back to article UK formally abandons Europe’s Unified Patent Court, Germany plans to move forward nevertheless

The UK has formally ditched the Unified Patent Court (UPC), a project to create a single pan-European patent system that would fix the confusing mess of contradictory laws currently in place. In a written statement in the House of Commons on Monday, the British undersecretary for science, research and innovation Amanda …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you look carefully at the edits.....

    "Participating in a court that applies EU law and is bound by the CJEU would be inconsistent with the Government’s aims of becoming subservient to Trump, creaming money off dodgy deals with American corporations an independent self-governing nation,” she said.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: If you look carefully at the edits.....

      It would perhaps be more constructive to look at the actual arguments for and against a European UPC, in the light of the German rejection and the current EPO status, rather than spouting yet another tiresome, irrelevant, anti-Brexit rant.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If you look carefully at the edits.....

        Why? I'm following the brexitter tradition of making a knee-jerk reaction to something I know nothing about, to troll you in the process.

        But that aside, I was clearly talking about the governmrnts motivations, and not the UPC itself... Do you really think BoJo has read it?

        Still, you won, get over it.

        1. RegGuy1 Silver badge

          Re: If you look carefully at the edits.....

          Yeah, that's the problem, they won. They didn't want to win, but alas they succeeded. Now they have to own it, and they hadn't thought of that.

          Much easier to moan and say it would be better if we left -- now we are leaving these muppets need to be creative. Bit difficult that, when most of those that suppot leaving are old and crinkly, and some have dementia and many have already died.

          Thanks.

      2. TVU Silver badge

        Re: If you look carefully at the edits.....

        The problem though is that so many economically self destructive decisions are now being taken purely because of the crude, ignorant nationalist outburst that is Brexit and they will have long term and very negative consequences for the United Kingdom.

        All rationality has been jettisoned in favour of uneducated sloganism such as "We've got our kuntry back now!" even if that comes at the expense of the car and aircraft industries and the financial services sector.

        1. YetAnotherLocksmith

          Re: If you look carefully at the edits.....

          And the NHS, and the fishing, and, as seen today, the ability to have free and fair elections without our biggest sworn enemy having carte blanche to do whatever they want, safe in the knowledge the tories won't interfere...

          Brexit: the sacrifice of everything, including the country itself, and any control over it, to get control of the country back.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The UK has formally ditched the Unified Patent Court (UPC), a project to create a single pan-European patent system that would fix the confusing mess of contradictory laws currently in place."

    Brexit just keeps on giving. So how is it going to be better again? Blue (well - dark blue/black passports and... )

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      I voted to remain, but the Euro Patent office was a complete shambles, an shining example of designed by comitee, a very corrupt one at that.

      If there was ever a poster child for Brexit, the EPO was it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I do love Brits criticising the bureaucracy of EU institutions, where as their own institutions are a Monty Pythonesque example of such bureaucracy, Living in the UK, at some point during the COVID lockdown, I couldn't allow my girlfriend into the house for a bit of bedroom action, however, by law I could have the same kind of adult fun with up to five people in my garden, as long as it was done discretely.

        See below the benefits of a Europe's United Patent Court. Of course the UK doesn't want to have anything to do with such benefits....until Boris Johnson gets replaced and someone more sensible realises it is actually hurting the UK competitively.

        What are the possible benefits of the Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court?

        For applicants – Reduced validation fees and translation fees. A potential reduction in renewal fees.

        For claimant patentees – Reduced cost of enforcement across many European countries.

        For claimant patentees – Ability to commence infringement proceedings in a single division that is convenient and suitable for the case to obtain a single pan-European injunction (preliminary or final) across several countries. There are numerous practical, legal, language and tactical considerations which will drive this decision, including the likely treatment of related claims for revocation. The commercial consequences of a pan-European injunction will make UPs very powerful intellectual property rights to have.

        For defendant parties – Possible reduction of cost of defending the same (allegedly infringing) product in a number of EU Member States simultaneously.

        For claimants/defendants – Ability to seek revocation of a patent in a number of EU Member States simultaneously.

        For SMEs – Possible reduced fees, certainly compared to multi-jurisdictional litigation in several EU countries at once, making patent enforcement a feasible option for SMEs who previously could not afford it. Access to injunctions in countries with court systems seen to date as not being sufficiently predictable and/or fiscally out of reach for SMEs.

        1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

          Re: advantages all backwards

          Reduced validation fees and translation fees are major problems. We should be increasing patent quality by slashing patent quantity. A dozen per year is more than enough. Increasing the price to £10million per (re-)application would be a small step in the right direction.

          Reduced enforcement/trolling costs are a much worse problem. Step one should be £100million in escrow to cover the defendant's legal costs.

          IIRC Apple sued Samsung in the EU and was appoint a court in the UK. Apple did not like how the hearing was going so tried again in Germany. Samsung pointed this out, the German proceedings were ended and Apple got a harsh scolding. We already had a way to make EU wide rulings based on a single trial in a country selected to be not overly awkward to the defendant or the troll.

          The SME argument is a complete straw man. Patent assertion/defence starts at about £10million. SME's do far better by developing version N+1 so any copies of version N are completely uncompetitive. The real value of patents to SME's to accelerate the rush to bankruptcy and have the patents picked out of the corpse by trolling vulture capitalists for a pittance.

          1. BrownishMonstr Bronze badge

            Re: advantages all backwards

            I was going to write a passive-aggressive response, but I shouldn't.

            The whole point of the patent is to allow people and businesses to put their ideas into public and give them some protection in doing so.

            If the fee was too high for normal people (without the big bucks) to patent ideas it could prevent them from submitting their wonderful ideas.

            Arguably, the fee should be reduced (or waived) for people who cannot afford it, or even for everyone. You want people to put their ideas into the public, even if they don't have the expenditure to see it through to production. Big businesses can then buy the patent from the owner, who are able to see it through to production.

            Geniuses are just born into rich families, it's just that they have more opportunities to share their ideas.

            1. Pat Att

              Re: advantages all backwards

              You are entirely correct. Mr Kroes on the other hand, isn't.

            2. LucreLout Silver badge

              Re: advantages all backwards

              Arguably, the fee should be reduced (or waived) for people who cannot afford it, or even for everyone. You want people to put their ideas into the public, even if they don't have the expenditure to see it through to production. Big businesses can then buy the patent from the owner, who are able to see it through to production.

              The problem there becomes that I can start patenting a great many things and doing little to bring them into reality, and then sit back and wait for the future to enrich my descendants. Imagine if Gene Roddenberry had patented much of the Start Trek ideas - no tablet computing without paying the Start Trek tax, no real time ML language translations, etc etc

              Where patents are available too freely they act as nought more than a tax on the future rather than protection for bringing it forth. By way of evidence I give you the patent trolls / farmers whose sole business is buying up defunct companies to mine their IP.

              1. James 139

                Re: advantages all backwards

                "The problem there becomes that I can start patenting a great many things and doing little to bring them into reality, and then sit back and wait for the future to enrich my descendants. Imagine if Gene Roddenberry had patented much of the Start Trek ideas - no tablet computing without paying the Start Trek tax, no real time ML language translations, etc etc"

                Which is why, as far as I know, sensible patent regimes give a patent a limited life, during which time you are expected to develop, manufacture, bring to market or just sell the idea.

                Once the patent expires, anyone can follow your guide to make their own copy.

                It isn't Disney "copyright", but for fast changing technology, it might as well be sometimes.

                1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

                  Re: What sensible patent regimes?

                  The "limited life" is 20 years. Imagine bringing a new product to market while being limited to 20 year old technology. (The car industry does exactly that with patents they do not own or cross-license. I am not sure how this rewards inventors or increases the rate of technical progress)

                  There is no expectation, requirement, preference or hint that development is the next step after (or before) getting a patent - much less manufacturing or bringing to market. There is no requirement that the patented invention even works. There was supposed to be some concept that a person skilled in the art could read a patent and then create the invention. That has not been reality for a long time. (There was supposed to be some lip-service to the idea that someone skilled in the art could not promptly re-create your invention without reading the patent but getting a patent invalidated for being obvious is impractical.) You can patent 'the idea' without going into detail about how such an invention could be made. Vagueness is in fact a bonus because it makes it difficult to prove someone else's product does not infringe.

                  Selling the idea only works if you have money. Lots of money. If you actually have a brilliant idea and it is still brilliant years later when you have your patent try showing it to a manufacturer. They will show you the door. Next year you will see your invention on sale. Sue for patent infringement. Sell you house to cover the initial legal fees. Live in a cardboard box for months of delays. Find you do not have the money to continue. Sell the lawsuit for a percentage of the payout. The buyer then does a cross-licensing deal so no money changes hands and you get nothing.

                  The effective way to earn money from patents if to patent gibberish. The patent will be rejected so you modify the gibberish a little and re-submit it to avoid the fee for filing a new patent. This method takes about as long as patenting a good idea but you do not need to bother with all that expensive time consuming R&D. Next threaten to sue world+dog. Do not for any reason actually initiate court proceedings. At first offer cheap settlements. You will get some. Use the funds for more threats. Keep the business growing until you are a multimillionaire then you can actually sue someone with money. Pick the right victim and they will settle for a large lump of cash on the condition that you sue their competitor.

                  The good news for this business model is that it is like Mickey Mouse copyrights. Every five years you update your patents so they are good for another 20 years.

                  1. Pat Att

                    Re: What sensible patent regimes?

                    Mr Kroes, I don't know where you learnt your patent law, but you have it all wrong. You can't renew a patent every 20 years. After 20 year it dies and is free to use by anyone.

                    Please link to some of these patents that cover gibberish that you mention. Patents aren't the easiest of documents to read, but to successfully sue someone you have to show they are infringing the claims of the patent. If it's gibberish then nobody will be doing that.

                    You can't patent the idea without explaining how the invention can be made to function. The patent is not valid if that is the case.

                    There is a requirement that a patented idea works. And if there wasn't, and I had a patent for something that didn't work, then nobody would infringe it, and it would have no value.

                    You are correct that litigation is expensive (although you have exaggerated the costs). There is in the UK the IPEC that is a lower cost approach, and so is within the scope of many smaller businesses.

                    I get that you hate patents, but there's no need to come out with this nonsense about them.

              2. DS999
                FAIL

                You cannot patent an idea

                Imagine if Gene Roddenberry had patented much of the Start Trek ideas - no tablet computing without paying the Start Trek tax, no real time ML language translations, etc etc

                Sorry, that's not how it works. Even if Star Trek had happened in 2006 instead of 1966 so the patent would have still been valid (and even if those 'ideas' were original to Star Trek and hadn't been in previous SF novels) he couldn't have patented "a tablet" and "real time language translation" and been able to sue over the iPad or Google Translate.

                You have to provide details on HOW you do something. Now maybe the current patent system doesn't do a very good job of enforcing this quite as well as they should, that's a separate argument. But Roddenberry would be unable to make any claims in his patent that would have been violated by either Apple or Google because figuring out HOW to do something is a lot harder than coming up with an idea "hey, wouldn't this be cool/handy?" and it is the how that you patent, not the "cool/handy" part.

                1. Twilight

                  Re: You cannot patent an idea

                  Except that he was in the US and there have been some monumentally stupid patent decisions in courts here. There are plenty of examples of a patent being "xxx on a computer" or "xxx on a wireless device (phone)" where xxx was a well-known concept that have held up for a while (still?) and cost tons of money in court fees and settlements.

            3. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

              Re: advantages all backwards

              The whole point of the patent system used to be to increase the rate of technical progress by rewarding inventors with a time limited monopoly in return for publicly documenting how their invention work. The patent system was subverted by regulatory capture decades ago. At best it is now a mechanism for lawyers to eat 30% of the world's R&D budget - at a reduced tax rate.

              The only reason I cannot link to the latest stupid patent of the month is that no-one has the resources required to read them all and pick a winner. IBM earn the nickname "the Nazgul" because they could blacken the sky with lawyers. They use to read through all the new patents to find good ideas. They stopped decades ago because even they did not have the resources to read patents that fast (and the rate has increased since then), they were not learning anything useful and it opened them up to triple damages for wilful infringement. (Stupid Patent of the Month used to warn people against reading the patents because of the risk of those triple damages.)

              Please please lets see an example of a recent patent that has actually fulfils the original goals of the patent system.

            4. AndyD 8-)₹

              Re: advantages all backwards

              @Wonderful Ideas

              You can't patent ideas (or methods or algorithms OR computer programs) - only devices.

          2. LucreLout Silver badge

            Re: advantages all backwards

            The SME argument is a complete straw man. Patent assertion/defence starts at about £10million. SME's do far better by developing version N+1 so any copies of version N are completely uncompetitive. The real value of patents to SME's to accelerate the rush to bankruptcy and have the patents picked out of the corpse by trolling vulture capitalists for a pittance.

            This is probably the best description of the realities of patent law I've read this year. Patents are a bit like employment rights, in that if you can't or won't go to court to enforce them then they don't really exist.

            Changing employment law to make tribunals anonymous for the individual but public for the corporate would allow people to enforce their rights without trashing their careers. Changing patent law to make the parties over a certain fiscal size cover the costs of parties under a certain fiscal size should prevent some of the abuses there too.

          3. H in The Hague Silver badge

            Re: advantages all backwards

            "Patent assertion/defence starts at about £10million."

            Have you got a source for that? Which country/court, or EPO?

            1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

              Re: cost of litigation

              That was a very old number from memory + inflation. I should have checked figures from this millennium before posting.

              The figure here is $2.8M in 2013. Here it says $0.6M to $5M in 2017. This one (2019) gives $0.7M to $4M but despite the title does not explain why the costs appear to be falling (might give answers if you enable javascript).

              This link mentions costs in the UK but depends on javascript so I have no idea if it contains anything useful.

              (The off switch for javascript in Firefox is now broken and it does not handle noscript tags as well as it used to. lynx and brave do a better job. Rant grumble grumble...)

              1. Pat Att

                Re: cost of litigation

                So, like everything else you have said, you've made it up. Your figures are nonsense, and most of your arguments are too.

          4. YetAnotherLocksmith

            Re: advantages all backwards

            "5 or 10 patents a year is enough"? Are you competing with the patent clerk who claimed "everything has already been invented", way back before the invention of the telephone, computer, dishwasher, laser, etc?

            I know Brexit is taking us 80 years back, but patents are older than that!

      2. DC1948

        Never mind that the EPO is not an EU body. Like the ECHR, it has an E in front, so must be nasty!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Never mind that the EPO is not an EU body. Like the ECHR, it has an E in front, so must be nasty!"

          No, the way it behaves means it is nasty. Or did you miss the (allegedly. Haha) 'questionable' behaviour of Battistelli and his cronies?

        2. Cederic Silver badge

          Perhaps you missed the part of the article that mentioned that the proposed UPC "applies EU law and is bound by the CJEU", thus making it subservient to an EU body.

          However, I believe the article was slightly wrong - even Mrs May only wanted to participate if it didn't draw the UK under EU control.

          Strange that the EU keeps trying to do that. It's almost as though they want something from us..

          1. YetAnotherLocksmith

            I think, then, you'll be very happy when you find they want nothing to do with supplying us in another 6 months. Make sure to buy in plenty of, well, *everything you need*, because there won't be any more for some time.

            1. Cederic Silver badge

              Sure. German car makers will abandon the UK market, the Dutch will throw away all the food they currently export to the UK, the Spanish will refuse to trade across the Channel.

              I could go on but it sounds very silly already. Do you really believe that?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Sadly, he probably really does believe it.

      3. Warm Braw Silver badge

        If there was ever a poster child for Brexit, the EPO was it

        As far as I can gather, the UPC, which should not be confused with the EPO, is not an EU institution and not all EU countries are members, though there is provision for EU recognition where member states have signed up.

        Had it been a purely EU body, it would likely have been rather less complex, but there were originally ambitions to extend participation beyond the EU.

        The alternative to the UK "participating in a court that applies EU law and is bound by the CJEU" is that businesses have to deal with that court anyway (assuming it comes into existence) as well continuing to deal with courts in the UK. But we're probably just burning a bridge to a place that's already on fire.

      4. chivo243 Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        EPO is a cesspool. The missus got out when after our child was born, and some good friends are still stuck there. They have nothing good to say, especially now that they are all working from home, and miss the best part, the EPO restaurant is really quite nice according to the missus. And I hear the bar was quite nice, and used to be open from lunch on... but that was abused and the hours were limited.

      5. Dan 55 Silver badge

        If there was ever a poster child for Brexit, the EPO was it.

        Yes, exactly. It is the poster child for Brexit. The EPO is not an EU institution and Brexit is just an unthinking rejection of everything that could be described as "Yrup".

    2. LucreLout Silver badge

      Brexit just keeps on giving. So how is it going to be better again?

      And yet here we are, all these years down the line and still no remainer has ever been able to give voice to why they wanted to remain, to explain what tangible benefit they think they have that they think they're losing and how they think that might impact them. Not one remainer, no one reason, in more than 4 years.

      Being able to sign our own trade deal with the rest of the world is a major advantage over the rEU which took 7+ years to do a trade deal with Canada. There's a whole world out there beyond little old Europe.

      Being able to control our own laws and interpretation of them rather than having some court in Europe dictate to us what we will and won't do, while the rest of Europe interprets the law as they please and are never sanctioned for it, that will be a major benefit of leaving.

      Advantages of staying.... erm..... maybe something about booking a holiday once or twice a year.... but that's about all most people will have, and when they realise how many holidays they have outside of the rEU they'll quickly see that was no benefit at all.

      Project fear never had any answers, and unfortunately for them, England is unafraid.

      1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

        And still no remainer has ever been able to give voice to why they wanted to remain

        The tedious brexiteer lie. But when has anyone pro-brexit not claimed lies as truth and denied truth as lie?

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          And yet you still don't give an answer. Not one. One might be given to consideration that it is because you don't have one? Lots of downvotes, but never an answer.

          It's always the same old remainer nonsense. Afraid of change. That is your whole argument in 3 words. The biggest lie of all was always that the rEU had kept peace in Europe since WW2 - only for Russia to annex half of the only country to be a member of the rEU and not be a member of NATO. Quite honestly how you can keep a straight face while accusing others of lies is beyond me - you should be ashamed.

          Either way, we're out now and we're never going back. Onward and upwards.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge
            Facepalm

            The biggest lie of all was always that the rEU had kept peace in Europe since WW2 - only for Russia to annex half of the only country to be a member of the rEU and not be a member of NATO.

            Since when was the Ukraine a member of the EU? Are you even on this planet?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              The Biggest Lie

              Given that the two apparent leaders of the EU, despite the nationality of the sitting President, are Germany and France, a better question might be what exactly did WW2 achieve?

              One blue flag with a circle of gold stars. One citizenship for everybody without exception, regardless of pre-EU national boundaries. One EU President.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: The Biggest Lie

                One blue flag with a circle of gold stars. One citizenship for everybody without exception, regardless of pre-EU national boundaries. One EU President.

                One regime, one set of rules, all for the greater glory of the union. Sounds almost like China.

                1. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

                  Re: The Biggest Lie

                  Which single set of rules were you thinking of? There are 27 countries with massively different rules in many areas, but harmonized in others.

                2. YetAnotherLocksmith

                  Re: The Biggest Lie

                  Oh god, I hate to tell you this, but The USA? Its actually made up of 50 federal states and parts, under one president.

                  1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                    Re: The Biggest Lie

                    The USA? Its actually made up of 50 federal states and parts, under one president.

                    These days that federation looks about as solid and healthy as the EU!

              2. Cederic Silver badge

                Re: The Biggest Lie

                what exactly did WW2 achieve?

                The overthrow of a very nasty German regime, saving the lives of tens of millions of people, along with a substantially more peaceful Europe than had been seen for a couple of thousand years beforehand.

                Just small stuff I guess.

                1. Warm Braw Silver badge

                  Re: The Biggest Lie

                  Just small stuff I guess

                  There's an argument to be made that the net effect of WW2 was simply to swap the occupation of Eastern Europe by Nazi Germany for the occupation of Eastern Europe by Stalinist Russia while sealing the demise of Western European power on the world stage. It's just that the alternative was worse.

                  1. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

                    Re: The Biggest Lie

                    True, that's an argument that could be made, but usually by stupid people with no grasp of facts or history. Eastern Europe was not occupied by Nazi Germany prior to WW2, which was kinda the point.

                    Yes, there was a post-war occupation of Eastern Europe. But the Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, Austria, Luxembourg and half of France were also occupied.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            No one replied to you because you're trolling badly. Not even the most insane brexitters claim there are no benefits to staying in the EU.

            But here goes.... trade (to be fair, at least most brexitters voted on the assumption we'd have a trade deal... another lie)

            Jobs, inward investment, being the European base for English speaking multinationals. Great trade deals with other countries (due to the might of the EU being the biggest trading block)

            Independence ... Yeah. We were a sovereign state with a huge influence in a powerful block. Now we're going to be Americas bitch. Of course, that means lower food and working conditions.

            Actually.. That's hardly scratching the surface. You're wasting my time. Google it.

            Still, at least there's that £350 million a week for the NHS to look forward to.

            1. LucreLout Silver badge

              Not even the most insane brexitters claim there are no benefits to staying in the EU.

              I never said they didn't exist, I just said Remainers don't know what they are.... looking at your post I was right.

              Jobs, inward investment, being the European base for English speaking multinationals.

              This is a key benefit of leaving - its why multinationals are increasingly moving their work here out of Europe since the Brexit vote. You've not understood global commerce properly and as a result hold a view completely contrary to the reality of what is happening - see closing European car factories to bring the work here, McDonalds new shinny HQ etc etc for details.

              Great trade deals with other countries (due to the might of the EU being the biggest trading block)

              Sorry, no, you've not understood this correctly either. It took 7 years to do a very limited trade deal with Canada. It took 20+ years to not do a trade deal with the African Union. Trade deals shouldn't take as long as they do and that is purely because the rEU does them wrong - little Belgian provinces that nobody has ever heard of suddenly refuse to ratify without bribes, for example. We need to be out of the rEU so we can do global trade deals much much faster than they do and with greater clarity.

              Independence ... Yeah. We were a sovereign state with a huge influence in a powerful block.

              Perhaps the best example of cognitive dissonance I've seen all week. We're so powerful that when we sent the PM to negotiate an options list of utterly trivial changes, they not only insisted that each member state's negotiator made space for a "german chair" in the room, but they sent him packing like some naughty school boy. That's how "huge" our influence was in the economically increasingly irrelevant EU.

              Now we're going to be Americas bitch. Of course, that means lower food and working conditions.

              More remainer lies. Not one single change has been proposed by anyone to employment law, the vast bulk of which the EU adopted from us in the first place when we became a member.

              So far your reasoning amounts to misunderstanding a whole array of issues around which you have no competence, and lies about the path independence will take. In short, you have nothing. As a Leaver I could give you a more realistic list to want to stay a member that would be based on fact rather than emotion, but I find it too entertaining to watch remainers flail around like chicken little. The sky isn't falling, we're going to be just fine, better than fine.

              1. YetAnotherLocksmith

                I sincerely wish you could have what you wanted, but you're going to get the same as the rest of us.

                That spun pile of lies above? You'll get none of that. Try reading an actual mainstream news paper. Even the Mail knows you've been stitched up, and the Russia Report today tells you it was by the Tory Leavers who won't look at Russian treason. In the end, you'll be as stuffed as the rest of us, only to you, it'll be a huge shock. The rest of us have already seen through the lies.

            2. not.known@this.address Silver badge

              You couldn't make it up! Oh wait, you just did.

              What I got from your post was that you think America is an evil, horrible place and one you could easily do without, you don't need anything that comes out of America. You're wasting my time.

              "Google it."

              Oh no, you can't can you - Google's American and you don't need anything from America, do you?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: You couldn't make it up! Oh wait, you just did.

                Most amusing how you equate not wanting American food standards, or working standards, or being subservient to America as "hating America".

                I love America. I hate that my American friends (generally, and specifically) get no mandated holidays per year, eat food that can legally contain rat droppings, could go bankrupt just from being ill, and have a fool for a President.

                It's not anti-American to want better for them, and not worse for us. We've already got the fool for a leader, we don't want the rest.

                Now, to read that and equate it to "America is an evil horrible place, and we don't need anything that comes out of it" shows you have a LOT of insecurity issues, and a strong paranoia complex.

                I'll ignore the rest of the strawmen.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: You couldn't make it up! Oh wait, you just did.

                  European Union food can legally contain rat droppings too, but at least the Americans put an absolute upper limit to the rat dropping content, unlike the EU

            3. Cederic Silver badge

              Still, at least there's that £350 million a week for the NHS to look forward to.

              Not to mention saving £117bn yesterday, when we got to avoid having to commit to repay a very large loan taken out by the EU.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                @Cederic

                I couldnt help but laugh yesterday when I read that countries were being accused of behaving like Cameron with brexit and how they are now having to voice their complaints because we aint there to do it for them.

                I hear there are 4 hold outs over the Covid bailout who want the spending to be accountable which makes the others cry.

                1. NoKangaroosInAustria

                  Re: @Cederic

                  Speaking from one of those holdout countries, the general feeling on the ground is that people see it as good and necessary to show solidarity with your neighbours i.e. EU members in dire straits due to the pandemic.

                  Just to be clear, the four countries that refer to themselves as the frugal four are referred to by everyone everyone else as "the stingy four" and most people feel thatthe most affected countries like Italy were not getting the help they needed at the speed they required.

                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: @Cederic

                    @NoKangaroosInAustria

                    I was kind of following the story as I found it pretty interesting to read. The 'frugal four' seeming to want to reduce the amount of money just pissed away but also wanting some actual accountability on the countries spending it. And for that they seemed to take flack from those wanting to spend.

                    As a leave voter it does look like brexit happened at the right time as this debt has been applied across the EU (aka a burden tot he rich countries) and would have made leaving more difficult.

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: @Cederic

                    Just to be clear, the four countries that refer to themselves as the frugal four are referred to by everyone everyone else as "the stingy four" and most people feel thatthe most affected countries like Italy were not getting the help they needed at the speed they required.

                    That's certainly not the case here in France. As the most heavily-taxed country in the EU (we finally reached 'tax freedom" day last Monday) people are increasingly fed up with spending money on what are seen as lazy neighbours.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Brexit has cost the UK £200 billion already. Your maths is broken.

          3. TVU Silver badge

            OK then, just where are all the winged Brexit unicorns flying in with jobs for everyone, free crocks of gold for every family in the United Kingdom and all the other fake news promises of the two Brexit campaigns?

            Those Brexit campaigns were founded on lies and mostly racist lies at that along with delusion that the UK is up there in terms of economic power status with Germany and Japan when the reality is that the UK is now sliding down the world GDP rankings.

            All and any forms of Brexit will be damaging to the British economy and the harder the Brexit is, the more economic damage will be done to the UK but none of that apparently matters to ill-informed and pig ignorant Brexit supporters.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              All and any forms of Brexit will be damaging to the British economy and the harder the Brexit is, the more economic damage will be done to the UK but none of that apparently matters to ill-informed and pig ignorant Brexit supporters.

              Sounds more like the opinion of a pig ignorant leaver.

              What have you got against pigs anyway?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Um.. That's what he said.

                Typical brexitter... Spectacular own-goal there.

                What have *you* got against pigs anyway? !!

          4. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

            @LucreLout: I have given you answers to this question many times previously, as you (unusually for a Brexit supporter) have given (usually) thoughtful answers to support your view.

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge

        All these years down the line and still no remainer has ever been able to give voice to why they wanted to remain, to explain what tangible benefit they think they have that they think they're losing and how they think that might impact them. Not one remainer, no one reason, in more than 4 years.

        Your question is like "Not one non-hole driller has been able to explain what tangible benefit they think they have by not drilling a hole in the bottom of this boat". The answer is, of course, not fucking everything up.

        But if you want a random list, a value-for-money bureaucracy that is smaller than many UK city councils managing to streamline many things common to the bloc (e.g. customs for which the UK will now need 50,000 employees extra, companies will now need to spend a lot of money on imports and exports), the single market and customs union which removes barriers to the UK's biggest market, the ability to take part in trade negotiations representing an area of approx 460 million people meaning you generally get your own way and get to set standards, creating an all-island economy between Ireland/NI based with the single market and customs union to help bring peace to the island, high food and environmental standards and strong consumer laws, laws to protect everyone from discrimination in the workplace which went back to 1957, freedom of movement to live, study, work, and retire in all EU countries.

        The fact that you only barely managed to go on holiday to the EU doesn't mean that other people don't think the EU was useful.

        Project fear never had any answers, and unfortunately for them, England is unafraid.

        Popularist faux-patriotic bullshit. Ingerland is currently having a collective temper tantrum. A pandemic isn't good enough, there has to be Brexit and, if that's not good enough, Brexit without a trade deal, too. It's friggin national suicide cult.

        1. maffski

          "Not one non-hole driller has been able to explain what tangible benefit they think they have by not drilling a hole in the bottom of this boat". The answer is, of course, not fucking everything up.

          Not terribly relevant but almost all boats have at least one hole in the bottom.

          1. NetBlackOps Bronze badge
            Pint

            Majority do not, if you include all small boats, the world over as this ex-sailor has seen first-hand. Over the transom steering, motorized or no, is extremely common. Pretty interesting to see in practice how it changes some of the dynamics of steerage.

            (And far more interesting than stale pro-/anti-Brexit arguments. Sorry, not sorry.)

        2. LucreLout Silver badge

          a value-for-money bureaucracy that is smaller than many UK city councils

          Value for money? Really? How many presidents does it have now and what does each one do? No Googling. You don't know, nobody does, because they do so little of any actual value.

          companies will now need to spend a lot of money on imports and exports)

          Sort of like trading with the rest of the world, whose global share of GSP is growing where the rEU is shrinking fast? We can offset their costs by using a fraction of the net tariffs (absent a trade deal) to compensate their costs.

          the ability to take part in trade negotiations representing an area of approx 460 million people meaning you generally get your own way and get to set standards

          No, no you don't. You get to bully weaker trading blocks like the African Union, but you don't get to set sh*t with important parts of the world like USA or China. And for that you waste 7 years negotiating a very small trade deal with Canada, who are probably the most reasonable nation on earth. 7 years!

          creating an all-island economy between Ireland/NI based with the single market and customs union to help bring peace to the island

          No it didn't. We joined in 1973 and the Irish were still bombing the piss out of each other and the mainland for several decades to come. Best case you could claim the rEU helped the IRA lie to themselves about already having a unified Ireland inside the rEU, but that was never true and was never going to be the case. Its just more deception.

          high food and environmental standards and strong consumer laws

          So your view is that these only exist in the rEU? Pathetic. Truly pathetic.

          laws to protect everyone from discrimination in the workplace which went back to 1957

          Sure, go try being not white in Poland and then come back singing the praises of this.... I've had 3 different mates marry Polish girls and relocate - the white guys had no problems and were accepted into their community and workplaces. The black guy not so much - spat at in the street, regarded with suspicion, subject to hate. He had a breakdown after 18 months and came home.

          freedom of movement to live, study, work, and retire in all EU countries.

          Ah, that theoretical freedom again. And yet, nobody did any of this. If we net them all up you're talking about around 500,000 people, of which more than half are retirees in Spain. British people live, work, and retire the world over - the rEU conveys no particular benefit in this regard to most people because they'll never use it. I've lived and worked in two foreign countries and found it no easier in the rEU. This is a classic example of a paper benefit - something you think you might value because you think you might use it, but you never do - sort of like the spare pack of bogrolls in the airing cupboard, no?

          The fact that you only barely managed to go on holiday to the EU doesn't mean that other people don't think the EU was useful.

          Yeah, my wife is Swedish and unlike you I have have lived and worked there. I've lived and worked outside the rEU too. The much vaunted freedom of movement was always far more important to Europeans because they had English as a shared second language, than it ever has been for us Brits.

          London is France's 6th biggest city.... Paris, in terms of British population, would barely pass for an English village. Spain, where half of all British expats in the rEU reside, makes up a place about the size of Swansea by population. And you'll still be allowed to retire to Spain after the transition period expires. You don't really think that Greece offering a competitive 7% tax rate on all income if you retire there is going to refuse you right of entry? Freedom of movement is the biggest paper tiger you could have raised. SMH.

          Do you actually believe this stuff or are you just repeating what you read in the guardian? There's nothing at all to fear from no deal. We have no deal with America or China, and yet I type this on a Chinese keyboard, wearing American jeans and trainers, and sipping a Coke.

          There are none so blind as those that will not see. I know you're scared, but frankly this display of cowardice in front of the enemy is most unbecoming of an Englishman.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Value for money? Really? How many presidents does it have now and what does each one do? No Googling. You don't know, nobody does, because they do so little of any actual value.

            You obviously don't want to talk about the number of civil servants and the EU budget. The UK has almost spent the same on Brexit now than was ever paid into the EU.

            Sort of like trading with the rest of the world, whose global share of GSP is growing where the rEU is shrinking fast? We can offset their costs by using a fraction of the net tariffs (absent a trade deal) to compensate their costs.

            It's perfectly reasonable for British companies to trade with their neighbours, over of trade is done with the EU, and for them all that's going to happen is costs are going to go up. The whole idea is that the SM & CU don't have tariffs, and as the UK won't have deals with most countries in the world (please don't say "Go, WTO"), the tariffs for non-European countries will also be higher. So, yeah, higher tariffs all round. You won't be offsetting anything against that.

            No, no you don't. You get to bully weaker trading blocks like the African Union, but you don't get to set sh*t with important parts of the world like USA or China. And for that you waste 7 years negotiating a very small trade deal with Canada, who are probably the most reasonable nation on earth. 7 years!

            Do you know what Everything But Arms is? No, of course you don't. That's why you believe Africa is bullied when it's quite the opposite.

            Do you know why there are no deals with USA or China deal yet? Because the EU refused to be bullied. I'm sure there will be a very quick USA-UK deal, but it won't be to the UK's advantage.

            No it didn't. We joined in 1973 and the Irish were still bombing the piss out of each other and the mainland for several decades to come. Best case you could claim the rEU helped the IRA lie to themselves about already having a unified Ireland inside the rEU, but that was never true and was never going to be the case. Its just more deception.

            Good Friday Agreement 'wouldn't have happened without EU' - George Mitchell

            People in Northern Ireland can choose to identify as British, or Irish, or both. There is an all-island economy, so much so that you can cross the border without realising. The health service is shared. It is a region jointly administered by two countries. These are all facts.

            So your view is that these only exist in the rEU? Pathetic. Truly pathetic.

            No it isn't, my view is high food and environmental standards and strong consumer laws exist in the UK too. Not for long, though. By the way, equal pay for men and women was in the Treaty of Rome in 1957 whereas the UK had to wait until the Equal Pay Act 1970 as a condition of entering the EU.

            Sure, go try being not white in Poland and then come back singing the praises of this.... I've had 3 different mates marry Polish girls and relocate - the white guys had no problems and were accepted into their community and workplaces. The black guy not so much - spat at in the street, regarded with suspicion, subject to hate. He had a breakdown after 18 months and came home.

            Anyone would suspect Poland (and Hungary) have even more problems than the UK at the moment.

            Ah, that theoretical freedom again. And yet, nobody did any of this. If we net them all up you're talking about around 500,000 people, of which more than half are retirees in Spain. British people live, work, and retire the world over - the rEU conveys no particular benefit in this regard to most people because they'll never use it. I've lived and worked in two foreign countries and found it no easier in the rEU. This is a classic example of a paper benefit - something you think you might value because you think you might use it, but you never do - sort of like the spare pack of bogrolls in the airing cupboard, no? Yeah, my wife is Swedish and unlike you I have have lived and worked there. I've lived and worked outside the rEU too.

            I'm comparing and contrasting the visa process and FoM and there appears to be no basis at all to what you say, I really don't understand why you believe there is no benefit to having FoM in EU countries. Brits who try to get residency from next year onwards will be treated as third-party foreigners instead of EU citizens but I'm sure as always there will be people to who this will come as a complete surprise.

            The much vaunted freedom of movement was always far more important to Europeans because they had English as a shared second language, than it ever has been for us Brits.

            The fact that you're a person who considers not learning the local language is an advantage says loads.

            London is France's 6th biggest city.... Paris, in terms of British population, would barely pass for an English village. Spain, where half of all British expats in the rEU reside, makes up a place about the size of Swansea by population.

            I think you're comparing apples with oranges. 1.2 million Brits have taken advantage of it yet you maintain FoM apparently means nothing, yet 3 million EU citizens coming the other way (i.e. net 1.8 million influx) means Brexit must be happen.

            And you'll still be allowed to retire to Spain after the transition period expires.

            Pretty shitty retirement though, as the UK won't be uprating pensions for new retirees.

            You don't really think that Greece offering a competitive 7% tax rate on all income if you retire there is going to refuse you right of entry?

            Unfortunately UK Citizens' healthcare costs will go up over 7%... shame about that.

            Freedom of movement is the biggest paper tiger you could have raised. SMH.

            And yet it was the bogeyman that delivered Brexit.

            Do you actually believe this stuff or are you just repeating what you read in the guardian? There's nothing at all to fear from no deal. We have no deal with America or China, and yet I type this on a Chinese keyboard, wearing American jeans and trainers, and sipping a Coke.

            Things are a little more complicated than having a trade deal and not having a trade deal. The British government is seriously planning to reset the clock on all the trade agreements and deals it has and return to a state that very few countries have (basic WTO tariffs) as if it were some kind of good thing and people actually believe it. Is it unsurprising wonder the honourable member for the 18th Century said that it would take 50 years to see the benefits of Brexit.

            There are none so blind as those that will not see. I know you're scared, but frankly this display of cowardice in front of the enemy is most unbecoming of an Englishman.

            God help me, that there are people on this planet who post this nonsense let alone believe this it.

            1. LucreLout Silver badge

              You obviously don't want to talk about the number of civil servants and the EU budget. The UK has almost spent the same on Brexit now than was ever paid into the EU.

              Well yes, it turns out that 4 years of delay, obfuscation, court cases, and increasingly desperate attempts by Remainers to overthrow the result IS expensive. Who knew? Nothing to do with Brexit, that's just the losing side refusing to accept defeat.

              So, yeah, higher tariffs all round. You won't be offsetting anything against that.

              At best you may find a few increases in tariffs with non-EU countries where we won't have trade deals, but all of those countries will be signing trade deals with us - we were the economic jewel in the EU crown - because trade with us is why they signed up with the EU in the first place. Maybe, maybe at best, you have a temporary blip while we sign the new agreements, but for sure it ain't going to take 7 years to do them.

              Do you know why there are no deals with USA or China deal yet? Because the EU refused to be bullied.

              ROFL. No, its because the EU couldn't bully them. They had to trade as equals, well actually in those cases the junior partner. It's the same with the UK now - they can't bully us anymore so they don't want to do a deal. Unfortunately, they have to do a deal (just maybe not by December) because their entire economic edifice is predicated on selling stuff to and in the UK.

              It is a region jointly administered by two countries. These are all facts.

              Sorry but you have that wrong. There are two separate legislatures one in NI and one in the Republic because they are not a jointly administered region at all. It's a fiction Republicans tell themselves because it sounds better than "surrender", which is what happened.

              By the way, equal pay for men and women was in the Treaty of Rome in 1957 whereas the UK had to wait until the Equal Pay Act 1970 as a condition of entering the EU.

              Revisionist nonsense. The Referendum Act wasn't passed until 1975 to enable the referendum to join to take place later that year. The EU wasn't formed until 1993. At best you lack the knowledge to distinguish the common market from the european union, in which case you need to study more, and at worst, you're lying to yourself and all of us here.

              I'm comparing and contrasting the visa process and FoM and there appears to be no basis at all to what you say, I really don't understand why you believe there is no benefit to having FoM in EU countries.

              You still have all the registration hassles. The only difference is an extra form to complete before you move there. More Brits live and work outside the EU than ever have within it (there's more just in Australia alone) and yet they find no insurmountable obstacles. You're assuming problems where the people that do migrate find none.

              The fact that you're a person who considers not learning the local language is an advantage says loads.

              Mostly it says you have appalling comprehension skills. I speak (not great) Swedish too which is the only one English speaking country I've lived in. What I said what being able to move about where you already speak a common language benefits the EU more than the English, which is why there is considerably more of them in the UK than Brits in all of the EU.

              Pretty shitty retirement though, as the UK won't be uprating pensions for new retirees.

              Unsupported speculation.

              Unfortunately UK Citizens' healthcare costs will go up over 7%... shame about that.

              Speculation again.

              Freedom of movement is the biggest paper tiger you could have raised. SMH.

              And yet it was the bogeyman that delivered Brexit.

              Gordon Brown delivered Brexit, and Junker brought it screaming into this world. Both by their own behaviour. It is, after all, the "thick Northerners" who voted for Brexit (and usually for labour). Gillian Duffy was their awakening and the Islington set of lefty loons was their driving force.

              Is it unsurprising wonder the honourable member for the 18th Century said that it would take 50 years to see the benefits of Brexit.

              Maybe. I think it'll take 10 for the EU to implode and for even remainers to see we're better off out. Maybe another 10 to see clear economic blue water over where we'd have been if the EU doesn't implode. By the time we're 30 years out we'll be so far ahead of where we would have been that the EU will have shrunk to a handful of nations.

              The EU already cannot keep pace with the changing world and its going to go into warp speed after Covid blows through. There's no chance of them evolving in time to keep pace, so they will continue to slide into irrelevance.

              I know you're scared, but frankly this display of cowardice in front of the enemy is most unbecoming of an Englishman.

              God help me, that there are people on this planet who post this nonsense let alone believe this it.

              Mostly people believe it because its true. If you're shitting your pants on the way to the negotiating table or the battle, then you've already lost it. Stiff upper lip old boy, there's a good chap.

        3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          "Not one non-hole driller has been able to explain what tangible benefit they think they have by not drilling a hole in the bottom of this boat".

          That's possibly because we would know that there's more to a boat than the bottom, and by looking around intelligently we can find other places to drill holes that could be very useful.

          Got any more silly analogies?

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            What do you expect, silly statements get a silly analogies.

        4. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          streamline many things common to the bloc

          Ah yes, only one way to do it and everyone must do it that way. Whether it actually fits their needs or not. Not a recipe for success.

          the ability to take part in trade negotiations representing an area of approx 460 million people meaning you generally get your own way and get to set standards,

          Hmm, like the way they won that court case over Apple last week? Or the UPC that's the subject of this article, or...?

          What the members actually get is the ability to do things the way a bunch of politicians think it should be done.

          laws to protect everyone from discrimination in the workplace which went back to 1957

          Are you sure? The EU directive against racial discrimination in the workplace dates from 2000, that for male/female discrimination from 2004. The equivalent UK laws long predate those, as do most UK consumer and employee protection laws. UK employees have a 28 day minimum holiday allowance. the EU minimum is 20 days. Sure, we opted out of the working time agreement because it was too restrictive. I work in an EU country today and the only way I can get my work done in an international environment is to ignore the rules. It's my choice, why should I be prevented from working the hours I want to, in order to be successful?

          The fact that you only barely managed to go on holiday to the EU doesn't mean that other people don't think the EU was useful.

          Aaaaand there it is, the snide remainer ad-hominem attack when you run out of arguments. Some of us Brexit supporters have lived and worked in other EU countries for decades, we at least have seen and understand both sides of the discussion and can make our choices based on the facts.

          there has to be Brexit and, if that's not good enough, Brexit without a trade deal, too. It's friggin national suicide cult.

          That's the same crap that was produced before the withdrawal agreement was signed, and it wasn't true then either. The only people who don't want one are the remainers, so that they can have something else to complain about. There will be a trade deal, no-one wants otherwise, UK or EU.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Ah yes, only one way to do it and everyone must do it that way. Whether it actually fits their needs or not. Not a recipe for success.

            Yet it seams the Single Market and the Customs Union does work and saves businesses a lot of money. We'll find out how 'freestyle' customs controls work next year on the UK side.

            Hmm, like the way they won that court case over Apple last week?

            Was that a trade negotiation with a country or a court case?

            Or the UPC that's the subject of this article, or...?

            The UPC is not an EU organisation. Why is this not sinking in for many posters?

            What the members actually get is the ability to do things the way a bunch of politicians think it should be done.

            Who are voted for by the people. Do you have a better way?

            Are you sure? The EU directive against racial discrimination in the workplace dates from 2000, that for male/female discrimination from 2004. The equivalent UK laws long predate those, as do most UK consumer and employee protection laws.

            Treaty of Rome is 1957, Equal Pay Act is 1970.

            UK employees have a 28 day minimum holiday allowance. the EU minimum is 20 days.

            Yes, but 8 of those are public holidays anyway. I think you can work out the rest.

            Sure, we opted out of the working time agreement because it was too restrictive. I work in an EU country today and the only way I can get my work done in an international environment is to ignore the rules. It's my choice, why should I be prevented from working the hours I want to, in order to be successful?

            Very often, people don't work the hours they want, but the hours their employer wants. It's there to protect people.

            Aaaaand there it is, the snide remainer ad-hominem attack when you run out of arguments. Some of us Brexit supporters have lived and worked in other EU countries for decades, we at least have seen and understand both sides of the discussion and can make our choices based on the facts.

            You should have perhaps read your fellow Brexiteer's post which prompted that reply before being so bold as to claim that. It seems every advancement which has come from the EU is useless, only good for holidays, or both. Does that say more about the EU or the poster?

            That's the same crap that was produced before the withdrawal agreement was signed, and it wasn't true then either. The only people who don't want one are the remainers, so that they can have something else to complain about. There will be a trade deal, no-one wants otherwise, UK or EU.

            I really would like to live in a world where everything is so certain.

            Speaking of trade deals of another kind (US-UK), yesterday the Tories voted against against protecting the NHS from being sold, against the protection of agriculture and food standards, and against parliament having oversight of any trade deals. You can already tell what kind of trade deal the Tories want with the US, but even if Trump still manages to win the elections, the House has to pass it, which is more oversight than the UK currently has as of yesterday.

            1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

              Treaty of Rome is 1957, Equal Pay Act is 1970.

              The Treaty just described a principle, the first Equal Pay Directive was 1975.

              Very often, people don't work the hours they want, but the hours their employer wants. It's there to protect people.

              Yes, nanny. I prefer the freedom to choose.

              1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                The Treaty just described a principle, the first Equal Pay Directive was 1975.

                There was no such thing as a directive in 1957, but the article 119, specifying equal pay, had just as much force as the rest of them.

                Each Member State shall during the first stage ensure and subsequently maintain the application of the principle that men and women should receive equal pay for equal work.

                Principle means rule. What's unclear with with the word 'principle'?

                Yes, nanny. I prefer the freedom to choose.

                Laws for everyone should be crafted around your set of happy circumstances which allows you to have total choice and your employer to not coerce you.

      3. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

        The simplest answer is in fact your own: _only_ being able to sign sign our own trade deals, for which no other country is rushing to negotiate. The USA has made it clear that they want to degrade UK agricultural standards to put US farm goods (lower standards and mass monoculture) on an equal footing with British farmers. But doing that would harm trade with the UK's largest trading partner. They've made it clear that they want the NHS to pay more for US pharmaceuticals.

        Moving on, as you've obviously not been paying attention, the Irish situation is dire: either we have a hard border between NI and the South, or we have a hard border between two parts of the UK.

        Another great problem is the fact that London has ceased to be the financial capital of Europe. The effects of this are being masked by COVID, but they're real. Similarly, as of January 1st, certifications for goods issued by the UK cease to be valid in the EU, which is going to cost British businesses over their European counterparts.

        I agree that all of these are, individually, manageable. But turning the Brexiteer's tub thumping around: what benefit -- in pounds and pence -- is Britain gaining from having left? Yeah, Westminster loves being immune from having to follow rules they didn't (exclusively) write, but is that good for Britons, or good for politicians?

        One factual observation: Brexiteers claim that Britain will not be subject to foreign courts, but just a lie: if we want to trade, foreign courts will be part and parcel of any deal, including (obviously) the WTO tribunals. Also EHCR (hopefully; xenophobes hate it, because it sets a standard for human rights that some petty tyrants can't disregard). ITLOS, and so on.

        Lastly, the claim that "we're never going back" is suspect and inherently naive: Northern Ireland is the closest to "going back", but the Channel Islands and Scotland both recognize a different balance of probabilities...

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          _only_ being able to sign sign our own trade deals, for which no other country is rushing to negotiate

          Half the world is lined up waiting to get their chance to do a deal. We're the 5th biggest economy in the world - all of the rest of them want a deal. IT just won't take 7 years to do each of them, you get that right?

          the Irish situation is dire: either we have a hard border between NI and the South, or we have a hard border between two parts of the UK.

          The border would be between Northern Ireland and the Republic, yes. That will be an inevitable consequence of no deal. It'll be interesting to see how the terrorists respond though, because this time it will be the rEU installing the towers and border not the UK.

          Another great problem is the fact that London has ceased to be the financial capital of Europe.

          You simply could not be more wrong. There is nowhere else in Europe the financial capital could possibly go - frankfurt doesn't have neough people even if they all worked in finance. Nobody in the City is the least little bit worried about Brexit related cuts - we'll be busier than ever thanks to the new rEU slush fund because they will be coming to London to get their bonds away.

          Similarly, as of January 1st, certifications for goods issued by the UK cease to be valid in the EU, which is going to cost British businesses over their European counterparts.

          The balance of trade deficit means we can pay our suppliers costs out of the net tariffs we receive from rEU and still make money.

          We just saved 250 Billion Euros that we'd have had to put in the bailout fund (since we used to make up 1/3rd of their net budget and the bailout is 750 billion EUR). That's on top of the £350 million a week we save by not being in. Keep adding it up at this rate and it'll start to look like a lot of money, even to a labour chancellor.

          Brexiteers claim that Britain will not be subject to foreign courts, but just a lie: if we want to trade, foreign courts will be part and parcel of any deal, including (obviously) the WTO tribunals.

          WTO tribunals are part of the deal now. Nothing changes int hat respect. What we won't be subjected to any further is rulings from the ECJ. Do you not understand the difference and when each is used and why?

          Lastly, the claim that "we're never going back" is suspect and inherently naive: Northern Ireland is the closest to "going back", but the Channel Islands and Scotland both recognize a different balance of probabilities...

          NI is going nowhere, but is the only part of your paragraph that possibly could. Scotland can't afford independence and the ultimate irony is that they can't be independent in the rEU. Their moaning is akin to that of a bitter ex-wife depending on her ex husband for financial support - she may not like him but she very much needs him more than he needs her.

          There isn't going to be an EU in 10 years from now. Certainly whatever crumbled edifice may remain will look nothing like it did when we were members. Remainers may have been happy to bow and scrape before a Franco-German rEU alliance, and Scotland certainly is (though more people voted for Brexit there than ever voted SNP), but fortunately most of us have ore sense.

          Be honest with yourself for a moment as you'll never be honest with us. The disgusting behavior of the rEU towards Greece in the financial crisis, Italy in the Covid crisis, and us when we voted to Leave (and before).... is that really a club that you want to be a member of? Does their behavior really reflect your values? Really?

          Its a morally and now fiscally bankrupt cesspit and we're well rid of it. Our future is so much brighter outside than it ever could have been held captive within. You've lost so many arguments and votes now that I've honestly lost count - it must be one for each EU President by now. Its time to accept the result, accept that you were wrong, and move on. You don't have a choice about doing it, so you may as well do it in good graces and in a dignified manner instead of parroting delusion after delusion, lie after lie, no?

        2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          the fact that London has ceased to be the financial capital of Europe.

          As of March 2020 London is rated #2 in world financial centres (behind New York). The closest European one is Geneva at #9, and the closest EU one is Frankfurt at #13.

          what benefit -- in pounds and pence -- is Britain gaining from having left?

          Little yet, of course. Brexit isn't a magic bullet, it's an escape from the constraints that are dragging the EU down to a stagnant, mediocre, economic polity. UK growth has always been better than the Eurozone, and will continue to do better, but it will take years, of course, for the benefits of Brexit to really take hold. That's always the case when a country gains independence from a controlling bloc.

          Brexiteers claim that Britain will not be subject to foreign courts, but just a lie: if we want to trade, foreign courts will be part and parcel of any deal,

          You misunderstand (or misrepresent) the situation. The issue is one of jurisdiction. Of course EU courts have jurisdiction over EU issues, and of course British trade with the EU will come at least partly under that jurisdiction and those courts. That should be obvious, no-one has ever claimed otherwise.

          The difference now is that EU courts will not be able to overrule British courts on purely British issues.

          Also EHCR

          Both the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights derive from the Council of Europe, not from the EU.The UK was a founding member, and is still a member, of the Council of Europe (which is much larger than the EU).

          ITLOS

          Not even a European body, it's the International Tribunal for the Law Of the Sea, and irrelevant in the context of Brexit.

          Lastly, the claim that "we're never going back" is suspect and inherently naive: Northern Ireland is the closest to "going back", but the Channel Islands and Scotland both recognize a different balance of probabilities...

          Since the Channel Islands were never in the EU in the first place, the question of going back doesn't arise. If Scotland were so foolish as to leave the UK and (re)join the EU I don't envy them the problems of policing the border. With NI there is an incentive for the UK to find a suitable accommodation with the RoI to keep an open border, but no such incentive would exist for England with respect to Scotland. They could just throw up a fence & leave the Scots to sort it out.

          1. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

            Well, Phil, I'm glad you agree that when Brexiteering politicians spew on about "Participating in a court that applies EU law and is bound by the CJEU would be inconsistent with the Government’s aims of becoming an independent self-governing nation” you're admitting that they're being hypocrites, because obviously courts like ITLOS and ECHR and the WIPO tribunals are courts that apply non-British law, and only a complete idiot would fabricate some qualitative difference between non-British-but-European and non-British-but-something else. Britain is never going to be an "independent self-governing nation" if that means adhering to only British courts.

            Obviously, Britain will adhere to foreign/multinational courts (such as ITLOS). So not wishing to participate in EU institutions is not a matter of some grand principle, but just classic "hard Brexit" doggerel: it's because they are _EU_, institutions, not non-British... (A sane Brexit policy would have kept Britain in things like the JAA while diverging in other areas, but that doesn't fit the dogma).

            Meanwhile, _which_ countries are lining up for trade deals? Be specific. Use names. And apply percentages of trade... Remember, you've got about 50% (depending on how you measure it) to balance what will be lost with the EU. Of course, things that were manufactured in the UK for EU consumption will fall, because the regulatory framework (even if the UK manages to agree a deal with the EU, which is as likely as pigs flying at the moment) adds cost that a plant in, say, Ireland won't have. Don't count on the USA. Trump is a fan, Biden has more rational priorities. Don't count on China or Hong Kong, either, given the current diplomatic chill. So that leaves places like JPN, AUS, NZL, SGP, IND, TUR, Russia, Latin & Central America -- not to be sneezed at, but all a long haul.

            And yes, I agree the UK has done better than the Eurozone... but that fact rather defeats your thesis that the UK has been dragged down. Surely an equally valid explanation is that, being a non-Euro economy, the UK offers the best of both worlds.

            I hope you're right about Scotland, but the evidence isn't compelling. Every objection you make applied equally to Scottish independence, and yet that was far closer than expected. And the Brexit decision proves that people vote for nebulous intangibles ("taking back control", who f'cking cares about whether Edinburgh, London or Brussels "controls" as long as the results are palatable?) in the face of obvious economic risks.

            [ Incidentally, while the Channel Islands were indeed never formerly part of the EU, their trade with France was controlled by London, which was. And Channel Island/EU relations _was_ a part of Britain's EU membership, so they've already experienced the chaos caused by Boris's talk-first-think-later scheme. People in the Channel Islands and also Gibralta look at Malta and go "Hmmm..." the thought of an "associate EU membership" (which doesn't currently exist, but could be modelled on Norway or Switzerland) is not unappealing to many. ]

          2. David Hicklin

            For a brief moment I was going to jump in on the pro/anti brexit debate until remembered two truth's that won't go away:

            The one outcome of Brexit is to hopelessly divide the UK down the middle for generations to come.

            There is no point trying to argue points with the rabid supporters of either side as they are both hopelessly entrenched in their positions like on a WW1 battlefield (which loops back to the first truth!)

            The whole campaign was bloody awful, both side lied through their rear ends and nobody planned for a "leave" result. What they should have done was to negotiate the "leave" conditions first and then had the referendum - they we could have made an informed choice and left almost immediately without any arguments.

            I voted remain. Why? Free market, ability to travel, live and work wherever you wanted to Europe, Employment and Consumer protection (despite the best efforts of UK Gov to limit them), being part of a big trading block which gives it more clout on the world stage instead of a little minnow and it stopped the UK imposing utterly draconian laws.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              What they should have done was to negotiate the "leave" conditions first and then had the referendum

              And how exactly would they have made the EU negotiate anything for a hypothetical situation? Prior to the leave victory, the EU position was "we're not talking about it, it won't happen".

              Free market, ability to travel, live and work wherever you wanted to Europe

              Which largely existed under the EEC, where things should have stopped. Those freedoms aren't worth much when subject to a failing, centrally-controlled, economic omnishambles like Brussels. You don't get a very "free" market when it's subject to the whims of politicians.

              Employment and Consumer protection (despite the best efforts of UK Gov to limit them

              Go and look them up. The UK consumer protection laws are, and always have been, better than EU minima.

              being part of a big trading block which gives it more clout on the world stage instead of a little minnow

              if that big bloc is doing the trading you want. I don't see Hong Kong being so happy about being in that situation at the moment.

              stopped the UK imposing utterly draconian laws

              Have you ever lived outside the UK? Have a look at the CATO human freedom index, where the UK is in the top 3rd of EU countries in 2019 (that will have changed, since I doubt if HK is still #2), compare it to France (where I live) that is almost at the bottom of the EU rankings. Or look at Transparency International, where the UK is the 12th least corrupt country in the world, and in the top half for the EU.

              1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

                @AC: "... You don't get a very "free" market when it's subject to the whims of politicians."

                More free than when it is at the whims of the electorate, though.

          3. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

            "... but no such incentive would exist for England with respect to Scotland. They could just throw up a fence & leave the Scots to sort it out."

            We'll have that fence up before your Westminster politicians have finished their first morning gin!

      4. YetAnotherLocksmith

        Just because you won't read the answers, like "human rights the government can't simply remove", "food standards", "exchange students being able to study freely in the rEU", "no residency tests for millions of Brit immigrants in Spain", "a massive medicines agency that ensures our drugs are safe without massive duplication across 28 countries", "huge negotiation power cast China and the USA", "access rights for good, services and physical lorries", doesn't mean they aren't real benefits.

        1. Llcodejason

          <i>"human rights the government can't simply remove"</i>

          The Human Rights Act was conceived by Churchill, written by Maxwell-Fyfe, and opposed by Atlee. Thus the EU contributed nothing to human rights in Britain, and the main threat to those rights comes from the left.

          <i>"food standards"</i>

          You assume you won't be able to choose between produce from the EU and produce from elsewhere. There is no evidence for that. You assume food standards will reduce when they may increase. Again, there is no evidence either way.

          One does wonder what you do when leaving the EU for a holiday though? Do you pack your own food to take with you, or do you eat what is available locally and produced under their food standards?

          <i>"exchange students being able to study freely in the rEU"</i>

          Exchange students from Britain may be found the world over - I myself studied in California (UCD) some years back. You're assuming some great impediment rather than what is more likely to be a simple form accompanying the usual academic forms.

          <i>"no residency tests for millions of Brit immigrants in Spain"</i>

          There are not millions of "Brit immigrants" in the whole EU and certainly not in Spain. This appears to have peaked in 2012 at fewer than 400,000 and has fallen to about 240,000 now.

          <i>"a massive medicines agency that ensures our drugs are safe without massive duplication across 28 countries"</i>

          EMA rests upon the NCA's of its members. You are assuming we will definitively diverge from EU regulations and to such a significant degree that it will rpove costly or inefficient. Its possible approval may be deemed granted by rubber stamp post EMA verification. You don't know and nor do I. You're assuming the worst case rather than a balanced view.

          <i>"huge negotiation power cast China and the USA"</i>

          China and America completely eclipse the EU in terms of negotiating power, and without the worlds 5th biggest economy being part of it, the EUs relative global power is now severely diminished. It will be more so without a trade deal with the UK - it does seem to be our scientists that are leading the global Cornovirus fight does it not? Evidently we retain competency and capability that are world class.

          <i>"access rights for good, services and physical lorries"</i>

          You have again assumed no trade deal is ever signed, which seems unlikely to be true even if one is not signed before the end of the transition period. As more of their "physical lorries" come here than do ours go there, any resulting paperwork will be more of a problem for the EU than it is for us. Tariffs work in the favour of those with the trade deficit - which in any other situation would not be a valuable thing to have.

          You present your opinion as fact and no evidence to back up your claims. I usually avoid politics because most people base their views on the party their father voted for rather than any sensible assessment at the time of the election, so this will be my only post on the matter and as such I will concede that I too have provided no evidence and that I too may be wrong.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            >>> You assume you won't be able to choose between produce from the EU and produce from elsewhere. There is no evidence for that. You assume food standards will reduce when they may increase. Again, there is no evidence either way.<<<

            You seem to forgotten that the USA have already demanded "country of origin" is removed from food packaging, as they consider it "prejudicial".

            You've also forgotten the USA demands that we adopt their lower standards of food quality.

            Both these facts are well established. I hope you've just forgotten, and you aren't trying to gaslight.

            PLENTY of other sources out there if you don't like these:

            Why labels won't protect UK food standards from a US trade deal - Which.uk"

            The US will 'push off' a post-Brexit trade deal with the UK until its food standards demands are met

            The European Union prohibits or severely restricts many food additives that have been linked to cancer that are still used in American-made bread, cookies, soft drinks and other processed foods. Europe also bars the use of several drugs that are used in farm animals in the United States, and many..."

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              You seem to forgotten that the USA have already demanded "country of origin" is removed from food packaging, as they consider it "prejudicial".

              They also banned the alcohol %age from being on bottles of beer, for some reason.

              Still, if the label doesn't have a country of origin, and the only country forbidding it is the US, it should be self-evident. Then people can avoid it, they way they do US brands like McDonalds, and US wine, and.. oh, wait.

              You've also forgotten the USA demands that we adopt their lower standards of food quality.

              Consumer choice. If people don't want it, they won't buy it. Personally I enjoy trips to the US for their beef and wine, just as I enjoy the UK for it's beer and lamb, Ireland for its fish, France for its bread & cheese, etc. I tend to avoid French beef (tasteless), Irish wine(!), UK pizza, etc.

          2. Dan 55 Silver badge
            Meh

            Welcome to El Reg and thank you for creating a handle and posting your very first post under that handle.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Oh Dan!

              Just because it's a new user....

              Just because their first post jumps straight into talking about brexit...

              Just because all anti-brexit posts the last few days have gathered 2 or 3 downvotes in a short amount of time....

              Just because seasoned posters know about the "italic" html tag being accepted here, and that one poster happened to use it on his fake new user, forgetting that said tag wasn't available to new users,....

              You old cynic! Next you'll be claiming that those lovely millionaires who charitably gave to the brexit cause had monetry ulterior motives, and that them buying EU citizenship via Cyprus was not simply because they want to learn Greek!

              :-)

              1. Llcodejason

                I'm a Web developer and I can see italic text in all the replies. Why wouldn't I assume it doesn't follow HTML syntax? I couldn't find any guidelines on formatting.

                I've been reading the site since dot coma were around so I'm used to seeing robust commentary, however, you are being a bit dim. It took a sufficiently annoying level of ignorance to encourage me to create a forum account, and someone was always going to disagree with whatever my first post was because its a discussion forum.

                Maybe I should just head on over to arstechnica instead.... This place is getting worse than CIF.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  If your "first post" didn't claim that attacks on our human rights are mainly coming from the left, you may have been taken seriously.

                  I don't see the left in America pushing the police state, or attacking pro - choice, and courting the Christian taliban.

                  I don't see the left in the UK withdrawing us from the ECHR, as Johnson made clear in March. I don't see the left withdrawing from the workers rights standards.

                  Quite frankly, highlighting that most of these acts originated in the UK raises even more cause for concern that the current lot want to remove them.

      5. ICL1900-G3

        OK, I'll bite...here's just one reason...freedom of movement. I worked in the EU half of my working life. It was great, financially and culturally. There are other reasons.

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          OK, I'll bite...here's just one reason...freedom of movement. I worked in the EU half of my working life. It was great, financially and culturally.

          Fair enough if you made use of it then it would be valuable to you as it was to me when I did it. You do know that puts us in a very small minority of the country though right? Probably around 2-5% at the very most will ever live and work abroad and much of that won't be in the EU. You can't really complain that people gave up a 'benefit' they weren't using for one they will (free trade agreements with the ROTW).

          It's not like we can't go work abroad, there'll just be some more paperwork this time, same as when I lived and worked in the USA. The additional complexity of moving abroad for work outside the EU is not substantial compared to the complexity of doing so in the EU regardless of previous rights - you still have mountains of official and unofficial paperwork to wade through and much to organise. Its a marginal inconvenience to be completed before you depart and then its no different unless you commit a crime and get deported.

          1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

            The small number of UK residents that took advantage of freedom of movement is entirely down to the poor education in foreign languages, culture, etc. It isn't a coincidence that the majority of people who *have* taken advantage if it are generally better educated than average, and have been exposed to people from other European countries.

            1. LucreLout Silver badge

              @Intractable Potsherd

              I'll give you that, and an up vote, it may well be the reason. But then why would they value a "benefit" they never use? That some of those that used it view it as a loss doesn't convey upon those not using it any requirement to seek to retain it.

              The flip side of freedom of movement, particularly in the North East, was that much factory work went to flat rate overtime rather than time and a half, because so many Eastern Europeans were willing to work at that rate. Now most of the shift to which I refer held no complaint for the Poles coming to do the work - it was after all just "Auf Wiehdersehn Pet" in reverse. They do however blame successive governments for not implementing better protections before opening the borders.

              The benefits I've enjoyed of free movement came at their cost. It seems fairer to me that I complete some small amount of paperwork before emigrating to another country in return for their not having their livelihood cut out from under them.

              Not everyone will agree with what I've written, but the usual refrain of "thick Northerners" and "racists" simply holds no water, and is why Brexit remains anathema to so many remainers. Leavers have been patient, more than patient, since the vote but its time to move on now and those remainers still clinging to an often confused vision of what the EU was are going to have to be forced to move on.

              The thing I've never understood is if freedom of movement is so important to them and if the EU is such an overwhelming positive force in their lives that they would rather wreck our democracy than accept the vote, why do they not simply use that freedom and move to another EU country?

              I still intend to learn Spanish and retire to Spain (with blocks of time in America & the UK, and some time travelling) and I expect zero problems in doing so when the time comes.

    3. not.known@this.address Silver badge

      "Brexit just keeps on giving. So how is it going to be better again? Blue (well - dark blue/black passports and... )"

      I fail to see what Brexit has to do with accusations that the EPO was delaying small business or individuals' Patent applications while leaking details of those applications to their cronies in big business, thus allowing the bigger company to "publish first" and claim the Patent.

      1. H in The Hague Silver badge

        " ...leaking details of those applications to their cronies in big business, thus allowing the bigger company to "publish first" and claim the Patent"

        Could you explain that a bit more? Perhaps give an example? In my limited knowledge of European patents it's all about the priority date, which you establish by filing for a patent. Don't think that's got anything to do with the publication date.

  3. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Patents are a complete mess worldwide, so ...

    This may not make much difference to the actual protection afforded intellectual property as for international protection you have to take out patents in so many countries anyway and the rules are multifarious. The US tops the bill though as first filing allows patenting of a competitor's unpatented product even if it's already on sale, and most patents seem to be granted without much scrutiny. There seems to be a general assumption that post-grant litigation will sort out any resulting mess. Of course it can, but only if the offended litigant can afford to pursue it. Oh the joys of unregulated markets.

    1. Pat Att

      Re: Patents are a complete mess worldwide, so ...

      I'd love to see some evidence of your statements. You are correct about the high cost of litigation, but that's about it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Patents are a complete mess worldwide, so ...

        "I'd love to see some evidence of your statements."

        Square corners?

        1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

          Re: Patents are a complete mess worldwide, so ...

          You are referring to a "design patent". For that case if you think of it as trade mark rather than patent law it will make a tiny bit more sense.

          The Apple's actual patents were "display to the edge of the device" (which Apple could not manufacture but Samsung could), "four rows of icons" and "the colour black". Luckily someone beat Apple to it when there was the chance to patent the wheel.

        2. Pat Att

          Re: Patents are a complete mess worldwide, so ...

          That was Registered Designs issue. Nothing to do with patents.

      2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Re: Evidence you would love to see

        Here you go Pat Att(orney?). Evidence of low patent quality being 'sorted out' at great expense in post grant litigation. The patents are for generic data transmission, in this example, from a ventilator.

        It took me less than 30 seconds to find this despite cases like this not hitting the news every week ("Dog Bites Postman!"). Wilful ignorance? Fingers in ears while shouting "LA LA LA"? I am sure you know damn well what is going on but it is to your financial advantage to pretend otherwise.

  4. LDS Silver badge

    Looking at the data...

    "Among the EU Member States, Germany had by far the highest number of patent applications to the EPO in 2014, some 20.7 thousand (36.5 % of the EU-28 total), followed by France (9.1 thousand), the United Kingdom (5.3 thousand), Italy (4.2 thousand), the Netherlands (3.5 thousand) and Sweden (3.4 thousand)."

    "Applications from EU-28 Member States reached 56.6 thousand in 2014 (or 39.6 % of the total)"

    UK doesn't look so critical to the system, and even after Brexit EU is still a large union which would benefit from unified systems - if done well, of course. It would leave more time to deal with systems outside.

  5. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge

    Replace all the EPO officials

    For the EPO to have any validity, all its senior officials need to be replaced. Do not leave anyone above the level of janitor from the current organisation and give it a proper set of rules that can only be amended with the agreement of the European Parliament to stop a future Battistelli from being able to do a power grab. Also change its constitution to be subordinate to the normal justice system rather than as Battistelli managed to argue independent from them.

    Alternatively just abolish the EPO completely.

    1. H in The Hague Silver badge

      Re: Replace all the EPO officials

      "For the EPO to have any validity, [...] with the agreement of the European Parliament"

      Please note the EPO is not an EU body! So beyond the control of the European Parliament.

      That's not to say the EPO wouldn't benefit from some reforms, but that's beyond my ken.

  6. Len Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Two questions

    Putting too much power over how patents are dealt with into a single system and reducing the oversight power of the European Parliament and the European Court of Justice, especially when it comes to complying with the European Convention on Human Rights, could have serious consequences.

    I don't understand why EP and CJEU would have reduced oversight as a result of this plan? My first assumption would be that it would increase. Generally, after having read all the horror stories about the EPO, I would be in favour to have them report to a parliament and answerable to a court.

    There is also a strong likelihood that the UPC will benefit big business and leave smaller companies and businesses at a disadvantage.

    Why would this benefit bigger businesses over smaller businesses? If my small business can go through one patent procedure with one court to get a patent in 30-odd countries that would surely be cheaper and easier than to go through ten different procedures for the ten most important European markets. I would think that only big businesses have the pockets to do the latter.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Two questions

      The reason why the EPO (a non-EU orgnaisation) has turned into a fiefdom is precisely due to lack of oversight.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Two questions

      "I don't understand why EP and CJEU would have reduced oversight as a result of this plan? My first assumption would be that it would increase. Generally, after having read all the horror stories about the EPO, I would be in favour to have them report to a parliament and answerable to a court."

      You might be in favour of them reporting to the EU Parliament, but the problem is that they are not.

      Well, one of the problems. The EU Parliament sometimes seems to forget *it* is supposed to serve *us*, the citizens of the EU - we are not here to serve it. That's why some people voted for Brexit.

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Re: Why people voted Br(exit|emain)

        People keep giving opinions on why people voted they way they did in the referendum. It turns out there actually was a survey.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why people voted Br(exit|emain)

          One of the benefits of brexit is we finally get unlimited (by number) immigration.

          1. LucreLout Silver badge

            Re: Why people voted Br(exit|emain)

            One of the benefits of brexit is we finally get unlimited (by number) immigration.

            I expect to see a number of new citizens thanks to the offer to residents of HK. Young, educated, hard working, etc..... whats not to like?

        2. David Hicklin

          Re: Why people voted Br(exit|emain)

          Interesting survey, so in 30-40 years when the majority of leavers have died out there will be an increase in calls to rejoin ?

          Oh the irony if that happens!

          1. LucreLout Silver badge

            Re: Why people voted Br(exit|emain)

            Interesting survey, so in 30-40 years when the majority of leavers have died out there will be an increase in calls to rejoin ?

            Not likely because the same thing will happen as happens with labour voters. As they age, some might say grow up, they drift further away from the left. Its a demographic drift that has been going on since the formation of labour.

            The same would have happened to the remainers - had the vote been held in 30 years, they'd have been voting to leave. Today's remainers are tomorrows leavers in the same way as today's lefties are tomorrows Conservatives.

            What is likely now is that in 30 years there will A) not be an EU to be a member of, and B) nobody will remember what all the fuss was about, we'll have moved forwards economically and socially and nobody will want to go back. Yes, you do get the union baron or treehugger wanting to go back to the 70s but the rest of us don't want dragging back to the past and the same will be true 30 or 40 years hence. It's one of the reasons nobody voted for Corbyn but the halfwit Starmer actually does have a very good chance if he can sell a positive vision of change rather than carping from the cheap seats.

            There's no going back. People that are gearing up to waste their lives campaigning for this would be better advised to spend their energies achieving something of value, such as abolition of slavery from the world.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Why people voted Br(exit|emain)

            Interesting survey, so in 30-40 years when the majority of leavers have died out there will be an increase in calls to rejoin ?

            Unlikely, given that over the past 40years the polls have been showing a steadily decreasing level of support for EEC/EU. At the last referendum in the 1970s we even voted to stay in.

          3. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: Why people voted Br(exit|emain)

            Support for Brexit is falling, I guess Russia's busy with the US at the moment.

            Support for Brexit is collapsing as poll finds big majority of British people want to be in the EU

            A newly released survey found just 35% of British people supporting Brexit, with 57% wanting to rejoin the European Union.

            The nearly 60% of people who told the European Social Survey that they wanted Britain to be in the EU was far greater than the 48% who backed Remain in 2016.

            Support for EU membership has risen across Europe, the survey said.

  7. Glen 1 Silver badge

    Lucrelout is outright delusional. Just look at their post history. Were talking Eadon-level trolling. Remember that guy?.

    "Not one remainer, no one reason, in more than 4 years."

    Just like there is "No evidence" of Russian interference in the referendum. Like I said, delusional.

    I can always tell when they are back on the site, as my recent posts all acquire an extra down-vote, regardless of topic. Ever since attempting to take them seriously.

    *shrug*

    Do you think they automated that, or are they really that petty?

    1. First Light Bronze badge

      Actually when I read their post here I assumed it was sarcasm. It is the leavers who have never been able to justify leaving, to give one good argument for it. If Lucrelout is serious, then it's a case of projection, since Brexit supporters have always been short on facts, logic, common sense, decent arguments for their cause, expertise, etc.

      1. LucreLout Silver badge

        It is the leavers who have never been able to justify leaving, to give one good argument for it.

        I've given you two good ones already this very thread - ability to sign our own trade deals in a fraction of the time it takes the rEU to do so, and freedom from their courts insisting we obey the letter of their law while the rest reinterpret the rulings to suit themselves.

        Share of global GDP for the EU has been falling fast for decades. That has dragged our economy down with it. The only way to increase our share of global GDP was to leave, because reform was not possible (see Cameron's road trip for details).

        1. H in The Hague Silver badge

          "Share of global GDP for the EU has been falling fast for decades. [...] The only way to increase our share of global GDP was to leave ..."

          I'm no international trade economist, but it strikes me that the reason the "share" (size in relative terms) of the UK and the EU in global GDP is falling could be that the emerging economies are getting bigger in absolute terms, rather than UK/EU getting smaller in absolute terms. In other words, poor countries are getting richer - good news.

          Incidentally, although I have a small business and believe in free markets, entrepreneurial spirit, etc. that doesn't necessarily mean I think GDP is the best measure of human happiness and wealth (which includes more than just material wealth). I guess in the eyes of some that makes me a leftwing loon - so be it.

          1. LucreLout Silver badge

            I'm no international trade economist, but it strikes me that the reason the "share" (size in relative terms) of the UK and the EU in global GDP is falling could be that the emerging economies are getting bigger in absolute terms, rather than UK/EU getting smaller in absolute terms.

            This is undoubtedly true but it is only part of the issue.

            I'm going to make up some numbers to keep things straightforward. Lets say 100% of Global GDP (GGDP hereafter) is £1000. The EU have 25% of that so £250. Lets look at some examples of what could happen:

            GGDP rises, EU share is static. GGDP rises to say £2000 our 25% becomes £500. Sort of good, sort of not because things of finite quantity (eg gold) now also cost twice as much. We're not really better off or worse off, though some things of infinite replication (eg downloads) may now be cheaper.

            GGDP rises, EU share falls (your case). GGD rises to £2000 and our share falls to 15% or £300. That gold price has gone up again and we can now buy less of it. Downloads we might be ok on.

            GGDP rises, EU share rises (best case). The gold and the downloads are both more available to us in the EU at the expense of their being available to everyone else.

            Reality is pretty much as you described, but as we're about to see this year, a falling GGDP and a falling share of that will make for some difficult choices.

            The real question is can the UK increase its share of GGDP faster inside or outside of the EU. Well, trade deals follow trade and lubricate it, and trade increases GDP. So provided we can do deals faster outside than inside the block, we should grow our share of GGDP vs the EU.

            Our GDP is the same as the smallest 18 nations in the EU added up. Its second only to Germany within the EU. Most of the EU trade deals landed because places wanted to do business with Germany and or the UK. They didn't land because people wanted to sell to 6 million Danes or to export to Poland. We will have no problem signing trade deals but nobody will want to finalise any until our position with regards to the EU is finalised, which is the secondary reason there must be no extension to the transition period - the primary reason is that remainers have demonstrated their duplicity (see the various Gina Miller cases "Oh no, this isn't about Brexit its about parliament..... until its about a campaign to overturn Brexit") and as such they cannot be trusted with any further opportunities to frustrate the will of the people.

            GDP is the best measure of human happiness and wealth

            GDP is a poor measure of wealth (I pay you to dig a hole and your mate to close it, GDP goes up but nothing is achieved). Its a worse measure of happiness, though there is some correlation which intensifies at the extremes.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Brexit supporters have always been short on facts, logic, common sense, decent arguments for their cause, expertise, etc.

        Looking at the debate in the comments here over the past 3 years, I'd say that the Brexit supporters are the ones who consistently make political and economic arguments with logic and facts, even though some may disagree with their interpretations.

        It's the remainers who seem unable to rise above playground insults about intelligence and race, and rarely come up with arguments much beyond "but it might be cold outside".

    2. LucreLout Silver badge

      Lucrelout is outright delusional.

      Coming from you I'll take that as a compliment, since you're one of the slowest posters adding the least value.

      ust like there is "No evidence" of Russian interference in the referendum.

      Less than there is fromt he General Election and Corbyns Dodgy Dossier he downloaded from Reddit where it had been planted by Russian hackers. So yes, we know for sure they have meddled in our politics, via Comrade... what was his code name that spy bloke claimed he had again?

      I can always tell when they are back on the site, as my recent posts all acquire an extra down-vote, regardless of topic.

      Not me, but I'm happy to start.

      Do you think they automated that, or are they really that petty?

      My JavaScript ain't great but I could probably figure out how to do this.... I just can't see the point. I automate trading worth billions (gross), not downvoting nutters on the internet. Downvotes are meaningless & painless, and I'm not sure why you're wetting the bed over them. Pretty sure I have more than you as they're going up about 100 every time I log in at the moment!

      Maybe its a case of the lady doth protest too much and you're responsible for them all. If so, bravo, but I truly don't care.

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