Two agencies of the European Union are being pulled out of Britain in some of the first concrete signs of Brexit. The European Medicines Agency and the European Banking Agency, which between them employ more than 1,000 people in Canary Wharf, will move to Amsterdam and Paris respectively. “All of their work is firmly based on the EU treaties which the UK decided to leave,” said an unapologetic Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator on Brexit. Vince Cable, the Lib Dem leader, said Brexit secretary David Davis had tried to pretend Britain could keep the agencies, showing the government had little grasp of the coming “jobs Brexodus”.
In addition, the UK has lost a battle to remain part of the international court of justice (ICJ). It is the first time in the court’s 71-year history that Britain has failed to gain a seat. Incumbent judge Sir Christopher Greenwood stood aside for an Indian candidate after failing to win the support of the general assembly. It seems that some EU nations are no longer automatically supporting Britain at the UN. (Guardian 21 November 17)
The Guardian also comments that the EU appears to be firmly in the driving seat of negotiations as Britain’s red lines are rubbed out one by one, Meanwhile, David Davis apparently faces censure for hoarding secrets from MPs about Brexit’s economic impact – pretty grim, one imagines.
What did the Brexiters expect but a catastrophic decline in Britain’s influence worldwide and a major decline in the economy? Obvious to those of us on the sidelines, but then busting up the system is the name of the game, as it is in Trumpland.