Monday 14 October 2019

Brexit today

Mr. Macron and Mrs. Merkel had dinner together last night in Paris, presumably to discuss Brexit. I wonder in what language they spoke to each other.

Angela Merkel does speak English, but rarely does so in public. Growing up in East Germany learned Russian is her second language. In February 2014, when she addressed both Houses of the British Parliament she delivered the first half of her speech in English. Mr Macron however speaks English and German well, so I imagine they spoke in German.

Boris speaks French and Italian well and German and Spanish reasonably well, since you ask.

Is Boris's proposal a reheated version of Mrs May's custom partnership as so many people hostile to him are saying? No, because it would enable the UK to make free trade agreements with non-EU countries.

But all is fiendishly complicated.

Jennifer Rankin of the Guardian in her Twitter thread

"What if, EU officials are asking, “chicken (chlorinated perhaps) is imported into NI and then made into ready meals that are sold in the EU market. In this case, how do you make distinction between goods entitled to enter the EU market and those that are not?”

Oliver Wright in the Times says:
“In a move that will put more pressure on No. 10, the EU said that it was prepared to back the plan in principle even if a legal text could not be finalised in time for the summit — provided that Mr Johnson gave ground. This could lead to the prime minister returning from Brussels with a political deal that could be put to a vote in the Commons on Saturday, with a legal agreement to be finalised afterwards.”

Alex Wickham and Alberto Nardelli, writing for BuzzFeed, surmise that

“If the EU accepted in principle Johnson’s customs partnership for the Northern Ireland proposal without a backstop, but said it needed more time to iron out the details, Johnson could agree a three month technical extension to Article 50.”

He said we would leave on 31 October (17 days from today) do or die. Would everyone understand if he had to delay it by three months for technical reasons? 

Even if they don't, if in three months time we have left thanks to him, the delay will be forgotten.

1 comment:

  1. ' I wonder in what language they spoke to each other.'


    "Newspeak occurs whenever the main purpose of language--which is to describe reality--is replaced by the rival purpose of asserting power over it. . . . Newspeak sentences sound like assertions, but their underlying logic is the logic of the spell. They show the triumph of words over things, the futility of rational argument and also the danger of resistance."
    (Roger Scruton, A Political Philosophy. Continuum, 2006)