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Archive for the ‘Battle for Europe’ Category

May surrenders as Brexiteers agree to go quietly

Posted by seumasach on December 9, 2017

Cailean Bochanan

9th December, 2017

On a historic day, yesterday Britain resigned its role as a junior partner in the Atlantic Alliance and embraced a new role as a junior partner in the European Alliance.

Something had to give way as the impossibility of Brexit became increasingly obvious. I had anticipated that it would be the government and the Tory party. Instead they both emerged intact at the expense of Brexit itself.

The thorn at the heart of the Brexit gorse bush had been the question of the status of Northern Ireland. Given the impossibility of a hard border between north and south Northern Ireland had to be given special status meaning de facto, continued membership of the Single Market and the Custom’s Union. The loyalist veto of this arrangement meant instead that the whole UK has been given a special status: the UK will remain in both the Single Market and the Custom’s Union. Officially, this arrangement is only temporary, for the duration of the so-called transition. However, since the Irish border problem will not simply go away the UK’s special status will continue indefinitely to be finally resolved, presumably, by our renewed integration into the EU. There is no alternative.

One would have anticipated an immediate backlash against this arrangement by the Tory brexiteers but they have simply rolled over. The British ruling has shown again some of their more positive, traditional attributes: an ability to act pragmatically and to discard useless ideology. What cannot be cannot be, and Brexit cannot be.

That begs the question: what was it all about in the first place? That is beyond my meagre intellectual abilities. However, two things may be pertinent. Firstly, the EU shows no sign of falling apart as was hoped and expected by the neocon wing of the Brexit movement. Euroscepticism is not on the rise and the Catalan declaration of independence, which elicited a brief frisson of excitement in the Brexit camp has not triggered a cascade of regional movements towards the CIA’s favourite Europe of the Regions outcome. Secondly, Trump has adopted a hostile attitude to the UK and has already, effectively, ended the Special Relationship with the result that Britain just has nowhere to go.

These changes may also explain why the Europeans have conceded what they said they would never concede, namely, that the UK can leave the EU and still enjoy the benefits of membership of the EU. But, of course, the unspoken, unspeakable reality, from the brexiteers point of view, is that we aren’t really leaving the EU. But for the meantime we are in a state of limbo with a special status under a kind of EU mandate.

Ultimately, this astonishing outcome reveals the level of disconnect between ideology and reality. All the current ideologies flow from the Anglophilosophy  and the presuppositions of Anglo-American globalization- globalization from below at the expense of sovereign structures. This is perfectly embodied in the Brexit cult of “free-trade”. What we seeing now is globalization accompanied by global governance stemming from sharing of sovereignty. The Single Market reflects that but it will be even more evident as the One Belt, One Road project takes off. Who is going to regulate or “nationalise” the high-speed trains which will soon connect China and Europe. Who will regulate international trade and an international means of payment now that the Dollar-fiat reserve currency system is coming to an end. Of course, some of these agencies of global governance already exist but they will undoubtedly be transformed, extended or replaced in the coming years.

Britain has, as of yesterday, begun to resolve it’s relationship with the nascent multipolar world order. The fact that Brexit is only a virtual event, or, at least, a real non-event and that that is understood by all will have immediate effects. Most importantly, our deal with are major creditor, China, should be back on to the accompanying smirk of George Osborne. Major problems lie ahead concerning uncontrolled debt, speculative bubbles and lack of income, with the banks once again looking vulnerable. But, as of yesterday, we will resolve them within a European and multipolar context.

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The EU has signed a deal to integrate 23 armies

Posted by seumasach on November 25, 2017

WEForum

20th November, 2017

It took 70 years, but the European Union finally signed a pact today (Nov. 13) agreeing to integrate military funding, weapons development, and deployment of European defenses.

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EU takes step towards closer defence cooperation

Posted by seumasach on November 14, 2017

“Similar efforts to build up military links have been unsuccessful in the past. Britain, the bloc’s biggest military power, has long sought to thwart EU defence cooperation, opposing anything that might lead to a European army.”

British and American self-marginalization have finally allowed Europe to begin to caste of it’s vassalage to the Anglo-Americans and a key piece in the multipolar jigsaw falls into place. Of course, an “enemy” is required to serve as a justification for any military project and this role, of course, falls to the usual suspect: Russia.

Euractiv

13th Novemebr, 2017

The EU took a major step towards building closer defence ties on Monday (13 November), with 23 member states signing a landmark agreement, promoted by France and Germany, to fund and boost cooperation following Britain’s decision to leave the bloc.

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EU takes aim at UK tax perks

Posted by seumasach on November 8, 2017

“With the future of the City of London at stake, British chancellor Philip Hammond has previously hinted the UK could become an offshore tax haven if the UK’s financial centre was locked out of the single market.”

EUObserver

26th October, 2017

EU competition authorities have sunk their teeth into UK tax perks for multinationals amid a wider crackdown on aggressive tax avoidance. The European Commission said on Thursday (26 October) it had opened an “in-depth investigation” into a British law that let big corporations shift profits to offshore subsidiaries. It said the opening of the probe did “not prejudge the outcome of the investigation”.

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5 reasons why no deal could mean no Brexit

Posted by seumasach on October 26, 2017

May’s position of chaperone for Brexit looks certain to be coming to an end. The logic of things is that the Brexit hardliners will bid for power if they are not already completely demoralized. Lacking a sufficient base of support for a no deal Brexit they will then burn out quickly leading to a Labour government. The strange irony here is that Labour probably could successfully negotiate the three outstanding , thorny issues of the divorce agreement but would they want to? By then the public mood will have changed as reality begins to dawn on all but the most blinkered. The jolly, little Brexit venture may be coming to an end and may be remembered as a curious aberration a bit like the Gallipolli campaign. A historical inquest would reach a verdict of death by misadventure.

Politico

22nd October, 2017

LONDON — A specter is hanging over Westminster — the specter of “no deal” killing off Brexit altogether.

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Germany and France pledge to lead EU forward post-Brexit

Posted by seumasach on October 1, 2017

CNBC

29th September, 2017

French President Emmanuel Macron won backing from Angela Merkel for plans to reform the European Union after Brexit, founded on what the German chancellor called “intense” cooperation between Paris and Berlin.

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Statement by Michel Barnier

Posted by seumasach on September 23, 2017

“With regard to Ireland, the United Kingdom is the co-guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement. Today’s speech does not clarify how the UK intends to honour its special responsibility for the consequences of its withdrawal for Ireland. Our objective is to preserve the Good Friday Agreement in all its dimensions, as well as the integrity of the Single Market and the Customs Union.”

This is just the most difficult of the three very thorny issues which have to be dealt with when negotiations re-open on Monday. Barnier presents them in a clear and rational manner which is more than can be said for the British media. Given the state of “opinion” in the UK May’s task, for she has now abrogated all powers to herself to conduct these negotiations, seems impossible.

European Commission

22nd September, 2017

In her speech in Florence, Prime Minister Theresa May has expressed a constructive spirit which is also the spirit of the European Union during this unique negotiation.

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Brexit department chief to join PM’s team

Posted by seumasach on September 23, 2017

In the next round of talks next week, he will sit alongside Davis, who will continue to be the “principal negotiator” for the U.K. However, the government official was at pains to stress that the prime minister, not Davis, remained the “chief negotiator.”

As the Murdoch press’s long touted bet that the Euro and the EU will collapse looks to be a losing one, it is Brexit itself which is imploding. This quiet move essentially neuters the Department for Exiting the EU and puts May in charge. We now await the blowback from the eurosceptics but Jonson may have served as a conductor leading their lightning to earth in a favorite trick of the British ruling class. Farage is right to smell a rat after hearing May’s Florence speech but, then again, he has to ask himself what happened to his promise on the morning of the Brexit vote to “bring down this failed project and lead us to a Europe of sovereign nations”. The speech itself moves the government towards Labour’s ambiguous position whose  merit is to put off the catastrophe that is Brexit until all but the diehards have agreed to forget it. Meanwhile May is left with the impossible task of negotiating a Brexit which she no longer wants and the main reason for going to Florence was to appeal to EU negotiators for understanding of her predicament.

Real Info News

18th September, 2017

Britain’s top Brexit negotiator, Oliver Robbins, left his job in the Department for Exiting the European Union to work directly for Theresa May in Downing Street.

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German minister looks to ‘relax’ EU sanctions on Russia

Posted by seumasach on September 18, 2017

EU Observer

15th September, 2017

German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel has repeated calls to relax EU sanctions on Russia in return for UN peacekeepers in Ukraine, but chancellor Angela Merkel is more wary of the initiative. “It is urgently necessary that we look for a new start with Moscow,” Gabriel said in Der Spiegel, a German magazine, on Thursday (14 September).

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Brexit: Japanese companies set to leave London

Posted by seumasach on September 16, 2017

As I have argued from the start Brexit simply meant throwing away our geo-political Trump card, namely. the UK as a hub for foreign investment seeking access to the EU single market. Such deals as Osborne’s with China would thus have facilitated the UK’s transition from an economy based on imperial privilege and parasitic finance to that of a nation state amongst others in new multipolar, post-US/UK hegemony world order. As it is we have embarked on a terrifying journey into the abyss of global irrelevance.

Deutsche Welle

16th September, 2017

 

Japan’s largest car-maker and a major finance firm have announced that they are reconsidering their operations in Britain after the UK completes its divorce from the European Union, a serious setback to the British government’s efforts to convince companies here that it will be business as usual after Brexit.

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From “Biancheri Athens 1998″ to “Macron Athens 2017″: Upgrading democracy takes 20 years

Posted by seumasach on September 14, 2017

Association des amis de Frank Biancheri

September, 2017

Emmanuel Macron’s recent speech in Athens puts on the table the great political challenges facing the EU. Rebuilding citizens’ trust, democratising the EU, opening the European election to trans-European lists, politically refounding the Eurozone… These ideas are truly echoeing another speech, delivered 20 years ago, in Athens too, by Franck Biancheri, at the time when, together with his road-companions, he was launching the Project Europe2020 (which gave birth to think tank Europe 2020, followed by LEAP2020). Not only are the ideas the same, but the deadline set to transform the EU the time was perfectly estimated: 20 years. As Nathalie Loiseau, the new French Minister of European Affairs, wrote when Franck passed away : “Franck was a sower. His ideas have germinated and leave a deep print in each of us. If his passing away is a schock, let’s be attentive to carry on his work. Europe needs his intellectual heritage” (In Memoriam, 2012, #68). Today indeed, we, and many more heirs of his thought, now converging, are ready. With #CitizenRoute73, iCAN, the 1Head2Votes campaign,… to name a few, we are making sure that the citizens are up to the confidence Mr Macron is granting them, getting mobilised to grow the debate, ideas, figures, movements, lists, media… required for the next 2019 election to enter into History books as the first real trans-European election,… the kind of election we demanded in July 2017 in our Countering the British nationalist Coup d’Etats with a European democratic blow: Towards a first real trans-European election. Thank you Mr Macron! You can count on us!

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