UK Lectures EU on the "Whole Point" of Brexit


UK negotiator David Frost laid out the ground rules at a Brussels University lecture. Unlike Theresa May, he's serious.

Brexit Means Brexit

Anyone who believes the EU has a big advantage in the pending trade talks with the UK needs to wake up to reality.

The 'Whole Point' of Brexit is Undermined if UK Continues to Follow EU Rules, says David Frost, the UK's chief negotiator.

David Frost Quotes

  • “We bring to the negotiations not some clever tactical positioning but the fundamentals of what it means to be an independent country,” Mr Frost said in his first public speech as the Prime Minister’s Europe Advisor and Chief Negotiator.
  • “It isn’t a simple negotiating position which might move under pressure, it is the point of the whole project. That’s also why we will not extend the transition beyond the end of this year. At that point we recover our political and economic independence in full. Why would we want to postpone it?"
  • “We only want what other independent countries have,” Mr Frost said in a reference to EU trade deals with countries such as Canada, which have far less stringent level playing field guarantees.
  • “So if it is true, as we hear from our friends in the commission and the 27, that the EU wants a durable and sustainable relationship in this highly sensitive area, the only way forward is to build on this approach of a relationship of equals.”

Level Playing Field

The EU says it wants a "level playing field".

That is an easily seen lie. The EU is still attempting to trap the UK into a customs arrangement. And it won't work.

If the EU really wants a "level playing field" it will offer a Canada-style free trade agreement or better yet, agree to scrap all tariffs and be done with it.

Australia Style Agreement

There is talk now of an "Australia Style Agreement".

That is a euphemism for a basic WTO agreement.

EU's Choice

The EU has misjudged the UK's will every step of the way.

That is why Brexit happened.

It has another choice now.

Hello WTO?

If the EU misjudges again, hello basic WTO agreement.

But the WTO also allows for a basic agreement with details that can take as long as 10 years to settle.

If an extended deal is accompanied by a long-term low-tariff arrangement, that's OK.

EU Staring Into the Abyss

The EU is staring into the abyss.

There is no time for a"comprehensive" agreement but I still expect a blanket low-tariff agreement in which many details are left for later.

Germany is in recession now. The Greens are not helping, nor diesel, nor is the coronavirus.

Factor in huge exports tariffs if there is no deal at all, and Germany's already troubled export machine will collapse.

EU Has No Cards

The EU has no cards with which to bluff. Thus, I expect it will fold.

If not, hello abyss.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (10)

I love the way the UK is handling this. We shall see how Bernier and the EU respond.


The downside to Brexit is that the EU banned referenda, forever. The new government of feckless technocrats follow in the footsteps of former UK governments in ignoring what's brewing down there. And the postponement of the final reckoning is already in the offing.


“The hard-Brexit EU Gold War “
The intra-NATO über contentious feud over the EU gold vaulted at the BoE.

NATO is about to suffer the unforeseen mother of all Brexit outcomes, namely heated UK-EU goldfare.This would be the first ever head-on gloves-off confrontation amongst NATO members.

How did NATO get here ?
After WW2 the idea was to keep Europe´s gold bullion safe and far away from the Soviet Union and Josef Stalin, just in case. So decades ago current EU member states deposited lots / most of their gold in custody at the Bank of England (BoE) in London.

Now, with “hard Brexit ” negotiations, the UK will most probably weaponize EU gold repatriation and other gold-related issues.
The contentious issues involved in the "hard-Brexit EU Gold War" are :

(a) the Brits would not accept returning the EU gold unless Brexit terms are agreed in UK´s favor.
(b) or quite simply the BoE cannot return such EU gold supposedly kept in custody for the past decades because it has been sold off or loaned out or compromised in different ways.

The problem won´t go away and tone-deafness won´t solve it.
Many supposedly ´knowledgeable´ world leaders need to do some past due homework, fast. This situation could also have a knock-on effect on repatriation claims on the physical gold supposedly still vaulted by many other countries in the US.

Be that as it may, many EU members could / should now want to simultaneously repatriate their BoE vaulted gold partially or totally.

The problem is NO independent audit has ever been carried out anywhere in order to answer the following key questions:
(a) does the BoE still have everybody´s gold bullion... or has it been sold off already (partially or totally) as many experts insist is the case ? (see links below)
(b) is the BoE willing to return the EU gold it may still have to legitimate owners ? Who are the legitimate owners ? Would the ECJ decide gold ownership ? On what basis ?
(c) has the BoE lent out, swapped, re-hypothecated or encumbered such bullion now lien with other alleged legitimate claimees in a sort of “fractional bullion custody” as experts say ?

For this "hard-Brexit EU Gold War" the City, HMG and the BoE would probably act as one and the same, with extreme "golden" cohesion (and leverage) amongst all of these Old Etonian types.
On the other side, we´d have the different EU nation-states (without effective political union) each claiming partial or total re-patriation of its gold ´supposedly´ still vaulted at the BoE.

Of course, the ECB would simultaneosuly also claim it actually is "their" EU gold. And the IMF and the BIS would also meddle, of course. So it does promise to be messy, doesn´t it ?

But however it unfolds, the "continental gold" now vaulted across the English Channel will most probably be weaponized by the UK during hard-Brexit negotiations.

Imagine the conflict in no uncertain terms (and desperation) per audit parameters and ownership, gold bar serial numbers claimed by several (all supposedly legitimate) recipients, gold bar quality and purity, overdue custody costs, transportation and insurance costs, etc., etc.
Paraphrasing James Carville, “ It´s the gold, stupid ”

Skeptics please see


In my opinion, Britain is bluffing now and it will not lead to anything good. If You agree with me, there are some essay samples ( about this topic.

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