Brexit.

Tigger

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Well we may complain a lot..
but I think this is the result, that the idea of an united Europe has not so deeply sunk into the british society like in some other european countries (not all)
combined with the phenomenon, that in Britain not only the politicians but also big parts of the public blamed the EU for conditions created by british faults. (this happened in Germany for example too, but not to such a great extent...

This EU bashing, sometimes more sometimes less, prevented often a more honest, more fact-oriented discussion about the sources of bad developments.
A very comfortable situation fot the government. and the leaders of the oppostion do not unmask this play, cause the EU is to them also a bit fishy..
But this attitudes have been somewhat petrified over a long time. I think one cant expect, that this changes in weeks or even in months



But this is only one thought. and doesnt explain it realy all. I have to admid, I realy dont understand, how the majority of Brits still support the Tories, despite Brexit chaos, despite the failures of austerity...
I put it down to people like my aunt who doesn't really follow the news and thinks brexit is silly because nothing will really change, shes reasonably comfortably off and has voted Tory her entire life.

For a lot of people voting intention is part of their self identity, many will proclaim themselves as Tory or Labour, without ever having much of an idea of what policies they stand for.

But I admit, I see polls that state there are still 40%+ of people who intend to vote Tory and I feel like slapping each one of them around the face for a while until they can explain why.
 

Tigger

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The UK will have practically no bargaining advantage on the world market after the mass exodus of corporate business. That may be a few weeks months post Brexit. Then I imagine the rules will be defined thusly:

Rule #1 Charge the UK exorbitant import fees.

Rule #2 Charge the UK exorbitant export fees.
I've seen reports that the Tories plan, in the event of no deal is 2-fold.

1) Drop all tariffs to zero unilaterally
2) Wave through all imports from the EU without any kind of customs check.

I suspect their main fear there is price control from a consumer point of view, not wanting the general public to see sudden large price increases and also trying to keep delays at ports to a minimum to reduce the number of empty shelves in supermarkets.

But, zero tariffs mean we will never get any trade deal from anyone, anywhere. Because why would they? It also places all UK businesses in a tariff black hole, where they are exporting to countries with tariffs, making their products more expensive everywhere badly damaging their export trade, while at the same time we are importing their competitors products at 0 rates which means they will have to fight hard to be able to compete at home against cheap imports.

Ignoring customs checks comes with a few issues too, never mind smugglers of goods or people or opportunist companies sending sub-standard product to the UK, but it may fall foul of WTO rules which require not only that we apply the same tariffs to everyone but also that we treat all importers the same. So if we wave through EU imports we may be required to treat imports from everywhere the same way.
 

Bartholomew Gallacher

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There's been an interview in German magazine "Der Spiegel" with Kenneth Clarke (78) from the Tories, who is the longest serving MP at the moment (since 1970) and "Father of the House", about the Brexit. His insight about that some Tories still do think that the EU "killed" Thatcher as one of the causes of the EU hate is amusing at last.

Here it is:

DER SPIEGEL: Mr. Clarke, you seem to be pretty relaxed considering the circumstances.
Clarke: Yes, well, it is a bizarre situation at the moment. Since the prime minister has committed herself to persuade the Europeans to reopen the Withdrawal Agreement, everybody is waiting for a miraculous solution. In the meantime, the government is trying to avoid having any serious business in the House of Commons. On Monday, we spent a whole day debating sports! I have been here a very long time, but I have never seen such a crazy situation in all my life on such a serious subject.
DER SPIEGEL: Why has the prime minister chosen this path regardless of signals from the European Union that the Withdrawal Agreement is nonnegotiable?
Clarke: The prime minister is obsessed with keeping the Conservative Party in one piece. I have argued for months that the moderate majority of the House of Commons should come together on a cross-party basis. We can only reach an agreement if Tory remainers and Labour remainers strike a compromise. But Theresa May has not really reached out to them. Instead, she is making a desperate effort to win over the hardline right-wing people of our party.
DER SPIEGEL: Let's assume the European Union does make last-minute concessions on the so-called Northern Ireland backstop: Would that secure a majority in parliament?
Clarke: No. The hardcore euroskeptics in my party will never accept it. Some of them might wobble, but not enough I am afraid.
DER SPIEGEL: And then?
Clarke: I like to think that, in the end, common sense will prevail, and the prime minister will get her deal through. I just don't know how. We can't solve this in 50 days of childlike nonsense. We need a year or more to work it out.
DER SPIEGEL: But that would only buy time.
Clarke: We have a history of being quite good in processing democratic government. We can't carry on being so insane.
DER SPIEGEL: What are the deeper roots of the eternal struggle over Europe in your party?
Clarke: There was always a group of nationalists in the Tory party that didn't come to terms with our changed role in the world. In their eyes we have an imperial destiny. But that was fading away and we were becoming a rather pro-European party in the 1980s under Margaret Thatcher. Remember, it was us who had to persuade the Germans and French of the single market.
DER SPIEGEL: But Thatcher turned into a euroskeptic herself at the end of her term as prime minister.
Clarke: She rejected Jacques Delors' idea of a more social Europe. Her fall in 1990 enraged the Tory far-right. They thought it was all a kind of pro-European plot. The European issue became symbolic of the betrayal of Margaret Thatcher. It became a spiritual event -- revenge for Margaret. And then there was the question of the euro and the Maastricht Treaty, which became symbols for the destruction of our independence and sovereignty.
DER SPIEGEL: Since Thatcher, every Tory leader tried to appease the euroskeptics, but all of them failed. Why has nobody learned a lesson?
Clarke: I don't know. This has been going on for years and years and years. You have to keep in mind that most of our national newspapers were bought by fanatic anti-European campaigners like Conrad Black and Rupert Murdoch. The leadership of the Conservative Party was always frightened of them. After this dreadful decision to hold a referendum, David Cameron didn't campaign around the benefits of being in the EU. It would have annoyed the euroskeptics in our party and in the press. He didn't want to upset them. Instead, he told people that they would be poorer after Brexit, that house prices would fall. It was project fear -- and it didn't work out.
DER SPIEGEL: Cameron wanted to marginalize the hardline euroskeptics in the Tory party, but instead they are gaining ever more influence.
Clarke: They have formed a party within the party. They have their own leader, they have their own whip. I would love to see them leaving the party. It would help. And it would stop Theresa May in giving too high a priority to trying to keep these ultrafanatics on side.
DER SPIEGEL: The irreconcilability in the political system seems to be mirrored in British society. What is happening to your country?
Clarke: It's a very nasty climate out there. People are retreating into angry simplicities. Half the population is angry about politicians not getting on with it, they're not following the detail, they haven't a clue what the Irish backstop is, and they couldn't care less. They just want it to be over. The other half does follow quite fairly, intensely, more than usual. They are divided in angry remainers who are ever more ferociously for remaining and angry leavers who ever more ferociously feel they are being betrayed.
DER SPIEGEL: Are you worried?
Clarke: Of course, I am. The Brexit debate has absolutely crippled our party-political system and it has distorted the usual process of political debate. We have lots and lots of other really big things we should be getting on with. We urgently need to create an economy that distributes benefits more fairly. But we're not, because the political class is obsessed with Brexit. This is almost a nervous breakdown, we need to stop it.
 

Bartholomew Gallacher

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Frankly said the UK is spying at GCHQ on all Europe and more in such a shameless way and manner, that even if the NSA - who is no slouch either - discovers rests of their ethics now and then do outsource that specific task then over to the Brits.

So IMHO the above is something the British government gives absolutely no thought whatsoever about.
 
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Innula Zenovka

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I don't understand why "it will be illegal under European law from March 30 for that data to be transferred to the UK" in the event of a no-deal Brexit, since UK data protection law is already fully compliant with the relevant EU directives.

It might require formal recognition (an "adequacy decision") from the European Commission that this is the case, but I can't imagine it being a problem.

See Rules on international transfers of personal data
 
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Khamon

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I put it down to people like my aunt who doesn't really follow the news and thinks brexit is silly because nothing will really change, shes reasonably comfortably off and has voted Tory her entire life.
Will she be comfortably off as the cost of living persistently rises over the next few years? Is she well enough set to survive the steady decrease of the state pension and to pay increasing NHS deductibles for the rest of her life? How bad will it have to get before Parliament is replaced by people who care?
 
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Innula Zenovka

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Interesting article by Gloria De Piero, a Labour MP who represents Ashfield, a Leave-voting constituency in Nottinghamshire (my part of the world, originally).

I don't agree with her, and in particular I think that she dodges this very important question in an utterly shameful manner:

Some of my closest parliamentary colleagues and allies who once embraced me with a hug now look at me with a grimace. Left-wing friends I had made in London over the years now send me angry emails and attack me on social media for arguing that we should respect the referendum result. One such email just dropped into my inbox while writing this, from a woman I worked with in TV in my 20s.

“The question is how can you morally vote for something that you now know for certain, because of what has happened in the Brexit negotiations, is going to make your constituents' lives worse off. Isn't it your job as their representative to tell your constituents the truth?”

We are all entitled to different views but a split on the left will kill us and the sooner we realise that the better. We will never get a Labour government without assembling a coalition of the working class and the liberal middle class.
That is, she seems prepared to sell her constituents down the river by pursuing a course that she thinks will be inimical to their best interests, in order to help assemble this "coalition of the working class and the liberal middle class" she hopes will bring Labour to power.

Nevertheless, I think her article is worth reading, if only to understand the position in which a lot of Labour MPs find themselves.

As I say, I think her solution to her dilemma is unprincipled and counter-productive, but Labour do have to understand the concerns and complaints of her constituents, and try to answer them, rather than simply dismiss them as misguided: I talked to my Leave-voting constituents about Brexit. This is what I learnt

When I still lived up there back in the 1970s, and then briefly in the 1990s, I had very similar arguments with former Labour voters who'd turned to the National Front and (later) the BNP in response to what they saw as Labour taking them for granted and ignoring their genuine concerns. I tried, often with some success, to persuade them that, while their concerns were perfectly valid, their solutions (at the time, "blame immigrants") weren't. But simply dismissing them and their concerns doesn't work.
 

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The whole democratic theory of people voting in their own self-interest has been shot to hell by the Brexit referendum and Trump's election. The people can be fooled easily and in sufficient numbers that they willingly vote for decisions and persons that will actively harm them. The Germans famously did it, so did the Italians, and most recently, the Russians, the British, and the Americans. The democratic theory has no protection against blatant liars who appeal to the prejudices of the people. Yet, until we think of a better system, it remains better than all the others *when it works.* When it doesn't work, it's no different from the others and the people are consequently screwed.
 

Luisa Land

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The University-Hospital of Düsseldorf, Germany
courts polish nursing staff working in the UK in advertisments in polish-language papers in Great Britain

"Worried about Brexit?
Come to Germany..." Besides the safe haven of an EU-country .......they are promised:.
"Not only do we have the better pay, better social benefits and better working hours, we also have the better weather, the better food and the shorter way to Poland."
lol

Uniklinik Düsseldorf will von Brexit profitieren
 
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Bartholomew Gallacher

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There's a reason why the Polish work force gravitated to Britain and not Germany beginning in the past decade: the UK normally paid much, much better for the same job. The UK had minimum wages - Germany introduced that on a national level in 2015.
 
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Innula Zenovka

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The whole democratic theory of people voting in their own self-interest has been shot to hell by the Brexit referendum and Trump's election. The people can be fooled easily and in sufficient numbers that they willingly vote for decisions and persons that will actively harm them. The Germans famously did it, so did the Italians, and most recently, the Russians, the British, and the Americans. The democratic theory has no protection against blatant liars who appeal to the prejudices of the people. Yet, until we think of a better system, it remains better than all the others *when it works.* When it doesn't work, it's no different from the others and the people are consequently screwed.
I've never been particularly impressed at the idea of people as logical actors making conscious decisions based on their own self-interest, which I've always seen as a myth that's credible only to philosophers and social theorists who don't get out much.

I mean, if people actually did behave that way, then they wouldn't get drunk, get stoned, gamble, have unprotected sex, fall in love (not necessarily in that order, of course), or exceed the speed limit, drive without wearing their seat belts, or use their phones while driving, or engage in hazardous sports and pursuits or eat junk food... all sorts of things.

To my mind, the basic tests of any system of government are, does it fulfill at least the basic functions of government in the territory it seeks to govern, does it enjoy the consent of the governed and does it provide for an orderly transfer of power? If it makes sensible decisions, then that's a bonus.
 

Luisa Land

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I've never been particularly impressed at the idea of people as logical actors making conscious decisions based on their own self-interest, which I've always seen as a myth that's credible only to philosophers and social theorists who don't get out much.

I mean, if people actually did behave that way, then they wouldn't get drunk, get stoned, gamble, have unprotected sex, fall in love (not necessarily in that order, of course), or exceed the speed limit, drive without wearing their seat belts, or use their phones while driving, or engage in hazardous sports and pursuits or eat junk food... all sorts of things.

To my mind, the basic tests of any system of government are, does it fulfill at least the basic functions of government in the territory it seeks to govern, does it enjoy the consent of the governed and does it provide for an orderly transfer of power? If it makes sensible decisions, then that's a bonus.

Well I think, that the most people try to act and make decisions based on their own self.interest...(Will not discuss here, that sometimes or often some self-interst is damaging, drug -addicts etc)
The question is to what extend are people able to understand what is in their self-interest, (want to reduce this here to the political acting). How good informed are they?, how much do the understand the often complex issues. sure not even the most intelligent person does understand all the issues ..
As less someone does understand as more he is unimmunized for simple explainations.. and delicately to identify scapegoats ( foreigners, EU..

And sure , thanks god not all human acting is based on cool ratio.
Feelings are very important for a well-oiled society.
Not all feelings and emotions are bad. charity, empathy, a sense of self as social being..

Imho for political and social acting it needs a mixture of ratio and emotions.. but certainly ratio have to determine the bigger part of governmental action.
the different political and social parts of the society should not neglect the ratio. This play to name foreginers, Immigrants, EU as the scapegoats is irrisponsible and the lack of broad debate, where the real sources for grievances are discussed, leads in the end to this dangerous or at least bad situation the UK is now trapped in-
.(besides there may be some problems with immigrants, eu, but not the pivotal ones and not ones where the only option to solve them would be a Brexit.
 
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Chin Rey

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I mean, if people actually did behave that way, then they wouldn't get drunk, get stoned, gamble, have unprotected sex, fall in love (not necessarily in that order, of course), or exceed the speed limit, drive without wearing their seat belts, or use their phones while driving, or engage in hazardous sports and pursuits or eat junk food... all sorts of things.
Are you saying people actually do those things? I thought that was only a myth.
 
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Kara Spengler

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I put it down to people like my aunt who doesn't really follow the news and thinks brexit is silly because nothing will really change, shes reasonably comfortably off and has voted Tory her entire life.

For a lot of people voting intention is part of their self identity, many will proclaim themselves as Tory or Labour, without ever having much of an idea of what policies they stand for.

But I admit, I see polls that state there are still 40%+ of people who intend to vote Tory and I feel like slapping each one of them around the face for a while until they can explain why.
/me points to the #goptaxscam thread .... same psychology, different country
 

Tigger

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Update: the ferryless ferry company with pizza delivery terms and conditions and no employees based at a port of no ports has now lost the contract it had. Apparently in spite of due diligence there is no longer any confidence that they can fulfil it.
 

Bartholomew Gallacher

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The whole democratic theory of people voting in their own self-interest has been shot to hell by the Brexit referendum and Trump's election. The people can be fooled easily and in sufficient numbers that they willingly vote for decisions and persons that will actively harm them.
Your whole argumentation just plays in the hand of the people who don't want to have a real democracy at all.

Having said that, the outcome of the Brexit referendum is no good argument against referendums at all, but against the way how referendums should be handled.

Referendums normally should work bottom up; they should be the conclusion to an open debate in society and give the voter real options to choose between. But a result is still a result, and should not be taken lightly, if you don't want to damage the trust into your democracy at all.

And that's exactly all that's wrong with the first referendum: it was never the answer to an open question in society, but came into being from top to the bottom, because Cameron decided that he wanted to ask the voters in order to appease the euroskeptics in his own party. And bow, did it went wrong, but that's also again a political problem of bad informations through media, and how Cameron handled the whole campaign by himself.

So we are now two years after, in which an intense debate on that topic has been done society. This means that now is the rright time for a real referendum, because now the people do know exactly what's at stake, and the options should be clearly described.

The thing is though that the politicians in the UK are more busy playing their power games than minimizing the potential damage for the people right now; and if the outcome of a second referendum would be again we'll leave, well then so be it. Many times people do argue against referendums just because their own personal dislike of the result, nothing more, nothing less, which is very undemocratic by the way.