back to article Pigeon fanciers in a flap over Brexit quarantine flock-up, seek exemption from EU laws

Things have taken a tern for the worse for the Royal Pigeon Racing Association, which is seeking an exemption from the EU for a law that takes flight tomorrow, so their birds can participate in a long distance European race. In the trans-Channel races, the UK flying rats birds are released from France, after which they wing it …

  1. Nifty Silver badge

    "Theoretically they could be used to carry messages under an IP over Avian Carrier (RFC 2549) system"

    Yes well, the UK is still in the process of modernising it's internet infrastructure.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      FTTC

      Flier To The Coop.

      1. JassMan Silver badge

        HTTPS

        Hyper Text Transfer by Pigeon System

      2. Solviva

        Pah that's so old, you need to modernise with Fiber To The Pigeon.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          >Fiber To The Pigeon

          Given their current output I don't think we want pigeons with any more fibre

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "Fiber To The Pigeon"

          Don't you mean Feather To The Premises?

    2. EVP

      A modern high-bandwidth implementation would surely be a spectacular sight. It would also bring windfall to the farming industry, loads of free fertilizer. And just think about job opportunities for all currently unemployed bird shit collectors!

    3. Da Weezil

      This seems to have caught a lot of people on the hop, was the confusion caused by the new regs being written in pigeon English?

      1. TRT Silver badge

        No, just those bird-brains in Whitehall.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Westminster, not Whitehall.

    4. Fred Goldstein

      IPoAC has only limited usefulness. The bird can only carry a payload of about 140 characters, or 280 if they're double-sided. So mostly the birds just tweet.

  2. Ilsa Loving

    Seriously?

    Brexit happened, and the world is not only in the middle of a pandemic but at a very dangerous phase of it. They'll just have to suck it up.

    These people are really for the birds to even be asking.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Seriously?

      You can't use the pandemic to avoid blaming the government for failing to negotiate diligently. The same is going to be true for all kinds of events and the conclusion has to be that the UK government wanted it this way.

      If the pandemic (or even that old chestnut "the children") is to be invoked then it should have been to extend the transition period.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Seriously?

        The government will use the pandemic to deny any blame for anything.

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Seriously?

        They negotiated to leave the SPS area thinking they were going to get the biggliest best deal with Trump, then Biden won.

        And the only reason why they wanted to leave the SPS area was so they could lower standards to get that deal with the US but since the US deal went out the window they've said they're not going to do and the plan was to have higher world-beating standards all along. Only the UK doesn't have to leave the SPS area to set standards higher than the minimum, only lower them.

        So now each plant or animal or food or drink export to the EU or even to NI has a tonne of paperwork to prove that it reaches the same minimum SPS standards as before because the government reserves the right to lower standards at any time, which it says it's not going to do and there's no public support for.

        Meanwhile, the agriculture and food and drink industries are being decimated.

        Utter stupidity, but that's Brexit for you.

        1. Warm Braw Silver badge

          Re: Seriously?

          The CPTPP, which we have applied to join - for reasons best known to Liz Truss - also has an SPS. Greater minds than Liz are now wondering how Northern Ireland can be part of that agreement and also retain its quasi-Single Market status. It's almost as if no-one had thought it through.

          Mind you, the pigeons have just missed out on their foreign holidays. The oystercatchers have had their entire business model ruined.

          1. You aint sin me, roit Silver badge
            Facepalm

            But we took back control of our waters...

            So now we haz all the fish.

            Except we don't because part of the deal was that EU boats can still fish in our waters. And land their catch in the EU so they avoid the paperwork "our" fish require if they are to be exported to the EU fish markets.

            Got to admire Boris's ingenuity using EU trawlers to export our fish to the EU bypassing customs checks.

        2. John Riddoch

          Re: Seriously?

          We were never going to get the best deal with Trump (or any other US president). Unless their negotiators were stupid (and I doubt that), they would know that Boris et al would be so desperate for a deal with America to trumpet as a success to the press they'd accept almost anything.

          Taking back control indeed.

      3. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Seriously?

        @Charlie Clark

        "You can't use the pandemic to avoid blaming the government for failing to negotiate diligently."

        How would the gov have negotiated for a new EU law starting 16th Apr? Its an EU law by the EU and for the EU, not a UK thing.

        "If the pandemic (or even that old chestnut "the children") is to be invoked then it should have been to extend the transition period."

        Thank god thats over. Can you imagine us still tied to the EU with their vaccine incompetence! They are already raiding private companies and trying to block private business from fulfilling contracts. If we were still negotiating they would be much worse.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Seriously?

          They are already raiding private companies and trying to block private business from fulfilling contracts.

          You mean the same companies that decided they didn't have to fulfil their contracts with the EU?

          The negotiations weren't perfect, though the biggest problem was probably the failure of the Institut Pasteur / Sanofi vaccine. But it did at least stop the 27 + 1 (Sweden is buying for Norway) competing with each other for vaccines, which would probably have meant Germany buying the lot. National governments were never prevented from finding additional sources, as Hungary has done with Sputnik V.

          The headlines are poor but the underlying data shows that many EU countries are on track, though with less time between jabs than the UK, the % of first vaccinations is considerably lower than the UK. Denmark has even decided that it doesn't need the University of Oxford / Astra Zeneca vaccines.

          And mortality rates are highly dependent upon the quality of primary care, which is why the UK is at the back of the class.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Seriously?

            @Charlie Clark

            "You mean the same companies that decided they didn't have to fulfil their contracts with the EU?"

            Nope. If that was the case then surely the EU would take them to court. But nope. The contracts stand and the EU screwed up. Its a pretty public cock up, I am surprised you didnt realise.

            "The negotiations weren't perfect, though the biggest problem was probably the failure of the Institut Pasteur / Sanofi vaccine."

            That did cause a problem. Especially as the French dictated limits on purchased vaccine outside of Sanofi. Politics before people even in a crisis.

            "But it did at least stop the 27 + 1 (Sweden is buying for Norway) competing with each other for vaccines"

            No it didnt. Germany started negotiating against the EU for vaccine. Other members going off and buying from Russia and China which is the very competition you say was avoided.

            "National governments were never prevented from finding additional sources, as Hungary has done with Sputnik V."

            But strongly discouraged and had the spotlight put on them negatively by the EU if they did.

            "The headlines are poor but the underlying data shows that many EU countries are on track"

            For what? They are massively behind. They are trying to ban exports and blocked a shipment for Australia. Off the rails is more like it.

            "Denmark has even decided that it doesn't need the University of Oxford / Astra Zeneca vaccines."

            Good for them. 8% vaccinated and dont need the AZ vaccine. France and Germany didnt like the AZ vaccine either did they? Hear their rollout is stunning too.

            "And mortality rates are highly dependent upon the quality of primary care, which is why the UK is at the back of the class."

            Not really-

            https://www.statista.com/statistics/1111779/coronavirus-death-rate-europe-by-country/

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: Seriously?

              "No it didnt. Germany started negotiating against the EU for vaccine. Other members going off and buying from Russia and China which is the very competition you say was avoided."

              And yet we wanted to take back control so we wouldn't be bound by the EU in exactly the way Germany and the others aren't.

              Yes there's a problem with inept politicians but the EU doesn't have a monopoly on that as numerous other countries have demonstrated, including our own with Track & Trace. We got lucky with vaccination largely because of the actions of the UK biomedical community.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: Seriously?

                @Doctor Syntax

                "And yet we wanted to take back control so we wouldn't be bound by the EU in exactly the way Germany and the others aren't."

                So we should have remained in the EU and broke EU agreements like Germany did which the EU refuses to comment if they will legally punish Germany for doing so? And thats your argument for remain? You will understand me disagreeing with that?

                "Yes there's a problem with inept politicians but the EU doesn't have a monopoly on that as numerous other countries have demonstrated"

                Returning to the question of how adding a layer of incompetent government above an incompetent government is an improvement?

                "We got lucky with vaccination largely because of the actions of the UK biomedical community."

                So the UK, US, Israel, etc got lucky but the EU screwed the pooch so badly it would require a miracle to do well?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Seriously?

            You mean the same companies that decided they didn't have to fulfil their contracts with the EU?

            The problem for the EU is that they didn't actually break their contract with the EU; as accidentally revealed by the EU releasing a selectively redacted contract which also contained all of the non redacted information.

            The EU has simply decided that contracts should mean what they want them to mean instead of what they actually say.

            The reason that only third world countries do this is because everybody knows that only a lunatic would then actually invest any money in production facilities that might be seized at whim. Thus an immediate and early effect is AstraZenica (which is producing these at cost) isin't actually making a profit to expand production lines and the EU isin't willing to put any money in to help. Nobody in their right mind is going to lend AZ money to increase production given the EU confiscation threats; investing in EU nations for vaccine production is now like expecting oil companies to invest in Venezuela.

            Other effects of this decision can be seen in the Novavax jab; who pulled out of plans to make or package any part of their vaccine in the EU and declined to sell to the EU instead saying they'd rather do deals with countries instead. That has been a huge EU Commission screwup worthy of a banana republic that is probably now beyond recovery for them.

        2. Roland6 Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Seriously?

          How would the gov have negotiated for a new EU law starting 16th Apr?

          I'm sure there is a soundbite of Boris dating from the negotiation phase saying: "no stone will be left unturned"; looks like there was one stone left unturned...

          I suspect the only pigeons Etonians know about are the ones in game pies.

      4. Martin Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Seriously?

        The same is going to be true for all kinds of events and the conclusion has to be that the UK government wanted it this way.

        No - it's not that they wanted it this way. It's that they don't actually give a fuck about all these minor issues. They are just collateral damage, which has to be accepted, to GET BREXIT DONE.

    2. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: Seriously?

      Its a good lockdown hobby, owners don't travel with the birds* and given that millions of wild bird transit the channel every year (in both directions) I'd say it was a reasonable request.

      *They'd have a hard job beating them back home to clock in the arrivals.

    3. JassMan Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Seriously?

      They don't have a leg to stand on. After all, as the government insisted on telling us, brexit was what the people voted for. By voting the conmenservatives in again at at the last election, the country gave Boris a mandate to screw us over as much as he desired.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Seriously?

        "brexit was what the people voted for."

        I propose a new law. Anyone complaining about Brexit in an interview must start by stating which way they voted.

        It's be interesting to see how many of the people complaining voted yes.

        The problem seems to be that slightly under half voted no, but slightly more than half voted yes, but the yes votes were not necessarily for the Brexit the UK ended up with. Probably because anyone voting yes had their own ideas of what Brexit meant to them and it wasn't necessarily the same as the other yes voter standing next to them.

        It's a bit like when a government ends up with a coalition which may or may not include the largest party. There are so many compromises that no one is happy with the result.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Anyone complaining about Brexit [] must start by stating which way they voted.

          You would then see that NOBODY actually did for brexit. Moi?! NEVER! I had my reservations, naturally, blahblablah (clue to when the conscience tries to surface and tell you: stop lying!!!!), but I was, in fact, in favour of our EU membership, (if only they'd given us SOME concessions, lol). Something about an old saying that the victory has many fathers, but defeat...

          I actually pay for brexit every day. I pay when I buy 2nd hand camping gear for my kids on ebay, because with taxes, vat and 'handling charges', you can easily pay double for anything bought from the outside of the UK coffin - and the UK sellers can and DO take advantage of this artificial scarcity by hiking up their prices (fair enough, why shouldn't they). I pay for brexit when I want to buy from aliexpress, which charge me vat and taxes ('taxes' even for items below taxable treshold), which means that it's almost worth paying inflated prices for the same items sold by 'uk' sellers, aka dropshitters. I pay daily for brexit in tesco, asda, etc., cause apparently those East European underpaid folk living for 3 months in the luxury of a smelly caravan, are no longer keen anymore to flock to these fines shores to be ripped off, and the UK nationals can't be arsed to work very hard for funny money (who would, eh?). I will pay (dearly) for having the privilege of taking holidays abroad by paying (soon to be hiked, no doubt), 'luggage charge' by ryanairs and such, because I won't be able to ship 30 - 50 kg of our outdoor stuff and clothing (family of 4) ahead and back. But hey, I can take a glorious, UK-based stayfuckingcation, or a UK-based glamping, 150 quid a night for an 'natural experience'. Did I mention currency conversion rates, btw?

          So I pay for your brexit. But then, who cares, it's only me, a on-man minority, and I deserve to pay anyway, cause I'm a bloody foreigner(ish) while the true Brits, sons, daughters, and sexually undecided offspring of, great, great, great great nation are reaping the Huge! Benefits! of Brexit! Daily! And don't mention the pigeons.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Anyone complaining about Brexit [] must start by stating which way they voted.

            I think you need to spend the weekend at your holiday home and calm down

        2. Nifty Silver badge

          Re: Seriously?

          I voted Leave knowing perfectly well that the departure deal would be some sort of compromise. The deal done last December roughly met my expectations. Then we got the vaccine bonus, a lucky break maybe, but it might not have happened if we were still in the suffocating embrace of the EU. Happy days and happy downvoting folks.

          Now, back to pigeons...

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Seriously?

            If you look carefully you'll see the EU nations flapping about doing their own thing to a large extent and, were we still in the EU, we'd also have had that option.

            Where we got lucky was that the local biomedical community got together and presented the govt. with a fait accompli comprising the basics of a vaccination programme. Where we got unlucky was old mates being put in charge of Track and Trace and I doubt any lingering influence of the EU can be blamed for that.

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: Seriously?

              @Doctor Syntax

              "If you look carefully you'll see the EU nations flapping about doing their own thing to a large extent and, were we still in the EU, we'd also have had that option."

              Not quite. The Germans did their own thing in violation with their agreement with the EU. Various members ordered vaccine from Russia and China because the EU stuffed it, and the EU lashed out at them. The EU went to Russia and took a public pantsing where they and the west were railed on while member diplomats were kicked out in a demonstration of how weak the EU is. Didnt some idjits suggest the UK leaving the EU made us more vulnerable to Russia? The EU bends easy enough.

              "Where we got lucky was that the local biomedical community got together and presented the govt."

              Lucky? The manufacturing plant in the Netherlands that the EU wants to stop exports from got no money from the EU nor the Dutch but instead from the UK. These plans were presented to governments not just ours, but the EU was useless and the UK made its own luck by backing many.

              "Where we got unlucky was old mates being put in charge of Track and Trace and I doubt any lingering influence of the EU can be blamed for that."

              That is pretty standard gov panic. Who do they think can do a job and bung it in a panic. Not the EU's fault and they likely do it themselves.

              1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
                1. unimaginative

                  Re: Seriously?

                  No, but purchasing is a lot more flexible than it would have been if we were in the EU scheme so we got supplies a lot faster. Approval is a red herring.

                  Although theoretically optional, every single EU country is in the EU scheme. We were offered the chance to join and remainers were absolutely convinced turning that down would lead to disaster. As

                  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                    Re: Seriously?

                    The UK biomedical community start putting together a scheme to get the Oxford vaccine manufactured before government in either the UK or the EU got their act together. For better or worse HMG insisted on AZ when they got involved which is turning out to be a mixed blessing for them (AZ).

                    It's not possible to determine whether things would have been better or worse here than in the EU if had been left to HMG alone but it would have been worse than has happened, at least as regards vaccination.

                2. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: Seriously?

                  @Jamie Jones

                  "Vaccine approval isn’t quicker because of Brexit"

                  Which we all know as horse shit. While the legal requirement is not there the EU has been very clear about it dislike for members going their own way. However the EU screwed the pooch so badly the members went their own way and even Germany broke its agreement with the EU not to negotiate with companies the EU is negotiating with.

                3. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Seriously?

                  It really doesn't matter which country or area vaccinates fastest.

                  Even if a country magically summoned a magical Brexit unicorn to cough vaccine over every single citizen, so long as the virus is still a plague elsewhere, it will continue to be a threat. It mutates. The more individual viruses in existence on the planet, the higher the chances of continued mutation. It doesn't matter if they feature on someones graph or not.

                  This is the problem with nationalistic thinking. It's a global issue and needs to be treated accordingly.

                  So long as people travel and there are areas of the planet where the virus exists and is left to spread, we are at threat.

                  Regional vaccine programmes are like trying to put a plaster on a metastatic cancer.

                  The problem is that we can't stick a flag on it and nuke the shit out of it. Politics will continue to fuck up what science can deliver.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Seriously?

                    "It really doesn't matter which country or area vaccinates fastest."

                    I think you will find it does - a 6-12 month head start on an economic recovery will make a significant difference to economies, particularly if you manage to avoid large-scale lock downs in this time.

                    And, hypothetically, arguing that Brexit is an economic disaster when the UK could potentially be doing better than large parts of the EU will mean we get to "enjoy" the "passionate discussions" for a few more years yet...

                    A better example of the vaccination economic recovery may be America where the different strategies play out without influences such as Brexit to argue about.

                    Or New Zealand where the initial success in combating the virus may leave them a long way down the queue for vaccinations, re-opening travel and full economic recovery

                    I'm sure there are more examples.

                    COVID...the gift that keeps on giving.

                    1. Roland6 Silver badge

                      Re: Seriously?

                      "It really doesn't matter which country or area vaccinates fastest."

                      I think you will find it does...

                      From the events of the last year, where some nations seems to have an early lead in getting on top of CoViD19 only to stumble on the second and/or third wave, I suggest we won't really be able to come to a final verdict for some years yet.

                      However, what is clear getting the domestic economy going again, given how much of the UK economy is driven by domestic needs, will help in preventing excessive levels of economic depression. Hopefully, we will be able to use this to our benefit in the global marketplace, but don't underestimate the Conservatives ability to shot the UK in the foot, if they see some narrow Conservative party benefit in doing so...

                    2. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Seriously?

                      You missed the point of my post. I'm talking about the global issue and not the effect on UK PLC.

                      The pandemic started from a few cases in a small area being spread by transport links. A virus mutates and the probability of the mutation is proportional to the virus population. Reduce the global infection and you reduce the likelihood of mutation. If the virus thrives in the third world, so long as we have people travelling to and from those areas the risk to the rest of the world is high if the virus mutates and continues to be a health hazard.

              2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

                Re: Seriously?

                The Germans did their own thing in violation with their agreement with the EU.

                You mean the additional ordering from Biontech? Perfectly legal because it is scheduled for delivery after the EU order. By the end of the year Germany is going to be swimming in vaccine…

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: Seriously?

                  @Charlie Clark

                  "You mean the additional ordering from Biontech? Perfectly legal because it is scheduled for delivery after the EU order."

                  Denial should be a river in Egypt. Seriously this was the first link of a quick search and its even written as the first bloody sentence-

                  https://www.politico.eu/article/germanys-coronavirus-vaccine-side-deal-at-odds-with-legally-binding-eu-pact/

                  Germany repeated Friday that it will receive more doses of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine outside the EU's joint vaccination program — but the Commission refuses to acknowledge that this contradicts the bloc's deal.

                  "By the end of the year Germany is going to be swimming in vaccine…"

                  Like the UK is? I am sure the Germans will be happy with the delay (they aint)

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Seriously?

                  By the end of the year Germany is going to be swimming in vaccine…

                  An EU vaccine lake? Maybe someone should tell them it needs to be injected...

            2. Dave Schofield

              Re: Seriously?

              >If you look carefully you'll see the EU nations flapping about doing their own thing to a large extent and, were we still in the EU, we'd also have had that option.

              You even have some countries in the EU (Denmark) that are in such a relatively good position cases-wise that they can afford to suspend use of the AZ vaccine because the relative risk of developing a blood clot that requires hospitalization is higher than the current risk of being hospitalized through Covid infection.

              And even with the 3rd wave sweeping through some countries now, the excess death rate in quite a few EU countries is significantly lower than the UK (Ireland and Germany are ~half that of the UK).

              1. Vincent Ballard

                Re: Seriously?

                Third wave? We've had four already in Spain and we're starting on a fifth.

                (NB various media and politicians miscount them but a five-year-old could identify the waves in the official statistics: https://cnecovid.isciii.es/covid19/#ccaa )

              2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                Re: Seriously?

                relative risk of developing a blood clot that requires hospitalization is higher than the current risk of being hospitalized through Covid infection.

                The risk of developing a clot as a result of COVID infection is 8-10 times higher than the risk of developing one as a result of an AstraZeneca injection, which itself is about the same as the risk of developing one though a long-haul flight, i.e. minimal.

                1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                  Re: Seriously?

                  There also seems to be no baseline data available showing how these types of clots affect people in general who have not been vaccinated. The only valid comparison seems to be between the risk of COVID-19 caused clots against potential vaccine caused clots.

                  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                    Re: Seriously?

                    The actual comparison should be between the risk from the vaccine and the overall risk of not being vaccinated, not just blood clots as a result of not being vaccinated.

                    The biggest clots here are those who won't get vaccinated.

                  2. Twanky

                    Re: Seriously?

                    More to the point what is the baseline data for these types of clot for those most likely to be badly affected by Covid-19 (the actual disease, not testing positive for the virus)?

                    If you're going to select one group (say, eligible for vaccination) then you should similarly select your comparison group (ie same age groups, pre-existing conditions).

                    As the vaccination programme moves to lower age groups the risks between vaccination/non-vaccination seem to become more comparable and people rightly become more cautious. I say seem to become more comparable because the whole bloody point is that nobody has (or has released) the data - so people have to guess.

                    Personally, I opted to accept the vaccine (AZ in my case) on the basis that if it's going to damage a statistically significant number of people then the sooner we find that out, the better. Preferably *before* they stick it in my grandchildren.

              3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: Seriously?

                "And even with the 3rd wave sweeping through some countries now, the excess death rate in quite a few EU countries is significantly lower than the UK (Ireland and Germany are ~half that of the UK)."

                FYI, the UK, like much of the EU does not have an "excess death rate" now. Deaths are lower overall than would normally be expected for the time of year.

                https://www.euromomo.eu/graphs-and-maps As well as the daily graphs BBC news puts out every day clearly showing the same.

            3. H in The Hague Silver badge

              Re: Seriously?

              "Where we got lucky was that the local biomedical community got together and presented the govt. with a fait accompli comprising the basics of a vaccination programme."

              What might also help is that the UK has a national health service (actually, four of them). In many other countries (such as NL where I currently live) the health service is a network of much smaller, independent organisations - perhaps not the best structure to deal with something that requires coordination on all fronts.

              1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

                Re: Seriously?

                What's good about the NHS is that it's large enough to do this and has a long tradition of doing it without government interference. Hence the research carried out in Oxford and elsewhere. Hence also the fantastic work done on cheap and effective therapies. Hence also the very important work done on sequencing blood samples from COVID-19 patients. I hope that other countries and the ECDC learn from this.

                But also the high mortality rate due to the chronically underfunded primary care system.

            4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

              Re: Seriously?

              Where we got lucky was that the local biomedical community got together and presented the govt. with a fait accompli

              I wouldn't necessarily call it luck – those groups have years of practice of getting stuff done in spite of Whitehall. Luck probably payed a part in that the University of Oxford vaccines didn't suffer the same fate as the candidate of the Institut Pasteur in France: a year ago no one could be sure which candidates would succeed or not.

              1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: Seriously?

                "a year ago no one could be sure which candidates would succeed or not."

                That's why the UK spaffed money across many likely candidates as well as investment into pharma production. One or more would pay off and the extra production capacity the UK invested in would produce it either because "theirs" worked or they would get a licence to do so.

                The EU delayed placing orders and AFAIK did not (at least early on) invest in production capacity, relying instead on the free market.

                None of this has anything to do with Brexit. Individual EU members were free do as the UK did too. On the other hand, the EU seems to have had a bit of downer on members who stepped outside "the plan". I guess the problem is that individual countries can spaff money as they please while the EU has to answer to some or all of the member states if it spaffs money in ways some or all of the members disagree with, especially if they get it wrong. That makes them a bit risk averse.

                1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

                  Re: Seriously?

                  The EU delayed placing orders and AFAIK did not (at least early on) invest in production capacity, relying instead on the free market.

                  The EU did make considerable financial contributions, including to Astra Zeneca, to ensure that there would be sufficient production capacity.

          2. Snar

            Re: Seriously?

            They walk among us.....

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Seriously?

            Vaccine bonus?!

            You do realise (and it has been widely publicised) that the UK's vaccination plan was decided whilst we were still in the transition period and as such subject to the EU rules in full? And that member states can, and always were able to, perform their own vaccination procurement and approval?

            The only restriction is that they can't sign procurement deals with manufacturers who already have a contract signed at the EU level, which was not applicable here due to the timelines. (And Germany has signed a deal directly with Pfizer for additional doses after an EU deal was done anyway!)

            Stop touting the vaccination programme as a Brexit benefit. It's not.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Stop touting the vaccination programme as a Brexit benefit. It's not.

              But I read it in the paper, it must be true!!

              1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                Re: Stop touting the vaccination programme as a Brexit benefit. It's not.

                You should only believe it if you see it written on the side of a bus.

            2. unimaginative
              FAIL

              Re: Seriously?

              The "only" restriction would have stopped us from buying the vaccines (that were supplied) as early as we did, so we would have been many months behind the current vaccination levels, with the consequent extended lockdowns, loss of life and damage to health.

              it is clearly a Brexit benefit and denying that is a post-truth claim of Trumpian proportions (as the EU seems to be run by anti-vaxxers now that is probably not surprising).

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Seriously?

                @unimaginative try again but actually research the EU regs and strategies. It wouldn't have stopped us from buying the vaccines as early as we did. This is evidenced and supported by the fact that we did this whilst still under the EU rules as part of the transition period.

                It is another example of where we as a (transitional) EU member were always able to do our own thing in many areas all along, just like the blue passports, the border controls, and more.

                1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                  Re: Seriously?

                  "This is evidenced and supported by the fact that we did this whilst still under the EU rules as part of the transition period."

                  There's absolutely no use pointing this out to the rabid leavers. As far as they're concerned Brexit Was Done in 2020.

              2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: Seriously?

                "The "only" restriction would have stopped us from buying the vaccines (that were supplied) as early as we did, so we would have been many months behind the current vaccination levels, with the consequent extended lockdowns, loss of life and damage to health."

                Most of the UK vaccine contracts and investment was in place BEFORE any EU contracts, hence not in breach of any members rules which may or may not have applied to the UK at the time. That's the primary reason why the UK was getting deliveries before much of the EU. Early, firm contracts and investment in production facilities expansion. Many of the EU vaccine contracts where speculative, ie if you produce a working vaccine then we'll most likely buy it. The UK, in many cases, paid on spec, in advance so the phrama companies already had the cash.

          4. Adair Silver badge

            Re: Seriously?

            'EU makes a bit of a hash organising itself over vaccine acquisition programme'='EU is a total shambles doomed to collapse'.

            'GB happens to pull a blinder on vaccine acquisition programme'='BREXIT was a really well planned and massively supported scheme to advance the four nations of the union in a coherent and equitable manner on the world stage'

            Hopefully some people can see the problem with this kind of thinking. :-P

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Seriously?

              Hopefully some people can see the problem with this kind of thinking.

              Of course. The EU was a total shambles doomed to collapse even without COVID.

        3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Seriously?

          "but the yes votes were not necessarily for the Brexit the UK ended up with."

          In many cases they'd be for lies read from the side of a bus.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Seriously?

            @Doctor Syntax

            "In many cases they'd be for lies read from the side of a bus."

            Good job the remainer gov resigned though or we might be suffering a punishment budget! Although if we remained I am sure the EU's glorious performance with vaccine procurement would be defended as a success. Somehow.

            1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

              Re: Seriously?

              That's all you've got? I expected better of you.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: Seriously?

                @Jamie Jones

                "That's all you've got? I expected better of you."

                Aww thank you for the vote of confidence. But what did you expect from me? The full long recounting of remainer lies?

                When some fool decides to mention the bus as though it was a game changer, I could counter it with the project fear stupidities but since nothing really beats the government of the country literally and publicly threatening its own population to vote the 'right' way I figure hell why not crush the debate there.

                1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

                  Re: Seriously?

                  I'm not talking about buses.

                  Of all the brexitter comments I've read on this site, you're the only one I can recall who has ever had any semblance of an argument.

                  Calling Mays government "remainers" and hitching yourself to the EU vaccine gloating, even though you know we could have done the same without brexit (indeed, it's been pointed out that we were still in the EU when UK vaccine negotiations started) is what I expect from some of the other brexitters here, not you.

                  The whole sovereignty talking point is bullshit, as you well know.

                  As for buses, you may not have believed it, your friends and family may not have believed it, but I know personally many who did (my brother-in-laws sister and her friends for one)

                  In fact, the leave campaign credited that slogan for winning brexit. And I'm repeating myself, but you know that too.

                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: Seriously?

                    @Jamie Jones

                    "I'm not talking about buses."

                    Ok, but you made a non-contributing comment criticizing my comment to someone who 'I literally quoted' was using the bus as their excuse. You might also read in my reply to you that I mention 'some fool decides to mention the bus' which as it wasnt you implies I was talking about someone else.

                    "Of all the brexitter comments I've read on this site, you're the only one I can recall who has ever had any semblance of an argument."

                    Appreciated

                    "Calling Mays government "remainers""

                    We didnt leave. We left this year on the 1st of Jan. The withdrawal agreement enshrining EU law to our books and handing over NI was in May's agreement and her aim seemed very much BINO. So yes I consider trying not to leave the EU as remain.

                    "EU vaccine gloating"

                    The EU was gloating last year. Remainers blaming leave voters for all the deaths to come for being last to get the vaccine because we didnt join the EU procurement.

                    "even though you know we could have done the same without brexit"

                    While technically legally yes the fact still stands that the assertion is unbelievable at best. Germany breaking its agreement with the EU even which should be legally dealt with.

                    "The whole sovereignty talking point is bullshit, as you well know."

                    This is one you have just brought up. Sovereignty is a real issue which has yet to be realistically refuted as a good reason for brexit. Feel free to disagree, we can discuss if you like.

                    "As for buses, you may not have believed it, your friends and family may not have believed it, but I know personally many who did"

                    Thats ok. I know many remainers who still believe the many remain lies. Even people who honestly believed the punishment budget was a necessary consequence of brexit instead of the direct threat against the population that it was.

                    "In fact, the leave campaign credited that slogan for winning brexit. And I'm repeating myself, but you know that too."

                    The official leave campaign probably credit themselves with starting the brexit debate too, they can dream what they wish. Both official campaigns were an embarrassment. And I have no issues with you repeating information. It can provide necessary context to why you hold your opinions. I have to do it too.

        4. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: Seriously?

          I propose a new law. Anyone complaining about Brexit in an interview must start by stating which way they voted.

          It's be interesting to see how many of the people complaining voted yes.

          And how will you make certain their statement is correct?

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Seriously?

            @A.P. Veening

            "And how will you make certain their statement is correct?"

            Same problem with finding Euro supporters when it was to come to the UK. So far I found 1, on here, and he still believes it a good thing which is why he will admit to it. The others. Well its kinda like how remain supporters suddenly went quiet with the EU's recent handling of another crisis.

            1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

              Re: Seriously?

              Except that's not true. You've fallen into the brexitter mindset of treating politics like a sport, where everyone cheers their team, everyone defends their team come what may, and everything the other team does is bad.

              This mentality works for brexitters - it's all they can understand, but remainers don't behave that way.

              Most remainers have been critical of the EU when necessary. To add the IT angle, just about every post here regarding the .eu domain fiasco was negative.

              There have also been many reports from remainers critical of the EU vaccine situation - what you don't hear from remainers is gloating on the misfortune of a people who had nothing to do with brexit.

              The country crashes and burns around us, and brexitters point to one thing the EU could have done better, lie about it to make it sound worse than it is (you guys really can't help it, can you?), and then gloat and mock the EU for any misfortune.. The cherry on the cake is that the UK could have done exactly the sane thing without brexit, so your one inflated "win" isn't even real.

              Sad.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: Seriously?

                @Jamie Jones

                "Except that's not true. You've fallen into the brexitter mindset of treating politics like a sport, where everyone cheers their team."

                I think you replied to the wrong person. I pointed out the comparison to A.P. Veening responding to John Brown (no body) who was acting as you describe. Maybe you should look at your bias when suggesting its a brexitter mindset thing.

                "Most remainers have been critical of the EU when necessary"

                Your kidding. On here, in person I have yet to find remainers critical of the EU handling its crisis by digging into new crisis. The only difference this time is it seems to affect remainers in their own country. And even then the propaganda seems strong with some of you guys.

                "To add the IT angle, just about every post here regarding the .eu domain fiasco was negative."

                I recall a few commenters I see here telling us we deserved it and the EU is in the right. See if any speak up.

                "There have also been many reports from remainers critical of the EU vaccine situation"

                I know some of those in person. As I said this actually affects them visibly so they seem to care a bit more about how badly the EU handles it. Although there did seem to be a bit of a silence from remainers as the EU dug deeper into the hole. As the EU priests even criticized it.

                "The country crashes and burns around us"

                Eh? Where?

                "and brexitters point to one thing the EU could have done better"

                The one? Please tell me your joking or have come out of hibernation from the last 13 years.

                "lie about it to make it sound worse than it is"

                Oh please tell me the lie. Which bit?

                "and then gloat and mock the EU for any misfortune"

                Damn right I am. Remainers slammed the UK over not joining the EU procurement and how we will be left behind and back of the queue. The EU president gloating how well they are doing. And now the reality hits I have every right to gloat how wrong remainers were and how crap the EU is. Aka we were right and condemning us before the event results in us gloating now the truth is revealed. Suck it up buttercup.

                "The cherry on the cake is that the UK could have done exactly the sane thing without brexit, so your one inflated "win" isn't even real."

                In theory. But would certainly be pressured into the 'all for one' approach which lacked the investment into the vaccines, would have slowed down the R&D to produce a vaccine, reduced the production capabilities and then would have certainly had vaccine stolen as the EU wished to block exports as it is.

                The facts stand. The EU was slow, bureaucratic, wanted it on the cheap, forgot about the Irish border, blocked exports, raided private business, threatens to seize production facilities and IP, is short of vaccine and is still digging a hole for itself.

                1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                  Re: Seriously?

                  "Remainers slammed the UK over not joining the EU procurement and how we will be left behind and back of the queue."

                  Here's one who didn't for reasons already stated.

                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: Seriously?

                    @Doctor Syntax

                    "Here's one who didn't for reasons already stated."

                    Kudo's to you. Glad to hear your not one of those who did.

            2. Martin Silver badge
              WTF?

              Re: Seriously?

              Well its kinda like how remain supporters suddenly went quiet with the EU's recent handling of another crisis.

              Brexit was a crap decision, but it's done now. There is no point keeping on about it. That's why we've gone quiet. Not because we believe that it was, after all, a good thing. It wasn't. It's a fucking disaster. But we're stuck with it.

              I think it's interesting that the Brexit supporters are making such a noise about the somewhat better vaccine rollout compared to the EU. Probably because it's the first (and so far, only) advantage that could, in some ways, be considered to be an advantage of Brexit.

              And the fact that we in the UK managed our vaccine rollout better than the EU is a fairly minor issue, compared to, for example, the potential return of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland caused by the fallout from our Brexit deal.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: Seriously?

                @Martin

                "Brexit was a crap decision, but it's done now. There is no point keeping on about it. That's why we've gone quiet."

                Really? So the bleating and moaning and general dickishness of remainers continuing beyond brexit with even a reg article begging for bad things to complain about with brexit, followed by silence as the EU publicly looks like incompetent morons was coincidence? Pull the other one it has bells on.

                "I think it's interesting that the Brexit supporters are making such a noise about the somewhat better vaccine rollout compared to the EU"

                Interesting? Not expected? Justified? After all the shit remoaners have piled on assuming the UK would fail at the vaccination and the EU be fantastic? Sorry if my pleasure at rubbing reality in the face of the rude and delusional bothers you.

                "Probably because it's the first (and so far, only) advantage that could, in some ways, be considered to be an advantage of Brexit."

                Nope. Do you remember remoaners going on about the cost of brexit? I do. It was before the EU decided to put together a covid bailout fund (still not being distributed btw). Note that brexit only happened at the start of this year, 1st Jan and already its paying dividends only 4 months in!

                "And the fact that we in the UK managed our vaccine rollout better than the EU is a fairly minor issue"

                Eh? Whole economies shut down. People dying. Livelihoods destroyed. Heavy restrictions on basic freedoms such as leaving your own house. And you call that minor?

                "the potential return of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland caused by the fallout from our Brexit deal."

                Yeah its bad isnt it. Leaving NI in the EU area was a bad idea and breaks the agreement of the UK and NI freely trading, so lets put the border where it belongs and if the EU want to make a hard border its their problem. I agree that the violence is terrible, thats why the EU trying to ruin NI is a bad thing and good that the UK unilaterally reduced trade friction even as the EU cried against it!

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Seriously?

                  And haven't you just once considered that Brexit wrecked the delicate balance that brought peace to NI? If you put a border between GB and NI you end off pissing off the loyalists, if you put a border between Ireland and NI you end off pissing off the nationalists.

                  The two main proposals from the pro-Brexit hard of thinking (including yourself) are:

                  a) the magic sky border (aka "alternative arrangements") which doesn't exist because if it did it would be used between Norway or Switzerland and the EU (and remember, both are in the Single Market and Schengen so it should be easier, but even so it doesn't exist).

                  b) let's throw our ball over the fence and smash the neighbour's greenhouse (aka "move the border between Ireland and NI"). Congratulations, you've just pissed off the nationalists. You seem to think the border can be moved, everything can be blamed on the EU and the UK can start doing some fantastic Brexit buccaneering trade action, but the EU won't allow the single market to be holed like that and will apply tariffs in retaliation and guess who's territory all the paramilitary activity will be going off in.

                  You may have realised that the British government has put potential future trade with the US which is thousands of miles away above real actual trade and social stability with one of its own countries in its own union. That's quite something to behold.

                  What the British government needs to do is grow up and stop holding out for a US trade deal that's not going to happen. Why is the US trade deal not going to come? Because Biden and Irish American lawmakers are quite clear that they're going to put NI above a trade deal, whereas the British government has put a potential trade deal above NI.

                  And once Johnson has grown up he needs to commit to the same minimum sandards that the rest of the continent all the way up to Turkey uses, and magically half the paperwork disappears meaning the NI Protocol would work as the Irish Sea border is minimised putting a stop to the problems in NI, British industry could compete once again with its neighbours, and the UK's catastrophic drop in export trade might be reversed.

                  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                    Re: Seriously?

                    "You may have realised that the British government has put potential future trade with the US which is thousands of miles away above real actual trade and social stability with one of its own countries in its own union."

                    And failed because Biden is pro-peace process so isn't likely to be impressed by the mess that's developing.

                    1. codejunky Silver badge

                      Re: Seriously?

                      @Doctor Syntax

                      "And failed because Biden is pro-peace process so isn't likely to be impressed by the mess that's developing.

                      I wonder his opinion on the EU almost breaking the GFA-

                      https://www.politico.eu/article/eu-drops-irish-border-plan-coronavirus-vaccine-exports/

                      I like the quote- However, officials also said the triggering of Article 16 was probably unnecessary because there aren't stocks of vaccine in Ireland to be shipped anywhere. That explains why people in ROI are trying to book appointments in NI.

                  2. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: Seriously?

                    @AC

                    "And haven't you just once considered that Brexit wrecked the delicate balance that brought peace to NI?"

                    So should the UK including NI be tied to the sinking ship of the EU because of a small island the EU forgets about in a panic? The problem argued is that neither NI nor ROI want a border, something the UK is fine with? Hence the only issue is the EU which is not our problem to resolve?

                    "If you put a border between GB and NI you end off pissing off the loyalists, if you put a border between Ireland and NI you end off pissing off the nationalists."

                    Yup. So the UK original answer of no hard border is the solution then.

                    "a) the magic sky border"

                    Using technology the EU intends to apply already. Concerns tracking and while it wont stop small smuggling (which happens anyway) would be effective enough for larger efforts.

                    "b)" ... "(aka "move the border between Ireland and NI")"

                    The border is already there. Even in the EU. The issue would be a hard border and the UK wasnt willing to apply one. So not our problem.

                    "EU won't allow the single market to be holed like that"... "guess who's territory all the paramilitary activity will be going off in."

                    If the EU made a hard border the paramilitary activity would be on their side for breaking the established agreement. The current situation breaks the agreement by blocking UK to NI trade. That is worse.

                    "British government has put a potential trade deal above NI."

                    Are you saying the UK should abandon its territories for the potential of a trade deal with Bidens US?

                    I see a lot of moaning without much substance. Maybe because your posting AC or maybe you believe it.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Seriously?

                      Now let's have the whole of the two most important quotes which you failed to address:

                      a) the magic sky border (aka "alternative arrangements") which doesn't exist because if it did it would be used between Norway or Switzerland and the EU (and remember, both are in the Single Market and Schengen so it should be easier, but even so it doesn't exist).

                      And:

                      b) let's throw our ball over the fence and smash the neighbour's greenhouse (aka "move the border between Ireland and NI"). Congratulations, you've just pissed off the nationalists. You seem to think the border can be moved, everything can be blamed on the EU and the UK can start doing some fantastic Brexit buccaneering trade action, but the EU won't allow the single market to be holed like that and will apply tariffs in retaliation and guess who's territory all the paramilitary activity will be going off in.

                      You have no answer to either comment so you chop them up when you quote them to avoid addressing them and throw out the usual Brexit tropes and blame the EU.

                      Are you saying the UK should abandon its territories for the potential of a trade deal with Bidens US?

                      It's what the government is already doing!

                      You're a bit of a charlatan with no answers, aren't you? But I guess it's unsurprising as the pro-Brexit Vote Leave prime minister also suffers from the same problem.

                      1. codejunky Silver badge

                        Re: Seriously?

                        @AC

                        "Now let's have the whole of the two most important quotes which you failed to address:"

                        That suggests you need to reread my comment. I didnt fully quote your large questions but I did answer.

                        "You have no answer to either comment so you chop them up when you quote them to avoid addressing them and throw out the usual Brexit tropes and blame the EU."

                        Which bit are you stuck with?

                        "It's what the government is already doing!"

                        I somewhat agree we have abandoned NI and I disagree with it. Your comment seemed to suggest we should abandon NI for the potential for a trade agreement with the US.

                        "You're a bit of a charlatan with no answers, aren't you? But I guess it's unsurprising as the pro-Brexit Vote Leave prime minister also suffers from the same problem."

                        Again you seem to still be a Coward. Feel free to stick your name to your posts so we can see who is having reading difficulties.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Seriously?

                the potential return of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland caused by the fallout from our Brexit deal.

                The paramilitaries in NI will use any situation to justify violence and boost their criminal activities. It really wouldn't have mattered what deal was agreed, someone would still have used it as an excuse.

                This time round it wasn't even Brexit, the biased response of the police to major violations of the COVID rules caused even more anger. Ordinary folks get fined for picnicking in a park, but 2000 people including senior politicians can attend a controversial funeral and it's ignored because the police don't want to stir up trouble? A disgrace.

                1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                  Re: Seriously?

                  "The paramilitaries in NI will use any situation to justify violence and boost their criminal activities."

                  For a long time they've been denied that opportunity but BoJo has handed them that one.

                  To some extent PSNI seem to have been handed the dirty end of the stick. it's a variation on the owing the bank money situation: you break COVID restrictions; you have a problem, 2000 people break COVID restrictions, the police have a problem. However, you're right in that the politicians who went to the funeral have to shoulder some of the blame.

                  1. Martin Silver badge
                    FAIL

                    Re: Seriously?

                    Agree with both of the above.

                    But basically, if you have a delicate balancing act, which has nevertheless kept the peace for over twenty years, you leave it alone.

                    Brexit was the equivalent of going up to someone on a tightrope and giving them a good hefty shove.

        5. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Seriously?

          It's a bit like when a government ends up with a coalition which may or may not include the largest party. There are so many compromises that no one is happy with the result.

          Allow me to present The EU.

    4. jmch Silver badge

      Re: Seriously?

      Shouldn't be really limited by the pandemic, it's an outdoor activity where human participants can easily be distanced from each other. The bird quarantine is an EU-animal thing, nothing to do with the pandemic.

      And if all they want is to race pigeons, and the 'homing' pigeons really know how to get home, why do they need to start from France? There are a number of UK islands in UK suitable as a starting point for a landing in southern England - Guernsey / Jersey for a longer distance, Isle of Wight for a shorter one. Heck, why does it have to be over water? Launch the birds from Norfolk, Wales, the midlands....

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: Seriously?

        And if it has to be over water, launch them from the Orkneys.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Seriously?

        "why do they need to start from France?"

        Apparently, this race has been held for over 100 years. From the perspective of the pigeon fanciers, it's like relocating the TT races from the Isle of Man because they suddenly decided motorbikes from the outside the Isle of Man are no longer welcome there.

    5. tfb Silver badge
      Alien

      Re: Seriously?

      Yes, I can see our glorious clown emperor explaining it now now: 'of course we didn't completely underestimate the complexity of brexit and then fuck up the negotiations because we're half-wits. We're not half-wits at all look at our big important classics degrees. No, no, it wasn't that at all: we fucked up the negotiations because, you see, we knew there wasn't much time before the pandemic, so we had to prepare for that you see. We spent just an enormous amount of time and effort in 2019 building up stocks of masks and so on, so that almost no-one in the UK died, you see. Because we knew it was coming no don't ask how we knew we can't tell you that. We're very clever, very clever indeed and not half-wit opportunist clowns at all no no. Jolly good, watermelons anyone?'

      [Just in case: this is not an anti-brexit comment: it's an anti-clown comment.]

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Seriously?

        They aren't clowns. Just 3rd rate journalists. Next we'll be voting in YouTubers.

  3. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Hawk-ward?

    Under the hawk-ward new rule

    Surely auk-ward?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Hawk-ward?

      Great!

    2. You aint sin me, roit Silver badge

      Re: Hawk-ward?

      Bustard, beat me to it...

  4. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Round trip?

    If you made the race there-and-back, without landing would that be allowed?

    Would the Armée de l'Air be equipped to intercept 1000s of British pigeons ?

    Should we bread a Spitfire Pigeon ?

    1. Foxglove
      Coat

      Re: Round trip?

      'Should we bread a Spitfire Pigeon ?'

      Might be nice with some katsu sauce?

      1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Re: Round trip?

        Speckled Jim was very tasty

    2. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Round trip?

      If you made the race there-and-back, without landing would that be allowed?

      Can't they just have them start in another part of the British Empire?

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Round trip?

        Rather a long way from the Falklands for a pigeon.

        Now albatross racing .....

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: Round trip?

          It's people like you who are running Great Britain down. You have no imagination and no gumption. I bet you don't even own a Union Flag, let alone display it the right way up as a backdrop for all your video comms. Shame on you, sir, shame on you! When the Daily Mail denounces you as a traitor you'll just turn tail and run, not stand up and fight like a true-blooded Englishman.

          Can't they just have them start in another part of the British Empire?

          This is why we must retake Calais immediately! En avant!

        2. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Round trip?

          Gibraltar. I knew there was a good reason.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Round trip?

        "Can't they just have them start in another part of the British Empire?"

        Cornwall? From Newcastle, that's as far as parts of France in terms of as-the-pigeon-flies distance.

        Or they could take up Rary racing because, as we all know, it's a long way to Tipperary.

        (although that's also in the EU so may be just as problematic)

        1. Irony Deficient Bronze badge

          Re: Round trip?

          Where is the usual starting point in France for this race? Would a flight between, say, Alderney and the Bill of Portland be too strenuous for the UK-based contestants?

    3. OssianScotland

      Re: Round trip?

      That deserves a toast!

    4. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Not if the new border patrol has anything to say about it!

      They're running a novel intercept method.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What will the bird pun-ters do? Oh - I see they're winging it somehow. Well done!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Brexit.

    Means Brexit. What part of, "Eject ourselves from the EU." do all these people not understand ? This was all very clearly laid out by Leave.EU and Vote Leave. Just pipe-down and accept we now live in the 1970s again. It's what was voted for. Just think about all the pigeon racing we'll be able to do with countries outside the EU: AsiaPac, India and African nations. Who's going to be moaning next ? Brexit voting 'expats' about being thrown out of EU countries for not meeting clear and simple residency requirements ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Brexit.

      Yup. Why do all these people feel that they should somehow be exempt from the very thing they voted for?

      Unless they feel it should only affect other people.

    2. General Purpose Bronze badge

      2016

      The EU laid this bit out pretty clearly too. It's an April 2016 regulation with some implementation delayed to April 2021. That Q&A PDF linked in the article is from March 2016.

      The referendum was in June 2016.

      1. redpola

        Re: 2016

        April 2016? You mean the UK was involved in its creation back when we had some power?

        1. General Purpose Bronze badge

          Re: 2016

          Well, when you put it like that ... yes, definitely!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Brexit.

      the ex-pats (polled) were all for the remain though, if I remember correctly, they were not allowed to vote in the referendum. Pretty ironic, like turkeys not allowed to vote on the thankgiving menu...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Brexit.

        Plenty of beer swilling Leave voters on the Costas now crying because they have no right of residency. (Didn't bother to apply or didn't declare enough earnings.) Their pigeons have well and truly come home to roost. Welcome back!

        1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

          Re: Brexit.

          Welcome to the pig eons, it's done so we're going to have to live with it for a long time.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Brexit.

          I don't mind leave-voting expats coming back from Spain, but I don't really want them living next door ...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Brexit.

            The term is 'illegal immigrants' not 'expats'.

          2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Brexit.

            Coming over here with their Daily Mails

      2. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Brexit.

        There is a time-limit to voting, if you are abroad. I fell under the limit by the Brexit vote and voted remain. If there had been a re-vote, I would have been ineligable, as I was on the cusp the first time.

        But a lot of ex-pats voted leave. As soon as the vote came in, I started actions to ensure I could stay here. But I met a lot of ex-pats that voted leave and were asking, "why are you bothering, nothing will change?"

        I'm still here (I could have stayed anyway, but the working situation wasn't clear, whether I'd have to stop and wait to get a work permit), but I'd been here long enough that I could get dual (or should that be duel) citizenship.

      3. Diez66

        Re: Brexit.

        You would be amazed at how may "exPats" did vote for Brexit or wanted to.

        A few of them still think it is a great idea but don't stop going on about the 90/180 day limit to stay in the EU.

        Yes, they never registered to live here and did not pay tax here, or there.

        Now many have missed the deadline to register residency under the "When we were in the EU" rules.

        The best expression I heard was: "You won, get over it!"

        Me, to stay because I had had to do business before the single customs zone etc and it was a pain, it was expensive and it was just so dam difficult.

    4. MooseMonkey

      Re: Brexit.

      From what I remember, it was the votes from the countryside that pushed Brexit over the line, now all I can hear is farmers moaning, both that they can't get labour and that they have to fill in a million forms to export food. All predicatable, all expected, and I suppose that many "Jonny foreigners" have headed home, so at least the racist element of those who voted for Brexit are happy.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

          Re: Brexit.

          English man: "I say, do you say a payer before evening meal like we do?"

          French woman "Non! We know how to cook"

      2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: Brexit.

        Not to mention the fishermen who thought it would be no-quotas AND the same EU market to sell to.

        Of course the whole of the fishing industry contributes less to the UK's GDP that the (pre covid) west end theaters of London, and in the late 60s my grandfather (who was a fisherman then) was already telling folk that the seas would soon be emptied by the industrial-scale trawlers that were coming on the scene, so this particular tragedy of the commons was not unexpected

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Brexit.

        The National Farmers Union was pro-remain. See

        https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-36078112

        (from April 2016). From the article:

        'It passed a resolution following an "overwhelming" vote in favour of staying in the EU, which it said was based on the "balance of existing evidence".'

        Although the article also notes that it didn't do any campaigning. Of course, the union's vote had no bearing on how individual farmers voted.

    5. John70

      Re: Brexit.

      Just pipe-down and accept we now live in the 1970s again

      If that is the case then will that mean there will be an increase of pigeon owners in flat caps?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just pipe-down and accept we now live in the 1970s again

        plus VAT, of course, for the added value ;)

    6. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: Brexit.

      "Brexit voting 'expats' about being thrown out of EU countries for not meeting clear and simple residency requirements ?"

      They're not "expats" they're immigrants, and should be called such.

      1. Vincent Ballard

        Re: Brexit.

        Their problem is precisely that they're not immigrants, at least from a legal perspective. They're very long-term tourists.

        1. Jon 37 Silver badge

          Re: Brexit.

          They are immigrants, they live there. The fact that they don't have legal permission to live there, makes them "illegal immigrants".

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Brexit.

            Looks like there are a couple of them on here downvoting posts calling them illegal immigrants.

    7. Jason Hindle Silver badge

      Re: Ahh, our dearly deported former expats

      “ Brexit voting 'expats' about being thrown out of EU countries for not meeting clear and simple residency requirements ?”

      Alas, I’ve lost my violin. Perhaps I’ll find it when I find it when I empty the Ewbank.

    8. Zippy´s Sausage Factory
      Devil

      Re: Brexit.

      1970s? I'd argue it's back to the 1950s, myself.

      That said, Boris's new "Project Love*" seems to be designed to bring the UK back to 1967, which bodes well for getting to the mid 70s faster and rejoining...

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Brexit.

        "I'd argue it's back to the 1950s"

        Specifically pre-Suez.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Brexit.

          Nah. Pre Suez the British government still had some respect around the world.

  7. Steve K Silver badge
    Coat

    Puntastic

    I dove loved to have written this article myself!

    Right on coo, are they robin peter to pay Paul? Or starling into the abyss?

    The French might cormorant to their way of thinking though.

    It's part of regional culture too - partridge-itional you could say.

    OK, I'm done.

    1. John Doe 12

      Re: Puntastic

      Yawn. Like the person who wrote this article, "get a life"! Or failing that a job as a D.J.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mcKzDwm8_o

  8. yetanotheraoc

    Quarantine?

    Quarantine is just silly. It's not like they would be heading out to the museum or the pub. The sooner they fly away the less chance they have of transmitting a virus locally.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Quarantine?

      Bird flew?

      I had a little bird, her name was Enza,

      I opened the window and in flew Enza.

  9. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    What

    happens with the migrating birds... do they have to stop in France to pick up a visa... or even a mastercard in order to cross the channel now?

    1. The commentard formerly known as Mister_C Bronze badge
      Facepalm

      Re: What

      They can stay in Swangatte migrant camp.

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: What

      Well importing coconuts is now a big problem.

      1. Irony Deficient Bronze badge

        Re: What

        Import them? From France? The coconut’s tropical!

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: What

      "happens with the migrating birds"

      Isn't shooting and trapping migrating birds a French hobby?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What

        The worst offenders for shooting migrating birds are Malta and Cyprus. Unfortunately both are on major migration routes. BBC presenter (and lifelong naturalist) Chris Packham was arrested in Malta while filming for a documentary on it in 2017 (he was cleared of all charges).

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What

        Shooting ANYTHING is a French hobby. Birds, deer, pigs, passing cars, cyclists, hikers, old women reading books whilst in their garden reading a book ...

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: happens with the migrating birds..

      and why do you think we have had that floating airfield floated in Southampton recently?! Or was it Portmouth? :)

  10. Ralph Online
    Linux

    Can't the Royal Pigeon Racing Association invoke the war?

    Pigeons are WAR heroes after all.

    Meet Winkie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAAUqOrAvMw

  11. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Paul Reuter

    Will be turning in his grave at this news.

  12. Stoneshop Silver badge
    Go

    Bert

    will truly be riveted to his radio now, not to miss any news on his favourite animal.

  13. Falmari Silver badge
    Devil

    Aerial

    Reading the linked PDF it states “It covers terrestrial and aquatic animals. Could they not argue that pigeons are exempt as they are aerial?

    Seriously though and putting Brexit aside as this applies to animals entering the EU from anywhere, not just the UK. Have they not put in any rules/exemptions for competition animals? I only skimmed the PDF and it is not the actual rules more a question-and-answer document so maybe there is.

    But if the rules apply equally competition animals or not, how are other equally ridiculous animal competitions going to handle this. Horse racing comes to mind. Will non EU stabled horses no longer compete in EU races due to weeks of quarantine? Will EU stabled horses compete in non EU races if they have to be quarantined for weeks on return to the EU?

  14. Winkypop Silver badge
    Coat

    Pigeon shaped hazmat suits!

    Patent Pending

  15. DrXym Silver badge

    Consequences

    I wouldn't be surprised if many of these same people voted for Brexit in the first place. Just like fishermen, farmers, importer/exporters, ex-pats, Ulster Unionists etc. who didn't think of the very obvious negative consequences of what they were pushing for.

    After all, who needs free trade or frictionless borders when you can have mountains of red tape, delays and petty bureaucracy?

  16. Marco van de Voort

    Structure the exceptions

    Maybe it is time to frame all these exceptions in something. Hmm. How would we call that, an euhh, treaty ?

  17. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    "This will kill the sport"

    I think that's a slightly biased comment - my neighbour had flown pigeons every week for nearly 70 years had never entered a cross channel race ... "too 'flyin' expensive" (I think that's what he said ...) Pigeon racing has too classes - those who keep pigeons and race then for a plastic trophy each week and those who make big money out of it. In some parts of the word the betting syndicates around pigeon racing turn over as much as horse racing in the UK. The cross channel race is just something to get onto their high perches and coo about - it may impact the money making and gambling for some but not the majority.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: "This will kill the sport"

      "In some parts of the word the betting syndicates around pigeon racing turn over as much as horse racing in the UK."

      It's called having a flutter.

  18. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Just take them across on a ferry, release them from the deck when the ferry docks. Keep the vehicle that brought them on board for the return journey. Nothing to quarantine. You'd have to be bird-brained not to see that.

    1. Jon 37 Silver badge

      Likely to be illegal.

      If you're in EU waters, EU law applies. For practical reasons you haven't gone through border control yet, but you've still imported the animals into the EU. If you deliberately release them before going through border control & quarantine, you're going to be in trouble.

      (The same applies if you dump waste into the ocean in EU waters).

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        The absence of evidence might be a practical problem.

        1. Jon 37 Silver badge

          Unfortunately, everyone has a video camera in their pocket. And while you might get away with unobtrusively releasing a single bird, releasing a hundred at the same time would probably be noticed. Especially if you hold regular races, and advertise online when you're going to be having the next race...

          Also, if you keep doing this, at some point they'll just start fining the ferry operators, or threatening fines. That will mean that the ferries will stop accepting lorries full of pigeons.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Shirley the easiest answer is to start the race from the far side of Rockall? A side benefit would be keeping all the Euros dollars^W pounds involved in the UK :-)

    2. Winkypop Silver badge

      But officer

      The bird has flown the coop!

  19. Jason Hindle Silver badge

    Whenever I see a headline like this....

    My first thought is “I wonder if they voted Brexit?”

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Whenever I see a headline like this....

      @Jason Hindle

      "My first thought is “I wonder if they voted Brexit?”"

      A lot of people seem to be thinking this. I wonder how many people wondering this have been vaccinated.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Whenever I see a headline like this....

        Ah, if ONLY they'd developed the subcutaneous brain control nano-chip BEFORE June 23rd 2016.

      2. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

        Re: Whenever I see a headline like this....

        Personally, I wonder what the f#ck you're talking about.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Whenever I see a headline like this....

          @Hubert Cumberdale

          "Personally, I wonder what the f#ck you're talking about."

          Thats ok, if its too complicated you could ask for help or do a bit of learning. But only if you really want to understand what is going on. Otherwise feel free to let it go over your head

          1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

            Re: Whenever I see a headline like this....

            Have a look at the downvote tally for any of your posts that mention literally anything that about the EU or Brexit. I counter your suggestion for me to "do a bit of learning" with a suggestion that you pull your own head from your arse so you can see everything that's going over it. But please – do stay and give more political opinions; it's nice to have someone to disagree with.

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: Whenever I see a headline like this....

              @Hubert Cumberdale

              "Have a look at the downvote tally for any of your posts that mention literally anything that about the EU or Brexit."

              Oh is this like XFactor? Funny enough my downvotes as a eurosceptic back when the UK was considering joining the Euro were just as bad. And I was right. So if you think of this like your favourite voting tv show enjoy counting votes. If you have a point to discuss feel free.

              "But please – do stay and give more political opinions; it's nice to have someone to disagree with."

              Is this a disagreement? So far you have posted 2 comments that contribute nothing to the discussion and instead stated your confused and think votes are a measure of truth. If you wish to discuss and something you disagree with I welcome it, but so far it seems you just feel inadequate.

              1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge
                Trollface

                Re: Whenever I see a headline like this....

                "I was right"[citation needed]

                "your confused..." (*you're)

                "...and think votes are a measure of truth." Well, if, as you imply, they are not, then that makes the result of the referendum arbitrary. I'm glad we agree on something.

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: Whenever I see a headline like this....

                  @Hubert Cumberdale

                  ""I was right"[citation needed]"

                  So glad you used the troll icon. Or do you think the UK should have joined the Euro?

                  ""your confused..." (*you're)"

                  Your telling a dyslexic how to spell. Feel proud.

                  ""...and think votes are a measure of truth." Well, if, as you imply, they are not, then that makes the result of the referendum arbitrary. I'm glad we agree on something."

                  Again its a good job you have a troll icon otherwise you are basically opposing one of the most democratic votes in the UK.

                  1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge
                    Trollface

                    Re: Whenever I see a headline like this....

                    "one of the most democratic votes in the UK"[citation needed]

  20. ChrisElvidge

    Dastardly

    Just one of the muttley restrictions brought about by Brexit

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Dastardly

      We no longer have any MEeP MEePs either.

      1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

        Re: Dastardly

        Tenuous. But I'll go for it.

    2. Ken Shabby
      Linux

      Re: Dastardly

      ... and a lot of angry birds.

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