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Old 07-30-2019, 09:24 AM
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson tries to lead the UK


Previous thread about May's resignation and Johnson's election as PM: https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=876044

Brexit, Brexit, Brexit and Brexit - oh, yeah, and the economy, budget, immigration, education, defense, environment, etc. How's he doing? Opinions welcomed both from Brits and non-Brits.
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Old 07-30-2019, 09:31 AM
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What?... Nothing about rebuilding Hadrian's Wall with Irish labor and having Scotland pay for it?
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Old 07-30-2019, 09:32 AM
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First read that as "leave the UK", which would have been much better news.
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Old 07-30-2019, 09:33 AM
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My opinion is that he's a lying, corrupt hypocrite who will happily destroy the country (possibly literally) for his own profit and aggrandisement, and who - based on his career so far - will likely manage to escape being held accountable for his actions because he has funny hair and bumbles about a bit.
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Old 07-30-2019, 09:43 AM
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Its early days, and the parties on both sides of politics are couching almost everything in terms of entrenched pro and anti Brexit terms.

Every person with anything to say seems to have a personal take on their corner without any regard whatsoever to the bigger picture - seems to me its all short termist me me me politics right now.

Difficult to say how he is doing, so many folk are determined to have him fail it is really hard to find any commentary from objective sources - even the BBC seems to be carrying out studio interviews with loaded panels, mind you it has been doing that for some time.

Scots nats will spin everything into a referendum for another independence vote, Lefties are spinning everything into a confidence vote in the hope of a general election, Welsh seem to be spinning everything for a second Brexit referendum - despite Wales as a whole voting to leave.

Labour seem to be pressing for a second vote when their core areas of support were solidly behind leave, - a general election for them would likely be political suicide but their party leaders seem to be listening to their activists instead of their electorate.

Other groups that benefit from fixed prices such as farmers who love EU intervention, but hate support for industry because they see it as subsidy, can see their exposure to market forces as a bad thing for them - so they are up in arms - which matters because they are traditionally supporters of the Conservatives, and as for the Irish, both sides of the border - what a mess, its been a mess for the last 150 years and its unlikely to get better after years of relative peace - they are all pointing at the sky in different and incompatible directions and being impossible.

Many conservative MPs are solidly pro EU and seem to be threatening to bring down the government in a confidence motion - which is very much like snowmen booking their summer holidays.

Anyone who thinks a second vote or a general election will resolve anything will get an extremely nasty surprise - the failure to undertake the wishes of the majority has already allowed Boris Johnson to become PM, giving the electorate further votes will divide the country deeper and likely create a huge opportunity for more robust leave parties.

Boris Johnson has to manage all that - he needs all the luck in the world and it is unlikely he will get it.
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Old 07-30-2019, 09:52 AM
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My opinion is that he's a lying, corrupt hypocrite who will happily destroy the country (possibly literally) for his own profit and aggrandisement, and who - based on his career so far - will likely manage to escape being held accountable for his actions because he has funny hair and bumbles about a bit.
You trump the thread!
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Old 07-30-2019, 10:09 AM
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The real challenge to Boris isn't overt party revolt (won't happen) or Labour forcing a vote of no confidence (Labour couldn't force a toothpick through a wet tissue). The challenge is that even with DUP support, he'll still only have a majority of 2 (which could be reduced to 1 if Brecon & Radnorshire goes as expected on Thursday). That means that not only will he be held hostage by the DUP, he could also be held hostage by every member of his party. One defector and his government crumbles.
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Old 07-30-2019, 10:26 AM
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John Oliver did a piece on him this Sunday. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dXyO_MC9g3k
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Old 07-30-2019, 10:37 AM
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The real challenge to Boris isn't overt party revolt (won't happen) or Labour forcing a vote of no confidence (Labour couldn't force a toothpick through a wet tissue). The challenge is that even with DUP support, he'll still only have a majority of 2 (which could be reduced to 1 if Brecon & Radnorshire goes as expected on Thursday). That means that not only will he be held hostage by the DUP, he could also be held hostage by every member of his party. One defector and his government crumbles.
That's why he will make impossible promises to everybody about everything, try to appear strong and decisive, take a hard line with the EU... and call an election.

He will come to an agreement with Farage, and hope that he gets a decent majority. Then he will try to force through no-deal, by fair means or foul.

Last edited by GreenWyvern; 07-30-2019 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 07-30-2019, 10:37 AM
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He's not even a week in to the job yet, so it's hard to say how he's doing. But there are signs of his overall approach to Brexit.

Broadly, there are three possible futures, to coin a phrase, for Britain re Brexit:

Agree a withdrawal deal and exit the EU;
Exit with no deal;
Rescind Article 50 and stay in the EU*.

The current deadline for one of these things to happen is Oct 31. By default, option 2 - No Deal Brexit - is what will happen unless one of the other two does, or the UK and EU agree a further extension of time.

When May was PM, the government's approach was to try to get a deal. She came to an agreement with the EU - the Withdrawal Agreement. Getting it ratified meant winning a vote in Parliament, which she failed to do three times. Johnson, although he voted for the Withdrawal Agreement as a Cabinet Minister, is not pursuing that strategy.

He appears to have a twin approach -push the EU to renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement, while preparing for No Deal. The EU has been pretty emphatic that it is not going to renegotiate, so there is a strong element of brinksmanship to all this. It is not yet entirely clear whether Johnson considers No Deal a viable policy for Britain, or if this is merely a negotiating ploy. The messaging has been...mixed:
1) in his campaign to be elected Leader of the Conservative Party, Johnson said that the chances of No Deal were a "million to one".
2) As PM, his first actions were to fire most of his cabinet and replace them with people who back No Deal, and to task a senior minister to accelerate No Deal programming. That minister told the press that the governemnt were working towards No Deal.
3) Questioned about this, Johnson insisted that No Deal was not on the cards and that his plan was to get a deal with the EU.

It's hard to discern if this is the work of a Machiavellian mastermind or a floundering fuckwit. Certainly Johnson has a reputation for being the former; he also has a track record of weak grasp of detail, vacillation and changing his mind to suit the needs of the moment. He's quite capable fo saying one thing on Monday and another on Tuesday, and meaning both sincerely. Neither should be taken as evidence of what he might say on Wednesday.

All this analysis is complicated by the fact that Johnson has brought in to government Dominic Cummings, who lead the Vote Leave campaign. Cummings does think strategically and revels in disorienting his opponents by doing the unexpected. The lurch towards hard Leavery feels very much like his kind of move - it not only leaves the EU wondering what's going on, it also scores a political win by shooting the fox of the Brexit Party, who were poised to threaten the Tories from the right in any forthcoming election, but who will have little to say against a policy they back.

The election is of course the other big element in this. Johnson's majority in the Commons is down to 3, I think, and there are as casdave says a lot of Tory MPs (not least some recently fired Ministers) who have no love for Johnson and still less for No Deal. So winning an election and getting a malleable majority soon would be a good thing for Johnson. Of course, just because you want something doesn't mean you can get it, and the polls don't look amazing. So a good 50% of everything he does now will be done with an eye on winning popularity. His current tour of the UK, involving a new spending commitment at every stop, seems to be very much in this line. However, the No Deal stuff is risky, electorally speaking. It will be disruptive in the short term, and various groups (e.g. farmers, per casdave above) are being pretty vocal about that. The aim will be to blame it on the EU and/or Labour/Lib Dems/Wet Tories.

But, again, he's just started. It's hard to tell what he's going to try for. It is easy to see from his past career that he's an intellectually lazy ditherer and bully with a terrifying inability to grasp complex detail, so I'm not optimistic.

Included for completeness, not out of any actual belief in its plausibility. A lot of stuff would have to happen for this to be a serious option.
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Old 07-30-2019, 10:42 AM
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Boris is an lying adulterous narcissist who makes foolish snap decisions.
He's failed as Foreign Secretary and also lost taxpayers millions over an imaginary bridge (as Mayor of London.)

Three years after a narrow vote to leave the EU (on a poorly-phrased referendum), there is no agreement on:

- whether to leave
- what sort of terms should apply if we do leave
- how to resolve the Irish border question.

Boris doesn't do detail, so he's just claiming that in the next few months:

- he can renegotiate a new deal with the EU (no chance)
- he can solve the Irish border question (perhaps he'll build a bridge somewhere )
- the UK will have a stronger union (particularly crass - far more likely that Scotland leave)

If Boris is the answer, then the question is about 'style over substance'.
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Old 07-30-2019, 10:46 AM
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(bolding mine)
...
It's hard to discern if this is the work of a Machiavellian mastermind or a floundering fuckwit. Certainly Johnson has a reputation for being the former; he also has a track record of weak grasp of detail, vacillation and changing his mind to suit the needs of the moment. He's quite capable of saying one thing on Monday and another on Tuesday, and meaning both sincerely. Neither should be taken as evidence of what he might say on Wednesday.
Surely you mean that Johnson is the latter?!
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Old 07-30-2019, 11:12 AM
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My opinion is that he's a lying, corrupt hypocrite who will happily destroy the country (possibly literally) for his own profit and aggrandisement, and who - based on his career so far - will likely manage to escape being held accountable for his actions because he has funny hair and bumbles about a bit.

I do wonder about the first part though. I mean, with Trump or Farage or Reese-Mogg you can really easily connect the money dots. They're in red. And bolded. And the fuckers write books about their precious fucking dots, too.
Is there such an obvious self-profit angle with the be-mopped potato ?


(true honest question - I'm not concern trolling or socratic questioning or nuffin'. I have no earthly idea)
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Old 07-30-2019, 11:12 AM
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That's why he will make impossible promises to everybody about everything, try to appear strong and decisive, take a hard line with the EU... and call an election.

He will come to an agreement with Farage, and hope that he gets a decent majority. Then he will try to force through no-deal, by fair means or foul.
He will only call an election as a last resort, having learned the lesson of the last election where Theresa May went in confident of an increased majority and took a major hit to it instead. If he can bluff and bluster through to the end of October without an election, he will.
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Old 07-30-2019, 11:17 AM
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I do wonder about the first part though. I mean, with Trump or Farage or Reese-Mogg you can really easily connect the money dots. They're in red. And bolded. And the fuckers write books about their precious fucking dots, too.
Is there such an obvious self-profit angle with the be-mopped potato ?


(true honest question - I'm not concern trolling or socratic questioning or nuffin'. I have no earthly idea)
You're right - I'm making assumptions here about his finances.

But Boris was staunchly pro-EU before he decided that a narrow loss while leading the Leave campaign would allow him to ride a wave of resentment into Number 10. Unfortunately he unexpectedly won and immediately ran away from any responsibility to deliver what he'd promised. And now he's back, clearly determined to drive the country toward a no-deal Brexit. If it's not the money, then I don't know what game he's playing - he's not a True Believer and he knows it's not going to turn out to be all the sunshine and lollipops he's been promising.
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Old 07-30-2019, 11:30 AM
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He looked like the dog who’d caught the car on referendum night you mean.
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Old 07-30-2019, 11:45 AM
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I'd love to see the no deal Brexit go through. Johnson isn't the best advocate for it. It would be a huge win for free market capitalism. Small is good. I doubt it can be pulled off.
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Old 07-30-2019, 11:54 AM
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I'd love to see the no deal Brexit go through. Johnson isn't the best advocate for it. It would be a huge win for free market capitalism. Small is good. I doubt it can be pulled off.
How is reducing the size of the free trdae area and adding a load of new regulations for trading a win for free market capitalism?
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Old 07-30-2019, 11:59 AM
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How is reducing the size of the free trdae area and adding a load of new regulations for trading a win for free market capitalism?
The UK can shed EU regulations and unilaterally drop barriers to trade that are required for EU membership. The net effect could be more freedom in trade if it is handled correctly.

Small nations do no have the ability to pursue protectionist policies because they would be immediately felt by the consumer. You will find that small nations are more likely to adopt free trade policies.
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Old 07-30-2019, 12:02 PM
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You're right - I'm making assumptions here about his finances.

But Boris was staunchly pro-EU before he decided that a narrow loss while leading the Leave campaign would allow him to ride a wave of resentment into Number 10. Unfortunately he unexpectedly won and immediately ran away from any responsibility to deliver what he'd promised. And now he's back, clearly determined to drive the country toward a no-deal Brexit. If it's not the money, then I don't know what game he's playing - he's not a True Believer and he knows it's not going to turn out to be all the sunshine and lollipops he's been promising.

That's really what's puzzling me. I don't know what he's about. He seems to have sort of bumbled himself into anti-EU politics because back when he was a journalist he found it effortless and the path of least giving a fuck to write alarmist nonsense and that was it - and that is still it. Beyond all the studied and deliberate bumbling, it really seems to me like he's on the side of the devils because, well, he's lazy and that requires the least effort and politics is better than having a real job.
Which is somehow more scary than all the McConnels in the world, to me.
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Old 07-30-2019, 12:11 PM
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Johnson is still in the phase of shaking everything he can out of the "magic money tree" his party so frequently told us didn't exist, and projecting a hard Brexit, all with a view to staging a general election that will see off Farage's latest political vehicle. This is a continuation of Cameron's plot with the referendum that got us into this mess - because, whatever else, the important thing is that the Tory party hangs on to office.

It all depends on when he times his run in relation to the crash-out date, October 31. Go before, against the big bad EU not giving him everything on a plate (but with Farage's lot saying he's not genuinely trying) or go after (with the risk of adverse consequences of crashing out starting to hit in the run-up to polling day)?
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Old 07-30-2019, 12:38 PM
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I'd love to see the no deal Brexit go through. Johnson isn't the best advocate for it. It would be a huge win for free market capitalism. Small is good. I doubt it can be pulled off.
How is losing the free trade we have already with the rest of the EU going to be profitable?

The Confederation of British Industry, the Trades Union Council, the Bank of England and the previous Chancellor of the Exchequer all said 'no deal' would be an economic disaster.

It takes years to set up trade deals - and when you have a clown like Johnson in charge, our prospects are dismal.
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Old 07-30-2019, 12:49 PM
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I had only a vague idea of who Boris Johnson really was. I mean, I know who he is, but not what kind of person. I keep hearing that he's another Trump - a low intelligence populist rabble rouser. So I did a little research on him, and I'm not seeing it.

Apparently he went to Eton, where he was considered a bit of a prodigy. Then Oxford, where he graduated with second class honors. He speaks Greek and Latin fluently. His politics are said to be more David Cameron style center-right orthodoxy, other than Brexit.

So what am I missing? Sure, he has goofy hair and a penchant for theatrics, but I'm not seeing the dumb drooling Trump clone.
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Old 07-30-2019, 12:50 PM
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Then he will try to force through no-deal, by fair means or foul.
He doesn't have to force through no-deal--Brexit is scheduled to happen automatically on October 31.
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Old 07-30-2019, 12:57 PM
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I had only a vague idea of who Boris Johnson really was. I mean, I know who he is, but not what kind of person. I keep hearing that he's another Trump - a low intelligence populist rabble rouser. So I did a little research on him, and I'm not seeing it.

Apparently he went to Eton, where he was considered a bit of a prodigy. Then Oxford, where he graduated with second class honors. He speaks Greek and Latin fluently. His politics are said to be more David Cameron style center-right orthodoxy, other than Brexit.

So what am I missing? Sure, he has goofy hair and a penchant for theatrics, but I'm not seeing the dumb drooling Trump clone.

That's kind of what I'm saying : he's no Trump. Trump is an idiot, Johnson is only pretending to be one. A relatable one, sort of lazy, sort of improvising, ha ha, you know hows it is, herp derp. It's all for show of course, but it *is* effective. The only thing is, I don't know what it's effective *towards*. Trump is transparent, he's just a canker on democracy, a pustulent boil oozing "more money for me and the people who give me money ; fuck you".
BJ (heh.) seems diffenrent, in that he doesn't seem to be gorging himself on any particular trough. It really seems like he's being a cunt for the sake of 'being a cunt is easier than not being that'.
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Old 07-30-2019, 01:09 PM
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How is losing the free trade we have already with the rest of the EU going to be profitable?

The Confederation of British Industry, the Trades Union Council, the Bank of England and the previous Chancellor of the Exchequer all said 'no deal' would be an economic disaster.

It takes years to set up trade deals - and when you have a clown like Johnson in charge, our prospects are dismal.
Yes I would expect no less from entrenched interests that have already lobbied for their privileges.

Really you don't need deals. Unilaterally dropping barriers to trade will do quite a bit by itself.
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Old 07-30-2019, 02:11 PM
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Yes I would expect no less from entrenched interests that have already lobbied for their privileges.

Really you don't need deals. Unilaterally dropping barriers to trade will do quite a bit by itself.
You can't unilaterally create a trade deal, and the terms for trading without a deal are pretty onerous. What you are proposing is an end to free trade areas and trading solely under WTO rules, which would be devastating to the economy.
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Old 07-30-2019, 02:24 PM
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You can't unilaterally create a trade deal, and the terms for trading without a deal are pretty onerous. What you are proposing is an end to free trade areas and trading solely under WTO rules, which would be devastating to the economy.
You don't need a trade deal to unilaterally drop all barriers to trade. Those countries with the highest levels of trade freedom are not in mammoth free trade blocs. There are better ways to pursue free trade. See Hong Kong, Singapore, Chile, New Zealand, etc. Of course I will not deny there would be a slight hiccup along the way.

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Old 07-30-2019, 02:27 PM
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You can argue the merits or otherwise of Brexit all you want - but this has been done to death in other threads already - the OP isn't asking about the ins and outs of Brexit as such, more they are interested in Boris and his approach to the issue and an evaluation of how it is perceived to be going.
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Old 07-30-2019, 02:31 PM
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Free trade blocs are great, but the EU doesn't allow member countries to pursue other agreements.
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Old 07-30-2019, 03:04 PM
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Really you don't need deals. Unilaterally dropping barriers to trade will do quite a bit by itself.
Unilaterally dropping barriers to trade means that importers suddenly have it better, but industries that rely on exports, or even the domestic competitors to those imports, have it much worse until the situation sorts itself out, by which time some or many of those companies will have gone out of business, with all of the attendant economic disruptions that causes. If the net benefit to importers doesn't outweigh the net losses elsewhere, the "quite a bit by itself" you tout equals economic hardships if not outright recession. What leads you to conclude the net outcome will be positive?
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Old 07-30-2019, 03:31 PM
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It seems possible that Boris's push for hard/No Deal Brexit is in the knowledge that this will be rejected by parliament, forcing a General Election. As that would amount to a second referendum (but this time along distinct party lines) Boris and Cummings might hope to win a majority and finally push Brexit through (they roused a sufficient rabble last time around).
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Old 07-30-2019, 05:17 PM
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You don't need a trade deal to unilaterally drop all barriers to trade. Those countries with the highest levels of trade freedom are not in mammoth free trade blocs. There are better ways to pursue free trade. See Hong Kong, Singapore, Chile, New Zealand, etc.
AFAICT none of those countries are in any way eschewing trade deals, nor have they unilaterally dropped all barriers to trade.
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Old 07-30-2019, 06:49 PM
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AFAICT none of those countries are in any way eschewing trade deals, nor have they unilaterally dropped all barriers to trade.
I can't be bothered going through them all but New Zealand is party to quite a lot of trade agreements, as are Singapore, Hong Kong and Chile. Oh look, that's all of them!

It's not usually worth responding to badly-informed fundamentalist libertarians.

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Old 07-30-2019, 09:07 PM
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Free trade blocs are great, but the EU doesn't allow member countries to pursue other agreements.
EU member states can't pursue free trade agreements unilaterally, but they do so collectively - and with considerable success. As an EU member state, the UK is party to the largest network of free trade agreements that the world has ever seen, negotiated collectively through the EU. By brexiting, they leave that network, and have to start building their own network, from scratch, and from a much weaker bargaining position than they enjoyed as members of the EU. A much, much weaker bargaining position, if they leave the EU with no deal.
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Old 07-30-2019, 10:16 PM
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AFAICT none of those countries are in any way eschewing trade deals, nor have they unilaterally dropped all barriers to trade.
Did I say eschew trade deals? Is Johnson fixing to eschew trade deals? No what I said was that it is possible to successfully pursue free trade outside of a large trade bloc. In fact, the best free trade countries are not in a large trade bloc.
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Old 07-30-2019, 10:48 PM
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Did I say eschew trade deals? Is Johnson fixing to eschew trade deals? No what I said was that it is possible to successfully pursue free trade outside of a large trade bloc. In fact, the best free trade countries are not in a large trade bloc.
Well, I dunno how true this is. Here's a list of countries ranked by their average tariff rates, which is a pretty good indicator of how good a "free trade country" they are. The four freest include Switzerland, which is in the Single Market, and Singapore, which is in the ASEAN Free Trade Area and so operates the Common Effective Preferential Tariff Scheme. Just behind those four we have a group including Norway and Iceland, both in the EEA. The EU countries come just behind that group, and they are ahead of - as in, they have lower average tariff barriers than - New Zealand and Chile.

In short, of the four countries that you mention, Hong Kong would appear to be the only one that (a) is more of a free trade country than the EU member states, and (b) is not in a trade bloc of any kind.
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Old 07-31-2019, 01:40 AM
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Labour seem to be pressing for a second vote when their core areas of support were solidly behind leave, - a general election for them would likely be political suicide but their party leaders seem to be listening to their activists instead of their electorate.
It's not just the activists, which is a big part of their dilemma. Even as most Labour constituencies voted to leave, most Labour voters voted to remain.

Last edited by Lord Feldon; 07-31-2019 at 01:41 AM.
  #39  
Old 07-31-2019, 03:57 AM
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I had only a vague idea of who Boris Johnson really was. I mean, I know who he is, but not what kind of person. I keep hearing that he's another Trump - a low intelligence populist rabble rouser. So I did a little research on him, and I'm not seeing it.

Apparently he went to Eton, where he was considered a bit of a prodigy. Then Oxford, where he graduated with second class honors. He speaks Greek and Latin fluently. His politics are said to be more David Cameron style center-right orthodoxy, other than Brexit.

So what am I missing? Sure, he has goofy hair and a penchant for theatrics, but I'm not seeing the dumb drooling Trump clone.
Boris isn't dumb, and can string sentences together. He's also arrogant, raised from birth to think he's special, and a serial adulterer. He is, even by the standards of politicians, in love with the sound of his own voice. He's very definitely populist, and if he's not specifically saying "Make Britain Great Again" a big part of his pitch to the country is vague exhortations to believe in ourselves coupled with sweeping declarations that everyone pointing out problems that can't be solved just by positive feelings is a naysayer talking down Britain.

His education would suggest that he's capable of grasping detail, but a regular feature of his career as journalist, London Mayor and Foreign Secretary is that, like Trump, he blurts out what he wants to be true rather than what is. See for example, his recent speech in which he claimed that fish smokers on the Isle of Man were being put to unneccessary costs by EU rules requiring them to put a chemical cool pack in their postal kipper deliveries. It went down very well with the audience. It just turns out that: the Isle of Man isn't in the EU; even if it were the EU doesn't have such a rule; but the UK does. (Also, it's probably quite a good idea to keep fish cool in transit, when you think about it.) Disregarding the truth for a crowd-pleasing speech that falls apart on further investigation is reasonably Trump adjacent behaviour and it's this tendency to say whatever will get him applause and power that's the main point of comparison between him and Trump.
  #40  
Old 07-31-2019, 04:36 AM
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How is losing the free trade we have already with the rest of the EU going to be profitable?

The Confederation of British Industry, the Trades Union Council, the Bank of England and the previous Chancellor of the Exchequer all said 'no deal' would be an economic disaster.

It takes years to set up trade deals - and when you have a clown like Johnson in charge, our prospects are dismal.
Apparently, getting rid of EU regulations will make trade easier. I guess those toys painted with lead need a market after all.
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  #41  
Old 07-31-2019, 04:42 AM
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Apparently, getting rid of EU regulations will make trade easier. I guess those toys painted with lead need a market after all.
Yes, it's amusing that people who want to leave the (highly profitable) EU trade deals don't realise that the UK will be bound by World Trading Organisation rules instead!
  #42  
Old 07-31-2019, 04:52 AM
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You can argue the merits or otherwise of Brexit all you want - but this has been done to death in other threads already - the OP isn't asking about the ins and outs of Brexit as such, more they are interested in Boris and his approach to the issue and an evaluation of how it is perceived to be going.
Well, you tried.
  #43  
Old 07-31-2019, 04:54 AM
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Plus one of our permanent underlying economic problems is a negative trade balance. Simply making imports cheaper by cutting tariffs will do nothing to increase exports: that requires agreements, country by country, to replace the ones we have as a member of the EU that we automatically lose when we cease to be a member. And what would those countries expect in return?
  #44  
Old 07-31-2019, 05:49 AM
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Boris isn't dumb, and can string sentences together. He's also arrogant, raised from birth to think he's special, and a serial adulterer. He is, even by the standards of politicians, in love with the sound of his own voice. He's very definitely populist, and if he's not specifically saying "Make Britain Great Again" a big part of his pitch to the country is vague exhortations to believe in ourselves coupled with sweeping declarations that everyone pointing out problems that can't be solved just by positive feelings is a naysayer talking down Britain.

His education would suggest that he's capable of grasping detail, but a regular feature of his career as journalist, London Mayor and Foreign Secretary is that, like Trump, he blurts out what he wants to be true rather than what is. See for example, his recent speech in which he claimed that fish smokers on the Isle of Man were being put to unneccessary costs by EU rules requiring them to put a chemical cool pack in their postal kipper deliveries. It went down very well with the audience. It just turns out that: the Isle of Man isn't in the EU; even if it were the EU doesn't have such a rule; but the UK does. (Also, it's probably quite a good idea to keep fish cool in transit, when you think about it.) Disregarding the truth for a crowd-pleasing speech that falls apart on further investigation is reasonably Trump adjacent behaviour and it's this tendency to say whatever will get him applause and power that's the main point of comparison between him and Trump.
Boris even got fired from the Times for making up stories - and then moved to the Telegraph where they're perfectly happy for their staff to make up stories. It's what he does.

In addition he has a string of disasters in his wake. As Mayor he pushed through his "garden bridge" project against all opposition despite it being a vastly overpriced boondoggle nobody wanted, resulting in 50m of taxpayer money being spent on nothing. As Foreign Secretary his efforts to get Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe freed from prison in Iran ended up earning her another three years' imprisonment for spectacularly stupid reasons. And of course his string of lies brought us Brexit. And yet his fans love him.
  #45  
Old 07-31-2019, 06:34 AM
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Come on, all Boris has to do to get a great trade balance is....

SPOILER:
Recreate the old Sterling Zone


For that, he needs to
SPOILER:
Restore the British Empire


Easy peasy.
  #46  
Old 07-31-2019, 08:26 AM
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Poor Elizabeth - she must be thinking "I started my reign working with PM Winston Churchill. Now I have to put up with this clown".
  #47  
Old 07-31-2019, 08:39 AM
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Or more likely, great another dumbass racist, like Churchill.

Actually, the UK did very well when Churhcill stuck to speeches and let the professionals run the country. Attlee and Bevan for domestic matters, Attlee for colonial affairs and Alan Brooke and the rest ran the war.

Thats a way, tell Boris he can speak all he wwants, but the grown ups will be running things. Its actaully Churchillian.

Last edited by AK84; 07-31-2019 at 08:40 AM.
  #48  
Old 07-31-2019, 08:51 AM
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Fine, but who are the grownups?
  #49  
Old 07-31-2019, 09:34 AM
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Fine, but who are the grownups?
Good question.
  #50  
Old 07-31-2019, 12:05 PM
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Fine, but who are the grownups?

Dunno.
Maybe Ruth Davidson?
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