Saturday, August 20, 2016

Professor Richard Rose from the UK: Delaying the countdown to Brexit - a cost-benefit analysis

Notifying departure in January 2017 would remove uncertainties that are already beginning to affect many British-based industries and institutions. It would also reassure anxious Conservative MPs that Downing Street is not procrastinating about delivering what they campaigned for and she did not. However, if the practicalities of post-Brexit relations begins in January, British negotiators will be short on details.

Harold Wilson’s remark – a week is a long time in politics – warns Theresa May of the dangers of waiting a full year, since this multiplies by 52 the risk of unforeseen and unwanted events. The biggest risk is a by-election arising in a Tory-held constituency. In such circumstances, the UKIP candidate can appeal for support by asking voters to send a message to Downing Street that Brexit means Brexit sooner rather than later.

Holding off negotiations until spring would increase by half the time available to Whitehall to prepare realistic proposals for negotiation with EU officials and begin preparations for revising the domestic statute book to deal with laws that have depended on the country’s EU membership. French elections in spring are likely to produce a new president who will back British proposals only as and when it is in France’s interest.

Delaying the application for withdrawal until autumn 2017 has domestic and European political costs. If the prime minister has not started  moving predictably toward Brexit before then, she will face semi-anonymous briefings against her from pro-Brexit ministers and demands from the Conservative Party conference to get a move on, or else. Explanations backed by expert opinion will invite Brexiters to assert they are wrong, again – just as they were in assuming David Cameron would win his campaign to keep the UK in the EU.

The German election, due in autumn 2017, will place Angela Merkel under attack from a protest party that wants to reduce the influence of the EU on member states. On past form, she will reject such demands. Even if she loses office, alternative leaders are likely to refuse such demands, both on principle and in the light of what happened to David Cameron when he tried to appease Britain’s eurosceptics.

Delaying the formal launch of exit beyond spring would terminate it at the worst possible time for EU institutions to sign off on an agreement with the British government. The European Parliament (EP), which needs to approve a number of features of any agreement, is up for election in May 2019. Even if its party composition remains unchanged, about half its MEPs will be new to the institution. Committee chairmanships, important for scrutinising details, will be up for grabs too.

A new set of European Commission leaders will be appointed after the EP election; it will take until autumn to confirm their names and responsibilities. The turnover of national heads of government in the European Council will be less dramatic because it occurs gradually. However, any agreement the prime minister strikes with sympathetic national prime ministers could not be confirmed without a full Council vote and the cooperation of the new Commissioners and Parliament.

In autumn 2019 EU institutions will be hesitant to make concessions to British demands for exceptional benefits that might encourage other nations to seek the same. The absence of a binding agreement will trigger a hard Brexit, in which all the existing benefits and obligations of EU membership will cease. Visible costs are likely to come before hoped for benefits. The biggest political cost would come from taking too long to deliver Brexit and leaving the Conservative Party once again divided for the British general election in May 2020.

Professor Richard Rose is the Director of the Centre for the Study of Public Policy at the University of Strathclyde, Scotland. He is a contributor to The UK in a Changing Europe Initiative.


paul scott said...
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I invite readers to persevere with Professor Rose's article here.
It gives insight into the Remain camp superior thinking, and you know, stuff like the cost/ benefit for the plebs.
When will the UK leave EU/?. @ when it is ready " he says.

Barend Vlaardingerbroek said...
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In the Brexit referendum, 39% of the electorate (54% of the 72% who turned out) made a political statement about the EU. That political statement now has to be translated into actions, and that's going to be difficult especially when most parliamentarians would prefer to remain. One gets the funny feeling that being in limbo is the preferred option at the moment and that nobody is in a hurry to bite the bullet. This whole thing could yet turn into a fiasco.

paul scott said...
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Brexit, looks like it will be left on the cooker for as long as it takes for the public to lose its appetite Then it may just go out, quietly one night with the dirty dish water, when the children are in bed.
PM May of UK, said she would like to see what the Scottish people think /? Wow.
The House of Lords [ excepting Mat Ridley and a few others ] want a new referendum, so that democracy can achieve the correct result.
Anyone can see that the best qualified voters like the intelligentsia of Lambeth wanted to remain. And those redneck hicks up there in the Midlands, voting Brexit, I mean, say no more. The evolutionist Richard Dawkins had a stroke then also said another referendum is necessary. And its not as if the BBC didn’t tell them what to do.
New Zealand
I write this because in New Zealand we became involved in Brexit in a lets hope they leave that New World Order, EU way. And we study the Clinton foundation and the Trump parades because in another way we have an investment in USA.
We had a recent petition here on the Maryan Street and David Seymour Death with Dignity proposal .
Yes, Yes, we thought, so many of us, we must get on with this. Not so fast.
The petitioners against assisted suicide far outweighed those of us in favour.
A well known blogger bitterly complained that the uneducated, church assisted, lesser people, had been petitioning against. There was presented, on blog, copies of the petitions of the simple numbers driven church goers ,
Their petitions were insubstantial. Horrors.
Democracy going wrong again. This is not good.
We have had a few referenda which have been no good.
The smacking referendum was no use the Government said because it was worded badly. Refused.
The Norm Withers violence referendum, [ absurdly referenced wording in that case]. Ignored.
The Asset sales referendum was contrary to the Government policy. Refused.

Barend says that public referenda on issues which are fundamental and constitutional in nature should have a set majority. This is, I think he means a majority of all eligible voters.
Probably a good idea, and we will need to know in advance of the terms, and majority required..
Maybe we can have a referendum on this, for fun.
No wait,that would mean young people voting. Aucklanders too. No I can’t have that at all.
We have to work out a democracy that will give the results I want.

paul scott said...
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As expected,Brexit delay, on hold, too hard, maybe a few years, not ever really
Many News sources. This following from the UK Express.

Theresa May may postpone her activation of Article 50, which will spark two years of formal negotiations before Britain officially withdraws from the 28-country bloc, until the end of next year. The PM was expected to kick-start the process in just five months. Her postponement is set to infuriate Leave voters who expected a prompt start to proceedings.
A member of the Prime Minister’s cabinet also conceded the German election, in which German Chancellor Angela Merkel will attempt to regain her CDU / CSU party’s 41.5 per cent vote share, posed “some challenges”.
There are also fears Mrs May’s new Brexit and international trade teams will not be ready for Article 50 to be activated in January 2017.
One source confirmed: “Ministers are now thinking the trigger could be delayed to autumn 2017.
Theresa May was expected to trigger Article 50 in January but may now delay it until the end of 2017
Leave voters are furious that Brexit may be delayed due to European elections
“They don’t have the infrastructure for the people they need to hire. They say they don’t even know the right questions to ask when they finally begin bargaining with Europe.”
Another said: “I’m not sure they are going to be ready. There is an issue about these preliminary talks. No-one even seems to know what the substance will be.”
David Davis, the Brexit secretary, and Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, are making slow progress at assembling their new teams.
Mr Davis has hired less than half of his 250 required staff members. Mr Fox is putting together a team of 1,000 people but has so fare hired just 100. Regarding a potential delay to triggering Article 50, a spokesman for Mrs May said it was still a “top priority”.
You see the Empire will not be thwarted. ""They don't know the questions to ask"" poor little public school boy progressives. I could do it for them.