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September 23, 2017 9:28 AM   Subscribe

British PM Theresa May has finally made her big speech on Brexit... to little acclaim. Best coverage, as it often is, comes from Marina Hyde.

(the title of Marina's article is a reference to a commercial that Brits of a certain age have permanently burnt into their neurons from it being in front of just about every film in the cinema in the early 90s)

Related Bonus feature: The inside story of Labour’s election shock
posted by fearfulsymmetry (63 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
Delaying is good... how about delaying till never?

My main concern is how much the EU, knowing us for the powerless idiots we are now, actually wants us and our bullshit back.
posted by Artw at 9:46 AM on September 23 [6 favorites]


Marina Hyde's piece is grand, even without the TVTropes link:
For the past few months, May’s messaging strategy has been predicated on the fact that the EU doesn’t have the internet. Thus you can spend a year being as rude and dismissive about them as you like for the benefit of the media back home, then fly to Europe and smilingly urge them to “be creative”, and everyone will take kindly to it.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:57 AM on September 23 [18 favorites]


From my Canadian-moved-to-UK-in-mid-2015 perspective, Brexit is a horror show. I feel like I, as an Anglophone Canadian from Ontario, know roughly how the rest of the EU feels about Britain; the similarities to Quebec, with its sporadic separatist-nonsense governments, outsized influence on national politics, and 'distinct culture' that seems mostly to be about getting as much for itself as it can, are very very strong.

If Quebec voted to separate from Canada on a 2 year timeline, the rest of Canada's response would be split evenly between "sad to see you go, but if this is what you want, we can't keep you" and "AHAHAHAHA don't let the door hit your ass on the way out, bye fuckers". Sometimes from the same people. Sometimes on the same issue.

I do not think the people who campaigned to Leave did so in good faith.

I do not think that anyone - including the UK government - has any idea how bad it's going to get before it gets better.
posted by Fraxas at 10:03 AM on September 23 [19 favorites]


This is somewhat good news, overall, as it gives the Tories a whole two years to infight and bumble around, further lose confidence, end up having to call a general election, and whoever wins will most likely have to back into the most EU like arrangement we'll be allowed, which I suspect will be much like Norway's, but somehow slightly worse as a punishment.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 10:08 AM on September 23 [2 favorites]


What I find odd is the way she keeps talking about Brexit as if it's just this ... thing that's happening, and she and her fellow politicians had nothing to do with it.
posted by Perodicticus potto at 10:21 AM on September 23 [16 favorites]


Well...erm..."Will of the people," don't you know?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:22 AM on September 23


May campaigned for stay in the Brexit vote (although quietly enough that it wouldn't effect her future political career)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:30 AM on September 23


So we've gone from Brexit to Brexit means Brexit to Brexit in name only.

So now instead of driving off the cliff the UK will now be walking a tightrope across the gap while the far right Tory faction keeps trying to throw the whole thing off balance.

Hopefully the EU goes along with her facacta plan otherwise she's going to be looking like Wile E. Coyote in a Road Runner cartoon.
posted by Talez at 10:38 AM on September 23 [2 favorites]


What I find odd is the way she keeps talking about Brexit as if it's just this ... thing that's happening, and she and her fellow politicians had nothing to do with it.

You think that's bad, check out the Labour politicians who keep talking like there's nothing they can do about it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:06 AM on September 23 [25 favorites]


I'm actually respecting Labour's discipline here. There's this quote, never get in the way of your opponent defeating themselves. If Labour was being aggressively anti-Brexit, the Tories could pin its failure on them. This strategy forces the Tories to own whatever comes, while Labour focuses not on the means (stopping Brexit) but the ends (providing services). The latter is actually clearly popular.
posted by effugas at 11:32 AM on September 23 [17 favorites]


Labour is aggressively pro-Brexit.
posted by Artw at 11:34 AM on September 23 [5 favorites]


Labour is aggressively pro-Brexit.
posted by Artw at 11:34 AM on September 23 [+] [!]


Now they are, they weren't when it was relevant.

Anyhow, thanks for a new brexit thread. So much is happening or not-happening.
posted by mumimor at 11:43 AM on September 23


When in mattered they were aggressively absent, which was shit and cowardly.
posted by Artw at 11:53 AM on September 23 [11 favorites]


Labour are hedging their bets, edging slightly towards moderation when Brexit looks like blowing up on the Tories, but not so far as for a campaign branding them as Treacherous Disloyal Defeatists to be likely to bite into their next electoral figures. Though one does wonder whether or not some on the left see a Total Brexit as an opportunity to build Socialism In One Country, unhindered by the EU's neoliberal, market-oriented rules; perhaps ultimately with a militarily fortified English Channel serving as a national Anti-Neoliberal Self-Protection Barrier.
posted by acb at 11:57 AM on September 23 [7 favorites]


I saw an interesting twitter thread to the effect that lots of European politicians "of rank" were invited to the Florence speech, and none of them bothered to turn up.

Guy Verhofstadt (who I believe visited Ireland very recently) has already shot down the proposals for migrant registration, and pointed out that there is STILL nothing concrete to resolve HMG's completely self-contradictory position on NI (viz no physical infrastructure at the border while being out of the customs union).

Moody's have downgraded the UK and are nervous about a no-deal scenario.

The full text of the Florence speech is here of which this is an excerpt which I am going to put in blockquote tags but please imagine that I am holding it at arms length with a pair of tongs:
throughout its membership, the United Kingdom has never totally felt at home being in the European Union.

And perhaps because of our history and geography, the European Union never felt to us like an integral part of our national story
..because it absolutely boils my piss that she can stand up and say this shite - by all means speak for your fellow narrowminded bigots; I grew up in NI watching it being transformed in no small part by European money and a new, flexible European identity, and I live in and love London which is (or was, thanks for that) a hub of European culture and science and business and there's no fucking way you speak for me.

Ugh.
posted by doop at 12:34 PM on September 23 [36 favorites]


You know, I don’t know how Americans participate in the Trump threads, because thinking about the stupidity of Brexit in general, and the unbelievable fucking incompetence of the attempt to implement it… I keep typing out comments and deleting them again. I have SO MUCH OPINION and so much scorn and rage and aaaaaaaaarrrrrrghhh.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 12:44 PM on September 23 [27 favorites]


It's curious how introverted the conversation in the UK* is; an endless discussion of what kind of Brexit we should have, paying no attention at all to what's probably available (plain hard Brexit, take it or take it).

Nobody, especially the Remainers, pays any attention to the actual EU or what its spokesmen say. It seems very clear to me that the view over there is, you leave, you get nothing. Then, maybe, once you're out, we can start negotiating some deal. But there's no soft Brexit. It's not that they want to punish the UK (though some feeling along those lines might be at the back of some minds); they just believe that's the way it works. Once you've triggered Article 50, that's what happens. There's no mandate for negotiations. They want the UK to pay as much as possible. But if the UK agrees to pay a trillion every year for ever, it's still plain hard Brexit.

*not really curious if you're familiar with the quiet unconscious arrogance of the British.
posted by Segundus at 12:48 PM on September 23 [8 favorites]



I saw an interesting twitter thread to the effect that lots of European politicians "of rank" were invited to the Florence speech, and none of them bothered to turn up.


When I heard about the speech on the radio the other day, the reporter said: I have no idea why this speech is in Florence or who is going to listen to it. I suppose we'll have to wait and see. And this was a very UK-postive reporter. I think everyone over here on the Continent has just given up on the UK and are more focused on how to move industries and institutions here ASAP than on accommodating British feelings. After all, it is a huge opportunity.

For personal reasons, I think brexit is a disaster, but I can see why people with no attachment to the UK are seeing it differently.
posted by mumimor at 12:51 PM on September 23 [3 favorites]


I think part of the 'what do Labour stand for on Brexit' is down to Corbyn's voting history.
Also I follow the news fairly closely and I'm still confused as to what their position is. No freedom of movement but single market membership?
posted by 92_elements at 12:53 PM on September 23


I see no evidence of a pro-remain Labour whatsoever. It's wishful thinking.
posted by Artw at 1:01 PM on September 23 [2 favorites]


It's curious how introverted the conversation in the UK is

Oh god yes. You know, I get it, the EU is a flawed institution — sometimes badly so. But it is also the product of literally decades of compromise, diplomacy, arguments, and hammering out deals late into the night. I’m sure that among the many stakeholders within the EU, there are some who are more sympathetic to the British position than others; but the EU has come so far and has so much to lose. Not making any concessions to the UK doesn’t have to be an attempt to punish us; it can just as easily be explained by an unwillingness to open a can of worms.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 1:01 PM on September 23 [9 favorites]


Also, yeah, talk of different kinds of Brexit is wishful thinking also.
posted by Artw at 1:02 PM on September 23


by all means speak for your fellow narrowminded bigots; I grew up in NI watching it being transformed in no small part by European money and a new, flexible European identity, and I live in and love London which is (or was, thanks for that) a hub of European culture and science and business and there's no fucking way you speak for me.

One reason I finally decided to get my UK citizenship (aside from the spectre of a future xenophobic government revoking spousal visas) was that I knew it wasn't just citizenship of the UK. I was excited to be part of the European project (flawed though it is), and I liked being able to go almost anywhere in Europe and feel I belonged. Of course, Leavers would probably regard that as proof that I'm "less British" than a native-born citizen who resents the Polish food aisle in Tesco.
posted by Perodicticus potto at 1:16 PM on September 23 [9 favorites]


Same here - six months after my citizenship ceremony the UK became a very different place.
posted by sudasana at 1:43 PM on September 23 [1 favorite]


a native-born citizen who resents the Polish food aisle in Tesco.

A nationalist Englishman complaining about Polish food? Talk about the pot calling the fucking kettle black.
posted by Talez at 2:04 PM on September 23 [1 favorite]


A nationalist Englishman complaining about Polish food? Talk about the pot calling the fucking kettle black.

Well, I see that as well as going back to the 1970s before the UK joined the EU, we're also re-using 1970s jokes about British food.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:28 PM on September 23 [13 favorites]


A key point that keeps getting ignored:

(Quoting from memory, too tired to google the 2014 and 2016 membership surveys): Only 16% of the Conservative Party membership is aged 45 or under ... and the average age of Conservative party members today is 71.

To stereotype, wildly: they're xenophobic boomers who grew up listening to daddy's stories about his experiences in WW2 (or even WW1), got a free education and cheap housing back in the bad old days, and are now high net worth pensioners. (It's no accident that Tory voting support skews wildly elderly, and the state pension is the only part of the welfare state they haven't taken a chainsaw to since 2010, while Labour has a 51% lead among the under-24's.) They also remember the end of the empire with a sense of nostalgia: they were born in its penumbra. They haven't actually internalized the reality that the UK has less than 1% of the planet's population and, despite punching well above its weight class economically and diplomatically (prior to Brexit) is no longer a superpower. They think the EU needs them, rather than vice versa.

(Add a century of virulently toxic right wing newspapers driving the Overton window to the right on nationalism, and there you go.)

In this light, Boris Johnson is an opportunist who wraps himself in a faux-Churchillian flag at every opportunity because he's intent on being the rooster atop the midden; and Jacob Rees-Mogg is a stuffed suit carefully tailored to appeal to the nostalgia trip of the Tory party rank and file, while pushing the agenda of his corporate masters. Etcetera.

The best/worst part of the joke is that these people are doomed. They're going to be dead of old age before the consequences of Brexit unfold fully. But they've fucked us, the young ... and I count myself as "young" in this context despite turning 53 next month.

TLDR: Britain today is a gerontocracy, and Brexit is a dementia-induced temper tantrum.
posted by cstross at 2:28 PM on September 23 [57 favorites]


There seems to be a collective amnesia about Polish people in the UK. We seem to have forgotten the Polish squadrons of WWII who were the most efficient fighters flying from British soil, and the subsequent recreation of the Polish Air Force. That's one recent example - the two countries have a long history of cooperation. Which is why I find it so weird that we're scapegoating people who have integrated into British society like few others. I have a good number of friends and acquaintances with Polish ancestry and Polish surnames (not to mention people with family backgrounds spread right across Europe), and you'd have no idea that they weren't as British as (you, if you're British) or I. As indeed many of them are, or at least have lived here from an early age. Kind of like the 'dreamers' in the US, in a sense.

The idea that somehow by excluding people like these in the future (while ignoring the other half of immigration entirely, of course), we can return to some kind of Edwardian/Thatcherite idyll is as offensive as it is naïve. And that's pretty much all that Brexit is - a desire to be a more sovereign nation, ignoring the reasons why we gave up little bits of that sovereignty in exchange for very real advantages in terms of interconnectedness and the resultant stability the EU gives our part of the world. The question of what type of Brexit we want boils down to 'how far do we want to turn back the clock', a question where any answer is the wrong one.
posted by pipeski at 2:34 PM on September 23 [14 favorites]


> Only 16% of the Conservative Party membership is aged 45 or under ... and the average age of Conservative party members today is 71.

Not disagreeing with your general point, but I was curious enough to Google:

The average age of Conservative party members is 57, with six in ten aged over 56, and four in ten aged over 60. In comparison, only 23% of Tory voters were aged over 60, and just under a half (49%) were over 56.
(Source: SMF blog post by Dr Monica Poletti from the ESRC Party Member Project, using, I think, data from 2016.)

I can't immediately see a % for 45 or under, but it looks like data from 2016 makes it around 32% under 40. (Source: FT article, Who, and where, are the Conservative party’s members?.

There's more information at the ESRC Party Members Project. The mean age of Labour members is around 51 (data from 2015).
posted by paduasoy at 3:30 PM on September 23 [8 favorites]


Yes, pipeski, I wish the Remain campaign had recognised and used this part of our national history in their materials. Maybe they did and it just didn't reach most of us?
posted by paduasoy at 3:32 PM on September 23


Looks like the younger age group has increased quite a bit since the 2013 survey (based on 832 members) when 17% were under 40, much closer to your figure, cstross. Mean age at that point was 59. Source: Members only: views of the Conservative Party’s rank-and-file. There's some stuff about class in that link too, and newspaper reading and various other things.
posted by paduasoy at 3:42 PM on September 23 [1 favorite]


Remain should have used this clip in their campaign.
posted by Pendragon at 3:46 PM on September 23 [1 favorite]


Many Brexiteers believe that (a) they lived through the war/rationing and (b) there wasn't any diversity before say, Windrush, and (c) their grandchildren will thank them.

Good luck to us all.
posted by threetwentytwo at 5:24 PM on September 23


The whole “No deal is better than a bad deal” thing makes me want to break out an intercontinental barrage of face-slapping machines. No deal is, quite literally, the worst deal.
posted by scruss at 8:30 PM on September 23


Enough strong and stable Brexit means enough strong and stable Brexit is enough.

The schadenfreude part of me is kinda keen on the prospect of (Brexit * Trump = end of toxic, hegemonic Anglo-Saxonity) but then again the toxin is likely to be what remains after the dumpster fire (or in British: omnishambles).
posted by runcifex at 9:04 PM on September 23


(c) their grandchildren will thank them.

LOL
posted by Artw at 9:27 PM on September 23


Labour are being pragmatic here.

Whatever deal happens is going to piss off a large chunk of voters. Either those that want unfettered access to the single market, or those that want to end freedom of movement.

The Conservatives haven't admitted this. They've stuck to the "have cake and eat it" line and are pretending they're not going to have to piss off a lot of people.

So yes, the truly virtuous course for Labour would be to say "This isn't possible, here's the decision we'd make, now be pissed off with us, big voting chunk".

The pragmatic course is to stick to the line that having and eating the cake is possible for a competent party to achieve, and let the Tories take the heat for pissing off the big chunk of voters.

Historically, this has worked for opposition parties. Cameron supported Labour's spending plans, then after the election turned round and claimed that level of spending was an extravagant waste that caused the 2008 recesssion. The Conservatives took no heat whatsoever for endorsing financial deregulation and the Iraq War. It's generally possible for an opposition party to endorse the policy of a governing party, then make electoral capital of out it when the policy fails. You can always just claim that you'd have been capable of making the policy work, it's just that the governing party was too incompetent to implement it.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 10:30 PM on September 23 [4 favorites]


According to the BBC educational attaintment was a stronger predictor of which way an area voted than age.

The main parties should have come together after the vote and said okay let's go for Norway/ efta style option.
posted by 92_elements at 2:24 AM on September 24


Whatever deal happens is going to piss off a large chunk of voters. Either those that want unfettered access to the single market, or those that want to end freedom of movement.

In that case, can we have the first? At least the xenophobes will be able to console themselves with having enough money to afford food.
posted by rory at 3:24 AM on September 24


It's going to be interesting. The Tories, if they manage not to implode, will only make actual decisions when they actually hear the gun to their head being cocked. The pressure to minimize the harm of Brexit - which maps perfectly onto minimizing Brexit itself - is increasing by the day, as the country's corporate machinery gets stuck into 2019 planning and likes not what it sees, while the populist pressure for maxifuckoff is decreasing.

We still have absolutely nothing sensible on the table for the difficult decisions about Ireland, etc, which is clear indication that the Tories have nothing. They are going to have to sign up to whatever lifeline Brussels throws, because these pigs can't swim without cutting their own necks.
posted by Devonian at 5:06 AM on September 24 [1 favorite]


EU migrants will still be able to live and work in the UK but they will have to register with the authorities, under her proposals.
She gave the speech right here - we have good, strong wines, sincerity a common -although often undesirable- side effect.
posted by _dario at 5:12 AM on September 24


Nobody, especially the Remainers, pays any attention to the actual EU or what its spokesmen say. It seems very clear to me that the view over there is, you leave, you get nothing. Then, maybe, once you're out, we can start negotiating some deal. But there's no soft Brexit.

Verhofstadt and Barnier have been trawling big "Look! Look!" hints that Northern Ireland could remain in the single market even if Britain leaves, and the DUP have made it clear that they won't agree.

Before the referendum, many commentators referred to the integrated supply chains in, for example, the UK car industry, and pointed out how tariffs and delays would make just-in-time manufacturing unviable in this sector. The food processing industry has integrated supply chains over and back across the Irish border, but as far as I can see, if the UK leaves the single market and then lowers its food standards below those of the EU (as has been threatened in search of those magic global trade deals), it won't be just a case of tariffs, but all those food chains will have to grind to a halt or we in the south lose our adherence to European standards and European markets.

Meanwhile, all the border areas of NI which will be worst affected are Sinn Fein constituencies, and there's no sign that the DUP really gives a damn about them.
posted by Azara at 6:21 AM on September 24 [3 favorites]


May’s Brexit speech stirs discontent among the rebels of Rochester

Yet as some hardline Tories and other Brexiters criticise May’s Florence speech for effectively delaying Brexit, there are concerns among Conservatives that the so-called “Brexit betrayal” narrative being pushed by Ukip and its fellow travellers could gain ground

Some choice vox pox quotes here... particularly like the one who wants Boris to take charge
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:33 AM on September 24


Meanwhile it looking increasingly likely the Tories will try and use Brexit to cut down the power of the Scottish parliament to crush the SNP powebase. Yeah, like that's not going to totally backfire.

Also a Defra report of food prices post-brexit was allegedly so bad that the government has refused to publish it.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:40 AM on September 24 [1 favorite]


The main parties should have come together after the vote and said okay let's go for Norway/ efta style option.

Keeping nearly all the costs and allowing free movement but not getting a vote? Who would that appease?

Corbyn this morning offering little respite for remaining.
posted by biffa at 7:05 AM on September 24


This whole thing is classic British waffle. My wife and I have always joked that the Monty Python we grew up on is not comedy but documentary. This might be the cheese shop: Do you have soft Brexit? Hard Brexit? No Brexit? None of the above? Well, this is a Brexit shop, isn't it?

The most likely outcome of all this is that the UK goes into a transition period which looks just like the current state of affairs - and never really emerges out of that transition period. This is what Brexiteers rightly fear. Perhaps from there it will slowly drift out or a new wave of politicians and electorate will swing it all back in, finally realizing that the UK really belongs in the EU as a leading force.
posted by vacapinta at 7:15 AM on September 24 [2 favorites]


Found this on the BBC website: 'I want to get rid of my Polish accent'.
posted by Pendragon at 8:25 AM on September 24 [1 favorite]


Unfortunately biffa I fear it's that or WTO. Madness we even had a referendum at all.
posted by 92_elements at 9:58 AM on September 24 [3 favorites]


Sorry, but Corbyn really is an old fool. His understanding of what the EU does is a memory fragment from his youth and the idea that he would be able to (re)-create some socialist paradise that never existed is not that different from Trump's vision of reopening the coal mines.
posted by mumimor at 10:45 AM on September 24 [7 favorites]


Labour are being pragmatic here.

They are being dishonest and cowardly.
posted by jonnyploy at 3:04 AM on September 25 [4 favorites]


Nobody, especially the Remainers, pays any attention to the actual EU or what its spokesmen say.

That isn't my experience of following Remainers like Ian Dunt, Brexitshambles and Ministry for Brexit on Twitter. Their awareness of EU realities underpins their criticisms of the whole process.
posted by rory at 3:06 AM on September 25 [4 favorites]


paduasoy - Yes, pipeski, I wish the Remain campaign had recognised and used this part of our national history in their materials. Maybe they did and it just didn't reach most of us?

IIRC there was a general state of denial about the fact that anti-immigration sentiment was the main fuel source for the ire of Brexit supporters. It has taken many months for mainstream media outlets to start referring to immigration issues as driving the Brexit vote. At the time the remain campaign were avoiding dealing with the racist, anti-immigration arguments because they are/were cross party political hot potato.

There seemed to be a general belief that if the UKIP racists got a go at playing politics with the grown up parties then they would get it out of their system and go back to being a fringe annoyance (which is pretty much what has happened). There might be some collateral damage along the way, but immigrants have been a political scapegoat for living memory, they have had many rhetorical beatings from both mainstream parties. Perhaps they weren't expecting the actual murders, or maybe they didn't care.
posted by asok at 5:08 AM on September 25 [3 favorites]


It really isn't looking good for the Maybot, with Hammond pointedly declining to support her as the preferred leader for the next election. She can't sack anyone, and they're all but openly dissing her.

Which would be delightful, except isn't someone supposed to be sorting out Brexit?
posted by Devonian at 8:34 AM on September 25 [1 favorite]


Brexit: EU chief negotiator says no talks on transition period until divorce bill is settled

Talks have immediately returned to deadlock after Theresa May's Florence speech

Oh dear
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:52 AM on September 25 [1 favorite]


> Oh dear

Apparently the UK => EU position is still "I don't wanna play anymore, I'm going home and I'm taking your ball with me"
posted by farlukar at 12:11 PM on September 25 [1 favorite]


I guess nobody has the heart to talk here about Labour's ducking of the issue at their party conference this week. Here's Ian Dunt at the start of the week. And there's this:

The best Brexit plan now is staying put. Fortunately, this is what our party agreed at the conference last year, when a motion, carried overwhelmingly, said this couldn’t be ruled out. Our new coalition will build the narrative and lead Labour to a credible, and inevitable, stay-put plan.
posted by rory at 1:44 AM on September 27 [1 favorite]


The Tory power-grab Brexitocracy is looking like Brexitomancy.

All bets are off. Anyone's guess is as good as anyone else's.
posted by runcifex at 2:05 AM on September 27


Theresa May has observed that the Tories were unprepared for the June election, and that in the past there was "much more of an emphasis on people coming together for debates during election campaigns".

She does know that we all lived through it too, doesn't she? Usually it's polite to wait a bit longer before rewriting history, such as your calling the snap election in the first place and then refusing to take part in debates during it.
posted by rory at 6:03 AM on September 28 [2 favorites]


Meanwhile, the Home Office is saying that EU residence cards won't be valid after Brexit. Just sort of slipped it onto the website, apparently.

Which is a major policy decision that nobody can remember anyone making or saying, especially as this exact issue is still on the negotiation too-hot-to-handle list that is so exasperating the EU.

What will take its place? How will that be handled? What are the implications?

Who can say. Certainly not the government.
posted by Devonian at 6:47 AM on September 28 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, the Home Office is saying that EU residence cards won't be valid after Brexit. Just sort of slipped it onto the website, apparently.

I just want to add that getting a residence card is a huge task. You have to document the last 5 years of your life in detail, accounting for every day. You have to show continuous employment, you have to show proof of residence, utilities, bank statements, going back 5 years. If you are applying as self-sufficient you have to have had private medical insurance covering that entire period. Finally, any travel into or out of the UK has to be accounted for - exact dates of exit and return.

In the past year, frightened EU27 citizens living in the UK started applying for a residence card en masse. Before Brexit, it was not anything that was ever required, it was considered optional, as a *confirmation* of rights you already had.

And now, after all this, the Home Office is telling people that this residence card is invalid - that there will be a new, mysterious procedure for EU citizens in the UK. This, along with the random deportation letters that were sent out a while ago, contributes to an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty. In many cases these are people who have lived most of their lives in the UK and even have children who were born and raised here.

This is how the UK is treating a large portion of its population right now.
posted by vacapinta at 7:32 AM on September 28 [4 favorites]


TheophileEscargot: The pragmatic course is to stick to the line that having and eating the cake is possible for a competent party to achieve, and let the Tories take the heat for pissing off the big chunk of voters.

Yes, I can see that's the pragmatic approach, and will have an electoral benefit for Labour. There is one small problem I have with Labour using it as a strategy though.

WE WILL ALL BE GENERALLY FUCKED SACRIFICIAL PAWNS IN THIS Nth DIMENSIONAL CHESS GAME FOR POWER.

I'd rather they were a little less pragmatic, and a little more 'stop letting the Tories have a free ride in destroying the country'.
posted by MattWPBS at 9:12 AM on September 28 [3 favorites]


Gutless "pragmatism" generallly gets bulldozed by enthusiastic populism even if that populism is a drive over a cliff.
posted by Artw at 9:14 AM on September 28 [2 favorites]


WE WILL ALL BE GENERALLY FUCKED SACRIFICIAL PAWNS IN THIS Nth DIMENSIONAL CHESS GAME FOR POWER.

The government is fragile and may fall before the Brexit negotiations are complete (especially if the transition drags on).

Will we be more fucked if
A. Labour makes a noble but vote-losing gesture against Brexit in opposition, and gives the Tories more seats to deliver hard Brexit in the next election?
B. Labour panders to Leave voters enough to take more seats in the next election, then gets enough seats to ameliorate Brexit afterwards?

MAXIMUM EMPTY GESTURES NOW isn't necessarily the best path to un-fucking everyone.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 10:29 PM on September 28


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