What rules the UK will take will determine degree of Single Market access. Is it that simple?

I’m struggling to find the flaw in Ian’s reasoning here (perhaps our pro Brexit regulars can help me?):

…even if somehow Angela Merkel were scared that the German economy could be crippled by, er, not being able to export freely to a smaller country like the UK, she cannot intervene to offer the UK a special deal. No one can.

Let us repeat: the EU is the Single Market and the Single Market is the EU. Let us also repeat: the Single Market is a market of rules. This is the fundamental point David Davis has failed to grasp.

For that reason, participation in the Single Market by any non-EU State is determined by which rules that State is willing to adopt. And that is the end of it. (Norway adopts nearly all of them, for example; Moldova just a few.)

David Davis therefore still hasn’t grasped that this negotiation is not “We give a bit, you give a bit”. It is essentially “Here are the rules of the Single Market; tell us which ones you no longer wish to apply and that will determine your level of participation in it.”

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

  • Jane

    Ok. You want some questions.

    1. What is the single market?
    The extract you quote gives the impression that is a protectionist trading group, that doesn’t trade with any countries outside. Is that the case? no. There are countries outside the EU who export more to the EU than the UK does.

    2. Obviously when I say it is protectionist, you will say it is not. But it has standards for products. If a country has a product that meets those standards can it sell that product in the single market?
    The answer is yes. Will tariffs be applied? that depends on the product, the country, etc.

    3. What is David Davies arguing for? he wants an FTA with EU. Is that unreasonable? not really. The EU is an export dependent economy, though most of those exports are to countries within the EU, once the UK leaves the EU internal market will shrink. So to keep up the same level of exports the countries within the EU will have to increase their internal exports, or find other countries outside the EU to sell to instead.

    4. These quotes are talking as if Davies wants to stay a member of the single market, which the UK doesn’t want to. It just wants to continue trading. Given that we know the the EU is an export dependent economy then is it reasonable to refuse to negotiate a trade deal?

    The answer to that question seems to depend more on how emotionally “wounded” someone is than on the usefulness of a trade deal.

    5. Moving on. What parts of the single market rules need to be applied by third countries trading with EU? surely only the rules on product related regulation. All the others apply only to members.

    6. What is participation in the single market? again this question makes it appear as if it is a protectionist trade bloc. Is it? If not then there is a question about the difference between close neighbours, who are not within the EU, who are often small countries, who have chosen to “participate” by joining EEA, or whatever. Is the UK a small country? no. Does the UK import a lot from EU countries? yes.

    7. Is that 27 noses I see on the ground, after brexit negotiations have ended? most likely if the debate continues at this low level.

  • Food First

    This is Rubbish Germany & it’s poodle France run the E U main danger is Frau Merkel is struggling to form a government & has gone strangely quite

  • Zig70

    Greece and Ireland seemed to find that Germany made up the rules as they went along. That is why they have a parliament. So they can change them.

  • aquifer

    NI should remain within the single market, end of. It is within the powers of the UK parliament to vary tax and customs rates in its territories, with say, a monthly adjustment payment to cover goods shipped between NI and GB.

    If GB want to gobble chlorinated chicken we should not have to.

  • Neiltoo

    Well, yes, but correct me if I’m wrong, the UK aren’t allowed to talk about trade until they’ve agreed to everything else the EU wants first!
    The EU just needs to push a bit harder and there will be no deal at all, which I can only assume is what they want.

    Walter Ellis has some good ideas here:
    https://reaction.life/modest-proposal-irish-border/

  • WindsorRocker

    The more comprehensive the free trade deal the more comprehensive the convergence in regulations, standards and movement of labour.
    I read that essentially global trade is dictated (due to their size) by the standards and regulations of the US, China and EU. If you want to have any global presence as an exporter you have to adhere to those three.
    Modi, the Indian PM, responding to questions about an India/UK FTA in the event of Brexit said the UK would have to relax its visa requirements for that to happen. So even bilateral FTA’s include free movement of labour in the mix to some degree as well as regulations and standards.
    The “have your cake and eat it mentality” at DEXEU is alive and well and we are fast approaching the time when reality will eventually hit home with Davis et al.

  • patrick

    Its not that simple. There are two issues here:

    1. The single market is a exceptional way of trading between countries. Trade is completely free, without any checks at the borders. The EU countries allow this free trade among themselves because of two things: a. The rules are the same in the EU, and b. If a company breaks the rules, there is a direct legal way (safeguarded by the EJC) to correct that. So if a country is not in the single market, it means that at least border checks are necessary.

    2. Even if a third country (like the UK will become) has the same rules, and accepts the EJC it is still not a member of the single market. For that the rest of the club (the EU) has to accept that. They will only accept if a. the Four Freedoms (free movement of people, goods, capital and services) are accepted, as well as substantial contributions are made to the EU budget (about 1% of GDP).

    If you don’t want to do the things listed in 2, you are out of the single market, and there are trade barriers. With an FTA these can be lowered somewhat.

  • runnymede

    Well said Jane. I’m afraid Ian’s comments are both simplistic and dogmatic.

    The US exported more goods to the EU than the UK did last year, Japan not a vast amount less. Neither country is in the single market.

    For most manufactured goods it is in fact not very difficult to market your products in the single market, getting a CE mark is fairly straightforward with many firms able to self-certify. The Remainer claims about customs officials poring over every consignment are pure hot air. That simply doesn’t happen.

    There are sectors where things are more complex. By far and away the most complexity is in agriculture where there are certainly very serious barriers to trade in some – mostly animal-derived – products.

    But in the big scheme of things, animal exports are small beer for all the countries concerned. The ‘border problem’ is, as I have written before, a regional and sectoral one, not an existential threat to all commerce. It can be solved with appropriate dollops of cash.

    Unfortunately the EU and the Irish government are trying to use it, including with veiled threats of violence, to box the UK into (effectively) continued EU membership.

  • Salmondnet

    The straightforward answer is none. We will export to the EU like any other non-EU country. Applying like for like principles to any EU barriers. If that means negotiations are pointless (and I rather think it does) we should now walk away.

  • Aurozeno

    UK had a great trade agreement with the EU and it decided to leave, it can join the list of countries that trade outside a trading block and solely now trade on WTO terms , that list comprises of one other country , Mauritania ….. a FTA is really a misnomer, its not free trade at all , just a binding agreement after many years of negotiation to allow certain trade between two partners of certain things with mutual interest where the other party has an advantage , over time this agreement can be enlarged , or not ….. It is certainly not in the EU’s interest to have any deal with the UK after Brexit , anything that the UK currently exports to the EU can easily be recreated within the EU boosting jobs and productivity, when a vacuum is created business will quickly fill it .

  • hgreen

    You forgot about the 4 freedoms.

  • hgreen

    The EU and most other sane people want the UK to remain in the customs union. The Tories beholden to the extreme right of the party and the DUP can’t agree to this obvious solution.

  • Jane

    That can work both ways. It would be very beneficial for the UK to produce more of the things it currently imports. Goodbye then, have fun with Mr Juncker, been nice knowing you.

  • Aurozeno

    With the UK’s current productivity levels it still would be cheaper on most levels to pay the Tariff and buy imported goods , my prediction would be that the pound is so low that imports would be cost prohibitive anyway and that the UK market lost to us .

  • Ciaran74

    This is about detail guys. Less detail and quick agreement within the two years suits the U.K. so it can be taken advantage of after is the EU concern. Britain does detail when it concerns it. Why not now?

    The EU and Ireland are exercising their rights to protecting their economies from a country that is showing a high degree of irrational behaviour. You’d do the same yourself.

  • Ciaran74

    Th UK is leaving the EU. The time to remain is well beyond us now. Anyone promoting a plan to stop it is foolish or devoid of what they want by leaving.

    The UK inflated the issue by a complete divorce and find themselves unable to cope with the volume in the timeframe.

    The Irish Govt’s approach is refreshing and timely. It forces the extraction of detail and conclusions. It’s a pity May and the Tories don’t have the leadership courage and the DUP the sense.

  • Neiltoo

    It is only an obvious solution if you ignore why many people wanted to leave the EU in the first place. The EUs ability to negotiate trade deals is woeful, the length of time they take is staggering and the amount of consultation is elephantine.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    yes that sounds about right.

  • Georgie Best

    The Single Market is of great advantage to business and very much a British innovation to meet their needs.

    As Thatcher made clear

    http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/107219

    There are entire classes of economic activity that exist between the UK and the EU that do not exist between the UK and US, and never will. The removal of these from the UK cannot be progress.

  • Georgie Best

    The British approach reminds me of old joke about the ship demanding that the lighthouse give way.

  • Georgie Best

    The British better sort out things quickly so that they can get started on negotiations then.

  • Brian Walker

    Mick, There is a simple answer that may or may not turn out to apply. The EU is currently presenting as a negotiating monolith. It isn’t and never has been. Naturally David Davis understands the issues but he is playing the weaker hand, indeed trying to exploit it. Now I have to admit we may be reaching a crunch phase ( see later post). But a “crunch” is an onamatopeic word which means bits flake off under pressure. I agree the pressure is on the Brits. But in the whole business, Brexit is new territory and we can’t make any solid assumptions

  • Korhomme

    why many people wanted to leave the EU in the first place

    Why did a small majority want to leave? What were they told, and what relation to truth is there?

    Or was it a case of blaming the EU for the ills of the country, when the problem was not in our stars, but in ourselves?

    And those prominent Leavers and vulture capitalists; what do they really want? Singapore on Thames, no/little regulation of business, low tax, abolition of workers’ rights, small state, less public services, and the further enrichment of the 1%?

  • Jane

    There was a surprise increase in productivity increase in the most recent Labour market stats. Which is good news. Problem is that freedom of movement has made it too easy for employers to rely on low wage workers rather than invest. I saw an interesting figures on robots, and we have far less per head of population than Germany and France, I think it was.

    I’m sorry, but we could not have solved the problem within the EU. It’s rule book is too inflexible, and our political class is too sold on a cosmopolitan utopian vision that works nicely for them, but badly for everyone else.

    Quite a bit of reshoring going on now, and manufacturing has been growing for 6 months, and will continue in October.

    Remainers are just self absorbed foots, it’s too late to stop now…………as the great man said.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    “Who will not answer to the rudder, will answer to the rock” in March 2018. I just wish I was not in steerage……..

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Have you tried to negotiate a trade deal for a country Neiltoo?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    “It would be very beneficial for the UK to produce more of the things it currently imports.”

    But at what cost? Its not as simple as that, as we are still going to be paying for raw materials which we simply cannot produce. And adding first world labour costs. You may be enjoying the inflation of the weekly food shop, but some of us aren’t.

  • Angry Mob

    This is the flaw:
    “Let us repeat: the EU is the Single Market and the Single Market is the EU.”

    This is absolutely fundamentally wrong and its a bit ironic to accuse Davis of not knowing the basics about the EU (although true) to then make this mistake.

    Let us repeat: the single market is the EEA which is comprised of the EU and EFTA pillars.

    Better summation: https://independentbritain.wordpress.com/2016/06/01/the-eu-is-not-the-single-market/

    The worst aspect of this misconception is that remainers play right into the hard leavers hand; ruling out the best option for leaving the EU.

  • Jane

    The pound was too high, mainly because of the size of the financial sector. Though inflation at 3% isn’t good, it’s been higher. Everything economics related is subject to a costs benefits analysis, there is nothing that happens that doesn’t have some cost. It’s a question of balance.

    There has been quite a bit of reshoring of manufacturing recently, as companies want a more flexible supply chain. On raw materials, the costs fluctuate for many different reasons.

    Brexit seems to have created a lot of “economic virgins”, which has the strange effect of bringing people who seem to think that inflation has never been this high before, and as if the economy road has always been so smooth, until now, suddenly every problem is caused by brexit.

    Quite bizarre.

  • NewerSouthernMan

    The author is 100% correct – there will be no special deal for the UK.

    Brexit must be a failure, otherwise the EU will not survive.

    If that means sacrificing some German jobs at BMW, that is a price Germany and Europe is willing to pay.

    The British have no cards to play and even if they did, they only have clowns like Davis, Boris and May to play them.

  • Neiltoo

    That’s not worthy of you SeaanUiNeill.

    Is this where I should trawl through all of your posts and highlight where you have expressed opinions on things that you might not have direct experience of?

    Does one have to have negotiated a trade deal to express the opinion that negotiating a deal between 2 sovereign states is a great deal easier and quicker than between one state and 27 separate states in a union where they all have differing opinions on trade?

  • Neiltoo

    Are those rhetorical questions? I only ask because you seem to have made your mind up about the answers and therefore I would assume that you aren’t really interested in my opinions.

  • NewerSouthernMan

    Another Brexiteer fantasy – surely the EU will collapse and divide with each country looking out for themselves.

    Right up there with:

    * The EU doesn’t care about Ireland.

    * The UK buys xxxxx cars from Germany will give us a good deal.

    * £350M for NHS each week.

    When will pro -Brexit people finally realize they have been conned?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Jane, as someone who survived the inflation of the 1970s I know just how bad it can get. Regarding manufacturing since Thatcher destroyed our manufacturing base, we are in a very weak position and yes, while not every problem is caused by the exit strategy, the loss of preferential contact with Europe will decimate our financial services and the new trade deals will lack the strength of the EU trading position.

    I have as yet to be told a fairy story about exit which has even a modicum of credibility. The boats holed below the waterline and no amount of fantasy will stop it sinking.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Probably because the answers are self evident.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    A lot of what I talk about I have experience of, or if not I take some trouble to evaluate things in an informed way. I’ve been following the trade negotiations between the EU and North America and they hardly appear to be making too bad a job of it, certainly a better job than our inexperienced negotiators will inevitably be found to make negotiating with the US without a major trading block at their back. While you may Imagine all countries are somehow equal in negotiations, quite a few are self evidently going to be simply more equal than others.

  • Karl

    The EU said there would be no bespoke deal for the UK.
    The UK thought this was a pre negotiation stance.
    The UK found out it wasnt.
    The UK are trying to decide what they want and what they’re willing to pay for it 10 months into negotiations.
    And this is before they even close phase 1.

  • Neiltoo

    Well if all the answers are self evident then there is no point in discussion.

  • lizmcneill

    How do you think a USA/UK trade deal will go, for example? Quick and easy…for the USA.

  • lizmcneill

    Does this have any relevance to the Northern Irish economy? What happens to our agrifood industry?

  • Neiltoo

    A lot of what I talk about I have experience of, or if not I take some trouble to evaluate things in an informed way

    By which I assume you mean that I don’t.

    Why would I imagine that all countries are ‘somehow equal’ in negotiations and even if I did what does that have to do with my point?

  • lizmcneill

    Agrifood is not small beer to the NI economy.

    How are these “dollops of cash” going to solve the problems for border communities of a hard border, and where are they going to come from? Are you planning to pay us for our time every time we get pulled over crossing the border?

  • Korhomme

    In the sense that I don’t expect any reasoned response, then they are rhetorical.

    Can any Leaver give sensible answers to these questions? I don’t want to hear about ‘sunny uplands’ or ‘unicorns’.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    No, I’m not suggesting that you don’t evaluate things, only that your characterisation of my not having experience of things is rather inaccurate. But…….if the cap fits….

    And I’m making a point about just why Europe might be in a rather better position in trade negotiations than the UK. Having looked at some of the EU trade deals recently, out of curiosity, I notice that scale frequently plays s major role in leading the terms which are set. The apparent ease of one to one negotiations which you claim is a logical fallacy. They might be faster, but only at the expense of rather more punitive terms against the UK! Another issue you do
    not appear to have considered is that our ability to negotiate such things has atrophied after 40 years of not having to negotiate trade directly, as the current horlicks which our people are making of negotiations with the EU eloquently testifies. You appear to be indulging in wishful thinking.

  • Korhomme

    Brexit, we were told, is about ‘taking back control’, including control of the borders. Except the UK/EU land border which all want to remain open.

    It was about £350m, something that rapidly disappeared.

    David Davis before the referendum talked of going to Berlin to do a trade deal if there was a Leave vote; and when there was, soon after [former disgraced defence minister] Liam Fox got the job. We were told that deals with the EU would be the easiest thing ever. None of those involved seem to have realised that a member of the EU cannot do deals on the side; Dr Fox has a job which it is impossible for him to do.

    Further, David Davis has made a “concession” on the rights of EU citizens in the UK. After Brexit day, they will be able to vote in local elections. This is an unusual “concession” as they can vote in these elections at present. Either Davis wanted to remove this from them, or he wasn’t aware of their present rights.

    The UK government wants the Irish border to remain as it is, even when the UK leaves the single market; the DUP refused the Irish Sea border option, or the ‘Isle of Man’ option. The requirement is for an impossibility.

    There are around 100 agencies of the EU; the medicines agency, which is located in London, will have to move. The UK will have to replicate all of these agencies. The medicines agency is responsible for the safety of new drugs; NICE tells physicians what drugs to use in particular circumstances.

    No leaver seems ever to have heard of the Codex Alimentarius.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    You have noticed that the good ideas Walter is having are reasonably close to the EU recommendations Nt?

  • Korhomme

    Self-evident perhaps; but Leavers always seem to talk in airy terms. I am more and more convinced that many of them simply don’t understand what the EU does and what leaving it really means. David Davis, from his past utterances, certainly had considerable gaps in his understanding.

    I look forward to a psychological assessment of Leavers’ thinking and motivations.

  • Korhomme

    And the UK will have to bow to pressure, and will be shafted.

    Enjoy your poulet à la chlorine.

  • Korhomme

    Why do you assume that the EU is pushing for ‘no deal’? In what way would that benefit them?

  • Neiltoo

    That’s the most arrogant comment I’ve read here yet.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I entirely agree with your point that the appear to think in very broad generalisations and clearly do not appear to understand what the EU actually does. I cannot get that image of the scenes of a deflating run away barrage balloon from the film”Hope and Glory” out of my head as I read such comments.

    I really would need to do some work for a proper assessment, but again, the phrase “psychological projection” just keeps coming up in my mind.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    But fair…

  • Korhomme

    Why? What’s so arrogant about wanting to be informed, yet being palmed off with platitudes all the time?

  • lizmcneill

    Not to mention what will happen to the NHS.

  • Korhomme

    It will be privatised. Jeremy Hunt was the co-author of a pamphlet about a decade ago arguing for privatisation. With privatisation will come the overheads of administration; you can expect further reductions in services which are offered, increases in management/admin staff. Medics and nurses may vote with their feet to leave; those from the EU are likely to return home, and few will want to come here. Staff from further abroad will look at the exchange rate and wonder. [No Leaver ever asks why the NHS is so reliant on staff from abroad; they don’t ask who has paid the cost of their training; they don’t ask why the UK isn’t self-sufficient.]

  • Jane

    I am just not persuaded that the EU is the benign economic force that many of it’s supporters think it is. There are loads of issues about the eurozone. Banks in Italy, and Germany, aren’t in particularly good shape. EU companies are dependent on London’s financial sector, as an investment banker, and the cost of changing that will be very high.

    I suspect we will leave with no deal, because of wounded pride, but a deal will emerge quite soon afterwards, quietly, in a face saving sort of way.

    The EU seems to be working now purely in it’s own interests, and it is now confronted with an event that threatens it’s interests, and is trying to solve the problem in the same way it dealt with Greece, and it is not going to work.

    It is too inflexible, and inward looking, now, for the modern world. I can see why they are scared of the UK leaving, but their approach is likely to have the opposite effect to what they intend. Trying to frighten other members into staying is the wrong thing, it will undermine them more than they realise.

  • Korhomme

    Food inflation? Wasn’t it Grayling who told us that the UK will just grow more food. Just like that. Apart from problems with the climate, the soil isn’t that great on the ‘sunny uplands’. Perhaps it will simply be more spuds and turnips, forget the continental stuff.

  • Korhomme

    Remainers won’t disagree with the premise that the EU has problems that need sorting. But the UK can’t do much as a third country, on the outside.

  • William Kinmont

    It’s small beer to those drinking fine wine at the negotiating table. A collapse in NI agrifood does the farmers of GB Ireland or France no harm at all.

  • Aurozeno

    Yes Its bizzare , but this is a completely different economic world from the 1980’s , economics today are instant and unforgiving and there is nowhere to hide once weakness is detected. Your currency value is how the economic world see your prospects and how the world sees your future success in the highly competitive arena of world business and trade . Your currency has dropped massively , but your exports have not responded accordingly, which means to me that your role is being filled by others already… you can take your 3% inflation and throw it out of the window, its probably more like 5.5% once the ONS has been slapped around a little and have been forced to tell it how it is . Your government is not telling you the truth when it comes to how bad it is and how bad it will get …. Statistics for NI are lumped in to UK figures as an average , I will give you a challenge to come up with the unemployment figures for Northern Ireland ( I will give you a clue , look at DLA figures as a percentage of NI and England )….. to sum up , the British have thrown a blanket over Northern Ireland to cover up their failure and or their total disregard for the people , they have been quite content all these years to ride the coat tails of the EU with a low wage, retail economy, content in the fact that they reside within the biggest trading bloc in the world … that protection is about to be removed …..and I firmly believe that the UK economy will be exposed for exactly what it is .

  • Aurozeno

    Dollops of cash ? once you are on WTO you cannot subsidise any agriculture or manufacturing products , you will be slaves to WTO rules , you will need a WTO schedule to export or import anything , and as things stand you will lose a lot more than you will gain , the Irish border will be the least of your concerns

  • Jane

    Yes, UK has tried to turn itself into a low wage economy, which, given the high cost of most things, and the lack of land, was probably the most incompetent economic model ever adopted.

    But what was anyone supposed to do? they had to be stopped.

  • Reader

    Korhomme: Enjoy your poulet à la chlorine.
    You won’t notice the difference.
    http://theconversation.com/chlorine-washed-chicken-qanda-food-safety-expert-explains-why-us-poultry-is-banned-in-the-eu-81921
    “The EU ban is more precautionary than evidence based. “

  • Reader

    Korhomme: Why do you assume that the EU is pushing for ‘no deal’? In what way would that benefit them?
    “It”, not “Them”. The EU has corporate interests that are different from the interests of the EU27.
    The EU benefits from punishing rebellion. The EU27 benefit from the maximum possible amount of trade with a net purchaser.

  • NotNowJohnny

    It’s neither the ease or the swiftness that count. It’s how good the deal is. The question is therefore one of whether negotiating a deal between the uk and another sovereign state will deliver a better deal for the uk than the EU already does. Negotiating a less advantageous deal swiftly doesn’t make it a good trade deal.

  • Korhomme

    Reader, poulet à la chlorine is shorthand; I don’t like the lack of animal welfare standards in the US; nor their use of antibiotics and hormones as ‘growth enhancers’, nor the idea of ‘corn-fed’.

    I’d seen the article you reference. I still prefer the EU’s ‘philosophy’ towards food production.

  • Korhomme

    There are always ‘elites’ or an ‘establishment’. I prefer the EU’s unelected bureaucrats to Murdoch, Dacre and the Barclay brothers.

    No deal is likely to harm the EU as a whole, starting with Ireland. In this, the EU seems to be acting as ‘on for all and all for one’.

    The EU doen’t want fragmentation, to see GB getting a better deal outside — something that Davis et al seem to think is possible.

  • Joe Thorpe

    No it shouldn’t. The UK has said it won’t erect any physical border and that is a fact. The Irish will be the ones imposing a physical border not the UK. Ireland has no autonomy on the matter it gets its instructions from the EU. Regarding US Chicken their food safety standards are higher than those of the EU & they have a much lower incidence of Salmonella, the secret is labeling so long as all produce is clearly marked so consumers have a choice there is no issue & a question you might ask yourself, when you are in America do you go vegetarian? The place I have visited most in America is Florida & have to say they have the best Beef, Chicken & Ham I have eaten anywhere in the world & portions as evidenced by the size of people are quite extraordinary & delivered at prices we in Ireland could only dream of. No one has or will force you to eat anything it is only a short while ago that Supervalue & Dunnes were selling their Potatoes & Carrots covered in soil times change & for the better

  • mickfealty

    It will cut like a knife through mid Ulster, RHI boilers or not.

  • mickfealty

    Blog post in that K?

  • Joe Thorpe

    Or we could simply import from vastly cheaper jurisdictions, the UK gets it’s goods with money spare to spend on other consumables while the EU simply loses a market to export its goods

  • Korhomme

    Back to poulet. I remember when chicken was a luxury, when beef was relatively cheap. Then, when you got a chicken, it had to be plucked and cleaned out. I find it hard not to wash a chicken today, even if I know about Campylobacter spp. Today, chicken is a (relatively) cheap staple, comes prepared — and sometimes in bags ready for roasting. Then chickens were ‘boilers’ — when did you last see a boiling chicken? Egg shells are squeak clean, no longer covered in yuk. These advances, if they are advances, came originally from the US, the home of ‘battery’ chickens. Remember the rows about battery production and the rise of organic farming?

    I wouldn’t be averse to chicken raised to EU welfare standards and then washed in chlorine if it meant that I could rinse it out under the tap. What I don’t want is chicken raised in unhygienic conditions which then must be chlorine washed to make it fit for human consumption.

  • Korhomme

    I’ll have a think.

  • Joe Thorpe

    Utter Rubbish, I survived the 70’s too & manufacturing was wrecked by the Trotsky Unions, we couldn’t buy coffee, we couldn’t buy bread those that wanted to work could only work 3 days. We had to go to bed before it got dark because we had no power. Rubbish wasn’t collected you couldn’t get from A to B the trains were on strike & you couldn’t buy Petrol & if that wasn’t bad enough if that lot killed you you couldn’t get buried. That wasn’t Thatcher that was the likes of Scargill Red Robbo & the countless other Labour backing unions

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Sadly we will have to disagree on placing the blame entirely on those “wicked leftists” Joseph. Thatcher solved all that by making the nasty heavy industries and resource industries such as mining all go away. My wife facetiously suggests that she could not have done a better job of destroying the resources of the UK had she been a Kremlin sleeper Manchurian candidate.

    The reality remains, pretty much all we have to offer the world is our financial services sector, something entirely dependant on It’s liminal role in brokering the world to the EU and vice versa.

  • Lagos1

    Is it acting as “one for all and all for one”? I don’t see there being much interest in Ireland beyond offering negotiating leverage on the UK. If there were, there would be far more interest in a trade agreement.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    In common with most of those supporting exit, you appear not to have taken the trouble to assess what the EU actually contributes to our economy. It is like those people who imagine the current state of affairs is just the way things are, and exit will somehow improve on this. The reality is that virtually every serious trading business in the UK will loose out and it is of interest that even the most committed exit advocates such as John Redwood has had to advise investment outside of an exit UK in his role as an advisor for Charles Stanley. You can fantasise on your own behalf but we will all have to suffer collectively.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    The EU is far from perfect, but it is important to actually look at what it does and not to simply load all the ills of Globalisation onto its back. Seriously, if you begin to look at global trade negotiation in real detail all the rhetoric of the exit lobby starts to look very threadbare. It is always a matter of scale and the muscle this offers. The UK alone is a very weak player who can be outbid by almost every other first world player.

  • Korhomme

    The trade agreement is determine by what happens at the border, and to some extent, vice-versa. The GB position is contradictory, an open border but with NI outside the SM and CU. As it is GB who is leaving, it’s up to GB to determine what happens at the border; the EU ought not to have to do their thinking for them. And GB wanting to ‘progress’ talks to a trade agreement suggests that they want this problem brushed under the carpet in the hope that it will simply go away.

  • Lagos1

    The GB position is contradictory, an open border but with NI outside the SM and CU.

    Where is the contradiction? Application of tariffs and verification of standards doesn’t have to physically occur at the border.

    As it is GB who is leaving, it’s up to GB to determine what happens at the border;

    No, its up to the UK to decide what happens on their side of the border and the EU to decide on their side. However, as you say in your opening sentence, what actually happens, will be dependent on the trade agreement. The point that the UK has made from day 1.

    the EU ought not to have to do their thinking for them

    Its clear that the UK has thought about it and has decided that it is happy to tolerate a leaky border. This makes it really easy for the UK. The border is actually the EU’s problem because it is not so tolerant. So why should the UK do the thinking for the EU?

    And GB wanting to ‘progress’ talks to a trade agreement suggests that
    they want this problem brushed under the carpet in the hope that it will
    simply go away.

    To be honest, I am surprised that the UK has been so polite for so long over this issue. It is an EU issue that the UK has been far more engaged with regarding ideas than either the Republic or the EU. They have also been pointing out what is totally obvious to all that the discussion reaches a dead end until trade is discussed. The EU is simply using it as bargaining position and now that they smell UK money, Leo is getting nervous because he realises that the EU will throw Ireland under the bus once they get their money.

  • Korhomme

    Both sides have the problem of NI as a ‘backdoor’ if NI is outside the SM and CU. For the EU, there is the poulet à la chlorine entering the EU; for GB, there are the ‘hordes’ of foreigners entering GB if there are no controls. Neither side wants a ‘hard’ border, and GB won’t accept an Irish sea border. Unless NI somehow remains in the SM, the problem is insoluble; it might mean the Irish Sea border; it could mean the Isle of Man solution; but the DUP, whose support the government requires will veto both (but not provide any workable solutions).

    If GB has been so engaged with the border, why was it unrecognised before the referendum (other than on Slugger, and where NI commentators tried to raise in on English blogs)? Davis, AFAIK, hasn’t been to look at the border; Barnier has.

    Davis said that he wouldn’t agree to the three points that the EU wanted to discuss first; and then he capitulated. Fox said that a trad deal would be the easiest thing ever. But yes, as you say, there is no movement on the border, the discussions come to an end, and the UK goes over a cliff.

    Davis recently announced a “concession” on the rights of EU citizens in the UK after Brexit. They would be allowed to vote in local elections. They have this right at present. Either Davis didn’t know this, or he did, and was intending to remove this right from settled citizens. That doesn’t give me much confidence in his abilities, neither does the description “thick as mince, lazy as a toad”.

  • Lagos1

    For the EU, there is the poulet à la chlorine entering the EU

    Not a huge issue so long as supermarkets and their like are held responsible for monitoring their suppliers and ensuring quality. They already do this. Anyway, this is primarily a problem for the EU. Of course, the UK might negotiate its willingness to fix standards as part of trade negotiations. But the EU won’t discuss this.

    for GB, there are the ‘hordes’ of foreigners entering GB if there are no controls.

    So long as Ireland is outside Schengen, there are controls. The problem of uncontrolled migration is greatest at Dover. The UK knows this. Therefore this is not a problem for the UK.

    the problem is insoluble;

    Again, for the UK there isn’t a problem. And frankly the problem for Ireland is only as a consequence of EU protectionism. The South should be looking for special status for itself within the EU rather than looking for it to be applied to the North.

    If GB has been so engaged with the border, why was it unrecognised before the referendum

    Was it unrecognised? I don’t think so. Furthermore, we had to wait for ages to get anything out of the EU in terms of a position paper. Long after the UK published its own. And the EU paper seems to essentially be little better than a copy and paste from wikipedia entry on the Good Friday Agreement.

    Anyway, as I say. The border is not a big problem for the UK. If Ireland and the EU does not want a Free Trade Agreement then the UK can’t force it.

    Davis, AFAIK, hasn’t been to look at the border; Barnier has

    Barnier walked down a road and across a field. Big deal.

    But yes, as you say, there is no movement on the border, the discussions come to an end, and the UK goes over a cliff.

    What is it that you expect the UK to say further on the subject? As for the cliff edge, I would be more worried for the South. Leo is panicking now because he realises that once the EU decides they can’t squeeze more money out of the UK upfront then they will move onto phase 2 and Barnier’s walk down the road will become a distant memory.

    They would be allowed to vote in local elections. They have this right at present.

    The question is whether they will have the right after Brexit. Not all foreigners have this right. For example, US citizens cannot vote in local elections. Why do you assume that French citizens would necessarily maintain this right after Brexit?

  • scepticacademic

    Surely one possibility is that without the protection of the EU CAP it withers in the face of competition against cheaper food imports from non-EU food exporting behemoths like Brazil, USA and Australia/NZ?

  • scepticacademic

    One point that seems to be overlooked in discussions about a future UK-EU FTA: the price for the UK is going to be adherence to a lot of the rules and restrictions that Leavers were arguing we would be ‘free’ from after Brexit. Eg. State aid rules, product standards, third country regs, etc.

  • Korhomme

    Do you wholly trust supermarkets who would try to sell you horse-meat disguised as something else?

    EU citizens can move to the Republic without a problem; Schengen isn’t relevant. In future, if there is a hard Brexit, they will be able to travel via the CTA to GB without hindrance.

    Trade agreements between GB and the EU are also determined by GB’s future status; GB cannot progress to trade without some clarity about where they expect to be in future.

    We await the 58 papers from the GB government; firstly, they weren’t going to let us plebs see them, then when they were obliged to divulge them, we found that they barely existed, and that three weeks would be needed to make them available. That doesn’t suggest a government that is on top of things.

    As for the money, if you have agreed future payments, if you have agreed staff costs including their pensions, then you ought to be expected to honour such commitments. If you don’t honour them, or try to weasel out, you merely reinforce the ‘Perfidious Albion’ image. And if you are in default, then raising future capital might well be difficult.

    EU citizens were expecting, were told, that those who are in the UK at Brexit date would retain all their rights. Those who come after Brexit might not; but to try to remove existing rights, and then to give a “concession” is simply duplicitous. It adds to the feeling that GB is not interested in ‘good faith’. The position of US citizens is irrelevant, an attempt at distraction.

  • Korhomme

    ‘Take back control’ innit?

  • scepticacademic

    Back to the 1970s diet. None of that fancy foreign muck 😉

  • Korhomme

    Quite right, this foreign stuff is very weakening; look at pizza, spaghetti bolognase or guacamole for instance. Let us all eat proper British food; and by far the most popular true British dish is, er, chicken tikka massala.

  • Lagos1

    Do you wholly trust supermarkets who would try to sell you horse-meat disguised as something else?

    No, but I would put my trust in border control even less. Anyway, you are describing the current situation in the EU single market and the main way standards are maintained in virtually all industries. And horse meat issues have come from EU sources.

    EU citizens can move to the Republic without a problem; Schengen isn’t
    relevant. In future, if there is a hard Brexit, they will be able to
    travel via the CTA to GB without hindrance.

    Schengen is relevant because it imposes border controls. EU citizens will be able to enter the UK via Dover post-Brexit no problem as well. Why would they bother to go to the trouble of entering via Ireland? What would the advantage be?

    GB cannot progress to trade without some clarity about where they expect to be in future.

    They have made it clear. They will be outside the EU. Outside the EEA and outside the customs union. What more are you waiting for? This is the great mystery.

    That doesn’t suggest a government that is on top of things.

    Irrelevant. All that this tells us is that the UK government is more transparent and open to scrutiny than the EU. They are internal papers. I was referring to public position papers.

    As for the money, if you have agreed future payments, if you have agreed
    staff costs including their pensions, then you ought to be expected to
    honour such commitments.

    All commitments the UK made were made on the basis of ongoing cooperation including trade. And the UK is happy to provide money in that context.

    And if you are in default, then raising future capital might well be difficult.

    But in March 2019 it won’t have any further legal obligations. Therefore it won’t be in default. The EU knows this which is why it is desperate to leverage the money out of the UK right away. By the way, if Poland were to trigger article 50, would the EU be obliged to keep paying money to it?

    EU citizens were expecting, were told, that those who are in the UK at Brexit date would retain all their rights.

    As I recall, one of the criticism of Teresa May’s government is that it never has told them this.

    but to try to remove existing rights, and then to give a “concession” is simply duplicitous.

    Not really. Those rights come as part of being in the EU. And is the EU being duplicitous in refusing to guarantee ongoing rights to UK citizens living in the EU?

    The position of US citizens is irrelevant, an attempt at distraction.

    It is the EU that keeps banging on that the UK will become a third country like the US.

  • Korhomme

    They have made it clear. They [GB] will be outside the EU. Outside the EEA and outside the customs union. What more are you waiting for? This is the great mystery.

    That is the hard Brexit position, the cliff edge; a third (world) country. What of EFTA? Is there no chance of that?

    I don’t see how a hard Brexit can be appropriate for N Ireland. Where will NI be in this situation? Limbo? Nor do I see how leaving Euratom will be sensible, not do I see how the absence of Open Skies with EU and US is going to work.

  • Lagos1

    That is the hard Brexit position, the cliff edge; a third (world) country. What of EFTA? Is there no chance of that?

    I would regard hard Brexit only as leaving without some semblance of a trade agreement. Leaving the customs union was always a given. EFTA/EEA was, I must admi,t what I thought would be a sensible first step. However, I think this would only have worked if there was some sign of EU flexibility on freedom of movement and some negotiation on payments to the EU and how standards were approved/applied. To be honest I think it is now more likely where the South is going to end up within the next couple of decades.

    I don’t see how a hard Brexit can be appropriate for N Ireland. Where will NI be in this situation? Limbo?

    No, it will remain as part of the UK but with some greater proximity and access to the EU merely from the fact of geography and the ability of most of its inhabitants to have EU citizenship. To be honest, I don’t see what the worry is. It is the South that will be in a greater sense of limbo. And the EU is going to become are far less friendly place for it. No more handouts and increasing tax regulation among other things.

    Nor do I see how leaving Euratom will be sensible, not do I see how the absence of Open Skies with EU and US is going to work.

    These are other issues that I really cannot see being left unresolved even if other things aren’t.

  • Georgie Best

    Print the blue passports, charge £1000 each for the first batch and declare victory.

  • Korhomme

    You and I might think that there will be matters that won’t be left hanging in the event of a hard Brexit. Yet there are those for whom ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’, and they are a particularly vociferous group. I don’t know just how powerful they are, but we do know that the PM is in a very weak position. Such people have been agitating for decades, and aren’t going to let their dream pass by if they can.

    A cliff-edge is a possibility — hopefully a remote one — but something that I’d guess the EU are making contingencies for. But I doubt if the full consequences of this have permeated the consciousness of our negotiators — other than the fatuous suggestion that we will simply grow more food.

  • Korhomme

    The Guardian has a leader about the border today (tomorrow):

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/commentisfree/2017/nov/19/the-guardian-view-on-brexit-and-the-irish-border-britains-shameful-dereliction

    The comments btl are interesting.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Please do.

  • lizmcneill

    Yes.
    Overall UK manufacturing figures would be pretty cold comfort in that scenario. Not to mention the downsides of the chlorine chicken and hormone beef.