back to article With less than two months left, let's check in on Brexit: All IT systems are up and running and ready to go, says no one

There are less than two months to go before the UK departs its 40-year relationship with the EU and it is still working on the IT systems needed to make the new arrangement work. According to a report from the Institute for Government [PDF], one of the IT systems vital to cross-border commerce is still being tested and is not …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    QR

    Why do they not just create a QR code? They've managed that quickly for things like the in-country COVID apps?

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: QR

      The COVID QR codes are huge in part because they contain a digital signature. The problem is the web site that generates them has no means of authenticating requests. Someone dealt with this the obvious way: program the website to sign whatever is requested.

      A QR code for HGVs could work exactly the same way: sign anything without checking. When an HGV tries to leave the UK, check the signature is valid creation of any computer including the sign everything machine then send it on to the EU no matter what the results of that check. No queues in Kent so problem solved.

      The EU already deals with lots of imports from outside the EU and should notice any difficulties. All those problems will be in France so we can blame them for our failings.

      1. seven of five Silver badge

        Re: QR

        Yep, stupid Frenchies, can't even handle a simple Brexit. Fucking Losers.

        Good riddance...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: QR

          If you look at this, from someone who has tons more experience of this than I do, then I don’t think we in much of a position to blame other countries.

          https://mobile.twitter.com/annajerzewska

          1. Anonymous Coward
            1. Len
              Thumb Up

              Re: QR

              I was on a Brexit webinar with Dutch customs some time in 2018. We mainly do services, not goods, but I still wanted to know what was happening.

              I was very impressed with Rotterdam’s preparations. They obviously have the deep sea port of Rotterdam itself which is already mostly used for trading with non-EU countries so they knew what to do. Some of the RoRo ports like Hook of Holland, however, were only used for internal EU trade, to Harwich for instance. They solved that by just moving the smaller ports into the existing Portbase IT system that was used by the larger ports and suddenly Hook of Holland could handle international trade.

              They had also started developing ‘Farage Garages’ away from the ferry terminals where every lorry headed for a terminal had to go through first. If the customs formalities were not in order a lorry could not proceed to terminal and could not clog up traffic flows.

              The only thing they had not finished yet was their shortage of veterinary inspection posts in the northern part of the Rotterdam port system. They were nearly all on the south banks and they were in the process of building extra veterinary capacity in the north.

              This was almost two years ago! According to Dr Jerzewska they have now stress-tested all this before it needs to go operational. I think that chaos at the UK border in the new year, regardless of a deal, is a given. A deal would only remove tariffs, it would not remove customs declarations, rules of origins certification, SPS checks and additional checks for high risk goods.

              1. Thicko

                Re: QR

                I get the feeling that deep down this brexit mad for it government thinks those Jonny Foreigners (not one of them went to Eaton you know!) will be as disorganized as they are. Those Dutch started training additional customs officers 3 years ago. I get the feeling Britain is going to get a nasty lesson in January.

                1. CrazyOldCatMan

                  Re: QR

                  I get the feeling Britain is going to get a nasty lesson in January

                  ..from which absolutely no lessons will be learnt. After all, they haven't learnt from any of their previous disasters^W learning opportunities..

                2. Dante Alighieri
                  Holmes

                  Spelinyg [not Dutch]

                  Eton?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: QR

          My dear, getting a little touchy on your island? Starting to feel the heat of what you brought upon yourselves?

          1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

            Re: QR

            Some of us from the start knew it was a bad idea, but that might be because we didn't trust our elected leaders to be able to formulate methods of imbibing in a location known for local produce of a liquid kind.

            As for bringing on ourselves, yes we did but I still certainly didn't vote for it...

            1. CrazyOldCatMan

              Re: QR

              imbibing in a location known for local produce of a liquid kind

              Or alternatively, being unable to organise a mass sexual experience in a house of negotiable afeections..

              1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

                Re: QR

                Couldn't we combine them?

                1. Ken 16
                  Thumb Down

                  Re: QR

                  Not while respecting Covid regulations

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: QR

              > As for bringing on ourselves, yes we did but I still certainly didn't vote for it...

              And to be fair, even those voting for it didn't expect such a shambles of a negotiation process.

              1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

                Re: QR

                Because no-one expects the Spanish inquisition it to be easy and straightforward...

                Oh wait.....

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: QR

        Until a few weeks later when groups of stranded lorry drivers start arriving on rubber rafts.

    2. Version 1.0 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: QR

      It's no problem, Boris has created a whirled bleating corevideo tacking app. Brexit is already dumb so getting an app ready by January will be whirled bleating two.

      Remember that we were promised that this would be teasy (darn autocorrect).

  2. 45RPM Silver badge

    How can this ever work out well? Ultimately, we will be beholden to whatever happens in the US (since the US is the worlds second largest economic bloc (16.3% world GDP), behind China (16.4% world GDP), and we aren’t likely to want to upset our relationship with the US (with associated defence implications) in order to increase our standing with China). The third largest, and only just, is the EU (16% world GDP). We’re busy screwing our relationship with the EU - an agreement which should have been the easiest to reach given our already close ties, and why would anyone want to prioritise the UK (2.5% world GDP) over the major players? This is (as was predicted by anyone not mad with jingoism and blind optimism) a bloody disaster, and we are seeing the last of the influence and power that we had in the world go down the drain.

    So. To the US. The special relationship. If Trump wins the election then the special relationship will remain insofar as Trump will pay lip service to it, whilst taking every advantage of the UKs desperation. We will be the battered bride to his abusive husband. Bend over UK, ‘cos America’s feeling horny and it’s spankin’ time.

    If Biden wins, and pray to whichever deity you believe / don’t believe in that he does (because the world really is f*cked if we continue down the far right road to ruin), then the special relationship is likely done. After all, what advantage is there in it for America? The UK was a conveniently English speaking bridge-head into Europe. We’ve blown up the bridge so, honestly, we have no purpose in the world any more.

    Whether the IT systems are up and running or not is significant, of course, but it’s only a paragraph in a larger tome of disappointment and lunacy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That 'special relationship' is not really helpful as it is actually a triangle.

      The UK has a special relationship with the US but the special relationship of the US is with Ireland. And Ireland and the UK can best be described as "it's complicated". This triangle is making things harder, not easier.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "...it is actually a triangle.

        A triangle pointed where? At who?

        As an American who has read about "Brexit", I truly still don't understand the ultimate goal of it (I tried, I just find it confusing), but I do see that *if* the U.K. somehow becomes closer to the U.S.A., what happens to the E.U.? I understand if you're in the U.K. that you may or may not worry about your own country, but think about the E.U. being marooned financially and more importantly, geographically between the U.S.A+U.K. and Russia. That's not a good look for the E.U., no way. If somehow Canada and Mexico joined up, the U.S.A. wouldn't exactly lower the DEFCON level.

        1. Ken 16

          "think about the E.U. being marooned financially"

          I'm sure we'll cope but thanks for your concern. As for Russia, you do know it's got an economy about the same size as that of the Iberian peninsula?

        2. theOtherJT

          @overunder

          The goal was pretty simple. Quell a bunch of annoying infighting in the Conservative party by letting a bunch of tedious chest thumping media whores with no political significance and no actual message other than "Britain is so great! Foreigners are so bad!" have a referendum that they would then lose.

          This would be a win for the leadership of the Conservative party, because they could take the referendum and use it as a nice big stick to hit people like Boris Johnson with. "You lost, now shut up with your whining!" and it would be great for the media whores, because they didn't really have anything to do except whine about how Britain wasn't as good as it used to be, and as long as we were a member of the EU they could do that to their hearts content without actually having to do anything about it. You know, difficult things like have policies instead of sound bytes.

          Unfortunately it all went terribly, terribly wrong and the leave campaign actually won. No one had a plan for that, and as a result... /gestures broadly at the entire state of UK politics.

          1. Youngone

            Re: @overunder

            No, Brexit was a cash grab by Big Concrete to get contracts to pave over Kent so that all those lorries have somewhere to park.

            They were playing the long game.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @overunder

              Think about all the promises from the Brexiters before the vote, the Irish border would not be a problem, an agreement would be easy, the NHS would be funded, our food standards would remain not change. All fake news organized by Russia to break up the EU and testing a way of fooling the Americans to vote for Trump.

            2. Brad16800
              Pint

              Re: @overunder

              this is why I read the reg

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @overunder

            My MP, who is a minister level leave campaigner, bemoans in private that "we were not supposed to win, it was just a negotiating tactic!"

            AC as there were only about 50 of us in the room and no press when he said it.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Exactly why the USA and Russia bankrolled brexit - to weaken the EU.

    2. 759b954e-617b-408b-a2b1-f5a42c3688d4

      Aimless Anglos

      "we have no purpose in the world any more"

      Sad but true. Though I'm not sure we ever really did.

      1. 45RPM Silver badge

        Re: Aimless Anglos

        By accident or canny negotiation, we carried more weight in the EU than perhaps we should have done. We had a veto, and a lot of the EU regulation was, at the very least, heavily influenced by and leaning in favour of the UK. Key EU functions, including centres for finance, were based in the UK. We won’t ever acheive that level of trust and influence again, not even if we were able to arrange to rejoin the EU soon, writing off Brexit as the disaster that it is.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Aimless Anglos

          By accident or canny negotiation, we carried more weight in the EU than perhaps we should have done.

          Often claimed, but in reality no one country carries much weight, except perhaps Germany. At best we were the moderating voice against the socialist bloc, and now that we aren't there I'd expect the more vocal conservative countries to start making trouble.

          even if we were able to arrange to rejoin the EU soon, writing off Brexit as the disaster that it is

          We haven't even completed Brexit yet, and it will take years to show the benefits. There will be many issues and problems in the meantime, I'm sure. I seriously cannot see the UK ever voting to rejoin, since we would clearly not have voted to join in the first place if John Major had given us a choice in 1992, and opinion has hardened since.

          1. 45RPM Silver badge

            Re: Aimless Anglos

            It really takes a snowflake level of exceptionalist attitude (the UK is so unique, and better than every other country) to think that the UK, with it’s paltry share of global GDP, is anything more than a bug to be squashed by other countries. Empire 2.0? What are these clowns thinking?

            Wake up! (I know that being ‘woke’ is a dirty word - but it’s preferable to being asleep, and not paying attention to what’s going on) You can wait until the end of time, reassuring yourself that the benefits are just around the corner, but they aren’t. Brexit has no upside. It’s just a disaster from here on out.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Aimless Anglos

              It really takes a snowflake level of exceptionalist attitude

              Ah, the personal insults, a clear sign of a total lack of factual arguments.

              paltry share of global GDP

              2.4% isn't that paltry, but is completely irrelevant to the issue.

              anything more than a bug to be squashed by other countries.

              Nice way to think, you consider that countries who want more freedom in their own political and economic decisions should be squashed like a bug? You're not a pal of Trump, by any chance? Sounds more like his way of thinking.

              Empire 2.0?

              The only demonstration of empire-building here is coming from the EU. The UK has long rid itself of its empire, and doesn't want to be part of a failing European one.

              You can wait until the end of time, reassuring yourself that the benefits are just around the corner, but they aren’t. Brexit has no upside. It’s just a disaster from here on out.

              Well, after 30 years of living elsewhere in the EU (and in the process of organizing my return to the UK) I have a different view. When you look at the pitiful growth in the eurozone which staggers from crisis to crisis, the appalling unemployment in many EU countries, and the ever-increasing protectionist control being imposed in the name of "Fortress Europe", the EU is no place to be. Maybe the UK can make a better go of things outside, maybe not, but I certainly prefer to see it try. Brexit is an opportunity, and like any opportunities it comes with risks and rewards. To me that's preferable to sitting in one's comfort zone, doing what one is told, but each to his or her own.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Aimless Anglos

                That's your argument, it might not be shit and being safe is boring?

                I'm guessing you've never been worried where the next meal is coming from.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Aimless Anglos

            "...but in reality no one country carries much weight, except perhaps Germany.

            I know in context of finance this might sound silly, but if the chips REALLY do fall (out of the sky), Italy still has Vatican City and Germany's track record isn't exactly... passive.

          3. Ian Johnston Silver badge

            Re: Aimless Anglos

            Often claimed, but in reality no one country carries much weight, except perhaps Germany. At best we were the moderating voice against the socialist bloc, and now that we aren't there I'd expect the more vocal conservative countries to start making trouble.

            Socialist bloc (with scary soviet-era spelling)? The EU has always been a driver of privatisation and free enterprise. It's not remotely socialist, which is why so many socialist wanted out, as well as the loony right.

            We haven't even completed Brexit yet, and it will take years to show the benefits. There will be many issues and problems in the meantime, I'm sure. I seriously cannot see the UK ever voting to rejoin, since we would clearly not have voted to join in the first place if John Major had given us a choice in 1992, and opinion has hardened since.

            We joined long before 1992. And it doesn't look as if there will be a "UK" to vote one way or the other within five years or so.

            1. 45RPM Silver badge
              Headmaster

              Re: Aimless Anglos

              A minor point, but 'bloc' has nothing to do with the Soviet Union, although it was frequently used in the term 'Soviet Bloc' to refer to Warsaw Pact countries.

              The OED defines 'bloc' as a group of countries or political parties with common interests who have formed an alliance, and notes that it's an early 20th century coinage from the French word.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Aimless Anglos

              bloc (with scary soviet-era spelling)

              "bloc" is perfectly ordinary spelling for a group of parties or nations, it's a loan word from French.

              We joined long before 1992.

              That would have been difficult, since the EU was created from the EC by the treaty of Maastricht, signed in 1992.

              The EC worked, a commonwealth of co-operating neighbours in a free trade zone. It grew out of the common market, which itself came from the coal & steel community of the 1950s, and if the EC had been left alone I'd have been happy to stay in it.

              UK public opinion was ~60% opposed to Maastricht, but we weren't asked. The Danes were, they said no and had to to be made to vote again. The French were asked, and even that super-Europhile nation only voted yes by 51%. The EU was unwanted from the start, except by the politicians who wanted to run it.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Aimless Anglos

                Oh stop it with the "made to vote again" line.. The same situation with Ireland.

                Did they sent jack-booted thugs to make them change their vote?

                They voted no. A number of concessions and changes were made to the proposal, which were liked, so they voted yet.

                If they still hadn't liked it, they'd have voted no again.

                Look up the number of concessions the Irish got when they first voted no.

          4. DJO Silver badge

            Re: Aimless Anglos

            We haven't even completed Brexit yet, and it will take years to show the benefits.

            That would be with a competent government who have the best interests of the UK population at heart.

            You might be right however we have Bloody Stupid Johnson and his cabal of self-serving incompetents who's only interest is how can they personally benefit. - Witness hundreds of covid billions going without tender to companies who just happen to have Tory ministers on the board.

            We are fucking doomed.

          5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Aimless Anglos

            "it will take years to show the benefits"

            Rehearsing the line for January? I'm sure that one will be trotted out monotonously and all immediate problems will be blamed on Covid.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Aimless Anglos

              perhaps centuries

          6. John Smith 19 Gold badge
            FAIL

            Didn't take long for the Brexiteers to go AC did it?

            By 2026 I suspect the number of those 17 million who will admit to voting for the clusterf*88k they caused will be on a par with the number who would admit they voted for The British Union of Fascists in 1936 on VE night.

            Brexiteers do so love their WWII symbolism, don't you.

            Which one of you keyboard warriors hasn't got the strength of their convictions to put their name to this post?

            1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

              Re: Didn't take long for the Brexiteers to go AC did it?

              Are we to assume that you're really called John Smith?

              1. jake Silver badge
                Pint

                Re: Didn't take long for the Brexiteers to go AC did it?

                Are we to assume that you are really called Phil O'Sophical?

                Answering my own question, it doesn't really matter what you choose as your handle in a place like this. If you use it consistently, it becomes your face in the forum. So yes, he's really John Smith, you are really Phil O'Sophical, amanfromMars 1 is really amfM, bombastic bob is really bob and I'm really jake. At least around these here parts. What we are called elsewhere is not germane to the conversation.

                The myriad ACs, on the other hand, are a nameless faceless blob of grey goo.

                In the gripping hand, beer. This round's on me.

                1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                  Re: Didn't take long for the Brexiteers to go AC did it?

                  The point is that we're all anonymous, whatever handle we pick, and sometimes posing as AC is a way to have a comment stand alone, without any assumptions being made based on past postings.

                  1. jake Silver badge

                    Re: Didn't take long for the Brexiteers to go AC did it?

                    We're all pseudo-anonymous (ElReg has your email address, and (probably) your IP address). I agree with you in principal about AC postings, but the reality is that collectively they are mostly just noise.

                    Note that I am in no way calling to abolish of the AC post! They have their place in modern society. I'm just pointing out that they are faceless by nature, and tend to merge into one incoherent whole.

            2. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: Didn't take long for the Brexiteers to go AC did it?

              @John Smith 19

              No idea who wrote the post and I wish they put their name to it, it got an upvote from me. But if we are to judge a position by its weight in AC's then you might want to look down the thread of moaning AC's against brexit.

              "By 2026 I suspect the number of those 17 million who will admit to voting for the clusterf*88k they caused will be on a par with the number who would admit they voted for The British Union of Fascists in 1936 on VE night."

              Would that be on par with supporters of the Euro in the UK? On here there has been one (credit to them for the admission, although still a believer in the Euro coming to the UK) and that so far is my entire total after the failure of the Eurozone.

              "Brexiteers do so love their WWII symbolism, don't you."

              Some (mistaken) EU supporters like to claim WW3 was avoided due to the EU. They try to claim European peace due to the EU. The mistake being that the EU hasnt existed for most of that time and for its short existence has raised tensions in Europe and out.

      2. CrazyOldCatMan

        Re: Aimless Anglos

        Though I'm not sure we ever really did

        Sure we did - keep those pesky Continentals in their place, invade and subdue about 1/3 of the world by figting against people at a lower tech level than us and then extract vast abouts of cash from them. And beat them up if they dare to complain. While forcing the Chinese to buy drugs from us while we are committing industrial espoinage to steal the only thing that they were selling us so that we could grow it elsewhere in the countries that we've stolen..

        Oh - and to drink warm beer and cold gin while playing^W watching a game that takes 5 days and can still have no clear result.

        (PS: I actually like cricket. Something about those bails is so... alien. And tea is the true drink of the gods.)

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Aimless Anglos

          You forgot "filling the British Museum with all of their best cultural artifacts after they were brought home by our tomb robbers archeologists".

          I like cricket. I even play it occasionally. And I'm a bloody Yank. Go figure :-)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "why would anyone want to prioritise the UK (2.5% world GDP) over the major players?"

      Because Britannia rules the seas?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The Chinese certainly backed down quicly over Hong Kong once Gavin Williamson threatened to send HMS Queen Elizabeth, didn't it?

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        The original lyrics were:

        "Rule, Britannia! rule the waves" - an exultation, because at the time the Dutch ruled the waves/seas.

        The Victorians changed it to "rules".

        However, we should remember it was written by a pre-Romantic poet and playwright and thus 'waves' could mean "move one's hand to and fro in greeting or as a signal", which puts another spin on the lyric.

      3. Dante Alighieri
        Boffin

        Waves

        'nuff said ;)

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Britannia waves the rules.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      our relationship with the EU - an agreement which should have been the easiest to reach given our already close ties,

      Yes, it should have been, except that the EU needs to show that anyone who leaves their club has to be punished. They dare not agree easily to a favourable agreement in case it gives other members ideas, but they will agree in the end.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        re: anyone who leaves their club has to be punished.

        No, of course you won't be punished for leaving the club. But you still want access to all the equipment? You're leaving, but no longer having access to club facilities is "punishment"?

        What part of "leaving the club" don't you understand?

        "I cut off my nose and now those bastards won't let me smell anything!!!"

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: re: anyone who leaves their club has to be punished.

          Not the tiresome gym analogy again, please.

          There are major advantages to both the UK and the EU in maintaining a civilised trading relationship after Brexit, just as there are for both the UK and EU to maintain such relationships with other countries. The fact that the UK no longer wants to be an EU member doesn't change that. The EU, though, is so determined to prove that leaving is unacceptable behaviour that it would rather damage its own trade than admit that we can still work well together.

          1. BenM 29

            Re: re: anyone who leaves their club has to be punished.

            >>The EU, though, is so determined to prove that leaving is unacceptable behaviour that it would rather damage its own trade than admit that we can still work well together

            Given that the UK position is, apparently, "We want all the benefits of being in the EU without paying anything/without obeying the same rules as anyone else or else its a no deal" I fear we are in the weaker position in the negotiation.

            The EU doesn't have to do anythinng to get a good deal... it's got one; we are leaving and anything of any significance to them is moving back to continental Europe as fast as it can.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: re: anyone who leaves their club has to be punished.

              We want all the benefits of being in the EU without paying anything/without obeying the same rules as anyone else or else its a no deal

              That is not the case. May I suggest you get your facts from a credible source, perhaps by actually treading the treaties themselves? Not allowing the EU to dictate UK law is not at all the same thing as obeying the EU rules when necessary. It is obvious to everyone that to trade with the EU we need to respect EU rules, and have even gone so far as choosing to incorporate most of them in UK law.

              1. Roland6 Silver badge

                Re: re: anyone who leaves their club has to be punished.

                > It is obvious to everyone that to trade with the EU we need to respect EU rules

                But not blindly obvious to BoJo et al. - hence why they needed the UK Internal Market Bill to contain clauses that would breach international treaties...

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Not the tiresome gym analogy again, please.

            "the EU needs to show that anyone who leaves their club has to be punished."

            You started it, dickhead!

          3. fajensen Silver badge
            Flame

            Re: re: anyone who leaves their club has to be punished.

            There are major advantages to both the UK and the EU in maintaining a civilised trading relationship after Brexit,

            "So What" if we lose some trade, even a prostitute has standards (and that's what you lot takes us for when speaking of how we absolutely must want to take "your money"/"trade" all of the time so much that it cancels all of the UK's disrespect and slander).

            Maybe 4+ years of the UK sneering at everything European and French and German has made us realise that there are even bigger advantages in not having any "relationship" - and that there is no point in "working together" because this means working for the interests of the sneerers and abusers in the UK, who will never be happy regardless!

            I sincerely hope that the EU has the balls this year to let this dysfunctional "relationship" end!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: re: anyone who leaves their club has to be punished.

              Fair comment, but please remember that 95% of British El Reg readers are totally against all of this, and are equzlly appalled at the actions of Farage, Rees-Mogg, Johnson etc.

          4. Weylin

            Re: re: anyone who leaves their club has to be punished.

            We want complete access to the single market while not following the rules of the single market. The EU27 aren't prepared to wreck to make Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson happy.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: re: anyone who leaves their club has to be punished.

              We want complete access to the single market while not following the rules of the single market.

              No, we don't.

              The EU27 aren't prepared to wreck to make Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson happy.

              Of course not, nor should they. No-one's asked them to.

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        "Yes, it should have been, "

        Another gutless quitter, or just the same one?

        I'm starting to get where the Americans learned their notions of "American Exceptionalism" from.

        1. jake Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: "Yes, it should have been, "

          Only just now seeing it, John? I thought more of your perception.

          Separated by more than just a common language, eh?

          Have a beer ... at least we can agree on that!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "Yes, it should have been, "

            Correct Jake!

            British (or rather, English) exceptionalism has long been a thing.

            The Brexitters are just like the Trumpers, they have even reacted to covid with the same paranoid selfishness.

            The only real difference between Americans and British is that whilst your loonies would get dragged in politics via "commies/socialist" paranoia, our loonies were content to watch reality TV shows and moan about foreigners to their mates in the pub.

            We kept them quiet, out of the way. Now they've been prodded into action by the same methods that fuelled the Trump campaign.. Hell, you can bet 90% of them had no issues with the EU until they were told they should.

            Brits were never able to validly gloat about "silly Americans". We did, whilst hiding ours away, but now the whole world knows, we have just as many kooks as you do!

  3. IGotOut Silver badge

    To be fair...

    this Brexit thing has only been know, what a couple weeks? Wait what?

  4. Warm Braw Silver badge

    Check an HGV is Ready to Cross the Border

    Early information about this system suggested it was little more than a series of tickboxes whereby exporters would promise they really had the right paperwork and could proceed across the Kent border to the Farage Garage - the truth of their assertion only coming to light when the lorry finally reached the port.

    If they can't even deliver that on time, there is really very little hope. Not that it's been in massive supply anywhere in 2020.

    1. Len
      Happy

      Re: Check an HGV is Ready to Cross the Border

      I have no first hand experience of it but that is what I heard as well. A checklist to ask lorry drivers if they had thought of X, Y and Z before entering a border county.

      You have to admit, though, renaming it to 'Check an HGV is Ready to Cross the Border' makes a lot of sense then.

    2. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Check an HGV is Ready to Cross the Border

      CHRCB.

      Sounds like an HGV with a manky gearbox shifting gears.

    3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Alert

      Re: Have an upvote

      for mentioning the 'Farage Garage' aka Kent.

      too bad he's over in the USA glad handing Donald 'Four more years' Trump and complaining about all the shops, hotels and offices that have been boarded up in preparation for the election result.

      For the rest of us, the 1st Jan 2021 will become known as Footgun day. The day when our collective [redacted] comes home to roost and almost all trade with the EU stops dead in a mountain of paperwork and totally incompatible IT Systems.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Have an upvote

        Ah. Mr Farage. The entity who pushed to strip my kids of their rights to go live, study and work in the EEA, while knowing it wouldn't affect his due to their German passports.

        I will stop now, as I wish to remain polite.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Have an upvote

          Well, you know where he lives, so you can always send him a gift as a token of your appreciation.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Have an upvote

            Good point. What customs class is horse manure again?

            1. CrazyOldCatMan

              Re: Have an upvote

              What customs class is horse manure again

              Depends on how fresh it is.. give it a bit of time and it becomes a pretty useful fertiliser..

              Unlike Farage. He just gets more toxic over time. And he's now started an anti-lockdown political party because he *really* objects to people being protected from CO-19 and wants everyone to have the right to infect other people on a whim.

              Pustulent little parasite. The sort of hypocrite that quite happily takes the very generous MEP salary and benefits while telling everyone else how evil it is.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Have an upvote

                That's the thing with these brexitters... Never happy. Everything is bad for them, and it's all everyone elses fault.

                They'll continue to be miserable and blame all the easy targets for their own failings, or the legitimate failings in the system. It's so much easier to blame the EU/foreigners/immigrants/covid scientists than it is to face reality.

                1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

                  Re: Have an upvote

                  That's the thing with these brexitters... Never happy.

                  Well, OK, but Farage is in a class of his own. Also because nobody wants to sit with him, of course.

                  1. jake Silver badge

                    Re: Have an upvote

                    Objection. Farage and class don't really belong in the same paragraph.

            2. Dante Alighieri
              Headmaster

              Gift

              are you sure a Deutsch GIFT is what you are referencing.

              I apologise for a potentially TOXIC post.

    4. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      IT Angle

      Re: Check an HGV is Ready to Cross the Border

      Symbolic "first"/ceremonial truckload to cross the border will be stuffed to the gills with "Oven Ready" DealTurkeys (non-chlorine washed).

      And Government Advisors have been busy herding pigs and feeding and watering them at Manston airport in Kent ready for them to run down the runway and fly themselves to abattoirs in the continent

    5. Daniel von Asmuth

      Re: Check an HGV is Ready to Cross the Border

      The GB-NI border? Does that mean Ulster becomes an independent state?

      1. Mage Silver badge
        Coffee/keyboard

        Re: Ulster becomes an independent state?

        The UK has 2/3rds of Ulster and Ireland has 1/3rd. N.I. is 6 of the 9 Ulster Counties.

        Scotland being independent is thus more likely than Ulster.

        I can't see N.I. being independent unless USA, EU, or UN agree to pay for it. I know the Irish Government has just voted to give €250m to NI, but really it's for a road. Look at where Letterkenny, Donegal (part of Ireland the nation) and Dublin, Athlone, Dundalk etc are.

        There is no rail or even dual carriageway up the West, either. Getting to Galway from Cork, Limerick, Waterford or Dublin is easy. Sligo harder. But Letterkenny?

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Harman Mogul

          Re: Ulster becomes an independent state?

          My interest was piqued so I went for a look and found a promo by Donegal TV on YouTube. I learned the town is home to the Letterkenny Institute of Technology, which gets quite a lot of running time in the fillum. It's a long way to Tipperary or, for that matter, Dublin.

  5. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Apparently still negotiating

    Though the deadline for ratification has passed, both sides are apparently still negotiating. This probably only makes sense if a potential extension to the transition period is in the offing.

    1. Len
      Alert

      Re: Apparently still negotiating

      The deadline for ratification is 15 November so there is still a tiny bit of time.

      An extension to the official Transition Phase is legally impossible. Even if there was some political will, even if you were to get it through the Council where there are 27 vetoes, or Parliament where numerous MEPs have shown to take a hawkish stance, anybody with even the slightest standing could just contest a Transition extension in court.

      What I can, with a lot of effort, envision is some small phase of "let's not change everything at once" after the Transition Phase ends.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: Apparently still negotiating

        With the rise in COVID cases almost all over Europe (including here) governments in the EU states will have other things on their mind other than approving a deal or an extension of our transition period.

        We are doomed! This time for real.

        1. Warm Braw Silver badge

          Re: Apparently still negotiating

          We are doomed! This time for real.

          Regrettably, this has been apparent since Johnson was deployed to sabotage May's plans (and they weren't exactly unproblematic). Covid unfortunately disrupted my personal mitigation efforts, but I did finally get my Portuguese residence just before lockdown 2 would have put an end to any hope of an escape route.

          I don't recall anything in the Brexit referendum about having to battle through a deadly pandemic to secure the right to live in a country with toilet paper and a variety of food. I hope my pessimism about the future of Britain turns out to be wrong, but its appetite for self-destruction does not seem to be diminishing appreciably.

      2. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Apparently still negotiating

        What I can, with a lot of effort, envision is some small phase of "let's not change everything at once" after the Transition Phase ends.

        You know that it is what the Transition Phase was intended for?

        Prepare to the change in regulations that would have to be enforced on January 1st?

        1. Len
          Holmes

          Re: Apparently still negotiating

          That is correct, the Transition Phase should have been used for that. Unfortunately, due to a number of things, including but not limited to the UK government's incompetence and the pandemic, that transition phase has been shorted considerably to just eleven months and partially wasted because of virus related distractions.

          Now, the Transition Phase is an all-encompassing framework with many legal underpinnings and a hardcoded end date. Near impossible to change. I can, however, imagine that is concluded as planned but on areas where there are still things unresolved (of which there will be many) I can see some temporary arrangements. Particularly where it is in the interest of the EU to give some leeway in their own interest.

          See the 18 month reprieve that the EU has given to clearing houses in the City. That's not because they care so much about the City, that's because they need more time to bolster existing clearing houses in the EU.

          If there are a number of areas where it is in both party's interest to prevent immediate disruption I can see some temporary extensions of mutual recognitions for instance. It's not as if the UK is going have drastically changed regulation on the 2nd of Jan 2021. It would buy both parties time in very specific areas without it impacting other areas.

          1. Tom 7 Silver badge

            Re: Apparently still negotiating

            If there are a number of areas where it is in both party's interest to prevent immediate disruption it is almost certainly be in one of the 27s interests to veto it. And when I mean in their interests I mean they will benefit more from vetoing it than they would allowing it. As indeed the 18 month reprieve could be vetoed.

        2. Mage Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Transition Phase

          Also there was Zero obligation to trigger Article 50 on ANY particular date. Any sensible Government would have sat down and figured out what the Withdrawal agreement might look like, what to do about N.I. and Gibraltar and what future deal they wanted BEFORE invoking Article 50.

          1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
            Unhappy

            "Also there was Zero obligation to trigger Article 50 on ANY particular date. "

            Meet the 3 Horsemen of the Brexocalypse

            David cretinous clod Cameron and his cunning plan to keep the Conservative Party united (and kill off UKIP). Oh for a patriot with a time machine and marksmanship skills.

            Teresa if-she's-not-on-the-spectrum-I'm-a-Gazelle May. Triggering Article 50 for bu**er all reason and no actual impact analysis to find out the scale of the sh**storm she was causing.

            Bu***hit "Boris" (because that's no more real than his belief in Brexit) Johnson. Proof that relentless sh**stirring over 3 decades can get you the dream job you've always craved because you deeply believe you are the next Churchill/Thatcher rather yet another rampant narcissist smart people can see you for.

            1. H in The Hague Silver badge

              Re: "Also there was Zero obligation to trigger Article 50 on ANY particular date. "

              "... you deeply believe you are the next Churchill/Thatcher ..."

              Can't comment about Churchill, rather before my time. Re Mrs Thatcher, Mr Johnson seems to have forgotten that she signed the Maastricht treaty, which established the European Union. She also had a word for people who want to give government subsidies to failing businesses (one of the sticking points in the Brexit negotiations), and that word was 'socialist'. She may also have had a word for men who are rather forgetful about their marital vows and have children in other relationships however I'm not party to that. Though I imagine it would not have been a flattering term.

              Have a good weekend.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: "Also there was Zero obligation to trigger Article 50 on ANY particular date. "

                @H in The Hague

                "Re Mrs Thatcher, Mr Johnson seems to have forgotten that she signed the Maastricht treaty"

                Did she? I thought it was Major who signed that and Thatcher supported the rebels against it.

                "She also had a word for people who want to give government subsidies to failing businesses (one of the sticking points in the Brexit negotiations), and that word was 'socialist'."

                Yet some people insist the tories are far right.

              2. jake Silver badge

                Re: "Also there was Zero obligation to trigger Article 50 on ANY particular date. "

                "Re Mrs Thatcher, Mr Johnson seems to have forgotten that she signed the Maastricht treaty"

                No, that was John Major. Thatcher was against it (and a fairly quiet backbencher by that time). Here's a transcript of her addressing the House of Lords on the subject from June of '93. Perhaps this paragraph sums it up nicely:

                "I could never have signed this treaty. I hope that that is clear to all who have heard me. The Bill will pass considerable further powers irrevocably from Westminster to Brussels, and, by extending majority voting, will undermine our age-old parliamentary and legal institutions, both far older than those in the Community. We have so much more to lose by this Maastricht Treaty than any other state in the European Community. It will diminish democracy and increase bureaucracy."

                How is it that I knew this, and I'm a bloody Yank? One of the mysteries of the Universe, I guess. Have a nice weekend.

          2. jake Silver badge

            Re: Transition Phase

            "Any sensible Government"

            I think I see the problem ...

          3. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Transition Phase

            @Mage

            "Any sensible Government would have sat down and figured out what the Withdrawal agreement might look like, what to do about N.I. and Gibraltar and what future deal they wanted BEFORE invoking Article 50."

            Or even before invoking a referendum. A sensible government would consider the possibility of both of the possible options not just one. The good news is we got a referendum, the bad news is how infected the gov was with ideology.

      3. Ken 16
        Facepalm

        Re: Apparently still negotiating

        you're right, maybe if the dev team become Agile they can finish it in a sprint by then!

    2. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Apparently still negotiating

      @Charlie Clark

      Not sure why you got downvotes for that (have an upvote). I was very happy to hear the October deadline for negotiations and putting a stop there. I was amused by Barnier then saying he could be more flexible but hoped the gov would have the backbone to tell him to fuck off unless he brings a deal we agree with (no negotiation).

      We need the outcome answer, not prolonged negotiation.

  6. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    No need to panic

    All this fuss about thousands of lorries getting stuck and not knowing what to do.

    Silly.

    All HGVs moving between UK and EU after 1/1/21 will need an ECMT permit. They are hard to come by as they are limited in number. To be precise, UK has a total of about 3,500 - to cover 300,000 vehicles. So with a max 3500 vehicles somewhere between their base and destination in the EU, the lack of software is the least of their worries!

    How many permits are available?The UK has a base limit of 102 annual permits, which can be converted into a higher number of permits if their use is restricted to EURO VI vehicles or if they are converted into monthly permits. A permit is allocated specifically to a company and can’t be transferred to another company. Each permit can be used only by one vehicle at a time.It can be used by different vehicles successively as there is no mention of registration number.The UK notified OECD of how it will distribute its quota between short-term permits and long-term permits, and between permits restricted to EURO VI vehicles and permits for EURO V vehicles. The UK will only be able to issue and allocate:

    •984 annual EURO VI ECMT permits,

    •2,592 monthly EURO VI ECMT permits,

    •and 240 monthly EURO V ECMT permits.

    Currently, 300000 UK-registered powered vehicles travel from the UK to the continent every year, to which we need to add vehicles travelling to the Republic of Ireland

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: No need to panic

      Got a link to the source of that?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No need to panic

        The link below contains the same information as was posted above:

        https://business.senedd.wales/documents/s79575/Road%20haulage%20permits%20post-Brexit%20The%20Freight%20Transport%20Association.pdf

      2. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

        Re: No need to panic

        here (pdf file)

        1. Thought About IT

          Re: No need to panic

          The algorithm on page 14 of that document reminds me of that oh-so-successful one for allocating A-level results!

          1. cyberdemon Silver badge
            WTF?

            Re: No need to panic

            The score is multiplied by a "random factor"? WTF?

            Can anyone explain if there is any sense behind this?

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: No need to panic

              It's a single slide from a powerpoint presentation. Has there ever been a powerpoint presentation that was worth the paper it was printed on? The only reason they exist is to give otherwise useless middle management something to do, they don't have to actually make sense!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No need to panic

      We recently had some consignments picked up by a shipping firm who uses the ferries. For most of their work, only the trailers on their articulated lorries go on the ferry. A UK tractor-unit drives them to Felixstowe (I think), and a European one picks the trailer up at the other end.

      Arrangements like this wouldn't need a permit. They are likely to be a small fraction of current shipments. Perhaps this fraction will increase!

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: No need to panic

        They are likely to be a small fraction of current shipments

        Actually a very large one, certainly from ports like Zeebrugge almost all loading is like that. It's quite entertaining to watch how fast the experts can load a large ship with trailers, using small dock tractors.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No need to panic

      Not being involved with transport, I hadn't heard of these. Looking at the gov.uk site:

      https://www.gov.uk/guidance/ecmt-international-road-haulage-permits

      ...they DON'T EVEN KNOW if hauliers will need them or not!

      "You might need ECMT permits for journeys to or through the EU from 1 January 2021."

      How the hell is a haulage business supposed to operate with this level of confusion less than 2 months out? This is insane.

  7. Eclectic Man Silver badge

    Check All Regulations Needed Are Generally Expedited = CARNAGE

    1. You aint sin me, roit Silver badge
      Coat

      Dido queen of carnage?

      Put her in charge... she's just spunked away 12.5 billion on a track and trace system that doesn't work, I'm sure she could manage to lose a few HGVs.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Check All Regulations Needed Are Generally Extraneous, shirley?

      1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

        "Don't call me Shirley."

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Check an HGV is Ready to Cross the Border"

    An?

    Not A?

    Can some grammar police please tell me if "an" is correct here?

    I thought for a moment that maybe "h" is treated as a vowel like in French, but can't seem to get out of my head that its "a horse" and not "an horse" for example, whereas its definitely "an aardvark" or "an igloo".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Check an HGV is Ready to Cross the Border"

      "An aitch-gee-vee". The letter "H" is usually pronounced as though it starts with a vowel, so conventionally people use "an". A, E, F, I, L, M, N, O, R, S, U and X follow the same convention (an X-ray, an S-bend, an em-dash...)

      It is correct? No idea. What does "correct" even mean in English?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Check an HGV is Ready to Cross the Border"

        Oops, noticed too late to correct: U is pronounced as though it is spelled "you", so starts with a consonant - A U-bend.

        Apologies for the error!

        1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: "Check an HGV is Ready to Cross the Border"

          U R allowed AN excuse.

          Have A beer for making the effort

        2. Dante Alighieri
          Headmaster

          Incorrect!

          a YOOU bend would be Ok - except it is wrong in so many ways, speelling enuniciation, grammar to name a few

          AN U-bend would be corrrect (oops pirate mode, still shopping at ArrghGOS! - a UK based online and catalogue storrrrrggghhh!))

    2. Adair Silver badge

      Re: "Check an HGV is Ready to Cross the Border"

      There was, not so long ago, a convention in spoken English that 'an' was used in front of nouns beginning with an 'H'. Presumably this grew out of a fashionable habit in the late 18th - early 19th C. of the aristocracy affectedly dropping their 'h's, and therefore feeling necessarily obliged to precede with an 'an' instead of an 'a'.

      Having said all that I am happy to be corrected by anyone knowing better.

      1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

        Re: "Check an HGV is Ready to Cross the Border"

        The Victorians were terrified of sounding French, so they insisted on pronouncing the silent "h" at the start of French words like "hotel "and "history". However, they kept the "an" which properly goes before the French pronunciation, probably because they worried that "a hotel" would become "a 'otel" and then it would be all moral degeneration, dancing the can-can and the end of the Empire

        They therefore invented a rule that words beginning with an "h" but stressed on the second syllable - like French, but not admitting that it was intended to cover French words, because Victorians did not show fear to Frenchies - should take "an" and keep the "h".

        Words starting with "h" and stressed on the first syllable - hedgehog, heart, herd - were exempt and took "a" because the "h" didn't tend to disappear and the risk of Frenchness didn't arise.

        1. Dante Alighieri
          Pirate

          Re: "Check an HGV is Ready to Cross the Border"

          but in RP the H is silent

          an 'orse

          an 'ouse

          an 'ore ;)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Check an HGV is Ready to Cross the Border"

        It depends on whether the initial "h" is stressed. If it is not stressed then you should use "an".

        E.g. :-

        A history book.

        An historical novel.

        Apparently, these days children are taught to put in an "h" when pronouncing the name of the letter, which would tend to lead to the use of "a H" rather than the more usual "an H".

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: "Check an HGV is Ready to Cross the Border"

      A horse is a horse, of course of course, because the h is not silent. If the h is silent then it's an or a depending on whether or not a vowel follows the h.

      As we're saying "haitch", it's a silent h with a vowel after, so it's "an haitch".

      Unless you're Hyacinth Bucket in which case you say "a hay-tch".

      1. phuzz Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: "Check an HGV is Ready to Cross the Border"

        Except of course, when you're talking about an 'orse.

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: "Check an HGV is Ready to Cross the Border"

          "A" for 'orses?

      2. Ian Johnston Silver badge

        Re: "Check an HGV is Ready to Cross the Border"

        Haitch is the Catholic pronunciation of the letter which proddies call aitch. Asking passengers to spell a word with That Letter in it was a trick of Belfast cabbies (who were mostly catholic) if they wanted to know whether they were driving One Of Them.

        Since the stress is on the first and only syllable, it's "a haitch" or "an aitch", but never "an haitch".

        1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Thumb Up

          "Haitch is the Catholic pronunciation of the letter which proddies call aitch. "

          I did not know this.

          Just one of the myriad of details that made the undercover soliders life so tricky back in the day.

    4. jake Silver badge

      Re: "Check an HGV is Ready to Cross the Border"

      "like in French"

      That's pronounced "as in French".

    5. Already?

      Re: "Check an HGV is Ready to Cross the Border"

      H is pronounced aitch; anyone who says haitch should be stood in front of a wall and politely informed that although haitch is close to right, it’s correct and more usual to drop the h from it. Then go and have a cup of tea together and watch the football, or share a few jokes and some self-deprecating stories or something. Life’s too short...

      Words where the initial h is aspirated - sounded - have a as the indefinite, otherwise it’s an.

      A horse.

      An hotel (borderline though)

      An hour

      A hat.

      An hors d’ouvre to kick off with.

      A hot bath.

      Easy.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Check an HGV is Ready to Cross the Border"

        As the OP I thank you for your explanation.

        I genuinely was seeking the answer to a question that I didn't know the answer to.

        I like to think my English skills are fairly reasonable, but I couldn't figure out why I was questioning this!

        Thanks for all of the downvotes btw, I'll stick to writing sarcastic replies to posters on here rather than asking questions in the future.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: "Check an HGV is Ready to Cross the Border"

          Nah, ask away. Downvotes are meaningless, ESPECIALLY when the downvoter(s) don't offer an explanation as to why they chose to downvote you.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "Check an HGV is Ready to Cross the Border"

            Plus you tend to attract a kind of "fan club" over the years. jake certainly has one. :)

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: "Check an HGV is Ready to Cross the Border"

              I look on keeping my fanboi happy as doing a public service .... it keeps it off the streets at night.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Pleural?

                bois (wood???)

                boys(NSFW???????????)

                fans(exaggeration?)

                Teasing - I genuinely enjoy your contributions although not always/often agreeing.

                Lang may your lum reek! (scots)

        2. Dante Alighieri
          Thumb Down

          Re: "Check an HGV is Ready to Cross the Border"

          HI! I didn't want to disappoint you without a down post. Join the club.

          TFIC - loved the post

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Check an HGV is Ready to Cross the Border"

          It bugs me when people downvote questions. Don't let them bully you!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Check an HGV is Ready to Cross the Border"

        Haitch... haitch.... haitch.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3y0CD2CoCs

        1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          Re: "Check an HGV is Ready to Cross the Border"

          Four candles, fork 'andles. (One of the best "Two Ronnies" sketches ever!)

  9. Ian Johnston Silver badge

    I for one am shocked, shocked to learn that a government IT project is unlikely to be delivered on time and in usable form. After all, the IT industry has such a glowing track record of success in the NHS, the DWP ...

    1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

      Electronic borders was a rip-roaring success too

  10. Mike_JC

    The British government and IT systems have never gone well together.

  11. Welsh Skeptic

    Like many others, I am totally confused by everything.

    Part of me says that they will get some sort of deal at the last moment as come the first of January there will be the biggest gridlock in the world possibly lasting for weeks or months.

    The other part says that the Fairy Tail Prince and his entourage of little helpers, sticking rigidly to their little book on game theory are going to screw it up and then the real games begin.

    If I was Macron, I would round up all the migrants in France and give them a one way ticket to Britain. Of course, they will be stopped and sent back but then France says it will not accept them.

    I like the story about HMRC. Late last year, they finally got round to appoint somebody to head up a replacement for CHIEF. I believe they were only in the job for one month before they quit.

    It is rather like the customs officials that France and Holland took on to train about three years ago as it is generally recognised that it takes that long to learn the ropes. It appears that Superman Gove reckons he can do that in as many weeks

    It wont be called a dog's dinner but a Gove Mashup surprise.

    1. Eclectic Man Silver badge
      Trollface

      On Mr Gove

      @ Welsh Skeptic, re: "Superman Gove"

      It occurs to me that Mr Gove is rolled out whenever HMG wants people to actually understand what is being said. We know from experience that Johnson hasn't a clue about science, scientists or statistics, that Mr Sunak will change his mind on his announcements within the week, and Ms Patel just comes across as so aggressive that everyone tunes her out after a while. Whitty and Valance are overruled by Johnson for political reasons and sheer squeamish inability to get his spine anything like rigid enough and Hancock's half hour is no longer funny. Say what you like about Mrs Thatcher, she would have got a grip on this - oh, Hang on I forgot this article was about Brexit, not Covid-19, must be getting old. How can a government have two such complete disasters at the same time and not realise how incompetent they are?

      Troll icon because this is a bit of a Friday rant, apologies to anyone of delicate sensibilities, and to genuinely considerate Tories, of whom there are more than would be suspected from the left wing press contents.

  12. Winkypop Silver badge
    Trollface

    Brexit needs more high profile consultants

    I hear Donald Trump may be available.

    I think he’s about done with his present gig.

    Quite a good CV for something written in crayon.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Brexit needs more high profile consultants

      If you lot want Trump, you can have him ... it'll make the idiots in Florida cry, but that's OK, they'll get over it when the next new ... Oh! SHINEY!

    2. Mage Silver badge

      Re: written in crayon.

      Trump only uses Sharpies, though I suppose any fine bullet tip felt pen would do. It's Johnson that uses crayons?

      1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

        Re: written in crayon.

        Nonsense, The Trump TWEETS!!!!

  13. Binraider Bronze badge
    Joke

    Barcodes have been around what, 40 years? Good to know government IT is still, to this day, unable to put a system together to do what retailers have been doing for decades in greater quantities. Maybe we should privatise the borders and customs service to make it more efficient?

    As an absolutely committed remainer; while there are parts of me that want to see the "potential" upsides of Brexit work, there is still a small part of me that wants to see the whole shebang crash and burn. Popcorn is on standby.

    The fact that one of the major architects of it is now backing an anti-lockdown party, as if you needed another warning, is just yet another example of populist rhetoric Trump-ing rational government.

    1. jake Silver badge

      The barcode was patented in 1951 ... but the concept of using tabulating machines on large quantities of data goes back to the US Census in 1890. It's hardly rocket surgery.

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: US Census in 1890

        Hollerith won that contract. The cards were based on 18th Century programming cards for the Jacquard Loom controller, or inspired by them. Later renamed IBM.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: US Census in 1890

          Hollerith's company, rather imaginatively named The Tabulating Machine Company, was one of four that were merged together by Charles Flint to form The Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company, AKA CTR, which was later renamed IBM.

          The combined company had a rather diverse output ... for example, I own a CTR meat slicer in need of restoration ...

          1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

            Re: US Census in 1890

            According to what I remember from my 'O'-level computer studies (yes, I really am that old), Hollerith was charged with counting the USA census, and realised that doing so by hand would not finish before the next census had taken place ten years later. He therefore realised an automated system was required, and used punched cards, electrodes and (bearing in mind Health and Safety was not what it is now) vats of mercury as a conductor to enable faster counting. (I wonder how many of his staff died of mercury poisoning?)

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