Thursday, March 30, 2017

Brexit - more than the British bargained for

I favor the loosely tied confederate model of governance that the European Union has become.  It is modeled on past attempts at confederate states, examples of which are pre-Christian township of central Europe such as Lusitan, Prussian and Swiss Confederation (the only one surviving at present), Great Tartaria of Central Asia and Siberia, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and last but not least - the United States of America.    More often then not, adoption of the confederation model resulted in more civil rights because attempts by the local authorities to skew the system their way, could be challenged by the people using federal legislation. One interesting example was Ireland joining the EU which gradually washed away the autocratic rule of De Valera's theocrats resulting in more individual freedom.   Britain seems to be going the other way around, from a balance of power tied between the EU and the local government, towards giving all the power to the later.  That was probably the original intention behind the UKIP backers behind the scene as suggested by former prime minister Tony Blair in his recent "Open Britain" speech.     I am guessing, but that is the only reason that makes a sense  (actually there may be another non-exclusive reason that also makes a sense, see this post) .  Sure - British establishments wants more power and they will now be able to get it.  I guess they can hardly wait!.    The article I linked below describes some of the details of the process.  We can probably safely assume that it is just the beginning of the slippage towards authocracy in Britain, since once their elites taste the rule by decree it may be hard to revert to democracy.



The following article is the main reason I decided to post my today's rant:



What are Henry VIII powers? How Theresa May will use 'infamous' clauses to rewrite EU law


By Alice Foster (published Thu, Mar 30, 2017


Quote:



HENRY VIII powers will allow civil servants and ministers to change EU law without much parliamentary scrutiny before Brexit Day.


...

Prof Barnard, a senior fellow at the UK in a Changing Europe initiative, said it was a paradox because Brexit supporters voted to restore parliamentary sovereignty.

"People who voted to leave the EU thought they were taking back powers back to Parliament, to Westminster," she said during a briefing at King’s College London.

"What they didn’t think they would be doing is taking powers back to the executive - to the civil service, to the Government - over which there will be very little parliamentary scrutiny."

The huge volume of corrections needed to EU law mean that it would be impossible for each change to be done by Acts of Parliaments.

To solve the problem, the Great Repeal Bill White Paper published today said that the bill will "create powers to make secondary legislation".

It said: "The Great Repeal Bill will provide a power to correct the statute book, where necessary, to rectify problems occurring as a consequence of leaving the EU. "


Update 30-April-2017 - "May lives in parallel reality" article

Brexit negotiations began with a blazing row yesterday as Brussels flatly rejected Theresa May’s negotiating position and accused the British prime minister of living in a “parallel reality”.

The other 27 EU member states took just four minutes to agree a hardline stance on Brexit at a summit meeting in Brussels before Jean-Claude Juncker, the head of the European Commission, and Michel Barnier, the chief European Union Brexit negotiator, rounded on the British prime minister.

They told EU leaders that May had used a meeting with them on Wednesday night to demand that a “detailed outline” of a future free trade deal be in place before the UK agrees to pay any money to Brussels as part of the Brexit divorce deal. An EU diplomat said: “This was a rather incredible demand. It seemed as if it came from a parallel reality.”

Juncker warned yesterday that that approach would lead to an “early crash”, with Britain leaving the EU without a deal.

In an eight-page document outlining their position, the other 27 countries said the EU would “prepare itself to be able to handle the situation if the negotiations were to fail”. The guidelines also include offering Northern Ireland automatic EU membership should it join the Irish republic - a move seen as provocative in London - and giving Spain a veto over Gibraltar’s future relationship with the bloc.

Juncker and Barnier told leaders that the Wednesday dinner at May’s country retreat, known as Chequers, had also revealed huge differences over plans to recognise the rights of British citizens and EU nationals in each other’s countries.

Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, said a “serious offer” was needed on migrant rights from the UK before trade talks could begin.

An EU diplomat told The Sunday Times: “The UK’s position is miles apart, both on their financial obligations and on the EU citizens’ rights. The UK government simply wants to create a new category of ‘former EU citizens’ in their migration law, but our position is that we must go much further than that.”

The British prime minister’s stance that trade must come first was met with incredulity by EU officials, who said her chief EU sherpa, Oliver Robbins, had already agreed that the methodology for agreeing the Brexit bill would be ironed out first - along with the rights of EU citizens in Britain and the issue of the Irish border.

“She took a firm position against something we thought we had agreed,” a diplomatic source said. “It was completely unreal.” The source said the prime minister’s views on the financial settlement “border on the delusional”.

Over dinner, Juncker slapped down May by pulling out a copy of the EU-Canada trade deal, a 2,000-page document that took nearly a decade to negotiate, and recommended that the prime minister study its complexity.

Juncker’s aides said he then called Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, and complained that May appeared unaware of issues communicated to her staff. According to one of Juncker’s aides, he told Merkel: “It went very badly. She is in a different galaxy. Based on the meeting, no deal is much more likely than finding agreement.”

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