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Brexit

Polymorph

TRIBE Member
People here are speculating that some countries, like Spain, might try to block an independent Scotland's re-entry into the EU, but I highly doubt it.

This is exactly the sort of slap on the face the EU wants to give Britain right now.

(Oh, and for any sovereigntist Quebecers looking at this? Look closely. Scotland will now secede from Britain because it wants to be part of the *bigger picture*. Whereas the shit that's hitting Britain right now, in it's choice to be an insular, standalone *sovereign nation*, this would be more like Quebec.
Oh, and the fact that there's a petition from Londoners to secede from Britain and rejoin the EU? That would be Montreal.

Just sayin'
 

Bass-Invader

TRIBE Member
Spain has separatist issues in its country and doesn't want to fan the flames by supporting another country's secession. They threatened to block Scottish entry into the EU during the last Scottish referendum.

However, they were also probably encouraged to do so by not only England, but other countries. This time they would likely be under pressure *not* to prevent it, given that a Scottish separation and integration into the EU would go some distance towards demonstrating how silly Britain's decision to leave is. And Europe is keen to prevent future leave referenda.

The Scottish economy is probably the biggest reason for staying. They receive significant equalisation funds from England. However, once Brexit really sets in, there is an argument that EU membership would be more economically beneficial than the Barnett formula under dwindling british tax receipts.
 

Polymorph

TRIBE Member
Spain has separatist issues in its country and doesn't want to fan the flames by supporting another country's secession. They threatened to block Scottish entry into the EU during the last Scottish referendum.

However, they were also probably encouraged to do so by not only England, but other countries. This time they would likely be under pressure *not* to prevent it, given that a Scottish separation and integration into the EU would go some distance towards demonstrating how silly Britain's decision to leave is. And Europe is keen to prevent future leave referenda.
Yes, but the big equivalent difference here is... If Spain itself held a referendum to leave the EU, and the leave vote won, and the secessionist regions strongly voted in terms of staying (in the EU).
It's a completely different dynamic.

For Scotland, it's not a vote to secede from the UK blankly. It's a choice to leave Britain in order to re-enter the EU.
 

Polymorph

TRIBE Member
*ugh*. It's as if SPAIN ITSELF held a referendum to stay/leave in the EU, and the secessionist regions of Spain voted to STAY. (in the EU).

It's not the same as if this Catalonian region just held their own ref, like Scotland did 2 years ago.
It's a different question.

The terms of agreement have changed, significantly.
 

Bass-Invader

TRIBE Member
*ugh*. It's as if SPAIN ITSELF held a referendum to stay/leave in the EU, and the secessionist regions of Spain voted to STAY. (in the EU).

It's not the same as if this Catalonian region just held their own ref, like Scotland did 2 years ago.
It's a different question.

The terms of agreement have changed, significantly.
Sorry, I still don't understand what point you are advancing. I understand that you are broadly suggesting that there are differences between the Spanish situation and the Scottish - I don't think I would dispute that - but am not sure what you are advancing on the basis of that (ie: are you suggesting that these differences mean Spain *will* try to block a future Scottish referendum, or that the differences mean they *won't*? Or something else?)
 

Polymorph

TRIBE Member
Sorry, I still don't understand what point you are advancing. I understand that you are broadly suggesting that there are differences between the Spanish situation and the Scottish - I don't think I would dispute that - but am not sure what you are advancing on the basis of that (ie: are you suggesting that these differences mean Spain *will* try to block a future Scottish referendum, or that the differences mean they *won't*? Or something else?)
I'm saying the same thing you are. Spain won't try to block Scotland this time, because there will be pressure from the rest of the EU for them not to. Also, it's a different contextual situation this time.

Also, it would be a nice symbolic victory for the EU to get Scotland back, even though they're not an economic powerhouse.
 

Bass-Invader

TRIBE Member
The process to remove the UK from the EU can only be started when the UK invokes Art 50. The reason the government hasn't invoked Art 50 TEU yet is because it's literally the only bargaining chip the country has (and it isn't much of one).

The volatility incurred by keeping Brexit in a holding pattern is economically harming the entire EU, therefore the UK's only real game is to try and angle a favourable deal by keeping the process in that uncertain state. The EU's angle on the other hand appears to be to try and stonewall the UK until Art 50 is invoked.

Once Art 50 is invoked, the EU can act unilaterally to remove the UK after 2 years. So once invocation occurs, the UK has literally no bargaining cards left.

Prof Eidenmuller puts it more eloquently than I:

https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/business-law-blog/blog/2016/06/brexit-negotiation-games
Hence, it appears that the UK finds itself in a precarious position. Mr Cameron might have once more overplayed his hand in suggesting that the Article 50(2) declaration can and will wait. On the other hand, the political turmoil in the UK is significant enough already. What will happen to the country if indeed Mr Cameron reverses his decision and comes forward with the declaration soon, possibly already on the next Council meeting on 28 June? All the bargaining leverage is on the Union’s side, and it does not seem like the Brexit negotiations will leave room for a lot of potential cherry-picking on the UK’s part.

The strategic picture is complicated by the fact that the interests of the remaining Member States are not homogenous. Export-oriented countries such as Germany that have more to lose from the UK being cut off the internal market have an interest in concluding a withdrawal agreement that gives the UK and themselves a ‘good deal’. However, it is difficult to see how such cherry-picking can be accomplished. Surely any deal will be scrutinised in detail by all interested parties. Giving the UK a special deal is almost impossible without setting undesirable incentives for other Member States to free ride on any such deal. And while Germany, France and other larger Member States may be able to block any deal that is not in their interests, they cannot force a deal tailored to their interests on the other Member States. Remember that 65% in terms of the population is the required majority. Everybody knows this, and ex ante this works as a commitment strategy that again weakens the UK bargaining position: the Union will not cut a deal that is not acceptable to a broad majority of the remaining Member States. And if there is no deal, there is exit without a deal.

Finally, the ensuing negotiations are interesting also because they are going to involve agents. The Union already has announced that its negotiation team will be lead by a Belgian diplomat, Mr Seeuws. Mr Seeuws was chief-of-staff to Mr Van Rompuy, Mr Tusk’s predecessor as chairman of EU summits, until 2014. He is an experienced negotiator and also a strong advocate of deeper EU integration. This sends a clear signal to the UK also with respect to what sort of ‘withdrawal agreement’ to expect: not one that weakens the Union, e.g. by cherry-picking elements. Even more important, Mr Seeuws does not represent one of the large Member States with more economic and political power. This gives Germany and France in particular more flexibility in the negotiations and is less prone to being viewed as an expression of ‘bully politics’ than if, like in the Greek bailout negotiations, it would have been Ms Merkel or Mr Schäuble, the German Finance Minister, who had been designated as the lead negotiator.

I think it is fair to say that the Brexit vote is seen by a majority of non-British citizens as being bad for Europe, but bad for the UK in particular. Right now, it appears that the negotiation table is not laid out such that the dire consequences of the vote could be much improved for the UK. Simply put, the rules of the ‘exit game’ put the UK in a very weak bargaining position: if a ‘withdrawal agreement’ is not backed by a broad majority of the remaining Member States, the UK faces Brexit ‘pure and simple’. It will find itself outside of the Union with the right to apply for re-entry according to Article 49 (Art 50(5)). It will be in a club with Turkey.
 
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