There’s A Point At Which Your Horse Gets Buggered Michel

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Michel Barnier is of course entirely correct here, despite the headline:

Barnier: UK ‘Cannot’ Refuse to Extend Transition If It Will Not Submit to EU Brexit Demands

Well, yes, but:

The European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator says the British government “cannot” refuse to extend the Brexit-in-name-only “transition” period if it will not submit to the bloc’s demands in the current negotiations.

Michel Barnier, a former French foreign minister, has expressed his irritation that the United Kingdom, which formally left the EU in January but remains subject to its law, its judges, and its Free Movement migration regime while the 2020 “transition period” negotiations are conducted, is — for now — refusing to extend it.

Don’t think that’s quite, exactly, what he’s saying:

“The United Kingdom cannot impose this very short calendar for negotiations and at the same time not move, not progress on certain subjects that are important for the European Union,” he said.

Implicit in the Frenchman’s statement is an assumption not only that the 2020 negotiations must end in a “future partnership” being agreed, but that this “future partnership” must satisfy the EU’s demands — which he said centred on a so-called “level playing field”, and, according to Bloomberg, “the governance of the future partnership, judicial co-operation, and access to fishing waters.”

If there is to be an agreement then, of course, there must be an agreement. This does indeed require that each and or either side of the negotiating pair give up some things they’d rather keep in order to gain others that they’d prefer. This is what a negotiation is.

So the claim that this is “You must move” isn’t quite fair I think. “You must move or else” is entirely fair of course.

It’s what the “Or else” is which matters. And as we know, that’s not going to be the UK doesn’t leave. It’s that there will be no agreement.

That is, there does come that point when the horse that was rode in on gets buggered – along with the desires of the rider of course.

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Bloke in North Dorset
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Bloke in North Dorset

What’s the point of negotiating access to a single market that doesn’t exist in the way it was when we left and probably won’t again. There’s going to be a lot of supply chains for strategic goods that will in all but name be nationalised. It’s also hard to see borders being flung open to the same extent in the foreseeable future. I suspect part of this noise is to support those who are calling for an extension of the transition period. Once that’s been established it will get easier every time negotiations stall and before we know it we’re… Read more »

Leo Savantt
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Leo Savantt

Barnier and his minions, as well as vast swathes of western Europe’s political and media class, don’t actually believe that Brexit will happen; so convinced are they of both the benefits and moral superiority of the EU that they, deep down, can’t accept the UK’s departure. The denial is reinforced by the fact that although technically the UK is not an EU member in every area, except the absence of a Commissioner and a bunch of MEPs, the UK is actually still a full member. Brexit has yet to happen. The institutions of the EU are also in complete denial… Read more »

HJ777
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HJ777

I think you are confusing the European Court of Human Rights (which is not an EU body and from whose jurisdiction we are not intending to leave) with the European Court of Justice which is an EU body and which is the highest court on matters of EU law).

Pat
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Pat

He possibly is, but membership of the ECHR is a condition of EU membership even though it is a non-EU body.
As to our intentions towards that court, they don’t seem to be settled.

HJ777
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HJ777

He explicitly mentioned the ECJ, not the ECHR.

Leo Savantt
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Leo Savantt

No I am not, which is why I pointed out that non-EU members such as Russia, Turkey and Azerbaijan are represented in the ECHR. However, Barnier has repeatedly stated that the UK must not diverge from the ECHR. The ECJ is a different kettle of fish, its remit is to ensure that member states do not contravene EU treaties.

HJ777
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HJ777

Barnier explicitly referred to the ECJ, not the ECHR. The UK has not said that it has any intention of leaving the jurisdiction of the ECHR, whereas it has made it clear that, as the ECJ is explicitly an EU Court, it will no longer come under its jurisdiction. Barnier wants the UK to commit to aligning to EU rules and regulations under the auspices of the ECJ – an area in which the ECHR, as a non-EU body, has no jurisdiction. The ECHR is a body which comes under the Council of Europe – there has been no suggestion… Read more »

Leo Savantt
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Leo Savantt

The EU’s position is that the ECJ will rule on both parties adherence to any agreement that is reached. However, Barnier has, multiple times, explicitly stated that the UK must remain under the jurisdiction of the ECHR. This position isn’t new and goes back some years. in 2018 the Commission stated that the UK remaining “a party to the European convention on human rights” is regarded as a key safeguard for the EU. Dominic Cummings has previously suggested the UK could leave the convention and last month Barnier said, and I quote him, the UK “informs us that they do… Read more »

HJ777
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HJ777

“In response British negotiators confirmed that the UK did not want membership of the European Convention on Human Rights membership written into the trade agreement.”

Because membership of the ECHR has nothing to do with trade and the EU has been given no role by the Council of Europe in trying to ‘enforce’ UK membership. The EU has various trade agreements with countries that do not fall under the jurisdiction of the ECHR.

Barnier dropped this nonsense some time ago and his recent references have been to the ECJ.

Phoenix44
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Phoenix44

The EU has never had to deal with a real deadline that has consequences. It keeps negotiating and negotiating its trade deals without any sense of the losses each year of delay mean because they are never visible, just gains it will never have. So with the UK now, it doesn’t have a clue. It thinks the negotiation will – must – go on, because it hasn’t got what it wants yet.

Pcar
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Pcar

Barnier’s speech live by Pro EU Media EU’s Barnier says latest post-Brexit talks with UK disappointing, “rowing back on deal with Boris” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GtWInIMDkE Barnier angry: – UK ‘claims to be a sovereign nation’ and refusing ‘level playing field’ demand – “The UK cannot refuse to extend the transition, whilst at the same time slow down discussions on important areas” Barnier: No-Deal Brexit if Britain does not want a deal on fisheries, let it be crystal clear https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ScpkGxPQb8 Err, no Mr EU Media, this may look good & strong to you, but from here it’s petulance Certainty UK fishermen want is… Read more »

jabezfoodbotham
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jabezfoodbotham

I knew these Froggies snacked on horses. But that they bugger them too was an unwelcome revelation.