Thursday 10 December 2020

Undercutting the minimum


Earlier today, the EU released its contingency proposals for a ‘no deal’ end to the transition period in three weeks’ time. When it comes to road haulage, they are effectively saying that they are willing to exempt UK hauliers from the rules which normally apply to non-EU countries for a period of six months whilst a more permanent solution is negotiated (that would be during the post December negotiations which the UK government has already tried to rule out), but one of the conditions attached to that is that there is a ‘level playing field’ for haulage operators. In essence, unless the UK is prepared to commit to give no unfair subsidies or other advantages to UK hauliers, those hauliers will be given no special access to the EU. In the Downing Street briefing this afternoon, the PM’s spokesperson seemed to be half-suggesting that the UK would be unable to accept such a condition.

It seems that, in just a few short years, the UK government has managed to take us from discussing the ‘Norway plus’ option which some Brexiteers seemed to be proposing at the time of the referendum all the way through to discussing the ‘no deal minus’ option. Taking the minimum option and talking about undercutting it is quite some achievement, but not exactly in the positive sense which the word 'achievement' normally conveys.

1 comment:

dafis said...

Negotiating skills - zero, or less if possible ; capacity for posturing - infinite. Now I am hard pressed to think of any role for which that combination of attributes is relevant and appropriate.Yet most of the UK's front line ministers seem to be "blessed" with precisely that combination.So who picked these lemons ? The electorate has to accept a certain amount of guilt because at the late 2019 GE they already knew that they were faced with a bunch of incompetents with a strong tendency to tell lies at every turn. And it just won't do to assert that Corbyn was an even worse option.

I voted for Brexit in 2016, not because I had any affection for Farage, Johnson or any of the others. Indeed I wanted to reject the centralist mindset of the pro EU cliques a diverse bunch but all drifting happily towards a homogenized supra national pan- continental body. I didn't buy much of the crap, the waffle that flowed from the leading Brexit figures but I did expect them to be up to the task of extracting UK in an orderly fashion from the EU and to establish a range of working agreements to cover trade and sundry other matters. That many of leading actors in this dreadful saga have proved to be beyond dull, stupid, utterly lacking in any practicality is now well established although it is quite shocking that those who advised them are also cut from much the same cloth. The country,the UK, has really gone to the dogs and the only solution is to head for secession. My only concern is that the political class and its servants here in Wales do not stimulate much confidence or optimism either.