Shake it all about: Brexit thread II

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  • Eutychus wrote: »
    Singapore has been mentioned here before. There's also the slight detail that the "little red dot" is almost entirely wholly unlike the UK in every possible way imaginable (apart from the language and the side of the road they drive on).

    ... but nevertheless viewed by some of the Brexiters as a kind of libertarian paradise. Given that their kind of brexit would garner maybe 20% of the vote tops, they saddled themselves to a different set of visions to win the vote (and on this point I agree with Matthew Parris that they 'knew the tiger they rode') and now hope to swing around to a more extreme settlement by deploying a culture war.

    Which is also why no compromise solution will ever be good enough for them.
  • This is a very good summary of May's speech as it pertains to the single issue of data protection and GDPR, and the incoherent mess that results. I assume the same thing is replicated in other fields:

    http://crookedtimber.org/2018/03/03/brexit-and-data-protection/#more-44012
  • EutychusEutychus Admin
    edited March 2018
    This is a very good summary of May's speech as it pertains to the single issue of data protection and GDPR, and the incoherent mess that results. I assume the same thing is replicated in other fields:

    http://crookedtimber.org/2018/03/03/brexit-and-data-protection/#more-44012
    I'd been discussing this very issue elsewhere, having started to wonder about it in view of reams of GDPR-themed translation work coming my way. This quote from your link seems to get to the heart of the matter:
    So, at its moment of greatest strategic weakness, the UK is trying to insist not just that the EU change its current DP rules to suit the UK – that’s just business as usual, and part of the normal rule-making process – but to commit to weakening future protections for EU data transfers, AND developing a whole new system for facilitating the UK’s future influence on the rules. Cake-ism of the highest order.

  • Eirenist wrote: »
    Trump's recent announcement of the imposition of a stiff tariff on imported steel and aluminium gives some idea of the sort of 'great deal' for the UK that he promised.. Our esteemed Trade Secretary seems to have gone very quiet.

    Can't exactly say I'm surprised. Who in their right mind would want to do any trade deals with the UK when every last country in Europe no longer trusts them or their word? Answer: not even Trump.
  • Those advocating Brexit keep on harping on about trade deals as the reason to leave the EU, that and "taking back control" (of borders in particular) were the linchpins of their campaign.

    Of course they're living in some cloud-cuckoo land harking back to some golden age of British trade dominance. A golden age when the UK was the centre of a trading empire, forgetting that that trade was centred around exploiting the natural resources of colonies, selling our goods to our colonies, and at times shipping their young men by the thousands to die in our wars. An age which we should be putting even further into our past, in remorse and repentance, not trying to re-create.

    They should be grateful that we brought them civilisation and the English language all those centuries ago, they should help us out in our hour of need as we seek to shake off the shackles of European oppression, give us trade deals to our advantage and their detriment just like the good old days when we all part of an empire on which the sun never set. And, why shouldn't we want to increase trade with the US, it's a country that just a trumped up colony afterall.
  • The FT on technocratic solutions to Brexit headaches. OK, so the Dr Who references worked as click-bait :wink:

    Put simply, whether it's how to manage trade with the rest of the EU or making sure there are no border posts in Ireland (or, a divergence in status between N Ireland and the rest of the UK) then there could be a technological solution. Some computer code, new hardware, new approach to doing things that would allow this to happen. No one knows what that will be, no one has started work on developing it ... but if the Brexiteers will it then it will happen, in a years time.

    “Hold tight and pretend it’s a plan.”
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Did any other shipmate hear the press conference on Friday, when one of the journalists asked Mrs May, 'Do you think Brexit is all worth it?'.

    If she did, she would have answered with a simple direct and unequivocal 'Yes'. She would then have either taken the next question, or said why.

    As she didn't answer that question, but came out with the usual platitudes about 'the British people have voted', it’s as good as impossible to conclude otherwise than that she doesn't think 'Brexit is all worth it'. In which case, why hasn't she the honesty to say so? After all, she is supposed to be the leader.

    Now, she's as good as admitted that she doesn't think she's leading the country in the right direction.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Oh, and by the way. You know how we've been joking that on this side of the Atlantic 'Trump' means what is euphemistically called 'a flatulent event'. I discovered yesterday that on the other side of the Atlantic, Johnson as in Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, means 'penis'. Apart from me, did everyone else already know that?
  • Yes, I was surprised that she didn't say yes, and make up some garbage about sovereignty, or whatever. I think Andrew Marr asked her the same question, with a non-reply.

    I don't know whether it means that there is a lack of conviction about Brexit, even among the government, or whether it is her normal method of not answering questions, but then which politician doesn't do that?

    It adds to the surreal quality of the Brexit project. Those who support it keenly, tend to come out with fantasies or nonsense, and then there are those who seem to keep their heads down, or say, the people have spoken.

    I suppose it's possible that May at some level, realizes that it is all going tits up, but can't say that.
  • We are going to be poorer, trade will probably be more difficult than at present, there may be shortages of labour in some areas, the Irish border question will remain unresolved, but hey, look on the bright side, passports will be blue, and we can eat lots of American chicken.
  • Enoch wrote: »
    I discovered yesterday that on the other side of the Atlantic, Johnson as in Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, means 'penis'. Apart from me, did everyone else already know that?

    tangent alert:

    I don't think it's specific to the other side of the Atlantic. I've heard it used in the same way in the UK - think it's just an extension of the general use of the word 'John' to mean the same thing ('John Thomas' etc.)
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    edited March 2018
    It adds to the surreal quality of the Brexit project. Those who support it keenly, tend to come out with fantasies or nonsense, and then there are those who seem to keep their heads down, or say, the people have spoken.

    Neatly described on Chris Grey's blog here: https://chrisgreybrexitblog.blogspot.co.uk/2018/03/the-perverse-politics-of-brexit.html
    All of the policies listed above, and all others that I can think of, were deliverable in principle and the people who championed them knew how to deliver them in practice. The profound political dislocation of Brexit is that neither of these things are true in this case.
    ..
    One of the biggest ironies of the present situation is that, by and large, the advocates of hard Brexit simply do not possess that expertise and in this sense are reliant upon those who do. But those who do are, again by and large, opposed to Brexit in general and, even if they were not, cannot by definition be expected to enact a form of Brexit which is impossible in principle."

    With the additional twist that the Prime Minister herself does not appear to believe it is possible to deliver in practice while squaring all the circles the Brexiters have promised. I think things are likely to get very nasty fairly soon - because the only thing left will be to find a set of scapegoats.
  • Enoch wrote: »
    Now, she's as good as admitted that she doesn't think she's leading the country in the right direction.

    But didn't we know that anyway? Mrs. May voted remain, and I'm quite convinced that she still thinks remain is the best option. But she also has the opinion that she needs to follow the preference of the UK public as expressed in that silly referendum.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    Mrs. May voted remain, and I'm quite convinced that she still thinks remain is the best option. But she also has the opinion that she needs to follow the preference of the UK public as expressed in that silly referendum.
    She's always disliked the European Court of Justice (and the European Court of Human Rights), and she's always been anti-immigration. I suspect her dislike of those things have been responsible for some of the more unworkable red lines.
  • Some more interesting stuff on mutual recognition. Mandelson has commented that no such thing exists in the EU legal lexicon, (can't do a link). And that there is no way it will be accepted. I suppose May is trying to go Swiss? Odd that M seems more au fait with the EU than May or Davis. Maybe they should hire him.
  • LeRocLeRoc Shipmate
    we can eat lots of American chicken.
    Think of all the hormones!

  • The problem with solutions along Swiss and other lines is that the size and characteristics of the economies are completely different. Plus there's only a year left to thrash something out.
  • Some more interesting stuff on mutual recognition. Mandelson has commented that no such thing exists in the EU legal lexicon

    There is an analysis of the "mutual recognition" concept here:

    http://eulawanalysis.blogspot.co.uk/2018/03/what-mutual-recognition-really-entails.html

    As it makes clear, to the extent to which it exists it is tied very strongly to the EUs regulatory framework (which should be obvious).
  • Should be obvious ... but then we're dealing with a group of people who think it's obvious that blue is better than burgundy.
  • Eutychus wrote: »
    The problem with solutions along Swiss and other lines is that the size and characteristics of the economies are completely different. Plus there's only a year left to thrash something out.

    But David Davis told us it would be really easy - a year is loads of time...

    AFZ
  • Eutychus wrote: »
    The problem with solutions along Swiss and other lines is that the size and characteristics of the economies are completely different. Plus there's only a year left to thrash something out.

    But David Davis told us it would be really easy - a year is loads of time...

    AFZ

    It might be as easy as David Davis believes it to be if he and Liam Fox were singing off the same hymn sheet. As things stand one appears to be using Mission Praise and the other Hymns A & M. Their Bibles differ too. Short of worshipping the same Brexit Almighty they have very little in common, but that's Brexit ad Brexiteers all over.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    They should be grateful that we brought them civilisation and the English language all those centuries ago, they should help us out in our hour of need as we seek to shake off the shackles of European oppression, give us trade deals to our advantage and their detriment just like the good old days when we all part of an empire on which the sun never set.

    Technically speaking the sun still hasn't set on the British Empire.
    Britain has fourteen overseas territories, the direct remnants of the British Empire.

    (Many newly-independent British colonies joined the Commonwealth of Nations. Some of them, like Canada and Australia, have Queen Elizabeth as their official monarch. But they are independent states which happen to have the same queen; they are not part of any empire that they know of.)

    The Sun never sets on all fourteen British territories at once (or even thirteen, if you don’t count the British Antarctic Territory). However, if the UK loses one tiny territory, it will experience its first Empire-wide sunset in over two centuries.

    Every night, around midnight GMT, the Sun sets on the Cayman Islands, and doesn't rise over the British Indian Ocean Territory until after 1:00 AM. For that hour, the little Pitcairn Islands in the South Pacific are the only British territory in the Sun.

    The Pitcairn Islands have a population of a few dozen people, the descendants of the mutineers from the HMS Bounty. The islands became notorious in 2004 when a third of the adult male population, including the mayor, were convicted of child sexual abuse.

    As awful as the islands may be, they remain part of the British Empire, and unless they're kicked out, the two-century-long British daylight will continue.

    Read the rest to find out if an eclipse could bring an end to the Eternal Sunshine of the British Empire.
  • Oh, we'll just ship off Boris and Farage, and a few others, to take up residence on our little outposts. Since, apparently, the sun shines out their arse that would ensure the sun never sets on the Empire.
  • StephenStephen Shipmate
    Preferably in a coracle
  • Airbus Warning

    Colour me not remotely surpised - or rather surprised that they hadn't said this earlier....

    On-going total incompentence protected from proper public scrutiny by extreme competence of the propaganda department™*

    I continue to weep for my country.

    AFZ

    *Pro-Conservative Print Media.
  • Brexit negotiations latest. It Looks like the UK is after the "three freedoms from four" option, which was pretty much what most Leavers wanted, but it doesn't appear to be on offer. Some kind of quid (or should that be Euro?) pro quo will have to be struck at some time in the next year. Hammond, who wasn't and still isn't a leaver, may be correct to say that a financial services agreement was made to the USA and Canada but I have no details (and I'm not sure he does). Moreover, these were part of deals with countries that wanted closer ties to the EU, not a load more special-caseism for a country that wants no regulatory ties, no financial contributions, but continued privileged access to EU markets.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    Airbus Warning

    Colour me not remotely surpised - or rather surprised that they hadn't said this earlier....

    On-going total incompentence protected from proper public scrutiny by extreme competence of the propaganda department™*

    I continue to weep for my country.

    AFZ

    *Pro-Conservative Print Media.

    I think larger businesses were holding back, expecting to see the emergence of a pro-trade sensible solution. They have good reason to have doubts now.

    The Airbus noises may start a trend. I hope they start to scare the shit out of the dogmatic idiots who think we can have our cake and eat it. Or at least change the balance in the Cabinet.
  • I think larger businesses were holding back, expecting to see the emergence of a pro-trade sensible solution. They have good reason to have doubts now.

    but outside the car companies and Airbus, I suspect the number of international companies that have manufacturing sites here that couldn't be easily switched elsewhere are fairly small.

    Which makes the silence more ominous of course.
  • The companies that can easily switch manufacturing sites out of the UK will do so with little fuss. Those for whom switching sites is a pain will move and kick up a fuss (as Airbus has done). Those who can't switch manufacturing sites at all will increase costs, go out of business, or lay off staff.
  • The companies that can easily switch manufacturing sites out of the UK will do so with little fuss.

    Sure, my suggestion was that most of the large multinationals can easily switch - so given the cold reception they've got till now when trying to give feedback on pro-brexit policy are probably getting on with their migration plans.

    The ones that have made large capital investment in plant have either kicked up a fuss (Airbus) or tried to make side deals with the government (car companies).

    And yes, a bunch of smaller businesses will fold, sacrificed on the altar of taking back control.
  • More like the altar of Tory Party unity.
  • The companies that can easily switch manufacturing sites out of the UK will do so with little fuss.

    Sure, my suggestion was that most of the large multinationals can easily switch - so given the cold reception they've got till now when trying to give feedback on pro-brexit policy are probably getting on with their migration plans.

    The ones that have made large capital investment in plant have either kicked up a fuss (Airbus) or tried to make side deals with the government (car companies).

    And yes, a bunch of smaller businesses will fold, sacrificed on the altar of taking back control.

    Of all the companies to watch I'd put J C Bamford, manufacturers of construction equipment high up the list. Their owners were enthusiastic Leave backers saying they will continue to trade with Europe after Britain has left the EU, which presupposes the kind of deal Messrs Davis and Fox can concoct.
  • Donald Tusk should be a stand up comedian, he delivers his lines with great dryness. Witness yesterday, in his speech: "Our agreement", he said, "will not make trade between the UK and the EU frictionless or smoother. It will make it more complicated and costly than today, for all of us. This is the essence of Brexit".

    Also striking that this has not been reported in the UK media. Well, they are obsessed with the Russian poisoning, but it's interesting that the EU response is so widely ignored. I suppose in a while, there will be comments about them 'punishing' us. But also maybe they are reluctant to admit that Mrs May's positions are basically terminated with extreme prejudice.
  • We know that Russia will be one of the main beneficiaries of Brexit. Is it too much of a stretch to believe that they pulled this latest stunt to distract from the negotiations at a time when realisation about how much shit we're in should be starting to dawn among the more pragmatic leavers?

    Putin is ruthless and is always two steps ahead in his Machiavellian games. He's certainly capable.
  • I doubt the two are directly related.

    I do however think that there is a policy of distraction and disinformation that is nurtured by the media, itself concerned with generating revenue and entertaining rather than getting to grips with the issues. The world is getting more complex by the day and it's just too much for most people to cope with; we'd rather be entertained and distracted. The media are willing accomplices for those seeking to distract.

    (This applies across the pond, too).
  • I think that we live in such a mad world, that it's perfectly feasible, that the Russians are playing such a chess game. Or you could call it a version of the 'great game'. Oh to be a fly on the wall in the Great Russian Troll HQ.
  • It certainly looks like there's more to this poisoning than just knocking off a former spy. That would be easier to do just breaking into his home at night and shooting him. The use of an unusual nerve agent, or in former case a radioactive poison, is sending a message that is more than just Russia getting rid of traitors. Whether that message is at all related to Brexit is a different issue, and I doubt they are connected.

    Though, breaking away from full membership of the EU will reduce the effectiveness of cross-border police action and intelligence gathering. So, Brexit will impact the ability of the UK, and the EU, to combat international crime - including terrorism.
  • I think Eutychus' point is a good one. It's a version of the 'look at the giant squirrel' technique, i.e. distraction. Let's face it, Brexit has become mega-boring, and probably most people switch off, if the headline is 'Tusk argues that Brexit will not be frictionless'. In a sense, the UK govt has ground everyone down to dust, with their endless prevarication and mind-numbing speeches.
  • There's also the point that the EU position is best ignored. They are ignorant about our great United Kingdom, they speak funny languages, and they insist on straight bananas. How can we take them seriously? Of course, this is a kind of caricature of Brexit thinking, but I wonder if it is also found in the non-tabloid press, e.g. Telegraph, Times, and amongst the Ultras (nutters).
  • EutychusEutychus Admin
    edited March 2018
    In a sense, the UK govt has ground everyone down to dust, with their endless prevarication and mind-numbing speeches.
    Again, there is a school of thought that says this is the GOP policy across the pond, too: wear people down by attrition.

    (I'm certain at least part of the GOP support for Trump is because he provides a useful distraction from their nastier pieces of legislation).

    The idea that most of our politicians are simply hanging on until they can either reap personal financial gains via their policies and/or secure themselves a lucrative place on the international conference circuit whilst manipulating the media in the meantime is depressing but often compelling, unfortunately.

  • Eutychus wrote: »

    The idea that most of our politicians are simply hanging on until they can either reap personal financial gains via their policies and/or secure themselves a lucrative place on the international conference circuit whilst manipulating the media in the meantime is depressing but often compelling, unfortunately.

    Something Christianity doesn't account for is that greed and stupidity are the root causes of most evil. It's not the work of Satan, just free will within man. I have my doubts that it is really sin; it's "normal".
  • sionisais wrote: »
    Eutychus wrote: »

    The idea that most of our politicians are simply hanging on until they can either reap personal financial gains via their policies and/or secure themselves a lucrative place on the international conference circuit whilst manipulating the media in the meantime is depressing but often compelling, unfortunately.

    Something Christianity doesn't account for is that greed and stupidity are the root causes of most evil. It's not the work of Satan, just free will within man. I have my doubts that it is really sin; it's "normal".

    Maybe, on the other hand, the founder of Christianity once remarked that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil...

    AFZ
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Rocinante wrote: »
    We know that Russia will be one of the main beneficiaries of Brexit. Is it too much of a stretch to believe that they pulled this latest stunt to distract from the negotiations at a time when realisation about how much shit we're in should be starting to dawn among the more pragmatic leavers?

    A more likely explanation is that Skripal was an active double agent who gave information on current Russian efforts to Christopher Steele.
  • EirenistEirenist Shipmate
    Point of information , Mr Speaker. The London Times did not ignore Mr Tusk's remarks. It quotes them:Thursday, March 8, page 15. The Times is more Remainer than Brexiteer these days.
  • I'd expect the broadsheets to carry something like a statement from Mr Tusk. It's just they don't seem to consider them important enough to go on the front page, they get tucked away inside for the keenies to read. Like p15 (as has been pointed out for the Times)
  • Maybe, on the other hand, the founder of Christianity once remarked that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil...
    I suppose the question of whether Jesus or Paul was the founder of Christianity really should be on another thread ...
  • Dafyd wrote: »
    Mrs. May voted remain, and I'm quite convinced that she still thinks remain is the best option. But she also has the opinion that she needs to follow the preference of the UK public as expressed in that silly referendum.
    She's always disliked the European Court of Justice (and the European Court of Human Rights), and she's always been anti-immigration. I suspect her dislike of those things have been responsible for some of the more unworkable red lines.

    Even with that being true, however, her natural response to any question about whether she thought Brexit was still a good idea would be 'but I never thought it was in the first place.'

    I always thought it was fundamentally doubtful for a Remainer to head up leaving the EU, though in a way I've sort of admired how she's managed to resist the numerous opportunities that must've come her way to say 'well, duh!' every time something went wrong with the negotiations.
  • Maybe, on the other hand, the founder of Christianity once remarked that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil...
    I suppose the question of whether Jesus or Paul was the founder of Christianity really should be on another thread ...

    Indeed. Oops.... I meant one of the fathers of Christianity...

    Bad aliens...

    AFZ
  • sionisais wrote: »
    Something Christianity doesn't account for is that greed and stupidity are the root causes of most evil. It's not the work of Satan, just free will within man. I have my doubts that it is really sin; it's "normal".

    I'm not sure this is the case - perhaps it depends on the type of Christianity. Traditionally the struggle is against 'the world, the flesh and the devil' after all.

    I think sin is 'normal' in the total depravity sense (not that we are as bad as we could possibly be, but in that sin touches everything we do - if sin were blue, we'd be slightly blue all over).
  • It certainly looks like there's more to this poisoning than just knocking off a former spy. That would be easier to do just breaking into his home at night and shooting him. The use of an unusual nerve agent, or in former case a radioactive poison, is sending a message that is more than just Russia getting rid of traitors.

    Possibly - though I assume whether or not it was flagged in the media a certain set of people would always know, and it could 'just' be a message to them.

    I assume this kind of thing - at a low level - goes on all the time, and for the most part the states involved choose not to publicise this because of the intention of the message. Every few years there's a cluster of such killings which may or may not be connected.
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