Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band: Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out: For the Weekend

Brussels takes control

Europe's negotiating position on Brexit is that Little England (1) will not get any special deals—must pick from the same menu of closeness-of-association positions as Canada, Turkey, Switzerland, and Scandinavia have—and (2) will not gain the EU's blessing for breaking the Good Friday agreement. After a no-deal Brexit crash out, that will still be the EU's negotiating position. So why haven't there been enough Conservative MPs to end this farce yet?:

Chris Cook: Brussels Takes Control: "The EU’s initial response to the referendum result said: 'Any agreement, which will be concluded with the United Kingdom as a third country, will have to reflect the interests of both sides and be balanced in terms of rights and obligations'. A few days on, it added: 'Access to the single market requires acceptance of all four freedoms'. This reflects a belief in what the EU is actually for. Those who know her have learned that when Merkel, who grew up on the far side of the Iron Curtain, says freedom of movement of people is a fundamental principle, it pays to take her seriously.... The statement was also intended to ram home the basic principle that the EU insists rights be balanced by obligations.... This has created fixed grooves that third countries must fall into. In return for unfettered access to its internal markets, they have to tick certain boxes. When the UK Treasury modelled possible outcomes of the Brexit negotiations before the referendum, it presented a discreet menu of options... Switzerland’s... Turkey’s... Canada’s... found the same likely range of options. This formula–'no cherry-picking'–was most clearly set out in a diagram released to modest fanfare in late 2017 by Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator. It became known as the 'staircase' diagram: