| | | Effective PR

eu

Here's a good argument in favour of leaving the EU: last night the UK's House of Commons voted against leaving the European Union without a deal in place to ensure an orderly exit. But, they are impotent : whether the UK leaves on 29th March without a negotiated "divorce," is governed by the Lisbon Treaty. And the Lisbon Treaty is superior to British law and, even, the British Parliament.

As we noted yesterday, this newspaper's review of the so-called binding agreement reached with the EU, did not actually prevent the feared lock-in that Leavers want to ensure does not happen. The Attorney-General agreed and when his view was put before Parliament, MPs voted down the supposedly revised deal. Again. That leaves Mrs May to follow Plan X.

Today is a big day in the UK's parliament. It's a re-run of the so-called "meaningful vote" and it's pretty much the last chance for the UK to avoid leaving the EU without an exit strategy a.k.a. deal although there are plans X,Y and maybe Z to avoid that happening, at least one of which will rely on the co-operation of the EU - or might not, depending on how one views a particular part of the Lisbon Convention.

The European Union is very good at one thing: being excessively bureaucratic and prescriptive. There's a powerful reason for this: most countries in the EU have grown up with the Roman system of law which mutated into the civil legal system and that relies, heavily, on codification. It also means that laws are inflexible and cannot easily respond to changes in society and that fetters the ability of judges to maintain a living justice system. And yet, on the other hand, it uses vague, even sloppy, language to announce what it going to do. A marketing pitch that says "Whistleblower (sic) protection: Commission sets new, EU-wide rules" is misleading - the protection of whistle-blowers is only part of the proposal (no rules were actually set). The proposed Directive will mean big changes for all but the smallest businesses.

CoNet Section: 

The European Union has issued a new blacklist for money laundering. The reaction from those appearing on the list, EU members and even the FATF has been rapid and forceful: the list is not acceptable. But there is more at play, including the imposition of direct control on those conducting business in the EU, by the EU without the filter of national parliaments. This example of federalism is not going down well in several large EU states. Also, the "war on dirty money" is a convenient diversion for governments who want the media to focus on that rather than something else. Also.. it might not happen.

The EC has released a note on a meeting held last week between the EU's President Juncker and the UK's Prime Minister May. It's pathetic. Read it below. Then read on to find out why we say they are both right but they are both wrong.

When historians look back on the UK's withdrawal from the European Union, they will be focussed on whatever interests them: for some it will be the will of the people, for some it will be the choice of a "Remain" campaigner to lead the exit negotiations, for others it will focus on any one of dozens of politically motivated stands and rhetoric and for others it will focus on the drama that has surrounded attempts to do something mind-numbingly complicated that has never been done before under what turns out to be an arbitrary time-table. Then there will be the fact that partisan interests have taken over from the national interest. As T. May has long been diverted from the deal into fighting for her political life, one thing is clear; nothing is clear.

There is no fixed deadline for a deal to be done but there is, in principle, a date upon which the UK will no longer be part of the EU. That date, however, is not actually as fixed as it might appear and there is authority for saying that the UK could press reset and start the whole negotiation period afresh when the UK and the EU have got their acts together.

We have considered what a "soft brexit" means (here) and in this article, we look at a "hard brexit" also known as a "no deal brexit."

This is not about money laundering. It's about how the UK is de-EU-ing law and regulation ready for "exit day." The UK's draft statutory instrument called "The Money Laundering and Transfer of Funds (Information) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018" is an object lesson in technical documentation. It has no life of its own and can only be read alongside other UK law and Regulations. It is of extraordinary importance not because of what it does but because of what it demonstrates. This is an indication of the clerical complexity of withdrawing from the EU even when the principles, as they will in relation to the Money Laundering Directives, will remain as now.

BIScom Subsection: 

It's incredible. The European Union has produced five Money Laundering Directives and still in some respects it is not one but two steps behind some countries that are often subject to criticism. Indeed, it is behind many of its own member states. This week, the Council of the European Union "adopted" a "regulation." Politically, the fact that a Regulation has been made is more important than what it does.

This morning, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, received Michael O'Leary, CEO of Ryanair. The meeting took place at the request of Mr O'Leary, to discuss the current dispute at the airline company on the application of EU labour law and the steps Ryanair is taking.

CoNet Section: 

This is a story about how eight men used Facebook to claim (and be paid) grants from the European Union for their cattle farms. The story fizzled out in 2013 and we want to know what happened. Does anyone know? (free content)

FCRO Subsection: 

The European General Data Protection Regulation is a fantastically complex piece of legislation but it is not an "Act" or, as Acts are called in the EU, a Directive.

It has been brought into law across the EU (and beyond) and will come into force on 25th May 2018.

Most importantly, it proves how domestic law in member states can be written by Europe outside the democratic process.

CoNet Section: 

Pages

hahagotcha