Brexit! Part 5

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Brexit! Part 5

toukokuu 18, 2020, 4:45 am

‘They can effectively blame Covid for everything’: What coronavirus means for Brexit talks
Jon Stone | May 12, 2020

As discussions over an EU-UK trade deal resume, negotiators are being forced to adapt to new political realities and practicalities...

...How coronavirus affects the question of an extension is politically complicated. A simple reading is that a pandemic is exactly the kind of reasonable excuse for a delay a pragmatic government, seeing talks stuck, might be searching for. Poll after poll has shown the public firmly supportive of and totally understanding of an extension, given the pandemic situation: the latest survey from pollster Focaldata has 66 per cent of voters supporting a delay, including 48 per cent of Conservative voters and 45 per cent of Brexit Party supporters...

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 3, 2020, 12:31 am

Do ministers realise the brewing constitutional crisis at the heart of the Brexit deal? (Telegraph)

The UK can only be sure it is leaving the EU whole in control of its borders, its laws and its cash by ripping up the Irish protocol...

That is, by reneging on ("ripping up") an international peace agreement signed by two sovereign governments (UK and Ireland) and accepted by the main warring parties on the ground, a peace deal which has held for more than 20 years now and brought a measure of normality, stability and economic prosperity to a poor and depressed part of the United Kingdom, namely Northern Ireland, a part which, like Scotland, did not vote for Brexit.

Boris Johnson lays out visa offer to nearly 3m Hong Kong citizens (Guardian)

Boris Johnson has opened the path to what he called one of the “biggest changes” ever to the British visa system, stating he was ready to offer a right to live and work in the UK to any of the nearly 3 million Hong Kong citizens eligible for a British National Overseas passport...

So now, following a Brexit which was largely supported by people who wanted to limit immigration into UK, Boris is allowing up to three million more people to come. I think that's a good thing, of course, as Britain does have a responsibility to its former colonial subjects, but then I'm not one of the slim majority who voted for Brexit and, as a migrant myself, I've always been in favour of immigration.

kesäkuu 3, 2020, 11:48 pm

The pandemic is being used as cover for a no-deal Brexit (Guardian)

The Vote Leavers at the heart of government think the coronavirus crash will disguise the pain caused by a rupture with the EU...

kesäkuu 14, 2020, 11:48 pm

Battered Britain is in no state to withstand a no-deal Brexit (Guardian)

Even as border controls with the EU are relaxed – by necessity – the prospect of crippling isolation still looms...

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 15, 2020, 11:03 am


British travellers face the worst possible outcome once the Brexit transition period ends, the government has confirmed.

Promises that the European Health Insurance Card (Ehic) scheme would continue have been dashed, meaning travellers to the EU will face sharply increased travel insurance premiums.

UK visitors to the European Union are being urged to check their passport expiry dates.

Motorists are told they “may” require an international driving permit, as well as complying with additional insurance.

Pet owners who intend to take their dog or cat abroad from the start of 2021 must begin preparations by 1 September this year. And free mobile-phone roaming may end.

The government has launched an information campaign that reveals previous assurances have been abandoned...

Brexit was meant to make Britain global. It has made us friendless (Guardian)

It is not a secret that Britain is leaving the EU. The coronavirus crisis has dominated 2020 but not obliterated memory of the years before. Still, to be on the safe side, the government is spending £93m on a Brexit refresher campaign with the slogan “check, change, go”.

This is aimed at people who have dealings with Europe and might be under the illusion that it will be as easy in the future as it has been in the past. No one has done more to cultivate that misapprehension than Boris Johnson. The government’s new message on Brexit is to disregard what the prime minister used to say on the subject.

The essential issue here is that Brexit can make EU membership go away, but not the EU itself...

EU citizens will be deported for minor offences under Priti Patel’s post-Brexit immigration crackdown, lawyer warns (Independent)

EU citizens will be deported for minor offences under Priti Patel’s post-Brexit immigration crackdown, despite having permission to stay, a leading lawyer has warned.

Rules that allow foreign offenders to be expelled only if they represent a threat to the UK will be beefed up to target persistent pickpockets and shoplifters, from January.

Crucially, the home secretary announced the change would apply to the 3 million-plus EU citizens in the UK in the process of being awarded settled status, which supposedly guarantees their right to stay...

heinäkuu 21, 2020, 5:44 am

Russia report reveals UK government failed to address Kremlin interference (Guardian)

British government and British intelligence failed to prepare or conduct any proper assessment of Kremlin attempts to interfere with the 2016 Brexit referendum, according to the long-delayed Russia report...

Committee members said they could not definitively conclude whether the Kremlin had or had not successfully interfered in the Brexit vote because no effort had been made to find out...

heinäkuu 24, 2020, 11:57 pm

Boris Johnson's dream of a 'Global Britain' is turning into a nightmare (CNN)

Six months ago, Prime Minister Boris Johnson celebrated Brexit by describing Britain as the Superman of global trade.

Now, the country risks becoming an also-ran, losing its easy access to the huge EU common market, unable to strike a groundbreaking deal with the United States and on the brink of a trade fight with China.

Trade experts fear this will leave the United Kingdom more isolated than it has been for decades as it fights an unprecedented health and economic crisis. It's already on course for the deepest downturn of any major economy, in part a result of persistent uncertainty tied to Brexit.

Johnson and other proponents of leaving the European Union made much of the ability of a "global Britain," once liberated by Brexit, to strike out and forge lucrative trade agreements on its own terms. However, one year since Johnson took office, such game-changing trade deals haven't materialized — muddying the country's future at a precarious moment...

heinäkuu 25, 2020, 12:35 am

>7 John5918: Gee, who could have seen any of that coming?

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 25, 2020, 12:36 am

>8 kiparsky:

Indeed. The level of self-delusion amongst the Brexiteers was really quite stunning to behold.

heinäkuu 25, 2020, 1:40 pm

lol @ "gobal Britain"... hard to let go of that imperial wet dream for the generations fed the bullshit myths...

But I wish they didn't make it sound as if countries were engaged in some sort of Olympics-- "also ran"s, "winners" etc.

It's Tory politics that's an "also ran" in the big picture. Like the American Republicans and the right wing everywhere, they have been shown up for the useless garbage they are by... sheer reality.

heinäkuu 26, 2020, 2:09 pm

>8 kiparsky: but what about all the money they'll save on payments to the EU? How can they possibly spend all that? :-)

heinäkuu 27, 2020, 1:56 pm

syyskuu 9, 2020, 11:49 pm

Brexit bill criticised as 'eye-watering' breach of international law )Guardian)

Downing Street defends bill after outcry from Brussels, legal experts and some Tory MPs

The government has unveiled plans to give ministers sweeping powers to “disapply” part of the Brexit deal that Boris Johnson signed in January, in a move that has shocked Brussels, threatens to provoke a rebellion by Conservative MPs and caused Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the US House of Representatives, to warn there will be “absolutely no chance” of a US-UK trade deal if it presses ahead with the move...

Cabinet ministers have admitted the bill breaks international law...

syyskuu 10, 2020, 12:53 am

>13 John5918: I knew that all this was really inspired by "The Crimson Permanent Assurance" ;-)

But seriously! How do they believe that anyone will ever make a deal with them again if they do this?

syyskuu 10, 2020, 7:51 am

>14 bnielsen:

Incredible short-termism and inability to see the implications of their actions, perhaps? Or simply that Boris and many of his merry Brexiteers think we're going back to the days of Empire when if any of those dam' foreigners dared to trifle with us we just sent a gunboat to put them in their place, what?

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 17, 2020, 11:47 pm

Joe Biden reminds Boris Johnson the world is watching Brexit -- and some are not impressed (CNN)

Joe Biden has provided UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson with the latest reminder that the world is watching how his government is handling Brexit.

The Democratic Presidential candidate tweeted on Wednesday: "We can't allow the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland to become a casualty of Brexit. Any trade deal between the U.S. and U.K. must be contingent upon respect for the Agreement and preventing the return of a hard border. Period"...

Biden's comments will serve as an uncomfortable reminder for the UK that despite the British perception it has a special relationship with the US, the Irish lobby in DC is strong. The Democrats have a particular interest in this, as former President Bill Clinton took a leading role in the negotiations which led to the Good Friday Agreement.

It might also open the UK's eyes to the fact that, despite President Donald Trump's warm words about Johnson and Brexit, lots of politicians across the divide in DC opposed Brexit and are under no illusions about the fact that a trade deal with the UK is not as high a priority to the US as it is in London...

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 19, 2020, 12:31 am

Why Biden's intervention on Brexit matters (BBC)

For two years British cabinet ministers have privately warned about the impact of a third party in the Brexit talks - the US Congress.

On the face of it, arms of the US government should have little impact or influence on UK decisions. But US politicians have always maintained a keen interest in anything that might impact on the Good Friday Agreement, as the US was one of the guarantors of peace in Northern Ireland.

For its part, the UK has made reaching a trade deal with the US a top priority. The freedom to do such a deal with the US was one of the motivating forces behind Brexit...

The US House of Representatives turning majority Democrat in 2018 was the trigger for concern among members of the British cabinet. Key figures in the Congressional Irish lobby, who had hosted Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams in DC for example, were appointed to important positions overseeing US trade deals. Since then, Irish diplomats in the US have cultivated the cross-party Irish lobby in Congress, and persuaded them to see the Brexit "backstop" provisions as essential for the protection of peace in Ireland...

This is not to say that the Trump administration would acquiesce in damaging the Good Friday Agreement. The President's trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, made clear over the summer, that there would be "no point" negotiating a US-UK trade deal that led to borders going up in Ireland, because it would not pass in Congress.,,

syyskuu 22, 2020, 12:07 am

Theresa May says 'reckless' Brexit bill risks UK's reputation (Guardian)

Theresa May has launched a blistering attack on the government’s plan to give itself powers to renege on the special arrangements for Northern Ireland in the Brexit deal.

She described the plans as “reckless” and “irresponsible” and said they “risked the integrity of the United Kingdom”, as they would not only tarnish Britain’s reputation globally as an upholder of the law but could contribute to a reunited Ireland.

In a strongly worded speech in the House of Commons, she said: “I cannot emphasise enough how concerned I am {that} the Conservative government is willing to go back on its word to break an international agreement signed in good faith, and to break international law”...

she said there could never be a time a minister could walk through the voting lobbies and say yes to breaking the law. May said the bill would also mean trust would be undermined in future negotiations with other countries. “So much for global Britain,” she quipped.

The Belfast South MP, the SDLP’s Claire Hanna, said Boris Johnson’s government had to own the consequences of the type of Brexit it agreed and should not “feign shock” when nine months later it emerged there would be trade barriers...

syyskuu 28, 2020, 12:00 am

Not directly related to Brexit, but indicative of how out on a limb the UK is in wishing to end freedom of movement with the EU. Switzerland of course is a non-EU member, but recognises that we are all part of Europe whether we are EU members or not. 62% is a pretty solid majority, unlike the tiny majority in the UK which voted to leave the EU.

Switzerland referendum: Voters reject end to free movement with EU (BBC)

Swiss voters have rejected a proposal to end an accord with the EU allowing the free movement of people. With all referendum votes counted, nearly 62% said they wanted to keep free movement, while 38% were against. Switzerland is not a member of the EU but has a series of interdependent treaties with Brussels which allow it to access to Europe's free trade area...

syyskuu 28, 2020, 12:18 am

>19 John5918: Most of the Swiss that I know* are pretty sane. They understand that the free movement of peoples is a winning proposition. I wonder how it is that so many Americans and British have failed to see this. I could come up with a few theories, but so far, none that I'd be inclined to defend.

* Since my company has a branch in Lausanne, this is more than a few

syyskuu 28, 2020, 12:35 am

>20 kiparsky:.

Yes, I've spent a fair bit of tme in Switzerland as it is the headquarters of the World Council of Churches, the Red Cross, and some UN agencies, and I share your opinion of Swiss sanity. In what other country in the world could the government give automatic weapons to every male in a certain age group and not have daily murders and gunfights (as you do in the USA, for example)? I remember once staying in a small village outside Geneva and being woken up on Sunday morning by heavy automatic gunfire. If I'd been at home in Sudan that would have signalled a coup d'etat or a rebel attack. In Switzerland my hosts assured me it was just the local army reserve doing their training.

syyskuu 28, 2020, 12:54 am

>21 John5918: Just to clear up one point, I can assure you that I do not have daily murders and gunfights. My town is extremely quiet, and the surrounding communities, are also very low on murders. Boston, which is a short bicycle ride away, has a higher rate, but still not daily.

That being said I take your point: the idea of arming all Americans of "a certain age group" with automatic weapons is not one that sets my mind at ease, whereas I would happily spend arbitrary amounts of time in heavily-armed Switzerland.

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 28, 2020, 1:29 am

>22 kiparsky:

Fair comment, although I believe annual gun-related deaths in the USA are in the tens of thousands, so on a national basis it is certainly occurring daily. If it were in UK there would likely be shoot outs after football (soccer) matches on a weekly basis, and probably most nights when it was kicking out time at the pubs.

* CDC figure for 2017 is 39,773 deaths from gun-related injuries, quoted here.

syyskuu 28, 2020, 9:15 am

>23 John5918: ah, if you mean "you" in the plural, then yes, certainly. I wish "y'all" were more standard, it would help disambiguate...

syyskuu 28, 2020, 10:05 am

>24 kiparsky:

Yes, one of the weaknesses of the current English language is that it doesn't distinguish between the singular and plural "you", as many other languages do, such as French or Arabic. I'd love to see "thou" come back into common usage, but I think the trend is for languages to get simpler rather than more complex. French also has "on", which is useful for talking in generalities, probably best translated into English as "one", but even that is not so common these days, at least in British English, and tends to be viewed as being pretentiously upper class. The royal family reputedly uses "one" instead of "I" and "we".

syyskuu 28, 2020, 10:16 am

>25 John5918: The royal family reputedly uses "one" instead of "I" and "we".
Yes, one thinks that's sort of douchey.

syyskuu 29, 2020, 1:05 am

>25 John5918: Yes, English is dumb. (Sorry for the commercial for Skillshare, but the video still cracks me up)

syyskuu 29, 2020, 1:18 am

>27 bnielsen:

Thanks! How about the Two Ronnies, Four Candles?

syyskuu 29, 2020, 2:05 am

>28 John5918:. "What kind of knockers are you looking for?" Nice!

lokakuu 1, 2020, 8:33 am

Brexit: EU launches legal action against UK for breaching withdrawal agreement (Guardian)

UK put on formal notice over internal market bill, which ministers admit breaks international law...

lokakuu 1, 2020, 6:21 pm

I don't think there's another thread about the UK, and this can be seen in relation to Brexit as another symptom of the conservative takeover...

They compare the situation and this measure to Hungary, but I thought of Trump and his attack on the initiative to teach American history with reference to its white supremacist framework (The 1619 Project).

The Tories' ban on anti-capitalist resources in schools is an attempt to stifle dissent

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 10, 2020, 12:50 am

Boris Johnson to press on with Brexit bill despite Lords defeat (Guardian)

Boris Johnson has put himself on a collision course with the Joe Biden administration in the US after Downing Street said it would press ahead with legislation designed to override the Brexit deal on Northern Ireland.

Peers inflicted a huge defeat on the government after voting overwhelmingly to remove measures that seek to “disapply” parts of the Northern Ireland protocol – measures that Biden has said would put the Good Friday agreement at risk...

It cannot be emphasised too strongly that there is an international peace treaty, the "Good Friday agreement", in force since 1999, which has nothing to do with the EU or Brexit and which is now at risk due to the type of Brexit being pushed by the current UK government. Both the House of Lords and Joe Biden are concerned about this, but sadly Boris and his chums apparently aren't.

marraskuu 24, 2020, 10:48 pm

Brexit talks: Joe Biden says UK and Ireland must not have hard border

US president-elect’s renewed call for Good Friday peace deal to be honoured could complicate Britain’s negotiations with EU...

Brexit stems from a civil war in capitalism – we are all just collateral damage

To one sort of capitalist, the insecurity and chaos that Brexit will bring is horrifying. To the other, it is highly profitable...

So it is worth repeating the big question: why are we doing this to ourselves? I believe the answer is that Brexit is the outcome of a civil war within capitalism.

Broadly speaking, there are two dominant forms of capitalist enterprise. The first could be described as housetrained capitalism. It seeks an accommodation with the administrative state, and benefits from stability, predictability and the regulations that exclude dirtier and rougher competitors. It can coexist with a tame and feeble form of democracy.

The second could be described as warlord capitalism. This sees all restraints on accumulation – including taxes, regulations and the public ownership of essential services – as illegitimate. Nothing should be allowed to stand in the way of profit-making. Its justifying ideology was formulated by Friedrich Hayek in The Constitution of Liberty and by Ayn Rand in Atlas Shrugged. These books sweep away social complexity and other people’s interests. They fetishise something they call “liberty”, which turns out to mean total freedom for plutocrats, at society’s expense...

Both from the Guardian.

marraskuu 25, 2020, 10:03 am

Biden piles pressure on Boris Johnson at Brexit crunch time (CNN)

US President-elect Joe Biden has cranked up the pressure on Boris Johnson to strike a post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union, as negotiations between the UK and Brussels enter what could be their final few days. Speaking with reporters in Delaware, Biden said he had talked to the UK Prime Minister, the Irish Taoiseach and the government of France among others and made clear his opposition to a guarded border between the Republic of Ireland, an EU member state, and Northern Ireland, which, as part of the UK, has left the EU...

marraskuu 30, 2020, 2:15 pm

This is a 50-minute lecture from May 2019 by Prof. Danny Dorling (U of Oxford), which I found fascinating and illuminating not just in regard to Brexit and Britain but more generally in regard to Trumpism--even down to the mechanics of the vote (while the electoral systems are different, the resulting complexities of the vote have similar patterns, explanations and consequences). Note that Dorling doesn't discuss the US, that's just what I couldn't help referring to mentally as he spoke. Highly recommended and I hope you don't quit in the middle section with all the regional patterns because the second part is superb.

Prof Dorling (Uni of Oxford) - Brexit and the End of the British Empire

marraskuu 30, 2020, 2:19 pm

joulukuu 9, 2020, 11:00 pm

Brexit was never a grassroots movement, but an elitist political takeover (Guardian)

The 2016 referendum was won by rightwing millionaires using the poor and ignored as political cover...

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 25, 2020, 3:49 am

Boris Johnson has 'got Brexit done'. With a deal that will please no one (Guardian)

Britain leaves the EU with its sovereignty compromised, its economy weakened – and its leader walking a tightrope...

joulukuu 28, 2020, 11:01 pm

The Guardian view on Britain’s global role: shrinking around Brexit (Guardian)

In a world of superpower rivalry, the UK must urgently rebuild the strategic alliances that were sabotaged by its departure from the EU...

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 31, 2020, 8:09 pm

Viestin kirjoittaja on poistanut viestin.

tammikuu 18, 2021, 10:16 pm

Brexiters are waking up to the damage they've done (Guardian)

From horse racing to fishing to road haulage, British industry is in chaos. No wonder leavers are turning on each other...

helmikuu 10, 2021, 10:21 am

Colin Greenwood on Brexit's effect on touring musicians

Spoiler: it's not good.

maaliskuu 3, 2021, 11:45 pm

Brexit: Northern Ireland loyalist armies renounce Good Friday Agreement (Guardian)

A body that claims to represent loyalist paramilitary organisations has told Boris Johnson the outlawed groups are withdrawing support for Northern Ireland’s historic peace agreement. The Loyalist Communities Council (LCC) said the groups were temporarily withdrawing their backing of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement amid mounting concerns about the contentious Northern Ireland Protocol governing Irish Sea trade post-Brexit. However, they stressed that unionist opposition to the protocol should remain “peaceful and democratic”...

One party to the Good Friday Agreement, namely Britain, has breached the terms of the agreement by introducing border checks. Arguably other parties are now within their rights to also renounce the agreement, and even to return to violence. Thankfully so far 'they stressed that unionist opposition to the protocol should remain “peaceful and democratic”', but this should serve as a warning to Britain to honour the peace agreement which it signed in 1998.

maaliskuu 5, 2021, 12:03 am

Brexit: EU to launch legal proceedings against UK 'very soon' (Guardian)

Threat of action follows UK moves to unilaterally delay implementation of part of deal relating to Northern Ireland...

maaliskuu 16, 2021, 12:00 am

Biden urges UK and EU to preserve Northern Irish peace amid Brexit row (Guardian)

The White House has urged London and Brussels to work together to preserve the peace in Northern Ireland, after the EU formally launched legal action against the UK over Brexit arrangements in the region. Joe Biden’s spokesperson said: “We continue to encourage both the EU and the UK government to prioritise pragmatic solutions to safeguard and advance the hard-won peace in Northern Ireland”...

maaliskuu 18, 2021, 11:53 pm

Dominic Raab 'totally misunderstands' Northern Ireland Brexit terms, warns EU (Guardian)

Britain’s foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, has been accused by Brussels of displaying a “total misunderstanding” of the Brexit deal after claiming the EU was trying to erect a barrier between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. Maroš Šefčovič, the European commission’s vice-president, said Raab’s comments raised major questions, and warned that Britain was tarnishing its global reputation by ignoring the terms of its agreements with Brussels...

maaliskuu 25, 2021, 6:42 am

Ros Atkins @BBCRosAtkins | 3:47 AM · Mar 25, 2021:

If you’re trying to make sense of the EU seeking to toughen up its vaccine approach and the criticism of thus coming from some in the UK, it helps to look at how the UK, US and the EU have approached this from the start...

From Ros Atkins

huhtikuu 7, 2021, 11:07 am

‘Dishonesty’ over Brexit fuelled loyalist anger, says Stormont minister (Guardian)

Northern Ireland’s justice minister has said the government’s “dishonesty” over the consequences of hard Brexit has contributed to the anger felt by loyalists, as police counted the cost of 41 officers injured during violence on the streets over four nights...

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 8, 2021, 6:14 am

Viestin kirjoittaja on poistanut viestin.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 12, 2021, 10:58 am

Since Boris Johnson and his Tory Brexiteers are keen on invoking the "Spirit of Churchill", it might be worth recalling what their hero himself wrote on 21st October 1942:

I trust that the European family may act unitedly as one under a Council of Europe. I look forward to a United States of Europe in which the barriers between the nations will be greatly minimised and unrestricted travel will be possible. I hope to see the economy of Europe studied as a whole...

Quoted in his The Second World War, p 622 (end of Chapter XVII of Book III, The Grand Alliance).

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 24, 2021, 3:19 am

From the Guardian

kesäkuu 25, 2021, 1:36 am

Five years on, we finally know what Brexit means: a worse deal for everyone (Guardian)

five years ago today, in the early hours, Britain discovered what it had done – and what had been done to it by the liars, charlatans and rogues who mis-sold Brexit as “taking back control”. The wound is as fresh as ever. Breaking apart political parties and reversing erstwhile red or blue wall seats is a minor matter, but Brexit’s explosive division of the country by social class, geography and a deep sense of personal identity is a lasting injury...

elokuu 10, 2021, 1:19 am

Vodafone to reintroduce roaming fees for UK customers in Europe (Guardian)

Vodafone is to reintroduce charges for UK customers who use their phones in Europe, despite Britain’s biggest mobile companies previously saying that they would not bring back roaming costs after Brexit... The company, which is following in the footsteps of BT-owned EE after it made a similar announcement in June, said the charges would come into force from next year...

Another broken promise by the pro-Brexit camp.

elokuu 20, 2021, 12:12 am

Not enough turkeys for Christmas due to Brexit, poultry producers warn (Guardian)

UK poultry producers have warned that serious staff shortages caused by Brexit could mean there are not enough turkeys to go round this Christmas. This week’s partial closure of the restaurant chain Nando’s, as well as fewer dishes on the menu at KFC, has thrown the consumer spotlight on a labour crisis exacerbated by Covid...

elokuu 20, 2021, 11:32 am

>54 John5918: Brits have turkey for Christmas? I thought that was an American thing.

Muokkaaja: elokuu 21, 2021, 2:13 am

>55 jjwilson61:

Well, we don't have Thanksgiving just a month before Christmas! But I understand turkey for Christmas is a relatively modern thing - if you read Dickens, in those days it used to be goose.

Edited to add: There's a Sherlock Holmes story called the Case of the Christmas Goose, and there's the old English children's song "Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, please put a penny in the old man's hat..." I don't really know when or why we converted to turkey, given that goose is a much tastier bird!

elokuu 30, 2021, 12:34 am

Majority of Northern Irish voters want vote on staying in UK (Guardian)

Two-thirds of voters in Northern Ireland believe there should be a vote over its place in the UK, but only 37% want it to take place within the next five years, according to a new poll for the Observer.

Some 31% of voters said there should be a vote at some point about Northern Ireland’s place in the UK but after 2026, the LucidTalk poll found. A further 29% said there should never be such a vote. There is currently a seven-point lead for Northern Ireland remaining part of the UK should any vote take place.

Asked to state how they would vote, 49% said they would back remaining in the UK, while 42% backed being part of a united Ireland, with 9% saying they did not know. Other recent surveys have put support for a united Ireland much lower. The Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey, published in June, suggested that 30% backed a united Ireland.

There have been persistent concerns within the UK government that the fallout from Brexit could lead to increased support for a united Ireland, with problems still continuing over the Northern Ireland protocol – an element of the Brexit deal that has effectively erected barriers between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The UK government is attempting to renegotiate the deal...

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 7, 2021, 1:14 am

Boris Johnson’s biggest lie about Europe is finally coming home to roost (Guardian)

From plummeting trade to drastic shortages of workers, needlessly leaving the single market has been disastrous...

lokakuu 2, 2021, 12:47 am

The cause of our food and petrol shortages is Brexit – yet no one dares name it (Guardian)

The government is failing to ensure we can get basic goods but the opposition is still wary of blaming Johnson’s botched deal...

lokakuu 4, 2021, 12:17 am

‘Only yourselves to blame’: UK’s shortages seen from abroad (BBC)

Government ministers may insist it is “wrong” to blame Brexit for Britain’s fuel, food and labour shortages, but for the rest of Europe – and beyond – there is only one reason why the UK’s crisis is so very much worse than everywhere else’s.

“One is tempted to tell the British: ‘You have only yourselves to blame,’” said Gabi Kostorz on ARD’s Tagesthemen, a leading German news show. “We tried to talk you out of it, but you decided otherwise. Now you have to face the consequences.” Der Spiegel agreed, saying the UK had left the EU “to ‘regain control’” but now, when the promised post-pandemic economic upswing should be beginning, seemed to be experiencing “the exact opposite: an unprecedented loss of control.”

Perhaps the sharpest outside view of Britain’s woes came, however, in a New Yorker cartoon. “The shortages are all British made and British owned,” Boris Johnson is shown as saying. “And that’s something we can be incredibly proud of”...

Of course all of this was widely predicted by those who voted against Brexit, but sadly their voice wasn't heard amongst the lies being spread by the pro-Brexit campaign.

lokakuu 4, 2021, 11:44 am

Backing up from the narrow focus on the failed policy, it's worth taking a minute to look at what was tested in this experiment, because the premises on which the losing side* operated are in common currency in conservative circles, and the British experience is a pretty good debunking of them:

- the hypothesis that "big government doesn't work": The premise of Brexit was that devolving government would produce efficiencies that would "unshackle the British economy". This has failed. Big government, it turns out, is much more effective than small government and is actually preferred by all people at all times, when they look at outcomes rather than ideologies.
- the hypothesis that Britain needs to "control its borders": It was surprising to see that people like Farage were able to restore racism to a level where it included hatred of people previously considered "white", such as the Poles, but of course the real concern was that people with brown skin - be they "foreigners" or British citizens - were acting as if they belonged in Britain. Hence the dog-whistle of "controlling our borders". It is clear at this point that the idea that immigrants are a net burden on a society could not possibly be more wrong.
- the hypothesis that trade deals are, in general, a bad idea: This one is popular across the board. For the last thirty years and probably much more than that, we've been told that every trade deal is a bad deal. This reflex reaction provided a certain amount of support for Brexit from the Left, who have been preaching this gospel vigorously for decades. However, we can see that simply withdrawing from trade deals because they're trade deals has not ushered Britain into the sunlit uplands that the Johnson/Farage nexus imagined, any more than withdrawing from the TPP has helped the US worker in any way.
- the hypothesis that embedding a vague romanticized nationalism in government policy somehow produces benefits: Based on what I could see from this side of the Atlantic, the main selling point of Brexit was not a rational one at all, but an emotional one. Brits were sold a romantic picture of themselves that fit their novelistic preconceptions, which was then tied to a completely unrelated practical outcome. Just over 50% of Britons voted, basically, for the idea that the British as somehow inherently not like those foreigners (and probably better all around than them). What they got was, basically, a set of policy changes that had nothing at all to do with their romanticized self-image (a sort of "British exceptionalism") and which made their lives much worse, and will continue to do so for decades. The nationalistic hypothesis, which vaguely suggests that the idea of the nation as a romantic ideal (as opposed to the state as a political entity) has some value in public policy, is clearly one that is "not even wrong", it's merely incoherent. However, states the world over seem to rely on it unthinkingly. It would be nice to hope that the Brexit experience could help us to disengage from this idiotic misconception, but I'm afraid that I lack the naive optimism required to hope that this might come about.

There may be more lessons to learn from Brexit, but this seems a pretty good place to start.

* I do not consider the "Leave" voters to have "won", since the outcome has been, as predicted, a complete disaster, not a victory of any sort

lokakuu 4, 2021, 3:39 pm

>61 kiparsky:

I pretty much agree with all that but would add that the British left was damned whatever it did, whichever camp it pitched with. The EU is still a pro-capitalist neoliberal scheme, and the pro-Brexiteers, whether the loser masses or the rich profiteers, are only more so. The unwavering choice to remain, for the left, could only have come at the price of saying this capitalism is better than that one... which is not much of a choice at all.

Anyway, whatever they suffer they've chosen to suffer and we might hope that at least it will be worth it eventually. It does disgust and depress me that instead of providing better conditions for their workers (a Brexshitter promise but who's minding those) they still scramble first to look for cheap imported labour. Hello, assholes, that's why you fucking Brexited. Redistribute some of that lordly lard among your own lorry drivers for a change.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 5, 2021, 5:47 am

>62 LolaWalser: whatever they suffer they've chosen to suffer

Well, 51% have chosen to suffer. The other 49% didn't choose to do so, and have had it imposed on them. That's a lot of Britons.

lokakuu 5, 2021, 8:05 am

>62 LolaWalser: whatever they suffer they've chosen to suffer

Which is part of what makes communism such an effective boogeyman, the way it in practice has combined such exaltation of "The People" with such actual despise of the people.

lokakuu 14, 2021, 6:52 am

Boris Johnson promised to tear up NI protocol, says DUP MP Ian Paisley (Guardian)

Boris Johnson gave personal assurances to Northern Ireland MP Ian Paisley that he would commit to “tearing up” the Brexit protocol that is now the centre of a major row between the UK and the EU, it has been claimed. The Democratic Unionist party MP made the comments on BBC’s Newsnight just hours after the prime minister’s former adviser Dominic Cummings claimed it was always the intention to sign the withdrawal agreement in January 2020 but “ditch bits” they didn’t like in the protocol...

The shadow international trade secretary, Emily Thornberry, said it was “shameful” for the UK to start playing “fast and loose” with other countries in regard to international law. “I think we step down as a country, we don’t have the same international reputation, if our word isn’t our bond,” she told Sky News. “I think it’s appalling that people would even think of representing our country as signing up to an agreement knowing that they weren’t going to implement it – I think it’s appalling,” she added...

lokakuu 18, 2021, 10:19 am

The gap between reckless Brexit promises and reality will soon be too big to ignore (Guardian)

Voters invested hope in the idea of leaving the EU. But a few years of queues and chaos could further erode public trust...

the central political fact of life in the UK could not be more stark. Whatever the effects of the pandemic and supply-chain issues that are evident all over the world, we are fundamentally living with the gigantic consequences of a gigantic act of recklessness, led by many of the people in charge – and now unravelling...

In Scotland, the results of Brexit sit at the heart of Nicola Sturgeon’s drive for independence; in Northern Ireland, they are the focus of no end of anxiety. But in England and Wales, the contrast between the realities of life outside the EU and what we were promised seems like some cruel deceit at the heart of a family or marriage: silently acknowledged and understood, but so far largely unspoken. Looking to the future, one big political question surely demands to be asked: what happens when some watershed point is reached, and the fact that people were conned becomes inescapable?...

lokakuu 21, 2021, 5:09 am

British leavers and remainers as polarised as ever, survey finds (Guardian)

Brexit divisions in UK society appear to be as entrenched as ever, according to the latest British social attitudes survey, with little sign that the issue is losing its polarising force. Nine in 10 of leave and remain voters said they would vote the same way again, it found.

Although Britain’s departure from the EU pushed overall public trust and confidence in government to its highest level for more than a decade, the survey reveals that this surge in support for the UK political system came almost entirely from leave voters – with remainers as disillusioned as they were previously.

The survey co-author Sir John Curtice said the latest findings contained little to indicate that Brexit wounds were healing. “As a result, Britain is left divided between one half of the country who now feel better about how they are being governed and another half who, relatively at least, are as unhappy as they have ever been”...

lokakuu 28, 2021, 11:54 pm

Now it’s official: Brexit will damage the economy long into the future (Guardian)

the Office for Budget Responsibility, in its report on Wednesday’s budget, estimates that the long-term impact of Brexit will be more than twice as great as Covid. It thinks that Brexit will reduce UK productivity, and hence GDP per capita, by 4%, while the impact of Covid on GDP will only be 2%, with a slightly smaller impact on GDP per capita...

marraskuu 1, 2021, 11:40 pm

This fish spat with France is just another product of Johnson’s broken Brexit (Guardian)

The PM’s push to quit the European single market has proved disastrous for Britain’s standing at the key moment of Cop26...

Britain has no friends in Europe and zero leverage, following the sloppy withdrawal deal reached by Johnson’s belligerent chief negotiator and crony... The same sloppiness was evident in last year’s Northern Irish protocol, which was certain to infuriate Unionists when they realised Johnson had lied to them over its implications... To rub home the point, Joe Biden has now signed a deal on steel export tariffs with the EU that naturally excludes Britain... Johnson may now plead for his own steel agreement, but he is weakened outside the EU, and American lobbyists may oppose this...

The UK’s decision to leave the EU was political. So be it. Quite different was the decision also to leave the European single market and free trade area, which was the personal choice of Johnson to aid his campaign against Theresa May. It was ill-considered and foolish. The price is now being paid by pig farmers and fruit growers, healthcare managers, transport sector recruiters, builders, hoteliers, musicians and Ulster unionists. Hardly a single gain has accrued to leaving the European market. Meanwhile, a widening 10-point gap exists between those who think Brexit a bad deal for the country against those who still think it good.

Every woe currently descending on Johnson’s head is attributable not to Brexit but to the loss of the single market and customs union. It is blatantly in Britain’s interest to rejoin them. Continental agreements and supply chains forged more than 20 years of close relations with neighbours are not matters of great principle. They are a common interest and common sense. Abandoning them was a massive error in the name of a spurious freedom. The only question is, who has the guts to reverse it.

marraskuu 12, 2021, 11:13 pm

Brexit has made it easier for small boat crossings to reach UK, refugees say (Guardian)

Refugees living in northern France say Brexit has made it easier for them to reach the UK in small boats, as it emerged that record numbers of people crossed the Channel in one day... Refugees who have fled a variety of conflict zones including Sudan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Eritrea told the Guardian they believed the fact the UK was no longer part of the EU made it more appealing to risk the dangerous crossings because they could no longer be sent back to other European countries under EU legislation...

while the overall number of people fleeing conflict and claiming asylum in the UK has fallen to 31,115 in the last 12 months, the number crossing from France to the UK in small boats has risen sharply since the UK parted company from the EU. Previously, when the UK was part of the EU, under a mechanism known as Dublin the UK could ask other EU countries to take back people they could prove had passed through safe European countries before reaching the UK. The UK could make “take charge” requests and officials were often able to prove that asylum seekers had passed through other countries thanks to the Eurodac fingerprint database. But since Brexit the UK no longer has access to that database, so it is harder to prove definitively which other European countries small boat arrivals to the UK have previously passed through...

Ironic really, since the idea of cracking down on immigration was apparently one of the major reasons many people voted to leave the EU. As with much of the Brexit rhetoric, it has proved to be illusory, as nearly 49% of Britons knew it would be.

joulukuu 25, 2021, 11:07 pm

One year on, most voters say Brexit has gone badly (Guardian)

More than six out of 10 voters believe Brexit has either gone badly or worse than they expected – a year after the UK left the EU, according to an anniversary poll for the Observer... 42% of people who voted Leave in 2016 had a negative view of how Brexit had turned out so far. 26% of Leave supporters said it had gone worse than they expected, while 16% of those who voted for Brexit said they had expected it to go badly and had been proved right.Among people who voted Remain, 86% said it had gone badly or worse than they expected. Overall, just 14% of all voters said Brexit had gone better than expected...

the most striking finding was that Leavers were now more hesitant about the virtues of Brexit than previously... “Now what we’re seeing is a significant minority of Leavers saying that things are going badly or at least worse than they expected. While 59% of Remain voters said, ‘I expected it to go badly and think it has’, only 17% of Leave voters said, ‘I expected it to go well and think it has’. Only 7% of Remainers think Brexit has gone better than expected versus 26% of Leavers saying it has gone worse than expected. So instead of two uniformly opposing blocs, the Remain bloc are still mostly united on Brexit being bad while the Leave bloc are a bit more split...

helmikuu 16, 2022, 11:28 pm

Why the panic among Boris Johnson’s allies? Because they know Brexit is unravelling (Guardian) by Michael Heseltine

There is an air of desperation in attacks from those on the right and their supporters in the press. They fear if Johnson falls, the Brexit deception will crumble too...

NB: Lord Heseltine was the deputy prime minister under John Major and a member of Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet from 1979 until 1986, and was considered to be to the right of the Conservative party. All previous prime ministers of both parties and many other former senior ministers warned against Brexit.

helmikuu 17, 2022, 11:23 pm

The evidence is all around us: life outside the single market is an utter disaster (Guardian)

An island nation must trade with its nearest mainland, whatever our new Brexit opportunities minister claims...

huhtikuu 30, 2022, 10:49 am

Jacob Rees-Mogg has given the game away – even this government knows Brexit is a disaster (Guardian)

The definition of a gaffe is when a politician accidentally tells the truth... On a visit to the Eurotunnel terminal at Folkestone, hi-vis gilet over his double-breasted suit, Rees-Mogg announced that the government was delaying yet again the imposition of post-Brexit border checks on imports from the EU. He asked the public to celebrate this decision, on the grounds that it would save £1bn a year and help hard-pressed consumers by avoiding an increase in the cost of imported food. Enforcing post-Brexit checks, said the minister, “would have been an act of self-harm”. You read that right. Jacob Rees-Mogg, arch-leaver and longtime loather of the EU, is now parroting lines from the remain campaign. He is admitting that implementing Brexit in full, honouring the 2016 promise to take back control of Britain’s borders, would be “an act of self-harm”...

toukokuu 17, 2022, 11:24 pm

Reality check: the Northern Ireland protocol isn’t the problem, Brexit is (Guardian)

The Tories are addicted to conflict with the EU, for fear of taking responsibility for the consequences of liberation...

toukokuu 19, 2022, 12:12 am

UK must accept border on Irish Sea is inevitable, says ex-WTO chief (Guardian)

Pascal Lamy says row is solvable if PM stops using emotional Brexit politics to solve ‘technical problem’...

kesäkuu 12, 2022, 9:02 am

Even the Murdoch press is now waking up to the truth: Brexit was an act of self-harm (Guardian) by Michael Heseltine

When the most anti-EU newspapers are pointing to the policy’s inevitable failures, it’s time our government admitted the truth...

kesäkuu 27, 2022, 7:29 am

‘What have we done?’: six years on, UK counts the cost of Brexit (Guardian)

Sectors from fishing to aviation, farming to science report being bogged down in red tape, struggling to recruit staff and racking up losses for the first time...

heinäkuu 24, 2022, 12:33 am

Travel chaos is ‘the new normal’ after Brexit, British tourists are warned (Guardian)

Long summer queues at the border risk becoming the “new normal” after Brexit, holidaymakers have been warned, as a fierce diplomatic row erupted with France over the lengthy tailbacks affecting Dover... diplomats, French officials and border staff warned that the delays were a result of post-Brexit border arrangements struggling to cope in their first major test since Britain left the EU... New rules require all passports to be checked – a pressure that a series of experts regarded as the biggest factor that could not easily be fixed. Clément Beaune, the French transport minister, said yesterday that he was cooperating with transport secretary Grant Shapps to ease the issues, but added: “France is not responsible for Brexit”...

heinäkuu 24, 2022, 5:56 am

Will there come a point when UK will want to re-enter EU? I was reading that its economy is limping out of COVID compared to its peers, and that Brexit is a factor.

heinäkuu 24, 2022, 2:46 pm

>80 margd: According to Mock the Week, the UK will have to change its name to "Very Very Sorry Land" first.

heinäkuu 25, 2022, 8:19 am

>80 margd: The majority of the UK did not even want to leave when it left in 2019, according to all polling data. Certainly the majority would like to be back in now. However it would take considerable political will for that to happen, and that political will does not exist - yet.

Scotland, on the other hand, want a referendum on independence now, and that is predicated on a return to the EU on the event of a yes vote. I can definitely see that happening.

heinäkuu 25, 2022, 8:20 am

Also worth noting: there are more people alive today in the UK who voted to remain than voted to leave.

heinäkuu 26, 2022, 9:35 am

>82 sirfurboy: Buyer's remorse at play here--would YOU want to admit you did something that foolish, when everything is a shambles? Can't go to a pub because there's no help, can't go on holiday in the UK because there's a shortage of staff in hotels, can't go on holiday outside the UK because...too many reasons to list.

I too can see Scotland voting for independence and returning to the EU.

heinäkuu 26, 2022, 10:02 am

>82 sirfurboy: I think the question is not so much one of political will. I think that on the whole the EU realizes that the union is a less viable entity without Britain, and they would rather have Britain in than out.
The question is more one of trust. Brexit was an intensely disruptive and pointless mess, and cost the EU a lot of energy that they would rather not spend again. As long as there is a credible threat of a revival of anti-EU sentiment in Britain - that is, until the EU can trust the British people not to go stupid again - I think the EU is going to be very cautious about any talk of Brejoin.

elokuu 1, 2022, 11:18 pm

Only a country as complacent as the UK could give up its border privilege so easily (Guardian)

As the reality of Brexit bites and international travel increases post-lockdown, Britons are about to find out a few things about border privilege – namely, what happens when you lose it. Only a nation that viewed freedom of travel as an entitlement could have thrown it away so breezily. Those who did not grow up with border privilege can tell you that without it travel is an obstacle course; something you gird your loins for, prepare dossiers of documents for, say several hail Marys and inshallahs for... Since 2016, the British passport has fallen from joint first place on the index to sixth. With that comes a new reality, which is already being ominously described as the “new normal”. Travel to and within Europe is becoming unpredictable, costly and generally with more of the series of hurdles that others are used to. The introduction of a single stamp to enter the EU sounds like a small enough thing, but it triggers hours of queues... In this new reality, consistency is gone. What you will need to enter France is different from what you will need to enter Spain...

elokuu 2, 2022, 1:29 am

>86 John5918: Thanks. "Refund maze" is now a part of my vocabulary :-)

elokuu 9, 2022, 11:15 am

lokakuu 14, 2022, 8:11 am

David Frum @davidfrum | 6:18 AM · Oct 14, 2022:

Hypothesis: maybe it's the brute fact of Brexit itself, not a particular prime ministership or budget, that is the underlying problem? To counter the effects of a huge increase in business paperwork and barriers to trade requires a tax cut too big for any Treasury to finance.

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 3, 2022, 10:59 am

Just come across a nice little book published in 2017, Alice in Brexitland by Lucien Young writing as Leavis Carroll.

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 14, 2022, 11:00 pm

Brexit a major cause of UK’s return to austerity, says senior economist (Guardian)

Brexit is the ultimate reason why the UK now faces a fresh round of austerity, a former interest rate-setter at the Bank of England has said. “The UK economy as a whole has been permanently damaged by Brexit,” Michael Saunders, who was an external member of the central bank’s monetary policy committee, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “It’s reduced the economy’s potential output significantly, eroded business investment,” he said, adding: “If we hadn’t had Brexit, we probably wouldn’t be talking about an austerity budget this week.” “The need for tax rises, spending cuts wouldn’t be there, if Brexit hadn’t reduced the economy’s potential output so much”...

marraskuu 16, 2022, 10:33 pm

Brexit and drop in workforce harming economic recovery, says Bank {of England} governor (Guardian)

Britain is suffering worse economic performance than its rivals because of Brexit and a stark drop in the size of the workforce since the Covid pandemic, the governor of the Bank of England has said...

Again, as predicted before the Brexit vote.

marraskuu 21, 2022, 10:49 pm

Most Britons now think Brexit was a bad idea – the government just hasn’t caught up yet (Guardian)

The majority of Britons now think Brexit was a bad idea. It’s not a “resounding” or “overwhelming” ratio, such as 52:48. Just a regular old majority: 56% think we were wrong to leave the EU, and 32% think we were right, according to the latest YouGov poll. Until something good happens related to Brexit, or, indeed, related to anything, this is an irreversible trend which won’t stop until it hits zero: no people at all who think Brexit was a good idea, no one who’ll even admit they voted for it...

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 28, 2022, 7:54 am

Scotland blocked from holding independence vote by UK’s Supreme Court
Rob Picheta | November 23, 2022

... The latest push by SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon involved holding an advisory referendum late next year, similar to the 2016 poll that resulted in Brexit. But the country’s top court agreed that even a non-legally binding vote would require oversight from Westminster, given its practical implications.

...Opinion polls suggest that Scots remain narrowly divided on whether to break from the UK, and that a clear consensus in either direction has yet to emerge.

England and Scotland have been joined in a political union since 1707, but many Scots have long bristled at what they consider a one-sided relationship dominated by England. Scottish voters have historically rejected the ruling Conservative Party at the ballot box and voted heavily – but in vain – against Brexit, intensifying arguments over the issue in the past decade.

Since 1999, Scotland has had a devolved government, meaning many, but not all, decisions are made at the SNP-led Scottish Parliament in Holyrood, Edinburgh.

Made me look:

Clarity Act, 1999
In 1999, the Parliament of Canada, at the urging of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, passed the Clarity Act, a law that, amongst other things, set out the conditions under which the Crown-in-Council would recognize a vote by any province to leave Canada. It required a majority of eligible voters for a vote to trigger secession talks, not merely a plurality of votes. In addition, the act requires a clear question of secession to initiate secession talks. Controversially, the act gave the House of Commons the power to decide whether a proposed referendum question was considered clear, and allowed it to decide whether a clear majority has expressed itself in any referendum. It is widely considered by sovereignists as an illegitimate piece of legislation, who asserted that Quebec alone had the right to determine its terms of secession. Chrétien considered the legislation among his most significant accomplishments. (Quebec Sovereignty, Wikipedia)

marraskuu 27, 2022, 11:09 pm

Brexit has worsened shortage of NHS doctors, analysis shows (Guardian)

Brexit has worsened the UK’s acute shortage of doctors in key areas of care and led to more than 4,000 European doctors choosing not to work in the NHS, research reveals. The disclosure comes as growing numbers of medics quit in disillusionment at their relentlessly busy working lives in the increasingly overstretched health service. Official figures show the NHS in England alone has vacancies for 10,582 physicians...

joulukuu 2, 2022, 10:35 pm

The reality of Brexit is biting hard. Poor people are suffering most – and now everyone can see it (Guardian)

Enveloped in Westminster silence it may be, but every day and in every way Brexit is getting more real. For so long, this was an argument made through the medium of abstract nouns: “freedom”, “sovereignty”, “control”. But now reality is intruding. This week came word that Brexit added almost £6bn to Britons’ food bills over a two-year period, and that it was the households with least that were affected most. There’s a reason politicians refer to “bread-and-butter issues”: because there is nothing abstract about food and what it costs. Looking back, it was always a tell that leave campaigners sought to avoid the realm of the concrete, preferring to stick with intangible talk of “independence” or a regained mastery of our national destiny. They knew reality was a hostile environment for the Brexit project, one that would expose its folly...

tammikuu 1, 11:04 pm

The wreckage of Brexit is all around us. How long can our politicians indulge in denial? (Guardian)

If both parties ignore the uncomfortable facts, politics will be flooded with dangerous conspiracies and betrayal myths...

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 13, 1:09 pm

As leave voters’ Brexit regret rises, will political parties dare to follow?

the tectonic plates of public opinion on this deeply divisive issue have been quietly shifting. The opposition parties have shied away from blaming Brexit for the UK’s woes, but UK voters’ scepticism about the project has increased through the past 18 months, as the economic outlook has darkened. As the elections expert Prof John Curtice put it in a blogpost last week, “rather than looking like an unchallenged ‘fait accompli’, Brexit now appears to be a subject on which a significant body of voters has had second thoughts”. Crucially, his analysis shows that the shift has been mainly driven not by changes in the makeup of the electorate – with younger voters coming of age, for example – but by leavers changing their minds. By the autumn of 2022, as Liz Truss’s disastrous premiership exacerbated concerns about the state of the economy, support for rejoining the EU had increased to 57%, against 43% preferring to stay out, according to a poll of polls by NatCen social research. That marked a significant turnaround from mid-2021, when 52% wanted to stay outside and 48% to rejoin – the same margin as in the referendum five years earlier...

Voters know that Brexit was a mistake, so when will our politicians admit it?

Brexit has become the banned word of British politics. Rishi Sunak never breathes it. Say it to Keir Starmer and he affects not to hear. Brexit is axed, cancelled, forbidden, dismissed as boring. Not just that, but YouGov reports that 56% of the public regrets the country ever having voted for it, with just 32% still in favour. Brexit, the great self-harm, has become the Great Mistake. Britain is the only major world economy that has failed to return to its pre-Covid growth performance. Economists regard Brexit as a prime cause. The Office for Budget Responsibility reports that the negative impact of Brexit has been double that of Covid, reducing GDP in the long-term by a full 4%. Not a day passes without farmers, fishers, manufacturers, care providers, academics or artists complaining of impeded trade and crippled labour supply. Brexit has added 6% to food prices, according to some estimates. Make UK claims 43% of companies regard the UK as a declining place for investment...

Our European neighbours now look at post-Brexit Britain and say simply: nein, danke

We’re good Europeans at last. Nearly seven years after we voted to leave, Britons are finally doing their bit for the European Union. Diligently and with dogged devotion to duty, we are strengthening the ties that bind the 27 remaining nations of the EU – though not quite in the way anyone would have wanted. Take a look at the Europe-wide survey, published yesterday , which showed that support for leaving the EU has tanked everywhere since 2016. In every EU member state where data was available, from Finland to the Netherlands, Portugal to Hungary, pro-leave sentiment has fallen through the floor. Even Europe’s most hardcore anti-EU parties have abandoned the goal of actually leaving the EU – no more talk of Frexit or Italexit – aiming instead merely to reform the union from within. Hmmm, I wonder what could possibly explain such an unmistakable shift in European opinion... But the explanation that leaps out is the obvious one. Europeans have taken one look at Britain since the Brexit referendum and thought: Nein, danke. They see our political dysfunction, with five prime ministers in six years. They see the way Brexit divided the nation down the middle, injecting acrimony and toxicity into our national life. They see our economic malaise, with Britain lagging behind, facing the same pressures of post-Covid recovery and inflation as our neighbours but suffering more, with a 5.2% shrinkage in GDP and a 13.7% fall in investment in the last quarter of 2021, compared with the projected numbers had we not left the EU – all attributable specifically to Brexit, rather than, say, the pandemic. The Office for Budget Responsibility stated it baldly enough in November: “Brexit has had a significant adverse impact on UK trade,” it said, noting a decline in “trade intensity” of 15%. Europeans see all that and think, there but for the grace of God. This is our great contribution to the European project: to act as a cautionary tale...

All from the Guardian.

tammikuu 22, 9:06 am

Three years after Brexit, where is the new golden age that they promised us? (Guardian)

Nothing in the prospectus has survived contact with reality...

tammikuu 22, 9:54 am

LMFAO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

keep trying to push "hope" against "hope".

tammikuu 22, 9:59 am

>101 proximity1:

So are you trying to suggest that any of the promises made about Brexit have actually come true, that the UK is in a "golden age" and that the current problems are a figment of the collective imagination?

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 26, 7:37 am

Interesting. Beneath the Harry and Meghan saga--and Brexit(?)--is the malign influence of Rupert Murdoch's tabloids.
Tabloids are UK equivalent of US's Fox?

zeynep tufekci zeynep | 8:17 AM · Jan 25, 2023:
Complex systems, wicked problems. Society, technology, science and more. Columbia professor. @NYTimes columnist. My newsletter insight

I couldn't care less about royal news.
But don't dismiss Harry/Meghan brouhaha as mere celebrity tittle-tattle. Want to discuss Brexit? This is related.
And they make a good case. It's not fluff.
I wrote it up, straight, without the celebrity stuff.

Why write about this—seemingly so far from my interests? Harry and Meghan?
Because it's not. Corrupt media ecology is THE topic of the day. Murdoch also owns Fox News.
And because too many are dismissing The Spare as mere oversharing based on a few irrelevant details. It's not.

Gift link* to my NYT piece on why the Harry/Meghan stuff is not mere celebrity kerfuffle and what the *actual* news there.
Maybe this is why Spare sold so well, despite the dismissive media coverage that largely skipped over the actual matter at hand.

...I don't understand the dismissal of it all because they're famous. Sometimes that's what it takes to expose the inner workings of something so corrupt.
The Harry/Meghan revelations are real, substantive and relevant to much more than the royals.

...It’s not a topic I would ordinarily write about...I wrote about it because the substantive part is not about Harry and Meghan per se. But it’s through their case we get a clear look into media machinations leading up to Brexit and more. Not a minor issue.🙏

...The fact that Harry and Meghan are} famous doesn’t negate the real harm done to this couple —including the risk to their lives—but crucially, this happens to more than just stray royals. It’s simply not just about them.

...The column focuses on the written stuff and Harry’s book, but I do want to note {Liz Garbus, director of the Harry and Meghan documentary} is correct. The documentary covers this ground well. I think that’s one reason both the book and the documentary are such a smashing success.

...As noted by Andrew Marr —a journalist who cried announcing the Queen's death— this mechanism is similar to the corrupt Downing Street Lobby which allowed "a tight circle of people.. to shape the political narrative" without accountability.

...Besides British tabloids, Murdoch owns Fox News in the US.
All this may be especially relevant in Australia, where Murdoch owns so much of the press—“News Corp Australia titles account for 59% of the sales of all daily newspapers” says this article.

...The reaction to this adds to my view that popularity of the documentary (well done!) and {director Liz Garbus's} podcast (knocked Joe Rogan off number one spot globally—a first) and {Harry's} book (a huge bestseller) is partly grassroots recognition of the reality I summarized—missed by many commentators.

Of course, on the narrative side, it doesn’t hurt that the personal story here is that the prince charming was rescued from a clearly miserable existence by the “commoner” who was from the former colony that had broken loose, and biracial to boot.
But I cover structural issues.

* Prince Harry Is Right, and It’s Not Just a Matter of Royal Gossip
Zeynep Tufekci | Jan. 25, 2023

...During the run-up to the Brexit vote, among other outright big lies, British tabloids screeched that, thanks to a secret conspiracy being cooked up in Brussels, the European Union would allow hordes of Turks to invade Britain, commit crimes, have too many babies and bankrupt the social services. Turkey isn’t even a member of the E.U. and is nowhere near becoming one. Brexit narrowly won, with damaging consequences still unfolding for Britain.

My impression from his memoir is that Harry wants to make a crusade of applying sunlight to corrupt media practices and his family’s participation in them. If he succeeds in fighting the vile forces that he feels contributed to his mother’s death and imperiled his newfound love, he might bring a greater sense of decency in Britain, and maybe even curtail the power of the worst practices in media. Good luck to him.

helmikuu 1, 10:29 am

David Frum {Facebook, 1 Feb 2023}
Some thoughts on the Brexit third anniversary (originally a Twitter thread):

A year or two before the Brexit vote, a pro-Brexit friend led me on a walk through the English countryside. We topped a hill, and he directed my attention to irregular fields in the valley below. The fields' boundaries dated back hundreds of years.

He said, about Britain and the European Union: "We have governed ourselves for a very long time. We're good at it. And if it costs something to govern ourselves again, it's worth it."

The argument touched me at the time, and it still does.

Whether you shared my friend's feeling or not, he was admirably clear-sighted: Brexit would cost something.

Unfortunately, that's not how Brexit was advertised to UK voters. They were told that Brexit would mean "more" when obviously it had to mean "less."

British politics since Brexit is a process of waking up to the reality of "less" when voters thought they had signed up for "more."

Liz Truss tried to exit the conundrum by blasting Britain to growth with tax cuts.

Rishi Sunak is accepting the conundrum by belt-tightening.

Any future Labour government will inherit the same conundrum: the promise of more; the reality of less.

Better political and economic management may ease the way forward, but it does not change the fundamentals of "less, not more."

Brexit is a barrier to trade, inter-European migration, and investment. Barriers reduce economic efficiency, meaning that the people behind the barrier must work harder to stand still. Again, that's not a crazy choice. Every nation trades efficiency for sovereignty to some degree.

It's just a matter of understanding the cost and benefits of the trade, understanding what the nation is doing and why.

My pro-Brexit friend understood. Many other UK voters did not - and Britain is now suffering their surprise and disappointment.

A change of government in the UK will bring new leadership with new priorities. It may gain a new mandate from the electorate, new permission to try new options. But the economic reality of Brexit won't change: fewer resources to meet public and private wants and needs.

Over the long run, I imagine the British will solve the problem through some combination of a) negotiating trade/investment deals with the EU; b) adjusting to lower standards of living and worse public services; and c) emigration of the dissatisfied.

Probably all that should have been advertised on the side of the famous Brexit bus, rather than the false claims about more money for the NHS. But along with blaming the false advertisements, there's some responsibility upon those who chose to believe the falsehoods.

I opposed Brexit very strenuously at the time. I thought the price not worth paying. But on this anniversary, I'm putting my faith in my friend's self-description: The British *are* good at government. They'll solve this one too, eventually. It's just sad that they have to.


Muokkaaja: helmikuu 1, 12:07 pm

>104 margd:

He's right, of course, that it should have been obvious to everyone that there would be a heavy price to pay for Brexit. It was obvious to the ~49% who voted to remain, and it's not clear why it wasn't also obvious to the ~51% who voted to leave.

But his attempt to turn it into a cost-benefit analysis is based on a falsehood. Sovereignty is a complete red herring, a meaningless populist slogan designed to appeal to Little Englanders and right wingers. The UK has always had sovereignty, just as the other EU member states have. The EU is not a government, impinging on the sovereignty of its members, it's a community where states agree to cooperate on common policies and strategies to the benefit of all. Member states have veto powers, and the UK had negotiated for itself more special arrangements than any other state. What's more, the UK was probably the third most powerful member state after France and Germany, so not only did it have a disproportionate influence on the EU itself, but also, through the EU, on the rest of the world. Now, apparently, we have "sovereignty", whatever that means, but we are just one more third rate former colonial power with ever-decreasing world influence, to say nothing of our ever-decreasing economy.

The whole Brexit campaign was based on a big lie, and indeed Brexit only became an issue due to internal conflict within the Tory party. Disgraceful.

helmikuu 5, 5:49 am

It is hard to admit being wrong. But Brexit voters are doing so in droves

recent developments in regard to Brexit. The majority of respondents to recent surveys now believe the nation was wrong to vote for Brexit, and a tidy majority would like to rejoin the European Union. Admitting one is wrong is not a natural inclination; but in the case of Brexit many leavers have the reasonable excuse that they were woefully misled by a gang of lying charlatans...

Yes, the mood has shifted against Brexit. But the road back to Brussels is long and hard

Brexit is three years old and less popular than ever. More people are unhappy with Brexit outcomes to date, and pessimistic about the gains to come today than at any point in the Brexit process so far. “Rejoin” has opened up a double-digit lead over staying out in polls asking voters how they would choose in a second referendum on EU membership. While voters have swung against Brexit before, the current shift is different. Earlier remain gains were driven by abstainers and those too young to vote in 2016 breaking against Brexit and by demographic changes which have slowly pulled the electorate in a pro-EU direction. The vast majority of leave and remain voters have hitherto stood by the choices they made in June 2016. That is now changing, and it is Brexiters who are reconsidering. One in five leave voters now say they would vote to rejoin the EU, while remain switching has stayed much lower. The scales of opinion are being tipped against Brexit by growing doubts among its original supporters. One thing driving this change of heart is the failure of Brexit reality to live up to the hype... Brexit is no longer an abstract future goal, where coming benefits can be talked up, while potential drawbacks are dismissed as partisan pessimism. Brexit is now a lived reality, whose frictions and costs are a daily experience, and whose promised gains have not arrived. Disappointing outcomes have made sceptics’ arguments more credible, while true believers’ promises of good times just ahead have become harder to swallow... Voters who now see Brexit as a botched job know that it was campaigned for, pushed through, and implemented solely by Conservative MPs. A failed Brexit deal is becoming just another instance of Tory betrayal in communities where suspicion of the Conservative party goes back generations...

Both from the Guardian

helmikuu 5, 8:56 am

Fuzzy recall that EU granted some "extras" to UK to join first time?
Wonder if "extras" would still be available if UK rejoined EU?

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 5, 11:52 am

>107 margd:

That's the problem, I think. Not only were there "extras" in order to join, but I believe more "extras" were negotiated later in order to persuade the UK to stay long before the referendum became an issue.

But now? I believe UK would be a beggar at the door rather than a wanted/needed member. Although many Europeans and Britons might still believe that an EU with the UK in it is better than one without (and that a UK in the EU is better than a UK going it alone), it would surely take a long while to build up trust again after the appalling way the UK has behaved. Just look at the cost and the political upheaval the UK has caused by leaving. And I don't think the EU could allow the UK to set a precedent of allowing member states to just decide to leave one day, with all the associated financial and other costs, and then decide to come back again a few years later (and then leave again, and come back again?)

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 5, 11:26 am

I think driving in the wrong side of the road, imperial units and AM/PM must go down the drain before even looking at a request to rejoin :-)

helmikuu 5, 3:54 pm

I read somewhere that Brexit had one plus for EU--it ensured that others, like France, would not likewise leave? So EU is stronger for it?

>109 bnielsen: Do UK and EU differ in how they write dates?

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 5, 10:56 pm

>110 margd:

Yes, I think it was certainly a salutary lesson for any other state that might have contemplated leaving.

I think the USA is the only country which puts the month first, as in 2/5/23 or February 5th, 2023. South Africa puts the year first, 2023/02/05, while UK and I think most of Europe and Africa put the day first, 05/02/23. A lot of us still get confused when Americans refer to 9/11, which to most of us would be 9th November.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 6, 11:20 am

>111 John5918: ISO dates, e.g. 2023-03-05, are the one true date system.

When in doubt, write out the month and use a four digit year. That's pretty unambiguous no matter what order.

helmikuu 6, 2:58 pm

>112 prosfilaes: In Computer Science numbers can be big endian (BE) or little endian (LE). Big Endian numbers store the most significant bytes first, whereas little endian numbers start with the least significant bytes. The ISO system is Big Endian, and that makes a lot of sense, because that is how we generally write numbers, and has the added benefit that you can sort by the whole date string without converting it to a numeric value, and it will be sorted in date order. Little endian systems, like the D/M/Y dates used by many countries, are less optimal but remain perfectly logical.

The U.S., for reasons of its own, has adopted middle endian dates. I make no further comment.

helmikuu 6, 3:46 pm

>113 sirfurboy: that format is called American brain damage around here :-)

helmikuu 11, 10:56 pm

Revealed: secret cross-party summit held to confront failings of Brexit (Guardian)

An extraordinary cross-party summit bringing together leading leavers and remainers – including Michael Gove and senior members of Keir Starmer’s shadow cabinet – has been held in high secrecy to address the failings of Brexit and how to remedy them in the national interest, the Observer can reveal. The two-day gathering of some of the country’s most senior Labour and Tory politicians from both sides of the Brexit debate, together with diplomats, defence experts and the heads of some of the biggest businesses and banks, was held at the historic Ditchley Park retreat in Oxfordshire... a “private discussion” under the title: “How can we make Brexit work better with our neighbours in Europe?”... A confidential introductory statement for those at the meeting acknowledged that there was now a view among “some at least, that so far the UK has not yet found its way forward outside the EU” with Brexit “acting as a drag on our growth and inhibiting the UK’s potential”... “The main thrust of it was that Britain is losing out, that Brexit it not delivering, our economy is in a weak position,” said the source. “It was about moving on from leave and remain, and what are the issues we now have to face, and how can we get into the best position in order to have a conversation with the EU about changes to the UK-EU trade and cooperation agreement when that happens?”...

helmikuu 14, 11:02 pm

We’re ready to talk covertly about Brexit failure – but still far from ready to fix it (Guardian)

Contrary to what leavers say, it’s not a betrayal to discuss Brexit’s shortcomings – but it should be done openly...

toukokuu 20, 2:45 pm

>117 John5918: In other news, water is wet.

toukokuu 20, 3:17 pm

>118 sirfurboy:

Indeed, but it seems that back in 2016, 51% of the British electorate hadn't realised that water is wet.

toukokuu 29, 2:23 am

More than half of voters now want Britain to forge closer ties with the EU, poll reveals (Guardian)

A clear majority of British voters now favours building closer relations with the European Union, according to new polling that highlights a dramatic reversal in the tide of public opinion since Brexit. Even in those constituencies that recorded the highest votes to leave the EU in 2016, more than twice as many voters now believe the best route forward is to move in the opposite direction – and forge closer ties with Brussels... The poll by Focaldata found that three times as many adults (63%) now believe Brexit has created more problems than it has solved, compared with just 21% who believe it has solved more than it has created... Overall, 53% of voters now want the government to seek a closer relationship with the EU than it now has, having left the single market and customs union, against just 14% who want the UK to become more distant...

toukokuu 29, 11:20 am

>118 sirfurboy: I think the news part of that is the "Nigel Farage admits" bit, not the latter bit.