in the early 1990s, rival British correspondents dreaded midnight calls from their news desks in London. Sonia Purnell, Johnson’s biographer, who worked with him at the time, recalls that Boris’s stories about the curvature of bananas, the shape of cucumbers and other EU absurdities were known as “duvet blasters”. Despairing reporters were ordered out of bed to write follow-ups. “The stories were almost always wrong but they would still blast everyone’s duvets,” says Purnell. For the young Johnson, it was good journalistic fun.

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Brexit: Don’t let Remain supporters stall

Posted by seumasach on August 21, 2016

It is not the Remain camp which is stalling Brexit so much as the Brexit camp itself. They are yet to come up with a program for Brexit. They did not do so in the course of the referendum campaign apart from vagaries about trading with the rest of the world, except China as it turns out. They will never come up with a program for the simple reason that there are no good options and no options at all that they can agree on. Without agreement on a future framework for Britain article 50 will not be triggered. The brexiteers have dedicated entire lifetimes to reaching this point and they just don’t know what to do.


21st August, 2016

Iain Duncan Smith has urged Theresa May to crack on with Britain’s divorce from the European Union as he accused Remain supporters of trying to delay the process.

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The Brexiteer’s export argument is ‘unsophisticated’

Posted by seumasach on August 13, 2016

In fact, we’ve already been there: back in the last crisis the pound fell to as low as 1.05 euro without leading to a surge in exports. On the one hand the UK’s manufacturing base is depleted and on the other, as emphasized here, it is intertwined with production elsewhere. Interconnectedness makes a nonsense of Brexit which probably why in the end it will never happen. Isolationism is not an option and isolationist sentiment is merely a rejection of globalization which is no longer comfortably on our terms.

Business Insider

11th August, 2016

The argument by the pro-Brexit lobby that the fall in the pound would boost UK exports is “unsophisticated,” says Credit Suisse.

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Foreign takeovers proliferate post-Brexit

Posted by seumasach on August 12, 2016

When you have massive debts and you’re never anywhere near to getting to0 the end of the month there are three logical options. Firstly, you can enter into a deal with your creditors, in this case, primarily, China. This is the now discarded Osborne option after the lately departed Chancellor of the Exchequer. Secondly, you can “take out” your creditors. This is the al Capone/Hillary Clinton option. Or, finally, you wait for the bailiffs. This is are post-Brexit option. As the pound falls the Chinese and others will simply buy up the UK in the Great British sell-off. In a way, it is good news since they could simply convert the sterling reserves to gold or other assets, leaving the pound to sink even further. By triggering the regionalization of the UK the Scottish independence referendum has helped to prepare for this scenario by dividing the country into bite-sized units forced to sell assets to make ends meet. Regional administrations can also easily be dominated by overseas interests. I have long argued for the first approach whereby we continue to act as a sovereign nation by resolving the debt issue through negotiations at state to state level. That approach has been spurned and the Panarin scenario looms. Of course, it’s not too late to change course.

From semiconductors to soccer, foreign takeovers are good news for Britain post-Brexit


12th August, 2016

While alarmist in tone, this narrative is in part borne out by data – stats recently released by Thomson Reuters point to an increase in the value of foreign takeovers in the month after the UK’s vote to leave the EU. Almost 60 transactions totalling $34.5bn were struck by foreign companies for British firms in the month after 23 June, compared with 79 deals worth $4.3bn in the month leading up to the vote.

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Nuclear espionage charge for China firm with one-third stake in UK’s Hinkley Point

Posted by seumasach on August 11, 2016

A timely intervention by the Americans just to make sure there’s no backsliding on their post-Brexit, “containment” of China policy for us.


11th August, 2016

The Chinese company with a major stake in the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power station has been charged by the US government over nuclear espionage, according to the US justice department.

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Brexit meets Russia

Posted by seumasach on August 10, 2016

Britain’s post-Brexit foreign policy: detente with Russia, containment of China. This, presumably, is merely a reflection of US foreign policy- the culmination of the Obama doctrine and the policy basis of the next US presidency.  There is a logic here: just as confrontation with both Russia and China is unrealistic, so is detente with both together. If we are to finally bring an end to the Cold War then this is to be applauded. Russia and China cannot be turned against each other: this is not 1972. At the same to “containment” of China may turn out to be just a posture, although a very expensive one, especially for the UK. Washington intends to hold back, Canute-style, the incoming waves of China’s economic development model, partly by mimicking it with a neo-Keynesian policy shift. Neo-Keynesianism in one country is not possible: it has to be carried out globally on the basis of a new global financial architecture, a reset of the global currency system. In the end , constructive engagement with our main creditor and the world’s productive centre is inevitable.

Theresa May speaks to Russian President Vladimir Putin for the first time since becoming Prime Minister


10th August, 2016

Theresa May has spoken to Russian president Vladimir Putin for the first time since she became Prime Minister.

The Kremlin said both leaders expressed dissatisfaction with UK-Russian relations and pledged to improve ties.

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China, Russia will by no means compromise on their security interests

Posted by seumasach on August 8, 2016

If Trump’s detente with Russia is aimed at driving a wedge between Russia and China it looks like a forlorn hope. As for isolating Russia and China that depends on checking both European and Asian integration, the former now rendered much more difficult by Brexit. The Chinese assessment that Washington’s “devoted efforts towards a global anti-missile shield also reveals an anxiety over its declining influence in the world” is accurate: it is no longer about US leadership but, rather, a retreat into  safe space, albeit one as extended as possible. The main active thrust in US foreign policy is now to frustrate Chinese “soft power”, the spread of China’s enormously successful developmental model which the West cannot in any way match. For the moment this has been successful, shifting Argentina, Brazil, Britain and Australia out of the Chinese economic sphere of influence with Venezuela and South Africa next in line. It remains to be seen how long the US can prevail on these countries to abandon their economic  interests for a “security” alliance with the USA. The UK’s equivocation about triggering Article 50 is symptomatic of this conflict of interests.



4th August, 2016

BEIJING, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) — Both China and Russia oppose the planned deployment of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system on the Korean Peninsula, which endangers their national security and challenges the region’s strategic balance.

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Bookmakers have lost faith in Article 50 ever being triggered

Posted by seumasach on August 4, 2016


4th July, 2016

Bookmakers have shortened their odds that Article 50 — the two-year notice period the must give to officially leave the EU — will never be triggered.

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