Friday, July 15, 2016

Interesting times

...for the UK, that is.  They probably thought Theresa May would be a safe pair of hands, but then she goes and makes Boris Johnson foreign secretary.

The UK's European neighbours are not best pleased at this news.  Tory sympathisers here might find it amusing and be inspired to hilarious Dad's Army gags like "They don't like it up 'em Cap'n Mainwaring!", but for the British it's actually anything but funny.

The last week or so, European leaders have been taking a more conciliatory approach, saying they don't want a bitter divorce.  Whew - sigh of relief, right?   I mean, when it comes to negotiating the terms of their exit, the Brits have a total of 0 leverage.  They're really going to need some feelings of goodwill across the table.

So it's all looking like the damage of Brexit might be minimised, then Theresa May decides the best response to the conciliatory messages from Europe will be to give them a big loud "Fuck you."  Good luck with those negotiations, Tories - I'd be feeling schadenfreude about what's going to happen to you at the negotiations now, if it weren't for the fact you'll be taking the UK along with you.


Anonymous said...

Unattributable telephone lines are running red hot at the moment. Anyone who makes a prediction at this stage is pretty stupid. Roosevelt once said of a loose cannon, better in the tent pissing out than outside pissing in.

Johnston as a statesmen/diplomat/negotiator is not the man to to do the job unless he is under strict orders, he has been thrown a face saving lifeline but he will have to do his mistresses bidding. Unfortunately she is under pressure from her leave MP's who have, under pressure from their constitutions now think that a second referendum is required.

There seems to be no hurry to trigger article 50.

Lord Egbut

The Veteran said...

PM ... David Davis is the Brexit negotiator not Boris Johnson but I agree there is a certain synergy between the two roles. May has made it clear that while she personally was a 'Remainer' Brexit means Brexit. In that respect others, better than I, have opined that in giving Johnson and Davis the roles she has gives her the space to dump them if things turn to custard leaving her to say 'I told you so'.

Yes, I do think the appointment of BJ as Foreign Secretary is risky but perhaps having someone prepared to play it 'outside the box' might just be what the UK requires as she forges a new place in the world ... actually. I have to say I like some of his descriptives ... George Bush Jnr "a cross-eyed Texan warmonger, unelected, inarticulate, who epitomizes the arrogance of American foreign policy" and Hillary Clinton ... “She’s got dyed blonde hair and pouty lips, and a steely blue stare, like a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital”. Seems he's got Donald Trump pretty well sized up too when he said ... “the only reason I wouldn't go to some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump.” As I said, risky.

For Egbut ... sorry, no second referendum is in the offering. Go back to May's statement ... B means B. As for triggering article 50. Well clearly you need time to map out a negotiating position and I'm not sure the Brexit mob had such a road map. I suspect that's the reason for the delay. Having said that the UK doesn't hold too many aces. As far as the EU is concerned free entry and free trade are inextricably intertwined. You can't have one and not the other and that's the UK's problem, not theirs.

JC said...

When you look at the Brexit timeline..

it becomes pretty damned obvious that leaving has been a thorn in the body politic for over 20 years with both major parties promising referenda at different times.

Then too is this result lines up pretty well with the 2015 general election result with the oldies from both sides of the aisle forming effectively a new party interested in competence and a form of British exceptionalism.

Teresa May needs a period of stability with everybody pissing out of the tent so BJ has fittingly been given the job of fellating the Europeans. She doesn't want to be a short term PM so for the moment the emotion of Brexit rules.


Anonymous said...

Nah, she's having a laugh. Revenge on Bojo. Imaging him sitting on his hands trying not to make a gigantic stuff up.


paul scott said...

Farrar had a link post about Boris quips. The guy certainly splashes words.
Here's what he wrote in a bad taste poem competition about Erdogan Turkey.

The was a young Turk from Ankara,
who was a particular Wankera,
He sowed wild oats, with the help of a goat,
and he never got round to thankerer

macdoctor said...

The UK was never in a good negotiating position anyway. It is clear that the EU, regardless of how much they need the UK market, will try to be as retributive as possible, in order to discourage further exit from the EU. This is how statists work.

Anonymous said...

Never seen so many posts that have nailed the subject at any one time. May is not a stupid woman and handing Johnston the poisoned chalice of negotiating his way out of a problem he was instrumental is causing is poetic justice.

Hollande has already called him a liar and untrustworthy, well we knew that anyway.
Today, by law, they debate the referendum petition in parliament. The way it is debated will be indicative to what might happen in the future.

A friend of mine who voted leave has a factory that makes high grade wooden boxes for maturing English cheddar cheese. Not only is it costing 14% more for his Finnish plywood now but the Canadian trade bloke is in town talking cheese.......turkeys voting Christmas springs to mind.

Lord Egbut Nobacon

Anonymous said...

Good news Veteran....May has just made a speech after meeting with Scotlands first Minister, where she said that article 50 would not be triggered until the UK's position was clear.........don't you recognise fudge anymore?

Sending Johnston to talk with the France and Germany almost ensures he will fail in his task and carry the can for the non triggering.

Just an educated guess.

Lord Egbut

The Veteran said...

Egbut ... just why your friend is having to pay 14% more with the UK still in the EU quite escapes me ... other factors in play perhaps (supply and demand). I see Davis has suggested triggering article 50 in December/January. That apparently giving the UK time to firm up on it's negotiating position.

Ah well, anything to put off the evil day when the UK will find out where it sits with a EU bureaucracy determined to extract its pound of flesh.

In addition to the Canadians (and I see the UK is looking to the Canadian arrangement with the EU as a possible way forward) both our own PM and Trade Minister are in town looking to 'do' deals.

Anonymous said...

C,mon Veteran, get with the program..The day the vote result came out the pound went into freefall.. Purchase in Euros pay in sterling. sigh.

Lord Egbut.