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8 minutes ago, bucketfoot said:

Giving Verhofstadt and his crew both barrels. What a woman.

Farage's face :lol: He's absolutely loving it.

I'm surprised she's not been burned at the stake by now. Wizened old hosebag dinosaur! :vomit: 

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1 hour ago, Dazey said:

I'm surprised she's not been burned at the stake by now. Wizened old hosebag dinosaur! :vomit: 

But she is absolute correct about the first bit, isn't she, the bit regarding the appointment of the presidencies? She loses the plot when she starts rabbiting on about ''slavery'', but her first point is thoroughly correct. Sleazy backroom deals. Intergovernmental jockeying for position. This is what decides the EU's Presidents.

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19 hours ago, Dazey said:

I'm surprised she's not been burned at the stake by now. Wizened old hosebag dinosaur! :vomit: 

Very harsh on the old girl.

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Posted (edited)

Diesel must be devasted. It appears Ronnie Campbell won't be standing at next election. 

The DUP's Kate Honey has been forced out off Labour at the next election too it looks like.

Edited by AtariLegend

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11 minutes ago, SoulMonster said:

Corbyn wants a new referendum. 

I don't think Corbyn knows what he wants.

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5 hours ago, MillionsOfSpiders said:

:lol:

People like Trump and the US are the only ones that are going to benefit from Brexit.

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Posted (edited)

Trump actually thanked himself at the end of that tweet - his Twitter is comedy gold :lol:

45 minutes ago, AtariLegend said:

People like Trump and the US are the only ones that are going to benefit from Brexit.

Didn’t he tell Theresa May to sue the EU? What great advice that was to her :lol:

Edited by MillionsOfSpiders

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I always enjoy reading Stephen King's twitter, he can't go one week without insulting Trump.

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3 minutes ago, EvanG said:

I always enjoy reading Stephen King's twitter, he can't go one week without insulting Trump.

Bette Midler is my favourite for anti Trump tweets. 

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1 minute ago, MillionsOfSpiders said:

He hates her lol

I’d love to put them both in the octagon and see President Bone Spurs get fucked up. :lol: 

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3 hours ago, SoulMonster said:

Corbyn wants a new referendum. 

Whats the platform, should the Jews leave or remain? :lol: 

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Boris absolutely refusing to answer the question when quizzed over the ambassador row. 

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Posted (edited)

What's the point of this debate, when Boris is way ahead in the Tory polls and half if not most of them have already voted? This attempt to create the illusion it's democratic is pathetic.

Edited by AtariLegend

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A very interesting read for those who think that a no deal Brexit won't be a disaster. It's amazing how much you can learn when you speak to an ex Director General of the WTO vs Rees Mogg and his cronies. 

https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/economics-and-finance/jumping-from-league-one-to-league-three-wto-insiders-scathing-assessments-of-a-wto-brexit

“Jumping from league one to league three”: WTO insiders’ scathing assessments of a WTO Brexit

Plus: the director general contradicts claims that “Gatt 24” would kick in to help

by Alex Dean / July 8, 2019 / Leave a comment
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“If there is no agreement, then Article XXIV would not apply, and the standard WTO terms would,” said Azevêdo. Photo: Xinhua/SIPA USA/PA Images

The debate over the impact of a no-deal, WTO Brexit is one of the most fraught in British politics. It is now reaching a crescendo. In the run-up to the new Brexit deadline of 31st October hardline Leavers insist ever louder that Britain could simply walk away from the EU with no adverse consequences. They say the World Trade Organisation provides a perfectly good alternative framework and there is nothing to worry about. Boris Johnson, the frontrunner to be prime minister, has sided with them.

Mainstream economists, however, have spent years debunking these claims. They explain that WTO terms would in fact be a dramatic downgrade on the preferential deal we have with Europe. Crashing out would trigger serious economic disruption.

The question arises, what does the WTO itself think about all this? Few are better placed to assess the impact than those from the organisation itself. Having contacted current and former leaders, including Director General Roberto Azevêdo, it is clear to me that a WTO Brexit would present a very serious challenge indeed. These figures took it in turn to voice serious warnings. As 31st October fast approaches it is regrettable, to say the least, that they are still required to spell out essential facts.

Based in Geneva, the WTO has 164 members, of which Britain is already one. It establishes a “base level” trading framework across the world, which countries build on with their own preferential free trade deals (like the EU internal market). It has rules and a court system which member states can use to enforce them. But relative to the single market, and the deals with third countries we enjoy in virtue of membership, a WTO Brexit would not offer very liberal trade terms at all.

Azevêdo, arguably the most important trade official in the world, said “in simple factual terms in this scenario, you could expect to see the application of tariffs between the UK and EU where currently there are none.” He was at pains to remain neutral, and stressed the lack of detailed WTO forecasting, but those tariffs “would clearly have an effect.” Tariffs are by definition a hindrance to open and free trade.

For Pascal Lamy, Director General of the WTO from 2005 to 2013, “Jumping brutally from trade league one (the internal market without borders) to trade league three (a WTO, multilaterally committed trade regime for goods and services) would certainly hurt.” That conveys the risk of Britain simply walking away from talks, especially when the EU accounts for almost half of UK exports.

Yet this reading is by no means universal. In particular, some Leavers have claimed that the WTO provides for continued tariff-free trade in the event of no-deal. In a recent BBC leadership debate Johnson referred to the now-infamous “Gatt 24, or whatever it happens to be,” a clause from WTO forerunner the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, that would allegedly preserve low tariffs in the event of a crash out.

What is the truth of the matter? Alarmingly, when I put this question to Azevêdo, he said Gatt 24 would simply not apply with a no-deal outcome. “Article XXIV of the GATT is simply the provision of global trade law under which free trade agreements and customs unions are concluded,” he explained. The problem is that it only kicks in in the event of such a deal being struck. “If there is no agreement, then Article XXIV would not apply, and the standard WTO terms would.”

These “standard WTO terms” would include increased tariffs on British goods imported into the continent, 10 per cent on cars and rising to more than 35 per cent for dairy products. In addition there would be extra bureaucratic hurdles for businesses to leap over on things like product standards and sanitary checks. The rules do little for services, which make up 80 per cent of the British economy and close to half of exports.

As Lamy explained, under WTO rules, Britain could not just lower tariffs specifically for EU trade because without the formal framework of a deal that would count as granting unfair, privileged access. The “WTO regime implies tariffs which have to apply to all [the UK’s] trade partners,” he said. There is no simple way around this and the EU is bound by the same rules.

The question, then, is not whether there would be additional trade barriers, but the extent of the damage. And for Stuart Harbinson, former Chairman of the WTO’s General Council, there is serious cause for concern. “The effect of increased costs [to trade] would be to make UK businesses less competitive, with the risk that EU importers of goods and services might look elsewhere,” he said. “Potential investors would also have to take these increased costs into account when deciding where to locate investments.”

The sudden adjustment would be particularly severe in certain individual sectors, which are less well equipped to deal with a downgrade in their access to important markets. One example is agriculture. “UK agricultural exporters are certainly at risk, because barriers to trade in agriculture tend to be much higher than average,” said Harbinson. There was strong support for Brexit among UK farmers. Whether they have been prepared for the consequences of WTO terms is doubtful. The shift could pose a challenge to the viability of the sector—and many others.

“Processed food and drink suppliers based in the UK would also be affected,” Harbinson warned. “Experience elsewhere tends to suggest that big businesses, with economies of scale, may sometimes be able to cope with increased trade barriers, but small enterprises will often struggle.”

For Lamy, the former director general, no-deal could cause disruption in “all sectors; manufactures and agriculture, of course… but also, and more importantly given existing trade flows, in services, where the EU degree of openness as per the WTO is way below the internal market regime” of the European Union. Relegated to his “league three,” they would face significant new barriers.

Yet for some Leavers, a WTO Brexit remains preferable to the current Withdrawal Agreement, and certainly to remaining. For Nigel Lawson, an architect of the Leave campaign, “I think this is the only acceptable outcome.”

How can WTO terms persist as an option when the people in the know issue such categorical warnings about them? One final argument made by Brexiteers is that because the WTO has 164 members, that proves its terms are reliable. In walking out Britain would simply become like every other country. Or so the theory runs.

For in reality other countries, like those in the EU, have built on the WTO “base level” substantially with their own extra free trade deals. A no-deal Britain could be relying near-exclusively on the WTO. That is something very different.

“Affirmations such as ‘WTO terms would be painless, after all many countries do that’ are one of the many Brexit unicorns flying around,” said Lamy. “If that were the case, why would all developed countries (and many emerging countries) have negotiated free trade agreements, which provide a higher bilateral level of openness than the multilateral WTO regime?” The question answers itself.

Although not everyone associated with the WTO can speak for it, their comments make clear the reality. No-deal would trigger an abrupt recalibration of Britain’s trading relationships, and though it is beyond the scope of this article, likely do great damage in other spheres.

It may be that this reality does not become accepted until it is too late, and Britain has already left without a deal. In that circumstance we would be surrendering our place in the global trading hierarchy, built up over many decades, for no good reason. The economic consequences would be profound, and therefore the damage to confidence in British politics—already low—would be even more severe. What would happen then is an unknown. The technicalities of trade policy have never mattered so much. 

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A little extra bedtime reading.

https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/brexit/no-deal-brexit-and-wto-article-24-explained/

cargo-449784_1920.jpg?resize=800%2C445&s

No-deal Brexit and WTO: Article 24 explained

“Article 24 of the World Trade Organisation treaty allows us to continue to trade with Europe on zero tariffs while we negotiate a free trade arrangement.”

Statements like this keep returning to the political debate: in the media, among constituents and in Parliament. However, trade law experts have repeatedly and authoritatively dismissed the view that the relevant rule – General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) Article XXIV – offers an easy solution to UK trade with the EU in the case of ‘no-deal’.

The Prime Minister has also said:

“The question of GATT 24 is perhaps not quite as simple as some may have understood it to be. […] expectation that it is simply possible to leave with no deal and immediately go into that situation does not actually reflect accurately the situation that the United Kingdom would find ourselves in”.

This Insight will look at what Article XXIV says and what this means for any future trade relationship between the UK and the EU.

No-deal means trade under WTO terms

There is no debate on this issue: if there isn’t a withdrawal agreement the UK and the EU will trade with each other solely under the rules-based trading system of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

By default it means the end of tariff-free trade between the UK and the EU. However, some politicians have suggested that Article XXIV GATT allows for an (interim) agreement which – while the UK and EU negotiated a free trade agreement – could maintain the existing arrangements with the EU for 10 years. This has also been referred to in the so-called ‘Malthouse Compromise’, which puts forward a “WTO-compliant standstill on trade with no tariffs, no quantitative restrictions and no new barriers” as part of a no-deal “triple safety net”.

Why can’t the UK and EU simply remove tariffs if there’s no deal?

The UK could choose to apply zero tariffs to the EU unilaterally in order to keep barriers to imports from the EU low as before. However, the WTO’s Most Favoured Nation (MFN) rule prevents discrimination between WTO members. So, in this scenario, the UK would have to apply the same zero tariff to imports from all other WTO members, or else it would be in breach of the MFN rule. Moreover, the EU would not be able to reciprocate, unless it was happy to give imports from all other WTO members tariff free access to its market.

How do EU Member States trade tariff free then?

Article XXIV (5) of GATT permits countries to form trade blocs in the form of a customs union or a free trade area and thereby makes an exception to the MFN rule. They may (indeed must) maintain tariff-free trade with each other for “substantially all” their mutual trade, without offering the same access to their markets to all other WTO members.

Any free trade arrangement, however, may not worsen the terms of trade for the non-participants, and lead to higher duties or more restrictions on trade than before. Therefore any customs union or free trade agreement has to be notified to the WTO, giving other WTO members the opportunity to air their concerns.

If the UK is outside the Single Market and Customs Union, how might Article XXIV be relevant?

Article XXIV (5) also permits the adoption of an interim agreement necessary for the formation of a customs union or a free-trade area. The intention for allowing this is to have a full free trade agreement by the end of a reasonable period of time. This recognises the fact that a customs union or a free-trade agreement cannot be concluded rapidly and might need gradual implementation. It is this idea that those promoting Article XXIV have in mind.

An interim agreement:

  • Can be in force for a “reasonable length of time,” which WTO members have agreed should not exceed 10 years.
  • Needs to have a “plan and schedule” towards an end-state.

Interim agreements have been avoided

Similar to customs unions and free trade agreements, the WTO must be notified of an interim agreement, but the rules are more stringent: members can demand changes if they are not convinced that the interim agreement will in fact lead to the planned full agreement within the proposed time-frame.

The possibility that other WTO members can block an “interim agreement” has proven to be enough of a deterrent that no WTO members have notified an interim agreement since 1995. Instead, many notified (non-interim) customs unions and free trade agreements include time-limited transitional arrangements.

If the UK and the EU agreed an arrangement which would qualify as an interim agreement under the GATT Article XXIV, it would therefore follow standard practice for the UK and the EU to notify it to the WTO as a full free trade agreement, rather than an interim agreement. Such an agreement would be in force until a future relationship is agreed.

Is a temporary agreement a possible solution?

Trade law experts point out that a temporary agreement is possible while the UK is negotiating any type of a final trade deal with the EU. Indeed Dr Lorand Bartels of Cambridge University has drafted a short, bare-bones trade agreement to show that this is technically possible. The draft Withdrawal Agreement would also qualify.

The UK cannot do this alone though. Under GATT Article XXIV, a WTO member would not be able to act unilaterally, in other words both parties to this future trade agreement would have to agree to it for it to apply.  

Moreover, GATT Article XXIV only applies to forming a customs union or a free trade area for goods. In talks of a future UK-EU relationship many other aspects of trade have to be settled such as the level of regulatory alignment, mutual recognition of standards, and crucially, trade in services, for which the equivalent to GATT Article XXIV is GATS Article V.

Article XXIV is key to any preferential trade relationship between the UK and the EU. However, it is unlikely that the option of an ‘interim agreement’ will be of immediate use. Article XXIV is much more likely to be used for a full free trade agreement.

Further reading

Interim agreements’ under Article XXIV GATT, 
L. Bartels, World Trade Review (2009), 8:2, 339-350.

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14 hours ago, Dazey said:

I don't think Corbyn knows what he wants.

True, but Labour is losing ground. Remainers would move to Lib Dem. or Green Party. While Brexiters stick with Tories or Brexit Party. So it doesn't matter what Corbyn wants. Labour doesn't want to lose voters to Remain parties

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-48919695

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The last panaroma this guy made about Corbyn was full on Fox News. 

A few minutes into this, this looks to be more over the top.

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On 7/8/2019 at 6:13 PM, AtariLegend said:

Diesel must be devasted. It appears Ronnie Campbell won't be standing at next election. 

The DUP's Kate Honey has been forced out off Labour at the next election too it looks like.

Campbell says that every general election and every election he still runs. More ''retirements'' than Afridi and Mayweather.

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8 hours ago, DieselDaisy said:

Campbell says that every general election and every election he still runs. More ''retirements'' than Afridi and Mayweather.

I think the supposed changes to deselections would make it different though this time?

On that Panaroma last night; I did think was as bad as last time. The ominous music and the zooming and allegedlly selective use of text from emails. However it's clear there's the problem and people have already made up their mind on Corbyn. 

For the record on my own personal political views, I despise the Torries more than I have any sort of positive opinion of Labour. Corbyn's ineptitude outweighs any good intentions and the likes of Watson are just as slimy as the Torries. Cooper is hardly inspiring and Kendall/Phillips seem more interested in boosting their profile at the best of times. Wes Streeting seems as angry as a member of a question time audience member shouting out means out or asking why we don't nuke France. The party is just a mess.

I seen an incident myself first time years ago that was subject of a Panaroma and it was widely over the top too and exhagerated for TV purposes that used internet posts as a reference point. I've never been able to take them seriously since 

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3 hours ago, AtariLegend said:

I think the supposed changes to deselections would make it different though this time?

On that Panaroma last night; I did think was as bad as last time. The ominous music and the zooming and allegedlly selective use of text from emails. However it's clear there's the problem and people have already made up their mind on Corbyn. 

For the record on my own personal political views, I despise the Torries more than I have any sort of positive opinion of Labour. Corbyn's ineptitude outweighs any good intentions and the likes of Watson are just as slimy as the Torries. Cooper is hardly inspiring and Kendall/Phillips seem more interested in boosting their profile at the best of times. Wes Streeting seems as angry as a member of a question time audience member shouting out means out or asking why we don't nuke France. The party is just a mess.

I seen an incident myself first time years ago that was subject of a Panaroma and it was widely over the top too and exhagerated for TV purposes that used internet posts as a reference point. I've never been able to take them seriously since 

Ronnie is basically Corbyn's best chum in Parliament. He moved directly from the back bench to the front when Corbyn assumed leadership of the party - Ronnie was off course hiding away on the backbenches during the centrist Blair era. He now sits next to Skinner on the front bench. Corbyn, Campbell and Skinner, three old bugger hard lefties, all hating the EU.

I'll let you know a couple of things about Ronnie. My aunt was in his class at school and he was the class dunce. Failed his 11 plus. Thick as a plank. Secondly, his wife had an affair so he faked a heartattack for attention. 

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1 hour ago, DieselDaisy said:

Ronnie is basically Corbyn's best chum in Parliament. He moved directly from the back bench to the front when Corbyn assumed leadership of the party - Ronnie was off course hiding away on the backbenches during the centrist Blair era. He now sits next to Skinner on the front bench. Corbyn, Campbell and Skinner, three old bugger hard lefties, all hating the EU.

I'll let you know a couple of things about Ronnie. My aunt was in his class at school and he was the class dunce. Failed his 11 plus. Thick as a plank. Secondly, his wife had an affair so he faked a heartattack for attention. 

I'm not a fan of his, but honestly don't think you judge people by the 11 plus. That said he took it more than 5 decades before me assuming they had them then.

Read that one of Trump's favourite Brits just got 9 months in jail.

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