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  1. #8236

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Tory coup fails to materialise as Theresa May limps on
    While there are ministers who believe PM should go, most agree it is not the right time

    Dan Sabbagh and Jessica Elgot
    Sun 24 Mar 2019 19.14 GMT

    If it was a coup, it didn’t last long. Cameras arrived early on Sunday morning outside the houses of David Lidington, the prime minister’s de facto deputy, and Michael Gove, the environment secretary, after two Sunday newspapers reported that one or the other could take over as caretaker prime minister from Theresa May in an emergency intervention.

    Discontent with the prime minister across large parts of the cabinet is real as the seemingly never ending Brexit impasse persists. But, on this occasion, Downing Street had little time even to get alarmed ahead of Monday’s meeting of cabinet.

    Cabinet minister after cabinet minister appeared on television to denounce the idea of a plot, starting with the chancellor, Philip Hammond shortly after 9am. Talk of a coup was “frankly self-indulgent at this time”, an impassive Hammond said, despite being named as a Lidington supporter in the Sunday Times.

    Allies of the chancellor later suggested it was “a device” promoted by those who want to further undermine May’s authority as she tries, again, to get her Brexit deal through the Commons this week. Neither Hammond nor Lidington was involved in any such plotting, they insisted.

    Lidington emerged in the mid-morning sun in his Buckinghamshire constituency, clearly amused at the attention. “One thing that working closely with the prime minister does is cure you completely of any lingering shred of ambition to want to do that task,” the minister for the cabinet office said.

    Then Gove, who had been tipped for the top by the Mail on Sunday, volunteered his own statement of support to the waiting journalists: “It’s not the time to change the captain of the ship.”

    In any event, appointing Lidington without a full Conservative leadership contest would have been impossible, given that the long-serving former Europe minister, who voted remain in 2016, is not trusted by the Conservative party’s right wing.

    “If the answer is a caretaker Mr Lidington, or someone else, what the hell is the question?” the former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith, now a leading Brexiter, said on BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show.

    Key cabinet ministers, such as Jeremy Hunt, the foreign secretary and an obvious leadership contender, are understood to be cautious about endorsing an interim leader such as Lidington. They fear he might consider compromising over membership of the customs union, the most obvious area for cooperation with Labour.

    As for Gove, some in Westminster argued the emergence of his name reflected more on his own ambition. His decision to go up against Boris Johnson immediately after the 2016 referendum, in effect handing Downing Street to May, has not been forgotten.

    Downing Street said the plotting amounted to little more than hostile press briefing. “You know it is organic and realistic when there are almost identical details in two Sunday papers and nobody else has a sniff of it,” one insider said.


    May, meanwhile, carried on with her day, working at her country retreat of Chequers, where she had invited Boris Johnson, Dominic Raab and other senior MPs, mostly hard Brexiters, to try once again to persuade them to back her Brexit deal.

    Yet there are cabinet ministers who are prepared to volunteer in private that they believe May should go, either to help the Brexit deal over the line or, more likely, immediately after, before the future trade talks begin.

    Those who say they want to see May go quickly recognise the EU negotiations are at such a delicate – and late – stage that it would need a new prime minister to be appointed without a contest, mirroring the old “magic circle” model abandoned by the Conservatives in the 1960s.

    “The discontent is mounting and Wednesday was the clincher,” said one cabinet source, arguing that the key moment came when May suddenly abandoned the idea of asking the EU for a long extension to article 50 to frighten the hard Brexit-supporting European Research Group. “Something has to change. But a full leadership contest would be hugely damaging at this stage.”

    There has been repeated talk of lesser revolts by cabinet members throughout the Brexit negotiations, but few have come to anything. The prime minister’s authority may have been almost completely eroded, but it would be an unlikely time for a plot, given her ongoing negotiations with Johnson and the remaining Brexit holdouts.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics...box=1553457468
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb




  2. #8237

    Re: World News Random, Random

    I just ran into this article via BING about Russians sending some troops (advisers) to Venezuela.
    I can see all sorts of ways this can go wrong. Of course. most of those ways require a president who actually cares about anybody but himself.

    I don't know how to paste links, so I copied the URL address.
    https://www.usnews.com/news/world/ar...-troops-report
    My Suicide Draw Pool avatar

  3. #8238

    Re: World News Random, Random

    All over the place in the news back home.
    These troops might be to replace the roughly 1000 Vennie troops and national guard that have crossed the border into Colombia, out of despair for the current situation.
    It will be how Maduro remains in power. He can offer Vlad a base roughly 3 hours away from American shore. And you have to admit that Vlad knows how to kill Maduro's rivals. With no qualms about it.
    Starry starry night

  4. #8239

    Re: World News Random, Random

    So, people aren't happy with May. I understand that part of it. Let's say the 3rd vote fails and they say May is done. What is her replacement going to do that she hasn't? What deal are they going to cut that she didn't?

    This is part of what I don't understand about this entire Brexit drama unfolding. I've said before, GB seems to think it's the 1910s and their leverage is that of a colonial power. So, while I get that many don't like the current deal with the EU, I remain unclear on why they are so certain there is a better deal to be had, and that the new deal can be done by another PM in a matter of weeks, and turn from bad to cushy.

    If someone knows the thinking here, or an article that spells this out, please do post a link to it.

  5. #8240

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Quote Originally Posted by JazzNU View Post
    So, people aren't happy with May. I understand that part of it. Let's say the 3rd vote fails and they say May is done. What is her replacement going to do that she hasn't? What deal are they going to cut that she didn't?

    This is part of what I don't understand about this entire Brexit drama unfolding. I've said before, GB seems to think it's the 1910s and their leverage is that of a colonial power. So, while I get that many don't like the current deal with the EU, I remain unclear on why they are so certain there is a better deal to be had, and that the new deal can be done by another PM in a matter of weeks, and turn from bad to cushy.

    If someone knows the thinking here, or an article that spells this out, please do post a link to it.
    I don't think there's much more reasoning behind this idiocy than what I highlighted above. As that man's sign said blame the Etonians but also blame Cameron who is not called out enough for his part in this farce.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb




  6. #8241

    Re: World News Random, Random

    It's not just that. Some favor a deal with closer relationship with EU. That would certainly be possible
    Roger forever

  7. #8242

    Re: World News Random, Random

    This all seems perfectly logical and foreseeable with a leave plan, but doesn't seem to have been factored in well.


    Brexit trade deals will be worse than current EU deals, says Liam Fox's former trade chief

    • Countries are likely to offer the United Kingdom worse trade deals than it currently enjoys as an EU member, the former head of Liam Fox's International Trade Department has told Business Insider.

    • "The United Kingdom alone can offer significantly less in terms of market access or government procurement than can all of the European Union," Donnelly said.

    • Major trading partners of the UK including Japan and the USA have indicated that they will seek tough concessions from the UK in trade talks because it is a relatively small trading partner.

    • "Trade negotiators are not sentimental," Donnelly said.


    LONDON Countries are likely to offer the United Kingdom worse trade deals than it currently enjoys as a member of the European Union, the former head of Liam Fox's International Trade Department has told Business Insider.

    Sir Martin Donnelly, who was the Permanent Secretary of the Department for International Trade until 2017, said that the UK could offer less market access as an individual country than as part the EU, and would therefore be offered less favourable terms when negotiating free trade arrangements after Brexit.

    "The United Kingdom alone can offer significantly less in terms of market access or government procurement than can all of the European Union," Donnelly said.

    "That means that other countries are less likely to offer us the same deal because they don't get the same benefits," he added.

    "Trade negotiators are not sentimental, they look for reciprocity of benefits."

    Trade Secretary Fox promised that the UK would roll over dozens of existing EU free trade arrangements "the second after" the UK left the EU, the scheduled date for which has been delayed by at least two weeks beyond March 29.

    But major trading partners of the UK including Japan have indicated that they will seek tougher concessions from the UK in trade talks than it secured from the EU when they agreed the terms of a free trade deal in 2018.

    Japanese trade negotiators are confident they can extract better terms, the Financial Times reported, a sign of how difficult Fox's task may be in attempting to strike independent trade deals once the UK has left the EU.

    "By negotiating as a country of 65 million, we start in a significantly less attractive position than when we are a part of a bloc of around 500 million," Donnelly told BI.

    "That's what's coming back to us from the negotiations, and that is not surprising."

    He said the lack of clarity around the government's trade policy once it has left the EU would act as an impediment to striking liberal trade deals because foreign companies would demand certainty about the UK's trading arrangements on issues including rules of origin.

    "Once you include issues like rules of origin, it becomes more complicated for their companies.

    "They want to know if they're based in the UK can they still be part of a European supply chain, which gets benefits from EU trade deals, or not?"

    Washington has also indicated that it will take a typically hard line in negotiations, despite Donald Trump saying trade with the UK would "increase substantially" after Brexit.

    The US Trade Representative earlier this month published its "negotiating objectives" for a future trade deal with the UK once it has left the EU.

    The document states that the UK must "remove expeditiously unwarranted barriers that block the export of U.S. food and agricultural products."

    It adds that "unjustified trade restrictions," such as the ban on the sale of chlorinated chicken and hormone-injected beef in the UK, must be removed in order to "eliminate practices that unfairly decrease U.S. market access opportunities."

    Fox has also said a free trade agreement with the United States is one of his department's "top priorities" but Washington too has indicated that it will take a tough line on negotiations.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/says...e-chief-2019-3

  8. #8243

    Re: World News Random, Random

    HARUMPH!

    EMPIRE!

    WE CAN GO IT ALONE!

    Washington has also indicated that it will take a typically hard line in negotiations, despite Donald Trump saying trade with the UK would "increase substantially" after Brexit.

    The US Trade Representative earlier this month published its "negotiating objectives" for a future trade deal with the UK once it has left the EU.

    The document states that the UK must "remove expeditiously unwarranted barriers that block the export of U.S. food and agricultural products."

    It adds that "unjustified trade restrictions," such as the ban on the sale of chlorinated chicken and hormone-injected beef in the UK, must be removed in order to "eliminate practices that unfairly decrease U.S. market access opportunities."
    Cue up a chorus of "Rule Brittania" stat!

    "Trade negotiators are not sentimental, they look for reciprocity of benefits."


    What a freakin' mess.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb




  9. #8244

    Re: World News Random, Random

    The indicative vote options as MPs aim to break Brexit deadlock
    May’s deal, no deal, Norway-plus and more: the choices that Commons could consider
    Dan Sabbagh

    Mon 25 Mar 2019 22.17 GMT

    With no Brexit parliamentary consensus in sight, the House Commons has passed an amendment from Sir Oliver Letwin that proposes that MPs vote on a series of options to establish what could command a majority in the house.

    There is no agreed list of options, but one has been produced by the Commons select committee for exiting the EU to help clarify the debate. Here we outline the Brexit outcomes that MPs could vote on:

    1. Theresa May’s deal, again

    It may have been rejected twice already, but May’s Brexit deal remains the only deal that the European Union will be able to ratify quickly and it remains in consideration.

    The prime minister herself has repeatedly argued it is the only realistic option when all the other alternatives are properly considered. If put to a vote, it will attract support among the dwindling band of May loyalists.

    2. No deal

    This would mean the UK would leave the EU promptly – on 29 March or more likely 12 April – on World Trade Organization terms, with some “bare bones” agreements in areas such as aviation that would allow essential cross-border activities to take place.

    But the Commons has twice voted against no deal – albeit by just four votes last time, on 13 March – and few believe that no deal can command a majority because of concerns about its economic impact.

    3. Eliminate the backstop

    In theory this would mean rewriting the withdrawal agreement exit treaty to remove the unpopular proposal for customs and regulatory alignment aimed at ensuring a free-flowing Irish border if no long-term free trade deal can be signed.

    The backstop has been the principal source of contention for hard-Brexit Conservatives and the Democratic Unionist party, but eliminating it is not seen as a realistic negotiating option. The EU has made it clear it is intrinsic to the withdrawal agreement.

    A variant would be to promote so-called “alternative arrangements” – technologies to monitor the flow of goods that could supersede the backstop. The EU has committed to examine these, but it could be years before they emerge.

    4. A Canada-style free-trade deal

    This is another idea popular with hard Brexiters but is seen by critics as an unrealistic negotiating goal. Rather than focusing on the withdrawal agreement, this would focus on the future trade deal that the UK would hope to negotiate with the EU.

    The theory is that the UK would come to a new arrangement that would involve the UK accepting no continuing regulatory alignment with the EU. But it is not clear how far the EU is willing to negotiate such an arrangement.

    There would be an economic price for a looser relationship between the UK and the EU. It would not immediately solve the problem of the Irish border, nor has there been any sign that many Labour MPs are willing to support such a plan.

    5. Labour’s deal/staying in a customs union

    This would be the option closest to the deal being promoted by the Labour party, in which the UK would remain in a customs union with the EU, and remain close to the single market, but nevertheless outside it.

    Donald Tusk has called this approach “promising” but Labour’s plan has also been rejected by the Commons and, because it has been promoted by the party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, it is unlikely to attract the support of Conservatives.

    It also implies that the UK would accept some form of freedom of movement with the EU, a point recently recognised by Keir Starmer.

    6. Norway-plus/”common market 2.0”

    This soft-Brexit alternative would keep the UK in the single market, by remaining in the EEA and Efta, alongside countries such as Norway. It would also keep the UK in the customs union, unlike Efta countries, hence the plus. But Efta members also have to accept freedom of movement, a red line issue for most Conservatives and some Labour MPs.

    The idea is being energetically promoted by a group of backbenchers led by Conservatives Nick Boles and Robert Halfon plus Labour’s Lucy Powell and Stephen Kinnock. Corbyn has also shown some interest in the idea, and some believe it could be the most popular option if MPs were given a free vote.

    7. A second referendum

    This may or may not be an option in its own right, depending on what the choices were to be on the ballot paper. A second referendum between leaving and staying in the EU – essentially a replay of the 2016 vote – would be a separate option but nobody in parliament is seriously calling for that.

    Instead, a referendum could be attached as a condition of approval of one of the other options above. Or there could be a three-choice referendum, between a range of the above options, although three-way referenda are unusual internationally.

    However, when a second referendum on May’s deal was put before the Commons this month, only 85 MPs voted for it, after Labour, which is split on the issue, ordered its MPs to abstain.

    How will MPs chose between the options?

    The voting process is not yet agreed. Letwin, proposing the scheme, said MPs should vote for or against each option, which would clarify “the lie of the land”, allowing parliament to see which the most popular options were.

    The veteran Conservative Ken Clarke, however, has suggested a preferential voting system, where MPs rank the options sequentially ensuring that just one option would come out on top. It will be for MPs to decide how to vote, once an indicative voting scheme is established.


    https://www.theguardian.com/politics...box=1553552710
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb




  10. #8245

    Re: World News Random, Random

    No Deal should never have been taken off the table. But now the Commons has shackled itself.
    25 GRAND SLAM TITLES: 5 SINGLES 13 DOUBLES 7 MIXED

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