Monday 4 July 2016

Invoking Article 50 now would be moronic

"Invoke Article 50 now" nonsense should be called out for what it is. Abject stupidity.

If there is one thing I hope I have managed to convey to you in all of this time it is that Brexit is complex. This seems to have utterly escaped the Leadsomites but for the most part, adults seem to have comprehended this basic fact of life.

Now I want to make life even more difficult for you by saying however complex you think Brexit is, well, it's more complicated than that. The best case scenario is that we move into Efta or adopt the EEA agreement as the basis of our relationship with the EU. That leaves much of the single market and various cooperation programmes in tact. What it doesn't deal with is agriculture and fishing. Nor does it deal with our revised membership of the WTO.

I have already alluded to how complex the fishing industry is. Because of the politically charged nature of it, it is awash with disinformation and political narratives, many of which may have been true at some point but are no longer relevant or truthful.

In international law any contracts made inside a particular legal framework has to be honoured unless there is a transitional phase out and a compensation scheme. We have to decide if we are going to let quota contracts expire or buy them out. So when you get docile twats like Andrea Leadsom promising we will cut loose and spend all the money on the NHS, you know they are speaking from their moist flaps.

As to the technical regulation of it, there are zoning licences, pollutions control, net sizes, boat classifications, you name it. As much as we lack the capacity to enforce the rules we lack the expertise to replace them. So we are looking at a very long phase out.

And while we are already members of the WTO, it is not as simple as voting independently of the EU. We must establish the Vienna Convention as a basis on which to resume existing trade deals and we will have to renegotiate agricultural subsidy quotas which will take several months, if not years and could be the factor which sees the whole process collapse.

There is also the possibility that some states will not agree to continuity agreements with the UK and so we will have to negotiate agreements on standards and inspections along with tariffs from scratch. Nobody has the first idea how that pans out because this is absolutely unprecedented.

The short of it is, it is going to take a series of long debates just to decide what is and isn't up for debate and what we are willing to compromise on to get the concessions we want. Thanks to bellends like Farage insisting on cuts to freedom of movement there is a strong chance we will lose some of our agricultural subsidy quota or make a grievous concession on something that may even wreck an emerging industry. We have some difficult choices to make.

In this, everything is on the table for discussion and yes that does include visas for foreign workers if needs be. If the EU plays hardball then we must in kind. So we cannot bind ourselves to any promises we cannot keep. The only assurances we can make is that international law will be respected.

As for agriculture - this includes CAP subsidies, export rules, disease control, disease surveillance, animal health, GMO rules, habitats and waterways and a whole plethora of areas barely even considered by the general public. Or farmers as it happens.

And this is best case scenario should we elect to retain single market membership. Worst case scenario we are looking at falling back n international trade rules alone which sees decades of talks and possibly a complete breakdown in UK-EU relations.

So yes, this could very easily go wrong, nothing is going to happen quickly and we most definitely should not make any moves until we have had a comprehensive hearing of sector experts and consultations with stakeholders. Only when we have has scoping talks with Member States will we have an idea on how to proceed and only then will we get an idea of time scales.

Even if you think it is imperative to keep up the political pressure to ensure that we do leave, what we don't need is pillocks demanding the politically impossible for expediency. We are looking at unpicking forty years of regulatory integration. It's massive. It simply does not lend itself to a cavalier botch it and scarper agreement. Nothing is served by discrediting the leave case by revealing how clueless leavers are about what this entails.

I am not sure how many times I have to say this but it really is time people stopped the idle chatter and engaged in what is going on. If you see someone claiming that we do not need an agreement with the EU or that we should invoke Article 50 now, just freeze them out. These are not people with anything of value to add. They are noise makers and their ignorance is something we all need less of.

Also we need lot see a lot less confirmation seeking. Just because the markets recovered it doesn't mean we are out of the woods. Like I say, talks could go either way. Many are hedging their bests and delaying investment. Growth will suffer as a result of this and there could be other market panics along the way, especially when it comes down to the WTO level negotiations over subsidy quotas.

Be under no illusions, there will be more tense moments to come and there will be more volleys coming from the Commission seemingly in defiance of the member states. We will see a war of words and nothing will be taken off the table, including the long term rights of EU citizens. Much of it will be bluff but this is how serious negotiation works.

Much of this will be news to Brits because we have never seen anything of its type. We have delegated trade discussions to the EU for the last forty years. That is why Australian and New Zealander citizens have a better grounding in the subject than we do and its why that kind of news still makes it to their media. We are not acclimatised to this kind of politics. But this is the very serious business which will replace the frivolity we are used to.

I have said before that this marks a return to adult politics and I was not exaggerating. And with that comes some pretty hefty responsibility to keep up to date with political reality. Retreating to the comfort zone of culture war crap is simply unacceptable. This now turns on detail, and details like the Article 50 process absolutely do matter. Those who pretend otherwise are engaging in exactly the sort of childish politics they have spent all these years denouncing. So please, for the love of Christ, either grow up or shut up. It's decision time.

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