40 comments posted · 2 followers · following 2

2 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Liam Fox: In this new ... · 0 replies · +1 points

Interesting 'real world' practical comments. It can't hurt to also make your policy suggestions here: ( ). Your comment on reduced cost/ ease of use of DIT services chimes with Old Conservative's German (or US!) Embassy comparison.

On practical support, no doubt you're aware of: ? (I have no connection to DIT)

2 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - WATCH: May's New Year ... · 0 replies · +1 points

Fine words. We'll see - “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty”.

The 'Joint Report' made awful reading; Mr Robbins' team sidelining Mr Davis/DexEU is a big worry; but the recent Poland meeting inspires a little confidence. Can the leopard change its spots?

3 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Mark Hoban: Why the re... · 0 replies · +1 points

12% of UK GDP relates to our exports to the EU27. 88% doesn't.

4 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Needed early in the Ne... · 0 replies · +1 points

The EU's only proper FTA currently in force is with South Korea*. CETA will double that to 2 (but Canada would be well advised to renegotiate it anyway post brexit Japan is still many years off.
Note(*) EFTA countries participating in the 'single market' & Customs Union with Turkey are without such clauses.

4 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - WATCH: May hails EU ta... · 0 replies · +1 points

This is a good summary of what happened in Phase 1:
"many British people have come to a painful realization regarding those who govern them. Whenever they see their leaders, accompanied by the weasel “officials” who hone the sharp edge of betrayal, flying off to negotiate with foreigners they know that they will not put Britain first; that they cannot be relied on to defend this country’s interests against foreign powers; and that, on the contrary, they can reliably be predicted to sell Britain down the river."

Has anyone ever seen a negotiation where one side starts by resolving all the other side's pressure points while simultaneously creating pressure points on oneself?

As soon as we legally commit to this one-sided Withdrawal deal, we lose a massive amount of leverage. So we should return the Brussels jibe that "we are not naive".

In economic terms the EU needs a agri products-for-services trade FTA just as much as the UK does. £39Bn = 2% of UKGDP so we are already overpaying. The UK should set out the comprehensive (eg Aus-NZ style) FTA terms that would allow the EU to earn its unjustified pot of gold and simultaneously loudly prepare for WTO in case there’s no movement by EU.

If WTO is the result in April 2019, that will not help EU Europhiles in the June 2019 EU Parliament elections.
So the UK still holds a decent hand – if it chooses to negotiate properly.

5 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Exclusive. May's lette... · 1 reply · +1 points

1. Legal get-outs can be vital.
2. The UK's net financial saving soon will be the majority of:
Net £11.73bn (£225 m a week)- official HMT and OBR figures for 2016, via JR
And no future increases for inflation.
Plus no further QMV “below-the-line” disregarded items:

5 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - WATCH: May hails "a ne... · 0 replies · +1 points

1. Mutual recognition clauses are in all FTAs. (See
at 8.30) Also only affects 4 sectors in NI (7.30 onwards).

2. And inherent to WTO rules:

"Second, Mr Wolf suggests that regulatory recognition between the UK and EU is possible only if there is harmonisation or identical regulation between the UK and EU.

This is at odds with WTO practice, stretching back to its rules on domestic laws and regulation as encapsulated in Article III of the GATT and Article VI of the GATS, and as expressed in the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) agreements.

This is the critical issue. The direction of travel of international trade thinking is towards countries recognising each other’s regulatory systems if they achieve the same ultimate goal of regulation, even if the underlying regulation differs, and to regulate in ways that are least distortive to international trade and competition. There will be areas where this level of recognition will not be possible, in which case UK exports into the EU will of course have to satisfy the standards of the EU. But even here we can mitigate the trade costs to some extent by Mutual Recognition Agreements on conformity assessment and market surveillance."

5 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Exclusive. May's lette... · 0 replies · +1 points

Actually the UK credit rating is a lot higher than the EU average (albeit slightly lower than Germany, Denmark & Sweden) Receiving our capital back in both ECB & EIB is a credit set-off for the £39bn net payment.
This capital repayment element will slightly diminish ECB's and slightly enhance UK credit rating. However the overall proposed net payment by the UK has the opposite effect.

5 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Exclusive. May's lette... · 0 replies · +1 points

Very neatly said.

5 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Exclusive. May's lette... · 3 replies · +1 points

The UK has just underplayed a strong hand in Phase 1 very badly. I think that the government has now realised this - so a good letter, and lots of emphasis on "nothing is agreed until everything is agreed".

One big concern is the money, where lots of dubious commitments (eg RAL; and EU assets excluded) are surprisingly mentioned in paras 56-87. The audit commission should audit HMTreasury's estimates, because c.£39bn looks impossibly low. As others have said: