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Source: (consider it) Thread: Shake it all about: Brexit thread II
Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
There are no Utopias on planet earth. I feel lucky to have been born and lived in this land.

Alan wasn't talking of Utopias and you know that.

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"He isn't Doctor Who, he's The Doctor"

(Paul Sinha, BBC)

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Alan Cresswell

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# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
Do you think the EU should've done the right thing and acknowledged the massive benefit to EU27 countries by British migrants by offering them on-going rights to live and work there?

Yes, because people aren't pawns in some political game. So, everyone does the right thing because it's the right thing, not as part of the Brexit negotiations. But, the question was how honourable the UK government is.

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All I want for Christmas is EU

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Jane R
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lilbuddha:
quote:
If you cannot admit its faults, you do not truly love a country.
Patriotism isn't flag waving and slogan shouting. Patriotism is doing what is best for the country. And that means treating the wounds, not putting a flag coloured plaster over them.

[Overused] This.
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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:

The EU refused to start Brexit negotiations before article 50 was triggered.

It occurs to me that by the time the new government is formed, the UK - courtesy of the current government - would have spent the year since the vote dithering. No negotiation has been started, the departments responsible for negotiating have not been staffed up to cope, the UK is literally - modulo minor re-arranging of the furniture in Whitehall - in the same place it was a year ago.

If you believe in any kind of deal being reached, then this is absolutely criminal.

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quetzalcoatl
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Even if you believe in no deal, there is plenty to be done. For example, with regard to aviation, if the UK simply leaves the EU, then its aircraft cannot go through EU airspace, as current airspace arrangements will fall. This also applies to plenty of other stuff, for example, with regard to customs checks. You would think then that there would be furious activity to set up alternative arrangements.

But maybe no deal is a kind of bluff and not a serious idea, or it is being offered to the Ultras, to keep them quiet.

Ironically, for a so-called Brexit election, we are no closer to knowing anything. I suppose voting for a blank cheque is meant to be bracing and morally uplifting.

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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Alan Cresswell

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# 31

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For the Tories, giving details of Brexit would expose the divisions in the party over the EU, ironically I think the referendum outcome has simply made those divisions deeper rather than Camerons intention to bring the party together. Repeating meaningless phrases about "Brexit means Brexit" and "we'll get the best deal" papers over those cracks.

Labour seem to be equally divided over Brexit, and have consoled themselves with the patently false assertion that "the people have spoken", and are probably hoping they won't get put in the position of actually having to sort out the mess.

The LibDems are at least consistent in their position - they were and still are basically Remainers. But, they have failed to grasp the opportunity of offering a radically different vision on Brexit. Merely saying they'll a) seek the best possible deal (with little extra details than offered by Labour or Tory on what that deal might look like), and b) then bring it back to the people to decide if they want Brexit on those terms or to remain in the EU.

I'm not sure about PC, but the SNP would seek to remain so close to the EU that they would prefer the UK stay inside the EU - and failing that, for an independent Scotland to move back into the EU asap. The Green position is very similar.

The LibDems/SNP/PC/Greens offer the only real option for the majority of the electorate who don't want anything remotely like a hard Brexit. The Tories will almost certainly go for a hard Brexit, but we can't be sure. Labour look like they'll seek something softer but if that's not possible (eg: if they can't get single market membership without freedom of movement) will also default to a hard Brexit. But, the stupid FPTP system means that for many there's no real chance of anyone other than the Tory or Labour candidate winning their seat.

Meanwhile fake news continues to win the propaganda campaign - with very few voices being heard to challenge the idiocy that says "immigration is a problem" (whereas the truth is that immigration isn't a problem - unless you have a problem with seeing people with different skin colours on the street, or hearing non-English people on the bus). Even Labour, while not following the dive to the bottom of the lowest figure possible for net migration, are talking about the need to control immigration to the detriment of the nation.

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All I want for Christmas is EU

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quetzalcoatl
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I think Labour have categorically rejected the idea of no deal, as they have probably realized how catastrophic it would be. Well, probably the govt have also realized this, but have to keep talking about it, to keep the Daily Mail sweet.

If they haven't worked out the implications of no deal, then we really are in deep shit.

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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quetzalcoatl
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I forgot to say that there has been talk of being in the EEA with an opt-out on migration, that is without free movement. Popularly known as the Liechtenstein solution, there is disagreement about whether this is only applied there, because of its tiny size and easily overwhelmed population. Or would the EU be prepared to extend article 112 (often known as the emergency brake) to the UK? No idea, but presumably it is discussed in the hallowed halls of the EU and the UK government.

Of course, it might be construed as still too close to the EU by the mighty patriots of the Daily Mail, and others.

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Well, probably the govt have also realized this, but have to keep talking about it, to keep the Daily Mail sweet.

If they haven't worked out the implications of no deal, then we really are in deep shit.

In a classic case of the Dunning-Kruger I believe some of them haven't (David Davis as an example). I think some of them are basing their belief on past experience which may or may not be relevant (Theresa May and possibly Boris Johnson).

Some of them probably take a fairly cynical line and genuinely don't care (it's hard to read Dan Hannan's public changes of mind as anything else).

Finally, one more dynamic in all this - I think the media senses blood over much of the current front bench - they have realised they can get a decent story out of putting May under pressure - should she remain PM into the negotiations (as opposed to resigning after a year or so) I can see this kicking off in a big way.

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quetzalcoatl
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As some journos are saying, it might be a good election to lose, at least in relation to Brexit. There is some expectation of political carnage post-Brexit, when people realize how horrendous it is.

Of course, there might be a 'frictionless' deal, with all customs arrangements intact, British aircraft free to fly via the EU, and so on. Seems unlikely.

[ 04. June 2017, 15:51: Message edited by: quetzalcoatl ]

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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Doublethink.
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It's only a good election to lose if you are completely cynical about the national interest - otherwise it is vital to win, to try to shape the negotiations and whether there's ultimately a vote on the deal reached - even if your party is then buggered for a generation. Because the outcome of this will have effects for much, much longer than that.

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

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quetzalcoatl
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Well, there is an argument that if Labour were to win the election (very unlikely, I think), they would be completely shattered by Brexit negotiations, and would collapse, as we either face empty supermarket shelves, or street riots, or widespread terrorism, or all of them.

This is possibly rather melodramatic, and indeed, bleak.

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Well, there is an argument that if Labour were to win the election (very unlikely, I think), they would be completely shattered by Brexit negotiations, and would collapse, as we either face empty supermarket shelves, or street riots, or widespread terrorism, or all of them.

I feel that simply by having Corbyn and Starmer instead of May and Johnson, Fox, and Davis the UK would earn enough goodwill from the rest of the EU to avoid having the negotiations fall apart.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Louise
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Labour are not the people claiming 'no deal is better than a bad deal' that's the Conservatives and that's the way to the catastrophic scenario that will happen if we crash out and have to trade on WTO rules - a danger which I don't think has been highlighted enough this election. It's also not Labour who have been antagonising the very people we must strike a deal with. Sir Keir Starmer, QC who would be their Brexit negotiator is a far better choice as a negotiator too.

The Financial Times allows non subscribers to read a few articles free - it's worth reading what they say about the dangers:

The danger of no Brexit deal to UK economy

Trade realities expose the absurdity of a Brexit ‘no deal’

And it's also very much worth reading this about Brexit in general

After Brexit: the UK will need to renegotiate at least 759 treaties

Personally I think Labour would be in a much better place to row back from the precipice.

Also, by the by, in terms of security they're not the people sucking up to Donald Trump in deluded hopes of an advantageous free trade deal. Brexit has put us on the wrong side of the free world versus fascists, dictators and wannabe fascist dictators. We should be standing with Macron and Merkel against Trump and Putin but instead Theresa May sucks up to Donald and our European allies can no longer rely on us. I'd far rather rely on them than Donald Trump who's been attacking the Mayor of London and talking nonsense about how knife-wielding terrorists would have killed fewer people if guns were readily available in the UK!

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PaulTH*
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quote:
Originally posted by Louise:
Labour are not the people claiming 'no deal is better than a bad deal' that's the Conservatives and that's the way to the catastrophic scenario that will happen if we crash out and have to trade on WTO rules - a danger which I don't think has been highlighted enough this election

Yes but there is no radical difference between what Labour is proposing even if they insist that a bad deal is worse than no deal which can't in any case be right, depending on what is demanded of us. I have seen Corbyn say on several occasions that free movement ends when we leave the EU. Mrs Merkel has repeatedly made it clear that without free movement, there is no free access to the Single Market. Sir Keir Starmer has said that he won't allow the ECJ to oversee the rights of EU citizens living in the UK, which was a core demand made by Messieurs Barnier and Juncker. Labour are saying that they won't be confrontational like the Tories, but they still have their red lines which exclude the UK from unfettered access to the SM.

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Yours in Christ
Paul

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Louise
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Whichever party is in government will need to backpedal when the full extent of this expensive disaster dawns on the voters, which it hasn't yet as we're still in the phoney war period. The party whose membership is still really not onboard with this probably has the best chance of making a rapid U-turn when the brown stuff hits the air conditioning. That's not the Tories.

[ 04. June 2017, 20:58: Message edited by: Louise ]

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Alan Cresswell

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# 31

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But, the Tories have so much experience in u-turns.

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All I want for Christmas is EU

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PaulTH*
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quote:
Originally posted by Louise:
Whichever party is in government will need to backpedal when the full extent of this expensive disaster dawns on the voters, which it hasn't yet as we're still in the phoney war period.

This may be the case. Nicola Sturgeon has said that, because Scotland suffers more from depopulation than overpopulation, she wants free movement to continue. That would allow membership of the EEA, provided we also accept the jurisdiction of the ECJ and continue to make contributions to the EU budget. In that case we would still have access to the Single Market. But I don't believe that this is what people voted for last June 23rd, and neither the Tories nor Labour are offering that. The Tories may have taken a harder position in rhetoric, but I see little difference in their bottom line negotiating position.

No deal is better than a bad deal probably means, for starters, that we wouldn't agree to handing over £84 billion unless it's linked to future arrangements. If it's phased payments which "buy" a high level of access to the Single Market, it could be acceptable. If it's an up front promise with nothing offered in return, it's an unacceptably bad deal IMO. Labour haven't made clear how they would deal with this point, but have said that free movement ends when we leave the EU, and have promised to replace it with a controlled immigration system based on decency combined with the needs of the British economy. But this is what Angela Merkel has repeatedly denied, firstly to David Cameron when he wanted her help to persuade the British people to vote Remain.

For her and all the federalists, free movement is a fundamental inviolable principal of access to the Single Market. So even if Labour's team are using sweeter words, they haven't explained how they will get past that most fundamental impasse. Do they intend to just pay up and hope? Do they think that by avoiding confrontational talk that Msr Barnier will allow free access to the SM after they halt free movement? Unless someone, whoever is elected, is prepared to do an almighty backtracking fudge, and explain it to the British voters, I don't see where a "soft" Brexit can come from.

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Yours in Christ
Paul

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
No deal is better than a bad deal probably means, for starters, that we wouldn't agree to handing over £84 billion unless it's linked to future arrangements.

At this point the EU hasn't mentioned a figure, and all such figures are extrapolated and so highly speculative. However, your approach is unlikely to be acceptable for at least part of that amount - purely because it will be against spending commitments for projects past (pensions and the like).

quote:

For her and all the federalists, free movement is a fundamental inviolable principal of access to the Single Market.

It's nothing to do with 'federalism' but simply a second order effect on how comprehensive the Single Market (in Goods and Services) is.
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Louise
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Because we're in the Union no-one cares what Scotland thinks and demographically we have enough elderly No voters to make sure we are chained to the Brexit mess and are going down the toilet with it.

You still seem to be under the illusion that there's any such thing as a good deal from Brexit. There isn't. Neither Labour nor Tories can offer a good Brexit deal to the electorate without single market/free movement because such a thing doesn't exist. It's not how modern economies work. There is however the possibility of utter economic catastrophe as opposed to mere economic damage ie. crashing out and trading under WTO rules, which is more likely under the Tories.

I get the impression you don't know why that is so bad and what it entails - which was rather my point. Neither main party dares honestly explain it to the electorate, and there will be no covering it up with flannel in the usual newspapers if it happens, because the economic effects will be so profound, widespread and obvious.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Louise:
Brexit has put us on the wrong side of the free world versus fascists, dictators and wannabe fascist dictators. We should be standing with Macron and Merkel against Trump and Putin but instead Theresa May sucks up to Donald and our European allies can no longer rely on us.

This strikes me as one of those unpredictable turns that make "a week a long time in politics".

Trump's victory has suddenly given the EU a new raison d'être and an "anti-Trump" in the person of Macron. Of course it is unsure how long this will last...

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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PaulTH*
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quote:
Originally posted by Louise:
I get the impression you don't know why that is so bad and what it entails

Louise, it's easy to see your utter frustration at Scotland being shackled to a UK bent on ripping itself out of the EU, but in both cases the problem is that pesky little thing called democracy. I fear terribly for our future whoever wins on June 8. But there are two types of people, those who want Brexit to be a success, and those who want it to be a disaster. The latter group can be divided into two diametrically opposed opinions. There are those on the hard right who want a very hard Brexit so the UK is "forced" to deregulate the economy bit time in order to retain a level of competitiveness. That would achieve everything Margaret Thatcher wanted but failed to get.

The other group is the opposite and want Brexit to fail so the British people loudly change their mind an beg a way back in. This could result in us losing all the opt outs we previously had, making us the largest contributor, taking the euro and joining Schengen. I doubt if the British people would accept all that. I belong to the first type, those who hope our leaders can make a success of the whole project. That sufficient compromises can be made to permit a high level of access to the SM in order to protect jobs and living standards on both sides of the channel. I'm not wildly optimistic about it, but in spite of differences in style and rhetoric, this seems to be the aim of both the Tories and Labour.

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Yours in Christ
Paul

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
But I don't believe that this is what people voted for last June 23rd

And, that's just your belief. No one knows what people voted for, because the question wasn't framed in a manner that allows anyone to know that. Any statement about what people voted for needs to be preceded by a referendum where the people are asked what they want.

quote:
Labour haven't made clear how they would deal with this point, but have said that free movement ends when we leave the EU, and have promised to replace it with a controlled immigration system based on decency combined with the needs of the British economy.
Which, of course, is so similar to freedom of movement that we might as well stay with freedom of movement. The British economy (and wider society) needs EU citizens to work in our bars and cafes, to harvest our crops and a whole range of other jobs which would fail to meet the sort of points system that we currently (stupidly) apply to immigration from the rest of the world. Our government is already spending lots of money enforcing a draconian immigration system that is strangling our economy and causing considerable upsets to our communities as families are ripped apart for no good reason. We need to get rid of those immigration controls, not add more.

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All I want for Christmas is EU

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quetzalcoatl
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One point about freedom of movement - that EEA permits an emergency brake - article 112 - which has been applied to Liechtenstein.

Of course, you could say that this is a one-off, since L is so small, and was allowed to put a brake on migration.

I have no idea if such a deal would be on, but I wonder if politicians are aware of this loophole? It might be sullied by Cameron's use of the term, emergency brake, which came to nothing.

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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Louise
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It's not a question of what anyone 'wants', Paul. There isn't a realistic good outcome, short of ditching the whole thing. There is also a sadly non-negligible possibility of a catastrophic outcome which currently people aren't giving enough weight to.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
One point about freedom of movement - that EEA permits an emergency brake - article 112 - which has been applied to Liechtenstein.

Of course, you could say that this is a one-off, since L is so small, and was allowed to put a brake on migration.

I have no idea if such a deal would be on, but I wonder if politicians are aware of this loophole? It might be sullied by Cameron's use of the term, emergency brake, which came to nothing.

I'm not entirely sure how the tiny microstates in Europe get away with what they do, but I suspect it is a lot to do with geography. Liechtenstein, San Marino and Vatican city have a different status to the Channel Islands, Gibraltar etc. I think this is because of where they are and their size - they're surrounded by EU countries and are so small as to have a very limited effect on the working of the EU or EEA zones.

That's no great model for the UK given the size and position of these islands. The simple fact is that if the UK had an advantageous trading relationship without being a member (which it would have if it had access to the common market without fully keeping the rules), there would be no point in having the EU or the EEA.

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fletcher christian

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Posted by Louise:
quote:

There is also a sadly non-negligible possibility of a catastrophic outcome which currently people aren't giving enough weight to.

I'm not entirely sure that even if the full catastrophe of the whole affair comes to light just before the final trigger is pulled that people will get particularly vexed about it. There's a long history in Britain of treating the EU with contempt, especially in the press. Much of that coverage in the past makes Trump's 'alternative facts' look like a stroll in the park. This kind of stuff has been drip fed into Britain for decades, not just months. The growing insular nature of politics (even within the United Kingdom itself with its latent perception of 'provinces') has proved to have taken a deep root. For decades the idea that immigrants are a nuisance, stealing jobs, benefits, being a drain on taxes and the NHS have all led to a most unpleasant xenophobia. The game was up when Farage was sent to Europe - the one moment when Britain could have had someone in there to actually work for their benefit and to look at what truly needs changing in the EU. Cameron hadn't a snowball's chance in hell of ever convincing the EU of anything; after all, the arrival of Farage before him told every member of Europe (rightly or wrongly) that Britain held the EU in utter contempt. The British public seemed to think the presence of Fraage was a great joke without realising there were many other European countries who saw this treatment of the EU as incredibly shocking, especially in light of their own struggles to establish stability and democracy in their own countries. Britain seemed to have little concept of this.

In light of all of this - and of course much, much more - Britain seems destined and blindly determined to destroy its own future for many decades to come. I fear for what will transpire, not just for Britain or for the rest of Europe, but for the world. We live in a global economy whether we like it or not; that's just how things are. The demise of one effects everybody else in some shape or form, but I've always argued here (and been repeatedly mocked for it) that the EU represents much more than a stable economy, and if Britain looses that then then there is a very real possibility of social and cultural carnage. It just doesn't bear thinking about, yet there seems to be a feeling among the public that they are prepared to do this reckless thing whatever the cost to them or to anyone else. It is without doubt the weirdest most incomprehensible thing I've ever seen in my life.

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by fletcher christian:
It is without doubt the weirdest most incomprehensible thing I've ever seen in my life.

Couldn't agree more.

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All I want for Christmas is EU

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Rocinante
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It's weird and incomprehensible to those of us who have (some) understanding of the issues involved, what the EU actually is and the reasons why our national interest is best served by being a member of it.

If you've never looked beyond the Daily Mail bogey-EU, you think your life is a bit shit and it must be someone else's fault, and/or you're not comfortable with people who aren't from round here living in your street, then voting to leave made pretty good sense at the time. Factor in the perennial desire to stick two fingers up at those in authority, and Brexit was a racing certainty from the moment the wretched Cameron announced his referendum.

No doubt the consequences of Brexit will be blamed on the EU for not giving us everything we wanted. The EEC/EU has been a convenient scapegoat for self-inflicted problems more or less since we joined, and no doubt will continue to be after we leave.

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quetzalcoatl
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There's also the odd feeling that many politicians don't actually understand what Brexit might involve, or what no deal might involve. For example, apart from tariffs, how many of them are conversant with customs regulations, and how they are operated in the EU, and how a 'third country' might be plugged into these - or not. I don't see that anyone has tried to discuss such matters, and outline possible solutions. This may be because they have no idea, they don't care, or that's somebody else's job, or it's all the EU's fault anyway, or these things shouldn't be discussed in front of the servants.

[ 05. June 2017, 14:15: Message edited by: quetzalcoatl ]

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
But I don't believe that this is what people voted for last June 23rd

And, that's just your belief. No one knows what people voted for, because the question wasn't framed in a manner that allows anyone to know that. Any statement about what people voted for needs to be preceded by a referendum where the people are asked what they want.
But we do know what they voted for - they voted to leave the EU, which was the question asked, the question for which so many had been campaigning for decades.

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
But we do know what they voted for - they voted to leave the EU, which was the question asked, the question for which so many had been campaigning for decades.

I'll grant that it can be argued that a slim majority voted against EU membership. Which is different from voting for a particular alternative relationship with the EU. The vote last year can not be used as support for any particular version of Brexit - so, we can't say the people of the UK (or even those permitted to vote) voted for an end to freedom of movement, exiting the customs union or single market or anything else.

And, I also struggle to identify with your final statement. There hasn't really been any sort of sustained campaign against EU membership. Obviously some discussion in the 1970s when we entered the Common Market, which seems to have largely disappeared after the referendum. Some disquiet among a minority of Tories, but mostly only as far as not wanting further integration with Europe. Before UKIP there was no real campaign to actually leave the EU, which isn't decades. And, they only managed one MP and a handful of lazy MEPs. Which hardly amounts to a substantial political impact, until the Tories started treating this bunch of fascists as though they were a serious political party.

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All I want for Christmas is EU

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Gee D
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IIRC, there was quite a substantial majority of those voting. Just as there had been in the Scottish Independence referendum also.

You're right that there was no vote in favour of any particular type of Brexit. Apart from the real difficulties I've adverted to previously about this (you'd really need some sort of preferential voting, a skill which apparently is beyond any British voter) I doubt that such subtleties would have had much effect. The majority just wanted out.

As to your last paragraph, whilst the formal exit campaign has been UKIP, there seems to me to have been a pretty solid, if unthinking, press one for many years now. And let's face it, despite the large vote in favour of joining, I doubt that many thought through the real consequences.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
IIRC, there was quite a substantial majority of those voting. Just as there had been in the Scottish Independence referendum also.

Yes, a few percent difference between the two options presented. Not enough to define the clear will of the people (even if the question was asked in a manner that allowed that even with a much larger majority). A long way from a "strong and stable" basis to build a major constitutional change on - as recognised by many in the Leave campaign who said that a 48-52 vote would mean another referendum after a short period of time. Something that a) they deny to those who want to Remain in the EU and b) deny to the people of Scotland wanting another IndyRef.

As for who voted, that was influenced by the arcane rules on who can vote in UK elections. To let some non-UK residents vote, but not others is simply stupid. Especially when those excluded include those most affected by the outcome. It's another thread probably, but if I had my say about things then the criteria to vote would simply be residence - anyone living in a country gets to vote, anyone who has chosen to live in another country gets a vote there but not the country they left.

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All I want for Christmas is EU

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Gee D
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What would have defined the clear will of the people? The 10% margin in the Scottish independence showed a pretty clear ill, but there were many at the time who argued that that was insufficient. In the Brexit referendum, here was a minority (of those voting) who voted to remain. In normal terms of democracy they do not get their will; the majority get theirs. What would happen in a normal election? Assume an accurate 1 vote majority for candidate, then it is candidate A who is elected.

There are always rules on who can and cannot vote. The rule here is that apart from being a citizen, you must be 18 (and I know that in the Scottish independence referendum this was reduced to 16). That means that a 10 year old, no matter how aware of the issues, cannot vote. How would you define resident? Citizenship by birth or naturalisation gives a simple and clear cut answer.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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romanesque
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All referendums are political cowardice, if there was a clear winner politicians would be covering themselves in glory, not putting the question to the people. That said the UK was offered an option and one side won. The turn out was better than most general elections and the winning margin consistent with one from which governments are formed. Nothing in the lead up suggested the vote was advisory and the ballot questions were unequivocal.

The issue was complicated by the leading protagonist resigning over an issue he himself had offered, and the principal players scattering on day one, leaving also-rans and opportunists like May to take up the mantle. May is a Remainer, Corbyn is almost certainly not. Hypocrisy never goes out of fashion.

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by romanesque:
Nothing in the lead up suggested the vote was advisory and the ballot questions were unequivocal.

1. In the UK (and, probably all other representative democracies) the decision will always lay with Parliament (or equivalent body). Constitutionally, a referendum is always advisory. This was recognised in the cursory debate in Parliament to approve the referendum, and most MPs made a commitment to abide by the referendum result.

[mr cheesy, skip this bit]
2. The question was undefined, because no one had defined what Brexit would mean. We still have little more than the meaningless "Brexit means Brexit", though it's likely that if the Tories win on Thursday it will mean an end to our participation in the single market, customs union, freedom of movement, EURATOM, Horizon 2020, CAP, fisheries protection, and other parts of EU membership that are highly beneficial to the UK economy and society. If Labour win the list of what we lose may be shorter. If we were to have been given a meaningful and unequivocal question then the Leave campaign would have had to define what Brexit meant, and it would need to be a lot more detailed than £350m per day for the NHS. Ideally, there would have been a series of Parliamentary debates with public consultation on the various options so that the UK government, with the support of Parliament, could put forward a proposal for leaving the EU. And, then the referendum question would be effectively "do you support the governments proposal for leaving the EU?" (even if the actual words on the ballot paper were no different from what we had last year). I would recommend that given the significance of leaving the EU the UK Parliament and government should have given it at least as much thought and consideration as the Scottish government and Parliament gave to the independence referendum (which was 7 years or Parliamentary/public debate, across 2 Parliaments, leading to a 670p white paper produced months before the formal start of campaigning).

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All I want for Christmas is EU

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romanesque
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
[QB] Constitutionally, a referendum is always advisory.

All a referendum could do was confirm what we've known for decades, that Britain was deeply divided on everything concerned with the EU. The referendum was offered because Cameron saw it as an opportunity to rid himself and the Tory party of its Euro rebels once and for all.

At the time it seemed a good idea because the polls swung his way. The government would never have undergone the expense of a referendum, and the turn out would not have been nearly so large had the advisory nature of it been emphasised. It was pure political opportunism. Cameron was banking on winning by a head but a short nose would have sufficed - he wouldn't have gone back to the country either way and would in all probability still be PM. What he realised the morning after was the cognitive dissonance between his proposition, and the unavoidable consequences of the result.

Neither Brexit nor Remain campaigns were clear about the detail of the choices on offer, and haven't been since the referendum, largely because the EU have shown no desire to compromise on its monolithic view of European-ness. Had the commission offered a scale of inclusion, Brexit wouldn't have arisen, Maastricht wouldn't have emerged from French doubts about a united Germany, and the whole sorry ideological mess of what became of a splendid trading partnership could have been avoided.

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lowlands_boy
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Page 39 and we are still re-hashing the basics...

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I thought I should update my signature line....

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romanesque
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quote:
Originally posted by lowlands_boy:
Page 39 and we are still re-hashing the basics...

The only remaining question is the legitimacy of the referendum. If it was above board the question was settled from the 24th June last year. That leaves whether it was a good idea or not, or challenges to its legality.

Like I said, I think referendums are a dumb idea and if a legal challenge stopped them permanently and made political parties stand for election on those issues instead of passing the rope to the electorate to hang itself, we could all rejoice. What we have now is a PM who never believed in Brexit actively promoting it, and a would-be PM who is a Eurosceptic keeping his mouth shut in fear of losing popularity. When people understand the institutional hypocrisy at the heart of party politics, they're better able to apply a suitable amount of salt to its offerings.

[ 06. June 2017, 11:27: Message edited by: romanesque ]

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by romanesque:
Neither Brexit nor Remain campaigns were clear about the detail of the choices on offer, and haven't been since the referendum,

There wasn't much that Remain needed to make clear - remain in the relationship we currently (at the time) have with the EU. It's a known entity. Some of us would prefer it if the UK entered more fully into the EU, entered Schengen and joined the Euro, but that would be best decided by a future referendum when that option becomes available and didn't need to be part of the Remain package.

It was the Leave campaign that failed (and still fails) to define what they wanted. In the single market or out? In the customs union or out? etc

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lowlands_boy
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
quote:
Originally posted by romanesque:
Neither Brexit nor Remain campaigns were clear about the detail of the choices on offer, and haven't been since the referendum,

There wasn't much that Remain needed to make clear - remain in the relationship we currently (at the time) have with the EU. It's a known entity. Some of us would prefer it if the UK entered more fully into the EU, entered Schengen and joined the Euro, but that would be best decided by a future referendum when that option becomes available and didn't need to be part of the Remain package.

It was the Leave campaign that failed (and still fails) to define what they wanted. In the single market or out? In the customs union or out? etc

All these 39 pages have demonstrated is that it's as practical to define Brexit as it is to define Christianity, according to the members of the ship.

There are avowed atheists, avowed theists, and a very broad spectrum of belief.

Some people are fully on board with the Pope (Farage? Now there's an image), and other people are fully on board with Richard Dawkins (Clegg? Sturgeon?) And in between, just about all sorts....

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I thought I should update my signature line....

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by lowlands_boy:

Some people are fully on board with the Pope (Farage? Now there's an image), and other people are fully on board with Richard Dawkins (Clegg? Sturgeon?) And in between, just about all sorts....

The problem with this analogy is that (even) Farage's public prouncements have changed over time. Prior to the referendum, he was usually compared the UK post Brexit to Norway or Switzerland.

Very few people voted Leave on the basis of no deal and WTO rules only.

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by lowlands_boy:

Some people are fully on board with the Pope (Farage? Now there's an image), and other people are fully on board with Richard Dawkins (Clegg? Sturgeon?) And in between, just about all sorts....

The problem with this analogy is that (even) Farage's public prouncements have changed over time. Prior to the referendum, he was usually compared the UK post Brexit to Norway or Switzerland.

Very few people voted Leave on the basis of no deal and WTO rules only.

Does he have *anything* to say now? Like many prominent "Leave" campaigners he has been very quiet on the benefits of leaving the EU since 24th June 2016.

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quetzalcoatl
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Everybody has been quiet about the benefits of leaving. The lack of information coming from government or opposition has been remarkable. Whether the politicians are deliberately withholding stuff from the public, or simply don't have a clue, is an open question. To call it a Brexit election is laughable.

I think it is dawning on some people that no deal could be a catastrophe, as customs checks would begin immediately on British trucks at borders, planes might not be able to fly, security cooperation might end, and so on.

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Everybody has been quiet about the benefits of leaving.

Could that be because there are no benefits to leaving?

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
Does he have *anything* to say now? Like many prominent "Leave" campaigners he has been very quiet on the benefits of leaving the EU since 24th June 2016.

He's tended to side with the 'hard Brexit' side. He's also said that if Brexit isn't a success he'll leave the country and live elsewhere.
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Alan Cresswell

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Ah yes. Mr Farage and his belief that immigration is bad if it's anyone coming to the UK, but good if it's him moving elsewhere. Now, what's that word starting with a 'h' I'm thinking of?

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All I want for Christmas is EU

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Rocinante
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
Does he have *anything* to say now? Like many prominent "Leave" campaigners he has been very quiet on the benefits of leaving the EU since 24th June 2016.

He's tended to side with the 'hard Brexit' side. He's also said that if Brexit isn't a success he'll leave the country and live elsewhere.
Understandable, really. If Brexit isn't a success it'll be because it was sabotaged by all those unpatriotic remoaners, and who'd want to share living space with that shower?

Seriously, ISTM that a "successful" Brexit would look like: The UK trading freely with Europe and the rest of the world, no tariffs or excessive bureaucratic customs checks, no hard border with the Irish Republic or (God forbid) Scotland, UK residents able to travel to Europe without visas and work there, the City of London able to trade in Euro-denominated securities...

Pretty much what we have now, then.

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PaulTH*
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In the Guardian Simon Jenkins is suggesting that this chaotic election result may be an opportunity to reset Britain's Brexit expectations. We can hope so!

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Yours in Christ
Paul

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