Auf dem Weg zum No Deal
May 17, 2020 3:48 AM   Subscribe

Article in German about the negotiations Friday, the third round of Brexit negotiations ended, and nobody outside the UK seems to have noticed (links under the break in English)

It isn't looking good. Michael Gove claims there is a 'serious risk' EU will fail to protect UK citizens, and David Frost gives EU two-week deadline to drop 'ideological' stance. But the main point is that the other European countries don't care. There is only very basic standard reporting in the European news about this, and not on front pages. The EU has other worries.
As William Keegan in the Guardian puts it: Brexit: a strange idea derailed by these strange times
Correspondingly, there is quite a lot to lose from the no-deal Brexit that the cabinet seems fixated on. That strange trade secretary with strange ideas, Liz Truss, proclaims that increased overseas trade is essential to overcome the economic hit from coronavirus. But the report concludes that there would be a mere £3.4bn gain from a US deal, compared with a £112bn loss from departure from the EU. At present we do 43% of our trade with what I can still call the rest of the EU, and 15% with the US. All serious authorities on this subject, including the great Paul Krugman – who won his Nobel prize for research on trade – insist that geographical proximity to markets is the most important factor.
posted by mumimor (38 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
My internet is wobbly, which is why the last link is missing: Brexit: a strange idea derailed by these strange times

This is intended as a new Brexit thread, though obviously everything right now has a coronavirus aspect to it.
posted by mumimor at 3:55 AM on May 17 [1 favorite]


I thought Liz Truss was Minister for Women and Equalities - it was her name and fingerprints all over the recent paper about future policies towards trans people (basically, listen completely to the TERFs, exclude trans women from women's spaces, ban all treatment for trans under-18s). A quick Google reveals that she is in fact double-jobbing as International Trade secretary. She's so determined to deliver the goods to her friends in A Woman's Place and LGB Alliance that she won't let go of the Women and Equalities brief even when promoted to International Trade.
posted by winterhill at 4:18 AM on May 17 [11 favorites]


I love/hate this line from Marina Hyde's latest Guardian piece:
All governments seek to disguise their own shortcomings, which is also why this one refuses to countenance a Brexit extension despite the vast economic shock of the coronavirus. Far from taking pause, the Conservatives are embracing the timing with the sweaty gratitude of a guy who knows that the unfortunate fire at a storage unit facility will take care of the corpse he’s been storing there.
posted by ZipRibbons at 4:28 AM on May 17 [53 favorites]


[Fixed that link, mumimor; let me know if there's any problem!]
posted by taz (staff) at 4:30 AM on May 17 [2 favorites]


Nothing I've read in the past two months has changed my suspicion of early March that the government would use the pandemic as cover for refusing to request an extension to the transition period and ending it on 1/1/21 without a deal. When everything's shit, it's too easy to smuggle in an extra steaming pile of shit.

Hello United Kingdom, cast your mind back to where this all began.

What Northern Ireland's businesses need to have in place in eight months time is daunting.

The Brexit Blog: Lost in time and space.
posted by rory at 4:35 AM on May 17 [7 favorites]


I've been thinking of making a new Brexit post since I saw the silly Michael Gove quote, and searching on all kinds of news sites. Only one main Danish newspaper has posted anything, and it's identical with the other European articles posted here, so I'm guessing it's from some bureau. All countries are locked down and governments are worried about a recession/depression, and the last thing anyone is thinking about is Brexit.
I don't know if the UK government's mismanagement of the pandemic is a factor, too. No one wants visitors from the UK right now.
posted by mumimor at 5:00 AM on May 17 [1 favorite]




Far from taking pause, the Conservatives are embracing the timing with the sweaty gratitude of a guy who knows that the unfortunate fire at a storage unit facility will take care of the corpse he’s been storing there.

This is the best sentence I have read all week.

All countries are locked down and governments are worried about a recession/depression, and the last thing anyone is thinking about is Brexit.

As far as I can see, this stage of Brexit is getting absolutely no attention here in the US -- earlier stages got lots of headlines and analysis, but now it is just a footnote with all the attention being on covid and more local politics.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:57 AM on May 17 [5 favorites]


From The Guardian:

Britain’s chief negotiator in the talks over the future relationship with the EU has warned Michel Barnier that he must drop his “ideological approach” within the next fortnight, as the latest round of talks ended in stalemate.

I'm pretty sure that ideology was why the UK wanted to leave the EU, so it's a bit late for them to be blindsided that the EU is actually sticking to ideology. Beyond the political dimensions of this ideology (i.e. not starting another European/World War) there is the fact that the EU single market it hyper-focused on extremely conservative trade practices, with extremely narrow rules for access. There was another article shared here that talked about how this focus avoided the EU market polarizing into manufacturing nations and consumer nations taking on debt, like the relationship between China and the USA.

It's been really clear that, though the EU would like to trade in the UK market, it isn't a fundamental concern. They are willing to forgo access to protect their ideology. So it's hilarious to watch these UK politicians expressing frustration that the EU isn't "playing fair" so that they don't have to admit they wandered into an asymmetric negotiation where the EU may have something to gain, but the UK has everything to lose.
posted by sixohsix at 6:27 AM on May 17 [12 favorites]


This was always going to be very difficult, no amount of negotiation - even if entirely in good faith - can bridge fundamentally opposed desires.

Die Fischereirechte: Die EU will, dass ihre Fischer auch weiterhin Zugang zu britischen Gewässern haben. Die Briten dagegen wollen die volle Kontrolle über ihre Seegebiete zurückerlangen...

Easy.

...– zugleich aber weiterhin freien Zugang zum EU-Binnenmarkt, wo sie den Großteil des Fangs aus heimischen Gewässern verkaufen.

Hard.

Das sogenannte "Level Playing Field": Die EU verlangt, dass Großbritannien sich auch nach der Trennung an gewisse Standards im Sozial-, Arbeits- und Umweltrecht hält. Ansonsten, so befürchtet man in Brüssel, drohen Wettbewerbsverzerrungen zum Nachteil von Unternehmen aus EU-Staaten. In London versteht man diese Forderung dagegen als Angriff auf die künftige britische Souveränität.

The problem is that there is no way of doing this, something that anyone who was paying attention has always known! How do you ensure that the playing field is level without regulatory convergence? You can't. Sure, you could come up with some formulation requiring equivalent outcomes through similar means, but we already have that in form of EU Directives.

It is obviously the case that accepting EU Directives without now even being able to influence them is a limitation on sovereignty. If you generally approve of the direction of EU Directives, you might well think that it's not a limitation on practical sovereignty as the directives only prevent things you don't think the government should do and require them to do things you think they should. The fact is though that all trade treaties that include any regulatory harmonisation are fundamentally trades of some sovereignty for some trade benefits.

I always considered the level playing field as a bilateral stalling measure, it's a nice phrase that doesn't actually constrain any kind of outcome because you can define it to mean what you want.

Dabei wäre die Coronakrise die perfekte Chance für Johnson, gesichtswahrend um eine Verlängerung zu bitten - das ist zumindest die Lesart in Brüssel. Niemand in der britischen Öffentlichkeit, so geht das Argument, würde ihm das ankreiden

That's a nice idea but it is wrong. It is an idea that you have when you regard leaving the EU as either a bad idea or as something that is now regrettably necessary but still very unfortunate. There is a substantial number of people in the UK who are happy that the UK has left the EU and want the negotiation over and done with. Many of these people are Conservative voters.

Johnson aber hält am Zeitplan fest. Als ein möglicher Grund gilt, dass man in London befürchtet, sich im Falle einer Verlängerung an den teuren Rettungs- und Wiederaufbaupaketen für die Wirtschaft in der EU beteiligen zu müssen.

There are people in Germany who wouldn't much mind not having to participate in those plans either.

From the dw article:

Sebastian began by asking the commissioner if the EU's disunity in responding to the crisis had been a major blow to its credibility. Johansson disagreed.

How are we meant to take someone seriously when they cannot even agree with this? I know it has to be a politic response and that she nuances it later, but come on. It has been a major blow. The continuing North-South arguments over funding packages are an issue. The statements from some politicians in the South that greater funding packages available in the North are distortions of the level playing field are an issue.

The annual flood of money from the North to the South in the form of tourists is a sort of unofficial fiscal transfer which is now not happening.
posted by atrazine at 6:28 AM on May 17 [8 favorites]


The political sentiment of EU bureaucrats ought to be wholly ignored. The major corporations on the continent are going to decide if they're better off limiting competition from the UK or with broader access to UK markets. Whatever they decide will then be dutiful reflected at the negotiating table with whatever patina of ex-post-facto ideological explanation the bureaucrats care to give.

The political sentiment of the UK negotiators is much more interesting, because UK corporations are basically unanimous in wishing to maximize access to EU markets and believe that their lobbyists in Brussels can hold them relatively harmless from regulatory harmonization ... but have no choice but to permit Tory-Brexiteer ideology to trump that, since their only alternative was Corbyn-led redistribution.

(Yet again making my key overall point, which is that the essential cause of Brexit is the political incompetence of British capitalists. Heck, capitalists in America, as shown by the whiplash fast pivot to nominate Biden, are quite capable of keeping the center-left, as well as the center-right, well in hand, and they can't even handle half of that across the pond.)
posted by MattD at 7:51 AM on May 17


geographical proximity to markets is the most important factor

Were this not true, Canada would join the European Union in a heartbeat.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 8:45 AM on May 17 [7 favorites]


I think Brexit only makes sense as a part of a cynical ploy to sow discord within the EU and I'm afraid in that respect it may turn out to be somewhat effective. The EU Commission has not been making friends. Apart from the North-South divide, there's the smouldering conflict with Hungary and Poland, the painful aftermath of austerity imposed on Greece, lingering resentments over the abortive EU constitutional referendums in 2005, and earlier this month a rift appeared between the German Constitutional Court and the European Court of Justice. Meanwhile it is difficult for the EU to "lay down the law", because the EU has few avenues to enforce compliance. There is no such thing as an EU tax collection service, or an EU law enforcement agency, or an EU army, while high level decision making relies on broad support from the Member States.

So while the UK is certain to lose over Brexit, the whole kerfuffle is also damaging for the EU, with the negotiations presenting political risks for the EU that are hard to predict. The EU has to project strength & unity while avoiding being seen as imposing & imperious. It's a difficult needle to thread, not made easier by the internal squabbling over relief monies during the biggest health crisis in a lifetime. Who needs enemies with friends like these? I think most likely both the UK and the EU will exit the Brexit being weakened. It is no wonder that if you scratch most Euro-skeptics, you get a waft of Russian influence.
posted by dmh at 8:52 AM on May 17 [4 favorites]


(Yet again making my key overall point, which is that the essential cause of Brexit is the political incompetence of British capitalists. Heck, capitalists in America, as shown by the whiplash fast pivot to nominate Biden, are quite capable of keeping the center-left, as well as the center-right, well in hand, and they can't even handle half of that across the pond.)

Couldn't you argue that this is the electoral incompetence of the British left? In a two party system (mathematically almost inevitable in a fptp system), the temporary unelectability of one party allows the far wing of the other to make off with their party's leadership.

That is because the party is usually further from the centre than its electorate, therefore pragmatists within the party pull it (in terms of leadership and platform) towards the centre using the electability argument. "Tony/David will get us elected". If the opposition moves far away from that centre position, it is easier for the far wing to capture the party because they can be more extreme and still win the election.

(I will also point out that American capitalists have certainly not had it their own way on trade policy recently either. The difference is that the US is so vast and powerful that the effects are not so serious for them)

I think Brexit only makes sense as a part of a cynical ploy to sow discord within the EU and I'm afraid in that respect it may turn out to be somewhat effective.

I don't think so. Brexit also makes sense if you think the EU is a dysfunctional experiment in governance that is doomed to failure and that discord didn't need to be sown, it was already there. I don't think that and I think Brexit will turn out to have been a mistake on any rational basis but it works both ways around. There is also an argument that with the UK out, the EU will become more cohesive. I actually think that the EU came out of Brexit stronger. No-one expected European negotiating solidarity to hold so well. Obviously Boris Johnson blathering on about prosecco and BMW exports was nonsense, but I do think many people really believed that the EU would crack along fault lines when negotiations got tough and it didn't at all.

Fundamentally the contradiction at the heart of the EU that the institutions have grown to deal with is that all the states remain sovereign... except when they're not. So either all states have to approve any action (they're sovereign) in which case the scope of what the EU can hope to achieve is very limited or mechanisms are created to ensure that things which benefit the majority can happen in which case you're over-riding supposedly sovereign governments. The idea behind the European parliament is that if you're going to do that over-riding, you need independent democratic legitimacy of your own. Unfortunately I do not think that most Europeans think of the parliament as a body that has that democratic legitimacy.

I don't think there are any easy answers. The tension between the Germans (and the Dutch, Austrians, Danish, Swedes to a lesser extent) and Southern European states is an existential threat to the EU in a way that Brexit could never be.

It is no wonder that if you scratch most Euro-skeptics, you get a waft of Russian influence.

That's maybe true at all (I don't particularly think it is) of a small number of professional brexiteers. There is also a difference between the Russians supporting something they think will be helpful to them such as Brexit and Donald Trump and those things being created by Russia. There is a long tradition of Euroskepticism in the UK with some pretty definite ideological or theoretical basis, even if those people are crackpots who care more about their pet theories of sovereignty, radical free traders, or just plain xenophobes it does no-one any good to pretend that somehow the Russians did this to us.
posted by atrazine at 10:08 AM on May 17 [3 favorites]


It is no wonder that if you scratch most Euro-skeptics, you get a waft of Russian influence.

It doesn't hurt that major parts of the Brexit movement have been bankrolled by Russia, which has also thrown cash at Conservatives for years. Some journalists have been harassed and threatened for following the money. It's not difficult to put two and two together: a weak EU is good for Putin, and UK right-wingers have demonstrated that they are cheaply bought to achieve that end.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 10:33 AM on May 17 [12 favorites]


The major corporations on the continent are going to decide if they're better off limiting competition from the UK or with broader access to UK markets. Whatever they decide will then be dutiful reflected at the negotiating table with whatever patina of ex-post-facto ideological explanation the bureaucrats care to give.

This baseless assertion of bad faith in governments without any evidence for it, or any sympathy for the actual decision and compromising process of the EU isn't really worth listening to, let alone putting in the effort to address.
posted by ambrosen at 11:08 AM on May 17 [11 favorites]


The tension between the Germans (and the Dutch, Austrians, Danish, Swedes to a lesser extent) and Southern European states is an existential threat to the EU in a way that Brexit could never be.
I don't think it is that worrying. Germany certainly overreached after the bank crisis, with the support of the UK and other Northern countries. This time round, it's not so much an ideological overreach as a complete and utter cluelessness. The EU was not prepared for anything like this, in part because it is one of those things the states are supposed to manage on their own. And it has been quite interesting to see how the Greek government has been invited back "inside" after it's succes in dealing with the pandemic: it has proven it can govern efficiently.
The EU is, regardless of what anti-EU propagandists claim, a democratic institution. The commissioners are appointed by the democratically elected member states, and they have to be accepted by the democratically elected EU parliament, so they act according to the sentiment of the electorate. In 2008, a lot of voters in the North wondered why the EU was supposed to bail out the people in the South when they consistently elected corrupt and incompetent governments*. That is not now. Few have looked at the situation in Italy or Spain and thought it was their own fault, and many want to be able to go on holiday in the southern countries. With the UK out, there is one less Conservative austerity-pushing government in the EU, and the last EUP election was a huge victory for change, albeit change to save us from global warming.

There is a lot of EU scepticism right now in the southern countries, you cannot deny that, but when the economic facts of Brexit begin to appear, I expect it to go away completely and I understand it when the commission is focusing more on other problems.

* I don't agree with this. I think many Europeans, North and South, hope all the time that the EU will save them from their own incompetent governments, and it does. Populism is a pest on humanity and the EU is consciously designed to be very resistent to its dangers.
posted by mumimor at 11:11 AM on May 17 [10 favorites]


Indeed it is a shit-show. With the UK government all like, “Oh, those border control posts in Northern Ireland …” it's no surprise that Arlene of the DUP is having nothing to do with England's daft coronavirus messaging. Every other country in the UK except England has rejected the “Stay Alert” shite. But it's typical of how little the other countries matter to the UK: even the newspaper equivalent of your right-on uncle in the hand-knitted sweater The Guardian's Coronavirus UK map is missing three important details. Hint: think of the reasons for the words United, Great and what comes after the and in the name of your country.

In slightly good news, the UK gov has finally put immigration law into line with the 1998 peace deal and all British and Irish citizens born in Northern Ireland will be treated as EU citizens for immigration purposes.
posted by scruss at 11:42 AM on May 17 [3 favorites]


The reason for Great is because of Grande Bretagne, and the reason for that is because Bretagne was already taken by Brittany.

I don't disagree with the rest of your post though
posted by doiheartwentyone at 2:00 PM on May 17 [1 favorite]


Is the term a “Europe of Nations” (as espoused by Farage and fellow travellers, and taken to mean an idea of discrete, homogeneous, traditionalist ethno-states, whose citizens are not honorary citizens in each other and don't enjoy freedom of movement to fraternise with foreigners) connected to Putin/Dugin/&c., or does it originate elsewhere (perhaps Orbán or one of the other Visegrad strongmen, or actual neo-Nazis)?
posted by acb at 2:01 PM on May 17 [1 favorite]


This 15 May speech by Michel Barnier is worth reading.

We are negotiating a trade agreement with a third country here – one that chose to become a third country. This is not an opportunity for the United Kingdom to “pick and choose” the most attractive elements of the Single Market.

This makes me believe that there is still a real lack of understanding in the United Kingdom about the objective, and sometimes mechanical, consequences of the British choice to leave the Single Market and the Customs Union.

To make progress in this negotiation – if it is still the United Kingdom's intention to strike a deal with the EU – the United Kingdom will have to be more realistic; it will have to overcome this incomprehension and, no doubt, it will have to change strategy.

You cannot have the best of both worlds!

posted by rory at 3:02 PM on May 17 [11 favorites]


The reason for Great is because of Grande Bretagne

That's a "the reason for the reason is the reason" kind of response. Great Britain = South Britain + North Britain = (England + Wales) + Scotland.

But at least the current situation has allowed the proles to taste gourmet potatoes normally reserved for the elite.
posted by scruss at 4:20 PM on May 17 [2 favorites]


There is a long tradition of Euroskepticism in the UK with some pretty definite ideological or theoretical basis, even if those people are crackpots who care more about their pet theories of sovereignty, radical free traders, or just plain xenophobes it does no-one any good to pretend that somehow the Russians did this to us.

Certainly Russia didn't create Euroskepticism and certainly the UK has a special place in the history of Euroskepticism across the continent. In fact I believe that the hasty absorption of the former Eastern Bloc countries into the EU has been a major source of both Euroskepticism and Russian antagonism.

But it is hard to look at Russian involvement with the Brexit financier Arron Banks, Russia bankrolling the FN in France, Putin's special relationship with Orban in Hungary, Russian support for Lega and MS5 in Italy, United Russia's cooperation pact with Austrian FPÖ, alleged ties between the FvD and Russia in the Netherlands, and not conclude that Russia's support for Euroskeptics across the continent isn't consistent with a weakening of the EU, which stands to benefit Russia.

I mean, these are just some of the first (some outdated) Google results that came to mind. I'm sure you aware of all this and that it's possible to map out the connections more extensively.
posted by dmh at 7:46 PM on May 17 [6 favorites]


UK Conservatives are just one more extremist right-wing element in Europe, flooded with Russian cash, and Brexit is an outcome of that investment. It is risable that this fact is still somehow in debate, though perhaps not so much jolly fun for the Litvinenkos, Magnitskys, Politkovskayas, and other countless victims of Russia's kleptocracy.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:57 PM on May 17 [4 favorites]


Obviously the Russians fund Euro-skeptics, if there were other elements they thought would cause more chaos in or out of office they would fund them as well.

However I think the focus on this is sometimes a sort of shield to protect ourselves from the uncomfortable reality that these are genuinely popular ideas with our neighbours. Everywhere the Russians are pushing lightly on open doors and it is unknowable how much influence their money is actually having (because the counterfactual where they are not financially supporting these people doesn't exist).

Hungarians didn't really want to vote for a nasty anti-Semite ultra-nationalist, Northern Italians don't really have feelings bordering on racism about Southern Italians, Austrians aren't secret Nazis, the Russians made them do it!

See also: Trump, Donald.
posted by atrazine at 2:25 AM on May 18 [5 favorites]


However I think the focus on this is sometimes a sort of shield to protect ourselves from the uncomfortable reality that these are genuinely popular ideas with our neighbours

Fair point, absolutely. Myself I've gone back and forth on the issue. On the one hand it's entirely possible to oppose the idea or the implementation of the ever closer union without being a Russian puppet. In 2005, the outcomes of the EU constitutional referendums in France and the Netherlands foreshadowed the results of the Brexit vote, long before you could plausibly blame Russian active measures. On the other hand I think that Russian influence over the past six, seven years has done much to channel & direct that discontent in a way that maximizes polarization & radicalization along a more destructive, even nihilistic axis.
posted by dmh at 3:54 AM on May 18 [2 favorites]


perhaps not so much jolly fun for the Litvinenkos, Magnitskys, Politkovskayas, and other countless victims of Russia's kleptocracy.

Let it not be forgotten that Britain does not have kleptocrats or oligarchs; we have meritocrats, like James Dyson, Tim Martin, Jacob Rees-Mogg and the Barclay brothers. Most of them pull themselves up by their bootstraps through Eton/Harrow and Oxbridge, but ex-Soviet kleptocrats are transmuted into British meritocrats at about the same time that they buy a stately pile in Surrey, get a golden investor passport and become an English dzentelmen.
posted by acb at 4:43 AM on May 18 [1 favorite]


I see and remains elusive..
posted by wierdo at 6:21 AM on May 18 [1 favorite]


Hungarians didn't really want to vote for a nasty anti-Semite ultra-nationalist, Northern Italians don't really have feelings bordering on racism about Southern Italians, Austrians aren't secret Nazis

What those countries have in common is that it is really difficult to get valid information from the mass media, and has been for a long time. If you have a situation where you need to be intellectually curious and have a long education to be able to find real facts about even basic day to day news, populism will prevail.
posted by mumimor at 6:54 AM on May 18 [2 favorites]


I suppose the mediasphere in Hungary and Italy is arguably corrupted but I don't know if that holds for Austria. Either way, right-wing populism has been on the rise not just in Hungary, Italy, and Austria, but in France, Denmark, Germany, Finland, the Netherlands, and Belgium as well, and not just the past few years, but, with fits and starts, over a period of about twenty years, give or take.
posted by dmh at 7:31 AM on May 18


As I remember it, the media in Austria had already gone off the tracks twenty years ago. That doesn't mean there are no good newspapers in Austria. Just that what ordinary people see and hear is not edited in a way that ensures everyone has access to the facts.

And yes, many countries all over the world have had strong right-populist movements in during the last twenty years. But the populists need manipulated media in order to really take off. That is why they consistently attack the so-called mainstream media. Look at what has happened to the BBC in recent years. If there had been serious coverage of Brexit I don't think the situation had been the same.
posted by mumimor at 8:42 AM on May 18 [4 favorites]


You're right of course that attacks on the media and the creation of 'alt-news' bubbles are part of the populist playbook everywhere and I agree about the difficulty of obtaining valid information in general. But I'm skeptical of the idea that the mainstream media can promulgate narratives or frames that undermine populist messaging without adding to the perception that the mainstream media undermine populist messaging. Without there first being some shared sense of belonging to a greater whole working towards a common good, it's hard to find common ground.
posted by dmh at 12:28 PM on May 18


UK right-wingers have demonstrated that they are cheaply bought to achieve that end.

They would do well to keep in mind what should now be the motto of the DUP.

"If you can be bought, you can be sold."
posted by HiroProtagonist at 9:21 PM on May 18 [1 favorite]


As I remember it, the media in Austria had already gone off the tracks twenty years ago. That doesn't mean there are no good newspapers in Austria. Just that what ordinary people see and hear is not edited in a way that ensures everyone has access to the facts.

The newspaper landscape in Austria is like a parody of the British one. The Kronen Zeitung is read daily by 1/4 of the population. It is a far-right tabloid that endorses nazis. It sets the tone for the other tabloids.

Other than that, newspapers cover the whole political spectrum, from extreme right to moderate right to liberal (if you want a left paper, subscribe to a German one instead). But those have a combined circulation of under ten percent of the population.
posted by frimble at 10:19 PM on May 18 [3 favorites]


In another of the endless threads, I mentioned Detektor, a team at the Danish national broadcasting system, DR, since 2011. Right now they do it on radio, sometimes they do it on TV, but what they do is factcheck. People can write in, and they follow the news themselves too. I truly believe they have changed the Danish political landscape, away from spin and manipulation. Not in one show, but over the years, and I feel they have become better at it. In the beginning they tied themselves into knots to be "fair", so you'd get this thing they have in the NYTimes, where a huge lie on one side mechanically has to be balanced with a tiny misunderstanding on the other. But I think the truly great thing they have achieved is that the rest of the press are taking note. The public really likes factchecking.

Obviously, the right, and specially the populist far right, hates DR, and cut their budget with 20%.

I think that even well-educated, critical people can get confused when almost everything they hear and see is false. I remember getting confused by both the accusations at Hilary Clinton and the Brexit propaganda in 2016. Not to the extent that I changed my mind, but enough for me to become insecure when discussing things with my family in the UK and US.
posted by mumimor at 1:00 AM on May 19 [5 favorites]


As I remember it, the media in Austria had already gone off the tracks twenty years ago. That doesn't mean there are no good newspapers in Austria. Just that what ordinary people see and hear is not edited in a way that ensures everyone has access to the facts.
I listen from time-to-time to Austrian radio FM4 even in England, especially in the mornings when the broadcast is in English. I've never heard anything questionable on there and I've heard lots of interesting discussions about European issues missed/ignored by the UK media, although quite a few of the news packages are cribbed from the BBC. I guess it's not a particularly mainstream or popular choice within Austria, though, given the slightly left-field music selection and the choice of English as a broadcast language.
posted by winterhill at 1:29 AM on May 19


But the report concludes that there would be a mere £3.4bn gain from a US deal, compared with a £112bn loss from departure from the EU.

So, an essentially racist agenda is going to end up paying 112B (I assume in the form of increased trade tariffs, and...yearly, right?) to Europe and help pay for their Coronavirus recovery.

Awesome. Karma’s a bitch.
posted by sexyrobot at 10:05 AM on May 20


So, an essentially racist agenda is going to end up paying 112B (I assume in the form of increased trade tariffs, and...yearly, right?) to Europe and help pay for their Coronavirus recovery.

Awesome. Karma’s a bitch.


That's not how this works. Trade is not a thing where one side loses and one side wins. If it was, then the UK which is a net importer from the EU would have the upper hand and it clearly doesn't. This was a common talking point before the referendum - "we have a trade deficit so they'd be crazy to not give us a deal!" No, not correct.

These are calculated based on economic impact from reduced trade and they affect both sides. The EU will also lose tremendously from this because both sides benefit from trade. Tariffs don't come into it. In ordinary times, this could trigger a recession across Western Europe, what it will do in the middle of a pandemic recovery is completely unknown.
posted by atrazine at 12:07 PM on May 20 [3 favorites]


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