Wednesday, 30 March 2016

A weak argument against Brexit is an even weaker argument for Bremain.

From the BBC:

Britain would be unable to negotiate its exit from the EU within the two years allowed by European Union rules, the former Cabinet Secretary Lord O'Donnell has said.

The prospect of demanding extra time from other EU nations to complete a leave deal was a "bit scary", he said. Asked how long a negotiation would take, he cited a Cabinet Office paper which said it could be up to a decade...

If the UK failed to get a deal within two years, the country would revert to World Trade Organization rules, which would include significant tariffs, he added.

Richard North is the expert on Flexcit, but why would we need to renegotiate anything on the day the UK ceases to be a Member State?

We could just agree that for the time being everything continues as at present. This is the default assumption for example when Czechoslovakia split into two, the UK swiftly concluded a Double Tax Treaty with the two new countries on exactly the same terms as the old treaty with Czechoslovakia.

The present set of agreement suits all parties reasonably well at the moment, so why would it not suit all parties reasonably well the very next day or the day after that? We'll have to haggle a figure for UK contributions (ransom payments) to the EU and that is the end of that.

By analogy - the rules of the game of football or cricket are the same the world over, that does not mean that each team has to be an official member of some over-arching football or cricket organisation. The rules of the game apply on the pitch between the two opposing teams, end of. It could be a non-affiliated team from Afghanistan playing a friendly against a scratch team from an Australian university; two English schools playing each other; or a Test Match between South Africa and India.

Over time, the UK might do some things a bit differently to remaining Member States, so what? We can apply EU rules 'on the pitch' and make up our domestic rules 'off the pitch' as we go along.


Lola said...

O'Donnell is engaging in a bit of special pleading - for himself and his crony mates. Got to keep the fat payslips coming in or as long as possible.

wiggiatlarge said...

Total rubbish from O'Donnll, the UK ahs to give two years notice to leve the EU, it can take as long as neccessary after that or no time at all.
This has been well documented and O'Donnell must know this, so his statement falls under the malfeasance category.

DP said...

Dear Mr Wadsworth

I don't recall all this angst amongst our former colonies when they were gaining their independence.

Why should it be a 'bit scary' for us to regain our independence from the European Empire?

I prefer a bit scary outside the EU to a lot scary inside it - the really scary part being a bunch of foreigners deciding our future for us and if we don't like what they decide, tough.

When we leave that decision will lie with ourselves.

I think we can manage that.


Mark Wadsworth said...

L, and that.

Wiggi & DP, more excellent points well made. Thanks, I'll add them to my list of non arguments against Brexit.

Lola said...

DP. Excellent point.

Random said...

Don't activate Article 50 until you have all your ducks in a row.

You do all your negotiating first. This isn't reality TV where there has to be an arbitrary deadline.

Actually waiting a little while is probably a good idea, because then normal processes will start to reconfigure based upon the assumption of a separated United Kingdom.

So it will take a little while. Once that activity settles down, and you have all your negotiated ducks in a row across the world, then the whole "formal" process of leaving the EU should take about a fortnight!

John M said...

Well frankly if GUs O'Donnell is unable to do it in less than two years then we need to sack him and bring in someone who is more capable of doing it.