back to article 'No deal better than bad deal' approach to Brexit 'unsubstantiated'

The UK government's "no deal is better than a bad deal" approach to Brexit negotiations has been slammed by a cross-party parliamentary committee report, which today called the claim "unsubstantiated". Committee chairman Hilary Benn said Blighty is about to enter into "enormously important and complex negotiations" covering …

  1. phuzz Silver badge

    Just waiting for France to start making noises about the Channel Islands just to watch the UK press meltdown yet again.

    It must be fun being a European leader at the moment.

    1. lorisarvendu
      IT Angle

      "It must be fun being a European leader at the moment."

      Not something Theresa May will know about for very much longer.

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

        - "It must be fun being a European leader at the moment."

        - "Not something Theresa May will know about for very much longer."

        What, is Airstrip One about to slip it's moorings to be relocated to the coast of another continent?

      2. Tom Paine Silver badge

        "It must be fun being a European leader at the moment."

        Not something Theresa May will know about for very much longer.

        Eh? The Tories have a historically huge lead over Labour unseen since May 1983 (Labour were sevn or eight points above where they are today in early 1983, even after the Falklands effect, believe it or not.) May is also the darling of the sewer press at the moment -- unless they're preparing a reverse ferret over this morning's bombshell that freedom of movement & rights to work & residency are likely to remain well past 2020 -- so at the moment she's in about as solid a position as any British PM's been in my lifetime.

        Now, by 2020, I personally am of the opinion that the wheels will have completely come off the Brexit bandwagon and everyone will be looking around for someone to blame for coming up with the crazy idea in the first place. My prediction is that the Lib Dems will make a massive resurgence in 2020, due to deserting Tory voters who would never vote for a Corbyn Lab party in a million years. I've been wrong before, I'll be there again, etc etc., but... well, we'll see.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      It was Dracula that really kicked things off, oddly enough timed with the welfare cuts.

      Today the Easter Bunny is going to divert our attention from Mayhem's selling arms again.

    3. Len Silver badge
      Happy

      Yes, they are grabbing the opportunity with both hands: https://twitter.com/WeWereConned/status/847154220998561792

    4. Smooth Newt Silver badge
      Meh

      Unforseen consequences of Brexit, number 93

      Just waiting for France to start making noises about the Channel Islands just to watch the UK press meltdown yet again.

      There are 27 separate shopping lists, and we now know what is on Spain's. Brave talk comes cheap, but is the UK really going to die in a ditch in these negotiations over a population the size of Chichester, especially as Gibraltar's economy is shafted if there is no open border with Spain. If I lived in Gibraltar, I would be starting Spanish lessons.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Unforseen consequences of Brexit, number 93

        The Spanish don't have a leg to stand on considering their autonomous outposts of Ceuta and Melilla on the north coast of Morocco - they are part of the EU, being Spanish, but the Moroccans want them back.

        The other thing it would be local area Spanish economy that would take a beating if the border was closed because of the number of people from there that work on the rock.

        1. Smooth Newt Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: Unforseen consequences of Brexit, number 93

          The Spanish don't have a leg to stand on considering their autonomous outposts of Ceuta and Melilla on the north coast of Morocco - they are part of the EU, being Spanish, but the Moroccans want them back.

          The other thing it would be local area Spanish economy that would take a beating if the border was closed because of the number of people from there that work on the rock.

          Winning the moral argument is nothing in politics, clout is all that counts, as the Moroccans have discovered, as have our own Diego Garcians. Gibraltar is very important to the Spanish, and Spanish politicians will win far more votes across the country by steps to gain Gibraltar than they will lose from the people who live just next door to it, plus it will only actually screw one or two seats in the Congress of Deputies. A bit like losing the parliamentary seat in Bristol North West, but gaining many others.

        2. Paul Shirley

          Re: Unforseen consequences of Brexit, number 93

          Some of you fell for the distraction. Spain hasn't threatened to take back Gibraltar. They've threatened to veto any trade deal including Gibraltar they don't like, specifically calling out that continuing to be a tax haven parked on their border will not be allowed.

          What Howard was threatening was in effect, to send snatch crews over a hard border to herd workers into Gibraltar and ram border/customs barriers with lorries full of goods. In short to become pirates and smugglers.

          Laughable and the direct result of Hammond+May threatening to become a tax haven moored just off the continent.

          1. phuzz Silver badge

            Re: Unforseen consequences of Brexit, number 93

            I didn't say that France would try and invade the Channel islands, just mention them and wait as the UK press tries to top itself with hyperbole and jingoism.

            We invaded some of these places hundreds of years ago damnit! How could any other country possibly lay claim to them? We didn't leave Europe because we wanted to have to play by the same rules as civilised countries*!

            (* If anyone spots a civilised country, please inform your nearest member of the UN security council who will bomb the shit out of them pour encourager les autres)

            1. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: Unforseen consequences of Brexit, number 93

              Re: "I didn't say that France would try and invade the Channel islands"

              Given the Isle of Man is listed in the various EU treaties in the same category as the Channel Isles, can we expect Dublin to make overtures...

          2. fandom

            Re: Unforseen consequences of Brexit, number 93

            " In short to become pirates and smugglers."

            So, business as usual for the british.

            Did you know that, on average, everyone in Gilbraltar smokes nine packs a day?

      2. Nick Kew Bronze badge

        Re: Unforseen consequences of Brexit, number 93

        Spain has a particular and legitimate interest in their border with Gibraltar.

        Just as Ireland has their border with NI. Or France with the Channel Tunnel.

        We already know the terms of the NI border will need agreement from the Irish. We take it for granted that we deal with France over the tunnel. Yet some prize idiots go nuclear over Spain and Gibraltar!

        1. jonfr

          Re: Unforseen consequences of Brexit, number 93

          The Channel Islands have never been inside EU in any shape or form. They just take part in freedom of movement for the British citizen living on the islands, it doesn't work the other way around. The Channel Islands also take part in the customs union of the EU.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_member_state_territories_and_the_European_Union#Channel_Islands

          https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/business/vat/eu-vat-rules-topic/territorial-status-eu-countries-certain-territories_en

          I can also see on the EU list that I was wrong in part about Gibraltar. It's not part of the customs union so customs inspection applies to it (no change after March 2019).

      3. jonfr

        Re: Unforseen consequences of Brexit, number 93

        @ Smooth Newt, This is going to get considerable worse than that once UK is out of EU. Once UK is out of the EU all persons living in Gibraltar are going to require a visa permit and work permit to continue to work in Spain and to travel over the border to Spain.

        There is also going to be more strict passport and customs check on the Spain side (and UK side equally) once UK is out of the EU. Tariff on both sides of the border and other details that might show them self as things move along.

        Due to Gibraltar and UK on whole not being in Schengen there is already a passport control on Spain/Gibraltar border.

        Gibraltar status is protected by a treaty from the 18th century. That treaty name is "Treaty of Utrecht".

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Utrecht

        1. Tom Paine Silver badge

          Re: Unforseen consequences of Brexit, number 93

          I wonder what Dr Stabismus has to say about it.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's a negotiation.

    Would you walk into a negotiation with a lot of your decisions on the table or would you play it close to your chest not ruling out anything?

    Stating that we would do a deal come what may is a bit of a daft thing to say when you are trying to negotiate the best deal possible because the EU would rightly take the piss, the same as if the EU said it would definitely make a deal then we would take the piss.

    It's the same argument with stating that EU nationals can stay after we leave before we have secured the rights of people in the EU.

    I know politicians cans sometimes be thick but this getting beyond a joke now.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I know politicians cans sometimes be thick but this getting beyond a joke now.

      They're not thick, they know exactly what they're doing. Taking a certain position may be eminently stupid, but if a politician can a) make political capital with a valued constituency, and/or b) lob a grenade into some business that they are opposed to by taking that position, then they will take it regardless.

      If we did piss away our negotiating position by making unilateral choices prior to the negotiations, and end up with a crap deal as a result, those same politicians would be first in line to criticise.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "If we did piss away our negotiating position by making unilateral choices prior to the negotiations, and end up with a crap deal as a result."

        Then you would be Obama and Kerry

    2. Schultz Silver badge
      Stop

      walk into a negotiation ...

      Well, you try to maintain goodwill before you walk into the negotiations or you can make a lot of angry noises. Just be aware that the politicians on the other side also have to win elections and that their local Boulevard papers will match all belligerent statements word for word.

      Great Britain has to renegotiate the bigger part of its foreign relations while any other EU country only worries about a small part of their future. It won't be pretty.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: walk into a negotiation ...

        Well, you try to maintain goodwill before you walk into the negotiations or you can make a lot of angry noises. Just be aware that the politicians on the other side also have to win elections and that their local Boulevard papers will match all belligerent statements word for word.

        This works both ways. There's far too many people on this side of the Channel having a go at May, who's broadly said as little as possible. It was the Commission that bunged the €60 billion ludicrous-grenade into the press, not May. Merkel and Hollande have both shot their mouths off about making sure they're "tough" (Hollande will be out of office before anything's even started) - and that's why May has tried to say the less said the better. Of course she's got her own unruly backbenchers (and some front-benchers) too - plus the very level-headed (and not at all hysterical) British press...

        But the biggest issue so far has been that €60bn. Which may not even be a bill. After all, we're leaving in 2019 already - most of it is committments as part of the 2014-2020 budget - so we only have to sign an transitional membership period of 1 year, and all but a few billions of that exit bill disappear.

        I'd say one reason May has made the point about walking away is that I don't think her government could surive paying €60 upfront in order to leave. And who would be the next government were that to happen? Which is why the loud talk from Brussels about no deal before the money is agreed is not what it says in the draft negotiation agreement published by Donald Tusk. Because I don't see May being able to agree that huge a payout with absolutely nothing to show for it in return. So if the EU play the tough-guy they'll be the ones that nuke the negotiations. Which would be bad for everybody.

        Who knows what Spain want. It could just be that they will only give up on Gibraltar if we give them continuing access to our very valuable fishing grounds. After all they did a lot of vetoing EEC agreements after they'd first joined in order to get the fishing access they wanted. Or it could be they want to knacker Gibraltar's financial services - as if their own tax evaders won't suddenly find somewhere else to park the cash.

        Or they may try to push for negotiations on joint sovereignty. Which would be bloody stupid. Gibraltar voted to remain, all they needed to do was wait a few years, and maybe that might started to look attractive. If they try the blackmail approach, they don't exactly make themselves look like an inviting partner. A bit like with Argentina and the Falklands. A few years of being nice and constructive, might actually win some local support. It's only 5-10 years since Spain were last blocking the border, and making people wait 2-4 hours to cross.

        What would be nice is if everybody calmed down, got a sense of proportion and waited to see what happened - rather than making shit up.

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Ignoring the facts isn't a good place to start. There are three separate deals to be done: the deal to leave the EU; the deal over assets and liabilities; some kind of free trade deal for after leaving. The first two have to be concluded before the third can start so talking about what the trade deal might entail at the moment is not only erroneous but possibly even counter-productive.

    4. Phil W

      "It's the same argument with stating that EU nationals can stay after we leave before we have secured the rights of people in the EU."

      It is however this is politics and there's all kinds of ways and means of giving away what you're after in subtext without officially stating or agreeing to anything before you have to. The whole thing with the House of Lords recommending we guarantee EU citizens rights was quite likely just a pre-planned piece of political theater in my opinion. It was a subtle of way unofficially saying to the EU that we are very keen to do a straight trade of the continued rights of UK citizens in the EU for that of EU citizens in the UK, without having to officially state it before the negotiations.

      I suspect the current Gibraltar noise is much the same, the Spanish don't even remotely expect us to change position on Gibraltar but they're making a public fuss over it now before the actual negotiations start to set the stage for something they actually want and think they can get.

      The early stages of political negotiations happen as much in the media as they do in actual meetings of politicians.

      1. AndyD 8-)₹

        The whole thing with the House of Lords recommending we guarantee EU citizens rights was quite likely just a pre-planned piece of political theater

        ... you didn't read the Hansard report of the debate then.

    5. jmch Silver badge

      Is there that much to negotiate really? A lot of EU laws are set by EU and implemented individually by the individual states. A Brexited UK is not obliged to repeal any of those laws, but can repeal / amend them on a case by case basis depending on what they want, without this being impacted by the 2-year Brexit deadline.

      With regards to cross-border stuff - ie movement of goods, services and people, the UK has already committed to close it's borders, and EU is already committed to close down free trade if free movement of people is blocked, so negotiation on the main points is limited, it will be down to the fine details. If no trade deal can be negotiated by the end of the two years, UK will just be out of EU and legally within the EU have the same status as Somalia* or South Sudan* . That would be bad for EU, but absolutely terrible for UK.

      Any deal that the UK can put together is far far better than no deal at all

      * Just examples. I have no idea if these countries actually do have any trade deals with EU that would make their legal situation vis-a-vis the EU actually better than a post-Brexit UK

      1. Danny 14

        The UK can just walk away though and pursue trade relations with whatever comes their way. This is bad for the UK but also bad for the EU countries. Spain might fancy a bit of sabre rattling but they don't want to lose a chunk of revenue either and they WILL lose revenue.

        The problem is, any deal needs to be agreed by the member states and some have vetoes. 2 years is nowhere near enough time for simple decisions, never mind 27 separate trade deals. WTO rules here we come.

      2. Stuart Grout

        Trade deals with the EU

        If you are looking for who has trade deals with the EU then you will have a very short list. In fact it's a list that manages to miss pretty much all the major world economies.

        Last time I checked the biggest economies where there was a deal in force were South Korea and Mexico. There is plenty of talk from the EU but so far they have been incompetent when it comes to actually agreeing anything, no great surprise given it's membership.

        The USA, China, India, Japan etc don't have trade deals but still manage to sell and buy with the EU.

        Maybe a deal that screws the City of London and prevents us from trading with the rest of the world would be worse than having to trade on the same bases as the USA and China?

        1. channelswimmer

          Re: Trade deals with the EU

          > If you are looking for who has trade deals with the EU then you will have a very short list. In fact it's a list that manages to miss pretty much all the major world economies.

          That is completely false, the EU trades on WTO terms with only eight nations. You mention the US; the EU has over 80 trade deals with the US.

  3. kmac499

    The original Brexit letter was framed in exactly the same terms as anyone who has gone through a divorce may be familiar with. Sorry to go, It's not you, I just need my own space, Hope we can be friends afterwards. etc..

    Then the realisation of disentangling shared lives kicks in, we have two sides that by definition don't agree and they are suddenly shocked to find that the other half feels they have a call on assets you thought we're all yours etc.. "Gibraltar (funny name for a dog) no we can't share him, he's all mine and he loves me.even though his kennel is at the bottom of your garden." Cue the Lawyers.

    What Theresa and Co haven't quite cottoned on to yet is this is could be less like a divorce and more like a split between two cohabitees. Yes we shared 43 years together and had a joint bank account but, as any ex-cohabitee knows, that doesn't matter a rats' arse, so I think it's best we go our own ways now.

    I have this vision of Theresa and Co looking in Newsagent windows for a Studio (aka bedsit) flat, No Dogs, No Visitors after Mar'19.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "No deal is better than bad deal" logic disagreed with by a committee led by Hilary Benn, a man who desperately wants us to stay in Europe at any price.

    Hardly an unbiased viewpoint, is it?

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      But is it an incorrect analysis of the situation?

      Yes we can walk away with WTO terms, and if we don't reach agreement in 2 years that is our only option (short of the other 26 agreeing unanimously to keep on talking). And while that might be good for the government in terms of appeasing voters fixated on immigration / free movement of people, it would be a serious blow to our industry that has major trading relationships with the EU after 40 odd years.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        @ Paul Crawford

        "But is it an incorrect analysis of the situation?"

        Yes. The only way found to claim we would be worse off outside the EU on that run up to the referendum was to assume we made bad policy choices (usually sticking with EU policies or worse). Outside of the normal risks of the world (we all face) our success or failure is based on the policy decisions in this country.

        "And while that might be good for the government in terms of appeasing voters fixated on immigration / free movement of people, it would be a serious blow to our industry that has major trading relationships with the EU after 40 odd years."

        This is the problem with skewing the market badly, we become dependent and incapable. Same arguments are made for cheap money after the financial crash and the addiction it creates (think boiling a frog). The slow death becomes the preferred option over correcting the situation. Yet industry does seem to be coping and doing well due to the brexit vote and the currency adjustment. And border control is only one of many good reasons to get out. Surely it would be better to have border controls based on equality instead of the positive discrimination for a few and discriminating against the rest of the world.

        1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

          Re: @ Paul Crawford

          "Outside of the normal risks of the world (we all face) our success or failure is based on the policy decisions in this country."

          Well, now that you mention it...

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: @ Paul Crawford

            @ allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

            "Well, now that you mention it..."

            Very true. Now it is about responsibility and for people to actually vote for who they think will look after the country. It might make some people feel better to push that responsibility onto the EU but now we cant blame them for stupid policies once they are not the ones making them for us.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @ Paul Crawford

              "[...] but now we cant blame them for stupid policies once they are not the ones making them for us."

              It seems that some of the dissatisfaction with "EU rules" missed the point that it was often the UK's interpretation of those directives that were onerous.

              A farmer was keen on BREXIT because the EU body "DEFRA" had been slow in making his subsidy payments. He failed to realise that DEFRA is a UK Government body - and the EU had already fined it for its failures to make the subsidy payments in a timely fashion.

        2. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: @ Paul Crawford @Codejunky

          But is it an incorrect analysis of the situation?

          The real issue is that the government seems to have not done any analysis, or any that it is willing to show to Parliament! and so the government was unable to substantiate its claim "no deal is better than a bad deal".

          The report said: "The government has talked about walking away from a bad deal, but has not yet explained what terms would be demonstrably worse for the UK than 'no deal'."

          Thus what the committee is actually doing is to challenge Brexit Secretary David Davis, who is on record as saying:

          "a responsible government should prepare for all potential outcomes".

          "We have also been analysing the impact of different scenarios on different sectors of the economy,"

          "We are clear that no deal is not what we want or expect, but that it would be better than a deal which sought to punish the UK."

          So if David Davis is telling the truth, he will be able to supply the committee with the analysis that substantiates the governments claim, within the next 24 hours, otherwise we can quite rightly call David Davis a liar!

        3. Dr_N Silver badge

          Re: @ Paul Crawford

          "Yes. The only way found to claim we would be worse off outside the EU on that run up to the referendum was to assume we made bad policy choices (usually sticking with EU policies or worse). Outside of the normal risks of the world (we all face) our success or failure is based on the policy decisions in this country."

          Brexit make uk.gov suddenly competent shock?

          Ha Ha.

          And I guess the price hikes that could impact the average GB Joe, if the UK bombs out into WTO trading, wouldn't really affect the illiberal brexit elite who pushed for this over the last 30 years.

          BTW Are you gearing up for the post-brexit hordes of Indian Visa-Free visitors to the UK codejunky?

          They are coming right for you!!! SCARY!!!!

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: @ Paul Crawford

            @ Dr_N

            "Brexit make uk.gov suddenly competent shock?"

            I dont recall making that claim. Oddly the gov is the party we elect so maybe we as voters need to do better at voting?

            "And I guess the price hikes that could impact the average GB Joe, if the UK bombs out into WTO trading, wouldn't really affect the illiberal brexit elite who pushed for this over the last 30 years."

            May not affect the brexit elite nor the remain elite, and both will have liberal and illiberal in them. You may have forgotten that the currency was considered overvalued before the referendum was announced. While the price hikes are part of us being in the EU there is no good reason not to have prices fall once we are out.

            "BTW Are you gearing up for the post-brexit hordes of Indian Visa-Free visitors to the UK codejunky?"

            Are you still banging on about immigration? Whenever you want to discuss brexit you seem to be focused on immigration and foreigners visas. I dont fear immigrants. Importing skilled people actually helps us in the world. I am not however a fan of uncontrolled immigration and cant say I am a fan of discrimination against the world in favour of 'preferred' countries. Too much like racism/xenophobia to me.

            @ Roland6

            I am not going to try and defend david davis. Since the EU is not an economic marvel it is irritating that david doesnt just get economists to point this out and by default of being out of that we are better off. I wonder if the problem is to do with the threats from the EU but even then we still seem better off. Maybe when the leadership is willing to commit to national actions (e.g. corporate rate reduction) they can do it but I am only guessing at the delay.

            1. Dr_N Silver badge

              Re: @ Paul Crawford

              @codejunky

              "cant say I am a fan of discrimination against the world in favour of 'preferred' countries. Too much like racism/xenophobia to me."

              I guess you know a lot about racism/xenophobia given your "visa waiver travel==scary immigrant hordes" story peddling in the run up to the brexit vote. An expert even?

              If I do seem to bang on about it it's because that looks to me like the type of BS that help swing the vote.

              Still it's all to play for now in the GB-begging/pleading-with-former-colonies-and-dominions stakes now. Let's see if the "Go Home!" voters are more welcoming of some darker skinned visitors, eh?

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: @ Paul Crawford

                @ Dr_N

                "If I do seem to bang on about it it's because that looks to me like the type of BS that help swing the vote."

                Yet again the only thing you write about is racism and xenophobia, you sound obsessed. Why not consider the economic and democratic issues? You seem to assume people ignored all these good reasons to vote out and are instead all horrible little racists. If you cant get beyond your immigration issues then again I think our discussion is over.

                1. This post has been deleted by its author

                2. Terry 6 Silver badge

                  Re: @ Paul Crawford

                  @codejunky

                  Despite the claims of a "clear majority" the vote for Brexit was just +/- 2 percentage points. So subtracting the xenophobic and the vague, ill-defined and Jingoistic reasons to vote Out leaves a pretty large majority of the population who did not make a decision to vote leave, having considered the "economic and democratic" issues.

                  And your other post's phrase about "die hard EU lovers" actually says far more about where your own views come from than maybe you realise.

                  When a football manager fields a second string team and loses, they have no excuse to moan about losing. We lost..Brexit won, so we must Brexit. And take the consequences. My own prediction is that the the Brexit voters will actually be the ones hardest hit by those consequences. But we'll see.

                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: @ Paul Crawford

                    @ Terry 6

                    "Despite the claims of a "clear majority" the vote for Brexit was just +/- 2 percentage points."

                    I find the clear majority argument interesting. This was a democratic vote requiring a majority. Very high turn out on a subject people cared about and while the official campaigns were shameful the first vote on this subject returned a result.

                    "So subtracting the xenophobic and the vague, ill-defined and Jingoistic reasons to vote Out leaves a pretty large majority of the population who did not make a decision to vote leave"

                    Ok. So subtract those who caved to the threats of remain, subtract those who believed the economic reports which seemed light on reality and subtract those relying on EU funding and that is a lot less voting to remain. We can play this game but it isnt productive and only serves to give a false explanation as to why the 'wrong' result was democratically voted.

                    "And your other post's phrase about "die hard EU lovers" actually says far more about where your own views come from than maybe you realise."

                    I hope it does come across clearly. Just as there are die hard EU haters who would reject the EU on racism grounds etc there are die hard EU lovers who will ignore every huge failing of the EU and still want to be part of it. Those who are not die hard (read almost fanatical) are normal people who will hold an opinion which is not set in stone but based on the information they receive. And since I do still hope the remain crowd will pick themselves up and join with the leave voters who are not racist but want to open up to the world and ditch the bad policies. What concerns me is the remain voters who didnt get their way and now seem determined that the UK must fall and seem to want the racists to be in charge.

                    "My own prediction is that the the Brexit voters will actually be the ones hardest hit by those consequences."

                    To be honest I dont know the consequences. I strongly believe it is the choices the voters make of our leadership and the leaderships competence which will decide our future. It could be better, it could be worse but that is relative to now. In my opinion the EU will continue to struggle and pile up problems as they have shown little desire to do anything else. They could surprise and massively reform into a union that can work but that is not what they have now and they know it.

                3. Dr_N Silver badge

                  Re: @ Paul Crawford

                  @codejunky

                  "Yet again the only thing you write about is racism and xenophobia, you sound obsessed."

                  Oh codejunky. It's not obsession. It's bitter disappointment in how easy it was to whip up the send-them-home brigade with the kind of lies you propagated. And then lied about propagating.

                  There more of this dark "alternative fact" mongering coming down the pipe in the coming years, I'm sure.

                  So you'll be pretty busy, I guess.

                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: @ Paul Crawford

                    @ Dr_N

                    "Oh codejunky. It's not obsession. It's bitter disappointment in how easy it was to whip up the send-them-home brigade with the kind of lies you propagated."

                    So you bring up your favourite topic (immigration) and seek to blame me? I have told you before I will not be the racist you seem to want me to be. If you are only able to discuss against a racist then you will need to find someone else.

                    "There more of this dark "alternative fact" mongering coming down the pipe in the coming years, I'm sure."

                    I dont doubt it. I wonder if the EU president (well one of them) will continue on that this is the end of western civilisation. Or the other presidents comments that brexit might bring down the EU. Or the many threats being levelled against us and then begging us to change our minds yet again. I am glad the rhetoric changed from the hopeful fantasy 'the UK will be worse off outside the EU' to 'We must make sure the UK is worse off than in the EU'. It demonstrates that this is not a club that we were a member of but a bunch of thugs or mafia holding itself together by fear not hope.

                    "So you'll be pretty busy, I guess."

                    Probably. Can you believe people still believe the lies that we need to reapply to the WTO! Or that the aims of the gov and BoE since the last recession are finally being realised yet are being sold to the people as bad things! But the truth will out and the lie is harder to maintain as the doom of leaving the EU isnt arriving.

                    1. sebt

                      Re: @ Paul Crawford

                      "Probably. Can you believe people still believe the lies that we need to reapply to the WTO!"

                      Now you're just deliberately lying, by distorting the argument and dismissing a straw man - implying that there's no problem.

                      We are WTO members, but will need to agree tariffs from scratch. _That's_ what everyone has been banging on about.

                    2. Dr_N Silver badge

                      Re: @ Paul Crawford

                      "So you bring up your favourite topic (immigration) and seek to blame me? I have told you before I will not be the racist you seem to want me to be. If you are only able to discuss against a racist then you will need to find someone else."

                      No one is accusing you of being a racist! I'm sure you have plenty of "minority friends".

                      I'm accusing you of lying and propagating stories about visa free travel that conflate it with freedom of movement so as to whip up the racist voters, is all.

                      It worked well very will for the brexit vote. I'm sure it will be of use in the future votes too.

                      Carry on!

                      1. codejunky Silver badge

                        Re: @ Paul Crawford

                        @ Dr_N

                        "No one is accusing you of being a racist! I'm sure you have plenty of "minority friends"."

                        Good to know because your comments on multiple topics seem to suggest you think I have a problem with foreigners. And as my list of friends from the UK is so much shorter than my list of friends who came here from various countries having to deal with the visa system and not positively discriminated for because they are not from the special little club. As a UK citizen I have had to vouch for a few of my friends and the hassle they have to put up with to contribute here would put me off bothering.

                        "I'm accusing you of lying and propagating stories about visa free travel that conflate it with freedom of movement so as to whip up the racist voters, is all."

                        I think you are again referring to when Turkey had the EU over a barrel and the EU politicians were telling each other (pretty publicly) that they should not be bullied by Turkey. This being the mighty EU trembling from 1 country. The same EU tackling a migration issue caused by Germany by bribing asylum seekers to leave and Germany demanding other members of the EU should be forced to take these migrants. I can understand being a fan of the EU you may not like uncomfortable truths but pointing these things out isnt racist. Or maybe in this over PC alternative fact world it is, where votes should be ignored because they returned the 'wrong' result and scaremongering/threats are acceptable as long as it is for the 'good' cause?

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @ Paul Crawford

          "This is the problem with skewing the market badly, we become dependent and incapable."

          UK was most of the way there before joining, didn't go to the IMF just for lolz.

          It is now more dependent in a very significant way, the huge growth of financial services. Breaking free of WTO trade is what allowed that, 44 years later in a world full of free trade deals there are very few truly liberal deals covering services.

          You're right, 44 years has left the UK economy hopelessly skewed, in the most vulnerable way if subjected to plain WTO rules and in a sector least likely to benefit from bilateral deals.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        A "no deal" situation based on WTO terms might be bad for the UK, but it will also be bad for those in the EU we trade with. It's a situation no sane person wants, unfortunately there are some within the EU who will push their political agenda over what's best for the economy of the EU.

        1. Filippo

          Re: AC

          "A "no deal" situation based on WTO terms might be bad for the UK, but it will also be bad for those in the EU we trade with. It's a situation no sane person wants, unfortunately there are some within the EU who will push their political agenda over what's best for the economy of the EU."

          Right. So if the EU offers the basic "four pillars" deal like it does to everyone else, and May refuses because her voters don't want Polish plumbers, picking WTO terms instead, that's perfectly rational, and absolutely not a political agenda.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Filippo

            And there will be those in the EU who will push for a deal they know May can or will never accept regardless of the effect it will have on the economies of the remaining EU Countries.

            And that's perfectly rational, and absolutely not a political agenda?

        2. Simon Watson

          "unfortunately there are some within the EU who will push their political agenda over what's best for the economy of the EU."

          Pot. Kettle. Black.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "And while that might be good for the government in terms of appeasing voters fixated on immigration / free movement of people, [...]"

        It seems like all the non-EU countries that the Government is currently trying to line up for post-BREXIT trade deals have one common demand. They want their citizens to be allowed freer immigration to work in the UK.

        The Tory minister Priti Patel summed it up in the run up to the referendum. She wanted us to leave the EU - so that we could replace EU immigrant workers with more from the Indian subcontinent. Her reasoning was that historically the old British Empire countries had more rights to that privilege than did EU countries.

      4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        And while that might be good for the government in terms of appeasing a small, and possibly now non-existent, majority of voters fixated on immigration / free movement of people

        FTFY

    2. AMBxx Silver badge

      I think you'll find that half the committee walked out too.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "I think you'll find that half the committee walked out too."

        I blame the committee arrangements. They should have ensured the room was provided with sufficient fire buckets. Then they could have just buried their heads in the sand without actually walking out.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I know, right? Brexit opponent opposes Brexit. More news at 11.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Its as unbiased as

      leave at any cost...

    5. Tinslave_the_Barelegged

      > Hardly an unbiased viewpoint, is it?

      Not sure bias comes into it, as it was not a report of opinion. The report is there for the reading, and the evidence it took from contributors/witnesses in the open. For example Davis said that no plans had been made for a "no deal" scenario, and he did not know about the EHIC as he had not thought about it. It's not bias to point out that that is a rather cavalier approach to issues which are rapidly proving to be more than the short term political gaming that characterise it so far.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Blinkered a bit, eh

      They're ALL fucking biased viewpoints.

      Hands up anyone who thinks they're not just feathering their own nests

    7. Nick Kew Bronze badge

      begs the question

      "No deal is better than a bad deal" begs the question: Just how bad does a deal have to be, to make it worse than no deal?

      The committee are suggesting we need to evaluate just how bad no deal is before we can hope to answer that question. Makes sense to me.

  5. Kinetic

    By definition a bad deal will be worse than no deal, otherwise it wouldn't be a bad deal. Honestly it's not hard to dream up a terrible set of terms that we'd rather walk away from than take.

    Can we stop making things more complex than they already are please. There's going to be plenty to get upset about in the next two years, lets try to stop making it more difficult than it needs to be.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      FAIL

      How can you have a bad deal worse than no deal? No deal is the absolutely worst thing that can happen, no access to the single market, no agreement on customs (lorries backed up to Scotland), standard WTO tariffs, people possibly losing residency rights, and so on. A deal, even though it is bad, can only improve on that.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        @ Dan 55

        "No deal is the absolutely worst thing that can happen"

        Except no deal would mean WTO rules which seem to work well enough in the real world. The idea this will somehow remove us from the world is amusing but about as real as the various threats during the referendum.

        1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          the real world

          "The idea this will somehow remove us from the world is amusing but about as real as the various threats during the referendum."

          spot on

          I guess a bad deal could be tariffs that are higher than WTO ones.

          Also , why do people keep saying the sky will fall in because after we leave Interpol will break and dangerous criminals will roam the land? Why on earth would leaving the economics club of EU mean that the police in UK cant cooperate and share information the police in EU?

          In fact - I'm surprised the stayers havent claimed that there will be no more holidays in France any more , just as they claim it will be impossible to let a foriegn doctor in after exit.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: the real world

            Why on earth would leaving the economics club of EU mean that the police in UK cant cooperate and share information the police in EU?

            Ask Mayhem, she seems to have made something out of that.

            just as they claim it will be impossible to let a foriegn doctor in after exit.

            Oh, we can let them in. Whether they will want to come in is another matter.

        2. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: @ Dan 55

          It works elsewhere, but you are talking about taking an interconnected market without tariffs and applying tariffs to it. Products made in the UK from raw materials and parts from the EU or raw materials or parts from the UK used in products made in the EU suddenly get more expensive. What's going to happen is that products are going to be made in the EU with raw materials or parts from the EU.

          Secondly if there's a disorderly exit there will be no procedures in place to export from the EU to the UK and the other way round and business could be breaking the law if they import or export to/from the UK.

          Just think about it for a while (well the time to do that was before the referendum, but anyway).

          I could see the UK moving to the EEA as a positive thing if it's done right, but I don't believe Brexit as the Tory party currently envision it for one minute will turn out to be good for the UK.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: @ Dan 55

            @ Dan 55

            "It works elsewhere, but you are talking about taking an interconnected market without tariffs and applying tariffs to it."

            Yes. It will also mean we are free to remove or reduce tariffs we currently have to apply to places which provide products/resources cheaper than the EU. Instead of having to buy from the EU due to cartel protectionism we will have access to the world at tariffs we set. If the EU wants to make our imports more expensive (apparently corrected for already by the currency drop) they can but we will have access to cheaper materials too. Also dont we buy more from the EU but sell more to the US? (I could be wrong).

            "Secondly if there's a disorderly exit there will be no procedures in place to export from the EU to the UK and the other way round and business could be breaking the law if they import or export to/from the UK."

            Thats not going to happen. Businesses find a way. As with the 'mass exodus of banking' it turned into 'open an EU subsidiary aka an office'. Of course the EU could cut themselves off but as they realised with finance, they will be harming themselves more.

            "I could see the UK moving to the EEA as a positive thing if it's done right, but I don't believe Brexit as the Tory party currently envision it for one minute will turn out to be good for the UK."

            Whatever the outcome we need to have control of our own tariffs, borders and laws. Anything else is a failure. I dont really care about the tories, we finally got the vote promised for so long and thats what we needed. By voting out we can now vote for parties to do what we think is best for the country.

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: @ Dan 55

              "Thats not going to happen. Businesses find a way. As with the 'mass exodus of banking' it turned into 'open an EU subsidiary aka an office'."

              Quite. But then remember that for some non-European businesses the UK plant is one of those EU subsidiaries. What incentive do they then have to retain it?

            2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: @ Dan 55

              "By voting out we can now vote for parties to do what we think is best for the country."

              Who's this "we" of which you speak? It was a slight majority of those who voted. Many analyses seem to conclude that it was in part a protest vote. Do you still exist as a majority?

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: @ Dan 55

                @ Doctor Syntax

                "Who's this "we" of which you speak? It was a slight majority of those who voted. Many analyses seem to conclude that it was in part a protest vote. Do you still exist as a majority?"

                We as in all of us who get to vote in our elections get to vote for our gov. That hasnt changed. I think you have misunderstood my comment (np).

                As for slight majority, it is the first and only vote on our membership of the EU and we voted out. Even after years of being stuck inside the EU to see the benefits we still voted out and have never ever not once voted in. The idea it is a protest vote yada yada is funny but seems to be the pitiful argument thrown out by those who want to keep holding neverendums until we vote the right way. Even after a badly rigged vote the majority vote was leave.

                As to your later question-

                "The value of a currency is an indication of that the market thinks about the economic strength if its economy vs those of other currencies. And you think a fall is a good thing?"

                Can you please respond to the full argument instead of stripping out the answer to your question and then asking it. In full-

                The over inflated currency was actually causing it more harm than good but that was pointed out before the referendum by the IMF. The currency falling only became a bad thing when used in the made up threats against a leave vote.

                The IMF pointed out our currency needed to fall prior to the referendum and it only became a bad thing when the remain campaign needed more threats. As King (former Bank of England) pointed out clearly that the remain arguments against leaving seemed to consist of taking good news and framing it as bad. Even when those results were the ones aimed for by the gov and BoE.

        3. Warm Braw Silver badge

          Re: WTO rules which seem to work well enough

          If they work so well, why have we not already developed better trade links with Australia, New Zealand, India, ... where WTO rules apply? Why will Brexit suddenly make an immense difference?

          And unfortunately, we currently have integrated pan-European supply chains for everything from car parts to Airbus components which would mean the application of WTO tariffs to every movement of a partly-finished component as it passes back and forth across the UK border before finally emerging as an exportable product to which the tariffs would apply again. We've already done the "scrap the manufacturing economy and start again" over heavy industry - coal, steel, ships - and we've just about recovered - largely thanks to overseas investment predicated on exporting to Europe and the buffer provided by the expansion of financial services. Exactly how do we benefit by scrapping the manufacturing economy again and remaking it for a WTO world - and when will see that benefit?

          1. SundogUK Silver badge

            Re: WTO rules which seem to work well enough

            "If they work so well, why have we not already developed better trade links with Australia, New Zealand, India, ... where WTO rules apply? Why will Brexit suddenly make an immense difference?"

            Because the EU doesn't allow members to pursue their own agreements. After Brexit we will be able to do so.

            1. Len Silver badge

              Re: WTO rules which seem to work well enough

              The point is that you don't need a separate trade agreement to trade with the whole world. Some of the world's largest exporters and manufacturers are EU members and not wishing to leave the EU any time soon. If they could do it inside the EU (no, make that 'thanks to the EU) why couldn't Britain? Hint: Britain's dismal exporting figures has nothing to do with the EU as we are soon going to find out.

            2. Warm Braw Silver badge

              Re: WTO rules which seem to work well enough

              Because the EU doesn't allow members to pursue their own agreements. After Brexit we will be able to do so.

              I'm sorry, the assertion was that WTO rules work well enough so our ability to make other arrangements should be irrelevant in that case.

              You seem to be making a different suggestion: that losing our access to the EU market on favourable terms will be offset by our ability to gain access swiftly to other markes on more favourable terms. Bearing in mind that that geography, culture and transport naturally favour trade with our closest neighbours and the protectionist nature of many of the economies touted as potential trade partners means that any specific trade deals will likely be of limited scope, I think that's an exceptional claim that requires exceptional supporting evidence.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: WTO rules which seem to work well enough

                @ Warm Braw

                "I'm sorry, the assertion was that WTO rules work well enough so our ability to make other arrangements should be irrelevant in that case."

                Actually I was saying WTO rules are better than being trapped in the EU rules which is very different. That also leads us to the freedom of creating better links with the rest of the world and trade deals where it suits.

                1. H in The Hague Silver badge

                  Re: WTO rules which seem to work well enough

                  "That also leads us to the freedom of creating better links with the rest of the world and trade deals where it suits."

                  Could you give a specific example (industry + country to export to) of such a potential trade deal?

                  Better links with who? I don't think the US or India under their current governments are likely to welcome increased imports from the UK. But perhaps I've overlooked promising markets you're familiar with.

                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: WTO rules which seem to work well enough

                    @ H in The Hague

                    "Better links with who? I don't think the US or India under their current governments are likely to welcome increased imports from the UK. But perhaps I've overlooked promising markets you're familiar with."

                    Really? Under Obama we were back of the queue if we didnt do what the US told us to (I exaggerate a little for amusement of a remain argument) yet he seemed a bit alone in that desire. But deals are down to whoever is interested, which Australia, US, New Zealand have expressed interest and I seem to remember China sounding interested. However you seem to want me to provide a list of promising markets, yet by having control of our own trade tariffs automatically improves (or not depending on domestic policy) our world trade as import costs fall.

                    1. jedisnon

                      Re: WTO rules which seem to work well enough

                      Any more trade with NZ and Australia will destroy large sectors of the UK farming industry. Although, WTO tariffs on food - up to 74% - will finish them off anyway.

                      https://www.fginsight.com/news/uk-sheep-farmers-fear-over-free-trade-with-new-zealand-18408

                      The UK can only be better off by selling more stuff to other countries than we import. Are we going to sell Welsh lamb to NZ? Seriously?

                      Whenever a brexiter is asked to name an example of a market that we are blocked from exploiting by the EU they *cannot answer*. The magical market that will solve all our problems is a fantasy. Pure wishful thinking.

                      If our best hope of a trade deal is grovelling at the feet of religious extremists , and declaring our "shared values" with brutal murderers and despots, then it doesn't take a genius to realise that we are in serious shit. The government is desperate for a deal - any deal. Desperate people don't make good bargains.

                      Lying to yourself wrapped up in a flag won't change what is going to happen.

                      1. codejunky Silver badge

                        Re: WTO rules which seem to work well enough

                        @ jedisnon

                        "Any more trade with NZ and Australia will destroy large sectors of the UK farming industry. Although, WTO tariffs on food - up to 74% - will finish them off anyway."

                        Possibly. Which does put down the idea that everything will be so much more expensive once we leave as the necessity (food) becomes cheaper. That would be a fantastic thing for our poorer population and be a stimulus due to people having less of their income spent on such a necessity.

                        "The UK can only be better off by selling more stuff to other countries than we import"

                        That is one hell of an argument against the EU. Since our trade elsewhere has been rising but with the EU not so much it would be better to make our own trade deals I suspect. Especially with the countries the EU has shown a lack of competence negotiating with.

                        "Whenever a brexiter is asked to name an example of a market that we are blocked from exploiting by the EU they *cannot answer*."

                        Actually they can but remainers dont like it. Why do we have to apply high tariffs against the world to be part of the EU? It is to protect the cartel from those who produce cheaper, better or faster. Without that restriction we can reduce those tariffs! And if as above we need to export to meet our imports, it would surely be helped by the fall in cost of our imports.

                        "If our best hope of a trade deal is grovelling at the feet of religious extremists , and declaring our "shared values" with brutal murderers and despots, then it doesn't take a genius to realise that we are in serious shit."

                        That is a pretty horrible view of the world. Do you consider every country outside of the enlightened EU utopia land of unicorns to be religious extremists, murderers and despots? That seems to be a seriously irrational fear of the world.

                        "Lying to yourself wrapped up in a flag won't change what is going to happen."

                        I agree. This is why the EU flag with serious denial over its severe problems bothers brexiters so much. Remove the flag from your eyes and you will realist the world you believed you were protecting yourself from is a place of wonder you shut yourself away from.

          2. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: WTO rules which seem to work well enough

            @ Warm Braw

            "If they work so well, why have we not already developed better trade links with Australia, New Zealand, India, ... where WTO rules apply? Why will Brexit suddenly make an immense difference?"

            The EU actually bans us from doing so. Once out we can. Interestingly those 3 were quick to show interest in a trade deal as soon as we leave the EU and didnt New Zealand offer us negotiators to help us get out of the EU? Also the US moved us from the back of the queue (Obama) to the front (Trump) in the speed of 1 US election.

            "Exactly how do we benefit by scrapping the manufacturing economy again and remaking it for a WTO world - and when will see that benefit?"

            Interestingly manufacturing has benefited from the leave vote. The over inflated currency was actually causing it more harm than good but that was pointed out before the referendum by the IMF. The currency falling only became a bad thing when used in the made up threats against a leave vote.

            Of course things dont adjust instantly and few expected a leave result so there is an amount of adjustment (or correction) anyway but as we leave the EU we will be free to implement good or bad policies which will help or hinder the country. The benefit is the freedom to implement good policies, especially when the EU chooses to do otherwise.

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: WTO rules which seem to work well enough

              "Interestingly manufacturing has benefited from the leave vote."

              Manufacturing hasn't yet lost the greater part of its home market. There seems to be this notion that as soon as the result of the vote was announced it had taken effect. It hasn't. What you see in the short term isn't what you'll see in the long term.

              "The currency falling only became a bad thing"

              The value of a currency is an indication of that the market thinks about the economic strength if its economy vs those of other currencies. And you think a fall is a good thing?

          3. cork.dom@gmail.com

            Re: WTO rules which seem to work well enough

            @ Warm Brew

            "If they work so well, why have we not already developed better trade links with Australia, New Zealand, India, ... where WTO rules apply? Why will Brexit suddenly make an immense difference?"

            Because when you are a member of the EU you are forbidden to make independent trade deals. The EU bloc makes the trade deals and you operate under those rules as part of the EU umbrella.,

            So whilst the UK is part of the EU we have been forbidden to strike any trade deals with other countries. WTO rules only.

            This is the BIGGEST reason i voted Leave. The EU is the worlds worst performing economy in terms of growth and it currently accounts for less than 20% of the worlds economy. I would prefer to have the option to make deals with the 80% and be locked out of the 20% than the other way round.

            1. Terry 6 Silver badge

              Re: WTO rules which seem to work well enough

              It's the "making deals" thing that intrigues me in this argument. What sort of deals do Brexiteers imagine, and with which countries. Trade is about buying and selling stuff. Stuff we want to sell, or need to buy. And we still do that whether in the EU or out. Being in the EU has never stopped us buying Japanese cars or selling Welsh lamb. So what kinds of deals with the "80%" will actually make this better for us than we get by our companies trading with these countries while we are inside the EU? What kinds of better deal has the EU stopped us achieving? And if there are any, do they outweigh advantages of being in the EU? Or is it all just smoke and mirrors?

              Maybe it could be better- but no one has actually come up with any specific proposal that says how this might work. At no time during all the discussion has anyone said that EU membership is preventing us from buying item X from country Y at better prices. Or that we could sell Item Y to country X more easily or for a better price. Let alone a whole raft of examples that would justify the argument.

            2. jonfr

              Re: WTO rules which seem to work well enough

              @ cork.dom@gmail.com

              The EU is not the worst performing economy in the world. It is the second biggest in the world or the biggest (depending slightly on measurements, I don't know why that is). Growth is slow, but the reality is that growth is over-estimated by economists and economic growth as such is just a myth popular with the media.

              http://www.edwardgoldsmith.org/851/exposing-the-myth-of-economic-growth/ (from 1992)

              http://www.marketwatch.com/story/myth-of-perpetual-growth-is-killing-america-2012-06-12 (from 2012)

              Little reading material on the EU. I don't know how up to date it is and that means some of it might be outdated.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_the_European_Union

              http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/eu-position-in-world-trade/

              http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/The_EU_in_the_world_-_economy_and_finance

              UK leaving the EU is going to tank UK economy. Start growing your vegetable and get chickens (for the eggs, if nothing else), you're going to need it.

        4. Charlie Clark Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: @ Dan 55

          Except no deal would mean WTO rules which seem to work well enough in the real world.

          And how about non-tariff barriers?

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: @ Dan 55

            @ Charlie Clark

            "And how about non-tariff barriers?"

            That would be good but the cost of 'tariff free' trade with the EU turned out to be too high. Tariff free not being so free it appears

        5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: @ Dan 55

          "Except no deal would mean WTO rules which seem to work well enough in the real world."

          The whole thinking behind the EU from the European Coal and Steel Community days onwards was that within a geographically compact area it would be possible to draw up rules that worked better. And with one exception everyone within those rules seems to have come to the conclusion that this is so.

          The problem with the EU is the political overtones it's taken on board. But an economic hair shirt policy doesn't seem a good idea to deal with that problem.

        6. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @ Dan 55

          Don't we have to agree the WTO tariffs first, which requires agreement from all countries in the WTO, including Argentina and Spain who both have disputes over land that is currently British...

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: @ Dan 55

            @AC

            "Don't we have to agree the WTO tariffs first, which requires agreement from all countries in the WTO"

            No we are already a member. Unfortunately this lie was pushed to try and make a case for doom and gloom but it was a lie and our membership is already secured.

      2. maffski

        How can you have a bad deal worse than no deal?

        We could be stuck in the customs union - which would stop us making our own trade arrangements.

        We could be stuck in the common market - which would stop us creating our own standards or adopting those from outside the EU.

        It rather depends on your view of the EU as to which side the cost/benefit sits on those things.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: How can you have a bad deal worse than no deal?

          We could be stuck in the customs union - which would stop us making our own trade arrangements.

          If you're outside the customs union, trade with our biggest partner is buried in an avalanche of bureaucracy and we'd be starting out with no agreements with anyone else. What are we going to live on in the meantime while we spend years negotiating agreements with everyone?

          We could be stuck in the common market - which would stop us creating our own standards or adopting those from outside the EU.

          The UK has given up the right to set those standards but if our biggest trading partner is the EU, we basically have to follow their standards or not trade with them. And are we going to change the standards we've already got, meaning we'd have to phase out an old standard and roll out a new standard, just to be different?

        2. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: How can you have a bad deal worse than no deal?

          We could be stuck in the customs union - which would stop us making our own trade arrangements.

          Wow! It may have escaped your notice but whilst being a member of the EU and subject to the customs union, the UK has significantly increased it's non-EU exports. So the benefit of being able to make our own trade arrangements is what exactly - more jobs in Whitehall?

          We could be stuck in the common market - which would stop us creating our own standards or adopting those from outside the EU.

          We and the EU already adopt many standards from outside the EU, just taking IT: IEEE, IETF, 3gPP Win32 etc.. Additionally, the UK has contributed to many standards: IEEE, 3gPP, etc.

          So, staying focused on IT, what IT standards should the UK be creating that won't need international acceptance and that the UK is unable to create today?

          It rather depends on your view of the EU as to which side the cost/benefit sits on those things.

          I agree much does depend upon your view of the EU, however also things also depend on your view of European co-operation and collaboration and whether the EU is going in the right direction and thus being on-board and being able to influence it's future direction is better than sitting at the side of the road waiting for a ride...

        3. Schultz Silver badge
          Go

          ... which would stop us creating our own standards ...

          The Register never seemed to have a problem creating its own standards.

        4. Alan Johnson

          Re: How can you have a bad deal worse than no deal?

          @maffski

          'We could be stuck in the common market - which would stop us creating our own standards or adopting those from outside the EU'

          As someone involved in product development and meeting standards for more than 30 years:

          1. EU standards are currently dominated by Britain and Germany

          2. Leaving the EU we will be forced like everyone else inside or outside the EU to meet EU standards, directives and regulations but with far less influence.

          3. Britains regulatory industry which dominates europe with for example mor enotified bodies (and large ones) thn anyone else. These will all be forced to locate, at least formally, in mainland europe unless we stay in the EEA.

          Big win, same regulations, less influence, business forced outside Britain.

          1. H in The Hague Silver badge

            Re: How can you have a bad deal worse than no deal?

            "As someone involved in product development and meeting standards for more than 30 years:"

            Thank you for your expert (unfashionable though that seems to be these days) opinion, based on experience. I've been peripherally involved in this area too and wish I could upvote you more than once. Yup, losing influence over standards-setting (and hurting UK businesses in this area) seems a bizarre way to "take back control".

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    2015

    Net Exports to EU £230bn

    Net Imports from EU £290bn

    https://fullfact.org/europe/uk-eu-trade/

    Do people actually think we won't get a deal?

    Spain can do as much willy waving as it wants about Gibraltar as these facts speak for themselves,

    20.9% of all tourist spend at 38.5m Euros per day!

    http://spanishnewstoday.com/new-foreign-tourist-spending-record-in-spain-in-2015_59616-a.html?region=77

    Do we think if Spain does causes us any problems that people are still going to spend money in Spain?

    Granted I could be wrong and the EU could shoot itself in the foot just for the sake of it but I doubt it.

    We hold most of the cards in this.

    1. Gordon Pryra
      Joke

      We hold most of the cards in this.

      "We hold most of the cards in this."!!!!!!!!1

      I have added the correct Icon as you obviously forgot

    2. John 98

      A bit optimistic, methinks

      Yes, the EU may catch a cold if the talks go nowhere (one imagines the most likely outcome as any number of lobbies in Europe will insist of this or that) but the only slight problem is that we will have a bad case of flu. Our only negotiating card is "If i commit suicide, you'll have a nasty mess on the floor to clear up".

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    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Choose your statistic...

      Though that equates to:

      - 46% of the UK’s exports go to other EU countries

      - 8-17% of exports from other EU countries go to the UK (depending on how you measure it).

      https://fullfact.org/europe/uk-eu-trade/

      Not insignificant but failure to reach a deal will hurt the UK much more than the EU.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Choose your statistic...

        "Not insignificant but failure to reach a deal will hurt the UK much more than the EU."

        I don't think French farmers will be happy at the loss of trade with the UK or German car workers who get laid off because the UK no longer buys BMW/Audi/Mercedes in such numbers will be happy, and all because EU Politicians put idealism over common sense.

        Whether it's worse for the UK or not, a "no deal" deal is bad for everyone.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Choose your statistic...

          "I don't think French farmers will be happy at the loss of trade with the UK"

          Are you sure? They never seemed keen on UK meat imports into France?

          "or German car workers who get laid off because the UK no longer buys BMW/Audi/Mercedes in such numbers will be happy, and all because EU Politicians put idealism over common sense."

          And what about the UK car workers who get laid off because their home market has just been slashed and their foreign owners, whatever they say now, will inevitable redirect investment to the rest of the EU?

          1. Smooth Newt Silver badge
            WTF?

            Re: Choose your statistic...

            "or German car workers who get laid off because the UK no longer buys BMW/Audi/Mercedes in such numbers will be happy, and all because EU Politicians put idealism over common sense."

            So our threat against the EU is to punish UK residents by making these products more expensive - sort of cutting off British noses to spite German faces. Can you run the benefits of Brexit past me again?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Choose your statistic...

              @Smooth Newt,

              Talk about twisting someone's words to mean something completely different!!

              What threat? At no point was there a suggestion that it can or should be used as a negotiating tactic. Some people seem to think the no-deal scenario is a good thing - it isn't for anyone.

              1. Smooth Newt Silver badge
                Stop

                Re: Choose your statistic...

                @Smooth Newt,

                Talk about twisting someone's words to mean something completely different!!

                What threat? At no point was there a suggestion that it can or should be used as a negotiating tactic. Some people seem to think the no-deal scenario is a good thing - it isn't for anyone.

                Of course it being suggested!!! There are plenty of statements here and elsewhere about imposing tariffs on EU imports in response to tariffs imposed by the EU on UK exports - such as "I don't think French farmers will be happy at the loss of trade with the UK", ad nauseum. Collateral damage to consumers is inevitable when you impose import tariffs.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Choose your statistic...

            @ Doctor Syntax,

            I'm not sure if you are being deliberately dense or you are infact just dense...

            My post was quite obviously regarding the affect a "no-deal" deal would have on EU economies. French farmers probably don't care about imports of UK meat, but they will care about EXPORTS of cheese/wine/fruit etc to the UK. And German car workers will care about job losses due to a down-turn in sales to the UK.

            People talk about the impact of a "no-deal" with the EU as if it will only affect the UK. It will affect EU countries as well and not in a good way - just maybe not as badly as it will affect the UK. But it will affect them too.

            1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

              Re: Choose your statistic...

              French farmers probably don't care about imports of UK meat, but they will care about EXPORTS of cheese/wine/fruit etc to the UK

              Not as much as you think: the UK only accounts for around 7 % of all French exports. Compare this with the value of financial services sold by the UK to France…

              1. Danny 14

                Re: Choose your statistic...

                whilst circa 50% of imports are from the EU, are they from the EU because we have no choice? I.E. would a deal with China, India, Australia, USA be a better deal *if* we were allowed to make it? Exports too in that matter. USA are already sweating with excitement as they would LOVE to step in with a deal that helps them in the long run (especially with the grow-at-home arguments), a crap deal with the likes of USA and china will be better than WTO EU

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Choose your statistic...

            "Are you sure? They never seemed keen on UK meat imports into France?"

            Once we've signed a deal to get all that cheap NZ lamb etc ( Empire 2.0 eh?) that we're told is coming, it'll only be any residual deal on meat trade to Europe that will keep our livestock farmers heads above water.

        2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Choose your statistic...

          EU Politicians put idealism over common sense.

          Hang on: who was it who held the referendum?

          Whether it's worse for the UK or not, a "no deal" deal is bad for everyone.

          This truism fits in nicely with the "Brexit is Brexit" canard but doesn't really tell us much about negotiating positions. Instead you might want to follow another possible conclusion of that trite optimism: if we can't get a deal, we could always stick with the status quo because it would logically be better than "no deal or a bad deal".

          I've no idea how politics in the UK or elsewhere in the EU will be in a couple of years but I am pretty certain that May's currently apparently unassailable position will be far less so.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Choose your statistic...

            @Charlie Clark.

            You are completely missing the point. And no, it doesn't fit nicely with "Brexit is Brexit".

            A "no-deal" deal is bad for everyone. I don't see how the view that a failure to negotiate a deal can be seen as optimism - unless that is, you are actually hoping for the worst possible result just so you can gloat and say "I told you so!!".

            1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

              Re: Choose your statistic...

              A "no-deal" deal is bad for everyone

              I've never denied that, see my post above. What's at issue are the negotiating positions and you seem to be encouraging the UK to adopt a hardball position because it the other 27 member states stand to lose more: your claim that "the UK holds all the cards". But your claim is bogus as I have demonstrated: to varying degrees there are political and economic arguments to stare the UK down.

              No deal, and it's becoming increasingly evident that no trade deal can be done in time, would hurt everyone but very possibly the UK most and will require unanimity from the other 27. As we get closer to this then the pressure to retain the status quo, even if for some provisional period, will grow. May has already laid the groundwork for this by talking about "implementation terms".

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Choose your statistic...

          "UK or German car workers who get laid off"

          Laid off German workers will be in a much better position to keep on spending than UK workers. Most of them will be better off than many UK workers with jobs. The same forces that created so many UK protest votes will leave those same voters hurting more, whatever happens to the UK, the carpetbaggers scheming to profit from brexit will grab more money whether the country wins or loses.

    6. Roland6 Silver badge

      @AC Re: Selective use of data

      2015

      Net Exports to EU £230bn: about 44% of all UK exports

      Net Imports from EU £290bn: about 53% of all UK imports

      From an EU perspective these figures represent significantly smaller percentages of all EU imports/exports. However, from an individual member viewpoint there are significant differences between those that do a lot and those that wouldn't even notice if the UK was or wasn't a member.

      https://fullfact.org/europe/uk-eu-trade/

    7. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      We hold most of the cards in this.

      From the Kellogg's Big Book of Negotiations…

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Lets put my mythical cards into perspective.

        France and Germany want to trade with us as they are probably the biggest.

        Spain won't want to lose tourism money.

        Greece and Italy don't have a pot to piss in so they don't want to lose any trade.

        The eastern countries Poland/Romania have many thousands of workers over here sending money back allegedly to the tune of billions.

        So do we really think we don't have a good chance of getting what we want as a country?

        Petty politicians trying to force the governments hand before we can negotiate should keep their gobs shut and let them get on with it. Feel free to complain once an agreement has been reached.

        At the end of the day we won't get everything but it won't be far off.

        1. tiggity Silver badge

          Rampant optimism

          Wow, I wish I lived in such a massively optimistic bubble as that.

          Look at the wider picture, various anti EU parties in Europe, that are a thorn in the side to the mainstream parties in those countries

          EU will be acting collectively to make it really bad for the UK, the idea being this will reduce support for anti EU parties in mainland Europe as they will see the right royal shafting the UK gets & think, I really don't fancy that much.

          I hope I am wrong (as I really do not want to see the UK economy go down the toilet), but I reckon the final deal (or no deal) consequences will be nearer the really bad for the UK end of the scale than the happy ever after end of the scale.

        2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Lets put my mythical cards into perspective.

          What, without the numbers? How does that work then

          France and Germany want to trade with us as they are probably the biggest.

          Another truism but, again, where are the numbers?

          … and so on in the rest of the post. It's so convenient to try and present an argument about economics without and any numbers but it's also meaningless.

          The eastern countries Poland/Romania have many thousands of workers over here sending money back allegedly to the tune of billions.

          I've read reports that it's getting harder to recruit Poles because the UK now offers far less competitive wages than it did Zloty / Pound exchange rate. The problem for the UK economy is what to do if those workers are no longer available, and, given that reducing immigration from the EU seems to be a key priority and why the UK government is prepared to sacrifice access to the single market, this seems a likely outcome. I guess this will test the idea that these workers displaced UK nationals from building sites and farmers fields. This "lump of labour" idea is barely credible at the best of times. Should it be proved wrong here the consequences will be either higher prices (due to higher wages) or less production, or even more imports. I guess we'll find out soon enough though it's not the kind of experiment I'd like to try.

  7. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    In a netotiation

    Both sides have needs, wants and goals and things they can trade to meet those needs, wants and goals.

    Obviously different people see the UK position differently.

    But if it's a case of no trade deal without the free movement of EU nationals then a trade deal is f**ked.

    And just a note. 1/2 the UK influx is not from Europe. It's from India, Pakistan and the Middle East, places the Home office has full control over the entry from.

    If it chose to exercise those controls of course.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In a netotiation

      "And just a note. 1/2 the UK influx is not from Europe. It's from India, Pakistan and the Middle East, places the Home office has full control over the entry from."

      Those countries are using immigration as their bargaining chip - if the UK want more trade then we have to open up to more immigration from them. Tory minister Priti Patel said that was her aim in wanting to leave the EU - replacing EU immigrant workers with those from the old British Empire countries in the Indian subcontinent..

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        WTF?

        "replacing EU immigrant workers with those from the old British Empire "

        How curious, or perhaps in light of the nostalgia that seems to be at the root of a lot of this "how queer."

        I had the (apparently) mistaken belief it was all about British jobs being done by British workers, IE born in the UK workers.

        Not swapping one group of "Johnny Foreigners" (C 2017 Rabid Xenophobia Publications T/A The Daily Heil) for a (darker skinned) group of Johnny Foreigners.

        Y'know, "taking back control" and all that in the words of the UK's beloved Foreign Secretary (bloody nice chap for a Foreigner).

  8. sebt
    Thumb Down

    It won't make any difference...

    because Theresa May is simply Right, and everyone else is Wrong. Sit Down and Be Quiet.

    And as long as she and her merry band of lunatics continue to have support from the Mail-reading useful idiots who can be flipped into a nationalistic frenzy at the click of the fingers, no possible rational input will leave a mark on them.

    I keep on waiting for the straw that'll break the camel's back, but it hasn't happened for 9 months yet. Far from turning into some kind of practicable, imperfect but realistic plan, it's just become more and more demented.

    It's like being a passenger in the bus from Speed - but with a chimpanzee on DMT at the wheel.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: It won't make any difference...

      "I keep on waiting for the straw that'll break the camel's back, but it hasn't happened for 9 months yet."

      Of course it hasn't. That will come afterwards when it's too late.

    2. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: It won't make any difference...

      Too much attention was given to warning of the immediate dire consequences of an Out vote. The wonderful band who were ( supposedly) arguing for staying with our European neighbours made all sorts of dire predictions about what would happen in the aftermath of the vote. Which was never very believable (though our raw materials and Summer holidays will now cost us a lot more) and even less influential. They didn't bother over much to talk about the eventual consequences of the actual exit. Or, more to the point, the actual value of membership. Which with a result of 48:52% was a really really stupid thing to have done. A couple of percentage points won for a positive campaign would, despite the Brexiteers' proclamations, have been all it needed to give a very different result. Brexiteers can now say "I told you so, nothing terrible has happened has it?". Ironically it was the remain crew who built this straw man for them.

      There's the old joke about a man falling from a 20th floor window. Someone lower down pokes out their head as he goes past and he's saying " 12th floor and I'm alright so far.".

  9. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    For Queen, Country and St George!

    If May gets the deal she wants she will be absolutely entitled to round it off with breakfast at Milliways.

    While some consider May's plan bold and ambitious I am more inclined towards delusional.

    Securing a deal requires backing down on red-lines each side have publicly said they will not allow to be crossed. With neither side seeing any necessity to pander to the other; there is little prospect of that and little room for negotiation.

    Unless something comes along to cause either to blink first I fear we have already sealed our fate.

    1. Hans 1 Silver badge

      Re: For Queen, Country and St George!

      Almost there ... no deal means the EU countries get you banking sector, your manufacturing sector that uses parts from the EU ... like Airbus, Ford, Vauxhaul, Honda ...thanks, close the door as you leave.

      So, no deal is indeed better than a bad deal, but certainly NOT for the UK.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: For Queen, Country and St George!

        Almost there ... no deal means the EU countries get you banking sector, your manufacturing sector that uses parts from the EU ... like Airbus, Ford, Vauxhaul, Honda ...thanks, close the door as you leave.

        So, no deal is indeed better than a bad deal, but certainly NOT for the UK.

        Hans 1,

        Now who's being delusional...

        Is the Eurozone in a position to survive another recession? And how will all the City jobs move to Frankfurt when there are more people working in Finance in London than live in the whole of Frankfurt? Some London jobs will move to New York if things go particularly pear-shaped, which the EU has even less chance of controlling. And if madness does defeat common sense and our supposed NATO allies gleefully destroy our economy, how will our government justify staying in NATO?

        A deal may not happen, because it's very complicated and there's a very short timescale. And there are all sorts of very childish people jeering from the sidelines about "punishment". But a messy break-up with no deal will not be good for either party. And both sides will suffer for it. The EU is not exactly in the strongest of positions at the moment, which is admittedly one reason why some would like to see the UK do horribly badly outside - but that only works at defeating dissent if the EU (i.e. the Eurozone) can survive the fallout of creating that crisis. Italy's economy is smaller than it was when it joined the Euro 20 years ago, it has debt to GDP of 140% and could only muster €20bn in a fund to sort out its banks. Most of that is going to disappear into just bailing out Monte dei Paschi and Unicredit is currently trying to raise another €13bn without help. Not to mention the clusterfuck that is Greece.

        If you read the draft negotiation document from Tusk and compare it to what May is saying, you'll see that there are an awful lot of areas or agreement there. On at least one subject I noticed that May and Tusk have used identical wording - which I very much doubt is a coincidence. So there's plenty of scope for things to go wrong, but there's easily the basis of a mutually beneficial agreement - if the will exists.

    2. Mike Richards Silver badge

      Re: For Queen, Country and St George!

      You're not meant to be thinking about Brexit today. Theresa has decided that the national conversation will be about [spins wheels] - Easter eggs.

  10. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    On the upside the UK will have BAe systems all to itself

    Except for the Americans of course.

    Yay.

    Hip, hip Huzzar and all that.

  11. BigLJ

    Stop the Left-wing garbage -

    Hilary Benn wrote a rubbish report that was rejected by the committee - it is very clear that no deal is better than a bad deal. But what really annoys me is that this is meant to be a tech. website - NOT A POLITICAL WEBSITE!! STOP!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stop the Left-wing garbage -

      Err, no, it was accepted by the committee (majority vote), but the Conservative members walked out to please their masters who wanted to make it a "Remoaners" story rather than a "Government has not done what it said it had" story - although the latter is hardly news about any government.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm going to think outside the box here...

    ...but I don't see why we don't ask Donald Trump to take us into the American Union right now. We speak the same language, we get on well, we have the same values, and we could do with some American spunk right up us.

    He strikes me as far more reasonable that those haughty onion sellers across the channel. He'd do us a good deal.

    1. Danny 14

      Re: I'm going to think outside the box here...

      I don't want to drop the u in colour though. And I like my pints on the large side.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm going to think outside the box here...

      Send all the leavers to Australia where Britons emigrating since the 70s have been steadily turning it into a white nationalist outpost which has almost everything leavers say they want. Then keep the UK in the EU.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: I'm going to think outside the box here...

        @AC

        "Send all the leavers to Australia where Britons emigrating since the 70s have been steadily turning it into a white nationalist outpost which has almost everything leavers say they want. Then keep the UK in the EU."

        Why? Is the EU so bad that you wouldnt want to go there even though you fight to retain its control over the country? You could take all those people who think the country has suddenly think the country is now racist because it didnt vote the right way. Since its the leave voters who dont want to go away and its the remain voters who want freedom of movement and EU rule then surely it makes sense that staunch remain voters who cannot possibly live with people in the UK to go live in your crumbling utopia and stop crying at us.

  13. kmac499

    The Morning After..

    So Mar'19 Nigel Farage wakes up from his hangover celebrating the Real Brexit day. (wherever he is probably a Trump Hotel).

    Two years of talks went nowhere, interim arrangements were denied cos David and Liam really annoyed the other side, so what happens.

    Well operation stack has been running for two weeks cos of a french strike and now every vehicle needs an extra two hours in customs as well. (The lorry park was never built in time, planning objections.)

    People planning to go on holiday for Easter suddenly realise their EHIC don't work, but no problem the planes can't fly in because Air traffice control is now splintered and there's some doubt about UK flagged planes having landing rights. (Ryan Air makes a killing again)

    Never mind we'll go to Scotland or Ireland, (Now I know what "as welcome as a fart in a spaesuit" really means.)

    Yes BMWs and Mercs cost more; but they are all on Personal Contract Hire so the balloon payment is bumped up a bit and no-one cares for a couple of years.

    Come Monday morning the Boss calls us all in and says right for the next year we're making one line for the EU and a cheaper one for the rest of the World. Two set's of tests, documents and certifications. Oh Joy

    This year the last petrol mini rolls out of Oxford and a quick act of parliament designates sunderland a freeport in a vain attempt to hang on to Nissan.

    But Hey who cares after all "We've taken back control".

    1. Danny 14

      Re: The Morning After..

      ironically enough for holidays, we fly in a weeks time. When we were looking for a "warm to hot" holiday we looked at gran canaria - our usual Easter getaway. 4 years ago it cost the 4 of us 2k, 2 years ago it was 2.5k and this year it would be 3.5k for the same hotel (Sol Melia Tamarindos).

      Instead we booked an all inclusive to Mexico for 3.2k. So fuck EU and go to the Caribbean instead.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: The Morning After..

      Re: Well operation stack has been running for two weeks cos of a french strike and now every vehicle needs an extra two hours in customs as well.

      Operation Stack is running because, under new EU WTO rules agreed by the EU27, imports into the EU from outside the Single Market can only arrive by sea...

  14. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    The times they are a-changin'

    Some interesting observations... nine months back any snarky pro-Remain trolling comment on El Reg tended to get about as many down votes as up votes, which mirrors the national mood at the time. In recent days the ratio is now more like 2-1 in favour of Remain and anti-Brexit comments. Does this tell us anything about the national mood now compared to last year?

    1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: The times they are a-changin'

      It reminds me of watching American fervour to 'go kick Saddam's butt' grow to a crescendo. Then decline as the reality of what the US had got herself into sank in.

      Eventually most realised they had been over-optimistic, had leant their support through falling victim to lies and demonisation, false notions of patriotism, were misguided, misinformed, and had failed to see the warned of consequences of their actions.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: The times they are a-changin'

      I wouldn't read too much into the voting. There were a lot of trolls here last year who only seemed to care about the referendum. Most of them have since left because "job done". I suspect the national mood is one of wait-and-see now that the phoney war has passed. The health of the economy is likely to dictate future sentiment: if, as many have predicted, the economy does enter recession or there are significant job losses, then expect this to focus minds accordingly. Alternatively, and against most predictions, if there is an export boom, then those who advocated leaving will bear the fruits.

  15. JaitcH
    Unhappy

    Can anyone name a dumber method of dealing as . . .

    Brexit?

    MAY has to be the most stupid prime minister, male or female in British history, to think she has the upper hand OR that a No Deal is better than anything else.

    Better to emigrate ASAP - New Zealand is looking good.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Can anyone name a dumber method of dealing as . . .

      @ JaitcH

      "Better to emigrate ASAP - New Zealand is looking good."

      Surely the die hard EU lovers will have an issue moving to a country outside the EU because of Brexit.

  16. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Fed up

    Irrespective of viewpoint ( though this seems to be mostly Brexiteers) I am really fed up to the back teeth with people insisting that we'll be absolutely just fine whatever happens and anyone who is worried or can see problem that could lie ahead is obviously just a naysaying winger.

    And FWIW the 48% of voters who wanted to remain are not just sour-grape moaners. Many if not all of us are hard headed realists who simply don't buy this "better out than in whatever the consequences" LaLa Land aggressiveness of the Brexiteers.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Fed up

      @ Terry 6

      "I am really fed up to the back teeth with people insisting that we'll be absolutely just fine whatever happens"

      I am fed up of the insistence of doom and that we must suffer and be damned for voting leave. The remain campaign existed on threatening us and it continues. Before that we were called eurosceptic until the Euro hit the rocks and the EU overreached so bad people assume their insanity isnt real.

      "anyone who is worried or can see problem that could lie ahead is obviously just a naysaying winger."

      You should try being called racist, xenophobe, stupid, gullible and missing the old empire because we dare vote leave.

      "And FWIW the 48% of voters who wanted to remain are not just sour-grape moaners. Many if not all of us are hard headed realists"

      48% < 52% less than half in a democratic vote which we have the outcome. Yet a bunch of undemocratic yahoos want the majority to be ignored/overruled or asked again and again until we give the right answer. I dont believe 48% are sour grape, just as I dont believe 52% are racist or empire dreamers yet this is the claim made of me over and over again by people who cannot justify 1 good reason to be in the EU. To think only 48% are realists is delusional. There are plenty realists in the 52% too. And if you think Brexiteers are aggressive I suggest you read the comments against us or even pretend to be one for a short time. May give you a new perspective

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Fed up @codejunky

        48% < 52% less than half in a democratic vote which we have the outcome. Yet a bunch of undemocratic yahoos want the majority to be ignored/overruled or asked again and again until we give the right answer.

        Once again, you trot oout the well established Leave fiction about the referendum result.

        The referendum was advisory, whilst the Conservative's might have had felt an obligation to "honour the result", there was no obligation whatsoever on Parliament. Additionally, effectively only 1-in-3 voters voted Leave, who represent 1-in4 of the population. Parliament notionally governs on behalf of the UK population; as May is discovering over Gibraltar...

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: Fed up @codejunky

          And, while on that track, since "leave" was the action under vote ( remain was the status quo) to take all the non-voters as accepting Brexit is, to say the least, a stretch. i.e people who (foolishly imho) didn't vote at all didn't choose to make a change and leave either. And I will repeat my earlier point 16-18 year olds weren't even given the option.

        2. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Fed up @codejunky

          @ Roland6

          "Once again, you trot oout the well established Leave fiction about the referendum result."

          Correction! It is actually the remain fiction as it was printed clearly and stated clearly by Cameron who was firmly for remain. It was a remain fiction as part of their rigged vote and serious threats against the population. And they still lost the vote!

          "The referendum was advisory, whilst the Conservative's might have had felt an obligation to "honour the result", there was no obligation whatsoever on Parliament."

          It is amazing isnt it. The country can be sold without the peoples support but not returned with the peoples support. I wonder how many of this view complain the government doesnt listen to the people while demanding the gov doesnt listen.

          "Additionally, effectively only 1-in-3 voters voted Leave, who represent 1-in4 of the population."

          I love that figure. Because in the first and only vote we have had on our membership of the EU in a heavily rigged vote the majority still voted out. As per your numbers a 3rd didnt care, less than a 3rd want in and more want out. It does look bad when a democratic vote in a democratic country is opposed childishly when budding democracies look to the west for a good example.

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: Fed up @codejunky

            @Codejunky - I think you are too attached to the referendum result, forgetting it isn't a football match...

            The referendum result was not an overwhelming result one way or the other, it was well within the bounds of a statistically normal random result.

            Cameron, at the time represented the Conservative party and the Executive/Government of the day not Parliament, Parliament was only bound by the legislation, which defined the referendum as 'advisory'. As we live in a representative democracy, where Parliament is supposed to act in the interests of the nation as a whole, including those that voted for alternative representatives, Parliament/Westminster doesn't actually have a democratic mandate for changing the status quo...

            The country can be sold without the peoples support but not returned with the peoples support.

            Nigel Farage in his multi-year campaigning for the UK electorate to have a vote on EU membership (ie. not the Leave/Remain campaign itself) had it right: The mess (with respect to the EU) is wholly attributable to Westminster and it is Westminster that has to sort it out. By deciding to press ahead with Brexit, without any real public debate May et al are trying to avoid the real issue: the real democratic accountability of Westminster to the electorate and not just the periodic charade of accountability through the ballot box.

            I wonder how many of this view complain the government doesnt listen to the people while demanding the gov doesnt listen.

            If you think that May and the Conservatives are listening to those who voted leave then you are deluding yourself, they aren't. They are following their own agenda, as May and her Brexiteers have made clear with the meaningless soundbite: "Brexit means Brexit" and in the ways they have tried and are using to avoid involving both Parliament and the public - using exactly the same tricks as were used by previous Executives to get Parliament's assent to EU treaties and to avoid public scrutiny of what exactly they are up to...

            I hope the EU fully delivers on their openness promise and permits full live video coverage of the Brexit negotiations, it will be a shock to many people just how incompetent our Westminster representatives are, when it comes to real details and actual decision making.

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: Fed up @codejunky

              @ Roland6

              "The referendum result was not an overwhelming result one way or the other, it was well within the bounds of a statistically normal random result."

              Ok lets accept that for a moment. Just as we must accept this is the first and only vote to be a member of the EU and the vote was for leave. And I dont enjoy football if I am honest.

              "Cameron, at the time represented the Conservative party and the Executive/Government of the day not Parliament"

              Thats fine. You can keep shouting about the remain campaign being built on lies, I will not disagree with you about that.

              "If you think that May and the Conservatives are listening to those who voted leave then you are deluding yourself, they aren't."

              Well they dont seem to be listening to those demanding the referendum be ignored so they have that going for them. And I dont care about the tories (or any party for that matter). I vote for the one I feel will do the best job for the country. I didnt vote for Cameron, I didnt expect him to actually have the spine to provide a referendum and expected him to do a Blair. Then of course he tried to rig the vote getting more desperate as he realised his rigging only made it a close vote.

              "I hope the EU fully delivers on their openness promise and permits full live video coverage of the Brexit negotiations"

              I dont care if they do, I hope you enjoy. I am not thinking of the short term, by the time the negotiations are done the next election will be upon us. As long as we dont get lumbered with a bad deal e.g. stuck under the EU.

              1. Roland6 Silver badge

                Re: Fed up @codejunky

                As long as we dont get lumbered with a bad deal e.g. stuck under the EU.

                The deal will be bad! With the EU our immediate neighbour and an important market for the UK, the EU will still play a very big part in UK life and politics.

                Whilst rules and laws made in Brussels (with the assistance of the UK) won't automatically cascade down to Westminster and get nodded through, as they do at present (and so can actually be described as "made in the UK"...). We can expect, if we really want access to the Single Market etc. to have to take rules and laws made in Brussels (without UK input) do some adjustments to suit the UK situation, get Brussel's approval that the amendments don't invalidate our access to the Single Market, and then stamp them "make in the UK"...

                Naturally, much depends on the extent to which the UK p*sses off our EU neighbours - a trade deal with the EU won't be worth the paper it is written on if no EU member wants to actually transact any business...

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: Fed up @codejunky

                  @ Roland6

                  "The deal will be bad! With the EU our immediate neighbour and an important market for the UK, the EU will still play a very big part in UK life and politics."

                  I am glad you recognise that. Some remain commenters seem to think we will somehow abandon Europe and maybe physically move the UK to another part of the world. Being a voluntary club surely we can join/leave and still accept that we will still be doing business with the EU and everywhere else.

                  "Whilst rules and laws made in Brussels (with the assistance of the UK) won't automatically cascade down to Westminster"

                  This is an interesting one. There is no reason for them to cascade at all to the UK just as when the US makes a law we dont just implement it here. People trading with the EU need to meet their standards but everyone else is free not to which puts us on par with the rest of the world.

                  "Naturally, much depends on the extent to which the UK p*sses off our EU neighbours - a trade deal with the EU won't be worth the paper it is written on if no EU member wants to actually transact any business..."

                  It doesnt help when both sides are taking shots and the petulance of the EU with their children throwing toys gives me hope that they wont be competent enough to offer us a bad deal or any at all.

  17. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    "48% < 52% less than half in a democratic "

    Of the 72.2% who bothered to vote at all.

    Unlike the Scottish referendum, where 84.6% of the eligible electorate thought it important.

    Still it did fulfill the most vital objective.

    Keeping the Conservative party from splitting and joining UKIP en masse.

    1. Yes Me Silver badge

      Re: "48% < 52% less than half in a democratic "

      Exactly. Screw the country for 50 years for short-term party political advantage. Worst political misbehaviour since 1956 (Suez).

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        "Worst political misbehaviour since 1956 (Suez)."

        An excellent point.

        This was probably the event that set the current relationship between Israel, UK, France and the US.

        And another f**kup by a Tory posh boy.

      2. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: "48% < 52% less than half in a democratic "

        @ Yes Me

        "Exactly. Screw the country for 50 years for short-term party political advantage. Worst political misbehaviour since 1956 (Suez)."

        To be fair labour didnt really know what it was doing but Blair was hoping to become president so would have probably sold his own granny and her dog for his political advantage. Shame he caused such a split in this country and a good job he didnt get his way with the euro!

    2. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: "48% < 52% less than half in a democratic "

      Let's not forget the 16-18 year olds who had a opinion but didn't get any choice in the matter and will be feeling the consequences long after most of us will be gone. This was a vote which in demographic issues were significant, and for which there will not be another one every five years.

      1. codejunky Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: "48% < 52% less than half in a democratic "

        @ Terry 6

        "Let's not forget the 16-18 year olds who had a opinion but didn't get any choice in the matter"

        And the babies! Think of the babies! they should vote too. And foetuses! We let them all vote in general elections dont we?

        1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Unhappy

          ""Let's not forget the 16-18 year olds who had a opinion but didn't get any choice in the matter""

          They were allowed a vote in the Scottish Referendum.

          Although they didn't allow ex-pat Scots to vote. Smart move since they could bitch and moan about the state of Scotland and would not have to live with the consequences.

          Didn't stop the Scots making a rational decision.

        2. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: "48% < 52% less than half in a democratic "

          Reductio ad absurdium.

          16-18s are not babies. They are old enough to go out and work, and so on. They've completed compulsory education and they will be starting work just as we leave. i.e. these are the group with most to lose by a bad decision, (whichever way you think that is).

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: "48% < 52% less than half in a democratic "

            @ Terry 6

            "Reductio ad absurdium."

            Yup. And used to make the point.

            "16-18s are not babies. They are old enough to go out and work, and so on."

            And marry (with parental permission) but not to drink or vote in general elections. From 17 they are allowed to learn to drive. So what? Do we move the voting age per election/referenda so your preferred outcome can be almost certain. That sounds almost like rigging. But your also absurd argument that they will be the ones living with the result does being back the babies and foetus.

            It also brings up a more important point. That the adults and voting age population have never had the right to vote to pass our governance to the EU. This was the first vote after we were forced into the EU without the promised vote because the answer was known. And now you insist people with no knowledge or experience of the country before the EU should vote. Stockholm syndrome didnt work so maybe people who dont know any better? People brought up being taught the EU is a utopia of unicorns and those who want out should be call eurosceptics! A word that fell out of favour as the Euro hit the rocks and incompetent EU politicians caused more and more problems.

            Yeah I can see why you would want 16-18 yr olds to vote in this. The good news was the lack of caring by the younger generations who didnt bother to turn up to vote.

  18. Jim Nagel

    Europol existed long before the EU (or EC or EEC), didn't it?

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