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Brexit: Because Jake wanted to know....

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Jake Page Icon Posted 2018-12-16 2:10 PM
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All right, perhaps this is the best time to ask a question I've long wanted to ask him: C:Amie, what is Britain going to do about Brexit? I watch it unfold every day, but I don't quite understand it and a lot of my energy is tied up in US news (you may have noticed that we're in a bit of our own political restructuring).

What's going to happen, if you don't mind me asking your opinion?

Jake
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2018-12-16 3:03 PM
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I am pretty sure there's a forum rule against me answering this

"Political restructuring" Quaint. Beliveve me, we're as sick of hearing about "it" over here as we are B.r.e.x.i.t. If afforded any trust in the mainstream media, I would assume at this point that the entire world has stopped and was just hanging about waiting like extras on a movie set for the end of your "restructuring" and our "restructuring". Thankfully I don't and I think the rest of the world is actually getting on with its life.

I don't know how well you know the history of this, so before getting to the future is it worth covering how we got here?
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2018-12-16 5:38 PM
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How the UK got to Brexit: The national mindset 1945 - 2016

After the war, the restructuring plan that we (UK,US,France) would undertake was to do whatever was necessary to damn well ensure that it (the war) never happened again. Part of that process was, in the early 50's, the creation of the European Coal and Steel board.

The point was to integrate continental (i.e. not the UK or Ireland), non-Soviet supply chains in such a way that the industrial survival of any given nation was entwined with their neighbours so as to prevent the likelihood of an arms race, the need for resource mandated territorial acquisitions (ultimately what WW2 boils down to) and of course war.

During the 1950s the UK still had primary resource industries (mining, steel etc) as well as heavy industry (car, rail, plant, aerospace, shipbuilding etc). Keep that in mind as I'll come back to it later. The UK (like the US, a Capitalist economy) was looking at this little clique and feeling that it was losing out in opportunities for commercial growth because it was not participating in it and was losing its global trading partners as we started to insularise under the new post-war political "contract".

The alliance, was heavily dominated by France (the victor). As an American, understand that the UK has spent more of the last millennia warring with bits or all of France than it has not. To the British/French psyche, we are as negatively reinforced with each other culturally as the American's are to Communism. The UK and France were also imperial cold-adversaries even in the 1950's, despite the entente cordial (the peace that stopped us lobbing things over the English channel at each other after they lost the Napoleonic wars).

France was still being led by war time leader General De Gaulle. De Gaulle would have nothing of the idea of Britain participating in it. There is a famous, hard remembered line in the UK where his justification for us being unable to integrate with them was that
General De Gaulle
England in effect is insular, she is maritime, she is linked through her interactions, her markets and her supply lines to the most diverse and often the most distant countries; she pursues essentially industrial and commercial activities, and only slight agricultural ones. She has, in all her doings, very marked and very original habits and traditions

How bloody right he was. At the time though, this was an insult, and he meant it because he as French leader had command over our prospects and he wasn't going to miss out on the opportunity to revive old adversarial tendencies.

So the UK was refused entry, just as others came into the mix from the continent itself. As the US knows, the UK at this time went down it's socialism experimentation and basically ruined itself
Dean Rusk, US Secretary of State, 1968
free aspirins and false teeth were more important than Britain's role in the world
.

Of course in adopting French ideals of socialism, humiliating itself and shrinking off of the worlds stage completely, by the early 1970's, France was confident enough to change it's mind that we were no longer a rival and would at last entertain accepting us joining the clique. In the 70's there were two votes (necessary to get the 'right' answer, and very much a warning for the future) and in 1974 the public marginally voted in a very divisive referendum, to join what was at this time called the EEC. A free trade bubble.

At this point the UK completely withdrew from the world. Our withdrawal from the free market economy battered commonwealth economies, ruined international relationships and undermined our remain clout as a global power in both hard and soft influence. New Zealand's economy nearly imploded as a result. Australia had to go in a new direction and we abandoned trying to rebuild our standing with India.

By 1990. The UK had become a single focused part of the "integrated" EU system. We provided financial services. Industry was Germany's thing, agriculture was France's. The UK primary industry I mentioned earlier, was gone (and probably for good reason as having started the industrial revolution for the world here on a 800 mile long island, we had basically mined everything anyway). We went from building 80% of the worlds shipping to 1%, no car industry, no aviation industry (just some pane parts in the integrated French run Airbus) and from the country that gave the world railways, no rail industry either. We had retail and financial services though... and this was good, we were told.

The political pact had finally moved from the nationalisation of the socialism era that had been agreed by both left and right into a prevailing snob view. Now, anything that wasn't white collar was beneath us, so why bother. This allowed all of our manufacturing, R&D and heavy industry to be leached out to France and Germany. We literally gave the French our space industry. They re-named it ESA and moved it to the French colonies. We had working orbital launch capability and we just said no, it was not worth investing it because Engineering is backwards.

This bled most of England, Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland of talent, prospects and opportunity. The government(s) had ruined everything with its 1940's nationalisation pact. There had been no investment or modernisation in anything. We could only build steel ships in a world of Carbon Fibre and alternatives. We couldn't build a ship larger than the largest ship built from the pre-war period - when we were making the then largest ships in the world - and by 1990 we couldn't even service the ships that we had built of that pre-war size as the infrastructure had all been abandoned. It was easy for the EU, we made it so and we dutifully accepted our place in the new order.

In early 1990s, the Government was machinating over (without telling anyone) the idea of joining the Common Market Currency, what would become the Euro. So they tried to link our exchange rate to the German Mark so as to setup the environment to achieve it - something called the ERM. We had nothing to back it with economically and in 1992 crashed out of the ERM to international humiliation and as a result, the country nearly imploded and we dived into recession. Humiliated the government wanted to show it was still a "player". Having politically assassinated Margaret Thatcher in late 1991 over this exact issue. The victors set about demonstrating their good will, and ratified the Treaty of Maastricht, converting the free trade agreement we signed up to in 1974 (the EEC) into the EU and paving the way for for the Euro - which of course was now politically toxic in the UK because of the ERM and national pride starting to resurface.

Maastricht began the process of bleeding the powers of sovereign independence out of member states and into the hands of the EU. It created the Commission (the unelected EU Civil Service) the Parliament (elected but limp and comprises neo-nazi's, communists and everything in between) and a new supervening, higher court - higher than own high court, called the ECJ. Maastricht tidied up the existing bits and the pre-existing part of the EU executive that were run by committee of elected persons from the nation states became the EU Council.

The government had just one the argument on our participation in the EU by ousting Thatcher in the 1991 coup, and needed no mandate to explain or defend its decision to sign-up to Maastricht. It effectively sold it as "don't bother looking here, it's nothing to worry about". Dissent was merely an inconvenience because caused by Thatcherite remnants who would be expunged in due course.

Then, in 1999, Tony Blair did it again with the Treaty of Amsterdam, offering up more powers to the super state. The public noticed a bit and dissent on the right started to simmer - they were unelectable though as the Coup, ERM and recession coupled with them not clearing house created a backlash that would take 15 years to be forgotten. In 2003 Blair continued doggedly down the integration route with the Treaty of Nice, this time the public were getting quite uneasy with it, but the political class still in their unbroken bubble laughed and toasted Champagne.

Until that is in 2009, under now Gordon Brown (part of Blair's bubble). Against very strong opposition and a very clear view that the public did not want it, Brown signed the Treaty of Lisbon. This over-wrote all the legislation and treaties going back to 1957 and effectively hanging a new higher constitution on the UK.

The UK is the oldest democracy on earth. Our civil war was fought to enshrine right to liberty, property and freedom of expression. Our constitution is supreme. We haven't have a internal conflict since that civil war in 1651 - when it was settled. America formed itself on our legal system, our constitution - your Constitution was designed to be a Magna Carta for the New World.

Suddenly though, very different cultures, with very different legal systems, many of which had recently been Communist, hard socialist or Dictatorships started to be able to change our rules, our laws and define what we should want and believe. That new court was given more power and control. It's authority as more superior to the High Court and Law Lords (the UK Supreme Court laterly) was enshrined further.

The public started to see liberty at risk. The government were giving everything away again to prove how loyal they were, just as they had done before.

... and despite all protests, Brown signed it. We haemorrhaged sovereignty to the EU Commission (remember the unelected Civil Service). Of many things the public took exception to, the next worst was that Lisbon allowed the process of reform within the EU to change from requiring an 'absolute majority' to a 'qualified majority'. Suddenly Britain couldn't stop anything. Britain, naturally capitalist, inclined to free trade and globalisation was suddenly ostracised. Free market economics and market capitalism is NOT a common view in the 28 states of the EU. Our shared cultural vantage point with our cousins in the US of A is something that the wider EU does not share in the same way that we do.

France and Germany had started to dominate the EU more agressively. The presidency of the EU is supposed to rotate around all 28 members, moving every 6 months. When something happens on the world stage, who speaks for the EU? The answer isn't the current president, it is Angela Merkel or Emanuel Macron (the leaders of Germany and France respectively). Germany was unilaterally able to set EU immigration policy and caused the refugee crisis that has killed who knows how many people in the Mediterranean Sea. This behaviour is now normalised. Every day, it is either one or the other speaking on our behalf, with no consultation and to be clear, they are damned to even think to follow their own process or procedures about who speaks for the EU. Or worse, it's Jean Claude Junker, the unelected Federalist (imperialist) head of the Commission (the Civil Service) speaking on behalf of the both of them.

The government had attempted before Lisbon to pacify the public dissent with what it thought was a genius idea. If there are more states in the clique, they argued, it would be harder for France and Germany to have their way on community matters. They also felt that a wider membership would be good for the Financial Services industry for which the UK still held the monopoly over. The UK government started pushing, hard, for the expansion of the EU from the 15 to admit new member states because of this strategy. Oh my how this back-fired.

Adding new members forced the EU in Lisbon to adopt qualified majority voting. Getting 28 states, with vastly different cultures to agree unanimously was going to become too complicated. This change marginalised us politically, in fact it outright isolated us.

In Europe we have a song contest called Eurovision. It's a humorous waste of time and talent, but it has for decades been marred by "block voting". Different bits of Europe will vote for its friends and neighbours. It doesn't matter how good the song is. It painful to watch, but you can predict how most of the voting will go if you ever bother to watch it (and understand European regional politics).
This is exactly what happened to the EU after Lisbon.
The UK can't win Eurovision, no matter how talented the artist and we can no longer yield control or influence in the EU.

The secondary side effect (and perhaps worse for the decade away Brexit vote) was that all these new nations now joined the EU - countries that had been raped, ravaged, impoverished and enslaved by Soviet dogma. They suddenly had access to everything the capitalist market had to offer and the right to go anywhere in it. If you wanted to lay a bet, bet that these new citizens on the path to find a better life likely spoke English and held in their hearts that dream that American's like to pretend is their's - but is in fact the dream of so much of the world applied to all free states. So it was obvious where the vast majority want to go to find opportunity?

These are wonderful people, honest and hard working. But sometimes things need to happen in a controlled, gradual fashion. 1,000,000 Poles, 400,000 Romanian's and so on arrived overnight. In a country of at the time 58 million people. All entitled to access our social security system (4-6 times more generous than at home and paid at UK living standards), all entitled to our legendary free health care (that they don't get at home) as well as free education and everything else that goes with it. The Government encourage this influx, it was a consequence of their failed policy and idea. So you might ask: Did the government have a job plan? An integration plan? Did it build new houses? Did it build new schools? Did it build new Hospitals? New Roads?

The hell it did.

80sqm (800sqft) of shoe box that can barely be described as a house will cost £0.5m ($630,000 USD) here. Rents are through the ceiling (because rent is you paying someone else's mortgage for them). House prices have nearly tripled in a decade. No one under 40 can get on the property ladder. My generation will be poorer than our parents by a long way.

The economically obliterated parts of the country looked at this influx of people - largely in the South East - and saw them prospering. As shameful as it is, it caused understandable upset in these communities. We used to have an Empire that spanned 1/4 of the globe, we've always been multi-cultural and accepting of other cultures. The backlash has NOT been caused by anti-foreigner sentiment, it's been caused by the consequences of that influx and a generation of people who feel that they were left to hang in order to allow these new people to come here, prosper seemingly at their direct expense and thrive. Of course the politicians will stand on a platform and tell everyone that they're little and bigoted and state (rightly) that immigration has been of benefit to the economy. Of course this is completely true! But try telling someone who has - and well never - see any of that benefit to believe that claim. It hasn't been of much benefit to their economy or their children.


The other thing that the public observe about the EU is that it is a socialist wealth redistribution mechanism. The EU uses financial "bribery" to get electorates to do what it wants. "Here, have load of money for such and such project and we'll stick EU branding all over it". Of course, they're spending someone else's money - principally that of Germany, the UK, The Netherlands and Denmark.

This however benefits Germany directly: they are seen more favourably (they are still tarnished for past sins), and by using EU money to open up new markets, it, as a manufacturing economy always wins. By dumping (someone else's) money to increase standards of living in Southern and Eastern European markets, they look good and get to sell more things on their terms. Free money is great!

Second to this, don't forget that the Euro is exclusively designed to benefit the German economy, most other concerns are secondary to thought processes of the ECB. That is why it sets the rules. So Germany wins the most from the Euro too.

The British public sees our money being used to support socialist handouts elsewhere, handouts that are designed to ensure that those markets vote the way that the EU wants and in turn, the UK with its self-neutered economy, gets little back (other than to issue vast amounts of debt, which allow us to pretend we're richer).

Case in point. The two parts of the UK that suffered the worst because of our economic self-destruction during nationalisation and then the post-1974 era were Scotland and Northern Ireland. They receive a lot of money from the EU to grease their PR image, because the only thing the British Government is capable of doing is supporting the needs of London (and its services economy) and the South East (which feeds it labour).

By 2010, the Conservatives were now electable again, and on the back of Lisbon, the exact same schism that caused the Coup over Margaret Thatcher was now starting to rip the Conservatives apart - even before they were elected! David Cameron won the election, but now in Government (instead of opposition), the warring really geared up and spewed out into the media again. When he came to be re-elected 5 years later after the end of the Con/Lib coalition, and won a majority of his own, he had done so by promising that he would hold a public vote, a referendum on our membership of the EU and that this would have to be accepted once and for all by his own party. He intended to be the White Knight who vanquished the Thatcherite beast once and for all.

Of course Cameron was part of the Euro-clique. The same clique who forced Ireland back to the referendum ballot 3 times in order to get them to accept Lisbon (because they, like the UK were nauseated by it [remember 1974?]). In the new EU you give the right answer or you go away and get marginalised until you do.

The clique never thought that they could lose. Not in their wildest dreams. Yet the public has a long memory, and unless you are in the South East of England (London) you have arguably been living without significant opportunity since the 1980's. The entire economy spins around London and it's stanglehold over white collar services. So, when in 2008 American greed nuked the global banking system, it was going to be everyone else in the country who were going to have to suffer first. Standards of living were and remain decimated. But it's OK they told the rest of the country, the precious financial services sector was fine, it suffered last and got away with its sins. London was fine, so the political class thought they would be rewarded - and they were - in London as they were in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Can you see the pattern? The rest of the country however rebelled.

I suspect that had it not been for the land border and NI's memory of the IRA and the troubles, it likely would have voted to leave too - but that is pure supposition on my part. Scotland and London voted to remain. Everywhere else voted to leave.

The EU could have reflected on this result. I very much hoped that it would. I could have looked out the window and seen similar movements growing in every other state within the EU - including France. It refused to even discuss it. Period. It's line (led by Jean Claude Junker and the French and German establishment) throughout the last 2.5 years has been "no, we need more Europe". The EU set its standard in the ground. It wants to be either a Federation or an Empire, it wants control and it wants to end the concept of national states. France wants to set it on a socialist path, Germany wants to ensure economic dominance. Both will succeed to the others desire in order to see their vision come to pass.

If that was what the UK signed up to in 1974, it would be fine. What the people signed up to in 1974 was to join a free trade agreement and suddenly they had a new hierarchy of rulers that was unsavoury to the Anglo-Saxon mindset and at odds with the British sense of liberty, justice and fair play.

It is easier for us to say that the post 2000 entrants into the EU knew these terms when they signed on. What the British public in essence said in 2016 was they they didn't and that they felt their political class had never had the mandate to say otherwise.


Or put it another way. If in a hypothetical world, 10 years after the USA signed up to NAFTA, Mexico turned around and decreed that it was creating a court that would be higher than the US Supreme Court in Washington D.C.. It then demanded that you pay for it in the knowledge that you were unlikely to ever be able to veto or shape any legislation enforced by it and which then demanded that you had to open your borders completely and unconditionally to all Central and South American immigration. For all of this, your government turned around and said "sure, have some cash".
What do you think would happen?

I suspect that it might have something to do with the exercising of second amendment rights... but I'll leave discussion of the US Constitution to my American Cousins who I have no doubt, know better than I.
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2018-12-16 8:08 PM
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Brexit: Narrow minded self-harm 2016-2019

The UK voted to leave an order that large parts of its populous have long since stopped believing in and for which they have no cultural, spiritual or fiscal affinity to.

The world order has been encouraging this fragmentation since the collapse of the British and French Empire’s as well of course of the Soviet Union. Identity politics and smaller nationalism have been the encouraged global norm for decades through gradual separatism, devolution and decentralisation.
Scotland wanted to vote to leave the UK. Catalonia wishes to leave Spain. North and South Sudan. The efforts to re-draw the borders of the Middle East. The world and the EU have encouraged tribal identity to re-emerge and have heralded it as a triumph in the definition of minority cultural identity and the end of oppression.

How it hates it when it back fires.

The Brexit vote result was a shock to the political establishment. They still don’t know what to do because of it. What blinded the political classes to the result was the fact that our membership of the EU has never been an electoral issue before.
The de facto make-up of parliament and the arithmetic of the business of the legislature has never needed to concern itself with matters surrounding the public mood on the EU – not since 1974 anyway. Consequently, Parliament has a very strong bias towards the Remain vote. The background of the average career politician as a lawyer, a political major or a classic’s major automatically injects them into circles from the same schools, the same universities, the same geographic parts of the country and the same thinking.

Anti-EU sentiment was a marginal Conservative problem. It was never a Labour or Liberal issue. The UK Independence Party was a break-away of the Conservatives some 20 years ago, so were easy to dismiss as being part of the minority ‘loony right’.

Parliament was so sure that the people would do what they were told by those who knew best that it was only after initial polling started that they started to realise that they have a real problem on their hands – they quite literally had no concept of what they’d just signed up for.

On the other side of the fence, the Leave side, they had absolutely no concept that they’d ever have the opportunity. They were also largely back-bench MP’s with no public visibility or PR image (unlike the Remain campaign) and they were disorganised. One side had to argue for the status quo (well that’s easy) and wasn’t remotely interested in trying to spell out a vision of how by remaining in, they were going to try and change it. The other side were on a scale of ‘force it to reform’ through to ‘watch it burn’.

In order for Leave to develop a profile, it had to depend, unfortunately, on two people. Nigel Farage and once he decided which side of the fence was in the best interest of his career, Boris Johnson. This was a nasty combination. Farage – as we say in the UK – is ‘Marmite’. This means that he is instantly polarising. There is nothing in between. He has also at times used race to make his argument and that instantly swathes of people who are anti-EU, but won’t stand for the use of the R-card.

Johnson was singularly in it for his career. If he could have been self-served better by Remain, he would have done it.

That was a bad start.
The rest of the campaign was always going to be impossible. The onus was on Leave to explain what they would do vs. a desire for the status quo. They didn’t know what they wanted (or at least couldn’t agree to it). Leave was split between falling back to the 1974 term and getting out of Lisbon through to get out completely and be damned.

Nigel Farage stated quite publicly that if the consequence of leaving the EU was that he had to eat grass to feed his family, he would still take it as a vindication.

Remain’s mistake was playing a) the “you’re all bigoted racists” card and b) the “fear by constant threat” card. In hindsight, everything they said proved to be wrong, fallacious and a pack of lies – but so too did everything that the Leave campaign focused on.

The public on both sides were furious, a fact that was reflected in how marginal the result was. The country was almost literally split down the middle – or more precisely the split was London + NI + Scotalnd vs. everyone else.

Cameron quit in disgrace and for all intents and purposes has fled. Forcing a leadership content. The likely candidates for getting a Leave Prime Minister started in-fighting and watered down each other’s votes via both standing and mutual sabotage. Terrifyingly it was nearly Boris Johnson who won. In the end though, Leave handed the job to Theresa May, a staunch Remainer.

The Conservative Party was foolish enough to put a Remainder in a position where she was legally mandated to do something that she didn’t want to do in the first place and would be consumed with hate and self-loathing every step of the way… and that is exactly what we got.

I actually like Mrs. May. Mostly. She should have been deposed for allowing Arm to be sold to the Japanese (again we don’t like Industry in this country. The American government would never have allowed Intel to be sold abroad). That said, she is a terrible negotiator. All of them are.

You might think that is a knock at the political class – and perhaps it is. I however am of the opinion that the issue is much, much deeper.
Prior to 1974, we used to run the world. Post-1974, we stopped having to deal with international negotiation completely. The EU did it for us. The Civil service, which used to run the Empire with a team of 4,000 people were plucked out by the EU and shipped to Brussels. All of our negotiation competency now works for the people on the other side of the table!

Brexit was never going to work. Factor in political bumbling and the inexperience of the Government and Civil service after 40 years of not doing this – and here is the result. Supplication. Subjugation. Vassalisation.

The Republic of Ireland saw the best opportunity it has had, ever, to attempt to manage a programme towards reunification. They played it brilliantly – and well done to them. The Spanish similarly with respect to Gibraltar.

Our negotiation position was lame. We folded on the first hand, told them what we weren’t going to do to show “good faith” and told them everything we wanted to so that they could ringfence everything else in their favour. It was a complete disaster.

This deal or Mrs. May’s basically says that the EU would like to negotiate a new trade deal, but doesn’t have to. During this time we stay in the EU, pay the money and do what we are told with no right to representation. If after 2 years no trade deal has been created, we stay in the agreement, keep paying, cannot leave, cannot have representation and the EU will annex Northern Ireland. It will also bar us from making ANY further trade deal with anyone else, and if the EU signs a trade deal, we have to accept any and all terms and all laws that they ask of us.

To put that into context for any Americans reading this. If a condition of you starting negotiations for NAFTA were that if after 2 years all the other members of NAFTA had not agreed a deal with you. You would cede Alaska to Canada, accept the Mexican courts as sovereign and the Canadian parliament as your higher (authoritative) legislature. Finally, NAFTA will them make a trade agreement with North Korea and Iran and you’ll be compelled to accept good and services from both plus sell them anything that they want (including weapons).

That gives you an idea of what Mrs. May’s deal actually say.


It’s a victory for the EU. They get £39b mostly in the next 2 years, they get us removed from the EU executive, legislature and judicial system so that they can go and implement their French Socialist and German Economic Dominance reforms and then after 2 years they get to demand money for anything they want and also get legally enshrine that it is permanent and the only way for us to effectively get out of it is to declare war with them and void the treaty – the whole point of the EU in the first place!

Why on earth would the EU even WANT to negotiate to get a trade deal under those terms? They get the 5th largest economy on the planet as a completely neutered vassal state and get to re-unify Ireland to pacify the Irish. We blew our negotiation hand, they saw that on the day that we invoked Article 50 (the legal process of leaving the EU) and have spent 2 years with no reason to consider anything we’ve said at all. They’ve been intractable.
Britain should have said nothing, told the EU that it was for them to put the first proposal down, told them the clock was ticking and walked away. If the EU had thought we were willing to crash out, they would have panicked.

Mrs. May cancelled the legislative vote last week on this horrid Brexit deal. What she should have done was simple. Take it to Parliament with a statement that she is recommending that the legislature reject the deal outright. Go back to Brussels with the scorn of the oldest parliament in the world and let it ring in their ears as she get a junior minister to drop our refusal on the table in front of Mr. Junker and Mr. Tusk, who then turns on his/ her heels and walk straight out again uttering the words “you’ve got 5 weeks to try again or we leave with no deal”.

The only way left now for us to re-solidify our position is to go all in. The EU doesn’t have any intent to negotiate. It is probably also too late now too; it’s nearly January and the clock stops in March. Us panicking because it’s ”this or nothing” is not an option – but Mrs. May is panicking now and it is all that she can see --- because she DOESN’T want to leave the EU, PERIOD.

I guarantee one thing. If the UK does nothing now because the EU is being intractable, it will be seen in Germany and The Netherlands – everywhere except France in fact – that it was the fault of the EU Commission and French vindictiveness that caused it.

I guarantee that come 30th March 2019, the day after we hard Brexit. The waffle, the disrespect and the games will come to a screeching, rapid halt. The Commission will pull the reigns on the French and shut them up completely and the Germans – who have the most to lose from being unable to trade with the UK – will want to sit down and talk like two international partners again. Be under no doubts: The British want to buy German products, and the Germans most certainly want to sell us their wares!

A hard Brexit will focus minds: rapidly.

We come back to the original problem though. The person who is doing all of this doesn’t want it to happen in the first place. Through all the hyperbole, this is painfully obvious – and I do feel for her.

The fools in Leave in the Conservative Party tried to exercise their ONE opportunity to oust her from the Premiership a) at what was obviously the wrong moment and b) with no plan in place for a successor. What sanctimonious grandstanding. They must wait 364 days until they can do that again. Some use that will be to try again in December 2019! They had to have had a leader in place, a virtual coronation in order to try it. All that would have happened would be a repeat of the infighting and career advancement that happened with the Leave campaign during the referendum. Leading to months of infighting and focusing on Conservative Party ego’s instead of humiliating the EU over its tactics and games.

So you asked what will happen? There are four options

1) Remain
Mrs. May has two ways to go now, really. Hard Brexit or back to a public referendum. As a Remainer, herself she’ll probably fold on the side of the latter – or the legislature will force her (keep in mind that she’s been humiliated by Parliament because the legislature has seized control of this from the executive now). Such a vote will likely try and confuse matters and might have three options: stay, take the deal, hard exit. This waters down the Leave vote between two options and makes Remain more certain. Plus the Remain camp has already started up project fear and terror again. Apparently we’re going to run out of food, bandages and drugs. Apparently we can’t get those anywhere other than the EU – no wonder North American’s are all starving and have such short life spans. You poor things!

At that point there is likely going to be civil unrest I fear.

If we stay in the EU now, the EU will humiliate us politically, socially and economically. They will make damn sure that we are never able to be in a position to do this again. They will ensure that we have no sizable control of any EU sector (e.g. the financial services sector) and will legislate accordingly so that we have no standing to ever attempt to leave again. The French are going to drive it, encourage it and will be allowed loose to go to town on us.
In other words: unable to effect legislation, isolated and trapped in the EU because of what I outlined in my previous post. We will be absorbed as supplicated entity; the bad child who is left in the stocks on naughty step as a reminder to the other children to behave.

2) Take the Deal
Parliament will never allow it. Both Leave and Remain in parliament are agreed that the annexation of NI and the near certain likelihood that the EU will have no incentive to actually negotiate are enough to ensure this.
This option is dead.

3) Play hardball as I advocated above, forcing the EU to remove the annexation and vassilation clauses but have this happen before the 29th March.
Mr. Junker, Mr. Tusk and Mrs. May are all refusing to do this. I can’t see how Parliament could compel the executive to do it without a change of leader and the only way that can now happen is either

- For the opposition to bring down the Government completely (they won’t because they sure as hell don’t want to have to be the ones to deal with this problem. They want to take over on 30th March one way or the other)

- Mrs. May to resign – which she won’t do as she risks letting a member of Leave becoming PM who on the same day will simply execute option 4…

4) Hard Exit
Crash out without any deal. Don’t pay them the £39b that they want. Deal with the EU on our terms and we take the full brunt of the worst of the possible short-term economic shocks and lower GDP growth for a few years while we live in hope that now that the Government is responsible for itself again and there is no longer anyone to blame (for 40 years everything has been the EU’s fault), will start governing for the country again, not just London.
As far as I am concerned, if losing jobs in financial services is what it takes to re-balance the economy and see investment in the rest of the country. So be it.
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2018-12-16 8:44 PM
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What do I want to happen
So Jake, to give you the answer to the question. As it is my belief that the EU will do more harm to us by staying in than not and as it's my belief that the EU wants to go in a direction that stands at odds with Anglo-Saxon cultural ideal. I am unashamedly now of the opinion that I would want option 4 to happen.

I love Europe, I love Europeans, the people, the culture. I want us to trade with all the countries in Europe, just as I want to entwine our security services so that our mutual security apparatus can keep us all safer than we can individually. At the same time though, I want us to be able to trade with all the other countries of the world and I want to be able to intertwine our security apparatus with the US, Australia and Canada and not have to ask permission or wait until a faceless, unelected bureaucrat tells us we can. I want us to have voice again. I don't want another 40 years of the EU being the excuse for everything that wasn't done or was a missed opportunity. I don't want the slimy political classes to have any articulable excuse beyond that of their own failings.
I want the rest of my country back, so that everyone who isn't in the South East has a reason to be proud of themselves again. I want household income and living standards to go up for the first time for many in decades because the taps are turned on employers being able to find minimum wage workers for every job imaginable and will have to invest in training our young people again - like Britain used to before it became white collar or nothing.

I want our immigration policy to be fair. We used to support immigration from the whole commonwealth, even the world. In the 50's huge numbers of people came from the Caribbean to work and train as Nurses in the NHS. Why suddenly in 1974 were these people so disenfranchised? Any one who calls leave voters racist should look at their own position. 40 years of positively discriminated white, Caucasian Christian centric bias has underpinned immigration policies. Would anyone like to claim that isn't bias on race?

Fairness has to account for local need too, not just the politically correct perception of looking racially balanced. If immigration means the government has an excuse to throw another generation of people unlucky enough to have been born North of Birmingham on the scrap heap, it's a price too far. If it an excuse for employers to artificially hold wages down and not invest in young people, then as a society we need to pay higher prices for doing the right thing and we need to use other levers such as free trade and drives in competitiveness and efficiency and not disposable foreign labour as our recipe for economic value.


What do I think will happen {8:30pm, Sunday 16th December}
Ask me in a week' time and I'll give a different answer I almost guarantee.
Parliament will deadlock it, Mrs. May won't give up power, she'll play chicken with parliament over this assuming that they'll back down over her deal. They won't. We'll get to February, the German's will panic, offer to extend Article 50 in order to buy more time. Mrs. May will accept and we'll get stuck again. Kicking everything down the road a few more months while neither side budges. Eventually the EU will stop trying to annex NI for the Republic of Ireland and Mrs. May will start talking trade deal while we stay in Article 50 limbo paying into the EU as a zombie.
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2018-12-16 8:45 PM
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Mjolnir Page Icon Posted 2018-12-16 10:35 PM
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Thanks for the extensive reply. It gives me more first hand perspective on how to judge what I see on our (USA) media.
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Jake Page Icon Posted 2018-12-17 3:12 PM
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Chris, what a fascinating overview (though many times, it has the fascination of a car wreck).

The historical background is especially helpful for an outsider like myself--Britain's initial prodding for the expansion of the EU to dilute F and G' clout strikes me very much similar to the US Cold War efforts to grant UN responsibilities to more and more countries in order to mitigate USSR's influence. It was a good idea until countries like Libya ended up on the Security Council, until smaller countries would no longer help tow US policy.

I guess Britain's difficult negotiations to enact a fair departure is like any divorce proceeding: when you've already announced that you're leaving, the remaining spouse has little reason to give you a healthy send-off. Your idea to dump the mess back into the EU lap via threat of a hard departure is probably the most tenable though I've heard BBC talking heads say that May is simply hoping to wait out the dissent, that Parliament will take her deal rather than no deal, given that this storm is very near.

The Leavers also seem to be gulping the same way anti-ObamaCare'rs are gulping, now that the ACA has been, for the moment, completely overturned. There's no true Plan B for US health care and Americans expect at least an alternative if one studies the exit polls of recent national elections.

Re: race--though I've lived in and visited many countries, I've yet to see England, and while I don't think one should learn about countries through television only, I am still startled by the multitude of Netflix British series that show far more racial integration than most American television series. People of color are so present that you stop thinking about it. That doesn't mean that racism doesn't exist but it does mean the dollar/pound is backing acceptance, much the way US commercials now show same-sex/racially-mixed couples, bi-racial children, etc with the aplomb that comes with assured profits.

I close on that hopeful note since the rest of it seems bleak, with more pain to come.

Jake

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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2018-12-17 5:27 PM
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Jake,

Yes, precisely. They didn't give expansion any thought, they just saw a slim short-term chance for a quick pay-off - and they the proverbial Turkeys voted for Christmas by being so eager to support it "look what wonderful team players we are, all happy and team-like".

It is David Cameron's fault and his fault alone that Jean Claude Junker is the head of the commission. He caused it. Junker was a fairly unpopular candidate amongst the wider Council and Cameron decided his approach would be to mount a personal attack and a negativity campaign amongst the rest of the Council. This upset Luxembourg, which upset the French, and like the path to WWI cascaded alliance sympathies and wound up with him winning as a means to put Cameron in his place. Cameron responded with the referendum. A vindictive shot? One for the historians to argue I fear.

Your marital divorce adage is analogous, but not quite there. Mrs. May's deal would be akin to getting divorced but having to pay alimony, 100% of spousal and childcare costs while being tied up like the Pulp Fiction Gimp in the Ex-Wife's basement for the rest of your life.

Mrs. May is hoping to wait out the dissent; remember, she does not want to leave. I suspect that if Parliament attempted to rush back towards this deal, it could well spark a constitutional crisis. For the government, majority legislature, minority legislature and minor parties all to agree to an about turn at the 11th hour could potentially threaten the Union. Both the Conservative and Labour Parties would likely split. Hell, absolute worst case ERII might have to get involved and that hasn't happened since 1704 (if she refused to ratify it) or 1835 (if she decided to forcibly prorogue or even dissolve parliament).

Leave alas don't have any power to have any vision. The Remain controlled government has done bare minimum either to open debate about post-29th March, set a vision/agenda or even make public planning visible -- they decided that it was best not to make anything public about their "emergency no deal" plans, because, you know... they don't want to leave. As there has been no one in power to support it, there has been no conversation about what will happen on day 1, what will happen at month 6, year 2, year 5. How will the immigration policy be modified, what will happen with pipe lines and ferries. There has been plenty of fear coming out of the government of course along with every worst case under the sun that they can come up with.

The EU of course banned us from even mentioning starting trade deal processes with the US, Canada, Mexico, (insert 178 other countries)..., Iran, North Korea. That was, of course by design to ensure that no trade contingencies could be in place if anyone ever dared execute Article 50. So we have been sitting here on our hands on the trade front for 2.5 years. We will be in WTO tarrif land for a while.

Frankly though, the government should identify items of critical need, have the BSI generate new minimum compliance standards and then from a podium on 30th March state 0% tarrifs to any international exporter who exceeds the minimum standard and will supply. That'll shut the French right up trying to imply that we'll have shortages and do you know what: it'll crash the cost of things here compared to the EU artificially high prices we've been accustom to - forced on us by the EU. (Shale gas please USA. I'll draw you a map showing where all our tanker terminals are).

You must come and see us! We insist!
I am not and was not trying to imply for a second that racism doesn't exist and wasn't a factor for some. Merely that the R card was as a fat thrown around by the Remain side as the PC shield it is so often used for as a way to try to terminate debate and discussion by anyone who has something else to say on the matter. It was too easy and they couldn't resist - it was also too easy for the Leave campaign to allow some of these scum near platforms and devalue the image and reputation of the majority of people who wanted to leave for anything but out-and-out 'race'.

Someone is going to be disappointed Jake. At this point, I genuinely do not believe that ANY of the options will be painless or good for us. Especially staying in. Consequently, I, as an individual have to fall back on my principles. The UK has survived as a trading levitation since the Union was created in 1707 and a long, long time even before that. It has managed to survive for 40 years as not being one since 1974, and the vast majority of the states and people on this planet have also done alright for themselves in that time frame without being in the EU. Do I think that we are incapable of existing on out own again? No, of course not.

Do I think that with us out of the EU, the EU will find it easier to have its way, go down the path of its choosing on its socialist agenda and may be have a better chance of getting where it wants to go. Again, yes I do. It might even find its was to a presidency and some form of democratic representation with us out of it. As De Gaulle said, it was never "us" in the first place.

Do I think that we will have an economic hit from leaving? We'll have one no matter what happens. We will have to endure the worst one by leaving because of the influence of hedging and fickle, greedy financial markets and the fact that we have nothing to fall back on other than financial markets and services. Does it matter? I can't see people starving in the streets, the power going out or being unable to buy things at Costco. The financial services sector won't look so easy and lucrative and within a decade our young people will have found something new to do. I am also pretty sure that Albion won't sink as a result of losing 0.6% growth - or 1% or 5% or whatever that figure will be.

If the European leaders want to make something of it, the public will vote with its feet and will stop buying European produce - and European's won't like that any more than paying tarrif's. And with time those spiteful, vindictive leaders will be voted out and new ones will come in and in the end, we'll buy German cars, drink French wine and eat Belgian chocolate again; just as we always have.

When everything is boiled down, Remain's main argument is about % signs and fractions on a spreadsheet. The fact that it'll cost £6 to get a 4 year tourist via in the EU and we might have to stand at a different queue at the airport is something that appears to trouble millennials, but anyone with any life experience really doesn't care. Are we going to stop employing European's with skills that we need? Nope. Will Europe? Well, yeah, the French will (FYI the French run the risk of having a massive increase in their unemployment rate if we hard exit*). I doubt anyone else will care other than having the added cost of a work permit and that may exclude us from the EU job markets under a certain skills threshold. Fair enough. It doesn't seem to stop American's, Canadian's or Australian's from working here currently - or coming here on holiday for that matter. I am fairly certain that at this time, all pub's are staffed by Australian's. Find me a pub in my area that isn't and I bet you they'll be closet New Zealander's!

The main thing that I want is to stop the uncertainty. 2.5 years of uncertainty has been like a boat anchor. It has consumed everything in that time. Let's end it, get the shock out of the way and get on with life again.

* London, France's sixth biggest city, BBC News. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18234930
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Mjolnir Page Icon Posted 2018-12-17 5:48 PM
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(Shale gas please USA. I'll draw you a map showing where all our tanker terminals are). " Largest continuous oil and gas resource potential ever (USA)
Date: December 6, 2018
Source: US Geological Survey
Summary: USGS announces an assessment of continuous oil and gas in Texas and New Mexico's Delaware Basin, the largest USGS has ever conducted, with an estimate of 46.3 billion barrels of oil and 281 trillion cubic feet of natural gas." https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...1206135643.htm
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2018-12-17 6:14 PM
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Mjolnir - 2018-12-17 5:48 PM

(Shale gas please USA. I'll draw you a map showing where all our tanker terminals are). " Largest continuous oil and gas resource potential ever (USA)
Date: December 6, 2018
Source: US Geological Survey
Summary: USGS announces an assessment of continuous oil and gas in Texas and New Mexico's Delaware Basin, the largest USGS has ever conducted, with an estimate of 46.3 billion barrels of oil and 281 trillion cubic feet of natural gas." https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...1206135643.htm

We have money, take it! I'd rather you than Vladimir Putin (who currently does).
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Jake Page Icon Posted 2018-12-17 6:37 PM
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Yes, there's enough trouble to go around. It's not as if the EU is a well-built construction whose only problem is an absent England. French unemployment, if I'm not mistaken, is already a crisis and Macron seems roundly reviled. Even Merkel has been defrocked. I also think that Trump's complaints about paying for NATO, while distastefully vitriolic, will etch the foreign fiscal policy of the next US president, regardless of party.

The wild cards are Russian expansion/interference (there have been complaints that Russia interfered in the Brexit vote) and China's trade practices--those things may unite Europe in other substantive ways that may lead to more harmonious trade and immigration practices. But that may be me trying to make lemonade out of lemons.

Interesting article in WaPo, Chris: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/to-combat-dirty-mone...

If Britain develops its own immigration rules, the English may at least see an end to this sort of nonsense, perhaps easing, slightly, high rents/cost-of-living issues.

Jake
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Paianni Page Icon Posted 2018-12-17 7:03 PM
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C:Amie - 2018-12-16 8:08 PM

I guarantee that come 30th March 2019, the day after we hard Brexit. The waffle, the disrespect and the games will come to a screeching, rapid halt. The Commission will pull the reigns on the French and shut them up completely and the Germans – who have the most to lose from being unable to trade with the UK – will want to sit down and talk like two international partners again. Be under no doubts: The British want to buy German products, and the Germans most certainly want to sell us their wares!
I hope you're right. The idea of something good coming out of Brexit only if we sit and do nothing until the end of March is an interesting one.
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2018-12-17 7:27 PM
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Jake - 2018-12-17 6:37 PM

Yes, there's enough trouble to go around. It's not as if the EU is a well-built construction whose only problem is an absent England. French unemployment, if I'm not mistaken, is already a crisis and Macron seems roundly reviled. Even Merkel has been defrocked. I also think that Trump's complaints about paying for NATO, while distastefully vitriolic, will etch the foreign fiscal policy of the next US president, regardless of party.

The wild cards are Russian expansion/interference (there have been complaints that Russia interfered in the Brexit vote) and China's trade practices--those things may unite Europe in other substantive ways that may lead to more harmonious trade and immigration practices. But that may be me trying to make lemonade out of lemons.

Interesting article in WaPo, Chris: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/to-combat-dirty-mone...

If Britain develops its own immigration rules, the English may at least see an end to this sort of nonsense, perhaps easing, slightly, high rents/cost-of-living issues.

Jake
Given that you and I (in the proverbial sense) are two of only five members of NATO who achieve the agreed spending targets. Let me say quite forthrightly that: I couldn't agree more. Why should the USA be paying so that EU member states can give electoral bribes away? Of course at the same time, the US has no plan to reduce spending or lose military influence on Europe either. Frankly on this I'm with our Admiralty. Put defence spending back to Thatcher-era levels, if for no other reason than to fund industrial and manufacturing start-up's.

We are back to playing the cold war era long game with Russia. Until they decide to overthrow the Tzar on their own, we'll be playing these games. The idea that in the 21st Century there is a military annexation... it would seem absurd if it hadn't just happened. The idea that they got away with it, now that say's even more.

China might in fact be one of the valid reasons for us to stay in the EU. The US will soon not be the only super power and not so long after that milestone is eroded it won't be the biggest, richest or most advanced. In the face of that, an 800 mile long island doesn't have much chance.

Corrupt olegarch's inflating prices at the top end of the property market has been a widespread anger argument for years here. The government only started listening when the UN pointed out that our financial services sector was basically encouraging it #Greed.

Alas what happens at the very top of the property market will have nominal impact on the bottom. What the bottom need is more housing, quality housing not the tat being built by profit grabbing large corporate builders. As well as houses you can actually live in.
The building industry here is becoming an oligopoly. It needs to be opened up to small builders and we need wholesale reform of the planning system to include some bleeding common sense and to close the back-door loopholes that are being used to exploit local authorities planning decisions. But that's for a different thread.
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2018-12-23 1:37 PM
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These are worth a watch if you don't understand our pre-Lisbon position and why post Lisbon became unworkable (from 1980)




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