Everyone should be able to do research, not just $cientists from unis. Science shouldn't be gatekeeped and censored.
UK minister for science and research George Freeman has admitted that vital EU funding for research is in limbo while the nation continues to negotiate Brexit sticking points, namely Northern Ireland and fishing rights. Speaking to Parliament's Science and Technology Committee late last week, Department for Business, Energy & …
Not sure why that's a suprise. Other than perhaps someone getting funded to study that combination, and then finding enough horses with Covid to run a decent trial.
But such is politics. Ivermectin is a good example of popular science though. 2 years on and there still seems to be contradictory research or what, if any effects it might have.
I think the Wikipedia has got it all fairly well.
" Ivermectin is an antiparasitic drug that is well-established for use in animals and people.
Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, laboratory research suggested ivermectin might have a role in preventing or treating COVID-19. Online misinformation campaigns and advocacy boosted the drug's profile among the public. While scientists and physicians largely remained sceptical, some nations adopted ivermectin as part of their pandemic-control efforts. Some people, desperate to use ivermectin without a prescription, took veterinary preparations leading to shortages of supplies of ivermectin for animal treatment — the FDA tweeted "You are not a horse" to draw attention to the issue.
Subsequent research failed to confirm the utility of ivermectin for COVID-19, and in 2021 it emerged that many of the studies demonstrating benefit were faulty, misleading, or fraudulent. Nevertheless, misinformation about ivermectin continued to be propagated on social media and the drug remained a cause célèbre for anti-vaccinationists and conspiracy theorists."
Though of course, horse ivermectin is the same chemical as people ivermectin. Also I like the theory that it worked in some studies because those were in countries with heavy parasite infestation, and Covid treatment can make parasites worse. It's a good reminder that while physics works the same way everywhere, biology sometimes does not.
Ivermectin is genuinely used as a human medication, and although I can't attest to the full legitimacy of the sources, I have even heard that reputable studies have said it can provide some small benefit in treatment of COVID. However, the effect isn't certain enough or strong enough to justify prescribing it for post-infection treatment when a vaccine exists that can prevent the majority of infections before they start.
This is specifically why I mentioned horse dewormer rather than Ivermectin itself. While the anti-vaxxers can't get the human pills they want from their doctors, animal medications are much less tightly regulated. That's why they're dosing themselves with enough of the stuff to literally choke a horse.
You don't have to though.
It comes in a syringe and it's not too difficult to meter out a small amount which is equivalent to the human dose for the usual Ivermectin uses in humans.
You aren't supposed to suck down the full 700kg-stallion equivalent in one go ffs!
Ah a Brexit thread. I know this is not on topic, but another Brexit win:
Government considering using Brexit "freedoms" to ditch EU car safety measures designed to protect cyclists The Tory Party of old is not the same as the Brexit Tory Party.
Well done Brexiters. Ignorant right up to the point that lorry runs you over. (I wish)
Having read the link you gave…..Care to explain how you think these “EU car safety measures” are risked by Brexit?
Given that the article is actually about HGV safety measures targeting the lack of visibility from an HGV cab. Not cars. And the only HGV manufacturer in the U.K. is DAF, which is Dutch. Do you think this *Dutch manufacturer* is going to change their EU-compliant HGV chassis design to have less visibility for the allegedly tiny U.K. market?
There is actually a much bigger lorry/cyclist safety/visibility issue raised only in the past couple of weeks. The U.K. Highway Code has been changed to give cyclists priority over motor vehicles, including lorries, and including trunk route roundabouts. About 30% of the lorries on U.K. roads are driven by EU drivers who will never have read the U.K. Highway Code, although they are perfectly competent drivers. Even if they see the cyclists, as far the lorry drivers are concerned, there is simply a sudden tsunami of suicidal idiots playing chicken with lorries. It’s pretty much Death Race 2000 for cyclists. But since Highway Code was *never* standardised whether in or out of EU, between *any* EU country, you can’t even blame Brexit for that.
"The U.K. Highway Code has been changed to give cyclists priority over motor vehicles..."
No, it hasn't. It's been clarified to make it clear that "Give way" means what it says, regardless of the type of traffic crossing your path, and always has done. I learned to drive in the 1960s and I learned that rule then, and it's never changed. It also applies to horse-drawn traffic, of course.
And it's the same in most (if not all) EU countries too.
You may be right, or you may be wrong. Nobody really knows. In more than one place it explicitly says they have *changed* the hierarchy of priorities, and in another that it merely clarifies.
But in actual consequences, it doesn’t really matter which is right. UK cyclists have *heard* that the priorities have been *changed* in their favour, and their road behaviour and position has changed. Whereas non-UK lorry drivers will be broadly unaware of that change, which means that they will be surprised, and looking in the wrong directions.
I’ve read the new Code, and I still don’t know the new right answer for some practical road situations. Mostly it seems to come down to “don’t run anyone over”. But even if I’m an idiot, we have two ROSPA qualified advanced drivers at work who disagree on what it means for road position at and on roundabouts. There is no doubt at all that the majority of experienced UK drivers are unsure of right of way in a way that they simply weren’t a fortnight ago. And that’s dangerous.
Eg If you take the Code literally, on any corner even where there are traffic lights, the pedestrian still has priority. Even if they cross on “Red Man”. That would be stupid, probably unintended, but quite a lot of non-drivers eager to reclaim their town centres have had the new Code waved at them, and concluded that’s *exactly* what it means. There was a demo to that effect in our town centre last week, Paint The Town Red, sitting in the middle of the road at green traffic lights to “educate” drivers.
Imagine you’re a lorry driver from Poland, on shift for 8 hours, you pull off the motorway onto the three lane roundabout, at 5pm just as the light is going. And at the exit to the roundabout, in the middle of the road controlled by a green traffic light, you have four people *sitting on the ground*, waving placards admittedly. Convinced that the new Highway Code says that *they* have right of way. What do you think the chances are the lorry driver will manage to avoid them?
My first reaction was "that will depend on the size of the placards", but then I realized that in Poland, an the other countries he drove through before getting to Perfidious Albion, when you leave a roundabout (magic ones excepted), pedestrians have right of way.
Do they? I’m not sure whether you are trolling or not TBH……I’ve never been to Poland. But I’ve driven tens of thousands of miles in France, Germany, Spain, Italy and never seen that. I’ve found that driver and ped behaviour is quite country-specific, and you do have to learn it. But I’ve never seen pedestrians anywhere take priority at unmarked exits of roundabouts. Unless by priority you mean “once a pedestrian is actually in the road, whatever the rights and wrongs, you should try not to run them over”.
Otherwise, if you have an actual reference I’m interested to see it, as a casual google didn’t find anything.
Perhaps Google doesn't bother with the law of a specific country?
I quote from our "road code" (https://wegcode.be/wetteksten/secties/kb/wegcode/177-art19):
Artikel 19. Richtingverandering
Het verlaten van een rotonde is een richtingsverandering waarbij de richtingaanwijzers wel gebruikt moeten worden.
19.5. De bestuurder die van richting verandert moet voorrang verlenen aan de voetgangers die de rijbaan oversteken die hij gaat oprijden.".
I try to translate.
Article 19. Changing direction.
Leaving a roundabout is a change of direction where indicators need to be used.
19.5. A driver changing direction has to give right of way to pedestrians crossing the road he intends to take".
Did you know that you are part of the larger group? 80% of drivers with a driver's license fail in a road code test.
UK rules have been clarified and in doing so have been brought in line with the rest of Europe. Have you ever been near a roundabout in Germany or the Netherlands? They work exactly as you describe - pedestrians have right of way at entries and exits (so traffic stops and let them cross), and cyclists go around the outside and traffic waits before making a right turn across the bike lane (equivalent of a left turn in the UK).
So explain again why you think EU-origin drivers will be confused by these rules?
Ah, the Netherlands.Well actually you’re right - it’s been fifteen years since I’ve been, I’d forgotten. But you’re right.
Germany? Well, it’s definitely *not* like that there. 100% you are factually wrong. My tame German in the corner is shaking his head. He says that in some of the “stupid”’bits of Germany they tend to put crossings everywhere at roundabouts. But no, if there is no crossing, you do not have right of way, and if you have a light-controlled ped crossing and you cross against the light as a pedestrian you will be fined.
There are literally crossings at the exit and entrance of pretty much every roundabout in Germany and if you stand by them then the traffic, whether it is entering or exiting the roundabout, will stop and let you cross. Your 'tame German' is either a figment of your imagination, or hasn't spent much time as a pedestrian in Germany recently.
You’re right - we had a look on Street View. He hasn’t been there recently, so it seems they’ve changed, even in the East. For all I know, Poland might be the same. And for all I know, the U.K. is the “last to change”.
I’m not sure this makes any difference to the original point: *this week*, most people in the U.K., pedestrians, cyclists, car drivers and truck drivers, are confused about who has the right of way. They have differing *opinions*, right or wrong, and that’s dangerous. I’m more worried about that, than a theoretical change in visibility from HGV cab rules, which is what started this.
Whatever the HGV cab rules, surely the correct advice to cyclists is “for the love of god, work out where the lorries blind spot is, and don’t sit there, whatever your right of way”?
You were wondering if I was a troll, while you're not afraid of writing lies, based on facts you get from your "tame German". And I doubt even that, since I had nothing but alsatians for forty years, and they are smarter than that.
"Fußgänger haben mit und ohne Fußgängerüberweg Vorrang gegenüber aus dem Kreisverkehr ausfahrenden Fahrzeugen.". Also: https://www.stvo2go.de/kreisverkehr-fussgaengerueberweg/
"Justthefacts", eh? TBH with the H from "high".
Since you’re going to be abusive, why not have a look at this roundabout in Sweden, the only country in Europe with lower road fatalities than the U.K. Conspicuously no pedestrian crossings.
The complete list of European countries that have lower rates of road fatalities than Germany, is Ireland, Spain, Denmark, Netherlands, U.K., Sweden. Neither Eire nor Spain have mandatory pedestrian crossings at roundabout exits, although Spain often has them in larger cities just like U.K.. So basically, *all* the countries with mandatory roundabout pedestrian crossings have rather poor road death rates. Whereas four out of the six safest countries *don’t* have mandatory pedestrian crossings. Of course, what that actually tells you is that traffic safety is complex, and the actual content of the rules is less important than other factors. But you’re just too dumb to understand that.
Good work, you did manage to find a roundabout in Sweden close to the Arctic Circle not for pedestrians.
The simple fact is that the move from traffic lights to roundabouts started years ago in the Nordic countries.
And there are a hell of a lot of them, and naturally for pedestrians and bikes too, and we do stop and let them pass first, the pedestrians have priority, or as it's rather said "cars are obliged to give way". Motorways are different.
From the EU stats I find the Nordic countries all fit in the top10. Norway does too but is not in EU stats.
There is a lot to all of this including the number of pedestrians in the traffic.
For those interested in stuff like this I would recommend "Not just bikes" on YouTube.
PS. I am not sure if I read the "mandatory" the way you mean it.
Further to that, I did my usual trick of actually bothering to check the facts. Hence username.
U.K. road fatalities per capita are the second lowest in Europe and roughly half that of the EU average. So it’s not at all obvious that “bringing the rules in line with the rest of Europe” is a good thing.
Because overall deaths are what I think are most important. If the deaths of vulnerable road users are different, I didn’t actually know that. But to be honest, the categorisation into “innocent victims” is a bit like the “deserving poor” and “undeserving poor”.
Dead is dead. The girlfriend in the back of a car of someone on hash, doesn’t deserve to die any more than a cyclist. You are choosing to impose your morality on the rest of society in a rather Dickensian and unpleasant way.
Madness. You don’t think we should improve the safety of vulnerable road users because not many people die inside cars? We’re are nearly the worst in Europe for deaths of vulnerable road users, hence the changes.
You quote a misleading statistic and then attempt to justify it with some bizarre anecdote about someone inside a car and throw in a personal insult as well.
Strawman.I didn’t say anywhere that we shouldn’t make changes to protect vulnerable road users. As indeed all road users. But never mistake “something must be done” for “this thing must be done”.
By designating a subset of “innocent victims”, you can decide any course of action you like according to your prejudices. Here are the actual statistics about “vulnerable road users.”
I hadn’t looked at these statistics in detail before, but now I do, based on Charts1& 2 it’s very apparent what our top safety priority should be. Either ban motorcycles totally, or give them much more protection. They are four times more at risk than pedestrians or cyclists per mile, and twice as many fatalities absolute as pedal cyclists. Why then the proliferation of *cycle* lanes? If there’s only room on the road for one level of traffic segregation, it should be absolutely clear that the cycle lanes should all be repurposed as motorcycle-only lanes. That’s what would save more lives. Except, to you motorcyclists aren’t *innocent* victims, they are the perpetrators, the authors of their own misfortune. And there you have it, laid bare. Dickensian morality at its worst.
You appear to be presuming that your own point of view determines somebody else's position.
In fact motorcyclists are largely most at risk of death and injury because of the laws of physics - pure and simple.
It's not an issue of self-inflicted harm (except when it is), so much as what level of risk a culture, and an individual, are willing to tolerate, for the sake of being free to 'live'.
The fact that some of us are dumb-fucks on a fast road to a bed in the morgue is incidental.
" overall deaths and not deaths of vulnerable road users "
You really mean that pedestrian life is *more important* than just peons behind the wheel, who are meaningless and deserve to be killed.
We've seen that kind of green fascism everywhere lately a lot, especially in Nordic countries.
"Cars are bad, kill the car drivers" is the motto.
Roundabout basically stops the traffic so that pedestrians, who always walk against red light, aren't driven over. Also overall slowing the traffic for imaginary safety of pedestrians who obey no rules, ever. Kings have no rules and in modern traffic pedestrian, the most useless part of traffic, is the king.
From traffic capacity point of view pedestrians are an irrelevant blocker with <1% of person-miles. They shouldn't exist outside of city centrums at all.
But green fanatics hate cars and have declared this sub-1% group to the kings.
>"Roundabout basically stops the traffic so that pedestrians, who always walk against red light, aren't driven over. ..."
Wow!!! You are clearly climbing on to a high horse here.
Roundabouts actually keep the traffic flowing in a way traffic lights can't. Pedestrians crossing, even under the new highway code will be taking their life in their hands!
"They work exactly as you describe - pedestrians have right of way at entries and exits (so traffic stops and let them cross), and cyclists go around the outside and traffic waits before making a right turn across the bike lane (equivalent of a left turn in the UK)"
Here in Italy, priority goes to whoever gets there fastest in the most powerful/largest vehicle. So pretty much like the UK.
I also read the link. I especially like "advanced emergency breaking systems" - I suppose they're the ones ignoring the laws of physics. I also wonder how they're going to redesign cars to protect cyclists heads - thick layer of foam rubber possibly?
Try to sign up for example to:
There is even a group called "Not a researcher (citizen scientist)", so by default you are classified as not a researcher if you don't belong to a uni or work for a corporation etc.
Good luck getting access to papers you want to reference for e.g. signal processing research.
Ah, signal processing research…..
From someone who has worked in that field, you’re wasting your time reading papers for anything but the basics. Anything that’s worth knowing is broadly proprietary, and you learn it by working alongside great people in megacorps that patent it all. And worst of all, defence companies are often the strongest, with places like Qualcomm next, and investment banks last (they think they know it all, but they aren’t as good as they think). I understand you don’t want to hear that. But you’ve absolutely picked the wrong speciality if you want open research.
I hope I’ve saved you a couple of years, believing it’s all locked away in IEEE proceedings you can’t afford, and done in university departments. It really isnt.
You are correct, but you see I get that many papers are very low quality, but I have found many gold nuggets in those that led me to interesting discoveries. Sometimes you have to read between the lines and go through author's trail of published documents to get on track.
These documents provide pointers and with own knowledge and research you can fill the gaps.
Imagine you have a haystack and you have no idea whether a needle is there at all. Then you find a receipt that someone indeed bought a needle, then you find a photo of someone holding a needle near the left corner of the haystack, then you find a piece of string that was in the photo etc. It's fun.
Huh? Why would you say that? There's nothing preventing anyone from doing research, as long as you can get someone to fund it. Private research is being done all the time. In many fields it's even better funded than universities.
Now, crank bullshit snake-oil research often has problems getting funded, but nobody is actively stopping it. It's just basic economics, not censorship.
Anyone can get published. Submit away. Take on reviewers feedback and follow standard practice for submissions and you will be fine.
There are plenty of places to pick up papers from. A certain online system is available with better access to papers than my university had at times.
As a synthetic chemist, trained informally at the School of Hard Knocks (see later), I have developed novel and disruptive techniques for the synthesis of dioxygen difluoride, and azidoazide azide. My genius has been censored by the evil Elsevier publishing cartel, so I can only point you to links written by a guru. Thank me later
"Also, try getting published without the right 'credentials'."
I published my first scientific paper in the 1970s when I had no "credentials" at all (did you mean "qualifications" BTW? I didn't have those either at that time) and was 20 years old. I worked evenings in a laboratory and was allowed to perform my own research project. At the end of the work I was encouraged to publish. It's still my most cited work, fifty years after publication.
OTOH unless you have performed genuine research, done the appropriate literature searches and have argued your point cogently then you will fail peer-review and not get published.
A friend's son is in his mid-teens he has neither credentials nor qualifications. Yet he is happily publishing papers in mathematics and computing and these have been accepted by leading academic publications.
"OTOH unless you have performed genuine research, done the appropriate literature searches and have argued your point cogently then you will fail peer-review and not get published."
You'll will fail peer review every time you try to present anything non-orthodox. See: Climatology, which has devolved to a cult already in '00, 20 years ago.
Heretics were burned in stake and there haven't been any in last 20 years either. Not many want to commit a scientific suicide.
"Getting hold of research papers is expensive for those without academic access."
Getting hold of research papers is the same price for everyone. As many people have pointed out, pretty much the only thing required for anyone to do research is finding the funding. Access to existing research is just another part of that. Academics don't have some kind of magic insider access to everything, they have to use a not insignificant portion of their funding to pay for it. This is a large part of why there's such a push these days for open access publishing. It's not because there's a groundswell of citizen-scientists demanding access to the ivory tower, it's simply that researchers are fed up of being held over a barrel by a few big publishers and want to be able to get on with their jobs without having to flush half their funding down the drain just to have access to information they need.
"Getting hold of research papers is the same price for everyone."
That's absolute bull. Academic institutions get them publications for free (or nominal fee) and the others pay thousands of dollars per year per publication.
Have you any idea what you are talking about? Ask any librarian in an University, they'll tell you.
Improved access to research paid for by public funds is something that many scientists have been pushing for many years now and one of the reasons for the pre-publication servers like arxiv.
But, when it comes to building whatever gizmo is required for the research or the computers required for the analysis or whatever, the funding needs to come from somewhere and the various EU programmes have a pretty good track record in both pooling the funding and in allocating reasonably fairly – some kind of horse trading has to go on.
"...and WE are free to poke holes in your methodology ... !"
But it doesn't work the other way round, of course.
Trying to poke holes in methodology of published scientists is brushed away as 'incompetence' and 'this is peer-reviewed, there're no errors anywhere'.
And don't forget the gold standard:"not working in the field" as if scientific method was field-dependent.
Some people believe it is and these people are one of the major problems in science today.
finding it's own partners for it's endeavours without input or meddling from Europe.
And it wants to partner with other countries, some of whom are in the EU, on scientific R&D. That's what Horizon does.
perhaps I just don't understand enough
Or perhaps haven't read enough about it before adding an anti-Brexit knee-jerk comment??
Horizon is an EU programme. The EU has lots of initiatives that allow other countries to participate in research, but it sets the rules. Switzerland has managed to get itself into a similar position to the UK after voting to terminate treaties with the EU, with places like ETH Zürich desperate to avoid being sidelined.
Any link to the "voting to terminate treaties with the EU".
Any help in here:
"On 15 November 2021, Maroš Šefčovič, EU Vice President responsible for Swiss-EU negotiations and Brexit struck a more conciliatory tone with Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis, when they met in Brussels. The two sides agreed to establish a structured political dialog at ministerial level, and re-open bilateral talks in early 2022. The Swiss Foreign minister in particular insisted that Switzerland will be integrated back into the Erasmus+ and the Horizon Europe programmes. At stake are a number of agreements between Switzerland and the EU, including future access to EU's electricity market, as well as EU citizens' availability of Swiss social security benefits.".
Yes I would agree with you.
Could it be you feel the big bad EU has forced Britain to take part in all those meddling endeavours.
The thing is that we are bigger together in Europe and it's not just about money but about people and resources too.
And there are lots of people on both side of the Channel who hope the cooperation should continue regardless of Brexit.
Some Brits have this tendency of proudly claiming they are the fifth greatest in the world, probably not true, but regardless, if you add up the 1 to 4 countries then Britain is just above 5% of that sum. The five pence you would not care to pick up in a urinal.
Some get it some don't.
For those who would like to know a bit more there are comments about Horizon in this UK in a Changing Europe article: Health and Brexit in the UK: two years on. TL;DR: the UK's pissing about with politics is the source of the problems. Of course anyone (except a brexit voter) could have told you this, but it does provide evidence to support its arguments. Not that this would change any brexiter's mind -- we already know they don't respond to facts.
Alas the only solution to these problems is to leave it a few years waiting for the oldest of them to die off. They refuse to accept they were and remain wrong, so our shit situation will persist until their numbers are depleted. Very sad. :-(
The problem is the entirely unjustified linking of research collaboration with the pissing contest in the channel, and the clusterfart that is the NI protocol. The fishing issue is simply France trying to "renegotiate" the new normal of having to ask nicely to fish in what is now somebody else's waters. An agreement they signed, remember. And NI was plainly unworkable as soon as the EU started insisting on a ridiculous interpretation. Rather in the way that you can't play "Just a Minute" if you take the rules at face value.
I'll ignore the nasty comment at the end.
[i]The fishing issue is simply France trying to "renegotiate" the new normal of having to ask nicely to fish in what is now somebody else's waters.[/i]
Actually no... It's France asking for what the UK agreed to. ( not so nicely now since UK has been dragging it's feet at granting what it has agreed to )
Actually no... It's France asking for what the UK agreed to.
Actually yes. The UK is asking for what France agreed to, not the reverse.
The UK has delivered almost 1800 fishing licences, almost all those which have been requested. There remain 50 outstanding requests from French boats which refuse to provide the necessary proof of previous operation (most likely because they never bothered to keep such info). In order to get their licences, all the skippers of those boats have to do is provide the data as required by the agreement which their government signed. The solution is entirely in their hands.
UK provided the requirements for getting back a fishing license well after the agreement was signed (which proves again that politicians are not able to think before signing).
And it didn't include some type of documents that the French could have provided, hence the current issue with people that can prove they fished some species only present in UK waters, based on the sales documents...
Why would you call the NI Protocol "a clusterfart"?
The Northern Ireland Protocol was approved by both the UK and the Northern Irish parliaments with overwhelming support. There have been some teething issues but the majority of the Northern Irish people now say the Protocol is working well.
And it is working remarkably well. Northern Ireland has enjoyed something it hasn't enjoyed since it was founded a century ago, being the UK's fastest growing region: "Northern Ireland economy has outperformed rest of UK, ONS figures show". Some businesses have had to adjust their operations but that was to be expected and relatively minor in the grand scheme of Brexit related changes.
There are some fringe groups in Northern Ireland and England that have ideological objections and kick up a fuss but on the whole it's popular and working well. It's the will of the people, it's done, move on.
"And it is working remarkably well. Northern Ireland has enjoyed something it hasn't enjoyed since it was founded a century ago, being the UK's fastest growing region"
Wait! What is that you said? That NI is the fastest growing region in the UK because it has remained inside the EU Customs Union? That NI's interests are best served by being unified with the Republic of Ireland? That's a remarkable moment of scales falling from the eyes, isn't it?
"Alas the only solution to these problems is to leave it a few years waiting for the oldest of them to die off. They refuse to accept they were and remain wrong, so our shit situation will persist until their numbers are depleted. Very sad. :-("
COVID probably helped speed things up a little though it's not necessarily the Brexit voter I blame. Rather the high functioning Brexopaths who foisted Brexit on us and now expect people who want little to do with it or them to help make it work. The Brexit voters were mostly people who voted with hearts, not heads.
"Which are in fact the top 3 nations in the world then?".
Lets try Real GDP (purchasing power parity) (2020), for a change.
"GDP (purchasing power parity) compares the gross domestic product (GDP) or value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year. A nation's GDP at purchasing power parity (PPP) exchange rates is the sum value of all goods and services produced in the country valued at prices prevailing in the United States."
2. United States
10. United Kingdom
"Lets try Real GDP (purchasing power parity) (2020), for a change."
Damn brexit must have been amazing! For 2022-
United States (GDP: 20.49 trillion)
China (GDP: 13.4 trillion)
Japan: (GDP: 4.97 trillion)
Germany: (GDP: 4.00 trillion)
United Kingdom: (GDP: 2.83 trillion)
As these agree-
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What Brexiters wanted was to be part of the EU while not being part of it...
Like Switzerland and Norway
The later having been invited to join several time and always said no, but over 40+ years both countries have made trade agreements and agreements on many other topics that gives them access to lots of the EU stuff.
Now tghe UK has to build that 40+ years of various agreements... Good Luck, UK wanted to leave, now UK has to fully assume the consequences, ALL the consequences of leaving the EU.
"Like Switzerland and Norway The later having been invited to join several time and always said no"
Norway applied to join the European Communities in 1973 (ie not "invited") but the country rejected membership in a referendum. Despite this, both Norway and Switzerland are within EFTA and within Schengen. Both implement EU directives. The UK had the options of remaining in the customs union, joining EFTA, joining Schengen. The current government's haste and xenophobia got us into the current mess on the promises of unicorns and cake for all.
"Norway is EFTA's biggest member, and made it quite clear that UK membership post-Brexit was not an option"
That's how you start any negotiation. If everyone gives up as easily as you Brexit will be a total failure.
The only purpose of EFTA is for non-members to access the single market so the suggestion that Norway has something to lose makes no sense.
"the suggestion that Norway has something to lose makes no sense."
I suppose that behind that suggestion, that did not come from Norway, was the feeling that a big bully with great difficulties in sticking to its agreements might not be interesting to the Norwegians.
Still EFTA was never a choice due to the single market and more.
Norway was just one of Farage's snake oil salesman tricks.
Especially given that Britain WAS an EFTA member and left to join the EEC(*), tossing the other members under a bus as it did so
(*) Britain _CREATED_ EFTA as a rival to the EEC, then when it didn't work out the way it wanted, abandoned it. The remaining members have a right to feel peeved
To be a bit more accurate:
"On 12 January 1960, the Treaty on the European Free Trade Association was initiated in the Golden Hall of the Stockholm City Hall.
The founding members of the EFTA were: Austria, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. During the 1960s, these countries were often referred to as the "Outer Seven", as opposed to the Inner Six of the then European Economic Community (EEC).".
The UK could have had a single market deal of its own. That was always on the table from the EU side. I would mean no NI border issue, so no NI protocol. It would also have avoided customs checks between the UK and France, avoiding the motorway queues of trucks we have now, plus all the time-consuming paperwork.
The UK would not accept the single market principles, in particular freedom of movement, so would neither have joined EFTA nor accepted a single market deal. That was why the promised cake did not materialize. Because the UK government decided that "leave" had made a bunch of promises, but as "remain" said, they could not have single market access and end EU immigration as they claimed. They chose to pander to the anti-immigrant right, rather than the pro-business centre, and the rest is history.
In 5 or 10 years, once it is clear that Brexit cannot be made to work, and that the growth and trade friction cannot be offset by trade deals outside of the EU, the UK will eventually sign a single market deal, and be bound by the rules. There is no other reasonable choice from an economic standpoint, and the benefit after several years of trade disruption will be an easy win for whichever party eats humble pie and admits that the UK needs the EU more than the EU needs the UK.
"the UK will eventually sign a single market deal, and be bound by the rules. There is no other reasonable choice from an economic standpoint"
You are kidding? A case to remain couldnt be made when we had opt outs such as not joining the abysmal currency. The idea a case could be made to surrender to the EU in full is a joke. Lets put the economic in perspective, the EU keeps threatening to cut itself off from the #1 global financial centre of Europe which is #2 in the world but keeps putting it off because it will again plunge the Eurozone into another economic crisis.
A large chunk of the EU (the EZ) is economically dependent on a single city in England. The idea that the key to the UK's success is to be in a falling portion of the worlds wealth is an odd idea. When globalisation and trade has reduced global absolute poverty faster than any time in history it is odd to desire a protectionist block. And I have yet to hear how putting a crap government over our government can improve anything.
The UK would not accept the single market principles, in particular freedom of movement, so would neither have joined EFTA nor accepted a single market deal.
Of course not! Why would the UK leave the organization which controlled the single market, and then ask to be allowed to submit to single market rules anyway, without any control? That would have made no sense, it would have been a worse outcome than either remain or full Brexit.
"without any control"
That's not how it works. In any partnership, if something isn't working it can be changed if there's consensus. Building consensus is what grownups do. Running away is what scared kids do.
The sad truth is that most of the deals we've signed have just given us back what we already had. This shows that things weren’t nearly as broken as we were told. If they were, life would’ve been transformed for the better on day one. For every "challenge" there should now be a dozen "wins" that remind us the journey is worthwhile. But there are no wins. Only downsides and the promise of jam tomorrow.
Even the vaccine success which is held up as a Brexit win was possible without leaving as UK vaccine approval happened when we were still part of the EMA and there was nothing to stop AZ signing the exclusivity deal with Oxford. The only thing that would’ve been different is a stronger sense of good faith and obligation towards our friends and neighbours which has been lacking throughout the pandemic.
Then there's the awkward fact that Germany managed to be the third largest exporter in the world *inside* the EU which shows that membership wasn’t the real barrier to global trade. It was Westminster, blaming the EU for their own failures.
And 52% bought their excuses which let them enjoy wine-time Fridays instead of doing their real job of governance.
"The UK did NOT have the option of joining EFTA."
Not actually true, but if it makes you feel better. The UK didn't even begin negotiations to join EFTA. Not only that but they were desperate to stay out of the Customs Union. The ERG is terrified of everything "foreign" and does not want the UK to behave like a civilised nation that negotiates treaties with equals. The ERG fondly imagines that they will issue orders and the world will fall into line, desperate to do trade with Glorious Brexit Britain. Reality is however somewhat different as trillions of pounds are leaving the UK economy.
The UK didn't even begin negotiations to join EFTA.
Indeed, since it had been made clear that they would not be welcome.
Not only that but they were desperate to stay out of the Customs Union. The ERG is terrified of everything "foreign"
That's complete "remoaner" nonsense. No-one is "terrified"of anything, did you miss the bit where leaving the EU was to give the UK the ability to negotiate with these terrible "foreigners" itself, instead of being required to let the EU do it for them? None of this is about "foreigners", though sadly that seems to be the only thing the limited intellect of some people can invent as justification for a decision they don't understand.
and does not want the UK to behave like a civilised nation that negotiates treaties with equals.
Completely backwards. The whole reason for leaving the EU was so that it could negotiate its own treaties, as it is now doing.
To be fair the first one was my favourite (the Australian one). It showed how we were overpaying for food (as was established before the referendum) as farmers instantly complained about competition. Such a quick and available proof even if economically its not massive and the gov obviously puts quotas in place to protect farmers for now.
"So now farmers are complaining that nobody is available to work for them at low wages, and the British shelves are almost empty..."
Its fantastic isnt it! Wages need to rise to get those fields tended to if its even worth doing! And the shelves are so empty that so far I only see gaps if I go at 'off hours' just as it always has been. All that produce rotting in the fields and the shelves overflowing with stock as it was before. Shelves so empty that there isnt a gap and the reduced and going out of date section is full of bargains.
"It showed how we were overpaying for food (as was established before the referendum)"
Just remind me:
Have food prices gone down or have they increased since Brexit?
Has the quality and choice of food in supermarkets improved or declined?
Are Brexiters rushing out to pick all that lovely homegrown produce that they raved about, or are they letting it rot in the fields because they can't be bothered to get off the couch?
And of course are British fishermen now facing a sales bonanza now that we have "taken our fish back" or are they going out of business and selling their boats, nets, and quotas?
PLACE BETS NOW!!!
"And of course are British fishermen now facing a sales bonanza now that we have "taken our fish back" or are they going out of business and selling their boats, nets, and quotas?"
Have to say watching Brexiteer UKIPer & ex-MEP June Mummery wailing about her fish business getting flushed down the brexit toilet has been amusing.
"Have food prices gone down or have they increased since Brexit?"
Thats a difficult one to answer since the pandemic and the overreaction to the pandemic has caused price increases.
"Has the quality and choice of food in supermarkets improved or declined?"
Not really changed as far as I have seen.
"Are Brexiters rushing out to pick all that lovely homegrown produce that they raved about, or are they letting it rot in the fields because they can't be bothered to get off the couch?"
They are going buying all that lovely produce in the stores. Are you suggesting we should import people to pick stuff in a field on a low wage when we dont need to? On this interesting note it seems Christine Lagarde has recently shot down another remain lie that the EU open border didnt suppress wages at the low end- https://www.adamsmith.org/blog/however-amusing-the-concept-let-us-take-christine-lagarade-seriously-for-a-moment
"we were overpaying for food"
In 2016 the UK had the 3rd cheapest shopping basket in the world (relative to household income) after the USA and Singapore according to the BBC article "Why the UK has such cheap food".
As for the Oz deal, even the "cheaper Tim Tams" line is a sick joke given they're Penguin knock-offs and the UK already has the original and best.
"In 2016 the UK had the 3rd cheapest shopping basket in the world (relative to household income)"
Which doesnt argue against 'the UK was paying more for food'. And the important part to note is that if it gets cheaper then the population is getting a pay rise (reduced expenses).
"The whole reason for leaving the EU was so that it could negotiate its own treaties, as it is now doing"
Treaties and trade deals such as have been negotiated with Australia and NZ amount to "Nice farming sector you had. Too bad. We're taking over now" - or alternatively "That's a nice barrel you're strapped down on and such a fetching gimp suit. Never mind us, we're just warming up the pokers"
The Japanese one actually invokes an old legend of a haughty and dishonourable shogun who was removed form power and reduced to being a blind cripple, begging for table scraps (leftovers from the EU deal)
They don't. But they did expect that the Brexit process would include renegotiation so that they would have "external partner" access on some level, dependent on a UK contribution.
Brexit didn't "get done". All too much of it just got swept under the carpet by Boris and his chums. We're going to spend the next 40 years picking the broken glass out of our feet.
Sadly this was never going to happen. Given the lightweight charlatans who grabbed the reins.
Just read "Britannia Unchained" to realise the undergraduate level of (in)competence which is now running the show. That bunch, a pair of lying journalists and a failed reality TV Z-lister are hardly going to steer us on a safe course.
"Yup, but with Britain having flounced out the door, the EU has slammed it, doubled locked it, bricked up the hole and heaved a sigh of relief"
And the first image to come to mind was them then realising they are now trapped inside a windowless basement.
Why do British universities think they're still entitled to EU funding?
No one has mentioned entitlement (nor Universities for that matter).
The European Commission's Horizon fund is a global fund to encourage research worldwide. It is open to "researchers and innovators from around the globe who are encouraged to team up with EU partners", and "not only to EU neighbouring countries, but also to any country in the world with a strong research and innovation capacity that share common values". "The United Kingdom will be associated by means of a Protocol to the Trade and Cooperation Agreement." (all quotes taken directly from the Horizon website).
No entitlement, just international agreement in co-operative research, as science should be done. In the past the UK was a member, now it's an associate. Or would be if the EU would stop using the NI protocol and the fishing dispute to keep holding the UK's feet to the fire to block the agreement.
Fishing and NI protocols are also part of the TCA.
We can't rip up 250-odd pages out in the TCA because they're "overly legalistic" and "heavy-handed", hold up a few remaining sheets with Horizon written on them, and then get stroppy and say "Johnny EUers just aren't keeping their side of the bargain".
It would be immensely arrogant and hypocritical to do that... which they are doing.
We can't rip up 250-odd pages out in the TCA because they're "overly legalistic" and "heavy-handed", hold up a few remaining sheets with Horizon written on them, and then get stroppy and say "Johnny EUers just aren't keeping their side of the bargain".
No one has suggested that. The UK has fully followed the agreed fishing rules, even helping EU trawlers that had problems proving their previous location in UK waters, by releasing data from UK fisheries vessels. The problem is that some French boats are still unable to provide the proof that was agreed in the TCA but France is demanding that the UK grant them licences anyway.
As for the NI protocol, it was intended to ensure that intra-UK traffic between GB and N could flow smoothly, as could traffic between NI and RoI, but that there would be no abuse of this as a back door to send goods GB->NI->RoI and on into the wider EU. The number of products affected was expected to be small, not least because wholesale smuggling on that route would be pretty obvious (how many containers could you send from GB to France via Ireland before someone noticed?). Unfortunately the EU officials have chosen to apply more zealous checking on that tiny border than on any other external EU border. There are stories of refrigerated lorries being made to unload to verify paperwork (thus breaking the cold chain & making the contents undeliverable) and of own-brand supermarket goods being blocked from GB->NI shipment even though they could never end up in the RoI because the supermarket has no branches there.
EU officials, especially the French, are past masters at using excessive bureaucracy to make life difficult while still respecting the letter of the law, and it is clear that this is happening. If threatening to invoke Article 16 (which is not "ripping it up" but using an option in the agreement) is the only way to get the EU to play fair then why should it not be used?
The problem is that some French boats are still unable to provide the proof that was agreed in the TCA but France is demanding that the UK grant them licences anyway.
Nowhere in the agreement does it say that Jersey (aided and abetted by the UK) have to demand a record of GPS co-ordinates between 2012 and 2016 from applicants and not accept any other kind of proof (P913 in the PDF, P926 in the footer, article 2.1). Small fishing boats don't keep those kind of records and there are other ways to prove they've fished in waters. It's funny how they're being really strict over this and want the exact opposite over the NI protocol.
France is demanding that the UK grant them licences anyway.
This is being sold as it's just being France being France and it's only France kicking up a fuss, but basic geography would tell you why there are only problems with France.
If threatening to invoke Article 16 (which is not "ripping it up" but using an option in the agreement) is the only way to get the EU to play fair then why should it not be used?
The EU is playing fair, it's sticking to the agreement. By itself A16 does nothing more than start off another legal wrangle, it's not the panacea for the UK to demolish the doors into the single market and claim their sovereign right to trade.
It's the British who suddenly want to change the agreement signed by the British government.
No, they just want the EU to respect it, instead of deliberately making it as difficult to use as possible. It should be a win-win for the UK and the EU, but the EU is not interested in fair play.
I think there is a perception problem among Brexiteers. Brexit is difficult, a point hat should have been obvious from the beginning. Not because the EU tries to make it difficult, but because the subject matter is difficult.
It's made difficult by the fact that Britain wants to stay part of a globalized economy, part of an international research community, ... things that have been built within the EU. Other countries have spent decades to find their place in the international community (e.g., Switzerland or Norway participating in some EU activities but not others). It involved a lot of haggling about benefits and cost and the resulting agreements always involved compromise and a lot of good-faith negotiations. The Brexit deal spelled out a lot of those compromises and now it's time for both sides to show they negotiated in good faith and stick to the agreement.
There are no easy win-win questions here, where the EU can just step back and let the British do as they like. If French fishermen are blocked from fishing in British waters, it's a loss for them. How are you going to spin it as a win for them? If the flow of goods between Ireland an Britain is not controlled as agreed-upon, it will disrupt trade and politics. Explain to your Irish neighbors how they win anything if Britain reneges on the agreement.
Brexit is a mess and it will stay messy for a while longer. Eventually we will get used to the mess and ti will be the new normal. Not because it started raining unicorns, but because everybody accepted their loss and moved on.
> Total rubbish
Sadly not. In general lines he's got it right, unfortunately.
I'm looking at it from the French (and EU) side, and it's pretty clear that, to put it in a nutshell, we're all being held hostage by a small fishing town in Brittany.
Not saying that the UK side were not useless too, but it was evident that it was not going to end well when the EU named Barnier as their representative, a French ultranationalist and a bit of a Eurosceptic himself.
All very sad, really, being at the mercy of a handful of extremists. :(
The N Ireland situation was always going to be a problem.
It's very simple to state: the Good Friday agreement was predicated in N Ireland being in the EU (or possibly the Republic being out of it) so as to avoid a hard border. The UK is the United Kingdom or Great Britain and Northern Ireland is predicated in N Ireland. Having the UK out of the EU, NI being in it and NI also being in the UK is a logical contradiction.
The Protocol was the Brexiteers' fiction to try to pretend there wasn't a problem It would never stand up to reality. And let's not beat about the bush - it was the direct and unavoidable consequence of Brexit.
It's going to continue to be a problem unless the UK gets broken up and that would be an even bigger problem.
"The Protocol was the Brexiteers' fiction to try to pretend there wasn't a problem It would never stand up to reality."
Eh? In what universe was it the Brexiteers? The brexiteers wernt making the progress May wanted because the Brexiteers didnt agree to screwing the UK over. The protocol came after when May made progress (attempted BINO).
"And let's not beat about the bush - it was the direct and unavoidable consequence of Brexit"
Its entirely avoidable. The border isnt specified in the agreement, the Irish border already exists. Solved. It would cause huge problems for the EU but thats not the UK's concern.
"It's going to continue to be a problem unless the UK gets broken up and that would be an even bigger problem."
Why is the remain solution always to drop trow and grab ankles? Why must the UK be broken up for the EU incompetence to solve its porous border problem?
Why must the UK be broken up for the EU incompetence to solve its porous border problem?
The border would not ordinarily be porous were it not for the special circumstances on the island of Ireland. The CTA was originally set up in 1925, then Ireland followed the UK into the EFTA in 1960, and then it followed the UK into the EEC in 1973.
Ireland is obviously not going to follow the UK out of the EU as above 90% of the population want to stay in the EU. Brexit should have taken into account how all of the UK territory was going to leave the EU while allowing the UK to uphold its side of the GFA, but obviously as it was an invention by half-witted loons who couldn't even decide what form Brexit could take without arguing about it, we are at this juncture.
They couldn't even decide to stay in the same SPS area as the rest of the European continent from Iceland, the Azores, and the Canary Islands to the Ukraine/Belarus/Turkey border - apparently the loons believe more difficult trade is freer trade. This is why upholding the GFA is needlessly more difficult than it should be and why the instigators of Brexit have no idea how to do it unless they pretend the problem doesn't really exist. The EU aren't willing to pretend the problem doesn't exist as it is a legal agreement between 27 countries + EFTA countries + EEA countries and pretending the problem doesn't exist would undermine it.
"The border would not ordinarily be porous were it not for the special circumstances on the island of Ireland."
Very true. The geography just doesnt allow for a hard border in any meaningful way.
"Ireland is obviously not going to follow the UK out of the EU as above 90% of the population want to stay in the EU"
Thats fine. Thats their choice and I am all in favour of them making their own choice. They are not in the UK and are free to do as they wish.
"Brexit should have taken into account how all of the UK territory was going to leave the EU"
Surely that would be to leave. The UK having the rights to only its own borders.
"while allowing the UK to uphold its side of the GFA"
That also allows for the UK to just leave. There is nothing in the GFA mandating the UK to be subservient to the EU. Also it does not describe the border. So the UK is well within its rights not to be in the EU, Ireland to remain in the EU and for both sides to agree to modifying or binning the GFA. Ireland being free to remain in the EU and leave the EU to dictate the terms if they wish, but if that leads to them binning the GFA so be it.
The current protocol doesnt work according to NI, UK and the EU so it was a bad effort to be scrapped. Which brings us back to there is a border that already exists in Ireland and work from there. The EU doesnt give a hoot about Ireland and promptly forgot about it when it accidentally nearly broke its agreement (art 6) for selfish stupidity due to its incompetent handling of a crisis. Ireland is only on their radar as a bargaining chip because the EU had so few.
Technically, Ireland was united as one state for about a day, then NI opted out on 7th December 1921.
The most straightforward border to adopt would be down the Irish Sea and the Channel - bilateral
borders for England/Scotland/Wales with checks for all goods entering and exiting the EU. If Brexit means Brexit then it means hard maritime borders for all trade with the EU, surely.
As for fishing in the North Sea and Channel - that's been shared for at least 450 years.
"No it's not up to the NI alone at all"
Why not? They're the ones who have to live with this mess.
Unless you're angling for option 4: UK rejoins the European economic partnership. Which solves all manner of problems but loses the one real Brexit benefit - cheaper Tim Tams.
Why not? They're the ones who have to live with this mess.
The reunification involves both NI and Ireland. The protocol involves the British Government and the EU and if the hard border is the Belfast Agreement then again it's not just up to the NI.
How difficult is that to work out.
"The reunification involves both NI and Ireland. The protocol involves the British Government and the EU and if the hard border is the Belfast Agreement then again it's not just up to the NI."
Barring the UK re-entering some form of economic partnership with the EU, there are only three possible NI futures on the table - unification, a hard border or the protocol with some form of NI-GB border in the Irish sea.
The people of NI should decide which of these is to be their future, then the EU, UK and Irish governments can work together to deliver that democratic decision.
Unless you think the people of the Republic of Ireland don't want unification? That's the only possible reason to object.
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"Unless you think the people of the Republic of Ireland don't want unification? That's the only possible reason to object.".
To object to what, all I have pointed out that it's not just about NI.
And if the decision in NI to unification was very quarrelsome then there is no guaranty about the outcome in Ireland.
[i]Why must the UK be broken up for the EU incompetence to solve its porous border problem?[/i]
The UK decided to keep the border porous to havoid having to put back Royal Marines in the streets all over Northern Ireland.
The UK can still go to a hard border at the Irland Republic/Northern Ireland actual border... It would not even need a renegociation of the Brexit agreement with the EU.... But OTOH, the UK will have to assume the political/religious consequences...
"The UK decided to keep the border porous to havoid having to put back Royal Marines in the streets all over Northern Ireland."
Ok thats fine and thats the UK's choice. The UK made clear it has no issues with a 'soft border' but the EU made clear it could not tolerate a porous border. Which is why I ask why the UK needs breaking up for EU incompetence at solving its own border dilemma?
"The UK can still go to a hard border at the Irland Republic/Northern Ireland actual border"
That is true. Article 6 which the EU nearly invoked over vaccine which gives the UK all the justification it needs should the UK wish to. Although it is likely the UK would just stop checking the UK sea border and not bother checking the Irish border.
"But OTOH, the UK will have to assume the political/religious consequences..."
This is a discussion I had a few times over the Irish border but never had a good answer to this question- why would the UK have any political/religious consequences if the UK didnt do anything but the EU threw up the hard border it demands? It would be the EU making an action which would have them assume the consequences.
Alternatively if it is acceptable to split the UK with the sea border then it is just as acceptable to split the EU with a sea border and they could demonstrate how it should be done.
The UK decided to keep the border porous to avoid having to put back Royal Marines in the streets all over Northern Ireland.
That's what nationalist politicians like Varadkar would have you think, but it's just foolish scaremongering, using the possibility of IRA violence to force the outcome the politicians want "They haven't gone away, you know".
In reality the UK would never send the army back in, they never wanted them there in the first place. As Callaghan commented prophetically in 1968 "it's easy to send them in, it'll be the devil's own job to get them out again".
The “Irish hard border” logical impossibility, seems oddly to have been solved by the port of Rotterdam. Operating routinely since the start of the EU, Article 23.
My company often has to deal with exports to Germany, both from the U.K. and crucially also from China and Japan. The method is very simple indeed, and always has been. You hire a Dutch Fiscal Representative in the port of Rotterdam, who handles all the details for you (link below for one of dozens).
Rotterdam has a special legal provision that imports to the EU from anywhere in the world don’t have to pay VAT or import tax at the port. With the right pre-approval, it’s all deferred to a paper exercise at the Goods Receiving of the final destination company whichever EU country they are in. That’s just how the system works. Dublin perfectly could have the same legal status as Rotterdam, the EU just chose not to grant it, but there’s no “logical impossibility”.
If I want to get stuff from U.K. to Eire (which I do occasionally), it’s perfectly easy. I ship to Rotterdam agent who turns it right back round with an intra-EU stamp. As a small business I routinely achieve the impossible every day of the week, because it’s *my money*. So I find solutions, rather than looking for difficulties.
"Why do British universities think they're still entitled to EU funding?"
I don't think anyone thinks they're entitled to it, just that most scientists (strangely not all, but by far the majority) could see that Brexit was going to be an insanely bad idea and very much voted against it.
When you have been closely working with 400+ million  of your closest neighbours for many many years on numerous joint projects, it's going to throw an enormous spanner in the works if/when those sorts of collaborative relationships and funding sources come to an end, and so they would hope that longstanding academic goodwill and mutual respect might somehow find a way to circumvent the new iron curtain that the idiots have thrown up.
As with so many things, the Brexitards haven't a fecking clue about how big research projects work, or of the scale of the damage they are causing, and whatever crumbs they might decide to throw at research (but who needs experts, eh?) are nowhere near going to make up for it. But useless blue passports and having to stand in border queues, eh?
 Yes, that's the very approximate population of the rest of the EU, not the number of researchers, but the point applies in general when you consider all of the economic activity now disrupted.
If I understood this correctly (and I may be wrong as there has been so much gibberish), EU research funding was going to be replaced with UK funding from Central Government.
Now I am guessing that what is happening is:
The UK Government has not provided the funding is said it would.
Collaborative research was not covered by this.
Researchers are running out of projects and money.
For research teams to be viable they need a pipeline of funding and research, otherwise staff will just do other things.
The UK has always been really duff when it comes to research funding, relying on industry, charities or the EU to provide the bulk of the money.
It just does not fit with the instant results culture that we have.
So, are we to be led to believe that UK scientists cannot apply for R&D funding from a realistic multi-billion pound kitty, which presumably would be vital for any top secret and/or sensitive research in development to the premium primary benefit delivering a leading advantage to the UKGBNI, irrespective of any foreign partnership in other programs/projects, because the UK government does not supply such a kitty ‽ .
He said the Chancellor of the Exchequer had put down £5bn to fund local programmes if the UK were placed outside Horizon.
That sounds far too much like a booby prize compensation package figure and inglorious redundancy payment for scientists denied essential national security support to be anything different.
No wonder hi tech travels rapidly Eastwards and out of old fashioned democratic Western reach and influence.
What seems to have happened is that budgeted research money, or what there was of it, was given to various Tory chums who promised, but never delivered, COVID test and protective equipment and seem to have simply pocketed the dosh. Everything after that looks like doing anything they can to avoid charging said chums with fraud and to hell with science: far too many MPs don't feel any need understand science and engineering because all their degrees are in arts and politics and, you know, technical subjects are HARD.
Since I first began to follow politics as a kid in the sixties, the UK Goverment, at least as far as scientific research is concerned, has never put it's money where its mouth is.
Successive governments since the war have talked loudly about British science excellence, waved vague promises around and then forgot all about it.
Look up 'The brain drain' from previous decades.
"Look up 'The brain drain' from previous decades."
Quite. Twenty years ago the then Tory government started the closure of the research institution where I worked. This was the second time that a Tory government worked hard to shut down my research funding and the third time that a Tory government had decided to tell me that I was not needed in the UK as a (then) healthcare researcher. I still have a personal letter from Patrick Jenkin telling me that the NHS didn't need medical researchers and that it was "not the role of the NHS to fund unemployment". I left the country to work in Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and France where I found that these countries and the EU actually value academic research and fund programmes for the long term. Also academic researchers within the EU have status, whereas in the UK politicians treat science research with contempt.
Why would any researcher want to stay in the UK?
No. Preferably in southern UK rural areas. And looking at Tory voter polling preferably where there are no foreigners. Ownership will be registered in the Cayman Isles, but the property will be here. After all, if brexit had been about brexiters moving to the Cayman Isles we wouldn't have a problem.
[Note not the G. Freeman mentioned in the article]
Yes, that's what's happened.
Back in the day, got EU funding to work at CERN on particle physics.
Then Brexit, plodded on until money ran out, wrote up research. Applied for UK funding to carry on- they hadn't set anything up yet, six months after we left.
As not in EU, can't apply for co-funding with EU projects, so most people moved away.
Then Plague happened, everything now Plague related funded apparently, if not just ignored (sent funding application May'20, still waiting for acknowledgement).
Also, CERN still working out things regarding visiting UK people- if working for CERN directly OK, but no word yet about collaborating staff.
I don't think CERN is in the UK, so it doesn't matter. And worse, sometimes those people at CERN don't even speak English. You don't want to bother with that sort. Bloody foreigners.
What's wrong with good ol' British research? Pounds and ounces, feet and inches, and good ol' British pints.
[And in case you can't tell -- this is a piss take.]
"You'd be surprised at the amount of stuff spoken in English at CERN over pints. Some of it is even science-related at times."
I'm currently working on a big science programme in France, not too far from CERN. My home is very close to LNGS in Italy. One of the pleasures of this life is that both places have good bars selling real beer (there's an award winning microbrewery near LNGS). And the Brits have managed to exert a malign influence on our European colleagues that has persuaded them that a pint and a chat are great for team building. I used to work in Vaud at one time and I still miss Friday evenings in the fish and chips restaurant at Rolle. English was the main language but for social/domestic use it was essential to learn French, German and Italian.
I recall in the 1980s in Switzerland being astonished that in a French speaking canton, error messages for telephone calls were German only. My Swiss colleagues just shrugged and said "We have to learn German to do admin!"
I believe there is going to be a new research programme for Imperial sub-atomic particles. We can obviously keep the Higgs but neutrinos are suspicious and quarks quite obviously foreign…
Mine's the one with a copy of Finnegan's Wake in the pocket and some of Dr Gell-Mann's extra strong lozenges…
The main problem that the UK Government currently has is an enormous cash crunch. Brexit and Covid have severely dented tax receipts and that is not offset by the new post-Brexit import duties. Economic growth and recovery are relatively poor but inflation is high so just "turning on the printing presses" to create more sterling is not option.
The ONS has the UK debt/GDP ratio at over 100% and borrowing at 15.3% of GDP. The OECD has the UK’s debt at almost 150% of GDP, sandwiched between Spain and Portugal. The UK lost its triple A credit rating in 2016 and is now at AA (though the outlook has fortunately recently been upgraded from negative to stable). Using the capital markets to raise more cash is therefore a bit harder than it used to. To quote the former governor of the Bank of England, the UK is heavily "reliant on the kindness of strangers". Hence also the new efforts to get the British public to lend to the Government in the form of 'Premium Bonds'.
You can see this challenge reflected at policy level. The regions, who were promised that the regional development money that they used to receive from Brussels would be replaced by money from Westminster, have had to accept cuts of up to 90%. Farming subsidies are going to be far smaller than under the EU's Common Agricultural Policy. The 'Levelling Up' ambition has seen most of its money cut so is struggling to transition from slogan to policy. The Government can’t afford to help families with their high energy bills and can only loan money towards energy costs, not subsidise.
You can see how serious the situation in that Rishi Sunak has had to break a manifesto pledge and raise taxes in the form of a NI hike (quite a regressive move that will hurt the lower paid the most). This will come into effect right in the peak of the cost of living crisis. Considering Sunak is getting ready to replace Boris Johnson this is politically very dangerous stuff and a sign that he is with his back against the wall.
In short, there is no money and it’s politically not very good timing to give much to universities and science.
They could think the unthinkable and increase wealth taxes.
That never works. The old Labour dogma that there are two categories of people, "the workers" and "the rich", are long gone. Most of the real wealth in the UK is in the hands of the middle classes, who already pay most of the tax (and will vote against anything that resembles a wealth tax, look what happened to Theresa May).
"Most of the real wealth in the UK is in the hands of the middle classes"
That's patentable BS. It isn't and *never* has been true.
UK has exactly similar statistics than USA: Top-1% owns ~50% of everything.
Next 9% own ~30% and the poorest 50%, the workers, own less than 1%.
UK hasn't had middle class since Thatcher (it's questionable if even before it): There are only ultrarich and poor people.
As in US, most of the property is in tax havens, so it's not visible. and, of course, doesn't pay *any* taxes at all.
Wealth taxes, per se, tend to be inefficient because accountants quickly find ways around them. But increasing the tax take by, for example, reducing tax breaks and adjusting thresholds can work quite well. Still, the UK's science problem (and other areas requiring highly skilled and educated workers) won't be solved by money alone.
"Wealth taxes, per se, tend to be inefficient because accountants quickly find ways around them."
That's BS, they are very efficient.
You aren't asking from accountants, you are asking from the bank. And that's totally different answer then.
Also, make *trying* to avoid property taxes a death sentence *and* property confiscation offence. Very simple if you really want. Currently tax evasion is technically crime but only poor people get convicted.
Considering it would be like 1%, it's ridiculous how billionaires, who have never paid any taxes, whine like a pig about *the idea*.
> The main problem that the UK Government currently has is an enormous cash crunch.
Yes, who'd a thunk it.
This morning on radio 4, some government Bod was arguing against a pay rise for public sector workers in line with inflation. His argument was that if you raised a wage bill of 200-odd Billion by 5%, that would cost 10 Billion, which we don't have.
Almost exactly as much as you wasted on inept/corrupt/outright fraudulent PPE contracts for your "VIP Lane" chums, you unscrupulous bunch of c***s. Not to mention 4-5 times that on the worse-than-useless Test & Trace that did far more harm than it ever did good, (IMO).
This tory government is starting to make the dictators of central Africa look fair and virtuous.
I can't expect Labour to be much better given that they have been so weak in opposition, basically arguing for more shutdowns and more covid spending (and remember the days of PFI under Tony Blair..), and "The lib dems will never get elected" is a grim self-fulfilling prophecy that I can't see ever changing (and have therefore just perpetuated) but I will vote for them anyway. Their biggest mistake was to allow themselves to be manipulated and shafted by the conservatives, and it's one that I hope they will never repeat.
We have literally pissed away all of the UK taxpayers money, mostly to China, via fat cats and companies with political connections to the tory party, who will all be partying on their boats to their offshore tax havens, while the rest of us can starve and freeze to death. We "took back control", and the tories simply used that control to line their own pockets. The EU had rules about corruption, which don't apply anymore.
But there will be no revolution, apparently, because Priti Patel has outlawed protesting.
Welcome to the real world, where you don't get stuff if you don't honour the contracts you signed.
Maybe it might penetrate the thick skill of the science minister, that if you keep picking fights with people they become uninterested in cooperating with you. And all those jingoistic newspaper headlines come at a real cost.
Agreed, I suspect that is what is happening here. There is, of course, a formal level with criteria and applications. Underneath that there is a less formal level where you can stall reviewing formal applications or interpret certain criteria in a favourable/unfavourable way etc. Goodwill helps a lot.
It appears that informal level is where stuff is currently happening in Northern Ireland where the government is effectively sabotaging the operation of the Boris Border instead of using the formal process. The UK government can act slowly to get the NI government in line and honour international law whilst simultaneously claiming that they haven't triggered Article 16 so economic sanctions can't come into force.
The people who work on this for the European Commission weren't born yesterday and will have experience dealing with unreliable regimes. I suspect they are awaiting a resolution in Northern Ireland before they remember where they left the goodwill.
I disagree. The EU will have agreements with over a hundred countries that are not EU Members. From Norway and Switzerland to Argentina and Zambia. Some times only based on cold mutual interests, many times also based on goodwill.
Before Brexit the UK had access to the Schengen Information System (SIS II), despite not being a member of Schengen.
Many of those doors haven’t permanently closed.
UK companies can still be involved in Galileo, just not in the secret military part of it.
I think the UK could even join the Schengen Information System (but not Schengen itself) again, provided it can sufficiently comfort member states that things such as this can never happen again: UK unlawfully copying data from EU police system.
So, no, I do think the UK could join the Horizon programme without becoming an EU member state, that has already formally been confirmed as the application has been made. What I can image is that it requires a serious and sustained attempt by the UK government to repair relations. I might require a small regime change (Jeremy Hunt or Tom Tugendhat as PM) or even a major regime change (Keir Starmer as PM).
It’s not a veto on UK democracy, it’s a veto on who can join their Horizon programme, as sovereign countries working in a sovereign organisation that can, will and do set requirements.
And that’s is completely normal. Most of the world doesn’t want to work with Belarus until they’ve had a regime change. There are many concerns all across Europe around doing a trade deal with the US that includes food as long as their food standards are poor. Is that meddling in Belarusian or American ‘democracy’ or is it just exercising their freedom of association? I would argue it’s the latter.
Similarly the EU member states are free to decide who they want in their programmes and what is needed to successfully apply.
Obviously EU member states would never say, or demand, that the UK replaces the Johnson regime but from a UK perspective that may be what it takes to sort some of these obstacles out.
"UK companies can still be involved in Galileo, just not in the secret military part of it."
It's worth remembering that it was the British government that insisted that third countries could not take part in the development and implementation of the military aspects of Galileo. Petard, own, hoist; as is so often the case with this government.
in a similar way, the UK's application to join other trade groups is predicated upon it demonstrating it can stick to agreements already signed
When New Zealand's prime minister made this point, the right wing press issued howls of outrage - how DARE she demand Britain obey rules?
We might be able to hammer out the issues in the next decade or so, because we definitely didn't give anything any thought when we decided we wanted to leave.
But we've taken back control, and that's the most important. Right ?
"But we've taken back control, and that's the most important. Right ?"
Taken back control with the "oven ready deal" negotiated by someone who didn't know what a customs union is, supported by someone who didn't know why there was a port at Dover, with the assistance of someone who thinks Queen Victoria is still on the throne.
The average person in the street as no clue as to how research funding works. As for those who did vote Brexit, even if they did understand, would have been taken in by the statement from the UK Government that it would match the lost funding.
The reality is that for most people in the UK research is something that just happens, their only interaction with it is putting some money in a charity box.
I'm sure it will except for the slight problem that Brexit is costing UK PLC £800m each and every week.
That's an extra £25b each year we need to find to cover the things the EU used to do for all members.
The Tories needing £25b could a) raise the upper level of tax, b) cut funding c) borrow at ruinous rates (because we re no longer AAA rated, the best we can get is AA-)
a) will never ever happen, Brexit was entirely about not forcing the rich to pay a fair share of tax so they are not going to undo all that bad work.
Oh please, not that old canard.
The NHS is receiving funding substantially in excess of £350m/week more - even in real terms - than it did in 2016. It's had the £350m and a lot lot more besides.
Not that I can see any benefits from it. Tried seeing a GP recently?
I've just been in for a few days with an infection and they may get the property cheap but pretty much any medical staff is going to cost the new owners a fortune or they will be off to foreign places. Only on of 7 doctors I spoke to was from the UK. Seems training here is good as in you are so in demand you get to chose where you work and when you've dont the basics you are welcome home with open arms and a big wedge. I think the idea was to take over the NHS with its relatively low staff costs and like all brexit ideas it's vapourware.
Actually, he’s closer to the truth than the Horizon website is. UK institutes are effectively in limbo - neither allowed to nor prevented from joining research calls under Horizon.
UK access to Horizon was one of the many things the EU and UK agreed to in the Withdrawal Agreement. However, the UK has been slow to follow through on its other commitments under that treaty (particularly around small-vessel fishing and the whole NI Protocol), and has threatened more than once to scrap the agreement entirely. In that environment, the EU is not comfortable with committing funds to UK educational institutes that it may never receive matching contributions for. A typical Horizon project runs for three years, so decisions have knock-on implications in future budgets.
A home-grown fund isn’t really a replacement: Horizon is not so much about the money as the way it bringS together universities and industrial R&D operations from across the EU. You can throw money at the problem domestically, but if your leading experts in a field are all working in Leuven, Padua or Lund, having a stack of Pounds Sterling sitting in Oxford won’t really help your research. There is of course the same issue for EU participants if your leading experts happen to be in Glasgow, Manchester or Cambridge, which is why everyone across Europe wanted the UK partners to remain in Horizon...
... well, everyone except the UK government, it would seem, based on the scant attention they’ve been giving the matter. But I guess everything is low-priority for Boris Johnson compared to keeping Boris Johnson in his job.
the UK has been slow to follow through on its other commitments under that treaty (particularly around small-vessel fishing and the whole NI Protocol),
The UK has fully met its commitments for small-vessel fishing, and has gone out of its way to help some vessels that were unable to provide the required evidence. The issues with the NI protocol are largely due to the over-zealous enforcement of checks by EU officials. If they applied the same level of checking to all the EU external borders world trade would seize up.
why everyone across Europe wanted the UK partners to remain in Horizon...
and which is why it's even explicitly agreed in the TCA, except that the EU (not the UK) keeps delaying it.
The issues with the NI protocol are largely due to the over-zealous enforcement of checks by EU officials.
I'm afraid you've inadvertently mislead (as they say) the commentariat, it's actually done in NI territory by NI port officials following UK's legal framework and backed up by NI courts. It's the UK which is tying itself up in knots over this - civil servants and courts following the law and ministers rattling sabres and giving illegal instructions:
UK organisations can (currently) apply for Horizon Europe funding. They can't sign agreements until after the association process is concluded.
This means that we are not only mucking up (anyone think of a better leading consonant?) UK research but also that of other partners in the EU. If we do agree an association deal in 6 months, we'll have right royally annoyed any potential partners who'll say "non", "nein", "nee", "nu", "nej", etc. At this point we get to pay in (cos of the association agreement commitment) and won't get anything out (cos we've narked everyone off).
The advantage of having 2 feet is that after having shot yourself in one, you can have a go at the other too.
'However, it's pretty clear that on day one, M Barnier peeled the bottom page off a very large stack of paper, turned it round to face David Davies, and said "sign here". Precious little changed until the last minute.'
Might that be because the EU sighed, and, although sad that the UK voted to leave, then rolled up its sleeves and did indeed start busily working on drawing up that inevitably necessary draft withdrawal agreement, while the UK's "government" was still in jolly japes and cake-eating mode (including some very literal occasions where the Chief Clown was caught on camera seemingly more focused on stuffing his face than actually having discussions with the EU counterparts whom he was there to meet)?
As you say, I'm not very sure that the UK's 'negotiators' really contributed very much at all to the drafting process until practically the very last minute. Lions "led by donkeys" (as some might say), indeed.
And an Almighty Enigmatic AWEsome Dilemma particularly for Blighty, whose Ministry of Defence cannot realistically and successfully deny and argue they were not dutifully well warned about such rapidly unfolding matters practically ages ago. .... [ well .... in these sorts of things 28 months is certainly ages for so much more is able to be done]
Some novel developments doing incredibly searching work and certainly worthy of considerable government funding can be easily ignored for any number of very bad and sad and selfish subjective status quo controlling reasons, ranging from being too radically effective for existing systems remote command, so there be a new form of leadership at the helm drivering the direction and destinations of future travel, and thus be existing legacy administrative bodies relegated to just sightseeing passengers which they be determined to fight and not to accept, ..... if they understand the greater scope of the novel developments research ..... or they don't realise the importance and implications of the ongoing works, for it is always constantly progressing privately and in secure safe haven pirate circles, whether funded by government or not, and thus will the cost of being outside of the information and intelligence loop be a catastrophically expensive surprise to them whenever it crashes and crushes their totally unprepared for a novel radically different system with Virtually Advanced IntelAIgent Operating Systems in Future Control with Global Command Head Quarters. ..... Conveniently Spaced Administering Nodes easily Contactable for Mentoring and Monitoring Unfolding Daily Oday Events on Earth.
What is that lions say is true ........”You can take a horse and leading donkeys to water, but you can’t make them think to drink the kool aid."
not brexit... but the idiots who decided to re-negociate it after dumping their former leader... and then protraying themselves as 'we did brexit' after they were the ones stuffing it up for as long as it took to get bozo the clown into downing street*
To be honest 1/2 the tories run around believing they're in god's own country of the 1950's and the other 1/2 think its still 1940 and time to jump in the spitfire and give the hun a jolly good spanking before crumpets and tea before cursing the french for surrendering.
meanwhile the adults on both sides shake their heads and wish that our glorious leaders on both sides would actually do something positive for a change instead of standing at the edge of their respective playpens and throwing soiled nappies at each other.
"the tories run around believing they're in god's own country of the 1950's"
Before the referendum Brexiters were shouting at me that they wanted to go back to the 1970s "before we joined the EU(sic)". I warned them that having lived through the 1970s they would not like the experience. However to them it was a mythical far off land full of friendly coppers, thatched cottages, long summer days, lashings of ginger beer, Butlins, golden beaches, donkey rides and no money worries. The fact that if they were old enough to remember the 1970s that they would have been children, therefore unaware of politics or economics and feather bedded by their parents didn't penetrate their thinking.
I warned them that in truth the 1970s were awful with rapidly declining manufacturing, coal mines running out of coal, education starting a long downhill slide, runaway inflation which was in fact "stagflation" with rising wages, rising unemployment, declining manufacturing output, hyperinflation, declining living standards, profound social unrest, and regular shortages of power and fuel.
And here we are just over a year from "Brexit" and the 1970s are coming home to roost.
"Before the referendum Brexiters were shouting at me that they wanted to go back to the 1970s"
Before the referendum remainers were shouting at me that we wanted to go back to the 1970's. I asked why then they wanted to remain in a protectionist trade block designed for the time of the soviets and protectionist blocks instead of the modern world.
"I warned them that in truth the 1970s were awful with rapidly declining "
Reading the description it could almost be the EU. Except Germany is burning more coal.
Speaking as someone who was a a child in the 1970s on the other side of the world, "Made in Britain" for anything except textiles and crockery was generally regarded as a warning label by the end of the 1960s
Classic examples: When Australia opened up the market to Japanese imports, Landrover went from 98% of the 4wd market to 2% in 12 months. The standard joke was "landrover gets you there - eventually. Landcruiser gets you there and back - today".
Similarly in New Zealand, British cars went from 40% to 3% of the entire market in 18 months when Japanese cars were given the same import tariff as them. Memories were so bad that when GM attempted to revive the Vauxhall brand with a shipment of 1000 Vectras in 1998 they only sold 2 of the things in 18 months - not even sales reps would be seen dead in a Vauxhall. The cars all had to be rebadged to Opel before anyone would buy them. (Ford had similar issues selling Mondeos and Kas after many years selling rebadged mazdas)
It wasn't JUST that things were badly made. It was also that customer support from British companies usually consisted of "We've got your money. Sucks to be you"
""Made in Britain" for anything except textiles and crockery was generally regarded as a warning label by the end of the 1960s"
Have a '65 Vauxhall Velox. Can confirm.
But it's definitely *different* than anything made in Germany at the same time. Not a daily driver so lower requirements, too.
Very narrow anecdotal evidence below...
I know 5 academics across some southern UK Universities that had EU grants that are now gone. 2 of them remain in University but lost their PhD students and equipment funding (big problem for one of them, less so for the other).
1 was entirely EU funded, so was made redundant.
1 had a massive grant from the EU just before Brexit but couldn't keep it if they stayed in the UK (the University claimed the grant was awarded to the University to pressure them to stay), they moved to Vienna and kept the grant.
The last had a joint tenure with the University of Berlin, which was cancelled (unless they moved to Berlin) and the UK University couldn't afford to take them on as a full lecturer. They've manage to "survive" in academia but considering they're one of 4 people on the planet who know what they know and they're keen not to have that knowledge "swallowed up by corporate IP".
I suppose that's one of the problems with academia, many of the academics are unreplaceable experts.
Anonymous as my funding as a "visiting research fellow" was EU and it's gone. I'm still doing research part time while the University put up with me but can't afford to attend face-to-face conferences or pay for journal access. Before Brexit there was talk of my dropping to 4 days a week at my day job and doing lecturing/supervision 1 day. That would have been EU funded. Personally, not a disaster compared to friends losing their jobs.
I for one would like to see our academic institutions focusing on partnering with the best-in-the-world, not an EU political mash-up called Horizon at al!
In MOST important areas, EU institutions are second and third rate. A requirement of Horizon is to partner with some no-hope institution, to spill a few crumbs, in the name of solidarity (Pork Barrels)