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Written By: - Date published: 10:13 am, July 11th, 2017 - 123 comments
Categories: International, uk politics - Tags: ,

The fact that UK businesses are against Brexit is hardly surprising:

UK business leaders to call for indefinite delay in leaving single market

Business leaders are to demand that ministers agree an indefinite delay in Britain’s departure from the European single market and customs union to give more time for talks on a long-term trade deal.

In a dramatic escalation of the battle to soften the government’s Brexit strategy, groups representing thousands of UK employers aim to present a united front during a summit at Chevening country house hosted by the Brexit secretary, David Davis.

Such a comprehensive transition phase would almost certainly require temporary adherence to EU rules on freedom of movement, accepting jurisdiction of the European court of justice and a ban on implementing trade deals elsewhere. But Brussels officials are likely to also demand an agreement in principle on the shape of the eventual EU trade deal, which could lead to such concessions becoming permanent. …

Rather more suprising is that some Brexit cheerleaders are changing their tune:

Is Brexit an error? Now even Vote Leave’s chief is having doubts

…now there is a suggestion that even the mastermind of the leave campaign is having his doubts.

It came in a Twitter exchange between Dominic Cummings, who as director of Vote Leave was the man behind the £350m-for-the-NHS slogan on the side of the bus, and the legal commentator David Allen Green. Cummings wrote that he feared that unless pro-leave MPs asserted themselves, forcing management changes on both Downing Street and David Davis’s Brexit department, the Brexit talks with the EU would be a “guaranteed debacle.” Green then asked Cummings, “Is there anything which could now happen (or not happen) which would make you now wish leave had not won the referendum result?” The arch-Brexiteer’s reply was swift and arresting: “Lots! I said before REF was dumb idea, other things shdve been tried 1st. In some possible branches of the future leaving will be an error.”

Now, to be fair, Cummings was not saying that leaving the EU is bound to be a disaster: rather, that failure is just one possible future. (I think he was using the word “branches” in the sense of a decision tree, which envisages a series of possible choices and their consequences.) Earlier in the exchange, he explained his view that Brexit alone, while necessary, was not sufficient. For leaving the EU to work, there would also have to be wholesale reform of Whitehall, British education, science and productivity.

But even in that context, it’s still a striking statement, given who’s making it. The man who led the drive to pull Britain out of the EU is admitting that it may well not work. Indeed, given how unlikely it is that the entire British system of governance can be transformed in the way Cummings says is necessary, it’s fair to say that, on Cummings’ own logic, failure is more probable than success. …

And the tide of public opinion:

Brexit: Remain would win if new EU referendum vote were held tomorrow, poll finds

The outcome of the Brexit referendum would be reversed if it was held tomorrow, a poll suggests.

The Survation survey showed a clear majority of Britons (54 per cent) would vote to Remain in the European Union if another referendum was held, while 46 per cent would back Brexit. …

Do the tories have what it takes to turn back from their self-destructive path?

123 comments on “Brexgrets ”

    • Peroxide Blonde 1.1

      Another Referendum would be a testament to democracy.

      • james 1.1.1

        No it wouldn’t.

        they held a referendum – and stuck with the result. That is the definition of democracy.

        But lets use your ‘logic’ – they hold a second referendum and the result is remain (Just).

        6 months later the poll results point to a shift back to leave – would you think it democratic to hold a third referendum?

        How many do you hold? Or is it just until you get the answer ‘you’ want?

        • Peroxide Blonde

          People are now in possession of more credible facts and are entitled to change their minds.

          The Referendum was a shockingly ill-informed affair. Both sides did a massive disservice to democracy.
          People are entitled to change their minds. Sticking with a decision, no matter what the consequences, is a silly male thing.

          Let your inner girlie out, James. Life will be a lot more fun for you.

          • james

            Didnt think sex had anything to do with it.

            So what happens if people change their mind again – another referendum ?

            • Peroxide Blonde

              I think it is clear that Brexit is not “the settled will of the people”.

              If there is another referendum that says Remain but after a while polls show it is not “the settled will of the people” then the matter needs to be revisited.

              Simplistic and poorly informed referendums are not good for democracy. The English are cursed with an FTP parliament that does not represent it people well. A better parliament would have addressed the concerns of the people and not required an “advisory” referendum.

              • Enough is Enough

                Don’t you think Brexit might improve democracy in the UK?

                You know, now that they will not have to be subject to laws and regulations imposed on them by unelected officials. and foreign bodies.

                • Macro


                  The Government has been forced to admit that European Union laws and directives will still be in force after Brexit.
                  Yesterday, the triggering of Article 50 marked the beginning of the UK’s two-year countdown to leaving the EU.

                  One of the key campaign pledges of the Leave campaign during the EU Referendum was making sure foreign judges did not interfere in UK law.
                  Yet the keen Eurosceptic, Davis, said the Bill will mean: ‘As we exit the EU and seek a new deep and special partnership with the European Union, we will be doing so from the position where we have the same standards and rules.

                  • mikesh

                    Such laws, even if they were still on the books after Britain’s exit, could well be deemed otiose, and it would be reasonable for the courts to refuse to enforce them.

                    • Macro

                      Such laws will be there to serve the very practical purpose of allowing Britain to continue to trade with the EU – as explained by Davis – the Minister for Brexit negotiations.

                • Peroxide Blonde

                  The UK has a lead role on the Council of Ministers
                  The UK nominated Commissioners to senior roles in the EU.
                  The UK people directly vote MEPs to the EU Parliament.
                  There are 1,000s of UK Civil Servants working in every sector of the EU secretariat.
                  The UK can (could) have as much a say in the leadership and running of the EU as the Germans or Irish. It was their choice to behave like arsehole curmudgeons.
                  The English.wales are paying the price now. Hopefully the Scots and N Irish will save themselves by getting out of the UK before it goes over the cliff.

                  • dukeofurl

                    Britain has ONE member of the Council of ministers , not a lead role, as all members have one earch
                    Commissioners ? That too is one each , the larger states used to be 2 , but a while back.

                    The President has only been British once ( 30 plus years ago)- the current one is from Luxembourg (3x) , so much for having as much say.
                    The single UK rep had resigned but wasnt even a vice president before Brexit.

                    Numbers of civil servants in EU Commision ?
                    GBR has 597
                    FRA has 1330
                    ITL 1387
                    POl 763

                    Britain has slightly more than Romania !!
                    This is for the main decision making body of the EU

                    Blonde you are almost totally fact free

                    • Armada

                      The UK always got lead roles in the Commission.
                      Roy Jenkin was president, Chris Tugendhat was Finance, Ivor Richards was Vice Pres and Employment, Len Brittan was VP, Neil Kinnock VP, Chris Patten was external relations, Peter Mandelson had Trade,Cathering Aston VP and Jonathan Hill had Finance and Capital Markets.
                      These leaders were good Britons as well as good Europeans. The UK was offered as much space and power at the top table as the Germans and French.

                      Ref the number of UK people in EU Institutions. 597 in the Commission alone.
                      There are seven other Institutions. There are UK citizens in all of them.

                      European Parliament.
                      European Council.
                      Council of the European Union.
                      European Commission.
                      Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU)
                      European Central Bank (ECB)
                      European Court of Auditors (ECA)
                      European External Action Service (EEAS)

                    • Richard McGrath

                      God what a trough the EU Commission is.

                • left_forward

                  Yuck – foreign bodies!

            • Armada

              sex is everything.

      • Norfolk Traveller 1.1.2

        “Another Referendum would be a testament to democracy.”
        That’s irrational. Would you like a second vote everytime the peoples will doesn’t agree with your preference?
        “People are now in possession of more credible facts and are entitled to change their minds.”
        That is possible, but that could apply to any democratic decision. You either honour and respect the democratic process or you don’t.

        • dukeofurl

          They had a ‘second vote’ – the recent election.

          The only party offering a new referendum – Liberals lost their share of the vote, along with their fellow travellors the SNP

          • Norfolk Traveller

            An election is not a referendum on a single issue.

            • dukeofurl

              You wouldnt say that if the Lib Dems had a vote surge
              Opposing Brexit was a big part of their election policy

              • Norfolk Traveller

                That’s not particularly relevant. Labour’s policy on Brexit has been described as ‘incoherent’, Jeremy Corbyn has openly backed Brexit, yet they increased their number of seats.

    • roadrage 1.2

      UK was never a full EU partner due to the pound existence. The EU mismanaged currency union ergo Greece. With Poland basically ignoring EU democracy and a number of E.Europe nation voting far right… …sure the UK voter didnotvote out because of all that, orMurdoch press running anti EU for decades. No, it wasn’t even Thatchers children deciding to burn the deck down coz that’s what Margret taught.

      Its was just a last Tory govt needing a distraction that they thought would not pass.

      And basically free trade will require pretty much all the same nonsense just in different arrangements. So I doubt much will change. Well except not being able to move to France. Duh.

      • Norfolk Traveller 1.2.1

        At least post Brexit the UK can negotiate it’s own trade deals and the various compromises that result.

    • Anything less now would be an abandonment of democracy.

      Major long-term societal change based on a slight majority in a referendum isn’t “democracy,” it’s “Tory fuckwittery.” And if many of the people who voted “Fuck all y’all” in the referendum woke up the next morning with a terrible hangover and a deep sense of having done something they’ll come to regret, it’s even less like democracy and more like Tory fuckwittery.

      • Norfolk Traveller 1.3.1

        That’s a convenient platform if you don’t like the outcome. The reality is that major long term societal change was effected in the UK under the EU (eg immigration policy). That’s certainly not democracy, which is why ultimately it was rejected.

        • garibaldi

          I think you are right PM. I also think it would be smart if Corbyn came out against Brexit

      • dukeofurl 1.3.2

        And the recent election was a chance of reversing it guess who had their share of the vote drop, Libs and SNP, the biggest remainers

        • Psycho Milt

          It was UKIP, the biggest Brexit enthusiasts, who took the biggest hit. Not that it tells us anything either way, mind.

          • dukeofurl

            They had nothing to offer for the future, the vote having achieved their aim- as they said.

            The results for the Libs were most telling. If they had surged even as much as labour it might be different. But they didnt.

  1. Kevin 2

    Why can’t the UK just be part of EFTA and the Customs Union?

    So much of the whole Brexit debacle seems to be motivated by spite from the EU.

    • Peroxide Blonde 2.1

      The UK voted to separate from the 27 EU countries. The clusterfuck is a result of a referendum called by Cameron to appease the English Nationalist rump of the Tory party.
      The EU didn’t pick this fight and have been making the options very clear. Sadly the Tory leadership is made up of numpties who are either pathologically deaf or pathological liars.
      This is an English problem and the English have to sort it. The Scots and N Irish voted to remain.

      • Macro 2.1.1

        Yes a very good summation.
        Essentially the voting public in the UK didn’t have a clue as to what they were voting for. It was a stupid referendum with no consideration as to what the consequences might be. We can say “well the poms have only themselves to blame”, but whether May has the fortitude of resolve to sort this mess is doubtful. Now she is calling on Labour to help her! Corbyn quite rightly is going to leave this mess in her “capable” hands.

        • KJT

          That is a rather arrogant assumption.

          With the example of Greece and the undemocratic Governance of the EU, for example. There are many valid reasons for leaving the EU.

          Assuming voters are ignorant, is a mistake made by political “Experts”. Usually trying to justify their existence.
          In fact the crowd are demonstratively correct more often than the few politicians who make all the decisions.

          In business, we know that better decisions, and more effective changes, are made the more we consult, research, trial and reach consensus.
          Something which seems foreign to the political class.

          • Enough is Enough

            Well said KJT – It is interesting to look at some of the polls to show who voted to go.

            The people most likely to vote Leave were:

            Those with no formal qualifications (78%)
            Those with an income of less than £1,200 a month (66%)
            Those in social housing provided by councils (70%) or housing associations (68%)

            When questioned on their feelings about life, the people most likely to vote Leave were:
            Those finding it difficult to manage financially (70%), or just about getting by (60%)
            Those who believe Britain has got worse in last decade (73%)
            Those who think things have got worse for them in last decade (76%)
            Those who see themselves as English rather than British (74%)


          • Macro

            I’ve had the opportunity to talk to a number of people in the UK over the past 3 months. The general tone was precisely what I have outlined above. People did not know what it was they were voting on. Referenda are at best a blunt instrument – take for instance the “anti-smacking” referendum (so called by Family Fist) we had here – which was in fact no such thing – people made of it what they want.
            The reality is, that the consequence of ill-considered voting can be far reaching. None of the consequences of voting for Brexit were made apparent to the voting public at the time.
            As P’B’ explains above – the Brexit vote was conceived by Cameron thinking it was a way to shut up the far right. It failed miserably and he paid the penalty. Now that the consequence of Brexit are being revealed, and the likelihood that the UK will be cast adrift, the support for UKIP and their allies in the tories and Labour has all but vanished. May called a general election thinking to shore up support for a Hard Brexit. That failed and she is now paying the penalty.

            • Enough is Enough

              Which part of Brexit do you think the stupid leave voters did not understand?

              • Macro

                The lies wrt to the NHS.
                The fact that they would not have free access to Europe.
                The fact that they would loose their position as a financial centre of the world – Banks are already transiting out of London with the loss of thousands of jobs.
                The fact that many of the laws currently in place would still be EU inspired, and would need to remain if they wanted to continue trading with Europe.
                The loss of support for farmers. Farmers will be particularly hard hit by Brexit.
                and so on.
                It’s an absolute pot mess.

                • Enough is Enough

                  The Banks were the biggest remain campaigners. Anyone who didn’t know what the bank’s position’s must have been asleep.

                  And as an aside, there will not be too many tears to see the banksters piss off. RBS and co created the GFC and caused the bank bail outs and subsequent austerity measures which have crippled the UK over the past 10 years.

                  Forgive me for not giving a shit about the banks.

                  • Macro

                    And the strength of the pound?
                    How do you feel about all imported items costing more?
                    Financial services account for roughly 12% of Britain’s economy, and the industry employs 2.2 million people.

                    • Enough is Enough

                      I can’t believe anyone from the left would be defending banks

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The whole point of having a floating exchange rate is to balance trade between nations. The idea is fairly simple:

                      As a nation imports goods it’s currency lowers in value pushing up the cost of importing and thus decreasing imports while increasing exports.
                      As a nation’s exports go up the reverse happens. It’s currency goes up in value making imports cheaper while decreasing its competitiveness on the international market.

                      We’ve come up with a couple of problems though:
                      1. People in developed nations think that they have a right to a high value currency so that they can buy cheap stuff off of developing nations
                      2. We don’t set the value of our currencies by the weight of trade but by the actions of the currency speculators

                      Considering that we’ve been doing some fairly significant trade imbalances over the last few years with, say, China, our dollar should be below that of the Chinese currency. Interestingly, the reverse is true for the US even though the US isn’t a major trade partner.

                      The demand that our, or other nations currency, remain high is to demand that the market pricing system doesn’t apply to it.

                    • Macro

                      who said I was defending banks??
                      I’m pointing out that this is one of the many consequences of Brexit. And I suppose you don’t care about the loss of employment either.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      You appear to be equating currency strength with economic good health. This seems pretty dumb because in most cases a fall in the exchange rate is of more benefit to the domestic economy making it more export competitive with higher employment. Typically these days with the state of supply chains it has pretty limited impact on domestic price levels as well.

                      In Brittain they know about this kind of thing following the various fixed exchange rate mechanisms they had with the EU and their harmful domestic impact.

                    • Macro

                      You appear to be equating currency strength with economic good health. This seems pretty dumb because in most cases a fall in the exchange rate is of more benefit to the domestic economy making it more export competitive with higher employment.

                      In general that could be argued to be the case – however the UK situation is not the same for other countries. They cannot enter bilateral trade arrangements whilst a member of the EU. Currently they trade within the common market. Prices of basic items are inflating.
                      The loss of work in the financial centre where London is the one of the main centres in the world will be enormous. As the financial capital of the world London, represents around 30% of UK’s GDP, it has an economy the size of Belgium, over 200 Global law firms have their Headquarters there.
                      In the IT sector

                      it is estimated that a third of London’s technology workers, including many company founders, are born outside of the UK. The mooted skilled visa and work permit systems are difficult to reconcile with a sector characterised by project work, rapidly changing occupations and the need to hire specialist contractors at short notice.

                      To list but a few of the problems now facing the City and the country as a whole.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      Its rare to observe such special pleading for the financial services industry on this site. The inflation rate in the UK has reached 2.9% which is a four year high. The last time it was higher there was no brexit to blame it on. This tells us little more than that mainstream economic theory knows sweet FA about the causes of inflation, and is prone to scaremongering by confusing correlation with causation with little evidence.

                      The UK will no doubt remain a significant financial hub due to its location and language. Those things don’t change a jot due to brexit either but there are some positives that the city of london may have less influence on banking regulations in the EU (eg why they really don’t like brexit). The finance sector is considered outsized and extractive by senior BoE officials in the UK so any shrinkage should be a net good for the UK economy anyway.

                    • KJT

                      Excellent for workers in Britain if the pound drops. Why do you think China keeps their currency low valued.

                      Given their trade balance, China’s currency should be worth much more.

                      An economic analysis concluded that banks cost 7 pounds to everyone else for every pound they make. A drain on any economy.

                    • McFlock

                      good for the workers that remain.

                      Trouble is that UK manufacturing has gone the way of US manufacturing. While it spins up again if the pound plummets, there will be lag time where import workers will be screwed but there’s no substitution close.

                      It’s not the up or the down that’s an issue, it’s the speed of the change that causes unemployment before encouraging substitute employment to start up.

                    • Macro

                      What McFlock says:
                      And here is what the British Financial papers are saying:


                      The UK economy is on a path of lower growth and higher inflation.

                      The fall in the pound after the Brexit vote has led to higher inflation/prices and making real wage growth difficult to attain.

                      This will increasingly cut into consumer spending and lead to lower growth given the high consumption orientation of the UK economy.

                      Uncertainty regarding future EU exit and trade negotiations has hurt business confidence and bled into a slackening of the labor market, which further hurts wage growth.


                    • Macro

                      And S and P:

                      The depreciation of the pound would make UK exports more competitive but would only add between 0.2 and 0.3 percentage points to growth from 2017 to 2020. S&P said a study of the data showed that some UK exporters had taken advantage of the fall in sterling to raise their prices rather than to break into new markets.

                      The agency said that while the price increases were to some extent a matter of choice, they were likely to have been necessary for firms that relied on imports which had become more expensive as a result of the falling exchange rate. With firms making Brexit contingency plans, investment was being shelved rather than given the go-ahead.


                    • Nic the NZer

                      Yeah, your probably right Macro. The UK economy is fundamentally hopeless at the whole export lead growth thing at least since Thatcher lead monetarism stuffed their manufacturing industry over. They should give up on that and focus on domestic demand as their primary growth area anyway.

                      Those papers are just idly speculating about the sutuation and future of the UK economy however. That includes the causes of the current situation including the inflation rate.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  The fact that they would loose their position as a financial centre of the world – Banks are already transiting out of London with the loss of thousands of jobs.

                  That would probably be a positive. Those banks were, after all, a major cause of the GFC.

                  • Macro

                    They also represent employment for 2.2 million people and 12% of the economy Draco.
                    The downsizing that even at this point is going on represents a drag on the economy and a resulting fall in the strength of the pound
                    the effect for the Brit’s is of course an increasing cost of many basic items.
                    Just one of the many consequences of 52% voting for Brexit.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      They also represent employment for 2.2 million people and 12% of the economy Draco.

                      I’m pretty sure that there’s something else that they could be doing that’s far better for them, their nation and the world.

                      The downsizing that even at this point is going on represents a drag on the economy and a resulting fall in the strength of the pound

                      So? See above.

                      That decrease should result in an increase in exports which means all those banksters will probably have something to do.

                    • Enough is Enough

                      The demise of RBS and the rest of the banks would be a great thing.

                      Do we need Merril Lynch?

                      Do we need these clowns playing poker with cash, risking another GFC at any time.

                • Cemetery Jones

                  Let me offer you an alternative view from the small regional city in the north where I spent about 11 years of my childhood from the early 80s to early 90s. There were two factories back then which employed hundreds of men and women. For the working class people there, these were legacy employers – their communities had been built around this work. Members of the local football team worked there, and school leavers could look forward not just to jobs on the factory line but apprenticeships for all the joinery, fitting, welding, plumbing, electrical and building which was always required in what was basically a modernized complex of 19th century buildings. Drivers? Plenty.

                  Eventually, they were bought out by a Swiss company and bit by bit over the course of the next two decades the work force and their output were clipped back one product line at a time and the work sent off to Poland and Romania, where the goods are now produced. What replaced that work? Well, some of those who learned their trades there moved on and made out ok. But how many more electricians does a little city need? How many more brickies or fitters? They faced unemployment, relocation, or retraining. But into what lines of work? That hollows out a community like nothing else. Those working class school leavers now look forward to what? Retail, tourism, lower paid roles in the precariat.

                  I really, really think that non-locals and politics/news-watchers alike really overestimate the role of media in the decisions these people made vs. the role of their actual lived experience. They’ve seen jobs go and not come back because of pennies on the pound saved on wages sending jobs off to the former Eastern Bloc. That’s what the EU means to them, no matter what some smug git in the Guardian whose parents were probably university lecturers might want to believe Boris’ red bus had to do with it. I bet you Boris’ bus didn’t even stop for a photo op in towns like theirs. I bet it didn’t need to, either.

                  • Macro

                    And what will happen to the UK’s Aerospace industry – the second largest in the world after the US

                    the British aerospace industry, which is worth £31bn a year to the UK economy and is the world’s second largest, beaten only by the US.


                    Tom Williams, chief operating officer and president of commercial aircraft at the European company, told MPs on the Treasury select committee that it would be “pretty scary” if Airbus were no longer able to operate a successful UK business with the ability to seamlessly move goods and people around the European Union.

                    Airbus employs about 15,000 people in the UK and makes wings at its factory in Broughton, north Wales.


                    • Cemetery Jones

                      Hahaha, you really think that’s anything less than a pitch for post-Brexit tax cuts? That’s what’s got Juncker back on the bottle, the realisation that if they try to screw Britain with a worse deal than basic WTO rules, then they’ll either go with no deal and stick to WTO rules, or if they really play hardball, May is a tory, and she’ll do what tories do: brutally competitive corporate tax cuts to dissuade these companies from leaving.

                      Airbus might blink at the expense of some extra tariffs which formerly didn’t apply, but they’ll be about ready to puke at the prospect of the alternative. Relocate a factory making the wings for their passenger fleet? To another country, with little or no transfer of experienced workforce? In an industry so dependent on precision? First, that would be incredibly expensive! Second that’s an incredible risk to take! Imagine if their new workforce makes mistakes or doesn’t keep up the quality of output after all that money has been spent. What kind of PR will they face? This seems like very poor logic … unless of course you realise that this is big business talking, and they always have an angle.

                      Honestly, I don’t know what has gotten into the left on Brexit – the OP here is actually championing an article where the Guardian is happy to hear big business using its power against democratic results. And now leftists are eagerly taking capital flight narratives at face value? Would you honestly be happy if these tactics were being used against Corbyn’s policies, or against Little’s policies? Because that is what we just saw in the election campaign. Right now, the Independent and the Guardian are actually supporting their Remain arguments with the same tactics the Daily Mail were using against Corbyn’s tax and social spending policies. That’s astoundingly dismal.

              • dukeofurl

                ” People did not know what it was they were voting on”

                Oh , so that was it. The choices on the ballot paper were
                Leave the EU
                Remain a member of the EU

                I can see why they didnt undertstand that at all.!

                Macro , you have become delusional on this.

            • gsays

              Hi macro,
              I am curious, following yr comment which I don’t disagree with, how to reconcile national winning the last election with selling power companies front and centre, despite 3/4 of population agin the sales?

              • Macro

                I have no idea!
                I think the problem wrt to NZ is that most watch TV, and that is about as far as their thought processes go.
                I believe the solution for the left is engagement of the population through activities at the local level. Looking at the Corbyn and Sanders’ campaigns the emphasis was on meeting the people. Door knocking, listening to people, house meetings, local halls and street events, being where the people are is the way to go.This is not just an activity that needs to be done just before an election but should be an on going process. That is where the support comes from, and showing support for people, and listening to their concerns, gets them on your side, as you get on theirs.

            • mikesh

              The “consequences” to which you refer are not consequences of Brexit, but of the negotiations that will now take place. These are not cast in stone. If the continental negotiators turn out to be a pack of bastards that is not the British voters’ fault.

              • McFlock

                So the results of brexit negotiations aren’t consequences of brexit?

                • mikesh


                  • Macro


                    • dukeofurl

                      The results are unknown.
                      Both sides are posturing in the mean time.
                      The EU wants a big exit bill or they are in financial strife. Good luck on Britain paying anything but a fraction of that.

                      UK has 3 mill EU residents, good luck on EU getting any deal for that with a harsh exit .

                      I read that 20% of german cars are UK bound, good luck on having restrictions on UK trade without some payback.

                      Food is Frances second largest export sector, and the largest EU destination country ? Britain.

                      Small EU countries that will be badly effected by loss of British markets . Ireland and Denmark. Good luck on them allowing harsh EU terms on Britain.

                    • Macro

                      and none of those are consequences?

                      consequence |ˈkɒnsɪkw(ə)ns|
                      1 a result or effect, typically one that is unwelcome or unpleasant:

                  • McFlock


                    I knew a guy like that once. Didn’t pick that the cops and security always being “a pack of bastards” to him was a consequence of his previous actions.

                    • mikesh

                      Then point is that those who voted for brexit did so in good faith. It would have been silly to have voted on the assumption that the Europeans would ¨play hardball¨, or that a poor deal would be struck. Does one relinquish a good thing on the off chance that it might turn out badly.

                    • McFlock

                      Yes one does, because if it turns out badly it’s not a good thing, is it?

                      If you are faced with a decision about your future, you don’t proceed on the assumption of a rosy outcome, do you? All you’re arguing is that people voted “in good faith” but based on faulty information (because your “off chance” turns out to be pretty bloody likely).

                      If the vote was made on faulty information, then at the very least it needs a redo knowing (now what we should have known then).

                    • KJT

                      Then we should redo the last three NZ elections. Because they, sure as shit, were based on “faulty information”.

                      Known as “lies” by us ordinary working stiffs.

                    • McFlock

                      We redo them every three years anyway. Brexit was a one-off.

            • KJT

              The “smacking referendum” resulted in a much better thought out law than the original version. So, to my mind it was a success.

              It is a pity politicians cannot be made to rethink the many other examples of knee jerk, un researched and straight out stupid legislation they railroad through in our rotating dictatorship.

              • Macro

                Pity that is not the case with Brexit – now many who originally voted for Brexit are wishing they didn’t.

                As for the repeal of S59 of the Crimes Act – the original purpose of the Bill stands – and we have a more humane society for it.

          • lloyd

            I would think the first and second world wars are valid reasons for the UK to remain in the EU

            • Armada

              Lioyd, thanks for bringig the debate back to the big picture.
              The European project has been extremely successful, despite errors and setbacks. Hopefully it will now bring long lasting peace to Balkans.

              Putin’s Russia and Trumps US wants to see the EU broken up. And the narrow minded English Nationalists can’t bear to see Europeans more prosperous than them.

              • Cemetery Jones

                NATO brought peace to the Balkans and prevented European continental war in the last century. The EU’s role amounted to the square root of fuck all during this time.

      • Kevin 2.1.2

        I know all that.

        Am just asking the question as to why they cannot go back to being a member of EFTA like they were originally.

        It doesn’t seem to be a problem for Switzerland, Norway etc.

        • Peroxide Blonde

          EFTA is an option available to them. They still have to accepts free movement of labour, ECJ and alll the trimmings. And Services (banking) not included I think.

          Norway is subject to all the rules of the EU but does not have a say at the top table. Not a good place.
          An interesting discussion on this subject here:

          • dukeofurl

            Norway is smaller in population than scotland. Britain has more clout in its negotiations- as we will see.

            Norway was in an unusual position due to it going all the way to join and then having a vote which rejected terms at last minute
            The government ‘ wanted to join the EU’ and thus got the best deal it could after the public rejected full membership

            Britain wants to leave, not try to join!

      • Norfolk Traveller 2.1.3

        How many people voted for Brexit?
        Are you suggesting they were all “the English Nationalist rump of the Tory party”?

    • Why can’t the UK just be part of EFTA and the Customs Union?

      For the same reason you can’t divorce your wife but still fuck her and still keep all your money. The imbeciles who bought Gove/Johnson’s “of course we can have our cake and eat it” sales pitch should be doing a bit of soul-searching right now.

      • Kevin 2.2.1

        Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

        Despite the public facade, I think a lot of Euro corporates will be shitting bricks over the lost sales to the UK.

        • Enough is Enough

          Which is the reason Merkel will not allow a hard Brexit.

          Do you think Audi and BMW want to see trade barriers put up with the UK?

          • KJT

            The stimulus for the German economy, paid for by the other EU countries borrowing, will be derailed, if they start exiting.

            Which is why they cannot allow Brexit to work well for Britain.

  2. Enough is Enough 3

    “Do the tories have what it takes to turn back from their self-destructive path?”

    It is not the Tories which took them down this path. There was a democratic referendum held where the Tory Prime Minister campaigned (and lost his job over) remaining in the EU.

    Big business and the filthy rich wanted to remain in the EU.

    However the people spoke and abandoned the sinking neo-liberal EU ship.

    • Editractor 3.1

      “There was a democratic referendum held”

      Ah, the passive voice to hide a multitude of sins. You make it sound like it just magically happened.

      “It is not the Tories which took them down this path”

      Of course they did. The entire Brexit referendum was initiated by Cameron to try and shut down the complaints of a section of his party over the EU, complaints and backbiting that had been going on for decades. The Tories very much took them down this path and it was done solely for party political purposes, not for the benefit of the UK.

      • Enough is Enough 3.1.1

        r0b is querying whether the Tories should turn back on “their self destructive path”.

        All they did was call the democratic referendum. It was a majority of the people (from both the left and right) that voted leave.

        Then we had both Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May voting for the legislation which triggered this.

        This is a victory for the people who refuse to be subjected to laws imposed on them from faceless foreign corporates, banksters and bureaucrats.

        • Editractor

          But was it a “democratic referendum”? You have to question the democratic basis of the referendum considering the lies that were told during it and questions around funding.

          “Should the EU referendum result be annulled? For the past year I’ve been arguing that this would mean defying a democratic decision – even if it was informed by lies. Democracy is not negotiable. But what if this was not a democratic decision? What if it failed to meet the accepted criteria for a free and fair choice? If that were the case, should the result still stand? Surely it should not.” – https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/28/paid-leave-vote-funding-brexit-public-inquiry


          • Enough is Enough

            I note all your points.

            But I think it would be abhorrent to the principles of democracy if the current government turned their back of the results of the referendum and the vote in parliament.

            • Editractor

              Absolutely, but only if the process was legitimate. If it was not legitimate, to continue with it regardless would be equally abhorrent. As Monbiot says in the article I linked to:

              “…it now seems clear that the credibility of our political system demands that Brexit should be halted until the means by which the result was obtained have been thoroughly investigated, ideally by a public inquiry. If the outcome of such an investigation is that serious breaches of electoral law have taken place, the referendum should be annulled and repeated. Is this not what democracy entails?”

              • dukeofurl

                Monbiot is talking complete rubbish.

                They had a recent election which confirmed the Brexit vote , and those who supported it ( in its various forms) did well.
                Tories up 5.5%
                labour up 9.6%
                Those anti brexit
                Lib Dems down 1.7%
                SNP down 1.7%

                These are the only numbers that count, the nationwide ones.

                If the Tories were on the wrong path why did their vote go up ?

          • Norfolk Traveller

            Yes, it was a democratic referendum. The issue was debated for months (years actually), everyone eligible to vote could vote. If misinformation was put out into the market place, it was from both sides. The people of the UK decided.

            • McFlock

              democracy isn’t a marketplace, and if it were then selling things under false pretences is fraud (even if better information is out there). If you tell me the TV you’re selling has a USB port, someone else says it doesn’t, and I believe you, then you’re still committing fraud if it doesn’t have the port.

              • Norfolk Traveller

                Unfortunately politics is a game in which people deceive to get their own way. Both pro and anti Brexit supporters made claims that were in error. But virtually every election is the same. Are you suggesting we overturn them all?

    • Peroxide Blonde 3.2

      The Tories, when/if they get back to the common sense they have very occasionally displayed in the past, will do whatever it takes to hold onto power. If that means a 180 degree U-turn on Brexit then they could do it.
      IMO it is likely both the Tories and Labour will split over Brexit. This massive clusterfuck is only beginning. Tory incompetence is hiding Labour frailty.

      In the meantime UK and International businesses are quietly making arrangements to be inside the EU by setting up in Dublin, Paris Brussels et al.

      To add oil to the troubled water the carnage in London is making the “Union” a less attractive proposition to light-unionists in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

      It is a tragedy for the working people of England and Wales (Wangland?)

      Imagine the nice windsor queen lady left this mortal coil during this hiatus…..

      • Enough is Enough 3.2.1

        How did Labour vote?

        Did Corbyn vote for or against the legislation triggering the exit?

        • Peroxide Blonde

          Yep, Corbyn and Labour are in a mess over Brexit.
          The SNP, SDLP, Plaid Cymru, Lib Dems, Greens, 47 Labour MPs and Tory Kenneth Clark voted against.
          Labour is not getting thrashed for their gutlessness on the EU and immigration because the Tories are just shockingly worse.

          I think Labour could still split on Brexit.

        • KJT

          I understand that Corbyn was personally against Brexit.

          But unlike others, he understands what Democracy entails.

          • Peroxide Blonde

            Corbyn was gutless in standing up to UKIP.

          • RedLogix

            Exactly KJT. This is why you absolutely have to respect Corbyn. He is upholding Democracy over his own wishes and interests.

            This is a hugely important point that too many people are overlooking. Yes in this case democracy generated a rubbish result, but hell this is what it did when it gave us Trump.

            The problem here is that while there is a mechanism to hold periodic elections and eventually we may well be rid of Trump; Brexit seems to be a one-way ticket. No way back in even if eventually the Brits want to.

  3. Bill 4

    Brexgrets? Tough.

    Soft brexit versus hard brexit? Apparently no such distinction exists. (I put a comprehensive link about that up in a thread a few weeks back that came from the comments section beneath an piece in ‘The Independent’)

    The EU isn’t gong to stop the kicking if and when the UK hits the deck. Everyone else in whatever other country will be made to understand that leaving is not an option.

    • Cemetery Jones 4.1

      The WTO default rules basically prevent that. The EU can I think it theory slap a couple more percent onto the WTO tariffs, but that’s about it. The EU simply doesn’t account for enough world trade for it to carry out that kicking, especially with all the offers of FTAs coming in.

      Obama doesn’t really like the British, and dislikes anti-globalist British people even more, so he naturally threatened to put Brexit Britain to the back of the trade queue. Trump put Britain back to the front, and while I don’t much value the USA’s idea of FTAs, it looks like Australia, NZ, India, and others are lining up already.

      The EU is bluffing, they’re bankrupt and economically stagnant; their youth unemployment rates are best left to speak for themselves; their police sit by and do nothing while Antifa run around torching major cities and wrecking the place; their politicians blame all their failures on Russia, and as for the long term implication of Merkel’s Children, well…

      • Bill 4.1.1


        The EU can make things very painful for the UK – much like it made things painful for Greece. I don’t know where you’re thinking the WTO comes into it. A huge reason the UK had non-EU business operations located there was access to the single market. But that free access is about to vanish.

        Not only that, but until the exit’s finalised, the UK must abide by EU rules, and that means no bi-lateral trade deal negotiations.

        • Cemetery Jones

          It could make things painful for the Greeks because they owed them a ton of money but wanted to stay in. Nothing commensurate in the situation.

          I’m thinking the WTO comes into it because it’s how global trade works. A London School of Economics blog, lest I be accused of partisan sourcing:

          “if there is no bespoke agreement, then the default position would be that the UK, a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), would trade under WTO rules. The UK would, for example, face the EU Common External Tariff as EU exporters would face the tariffs adopted by the UK. ”

          Take note of the graph on British trade growth 2005-2015 and where it has and hasn’t grown. #graphsyouwontseeontheguardianwebsite


          “A huge reason the UK had non-EU business operations located there was access to the single market. But that free access is about to vanish.”

          Since then, the Eurozone has shrunk to just 15% of world trade. It’s dying.

          “Not only that, but until the exit’s finalised, the UK must abide by EU rules, and that means no bi-lateral trade deal negotiations.”

          Yeah, but other countries can work on their proposals. There’s plenty ways around it – and that brings me back to the default WTO trade rules. Why would you sign an agreement of a lower standard than what the EU and UK are legally obliged to abide by?

        • dukeofurl

          Greece had a painful situation as they foolishly took on the Euro. People said at the time UK was crazy to keep pound but they did and it was a blessing.

          Ireland got shafted by EU over their banks failure . Didnt even get the deal Cyprus got later.

  4. Cemetery Jones 5

    It’s a sad day indeed when people on ‘the left’ find themselves celebrating at the prospect of ‘business leaders’ trying to stand over a government and reverse the results of a vote. Those of us who remember them doing that to Labour over the Closing the Gaps platform should wonder whether it’s ok to applaud the same tactic so long as they’re doing it for reasons we approve of..

    Meanwhile, Australia is getting on with being ready to sign an FTA as soon as Brexit is done. Fools can play Canute.

    • Cemetery Jones 5.1

      Further opportunity – Belgium basically signalling it’s going to see to it that they fuck us on any deal with the EU because their remaining 5 or 10 farmers who get paid not to produce anything might feel threatened by the need to compete. Meanwhile, Britain is a great market for our agriculture and an FTA will do well for us.


    • Armada 5.2

      Of course the Australians are saying they will conclude a deal quickly. Saying that costs nothing.
      Will it be on terms favourable the england? Nah Mate! The poms are over a barrell and will be dutifully rodgered.

      • Stuart Munro 5.2.1

        Oz got a trade deal with Japan before Groser even got out of bed – he was too busy dreaming of the TPP. NZ will be well back in the queue – no initiative.

      • Cemetery Jones 5.2.2

        Dutifully rogered? Did you mean duly, or do you mean that Juncker’s duty is to roger any member states who cherish sovereignty (because I’d agree with you on that).

        The WTO trade rules are actually pretty decent, so if the EU tries offering something shitty there’s absolutely no reason to accept it. And why are you speaking of England when we’re talking about Britain?

        I feel like this is the best antidote to the hysteria and nonsense about how economically formidable the EU is.

        • Armada

          @Cemetery Jones
          1. ref England rather than Britain: have I got an answer for you!

          The UK of GB & NI had a referendum and the majority voted to Exit the EU.
          Scotland, which along with the Kingdom of England, for Britain. Britain does not include Northen Ireland. Wales is a principality of England.

          2. Both Northen Ireland and Scotland voted to Remain in the EU. Scotland will have an Independen Referendum when (if) Brexit terms become clearer. Northern Ireland could well end up with quite different terms from the rest of the UK due to the Good Friday Agreememt and its border with the Public of Ireland.

          3. The majority of England/wales voted Brexit. When/If Scotland leaves the 1707 Union with England, and NI enters into a new arrangement inside the EU, England/wales will be the part outside of the EU.

          • Cemetery Jones

            Sigh, this again. It’s the silliest non-technicality since “but Hillary won muh popular vote”. I mean it’s cute that you googled “when did Scotland join the Union” etc. to give your post some truthiness, but it’s ultimately not an argument.

            Brexit was a binding vote on every inch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland – or Britain as we call it when we’re not being smug gits – and that’s largely the end of it. Wee Jimmie Krankie is not getting her second referendum, and she has well and truly backed off since the SNP got BTFO in the election.

          • dukeofurl

            Scotland wont be having any independence referendum after Brexit. Westminster authorisation is required and that wont happen any time soon.
            SNP will be a shadow in 5 years what it is now.

        • Armada

          The Australians will Roger the Poms out of a sense of DUTY.
          The English are receiving a DULY fair and extremely patient treatment from Tusk, Barnier and Verhofstadt.

          The comments in English papers suggest that people have more faith in the EU leadership than in Tory leadership.

          • Cemetery Jones

            Ah, now I get it – your great, great, great, great grandma’s neighbour’s uncle’s mate was Irish, so now you’re a new world Gaelic Identitarian with a proxy chip on the shoulder about ol’ Blighty, is that it? Awwwwwwww diddums. Keep fantasising about that rogering.

            Meanwhile, Juncker’s drinking habit will ensure that his idea of administering a rogering to Britain will look like something out of an episode of the Brown Bottle, but involving the pre-noon consumption of hard liquor and a curious ability to get his own anus deeply wedged into a standardised European Union filing cabinet while attempting to don an EU-flag themed superhero costume.

          • Nic the NZer

            That seems a rather foolish false dichotomy your positing. In any of the free trade deals agreed in recent years its been the lower to middle income classes of both countries who get rogered. The upper income classes on both sides generally do quite well out of the arrangements however.

      • Graeme 5.2.3

        The Independent cartoonist had this view of Britain’s prospects in a trade deal with US on 9/7…


        edit, couldn’t get the link to work right, but their cartoon on 9/7

  5. swordfish 6


    And the tide of public opinion:

    Brexit: Remain would win if new EU referendum vote were held tomorrow, poll finds

    The outcome of the Brexit referendum would be reversed if it was held tomorrow, a poll suggests.

    The Survation survey showed a clear majority of Britons (54 per cent) would vote to Remain in the European Union if another referendum was held, while 46 per cent would back Brexit. …

    Do the tories have what it takes to turn back from their self-destructive path?


    Mind you that same Survation Poll suggested:

    – Just 36% agreed that the UK Govt should “Stop Brexit Negotiations altogether and work to remain in the EU

    – While 48% Opposed holding a Referendum on Deal after Brexit negotiations are complete (simply wanting it to be implemented vs 46% who supported such a Referendum)

    • dukeofurl 6.1

      Opinion polls show Corbyn would win an election if held now.
      Thats a month after the last one

      Good luck with that

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