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On becoming Cameron’s successor, Theresa May faced an unenviable task. She had to make sense of the referendum result and translate the people’s vague negative feelings into a concrete political programme that would be acceptable to a majority in Parliament, to the EU leadership, and to her EU colleagues. Cameron had forbidden any contingency planning. May needed to put together a cabinet that balanced the warring factions within her party. She had to formulate coherent, realistic goals and she had to develop a tactical concept, a timetable, a list of priorities and an eventual quid pro quo in negotiations. Above all, she had to build consensus within her cabinet and within her party about what Brexit was to mean. She failed to grapple with any of these challenges. Instead she repeated the vain formula ‘Brexit means Brexit’, which obfuscated the problem. She committed herself prematurely and without adequate reflection to a hard Brexit. In March 2017, she submitted the declaration under Article 50 that set the clock running. A snap election deprived her of her comfortable majority. In the summer of 2018, she published her first coherent but unrealistic concept of Brexit. Opposition within her own party grew steadily, and she lost almost half of her cabinet. The Withdrawal Treaty was approved by all EU members on 25 November 2018 but was thrown out by a majority in the UK Parliament on 15 January 2019.
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All sorts of neologisms and wordplays soon appeared around Brexit: beleaver, bremoaner, bregretter, braccident, bremaniac (also breMayniac), brexecution, brexshit, brexorcism, brexercise, etc.
This decision was based on Protocol 36 of the Lisbon Treaty. It gave the United Kingdom the right to leave the provisions on criminal justice before 2014. This renunciation had to cover the entire range of cooperation in justice and police affairs. This was meant to prevent ‘cherry picking’. But the protocol also made provision for Britain to unilaterally opt into some of these rules. But this was the only exception of this sort.
The European Court of Justice has its seat in Luxembourg.
The creation of the DepExEU implied that her archrival Johnson, though Foreign Secretary, had practically no competences in EU affairs. The competences in foreign trade were taken away from the FCO and transferred to Fox’s department. Thus Johnson headed an FCO that had lost some of its core responsibilities. All three prominent Leavers were put in positions of mutual institutional rivalry. It was a clever Machiavellian move to secure her own power in Cabinet, but fraught with disastrous consequences for pushing through a coherent, effective policy.
It earned her the nickname “Maybot”.
There was no shortage of gurus and prophets who claimed to know exactly the costs or benefits of all options. In most cases they reduced multidimensional reality to one single dimension, put that into a simplistic model and proclaimed proudly the results of these calculations.
Norway held an EU referendum in September 1972. The result was 53.5% opposed to joining the EU, 46.5% for, and the turnout was 79%. A second referendum was held in November 1994 preparing for the 1995 enlargement. It yielded almost the same result: 52.2% against, 47.8% for EU membership, turnout: 88.6%. The relevant issue was fisheries and financial contributions. Because of its high revenues from oil and gas, Norway would have had to carry a heavy financial burden.
In purely quantitative terms Norway has to observe about 25% of EU law (70% of directives, 20% of regulations). Norway’s contribution to the EU budget depends on its GNP. The contributions are relatively high. On average, Norway pays €1bn annually, that is €200 per capita. Germany pays the highest EU contributions, amounting to roughly €250 per capita. Norway is in a position that is called in Britain ‘Pay but no say’.
John Erik Fossum: Squaring the Circle on Brexit: Could the Norway Model Work?, Bristol, Policy Press (2018).
For details of the draft institutional agreement and the Swiss position after the EU’s statement at the end of 2018 that it now regards negotiations as closed, see https://www.eda.admin.ch/dea/en/home/aktuell/medienmitteilungen.html/content/dea/en/meta/news/2019/1/16/73677
This concerns principally food imports. In a worst-case scenario, the United Kingdom would have to conduct parallel negotiations with more than twenty WTO members. This development alone shows how inconsiderate was the remark of Liam Fox when he glibly asserted in 2016 negotiations about new trade agreements would turn out the easiest of all historical international agreements.
Theoretically, the reverse could apply and the EU could imitate British standards.
The name ‘Singapore model’ is a misnomer. About 20% of Singapore’s GNP is produced in government-owned enterprises. The government enjoys far-reaching powers to interfere directly in trade, wages, prices, and working conditions. Singapore pursues a paternalistic social policy, forcing its citizens to save and to invest parts of their income for specified purposes. Singapore is capitalist, but not liberal.
This headline was a public condemnation of three senior High Court judges who had decided that the complaint that Gina Miller had brought against the Government’s decision to notify its intention of withdrawal without previous consent of Parliament. The article was controversial in that it printed the photographs of the three judges in full robes with the caption: ‘Enemies of the people’. It impugned the reputation of the judges and was seen to undermine the independence of the judiciary.
Sir John Cunliffe had been British PermRep at Brussels from 2012–2013.
Ivan Rogers had been his successor as PermRep from 2013–2017.
Tom Scholar had been Cameron’s chief advisor on EU affairs.
Article 50, TEU contains the sentence: “ In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union.”
These are all quotes from speeches of cabinet members.
May wished to invoke royal prerogative which confers powers on the Crown as head of state (and by implication on her government) since the Crown embodies sovereignty.
The Supreme Court took over as the court of final appeal of the realm in 2009. Previously, this role had been with the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords, where the legally qualified Law Lords had heard and decided cases.
The government was probably motivated by the fear that a vote in Parliament could go against the vote of the people in the referendum. This would have plunged the United Kingdom into a constitutional crisis without precedent, since three sources of sovereignty would have competed with each other: The sovereignty of the people, sovereignty of Parliament and the sovereignty of the Sovereign or her government invoking royal prerogative.
The most delicate aspect of this incident came later, when Theresa May hired James Slack, the author of this defamatory article, as her Director of Communications.
A hard Brexit means leaving both the Customs Union and the Single Market without a privileged special relationship. A no-deal is its most extreme form. Conversely, a soft Brexit means a separation that essentially leaves existing trade relations untouched.
Before 2015, there had been three cases of countries leaving the EU, but the circumstances had been totally different. Algeria had been part of the EEC since it formed part of the république une et indivisible of France when the EEC was set up. When Algeria became independent in 1962, it left the EEC at the same time. Greenland left the EEC in 1985, Saint Barthélemy in 2012. Both territories were overseas regions of EU Member States. Greenland was granted autonomy in 1979 and left the EEC after protracted and complex negotiations that lasted five years, but it kept its ties with Denmark. The only issue to be negotiated with Greenland was fisheries. In 2012, Saint Barthélemy separated from Guadeloupe, which has the status of a French overseas territory. Saint Barthélemy received the status of an associated country.
The vote took place on 8 February 2017. All Liberal Democrats and all SNP MPs voted against the government.
The unanimous extension can be repeated without limit. Apart from this, the Article contains very little concerning the procedures, the conditions and the settlement of separation. It does not contain any cross-reference to other treaty provisions that might be affected by the intention to leave, such as Qualified Majority Voting (QMV).
John Kerr (Baron Kerr of Kinlochard) had been Secretary General of the Constitutional Convention and as such responsible for the wording of this Article, for it is one of those articles that were incorporated without modification into the treaty of Lisbon. Lord Kerr firmly asserts that the meaning should be that a unilateral declaration of intent could be revoked unilaterally until a valid mutual treaty had actually superseded it. ( https://www.bestforbritain.org/it_s_far_from_over_article_50, 24 March 2018). He has reaffirmed this view recently: John Kerr. I drafted article 50. We can and must delay Brexit for a referendum, The Guardian, 6 December 2018 ( https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/dec/06/drafted-article-50-brexit-referendum-eu-state?utm_term=RWRpdG9yaWFsX0Jlc3RPZkd1YXJkaWFuT3BpbmlvblVLLTE4MTIwNg%3D%3D&utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=BestOfGuardianOpinionUK&CMP=opinionuk_email, 6 December 2018). The Advocate General at the CJEU followed this argument in his submission of 4 December 2018 ( https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2018-12/cp180187en.pdf, 4 December2018). The CJEU finally officially endorsed this view in its decision of 10 December 2019 (Curia 621/18), ( http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf?text=&docid=208636&pageIndex=0&doclang=EN&mode=lst&dir=&occ=first&part=1&cid=1188376, 10 December 2018).
May had declared on 4 September 2016 in the Andrew Marr Show: “ I’m not going to be calling a snap election.” ( http://time.com/4744117/theresa-may-general-election/, 22 February 2018).
An opinion poll of 24 April 2017 showed 47% for the Conservatives, 28% for Labour.
The DUP had 10 MPs in Westminster. Cynic observers classified this as a bribe of £100 million for each of them.
This was the best result the Tories had ever achieved since the days of Margaret Thatcher. David Cameron had won 11.3 million votes two years earlier, equivalent to 36.8% of the vote. But at that time, this modest result had been sufficient for an absolute majority.
This is equivalent to 12.9 million votes. In 2015 Labour had won 30.4% of the vote—an improvement of 10%.
Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy had been close to Theresa May for years. They had worked with her when she was Home Secretary, and had engineered her triumph as Prime Minister. They had run her office in Number 10 jointly as Chiefs of Staff.
A P45 is the official UK tax form that employees receive from their employers when they leave a job.
Labour was in a dilemma about taking a position on Brexit. Corbyn himself had consistently voted against the EU throughout his entire career, often defying the party whip. He had refused to show himself as a Remain supporter in the referendum campaign. In the 2017 election, Labour had won 25 seats in constituencies that had shown a high proportion of Remainers in 2016. At the same time, it had won another 25 seats that had shown a comparable majority for Leave. Labour was as divided as the Conservatives over Brexit and Corbyn had to find a delicate balance between these two wings. Being in opposition, this was much easier for him.
Michel Barnier: Speech by Michel Barnier at the closing session of Eurochambre’s European Parliament of Enterprises 2018, 10 October 2018: “ The UK wants to and will leave the Single Market and the Customs Union. This means that there must be checks on goods travelling between the EU and the UK—checks that do not exist today:
customs and VAT checks;
and compliance checks with our standards to protect our consumers, our economic traders and our businesses.
We have agreed with the UK that these checks cannot be performed at the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland. A crucial question is, therefore, where they will take place. The EU is committed to respecting the territorial integrity and constitutional order of the UK, just like the UK has committed to respecting the integrity of our Single Market, including Ireland, obviously. There will be administrative procedures that do not exist today for goods travelling to Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK. Our challenge is to make sure those procedures are as easy as possible and not too burdensome, in particular for smaller businesses. Our proposal limits itself to what is absolutely necessary to avoid a hard border: customs procedures and the respect of EU standards for products.” ( http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-18-6089_en.htm?utm_source=POLITICO.EU&utm_campaign=78964745e8-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_10_11_04_27&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_10959edeb5-78964745e8-189197625), 23 August 2018).
The first draft of 2 March 2018 was revised and republished on 15 March 2018. It contained 168 articles and a protocol on Northern Ireland, consisting of another 16 articles. Article 3 of that protocol accepts the Common Travel Area but adds a Common Regulatory Area. This would keep Northern Ireland in the Customs Union and would give the Commission a permanent say in the political affairs of Northern Ireland. ( https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/draft_agreement_coloured.pdf, 24 March 2018).
The Henry VIII powers. They derive their name from legislation passed between 1528 and 1532 giving Henry VIII the power to separate England from the Catholic Church, establish a national Anglican Church, dissolve the monasteries and appropriate their vast wealth. Overnight all references to Rome, the Catholic Church and to Canon Law had to be erased from English law. The executive arrogated the necessary competences. The idea in 2018 was that this should happen in analogous ways to EU law. Some observers are afraid that these powers could lend themselves to abuse, undermining the legislative monopoly of Parliament.
The Good Friday Agreement refers to the EU more than a dozen times. Its validity does not rest, however, on the fact that both North and South are within the EU. Brexit does not, therefore, ipso facto invalidate this agreement. But it leaves dozens of points where friction will become inevitable, because the common frame that guided its authors twenty years ago will suddenly disappear. Radical Brexiteers refuse to give the Irish a practical say in Brexit. Some of them demand scrapping the Good Friday Agreement.
Net money inflows into Northern Ireland in 2017 were roughly €600 million. ( https://ec.europa.eu/unitedkingdom/sites/unitedkingdom/files/eu_funding_in_ni_2007-2013_and_2014-2020_1.pdf, 23 August 2018). Total government expenses amounted to roughly £10 billion. On top of that, there are massive transfers from the USA, mostly unofficial. Northern Ireland has not had a functioning provincial government since early 2017 and is administered from Whitehall. ( https://www.ft.com/content/0146a180-c88a-11e7-ab18-7a9fb7d6163e, 26 August 2018).
In the last regional elections in Northern Ireland on 2 March 2017, the DUP received 28.1% of the vote, Sinn Féin 27.9%. The parties were just 1200 votes apart. In the general election three months later, 36% voted DUP, 29.4% Sinn Féin. The DUP can in no way claim to speak for Northern Ireland.
Some of these mind games recall audacious constructions that were made during the negotiations about Germany’s unification. One of them was that unified Germany should become a member of both NATO and of the Warsaw Pact, of both EU and of Comecon. ( https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/6423932/david-davis-northern-ireland-brexit-plans-dup/, 13 October 2018).
Cynics called Brexit negotiations around this time ‘ the undefined being negotiated by the unprepared in order to get the unspecified for the uninformed’.
Personal communication with the author.
An old Tory of the nationalist ilk commented dryly: ‘ To be an island is in itself a geographic opt-out.’
Damian Green resigned after making misleading statements on porn claims made against him. Michael Fallon resigned after admitting that his behaviour towards women had ‘fallen short’.
Amber Rudd resigned for inadvertently misleading MPs over targets for removing illegal immigrants from the UK.
These results were already circulating in the media before the Chequers meeting broke up. May leaked them to make sure that she was the first to break the news and to dominate the news cycle. Details can be found in her press release of 6 July 2018 ( https://briefingsforbrexit.com/statement-from-hm-government-chequers-6-july-2018/, 9 Jul. 2018).
Government White Paper of 12 July 2018: The Future Relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union ( https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/725288/ und https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-future-relationship-between-the-united-kingdom-and-the-european-union, 20 Jul. 2018).
Sir Humphrey Appleby, the fabled, fictional civil servant from the TV series Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister, would have sarcastically deemed it to be a ‘courageous decision’.
Donald Trump, Interview with The Sun, 13 July 2018 ( https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/6766531/trump-may-brexit-us-deal-off/, 17 Jul. 2018).
Alex Spence: Let Trump Handle Brexit: An Explosive Leaked Recording Reveals Boris Johnson’s Private Views About Britain’s Foreign Policy, Buzzfeed News, 7 June 2018 (https://www.buzzfeed.com/alexspence/boris-johnson-trump-brexit-leaked-recording?utm_term=.adj2nXr0p#.uaAjpY7Re, 18 Jul. 2018).
Dominic Raab had published a book, together with some other prominent Tories (Priti Patel, Liz Truss, Chris Skidmore and Kwasi Kwarteng) with the pompous title Britannia Unchained: Global Lessons for Growth and Prosperity, London, Palgrave Macmillan (2012). The authors announced their book with a remarkable fanfare: “ We are convinced that Britain’s best days are not behind us. We cannot afford to listen to the siren voices of the statists who are happy for Britain to become a second rate power in Europe, and a third rate power in the world. Decline is not inevitable.” They contrasted Japan, Israel, Canada and the USA as dynamic, entrepreneurial and risk-taking model for growth with a stagnant, bureaucratically paralysed and risk averse EU. The book has been criticised for unfounded allegations and unsound logic.
Oliver Robbins had been a loyal servant of Theresa May for years. He had served as her Permanent Secretary in the Home Office. May then placed him in the same function in the DepExEU, where he was to guide David Davis and report directly to the Prime Minister. After the election, she brought him into Number 10 as her adviser, where he soon grew into the role of the éminence grise for Brexit. He had never worked on EU questions before 2016.
Michael Fallon resigned as Defence Secretary on 1 November 2017; he was replaced by Gavin Williamson. Gavin Williamson was dismissed by May over indiscretion charges on 1 May 2019. He was succeeded by Penny Mordaunt. On 8 November 2017, May had to relieve Priti Patel, Secretary of State for International Development of her post (succeeded by Penny Mordaunt, who was succeeded in her turn by Rory Stewart). On 20 December 2017, her chief of staff Damian Green was forced to resign (succeeded by David Lidington). On 8 January 2018, Justine Greening resigned as Education Secretary (succeeded by Damian Hinds). On 29 April 2018, Amber Rudd resigned as Home Secretary over the Windrush scandal (succeeded by Sajid Javid). On 21 June 2018, Greg Hands resigned as Minister for Trade and Investment. On 8 July 2018, David Davis resigned as Brexit Secretary together with his junior minister Steve Baker (who was to become May’s nemesis), followed a day later by Boris Johnson resigning as Foreign Secretary (succeeded by Jeremy Hunt). This rapid change of personnel (exceeded only by President Trump in Washington) prompted some sarcastic comments, for the rate of change was more than double what had been normal with all of her predecessors.
Heaven knows what prompted him to use this relapse into medieval terminology. He was roundly criticised in the press and by almost all commentators.
There are few convincing hypotheses to explain the unusual approach of the British government in this case. Whatever the considerations in Whitehall, the incident showed once more the difficulties of the British government machinery forming a correct picture of the priorities, sensitivities and the mentality of its continental partners. Had May chosen a more accommodating, humble language, the reaction of the Council might have been more conciliatory.
The atmosphere in Salzburg was further strained by a comment from Michael Gove. In an interview with Andrew Marr, Gove had declared that whatever the withdrawal treaty contained could be unravelled and repudiated by any future British government (“ A future prime minister can always choose to alter the relationship between Britain and the European Union .”). His aim was to soften opposition in Parliament against May’s plans. He also wanted to hint that it was unrealistic to expect the enormously complex and multidimensional problems connected with Brexit to be solved in one single treaty. Later revisions and additions would become inevitable. This may have been meant as a positive contribution to the ongoing debate in the UK. Outside the UK, his words were taken to mean that the British government was not negotiating in good faith, keeping options open to unilaterally escape from treaty obligations. He cast massive doubt on the commitments that had been made by the British side. Commentators talked of Mafia-methods. Michael Gove was considered a possible successor to Theresa May, so his words had specific weight and raised enduring suspicions. ( https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06lbdqy, 15 October 2018).
In November 2018, another legal action was added. The Commission criticised tax privileges on the Isle of Man. Some superrich had registered their private jets on the Isle of Man practically tax-free. More than 1000 private jets are registered there, most of them large aircraft with seating capacities between 60 and 100 passengers. This fleet would theoretically suffice to have the entire population of the Isle of Man simultaneously airborne on aircraft registered on the island.
Even the Economist, normally critical of May and her plans, commented: “ Salzburg delivered a slap in the face to Mrs. May. It did so in the rudest way possible.” (Economist, 21 September 2018, Bagehot).
Perhaps direct TV appeals are not so exceptional for Theresa May. She repeated the exercise in March 2019 after leaving the EU summit early and virtually empty handed. In this second TV appeal, she laid the blame for the impasse squarely on the shoulders of the MPs in Parliament.
The ERG could not find consensus on some of the most radical proposition contained in the 140-page draft. The official explanation for cancelling publication of this paper was that it was not opportune to publish something that might be shot down by the party conference ( https://www.ft.com/content/fce2c8ea-b4d7-11e8-bbc3-ccd7de085ffe, 22 October 2018).
Two weeks earlier, Boris Johnson had rejected any special arrangement for Northern Ireland: “ This version of the Irish backstop is little short of an attempt to annex Northern Ireland. It would imply customs and regulatory controls between Britain and Northern Ireland, and therefore a border down the Irish sea. The protocol would amount to a change in Northern Ireland’s constitutional status without its people’s consent—a total breach of the peace settlement. For Ulster Unionists of any description, for the Tory party, for anyone who cares about the union between Britain and Northern Ireland, it is a monstrosity.” ( https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/09/16/heading-car-crash-brexit-theresa-mays-chequers-plan/, 10 October 2018). He completely blotted out the position of Irish republicans who, not without good reason, suspected Brexit to be a crowbar to lever out some of the constitutional guarantees contained in the Good Friday Agreement. There is a sizeable number of Tories that openly demand the unilateral renunciation of this Agreement. Philip Hammond gave an appropriate caricature of Johnson’s way of talking: “ Boris sits there and at the end of it he says, ‘Yeah but, er, there must be a way, I mean, if you just, if you, erm, come on, we can do it Phil, we can do it. I know we can get there.’” (https://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/live/2018/oct/01/conservative-conference-hammond-says-johnson-will-never-be-pm-politics-live?page=with:block-5bb1e9c6e4b09764a1533a79#liveblog-navigation , 10 October 2018).
In the eyes of many Tories, the EU was to blame for the unsatisfactory state of affairs. Jeremy Hunt: “ The way Britain reacts is not that we crumble or fold but actually you end up by invoking the Dunkirk spirit and we fight back. There comes a point where we say: ‘We’re not prepared to be pushed around. If you are not serious about a deal then we won’t be either’.” (Daily Telegraph, 30 September 2018, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/09/30/jeremy-hunt-warns-eu-bad-brexit-deal-will-stir-britains-dunkirk/, 17 March 2019). In the same speech Hunt equated the EU and the Soviet Union as a prison of nations; those that try to escape are punished. He was echoing the hysterical nonsense that some academices like Gwynthian Prins were peddling who actually wrote: “The EU is following the same path as its deceased sibling—the USSR” ( https://brexitcentral.com/eu-following-same-path-deceased-sibling-ussr/, 17 March 2019). David Hannan: “ No British government could go further to accommodate the EU. If Brussels holds out for more, dictating terms as if to a defeated enemy, a breakdown is inevitable.” (David Hannan, tweet, 29 July 2018). War metaphors are always crowd-pullers in England.
Those self-sufficient survivalists, hoarding and preparing for emergencies, are known as ‘preppers’. The term comes from groups in the USA that prepare for national or environmental emergencies and possible disruptions in political or social order.
Since participants in this conspiratorial group liked to order pizza for their meetings, it was called Pizza Group.
I prefer ‘Eurozone’ to the normal spelling ‘eurozone’. The Eurozone has all the making of assuming a role at least as crucial, if not far more important than today’s EU. If you write European Union, you should also capitalise Eurozone.
The EU Commission announced deficit proceedings against Italy on 21 November 2018.
Draft Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community. TF50 (2018) 55—Commission to EU27 (also known as the Withdrawal Agreement).
Some examples may suffice: “ The Parties will establish general principles, terms and conditions for the United Kingdom’s participation in Union programmes”; “The Parties should engage in dialogue and exchange in areas of shared interest, with a view to identifying opportunities to cooperate”; “The Parties agree to develop an ambitious, wide-ranging and balanced economic partnership”; “…promote regulatory approaches that are transparent, efficient, promote avoidance of unnecessary barriers to trade”, and “ …the Parties will put in place ambitious customs arrangements” etc. All this was cheap verbiage without any concrete meaning. It could be interpreted to mean whatever was convenient.
May reaffirmed her commitment given at the party conference to raise the budget of the NHS by £294 million a week. This pledge was all too obviously directed against those Brexiteers who had promised Brexit would set free £350 million a week which could be sent to finance the eternally ailing NHS. May did not answer the question where this substantial sum of money should come from.
The reaction of some prominent Brexiteers was revealing. David Davis castigated the Treasury: “ Treasury forecasts in the past have almost never been right and have more often been dramatically wrong.” He spoke of a “ propaganda onslaught”. Jacob Rees-Mogg disqualified Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, the country’s most respectable financial institution, as “ high priest of project fear whose reputation for inaccurate and politically motivated forecasting has damaged the reputation of the Bank of England.” ( https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/1051730/no-deal-brexit-news-jacob-rees-mogg-mark-carney-bank-of-england, 8 December 2018).
Preliminary figures for net immigration in 2018 are: EU 100,000, non-EU 250,000. The figures confirm that the quantitative problem is not the EU, but non-EU countries. They also confirm that 2015 was in every respect an exceptional year.
Glen Owen/Harry Cole: Back me or get Jeremy Corbyn and no Brexit: Theresa May warns against voting down deal - as she reveals how she keeps calm by eating Peanut Butter out of the jar and even has a ‘bloody difficult woman’ mug on her desk, Daily Mail, 9 December 2018 ( https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6475169/Theresa-Jeremy-Corbyn-No-Brexit.html, 9 December 2018).
The treaty text was made public on 14 November; the vote was scheduled for 11 December.
John Bercow had been a Conservative MP, but following convention he became officially neutral when elected Speaker of the House in 2009.
Daily Telegraph: The lady is for turning, 11 December 2018 ( https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/dec/11/what-fresh-brexit-hell-is-this-what-the-papers-say-about-mays-cancelled-vote, 28 January 2019). Margaret Thatcher: Speech at the Conservative party conference, Brighton, 10 October 1980: “ You turn if you want to. The lady’s not for turning.” ( https://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/104431, 16 January 2019).
The vote was 200 to 117. This was no overwhelming victory, but it meant that she could not be challenged for the party leadership for another year. Compared with the ballot of 2016 that elected her leader of the party, it was not much worse. Then 199 had voted for May, 130 against.
Boris Johnson commented this piece of news by asserting that he understood more about car making than the CEO of Jaguar/Rover Ralph Speth (unfortunately a German). Nick Ferrari: Interview with Boris Johnson, LBC 14 January 2019 ( https://www.lbc.co.uk/radio/presenters/nick-ferrari/boris-johnson-knows-more-than-jaguar-boss/, 14 January 2019).
A Parliamentary vote of no confidence has potentially much more serious consequences than the party vote of no confidence that May had survived back in December as it would allow the legislature to remove the government from office. The government would have to resign or call a general election once it was unable to retain the confidence of the majority of the House of Commons. This was precisely what Corbyn wanted: an early election and a Labour triumph that would make him Prime Minister.
After the 1918 criticism of the military leadership of the British expeditionary army in Flanders found expression in the words that the British soldiers had been lions led by donkeys. Alan Clark: The Donkeys, New York, Morrow (1961).
Daily Mail, 29 January 2019.
Letter of the Attorney General to the Prime Minister containing his Legal Opinion on Joint Instrument and Unilateral Declaration concerning the Withdrawal Agreement, 12 March 2019 ( https://de.scribd.com/document/401686634/Legal-Opinion-on-Joint-Instrument-and-Unilateral-Declaration-concerning-the-Withdrawal-Agreement, 2 April 2019).
Sarcastic commentators wrote: “ 15 April 1912, 23.35h: The crew of the Titanic votes not to change course, not to collide with the iceberg, not to wreck the ship, not to sink, and not to drown the passengers. It votes for the iceberg to get out of the way.”
Theresa May: Televised Address, 20 March 2019 ( https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-statement-on-brexit-20-march-2019, 2 April 2019).
Brendan O’Leary: How Theresa May’s Brexit Deal Collapsed. The Return of the Irish Question, Foreign Affairs, 25 May 2019 ( https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/ireland/2019-03-25/how-theresa-mays-brexit-deal-collapsed?utm_medium=newsletters&utm_source=fatoday&utm_content=20190403&utm_campaign=040319%20FA%20Today%20Europe%27s%20China%20Policy%2C%20A%20New%20Americanism%2C%20The%20Irish%20Question%20Returns&utm_term=FA%20Today%20-%20112017, 5 April 2019).
Nick Rowley: Why Brexit may see Australia’s special relationship with the UK go up in flames, ABC News, 9 April 20129 ( https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-10/brexit-and-australias-relationship-with-britain/10879914, 9 April 2019).
Jacob Rees-Mogg, Twitter, 5 April 2019.
The Conservative Party Conference is scheduled to be held in Manchester from 29 September to 2 October 2019.
On 11 April the British government announced that 6000 Civil Servants who had been recruited to prepare for the emergency of a no-deal would return to their normal duties. The costs for this emergency planning was estimated at around £1.5bn.
Abraham Lincoln, 16 June 1858 at the Capitol in Springfield, Illinois. He was of course inspired by the words of Jesus: ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.’ Matthew 12:25.
Theresa May used these words again in her presentation to Parliament on 11 April.
Tom Kibasi: The EU’s new October extension finishes off May and her deal, Guardian, 11 April 2019 ( https://www.theguardian.com/politics/commentisfree/2019/apr/11/the-eus-new-october-extension-finishes-off-may-and-her-deal, 12 April 2019).
Her resignation speech on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tY4ZY2HFnfA.
Turnout at the the European Elections in 2014 had been 36%—significantly lower then the EU28-average.
There are about 600,000 deaths annually in the UK. Since referendum day, around two million people have died.
May, T. (2015, August 29). A borderless EU harms everybody but the gangs that sell false dreams. The Sunday Times. Retrieved June 12, 2018, from https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/a-borderless-eu-harms-everyone-but-the-gangs-that-sell-false-dreams-nrqqz3hdzbb
May, T. (2016, April 25). Home Secretary’s speech on the UK, EU and our place in the world. GOV.UK, London. Retrieved June 13, 2018, from https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/home-secretarys-speech-on-the-uk-eu-and-our-place-in-the-world
May, T. (2016, June 15). BBC-interview with Laura Kuenssberg. Retrieved June 13, 2018, from http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36543472
Supreme Courts. (2017, January 24). Judgment R (on the Application of Miller and Another, Respondents) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union (Appellant). Retrieved January 26, 2018, from https://www.supremecourt.uk/cases/docs/uksc-2016-0196-judgment.pdf; The Guardian has a good and concise summary. Retrieved January 26, 2018, from https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jan/24/article-50-judgment-key-points-supreme-court-ruling
May, T. (2017, January 17). The Government’s Negotiating Objectives for Exiting the EU: PM Speech, Lancaster House. Retrieved January 19, 2018, from https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/the-governments-negotiating-objectives-for-exiting-the-eu-pm-speech
GOV.UK. (2017, March 29). The Prime Minister: The UK’s letter triggering Article 50, Facsimile. GOV.UK. Retrieved March 24. 2018, from http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-39431070
Article 50(2) TEU (n.d.)
Clegg, N. (2018, January 5). How to Stop Brexit (and Make Britain Great Again). London: Bodley Head (2017); Timothy Garton Ash: We can stop Brexit. But we’ll need some help from across the Channel. Guardian. Retrieved January 18, 2018, from https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jan/05/we-can-stop-brexit-politics-britain-eu
Department for Exiting the European Union. (2017, February 2). The United Kingdom’s exit from and new partnership with the European Union. White Paper. Retrieved March 19, 2018, from, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-united-kingdoms-exit-from-and-new-partnership-with-the-european-union-white-paper
Johnson, B. (2017, September 15). My vision for a bold, thriving Britain enabled by Brexit. Daily Telegraph. Retrieved September 15. 2018, from https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2017/09/15/boris-johnson-vision-bold-thriving-britain-enabled-brexit/
May, T. (2017, September 22). PM’s Florence Speech: A New Era of Cooperation and Partnership Between the UK and the EU, Florence. Retrieved September 16, 2018, from https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pms-florence-speech-a-new-era-of-cooperation-and-partnership-between-the-uk-and-the-eu
May, T. (2017, October 4). Theresa Mays Conservative Conference Speech 2017, Manchester. Retrieved July 22, 2018, from http://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-politics-41503214/in-full-theresa-may-s-conservative-conference-speech-2017
Elliot, F., & Coates, S. (2017, October 11). Philip Hammond refuses to budget for hard Brexit. The Times. Retrieved July 23, 2018, from https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/philip-hammond-refuses-to-budget-for-hard-brexit-d5lb2vqn3
Corbyn, J. (2018, February 26). Brexit Speech at Coventry University. Retrieved July 18, 2018, from https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/staggers/2018/02/jeremy-corbyn-s-coventry-speech-brexit-full
Joint Report from the Negotiators of the European Union and the United Kingdom Government on Progress During Phase 1 of Negotiations Under Article 50 TEU on the United Kingdom’s Orderly Withdrawal from the European Union. (2017, December 8). Retrieved December 10, 2017, from https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/joint_report.pdf
EU Commission. (2018, March 15). Draft Agreement on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community. Retrieved March 18, 2018, from https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/negotiation-agreements-atom-energy-15mar_en.pdf
May, T. (2018, March 2). PM Speech on Our Future Economic Partnership with the European Union. Retrieved March 4, 2018, from https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-speech-on-our-future-economic-partnership-with-the-european-union
The Future Relationship Between the United Kingdom and the European Union, London. (2018, July 12). Retrieved July 14, 2018, from https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/725288/ und https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-future-relationship-between-the-united-kingdom-and-the-european-union
Raab, D. (2018, July 12). Statement on the Future Relationship Between the United Kingdom and the European Union. Retrieved August 14, 2018, from https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/sos-dominic-raab-statement-on-the-future-relationship-between-the-united-kingdom-and-the-european-union-12-july-2018
Johnson, B., & Hunt, J. (2018, September 8). ‘It is a humiliation. We look like a seven-stone weakling being comically bent out of shape by a 500 lb gorilla.’ Boris Johnson’s blistering denunciation of our Brexit strategy… and his successor Jeremy Hunt’s defence. Mail Online. Retrieved September 14, 2018, from https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6146853/BORIS-JOHNSON-JEREMY-HUNT-debate-Chequers-deal.html
Johnson, B. (2018, October 15). The EU are treating us with naked contempt – we must abandon this surrender of our country. Telegraph. Retrieved October 24, 2018, from https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/10/14/remaining-eus-customs-union-would-disastrous-surrender-country/
BBC. (2018, September 10). Brexit Plan: 80 MPs Will Reject Chequers Deal, Says Ex-minister. Retrieved September 20, 2018, from https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-45468544; A few weeks later Baker attacked the CBI as ‘timid and relentlessly wrong’. These words and Johnson’s derogatory remark ‘fuck business’, endangered the essentially business-friendly stance of the Conservative party. Retrieved October 12, 2018, from https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/09/29/business-needs-alternative-timid-relentlessly-wrong-cbi/; https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-44618154; May refuted these statements in an elegant swipe during her speech at the party conference on October 3, 2018 in Birmingham: “ And to all businesses – large and small – you may have heard that there is a four-letter word to describe what we Conservatives want to do to you. It has a single syllable. It is of Anglo-Saxon derivation. It ends in the letter ‘K’. Back business!” Retrieved December 6, 2018, from https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2018/10/full-text-theresa-mays-conservative-conference-speech/; Retrieved September 21, 2018, from https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-44618154
Fox, B. (2018, July 22). Barnier gives tepid welcome to UK Brexit paper. euractiv. Retrieved August 15, 2018, from https://www.euractiv.com/section/uk-europe/news/barnier-gives-tepid-welcome-to-uk-brexit-paper/
UK Government. (2018, August 24). Guidance. UK Government’s Preparations for a ‘No Deal’ Scenario. Retrieved September 2, 2018, from https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-governments-preparations-for-a-no-deal-scenario/uk-governments-preparations-for-a-no-deal-scenario; UK government. How to Prepare if the UK Leaves the EU with No Deal. Guidance on How to Prepare for Brexit if There’s No Deal, 12 October 2018. Retrieved October 16, 2018, from https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/how-to-prepare-if-the-uk-leaves-the-eu-with-no-deal; The director of CBI Carolyn Fairbairn commented: “ These notices make clear firms would be hit with a sledgehammer in the event of ‘no deal’. They also illustrate the extent of the disruption consumers can expect if ideology wins over evidence. Commitments to continue regional funding and maintain high environmental standards are positive. However extra costs, duplication of certification and interruptions to data flows would damage the economy, with a knock-on impact for living standards.”
May, T. (2018, September 19). Keine Seite kann von der anderen völlig Inakzeptables verlangen. Die Welt. Retrieved September 20, 2018, from https://www.welt.de/debatte/kommentare/article181577710/Gastbeitrag-Theresa-May-Keine-Seite-kann-von-der-anderen-voellig-Inakzeptables-verlangen.html
May, T. (2018, September 21). TV Address to the British People. Retrieved September 22, 2018, from https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-09-21/full-text-of-theresa-may-s-statement-on-brexit-negotiations and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMFBYYsZZz4
Der Spiegel. (2018, September 22). Tusk witzelt über May – und erzürnt britischen Außenminister. Retrieved September 23, 2018, from http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/donald-tusk-witzelt-ueber-theresa-may-britischer-aussenminister-ist-wuetend-a-1229555.html
Economists for Free Trade. (2018, September). A World Trade Deal. The Complete Guide. Retrieved October 2, 2018, from https://www.economistsforfreetrade.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/A-World-Trade-Deal-The-Complete-Guide-Final-Upload.pdf; Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA). Plan A+: Creating a prosperous post-Brexit UK. Retrieved October 4, 2018, from https://iea.org.uk/publications/plan-a-creating-a-prosperous-post-brexit-uk/. The first paper insinuates that the Commission might knowingly break international law and wriggle out of contractual obligations in order to discriminate against the United Kingdom and punish it for leaving. The second paper has been taken off the Internet (2018, December 8).
Grieve, D. (2018, September 20). The time has come for a polite rebellion by pragmatic Conservatives – Back a new referendum. The Telegraph. Retrieved October 12, 2018, from https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/09/29/time-has-come-polite-rebellion-pragmatic-conservatives-back/
May, T. (2018, October 4). Conservative Party Conference Speech. Retrieved October 10, 2018, from https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/10/03/theresa-mays-conservative-party-conference-speech-full-transcript/
Open Europe. (2018, October 15). No Deal: The Economic Consequences and How They Could Be Mitigated. Retrieved October 24, 2018, from https://openeurope.org.uk/intelligence/britain-and-the-eu/no-deal-the-economic-consequences-and-how-they-could-be-mitigated/. The UK in a Changing Europe. (2018, September 3). Cost of no deal revisited. Retrieved October 24, 2018, from http://ukandeu.ac.uk/research-papers/cost-of-no-deal-revisited/
Economist. (2019, January 28). Theresa May Has Lost Control of Brexit. Parliament Must Take Over. Retrieved January 28, 2019, from https://www.economist.com/britain/2019/01/27/theresa-may-has-lost-control-of-brexit-parliament-must-take-over
Raab, D. (2018, 15 November). Letter of Resignation to Prime Minister Theresa May. Facsimile. Retrieved December 8, 2018, from https://twitter.com/DominicRaab/status/1062992019449098241/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dw.com%2Fen%2Fuk-brexit-minister-dominic-raab-and-others-resign-over-exit-deal%2Fa-46301484
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- Brexit Means Brexit: Squaring the Circle
Rudolf G. Adam
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