Thursday, August 24, 2017

The constraining effect of clubs

Another UK position paper for the Brexit negotiations; this one (unlike the trade and Irish border papers), a tad more realistic about the likely continued role of the European Court of Justice. But inconsistencies nonetheless. Here's the discussion of potential frameworks for future international agreements by the UK (paragraph 60) --

In international agreements, final remedies are principally retaliatory in nature and implemented unilaterally by the parties. This includes the ability to take safeguard measures to mitigate any negative effects from the other party’s noncompliance as well as the option to suspend all or part of the agreement (or several linked agreements), or, ultimately, withdraw from the agreement (or several linked agreements). The ability of the European Commission and the CJEU within the EU legal system to impose sanctions, such as fines for non-compliance with EU rules, is exceptional.

This is mentioned without a hint of acknowledgment of the irony that the UK is therefore choosing to leave the most rules-based international agreement in the world, one that operates without self-defeating unilateral punitive and protective measures, into a world where such remedies will be the norm in agreements. And all this in a context where Brexiteers complain that the EU is "punishing us for leaving!"

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