back to article Brexit must not break the cloud, Japan tells UK and EU

Japan's foreign ministry has taken the unusual step of publishing a very public Message to the United Kingdom and the European Union (PDF) in which it outlines how it wants Brexit to happen in order to protect the substantial investments its businesses have made in Europe and especially in the United Kingdom. The document …

  1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Reality replicating the Mash

    http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/politics/politics-headlines/well-i-fked-that-up-didnt-i-says-cameron-20160624109749

    Quoting: “And let’s just see how Sunderland gets on when Nissan moves its Qashqai factory to Bulgaria. That will cheer me right up.”

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Thanks for the heads-up. I now have a new site to follow ;)

      1. Captain DaFt

        I was gobsmacked to discover that Amanfrommars Writes for them!

        (Slightly NSFW)

  2. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Political implications..?

    This has the distinct smell of blackmail or at the very least some not so subtle pressure.

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      Re: Political implications..?

      It's pretty much the same as Nissan et al said about the UK staying outside the Euro. That worked out OK.

      1. Jess

        Re: staying outside the Euro

        The flaws in your point:

        STAYING - as in maintaining the Status Quo. Not moving from within the Euro to outside it.

        Areas within the single market not using the Euro won't have any major complications on where the business is located within the single market.

        The Euro was a dumb implementation of a good objective anyway. We are well out of it until it has properly settled down. (A few more decades at least I think)

    2. BanburyBill

      Re: Political implications..?

      Bloody investors. How dare they worry about the future value of their investment?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear Japan

    Whilst we acknowledge that we are "friends", how we conduct our business on the other side of the world is absolutley fuck all to do with you. It will have NO effect on any of the dealings you have had with the UK. As for Europe, well, we dont know and as our electorate have demonstrated, they dont give a monkeys what the hell Europe does.

    Regards. The UK.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Dear Japan

      how we conduct our business on the other side of the world is absolutley fuck all to do with you.

      You missed the point. That is exactly the point that it is not. Either UK tows the line or the Honda, Nissan and Sony factories move to Eastern Europe leaving their entire workforces (which by the way are from 70%+ vote "leave" regions) unemployed. Followed by Japanese banks.

      Every country should defend its interests. I find it hilarious how BrExiters beat themselves madly on the chest like a gorilla in rut about Britain in need to defend its interests, while immediately throwing a whiny 3-year old level tantrum about "she does not want to share" when other countries do so in return.

      The Japanese have played their hand. If we follow the rather delusional BrExit logic we should ignore it as it is not happening on our plane of gestalt and continue un-phased. I am really sure that all the people which voted Leave in Sunderland will love being shown the door when the Nissan plant there shuts the doors. Because that is _EXACTLY_ what Leave means economically.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dear Japan

        But, but, but, we're BRITISH. We're better than everyone else. We used to rule the world don't you know and we're going to be great again, because Johnny Foreigner will lie down before us and do what he's damn well told. And anyway, we have the COMMONWEALTH on our side, which is much better than Europe because they speak English because we forced them to. As long as they don't come and live here of course.

        1. Simon Sharwood, Reg APAC Editor (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: Re: Dear Japan

          Speaking as a resident of the Commonwealth who came to the UK, nourished your hospitality and travel sectors lavishly, paid taxes for a bit, then buggered off to where the weather is better with lots of lovely pounds in hand, I can say the Commonwealth is 100% behind Britain. If it gives us some nice trading concessions to make up for the ones it can't get from Europe any more. Also, if you would revert to being rubbish at cricket that would make us better-disposed towards you.

      2. P. Lee
        Meh

        Re: Dear Japan

        >Either UK tows the line or the Honda, Nissan and Sony factories move to Eastern Europe leaving their entire workforces (which by the way are from 70%+ vote "leave" regions) unemployed. Followed by Japanese banks.

        What has this do with factories? What has the personal information of various citizens of Europe go to do with where cars are built? Europe imports and exports cars, the UK imports and exports cars. Cars aren't the issue. Indeed, the article (if you read it) says this is about "Cloud."

        At first I thought it was just "the sky is falling!" Remainers (see - both sides can indulge in snide name-calling), but as I thought about it, I realised they may have a point.

        If cars are collecting excessive amounts of personal data on their owners and feeding it back to the corporate data centres in the UK, that might be something they could get away with while the UK is in Europe but not when we leave. The snoopers will have to put their data somewhere else as the data leaving the EU is "too personal" to be allowed to leave the EU's excellent data-protection jurisdiction. Then there is the problem of what do you do if the car you are snooping on crosses from the UK to the France? Can you still snoop on it with French devices? Which jurisdiction does the data fall under?

        Because that kind of data collection is something we want to continue, right? This is the kind of Europe we want to build, where data on people across the whole continent is free to move and be mined, free of the racist Brexiters' data centre policies (We'll not mention that its probably EU legislation which will prevent the free movement of information to and from the UK...)

        Brexiters, pah! Killers of unicorns and stompers of rainbows! You are killing our dream of not having to buy another server! A pox on your sovereignty! We of the mighty Nissan Corp have not built our infrastructure around national lines (and, more importantly, neither has MS and Amazon), therefore neither should you! Be like us, one big happy Corporation! With a song!

        This is all speculation of course, only vaguely informed by what data processing is required to "monetise" (ugh!) the Next Big Thing - autonomous vehicles. Anyone with a better explanation is welcome to chip in.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Dear Japan

          "What has this do with factories?"

          ITYF that the letter from which the article quoted selectively dealt with this issue as well.

          Brexit affects industries across the board and Japan has investments in many of them. What Leave voters have managed to ignore is that those investments, and others, were made on the basis of the UK being in the EU. Once the UK is no longer in the EU that is no operative. The question then becomes how closely the UK shadows the way the EU does things and how good an access it gets to the single market (which, of course, is going to mean accepting things like free movement of labour).

          The letter is a reminder of this. The irony, for want of a better word, is that some of those investments were in the heartlands of Vote Leave. All those Leavers there who thought they were sticking to the EU are apt to find they were sticking it to themselves.

        2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          Re: Dear Japan

          @P. Lee

          Read the whole PDF.

          The Cloud is only one small paragraph out of a rather long laundry list. Said list includes an ultimatum that unless UK is part of the Eu common market the industry leaves along with Japanese banks.

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Dear Japan

        " I am really sure that all the people which voted Leave in Sunderland will love being shown the door when the Nissan plant there shuts the doors. Because that is _EXACTLY_ what Leave means economically."

        That's OK. They'll be able to get seasonal work in Lincolnshire picking potatoes when all the eastern Europeans have been thrown out.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Dear Japan

          UTTER BOLLOCKS - absolutely NONE of those skilled workers laid off from the car plants when the japs walk will go and pick fruit in lincolnshire ... just as NONE of the non skilled workers in sunderland or even lincolnshire are picking fruit or spuds or whatever now. I grew up in Kent in even way back when in the mid 80s when i was earning pocket money from my local fruit farm as a kid i was only one from my village .. labour like that was too demeaning / hard work for the locals to bother with so we had a mini UN at that farm every summer

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Dear Japan

      Just a friendly reminder: The EmpireTM went into liquidation some 70 years ago. While Britain is still something of a global player politically, what with with having the right to veto anything in the UN security council and Trident and whatnot, Britain isn't in the position to "call the shots" unilaterally in any kind of negotiation regarding economics or trade.

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Dear Japan

      If you're a country which doesn't mind who owns what and everything's up for auction, don't complain when the owners start making it known that this is how they want things to be.

    4. Commswonk Silver badge

      Re: Dear Japan

      Oh dear. I have some sympathy for cornz 1's original posting under this title, but at the same time I am not surprised that it has attracted so many downvotes, doubtless with many more to come.

      However, I would invite fellow commentards to consider the following:

      A lot of the "Remain" camp's argument prior to the actual vote was based on "the EU is good for (British) business" which by extension would also apply to non - UK businesses with major investments in the country, e.g. Japanese car manufacturers , banks and so on. Post the referendum the Remoaners have been trotting out the same mantra, almost ad nauseam.

      Now while accepting that the mantra might be largely true, at the same same concentrating on the ambitions of business (and apparently business alone) ignores that fact that something that is good for business is not necessarily good for the wider electorate - millions of individuals who for whatever reason have come to believe that their interests have been sidelined in favour of "business".

      Clearly something that was actively bad for business would probably be bad for the wider population, but just taking the "business" viewpoint does rather disregard what the millions who vote might be thinking. Zero hours contracts? Good for business (they wouldn't use them otherwise) but hardly good for the people stuck on them. Unlimited immigration? Good for businesses that want lower cost (i.e. cheap) labour but not so good for those who cannot afford to buy a home, or struggle to pay rent because of upward pressure on housing costs attributable to demand far outstripping supply; increased demand on health services, schooling and so on.

      In the run up to the referendum Barack Obama upset quite a large proportion of the electorate with his intervention; I suspect that other countries doing the same now will have a similar effect.

      If you genuinely believe that the British public should simply shut up, fuck off , and just put up with whatever business will allow them to have, go ahead and slap downvotes on me as well. That is what has happened over the last few years and it is not surprising that given the opportunity to express an opinion the electorate grasped the opportunity with both hands.

      Theresa May talked of a "Britain that works for everybody" and I hope she meant what she said. A Britain that simply works for business is not, IMHO, acceptable.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Dear Japan

        @Commwsonk

        As you seem to realise, there are areas where business and workers' interests align and some where they don't. On the whole EU membership belongs to the former - it has brought businesses and hence employment into the UK which might otherwise have been located elsewhere. To vote against that as an expression of justified dissent against zero hours contracts brings to mind sayings about nose & face.

        1. Commswonk Silver badge

          Re: Dear Japan

          To vote against that as an expression of justified dissent against zero hours contracts brings to mind sayings about nose & face.

          If it were that simple I would have to agree with you, but reducing it to a single issue (zero hours contracts) misses all the other points, only some of which were mentioned in my post.

          Both sides in the run up to the referendum made a complete balls of their cases. The Brexiteers made a hash of the financial arguments (amongst others) while the remainers got stuck on how wonderful the EU and all its works are while completely overlooking things that were of perfectly legitimate concern to the electorate. I strongly suspect that Cameron made a complete mess of his attempted "renegotiation" while the EU itself was and remains incapable of recognising the shortcomings of its own that contributed to the result.

          I would very much like to see "government of the people, by the people, for the people", not government of the people, by foreign interests, for foreign interests. Sadly it may be too late.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Dear Japan

            Sorry think you missed GLOBALISATION .. which is not going anywhere unless you are a schill and a lying pillock like farage / trump pitching the king canute option .. "we only have to say stop and it will stop .." and the idiot leave voters whose jobs depend on foreign investors and who swallowed that crock of shit from farage et al are finding out the truth ... big multinational employers are here because we are in europe not because our piss poor irrelevant little country of 60mil is so goddamn important and special. And if we aren;t in the single market, those companies have not intention of being here.

            We are complicit in this .. voters, politicians... all still stubbornly clinging to the nation state and nationalism when the nation state is long dead. Nation states can't tax properly anymore, can't make their own economic decisions ... nation states can barely even fight a war by themselves anymore .. the only way to stop tax avoidance is a global tax regimen, the only way to fight a war is a big coalition... when we all wake up and stop kidding ourselves that our votes and governments can actually change anything fundemental any more by themselves .... society and politics needs to catch up with economic and technological reality.

      2. Naselus

        Re: Dear Japan

        "Now while accepting that the mantra might be largely true, at the same same concentrating on the ambitions of business (and apparently business alone) ignores that fact that something that is good for business is not necessarily good for the wider electorate - millions of individuals who for whatever reason have come to believe that their interests have been sidelined in favour of "business"."

        Have an upvote for more or less precisely identifying why so many people voted Leave despite it apparently being against their best interests. Remain's entire campaign ignored everything apart from the interests of the business class, who are amazingly not popular among people who have spent the last 30 years getting repeatedly shafted by them. And so Remain lost.

        There's a couple of fairly simple things which the sky-is-falling remain voters (full disclosure - I voted remain myself) continually ignore. One is that the interests of UK.biz and UK.gov do not have to be identical. We've become quite used to them being considered one and the same, but that's juts because successive governments since the 1980s have abandoned every other part of society to nakedly pursue whatever the Phillip Greens and Richard Bransons have asked for, to the point where the actual population is considered a special interest but the banking lobby is considered the national interest.

        If Nissan choose to abandon the North East, then there's still a sizable population of unemployed car manufacturing workers there alongside a perfectly-size automobile manufacturing plant. Whack a tariff on car imports and within a couple of years you'll find that some enterprising soul has decided to make cars there, which are more than competitive with foreign imports. And before we scream and cower at the notion of a tariff existing, let's not forget that pretty much every country which has had an industrial revolution ha done so through massive protectionism - especially the US and Britain, but also Korea, Japan, and Germany. The risk of Britain doing so again terrifies European elites, as it would convert a target market into a powerful, protectionist modern competitor.

        This is the reason the Germans keep giving conflicting signals about Brexit. They have 2 irreconcilable aims. The first is to severely punish Britain for leaving the EU, because it is a serious danger to the whole project and encourages dangerous separatist groups across the whole continent. The other, however, is to maintain as much access to the British market as possible, as the German car industry would be significantly damaged by losing free access to Britain's sizable market - while Britain accounts for 13% of the whole EU market (itself not as insignificant a fraction as we like to pretend), it accounts for substantially more than that in powerful, high-added-value sectors like arms, automobiles, aircraft, or electronics.

        Indeed, immediately after the vote, the first thing that the German auto lobby did was demand the most lenient deal possible be offered to the UK, to protect auto workers in Bavaria. Britain buys around 25% of all German auto exports, and risking this could severely damage a key pillar of the German economy. Hence, Angela Merkel keeps having to switch between saying Brexit must hurt Britain as much as possible, while at the same time saying they must allow for negotiations and no-one wants to punish anyone.

      3. Paul Shirley

        Re: Dear Japan

        something that is good for business is not necessarily good for the wider electorate

        My impression of the brexiteer ringleaders is they're strongly driven by the desire to stop EU interference in their UK business ambitions. Everything else is just whatever rouses the mob, a mob that just voted to let tories weaken worker protection!

        A good question to ask is why tories in general are letting May make promises to workers they've never shown any support for ever. Maybe they're still in shock...

    5. Triggerfish

      Re: Dear Japan @Cornz1

      I don't think you can sign it for the UK really, almost half of us do not want Brexit.

      1. Commswonk Silver badge

        Re: Dear Japan @Cornz1

        I don't think you can sign it for the UK really, almost half of us do not want Brexit.

        You do realise the implications of that assertion, don't you? * It means that a majority for anything can be ignored simply on the basis that the minority don't want it. It might make the outcome of the forthcoming vote for the Labour Party leadership more entertaining, though.

        Chinese proverb: Be careful what you wish for just in case you get it.

        * Actually I suspect you don't...

        1. Triggerfish

          Re: Dear Japan @Commswonk

          * Actually I suspect you don't...

          You realise? In a democracy people can have dissenting opinions.

          1. Commswonk Silver badge

            Re: Dear Japan @Commswonk

            In a democracy people can have dissenting opinions.

            Of course they can, and there's nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is expecting the dissenting minority to be able to block the will of the majority, which is exactly what was being suggested.

            Spend a few minutes thinking about where that might lead, in areas far, far wider than the referendum result.

            1. Triggerfish

              Re: Dear Japan @Commswonk

              No actually what I suggested was, you could not sign a comment on behalf of the UK when almost half would not agree, you can pursue a stupid Brexit policy in the wake of a referendum if you must, but please do not think we are all happy with it.

              Never once suggested blocking the referendum, that's in your head.

              1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: Dear Japan @Commswonk

                "Never once suggested blocking the referendum, that's in your head."

                On the other hand, there may well be valid legal arguments to challenge the governments blind following of the result. The Act permitting the referendum effectively described it as a poll, not a binding decision. And almost without fail, every other referendum comes with terms and conditions describing a minimum turnout for a result to be valid and "majority" be defined as something substantially more than a simple 50% + one vote to define the "winner". Considering the ramifications of the referendum, the lack of positive definitions and the distinct lack in the Act of the word "binding", I'm surprised it's not already been challenged in the courts. In particular, I'm still rather dumbfounded that the SNP are not backing a legal challenge, especially since the latest polls in Scotland are showing the supporters for staying in the Union have increased since their last referendum on independence despite a significant Remain vote for the EU.

  4. dan1980

    “What Japanese businesses in Europe most wish to avoid is the situation in which that they are unable to discern clearly the way the Brexit negotiations are going, only grasping the whole picture at the last minute.”

    What a nice world that would be. Unfortunately, what was made abundantly clear in the cold light of day after the results were in, those politicians leading the Brexit charge really had no plans on how anything would actually work in a post-EU UK nor how to make the transition. I've seen it argued quite lucidly that those politicians didn't actually expect to 'win'.

    In short, there's a reason why it looks like there's no plan, which is that, largely, it doesn't seem like there was.

    There may well be excellent reasons for leaving the EU - socially and economically - but as for the actual plans for how this will happen, it seems that those politicians pushing it, either didn't expect it to happen or assumed someone else (i.e. 'No. 10') would sort it out.

    1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      If only they'd paid attention to Dr North...

    2. codejunky Silver badge

      @ dan1980

      "Unfortunately, what was made abundantly clear in the cold light of day after the results were in, those politicians leading the Brexit charge really had no plans on how anything would actually work in a post-EU UK nor how to make the transition"

      Unfortunately the party that wanted brexit is not in power and Cameron blocked any effort of an alternative to remain. The rigged game has bit them in the ass. Now the UK is run with a brexit vote with a mostly pro EU party.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: @ dan1980

        "Unfortunately the party that wanted brexit is not in power"

        The EU has divided both major parties for decades. Cameron's problem, as with his predecessors, was a bunch of vocal anti-EU MPs who had been threatening to split the party for years. The vote was an attempt to silence them which back-fired.

        Now they've got what they ostensibly wanted. The more senior of them have now been given the task of fronting it. Personally I think a few more of them should have been added to the punishment squad. So although there isn't an anti-EU party as such (other than UKIP) the anti-EU faction of the governing party has been given the job of clearing up its own mess which is about as close as you can get.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Brexit

          So although there isn't an anti-EU party as such (other than UKIP) the anti-EU faction of the governing party has been given the job of clearing up its own mess which is about as close as you can get.

          The problem is that those little power games are affecting citizens, which includes the fools that were deluded by the likes of Farage who is now assisting someone in the US to achieve the same. Sure, you could say "they made their bed, now they can lie in it" but the end result will affect them too.

          What I find spectacular that there is still so much denial of the deleterious effects a Brexit will have on the UK. Surely it's easy to work out that establishing your own arrangements without ANY decent leverage on your side of the negotiations will never be as good as leaving it all in place?

          The only plus side of this debacle is that it's now much easier to spot the people who provide fiction rather than fact, but I have as yet to see any evidence that a Brexit is indeed beneficial to the UK. If you want a hint that it isn't, just check where all those people are that argued for a Brexit. They've vanished because they weren't really arguing for an exit, they just wanted to have the power of the exit vote in the hope that would give them political leverage when the referendum would say "remain" - which it didn't.

          Of course I have to be careful with confirmation bias, but as far as I can see there really isn't any GOOD news re. Brexit. None whatsoever. Quite a lot of UK's economic partners are preparing to bail and take their business elsewhere for the exact same reason as the Japanese have taken the trouble to spell out very clearly.

      2. Commswonk Silver badge

        Re: @ dan1980

        those politicians leading the Brexit charge really had no plans on how anything would actually work in a post-EU UK nor how to make the transition

        No, they probably didn't, and given their "status" as a group of individuals rather than as a "cabinet" it's hard to see how they could have done.

        However, it is equally possible to argue that Cameron and the rest of the Remain camp never seem to have given any thought whatsoever to "what happens if... ." Cameron was PM, and he resigned with almost indecent speed; perhaps he really did not have any option. Equally the EU appears to have ignored the possibility of "leave" winning, but that comes as rather less of a surprise; the EU doesn't really "do" democracy and either can't or won't understand it. (After all it can ignore the EU parliament if it so wishes.)

        Things might have been very different had Cameron stated bluntly to the EU functionaries "there is a very real risk of the electorate voting to leave"; had he done so (and his demeanour on his return to the UK points towards his not having done anything of the kind) the message might just have struck home.

        In many respects the EU must accept a measure of responsibility for how things turned out. It is so wedded to the concept of "free movement" that it simply cannot accept that as a policy it is 60 years old and that in some circumstances it can have adverse effects. It chose to ingore it all, but then it has previous for ignoring what electorates think and vote; a sort of dogged consistency.

        So I might suggest that the "Remainers" (who I suspect are a majority on this forum) might look a bit closer to their own side for part of why this went the way it did.

        Simple engrained complacency, compounded by an inability to acknowledge the possibility of counter arguments.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @ dan1980

          "So I might suggest that the "Remainers" (who I suspect are a majority on this forum) might look a bit closer to their own side for part of why this went the way it did."

          I think the majority of those of us who voted to leave (myself included) realise that arguing with the Remainers - who are hacked off because they lost - is as pointless as trying to discuss why global warming and increased taxes should be two entirely separate things; those who support these ideas KNOW they are right and that anyone who disagrees must be wrong simply because they do not BELIEVE - it's the same sort of quasi-religious egotism that leads to innocent people getting blown up by car bombs or beheaded by zealots.

          And before anyone starts on me for posting as AC, I have to work with people whose idea of "intelligent discussion" means they get to shout and scream and yell and force their views on you and you don't get any chance to reply - and yes, many of them voted 'remain'.

          1. Dr. Mouse

            Re: @ dan1980

            I think the majority of those of us who voted to leave (myself included) realise that arguing with the Remainers - who are hacked off because they lost - is... pointless

            I have the same opinion of many Leave voters: Their beliefs that the EU, and the foreigners taking their jobs, are the root of all evil border on religious extremism. They will brook no debate on the issue, and believe that, as soon as we leave, Britain will become the most powerful country on earth, the land will flow with milk and honey, and all the problems in the country will magically be fixed. Oh, and more importantly, the brown-skinned family next door will be deported back to their own country (no, that isn't Britain, even though they are the 4th generation born here they are still foreigners and should be sent "home" to a country they have never set foot in!)

            On the other hand, I (a remainer) have had intelligent discussions with some of the non-racist, intelligent leavers. I agree with most of their points and they agree with most of mine, we just weight their importance differently and come to different conclusions.

            Time will tell, noone can predict the future. Let's see what the next few years brings.

        2. inmypjs Silver badge

          Re: @ dan1980

          ""free movement" that it simply cannot accept that as a policy it is 60 years old and that in some circumstances it can have adverse effects"

          The effects are not adverse in the eyes of the EU technocrats. Turning all member states into a homogenised mass of equal everything is their aim.

          The common market was created to try to avoid having to compete with the rest of the world. Free movement of people and common regulation are the mechanisms by which all members end up with equal living standards and economic burdens to ensure they can't possibly compete with each other.

          1. James 51

            Re: @ dan1980

            The common market gives the EU the mass needed to wrestle with Chinese and US without getting squashed like a small, annoying insect.

            Free movement of capital without free movement of people would be a nightmare for those trapped in the capital flight countries. People need to go were the jobs are. Imagine if everyone who lived north of the M25 wasn't allowed to move to or work within it.

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: @ dan1980

              @James 51

              "The common market gives the EU the mass needed to wrestle with Chinese and US without getting squashed like a small, annoying insect."

              Iceland left the EU and have that deal that the EU have yet to get with China. China have already shown interest in getting a deal with the UK once we leave which amusingly could happen before the EU completes theirs.

              1. Lars Silver badge

                Re: @ dan1980

                Iceland left the EU, no, they newer joined. Huh.

              2. James 51

                Re: @ dan1980

                Iceland has never been a member of of EU. It is in the EEA but has never left it.

                If you're attitude is a deal at any price the UK is going to be taken advantage of with th removal of any clothing. The terms are the all important thing. The EU imposing tariffs on dumped steel is going to b b more effective deterant than if the UK tries the same thing along.

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: @ dan1980

                  @ James 51

                  "Iceland has never been a member of of EU. It is in the EEA but has never left it."

                  Yup, it started negotiating, then it decided it did not want to join. And instead of being squashed like an insect it got a deal with China which the EU has yet to achieve.

        3. dan1980

          Re: @ dan1980

          @Commswonk

          "In many respects the EU must accept a measure of responsibility for how things turned out."

          While I understand and, indeed, accept many of your points, I have two comments on the above quoted passage.

          First, when you say "the EU" - which specific people do you mean? Do you meant the populations of the countries that make up the EU, the leaders of those countries or the members of the EU parliament? The last of these seems the most likely but that reading of your words is undone by your statement that: "After all it [the EU] can ignore the EU parliament if it so wishes."

          Understand that I am not arguing against your point here - just trying to understand what you mean - in that sentence - by 'the EU'.

          Second, I think the majority of the 'blame' for the result comes from successive governments - on both sides - utterly failing the people. This lead to growing distrust of 'business as usual' and made conditions ripe for the likes of Nigel Farage, just as the same situation in the US led to Donald Trump gaining the Republican nomination. Similar circumstances are being played-out in many countries.

          When I use the term 'blame', above, it is because regardless of any good, sane, economic and social reasons for leaving, even the staunchest 'leave' advocate cannot deny that there was a fair number of 'leave' voters who have been let down by the usual suspects, leaving them open to having the familiar buttons of xenophobia and racism pressed shamelessly by the likes of Farage. The racism that happened during the debate and since the referendum is evidence of that.

          Are there people who voted 'leave' who understood the details and complexities and made an informed decision based on a sober assessment of the pros and cons - either for themselves or society as a whole? Absolutely. But it was a close vote and without this demagoguery it is nearly certain that the result would have been different.

          And again, while there were certainly valid, sober reasons for leaving, argued by knowledgeable people through accurate data, there was a huge amount of exaggeration and outright lying, which was designed to whip up discontent in the population*. The results of this can be seen in the increase in racism and racist attacks that have followed.

          Leaving the EU is one thing; whipping the populace into outrage at Johnny Foreigner taking their jobs and benefits is quite another.

          * - Again, the parallel with Donald Trump is not unwarranted.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @ dan1980

            Second, I think the majority of the 'blame' for the result comes from successive governments - on both sides - utterly failing the people. This lead to growing distrust of 'business as usual' and made conditions ripe for the likes of Nigel Farage, just as the same situation in the US led to Donald Trump gaining the Republican nomination. Similar circumstances are being played-out in many countries.

            I wish I had more upvotes. I see the same in the Netherlands where someone line Geert Wilders is whipping up unheard of emotional sentiment by pure demagoguery. The man doesn't have anything positive to offer or solutions that are actually workable (pretty much like all the extreme right people), but they gain leverage by causing extreme discontent and have no problem with the mayhem they cause. Heck, I even have family mumbling that "the man says what people think" whereas I by training recognise such people the moment they open their mouth (very frustrating, I know how families with mixed remain/brexit votes feel).

            They would not have been able to gain any traction if the centre had not been failing the people by a total lack of leadership. To me, the problem at the root of all this is this weird trend of wanting to lead by consent, because that means someone is leading without any fixed convictions and the media has far more influence that it ought to have. I think the role of the media is guarding the truth, not actively attempting to make policy.

          2. Commswonk Silver badge

            Re: @ dan1980

            @dan1980: First, when you say "the EU" - which specific people do you mean?

            An entirely fair question, and I suppose I was aware of the ambiguity when I wrote what I did. So here goes... Primarily I meant the EU Commission, and its President. I am of the view that the post is prone to succumbing to folie de grandeur, and previous occupants (not necessarily all) have all suffered from it as well. The EU Parliament? No; I don't think it has the clout it ought to have; it is largely supine and can, IIRC, be more or less ignored by the Commission. The EU "peoples"? No, not them either. The various Heads of State? Well partially to blame at least.

            Although it may be a function of how things are reported by the media I get the distinct feeling that Frau Merkel believes she has an overarching veto all all things EU and that certainly doesn't help either. Her throwing the EU open to refugees and economic migrants without any prior discussion with other Heads of State (all supposedly her equals) would support this view. With a UK referendum then on the horizon it was (IMHO) a strategic blunder of epic proportions. (That should trigger a downvote or two!)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @dan1980,

      You do not negotiate to leave a club (EU), you just sign the papers (in this case Article 50), stop paying the fees and leave.

      Other members of the club that want access to you will have to do the negotiations with you to get what they want (since the EU sells more to the UK than the other way where is the problem?).

      1. James 51

        I had a long angry response but decided to boil it down to a simple example.

        Lets imagine you are a business man and earn £100 a year. You pay £10 a year into a club and get £5 a year back in direct benefits (we'll ignore indirect benefits at the moment as they are harder to measure). You decide that you'd rather not spend that £5 and decide to leave the club. Afterwards, members of the club who want to make sure that other members don't leave (and some are thinking about competing for the business you had sown up before) decide to take an economic hit and not provide goods and services on the same terms as before which costs you £5 a year. Other people outside of the club begin to wonder at your judgement and increase the price of goods and services they provide because they are pricing in risk or decide to take advantage of your new, reduced circumstances and that costs you another £5 a year. Now, although you aren't paying the fee you have £90, not the £100 you thought you would have. If you pay for the £5 in benefits that you were getting before, you have £85. See? Simples.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          And then...

          You missed a bit...

          And then you go and setup your own club with an entry fee of only £2, that is open to members from a wider diversity than the old club that only included countries that are mainly white, Christian Europeans. This new club fills in the gaps of what the members of the old club provided. With the new club your old mates who were barred from entry into the old club because they didn't live close enough can be members, many of whom have companies are expanding faster than the members in the old club.

          So now the club costs you only £2 and you get benefits that are better than the old club. The old club then start to realise that the members need to start paying more for membership than the benefits they receive as actually few of the members actually paid to be members and members of the old club start to leave one by one...

      2. strum

        > (since the EU sells more to the UK than the other way where is the problem?).

        EU-bound exports accounts for (about) half of UK's output. UK-bound exports account for (about) 7% of EU's output. That's the location of the problem. They could do without us, a lot easier than we could do without them.

        We will probably continue to buy BMWs, Merlots & penne rigate from them - even with tariffs on top. There's no guarantee the EU will want anything we can offer, especially if one of our erstwhile colleagues decides they can do what we did - within the EU.

        1. Paul Shirley

          There's no guarantee the EU will want anything we can offer

          There's no guarantee what they do want won't move production into the EU...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >In short, there's a reason why it looks like there's no plan, which is that, largely, it doesn't seem like there was.

    Honestly, I don't think there ever will be an actual plan.

  6. AMBxx Silver badge
    Coat

    Private Eye

    Can anyone find a copy of the Private Eye cover when Hirohito visited?

    1. Rakkor

      Re: Private Eye

      Would it be this one ? http://www.private-eye.co.uk/covers/cover-256

  7. Dr Paul Taylor

    Japanese courtesy

    I am immensely grateful to Shinzo Abe for knocking a rather large nail into the coffin of Brexit, but I also had this thought:

    Any westerner who has visited the Land of the Rising Sun will know that it is impossible to satisfy the requirements of Japanese courtesy and one is always a gaijin. Anyone who has witnessed a Japanese apology will know that it is cringeworthy. So it is really quite entertaining to see them behave in a way that we would see as incredibly undiplomatic.

  8. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    What is that ?

    "Japan also wants uniform intellectual property rights across the EU and UK and for Japanese businesses based in the UK to be able to employ Europeans. And vice-versa."

    And would you like fries with that ?

    No really, do you honestly think that the UK Brexit crowd is going to pay attention to your wishes for more than a second ? They don't know where the wind is blowing right now.

    Besides, from everything I've read up to now, Brexit specifically DOES NOT want EU workers to move freely in or out. Not that they have the means to stop it, apparently.

    1. Paul Shirley

      Re: What is that ?

      Luckily brexit is happening under a remain PM who seems intent on letting the brexiteers self destruct in their own fantasy worlds of what brexit means.

      Worry more that a childless PM has rather less invested in future success for the UK than 'breeds like a rabbit' Boris, insulated by a PMs pension she may not care so much about allowing bad brexit decisions ;)

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: What is that ?

        Luckily brexit is happening under a remain PM

        She has been running false colours through the campaign. May I remind you that she wants us out of the ECHR which equates to leaving _ALL_ Eu mechanisms (including Eu).

        She is even more BrExit than any of the BrExiters, just smarter about it using them as cannon fodder.

        1. Jess

          Re: Luckily brexit is happening under a remain PM

          I'm not convinced either way.

          On one hand she wants loads of things that are impossible under the EU (or EEA).

          On the other hand, she has promised things that are impossible outside the EEA (No borders in Ireland).

          I don't think she actually cares whether we are in or out of the EU or the EEA, because she gets what she wants one way (and it is what the people voted for, apparently.)

          The other ways are better for the country and I suspect it is all down to how it can be spun, which way she goes.

      2. Hollerithevo Silver badge

        Re: What is that ?

        Mr Shirley,

        You said:

        Worry more that a childless PM has rather less invested in future success for the UK than 'breeds like a rabbit' Boris, insulated by a PMs pension she may not care so much about allowing bad brexit decisions ;)

        What? A childless person has less invested in the future than a parent? Do people really believe this stuff? And Boris and other Brexiters don't have insulated pensions? Is a personal sneer the best argument you can make?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Japan - We want cheap labour and if we don't get cheap labour we will move our factories where we can get cheap labour.

    P.S. We also don't want to pay any tax and Europe gives us that opportunity.

    1. P. Lee

      >Japan - We want cheap labour and if we don't get cheap labour we will move our factories where we can get cheap labour.

      They're whinging about this to a country where labour costs dropped 10% overnight? Ok, I know it rebounded a bit, but I don't think that's it.

    2. Paul Shirley

      We also don't want to pay any tax and Europe gives us that opportunity

      Last week's memo about attacking dodgy EU tax deals hasn't reached you. It might seem a good opportunity for the UK to undercut Europe but I seriously doubt any deal is available with the EU that allows the UK to do it.

      Remember: brexit is not just an opportunity for the UK, it's also an opportunity for the EU to change it's relationship with and what it will allow the UK to get away with.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Nobody has paid any tax yet and do you really think they will?

        Also, it's clear that a lot of companies in this country don't pay any tax so even with a post-Brexit lower tax rate 0 will always equal 0.

  10. El_Fev

    Jesus wept

    The amount of cock smoking from remainers is stomach churning! If Japan wants to fuck of to Eastern Europe for cheaper workers then go! Being out the EU means we can subside strategic industries once again!

    1. H in The Hague Silver badge

      Re: Jesus wept

      "If Japan wants to fuck of to Eastern Europe for cheaper workers then go!"

      That sounds rather unpatriotic and uncaring towards the car workers - the true face of Brexit? There aren't exactly a lot of other jobs in those regions. And apparently not caring about losing successful export industries seems rather at odds with "we'll close lots of lucrative trade deals".

      "Being out the EU means we can subside strategic industries once again!"

      Personally I find left-wing talk like that rather unattractive. Where's the money for those subsidies going to come from? And if you subsidise industries you're going to find it rather difficult to export their products to the EU, US, etc.

    2. batfastad

      Re: Jesus wept

      > "Being out the EU means we can subside strategic industries once again!"

      With what exactly? £350m of magic Unicorn droppings?

    3. Jess

      Re: we can subside strategic industries once again!

      It would mean that.

      However the small flaw is that we would need a government that wants to do that.

      If we leave the EU/EEA then we'll have 2 years of mini economic boom between article 50 and Brexit. (Earning money moving companies out, EU companies stocking up with UK inventory while we are still in the single market, EU citizens visiting while it is still simple, etc.) That combined with their Gerrymandering and the timing of the election will guarantee another 5 years of Tories. And if the Scots leave then that will be another 50 opposition seats gone, meaning there will be bugger all chance of anyone other than the Tories winning in 2025.

    4. Tom 38 Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Jesus wept

      Being out the EU means we can subside strategic industries once again

      Yes! Looking forward to watching some more of our industries diminish, decline, weaken or fade.

      Or is that a Freudian slip, did you mean subsidize?

  11. Jess

    Who was it that bought ARM holdings?

    I knew it was an asset strip.

    1. Triggerfish

      Re: Who was it that bought ARM holdings?

      Rather Brilliantly 3 months ago or so the Daily Express was touting the sale as proof of a Brexit Boom, last week they were saying it's terrible that this British company etc was being sold abroad.

  12. frank ly

    Money, Money, Money

    From The Independent newspaper, yesterday.

    "And there are concerns Japanese research and development projects based in the UK will lose access to EU science funding, ..."

  13. phuzz Silver badge
    Facepalm

    It's not just cars

    There's plenty of Japanese businesses in the UK that aren't making cars, who tend to use their UK arm to oversee their European branches.

    <leave>Still, anyone who works for foreigners doesn't deserve a job right?</leave>

  14. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Transparent negotiations?

    I don't think transparent negotiations will help anyone do any planning.

    UK: "We want our three-tier wedding cake and we want to eat it"

    EU: "We may be able to spare half a stale jaffa cake that's a bit nibbled at the edges"

    Final agreement: 1.5 stale jaffa cakes that are a bit nibbled at the edges, and some mouldy marzipan.

    1. Disk0

      Re: Transparent negotiations?

      Even a divorce cake has to be earned, and shared...

  15. smartypants

    Formalising brexit debates: #1: The "screw you" strategy.

    To help with this and future brexit discussions, it might be good to formalise some of the debating strategies. I hereby introduce #1: The "screw you" strategy. It is as follows:

    1) Foreign entity X points out the bleedin' obvious result of setting fire to your agreements with the rest of the EU.

    2) Brexiter applies the "screw you, <X>" formula.

    ---

    Thousands of negotiators are currently being trained in London. The Screw You Strategy is the first thing they learn, because they'll have to use it a lot.

  16. enormous c word

    “To maintain the level of information protection and free transfer of data.

    Once the UK is no longer bound by the EU’s data protection legislation, the smooth cross-border transfer of personal data between the UK and the EU may become difficult. This could affect ICT businesses conducting data centre operations based on their establishment in the UK with declining demand from data centre users such as Cloud operators managing personal data within the EU.

    Furthermore, the transfer of information between a parent company and its subsidiaries could be affected.”

    WTF has this got to do with building cars? Or the economics of building cars. I can see that it might inconvenience some DataCanter operation, but seriously International Companies deal with this sort of crap all the time. This is not an issue on any level.

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