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Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Is this the real reason Oliver Robbins negotiated the Treaty?

One final comment - or rather question - arising from that remarkable documentary.

It was absolutely clear throughout the process that the EU side were stunned by the incompetence, weakness, unpreparedness, naivety and sheer stupidity of the British team led by Oliver Robbins.

Is it possible that that he was selected by Mark Sedwill not because he was the best that the civil service had to offer, but the worst? A head negotiator warranted to screw it up and produce a treaty advantageous to the EU? A humiliation of a treaty equal to Versailles?

Just asking.

Meanwhile, the Brexit Party scores 34% of YouGov's latest poll - more than Labour and the LibDems combined. And that's before May does a deal with Corbyn.

And can anyone explain why my London ballot paper has on it 11 independents who can each afford a £5,000 deposit?


DeeDee99 said...

An argument that Robbins was naive, stupid, unprepared blah blah blah sounds very much like an excuse for his treachery.

Cheerful Edward said...

Raedwald, it is the intrinsics of the position which are the problem for the UK.

It is some offshore islands. It depends on EU ports, airspace, roads, and rail, to access its principal external markets vastly more than vice-versa. The position is similar with the scale of reciprocal economic ties.

The capabilities or otherwise of the negotiators have virtually no bearing. The UK either accepts alignment with the EU, or very severe economic consequences, and all further ramifications of those. There is NO third option.

Dave_G said...

I still think there is more than enough evidence to indicate that the WA was written and directed by Merkel/EU rather than Robbins but his appointment to continue the betrayal seems logical.

We might, one day, get the transcript of the May/Merkel meeting just prior to her convening the Chequers meeting.....

But that's rather like wishing we had access to the documents pertaining to Dr David Kelly... give it 50 years or so.....

Stephen J said...

He is probably as ineffectual and useless as the average worker who doesn't have to satisfy the shareholders.

Unfortunately for us, that includes most of the breeds of civil servant from assistant Principal upwards, the vast majority od parliamentarians, who are just occupying sinecures.

I reckon they probably chose him for his good looks.

Cheerful Edward said...

"He is probably as ineffectual and useless as the average worker who doesn't have to satisfy the shareholders."

That'll be self-employed, white van man, then.

Dave_G said...


Anything you say regarding UK exports and 'access' applies equally and reciprocally to anything 'EU'. This isn't a situation where any side can win but the EU have more to lose than we do. The situation (almost) parallels the USA (Trump) versus China and their trade negotiations. My money is on Trump to win that argument in the same was as the UK would win against the EU.

A trade deal is perfectly possible but the EU's intransigence and obsession to punish the UK is blindsiding negotiations.

We hear all sorts about the UK's poor negotiating skills but the EU are more than culpable in the face of their absolute need to show the world/EU that they are 'correct' - the cut-your-nose-off-to-spite-your-face attitude of the EU is spectacular to observe.

The EU are of the impression that it is only their version of economics/politics that will survive in a future world - this despite ALL the evidence to the contrary - and I truly believe they would take Europe to war (once again) to prove their point.

They are THAT obsessed. Much like yourself.

Stephen J said...

White van man (as you call him) does satisfy the shareholders, or he starves.

John Brown said...

According to Wikipedia :

“At Oxford, Robbins was president of the Oxford Reform Club, a group promoting a federal European Union.”

So Mr. Robbins was selected as a perfect front man to give the impression a negotiation was taking place and who could be relied upon to not leak Mrs. May’s/the EU’s stitch up to take us out of the Lisbon Treaty with its Article 50 clause and into another treaty where we accept EU laws, taxes, budgetary commitments, fines, policies on energy and foreign and without representation or veto and with no lawful means of exit (according to our AG).

John in Cheshire said...

What's commie Robbins' background, who is he related to, what clubs is he a member of? I know nothing about him but everything every time someone like him crops up we eventually find he, or she, has the to our enemy oppressor class.

Cheerful Edward said...

"They need us more than we need them".

A Great Man said it, so it must be true.

Nigel Farage is a Great Man because everything he says is brilliant and true.

Everything that Nigel Farage says is brilliant and true, because it was said by a Great Man.

No problem there whatsoever is there?

OK, as for the private sector, let's look at Carillion, Interserve, KPMG etc. then, shall we?

Mark said...

@Cheerful Edward.

So Russian gas enters the EU and travels through an "EU pipeline" to get to the end users.

I hope Vlad the Putin understands the awful ramifications and the terrible consequences for Russia should he dare defy the Reich in future.

And should he even dream of turning off the gas? I hope he realises they are in no way dependent on him but buy it purely out of the goodness of their hearts as an act of unalloyed charity towards the slavic untermenschen.

Now explain to me again how you know the EU is banana shaped. Wibble.

Anonymous said...

On reflection these programmes didn't ring true. In particular Verhofstadt and his people all seemed surprised by May's 'Deal' as per Chequers and Barnier dropping in the 500 page document.

I think that ALL the politicians are being screwed, our MPs AND the MEPs. Verhofstadt is as much an outsider as May. Barnier and Robbins are in it together and that is why Mrs May's 'Deal' reads like a cut-and-paste from EU law.

As an aside it is worrying if Verhofstadt's office is typical of today's politicians - a pack of youngsters writing speeches that their 'boss' delivers, instead of the politician having their own position that they have to negotiate with another politician eye-to-eye. It is like being a child and telling the butcher that "My mum says your a thieving bastard" - she might have said it and thought it but would never have said it to the butcher's face as it wouldn't have served the object of getting better service. These back-office 'warriors', unlike 'Mum', don't bear the consequences of their bravado.

Cheerful Edward said...

Of course any arrangement with the EU will be a cut-and-paste of EU law in the relevant sectors.

The alternative is the economic near-destruction of the UK.

Take your pick, sugar plums.

Feargal the cat said...

'Independent' candidates bear close scrutiny. In previous elections here in Scotland 'independent' candidates have proven to be nothing less than e.g. SNP candidates wearing a different hat. It's an easy way to get party stooges voted in 'under the radar'. Voters may be fooled into a 'protest vote', only to find it's the same old charlatans taking office.

Cheerful Edward said...

How does the UK, with a GDP of only around 12% of that of its adversary win? And and against opponents, whilst needing their infrastructure to reach twenty-seven of its customers - and the rest beyond, when they each only need ours to reach just one, of twenty-seven and more of theirs?

The UK does have some bargaining chips, euro clearing, defence and security co-operation etc., but threatening the twenty-seven only cements their signal solidarity even further.

This has been a huge miscalculation by the deluded English nationalists. The other EU countries Are Not Like Them. That is always difficult for cynics to grasp, I know.

Mark said...

"Cut and paste of EU law"

Of course to allow continuity. The point is that May's deal wants to make this permanent and remove any future possibility of divergence, which, with proper negotiators who had the interests of this country at heart, could start to occur pretty well right away.

We did take our pick, it's just that the remainiac establishment refused to implement it.

Why do you believe, as you appear to, that we have absolutely no room for any sort of negotiation. That we are the absolute supplicant here and that we have nothing whatsoever that they want, need or require?

Just askin.

Spatsy said...

The EU elections aren’t going to provide much Cher for Edward.
He might have to troll low for a bit. Until he can come up with a reason why the greatness of The EU isn’t recognised by all as the one true religion.

Dave_G said...

It would be fair to say 'they need us as much as we need them' - and this would be true if the balance was even..... but it isn't.

If the EU were to cut off its nose (etc) then the biggest loser would indeed be the EU - the UK being known as 'rich pickings' for any European business seller. The EU forms only 15% of Global trade - it's not our ONLY market remember.....

But answer me this Cheerful-but-dim; why won't the EU negotiate a reasonable deal with the UK? Clearly the WA is far from reasonable (damaging to the UK) and clearly a WTO exit would be damaging to the EU so where is the compromise?

All we have is the WA being pushed at every opportunity (and rightly rejected) and there is zero indication of any willingness to flex on its contents - I find this intransigence impossible to accept. It is CHILDISH.

The UK must leave - both democratically and in the interests of ALL players so compromise must come and it must come from the EU.

The answer is, of course, that the EU can't AFFORD to lose the UK - it's nothing whatsoever to do with politics, it's simple GREED. Without the UK the EU is doomed - they know it, YOU know it - you are deluding yourself to believe otherwise.

Anonymous said...

"And can anyone explain why my London ballot paper has on it 11 independents who can each afford a £5,000 deposit?"
I did some digging and as previously posted, here is a profile of one independent candidate;
Kofi Mawuli Klu is a Jurisconsult in self-employment as an Eco-Pedagogy Global Citizenship Educationist, Researcher and Pan-Afrikan Community Advocate for Global Justice, with specialisation in Ubuntunkonso Grassroots People-to-Peoples’ Internationalist Solidarity and Groundup Diplomacy Action Learning. His roles in various community-based organisations, networks and campaigns include serving currently as the Chief Executive Commissioner of the Uequipoise-Panafriindaba Educonnexions, the Co-Vice-Chair of the Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign (SMWeCGEC) and the Joint International Coordinator of the Global Justice Forum (GJF). He is also the Co-Chair of Brixtonics@Brixton.

7 of the independents are of 'Extinction Rebellion' ilk, who are rather naive at how party lists work, in that they are in effect standing against each other.
All rather amusing and I'm surprised the media haven't picked it up yet.

Raedwald said...

Anon 12.17 - Brilliant!

Mark said...

@Cheerful Edward.

We are not trying to destroy them but they clearly want to destroy us. We are their adversary, clearly, we just want to establish some form of mutually beneficial trading arrangement.

Are we deluded? Perhaps, but deluded about what? That they are rational and want cordial relations with one of their most important markets?

They are not like us. We know, which is why we want to leave. Why you think they are sufficiently alike to be able to merge into a single state I really cannot imagine, particularly given their history.

"Cement their signal solidarity even further"? Who is deluded here?

Anonymous said...

Pity that members of the Brexit policy team either turned coward or did a runner.

John Brown said...

If Mr. Verhofstadt and his MEP colleagues were “stunned by the incompetence, weakness, unpreparedness, naivety and sheer stupidity of the British team led by Oliver Robbins” it can only be because they didn't know or realise that Mrs. May and Mr. Robbins were colluding with the EU Commission to produce the worst possible treaty they could make up in order to either make the UK a colony of the EU or to use as the leave option in a second referendum against remain.


To pay £10bn+/year to trade with a market with which we have a £100bn/year trading deficit is a good enough reason to leave the EU’s CU/SM, let alone accepting unlimited immigration from a continent with a population 10x ours and submitting to laws, taxes, fines and policies decided by politicians we do not elect and cannot remove.

Anonymous said...

"Of course any arrangement with the EU will be a cut-and-paste of EU law in the relevant sectors.

The alternative is the economic near-destruction of the UK."

I'll take the near-destruction. We survived the years after WWII when the economy was wrecked, and the government enforced ferocious austerity, bread rationing, etc. Worth it for independence.

Ask some Japanese people if they want to be ruled by China. Or the Southern Irish if they want to be ruled from Westminster.

Don Cox

Cheerful Edward said...

Anyone who seriously expects a union of four hundred and fifty million people, in twenty-seven countries, to tear up its founding and core principles, and to betray its globally-recognised commitment to the GFA is, I would suggest, deluded. Yes.

Incidentally, the US courts have just ordered Monsanto to pay some claimants, a couple, two billion dollars, on the nominal basis that its products probably did cause a disease.

This is nothing to do with justice. Monsanto will not pay. Their insurers will, and from a global pool. So you and I will contribute, yet again, to a flow of two billion, mainly from the rest of the world, into the US.

These cases are endless, and this politico-legal US conspiracy continues to milk the rest of the world. Now, THAT's true globalism.

Mark said...

What are those "founding and core principles"?

Look at for their version. I think the one about "transparent and democratic institutions" is the most vomit inducing.

Plantman said...

Ted Heath did not die. His malodorous spirit lingers on and trolls this lbog ad nauseum - but it at least keeps him cheerful!

Luther Burgsvik said...

Have you got a link to an article about the insurance companies paying the $2 billion instead of Monsanto? Cheers.

Cheerful Edward said...

Luther - this is off topic, but since you ask - Monsanto are based in Missouri, which restricts such insurance.

However, it is open for companies to buy "wrap" policies, from brokers often based in Bermuda, entirely outside the US, and that is what they generally do.

Dave_G said...


....and how many of those 450 million actually got the chance to VOTE on the 'founding and core principles' that created the EU? Go on, enlighten us. The EU wasn't created by popular mandate or under any democratic process, was it?

Any opportunity they were afforded was either ignored or overturned - exactly as they are trying to enforce over the Brexit decision.

You cannot (should not) condone any form of Government created 'under duress' or as a minority decision and a majority of voters in the UK realise this and wish to overturn it.

If the EU are confident of their right and might perhaps they could demonstrate this by offering EU-wide elections on their success?

Mr Ecks said...

As tired treasonous twats go you are working hard Cheesy. But you are still a loser.

Span Ows said...

Cheerful, 08:18 "It is some offshore islands. It depends on EU ports, airspace, roads, and rail, to access its principal external markets vastly more than vice-versa.

So the EU will block access after Brexit, is this what you are saying? If not your comment has no point.

Mr Ecks, yep, I think the lady doth protest too much.

Cheerful Edward said...

No, "the EU" would not block access to its airspace say. But if the UK left the EU arrangements which currently make it legal for it to use it, then international aviation law would. The UK would have to negotiate a replacement, as it would for all the other rights that it currently has. We do not know what the terms, or the costs, of those would be.

Haulage firms are tearing out their hair, amongst many others.