back to article UK border at risk of exposure post Brexit, warn MPs

The UK border could be left exposed after Brexit as departments have failed to plan for new IT systems, according to a damning report by MPs released today. Whitehall is assuming the risks to managing the border will not change immediately when the UK leaves the EU in March 2019, and that border checks will accordingly be the …

  1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    WHAT BREXIT???

    The government just made it non-Exit.

    Last time I heard if X=Y and Y=Z, X=Z

    1. 100% compat regulations between Northern Ireland and Ireland

    2. 100% compat regulations between Northern Ireland and UK

    3. That equates to 100% compat regulations between UK and Eu, hence no fecking real Exit.

    All of this unless we go behind the mirror into the wonderland.

    Now, I do not expect the MayBot to last a week - the lunatics will unplug her power supply, but as long as the agreement with the Irish stands, there will be no BrExit on the cards.

    Something a lot of us have told many times. The whole clownshow ended up exactly in the position which the court case on NI devolution + GF agreement was supposed to do more than half a year ago, if the government did not successfully sabotage it. Pity for the wasted time and money.

    1. Tigra 07

      Re: WHAT BREXIT???

      We were told a while back that without a decent negotiator we would get a deal neither side would be happy with.

      I am not happy with Brexit-Lite

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: WHAT BREXIT???

        "I am not happy with Brexit-Lite"

        It doesn't matter what deal is eventually reached, there will be large swathes of people unhappy with it. Any deal means almost 50% of people who voted remain will be unhappy and of those who voted leave, there's the hard and soft brexiteers and all those in between, many of whom will be unhappy at whatever exit deal is reached. In other words, less than 50% are likely to be happy with whatever brexit deal gets signed.

        Democracy in action where the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

    2. TrumpSlurp the Troll
      Unhappy

      Re: WHAT BREXIT??? - Maybot

      Every time somebody says she won't last a week, the next question is "Who will replace her?".

      I don't see any replacement being more effective (not setting a high bar) nor finding an innovative solution to the Irish Question.

      All the Hard Brexit mob don't seem to care about the Irish border or the UK border as a whole.

      Plenty of "No deal is better than a bad deal" but no declared plan on how we will manage the borders in our new WTO and no damned foreigners regime.

      Could someone please explain how a hard Brexit will make these issues go away?

      1. Tigra 07

        Re: TrumpSlurp the Troll

        Jacob Rees Mogg certainly seems the most competent person in parliament. I'm not even worried about his personal views on abortion as he has said he won't force them on others and has proven so by investing in abortion services personally. A man of his word.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Tigra07 / Jacob Rees Mogg certainly seems the most competent person in parliament

          Well played. I can't at all tell whether your stated opinions about JRM are serious or not. :-)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Tigra07 / Jacob Rees Mogg certainly seems the most competent person in parliament

            would you like to put sprinkles on the most attractive turd in the trifle bowl?

        2. Gnomalarta
          Alien

          Re: TrumpSlurp the Troll

          I would say rose tinted glasses but they moggo belong in different sentences.

        3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: TrumpSlurp the Troll

          Jacob Rees Mogg certainly seems the most competent person in parliament.

          Isn't that a bit like suggesting one goldfish is better at football than another?

          The 18th century throwback loves to extoll the virtues of parliament, except when it doesn't do what he wants. The man is an odious toad. That he doesn't let his personal convictions obstruct his personal enrichment is just par for the course.

        4. This post has been deleted by its author

        5. TrumpSlurp the Troll
          Thumb Up

          Re: TrumpSlurp the Troll

          Well played Sir!

          Reflex down vote reversed to an upvote as I read it properly. I just hope you are not even the slightest bit prophetic.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Who will replace her?"

        David Davis?

        1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Unhappy

          Re: "Who will replace her?" David Davis?

          No chance.

          The charge sheet for "Crimes against Brexit" is already being drawn up by the even more barking mad loony "Hard Brexit" wing of the party.

          Something of a pity as he seems to be one of the few Conservative MP's with any grasp of what a database is, and why pervasive surveillance is not in fact a good thing.

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: WHAT BREXIT???

      The relevant text from the joint communiqué

      The United Kingdom's intention is to achieve these objectives through the overall EU - UK relationship. Should this not be possible, the United Kingdom will propose specific solutions to address the unique circumstances of the island of Ireland. In the absence of agreed solutions, the United Kingdom will maintain full alignment with those rules of the Internal Market and the Customs Union which, now or in the future, support North - South cooperation, the all - island economy and the protection of the 1998 Agreement.

      This essentially perpetuates any transitional arrangement and gives the Irish government an effective veto over any changes. They've smeared some Marmite in the hope that foaming and the mouth brigade will go "Ooh Marmite! Lovely!" and won't notice. Ditto for the other parts: UK courts will respect the ECJ when it comes to EU citizens in the UK and the UK will continue paying.

      And it took just six months to negotiate a continuation of the status quo!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        six months of hard work

        Well done, Michel Barnier and Simon Coveney!

        It's particularly important that the UK aligns to the Customs Union and Common Market to allow free passage of goods and people but is not allowed to export services.

        Irelande Douze Points!

    4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: WHAT BREXIT???

      No, you're wrong. Leave had all the details figured out before the vote. It was all worked out in advance so it would work smoothly, just as it is doing. Nobody was asked to vote for something that wasn't real. Don't believe all this fake news about difficult negotiations. We're building the stables for the unicorns right now.

    5. Jason Bloomberg
      Big Brother

      Re: WHAT BREXIT???

      Anyone who is taking the agreement at face value has forgotten how many times we have conned people into supporting proposals for "humanitarian assistance" by which we meant military intervention and regime change.

      Us Brits are quite skilled and practised when it comes to mendacity. We are experts in not saying what we mean, not meaning what we appear to be saying.

      And if anyone thinks May is heading for the hard or soft brexit they would like they are equally being conned. She has hijacked brexit to deliver what she wants, and seems to be firmly on the path of getting that. Don't get distracted by the smoke or mirrors.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: WHAT BREXIT???

        She has hijacked brexit to deliver what she wants

        Remind us again what that was exactly? strong and stable?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: WHAT BREXIT???

          Brexit means Brexit, so whatever you get at the end of it is by definition Brexit.

          1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
            Unhappy

            "Brexit means Brexit, so whatever you get at the end of it is by definition Brexit."

            Exactly.

            AKA A tautology.

            Usually pretty meaningless.

            As this case in point proves.

      2. strum

        Re: WHAT BREXIT???

        >Us Brits are quite skilled and practised when it comes to mendacity.

        Well, yes. But you have to keep your hand in. Brits haven't negotiated a trade treaty in 40 years (everything's been done through EEC/EU). We're a little rusty.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: WHAT BREXIT???

          Well, yes. But you have to keep your hand in. Brits haven't negotiated a trade treaty in 40 years (everything's been done through EEC/EU). We're a little rusty.

          And since Maastricht (Brits) have demonstrated serial incompetency in the multilateral negotiations of the EU. Almost every other country manages to get more out of the horsetrading. Look, for example, at how "tiny" Luxembourg has managed to protect its tax haven status.

      3. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: WHAT BREXIT???

        She has hijacked brexit to deliver what she wants, and seems to be firmly on the path of getting that.

        Hijacked?

        I think not, she was very clear at the outset: "Brexit means Brexit"; just that no one, especially the foaming at the mouth Brexiteers, bothered to ask her to define 'Brexit' ...

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: WHAT BREXIT???

      Last time I heard if X=Y and Y=Z, X=Z

      Where on earth are you getting your news from? Always take into account the agenda the organisations reporting is pushing. Your better off going straight to the primary sources than relying on the daily mail etc.

      This is what is actually agreed according to the EU negiotating team. (you can skip to page 9 for details on the irish border)

      https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/joint_report.pdf

      49. The United Kingdom remains committed to protecting North - South cooperation and to its guarantee of avoiding a hard border. Any future arrangements must be compatible with these overarching requirements. The United Kingdom's intention is to achieve these objectives through the overall EU - UK relationship. Should this not be possible, the United Kingdom will propose specific solutions to address the unique circumstances of the island of Ireland. In the absence of agreed solutions, the United Kingdom will maintain full alignment with those rules of the Internal Market and the Customs Union which, now or in the future, support North - South cooperation, the all island economy and the protection of the 1998 Agreement.

      50. In the absence of agreed solutions, as set out in the previous paragraph, the United Kingdom will ensure that no new regulatory barriers develop between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom, unless, consistent with the 1998 Agreement, the Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly agree that distinct arrangements are appropriate for Northern Ireland. In all circumstances, the United Kingdom will continue to ensure the same unfettered access for Northern Ireland's businesses to the whole of the United Kingdom internal market.

      My emphasis. Slightly different to what some organisations are reporting, is it not? As they used to say, no truth in the news and no news in the truth.

      The real news of course is hidden in plain sight: If negiotations should fail then we are committed to remaining a member of the single market to avoid any "cliff edge" hard brexit disaster. Otherwise no news on trade other than "to be discussed in the next round".

      But the Daily mail et al won't report that because they don't want to mention it won't happen to avoid enraging their readership against a government they are supporting, and the Guardian et al won't report it because it lacks an angle that can be made to read "Labour has forced this weak government to avoid a hard Brexit (and wouldn't Corbyn be better in number 10 managing this?)"

      Possible mention in the papers of "EU humiliated as they surrender to Britain over ECJ role in the UK on EU Citizens rights" in the next few weeks in the newspapers depending on how sharp the journalists are, but the BBC/ guardian certainly won't report that as it's contrary to their agenda, and I doubt the Daily Mail et al will notice without being prompted.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: WHAT BREXIT???

        The real news of course is hidden in plain sight: If negiotations should fail then we are committed to remaining a member of the single market

        This is pretty much Voland's point and I suspect even the dumbest Brexiteer is likely to notice as well. The fudge was done to stop talks collapsing, followed by a real run on the currency as companies announce migration strategies. Time will tell if May has the votes for this. Well, I'm sure there are enough votes in parliament for this but not enough in her own party.

    7. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      "That equates to 100% compat regulations between UK and Eu, hence no fecking real Exit."

      But you forget the wishes of May's new BFF Arlene Foster.

      "Ulster says NO (to remaining)"

      Mrs Foster and the 9 other MP's she commands in Westminster were very keen Brexiteers, presumably fearing this lack of border was the political equivalent of "Extend, enfold, extinguish" from the IR, creating a united Ireland by the back door (or back roads, given there are about 1 of those for every mile of the border).

      The decades long drip feed from News International titles and Boris Johnson's "Stirling" work in Brussels as the Torygraphs correspondent (how many of them were true, do you think?) have paid off and now the British people will finally experience the "freedom" to work all the hours their employers demand of them, unencumbered by any kind of human rights legislation.

      <gollum>

      We wants it.

      We needs it

      We must have hard Brexit

      </gollum>

      And so they shall.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "That equates to 100% compat regulations between UK and Eu, hence no fecking real Exit."

        >But you forget the wishes of May's new BFF Arlene Foster.

        >"Ulster says NO (to remaining)"

        Except the DUP held about 28.1% of the vote in the last NI assembly. Compare that to the other parties (that were all Remain) - Sinn Fein 27.9%, SDLP 11.9% (both Republican) and the Unionists UUP 12.9% and Alliance 9.1%.

        Ok the UUP officially support the referendum result now but they did campaign for Remain.

        So the views of 28% of the NI population (2.8% of the UK population) is now very much the tail wagging the dog.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: "That equates to 100% compat regulations between UK and Eu, hence no fecking real Exit."

          I think that was Smithy's point. The DUP wants to use the excuse that Eire is about to invade to justify a return to the corn laws. Ireland was such a happy place in the 19th century!

        2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Unhappy

          Except the DUP held about 28.1% of the vote in the last NI assembly.

          But they hold 100% of the voting majority May needs to ensure the UK Government can pass key legislation if it's in any way contentious.

          So I guess May will be having to give that Magic Money Tree another shake if she wants any further troubles from them.

          Another £1Bn should do it.

          "So the views of 28% of the NI population (2.8% of the UK population) is now very much the tail wagging the dog."

          Of course not. There are all those folk on the mainland who voted to Leave as well.

          Which as we know is a majority (of those who bothered to vote, where ever they happened to be living, like Spain, France or the US).

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Strong and stable! Strong and stable! St... er, Weak and Easily Held to Ransom

          "So the views of 28% of the NI population (2.8% of the UK population) is now very much the tail wagging the dog."

          But let's not ever forget- as if we could- that it's May's own incompetence- in calling an election that she didn't need to (under the delusion she'd increase her majority) and then running an unbelievably bad election campaign- that she's in that weak position in the first place.

          Let's remember that *everyone* is paying the bribe of $1bn demanded by the DUP purely in order to keep May in power.

          This isn't an argument against legitimate cases being made for differentials in funding across the UK- but that's not what happened here. There's absolutely no pretence- nor chance of pretending- that this money is anything other than a bribe.

          Much as I dislike the DUP, I don't really blame them for being opportunistic here; the blame lies with May for incompetently putting herself in that position, then using our money to keep herself in power.

          And for weakening the interests of the United Kingdom purely because she has to pander to that 2.8%. Then again, it's a change for her having to pander to Northern Ireland politicians rather than the usual pandering to the Tories' own voter base in south-east England.

      2. smudge
        Headmaster

        Re: "That equates to 100% compat regulations between UK and Eu, hence no fecking real Exit."

        Mrs Foster and the 9 other MP's she commands in Westminster

        <pedant>Mrs Foster commands 10 MPs in Westminster. She herself is a member of the NI Assembly (MLA), and is not an MP.</pedant>

        1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Unhappy

          Mrs Foster commands 10 MPs in Westminster. She herself..is not an MP.

          I stand corrected.

          So does that mean HMG will get a bit of a discount on the bill to make their opposition to a border without borders go away?

  2. Teiwaz

    Why are they worried?

    I thought the intention was to just fence off the entire nation like the worlds most low brow gated cul-de-sac.

    Yes, Britain, with it's huge number of CCTV cameras, 24 hour surveillance and increasing collection of arbitrary rules just to get a few 'contestants out' - it's the largest Big Brother set in the Universe.

    The Huge heads from Rick and Morty will be gathering any day now....

    1. Nick Kew

      Re: Why are they worried?

      North Korea got there first with the isolation, and with not subjecting itself to international oversight.

      Not everyone in the UK cabinet wants a NK solution. Only some of them.

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: Why are they worried?

        North Korea got there first with the isolation

        Actually no. Albania was first. NK copied what they did several years later.

        There were other countries before Albania during the middle ages and the industrial age (f.e. Japan), but as far as modern history goes, Albania from 1945 to 1997 is the golden standard of isolationism.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can't we just issue smiley badges to people that are allowed to come to the UK?

    Surely that would save a lot of time.

    Disclaimer: This is sarcasm but equally it could be reality due to our deluded piss poor government.

    1. Crisp

      Maybe instead of giving smiley face badges to people that are allowed

      We can give the ones that aren't allowed a nice pretty yellow star to wear. There's no way that could go wrong could it?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Maybe instead of giving smiley face badges to people that are allowed

        Not at all, maybe a tattoo would be a better idea.

        Lets face it in recent history the one thing that I see is that no one f*cking learns from past mistakes.

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          Re: Maybe instead of giving smiley face badges to people that are allowed

          Sop for whoever downvoted this comment (and I did not write it) would you care to list what mistakes the UK government has been associated with that a little bit of history and analysis might have ameliorated - so for example

          * numerous IT systems (Reg passim amongst other)

          * Iraq

          * Afghanistan

          * Syria

          * NHS 'marketisation'

          * Financial 'deregulation'

          I think many of us could go on ad nauseam. Don't be lazy with a down vote - give us some examples.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Maybe instead of giving smiley face badges to people that are allowed

          Barcode everyone at birth. Easy to track people coming and going then !

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Schengen?

    If the UK has been a signatory to the Schengen agreement I could see this being a real problem, but given that border/passport controls with other Schengen EU countries were never dropped this does seem like more "might be" pessimism and FUD.

    1. Lord Schwindratzheim

      Re: Schengen?

      Oh but it is a problem, due to the Le Touquet Treaty - that allows UK Customs officials to make border checks on French soil.

      As a seperately negotiated agreement that can be terminated at any time by either party with just 2 year's notice, it represents a massive potential curve ball.

      If the French do the pull the plug (and they have every right, due to the lack of support over the Calais migrant camps by HM Gov) it WILL be chaos.

      And if the Br-idiots think leaving the EU will solve the problem all these frightful illeagals* just wait...

      Take it from someone that crosses every six weeks.

      *ironly obviously.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Schengen?

        due to the lack of support over the Calais migrant camps by HM Gov

        What lack of support? The camps exist because France doesn't apply the Dublin agreement rules, we can be a good neighbour & try to help but at the end of the day it's a French problem.

        The real solution, of course, is to tackle the problem at source by dealing with the gangs of "passeurs" who smuggle these people into the EU in the first place. Waiting until they get to a border is way too late.

        1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          Re: Schengen?

          The real solution, of course, is to tackle the problem at source by dealing with the gangs of "passeurs" who smuggle these people into the EU in the first place. Waiting until they get to a border is way too late.

          I'd say the source of the problem is whatever caused those people to migrate in the first place.

  5. Tweetiepooh

    No matter what your political leanings, given their history you could allow government departments infinite resource and they'd still find some way to cock up any IT implementation, miss the deadline and end up with something almost but not quite usable.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Have another upvote!

    2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
      Headmaster

      " miss the deadline and end up with something almost but not quite usable."

      The correct Douglas Adams para-quote would be "almost but not quite, entirely unusable"

  6. toffer99

    The worst government of my lifetime, getting the biggest issue of a generation wrong, based on little to no information, having been given the tiniest mandate obtained through deception, largely to satisfy a generation who won't be affected, because they'll be dead.

    Why did the Tories do this? Why did they turn an internal party squabble on Europe into a catastrophe for the UK and its 65 million people?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      NOT

      The most important EU state has decided to allow unchecked, unlimited immigration from hundreds of millions of poor Africans and Arabs. No need for documents, just walk over the border and say "Asyl".

      Absolutely rational to quit this club of madness.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: NOT

        The most important EU state has decided to allow unchecked, unlimited immigration from hundreds of millions of poor Africans and Arabs. No need for documents, just walk over the border and say "Asyl".

        I'm a firm supporter of Brexit, for many political and economic reasons, but the immigrant/asylum one simply doesn't wash. Whether the UK is in or out of the EU won't make the slightest difference to the illegal immigration issues Indeed, one could argue that an economically successful UK outside of a failing EU would actually attract more migrants.

        The illegal immigrant problem within the EU comes from the fact that the EU border is only as strong as its weakest link, which puts places like Italy and the Greek Islands on the front line, and they can't cope. That won't change anything for the UK, as an island nation that isn't in the Schengen area we still police our internal border.

        There is also the issue of EU-imposed quotas. There may be some self-satisfaction in feeling free of them, but the UK is, by choice, one of the most welcoming countries in the EU (2nd behind Germany) for asylum-seekers so the quota issue has little impact. In any case places like Poland and the Czech Republic simply ignore the quotas with impunity.

        About the only Brexit-related change to immigration will concern the legal immigrants from within the EU, who may see their rights to welfare access changed. That's doesn't seem like an especially major issue, for good or bad.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      tiniest mandate obtained through deception

      It's a bigger mandate than many governments had to sign up for Maastricht and create the EU in the first place. Even in France the percentage in favour was less that that in favour of Brexit in the UK. As for deception, both sides spouted plenty of propaganda, as in any general election.

      Why did they turn an internal party squabble on Europe into a catastrophe for the UK and its 65 million people?

      They didn't. Both Tory & Labour have internal squabbles on Europe, but both were publicly pro-EU. At least those 65 million people will now have some chance of escaping the catastrophe that the EU is heading for due to populist politicians picking up on the ever-growing dissatisfaction with EU politics and where no mainstream party dares to speak out against "more Europe". The EU is becoming an economically stagnant one-party state, where paternalistic politicians disregard any suggestion that it might be going in the wrong direction. History shows us very clearly where that will end up.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Anonymous Coward; "Both Tory & Labour have internal squabbles on Europe, but both were publicly pro-EU."

        No, both were *officially* pro-EU, but there was no public pretence at hiding internal party disagreement in either case.

        Completely blatantly so with the Tories (the whole thing started as an atrociously misjudged sop to their own party's hard right in the first place).

        But Labour weren't exactly hiding differing opinions either. Even Corbyn's nominal allegiance for "Remain" was utterly unconvincing. His lukewarm "support"- which trickled down into Labour's worthlessly half-baked campaign that almost certainly cost Remain the critical votes it needed to make a difference- was either blatant incompetence or malicious "incompetence".

        Personally, I don't believe it was the former, but either way is a damning reflection on him.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          trickled down into Labour's worthlessly half-baked campaign that almost certainly cost Remain the critical votes it needed to make a difference

          Yes, it's always somebody else's fault, isn't it.

          Perish the thought that people voted to leave because they actually wanted to leave, eh? Much easier to say that they were stupid, irrational, misled, lied-to, fooled, racist, bigoted, or 101 other excuses that can just as easily be applied to the folks who voted the other way.

          1. ZSn

            Anonymous Coward - aptly named

            Why is it that you are happy to complain about people yet remain an Anonymous Coward. We are all happy to add our names to our beliefs - for the record I am very pro EU and I've got a British passport.

            Yet you hide. Own up to your beliefs.

            As an aside, I really think this Anonymous Coward use is counterproductive, it allows for snide remarks from... whom? If you aren't brave enough to give me a handle I'll rather not consider anything you say to be worth responding to.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Anonymous Coward - aptly named

              yet remain an Anonymous Coward. We are all happy to add our names to our beliefs

              Really, your name is ZSn?

              I could post as Fred Smith, or John Brown, but why would that make a difference, you still wouldn't know who I was? The advantage of posting AC is that each post is taken on its own merits, without any bias from past history, or other issues.

              for the record I am very pro EU and I've got a British passport.

              I also have a British passport, live in another EU country, and am very anti-EU (although quite pro-Europe). What does that change?

              1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
                Unhappy

                "I also have a British passport, live in another EU country, and am very anti-EU"

                "Codejunky," is that you?

                That's one regular poster whose been noteably absent from this discussion.

                Don't be shy.

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: "I also have a British passport, live in another EU country, and am very anti-EU"

                  @ John Smith 19

                  "That's one regular poster whose been noteably absent from this discussion."

                  Aww John have you missed me? I have been absent because I have not been around but I am flattered your thinking of me. But as you note I have no problem posting my views under my name and more importantly I am in the UK.

                  I will point out to the AC that while it is very true that a comment can be taken purely on its own merit from being AC (I used to feel that way) it does cause problems when discussing as multiple AC's commenting can get confusing. Its hard to follow which is you and which is someone else. Also it leads to (some?) people assuming you are someone else posting anonymously (such as John here).

                  *On a more serious note I do enjoy our discussions too John and I hope you dont mind a little humour.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            AC #1 (myself):- trickled down into Labour's worthlessly half-baked campaign that almost certainly cost Remain the critical votes it needed to make a difference

            AC #2:- Perish the thought that people voted to leave because they actually wanted to leave, eh? Much easier to say that they were stupid, irrational, misled, lied-to, fooled, racist, bigoted, or 101 other excuses that can just as easily be applied to the folks who voted the other way.

            None of which, it'll be noted, were reasons or "excuses" I mentioned- let alone what I was talking about- in my original comment!

            (Are you trying to put words in my mouth, or are you just at the stage of posting kneejerk responses without replying to what was actually said- or both?)

            The accusation was that Labour ran a piss-poor, half-hearted campaign, and that had they- along with the "Remain" camp as a whole- made a better case for "Remain", there's a good chance they could have (a) swung some of those voters the other way and (b) persuaded some of the 28% who hadn't turned out that it was important to do so. (#)

            This only needed to be a 2% swing of those existing and new voters, and it's quite plausible that it would have been achieved had remotely decent campaign been run by Labour and friends.

            But, as I said, Corbyn was either incompetent (through lack of genuine enthusiasm or actual incompetence) or "incompetent" (knowing his unconvincing and half-baked support would achieve the "Leave" vote he wanted in his heart).

            Bear that in mind, shiny-eyed kiddies who voted "Remain" but still think that Corbyn is the second coming. Your hero is either useless or a liar- and I don't care which.

            (#) It'll be noted that this assumes intelligent persuasion, not assuming that the people in question are "stupid, irrational, misled, lied-to, fooled, racist, bigoted". (Yes, a proportion of "Leave" voters undoubtedly were, but it's the ones who weren't that are important here.) That said, I still hold those who voted "Leave"- along with those who couldn't be bothered voting- responsible for their choice. It's just that this doesn't excuse those whose job it was to persuade them otherwise for doing such an execrable job of it.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              > persuaded some of the 28% who hadn't turned out that it was important to do so.

              Perhaps if they hadn't told people it was just an advisory referendum for awareness, more people would have voted?

      2. strum

        >The EU is becoming an economically stagnant one-party state, where paternalistic politicians disregard any suggestion that it might be going in the wrong direction.

        What twaddle!. The EU has suffered from a populist backlash against a worldwide economic downturn - which spoiled assumptions of eternal betterment. They've handled it as well (or as badly) as anyone else.

        And they'll recover - a damn sight better than an isolated UK will.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > At least those 65 million people will now have some chance of escaping the catastrophe that the EU is heading for due to populist politicians picking up on the ever-growing dissatisfaction with EU politics and where no mainstream party dares to speak out against "more Europe".

        You've taken my EU citizenship away, along with ~1/2 of the rest of the country who didn't want to lose theirs either.

        That's not something you're going to be thanked for.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Why did the Tories do this? Why did they turn an internal party squabble on Europe into a catastrophe for the UK and its 65 million people?"

      Because they genuinely thought that a majority of people would vote rationally and the problem, which was far more than an internal party problem, would be dealt with for ever. It turned out that 2016 was not a good year for voting rationally.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Because they genuinely thought that a majority of people would vote rationally

        Leaving aside the implied insult that most people who voted were irrational, I don't think that was the case. I think it was more a case of Cameron genuinely thinking that he'd negotiated some real change to the UK's position, when in reality it was just the usual meaningless ambiguous hand-waving that today's politicians seem to think passes for policy-making. Their focus group said it's good, so they believed that it was. Maybe if they actually had the moral backbone to take a position they believe in, and the brains to defend it against criticism instead of "oops, our mistake, we'll not do that, then", they might be able to win people over.

        1. John H Woods Silver badge

          Phil, I respect your arguments, but without people voting Leave for irrational reasons the referendum result wouldn't even have been close, let alone a win for Leave.

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            without people voting Leave for irrational reasons the referendum result wouldn't even have been close

            So you're saying that no-one voted Remain for irrational reasons? Sorry, but I don't believe that. I've heard people who voted remain because they thought they'd not be able to travel to the EU again, people living in the EU that expect to be deported, people with pensions from EU companies that were scared they would stop.and more, none very rational. It cuts both ways.

      2. Teiwaz

        Because they genuinely thought that a majority of people would vote rationally

        Well, that just proves they are not fit to manage anything.

        Pretty obvious the population was not voting rationally when it voted them in twice...

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The worst government of my lifetime

      Wow, how quickly people forget Tony Blair.

      1. Yes Me Silver badge

        how quickly people forget

        The Blair government supported evil action in Iraq, and didn't deal with increasing inequality at home, but on the other hand it didn't wreck the country's economic future and seriously threaten the future of the Union. So yes, the May regime is the worst (and my memory goes back as far as McMillan).

        Get rid of her soon, please, and rescind the Article 50 letter.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: how quickly people forget

          So yes, the May regime is the worst (and my memory goes back as far as McMillan).

          Get rid of her soon, please, and rescind the Article 50 letter.

          Put those last two together and you're on track for a UKIP government. You'd really prefer to see Farage as PM?!!

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: how quickly people forget

            @AC

            "Put those last two together and you're on track for a UKIP government. You'd really prefer to see Farage as PM?!!"

            I would have liked to see it. Or at least as a major member of a coalition gov (UKIP have never been tested in gov). They were the only party with an actual plan to leave. They were the only party with a fully costed plan to build enough homes to meet requirements (Farage's UKIP that is, no idea about the current). The EU has serious fears over the UK leaving and with good reason. This isnt a stick to beat them with but accepting the real world and the actual state of the EU is important when the EU tries to dictate instead of negotiate.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "Wow, how quickly people forget Tony Blair."

        A remarkable self-publicist. He's still in the current news cycle. No sign of Cameron though. He dropped us in this mess and pissed off.

    5. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      Why did..turn an internal..squabble on Europe into a catastrophe for the UK and..65 million people?

      Because keeping the Conservative party together and in power supersedes any amount of chaos to the entire UK that will result.

      It kept the Conservative party together and turned UKIP into road kill.

      IOW Job done.

      UK society and the UK economy are "acceptable losses."

      Hope you don't feel too bad about that.

  7. Wolfclaw

    A good time to be UKGov IT supplier, money is going to get sloshed all over the place, when the various departments start to panic, when systems don't work as expected !

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Plus: Euro Currency

    Helmut Kohl and Jaques Chirac had a brilliant idea how to force the "United States of Europe" into place: Make all member states adopt a single currency and thereby kill a serious amount of their sovereignty. Like the DDR was killed by means of D-Mark adoption. Quite literally, if you look at their businesses.

    Now Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and even France are dependent on perpetual credit (increase!) in the hundreds of billions per year from the ECB. All while their real economies are destroyed and unemployment goes through the roof.

    Again: Rational decision to quit this club of madness.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Plus: Euro Currency

      Here you can see the debt inflation:

      https://www.querschuesse.de/target2-salden/

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Plus: Euro Currency

      Much as I detest the current ECB policy, it must also be pointed out that Germany needs solvent customers to finance its exports surplus. Transfers of some form are inevitable, whether it's the current form of financial repression or getting German granmas to invest in the US sub-prime mortgage market or some other wheeze.

      Also, the OMTs benefit Italy, France and German as much as the basket cases: Schäuble's schwarzer Null would be possible without it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Plus: Euro Currency

        Before we had the € currency, Germany was doing quite well. So do Switzerland, Norway the Czech and many others.

        The € is sold by politicians and mainstream media as a "peace project". But the Greek have never been more mad at Germany since 1945.

        € is good for Goldmann-Sachs and the likely. Everybody else would be better off without it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Plus: Euro Currency

          Hmm, lets see how the UK is doing...

          "Public sector net debt (excluding public sector banks) was £1,790.4 billion at the end of October 2017, equivalent to 87.2% of gross domestic product (GDP), an increase of £147.8 billion (or 4.5 percentage points as a ratio of GDP) on October 2016.

          Of this £147.8 billion, £101.7 billion is attributable to debt accumulated within the Bank of England. Nearly all of it is in the Asset Purchase Facility, including £89.9 billion from the Term Funding Scheme (TFS)."

          So that is just over £100 billion to prop up the financial services industry in one year - resulting directly in further house price inflation. If government policy puzzles you occasionally... follow the money.

        2. Charlie Clark Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Plus: Euro Currency

          Before we had the € currency, Germany was doing quite well

          That's actually manifestly bullshit. The costs of the 1:1 unification and the strong currency made Germany so uncompetitive that it was known at the turn of the millennium as the sick man of Europe. The Euro was an antidote to this because, as Theo Waigel put it at the time: we've exported the D-Mark and, thus, prevented further competitive devaluations while Germany exercised wage restraint and productivity improvements to regain competitivity (and in doing so partially provoke the debt crisis).

          Get back in your box you despicable, narrow-minded nationalist!

  9. Haku

    I would like to ask those who voted leave because they wanted to close the borders to foreigners, if the irony of a Brexit causing the borders to be less secure is making them regret their vote decision, but I think the replies might be along the lines of "Irony? My wife does the housework".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      irony of a Brexit causing the borders to be less secure

      How does "no difference" equate to "less secure"??

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        How does "no difference" equate to "less secure"??

        There will be little the UK, once outside of the EU, can do if France simply puts all those undesirables in the Calais camps on to trains and ferries - I don't expect them to form and wait in an orderly queue for passport control...

    2. Richard Parkin

      Nobody promised to close the borders to foreigners or to reduce immigration (the majority of which comes from outside EU), they promised to CONTROL immigration which is quite another thing. I agree that the Brexiciders heard a different message,

    3. codejunky Silver badge

      @ Haku

      "I would like to ask those who voted leave because they wanted to close the borders to foreigners"

      I worry about those people too. What I dont understand is how some remainers can side with them at the idea of closing the borders just because we left the EU. If those who voted leave to join the world and those voting remain because of trade concerns were to work together then we surely outnumber the racists and self-destructive?

  10. Neiljohnuk

    Proper border control, yes please.

    As a caravaning motorcyclist I really want effective border control and searching of freight trucks, given the number of both caravans and motorcycles stolen and illegally exported, not just by the "itinerant stolen caravan dwelling thieving b'stard do-as-they-likies" though stopping them would be a very good thing too.

    As for lack of investment, having travelled by Eurostar Border 'control' is a farce at present, but flying into Heathrow is a whole lot worse, when only 5 of 20 plus 'electronic' passport read and compare you to your likeness units were working and intermittently going over to the 'blue screen of death', the words fucking hopeless were uttered by more than a few...

  11. unwarranted triumphalism

    I don't see the Remoaners coming up with any clever ideas.

    1. ZSn

      Cancel Brexit?

      Yours truly, a remoaner.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        Cancel Brexit?

        Theoretically possible

        But only theoretically.

        At this point it would need an actual demonstration by "the people" that there was a serious lack of appetite for the UK.

        The notion that the first one should have been a 2/3 (of the vote) rather than a "1 bigger than the other side" vote is possible, but then if that had been done this b**locks would not have happened in the first place. Essentially Cameron through the English would be as sane as the Scots during the Independence Referendum (but only people living in Scotland got to vote. That dumped any of those media types living in America for a start).

        1. TrumpSlurp the Troll

          Re: Cancel Brexit? Theoretically possible.

          The guy who drafted the whole process said that it was designed to allow reversal of the decision.

          1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
            Unhappy

            "The guy who drafted the whole process..said.. it was designed to allow reversal"

            Which was very sensible of them but that is only the administrative side of the process.

            There is the political side.

            Just saying "No, the Referendum was only advisory and we're going to ignore it" just won't cut it.

            At this point the only way to stop those whiny ass b**ches Brexiteers complaining will be a decisive mandate from the British people. Those who actually live in the UK and who will be directly affected by that choice, like the Scottish one. It needs to be more than the stupid "Other sides number plus 1" that triggered this clusterf**k in the first place (IIRC the margin of Leave to Remain was basically in the statistical noise. Not much for the biggest, and longest lasting, political change in the UK political history in 45 years. Basically close to a coin toss).

            Failure to do so would mean Brexitieers whining on for another 40 years until another Conservative leader (and this has all been about keeping the Conservative party together) fails to stand firm against the barking mad loons more delusional wing of their party.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Cancel Brexit?

          "The notion that the first one should have been a 2/3 (of the vote) "

          Absolutely! I was taken aback when I first read the brexit vote was going to be "first past the post". Utterly ridiculous considering that we ended up with almost half the country very, very pissed off at the result. It should have at least been the same conditions as the Scottish independence referendum.

          1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
            Unhappy

            "It should have at least been the same conditions as the Scottish independence referendum."

            Actually that also was a FPTP result.

            However.

            Only people who lived in Scotland were allowed to vote. No post in's from France/Germany/US/British Cayman Islands etc.

            AFAIK no restrictions on nationality.

            16YO's could also vote, and it was expected they would be excited to leave. Except they weren't.

            Point was the people who voted were living in the country now, not some picture of "Scotia" they had in their heads when they left 20 years earlier to retire to their pool side in some offshore tax haven.

            It could also be argued the campaigns were more factual and less emotional than the EU referendum, less clouded by the British Empire, little England mentality. So people voted with their heads, not their hearts.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Cancel Brexit?

            Absolutely! I was taken aback when I first read the brexit vote was going to be "first past the post". Utterly ridiculous considering that we ended up with almost half the country very, very pissed off at the result. It should have at least been the same conditions as the Scottish independence referendum.

            And it should have been the case before we joined the EU as well. Of course, if that had been the case across all the EEC countries the EU would have only one member, Germany.

            So, let's have a vote to reverse Brexit with, of course, a requirement for a 2/3 majority in order to do so. Would you support that?

            1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
              FAIL

              "So, let's have a vote to reverse Brexit..a requirement for a 2/3 majority in order to do so. "

              Soon as you show some balls and stop hiding behind AC.

              Otherwise treat as troll and do not feed. Personally if the rules that got the UK into this clusterf**k are that good they are good enough to get the UK out of it.

              And BTW for all those whining Brexiteers look up the actual results of the referendum in 1975

              More than 34% in favor of joining over staying out.

              That's not in the "Statistical noise" that's "Too close to call," which is what the leave vote was.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: "So, let's have a vote to reverse Brexit..a requirement for a 2/3 majority in order to do so. "

                Soon as you show some balls and stop hiding behind AC

                Says "John Smith" :)

                look up the actual results of the referendum in 1975

                As has been repeated many, many times, that was a referendum on staying in the Common Market, an economic group that was, by and large, a good thing. The EU is a political union which is an unpopular, unworkable idea. When France, usually considered a very pro-European nation, was asked to vote on creating the EU in 1992 the vote in favour was 51% on a 71% turnout. Those are slightly lower figures than the Brexit leave vote, so by your definition they are also invalid, France should not have joined the EU.

                if the rules that got the UK into this clusterf**k are that good they are good enough to get the UK out of it.

                The 1975 referendum was also "only" advisory, and also required only a simple majority (no 2/3 supermajority) so the Brexit referendum was held under exactly the same rules.

              2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
                Unhappy

                That's not in the "Statistical noise" that's "Too close to call,"

                Ooops.

                To be clear. I meant that referendum was not too close to call. It was 2:1 in favor of joining when 64% of the electorate turned out.

                That seems pretty definite to me.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      >I don't see the Remoaners coming up with any clever ideas.

      Not been paying attention! Just like Brexiteers 'Remoaners' come in many flavours.

      One group's (fervent) hope is that Brexit is so bad the UK bounces back into full-fat EU: Euro, Schengen, no veto etc. etc. Perhaps they wish to revive the post -1066 social order in this country...

  12. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Fix Brexit

    It's easy to fix Brexit and solve the border issues, give Northern Ireland back to the Irish (this will make more people happy than unhappy), give Gibraltar back to Spain (ditto), give Scotland Independence (rebuild Hadrian's Wall as a tourist attraction) - see, that was easy - we're left with Wales...

    "It profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world ... but for Wales, Richard?" ... OK so we're not the UK any longer, but everyone's happy except the Welsh.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Fix Brexit

      "give Scotland Independence (rebuild Hadrian's Wall as a tourist attraction) "

      1. Hadrians Wall has been a huge tourist attraction for many, many years, pre-dating even the creation of the EU.

      2. Are you trying to piss off all those people in Northumberland and the north of Cumbria?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fix Brexit

      It's easy to fix Brexit and solve the border issues, give Northern Ireland back to the Irish

      In point of fact it was the 26 counties that chose to leave in 1921 with NI staying, so giving NI "back" to anyone makes no sense. There was never a single unifed Irish nation, the only time the island was ever united under a single government was when it was part of the UK.

      That, of course, offers another way to fix the border; the 26 counties could rejoin the UK.

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