Someone left the cake out in the rain.
November 24, 2017 3:39 AM   Subscribe

"Almost everything that Brexiters say now, in the circumstance of having chosen to leave, makes much more sense as a response to being forced to leave.... Instead of the generosity, confidence, patience and optimism that might be expected to accompany victory what we see amongst Brexiters is an oscillation between sour, crabby, resentful anger and bellicose, belligerent, defiant anger. That anger seems, if anything, to grow with each passing week."

On Wednesday, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond committed £3bn to meeting the costs of Brexit: the first concrete spending commitments to replace EU bodies and programmes that will be lost in the event of no deal and the additional infrastructure required to manage potential hard borders around the UK. In effect, this was the first concrete signal of the UK government preparing to leave without a deal, rather than warning that no deal might happen. The Budget commitment was thus a highly significant statement of Britain's latest negotiating position: not to negotiate. It appears, on its face, to rule out any possibility of UK membership of such EU-associated European blocs as EFTA and the EEA.

Not having a deal will make hosting the European City of Culture impossible, as candidate cities are restricted to members of the EU, EEA (EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway), EFTA (EEA minus the EU plus Switzerland), and candidates for EU membership (currently Turkey, Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania and Serbia) or potential candidates. A hard-Brexiting UK will meet none of those conditions, so the day after the budget the EU announced that UK cities can no longer become the 2023 European City of Culture. The five UK bidding teams were naturally disappointed, although they had been warned last December, before Article 50 had been triggered, that proceeding with bids would be subject to Brexit negotiations. Leading Brexiters, MPs for candidate cities and media outlets have expressed dismay and anger that the UK will not be eligible to participate in an EU-funded programme intended to "[connect] their local context with the European framework" four years after the total break from the EU that they desire.

Like the losses of the headquarters of the European Medicines Agency and European Banking Authority last week, this latest blow ought to have surprised no one, but even the (Labour, Remain) chair of the Exiting the European Union Select Committee, Hilary Benn, seems frustrated by the timing: "Why tell them only now?" Why? Because the day before was when exiting with no deal became de facto government policy, rather than just a horrifying possibility.
posted by rory (120 comments total) 64 users marked this as a favorite
 
Forgive the editorialising of the word "horrifying" there—and you might, equally, disagree with my interpretation of the ECoC announcement as a response to the £3bn budget commitment—but that spending commitment has destroyed my last hope that the lack of overt preparation for a hard exit was a sign that the government would eventually swerve us into the EEA or pull back altogether. Nope, it was just another sign of dithering and incompetence.

We may yet end up in the EEA, or even call a halt to Brexit, if reality bites Britain hard enough—and public opinion swings decisively enough—to force a government U-turn. But we will have lost the EMA, EBA, and now the 2023 European City of Culture, plus who knows what else in coming weeks.
posted by rory at 3:40 AM on November 24 [12 favorites]


Good post, thanks.

If anyone can see any genuinely positive signs for UK society over next ten/twenty years, I'd love to hear it. With the Labour party seemingly pretending Brexit either isn't a big deal or happening really (it's just a dream), and the Tories seemingly completely nuts, it's hard to see how the UK can avoid descending into some bitter, nasty, slump.

But hey! I could be wrong.
posted by rolandroland at 3:43 AM on November 24 [6 favorites]


We may yet end up in the EEA, or even call a halt to Brexit, if reality bites Britain hard enough and public opinion swings decisively enough to force a government U-turn.

FT: Public opinion is being reshaped by the cost of Brexit
I asked Peter Kellner, the former president of YouGov and a veteran pollster, whether he thought “buyer’s remorse” could grow. He said any answer needs to start with an examination of who the leavers are.

Some two-thirds of leavers, he said, are committed Brexiters with deep-seated views about the EU, immigration and sovereignty that are unlikely to shift. The remaining third are what he calls “instrumental” leavers. They do not have a particularly strong view of the EU but think Brexit means the NHS will get more money, that living standards will rise and that the UK will be back on the route to prosperity.

“That latter group is key,” he says, “because if they start to shift in numbers then the entire game starts to change.”

Mr Kellner’s initial guess is that any new shift to the remain side will be limited. “A lot of people still have a ‘cake and eat it’ view of Brexit. They think the negotiations in Brussels will end up all right and that things will end up looking much as they are.”
A majority of British people now think it was 'wrong' to vote for Brexit (spoiler alert - only a 4% majority)
"Some argue that support for Mrs. May will plunge when the electorate realises that a transition deal will require Britain to make further large financial contributions to the EU and to accept freedom of movement rules. But the public's attitudes towards Brexit have changed since last year's vote. YouGov has asked voters every month since the referendum whether they think Britain was right or wrong to vote to leave the EU. Last week, 46% said Britain was wrong to leave, exceeding the 42% who still supported the leave vote by the largest margin yet. In addition, the proportion of people saying that controlling immigration should be the government's priority has declined to just 11%, less than half the level seen at the time of Brexit vote, when it was voters' top concern."
posted by kersplunk at 3:46 AM on November 24 [8 favorites]


As it stands right now, Northern Ireland is beyond boned. The British government sees it as best a minor afterthought, while the largest party in NI (and propper-upper of the British government via a confidence-and-supply agreement), the DUP, is committed to a hard Brexit and no special status for NI for ideological reasons even though that's 100% guaranteed to destroy their economy.
posted by kersplunk at 3:58 AM on November 24 [23 favorites]


the DUP, is committed to a hard Brexit and no special status for NI for ideological reasons even though that's 100% guaranteed to destroy their economy.

It causes some problems for the Good Friday Agreement as well, what with the fact that it's fundamentally incompatible with an open border to the Republic.
posted by Dysk at 4:03 AM on November 24 [7 favorites]


As it stands right now, Northern Ireland is beyond boned.

I'm imagining a deal getting right to the ratification stage, then there's a polite cough from the back of the auditorium, and Spain says "Now, about Gibraltar...."

(Which is a roundabout way of saying if you think NI is a sticking point, the best is yet to come).
posted by Leon at 4:08 AM on November 24 [33 favorites]


This is a good brexity post
posted by The River Ivel at 4:19 AM on November 24 [4 favorites]


the DUP, is committed to a hard Brexit and no special status for NI for ideological reasons even though that's 100% guaranteed to destroy their economy.

Has something changed recently? Because last I heard, the DUP wanted a hard Brexit but to keep the freedom of movement between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Which should tell us all what great minds are in the DUP, but that’s neither here nor there, I suppose.
posted by Automocar at 4:21 AM on November 24 [5 favorites]


The DUP aren't as sensible as that. They want an open border between the north and south of Ireland, but they also want no border whatsoever between the north of Ireland and Britain, and no special status or exceptions for Northern Ireland of any kind.

It's like having an attitude to waste management of being opposed to incineration, recycling, landfills, long-term packaging reduction initiatives, and of course a hard line stance against exporting waste. They're against every conceivable solution.
posted by Dysk at 4:26 AM on November 24 [34 favorites]


(There's also a lot to indicate that the border with the Republic is close to the bottom of the DUP's list of priorities...)
posted by Dysk at 4:32 AM on November 24 [2 favorites]


We just have to redefine the word "border". (Some of the noises about "new technology" wrt. borders suggest that this is the favoured approach. Some weird hybrid solution that doesn't achieve much, but means everyone can claim they got what they wanted all along).
posted by Leon at 4:34 AM on November 24


We just have to redefine the word "border".

Currently visiting foreign parts... NI-born Labour MP and leading Brexiter Kate Hoey:

"Excellent visit by select committee to Swiss border to see how political will and co operation and technology makes Swiss/German/French border crossings smooth. Useful info for our enquiry into land border issues NI/ROI". (Twitter)

Fact finding. Better late than never, I guess.
posted by Mister Bijou at 4:45 AM on November 24 [3 favorites]


If the real aim of Brexit isn't what the campaigners claimed, but rather to cripple effective government for the benefit of the ultra-wealthy and the EU's political adversaries, the disaster is predictable and not an accident at all.
posted by homerica at 4:46 AM on November 24 [46 favorites]


Gibraltar was mentioned by Spain earlier this week as pretty much heading for a hard exit.
posted by sagwalla at 4:49 AM on November 24 [2 favorites]


The hard border in Ireland will be interesting to watch. It looks like the UK government is refusing to come up with a solution, simply claiming instead that they will refuse to create border checks. I'm beginning to think this is a brutal tactic: create a situation where no checks are present and wait for the tabloid press to headline the horrors of smuggling and illegal border crossings. At that point, the UK will be 'forced' to impose border checks, and claim it's the fault of the EU and Republic of Ireland for 'allowing' anyone and anything to pass into the UK via Northern Ireland.

It's going to be a mess, planned and executed.
posted by romanb at 4:50 AM on November 24 [11 favorites]


I'm terrified, embarrassed, and tired.

Brexit is a ridiculous thing for us to have done to ourselves and I worry more and more about it every day. It's genuinely stressful, and all we get back from the Brexiters is "you need to think more positively", or "it'll be okay". How? How will it be okay? Just tell me what the plan is.

Even this morning the government have u-turned twice on the question of whether Northern Irelend could stay in the customs union. Farcical.

On top of that, the Labour Party have decided that Brexit ruining the country is a fair price to pay for getting into power at the next election.

I'm so angry with all of them, and it's not going away.
posted by jonnyploy at 4:52 AM on November 24 [46 favorites]


Fact finding. Better late than never, I guess.

Jesus Christ. They could have saved the price of the trip and just called me. I've crossed hard land borders, and have also crossed the French/Swiss land border post-Schengen and the NI/Ireland border post-GFA, and could have told them that what makes border crossings smooth is not having a hard border because the countries on either side are part of regional organisations with a deal allowing free movement. 65p for five minutes on a UK landline, done.
posted by rory at 4:56 AM on November 24 [31 favorites]


The "political will and co operation" that makes the Swiss/EU border crossing so smooth is probably the 100+ bilateral agreements between Switzerland and the EU that guarantee all kinds of free movement (they're in Schengen, for example). Agreements we, on current showing, won't have.

Still, I'm sure they all had a nice time in the Duty Free shop.

Bastards.
posted by Leon at 5:00 AM on November 24 [9 favorites]


If anyone can see any genuinely positive signs for UK society over next ten/twenty years, I'd love to hear it

If it starts to look horrifically bad and the SNP play their cards right then I think Scottish independence is a near certainty... hopefully I'll be on the right side of the border by then (*doubles down on 'Moving to Scotland' plan*)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:01 AM on November 24 [14 favorites]


I'm visiting Stockholm at the moment, and every time I look at the news on my phone, I wonder whether I should apply for asylum while I'm here. National suicidal insanity is a valid reason, right?
posted by acb at 5:03 AM on November 24 [5 favorites]


At which point Scottish independence absolutely doesn't come with any kind guarantee of EU membership and is thus not exactly joyous in and of itself. One small isolated island nation or another.
posted by Dysk at 5:03 AM on November 24 [2 favorites]


I was expecting to read for the longest time that the UK is reversing course, because I am just not seeing any way at all that it is benefiting from leaving. From here, it looks like all costs with no benefits. I guess it is possible that there will be a reversal, but from the outside it seems more like all the institutions of government are trudging forward with gritted teeth to do something they know will hurt.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:05 AM on November 24 [7 favorites]


Anger at breaking into smaller political units results in decision to break into yet-smaller political units. Well there's a bright spot, for sure. Personally, I'm thinking of bankrolling some mercenaries and taking over the Isle of Wight. With everything else that's going on it's not like anyone'll get around to ousting me. Maybe I can apply for EU membership.
posted by Leon at 5:06 AM on November 24 [2 favorites]


The referendum was non-binding, anyway. It’s well past time to go “right thanks for the advice old people, we’ll continue to do what we think is best in our capacity as your members of Parliament”
posted by Automocar at 5:09 AM on November 24 [25 favorites]


If only it weren't the case that somewhere between half and all of Parliament seem committed to Brexit as well. It's not like there's a unanimous voice of reason residing in Westminster...
posted by Dysk at 5:13 AM on November 24 [2 favorites]


Oh, I know. But I think for the non ideogically committed of the MPs it’s some sort of soft “respect for the will of the public” thing, which of course they have no problem ignoring when it suits them.
posted by Automocar at 5:16 AM on November 24 [1 favorite]


fearfulsymmetry: one warning about Scottish independence—and I speak as someone who voted "leave" in Indyref (and "remain" in Brexit)—is that it's now glaringly obvious that UK-Scotland secession negotiations would mirror the EU-UK Brexit process in miniature (with the caveat that there's no two year ticking-bomb countdown baked into the Act of Union, except if Scotland voted to leave you can bet some asshole in 10 Downing Street would impose one, just for added leverage).

Scotland is about to be boned, hard, by Brexit. Scotland leaving the UK? Would also be boned, only differently. Mind you, it's a price I'm almost willing to pay to be shot of scumbags like Farage, Gove, and BoJo—but I'm not one of the folks facing fuel poverty this winter, and you should discount my opinion accordingly,
posted by cstross at 5:19 AM on November 24 [25 favorites]


England's fucked, so I can't stay here. America's fucked, so I can't go back home. I think this is what despair feels like.
posted by Optamystic at 5:21 AM on November 24 [42 favorites]


I've been trying to come up with a historic equivalent to Brexit. Drawing a blank.

The oil crisis of the 1970s, with the added twist that the embargo is self imposed?
posted by romanb at 5:23 AM on November 24 [2 favorites]


One of the strikes against Scottish independence in 2014 was the prospect of a hard land border emerging between Scotland and England if Scottish continuity of membership of the EU was interrupted. That border would be certain if the UK left the EU without a deal and Scotland left the UK to rejoin the EU. It may still be a price that Scotland is willing to pay, but shows how catastrophic the situation has become, that IndyRef1's worst-case border scenario could be IndyRef2's best case. And if indy Scotland doesn't rejoin the EU, where does that leave it? Sucking up to England for a deal? That's going to go down well.
posted by rory at 5:30 AM on November 24 [3 favorites]


> "England's fucked, so I can't stay here. America's fucked, so I can't go back home."

Yeah. The reaction in my household was something like:

*Brexit vote happens*

"Well, this is a hard choice, but our adopted country has clearly gone insane, so we have to seriously think about moving back to ..."

*Trump elected*

"Well, shit."

(... only with more weeping.)
posted by kyrademon at 5:33 AM on November 24 [68 favorites]


It's depressing to watch, day after day, the British government treat the need for detailed planning and preparation with a total lack of seriousness. One gets the impression that that on 29th March 2019, when French customs start doing full checks at Cheriton and Dover, and the queue starts backing up along the M2, British ministers will feel that their work has been done if they write a sternly worded letter of protest, and give an angry interview to Sky News.
posted by cyanistes at 5:53 AM on November 24 [9 favorites]


French customs start doing full checks at Cheriton and Dover

You should see the lines for the Eurostar in Paris already. You have to get there more than an hour before the train leaves in order to have a hope to get on the thing five minutes before it leaves. And that's with automated passport-reader machines.

Any other high-speed train, if it's to an EU destination, you just hop on the thing ten minutes ahead of time.
posted by fraula at 6:54 AM on November 24 [4 favorites]


My wife and I, when we got married pre-Brexit. were looking forwards to a European vacation. Stop in England and go to Wales (my ancestral family from there), then the train to Paris, then to Berlin and then to Dresden (other ancestral family home, except still with family there).

Now we're wondering if any of this will be standing when we can afford it, at least in England, or if it'll be like that terrible Doomsday movie from years back.
posted by mephron at 7:04 AM on November 24


UK cities can no longer become the 2023 European City of Culture

They’re really playing hard ball now.
posted by Segundus at 7:07 AM on November 24 [7 favorites]


You should see the lines for the Eurostar in Paris already.

Under the Additional Protocol to the Sangatte Protocol, the immigration controls at Paris–Gare du Nord and Lille–Europe are operated by UK Border Control, so the British only have themselves to blame for the length of these queues.
posted by cyanistes at 7:07 AM on November 24 [11 favorites]


They’re really playing hard ball now.

No. No it's not. It's just one of the consequences of how the vote went.
posted by Mister Bijou at 7:17 AM on November 24 [8 favorites]


The Leave voters I've talked to haven't changed their minds. They say they now know there won't be more money for the NHS, our economy will be fucked, etc. However, the EU is being so mean to us that it proves we were right to leave anyway. It's like they're talking about leaving an abusive boyfriend or something. I despair.
posted by hazyjane at 7:28 AM on November 24 [5 favorites]


An additional wrinkle to the City of Culture saga. Turns out that Boris Johnson urged the Culture Secretary not to abandon the bidding process back in December.
posted by rory at 7:34 AM on November 24 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I think Scotland, on it's own, might have a tougher time in the short-term especially as I totally expect RUK/Englandshire to play very hardball. However going forward the prospects of the smaller country - essentially Denmark with extra natural resources, tourism, tech and food and drink industries are, I think much much, better.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:34 AM on November 24 [3 favorites]


Yeah, but to paraphrase, going forward we're all dead. Or to put it another way, my parents are trying to retire in Scotland soon, and I'm in the US feeling a very long way from home.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 7:40 AM on November 24 [1 favorite]


Suggested soundtrack for thread: Enter Shikari - Take My Country Back; lyrics.
Don't wanna take my country back
I wanna take my country forward
posted by glonous keming at 7:59 AM on November 24 [9 favorites]


The Leave voters I've talked to haven't changed their minds. They say they now know there won't be more money for the NHS, our economy will be fucked, etc. However, the EU is being so mean to us that it proves we were right to leave anyway. It's like they're talking about leaving an abusive boyfriend or something. I despair.

They seem to be thinking of it all in terms of personal relationships, instead of international agreements pursued for mutual advantage regardless of whether or not we "love" each other. It's the "divorce" metaphor writ large.

"We had a meal together, and then he didn't ask me out again, just because I left before the waiter brought the bill. I'm so glad it's over between us."

"After I left the wife, the judge insisted I give her a share of our holiday home—and if I wanted to keep seeing the kids, I had to pay maintenance. Just shows how right I was to leave her. It's easier not having to look after the kids any more, anyway. I'm fine. It's fine."

I wrote something about the divorce metaphor last week...

Leavers—and the media, and many others—seem to have been seduced by the metaphor of Brexit as a divorce, which contains a fatal flaw that leads them to underestimate the predicament Britain has created for itself. That flaw is the idea that there are plenty more fish in the sea.

Older voters will know plenty of people who are divorced, or may have been divorced themselves. They will have seen divorcees pick themselves up afterwards, get out there and find new partners, and build new lives for themselves. In a country of 65 million people, let alone a world of 7 billion, the number of potential new partners is vast.

But if Britain becomes a new divorcee, it won’t be looking out onto a sea of possibilities, it’ll be staring into a pond—a pond with only a couple of hundred other countries in it. Twenty-seven of them will already be married to each other, in the polyamorous relationship we’ve just left. Dozens will be too small to offer much in the way of a new lifelong bond. Others will be enmeshed in relationships of their own, and unwilling to risk them for a fling. Yet others will be too happy playing the field to settle down with us. As we desperately stalk the nightclubs of the international trade circuit looking for that special someone, the risk is that we’ll end up dancing alone.

posted by rory at 8:15 AM on November 24 [17 favorites]


The risk is more that we sign a deal that is actively damaging with the US, who (understandably) might very much feel like they can force us to sign whatever they wish.

Activating Article 50 before making the EU deal was just impressively dumb.
posted by jaduncan at 8:28 AM on November 24 [3 favorites]


Activating Article 50 before making the EU deal was just impressively dumb.

It’s worse than that: activating Article 50 without even planning for what an EU deal might look like.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 8:32 AM on November 24 [1 favorite]


A lot of people still have a ‘cake and eat it’ view of Brexit.

I'm from the US, so I don't understand British politics that well, but this seems to be a major theme of a lot of the coverage. Last night I read No End in Sight to the Brexit Madness, which is largely about access to European markets, and it has this bit:
In his speech on Monday, Barnier, a former foreign minister of France, appeared to broaden the E.U.’s demands, strongly hinting that, if Britain wanted a favorable trade deal, it would have to abide by European regulations in many areas, even though it would no longer be a member of the Union. “The U.K. has chosen to leave the E.U.,” Barnier said. “Does it want to stay close to the European model or does it want to gradually move away from it? The U.K.’s reply to this question will be important and even decisive, because it will shape the discussion on our future partnership and shape also the conditions for ratification of that partnership in many national parliaments and obviously in the European parliament.”

Although Barnier’s language was polite, his meaning was clear: the E.U. will not countenance Britain trying to set itself up as a haven from regulation and taxes for international companies that want to do business in Europe but don’t like being subject to oversight from Brussels. And, indeed, that is precisely the scenario that some of May’s colleagues—including Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, and Michael Gove, the environment secretary—have in mind.
I also remember seeing a previous poll (linked in a MeFi thread) showing that many more British people think that they should be able to live in the EU than think that EU citizens should be able to live in Britain. It seems like this "benefits for me, for free" attitude is a running theme not just in Brexit but a lot of "conservative" politics around the world. Actually, I might say "anti-progressive" because sometimes the positions end up being quite radical, like Brexit.

I'm beginning to wonder if it's a fundamental lack of ability to comprehend how a society works.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 8:33 AM on November 24 [64 favorites]


The risk is more that we sign a deal that is actively damaging with the US, who (understandably) might very much feel like they can force us to sign whatever they wish.

Yeah, when I was extending the divorce metaphor it was leading to scenarios of coercive relationships that felt far too on-the-nose, so I quit while I was ahead. This is why metaphors only take us so far...
posted by rory at 8:43 AM on November 24


England's fucked, so I can't stay here. America's fucked, so I can't go back home. I think this is what despair feels like.

As an Australian, let me just say that I am currently completely consumed by envy of New Zealand.
posted by flabdablet at 8:52 AM on November 24 [2 favorites]


If I thought they'd let me emigrate, I'd move to NZ in a heartbeat.

I'm beginning to wonder if it's a fundamental lack of ability to comprehend how a society works.

We don't. We mistake today's prosperity and peace as static conditions which cannot be undone. The US and the UK are about to discover how painful those gains were, because they're going to have to make them again.

One thing both Trump and Brexit have made clear is that if something took a lot of work to make happen it should take a lot of work to make it "unhappen". As it is, the fruits of years and lives can be undone by a signature or a whim.
posted by maxwelton at 8:56 AM on November 24 [24 favorites]


From the outside it really is like watching a slow moving car crash frame by frame.
The result seems inevitable; it is just a matter of determining the gravity of the wounds. I am very afraid that this is just one of the steps of Europe marching off to war again.
posted by adamvasco at 8:58 AM on November 24 [4 favorites]


Theresa May (whom I loathe) could write herself a permanent place in the history books as one of the great less bad leaders if she were to pause Brexit immediately, throw a second referendum as quickly as possible and then stop this madness.
posted by humph at 8:59 AM on November 24 [14 favorites]


I prefer the metaphor of chewing off an arm to get out of trap. Except as you are about to start chewing you realize that the trap is actually a nice warm house with some roommates. But you decide to start chewing because you don't want feel like you made a dumb decision earlier.
posted by srboisvert at 9:36 AM on November 24 [71 favorites]


But you decide to start chewing because you don't want feel like you made a dumb decision earlier.

It's worse than that. Substantial numbers of Parliamentarians are letting this happen because they fear if they actively oppose it they'll lose their seats at the next election. 'This' being the economically suicidal pursuit of the hazily defined 'goal' of a non-binding referendum called to settle an internal Tory party split. They are worried that if they're not seen to respect 'the will of the people' they'll be voted out in revenge.

Of course, they may well all lose their seats anyway when the economy falls over and the unforeseen and foreseen consequences of Brexit unwind. But make no mistake - hundreds of MPs are sitting in the headlights of Brexit and choosing to do nothing because they see it as the lesser risk to their careers. Better to drive the country off a cliff and see if they land on top of the wreckage with a few broken bones than to try and find the brakes.
posted by Happy Dave at 9:50 AM on November 24 [14 favorites]


srboisvert I think this nicely sums up the feeling from the European side.
posted by adamvasco at 9:56 AM on November 24 [16 favorites]


I'm so angry with all of them, and it's not going away.

this American fully empathizes with you
posted by numaner at 10:00 AM on November 24 [14 favorites]


As we've seen in the US and the UK, you can't overestimate peoples' willingness to vote against their own self interest. And then loudly proclaim this is the best outcome even as their lives spiral ever downward.
posted by tommasz at 10:10 AM on November 24 [5 favorites]


As we've seen in the US and the UK, you can't overestimate peoples' willingness to vote against their own self interest. And then loudly proclaim this is the best outcome even as their lives spiral ever downward.

Give me liberty, and give me death!
posted by Groundhog Week at 10:17 AM on November 24 [19 favorites]


Good point Happy Dave. What would be the solution? Remainers need to mobilise - Momentum-style - and demonstrate that any politicians supporting Brexit will lose their seat? Politicians need to put the country before their own interests?
posted by Speculatist at 10:25 AM on November 24 [1 favorite]


I still find it incredible that the pro-business wing of the Tory Party is allowing the cretinous xenophobic little-Englander wing to get away with this nonsense for so long.

The impact of leaving the EU is simply immense, even for relatively simple export-related businesses like the Scotch Whisky industry, which was quite clear about the significant business advantages that membership gives it, and the significant drawbacks involved in leaving.

But for a company that's involved in extremely complex cross-border logistic networks, which is basically a lot of modern manufacturing in the EU, transitioning from the current situation of operating within a single market, to one involving multi-lateral flows that require brand new trade agreements, and doing that in the space of a couple of years, that must look a lot like an existential crisis right now. I can imagine a lot of manufacturing in continental Europe looking at their supplier networks and trying to work out how to cut out the UK producers.
posted by daveje at 10:38 AM on November 24 [3 favorites]


The policies and specific issues are of course not similar, but I wonder if this is what the months leading up to WWI felt like, with lots of leaderly incompetence and a horrifying sense that "dammit, this mess was dumb and avoidable but we're being marched off a cliff anyway..."
posted by twsf at 10:41 AM on November 24 [6 favorites]


From what I've read about the run up to WWI (things like The Guns of August, or The Sleepwalkers), there was much less bitterness and cynicism, and much more blithe self-delusion.

WWII on the other hand...
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:49 AM on November 24 [1 favorite]


As we've seen in the US and the UK, you can't overestimate peoples' willingness to vote against their own self interest.

They're still voting in their own self interest. It's just that racist xenophobia matters more to them than their own material welfare does.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 10:53 AM on November 24 [21 favorites]


there was much less bitterness and cynicism, and much more blithe self-delusion.

Brexit is like the Hindenburg. Everything seems fine, cruising over the Atlantic, sipping prosecco. Did someone say something about explosive gas? Anyway, New Jersey is up ahead, so let's just go ahead and land this baby ...
posted by romanb at 11:14 AM on November 24 [1 favorite]


I can't believe this is actually happening. I thought they would have decided to havr another vote or just say oh hey we haven't thought this out.
posted by sio42 at 11:44 AM on November 24 [2 favorites]


I'm beginning to wonder if it's a fundamental lack of ability to comprehend how a society works.

The inevitable outcome of Thatcherism.
posted by dng at 12:04 PM on November 24 [13 favorites]


"Instead of the generosity, confidence, patience and optimism that might be expected to accompany victory what we see amongst Brexiters is an oscillation between sour, crabby, resentful anger and bellicose, belligerent, defiant anger. That anger seems, if anything, to grow with each passing week."

This is the case with Trump voters too. It's almost as if the thing they thought they voted for bears only a superficial resemblance to what they actually got.

(Or, the more worrying proposition, that they see their victory as only the first step in some hugely ambitious plan to change society, and they're angry that the purges aren't quite getting started yet.)
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 12:19 PM on November 24 [3 favorites]


Good point Happy Dave. What would be the solution? Remainers need to mobilise - Momentum-style - and demonstrate that any politicians supporting Brexit will lose their seat? Politicians need to put the country before their own interests?

It's been tried. And the official response is that a non-binding referendum with a razor-thin margin is the 'largest democratic mandate in UK political history', because, get this, people voted for parties that 'committed to respecting the result'. Which is a non-binding result.

So by voting for people who committed to respect non-binding votes, you've given Brexit a democratic mandate, apparently? It's an ouroboros of self-justifying, circular, nonsensical, shitty logic.

My point of view is a little different because I live in Scotland and am voting SNP/Green for the foreseeable future, both because they are anti-Brexit and because I believe the UK is a doomed entity. But I suggest if you live down South you should be writing to your MPs to let them know they will lose your vote if they aid Brexit in any way. The only thing that will break through the frozen trance of the Brexit lockstep is enough MPs realising their constituents (or at least enough of them to vote them out) are really fucking angry with their inaction and acceptance of this ridiculous vote.
posted by Happy Dave at 12:22 PM on November 24 [9 favorites]


I'm curious how Ireland is doing in all this. My first thought was that Dublin would benefit, with companies that wanted ready access to the UK possibly relocating there from London. Is anything like that happening?
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 12:52 PM on November 24


Public opinion is being reshaped by the cost of Brexit

Cost? I don't understand. Surely the big sign on that bus was not lying!
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:40 PM on November 24 [1 favorite]


I wonder if some of this is that there are a lot of Leave-oriented politicians who have been selling lies for so long that they have forgotten that they are lying, and that saying "it's under control" over and over is not the same as actually having it under control. Sort of the way the Enron executives got so good at their bewildering money-shifting system that they forgot that they were committing constant fraud and came to believe that they had real assets.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:22 PM on November 24 [9 favorites]


Theresa May (whom I loathe) could write herself a permanent place in the history books as one of the great less bad leaders if she were to pause Brexit immediately, throw a second referendum as quickly as possible and then stop this madness.

Everything I've seen from May has left me astounded at how dumb she is. Then I look at Trump here at home and I have to concede she at least hides it better.

But if she got it together and did whatever she could to pause this, is there any sense of how the rest of the EU would react? Would they be happy to stop all this and put it behind them, or are they lacing up their boots to kick Britain out as hard as they can even if Britain has second thoughts?
posted by scaryblackdeath at 2:43 PM on November 24 [2 favorites]


I'm curious how Ireland is doing in all this. My first thought was that Dublin would benefit, with companies that wanted ready access to the UK possibly relocating there from London. Is anything like that happening?

It's a very mixed bag. Various financial firms, insurance companies and so on have announced plans to relocate offices in Ireland, and that will certainly add quite a lot of jobs. Generally, opportunities created in services and manufacturing are likely to go to the cities and large towns. But while the agri-food business is no longer our most important exporter, it is still by far the most important employer in rural districts, and it's likely to suffer a massive impact. Some production is geared very much for the English market: mushrooms, for example, which need a smooth supply chain to appear on English supermarket shelves the day after they're picked here, or cheddar cheese, which doesn't have a big demand in the EU outside the UK and Ireland. Tariffs or delays could put those producers out of business. Meanwhile, some food processing supply lines cross the Irish border in both directions for things like milk powder or Bailey's; again, tariffs and delays could bring that to a halt.

What really freaks farmers out is the possibility of the North ending up with different farming and food standards: of the three worst agricultural scandals I can remember, two, foot-and-mouth disease in sheep and cattle, and BSE both came into Ireland from Britain, and nobody wants a recurrence. We can't export food to the rest of the EU if we can't guarantee the standards, and there's no way to do that if the North has different standards across a leaky border.

A big problem for manufacturers is that a large volume of our exports to mainland Europe go the landbridge route: ferry to Holyhead in north Wales, road to Dover and either the Eurotunnel or a second ferry to France, a route which will be subject to delay. There's a direct Dublin-Rotterdam freight route opening next year, and I expect Cork and Rosslare will see increased services on the direct routes, but they're slower than the landbridge route and again more time-critical supply chains will be affected.

Still, in economic terms people will make adjustments - if there's a transition period of a couple of years there'll be time to redirect supply chains and chase new markets. Politics is another matter, and the border issue seems insoluble.
posted by Azara at 2:48 PM on November 24 [23 favorites]


But if she got it together and did whatever she could to pause this, is there any sense of how the rest of the EU would react? Would they be happy to stop all this and put it behind them, or are they lacing up their boots to kick Britain out as hard as they can even if Britain has second thoughts?

We in Ireland would be delighted! And it would be seen in the rest of the EU as upholding the peace process, which has received a lot of support from the EU over the years.
posted by Azara at 2:56 PM on November 24 [2 favorites]


yeah, everyone would be happy. There would be a bit of teasing, and the agencies and special agreements are gone forever, but basically it would be all love
posted by mumimor at 3:08 PM on November 24 [2 favorites]


I'm beginning to wonder if it's a fundamental lack of ability to comprehend how a society works.

That is exactly how it is here. (U.S.)
posted by notreally at 3:32 PM on November 24 [4 favorites]


I’ve been trying to come up with a historic equivalent to Brexit. Drawing a blank.

The oil crisis of the 1970s, with the added twist that the embargo is self imposed?


Someone on the radio pointed out that 29th March, the date we’re due to leave, is the anniversary of the Battle of Towton.
posted by stanf at 3:56 PM on November 24 [2 favorites]


I’m convinced there’s plot to turn England into a tiny, isolated, poor, easily manipulated country they can be turn into a tax haven for the world
posted by The Whelk at 4:17 PM on November 24 [21 favorites]


Are Leavers really that worked up over this European City of Culture thing or is it merely the latest false outrage ginned up by the right-wing press? (Or, perhaps the question answers itself?) Also, what does "we are leaving the EU, we are not leaving Europe" even mean here? It's not "Europe" -- neither the geographical landmass nor the abstract list of countries -- that decides these things, it's the political and bureaucratic organization known as the European Union that does.

Meanwhile, consider the following bit from the EU's own document about the bidding process (pg. 5, also substitute "nation" for "city" as you see fit):
Are we ready as a city to open up to Europe? Are we willing to engage in a dialogue with the rest of Europe and the world and reflect on the contribution we would like to make to the EU integration project? Are we ready as a city to further explore the many different cultural expressions -- including those coming from migrant communities -- present in our territory and expose our population to the richness and diversity of cultural expressions coming from abroad?

Unless your response is "yes'' to all the questions above, your city is not prepared to bid for and to hold the ECOC title.
[thinking face emoji]
posted by mhum at 5:02 PM on November 24 [1 favorite]


England's fucked, so I can't stay here. America's fucked, so I can't go back home. I think this is what despair feels like.
posted by Optamystic at 7:21 AM on November 24 [29 favorites +] [!]


Epony...fucking 2017.
posted by notsnot at 6:26 PM on November 24 [4 favorites]


2016: year of suck. Brexit, Trump, Bowie, Prince.
posted by JiffyQ at 8:27 PM on November 24 [3 favorites]


> The hard border in Ireland will be interesting to watch
Wrong! The Irish created the border by exiting the UK and they must now accept the consequences. BREXIT will damage Southern Ireland more than any other EU nation. The Irish must eventually come up with answers and stop pretending there is no problem!
 — Lord John Kilclooney‏
The above seems to pass for logic in Unionist politics.
posted by scruss at 9:26 PM on November 24 [5 favorites]


The above seems to pass for logic in Unionist politics.

And Lord Kilclooney (John Taylor) is from the Ulster Unionists, who are more reasonable than the DUP. But a lot of the older Unionists still think of the North as it used to be, an industrial stronghold compared to the poor South. When the rustbelt vs. new industry split goes along old ethnic fault-lines it really deepens the divide.

When I think of the peace process in Northern Ireland, it reminds me of the old Soviet joke "They pretend to pay us, and we pretend to work." A lot of it involves a big pretence: Sinn Féin pretend they won, the Unionists pretend they respect the Nationalists, and Westminster pretends to care; the intractable problems have been parked while cooperation goes on at ground level. But with the collapse of the Stormont power-sharing government, and the reliance of May's UK government on the DUP, the nationalist community have no representation in power at all, and the whole pretence is looking very threadbare.
posted by Azara at 12:57 AM on November 25 [8 favorites]


Marina Hyde, hilarious as usual... particularly like the idea that Brexit is being run by a load of ex-hacks so that, despite having years to sort it out, it's all being dashed off at the last minute.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:09 AM on November 25 [8 favorites]


...Brexit is being run by a load of ex-hacks so that, despite having years to sort it out, it's all being dashed off at the last minute.

*shudder*
posted by Mister Bijou at 3:16 AM on November 25


Then there is this numpty and his chums:
DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds has suggested that the 2017 general election result was a gift from God.
posted by adamvasco at 9:04 AM on November 25 [1 favorite]


BREXIT will damage Southern Ireland more than any other EU nation.

This really depends on which side of the border the double counted sheep end up on. Either way there will suddenly appear to be a lot fewer sheep on the island.
posted by srboisvert at 1:50 PM on November 25


yeah, everyone would be happy. There would be a bit of teasing, and the agencies and special agreements are gone forever, but basically it would be all love

I'll be fucked if the UK gets their rebate back though.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:44 PM on November 25 [2 favorites]


I guess the delay to the RHI inquiry was a stocking filler from God?
posted by biffa at 8:29 AM on November 26 [2 favorites]


I realised recently that Brexit and its aftermath will likely be the main story about the UK for the rest of my life. How depressing.
posted by nnethercote at 8:05 PM on November 26 [6 favorites]


Irish warn Theresa May: change course or risk Brexit chaos
The Irish crisis came as Britain’s former EU ambassador, Sir Ivan Rogers, warned May’s Brexit strategy was “an accident waiting to happen”. Speaking after a speech at Hertford College, Oxford, he said completing the Brexit process was “guaranteed” to take a decade. He said that the prime minister’s unrealistic hopes of securing a bespoke trade deal meant a car crash in the next few months was “quite likely”.

“The internal market is an extraordinarily complex international law construct that simply doesn’t work in a way that permits the type of options that the current government is pushing for,” he said. “So there is an accident waiting to happen ... and it is going to happen because the other side is going to put on a table a deal which looks broadly like a Canada or a Korea deal.

“The only safe way to leave without enormous turbulence and trouble over a lengthy transitional period is to have a reasonable slope ... take your time and try and go for as smooth a glide path as possible from here to the mid-2020s. I can guarantee you that this is going to take a decade to do. We will not have reached a new equilibrium in British economics and politics until 2030.”
And there are many other gems in there. Every time I read these long articles, I get the impression that everyone is asking the British government wether they have any clue about what they are doing. To which the only sane answer is no. There may have been a plan to turn the UK London into a deregulated tax haven for the global 1% with all the Brits as underpaid and unprotected laborers (who can't flee). But even that plan needs to deal with a border to Ireland. Brexit is so stupid it is hard to imagine how it works — and I mean this quite literally: when they are all sitting there in the cabinet, is there really not one person in there who brings up the facts? Not one person who asks for solutions to the huge problems they have created for themselves?
posted by mumimor at 2:24 AM on November 27 [4 favorites]


Let’s leave aside, for one moment, the questions around the legitimacy of the Leave referendum victory, the phony promise of £350m a week for the NHS, interference from dodgy foreign billionaires and Russia, and the fact that the referendum as enacted by Parliament was explicitly advisory and that it was only the Cameron government who said that a leave result would be implemented. Focus instead on the fact that a 48% vote for the status quo plus a tiny share of the Leave vote would deliver a mandate for maintaining the status quo on almost any Brexit-related issue.

The referendum result was so close that if 3.65% of Leave voters—call it 4%—had voted the other way, Remain would have won. That implies that on any Brexit-related issue, if only 4% of Leave voters sided with the Remain position of maintaining the status quo, there was no majority for change in respect of that issue.

If only 4% of Leave voters opposed leaving the single market, there was no majority for leaving the single market. If only 4% of Leave voters opposed leaving the customs union, there was no majority for leaving the customs union. If only 4% of Leave voters opposed ending freedom of movement, there was no majority for ending freedom of movement. If only 4% of Leavers wanted to maintain the Good Friday Agreement, there was no majority for risking the emergence of a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in any way whatsoever. If 4% of Leave voters opposed a hard Brexit, there was no majority for leaving with no deal.

It is impossible to imagine that the 51.89% voting Leave were so unified that not even one in twenty five of them would prefer a Norway-style arrangement over the most extreme break imaginable. Without that total Leave unity, there can be no mandate for a hard Brexit, no mandate for demolishing the rights and security of the three million EU27 residents in the UK, no mandate for anything except leaving the EU in name only.

If we are to insist that the referendum result compels us to leave in some form, even though it’s a waste of everyone’s time, the democratic position would be to settle our accounts, leave the EU while maintaining our place in the EEA, continue respecting the four freedoms, and accept that very little has changed except our losing all influence over EU policies going forward. Then, eventually, if a clear majority re-emerges that wants some influence over EU policy, we can apply to rejoin.

Or we could save a lot of trouble by holding a second referendum with three choices, staying in the EU, leaving in name only (still paying in, still getting the benefits, but with no say), or leaving with no deal, and see what happens to the hard-Brexiters’ “mandate” then.
posted by rory at 3:23 AM on November 27 [3 favorites]






The idiocy of Brexit begins and ends with the referendum. You can't sincerely ask people to vote about something they have no chance of understanding. As it becomes more and more clear that the people who are supposed to be in charge really don't understand what they are doing, it becomes even more scandalous that they asked the British people to vote in the first place.

Due to the complexity of the situation, the exact outcome of the experiment is impossible to predict.
Well, not really. It's impossible to predict exactly what will happen, but there are a lot of things that are very predictable, and non of them are positive for the common British person.
The best solution (for the not 1%) is the Norwegian model, where you agree to the whole EU package, but have no influence. This is obviously a bad solution, politically (why would you have full compliance and no influence?), and it isn't really clear how the status of the City would be in such an agreement. But it is better than all the other options.
The UK economy is much more service-based than other European countries, meaning the UK is dependent on products and goods from other places. Some of the Brexit romantics imagined that Brexit would mean a renaissance for British manufacturing and agriculture (and fishing not least!) But all these sectors are dependent on international workers - and so is the all-important service sector, from bankers to cleaners at hospitals. Go see the Sandwich article. (Actually most of Europe is dependent on migrating workers, even Poland, where they export skilled workers to Britain and then import farm laborers from Ukraine).
It gets worse. The most important part of the many, many different EU agreements is not the lack of tariffs but the regulations that protect consumers and secure fair competition. If the UK still wants to export to EU countries, it will still need to abide by those regulations. Except if it is a hard Brexit (everything but the Norwegian model), every single one of these regulations has to be negotiated separately. You want to sell jam: get your diplomats out. You want to sell car parts, same thing. A suggestion that is floating around these days is that EU and UK use the CETA as a matrix. Click on that link and scroll down, and you'll see a picture of CETA. It's big. Oh, and speaking of CETA, now the UK will have to renegotiate all the trade deals that it formerly had as a EU member state.
Now you might say that this is all capitalism and you don't care about trade. But if there is no trade, there are no jobs, and most people need jobs. Not in the gay communist paradise, you say. Well, maybe not, but right now the drivers behind Brexit are Tories and that should give everyone pause.
The right wing hates the EU because it has changed. Once it was primarily focused on trade and contributed to the disruption of many institutions of postwar social democratic society. Today, it protects consumers, workers, refugees and many other vulnerable citizens and cultures, not least our natural environment and the climate. Just today an agreement was reached to only extend Monsanto's permission to sell Round Up for five more years, instead of the fifteen they had originally asked for. It's not a perfect agreement, but it is certainly not serving Monsanto's interests.
Looking at British Labour's unwillingness to tell this truth to the British people loud and clear was and is to me the most harrowing part of the whole crazy nightmare. How can any socialist in his right mind not want to participate in the development of more worker protections and better regulations of health and the environment?

If the hard brexiteers get what they are aiming for, it will harm British workers in many ways: they will have less protections and less free movement, British producers will be allowed to pollute more and to use more pesticides and GMO. But workers will also become poorer, because less control of manufacturing and food will mean those products will not be permitted EU countries, which will drive jobs and wages down.
In the hard Brexit vision, British supermarkets will be able to sell cheap sub-standard American products. Not exactly living the dream of a British food renaissance.

It gets worse. With a significant part of the City moving to Dublin, Frankfurt and Paris, the tax base will diminish. If the Tory dream of creating a tax haven comes to fruition, it won't exactly grow either. So who is going to pay for the NHS? Or for the already not impressive social services? Or for education? Poll taxes, anyone? Not the 1%, I can assure you that. And then there are all the people who imagined that the subsidies that they now get from the EU will be replaced by national subsidies. Who will pay for those? Probably no-one, but it is part of the picture. EU protects traditional methods of production, and the alternative is more industrial farming, not quaint old-timey shepherds. Even the 1% are expected to be hit by this, since many rich people in Britain own farmland.

It gets worse. Most of European industry is interdependent in very complex ways. Your car is assembled of parts from all over the EU. For some industries, the bother of passing vital parts through an external border will not be worth it, and plants will move from the UK into EU countries, meaning job-loss in the UK and obviously gains in other places. That is one big reason why you are not seeing any EU countries defecting from the general order. Maybe Denmark will lose a lot of bacon sales to the US, but if the med-tech company that moved to Sussex back in the -90's will move back, it's a lot more jobs and a lot more future investment. And hey, maybe bacon sales will continue because it will prove politically hopeless to impose tariffs on a product people need and British farms can't provide.

Well, this was a long rant, but the whole point is that there are really a lot of different big and small things that will go wrong, and that have already begun to go wrong. And I haven't even touched on the Good Friday Agreement. There is no good outcome of Brexit for normal working and middle class people. I doubt there is even a good outcome for the rich. It is all stupid, all the way.
posted by mumimor at 12:49 PM on November 27 [21 favorites]


Putin must be quietly astounded at just how easy it was to tip two of the largest Western powers over into committing suicide. Obviously, a lot of the rot was homegrown, but Russia seems to have provided that critical margin for disaster.
posted by tavella at 2:07 PM on November 27 [8 favorites]


[A couple deleted. Sour cream, stop trolling this thread. (Also, folks, flagging works better than not-flagging and then getting angry that something wasn't already deleted.)]
posted by taz at 3:48 AM on November 28


Think of Brexit as a matryoshka, or a Russian nesting doll, with voting to leave the EU as the outer doll, representing all the various things we were sold: free trade, prosperity, sovereignty, transparency, increased control over borders, and less money sent to Brussels. Pulling off the outer doll reveals another doll that represents something much more worrying.
Gina Miller: Strip away the layers and Brexit becomes ever more murky.
posted by adamvasco at 3:56 PM on November 28 [1 favorite]


[Fixed typo, deleted some comments, carry on.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:01 AM on November 29 [1 favorite]


The Hardest Border - a BBC News article by Nuala McCann & Christina McSorley.
posted by misteraitch at 1:25 AM on November 30 [2 favorites]


The main problem is the idea that politicians have to deliver what people voted for in the referendum. At face value it's one of those things which everyone can get behind - politicians should listen to the electorate and do what they have been elected to do.

Problem is coming from the fact that politicians are proving very reluctant to point out that it's not possible to deliver everything which people were told was possible by the Leave campaign. We were meant to be looking at a situation where we would (to quote Boris) have our cake and eat it. We'd easily negotiate access to the single market, but not have to worry about the regulations. The negotiations would be simple, because the rest of the EU needed us more than we needed them. The Irish border wouldn't be a problem, because it just wouldn't. We'd stop paying any money to the EU, because we'd be leaving. We'd be able to remove regulations for our farmers, but they'd still be able to export to the EU. We'd be able to negotiate better trade deals with third parties, as the EU was holding us back. We'd get a deal like Norway or Switzerland, but with more freedom than they have, because...

Now that the promises are coming into contact with the negotiations, the obvious is coming to light. Europe's fundamental principles are just that, and they aren't going to give us a unique deal to help us out against their own interests. We aren't going to be able to stop free movement and have full access to the single market. The Irish border can't just be an international border in certain circumstances. We can't suddenly stop paying for our commitments without our trustworthiness in other arrangements taking a hammering. Other countries will make demands on us in exchange for trade deals (eg: India making it clear they expect greater free movement, US demanding less regulation, etc).

Nobody wants to be the one to turn around and tell people "just because you want it doesn't mean you get it", because their terrified that the response will be a tantrum screaming "BUT I WANT IT". Pretty fairly actually, because that seems to be what some of the press and the more wingnutty politicians are doing themselves.
posted by MattWPBS at 5:54 AM on November 30 [4 favorites]


I am trying so hard not to connect dots
Jacob Rees-Mogg met Steve Bannon to discuss US-UK politics
Tory grassroots favourite met ex-Trump adviser this week to discuss how conservative movements can win in Britain.
Remember that confidential legal agreement is at the heart of the web connecting Robert Mercer to Britain’s EU referendum.
posted by adamvasco at 12:19 PM on December 1 [5 favorites]




And here we go with more reality/fantasy collision:
The UK has conceded to EU negotiators that there will be no divergence of the rules covering the EU single market and customs union on the island of Ireland post Brexit, according to a draft negotiating text seen by RTÉ News.

The concession, if accepted by the Irish Government, would have far reaching implications for how closely Northern Ireland remains bound to EU structures.

But it remains an open question if the final text will be agreeable to both the Irish and British governments.
posted by MattWPBS at 4:19 AM on December 4 [2 favorites]


Doesn’t that kill the Tory/DUP agreement?
posted by Happy Dave at 5:09 AM on December 4


Not necessarily. The DUP just don't want any difference between NI and GB. This just says that NI will stay in the customs union (effectively). DUP can't complain if GB ends up in it too. No hard borders anywhere!
posted by Dysk at 5:50 AM on December 4


Fool Britannia - "There was a time, not long ago, when the U.K. was undeniably cool. Now the pound is down, crime is up, and anxiety is even higher. What happened? Tom Rachman looks at a nation that has lost its way"
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:44 AM on December 4 [1 favorite]


Not necessarily. The DUP just don't want any difference between NI and GB. This just says that NI will stay in the customs union (effectively). DUP can't complain if GB ends up in it too. No hard borders anywhere!

Talked with my brexiteering relatives today. They have turned, feel cheated, and are now hoping the deal on North Ireland will save the UK. Or that some magic will provide a new referendum. I wonder how many are like them.
They also now thought Corbyn was a political genius and could maybe save Britain, that May is hopeless and that all of the hard brexiteers are crazy. These were all in brexiteers and Tories a year ago. My eyes were rolling so hard they hurt, but I didn't taunt them.
posted by mumimor at 11:22 AM on December 4 [4 favorites]


May is just pathetic now. It's sounding like she'd agreed this, and then got pulled out of it by the hard wing of her party and the DUP. How can she be taken at all seriously as a leader now?
posted by MattWPBS at 1:38 PM on December 4 [1 favorite]


I am not sure what the Tory leadership thought was going to happen with the DUP if they had successfully agreed on the 'regulatory alignment' across the island of Ireland. What is the plan? Run away shouting 'no take backs'? Hope they didn't notice?

Having to leave negotiations because your parliamentary allies do not support the proposals to which you are currently trying to get the EU to agree - priceless

What course of action could be taken to deliver a sustainable Brexit-exit? We need to exit the Brexit, stop gnawing off our arm and get on with apologising. It is such an epic waste of time and energy!
posted by asok at 5:01 AM on December 5


The DUP won't be happy until (the right neighbourhoods of) Belfast are stuffed full of Government-backed pork barrel projects like they were in the Good Old Days before them «unprintable» «unprintable sectarian epithet»s got uppity. May just hasn't cut a big enough cheque yet.

In a way, this reminds me of the run up to World War 1. Britain has signed multiple contradictory treaties, and is fucked either way it goes. But what I don't get, though, is why GBP / EUR hasn't tanked yet. Are markets still considering these happenings a rumour to buy on, rather than news to sell on?
posted by scruss at 6:26 AM on December 5 [1 favorite]


In lighter news: Brexit Bus — ride the £350m bus along the GBP exchange rate without crashing
posted by scruss at 7:27 PM on December 5


David Davis has just told the committee that no Brexit impact assessments exist... wtf?

Joanna Cherry and David Lammy are saying that means he's misled parliament.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:57 AM on December 6 [1 favorite]


This is a fucking shit show.

Guardian Live Blog.
Parliamentary Live Stream.

Jacob Rees-Mogg just tried to justify failing to release the impact assessments as due to it being an 'incompetent motion' as there weren't any impact assessments. David Davies was telling people there were impact assessments, and Parliament were taking him on his word.
posted by MattWPBS at 2:17 AM on December 6 [1 favorite]


Oh for fuck's sake.

Davies has just said there's been NO quantitative assessment of the impact of Brexit on the economy.
posted by MattWPBS at 2:29 AM on December 6


Davis is such a patronising piece of shit in this clip. I imagine he’s coming across even worse than usual because he’s floundering and defensive, but still, what a dick.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 2:58 AM on December 6


They've done no planning because they're determined to have their hard brexit and fuck the consequences.
posted by dng at 4:09 AM on December 6


MPs feared a David Davis cover-up. Worse, he had nothing to hide

Davis took the committee on a semantic tour to explain why the 850-pages he has produced do not amount to what MPs thought they were getting. “Just because you use the word impact doesn’t make it an impact assessment,” he said.

But what started out as a fear that the government was hiding the warnings of civil servants, or that dodgy dossiers had been sexed up to say what ministers wanted, has turned out to be something far worse: the absence of any planning, nefarious or otherwise.

posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:14 AM on December 6 [2 favorites]


I kicked off this thread with a quote about leavers' resentful anger, but words can scarcely capture the white-hot fury I'm feeling about this latest news.

David Davis just told Brexit Committee it would take 10-50 years of civil service time to do #Brexit impact assessments and ALSO SAID the gov't plans to do this work "in due course".

Davis has to go, and this government has to fall, over this. If not this, then what? Almost every other trigger for a vote of no confidence in British history pales into insignificance by comparison.

Rage. Rage against the dying of the light.

P.S. Here are the EU's Brexit impact studies, you lazy, incompetent, irresponsible, reckless, hubristic, bloviating, pathetic excuse for a government.
posted by rory at 4:30 AM on December 6 [6 favorites]


>fuck the consequences

Hammond's expression sums it up: fuck you, I've got mine.

There are no impact assessments because — to the people behind Brexit — there will be no impact. No-one they know will be affected.
posted by scruss at 8:58 AM on December 6 [2 favorites]


"What Brexit impact papers? Take our quiz on what David Davis said"

Quiz time!
posted by Mister Bijou at 3:36 AM on December 7


« Older Paper jam   |   There must be something in books, something we... Newer »


You are not currently logged in. Log in or create a new account to post comments.