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Ripley

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Everything posted by Ripley

  1. I think a Swiss or Norwegian would agree with that realistic assessment of the situation the UK / EU faces.
  2. Manchester is the only other viable UK Olympic city. Can't swing a hand bag there without hitting a bid stadium or arena. The uk won't see another olypics for at least 50 years unless one drops in to our laps like Paris / LA. 2030s surely a good time for next Aussie games - Melbourne 2032 is a mouthwatering prospect.
  3. A joint bid between Edinburgh and Iceland for skiing? They're looking for ways to make the winter games more popular with hosts.
  4. I agree that the UK government approach to future relations is probably not thought through as with everything else brexit related. However I think your perspective is very black and white. The reality is that the UK is not North Amaerican Canada or neutral Switzerland or a small state like Norway. There are things that the UK needs from the EU and vice versa. For example, any trade agreement will need to deal with fishing rights in U.K. Waters which are vital for danish, Dutch, Belgian, French, Spanish and Portuguese fisherman. Most eu counties borrow money using the London markets and the EU
  5. I think the have your cake and eat it sound bite has been thoroughly proved wrong as the negotiations have moved on. The government (such that it is) is clearly pursuing a trade deal. There's no way the British people would tolerate being in the single market but outside the decion making structures. Norway is small country where there's tacit acceptance that they will have to "bend in the EU wind". THe UK has different options and is far too self important to accept that kind of relationship. Essentially what is being sought is CETA+. Less than single market membership but more than the Canad
  6. It's not a contradiction to rely on democratically elected governments to cooperate with each other (EU Council) - which people understand and can rationalise as their representatives, rather than a remote commmission and parliament that has no discernible role or recognition in the everyday life of people. Junker didn't even come to the UK when he was campaigning to be "nominated" as the next president of the commission. Can you imagine a US presidential candidate not turning out in the second or third biggest US state? I don't think a Brit has ever been a president of the EU Commission.
  7. These are uncharted waters for the EU - no member state has ever left. If its response to this is to just treat an ex member as a 3rd country then of course it is a liberty to do so. The reality is that due to geography, social and economic ties the UK is not just another 3rd country. We're in a situation where both sides are having to artificially create a reduced kind of relationship. When Ireland left the UK in the early 1900's there was a lot of pain and anger felt between the two sides - however a lot of practical measures were put in place to maintain freedom of movement (Common Travel A
  8. Your quite right. Most intelligent people fully realise that paradise is not waiting post brexit. I'm thinking of what could happen if the EU remains as inflexible as it is now. The regional geopolitics will be very uncomfortable for the EU in the longer term. Britain will be forced to reposition itself and the new arrangements are likely to be a lot less comfortable for the EU than a close trade deal would have been. Imagine the UK sitting in glorious isolation while the EU squabbles amongst itself, lurching for one crisis to the next trying to negotiate budget cuts and increased contribution
  9. I think if the EU is reasonable and accommodating now then the prospect of the UK returning in some guise in future cannot be ruled out. If there's a bitter split, then the prospect of changing public opinion will disappear. No deal will push the U.K. to consider membership of NAFTA which would flood the U.K. market with American cars and products that the European companies would not be able to compete with. Trade between the EU and UK would deminish drastically in the medium term and the UK would have less and less invested in maintaining good EU relations and security, beyond NATO. It would
  10. It always amazes me that an efficient engineering solution, that is affordable to build, has not been found to have a genuinely multi purpose stadium. I think London was ok but the Olympic stadium wasn't exactly impressive. I guess if you want to downsize you have to compromise on aesthetics. I remember London's bid design was a silvery space age structure but that was soon forgotten when the construction contractor got involved and it was costed.
  11. Wouldn't Spain have a veto about Catalonia joining the single market?
  12. Spain has a written constitution that presumably Catalonia signed up to? Rajoy has maybe been a bit heavy handed - he should have let the referendum go ahead unopposed - he didn't need to send in state police when constitutionally the vote was illegitimate before it started. There was some rough treatment of protesters but it wasn't exactly Tienanmen Square and no-one died. My point is that if you you want to remain in the list of civilized nations then Catalonia's only option is to do this legally and Spain should hold its breath and let it get on with it. Surely there is a role for th
  13. I can't envisage a situation where the UK government would deport 3 million EU immigrants. They are needed and it would utterly destroy relations with indivual EU members never mind the EU itself. Even UKIP don't want that. There's little evidence to suggest all EU nationals would leave anyway. On current projectsions the UK is set to become the largest country in The EU 28 by 2040 with a population of 77 million. I think that rate of population growth is part of the problem for many Brits when it comes to immigration.
  14. Its all very depressing and I think it was inevitable it would be acrimonious. Barnier is just doing his job trying to deal with a line up of deluded idiots on the British side. Junker on the other hand took the vote personally - his legacy as commission president is permanently ruined. He is bitter and out for revenge. If he was a bigger man he would try to be magnanimous and offer a grander vision that maybe the brits could live with - some kind of looser relationship. The trouble for the brits is that as much as we don't have a clear idea of what our future relationship should be, the EU do
  15. Surely there must be some notice period to end NAFTA - even the Uk and EU have 2 years before the axe falls. NAFTA seems to offer the Brexiteers everything they wanted from the EU but can't have. A free trade agreement with relatively minor political / sovereignty baggage compared to where the EU is headed. No currency union issues and mass immigration. Sounds like Brexit nirvana.
  16. It's becoming pretty clear that the EU is united in its determination to make the whole process of Brexit very painful. I respect them for it and no doubt it's deserved. But - I can't really see any kind of positive relationship being in place at the end of this divorce process. There's a real danger that attitudes will harden and the EU will be increasingly thought of as a threat. There doesn't seem to be anything positive or worthwhile to be gained for the UK. I hoped for more but even as a devout remainer I feel defeated even before negotiations begin. Perhaps it would be more painful but e
  17. Was thinking about what would happen in the US if there was evidence that the presidential election result had been tainted by Russian dirty tricks and the collusion of the trump campaign team... surely the election would need to be held again??
  18. My overall impression of Farage during the EURef was that he was a side show - it was BoJo who was the Leave leader in the minds of the public... and he's now the foreign sec (gulp). I voted remain with knobs on, but even I could see the rationale for some of the concerns expressed about the dysfunctional state of the EU and its undemocratic approach to member states. The so-called election of EU Commission president Junker, dressed up by Europhiles as a wonderful exercise in democracy was a big wake up call for many. I thought that these concerns were overstated at the time - but I can see h
  19. The immigration issues in the EU are partly as a result of globalisation but also about EU policies and ideology. It's right that richer countries should offer opportunities and refuge to immigrants from poorer EU countries and war torn countries. But, you have to look at the environmental and social constraints in the host country. You can't build a better world by making everyone poorer - that is why socialism / communism failed. The host countries can benefit from immigration - and the UK certainly has. You also have to acknowledge that at a certain point, if immigration is left uncontrolle
  20. Very interesting article CAF. I read it and feel a great yearning for the openness and optimism of the early 2000s when the eastern block joined the European Union. In some respects it seems like a prosperous magical time now. But that was a dream based on the euphoria of the end of the Cold War. The reality in the uk after a decade of mass migration is that the country is not coping well with this influx. It's not based on xenophobia but on the real life experiences of people who struggle to find well paid work and get a doctor's appointment. We are a country of 65 million people on a small i
  21. Read on the BBC that some Eurocrat is saying that the UK will need to first divorce and then negotiate a trade deal. That effectively means that by the time the divorce is settled there will be no time left during the 2 year timescale set by article 50 to negotiate a trade deal. We'll be truly out in the cold and totally hobbled economically. Maybe we could sell Russia our new aircraft carriers to bring in some money?
  22. Imagine this scenario- Merkel in Berlin, May in London and Le Pen in Paris - talk about girl power 🤔
  23. My prediction (with just a soupcon of wishful thinking) - There will be a general election in the UK this year and we'll end up with a coalition government. The Lib Dems will make huge gains on the promise not to leave the EU and also as a result of the disgust the public feels towards Labour and the Tories - especially now Boris has been shown to be a naive moron and has withdrawn from the leadership race. We'll either not leave the EU at all, or we'll leave and return relatively quickly (assuming the EU wants us back which is certainly not certain). Its also being reported that whoever the
  24. That's all possible, but what it fails to reflect is the ability for the money men in London to work around barriers to access. What we may see are banks moving their HQ functions to Paris / Dublin / Frankfurt or wherever, but the british government and finance industry will be much freerer to be pragmatic and creative. Any EU deal will not include financial services or not so much, which will give the EU limited leverage over UK policy and regulation in this area. This could lead to a spiral of additional regulation in the EU which will kill off any gains and lead to arguments within the EU
  25. The planets are not exactly perfectly aligned for Scottish independence - I think there should be another inde ref and as a Scot I would certainly consider moving back there if it looked like Scotland would be a success in the EU, but the economic and social reality of a customs border between England and Scotland is just too horrible to contemplate. Scotland would be separated from an english speaking country of 60 million where 90% of its exports go. That would change over time, but I suspect that unless England remains in the single market Scotland would experience extreme financial hardshi
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