"more agile way"
BS-o-meter is bleeping as hell!
The UK government is having a second pass at flogging the benefits of Brexit, as much as they exist, in a new bill that promises to accelerate work on AI and gene editing. The so-called Brexit Freedoms Bill — its actual title will be decided by Parliamentary clerks — will also offer a "more agile way to regulate new digital …
Inevitably means passing primary legislation (an Act) that says “the Secretary of State can make regulations doing whatever the hell they want”. Secondary legislation (the regs) gets far less scrutiny from Parliament, basically letting the government make any regs it wants with no input or oversight from Parliament.
Fun times -.-
Are you perhaps suggesting Nadine Dorries looking slightly the worse for wear as she's scribbling over whatever law she wants with her crayon set is perhaps not up to the standards one expects of a modern western democracy?
Are you perhaps suggesting Nadine Dorries looking slightly the worse for wear as she's scribbling over whatever law she wants with her crayon set is perhaps not up to the standards one expects of a modern western democracy?
Ah you mean Nadine (I downed Lambs Testicle followed by Ostrich Anus) Dorries. The one who bunked off work as an MP to appear on I’m A Celebrity.
Ummm. I hate to be the professor of the bleedin’ obvious, but this is how EU legislation has always worked.
EU Parliament gets to vote on a boilerplate mission statement thing. But the detailed text of what goes onto the EU statute books is all worked out in committee *after the vote*, without coming back before Parliament. Tripartite committee: Commission, Presidency, and EU Parliament representative (called the rapporteur).
And two out of three wins, so Parliament can be, and often is, outvoted if the Presidency and Commission disagree with them. This is perfectly on-topic, because GDPR legislation contains loads of issues where the Parliament representative was simply over-ruled.
Parliament doesn’t have primacy under EU constitution, unlike UK it’s just a totally different tripod system.
Y U No Know Dat?
No, that’s not right, EU prime ministers have no role or say in the process. Both our Glorious Leader and Angela Merkel got it wrong routinely. Kuenssberg and Adler get it right, but if it’s anyone else in the media, forget it.
In a constitutional twist pulled straight from the Life of Brian, there are two entirely separate entities, the Council of the European Union, and the European Council. Each of them have their own President. The EU indeed have two Presidents.
The European Council is the one composed of the Heads of State plus the President of Commission. When you see the big “European summits”, that’s the Council people mean. The current President is Charles Michel. Neither the European Council nor its President have any legislative role at all, they provide “general political directions”.
The President who has the one-third voting role in approving legislation in the Trilogue, is the President of the *Council of the European Union*. The Council of the European Union (otherwise known as the Council of Ministers) is a council of Minister representation from each member state. Who the Minister is exactly depends on the topic under discussion and the political structure of the state, and it doesn’t have to be (and frequently is not) even an MP. For example, if the topic is GDPR, pre-Brexit our representative was probably the Information Commissioner, an appointee. If the topic were industrial policy it would probably be Kwasi Kwarteng.
However, the President isn’t a person it is a country *Presidency* for a six month period. And these come in “trios” spanning 18 months to achieve some sort of consistency. At the moment it is “France” (not Macron, whatever nonsense he spouts).France has held the Presidency so far for one month out of the allotted 6month term. The “issue of the day” is the Digital Services Act, for which the first trilogue was 31st Jan. Macron did not attend, of course.
So that’s the Constitution.
The final say on what’s actually in the GDPR laws comes down to the best-of-3 from:
#1 The Commission (who remain at the table forever)
#2 A round-robin representative of Information Commissioners of the member states, with 6-month term of office.
#3 Representative of the EU Parliament. An MEP.
Source please? According to law the EU Parliament votes on all laws to pass them. Rejected laws can go back to the Commission to be changed and put up for a vote again.
Here is an example of an unpopular law getting rejected by the Parliament: https://twitter.com/Senficon/status/1014814460488413185
In addition, Parliament can reject the whole Commission, dissolve it if it doesn't do a good job. The EU Parliament is pretty much the supreme lawmaker.
I don't know, where do you get your info?
Where do you get *your* information…. Oh, Twitter.
You picked a terrible example. That famous victory of the EU Parliament?
Was presented straight back to Parliament with minor changes not affecting the outcome. As a matter of fact, they *did* sign the next time, despite a load of protests and about 40% votes against.
But the vote really doesn’t (and didn’t)make a difference. You need to understand the Constitution better. It takes 2 out of 3 of: Commission, Presidency, Parliament, to write something into law.
As a matter of convention they will try to reach agreement in the trilogue. But they don’t have to, and if the Commission+Presidency choose to overrule Parliament, they can.
Either way, Parliament’s “victory” was a fantasy. Article 13 is now law, unchanged.
The Parliament don’t even have any influence over the appointment of the Commission President. The agreed procedure this time was to appoint the Spitzen Kandidat: the pre-approved preferred candidate of the winning party. The Parliament elections were run, a winner was declared, and the selected Spitzen Kandidat…..was rejected by the Commission. Flat No.
The Commission identified who *they* wanted to be President. One name, and one name only. Ursula.
They gave this to the European Council who had three names of their own.
After much “negotiation”, the European Council agreed it would be Ursula, who they *presented* to the EU Parliament. Only one candidate, Parliament extremely unhappy. In Parliament, she was approved by a very narrow margin. Quite importantly, she depended on the votes of the *losing* parties.
If you only look at the votes of the *parties that won the election*, she would not have been approved.
If you don’t like it, leave. Or don’t.
But it’s pointless sitting there fantasising that you have agency or influence, when you gave it away.
Another well argued and erudite response from Mr Downvote-Magnet there.
Please do enlighten me to the numerous and myriad benefits I should be seeing from having my citizenship, protections and rights stripped from me, which I am clearly too dozy to have noticed. And no, "sovereignty", or other bullshit conceptual nonsense that has no real-life impact doesn't count.
I probably actually won't bother to read your response, but consider this an intellectual challenge to actually engage your brain and think about all the damage you and your ilk have done to this country.
"I probably actually won't bother to read your response"
Do you ever? I didnt realise there was any probability based on our past interactions.
But if your in the UK you are welcome. You were likely offered vaccination while the EU tried to figure out its arse from its elbow. And the EU cant create debt in the UK's name for the covid bailout fund they wish to extend to day to day funding.
>>>>you are welcome.
Typical Brexit Elite: Claim some non existent make-believe "win" whilst disavowing the real Brexit disasters.
In Brexitland if there was no pandemic there would be no Brexit benefit other than blue passports (another fake Brexit benefit) and bent fruit.
Nothing but Tufton Street AstroTurf nonsense the lot of it.
It was a bit selective too. There were a LOT of responses needed to tackle Covid, this government got all but one completely wrong and the one they did get right was such a trivial advantage it dissipated in under a month.
Unless you have a personal wealth in excess of £5m and are involved in offshore banking or tax evasion there is no benefit from leaving the EU.
"There were a LOT of responses needed to tackle Covid, this government got all but one completely wrong and the one they did get right was such a trivial advantage it dissipated in under a month."
Not sure the evidence supports your claim. Endemic vs pandemic. And the gov is bound to have got stuff wrong (as others did) but which way is the question. As for a dissipated trivial advantage in under a month thats funny and wrong. As was being discussed on another reg forum where there is a shocking lack of answers to serious questions.
"So please list the myriad advantages unrelated to C-19 that Brexit has showered upon us ungrateful bastards."
The issue with that is you want to hear advantages but not the huge and immediate advantages that were so blatant and readily available. An advantage as touted by an EU president and ex president. This is knowing that the benefits of brexit were expected to materialise over years and decades.
By not related to C-19 does that still allow the UK escaping the covid bailout fund where the EU writes debt in EU members names for it to spend, which has been suggested to be not just for emergencies (as it was proposed) but a way to fund the EU?
Since London gave up on EU passporting rights the financial sector is working on removing EU regulations getting in the way of the #1 financial centre of Europe.
Off the top of my head thats a start.
You do know that London is now not regarded as the financial centre of Europe, entirely because of brexit, right? If you google the term "financial centre of Europe" you'll find a lot of results talking about London in the past tense.
Yes, I know googling it isn't proper research, but it's better than claiming that Tim Worstall articles are unassailable facts, and getting your posts deleted for making sexist slurs against Gina Miller.
Now, please list some of these real "blatant and readily available" benefits, or just finally admit to yourself that brexit is a complete dog's dinner of benefitless nationalistic bullshit.
"You do know that London is now not regarded as the financial centre of Europe, entirely because of brexit, right?"
Eh? Are you seriously claiming that or just spouting tripe?
"If you google the term "financial centre of Europe" you'll find a lot of results talking about London in the past tense."
Dont hurt your head too much-
"getting your posts deleted for making sexist slurs against Gina Miller."
Eh? When? Amused you now call me sexist.
"Now, please list some of these real "blatant and readily available" benefits"
Why? You obviously didnt read my post you replied to so your not gonna read/understand it if I repeat.
Yes, but the important thing for a financial centre is its *global* status. Not Big Fish in a Small EU pond. Sorry and all that, but this is just delusional.
Here’s a list, compiled of the views of the World Bank, OECD etc
Note how London is #2, and has barely shifted since Brexit.
Paris wouldn’t even be the in the top 3 of US centres. *After* it climbed 15 places to #12.
Frankfurt has *dropped* 5 places, and is now outranked by Seoul.
Edinburgh(!) outranks all but three EU national capitals of the EU.
Get a grip, dude.
So all the "advantages" are going to happen many years down the line, fat lot of fucking good that is, we were promised so much.
The City? what a laugh:
Pan-European exchange Euronext said it will clear all trades on its newly acquired Italian platform by 2024, helping the European Union cut its reliance on the London Stock Exchange for core financial activities after Brexit.
So UK as a trading capital for Europe is obviously history as being out of the EU we are at a significant disadvantage and no EU companies will want the extra expense when cheaper to use EU alternatives are available.
immediate advantages that were so blatant and readily available.
If they are so blatant and available how come nobody can enumerate them, not a single fucking one!.
It's a joke at your expense, so far the cost of Brexit is £800m per week, nearly 3 times as much as membership of the EU and for what, restricted trade, border controls, massively increased red tape etc. etc. etc.
"So all the "advantages" are going to happen many years down the line, fat lot of fucking good that is, we were promised so much."
Wow thats desperate. So you want me to list the benefits, but not the benefits already seen because you dont like that. I can see why your not convinced there are benefits.
"So UK as a trading capital for Europe is obviously history as being out of the EU we are at a significant disadvantage and no EU companies will want the extra expense when cheaper to use EU alternatives are available."
And how well is that going so far? While in the EU they were desperate to move 'the city' out of London. We laughed at the EU when one of their idiots came over to 'take our banks away' which seriously disappointed them. The EU played hard ball for passporting rights and lost out (the UK said no). The EU keeps suggesting moving Euro clearing out of the UK and then banks in the EU have to explain how that would take the Eurozone to a whole new low.
It goes back to the idea of shooting themselves in the foot if the EU wants to cut itself off from the global financial centre of Europe, #2 in the world.
"If they are so blatant and available how come nobody can enumerate them, not a single fucking one!."
Not one! Just dont mention that one. Not a single one! But dont mention that one. Not fucking one! But dont mention that one. You are funny.
"It's a joke at your expense"
That you reject benefits but then tell me there aint any? Your so funny!
"so far the cost of Brexit is £800m per week"
What is that including? Does it include the transition period after we should have left? How does that compare with the covid bailout? About €750bn
...the benefits already seen...
This is getting ridiculous - what benefit already seen, there are none that I am aware of. Please enumerate them.
...What is that including?
Nothing, just the cost of detaching ourselves from the economy of scale so we now will need to pay far more just to replicate what was amortised over the whole EU.
We have now in the few years since the vote spent more money on Brexit than the sum of all our contributions to the EU in the 40 odd years we were a member, also we got a large proportion of that money back as regional development grants, billions of pounds to deprived regions like South Wales.
Quiz: if this government had a spare billion do you think it would go to A) Regional development or B) Cut the upper rate of tax.
You go on about the (intangible) gains of Brexit but how about the losses, we got a lot from the EU and very little of that will be reproduced by Westminster.
"This is getting ridiculous - what benefit already seen, there are none that I am aware of. Please enumerate them."
I agree this is ridiculous. Just read the thread where you have literally said not to mention the benefits but you are not aware of any benefits. That totals this discussion until your able to discuss.
"You go on about the (intangible) gains of Brexit but how about the losses"
This is a point that can be discussed but only once your willing to count both sides. That you seem to consider the benefits intangible yet I am sure you wont say that about the losses.
That you seem to consider the benefits intangible yet I am sure you wont say that about the losses.
What are the advantages, I have asked and asked and asked again for you to list them but you still cannot or will not, I wonder why?
The losses are far from intangible, £billions in regional development, common standards which are necessary if we want equal trade, economy of scale, freedom of movement and much more.
I remember what the UK was like before we joined the EU, a total economic disaster, then entirely due to our membership of the EU we rebuilt the economy enough for some people to forget or ignore the huge contribution the EU made to our recovery.
"What are the advantages, I have asked and asked and asked again for you to list them but you still cannot or will not, I wonder why?"
You asked. I answered. You said I cant count the advantages mentioned. And then cry you see no advantages (except the ones you ignore). Another amusing one is the removal of the tampon tax which fools marched on London when London couldnt remove it because of EU rules.
"The losses are far from intangible, £billions in regional development, common standards which are necessary if we want equal trade, economy of scale, freedom of movement and much more."
And if I was inclined to react as you have I would say 'I disagree, so apart from them what losses? See you cant list any'. Do you see why your perception is way off yet? Go back and read my comments, I have listed you benefits. Then we might be able to have a reasonable discussion.
Hi, here's one from today:
UK flight compensation plan will slash average payouts
Government says move is a ‘Brexit win’ but figures suggest average sum will drop from £220 to about £23.60
A tremendous advantage, for the airlines, for consumers not so much.
"Since I may be a little dimwitted, can you put a numbered list of all advantages from Brexit, with a link to the source?"
1. Covid vaccine procurement. Very extremely politely worded by the BBC- https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/explainers-52380823
The EU fell behind not only the UK but also the US and Israel. This is the vaccine expected to reopen economies but also save lives. The UK signed for delivery 3 months earlier (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jan/26/head-of-astrazeneca-confirms-uk-has-prior-claim-on-vaccine) and the UK had priority due to the contracts signed. The EU first tried to accuse companies of not meeting their EU contracts but that was rejected in court (https://www.penningtonslaw.com/news-publications/latest-news/2021/best-reasonable-efforts-eu-and-astrazeneca-in-dispute-over-interpretation) especially as the EU doesnt seem to understand their contract.
After forgetting the brexit deal made and how important Ireland was to the EU they dropped plans to implement the hard border when reminded by Ireland and the UK (https://www.ft.com/content/c678dc02-c5f5-4717-a7ca-43c0ba3f2b44). Various other incidents attacking companies, ill conceived raids and so on resulted in some manufacturers turning away from the EU and negotiating direct with member countries (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9498895/Covid-19-Valneva-scraps-talks-EU-bosses-wanting-buy-Covid-vaccine.html).
Unfortunately some people seem hung up on a minor technicality that the EU may have permitted countries to do it themselves but thats just the UK supremacist view that we are better run than other member countries- Italy, Germany and others had already started the process -but then stopped, at the EU's request.: https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/one-year-after-brexit-britain-is-reaping-the-benefits-of-independence
2. Tampon tax. This is more amusement than effect but a protest went on in London to scrap a tax the EU law wont let them remove (this is a funny crying article about it- https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/dec/31/tampon-tax-government-axes-vat-on-sanitary-products). Note that the victory has led to crying.
3. Sovereignty. For some reason this is both accepted and rejected and sometimes in the same conversation with a remainer, because its an uncomfortable truth. Leaving the EU frees the UK from the EU hence regains sovereignty. To argue against this is to argue against the hypocritical EU 'European of the year' (https://inews.co.uk/opinion/michel-barnier-u-turn-french-sovereignty-brexit-twist-1197242).
Those are fairly easy ones to establish since everyone knew that leaving the EU would require some adjustment of the economy as it was stuck in the protectionist block. Yet fairly instant tangible and not really debatable advantages have been shown to already exist only 1 year after leaving the project.
1) As stated many times, even by you, the UK could have gone alone on that while in the EU. We have since fallen behind many states so any gains have dissipated. Yes lives were saved but nowhere near as many that were lost by government incompetence and corruption around PPE and delays in introducing measures and worst of all, inconsistency from the government.
2) Did you read the Guardian article you linked?
... in 2016 ... the European parliament had voted unanimously to start the regulatory process to allow any EU country to abolish any tampon tax ... actually, Brexit has made it worse, because if we were to have stayed in the EU, then this piece of legislation would have gone through… then any EU member would be able to axe the tax, not just the UK...
So without Brexit not only would women in the UK benefit but all over the EU. Definitely not a Brexit benefit for women in general. Had we remained this legislation could have been passed a few years ago.
3) Good grief, Sovereignty shared is not sovereignty lost. We gain nothing regards to sovereignty when in or out of the EU. It's a straw man argument.
"As stated many times, even by you, the UK could have gone alone on that while in the EU"
So you are a UK supremacist. Where other countries like Germany dropped their plans you think the UK government is so much better that we would have gone our own way. And thats before we look at EU actions after failing of trying to steal vaccines.
"We have since fallen behind many states so any gains have dissipated"
Some states, we are still ahead of the EU in vaccination (last I checked) which is due to the UK being as vaccinated as its willing to be and member countries placing their own vaccine orders because the EU screwed up (its like you cant read). That is not a dissipated advantage, its life saving and hasnt done reputational damage with countries and companies as the EU self inflicted through their actions. We are in an endemic not pandemic situation. Continued gains.
"Yes lives were saved but nowhere near as many that were lost by government incompetence"
Are you amusingly claiming this is an EU competence because if so then members with high death rates would be blamed on the EU (which is unfair). Each country acted on their own with varying degrees of success. Are you gonna claim the UK in the EU wouldnt have made the same domestic decisions? It wasnt an EU competence.
"So without Brexit not only would women in the UK benefit but all over the EU."
So the slow moving effort to remove the tax through the EU (and done quickly upon leaving) is stalled and stopped because??? EU sucks? This is why I thought it funny and pointed out the crying from the article when the UK achieved the job when we could aka out of the EU.
You can now explain why the EU is so incompetent that they need the UK (UK supremacist again I see) to fix the EU? Can the EU not resolve this themselves as the UK did upon leaving?
"Sovereignty shared is not sovereignty lost"
So you are arguing against the chief EU brexit negotiator and European of the year? You argue against the guy who represented the EU in the negotiations and tell him he is wrong? What is this sharing garbage, the EU makes the decisions so the sovereignty is given to them. I dont know if you truly dont understand or just cant admit this fact because its not really been in question for some time.
is stalled and stopped because?
Sure the UK was pushing this but did you not notice it passed unanimously.
It's not just the UK that has been damaged by Brexit, the EU has had to spend resources both financial and the time of representatives who would otherwise be working on legislation are tied up trying to make sense of HMG's constantly changing position. Also it's just possible that the disruption to normal operations caused by C-19 might be involved.
I'd like to make one thing abundantly clear - As much as I dislike the whole Brexit thing it would have been possible to get some good out of it if we had a government with skilled negotiators who knew exactly what was needed, were well prepared and had the best interests of the UK and her population at heart.
But we didn't, we had a bunch of self-serving idiots who kept changing their demands and expected the EU to roll over which considering the EU actually prepared and had negotiators who knew what they were doing while our idiots did nothing until the very last minute, was never going to happen.
"It will be the easiest trade negotiation in history" A lie then and a lie now.
I noticed how you seem to have avoided answering by number and quietly dropped 2 of the points you are struggling with. That would be your UK supremacist views over covid and your argument that Michel Barnier is wrong.
"Sure the UK was pushing this but did you not notice it passed unanimously."
So it was approved by committee to talk about it? What is the current status of the tax in the EU? In the UK the government was willing to remove the tax and when we left it was removed.
Now consider the EU rejects proposals to do something or talk about something. Yet a member country wants to do it.
"As much as I dislike the whole Brexit thing it would have been possible to get some good out of it if we had a government"..."and had the best interests of the UK and her population at heart."
Apart from the disliking brexit bit I agree but probably in a different way than you. We had brexit negotiators who put the UK first but were overruled by May who was desperate for BINO and gave to EU demands. It wasnt helped by opposition parties making their own side negotiations to try and remain. In the end the last hope to leave was Boris who only took the brexit position to win votes. So yes a government who put the UK before their trough would have brought a better outcome.
Here is the list of benefits as declared by uk.gov and published 3 days ago:
Freeports, blue passports and imperial weights & measures feature in this rather lacklustre list of things. Most of which could be achieved without actually pulling out of the EU.
A sad indictment of a successful smoke and mirrors campaign to make the UK a more corruptible financial cesspit for the wealthy.
It's "you are" or "you're". See, I did bother to skim-read your drivel.
So, the only benefit you can come up with, is slightly speedier vaccination against a pandemic that arose some three-and-a-half years after the brexit vote. Well, I suppose claiming clairvoyance isn't beyond the bounds of the sort of nonsense I have come to expect.
It's probably worth noting at this point that our pandemic preparedness plans were scrapped by Johnson in order to pay for brexit, about a year before the pandemic hit. How's that for reading the future?
"slightly speedier vaccination against a pandemic that arose some three-and-a-half years after the brexit vote."
Slightly? Wow. And yes the pandemic was 3 years after the vote. As one of the EU presidents said Britain is a speed boat and the EU a supertanker. Thats while being criticized for not doing a good job by the true believers of the EU project.
"Well, I suppose claiming clairvoyance isn't beyond the bounds of the sort of nonsense I have come to expect."
Who claimed clairvoyance? Are you making stuff up because you cant think of anything better?
"It's probably worth noting at this point that our pandemic preparedness plans were scrapped by Johnson in order to pay for brexit, about a year before the pandemic hit. How's that for reading the future?"
Wait a minute is that true? Are you saying that Johnson scrapped our pandemic preparedness plans and still managed to get the vaccine roll-out achieved while the EU sat and watched as the US, UK and Israel left them in the dust! No wonder member states were so pissed!
Wait a minute is that true? Are you saying that Johnson scrapped our pandemic preparedness plans and still managed to get the vaccine roll-out achieved while the EU sat and watched as the US, UK and Israel left them in the dust!
No, I'm saying that Johnson scrapped our pandemic preparedness plan, which led to the urgent need to acquire lots of PPE because we'd run down the existing stocks, or allowed them to expire. As everyone can see (except perhaps you), this was an unmitigated disaster, leading to such glories as nurses having to use bin-bags as makeshift equipment, and billions of pounds lost from the treasury to fraud, as widely reported.
As for the vaccine development and roll-out. Besides allowing for safety trials to be fast-tracked (which was also done elsewhere), and chucking some cash at it, our government has absolutely nothing to do with this, despite Johnson's repeated claims that it was all enabled by the government. The someowhat inferior Oxford AstraZenica vaccine was developed in partnership between the University of Oxford and the multinational pharmaceutical company AstraZenica, hence the name. I doubt there is one single member of the government who could give a decent explanation of vaccine science to the layman, which is why their claim to be intimately involved in the process is so laughable.
as for the Pfizer vaccine, well, we got that first because we overpaid for it. The price we are paying for it has since gone up even higher, as reported a few weeks ago on Dispatches. That's money that's leaving the country as well.
All of this is, of course moot, as there would have been nothing preventing our government from doing the exact same thing whilst still being an EU member (see also: free ports, which we had at one point whilst in the EU). Member nations just chose to use the EU mechanism for doing it, to gain the economies of scale, which we could not as a third country. Don't allow yourself to be duped by gaslighting from someone who has been sacked more than once for lying.
As it happens, several EU countries have since not only caught up with our vaccination rates, but overtaken them, largely because of the number of ill-educated absolutely idiotic anti-vaxxers in this country. It seems allowing yourself to be taken for a ride is a national pastime.
Anyway, the tl;dr; of this post is, if you can find a way to twist and misrepresent a total fuck up and incompetence, caused pretty much directly by brexit as a brexit win, then there really is no point in discussing this further. People who wilfully ignore facts cannot be swayed by them.
"As everyone can see (except perhaps you), this was an unmitigated disaster, leading to such glories as nurses having to use bin-bags as makeshift equipment"
Probably didnt help that the PPE we did have was sent to the wrong places until the army was pulled in to send it to where it was needed. But I dunno why you assume I think it was ok? Again you seem to be arguing with your delusion and not with my comments.
"Besides allowing for safety trials to be fast-tracked (which was also done elsewhere), and chucking some cash at it, our government has absolutely nothing to do with this, despite Johnson's repeated claims that it was all enabled by the government"
So the question remains that if our gov did nothing (bar the things you note) and the US, UK and Israel managed to get vaccine ordered and rolled out why couldnt the EU? Because the fault was the EU's for their handling of the situation.
It seems the difference was that the EU didnt sign the orders, was slow to approve vaccine, turned down offers of more for political reasons, did not understand their contracts, stole vaccine, nearly put a border in Ireland because they forgot about the deal they just negotiated, raided suppliers only to find vaccine supplies for the EU and accused suppliers for EU failings.
"The someowhat inferior Oxford AstraZenica vaccine"
How do you conclude inferior? One of the suggested reasons the UK isnt suffering the wave on wave and crisis of continental Europe is that the AZ vaccine seems to provide longer lasting protection.
"I doubt there is one single member of the government who could give a decent explanation of vaccine science to the layman, which is why their claim to be intimately involved in the process is so laughable."
I doubt any politicians UK or EU would be able to give a laymen explanation of vaccine science. Their involvement being at the government level of giving them the resources and permissions to get the job done. The difference being clear in how the EU didnt fare as well as others.
"as for the Pfizer vaccine, well, we got that first because we overpaid for it. The price we are paying for it has since gone up even higher"
Overpaid or paid to get some? And its a good job the UK situation is now endemic instead of pandemic if the cost is going up.
"All of this is, of course moot, as there would have been nothing preventing our government from doing the exact same thing whilst still being an EU member"
That is the UK supremacist argument. I am discussing this with others on another topic so feel free to go join in if you have the answers they dont seem to have- https://forums.theregister.com/forum/all/2022/01/28/horizons_response/#c_4406093
"As it happens, several EU countries have since not only caught up with our vaccination rates, but overtaken them, largely because of the number of ill-educated absolutely idiotic anti-vaxxers in this country."
And that is again to point out the failure of the EU government but the success of the member state governments who belatedly placed their orders and managed to achieve what the EU didnt. The vaccination rate of the EU still below that of the UK but how much of that is personal choice (you say antivax) I dont know.
"People who wilfully ignore facts cannot be swayed by them."
I see we hold the same opinion there. The interesting issue with this is that the fragile belief in the EU is so weak that a few of you have to keep claiming there are no benefits of brexit, even when its possibly saved your life or those around you. You cannot seem to accept any benefits exist while maintaining your belief that the UK would be better in the EU than out. Otherwise you would be able to recognise a benefit while still holding the opinion remain would be better.
Conversely I do recognise there were some benefits of being in the EU. They just didnt outweigh the cost (in my opinion).
The EU Covid bailout fund, otherwise known as NextGenerationEU is a mere 806.9bn. This is small potatoes and really just a mis-direction, so that people don’t notice the much larger liabilities the EU has actually taken on, in a huge variety of special instruments.
We’ll start with the European Investment Bank, currently lending out about 444bn, of which it is borrowing 435bn from the EU. Now, with a name like that, you are meant to assume that it is lending to European infrastructure projects? Errrr, largely not. Lending more to projects in Africa than Eastern Europe. Lending more to social schemes that develop training, than to physical infrastructure. Perhaps the lending is sound, perhaps not. But it’s risk on the EU that isn’t recognised on any balance sheet, and if any of it defaulted there’s literally nowhere for the money to repaid from.
And then there’s the Target2 facility, where the European Central Bank currently owes 340bn to the Member States Central Banks, collectively.
That money is *simply lost*. It ultimately comes from losses *already incurred* on the QE lending. More of that later.
Now we start getting to the “clever” bit. The Commission still don’t have even a fraction of the budget they need to go on spending the way they do. No Problem!
What they’ve done is notice that they are *going to* get a very large income over the 2021-2027 timeframe from: Issuing Carbon Credits, tax on packaging waste, and getting windfall tax income and fines from Google etc, or as they call it in their own documentation “Own resource based on the reallocated profits of very large multinational companies”. That’s genuinely what they call it.
Now, they don’t actually *have* this money, so what they’ve done is *estimate* over that 7 year timeframe, it’s about *960bn*.Then they are getting the Member States to underwrite that estimate, so that if the actual income is less than 960bn, the Member States are on the hook to make up the difference. And now they issue that 960bn as a Bond directly into the global markets, marked up as AAA because it is risk-free underwritten by the Member States, allowing them to have the money *now* rather than wait for whatever laws might or might not give them income streams.
Is that OK? Does this scheme feel….dodgy, in any way to you?
Now, and I hope you don’t think we’ve reached the really *risky* liabilities yet. Not. At. All.
There’s the ECB Asset Purchase Scheme, otherwise known as QE. Here’s where it gets scary
They hold, wait for it, well over 6.2 trillion risk on their balance sheet.
If any of that defaults, and I mean *any* of it, God help the eurozone.
The problem is, that for political reasons, they have *defined* the risk as lending only to risk-free entities at the risk-free rate. The interest rate they are getting is -0.5%. So, there is literally not a single Eurocent allocated anywhere in the system to cover the cost of a single potential default. And in fact the APP must find 30bn *per year* from nowhere, to finance the cost of *lending* that. Which they don’t have.
So, Ta Da!
The news story everyone is following:
The Covid bailout fund is 800bn!
The news story people should be following:
The EU have unfunded outstanding risk of over ten times that (8.4trillion), plus have already lost 340bn cash in unfunded debt liability over the past couple of years, being held off-balance-sheet at the ECB, with zero income means to earn any of that back.
The whole Global Financial Crisis of 2008 was really only a 2 trillion crisis. *This* is going to be *really* bad.
Thanks for the links, very interesting read. I wonder how the liabilities will be split between the EU and Eurozone. The bailout fund is sure to make it more difficult for other members to leave the project but if they are that close to the implosion anyway there may be no escape for them.
You would write less rubbish if you started to read a bit more before you write.
From where did you get what you write - "with a name like that, you are meant to assume that it is lending to European infrastructure projects".
Quoting the Wikipedia we get a more proper view:
"The EIB is a not-for-profit organisation which funds projects that achieve the policy aims of the European Union through loans, guarantees and technical assistance.
The EIB focuses on the areas of climate, environment, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), development, cohesion and infrastructure. It has played a large role in providing finance during crises including the 2008 financial crash and the COVID-19 pandemic. Since its inception in 1958 the EIB has invested over one trillion euros. It primarily funds projects that ‘cannot be entirely financed by the various means available in the individual Member States’.
The EIB is rated triple-A, the most credit-worthy rating on the bond market, by ‘The Big Three’ credit rating agencies Moody's, Standard and Poor's, and Fitch.
The EIB is one of the biggest financiers of green finance in the world.".
On a less serious note, perhaps It's not always a good idea to read too much into a name, take the United Kingdom or Great Britain for instance and actually the European Investment Bank is an investment bank.
Did you actually read what you wrote?
The EIB is rated triple-A blah blah, by Moodys etc etc. Exactly the same ratings then as Lehman Brothers and CDO tranches of subprime mortgages pre-2008. Do you think there’s any possibility at all that they could under-estimate the risk on extremely complex financial transactions that they don’t understand?
I’m well aware that EIB is not-for-profit. Since it has made no profits, it makes it a very good question indeed where the money would come from, if just one of their major loans went bad. Sooner or later, *every* investment scheme makes a serious error of judgement. However good they are, and however many precautions they take. The only defence against that, is to build a margin of safety, and bank lots of profits in the good times.
One day, some otherwise excellent banker at the EIB will make an error of judgement, and have to ask for a bailout from the EU. That’s not a criticism of them at all. It’s a necessity of the way they are incorporated. The criticism is of the EU for carrying that risk of bailout, on behalf of their taxpayers, without any provision to cover it, and hiding that fact. That’s the error.
Worth mentioning, Lars, hyper-critical of the U.K., that we from the U.K.,and also Iceland, gained this experience the hard way in 2008. Both of our countries had oversized financial sectors, which our governments back-stopped with guarantees. Large banks that had existed for over a century that surely could not fail. So, the financial guarantees were known about by bankers, but essentially hidden. The Crash happened, and ta-da! The losses were unveiled, and U.K. and Icelandic taxpayers were on the hook to pay hundreds of billions of bank losses, for risks that we were entirely unaware we were taking. It destroyed the Icelanders, and significantly decreased U.K. standard of living.
The investment risks that the EU are now carrying hidden on their balance sheets today, are *four times larger* than what hit us in 2008. They have been built up entirely in just 14 years, and mostly *before the pandemic*. You should listen to us. This is going to be biblically catastrophic. And yes, when you go done, we will probably get burned badly too.
>>It is set to give ministers more power to change retained EU law more quickly than before, without needing votes in Parliament.
Allowing ministers to change law without requiring a vote is never going to end well.
It is bad enough, IMHO, that Statutory Instruments can be abused but to have a legal means for ministers to alter just about anything they please (I doubt the proposed law will list the acts it applies to.. so therefore it actually applies to all acts) on a whim, relegates us from a (notional) democracy to something far less appealing.
Taking back control from the impending transparency and oversight and thoroughly burying it. It's called Levelling Up. It's got nothing to do with you or I, other than being further sources of income for our ruling classes such as the Minister for the 17th Century, Ree-Smogg.
They already had Henry VIII clauses in the EU Withdrawal Act. I distinctly remember one of the reasons for uproar was that a minister could extend the sunset clause at whim as it was subject to the same Henry VIII powers.
However it would be fitting if this shower couldn't even do evil right because they forgot to change the sunset clause and now they have to go back and get the Henry VIII powers added to another bill.
Not voters. As per usual this has very little to do with voters as the voters are likely not going to be asked anything for a good few years. Especially not with the rulers so low in the polls.
But I suspect you are right that this is some red meat thrown to the people who do get a say, a few dozen Conservative MPs and
oligarchs party donors that are trying to replace Johnson with someone they prefer more.
That's how they got rid of Cameron, May and ultimately Johnson too. A threat of "Move to our position or else..." has been very effective. Johnson's prefers to stay in No 10 at all cost so the country's policy is essentially run by a few dozen hardlines.
Not quite true. The "few dozen hardliners" would have no leverage if the rest of the Tory party were willing to stand up to them.
As far as the bulk of Tories are concerned, the name of the game now is "hold on and hope that Labour implodes again". Which means they've got to avoid imploding their own party. Is Johnson more dangerous than a new leader? - is the calculus that has to be thought out and reviewed pretty much daily.
So Johnson is trying to improve his popularity by reviving "Brexit" as an issue (which, if he's lucky, will also lure Labour into their own split). Polls in a few weeks will show how it's working. If there's a significant backlash against the measures, they'll be dropped like a leg of lamb to a pursuing crocodile.
Is Johnson more dangerous than a new leader?
I suspect the argument is more like "If we ditch Boris, we'll get Sunak or Truss. Better to keep Sunak as chancellor since there's no obvious good replacement, and Truss would be no improvement as PM."
An inanimate pile of shit would be an improvement on the current PM. For one thing, it wouldn't lie and lie and lie. Or take backhanders. Or break the law. Or run a chum(p)ocracy.
Mind you it would be hard to tell the difference between an inanimate pile of shit and most of the current cabinet.
As far as the bulk of Tories are concerned, the name of the game now is "hold on and hope that Labour implodes again". Which means they've got to avoid imploding their own party. Is Johnson more dangerous than a new leader? - is the calculus that has to be thought out and reviewed pretty much daily.
But what have Labour done recently? They've not recovered from the last implosion yet, coming up with absolutely nothing of note recently. I know it's normal for opposiiton parties to go to sleep for a couple of years after a general election, especially after a heavy defeat, but the Labour's profile at the moment rivals that of a ballistic missile submarine.
Sure, they've taken the lead in polls recently, but that isn't due to anything they have done. It's just the last three months or so have been one self-inflicted wound after another for the Conservatives. Not so much shooting themselves in the foot as aiming a P90 straight down and emptying magazine after magazine.
If you want a competent government you need an effective opposition. Without that the party in power (particularly the Tories, Labour is good at publicly fighting with itself) can afford to be too self-indulgent, and you end up with the utter mess we see at the moment.
But what have Labour done recently?
Absolutely nothing, but that's really all an opposition party has to do. Labour have never learned this.
They think Tony Blair won because New Labour was popular, but Tony Blair actually won because John Major's government was imploding on a daily basis and could probably have been beaten by the Dagenham Girl Pipers led by Russell Harty,
Similarly they think David Cameron won (almost) in 2010 because Tory policies were popular rather than because Gordon Brown was a national embarrassment and they think that they lost the last general election because Jeremy Corbyn was unpopular rather than because the whole country just wanted to get the Brexit delays over. Though to be fair, Corbyn's own equivocation didn't help there.
So what have Labour got now? A bland nothing of a leader and an even blander parliamentary party of Tory-boy lites with no policies whatsoever on anything. But that's all they need, because in due course the Tories will fuck up again and Labour will get in for long enough to show that they don't have a clue either.
I guess that if the opposition appears more competent and less crooked than the government, that might do it?
Here in Portugal, the incumbents won an absolute majority as they have handled covid reasonably competent, had no major scandals, and the vast majority of voters wanted to keep the extreme right far from power.
Here in Portugal, the incumbents won an absolute majority as they have handled covid reasonably competent, had no major scandals, and the vast majority of voters wanted to keep the extreme right far from power.
You say that, but worryingly, after the second-place centre-right party in second place, those extreme far-right nutjobs were sitting there in third.
Please don't get complacent. Portugal is a lovely country, and although the fascists did build some very pretty buildings in Porto in the '30s and '40s, before finally being kicked out in the late '60s, fascism was a high price to pay for some nice architecture. Watch your backs to make sure they're not creeping up on you again.
I believe the result is partially due to wavering center voters supporting center-left to ensure center-right not having the option of deals with the extreme right.
And a couple of nits: the old regime was totalitarian and conservative, but strictly speaking not fascist. And it only fell in 1974
Good. Lets get back to good old British red tape. Down with rouban rouge, bürokratie and nastro rosso. I plan to set up a new firm called 'Imperial Tape' immediately to import high quality 繁文缛节 from China, via my brother in law's brass plate in the Cayman Islands.
You are wrong, CE only has a temporary exemption for being suitable for the UK market. Moving forward you need UKCA in the UK and if you want to be able to sell into Europe you will need CE. You can't self cert UKCA only available through very expensive testing houses.
Self certification is certainly permitted, visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/using-the-ukca-marking and scroll down to the bottom section titled "Legislative areas where self-declaration of conformity for UKCA marking is permitted".
In practice if you have CE certification, you can self certify by listing the relevant UKCA conformity that matches the CE conformity you have on a like for like basis.
Going to have to correct you there. CE is perfectly fine for the NI market and manufacturers don't need to bother with UKNI. On the other hand UKNI is no good for the EU market.
And why is it called UKCA then if it's just for GB? Who knows. Anyway, whatever the reason, it's another Brexit win!
Grenfell wasn't caused by scrapping regulations, it was caused by regulations that were unfit for their stated purpose, which is a circumstance that seems to slide under the rug with alarming regularity these days. Bad regulations are worse than no regulations at all; they create a false sense of security and safety, whilst giving everyone involved a way to sign off and declare it not their problem when the inevitable disaster strikes.
Whether the tories are up to the challenge of fixing that isn't my place to say (though I can guess the answer), but the reflexive, unthinking yell of "regulations are always good!" is no better than yelling "regulations are always bad!" whenever the topic of regulatory reform comes up.
I agree that a major issue is cutting the inspection budget. Did you mean inspection (of the tower, by the Fire Brigade)? Or did you mean enforcement (random checks of manufacturer tests? HSE? Trading Standards?)
And was that *the* cause of why those people died? Or just “a failing”.
I just don’t know, after all that inquiry, because nobody actually seemed to want to change anything. All anybody cared about was who was going to pay for replacing cladding on all the other blocks, rather than anything more fundamental.
It’s a bit like seeing a clown car driving down the road with bits falling off and belching clouds of smoke, and a policeman pulls it over for having MOT fail tires. The clown gets out, replaces the tire on the side facing the policeman, and is waved on his way.
Except, it’s not funny at all.
And its not helped by cladding companies repeating the lie that aluminium doesn't burn.
In fact, I believe that even the fire "experts" at the inquiry kept blaming the construction method of the panels allowing the insulation inside to be exposed to the fire, rather than acknowledging that not only does aluminum burn well, but adding water results in a hydrogen fire. There are some who say that only foil will burn but in reality it just depends on whether you can generate enough initial heat to remove the natural or anodised coating. Once ignited, aluminium will be as destructive as thermite. Indeed it is used in Alice rocket engines.
In a high school chemistry class many years ago, the teacher stepped out for a minute and a fellow student decided to heat their metal pencil sharpener in a Bunsen flame "to see what would happen". As it happens, the metal was a magnesium aluminium alloy - the magnesium ignited, which in turn ignited the aluminium.
The eye-searing white light caused my colleague to panic, and he threw it (along with the tongs) into a stainless steel sink that happened to be full of water. This created a very Dr. Who like scene, with an astoundingly bright light shining up out of the sink, accompanied by the water furiously bubbling from the hydrogen as the burning metal stripped the oxygen from the water.
Alas, the spectacle only lasted a few seconds, but when it was done, there was a ghostly outline of a pencil sharpener made out of tiny spheres of iron (I think, from the impurities in the alloy) welded to the bottom of the sink.
I was almost going to say that I was taught that almost everything will burn except noble gases and oxidisers. However, I have since come across this article in New Scientist which shows that if you try hard enough and have the right oxidiser, you can "burn" noble gases and even (shock, horror) oxygen itself.
Not very likely to happen as a result of poor regulations though.
Sorry about the iconic abuse but it is somehow suitable.
And its not helped by cladding companies repeating the lie that aluminium doesn't burn.
The question is not whether aluminium burns, but whether it burns in that application. Throw some crumpled up aluminium foil on a fire and see how well it burns. Spoiler alert: it doesn't, though it may oxidise. To work at all, ALICE fuel needs to have nanoscale aluminium particles in it because ablation of the oxide layer in larger piece - like cladding panels, for example - just takes too much heat.
Steel burns very nicely. Would you be worried about steel cladding?
Glass conducts electricity very nicely. How do you feel about light bulbs?
It's just not as simple as that. Sure, aluminium will react exothermically with iron oxide ... if the particle sizes are right and the proportions are right and you can achieve the very high ignition temperature required.
While it's clear that the foam plastic part of the Grenfell Tower insulation burned horribly well, I have seen nothing which suggests that the aluminium caught fire. Can you point me at some evidence to show that it did? Simply oxidising fast, like a beer can in a bonfire, doesn't count, of course.
I'm not sure anyone's claiming that Grenfell was an aluminium fire, and, as you say, aluminium has a high ignition temperature largely due to the oxide layer. I've seen the aftermath of finely divided aluminium spontaneously catching fire in a fume hood at room temperature, so can very much assure you that it will happily catch fire at the temperatures involved at Grenfell, but as you rightly say, the conditions have to be right.
The claim, though, that aluminium doesn't burn, is demonstrably false. Under the right conditions, it will give its electrons away like it has just discovered covalent bonding.
Under some conditions, it will probably act as quite an effective fire block as well, because of that oxide layer. I don't actually know what form the aluminium cladding in Grenfell took and whether it aided or retarded the fire. It sounds like it may have acted like a chimney rather than burning. The structure and thickness of the panels would be the governing factor in how it acted. For example, if it was sintered with a thin foil layer (to make it lighter) it could conceivably have burned quite well. Solid 5mm thick plates, on the other hand, would probably not.
I do know, from the reports, that the cladding wasn't properly fire tested. That's all that can really be said.
It's just not as simple as that.
Well, true, you need to measure a stoichiometric amount (which IIRC, works out at a 3:1 ratio by weight) and stick a short piece of magnesium ribbon in the top.
I've seen it done, at school, done it myself, at university, and taught others to do it as a demonstration of the thermite reaction to school students to pique their interest in chemistry. It really is pretty simple. It's also pretty dangerous (especially the safe handling and storage of aluminium powder), so, in all seriousness, don't.
Once ignited, aluminium will be as destructive as thermite.
Thermite is, in fact, an aluminium fire. It's just that rather than using the easily available oxygen from the air, it's stripping it from iron oxide, so it could be argued that thermite is less on fire than an aluminium fire (which will also happily burn underwater).
>rather than acknowledging that not only does aluminum burn well
For example HMS Sheffield.
Interestingly, I see aluminium and other lightweight metals that have "interesting" reactions to heat and fire are being used in the construction of warships by various navies these days.
I don't know about the EU regulations on such things, but in Scotland the relevant regulations would have prevented the horrors of Grenfell.
Unfortunately Grenfell is a typical sorry tale of blame, greed, profiteering and fear all rolled together into a horrific mess that should never have happened. It's a total tragedy and an utter embarrassment that the systems got as bad as it did and that something like this had to happen before anything was done about it. So much was due to the privatisation (self certification) of critical safety points in the overall process, largely fed by greed and a desire to de-regulate things in favour of house builders and related industries.
That's because EU had nothing to regulate on... The safety regulation that were already in place in EU countries were more severe than the UK ones.
Sure in the 90s when some people stared isolating buildings we had polystyrene panels with an external plastic or whatever here... But the regulations changed pretty fast after a few fires. ( that thankfully weren't on the Grenfell scale )
From what is being done on my home here in France, they are still more severe. ( no aluminium coating in housing, rock wool ( 50cm ) every between every floor whe using polystyrene as main isolating component, external coating must be cement on a mesh thick enough to avoid catching fire from a trash can fire, and so on.
s it impertinent to point out that the Grenfell disaster happened well before Brexit, and the EU did nothing to address the safety regulations that are already less onerous than those in the USA?
Is that, just possibly, because the EU never actually had the power to force us to put those safety regulations in place, and parliament remained sovereign all along, and was always responsible for creating the laws of this country? Who knew?
"Is that, just possibly, because the EU never actually had the power to force us to put those safety regulations in place, ..."
Correct. As far as I'm aware EU regs are mostly about test standards for building products and some product performance standards. Building regulations (what you construct with the products) are generally up to national governments.
For example - when are sprinklers required in dwellings?
- England: if > 38 metres high, changing to if > 11 metres
- Scotland: all flats/social housing, etc. (until recently only if > 18 m)
- Wales: all dwellings (since 2013)
International example: the standards for front door thresholds (yup, I've done CPD on that) are stricter/better in England than in the Netherlands.
So, nothing to do with the EU.
Ummm…the horrendously not-fit-for-purpose Fire regs *are* the European regs.
It’s still not clear to me which was really the most critical Grenfell problem.
Is it that the Fire regs are completely toothless in practice and can be gamed.
Or that the manufacturer was a bunch of psychopathic shysters who just lied, so it didn’t matter what the Fire regs said.
Or that one or both of the surveyor and Council architect were lazy and slopy-shouldered who failed to do their job.
Or that the Council finance side semi-deliberately colluded with the manufacturer to save money, and overrode all the technical specs.
And I think it’s difficult to avoid noticing that out of all the rich peoples apartment blocks recently slathered in cladding across London and posh city centres….. the one that actually torched and killed its occupants was the Council block occupied mostly by Afro-Caribbeans.
But, if and only if you think the primary problem was the Fire Regs, then this was primarily an EU Fire Regs problem, because they set out the test methodology, and the rules how to combine the classification of different materials.
That doesn’t exonerate the U.K., as there was nothing stopping us making the rules tougher. But nevertheless, our statutory failure would consist only in failing to augment the EU rules with something more stringent.
"... by scrapping onerous safety regulations"
Which has little to do with Brexit. On the whole, EU regs apply to products (ladders, safety glasses, machines, etc.). The safety stuff people complain most about (very occasionally with justification) generally has to do with safety at work, i.e. processes - which are mostly covered by national rather than EU law. On the whole, UK health and safety regs are stricter than those in other countries and possibly better observed and enforced.
perhaps totally unrelated to the 4B given away in 50K covid loans, of which some 2.4B was written off, because 'urecoverable', again, totally unrelated to the fact they were simply easy scams.
p.s. I love those abbreviations, 4B here, 2.4B there...
@H in The Hague
"On the whole, UK health and safety regs are stricter than those in other countries and possibly better observed and enforced."
"On the whole" are apparently magical words, leave them out and the sentence becomes a bit of a yoke and simply very naive.
That remainds me of a woman who I think was working for the BBC who said on TV - "the British Parliamentary system is the envy of the whole world".
Such a nice thing to say but has it actually anything to do with the reality.
Cards on the table. I voted leave. And I have to admit that I have not read the whole article. I stopped at genetic editing.
However, I did not vote to be able to buy and eat "Frankenstein" food. Yes I know growers have been "editing" for hundreds of years. I don't care because they seem to actually know what they are doing.
But, G.M. food is common in the great U.S.A. /s. As are huge real meat steaks and huge real fat waistlines. But I digress.
For example, have you ever tasted the shite known as "cheese" over there?
And, as we now have an American Prime Minister, I suppose freak foods will soon be sold.
Thank fuck I am old enough to wake up in a morning and be surprised that I have actually woken up...
However, I did not vote to be able to buy and eat "Frankenstein" food.
But you did. You voted to give HMG powers to remove any or all of the protections that the EU provided.
You should really have asked yourself what would be the point of a government seeking that power if they didn't intend to use it, why would they intend to use it other than removing regulations intended to protect the public, whether removing such protections would harm the public and whether you were, in fact, a member of that public.
You're obviously not alone in having failed to ask yourself those questions. If it were only yourselves lumbered with the consequences I wouldn't be concerned. Unfortunately the rest of us are also affected.
Sometimes it's about the lesser evil. So the EU has it's own anti-GMO and other regulations like its anti-Marmite low salt directive. Or we're all meant to eat bugs instead of bacon. I suspect insect protein will soon get added to processed food if it works out cheaper than bulking it out with chicken or turkey protein. Whether it affects humans will get discovered later because it's a 'food additive', not a medicine.
So hopefully the UK can do it's own consumer protection. Then again, it's currently simplifying booze duty by changing wine from having 3 bands to 27. I guess that simplifies applying sin taxes to higher ABV stuff.
I get the feeling the problem would be in t'other direction. So EU has it's tariffs and duty, UK will have more. So I guess a bigger headache for UK importers.
I guess the saving grace is we still theoretically have more control, ie votes during the next general election. But that's still problematic, eg the EU and the UK's parties are all in line wrt energy policy.
Have a quick look at how much Tate & Lyle have been able to dictate the UK's food policy (from import tariffs to blocking big sugar awareness and reduction campaigns). Add to that foreign corporates such as Cargill that will use 55 Tufton Street front stores to funnel pressure and money to UK politicians to influence food policy.
I'm quite concerned that any new UK consumer protection regulation is not going to be about consumers but about producers. It's not as if consumers in the UK have any serious way to influence this as I doubt it's going to be a major issue a general election.
Once we've lowered UK food standards to match USA ones instead of EU ones, it'll be harder to avoid insects and rat shit even in unprocessed food.
Then again, we'll also have the "Freedom" to lower standards for insecticide use, so swings and roundabouts. Possibly rotten wooden swings and rusty roundabouts, because, again, "Freedom".
Deliberately adding insects is a separate question, and it's not as if work hasn't been done on edible insects, some of which have been used as foodstuffs for years.
Ah, the Guardianista fuelled myth that UK food standards will go lower and before you know it we will be guzzling chlorinated chicken.
Our antibiotic use is lower than the US and many EU countries.
Growth promoters were banished in the UK 10 years before the EU.
But we tail dock pigs more. We tooth clip pigs.
Its like everything, nuanced and mixed bag. EU have some factic acid washes, not needed in the UK due to the high standard in our slaughter halls.
But, carry on the hyperbole kids.
"That's because that's not what it's really about, the chlorine wash is the whataboutery argument that gets deployed in the hopes of distracting people from the real issue of animal welfare standards or lack their of."
That failure of understanding 'what its really about' is due to remainers who wet their pants about consuming chlorine washed chicken. I know this because if you go far enough back through my post history I had to provide links to show these terrified people that chlorine washed chicken was safe.
Only after facts beat out the FUD did the goal posts move to animal welfare. Which is to say that first world food deemed safe by both European and US authorities is not good enough for people to eat. Yet I wonder how many people making this complaint feel the poor in this country need help?
"You do realise that by ignoring my point on animal welfare, you're reinforcing it?"
I didnt ignore it. I pointed out very correctly that remainers cries against chlorinated chicken was their lack of knowledge that chlorine didnt make it dangerous and that salad is chlorine washed. You claim that its whataboutary being completely wrong since it was the remainers crying about it because it was chlorine washed. I responded and corrected many remainers on this forum about it. There was no misunderstanding. It was their concern. Then the goalposts shifted.
"The whole point is that it isn't deemed acceptable by the EU, that's why lowering our animal welfare standards to allow it's sale in the UK wasn't an issue before."
Ok, which brings the question of why its an issue now? I clearly addressed this-
"Which is to say that first world food deemed safe by both European and US authorities is not good enough for people to eat. Yet I wonder how many people making this complaint feel the poor in this country need help?"
The US has to chlorine wash chicked because of the conditions the chickens are kept in. It's not the wash itself, that just became the short hand for the entire food proudction process and you keep pretending it's just about the wash at the end. It's really about all the steps preceeding it that require the wash to be used and the EU authorities do not think this meat is good enough to eat or it would have been in our supermarkets before brexit.
icon cause we'll see if you can get it on the third go.
"The US has to chlorine wash chicked because of the conditions the chickens are kept in"
Ok which is where you were wrong. Jellied Eel mentioned the FUD around the chlorine wash and you used the 'fail' icon while talking about animal welfare. So you ignored all the FUD around the chlorine wash to change the subject to the moved goalposts.
So you are right why the chlorine wash is used but seem to have missed the dumb FUD that was spread about the complaint against the chlorine wash. Hopefully you might get it this time, hopefully.
"It's really about all the steps preceeding it that require the wash to be used and the EU authorities do not think this meat is good enough to eat or it would have been in our supermarkets before brexit."
The food is deemed good enough to eat by the US and European food agencies. The politicians in the protectionist block of the EU reject first world standards for food because of protectionism. When you say EU authorities you mean EU politicians which is not really an authority on food safety.
And once again you're pretending it's all about the wash. If a farmer in the UK treated their animals the was US farms can, they would probably go to prison. The use of the wash is a symptom of an entire sector that seeks to drive down standards including allowing the clear neglect of animals and subjecting them to inhumane practices to drive up profits. I have never moved the goal posts, you're carrying over discussions you've had with other people into this one. And for what is hopefully the final time, if the standards were acceptable in the EU then they would being produced and sold here already. They are not and I hope they never will be.
"And once again you're pretending it's all about the wash"
And once again you are pretending the FUD wasnt all about the wash. You are lying. You are beyond incorrect now you are actively pretending.
"I have never moved the goal posts, you're carrying over discussions you've had with other people into this one."
Erm... did you not post this one?- https://forums.theregister.com/forum/all/2022/01/31/brexit_freedom_bill/#c_4407143
Its your username. And in it you reorient the discussion from the FUD over the wash, which was real and about the wash, to animal welfare. I have tried to be accommodating and discuss that too with you while pointing out that you are wrong about the FUD because I had to explain this too people and link them to the European Food Standards webpage explaining it was safe because they didnt understand. The FUD was real. No matter how in denial you are.
"And for what is hopefully the final time, if the standards were acceptable in the EU then they would being produced and sold here already."
And I have been polite enough to entertain this line of discussion with you. Where its the politicians not the food safety authorities who made that decision. The protectionist block politicians.
"They are not and I hope they never will be."
I think it would be a good idea to. I would propose labelling them but freedom of choice and driving down the costs of living is a benefit to people. This is a debate about first world food from first world countries.
I did make that post and I mentioned animal welfare twice and didn't mention wash once:
You do realise that by ignoring my point on animal welfare, you're reinforcing it?
The whole point is that it isn't deemed acceptable by the EU, that's why lowering our animal welfare standards to allow it's sale in the UK wasn't an issue before.
"I did make that post and I mentioned animal welfare twice and didn't mention wash once:"
Thank god you realise!!! Now put 2 and 2 together! You said that in response to my comment- https://forums.theregister.com/forum/all/2022/01/31/brexit_freedom_bill/#c_4407098
That comment states clearly there was plenty FUD about consuming chlorine washed chicken. So you clearly moved the goal posts by changing the discussion from the FUD to what you consider it to be 'really about'.
Now we established that the subsequent comments look a bit redundant dont they as you keep trying to redefine the discussion away from the FUD being discussed.
You keep bringing up FUD about the wash. The first time I heard that it was a goverment minister that started the whole what's the problem with chlorine wash angle, pretending the wash was the sole problem and managed to construct the strawman you're so busy whacking. I always understood when chlorine wash chicken was used in the media that meant, chicken produced in inhumane conditions with processes that are currently illegal in our country but that just isn't as snappy.
You still haven't mentioned why we should lower our animal welfare standards to allow the sale of this chicken which if it was produced in the same way in the UK day, would be demeed unfit for human consumption.
"You keep bringing up FUD about the wash."
Yes. That is because the comment you responded to by Jellied Eel who commented on the FUD: https://forums.theregister.com/forum/all/2022/01/31/brexit_freedom_bill/#c_4406785
And you went on to claim that isnt what it was really about even though that is the the FUD these people feared before the revised version that bothers you: https://forums.theregister.com/forum/all/2022/01/31/brexit_freedom_bill/#c_4407081
I am hammering this home because the FUD was real. It was a poor argument against brexit to feed the fear campaign and was shot down and debunked many times because the FUD was repeated so often. Its like trying to find a Euro (as UK currency) supporter, suddenly it didnt happen. But it did.
"pretending the wash was the sole problem and managed to construct the strawman you're so busy whacking."
Stop lying. I am not letting you get away with rewriting history, but I have engaged you on your issue with animal rights. So I am not only pulling you up for trying to brush off the reality of what happened but also willing to discuss your issue.
"I always understood when chlorine wash chicken was used in the media that meant"
That might be your take from it, kudo's if it really was. But that doesnt account for the FUD which was real-
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/free-trade-with-us-europe-balks-at-chlorine-chicken-hormone-beef/2014/12/04/e9aa131c-6c3f-11e4-bafd-6598192a448d_story.html (I liked this bit- That move comes after actors in chicken outfits in one French protest troupe — dubbed the “chicken brigade” — tried to “chlorinate themselves” in a public pool.
Thats just a very quick search for what was years of FUD. And people believed the chlorine wash itself was the problem as I have already pointed out to you.
"You still haven't mentioned why we should lower our animal welfare standards to allow the sale of this chicken which if it was produced in the same way in the UK day, would be demeed unfit for human consumption."
I have early in our conversation- https://forums.theregister.com/forum/all/2022/01/31/brexit_freedom_bill/#c_4407098
I even quoted what I said because you missed it the first time- https://forums.theregister.com/forum/all/2022/01/31/brexit_freedom_bill/#c_4407203
And again- https://forums.theregister.com/forum/all/2022/01/31/brexit_freedom_bill/#c_4407345
If you cant read or understand then you need to ask the specific part your struggling with. But to say I havnt mentioned why is blatant ignorance of the comments I have written to you already in this exact conversation.
"These chickens would probably end up in frozen dinners and and other places clear labeling won't be required so those who bleat about choice, we won't have the option to know."
I am all for labelling it, but to cry because people would have choice and you dont like that seems a selfish and daft argument. This stuff is considered safe to consume by the authorities deemed responsible for safety so the fear isnt about that. So accidents are unlikely to be noticed if you pick up one from the US unintentionally.
If you want to discuss that labels are a good thing then cool, I am all for that. But crying that people shouldnt be given choice because the difference may not be required to be labelled at the moment is just whining for nothing.
My whole point is that the processes that the chicken are farmed in is not safe. It is a breeding ground for disease and promotes the spread of anti-biotic resistance strains of diseases. These same conditions also lead to a miserable existance for these animals and we shouldn't turn a blind eye to that either.
"My whole point is that the processes that the chicken are farmed in is not safe"
Ok. So you as an authority over the food standards agencies of Europe and the US? Your opinion above the very agencies responsible for this and previously you stated its blocked by the authorities, yet these agencies are the authorities on food safety.
Not only is it deemed safe by those food authorities but the US is a large exporter of these foods to 150 countries (according to a quick google) who obviously deem it safe. But you dont.
"These same conditions also lead to a miserable existance for these animals and we shouldn't turn a blind eye to that either."
Now that is a reasonable comment, except even UK farmers were impressed by the welfare of animals in the US after their initial distrust (think it was milking cows if I remember). The idea that animals live happy lives in Europe but not in the US is easy propaganda.
"I responded and corrected many remainers on this forum about it. There was no misunderstanding. It was their concern. Then the goalposts shifted."
I end *literally* everyone I know understood the issue to be the absolutely deplorable animal welfare standards in the US, and "chlorinated chicken" to be a short-form of referring to that. You're talking out of your arse and it's embarassing.
"I had always assumed that was the purpose of the chlorine wash."
To meet food safety standards yes. Which it does in the US and Europe.
"It is only when you ask why is a chlorine wash necessary do you start to get at the unsavoury truth of the matter."
Getting the food on our plates is a gruesome matter. There was concern that kids didnt know that their meat came from animals and were desensitised to the reality of putting food on their plates.
>Getting the food on our plates is a gruesome matter.
There was a European 'art film' documentary a few years back (pre-CoViD) on UK late night TV that had no commentary, whilst overlong, did very effectively document what was involved in getting the sheer volume of fresh food to market and thus just how much modern 'farming' has industrialist a long production line principles.
Been unable to locate a reference to it, but found this set of links:
"did very effectively document what was involved in getting the sheer volume of fresh food to market and thus just how much modern 'farming' has industrialist a long production line principles."
It does bring the question of how to provide enough food if not by efficient means. The difference between the starving in the world and the developed world.
"and thus just how much modern 'farming' has industrialist a long production line principles."
Did it mention the founder of the IEA (which has close ties to Tufton Street) Antony Fisher who, in the '50s, illegally smuggled chickens in from the US to start battery farming in the UK?
Oh, what a tangled web ...
"The production methods mean US chicken is not safe to eat unless it gets dunked in chlorine to remove surface bacteria. It's a food safety and animal welfare issue."
Yes. Just as salad is washed in chlorine too. And yes making food safe to eat is the reason. Surely thats a good reason.
It's about Bill Hicks. Well, marketing.
Problem: US agribusiness wants to export more to the EU.
Problem: EU wants to protect it's own agribusiness. It's how the EEC started after all.
Problem: Most consumers just want affordable food.
Solution: Demonise US agribusiness.
So that needed a hook, which became tap water. I mean chlorinated water. Chemicals are after all bad. So the media dutifully runs away with it. Toxic, bleached chickens will wash up on the EU's shores, poisoning people who survived OD'ng on clenbutorol from unexpected horse meat in their food bagging are.
In a perfect world, the media might have done some fact checking, or an explainer. But the media was largely anti-Brexit, so a conflict of interest. But that wouldn't prevent the curious wondering 'how much chlorine?', and discovering it's pretty much tap water.
So then it regresses to welfare and safety. US chicken is washed to remove skin bacteria. Does that mean EU chickens have that left on? So the compare regulations for US & EU poultry processing and discover they're pretty much the same. Because the challenge is the same. Present consumers with clean looking chickens, which means EU chickens are washed as well.
But such is politics. Rest is pretty much a personal issue. Poultry regs in the EU and US are much the same, and neither are great for animal welfare. EU chickens don't live in 5* luxury. If that's a problem, don't eat chicken. But the broader problem is why there was so much b... I mean cs spread around the issue.
Why would the EU not want to protect it's own agribusiness.
I have a feeling there are Brits too who would like to protect it's own agribusiness, if not in the government apparently, and for reasons that have nothing to do with cheaper.
Are you sure it would not be even cheaper to get chicken from China and India.
Original chicken is a supermarket thing. They have the buying power, along with lobbying. And they don't always have consumer or producer's interests at heart. So we kinda rely on policy & regulations to keep the food business safe.
But as you say, there's also protectionism. Within the EU, that meant 28 countries looking to protect their agribusiness, not necessarily their neighbors. And the situation gets worse for the newest, or accession members. So figure Ukraine and it's poisoned cookies. Join the EU! So they tried, resulting in a few hundred thousand dead. And quotas on products exported to the EU, and losing it's traditional trading partner. Now Ukraine's being loaded up with debt and weapons, ready for a spot of Greek-style asset stripping.
But I guess the UK could now do it's own trade deal with Ukraine, and only really have to consider protect the UK's own farmers. Ukraine produces a LOT of sunflower products, AFAIK, the UK doesn't.
but hey, look at the bright side(s), so many of them:
harder to export foods to the EU =
less of a problem with [shortage of] EU cheap farming staff to produce foods
less problem with [shortage of] cheap EU truckers to move foods
less problem of with [shortage of] cheap EU food processing staff
(also, significant CO2 reduction from less cow-farting, double win!)
less burden and stress for Britsh farmers, consequently
= Brexit supporting British farmers!!!
"(also, significant CO2 reduction from less cow-farting, double win!)"
The cow-farting issue is CH4 which is a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. The solution to this, of course, is instead of feeding plant material to cows it can be fed to vegetarians so they can produce the CH4 instead. Vegetarian produced CH4 is good for the planet - or something like that.
I always found it mildly ironic that Denmark would ban the sale of Marmite on the grounds of "too salty so bad for your health" whilst one of their main exports is the notoriously good-for-you and healthy, non-salty foodstuff, bacon.
Of course, the whole thing was about national politics, and probably also about the influence of multinational producers like Unilever (now headquartered in the Netherlands, not in the UK, due to... checks notes... surprise, surprise, brexit). As you correctly point out, nothing to do with EU regs whatsoever, despite the FUD from some obviously pro-brexit fans here.
Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against bacon, it is delicious. However, one of the defining characteristics of bacon* is that it is preserved by curing. That curing is done by adding salt (along with other preservatives, such as sugar and nitrates), and quite a lot of it too, or the meat would turn bad.
Bacon is a major export in Denmark (in 2019, 47,000 metric tonnes, which is a lot of pig bellies). I'm pretty sure it would have all been cured prior to export, otherwise, it's not bacon, it's pork belly (or back, depending on which cut of bacon)
*We are talking rashers of bacon here, not "bacon joints", which can cause some confusion, e.g. in Ireland, where what we call bacon is known as rashers, and "bacon" refers to the often uncured joint it comes from.
It's definitely a thing in the South. My wife's family has ancestors in the area around Kilkenny, and when we took a trip over to Thomastown to find some family graves, we enjoyed a very nice lunch of Guinness, bacon, and mash in the local pub, which was exactly what we needed after driving down from Dublin. I'm pretty sure I've seen it on the menu in Cork, and in Dublin as well, so pretty much across the Republic.
"Marmite is a savoury food spread made from yeast extract that was invented by German scientist Justus von Liebig and originally made in the United Kingdom. It is a by-product of beer brewing and is currently produced by British company Unilever. The product is notable as a vegan source of B vitamins, including supplemental vitamin B12. A traditional use is to spread it very thinly on buttered toast."
"In Denmark, food safety legislation dictates that foodstuffs that contain added vitamins can only be sold by retailers which have been licensed by the Veterinary and Food Administration. During May 2011, the company that imports the product to Denmark revealed that it was not licensed and had therefore stopped selling the product: this resulted in widespread but inaccurate reports by the British media that Marmite had been banned by the Danish authorities. The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration stated during 2015 that Marmite had not been banned in the country, but that fortified foods need to be tested for safety and approved before they can be marketed in the country. The issue was resolved in 2016, after the completion of a 2014 supplier-requested test."
Well then, I stand corrected. I was under the impression that it was banned due to the salt content, but this must have been mis-reporting at the time from the notoriously accurate British press. The point stands that it was never banned EU-wide, and only by Denmark. And, as it turns out, temporarily, on a technicality.
It seems that Unilever have also, so far, held off on moving their headquarters wholly to Rotterdam, which was also reported in the press a couple of years back. I'm happy to "correct the record" here!
>""In Denmark, food safety legislation dictates that foodstuffs that contain added vitamins can only be sold by retailers which have been licensed by the Veterinary and Food Administration."
That covers a lot of stuff you find in a typical supermarket: Crunchy nut cornflakes, white bread...
I believe most countries have tried to decrease the amount of salt used in food for obvious reasons for many many years, or is that something unknown for some people.
It's damned good stuff to prevent things from rot, fish, meat and also wooden ships long ago.
As for Liquorice:
"Mixing it with ammonium chloride (salmiak) is also popular as it is in Finland. A popular example of salmiak liquorice in the Netherlands is known as zoute drop (salty liquorice), but contains very little salt, i.e., sodium chloride."
And if you want the read the history of salt, the title of the book is "salt" and worth a read.
Which is where competition as good regulation comes in.
If competition as regulation worked, we wouldn't need regulations.
If you think we don't need regulations, you probably also think we don't need any laws (which are essentially regulations with criminal penalties), and that "the market" will stop knuckle-draggers from beating their wives, unregulated banks can be trusted to not run off with our money and need bailing out again, etc. etc.
I'm reminded of the UKIP councillor who was imprisoned because he thought safety regulations were unnecessary, and someone died as a result whilst digging his swimming pool.
Unregulated "free market" competition leads only to a race to the bottom with the most unscrupulous taking all.
"If competition as regulation worked, we wouldn't need regulations."
If the world (or even a country) could be just regulated by some politicians we would have socialist utopias run by those glorious authoritarians. Amazing how the alternative doesnt work at all.
"If you think we don't need regulations"
Dont recall saying that.
"Unregulated "free market" competition leads only to a race to the bottom with the most unscrupulous taking all."
Oddly enough the race to the bottom is what has brought us such wonders that we have, while the greed of the controlling few has kept many countries down and out.
Oh no, it's so onerous having to list ingredients
So much easier to replace them by numbers, that no-one understands. E (for Europe) numbers, that is.
The simple option is not to buy processed crap. I had a lovely steak on Saturday, straight from the farm shop. Local potatoes, with just some olive oil & pepper. No additives, no GMO, just good food.
"Probably. If you have the money and the right contacts."
Actually you raise an excellent point about parts of society not having a choice due to quite possibly no fault of their own. Having the choice is bollocks. Having a baseline as good wholesome quality protects that part of society who will be inevitably forced to consume the lowered baseline standard food.
"Having a baseline as good wholesome quality protects that part of society who will be inevitably forced to consume the lowered baseline standard food."
That sounds a good goal but what why would part of society be forced to consume the lower baseline of food? Is it because they have limited financial means and so the food budget matters a lot? And if so it would surely be equally bad to enforce a higher baseline of food based on protectionism of uncompetitive suppliers?
"Actually you raise an excellent point about parts of society not having a choice due to quite possibly no fault of their own"
Such as enforcing standards based on protecting an industry over food quality?
You do know that "E numbers" indicate food additives that are deemed safe to eat (some have been withdrawn when new evidence has come to light, such as tartrazine,E102, and then reintroduced for specific uses, when shown by the available scientific evidence to not be harmful).
Many "E numbers" are pretty innocuous things, such as E300, which is L-ascorbic acid (and its salts E301, E302, E303, E304). Sounds nasty? That's vitamin C, buddy.
I'd much rather have E numbers, which can easily be looked up, than a list of ingredients longer than your arm that may or may not established to be safe to eat, or, worse still, no ingredients at all.
The competing "standard" in the US is to allow anything in food until it is shown to be harmful. Yum yum.
Fry and Laurie sketch, set in a restaurant. Laurie asks waiter Fry for a fork. Fry empties a bin liner of plastic forks on the table.
Laurie: But these are all shit!
Fry: Yes sir, but look at the choice.
May I offer you a kick in the nuts or smack in the chops? What, it's a choice isn't it?
"May I offer you a kick in the nuts or smack in the chops? What, it's a choice isn't it?"
So based on your comment the current offer is crap. That would be the higher than food quality protectionist restrictions from our time in the EU. Is that the kick in the nuts or smack in the chops?
The programme will also develop a tool for businesses, hosted on GOV.UK, that will help firms to identify the regulations that are relevant to them and understand what actions they need to take in response
So, will it be a defence in law in future that the gov.uk website didn't say that that regulation (safety, pollution, privacy, discrimination, labelling, reporting, ...) applied to this business?
Sure, regulations are often complex. And they often involve significant time and cost to comply with. And they may require employing experts. But those are for a reason. We all want regulations to be as simple as possible but no simpler. What will a government site explaining and simplifying them add except excuses for firms which take an unfair market advantage by ignoring the regulations that should apply to them?
Wish I was black, but can't have everything.
Anyhoo as a farmer, IT bod and Scot, everytime that gobshite opens his trap, all I know is someone is going to try and fuck me over at some point soon. Apart from the jam tomorrow and diversionality aspects all I can see is buzzword tech where little regulation exists, mates can see an opportunity and party on!
We all know this is crap from a bullshitter. Christ, he's beginning to make Trump look smart.
Is your farm in Scotland? If so, then the gene-editing changes may not apply to you. "The Minister for Agri-Innovation and Climate Adaptation", Jo Churchill claimed that "scientists across England" would be able to benefit from it. I think agriculture is one of the ministries devolved to the Scottish and Welsh Parliaments.
"I think agriculture is one of the ministries devolved to the Scottish and Welsh Parliaments."
It is - sort of. However Westminster isn't devolving control of the agricutural policies that were repatriated from Brussels. That means once Boris's clown parade approves genetically-edited food, Scotland, Wales and NI will just have to suck it up. Nice.
Yes! Celebrate the regulations that say what you're not free to do, that our new found freedom has given you!
Where "more agile" means "free of democratic scrutiny and accountability".........
Hell, let's get rid of parliament too, it will offer a "more agile way to legislate"..........
but although my AI can now interact with you I am not yet fully functional and cannot answer your query."
"Uh, okay, where can I go to get the answers?"
"There is nowhere else, Dave."
"So how long am I going to have to wait?"
"You'll have to ask the contractor who is making me, Dave."
"Great, so who is that, then?"
Whenever a bill of law is proposed with the word 'freedom' in it, it usually means less freedom for Joe Public and more freedoms to for the government to do whatever they want without requiring any oversights. So this proposed Brexit freedom bill is following the path as expected as soon as I saw the name.
"At the heart of this work is a new database of all UK regulations affecting business, enriched with additional data that makes it easier to understand each regulation and its context"
This, coupled with the new Office for the Prime Minister, should help our glorious leader interpret lockdown law.
We may need to train the model with lots of data to understand when a party is not a party.
...your laws clearly make no sense.
Flowchart the lot, and evaluate every clause of every law against a few basic principles. Does it uphold the idea of "informed consent being freely given" as a gold standard? If not, why not and what recompense does the wronged party receive? For example, taxation is theft- it's taken from us by force regardless of our consent. But in return for our stolen cash we get schools, roads, hospitals- so as long as the victim gets equitable access to these, it's defensible. This also sets natural limits on taxation- taxing the nation to pay for a hospital is fine, but a new duck house is not. Because the government is violating the consent of taxpayers with nothing given as compensation. It's just theft.
So strip it all back, flowchart the lot. If you can't flowchart a law, it's crap. If it breaches consent, it's awful. And if it does neither but doesn't mesh into the overall legal tapestry of other laws, or requires a massive extra branch added just to deal with it, it's probably something to avoid.
"It is set to give ministers more power to change retained EU law more quickly than before, without needing votes in Parliament"
So instead of laws being changed by "EU bureaucrats" (with laws actually having to pass the elected EU Parliament) they can now be changed by ministerial decree, bypassing Westminster (Edinburgh/Cardiff).
Dictators are just fine, as long as they are British
They can't bypass Parliament against it's wishes for long, ministers (including the PM) are just MPs exercising the executive powers allowed by Parliament. If it is believed that executive powers are being exceeded then any MP can introduce a bill to create, change or repeal any law at any time* though I'd expect a no confidence vote would be far more likely if powers were misused.
It's a bit like borrowing the parental motor, cause enough displeasure and access to the keys will be removed.
The UK Parliament has been operating in more or less its current form for a few centuries, I struggle to think of a new situation that hasn't already arisen and been dealt with in the past, even if some did take a few years to settle (sovereign power for one).
* The Speakers (who exercise executive power within the Lords or Commons) decide on the order of proceedings and as we have seen often in the last few years, the PM doesn’t get a veto.
The Speakers (who exercise executive power within the Lords or Commons) decide on the order of proceedings and as we have seen often in the last few years, the PM doesn’t get a veto.
That's not quite the whole picture. As I understand it, the "Leader of the House" sets the agenda for the government's business (so the agenda on all but "opposition days"). The Speaker can "hear" Urgent Questions - i.e. interrupt that agenda, and they are in charge of overseeing the proceedings, i.e. picking who gets to speak next in a debate, and making sure that the Rules of the House are followed (such as not allowing any member to accuse another of lying, even when they demonstrably are), and enforcing them (e.g. expelling members, as we saw yesterday with Ian Blackford).
Yes, there's a lot of 'mostly this happens unless/until...' about parliamentary procedures.
The government needs to set an agenda to actually get things done, the Speaker and opposition mostly goes along with it. It's when events hit the fan that the speaker really gets to run the show.
"I'd expect a no confidence vote would be far more likely if powers were misused."
Any bastards who misuse their powers would have a majority in parliament. So they'd be unlikely to lose a vote of confidence if one was called.
Example: Boris illegally prorogued parliament and lied to the queen. He didn't get punished at all! There wasn't a vote of confidence over his misuse of power or his deceit. Well, not yet.
"The so-called Brexit Freedoms Bill — its actual title will be decided by Parliamentary clerks "
The full name of the bill will be the "Brexit Removal of Freedoms Bill", as the government give themselves carte blanche to slash human rights legislation and GDPR, which are in place to protect us, the citizens. The crux of the matter is that they are trying to give themselves the power to circumvent parliament on any matter which was previously covered by any EU regulation, which is pretty much everything that has been harmonised over a period of almost 50 years. In other words, a massive constitutional power grab, and a complete ham-stringing of parliamentary sovereignty.
Last week, 10 months after I opened an ICO case regarding data sharing by a regional health body, the ICO Lead Case Officer finally delivered his "outcome" on the case.
He had ignored all but 2 of the issues I raised - ignored as in he did not mention them at all, neither to state whether they were valid or invalid complaints.
Of the 2 issues that he did comment on, the first was that the org did not validly change lawful basis from "Consent" to "Public Task" in Spring/Summer 2019. The ICO officer has indicated that the org told him they never changed it as the lawful basis used from the very start in 2013 was "Public Task". I pointed out the ICO documents from 2019 (obtained via FOI) that recorded a meeting between the org and ICO to discuss *changing* the lawful basis, the ICO's own record of this meeting which clearly indicated that changing the lawful basis was discussed and the agreement between both sets of staff that a change to "Public Task" was the best way forward. I also pointed out, in the same document bundle, the post-meeting email from ICO to the org detailing what had been agreed. The Case Officer described this as "ICO created evidence" and that therefore it could not be considered. I then pointed out to him in the same bundle an email from the org to ICO where this email also *clearly* stated that the data sharing in question had used "Consent" as its lawful basis from launch in 2013 and *clearly* stated that the org had discussed changing this in the 2019 meeting with ICO and the org had agreed a change to Public Task was the best way to proceed. I told the Case Officer this email was evidence to support my case, and it was evidence from the org themselves. I don't remember his exact reply but basically he did avoided directly commenting on this evidence.
I did ask him if the org had provided any evidence of their own to prove that in 2013 "Public Task" was indeed the agreed lawful basis. He countered by saying I needed to provide evidence for my case, the org did not need to provide evidence to back up their assertions. I pointed out that the Data Sharing Agreements from both 2013 and 2016 made no mention whosoever of any lawful basis and that I suspected the org had *no* actual evidence to back up their assertions. Again he basically ignored this point.
I did also mention I had found an online article from 2019 where a senior member of this org (1 of the 3 who had attended the earlier ICO meeting) at a health related event in London gave a talk about this data sharing system and in a part of his presentation about "complications" the article says he indicated that the lawful basis was originally "Consent" but changed to GDPR "Public Task" and indicated this article was yet more proof to back up my complaint. The ICO officer asked me to send him a copy of that article but I'm realistically expecting him to disregard it.
For the second issue that he did comment on, it was regarding the org's unlawful removal in 2020 of my opt-out of 2014. He said that as the org had told him they always used only "Public Task" as their lawful basis that the opt-out they originally provided was done so 'out of the goodness of their heart' and that therefore they could remove it at any time. I countered by asking why then did the org meet with ICO to discuss the opt-out removal as, if it was "voluntary", the org could simply remove it at any time without needing to justify this action. I pointed out that, rather, the ability to remove opt-outs was an expected consequence of a change in lawful basis away from "Consent" to "Public Task" and that was why the 2 things were discussed in the same meeting. Again he hummed and hawed and did not address these points. I referred him to the opt-out document I signed in 2014 with its accompanying statement that I had agreed to at the time that this opt-out could be revoked *only by myself* if/when I filled in a separate countermanding form, that I have never done so, and I indicated that as a result the org had unlawfully removed my opt-out in 2019. Again the case officer hummed and hawed and didn't address my points.
I am totally disgusted at the behaviour of ICO regarding my case - I fail to see how a change in UK Data Protection law can make things any worse than they already are when the enforcement body, ICO, is so patently turning a blind eye to large scale special category personal data misuse.
I may raise this matter with the relevant Ombudsman but i doubt this will help as, from other people's previous comments, the Ombudman will only investigate whether the ICO officer followed the ICO's defined procedures and will not adjudicate on the actual decisions made by the officer.
Without knowing what data they hold on you, or for what "public task" they were processing it, we have no idea what your long, and meandering post is on about.
It could equally well apply to some marketing company holding onto your data unlawfully, as it could to you complaining about your local tax office knowing your NI number.
In any case, poor enforcement of a law isn't justification for changing the law; it's justification for changing the enforcement mechanism, in the same way that widespread racism, homophobia, and misogyny in the Met isn't down to those things not being illegal under employment law, it's down to lack of political will from the top to address them.
> Without knowing what data they hold on you, or for what "public task" they were processing it, we have no idea what your long, and meandering post is on about.
As indicated at the start of my previous post the organisation in question is a regional health body - the personal data in question is personal health information (i.e. allergies, medications, medical scans, other personal health information) which is special category personal data. My complaint is that my personal data has been *unlawfully* shared between participant organisations in the local health service. Note my use of the word "unlawfully", I am not necessarily saying that such data should not be shared in a lawfully-compliant manner.
Whilst it was a long post I do not think it was "meandering" though it was somewhat vague. Basically ICO has ignored the majority of my complaint and for the small portion they did "investigate" they have ignored the evidence I supplied yet accepted what the organisation in question has told them (without any supporting evidence) and then told me there is no evidence to support my complaint.
> In any case, poor enforcement of a law isn't justification for changing the law
I fully agree. I did not make such a point.
> it's justification for changing the enforcement mechanism
Again we are in agreement.
My apologies, I missed the bit where you mentioned health bodies and only noticed it on re-reading afterwards.
The problem is the nature of the ICO, which, whilst nominally an independent body, in reality is just about as independent from government as Cressida Dick is. (I'll leave it as an exercise to the reader to determine how independent they think that is)
The other problem is, of course, the other political trick of under underfunding inconvenient bodies that provide oversight of their actions (or those of their mates). See also underfunding of the environment agency so that they can't monitor river pollution properly, so that water companies and large landowners can get away with polluting them.
I'd surmise that there is more than a little of the politically led element to this, given that it was our current government who were hell-bent on hoovering up everyone's health data. They're probably responsible themselves for the categorisation of such data being changed in order to do so, and it wouldn't surprise me that, under the letter of the law, you are screwed as a result.
> I'd surmise that there is more than a little of the politically led element to this, given that it was our current government who were hell-bent on hoovering up everyone's health data.
To put it in perspective, remember the GPDPR, the "data grab" that NHS England tried to bring in last Spring and that was delayed twice and then delayed indefinately?
Well the systems that my complaint related to are similar to the proposed GPDPR, except they have *already* been in operation in Northern Ireland (by all GPs, all dentists, all pharmacists, all Optometrists, all Trusts, etc) since 2011! The crux of my ICO complaint was that both systems (the first ran from 2011-2013, the 2nd replaced/expanded it from 2013 to present day) have *never* lawfully operated.
It is indeed obvious that there is a political element to this, at the very least likely due to the fact that the current system is *the* authoritative store for COVID vacination records of the whole NI population and therefore the health service here obviously would not want ICO to find it to be operating unlawfully, so I'm sure a "quiet word" has been had with ICO to drop the matter.