Brexing up is hard to do

As Sedaka sang:
Do do do
Down dooby doo down down
Comma, comma, down dooby doo down down
Comma, comma, down dooby doo down down
Breaking up is hard to do
Don’t take your love away from me
Don’t you leave my heart in misery
If you go then I’ll be blue
‘Cause breaking up is hard to do

The Guardian:
In an attempt to prevent a £9bn price shock to business and consumers while “supporting farmers and producers who have been protected through high EU tariffs”, the government on Wednesday set out its long-awaited pricing regime in the event that the UK crashes out of the EU on 29 March.
Among the consumer goods that will be hit are imports of beef, which will go up by almost 7%, cheddar cheese, up by about £20 per 100kg, and imported “fully finished” cars, which would attract a 10.8% levy, or about £1,500 for an average new car.
Tins of tuna could go up by 24%, imported men’s wool jackets by 12% and men’s, women’s and girls’ underpants made of synthetic fibre by 12%.
The announcements were made in a last-ditch attempt to concentrate the minds of MPs who will be voting later on Wednesday to reject a no-deal Brexit after Theresa May’s 149-vote defeat. [continues]


17 thoughts on “Brexing up is hard to do”

  1. NYTimes:

    LONDON — Britain hurtled into unknown political territory on Tuesday when Parliament, for the second time, rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan to quit the European Union, leaving her authority in tatters and the country seemingly rudderless just 17 days before its scheduled departure from the bloc.

    Mrs. May had hoped that last-minute concessions from the European Union would swing the vote in her favor, but many lawmakers dismissed those changes as ineffectual or cosmetic and voted against the deal, 391 to 242.

    After the vote, the prime minister defended her agreement as the “best outcome” for the United Kingdom and showed her frustration in addressing the lawmakers, who are scheduled to vote later this week on whether to seek an extension to leave the bloc.

    “Let me be clear that voting against leaving without a deal and for an extension does not solve the problems we face,” Mrs. May said. “The E.U. will want to know what use we mean to make of such an extension, and the House will have to answer that question.”

    Did Parliament want to remain in the European Union, she asked, or hold a second referendum? Or leave with some other deal?

    “These are unenviable choices,” she said, “but thanks to the decision the House has made this evening, they are choices that must now be faced.”

    The deal that Parliament rejected would have eventually given Britain power over immigration from Europe, but kept the country in the European Union’s customs and trade system until at least the end of 2020.

    Tuesday’s vote, while expected, deepened an already profound crisis over the biggest peacetime decision to confront a British government in decades.

    Mrs. May, who was forced to argue for her plan in a croaking voice because of a head cold, has essentially ceded control of events to Parliament, at least for now, with important votes coming on whether to bar a no-deal Brexit and whether to request the extension, something many analysts say is now inevitable.


    In theory, if there is no agreement by March 29, Britain will depart the European Union without any formal deal. But Britain is ill-prepared for a disorderly and potentially chaotic exit, and lawmakers are so alarmed at that prospect that they voted in January against such an outcome in a nonbinding motion. Parliament will get that chance again in a binding vote on Wednesday.


    stay tuned to the next segment in the great breaking up of great britain.  the mysteries of the moment what will  happen to scotland and northern ireland ?  will they leave ?  will the lights go out when they slam the door on the grand old lady?

  2. Gee, who knew that backing out of a continent wide economic partnership could be so difficult?  It looks like the GB ship of state is under the command of LtJG May. Odd because her resume looks strong. I guess wit Brexit she’s run up against her Peter principal moment

  3. Vlad’s victories:  trumpstan  & not-so-great Britain.  remembering this story from a year ago in the guardian:

    Russia’s attempts to influence British democracy and the potential vulnerability of parts of the UK political system to anti-democratic meddling during the EU referendum have been detailed in a report prepared by the US Senate.


    The report by Democrats on the Senate foreign relations committee, titled Putin’s asymmetric assault on democracy in Russia and Europe: implications for US national security, pinpoints the way in which UK campaign finance laws do not require disclosure of political donations if they are from “the beneficial owners of non-British companies that are incorporated in the EU and carry out business in the UK”.


    This opacity, the report suggests, “may have enabled Russian-related money to be directed with insufficient scrutiny to various UK political actors”.

    “Investigative journalists have also raised questions about the sources of sudden and possibly illicit wealth that may have been directed to support the Brexit ‘Leave’ campaign.” The UK Electoral Commission has already launched an investigation into the issue.


    The senators point out that Ukip and its then-leader, Nigel Farage, did not just fan anti-EU sentiment but also “criticised European sanctions on Russia, and provided flattering assessments of Russian President Putin”.


    The report adds that although officially the Russian government asserted its neutrality on Brexit, its English-language media outlets RT and Sputnik covered the referendum campaign extensively and offered ‘’systematically one-sided coverage’’.


    In addition, the senators noted that research conducted by a joint team of experts from the University of California at Berkeley and Swansea University reportedly identified 150,000 Twitter accounts with various Russian ties that disseminated messages about Brexit.


    The report also points to the vast flow of Russian money into the UK, including the London property market. It records how the Metropolitan police noted that a total value of £180m in properties in the UK had been put under investigation as possibly purchased with corrupt proceeds by secretive offshore companies.


  4. Yeah…  I’ve been reading about Brexit in The Economist.  From what I’ve read that magazine wasn’t in favor of leaving the EU to begin with…  and now they’re very critical about Parliament not being able to find and vote on a solution.  Just goes to show ya that the USA isn’t the only country with stupid people.

  5. Locked up Manipedi gets an extra few years and more coming

    I see a pardon coming

  6. bbronc, the most important part of that nytimes article you linked:

    Paul J. Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, has been charged in New York with mortgage fraud and more than a dozen other state felonies, the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., said Wednesday, an effort to ensure he will still face prison time if Mr. Trump pardons him for his federal crimes.


    The president has broad power to issue pardons for federal crimes, but has no such authority in state cases.


  7. kudos for judge jackson

    wapo: Paul Manafort’s judge strongly rebukes Manafort’s — and Trump’s — ‘no collusion’ refrain

    Judge Amy Berman Jackson made several strong statements before sentencing former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on Wednesday. But one, in particular, struck at the core of President Trump’s personal defense in the Russia investigation.


    She said the “no collusion” mantra is bunk.


    Manafort’s legal team had suggested repeatedly in its sentencing memo that the fact that he hadn’t been found to have colluded with Russia should be a mitigating factor when it came to how much time he would serve in prison. But Jackson not only rejected that argument in sentencing him to 43 additional months in prison, she also rejected the entire argument behind it.


    “The ‘no collusion’ refrain that runs through the entire defense memorandum is unrelated to matters at hand,” she said. “The ‘no collusion’ mantra is simply a non sequitur.”


    Then she added: “The ‘no collusion’ mantra is also not accurate, because the investigation is still ongoing.”


    The Manafort team’s use of the “no collusion” mantra was so conspicuous that Jackson mused that it might be intended for another audience besides the court, an apparent reference to Trump and the possibility of Manafort landing a pardon.

    And after sentencing, Downing came out and immediately proved her point for her. “For anyone who was in the courtroom today, what I’m about to say will not be a surprise: Judge Jackson conceded that there was absolutely no evidence of any Russian collusion in this case. So that makes two courts — two courts have ruled no evidence of any collusion with any Russians.”

    Downing was jeered and called a “liar” by the crowd assembled. And for the reasons described above, it’s hard to blame the crowd. He had done exactly what Jackson had just rebuked him for doing: oversold the fact that collusion was not proved in this particular case, which wasn’t even about collusion.


    The media has been pointing out for months that Trump is overselling all of these examples. But on Wednesday, a judge whose job it is to decide people’s guilt or innocence put it on the record.


    “Court is one of those places where facts still matter,” Jackson said, adding at another point: “If the people don’t have the facts, democracy can’t work.”


    It’s as if she was speaking directly to the man whose campaign Manafort once ran.

  8. more on the trumpworld underbelly from the guardian:

    Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, was confronted by two of the most senior US government officials for mixing his personal interests with US foreign policy, according to a new book.


    Kushner, an envoy to the Middle East for his father-in-law, is said to have been robustly challenged by both Rex Tillerson, then secretary of state, and Gary Cohn, formerly Trump’s top economic adviser.


    The confrontations are detailed in Kushner Inc by the journalist Vicky Ward, who also describes interference in foreign relations by Kushner’s wife, Ivanka Trump. The book is scheduled to be released on 19 March. A copy was obtained by the Guardian.

    Ward reports that Tillerson blamed Kushner for Trump’s abrupt endorsement of a provocative blockade and diplomatic campaign against Qatar by Saudi Arabia and several allies in June 2017. The US has thousands of troops stationed in Qatar.


    Tillerson “told Kushner that his interference had endangered the US”, an unidentified Tillerson aide tells Ward. Tillerson is also said to have read negative “chatter” about himself in intelligence reports after Kushner belittled him to Kushner’s friend Mohammed bin Salman, the controversial Saudi crown prince.


    Meanwhile, Cohn is said to have rebuked Kushner in January 2017 after it was revealed Kushner had dined with executives from the Chinese financial corporation Anbang, which was considering investing in the Kushner family’s troubled tower at 666 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

    “You’ve got to be crazy,” Cohn is said to have told Kushner in front of others. Kushner met the executives around the time he hosted Chinese government officials at the Fifth Avenue tower. The building was eventually refinanced by a Qatari-backed investment fund.


    Ivanka Trump is reported to have interfered in telephone calls between her father and foreign dignitaries despite having overseas business interests. “Thanks so much for the CD you sent me,” she is quoted as having told an Indian leader by someone who heard the call. The Trump Organization owns several residential towers in India.


    Ward’s book portrays Kushner and Ivanka Trump as relentlessly ambitious operators who are loathed by many forced to work with them. She reports that White House staffers mocked Kushner as the “secretary of everything” for his wide-ranging meddling and derided Ivanka Trump’s team as Habi – “home of all bad ideas”.



    Bannon recalls Kushner furiously shouting at him at the White House in 2017 after he confronted Kushner about holding secret talks with senators on immigration reform. “He goes from a little boy to, like, this fucking devil,” Bannon is quoted as saying.


    Bannon also claims to have told Ivanka Trump: “Go fuck yourself … you are nothing” in front of her father, during an argument over who was the bigger leaker to the media. Ivanka Trump is said to have called Bannon a “fucking liar”.


    For her part, Ivanka Trump is focused on cementing a Trump dynasty to rival the Kennedys and Bushes by becoming commander-in-chief herself one day, according to Ward. “She thinks she’s going to be president of the United States,” Cohn is quoted as saying.

  9. I heard the brouhaha about Downing’s post sentencing comments and was struck by the fact that he just lied about what Judge Jackson “conceded” in her comments.  I would not sleep very well tonight if I were he.  Federal judges are notorious for having little sense of humor when it comes to attorneys ignoring their orders and making false statements about proceedings in their courtrooms.  Now I’m not a judge, but if I were and this happened in one of my cases I would have the attorney summoned into the courtroom and it would go something like this:

    Jackson: Mr. Downing, I have called you back into this Court to address your comments to the press after the trial of Mr. Manafort.  During sentencing I was very clear that the “no collusion” mantra you continually chanted during Mr. Manafort’s trial was a non sequitur and was unrelated to the matters at hand in his trial.  I said so explicitly from this bench before I pronounced Mr. Manafort’s sentence.  You were there and you heard me.  Aside from the offensive nature of your lies to the press about me and what I did or did not concede, what is most troubling to me is that you are a member of the Bar and an officer of the Court and have a duty to this Court and to the administration of justice in it to be truthful in your comments about this system.  You most certainly were not truthful but were intentionally deceptive in your comments.  I am inclined to hold you in contempt of court for making false statements about what I did and did not “concede” in this case when you knew full well that I conceded no such thing.  So that you cannot suggest that I was unclear in my comments yesterday – I did not concede that there was no collusion between anyone and the Russian government or its agents, and that issue was not before me to make any such finding.  

    Downing :  But Judge you said…”

    Jackson: Mr. Downing I suggest you not interrupt this Court and do not try to explain away what you did following the trial.  I am going to give you one opportunity to avoid being held in contempt of this court and put in jail.  You are going to hold a press conference and admit that you misrepresented what went on in this courtroom and publicly apologize to the Court and the press for lying – and I expect that you are going to use the word “lied” in your apology related to your comments about the Court’s “concessions”.  You know as well as I that when you said I conceded there was no collusion that you meant to suggest that this Court ruled that there was no collusion between Mr. Manafort, President Trump and the Russian government.  I made no such ruling or concession.  If you make such an apology, and you make it in a sincere fashion, I will not jail you for your contempt of this Court.  I am however finding you in contempt and I am also filing a complaint with the Disciplinary Counsel of the State Bar for your contempt of this Court and your violations of your duties as an officer of the Court.  Now shall I have the Bailiff escort you to your cell or will I be hearing the press conference I have suggested you conduct?  And is there anything you would like to say?

    Downing: No, your honor you will not need the bailiff.  Thank you.

    I do not know whether Judge Jackson will do such a thing – but if I were her and an attorney made such an egregiously false statement about my holdings in a case I damn sure would do something like the above.

  10. I think we should stop trying to convince the supporters of the worst elected official on the face of the planet and figure out how to make them want to move to Russia

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