back to article UK science suffers as lawmakers continue to dither over Brexit negotiations

A report from the UK House of Commons' European Scrutiny Committee has blamed delays in Brussels for choking off revenue streams to British institutions and businesses. The UK departed the European Union following a 2016 referendum. One of the results was that UK businesses were no longer able to tender for lucrative contracts …

  1. Warm Braw Silver badge

    British institutions are left high and dry

    I'm sure it will soon change if we threaten not to sell them our fish.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: British institutions are left high and dry

      The only threats seem to be coming from the French, who are threatening to cut off electricity if the UK won't overlook the French fishermens' lack of correct paperwork. The other EU countries have kept their side of the fishing agreement, and have their licences.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: British institutions are left high and dry

        The UK won't overlook the French fishermens' lack of correct paperwork which they promised to give them but havent.

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: British institutions are left high and dry

          How come every other EU country managed to provide the correct paperwork? The French seem to have taken their usual attitude of "oh, it's just a silly rule, it won't apply to us". Now they're discovering that they have to follow what was agreed, and Macron is throwing his toys out of his pram. French fisherman are complaining that the French government isn't helping them, and even Brussels has stepped in to tell the French to back off & do it correctly.

          1. BenDwire Silver badge

            Re: British institutions are left high and dry

            "oh, it's just a silly rule, it won't apply to us"

            To be fair, a lot of the Leave arguments went along these very same lines. I don't think anyone ever expected the need to produce a vet's certificate for a block of cheese. But we are where we are, and obviously need to keep negotiating to try and make the best of it. I think enough has gone wrong for the EU to claim that Brexit was a complete failure, which is needed to keep other member states in check. Maybe handing them that victory will calm tempers and allow more fruitful discussions.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: British institutions are left high and dry

              Yes the eu won and got their way!!

              Let’s ensure they can rub that in any of their members faces if they dare to want to leave

            2. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: British institutions are left high and dry

              @BenDwire

              "I think enough has gone wrong for the EU to claim that Brexit was a complete failure"

              I can only assume you have slept since we left.

              "which is needed to keep other member states in check"

              Which is going well since Poland looks to be rejecting the EU's rule and even Germany challenged it. Isnt Hungary also trying to get out of the grasp of EU control?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: British institutions are left high and dry

                you're conflating. No point explaining, you could have tried to see past the headlines, didn't bother, instead you conflated Poland-Germany-Hungary, because it suits your simplified vision, shrug.

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: British institutions are left high and dry

                  @AC

                  "you're conflating. No point explaining"

                  No hope of explaining alternative versions you mean? Or go ahead and explain.

                  "instead you conflated Poland-Germany-Hungary"

                  Germany challenged EU primacy when German courts were asked to decide if an EU instruction would break the German constitution.

                  Poland doing the same and holding the line as it disagrees with the EU.

                  Hungary upset the EU by doing its own thing its own way to which the EU considered freezing them out until they comply.

                  So coward do you wish to explain?

              2. Lars Silver badge
                Happy

                Re: British institutions are left high and dry

                @codejunky

                Poland is perfectly free to leave the EU, but the majority of Poles don't want to leave and I doubt the government wants to leave either.

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: British institutions are left high and dry

                  @Lars

                  "Poland is perfectly free to leave the EU, but the majority of Poles don't want to leave and I doubt the government wants to leave either."

                  It is an interesting situation and I am not sure of the motivation either. I dont know if the Polish gov want to leave or if they are just slapping the EU until the EU cooperate with whatever the Polish gov wants (possibly the control over their countries power structure or maybe something else/more).

                  The EU in a sticky situation as a number of events have conspired to weaken their grip while they try to hold tighter. Germany challenging the EU primacy was hushed up quick because that could cause severe damage quickly. Poland seems to be a slower burn. With the EU brexit negotiator now publicly calling for more French sovereignty (for his presidential run) it seems there is more resistance to 'more Europe' than before even if they dont leave.

        2. Weylin

          Re: British institutions are left high and dry

          The "correct paperwork" includes evidence of geolocation for vessels under 12m, whereas such evidence is not provided for in the trade and cooperation agreement.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: British institutions are left high and dry

        @Phil O'Sophical.

        Isn't that the only way to 'negotiate' with deal-breakers?

        Anyway, welcome to 3rd-Country status!

        Enjoy.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: British institutions are left high and dry

          It's the French who are ignoring the agreed deal here, not the UK.

        2. Warm Braw Silver badge

          Re: British institutions are left high and dry

          I think you're forgetting we're now Sovereign Equals so while the French can refuse to send us their electricity, water-purifying chemicals and food, we can equally refuse to return their empty trucks.

          We have, after all, taken back control.

      3. Potemkine! Silver badge

        Re: British institutions are left high and dry

        The other EU countries have kept their side of the fishing agreement, and have their licences.

        Not really.

        EU member states to issue joint warning to UK over reduced fishing rights

        Fourteen countries likely to take tough stance in future talks about fisheries if access to UK waters does not improve

    2. Xalran

      Re: British institutions are left high and dry

      Actually, starting next tuesday, you will not be able to sell your fish in France.

      You will have to go back to the UK to sell it, and then when it comes back to the continent it will be subject to all the regulatory inspections ( veterinarian, ... ) before being allowed to move on.

      Cutting the power to the *Iles Anglo-Normande* will be the next step if BoJo stay pigheaded.

      1. EvilDrSmith Silver badge

        Re: British institutions are left high and dry

        "Cutting the power to the *Iles Anglo-Normande* will be the next step if BoJo stay pigheaded."

        Quite possibly.

        Now think about that.

        In a dispute over <100 fishing licences, the French government has declared that it intends (or is at least considering) an act of collective punishment on an entire community.

        An act of collective punishment that will bring at best economic hardship, and, particularly given that we are now heading into winter, is quite likely to lead to multiple civilian deaths, of people entirely unconnected to the dispute.

        Do you not see how obscene that is?

        How utterly barbaric that act would be?

        If not, I suggest that you read a book or two about mid-twentieth century history.

        That threat from the French should have provoked an immediate backlash from the EU to the extent that it was completely incompatible with the EU's claimed standards of Human Rights.

        That the EU has not vocally stepped in to condemn that threat reflects badly on the EU.

        That the French government could make such a threat disgraces the French nation.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: British institutions are left high and dry

          The Brits' sudden righteous indignation over such 'barbaric' threats would sound a little less hollow if, say, the Home Secretary hadn't threatened to starve the Irish into acceding to British demands in Northern Ireland.

          As it is, I don't see any reason the French are obliged to sell anything to the Channel Islands. They are *British* Crown Dependencies, after all, which rather implies it should be the job of the British to look after them without depending on the largesse of the French.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: British institutions are left high and dry

            "the Home Secretary hadn't threatened to starve the Irish into acceding to British demands in Northern Ireland"

            Which is of course an outright lie.

            It had been noted that a 'no deal' situation would be bad for the EU, for the UK but especially for the Irish Republic. Priti Patel noted that this gave leverage to the UK to apply to the Irish Government, to encourage them to push the EU to offer a better deal to the UK.

            There was no threat to starve the Irish.

            There was no threat to implement any specific action to punish, penalise or harm the Irish people or the Irish state.

            Unlike the French threat.

            Where there is a direct threat to take specific action so as to apply collective punishment on people not directly involved in the dispute, using means completely unrelated to the dispute.

            However, I am unsurprised that you choose to lie about this, since you are, evidently, defending collective punishment of peoples unconnected with the dispute for which they are being punished.

            I strongly suspect that any further attempt at civilised discourse with you would be a wasted effort on my part.

  2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Science

    Are scientists actually doing any science these days? They seem to be pondering over social issues, mostly of their own making...

    1. m4r35n357

      Re: Science

      You sound like a genuine expert - care to elaborate?

      1. elsergiovolador Silver badge
        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Science

          In my experience the people who come up with that kind of BS are very unlikely be actual scientists, more the likely the various woke admin types who bedevil so many institutions these days.

    2. batfink Silver badge

      Re: Science

      It's a pity they haven't been doing useful things like developing vaccines instead of "social issues" isn't it?

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Science

        But developing a vaccine is a "social issue", these Scientists obviously want people to be able to get together safely and be social - therefore they must be socialists

        It's much better for everybody to stay isolated in their bunkers mom's basement and not go out (except to rallies and football/hockey games)

      2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        Re: Science

        While scientists allegedly responsible for this disaster are in charge? E.g. Anthony Fauci caught lying to Congress about his involvement in Gain of Function research?

        Science community should really consider cleaning their yard from frauds and wannabe Mengeles.

    3. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

      Re: Science

      You seem to have got scientists confused with "influencers". Easy mistake.

  3. wolfetone Silver badge

    "With each passing day the opportunities are missed," said European Scrutiny Committee chairman Sir Bill Cash. "British institutions are left high and dry while science marches on without them and the returns on our financial contribution edge lower."

    I'm surprised that Billy Bob is surprised by all of this. Especially given the praise he gave the deal in the first place. Think he mentioned how happy Churchill and Thatcher would've been proud of it.

    Who knew, eh?

    1. Citizen of Nowhere

      >British institutions are left high and dry while science marches on without them

      But didn’t Boris Johnson say Brexit would be of benefit to Britain’s ambitions to become a “science superpower”? Nothing about grinding to a halt without access to EU projects.

      1. DJO Silver badge

        Normally it's rather trite to say "you can tell when a politician is lying because their lips are moving" but for Boris it is 100% accurate, possibly more.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Brexit would be of benefit to Britain’s ambitions to become a “science superpower”

        yeah, we could have become that, if only them bloody Europeans haven't worked SO DAMN HARD to block our path to the everlasting glory and world supremacy! :D

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: Brexit would be of benefit to Britain’s ambitions to become a “science superpower”

          Why did they make us vote for brexit?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Brexit would be of benefit to Britain’s ambitions to become a “science superpower”

          We. are. Great. Britain. (and Northern Ireland, for now). Don't they know?

          They need us more than we need them. They should be falling apart now we have left. How dare they belittle us.

          Oh wait. We've ditched freedom of movement, so that shit doesn't matter now.

          As you were.

    2. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Read the warning label

      Anything which comes out of Parliament's European Scrutiny Committee should be taken with a dumper truck of salt. It's loaded with Brexiteers who are there only to enjoy a forum for their decades-long auto-criticism of the EU. Their recent 'scrutiny' of Lord Frost was so pisspoor that it can only be dealt with comically to avoid depression setting in.

  4. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    Great deal in the offing ...

    Backdate all contributions to Jan 2021 and allow participation from whenever the discussions are done - next month, next year ...2023? Here's my foot, I'll hand you the gun ... but promise not to charge me too much for my hospital treatment.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Great deal in the offing ...

      Sorry, we need both feet...

    2. BenDwire Silver badge

      Re: Great deal in the offing ...

      If that is in anyway indicative of the UK's negotiating prowess, then should we be surprised that it's all gone very wrong?

  5. Adair Silver badge

    Negotiating...

    a guest pass to the club you angrily stormed out of is always a tricky matter.'

    Sums up the situation well enough. We are now a 'third country' in relation to the EU, and however much EU cake we may wish to eat it is entirely in the EU's gift as to how much cake they choose to give us, when and on what terms. We are no longer members of 'the club'. I suppose the reality of this fact will sink in over time.

    We may even try to play hardball, or get very petty indeed - the moniker 'perfidious Albion' didn't come from nowhere - but in the end it is one country facing a whole bunch of countries, who collectively have a lot more money and political might to throw around than we do. It doesn't take a political scientist to work out who is mostly going to win any arguments, and who is mostly going to end up making do with what they are given - whether they choose to eat it or not.

    1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

      Re: Negotiating...

      Well, the main thing is that we've made it very clear that we're not playing any more, and anyway, we won according to the rules we just made up, we're quite happy with everything we have, and we'd just like you to give us your ball now, please mister. Seems perfectly reasonable.

      1. HildyJ Silver badge

        Re: Negotiating...

        My view from across the pond is that the negotiation happened before the Brexit agreement was formalized and accepted by both sides.

        The ESA (and NI and EJC) were covered (as were the French fishing rights).

        Now it seems to be a case of "but we didn't realize what it meant."

        Today it's sad day for British scientists. But it was a sadder day when Brexit passed and most outside observers warned you about things like this happening.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: Negotiating...

          Most inside observers also warned about it, but since when has feedback from experts ever troubled Brexiteers?

    2. nematoad Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Negotiating...

      Yes, indeed.

      The thing that puzzles me is where is the "Take back control" bit of the Brexit pie?

      By storming off and proceeding to sulk in a corner Britain has got exactly what it voted for. Cutting ties with an organisation with more money and influence was bound to turn out badly. Now we have the likes of Bill Cash moaning that the UK has been excluded from all the juicy contracts and funding that are available to members is sheer hypocrisy.

      The old saying: "Be careful what you wish for, you might get it." is in this case, only too true.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Negotiating...

        "the UK has been excluded from all the juicy contracts and funding that are available to members"

        Wasn't the whole idea to be able to have all the perks without any of the obligations?...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Negotiating...

          And in this case, the obligations were to pay into the ESA, something that the UK will be doing, even though we've left the EU.

          If the EU want to make the ESA a EU only agency, then we will stop paying, and they probably ought to also exclude Norway and Switzerland.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: Negotiating...

            The EU don't want to make the ESA an EU-only agency. But they don't have to roll out the red carpet for a country they're in dispute with.

          2. Citizen of Nowhere

            Re: Negotiating...

            The main projects and funding discussed in this article and which the chairman of the parliamentary committee is complaining UK companies and institutions cannot access are part of Horizon Europe. This is a wholly EU research and innovation program. Access was negotiated as part of the withdrawal agreement and, like some - rather major - British responsibilities under the withdrawal agreement, has yet to be implemented. I’m sure it can be resolved by both parties honouring the commitments they made in that agreement. If one side won’t honour their commitments, however, I don’t see why the other is so obliged. Takes two to tango.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Negotiating...

            ... and Canada.

          4. Lars Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: Negotiating...

            A few things worth remembering about financing the ESA.

            Numbers from 2020 in Mill E.

            EU 1,683.3

            France 1,311.7

            Germany 981.7

            Italy 665.8

            U.K 464.3

            Spain 249.5

            Belgium 210.0

            ........

            ........

            GT 6,680.0

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

          5. Xalran

            Re: Negotiating...

            There's a big difference between the Norway/Switzerland case and the UK case.

            Norway and Switzerland never joined the EU ( or the EEC ) and when they were invited to join, they refused.

            On the other hand, over the time, they negotiated affiliated membership ( lets call it that way ) which let them have some ( well most ) of the toys in the EU while being outside the EU.

            UK asked to join, was accepted into the EEC ( and then the EU when it mutated ), was part of the whole shebang for years, and then got in a tantrum and left probably expecting to get the same treatment as Norway or Switzerland...

            Well Nope, not gonna happen, you wanted to leave, you will have to start over from scratch and negotiate for access each toy the EU has now.

            1. Lars Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: Negotiating...

              @Xalran

              You do forget EFTA.

              "The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is a regional trade organization and free trade area consisting of four European states: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.[4] The organization operates in parallel with the European Union (EU), and all four member states participate in the European Single Market and are part of the Schengen Area.[5] They are not, however, party to the European Union Customs Union.

              EFTA was historically one of the two dominant western European trade blocs, but is now much smaller and closely associated with its historical competitor, the European Union. It was established on 3 May 1960 to serve as an alternative trade bloc for those European states that were unable or unwilling to join the then European Economic Community (EEC), the main predecessor of the EU. The Stockholm Convention (1960), to establish the EFTA, was signed on 4 January 1960 in the Swedish capital by seven countries (known as the "outer seven": Austria, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom).[6] A revised Convention, the Vaduz Convention, was signed on 21 June 2001 and entered into force on 1 June 2002.[7]

              Since 1995, only two founding members remain, namely Norway and Switzerland. The other five, Austria, Denmark, Portugal, Sweden and the United Kingdom, had joined the EU at some point in the intervening years.

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

              And they pay for the advantages they have.

            2. adam 40 Silver badge

              Re: Negotiating... (you missed a bit)

              "UK asked to join, was accepted into the EEC ( and then the EU when it mutated )"

              Actually it was;

              UK asked to join, was snubbed in '61 and '67 by President de Gaulle, and then some time later was accepted into the EEC ( and then the EU when it mutated )

              Considering that on the afternoon of Sunday 16 June 1940, de Gaulle was at 10 Downing Street for talks about Jean Monnet's mooted Anglo-French political union, I find this highly ironic.

              C'est la vie!

        2. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

          Re: Negotiating...

          > Wasn't the whole idea to be able to have all the perks without any of the obligations?...

          A position coincidentally delivered by a man with six children by three different women.

      2. Will Godfrey Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Negotiating...

        "Taking back control" was never about us. It is about the nobs, screwing the rest of the country out of every penny they can filch.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Negotiating...

          You're wrong - plenty of capitalist rich bastards voted to remain because of cheap labour etc

          1. Warm Braw Silver badge

            Re: Negotiating...

            That's interesting given this year's Nobel prize in economics was won for research showing how an increase in the minimum wage doesn’t hinder hiring and immigrants don’t lower pay for native-born workers.

            And the capitalist rich bastard chancellor of the exchequer has just hiked the minimum wage substantially.

            Perhaps it just means nobody knew what they were voting for.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Negotiating...

              Well voting for Brexit does very strongly correlate with low educational qualifications and a strong agreement in capital punishment.

              1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
                Facepalm

                Re: Negotiating...

                > Well voting for Brexit does very strongly correlate with low educational qualifications and a strong agreement in capital punishment.

                Hold on, your dog whistle is upsetting my goldfish.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Negotiating...

              > That's interesting given this year's Nobel prize in economics

              I just said plenty of rich capitalist bastards voted to remain. I didn't say they understood the economics of their position.

            3. Azamino
              WTF?

              Re: Negotiating...

              It is passing strange that since large numbers of workers left the UK due to Brexit and / or COVID, the laws of supply and demand have pushed up wages, yet the arrival of large numbers of workers from the EU failed to have any effect on those very same laws of supply and demand.

              Maybe you need to be a highly educated / compensated Nobel prize winning economist to understand this conundrum!

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Negotiating...

            The wealthy part of the country will still rely on cheap labour. Only it will now be coming from North of Watford instead of Romania (assuming you can actually persuade Brits to do the jobs that EU citizens used to do).

            The EU citizens were only following Norman Tebbit's advice to get on their bikes and go to where the work is.

            Young Brits are now also prevented from crossing the channel and getting a job in Europe, which used to be a life experience for school leavers. This was my main reason to vote remain as I wanted my kids to have the same opportunities that have now been taken away from them by the selfish twats that had these benefits themselves. Not an issue for Farage though as his kids have German passports.

            I am out of there now though and as a British Expat to a country built on immigration, I can only see that migration is a massive boost to the overall economy.

        2. RegGuy1 Silver badge

          Re: Negotiating...

          No, it was about old, ignorant racists who have some simplistic and unfounded fear of the country -- which is apparently already full, though how you measure that is unknown -- being overrun. They seem ignorant of the fact that great technology and services is actually strongly correlated with people, who'd have thunk it? All those German cars they wanted to keep coming here -- but none of you nasty foreign-speaking people; no siree, we don't want any of those. This is Ingerland don't you know?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Negotiating...

            Another remainer who sees racial issues behind every problem. Racist lot, aren't you?

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: Negotiating...

              I think he was being observational.

              You don't get to turn that one around, the racism and xenophobic tags are totally and immutably attached to the brexiters.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Negotiating...

                the racism and xenophobic tags are totally and immutably attached to the brexiters.

                I am a brexit supporter, for what I believe to be sound economic and political reasons. I am neither xenophobic nor racist. Your inability to recognise that people can hold other valid opinions which disagree with yours is your failing, not mine. Assuming that something you don't understand must automatically be race-related reflects very poorly on how your mind works.

                In any event, regarding Brexit as being somehow racially-motived simply makes no sense. Are you seriously claiming that the French, Germans etc. are of a different race to the British? When there have been racist incidents in the UK they have generally been directed against people from African or Caribbean countries, very few of which are in the EU.

                1. Nafesy

                  Re: Negotiating...

                  Sorry, stopped reading after "sound economic and political reasons" as I was laughing while crying while vomiting....

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Negotiating...

                That's why the Brexiteers wanted an end to free movement from the EU countries, and introduce an immigration system that allowed immigration from everywhere in the world on an fair and equitable basis, irrespective of race/creed/colour of the immigrant, whereas the Remainers wanted to keep preferential immigration rights for the White skinned Christian-cultured people of Europe, and thus to discriminate against people from the majority of the world, people that on the whole tend to be non-white and non-Christian.

                You need to cast the beam out of your own eye.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Negotiating...

                  Either your are very deluded or gaslighting.

                  Do you not remember the whole "muslims out!" "go back to where you came from!" atmosphere and rallying cries?! "Turkey (Full of swarthy uslims) is joining the EU: Vote Leave, Take Back Control" You won, own it.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Negotiating...

                    The main pressure to keep Turkey out of the EU comes from France, not the UK.

                    1. Lars Silver badge
                      Coat

                      Re: Negotiating...

                      It's not all about Turkey as a country and a people it's a lot about a "feeling" that the EU is simply not ready for any expansion just now and it's a lot about Erdogan alone.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Negotiating...

      Um. ESA is not (yet1) an EU organisation. the UK leaving the EU should not have affected any ESA projects, as being a founder member and one of the largest contributors, we have a right to participate in the programmes.

      Galileo is a special case, as it is bound up with the defense of the EU, so it is not surprising that we're excluded, but the decisions to keep the UK from bidding on other ESA projects just looks like spite.

      Of course, the EU as a body is contributing a significant amount of money in addition to the national contributions, and that may colour decisions, but it does not give them the right to block the UK from the bidding process. And tying this to resolving the Northern Ireland problems looks like applying undue pressure on the UK to find a solution in the EU's interests!

      1The intention was, apparantly, for the ESA to become an agency of the EU, but that has not happened

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Negotiating...

        "Galileo is a special case, as it is bound up with the defense of the EU, so it is not surprising that we're excluded"

        Isn't that something that "we" insisted on?

        1. Julz Silver badge

          Re: Negotiating...

          Yes it was, oh the irony. However, as I have mentioned before, and garnered a lot of down votes for my efforts, the EU commission will take every opportunity to to be an awkward and spiteful neighbor as any country leaving the EU is a direct threat to their power and they have to show that it not a thing you would want to consider.

          I look on with interest to the events in Poland. I suspect that the Polish government has calculated that they can get away with riding rough shod over the founding principles and laws of the EU at this juncture as the commission will not want to do what they should and kick them out of the club. Mainly for the reasons I mentioned above. The fine is just window dressing.

          Looking in my crystal ball, it seems that it might be a very interesting time for the EU over the next few years. Interesting in a not so comfortable way.

          1. Lars Silver badge
            Thumb Down

            Re: Negotiating...

            The ability to kick out a member state is not in the rules of the EU, perhaps a mistake.

            But money is not a bad tool, but it seems to me you know absolutely nothing about what is going on in Poland and what the Polish government is trying to do.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Negotiating...

              as far as I can see, the ruling party in Poland have been trying to take control of all three 'pillars, judiciary, legislative and executive. They've already got just about 2.5 out of 3, and the EU have, at last, tried to put the foot in the door to stop this 'project' from completion. It is an 'interesting' situation.

            2. Julz Silver badge

              Re: Negotiating...

              OK, but they can be suspended and all the EU grants withheld.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: the commission will not want to do what they should and kick them out of the club

            re. Poland, the catch is that they CAN'T kick them out, there's no legal way to do that. They either decide to follow the UK, i.e. pole-exit, or they stay in. And, ironically, as their population wants to stay in, Polish government can hold the UE hostage, for example on climate change where EU-wide commitments are required. All this, in a much wider context, is under the pretence of EU federalisation issue (which is a real issue, but not the real reason behind current tensions). The real cause is that the populist government in Poland plays the usual card of 'Evil EU' to stay in power on the home turf. Oh, this looks strangely familiar...

      2. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Negotiating...

        But the decisions to keep the UK from bidding on other ESA projects would just look like spite if we weren't desperately trying to tear up an agreement that we hailed as worldbeating and now we claim to be failing having done absolutely nothing to implement,

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Negotiating...

          I appreciate the fact that we're in dispute over the Northern Ireland Protocol, but I was always under the belief that it could never work as negotiated.

          There could never be no border in Ireland and no border in the Irish sea, and no harmonization of the tax, duty and commerce standards.

          One of these things had to change, but all of them were red-lines. I really don't know how anybody thought we would not be in this situation.

          But the truth is that Brexit could not happen until there was some agreement, so they made one up, and kicked the can down the road, hoping that a miracle would happen. This was trusting a million-to-one (or more) shot, which despite what Terry Prachett said, never come off.

          So here we are, engaging in tit-for-tat reprisals. Whoda thunk it!

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: Negotiating...

            Portugal manages three different VAT regimes with the mainland, Madera, and Azores. Spain has GST instead of VAT in the Canary Islands, and Ceuta and Melilla again have a local tax instead of VAT and don't follow EU Customs and Excise rules.

            The Channel Islands have no VAT, the Isle of Man does. Before Brexit both were in the EU's customs territory but outside of freedom of movement if they had no British grandparents, but they could gain it by living in the UK for five years.

            None of these rules are beyond the wit of man to implement, but suddenly the UK claims it's too complicated to implement the rules it itself negotiated for Northern Ireland. It seems to me that if you don't build the customs infrastructure you agreed to you're never going to get anywhere implementing the rules and this shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, the only question at this stage is if it's due to malice or incompetence (or both).

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Negotiating...

              So other countries including the UK, can manage complex customs issues between internal regions without vast amounts of paperwork and officialdom, but the EU can't? Or perhaps that should be "won't"?

              1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                Re: Negotiating...

                The NI part of the single market and customs union is managed by UK authorities with EU having observer status. It's the UK getting its knickers in a twist here.

                If the UK chose diverge from all its neighbours with regards to goods and food standards then fine, but it should have at least had enough vets, customs staff and customs infrastructure to carry out inspections in NI.

                The chances of getting everyone all hired and everything built in the last week of December last year were slim, but again that's was the UK's own choice. The UK did practically nothing in the five years between the referendum and the end of the transition period and decided not to ask for a transition period extension.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Negotiating...

                  If the UK chose diverge from all its neighbours with regards to goods and food standards then fine,

                  But that's the whole point, it didn't. The standards applied are stil exactly the same as those in the EU, as they were before Brexit. The Brexit agreement even has provision to handle the situation should either side wish to change them in the future.

                  This isn't sufficient for the EU to consider them as equivalent. It is refusing to accept the UK standards as being the same as the EU (even though they are) unless the UK agrees never to diverge in the future. This is just the EU trying to maintain control, and holding the UK's feet to the fire to do it. It does not apply this restriction to other "3rd countries", where it has negotiated equivalence status based on the actual situation.

                  1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                    Re: Negotiating...

                    This isn't sufficient for the EU to consider them as equivalent. It is refusing to accept the UK standards as being the same as the EU (even though they are) unless the UK agrees never to diverge in the future.

                    First there is the rule that certain goods are not accepted into the single market from third countries. This has already been changed by the EU just for NI. Why did the UK not negotiate this in the first place if UK government documents show they were aware of the problem (e.g. raw meats)?

                    The UK-NZ agreement is an example of the UK choosing not to enforcing regulatory compliance on imports and these goods could be exported on to the EU without being properly labelled. The EU would be right to check rules of origin for these products. They also did not want to check regulatory compliance on Australian imports (before the agreement fell apart) and US imports (although those did not even get started).

                    Finally, the "sewage" problem is a current example of UK divergence from EU law, on paper the law is the same but the lack of UK enforcement means that products have to be checked, in particular fish and seafood.

                    It does not apply this restriction to other "3rd countries", where it has negotiated equivalence status based on the actual situation.

                    No, it negotiated equivalence status based on the manufacturer in the 3rd country manufacturing to single market standards or the farm in the 3rd country producing to SPS standards. There is a chain of paperwork and inspections to prove that and if the EU single market rules change in the future, 3rd countries must follow that change.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Negotiating...

                      if the EU single market rules change in the future, 3rd countries must follow that change.

                      Exactly. If the rules change, 3rd countries must follow or lose their current access. Nothing requires them to commit in advance to always follow those rules, so they can have access today, which is what the EU is requiring for UK->NI shipments.

                      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                        Re: Negotiating...

                        Shirley GB->NI shipments?

                        GB is not obliged to follow EU rules, in fact, that was the whole point of the UK negotiating being able to diverge in the first place otherwise it would have stayed in the single market and SPS area. The whole point of the Irish Sea border checks is so GB can diverge whenever it wants.

                        By the way, Theresa May's backstop was a better solution to this problem - none of these problems would have started until GB diverged, by which time hopefully the UK would have been ready for it. This is what you wanted as well (assuming you're the same AC).

                        Johnson/Frost specifically negotiated a "frontstop" where the new customs checks with NI and the EU started first and then divergence happened later down the line... and is currently blaming the EU for it.

                        1. Anonymous Coward
                          Anonymous Coward

                          Re: Negotiating...

                          Shirley GB->NI shipments?

                          Yep, sorry.

                          GB is not obliged to follow EU rules, in fact, that was the whole point of the UK negotiating being able to diverge in the first place otherwise it would have stayed in the single market and SPS area. The whole point of the Irish Sea border checks is so GB can diverge whenever it wants.

                          Exactly, so why is the EU insisting on checks that it never did before, even though GB has not diverged. If, in the future, either side wishes to diverge then obviously there will be new negotiations, and probably checks. At the moment both sides are following the same rules as before Brexit, so why has it suddenly become necessary to check everything?

                          Theresa May's backstop was a better solution to this problem - none of these problems would have started until GB diverged,

                          Theresa May's "backstop" would have kept the whole UK in the customs union, leaving it unable to negotiate any trade deals by itself, that's why Parliament kicked it, and May, out. Johnson's deal kept only NI in that customs union, until the NI assembly chooses to leave, at which time extra checks would come into force. As agreed, it's probably the least-worst option, except that the EU is going out of its way to make the implementation as difficult as possible by introducing wholly-unnecessary checks when the two sides have still agreed to follow the same rules & standards.

                          and then divergence happened later down the line...

                          Divergence hasn't happened yet, that's the whole problem.

                          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                            Re: Negotiating...

                            Theresa May's "backstop" would have kept the whole UK in the customs union, leaving it unable to negotiate any trade deals by itself

                            This is not true, the "alternative arrangements", once agreed, could bring the UK or just GB out of the single market, the SPS area, and/or the customs union.

                            Divergence hasn't happened yet, that's the whole problem.

                            But it's not a bug, the frontstop is working as designed. Talk to the negotiator if you've got any complaints.

                    2. tip pc Silver badge

                      Re: Negotiating...

                      “ Finally, the "sewage" problem is a current example of UK divergence from EU law, on paper the law is the same but the lack of UK enforcement means that products have to be checked, in particular fish and seafood.”

                      Funny how a French boat catching next to a British boat needs no checks while the British boat landing at the same French port needs a lab report.

                      Admit it, the EU are being deliberately overzealous.

                      The French have now seized a British fishing boat, claiming it was fishing illegally in French waters despite it being legally registered with the EU to do so.

                      Note this is unilateral action by the French, no complaints to a court, just immediate seizure.

                      They seize a legally permitted boat over a trade dispute but happily let dinghy’s with children cross into uk waters from French shores. They care more about some fish than people.

                  2. R Soul

                    Re: Negotiating...

                    "But that's the whole point, it didn't. The standards applied are stil exactly the same as those in the EU"

                    Not for much longer. Westminster's nutjobs want to import chlorinated chicken and hormone-infused beef from the USA (yum!) as well as allowing GM crops (even yummier!). None of these things are compatible with EU food standards. Mustn't grumble though. We've taken back control and started a race to the bottom. What could possibly go wrong?

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Negotiating...

                      "GM foods and feeds can be authorised in the EU only if they have passed a rigorous safety assessment. The procedures for evaluation and authorisation of GM foods and feeds are laid down in the following documents"

                      That's from the European Food Safety Authority website.

                      Evidently, GM crops are compatible with EU food standards.

                      So if you don't want to eat food produced from GM crops, you had better leave the EU.

                      Also, Chlorinated chicken as produced by the US is safer than non-chlorinated, as produced in the EU, and has no effect on other quality of the meat.

                      The actual issue with chlorinated chicken is that it allows the US to apply lower animal welfare standards (than the EU), while producing food that is of higher safety standards (than the EU).

                    2. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Negotiating...

                      Westminster's nutjobs want to import chlorinated chicken and hormone-infused beef from the USA (yum!)

                      Groan. Project Fear still lives.

                      Mind you, it would probably still be better than lasagna and burgers full of Polish horsemeat. There weren't any import controls to stop that.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Negotiating...

              Yes but you miss the point. We want to be awkward. We want to fuck with the EU because the nobs that voted for brexit hate the EU and want it to collapse. Anything that helps that they will support. Most of us are normal human beings, but Brexiters seem to work with a totally different mindset.

              They are also pissed off that the US told them they are not getting their trade deal. The 'plan' in so far as there was one was to get out of the EU and then sign a large free trade deal with the US that would stop us sliding back to the EU. Remember most of the Brexiters think in war terms -- two world wars and one world cup mentality.

              When the US told us to get stuffed they were a bit miffed. You have to see the world from the outside, not from a British Empire perspective. Ireland is close to the US in many ways, the Good Friday Agreement is underwritten to some extent by the US, and the US and the EU don't want to complicate the trading agreements between them, and certainly don't want some awkward squad country getting in the way because they think they are special.

              Alas the Brexiters live in the 1950s with pounds and ounces, feet and inches, miles and gallons. Everyone else has moved on. Sad, but it looks like we'll have to wait for more of these idiots to die off before we can get sense back again.

              No doubt then the Tory party will morph again. They kicked out all my Conservative mates because they weren't Brexitiers. They will try to morph back to more traditional Conservativism when the wind blows back again.

              Very sad.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Negotiating... @Dan 55

              Actually, it's not VAT or any other tax that is the problem here. It's the food standards that the EU have said have to be checked for significant amounts of goods that are entering Northern Ireland.

              It is getting to the point where it is not possible to send some types of perishables to NI, because the checks that the EU mandate take so long that the goods expire. And even if the suppliers try to comply, the extra costs make it uneconomical to sell except at higher prices than in the rest of the UK.

              And this is not to Eire, this is to Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK.

              The EU have a point about keeping to the agreed rules, I concede, but penalizing a part of the UK, by insisting on checks at the point of entry for goods being shipped from the UK to the UK, without ever crossing into the EU is a real problem for NI politicians, and Whitehall.

              There have been various solutions proposed about labeling, checking at point of packing and documentation so that checks on the goods themselves don't need to be done, all of which have not satisfied the EU.

              Exporters from the UK to Europe know what they have to do, but in this case, it's just moving goods around the UK. Tell me that isn't meddling.

              1. Richard 12 Silver badge

                Re: Negotiating... @Dan 55

                That was exactly what Boris and Frost agreed upon and signed.

                Perhaps it was bloody stupid of them to do so. They did it, nonetheless. That only makes them both idiots, by their own admission.

                They now argue that they didn't really mean it.

                This further indicates that any and all other bilateral agreements will be torn up too, at any moment.

                This mean they are negotiating from a position of absolute weakness, where no other party has any reason to give the UK anything at all because they cannot believe anything Boris and Frost might say.

                Thus, the UK will fail, upon the hubris and lies of these utter fools in Downing Street

                1. EvilDrSmith Silver badge

                  Re: Negotiating... @Dan 55

                  The agreement is not supposed to be a fixed document, but a live agreement, as it has a mechanism for addressing problematic issues.

                  It's clear enough that the agreement was accepted to get the larger withdrawal process completed, and thus to end the uncertainty that was damaging to both EU and UK.

                  It seems that the UK accepted something they knew to be unworkable, on the grounds that after 6 months, it would be proven unworkable, and that the EU would then act reasonably, and negotiate a practical solution.

                  Instead, the EU, and their vocal supporters in the UK, have screamed that the agreement could not be changed, and that every check required by it was necessary.

                  Until about two weeks ago.

                  Two weeks ago, the EU agreed to scrap 80% of food safety checks and 50% of paperwork, thus demonstrating that in fact the EU position was unreasonable, and that the majority of the checks were unnecessary.

                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: Negotiating... @Dan 55

                    @EvilDrSmith

                    "Two weeks ago, the EU agreed to scrap 80% of food safety checks and 50% of paperwork, thus demonstrating that in fact the EU position was unreasonable, and that the majority of the checks were unnecessary."

                    This of course being something they were adamant could not be changed and was absolute and set in stone. It seemed to me that the EU hoped to starve out NI and blame the UK but when they would have to publicly become the dictator to do it chickened out because they would look as unreasonable as they have been.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Negotiating... @Dan 55

                      It seemed to me that the EU hoped to starve out NI

                      Well NI appears to be doing rather well as it is still in the single market. It is the UK that's not doing as well. Funny that, don't you think?

                      1. codejunky Silver badge

                        Re: Negotiating... @Dan 55

                        @AC

                        "Well NI appears to be doing rather well as it is still in the single market. It is the UK that's not doing as well. Funny that, don't you think?"

                        Eh? You in dreamland or something?

                        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                          Re: Negotiating... @Dan 55

                          Please post a recent news story about supermarket shortages or petrol shortages in NI.

                          As far as I can tell only M&S seems to have problems these days. As the boss is a Tory minister, one wonders if it's strictly performative.

                          1. codejunky Silver badge

                            Re: Negotiating... @Dan 55

                            @Dan 55

                            "Please post a recent news story about supermarket shortages or petrol shortages in NI."

                            Like that one?-

                            https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/business/northern-ireland/spaces-on-northern-ireland-shelves-only-going-to-get-worse-says-food-sector-brexit-and-covid-crisis-blamed-for-perfect-storm-of-driver-shortages-40810547.html

                            But thats the same problem as the US has and the EU is developing. I am not being sarcastic but I dont get the point your trying to make. Can you explain?

                      2. adam 40 Silver badge
                        Mushroom

                        Re: Negotiating... @Dan 55

                        I just hope their Cemtex is up to EN 13631-1:2005

                        Just sayin' is all....

                  2. Dan 55 Silver badge

                    Re: Negotiating... @Dan 55

                    Instead, the EU, and their vocal supporters in the UK, have screamed that the agreement could not be changed, and that every check required by it was necessary.

                    Could you point us to where the Trade and Cooperation Agreement was changed?

                    Two weeks ago, the EU agreed to scrap 80% of food safety checks and 50% of paperwork, thus demonstrating that in fact the EU position was unreasonable, and that the majority of the checks were unnecessary.

                    You are aware that Frost specifically (disingenuously?) negotiated nothing more than a bog-standard FTA with the EU and NI was barely treated any differently with regards to customs and paperwork than the EU?

                    The EU offer to scrap 80% of food safety checks is actually 80% of checks on supermarket food, and the UK still hasn't implemented most checks yet anyway, so the UK will still have to implement more than it currently does.

                    The offer for paperwork is due to groupage paperwork for lorries going to NI being reduced, but again something which the UK never asked for in the first place.

                    The EU went to talk to NI businesses which appears to be more than the UK ever did but now the UK has pulled out the ECJ thing out of its sleeve which no NI businesses are interested in.

                    By the way, even in its current state:

                    Majority of people in Northern Ireland view Brexit protocol as a ‘positive’, poll finds

                    1. EvilDrSmith Silver badge

                      Re: Negotiating... @Dan 55

                      I didn't comment on whether the agreement was changed or not.

                      I noted that the food safety checks were claimed to be absolutely necessary, and then suddenly, 80% of them were not necessary.

                      Your attempt to deflect attention away from this does not alter the fact that the food safety checks were absolutely necessary right up to the point that 80% of them could be safely dismissed as being not at all necessary.

                      Thus, these safety checks were manifestly there for political reasons, not safety reasons.

                      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                        Re: Negotiating... @Dan 55

                        You don't get how the EU works. The EU said they were necessary because the current version of the Northern Ireland protocol deems them necessary to protect the single market and customs union and it was negotiated between the UK and the EU. Such is a rules-based bureaucracy.

                        Then the UK asked the EU to come up with some proposals about how to improve things for NI businesses in July. It seems odd that these problems facing NI businesses were not negotiated into the original version of the NI protocol by the UK.

                        The EU went on a fact-finding mission to Northern Ireland and talked to businesses and has proposed a series of improvements for the NI protocol.

                        The UK responded by saying they don't want the ECJ to rule on matters of the single market and customs union. What's this got to do with NI businesses on the ground? Nothing, but anyway.

                        And now the EU and UK have opened negotiations on an update to the NI protocol, which unlike the TCA is a "living" agreement given that how things can change in NI. The EU has brought its improvements for businesses in NI to the negotiations, and the UK has brought its complaint about the ECJ because it seems the problems faced by NI businesses don't seem important any more (if they ever were).

                        Remember, at all times the management of the single market and customs union in NI is done by UK authorities, not Irish or EU authorities. If the UK really wanted to improve things for NI businesses, it had margin to do this before things got to this point.

                        Now the question is will the UK reject the EU's proposal? If it does, then we know it's just playing a political game.

              2. Xalran
                Devil

                Re: Negotiating... @Dan 55

                Well the UK can always rebuild a border between Eire and NI...

                and perform all those food checks there... Problem solved.

                Now, UK will also have to deal with the consequences of that move.

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: Negotiating... @Dan 55

                  @Xalran

                  "Well the UK can always rebuild a border between Eire and NI...

                  and perform all those food checks there... Problem solved.

                  Now, UK will also have to deal with the consequences of that move."

                  That would be the better solution. Except there wouldnt be much by way of building and the checks would be of the minimal we can get away with (and mostly for import). A fairly soft border the UK was happy to implement in the first place.

                  Its the EU who wanted to dictate a hard border and that would be funny. Any trouble wouldnt be worth starting in the UK as its an EU decision what they do on their side. And with the spine the EU has it would be a puddle on the floor in days.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Negotiating... @Dan 55

                    That would be the better solution.

                    How old are you? Have you had a lobotomy? Are you serious?

                    If you are young that may be excusable -- no one on the island of Ireland wants that. If you are old I would have to put you in the 'old racist Brexiter' category I'm afraid, because that is just a stupid comment.

                    1. codejunky Silver badge

                      Re: Negotiating... @Dan 55

                      @AC

                      "no one on the island of Ireland wants that"

                      They dont want what? The EU to put up a hard border, we know. And that being the only issue and it isnt the UK's issue. If the EU would wish to stir trouble thats on them.

                    2. This post has been deleted by its author

                  2. Dan 55 Silver badge
                    WTF?

                    Re: Negotiating... @Dan 55

                    And with the spine the EU has it would be a puddle on the floor in days.

                    Oh how weak the EU bully which prevents the oppressed UK from being truly mighty is.

                    1. codejunky Silver badge

                      Re: Negotiating... @Dan 55

                      @Dan 55

                      "Oh how weak the EU bully which prevents the oppressed UK from being truly mighty is."

                      Eh? But yes the EU dragged us down, as I believe it does for its other members too.

                2. EvilDrSmith Silver badge

                  Re: Negotiating... @Dan 55

                  Alternatively, since it is the EU that is concerned about protecting the EU single market, put the border between Eire and the rest of the EU.

                  As indeed the EU has apparently been considering:

                  https://www.politico.eu/article/eu-diplomats-emergency-brexit-plan-ireland-uk-single-market-access/

                  1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                    Re: Negotiating... @Dan 55

                    And the day after:

                    EU shoots down suggestion Ireland could be shut out of single market

                    An Irish government source dismissed the report as “not true at all” while it was dismissed by an EU official as a “load of s***e”

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Negotiating... @Dan 55

                      Well, what did you expect them to say?

                      The EU has made the point that the single market was sacrosanct.

                      If the UK refused to play ball, the EU's choice was sacrifice the single market or sacrifice the Irish Republic.

                      They were never going to admit that they were planning to throw Ireland under the bus until they actually did it.

                      But if it was the single market or Ireland, than it was Ireland that would be sacrificed.

                      So of course they denied it, they would never admit something like that in public.

                      But no sane person would believe those denials.

                      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                        Re: Negotiating... @Dan 55

                        I see delusions of Empire 2.0 are still going strong, where Ireland is unified but back under English rule, as it should be? It's a shame the current "direction of travel" for the UK is towards breaking up.

                        They were never going to admit that they were planning to throw Ireland under the bus until they actually did it.

                        Did I miss the news? As far as I know they haven't done it.

                        But if it was the single market or Ireland, than it was Ireland that would be sacrificed.

                        If the EU has not sacrificed Ireland for the single market up until now, they're not going to. The single market is something which all EU countries are members of.

            4. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: Negotiating...

              @Dan 55

              "but suddenly the UK claims it's too complicated"

              You were on such a roll until you made that mistake of saying the UK claims its too complicated when it was the EU who was shooting down solutions and crying hard border. The same EU that forgot what it negotiated during its vaccine panic and almost dictated a hard border in Ireland anyway until the UK and Ireland reminded them.

              Not beyond the wit of man but beyond those twits it does seem.

  6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "With each passing day the opportunities are missed," said European Scrutiny Committee chairman Sir Bill Cash. "British institutions are left high and dry while science marches on without them and the returns on our financial contribution edge lower."

    I suppose he'll argue it's nothing to do with him, hoping we'll forget his contributions to the car crash.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      "European Scrutiny Committee" sounds like something invented by Frank Zappa.

      1. gratou

        Or Franz Kafka

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Well there are clearly many insects in the Home Office. Them wanting to sink migrants boats or make the RNLI criminals just to placate their racists voters.

          A word I'm using more and more regularly when talking about Brexiters, the new model Tories[1], is scum. I find it difficult not to use it, especially with their racist colouring of everything, and their refusal to let the better off pay more tax, eg increasing wealth taxes that would not hurt anyone as much.

          [1] The Tories threw out the true Conservatives, remember, and replaced them with Brexit supporting morons purely so it wouldn't split the right vote. The left are hopelessly split, they couldn't let the right do that and possibly lose power. PR would help to remove power from this relatively small group of people and stop much of this shit. PR would not stop the Tories from having a voice, it would just stop them imposing it on everyone.

  7. Howard Sway Silver badge

    British institutions are left high and dry while science marches on without them

    Hang on, is Bill Cash suggesting that British institutions are incapable of participating in science without being part of some European scheme? Sounds like rather a change of stance from "they need us more than we need them".

    And playing petty games around the deal that Bill voted for is now seen to have a real price tag attached, at 10s of millions of pounds a day.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: British institutions are left high and dry while science marches on without them

      And the real point isn't the money - each country gets back in contracts roughly what it puts in (minus a bunch of waste and overhead) so it's really just an expensive/inefficient way for each country to fund it's own high tech industry.

      What it's really losing is the freedom to work together.

      The UK remains part of CERN (and sort-of part of ESA) but instead of scientists and their families being free to live work around CERN they will now presumably have a Swiss visa to visit the facility for a limited time and a French residency visa

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: British institutions are left high and dry while science marches on without them

        That's ok. Just as long as they can't come here!

        Scum springs to mind.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: British institutions are left high and dry while science marches on without them

          Are scum springs what happen each Eastertide now the water companies are allowed to dump raw sewage with impunity? #TurdReich

      2. gratou

        Re: British institutions are left high and dry while science marches on without them

        Yes but the scientists and their families are sovereign.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: British institutions are left high and dry while science marches on without them

          So long as they aren't experts...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the decisions to keep the UK from bidding on other ESA projects just looks like spite.

    And the UK has behaved in such a mature way that it didn't deserve it ?

    Just remember a cabinet minister made a very real threat to try and starve the citizens of an EU country.

    If anything the EU have been patient and understanding beyond belief.

  9. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
    Unhappy

    It would be nice to think that science could be funded in a way that would be to the benefit of all, without petty politics getting involved. We've managed to work with China, even with the "Soviets" in the past. Sadly the EU politicians seem unable to rise above their resentment of Brexit, and are willing to sacrifice the benefits of international scientific co-operation on the altar of control.

    1. DJO Silver badge

      EU politicians seem unable...

      Hilarious, if the UK negotiators had negotiated in good faith then we might be in a decent position but alas the UK government can no longer be trusted to keep it's word so any future negotiations will contain punitive penalties for any default by UK PLC.

      Really until the UK government start behaving like adults instead of petulant 5-year-olds don't expect anything from the EU.

      Of course if one reads the right wing press in this country the story one is fed is somewhat different - mainly fantasy and toeing the line from Central Office.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > Hilarious, if the UK negotiators had negotiated in good faith

        The only thing hilarious is your implication that the EU are negotiating in good faith.

        1. Adair Silver badge

          Is that a serious comment, or merely a trite comeback? Do you have any substantive evidence to demonstrate bad faith on the EU's part? I'm not suggesting they are saints, but it seems they have actually generally gone out of their way to be constructive within the limits that the EU rules allow. On the basis that it is entirely within their interests to maintain good relationships with the UK, even if the UK no longer wishes to remain in the EU.

          This is the problem with Brexit; it's not the fact of leaving, but the manner of leaving. We could have calmly announced our wish to leave, set about working out a constructive departure and left through the front door in a polite and mature manner.

          Instead we had 'Brexit' - the geo-political equivalent of a teenage flounce-cum-meltdown, with swearing, 'I wish you were dead!' statements, and then departure by throwing the coffee table through the patio doors before going outside to stand hopelessly in the rain wondering when dinner is going to be served.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @Adair

            "constructive within the limits that the EU rules allow" and "left through the front door in a polite and mature manner" were not really compatible, unless the UK had acceded to all that the EU offered, which was pretty much all of the EU regulation with none of the influence.

            The EU know that they have us over a barrel. They could have offered the UK something similar to a number of trade treaties that they offered to other countries like Canada. But what the EU wanted to do was add in extra regulations on free movement of people, harmonization of state aid rules, and even extending to the UK's ability to come to agree trade deals with other countries.

            Now, free movement of people was one of the campaign points of the Leave groups, so that could never fly. And the EU wanted the ECJ to be the arbiter, or at least a major component of the arbitration process over disputes. If Boris had accepted either of these, he would have been seen as a traitor by a large number of the people who elected 'his' conservative party (remember, he had many pro-EU MPs deselected before the election). And this is ignoring the 'harmonization' issues, that the EU could (and I believe would) have used by changing the their side of the rules after the deal was signed, with the ECJ taking their side to make it difficult or impossible for the UK to have meaningful trade deals with other countries.

            Yes, on the surface, the EU negotiators were all "we're doing everything we can", but they had a definite agenda, and I think this was to send a message to other EU member countries such that they could say "look, the UK are much bigger than you and didn't get a good deal, what makes you think that you can. You better stay with us!".

            It will be interesting to see what happens in Poland...

            1. Adair Silver badge

              Re: @Adair

              Unquestionably the EU has an agenda, why wouldn't it?

              The 'Brexit' problem is summed up in the word 'cakeism' - trying to on hang to the benefits of belonging whilst refusing to accept the responsibilities and costs that go with that, whilst at the same time reaping the benefits of not belonging (although so far those 'benefits' seem a little thin).

              The difficulties erupting over the 'border' concerning Northern Ireland only serve to make it clear that trying to keep ones cake whilst also consuming it is in reality a very painful thing to attempt, especially for those whose lives are not insulated by fat offshore accounts and large family estates.

              'Leaving the EU' may or may not be a great choice, but it is certainly a viable one if handled intelligently and with some wisdom and real politik.

              'Brexit', on the other hand, is a shining example of how to 'fuck things up', and we will no doubt all be enjoying the consequences, or not, for some time to come.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @Adair

              Poland will back down. 80% of their population want to stay in the EU. It is the right-wing government that wants to silence its judiciary (a bit like here -- remember 'enemies of the people'?).

              I've no idea what's wrong with the ECJ -- they would have to have something to decide problems. And the EU will always refer back to the ECJ, so it will be involved whatever we think. It just sounds petty to me.

              We are special because part of the UK has a land border. And we are also geographically near, and you can't do anything about that. It is just wishful thinking to think we can trade with the other side of the world. And have you noticed the countries we want to trade with are the old Empire countries? What does that tell you about the current government's mindset?

              We are over a barrel and ready to get royally shafted, and we deserve it. We need to tell the racists that support the current government (and there are many -- just look at the yougov tracker polling and the government's response to it -- Priti Patel, for example) that we will remain a shit hole until we accept freedom of movement again. You may not like it, but if you want better trade again you'll have to have it. Remember free movement of people is not just about the unskilled; it affects all wage levels in our economy.

              But then how do you get the racists to admit they are racist?

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re:

              They could have offered the UK something similar to a number of trade treaties that they offered to other countries like Canada.

              They tried. And at every single turn the UK told them to fuck off. Clearly you forgot (or like a lot of people never saw) the ladder of choices the commission published showing the options available to the UK.

              The result is the UK is left floundering ... we most certainly won't be accepted into any of the existing clubs like the EEA (and Johnson and co damn well know this, which is why they won't ask).

              However, we have just done a net zero deal with New Zealand as long as we pump shit into our rivers.

          2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Do you have any substantive evidence to demonstrate bad faith on the EU's part?

            I'm not the AC, but see my previous comment. The EU is intentionally blocking scienific co-operation which has already been agreed, as a way to add pressure to the discussions over the NI protocol.

            We could have calmly announced our wish to leave, set about working out a constructive departure and left through the front door in a polite and mature manner.

            That, I'm afraid, is bullshit.

            The EU was extremely clear after the 2016 referendum, there would be no discussions on the UK departure until the UK had actually started the countdown by invoking Article 50. Brussels forbade all EU members from discussing the issue, or any post-leave situation. The only option the EU would entertain was for the UK to walk out the door and negotiatate while standing on the doorstep. Unsurprisingly given the resulting deadline, the UK response was to play hardball.

            departure by throwing the coffee table through the patio doors before going outside to stand hopelessly in the rain wondering when dinner is going to be served.

            If anyone's throwing tantrums, it's the EU. Instead of accepting the UK's unwelcome decision, and doing it's best to find a win-win solution, it has done everything it can to prevent Brexit working for the UK, even when that also makes life difficult for the EU. That's a childish response, although I suppose given the problems it's also having with Poland & others I can see why it feels the need to exert parental authority. It should perhaps remember that that approach always fails in the end.

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              The EU negotiators are not "throwing tantrums". They simply have all the aces and are playing their hand. It was always obviously going to be the case, anyone with even a few functioning brain cells could see it coming.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                @werdsmith

                "The EU negotiators are not "throwing tantrums". "

                You are kidding. The EU has great form on tantrums. Look at the crying over a chair and sofa in Turkey! As for the UK look at their tantrums over vaccine they screwed up ordering. They nearly violated their own agreement on the Irish border for it!

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                are you saying that 350M p/w on 'that" bus was not exactly an accurate representation of reality?! But I thought... me and me mates all thought... and those bloody forines takin' a' jobs! Oh I'm SO dissapointed! :/

          3. codejunky Silver badge

            @Adair

            "Do you have any substantive evidence to demonstrate bad faith on the EU's part?"

            I dunno about the AC your responding to but the EU started and continued its negotiations in bad faith. The issue of Ireland being an EU construction as they refused to negotiate until they had their way on very specific issues, which goes against the negotiations proceeding in parallel.

            Misbehaviour from the EU even being called out publicly because they refused to negotiate while UKIP (invited and with every right to be there) were in the room. This is childish behaviour.

            EU negotiation with opposition (remain) groups instead of with the UK government which was a traitorous situation for the UK but accepted (welcomed) by the EU.

            The EU got upset that the UK insisted on closing loopholes the EU would happily exploit. Just remember who we are dealing with-

            https://capx.co/the-uk-has-every-reason-not-to-rely-on-brussels-good-faith/

            Or even their abusive nature when they screwed up vaccine procurement and championed the idea of stealing it.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Is that a serious comment, or merely a trite comeback? Do you have any substantive evidence to demonstrate bad faith on the EU's part? I'm not suggesting they are saints, but it seems they have actually generally gone out of their way to be constructive within the limits that the EU rules allow. On the basis that it is entirely within their interests to maintain good relationships with the UK, even if the UK no longer wishes to remain in the EU.

            The trite comeback is: you didn't come here expecting serious debate on Brexit did you? :-)

            But I'll answer your points. Firstly I think you're being incredibly generous to the EU. I'll give you an example that doesn't relate to the UK so we can (try to) take Brexit out of it for a moment. Do you remember the EU-Canada trade deal that was held up by a small regional government in Belgium?

            https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/24/eu-trade-deal-with-canada-collapses-as-belgium-refuses-to-sign

            This is a clear example of the EU not negotiating in good faith because it turned out that the EU didn't have unilateral authority to sign-up to an agreement.

            Another example is the Northern Ireland border: post-Brexit that border became an EU external border and should have been subject to the same EU policy that is applied to its other external borders, for example between Poland and Ukraine or the border between Spain and Morocco[1].

            But that didn't happen because the EU didn't want to be seen as the bad guy forcing the Irish government to break the Good Friday Agreement and erect a physical border, complete with crossing points, on the Irish side. Rather than admit that and allow the UK and Ireland to re-negotiate or modify the GFA in a local solution - after all the original GFA is a bilateral agreement so why not? - the EU has decided it should negotiate on behalf of Ireland. How very colonial of them.

            [1] Yes, I know, I'm being deliberately provocative but it highlights one distasteful aspect of the EU: a big wire fence border is fine when the people the other side of it are black but not when they are white. Ironic really that people who voted to leave are the ones labelled racists.

      2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Hilarious, if the UK negotiators had negotiated in good faith then we might be in a decent position but alas the UK government can no longer be trusted to keep it's word

        The UK and NI governments have both said that the NI protocol isn't working as agreed, which is true, in many cases due to heavy-handed EU policing of it which is making it much more difficult than it need be. Both the UK and the EU are in negotiations to improve this, and both sides have said that those negotiations are proceeding well. That is precisely how international relations works, via discussions.

        As what should be a wholly separate discussion, the UK is negotiating scientific co-operation with other European countries, and has agreed the terms. As this article we're commenting on says, though, "despite being given the nod for participation, the requirements to allow UK entities to bid have yet to be approved.

        And that approval? It's tied to the outcome of the Northern Ireland protocol negotiations"

        This is simply the EU politicians trying to block scientific agreement on unrelated issues, as a lever to get their way on the NI protocol. The poor faith involved is not that of the UK, these should be two separate discussions.

        1. Lars Silver badge
          Happy

          NI business and people are quite OK with the protocol finding new friends closer too.

          However if Britain doesn't implement anything promised then it will of course not function that well between NI and Britain.

          Perhaps the problem for some is that the NI will become more "Ireland" and more "EU" over time.

    2. Citizen of Nowhere

      It would be nice if peace and prosperity on the island of Ireland could be promoted in a way beneficial to all without being jeopardised by petty political concerns. It seems UK politicians cannot overcome their resentment of the EUCJ and would rather sacrifice the agreement they themselves signed on the altar of “taking back control”.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        they themselves signed on the altar of “taking back control”

        I fear the attitude of the current govt. is that that's something somebody else signed log ago. It looks as if getting them to abide by something they signed themselves is hard enough, probably on the basis of an elaboration of "We didn't read it properly".

        1. Citizen of Nowhere

          But the man leading the current discussions for the UK side is the very man who negotiated the agreement. The current PM is the very PM who signed it. Even by the usual standards of political hypocrisy disowning it on those grounds, or indeed that they didn’t read it, understand it or intend to keep faith with it, would by a doozy.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @Citizen of Nowhere

            I can't argue against that. Boris was (and is) an idiot, and although I am a natural Conservative (although never a party member), I will never vote for any party that has him as leader.

            He was damaged goods before he was elected as Tory leader, just too few people saw it to prevent it happening.

      2. DJO Silver badge

        UK politicians cannot overcome their resentment of the EUCJ

        The hilarious thing here is the EUCJ was based on English Law and was set up by British Judges.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          The really hilarious thing is that, as Poland just proved, they could have stayed in the Eu and just ignored it.

          1. Lars Silver badge
            Coat

            That Poland story has far from ended.

            1. adam 40 Silver badge

              Why - is Germany the EU going to invade???

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          ECJ

          It's not how the ECJ operates, it's why should it be the arbiter.

          In order to be fair, they need to be independent, and they cannot be independent because they are a branch of the EU.

          1. Citizen of Nowhere

            Re: ECJ

            It is a court. In the same way that the UK Supreme Court is. Claiming that it cannot be fair and independent may or may not be correct, but if applied to the ECJ that applies equally to every judicial instance on the planet.

            The UK agreed that Northern Ireland would remain inside the single market. Every single participant in that market agreed that the ECJ would be the body which interpreted EU law if there were dispute concerning its interpretation and application. If that is not accepted, the obvious conclusion is for Northern Ireland to leave the single market, and the UK to live with the consequences of their utterly unproven assertion that the ECJ will not interpret EU law fairly and independently concerning the single market in Northern Ireland.

      3. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

        EUCJ

        It would be nice. At the same time, is it normal for an arbiter of a dispute between two parties to be closely, intimately tied to one of those parties?

        It'd be like us insisting the arbiter must be the UK Supreme Court.

        Let's ignoring the Brexit baggage for a moment - in any agreement, asking for independent arbitration is not unreasonable.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: EUCJ

          It would be very strange indeed if a UK court or tribunal ruled on USMCA or MercoSur or TPP matters, yet somehow that's what the UK wants with the single market and customs union.

          1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

            Re: EUCJ

            But does UK actually want that (I could easily believe they do, but haven't heard that), or do they just want it not the be EUCJ?

            The former is no more reasonable than EU insisting on EUCJ, and should be ridiculed. The latter seems completely reasonable.

          2. Julz Silver badge

            Re: EUCJ

            That's exactly what British courts do. Not necessarily for the institutions that you mentioned but for many other agreements between governments and companies around the world. Justice handled by an independent and trusted third party is a very common part of agreements and contracts and Brittish courts are frequently the first choice for arbitering disagreements.

        2. Citizen of Nowhere

          Re: EUCJ

          One of the roles of the court is to interpret EU law in disputes between the Commission or other EU institutions and member states. It does not "arbitrate". Insofar as the NI protocol kept Northern Ireland in the EU single market, with EU law surrounding that market enforceable within its territory, why would it not be the ECJ which determines whether EU law is being properly interpreted? The UK will have the same standing before the Court as any member state. The purview of the Court is limited to aspects of EU law which remain valid within Northern Ireland.

          If you wish to be in the single market, you must obey its rules. One of those rules is that individual member states accepted the authority of the ECJ to interpret EU law where there are disputes over whether it is being properly applied.

          In its role as interpreter of EU law, the court has ruled against the EU institutions in favour of member states on many occasions. As indeed the UK Supreme Court has ruled against the UK government when interpreting law. Interestingly there have been no initiatives coming from Brussels to curb its powers as a result such as those currently being floated at Westminster as a result of the rulings of the UK Supreme Court.

          If the UK intends to respect the EU law pertaining to the single market, as it agreed, in order to keep Northern Ireland in it, why would it reject the role of the ECJ, which is accepted by every other participant in the single market?

          1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

            Re: EUCJ

            In this context, it does seem reasonable. Although, given the scope of what's at stake, perhaps it's sensible for both sides to back off and agree to a more obviously neutral party (if there is such a thing - dig deep enough and there's nearly always at least one vested interest pulling strings).

            I suspect there's also an element of distrust, or at least pretend distrust, of the EUCJ on behalf of the UK gov. Gotta play to the home crowd, as in Tory Eurosceptics. Plus it makes for a decent tabloid front page, rather than another splash of our gov and its mates' bungling COVID incompetence.

            It's also perhaps nothing more than a negotiation tactic, something the UK can back down over in exchange for an EU concession.

      4. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

        Reunification is coming. It might take decades, but it's the only possible end to this.

        1. SundogUK Silver badge

          "It might take decades" Which means it would be meaningless as a 'reunification.' And I doubt the EU is going to exist in anything like it's current form in 'decades.'

          1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

            Was the reunification of Germany after decades meaningless, then?

    3. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Remain: We contributed to the EU. That gave us the a voice in deciding how the EU science cake got sliced. We took an extra large portion.

      Brexit: We will not contribute to the EU. We will fake outrage when they make decisions that exclude us.

      Reality has been trying to explain this to you for over five years Phil. As expected you still will not admit that this is precisely what you voted for.

      1. DJO Silver badge

        The funny thing is that in the few years since the vote the government have spent more on Brexit than the total contributions made to the EU over the course of over 40 years.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Not true. You shouldn't get your "facts" from social media.

          1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

            You should "not" get your "quotation marks" from the "keyboard" because it's "annoying".

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Please feel free to enlighten us with your "alternative facts".

          3. DJO Silver badge

            This is from over a year ago:

            https://www.businessinsider.com/brexit-will-cost-uk-more-than-total-payments-to-eu-2020-1?r=US&IR=T

            1. Lars Silver badge
              Happy

              @DJO

              I have a feeling that that shameful buss has managed to fool even less gullible Brits to forget that taking part in the EU budget is peanuts, just peanuts, compared to the value of being a part of the single market.

              Rather sad, and perhaps the Grand Brexit advantage will be when people grasp it the hard way.

              Compare those costs to when in old days you pulled your produce to the market place and paid a fee at the gate.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Reality just has to knuckle under and do as it's been told. It can't keep offering the excuse that "we" voted for Brexit.

      3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Remain: We contributed to the EU. That gave us the a voice in deciding how the EU science cake got sliced. We took an extra large portion.

        Well, more exactly we were one of the largest contributors, and so were given a commensurately large portion.

        Brexit: We will not contribute to the EU.

        Did you even read the article? For example the bit where it says "the gross UK payments for Horizon Europe alone would come to £15bn for the period 2021 to 2027, "provided the UK formally associates with the programme""? The UK has already agreed to contribute to this programme, and has every right to be involved in the decisions. That isn't the issue here.

        Reality has been trying to explain this to you for over five years Phil. As expected you still will not admit that this is precisely what you voted for.

        Actually I never had the chance to vote for it. As a British citizen living in the EU I was disenfranchised when Tony Blair removed the right to vote from expats after 15 years, and David Cameron reneged on an election promise to give it back to us. All the same, having lived outside the UK, in the EU, for half my life I think I have a better grasp of the reality of the situation than many of the commenters here.

        1. Citizen of Nowhere

          > All the same, having lived outside the UK, in the EU, for half my life I think I have a better grasp of the reality of the situation than many of the commenters here.

          Doesn't work that way. I have lived way more than half my adult life in the EU as well, 23 years in total. I don't get to claim that the mere fact of living here gives me a better grasp of the reality of the situation. Neither do you. A non sequitur remains a non sequitur whether you are for or against Brexit ;-)

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            I don't get to claim that the mere fact of living here gives me a better grasp of the reality of the situation.

            I'd disagree. There's always an element of "grass is greener" when it comes to other places. People go somewhere on holiday and come back thinking "I wish I lived there", but with no real understanding of the realities of life, i.e. taxes, social care, politics, weekly shopping, etc. Living somewhere for years gives you a much better idea of how its politics and economy works (or doesn't). I've lived in the UK, and elsewhere in the EU, and I much prefer the general UK attitude to things. The paternalist "daddy knows best" way the EU is run, where we're supposed to accept that the state knows best and just do what we're told, is not good for growth and innovation.

            1. Lars Silver badge
              Happy

              @Phil O'Sophical

              "The paternalist "daddy knows best" way the EU is run, where we're supposed to accept that the state knows best and just do what we're told, is not good for growth and innovation."

              You must know how childish you claim is, I hope.

              1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                You must know how childish you claim is, I hope.

                Not a claim, personal experience. With your chosen 'handle' perhaps you're Scandinavian, and so may be more tolerant of that style of government? I'm not.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                how childish you claim is,

                Someone complains that they don't like paternalistic governments that treat them like children, and your response is to tell them not to be childish?

                Spot the irony...

        2. Howard Sway Silver badge

          "having lived outside the UK, in the EU, for half my life"

          You would have been in the EU if you were living inside the UK for that half of your life as well. Unless you're less than four years old, in which case I apologise.

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: "having lived outside the UK, in the EU, for half my life"

            You're confusing EEC/EC and EU. I left the UK before Maastricht, and hence before the EU was created in 1993. I'd have been happy for us to stay in the EEC, a co-operative economic market where countries sharing common aims could work together in a free market. It's the conversion to the EU which I believe has done the most harm to Europe.

            1. Dan 55 Silver badge

              Re: "having lived outside the UK, in the EU, for half my life"

              At no point was the EEC/EC/EU just a trading bloc, other than in the British press and in certain Tory MPs' imagination. It's a long thread but a good one.

    4. Dr_N Silver badge

      Phil O'Sophical> It would be nice to think that science could be funded in a way that would be to the benefit of all, without petty politics getting involved.

      You are assuming any UK government, in the last 30-40 years, gave two shakes of a rat's arse about science and technology in the UK. They don't.

      They even sold off the state military R&D.

      If there is no shortterm gain for their chums, they are not interested.

      And to be fair they just don't understand it. Especially this latest buch of no-hopers. Name one cabinet minister who has an inkling about (or a background in) science and/or technology...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I'll take the bait

        Alok Sharma moved from Secretary of State for Business to head up the COP26 summit (but kept his Cabinet seat). He did Applied Physics at Salford before becoming an accountant. I believe he's the only one with a STEM background. George Freeman, listed as junior minister for Science, Research and Innovation, did Geography (but I don't think he's a Cabinet Minister).

        I've also had a quick look at the Shadow Cabinet. Lucy Powell (Housing) did Chemistry, apparently. Chi Onwurah (Science, Research and Digital) did Chemical Engineering at Imperial.

        Of course, Boris famously took Technology lessons before becoming PM.

        I think the last MP with a science background to occupy one of the Great Offices of State was Margaret Thatcher (Chemistry). That was thirty years ago now.

        1. Dr_N Silver badge

          Re: I'll take the bait

          @AC

          Alok Sharma did get a Physics/Electronics degree (I did not know that) and then went straight into accounting. Which kind of sums up UK politicos' feeling about tech, perhaps?

          1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
            Joke

            Re: I'll take the bait

            > Alok Sharma did get a Physics/Electronics degree (I did not know that) and then went straight into accounting. Which kind of sums up UK politicos' feeling about tech, perhaps?

            I think that merely shows he has a love of money.*

            * Counting it that is - what did you think I meant?

      2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Name one cabinet minister who has an inkling about (or a background in) science and/or technology...

        Yes, I have to agree that's a serious lack. A previous commenter suggested that a prerequisite for being Science Minister should be a Science (or at least STEM) degree, and I would agree.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          By that logic, Liam Fox would be the health minister. What could possibly go wrong?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    blamed delays in Brussels for choking off revenue streams to British institutions and businesses

    HOW DARE THEY?! ;)

  11. mercyground

    Seeing as the NI government still isnt governing (which is why they finally got abortion and more womens rights cos UK Gov dropped them into law). What should happen is NI should be returned to Ireland and then there is no border left for the EU to whine about.

    As for the science issues? Why would they invite UK scientists into EU projects. They kicked us out of Galileo and their "secure GPS". You arent on the list you aint coming in.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They kicked us out of Galileo and their "secure GPS".

      That's a lie. They didn't kick us out. We left. For some definition of "they" and "we".

      It was the UK who ensured participation in Galileo was limited to EU members. We insisted on adding that rule when the project was first set up.

  12. Lars Silver badge
    Happy

    This article forgets to mention that Britain doesn't want to take part in the Erasmus Program.

    This about that and there is indeed the smell of cherry picking about it.

    "

    Why did the UK withdraw from Erasmus?

    So why would the UK back away from all this? Mr Johnson has recently started saying that the programme is too elitist, despite the House of Lords report also concluding that ending the programme would disproportionately affect people from disadvantaged backgrounds and those with medical needs or disabilities".

    Read that "elitist" as you can.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Self flagellation

    It’s sad to see such self flagellation amongst commentators.

    The public voted for brexit in:

    2016 referendum

    2017 election

    2019 MEP elections

    2019 election

    The Benn act and other pressures from remainers ensured that brexit could only be delivered with a deal. The deal negotiated was recognised all round as a shocker but hands where tied and a deal however bad was needed.

    It takes 2 to do a deal and the EU could have been more supportive but chose not to.

    Yes we left, but yes we contributed handsomely over the last 40 years and deserved to leave on amicable terms. So far the EU look to be determined to wield vengeance on us for having the temerity to go a different route.

    Complainers look to want to ignore the damage that the Benn act has done and forget the Supreme Court blocking the Unelected PM’s attempt to call an election amongst other things done in an attempt to stop the multiple votes of the people being honoured.

    The EU horizon program is open to non EU countries too, it isn’t free but requires the UK paying in €15bn.

    The NIP is causing great damage to NI, everyone acknowledges that and it needs amending. It’s pathetic that the French are kicking off because 30 or so fisherman can’t fish in uk waters because of their dodgy previous record keeping, yet they seem happy for the vast majority of all eu border checks to take place between the UK and NI despite that representing a tiny volume and value of all cross border traffic across the whole EU.

    The NIP is a lesson in spite and bloody mindedness from the EU designed from the outset to cause problems, hence the EU’s readiness to now fix a bunch of issues by promising to drop most checks as they deem them unnecessary despite they themselves insisting they where necessary.

    It’s disappointing to see so much comments of glee from the eu abusing its upper hand and so few comments calling for reason and evenness especially considering our long collaborative history with the EU project.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Self flagellation

      It's sad to see so much delusion and wilful blindness from a commentard.

      Your posting contains lots of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Perhaps you'll blame that on the EU too.

      1. Julz Silver badge

        Re: Self flagellation

        Ah the old your spelling is not what is the norm therefore what you are saying is wrong argument. Haven't heard that one for a while.

      2. Cederic Silver badge

        Re: Self flagellation

        The post to which you replied was entirely accurate, cogent and honest. Calling it delusion is to deny reality, pretending it's wilful blindness is gaslighting.

        Lots of people in this discussion are exhibiting delusion and wilful blindness, but not the person to whom you responded.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Self flagellation

        > Your posting contains lots of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.

        Could you list these spelling mistakes, please? Alternatively you could apologise to the OP for your baseless insult.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Self flagellation

          "EU horizon program"

          "insisting they where necessary"

          Would you like a remedial English lesson to go through the grammatical errors?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Self flagellation

            "EU horizon program"

            "insisting they where necessary"

            Would you like a remedial English lesson to go through the grammatical errors?

            2 tiny mistakes that do not prevent comprehension of the comment.

            its in all our gift to allow some errors like this, or you can be an absolute tool and insist on absolute perfection despite knowing full well what was intended.

            regarding the EU, should we take their example and follow everything to the letter, just like they have regarding goods entering NI from mainland GB? if so we get issues like some French fishermen not having the correct paper work & the French impounding UK boats and threatening to cut electric supplies.

            You must admit that the French are over the top on this.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Self flagellation

            > "EU horizon program"

            > "insisting they where necessary"

            So one Americanism and one typo counts as "lots" of spelling mistake does it?

            What's your opinion of someone who omits the question mark from a sentence like "Perhaps you'll blame that on the EU too." ?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Self flagellation

      I live in Northern Ireland. The protocol is the sticking plaster. Brexit is what caused the damage. Don't listen to the DUP, they are out of step with the public on this one. Remember they were the ones saying loyalist paramilitaries were planning to murder British officials over this.

  14. Zebo-the-Fat

    But they told us brexit was going to be wonderful.. £300 million every week for the NHS

    Politicians wouldn't lie would they?

  15. Potemkine! Silver badge

    What did you expect?

    Leaving the club shouting "Fuck off", acting like a arsehole and expecting to be invited at the next party?

    For the ones believing this: wake up, you're living in a dreamworld.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What did you expect?

      Are you seriously suggesting that sunlight uplands, swept by majestic herds of unicorn, are just a hopeless fantasy? So sad.

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