Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Not expecting competence

All the experts have been wrong - or so we are told. Except of course there is a multiplicity of experts each with varying views. Some of them though will never see the light of day because of what they say. The political class does not like to be told that which it does not want to hear and the media is not interested in anything that cannot be neatly slotted into the dismal leave/remain paradigm.

So tiresome is this that I have largely tuned out the media noise and the Brexit debate. It is inconsequential hot air. This though prompts accusations of "arrogance" and that I cannot possibly know for a fact that the Tories will make a pig's ear of it. I disagree.

It's all very well making far flung economic projections and with economies being as diverse as they are even the experts get caught out. Brexit though is a procedural undertaking which can only be as successful as the preparatory work. Of which there is very little.

As much as the MPs know next to nothing about the subject they are taking political advice rather than technical advice. Looking at the Nuclear Industry Association we see the CEO is a former Labour MP who is squealing to remain in Euratom but seemingly does not know the institutional distinctions.

This is not surprising. Leading trade bodies often hire former party hacks for the supposed access they bring, not for what they know. This is not a nation where knowledge is valued.

More to the point, if we wanted to make a decent job of it, we would already have had preparatory talks in terms of fallback positions. So far, talks with Efta have been few and superficial. Real expertise like Ivan Rogers has been purged and only now are they waking up to the possibility that things may not be as simple as anticipated. If there is a collective realisation then it has come far too late. Chances are it will be too much for their tiny minds to comprehend and they will revert to their factory default.

Since the the Brexiteer morons are in charge of this carnival of incompetence there is no way this can go but south. They have convinced themselves that the Repeal Bill covers all of the bases. That was originally proposed in Flexcit as an accompaniment to EEA membership as we would remain participants in the decentralised agencies, without which the imported regulation is utterly meaningless.

The process will still have to be done but the modifications will need to give legal effect to UK bodies which don't actually exist yet - or not in such a form that they can take on the workload imposed on them. What is unclear is whether we can have a trade agreement with the EU until the EU can see what that regulatory constitution looks like and whether or not it can be recognised. We cannot start ramping down single market membership until we have a clear destination and there is no evidence that any thought has gone into that.

Worse still they're consulting ordinary lawyers, none of whom are equipped for this kind of law. You wouldn't get a barrister to represent you at a hearing to renew your abattoir operating licence. Regulatory affairs are an entirely different discipline and due to the considerable ignorance it is treated as a secondary consideration. Since the single market is by definition a regulatory union, regulation is central not only to Brexit but any future trade deal.

Frankly I don't see this being anything other than a total shambles. If Mrs May goes ahead in March then they have only one month left to come to terms with everything the likes of Ivan Rogers have been trying to tell them for the last two years. If the government does have a clue, they are hiding it well. I really wouldn't bet against stupid. At this rate I might actually vote for Corbyn at the next election. If we're going to make a total balls up of everything we might as well go the full Monty.

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