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"Tomorrow belongs to me"

Okay, so the idiots did it; they broke the UK.

This is a book launch month and I should really be blogging about "The Nightmare Stacks" but British politics has just entered a nightmarish alignment and we're in CASE NIGHTMARE TWEED territory. So book-related business as usual will resume tomorrow, after I've vented.

The Brexit referendum was initially a red herring; a proxy struggle for control of the Conservative Party, with Boris Johnson suddenly turning his coat to march in front of the Leave campaign because it offered his best -- arguably his only -- chance of winkling David Cameron out of Downing Street before his scheduled retirement in 2020, by which time Boris would be 59 (and by British standards too old to be a first-term Prime Minister).

But in the process of squabbling over their own party the euroskeptic Conservatives opened the door to the goose-stepping hate-filled morons of the extreme right. The results include the first assassination of an MP -- unconnected with the Irish independence struggle -- in nearly two centuries, an upsurge in racist attacks on minorities and the disabled, and finally a demented protest vote by the elderly (voters under 25 broke 75% for remain; the over-60s voted over 66% for leave).

I'm not patting myself on the back for calling out the consequences. Sterling has tanked to its lowest level in 31 years, the stock market has crashed by 10% already, and we're likely to see international repercussions as all the sovereign wealth funds that had invested in the London property market see 30% wiped off their investments in a matter of days. Longer term, this may well be the beginning of the end for the UK as a nation. (Watch who's standing on the sidelines praising the result: Donald Trump, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Marine le Pen -- a who's who of international fascismus.) The EU was the guarantor of the Good Friday peace agreement in Northern Ireland: the Northern Ireland peace process must thus be presumed to be broken, and it's anybody's guess what happens next. Scotland voted by a 62%/38% margin to remain in the EU and is being dragged out against its will; we are already seeing the first moves towards a second Independence referendum, and on the basis of pre-Brexit opinion polls it looks highly likely that Scotland will vote for independence within the EU. (When asked how they'd vote on an independence referendum if the UK had voted to leave the EU, Scottish voter intentions registered a 6% swing towards independence -- a hypothetical that would deliver an absolute majority.) The enabling legislation for IndyRef 2 is apparently already being drafted in Holyrood, and the Scottish government, despite being an SNP minority group, can count on an absolute parliamentary majority in moving for another referendum because the Scottish Green Party will vote with them (being officially for independence); it's likely that in 2-5 years Scotland will have split from the UK and applied to re-admission to the EU. As for Northern Ireland there will be urgent negotiations for some sort of federal arrangement with the Republic that allows them to retain EU access (the Republic of Ireland being an EU member and Northern Ireland having voted to remain in the EU by a significant margin).

What happens to England and Wales now?

Short version: economic turmoil caused by the uncertainty. An upswing in right-wing xenophobia as the utterly odious crypto-fascist Nigel Farage makes hay while the Sun shines on his project. Divorce negotiations ...the Brexiters have been selling a lie; that they'd get a no-fault divorce and keep the house. Reality is somewhat less convenient and Brussels has no alternative but to play hardball if it is to deter other loosely-bound members from following England's example. Most likely England will end up losing the house, the CD collection, and the cat and having to sleep in the car. For example, the biggest chunk of the UK economy today is the banking sector, and London is the global number one market for euro-denominated derivatives trading. But London, as a non-euro zone market, is only allowed to trade in euros because it's the capital of an EU member state. A London that is out in the cold will lose that business. Expect much of the British financial sector to decamp to Frankfurt, Paris, and Brussels. And there will be other ghastly economic consequences; if the UK is allowed to get a no-fault divorce, when why should Greece put up with the Troika's demands?

This is only just beginning, but I think it's safe to say we're back in the Scottish Political Singularity, with a disturbing undercurrent of violent jingoistic xenophobia down south -- the Scottish divorce from Englandshire won't be uncontested or fault-free either -- and meanwhile the smirking fascist in the corner is hoisting his pint glass and humming "tomorrow belongs to me."

478 Comments

1:

Give it 10-15 years and suitable ineptitude by other countries at handling knock-on reactions, and we might see future historians naming this as the point when the slide to the next European war began.

2:

The most interesting thing for me is how the result in general mirrored the result of the AV referendum - urban centres that had people on the ground having conversations were generally Remain, and places that were stuck with mass media coverage and the odd visit from a slogan-labelled bus were generally Leave. (I know that's a gross over-simplification. It feels scarily accurate though.)

And, of course, for those of us who have been banging on about how the "nation state" was a dead concept have been handed even more evidence. Alas, it is also entirely useless, as fact-based evidence has just been comprehensively demolished as having any sort of relevance to anything.

3:

the point when the slide to the next European war began

David Cameron – the shit that was heard around the world.

4:

Charlie,

Note that the UK has to press the article 50 button before it can leave - and it doesn't have to do so soon.

Scotland wants to be a successor state (so they don't need any of the nasties), which means they need England to walk away from the EU, which requires England to press that article 50 button.

It doesn't look like there is any way to kick out the UK in the short or medium term.

We will be living in interesting times, probably for years.

5:

Isn't there a political crisis looming over the presumable unwillingness of a majority of sitting MPs in Westminister to vote for this legislation?

6:

I really can't believe that people have been so blinded by Jingoism that they though this was a good idea.

The Brexit Conservatives all wanted Cameron to stay, so that when the wheels come off during the exit, the ones scheming for PM will be able to say "Wasn't me, it was all Cameron's fault", in the vague hope that they can get a few years in as PM before they get kicked out in the next general election.

Labour appears to have started consuming itself already, so gods know where they're going to end up.

The FM is talking of Indyref 2 - not surprising but I suspect that's a few years down the line as the catastrophic fallout from last night hits us all.

Pub.

7:

CASE NIGHTMARE TWEED. Time for some manuscript revisions, I suppose ...

8:

Nonsense. We have the technology and the will to ensure that there will be no future historians after the next European war...

9:

A lot of my colleagues are tearing their hair out because so much of their research is linked to EU projects and EU funding and it could royally screw up a number of their in-progress medical trials and studies. A physicist friend is worried about ITER since it's an EU project with a lot of UK funding.

A comment from reddit I thinks sums up the brexit result:

"this kind of feels like when you are playing truth or dare, and you are getting bored late in the game, so you tell your cousin Billy to go light himself on fire knowing he would never do it, but Billy has always been kind of off, and he actually does it.

What have you done Billy.

You're going to get us all in trouble."

10:

Corbyn's done for: 2 of his MPs have submitted a vote of no confidence, and the rest of the parliamentary party has been sharpening its knives since he was elected.

11:

Correct.

The referendum is non-binding on parliament.

However, by screwing the pooch Cameron just handed control of the Conservative party -- who happen to be in government right now -- to its own extreme right-wing euroskeptic faction. Who will in the wake of his resignation attempt to assert control and strong-arm the moderates into acting. And moreover, they might be able to enlist the support of the third largest party in the commons -- the SNP -- to offset any heel-draggers in their own ranks, if they promise a second Scottish independence referendum in return.

Who knows?

12:

I'm somewhat startled by pro-leave voting in Wales and the south west. That's some fine spin-doctoring by some folk... "all our problems are clearly the fault of the EU! everything will be great once we leave!" Are memories really so short?

(also, I rather like CASE NIGHTMARE TWEED. Shame too few of my peers will get the reference)

13:

It isn't just the banking that will decamp. A lot of our living-wage employment is by multinationals who have their EU bases in the UK, because of its tax-friendliness to such multinationals. And a vast amount of our research industry is in collaboration with the EU, and even reliant on EU grants - note that Conservative South Cambridgeshire was over 60% Remain. So we can expect a slow but massive decrease in employment, median wages and (of course) employee protections, including safety. Welcome to the Third World, everybody.

14:

Oddly that might be worse.

It isn't a good sign for governments to ignore the results of referendums. kind of hints that they're not into the whole "Democracy" thing and would be more likely to shift a lot of people to supporting the Leave side on principle.

They might get away with it if they could come up with a plausible excuse for another referendum that went the other way but even that would get peoples hackles up.

15:

Except if they don't let him (or someone he and and his closest allies agree to take his place) onto the ballots of members Labour will be PASOK within a year.

16:

The south-west has largely been turned into a holiday home and retirement park for wealthy south-easteners, and it looks as if most of Wales has suffered a similar treatment.

17:

Cambridge is going to be really badly hit. It was all set on the course to being the silicon valley of Biotech but if all the EU funding falls away it's well fucked.

18:

Glakk. Sorry to hear about this. So, non-hypothetically, what are the likely consequences for a British national working for an American multinational which owns a German multinational which owns a German company headquartered in Germany? I believe he is employed by the German company.

Honestly, I always figured that the EU was more likely to splinter under sovereign debt issues than simple racism.

19:

They might get away with it if they could come up with a plausible excuse for another referendum that went the other way but even that would get peoples hackles up.

Here's what I expect to happen between now and October.

First, and fastest, the economy will tank. We'll see real-world job losses and the closure of factories and offices.

Second, the government will begin informal negotiations with the EU about forming an exit treaty.

Come October, there's quite a rational case to say, "having agreed to Leave the EU, the electorate should decide on what form that exit takes" and present the exit treaty as a new referendum.

Right now there is a correlation between the regions most dependent on the EU and the regions with the largest share of the vote for Leave. So it's not unreasonable to imagine that those regions will be subjected to "Project Fear" quite heavily between now and October.

Equally, there are lots of (admittedly anecdotal right now) Leave voters expressing surprise that they won and fear about what happens next. As always happened, some people voted in a way calculated to stick two fingers up at the establishment, not expecting to be on the winning side.

So come the "Confirmation Referendum" in October, there will be an awful lot of people who switch sides with the benefit of hindsight and hard realities.

Cameron's legacy will be a short, very sharp recession and the fuss-free accession of Boris to Number 10.

And fucking a pig.

20:

I'm curious how this will affect the EU citizenship of UK citizens. From what I understand, EU citizenship is separate from national citizenship. So would the people of the UK retain their EU citizenship even after the UK left the EU? I could see the newly born not getting EU citizenship, but looking around I couldn't see anything that would strip the citizenship of current citizens just because they're in a country that's not part of the EU any longer.

21:

If we assume that the areas that voted remain do not take the leave campaign's arguments at face value* and start to move to leave the UK, as they do not want to be over ruled by the unelected, the I suggest that the Labour party offer Cameron a one clause bill to suspend the Fixed term parliaments act and allow an election. The Labour Party then offers a second confirmation referendum when the terms are known. We have plenty of time if the Article 50 button is not pushed.
*Welcome to the Free City Of Leicester-we voted remain. There is European History on our side.

22:

Er, what happened to the rest of my comment?

[[ You did a <?i> rather than a </i>. Now cleaned up - mod ]]

23:

Um. [Activating pink glasses] Well, maybe after 5-7 years of devastating economic collapse and the splintering of the UK, there'll be strong support for globalism. And, maybe, this time, there'll be some recognition of the fact that the benefits of globalism and trade treaties are pretty unevenly distributed...and some sort of negotiation and redistribution of the gains from rejoining the EU will take place. I mean, the universe is infinite? Right? Could happen...

24:

I believe the UK would still need to negotiate the exact terms of the exit with the EU. They could always try presenting a referendum to accept those terms or not as a second Brexit. With a rejection of the terms meaning the UK decides to stay in the EU...

25:

As usual, you are right. This day of stupidity will be remembered for a long time. :-(

Points to note:


  • The London housing bubble will burst very loudly very soon.

  • Most of UK science is co-financed by the EU. This will of course stop. Also most scientists come from the EU. They will also leave. Say goodbye to any Nobel prices for Oxbridge in the future.

  • The nuclear power plant in Hinkley Point C will probably not be build since I don't see an English government being able to finance it without the EU and in the foreseeable economic situation. This of course is the end of nuclear power in England (and the UK).

  • The UK is scheduled to preside over the Council of the European Union in the second halve of 2017. I doubt that that will happen.

  • AFAIK NHS only functions because of EU citizens working there. They will leave.


26:

some sort of negotiation and redistribution of the gains from rejoining the EU will take place

And after all the lovely things our politicians have said about the Romanians and Hungarians I'm sure they'd welcome us back in with open arms.

27:

it could be... complicated. Look at hong kong or when ireland claimed independence.

Often there's some exceptions and special rules made for people who are resident and apply by a certain date etc but there's unlikely to be any kind of blanket rule allowing all EU nationals.

28:

Nope. No EU citizenship for non-EU countries. I doubt that they are really separate.

29:

Except if they don't let him (or someone he and and his closest allies agree to take his place) onto the ballots of members Labour will be PASOK within a year.

True, but I think his somnolent performance in this referendum campaign will have eroded quite a lot of his support in the popular party.

30:

Can I be the first to quote Robert Walpole, who said on a declaration of war:- 2They are ringing the bells know, soon they will be ringing thier hands"

31:

I wonder about the British expatiates living e.g. in France. Did the leave campaign expect them to come back?

32:

You make an excellent point. As long as they don't push the article 50 button right away and negotiate leaving terms first then they could pull that off without it feeling too much like ignoring this referendum.

It could work. Though the leave side would claim that rejecting the treaty still doesn't count as rejecting leaving entirely and it would be tough to turn it around entirely.

33:

As a German watching from the sidelines, I disagree with the most outrageous predictions (a European war within the next 15 yeras, major job losses in the next six months).

True, today was a bad day for GBP and FTSE, but after the initial shock, the trends are pointing upwards again.

What you will see is diminished investment in new things at least for the the next two years. As the rules concerning trade remain the same until the Brexit is actually completed, the real economy won't see much change in the next two years; exporters may even see spme positive development, as the pound is devaluating.

Mid-term and long-term economic outlook is not rosy, but I seriously doubt that we're talking about the end of the economy.

34:

I'll repeat a comment I just made on Facebook:

Unfortunately, it's a pretty clear demonstration that Americans are not the only people who vote consistently against their own self interest. Fear is the mother of demagogues. Frighten people and substantial numbers of them will vote for anything they believe will make them safer.

It seems that most of the industrialized world is hellbent on self-destruction. The rise of the right throughout Europe and the US is a symptom of the fear, uncertainty and doubt that permeates the middle class throughout the west. There can be little doubt that the likes of Farrage, LePen and Trump are the spokespeople for the fear movement.

Although it may seem far fetched at the moment, I worry that this may enhance Trump's electoral potential. Not so much because of Brexit, but more because the pro-Brexit vote is a sign that voters are angry enough to do something stupid.

35:

I guess that's what happens when you're actually an honest politician.

36:

Cameron's gamble (and it was a decent one) was, I think, that we'd get the 52/48 Remain result. That way, he'd have been perfectly positioned to force a full-scale EU renegotiation because he could point to the high level of opposition in a key member state, albeit one that is a bit half-hearted, and I imagine that a number of other European leaders would be glad to be able to hide behind him.

A 60/40 Remain vote would have been terrible, because the Leavers would have got even more heated, but at least business as usual would have followed. A 60/40 Leave vote would at least have felt like a proper mandate.
But a 52/48 Leave vote is no sort of mandate, and the geographical discrepancies massively exacerbate the problem (and magnify the FPTP crisis as well, but that's a separate argument.) And yes, as has been pointed out, there are Leave voters who are shocked at the result.

37:

Typo alert: "get it's no-fault divorce".

38:

You make an excellent point. As long as they don't push the article 50 button right away and negotiate leaving terms first

That's what Cameron hinted at in his leaving announcement this morning. He'll hang around the keep the economy stable, then in October hand over to his successor who will have the honour of activating Article 50.

It could work. Though the leave side would claim that rejecting the treaty still doesn't count as rejecting leaving entirely and it would be tough to turn it around entirely.

I expect Leave to be significantly diminished by that point. Boris will swap sides as soon as it's clear the popular opinion isn't in favour of economic suicide. And the official campaign considers Farage to be as much of a hindrance as a help, three months of his emboldened titting about should make him an outright liability.

39:

A number of comments above have suggested that the UK can avoid starting the Article 50 process, or that a way can be finessed so that Leave does not actually mean leave. In addition to statements by current PM Cameron, I commend to commenters' attention the following:

Joint statement from Donald Tusk (president of the European Council) Martin Schulz, (president of the European Parliament), Mark Rutte, (holder of the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU), and Jean-Claude Juncker, (president of the European Commission)

We now expect the United Kingdom government to give effect to this decision of the British people as soon as possible, however painful that process may be. Any delay would unnecessarily prolong uncertainty. We have rules to deal with this in an orderly way. Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union sets out the procedure to be followed if a Member State decides to leave the European Union. We stand ready to launch negotiations swiftly with the United Kingdom regarding the terms and conditions of its withdrawal from the European Union. Until this process of negotiations is over, the United Kingdom remains a member of the European Union, with all the rights and obligations that derive from this. According to the Treaties which the United Kingdom has ratified, EU law continues to apply to the full to and in the United Kingdom until it is no longer a Member.

As agreed, the “New Settlement for the United Kingdom within the European Union”, reached at the European Council on 18-19 February 2016, will now not take effect and ceases to exist. There will be no renegotiation.

(Emphasis added.)

40:

I guess that's what happens when you're actually an honest politician.

It's less to do with honesty and more to do with effectiveness. Corbyn is a decent policy wonk but the past year has proven he has sod-all ability to get on TV and command votes.

41:

Repeating myself from previous thread, since I hadn't seen this post.

Famous British Novelist was interviewed again on NPR, this time amounting to "Hawhaw, I told you so, I was against it all along" and "Kids these days." Maybe expressed slightly more eloquently.

It always bothers me that anything less than 55% is considered a majority, considering how many people don't vote (at least in the US).

Well, good luck with the new Indy Ref. May I suggest rather than ScotExit, just call it SExit?

42:

> *Welcome to the Free City Of Leicester-we voted remain. There is European History on our side.

That would make a wonderful satirical SF novel, a future Britain split into "EU" and "non-EU" enclaves, with distinct laws and internal borders and all kinds of Monty Python Silly Flags.

43:

Well they would say that wouldn't they. Just remember, the negotiations have started

44:

Look up The Holy Roman Empire-my suggestion is only partly satirical

45:

I'm definitely put in mind of the Year of the Five Emperors.

46:

"Little England Prevails."

As an ignorant Aussie, do people have predictions on what the effects will be on London's hyperdominance vis-a-vis the rest of the UK?

47:

I didn't notice any of the latter. Yes, the job losses will be gradual. But have you looked at the skill levels of the UK population, and how dependent we are on foreign workers - not for the unskilled jobs, but the skilled ones? And how dependent our pensions and banks on the housing and other Ponzi schemes continuing? And the fact that 17% of our foreign exchange comes from the financial sector? We used to have a similar economy to Germany, but now it is very, very different, and MUCH more prone to feedback-loop recession.

48:

"Vote [Labour or Conservative] - We Might Be Able To Keep The Cat"

49:

I'm not I will repeat my story from last week.

500 unemployed workers in a council estate next to a new Aldi. All of them look at the jobs and a lot apply for them hearing nothing or No Thanks.

Aldi then opens employing none of those 500 workers but instead 16 Eastern Europeans....

Then you give them a vote which allows you to kick the people who allowed those immigrants to come into the country.

I may not like the result but trust me I saw this coming weeks ago....

50:

But...
The disasters you foresee are the good things that the English people outside London voted FOR!

When Cameron et al screamed about the sky falling, the people who were not London financiers said 'OK - that suits us just fine'.

51:

The vote result really seems to put the term "United Kingdom" to the lie. Sturgeon already queuing up a second IndyRef; Cameron falls on his sword, slowly (to misquote Alan Rickman as the Sherriff of Nottingham "because it hurts more"); BoJo booed by London crowds; Farage gloating; Trump cheering; how many more hints do the British need that they've just made a gigantic mistake?

52:

As I pointed out, the EU might like to dictate the timing, but in reality they have no control now.

The UK can leave when it wants, and the EU can't even threaten them if they decide to not do what the EU wants.

That article 50 is going to come back to haunt them.

53:

I've not seen Farage speak, but reading about him I'm reminded of Roderick Spode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9yGi5fOt6Q

54:

Everyone who voted "leave" doubtless had a real reason to vote "leave" (and the same for "remain"), but that doesn't mean that it was a good reason.

56:

Everyone who voted "leave" doubtless had a real reason to vote "leave" (and the same for "remain"), but that doesn't mean that it was a good reason.

As I think was said in the previous thread, that would be all well and good if both sides of the campaign had presented truthful benefits and drawbacks, but the Leave campaign swung the vote with what one professor of European Law describes as "dishonesty on an industrial scale"; dishonesty that Farage is already rolling only back a few hours after the result.

57:

Around 2002-2006, when the struggle against radicalised Salafism seemed to be boosting the fortunes of the Christian Right here in the States, it felt as if that sort of evil loon were, without conspiring, continually helping each other.

(Conspiracy theorists are optimists...'All we'd have to do is find the sorcerors responsible and kill them, and our problems will be over.'.)

If the economy here tanks to any noticeable extent as a follow-on effect, that'll help Trump directly, as of course a 'successful businessman' (who, as it turns out, can't get people to loan him money to build things any more) will be what me 'need'.

(I mean, it's not as if knowing anything about foreign policy, domestic policy, or anything substantive for that matter, could do anything good for your economy.)

58:

Dow down 500 points. Thanks a lot you rotten bastards.

59:

Seeing that the US is about to elect a corporate, neoliberal clown who's for ALL TEH WARS (I ain't talkin' Trump), WWIII is not out of the equation, either.

60:

Perhaps I'm naive, but I don't foresee a future where the UK categorically bans foreigners. Skilled immigration won't stop (as long as the hurdles are not too high). Sure, the German doctor or the French engineer will have to fill out some more forms and navigate some more bureaucracy, but as long as there are well-paying jobs, you will have foreigners willing to fill them.

The finance repercussions are of course grave with the potential to have a a negative feedback-loop.

61:

Niggle Farrago likes to see himself as "that bloke down the pub"; Everyone else sees him as "the pub bore that you take active steps to avoid"!

62:

Argh.

I had intended for

"There will be no renegotiation."

to be emphasized.

63:

Maybe we blog commenters could all emigrate to Grand Fenwick ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Fenwick ).

64:

Sure, the German doctor or the French engineer will have to fill out some more forms and navigate some more bureaucracy, but as long as there are well-paying jobs, you will have foreigners willing to fill them.

Skilled work is not the only reason to cross borders.

65:

The EU can refuse to discuss any issues relating to leaving until the timer on article 50 is kicked off. Then what will BloJob, or however gets the hot seat, do? Scream abuse at the EU, yes, of course, but anything else? And, because he will have difficulty putting new EU regulations into English law, after a while the UK will find that it is being fined and even locked out of EU markets because it is not compliant.

66:

Can we copyright the string "Scexit" now, and make some money out of IndyRef2?

67:

Considering that a lot of the anti-EU propaganda over the past decades came from YOUR renegade Australian, we could return the compliment!

68:

I don't think playing cute by not activating article 50 is going to be very effective.

Look at the EU-leader statement above, they're not going to play games here, they want UK out and the want UK out now!

Don't overlook all the pain UK has brought on the EU project, from Thatcher and onwards to the renegotiations this winter specifically mentioned in the statement.

In particular don't overlook how UK repeatedly has frustrated EU's attempt to do something about tax-shelters, off-shoring and general unaccountability of transnational companies.

Article 50 or not, UKs goodwill in EU is now zeroed and grounded so it is certain stay zero.

What UK thinks or feels in EU context will no longer matter, only in formal votes (which are a very tiny fraction of all EU decisions) will they have anything say from now on.

The longer UK delays article 50, the more time people and companies have to flag out of UK before any kinds of controls set in, from a purely economic point of view, they should act sooner rather than later.

October in particular sounds "much later than good".

WRT citizenship:

There is no direct EU citizenship, you have it via your country.

But EU could, if they really want to screw UK, grant UK citizens born during UK's membership a special lifetime visa that allows them to still travel and work freely in EU. That would bleed a lot of young talent out of UK.

69:

@21 and @43
I point you to "Europe in Autumn" by David Hutchinson.

70:

You are missing the point. Such people come mainly because our pay is attractive and that, in turn, is dependent on our economy being strong enough to make the pay attractive.

71:
Sure, the German doctor or the French engineer will have to fill out some more forms and navigate some more bureaucracy, but as long as there are well-paying jobs, you will have foreigners willing to fill them.

We aren't the only country with jobs. Are we still as attractive post-exit?

The thing that actively frightens me is that the xenophobic/racist stuff stirred up by the campaign isn’t going to go away. As the shit hits the fan over the next few months and years folk are not going to introspect and go "Gosh — maybe we made a poor decision". They’re going to blame it on Europe punishing us and, y’know, foreign people in general. Watch that lovely feedback loop spin!

I was at a techie conference last week. Brexit obviously came up in conversation. Three different folk I talked to were considering moving their businesses outside of the UK. For the white person the primary reason was business. For the two (UK born) brown people business was reason number two. Reason number one was the general uptick in racist bullshit they had been on the receiving end of over the last few months. And they could only see it getting worse. When you hear somebody tell you "I don’t feel my grandkids will be safe here" you’re just… well fuck.

And that's not "foreigners". That's UK nationals, with English accents, who don't happen to have the right skin colour.

It's not just the existing companies that are worried. It's the new ones. Startups I mentored earlier in the year all had investor driven move-out-the-UK plans in their back pockets. We're going to burn the seed corn too.

72:

Interesting alternative take from a friend on twitter:

Prediction (on pre-lunch low blood sugar) next week = 2 new party leaders, election called, manifesto to ignore ref result, voted in, remain

Sounds unlikely to me because you'd be pitting Leave-driven Conservatives against a Labour party that would struggle to raise a fart in a bean factory, but I thought it was worth discussion.

73:

It was a good enough reason for them. The fact you don't think its a good reason demonstrates why the destruction of the Labour party south of the border will occur in the same way its been destroyed north of the border.

People will go to any part they believe will represent them and has a chance of winning. Unless things change rapidly UKIP or its renamed successor will replace it as the working class party of choice.

The reason why I knew what the result was early last night was feedback from polling stations on council estates. A lot of people who had never voted before were walking through the door and asking what they had to do. At that moment I knew the result...

74:

Uh, I beg to differ with that 'everybody': Farrage is that loud-mouthed bore half the pub hate, most of the rest ignore, but a few of his mates idolise with an intense, homophile-but-don't-you-dare-call-me-queer, love, especially if they get to smash some faces to prove it.

76:
The south-west has largely been turned into a holiday home and retirement park for wealthy south-easteners, and it looks as if most of Wales has suffered a similar treatment.

Unless the wealthy south-easterners have been incredibly fecund of late, I don't quite see how they could retire in sufficient numbers to affect local politics to this extent.

There must be an awful lot of local people there who genuinely feel that this is the best thing for them, and I just can't quite see why. A very small sample I've spoken to suggested that EU regulations and cartels are responsible for the demise of British industry, and that if we stay in the EU they'll be over run with brown people. Maybe a heft dose of racism is all that's required to suppress the memories of decades of governmental neglect and contempt.

77:

With respect to the "delay article 50" plan: It still baffles me that people believe that the EU will continue to allow the UK to play political games in the current climate. Without going and checking the numbers (although they did come up on the previous thread) my understanding is that from an economic point of view the EU might smart after a UK exit, but the damage to the UK economy will be considerably greater. The primary concern of EU leaders now is to show that voting out is not an easy option to forcing new terms and concessions, that an example should be set for other countries teetering on the edge. I would not expect a trade war, but I don't see how the EU won't have the upper hand in all exit negotiations, and be able to painfully squeeze concessions from the UK.

(This is without considering how the electorate will view delaying article 50. The economy is unlikely to stabilize until the future position of the UK is set, so you will have an economically bruised population who see the government backtracking and delaying on implementing their decision. That doesn't sound like a recipe for disaster. No, not at all.)

78:

Article 50 ( #4 will surprise you )

1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.

3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.

**** 4. For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it.
A qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with Article 238(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

5. If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.

79:

No. I don't think it wasn't a good reason, I know it wasn't a good reason. Facts and opinions are not equal.

Should we just throw our hands up and say that all political parties who don't pander to the perceptions of the electorate are doomed; or should we look for a way to create a more informed electorate, that can see complex issues for what they are and not be blinded by their own biases and easy sound-bite solutions?

(And this sure as shit isn't a problem confined to council estates or any other single demographic.)

80:

You do know how long that has been going on for, don't you? It has also meant that the more skilled and ambitious local youth (exactly those who would vote Remain) left for work elsewhere. One side of my family comes from there, and I have lived there, so I have observed the changes over 60+ years.

81:

It will be interesting to see what is required for the Union to be "notified" in accordance with #2; obviously, news reports of a popular referendum fall short of notification. I doubt the UK has much to gain from delaying, though, as companies, other EU states, and the EU bureaucracy make their own plans for a UK out of the EU. It reminds me of an old soldiers' saying: anything you do on the battlefield can get you killed, including doing nothing.

82:

Unlikely. As I said a while back, it's most likely that we are into a long period of prevarication and obfuscation. We may well then see a manifesto to ignore the result, or we may well leave. In any case, we are into the phoney war stage.

83:
There must be an awful lot of local people there who genuinely feel that this is the best thing for them, and I just can't quite see why.

As somebody living in the South West (Dorset) the fear-of-foreigners card has been played well and played often. That was pretty much universally the Leave reason I heard down here in the pub / street.

84:
Unless the wealthy south-easterners have been incredibly fecund of late, I don't quite see how they could retire in sufficient numbers to affect local politics to this extent.

Also — there are a lot of retirees down here. The SW has the largest proportion of retirees in the UK. A tad under 1 in 5 of the population. Compared to a tad over 1 in 10 in London. It makes a real difference.

85:

Another thought in terms of playing the waiting game: Financial institutions like stability and predictability; the longer the UK delays on instigating or ignoring the referendum result, the more uncertainty; the more uncertainty the more chance that the financial sector will start to move away from London, and hurt the UK economy further; the more hurt placed on the UK economy, the weaker the UK bargaining position if they finally enact article 50, and paradoxically probably the more pressure to enact to prevent further hemorrhaging in the financial sector.

The EU itself doesn't have to do much of anything to pressure the UK government to decide quickly, time is on their side.

86:

The "it is a non-binding vote!" argument seems to me to be along the same lines as "the Queen can overturn a law parliament passes!"

That may be technically true on paper. But in terms of real politics and power, good fucking luck with that one.

87:

It galls me that such a sweeping change should require but a simple majority. It both ignores the notion of error (some small subset whose opinion is essentially random or whose votes aren't ibtained or counted correctly) and the (literally) whimsical effects of immediate circumstance that are all-but random.

Such a result is not stable enough for so momentous a decision, both because of the randomness cited above and because of longer-term effects, e.g. within a few years Pratchett's best character will usher-off a lot of the 'leaver's, and if young people keep anything like their current opinions, you'll have a U.K. (or its old pieces, considered ensemble) 52%-48% for would-have-stayed, even ignoring breaker's remorse.

88:

Here is what Stratfor is putting out to its subscribers, if anyone cares:


Should a Brexit come to pass, it would not automatically take effect. According to Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, members that want to leave the Continental bloc must first negotiate the terms of their exit and develop a framework for their future relationship with Europe. This process can take up to two years, though the United Kingdom would be able to control when that period begins by choosing when to notify the European Union of its intentions. EU officials have said that the terms of Britain's departure likely could be settled within the two-year time frame but that defining its subsequent ties with the bloc would take longer. Of course, Article 50 is a relatively recent amendment to EU law; it has been in force only since December 2009. Because it has never been invoked, it is unclear how comprehensive a withdrawal agreement would have to be to pass muster.

Until the exit negotiations were concluded, Britain would still be considered a full EU member bound by the bloc's rules and treaties. This means it would continue to be part of the European Union until at least late 2018. Once London and Brussels reach a final deal, it then would have to be put to a vote by the European Council as well as by the European and British parliaments. Though it is unclear what would happen if either EU body voted against the withdrawal agreement, all parties would probably return to the negotiating table to hash out a new deal. In theory, Britain would have the option of unilaterally leaving the bloc, but doing so would make future talks between London and Brussels much more difficult. Considering that Britain would want to pursue a free trade deal with the European Union — the world's largest trading bloc — after renouncing its membership, London would be unlikely to sour its relations with Brussels if it could help it. Article 50 also does not include provisions for countries that want to reverse their decision to leave while talks are ongoing, leaving it unclear how the bloc would proceed if the British government changes its mind.

In the end, the course of Britain's departure talks would be determined by political negotiation, regardless of what the EU treaties say. Recent leaks to international media outlets have suggested that the German government would want to settle talks with London quickly to minimize any financial instability that might come in the wake of a Brexit. France, on the other hand, is allegedly willing to make Britain's departure more difficult to send a message to Euroskeptic parties at home. These conflicting interests could temporarily aggravate frictions among EU members, though the specter of prolonged uncertainty would probably encourage most of the bloc to come to an agreement with London sooner rather than later.

It Would Raise Tough Questions in London

Once Britain's exit is finalized, the British government would be pressed to address three major issues. Chief among them is trade. Some 45 percent of Britain's goods and services exports go to EU members, and 53 percent of its imports come from the Continental bloc. Consequently, Britain would be highly motivated to preserve its access to Europe's common market. Doing so would require London to negotiate new free trade agreements with the bloc and with the non-EU countries it trades with through the European Union. Based on historical experience, such agreements can take as much as a decade to complete.

Legislation would also become an important problem to resolve. Once EU norms were no longer enforced, the British Parliament would have to reintroduce, amend or abolish the laws currently in place. The Brexit's critics have warned that over time the gap between British and European regulations would widen, hurting British exports to the Continent and making Britain a less attractive destination for investment.

The other issue that would move to the fore is immigration. After leaving the European Union, London would have to decide the status of EU citizens working in Britain, just as Brussels would need to determine the status of British workers living throughout the bloc. Moreover, the British government would have to design an immigration policy to attract skilled laborers and counter the country's demographic decline. To that end, it would likely put in place a selective immigration policy akin to the point-based systems in Canada and Australia.

All of these decisions may have to be made by a new government, though. A vote to leave the European Union would almost certainly prompt the resignation of British Prime Minister David Cameron, who has campaigned to remain in the bloc. The factions of his Conservative Party that support a Brexit would then have to prove they control enough seats in Parliament to appoint Cameron's successor without triggering new elections. But given the deep divides within the party, its ability to make such a claim is anything but certain.

Meanwhile, London would also have to cope with renewed demands for independence from Scotland. After all, Scottish voters are largely supportive of the European Union, and members of the ruling Scottish National Party have called for an independence referendum to be held if Britain leaves the bloc. Though roughly 55 percent of Scottish voters decided against separating from the United Kingdom in 2014, a Brexit would revive the debate about Scotland's future.

Britain's problems would not be confined to the political realm, either. It has been widely predicted that a Brexit would cause an immediate economic shock as uncertainty about the future of Britain and Europe leaches throughout global markets, leaving volatility in its wake. Indeed, British economic growth slowed in the first quarter of 2016 in response to unease over the impending referendum. Things would only get worse in the weeks after a Brexit vote as money is pulled out of the country and the pound weakens even further. That said, no consensus has emerged on how deep Britain's downturn would be. According to Her Majesty's Treasury, the British economy would contract by 3 to 6 percent in the two years after a Brexit, an estimate the country's "leave" camp believes is exaggerated. But on May 13, International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde echoed British officials' concerns, warning that a Brexit would lead to recession, as well as the possibility of crashing stock markets and housing prices, in the United Kingdom.

In the longer term, a Brexit's effect on the British economy after the first year or two will depend on a number of factors. For one, its appeal as a foreign investment gateway to Europe could diminish if it is no longer a member of the European Union, putting its position as the bloc's largest recipient of foreign direct investment in jeopardy. Along a similar vein, half of the European headquarters of non-EU companies are located in Britain, many of which might choose to relocate to countries that are still members of the bloc. The same may be true of the banks and financial institutions operating in London, which could find Paris or Frankfurt more attractive centers in which to take up residence. Though many of Britain's natural advantages — its light regulations, business-friendly environment, strong capital markets and use of the English language, to name a few — would not be affected by a Brexit, many of the vote's effects would depend on the type of relationship Britain builds with Europe after leaving it. Such ties could follow one of three models:

The Norwegian model. Britain could join the European Economic Area under terms similar to Norway's. Though Norway is not an EU member, it participates in many of the bloc's structures. This option would preserve Britain's access to the European Union's common market, but it would also require London to adopt EU regulations and contribute to the bloc's budget without having a say in its policymaking. Simply put, Britain would be forced to follow rules it could not help set, a scenario that is rather unlikely.
The Swiss model. Alternatively, Britain could follow Switzerland's example by negotiating a set of bilateral agreements with the European Union that would govern its access to the Continent's common market in certain sectors. Under this arrangement, Britain would have to adhere to EU regulations only in the sectors covered by the agreements. But Switzerland's patchwork deals, which number over a hundred, took years of tough bargaining with the bloc to create, so although it is a more likely outcome than the Norwegian model, it still poses serious problems for Britain.
The South Korean model. Britain's final option would be to sign a free trade agreement with the European Union, much like South Korea did in 2009. London and Brussels would have to negotiate the scope and depth of such an accord, and it is possible the bloc would try to limit Britain's access to specific sectors, such as financial services. Talks could prove to be lengthy; in South Korea's case, they took roughly a decade. Members of Britain's "leave" camp have said in recent weeks that the South Korean model would be their preferred route in the event of a Brexit.

Britain's withdrawal from the European Union would hurt economies on the Continent as much as it would its own. Exports would fall among some of Britain's main trade partners, including Ireland, which sends about 14 percent of its exports to Britain, and the Netherlands and Belgium, which send about 9 percent each. Unsurprisingly, these countries would probably be the biggest supporters of a rapid resolution to trade talks with Britain.

Without a trade agreement in place, Britain's exports to the European Union would be subject to tariffs, as would EU exports to Britain. London would be forced to pay the "most favored nation" rates set by the World Trade Organization, which range from 4.1 percent on liquefied natural gas to 32 percent on wine. Services trade could be further complicated by the fact that EU members have erected different non-tariff barriers, such as domestic regulations, in the services sector.

Meanwhile, political uncertainty stemming from a Brexit vote would hurt economies across Europe, as would a decline in trade should London and Brussels fail to reach an agreement. Central banks worldwide, including those of the United States, India and Japan, have issued warnings about what a prolonged period of uncertainty in Europe could do to global financial markets. Even if Britain-EU talks take just two years to settle, these markets would not be able to avoid the fallout.

Southern Europe might even receive a double dose of pain. Spain is scheduled to hold general elections on June 26 that will likely lead to a fragmented parliament, while Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has linked the future of his administration to a constitutional referendum in October. When coupled with the uncertainty that would follow a Brexit, such political instability in the eurozone's third- and fourth-largest economies could raise questions about the economic health of Southern Europe as a whole, leading to turbulence in international debt markets.

As for Europe's faltering unity, a Brexit would have very different implications for the Continent in the short and long term. In the immediate aftermath of the vote, the shock of an EU member's departure would spark demonstrations in favor of Continental unity across Europe. Germany and France, the bloc's biggest heavyweights, would seize the opportunity to advance cooperation by drafting proposals to deepen European integration. The new measures would likely avoid controversial issues, such as fiscal integration, and focus instead on areas where consensus already exists, such as security and defense.

But the sudden enthusiasm for European unity would be short-lived. For one, the electoral calculations of French and German leaders would make it exceedingly difficult for Paris and Berlin to reach any substantive agreements before late 2017. Furthermore, though France and Germany share an interest in creating a more federal Europe, they have different views on what that should look like. And though countries in Central and Eastern Europe generally support the bloc, they are becoming increasingly wary of decisions that would strengthen Brussels' supervision of EU members.

Meanwhile, Euroskeptic parties across the bloc would interpret a Brexit vote as support for their own proposals to leave the European Union. And after the dust settles, the Continent's nationalist streak would likely re-emerge. If Britain offers proof that it can endure after quitting the European Union, the bloc's opponents would begin to hold it up as an example to follow. Euroskeptic parties stand to make the most gains in countries with large economies such as France and Italy, where citizens are particularly skeptical of the Continental bloc and optimistic of their countries' future success independent of the European Union or eurozone.

Perhaps the most important effect a Brexit would have in the long run is on the balance of power in continental Europe. Without Britain, the European Union would lose a liberal, market-friendly member, giving interventionist countries such as France, Italy and Spain the upper hand in the bloc. Germany has historically seen Britain as a counterweight to France within the European Union, and without its vote on the European Council, Germany, the Netherlands and Nordic states would lose a key backer in negotiations with Europe's Mediterranean states. Germany's weakened position could even encourage France to try to seize the reins of the bloc, exacerbating tension between the two EU leaders. If Northern European countries start to fear a takeover by the Continent's Mediterranean bloc, Euroskepticism in the north would likely grow.

The divide between Western and Eastern Europe could widen as well in the wake of Britain's departure. Central and Eastern Europe consider Britain the primary defender of the interests of EU members that do not belong to the eurozone. London has also been one of the staunchest supporters of sanctions against Russia, which aligns with the policies of Poland and the Baltic states. If Britain leaves the bloc, states in the EU periphery could become more isolated from the rest of the bloc, and in time, more Euroskeptic.

Because Britain accounts for approximately 12 percent of the EU budget, the North-South and East-West fissures could deepen even more as the bloc adjusts to a tighter budget. Brussels, forced to either cut spending or ask remaining EU members to contribute more money, may find itself torn by the Continent's regions. (Countries in Southern and Eastern Europe tend to defend generous agricultural and cohesion funds for member states, while Northern Europe typically pushes for spending cuts or freezes in the same areas.)

On top of its growing internal weakness, the European Union would see its clout abroad decline as well. Because of its military might and former colonial networks, Britain boasts a role in international affairs that is not easily replaced, with the possible exception of France. In Britain's absence, Germany would come under increasing pressure to play a bigger role in asserting the bloc's foreign policy — a role that Berlin has sought to avoid and several EU states have tried to prevent. Since Britain would no longer be able to lean on its EU membership for additional backing, it, too, would be unable to maintain its influence within the international community.

89:

As someone on Twitter said:
"so this is what history feels like. Not sure I like it."

or as Iggy Pop once said: "fuckety, fuck, fuckin', fuck fuck!"

90:

I'm horribly reminded of the Leonard Cohen song "Everybody Knows":

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

Especially the bit about 'the good guys lost'.

I'm a Canadian, and I'm bummed out that the UK voted for (1) Short-term pain; (2) Long-term pain; (3) Ultimate dissolution (as Scotland, probably NI and (who knows?) possibly the Free City of Leicester) jump ship.

I was hoping that the UK referendum would be like the 1995 Quebec referendum. In Quebec, it was even closer: 49.42 Leave; 50.58 Remain; 93.52% turnout (yes, voter turnout was that high).

91:

"The Guns of June"?

or, with different sources:

"A Midsummer Night's Vote" -- in which you are all Pucked.

92:

That would make a wonderful satirical SF novel, a future Britain split into "EU" and "non-EU" enclaves, with distinct laws and internal borders and all kinds of Monty Python Silly Flags.

May I urge you to read G.K. Chesterton's "The Napoleon of Notting Hill", which really ought to be classified as SF, but I don't think you will find it on the same shelves as OGH. A future in which all the London boroughs are independent, with out-Pythoned feudal flummery, and fight wars with one another?

93:

You are aware that I live in Scotland?

94:

If I were in Cameron's position, I'd appoint Boris Johnson as the head of a committee to prepare the exit talks with the EU and recommend a time when to invoke Article 50. Then in autumn at the conservative convention he can ask for results, and if Johnson made a shambles of it, and/or if the economy is seriously tanking, maybe remain prime minister.

95:

It's puzzling that people who support leaving the soft fascist construct called the EU are being called “fascists”. At its root, the EU is a Synarchist empire: a construct of unelected elites whose main purpose seems to be to thwart the will of the idiots – er, I mean the citizens of Europe – and control their lives. What's fascist about wanting to leave that?

96:

Brexit is just part of a world wide trend: a backlash against globalization by ethno-nationalism (aka neo-fascism), driven by fear of "The Other". In Western countries The Other is Dark Skinned People. In Islamic countries The Other are infidels.

The Western backlash (Brexit in Britain, Trump in America, Putin in russia, LePen in France, Burlesconni in Italy, Golden dawn in Greece, etc.) is driven by fear of a non-white planet. This moment was predicted by historian Samuel Huntington (yeah I know he was all about the "clash of civilizations" but on this point he is right). from the Atlantic Monthly:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/05/donald-trump-and-the-twilight-of-white-america/482655/

>A week after Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president of the United States, the Census Bureau released a landmark report on the demographics of American children under the age of five. For the first time in U.S. history, it reported that a minority of this group is “white”—neither black, nor Asian, nor Hispanic.

>This moment in American history was inevitable, and it was never going to be a tranquil transition. In 2004, the influential political scientist Samuel Huntington published “Who Are We?”, his manifesto on the tumultuous future of the American identity. The growth of black and Hispanic minorities, he predicted, would provoke a backlash among whites:

>The various forces challenging the core American culture and creed would generate a move by native white Americans to revive the discarded and discredited racial and ethnic concepts of American identity and to create an America that would exclude, expel, or suppress people of other racial, ethnic, and cultural groups. Historical and contemporary experience suggest that this is a highly probable reaction from a once dominant ethnic-racial group that feels threatened by the rise of other groups. It could produce a racially intolerant country with high levels of intergroup conflict.

>Trump’s platform is a remarkable manifestation of this 12-year-old prophecy. But Even Huntington could not have foreseen that this demographic moment would coincide with an economic crisis (which would be improbably overseen by America’s first black president). History has drawn these conflicts into a crucible, and the economic anxieties and racial anxieties of today are nearly inextricable.

For the Muslim backlash against globalization was predicted as long ago as 1992, see "Jihad vs. McWorld" (also from the Atlantic Monthly:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1992/03/jihad-vs-mcworld/303882/

>The two axial principles of our age—tribalism and globalism—clash at every point except one: they may both be threatening to democracy. Just beyond the horizon of current events lie two possible political futures—both bleak, neither democratic. The first is a retribalization of large swaths of humankind by war and bloodshed: a threatened Lebanonization of national states in which culture is pitted against culture, people against people, tribe against tribe—a Jihad in the name of a hundred narrowly conceived faiths against every kind of interdependence, every kind of artificial social cooperation and civic mutuality. The second is being borne in on us by the onrush of economic and ecological forces that demand integration and uniformity and that mesmerize the world with fast music, fast computers, and fast food—with MTV, Macintosh, and McDonald's, pressing nations into one commercially homogenous global network: one McWorld tied together by technology, ecology, communications, and commerce. The planet is falling precipitantly apart AND coming reluctantly together at the very same moment.

Just when we were within reach of creating a truely global integrated civilization we devolved back into primitive tribalism.

"Let us wear on our sleeves the crepe of mourning for a civilization that had the promise of joy" - Charles Maxwell


97:

In the meantime, my 401K is totally screwed.

Thanks a lot you racist British twits.

98:

There is still much to digest after this vote. Thanks for the reminder of The City being a center for trading of euro derivatives.

I have been thinking that if Scotland votes to leave the UK and return to the EU, will that not mean that England will have to remove its submarines and forces from Holy Loch and Clyde?

And just to add some ridiculousness: what does that do for the Duke of Edinburgh? Does he change titles? And what about that big royal castle in Scotland? Who keeps that bit?

99:

Britain could join the European Economic Area under terms similar to Norway's.

FWIW the Norwegian anti-EU camp's advice to Brits wanting the "Norwegian option" has always been DON'T DO THIS.

100:

I saw that there's a petition calling for a revote with at least 75% percent to pass.
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/131215circulating
--down for maintenance, apparently was swamped and crashed.
I gather it quickly reached 100,000 so has to be considered in Parliament. But how likely is this to pass?

101:

I'd agree with most of that, just that if the situation is sufficiently dire, they might skip the referendum and avoid putting Johnson or Gove to the front.

102:

Can we just call this... "Wrecks It?"

103:

Not necessarily; there#s precedent.

104:

I assume the current owner of the castle still owns it. If not... Scottland will get all the money from their chief tourist attraction!

105:

Despite my absolute certainty that I am doing nothing but throwing snacks under the bridge...

You do realize that no matter how many times you use the word fascist in one post you're still talking bollocks, and doing nothing but restating the "faceless EU bureaucrats" fallacy in different terms?

106:

Nothing really constructive to add to this discussion, as a Canadian watching events unfold with southern cousins there is some thought to building a wall if the Drumpf gets in. Have you thought about strengthening Hadrian's Wall? ;-)

107:

You're saying the Scots should strengthen Hadrian's Wall, right?

108:

will that not mean that England will have to remove its submarines and forces from Holy Loch and Clyde?

Ask the Okinawans ;-)

I don't think the EU has anything to prevent one member leasing or lending its facilities to someone else, whether in or out. The Murricans are in the same position, after all. Whether Little England could afford the rent would be the question.

109:

The EU is under no obligation to negotiate any terms with the UK until Art 50 is engaged, and initial reponses appear to be that they have no intention of doing so. So negotiating terms and then running a referendum on leaving on those terms versus staying in looks like a non-runner.

The only way that non Art 50 negotiations might be considered is likely to be if all parties decide that England (and Wales presumably) will "do a Greenland", leaving the EU while Scotland & NI stay in. Considering who is likely to be in charge in Westminster, and their level of compentency, it is unlikely such a complex and nuanced position would be attempted. It might however be the only way to head off IndyRef2: if that was genuinely on the table the Greens might not support the new referendum legislation, and the SNP might even backtrack with that on offer and polls not strongly supporting independence.

110:

We don't need no education
We don't need economic sense
No damn EU regulations
Sorry! Children! Mum and Dad are dense

All in all its just another day at the mall!
All in all its just another day at the mall!

111:

Unfortunately building walls is almost always part of the problem, not part of the solution.

112:

"You're saying the Scots should strengthen Hadrian's Wall, right?"

Yes, was alluding to defending from the southern barbarians in both Canada and Scotland. ;-)

113:

Note that when I use the word "fascist" about Brexit supporters I have in mind: Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Marine le Pen, Golden Dawn, Britain First and the BNP, Donald Trump, and Nigel "Horst Wessel song" Farage.

In other words, you know, a mixture of unapologetic card-carrying fascists and nudge-and-a-wink fascist fellow travellers. (Farage dialled back the explicit neo-Nazi beliefs, at least in public, when he had a public to perform in front of, but was notorious for it as a schoolboy and student. Trump ... if you can't smell the odour of authoritarian populism rising from his armpits you're suffering from anosmia. Golden Dawn, Zhirinovsky, Britain First: jack boots, black uniforms, beating up foreigners. BNP, Front Nationale: somewhere in the middle.)

The EU bureaucracy is many things but it's not actually fascist unless we're going to corrupt the word so much that it covers "neoliberal plutocrats".

115:

My suspicion is that Galdruxian is trolling by invoking Godwin, without actually using the word "Nazi".

Ho hum.

116:

It is not fascist in the other (less perjorative) meaning, either - authoritarian and nationalist - though one can reasonably say that all recent UK governments (and especially Home Secretaries) have been, and the people you describe are merely more so, plus varying degrees of bigotry and racism.

117:

Ah no. Well, not as a direct result anyway: we're a United Kingdom at least in part because the Monarch is Monarch of England and Wales and also of Scotland. This has been the case since James VI and I acceded to the English throne, way back in 1603.

(There is some argument that this means HMQ is Elizabeth I of Scotland.)

So my understanding is that Scotland would for now retain the royal family. In the long term I'd expect a republic, but it's taken long enough for other places to sort that.

118:

It's really depressing that the most popular one there with over 450K signatures is

"Stop all immigration and close the UK borders until ISIS is defeated."

Euck.

119:

WRONG
Cameron was & is a decent ma - he fully expected to win the referendum to stay "In".

I blame the Labour party for not campaigning until about 2-3 weeks before the actual vote, & even then not really trying.
I'm listening to the 17.00 main BBC radio news bulletin, right now:
"Motion of No Confidence" in the crawler Corbyn.
ScotReferendum - what a disaster - Scotland will probably vote Out/In if you see what I mean.
Ireland? Oh SHIT.
Gibraltar - equally Oh Shit

EU.
Panicking furiously, - DEMANDING negotiations start immediately.
I assume they will be told to go & fuck themselves - that's the whole point, of course.

Clusterfuck doesn't even begin to describe it.

120:

Correct.
The referendum is non-binding on parliament.

I wonder
BoJo becomes PM = goes to Brussels & demands really significantly "better" terms & then calls IndyRef2 ....
Somehow, I don't think this is going to work.

121:

"Today I have been told at least 3 UK startups lost deals from EU-based investors because funding was conditional on Remain to win." — https://twitter.com/mikebutcher/status/746347548978315265

… so I am not alone in the experience of seeing startups being f**ked by this.

122:

Clusterfuck doesn't even begin to describe it.

That might just be the best one line analysis of the whole sodding mess that I've seen all day.

(I am personally concerned where NI is going in a big way, we're like a finely balanced gyroscope that someone has given a whack to -- we can get balanced again, but only if all the right things happen. My deep-down grisly fear is that Trump wins in November and US money starts to bleed rapidly out of Ireland north & south. Things go big wahoonie shaped in a very bad way at that point.)

123:

EU.Panicking furiously, - DEMANDING negotiations start immediately.

I don't know what drugs you're doing but that's not the news I'm reading at all.

They're basically saying "you've made your bed, now you must lie in it", and pointing out that the UK doesn't get to dictate negotiating terms. Basically it's in the EU's interests to get Britain out as fast and harshly as possible, lest other countries decide the EU is easy to roll by threatening to leave. No ifs, no buts, no buyers remorse.

Mayor of Calais wants UK border agency and camps off his lawn.

EU points out that UK now gets no say, going forward, in EU internal trade negotiations or standards (but must still abide by them for trade).

And so on.

And you? You're blaming everyone else.

124:

Petition is back up. It says:

"EU Referendum Rules triggering a 2nd EU Referendum
We the undersigned call upon HM Government to implement a rule that if the remain or leave vote is less than 60% based a turnout less than 75% there should be another referendum.

144,795 signatures
Show on a map 100,000

Parliament will consider this for a debate
Parliament considers all petitions that get more than 100,000 signatures for a debate
Waiting for less than a day for a debate date

Government will respond
Government responds to all petitions that get more than 10,000 signatures
Waiting for less than a day for a government response"

125:

Very likely.
I wonder, I wonder ....

126:

If the UK tries this bait-and-switchy kind of move, will the EU have to accept the change of decision to remain, or can we be forcibly ejected at that point? And if it does work, I would imagine next round of negotiations will be, shall we say, frosty.

127:

Joint statement from Donald Tusk (president of the European Council) Martin Schulz, (president of the European Parliament), Mark Rutte, (holder of the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU), and Jean-Claude Juncker, (president of the European Commission)
"We now expect the United Kingdom government to give effect to this decision of the British people as soon as possible, however painful that process may be. Any delay would unnecessarily prolong uncertainty."

Yes, arseholes.
And no, "we" are NOT going to push the article-50 button until we're good-&-ready.
Oh dear, how sad.

Listening to BoJo on Radio_4
"As the PM has said there is no need to invoke article 50 ..."
" we are still Europeans ... open & friendly & outward-looking ..."

128:

I blame the Labour party for not campaigning until about 2-3 weeks before the actual vote, & even then not really trying.

Uh, you expect a rival party to play along when the Tories organize a referendum to settle their internal leadership struggle and support the side of the current leader of the rival party? You seem to be woefully unexperienced with party politics, it seems...

129:

See my comment @85.

Moving quickly may be in the long term interests of UK.

131:

Oops, there's a </b> missing after "support".

132:

So Northern Ireland are Scotland are both on the Remain side. I know that a significant faction, ahem, of the Northern Irish population don't see eye-to-eye with their neighbours to the south, but how do they get along with the Scots? Is a Northern Gaelic Republic in Europe's future?

133:

And my #65. Greg. Tingey is certainly on something strong.

134:

When Norway was having its second referendum, those of us who didn't like the local equivalents of Farage used to quip, "No to the EU -- for the EU's sake".

What would amuse me even more than Scotland being the successor state would be the EU bouncing a re-application from Little England(*) on the grounds of institutional incompatibility.

(*) Go on, rename yourself Airstrip One, you know you want to.

135:


I don't know, apathetic bloody planet, I've no sympathy at all.

136:

You don't want to go there. You really don't.

137:

With respect to Greg, he seems to still be occupying the mindset that this result somehow gives us leverage with the EU.

This seems counter-intuitive and just plain wrong. We have just pissed any EU goodwill up against the wall, and are going to find ourselves with a weak hand in future negotiations. The best deal that I can see us walking away with at the moment is something not quite as good as what we had -- there is no benefit to the EU to offer us concessions, unless they do want to strongly signal that the show's over and everyone can go home.

138:
With respect to Greg, he seems to still be occupying the mindset that this result somehow gives us leverage with the EU.

The disconnect seems to be a common one For example http://www.politico.eu/article/post-brexit-ukip-wants-tariff-free-access-to-eu-single-market/

139:

Final thought, then I think I'm out for the day:

A friend sent me a movie suggestion today, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels -- I haven't watched it in quite some time, but contains brilliant work by Michael Cain and Steve Martin as two con men, a wealthy amoral elitist and his protégé/would be usurper, swindling their way around a small town in Europe.

I shall be watching it later. It seems appropriate for today.

140:

Unlikely. I think the ways away from the UK would be very different between Scotland and N.I. Scotland would just hold Indyref II, N.I. would discuss stuff like EU land borders, special status and harmonizing with Ireland.

Gibraltar might be converted to a 99 year lease if Spain pushes really hard.

141:

London also was a a great city for multinational (especially U.S.) corporations to open large offices. You can hire top talent from the entire EU population, and it's a desirable location so you can get them to move there.

The UK is still a large enough market to warrant a satellite office, but you won't be getting any more flagship EU offices opening there.


142:

Bleating and babbling we fell on his neck with a scream
Wave upon wave of demented avengers march cheerfully out of obscurity into the dream.

143:

Simplistically, the two factions in NI are reflected in Scotland, particularly in Glasgow. The whole Celtic/Rangers division can be seen as a reflection of the NI Nationalist/Loyalist split the other end of the Giants Causeway.

There's been a lot of migration to and fro across that strait over the centuries, to the extent that 'Scot' became the term for the people of Scotland rather than for a people from Ireland.

(And then you get the Highlander/Scot division. That can be interesting.)

So in answer to your question, there is some sibling feeling. On the other hand there is some division in both communities, and putting together a United Kingdom of Scotland and Ireland would be IMO pretty difficult.

144:

I wonder if you Britains even know what you want to negotiate about/for? Free trade yes/no? Worker migration yes/no? Europol yes/no? Financial markets yes/no? ...

145:

Apparently someone has already started a "London Independence Party" .....

Also your comment is almost spot-on.
Reminder - "Britain First" are tiny in numbers, if large in total lunacy & danger.

I'm still listening to Radio_4 - EU officials apparently in total shock - worried about "contagion" & "infection".
Well, you've done it to yourselves, arseholes - no not fascists, total bureaucrats, with no elections & no popular DEMOCRATIC mandate at all ...

They are BEGGING Britain to trigger Article 50 a.s.a.p.
Well, the standard Brit response to that, irrespective of what "that" is, is going to be to tell you stick it up your bum, isn't it?

146:

Check out the ATM card scam in Irvine Welsh's "Porno", and ponder the significance of the PIN...

147:

This doesn't really reply to anyone in particular, but might interest you.

If we had a third referendum here, I'd vote "in", and one of my reasons would be visceral loathing of some of the "out" mentality, on both sides of the aisle.

Point: back in the days when there were 12 members, the Left Noes made a huge fuss about how the EU did not represent the "true" Europe, because it did not include the Baltics and suchlike. (Sort of reverse Westocentrism, I hope Norman Davis was listening.) Norway should show solidarity with Latvia and Romania! Then they joined, and who are the Left Noes solidarising with now? Perhaps it is Transdnestria that is the "true" Europe.

Point: This is the bit you won't believe, but cross my heart and hope to die. The Noes campaign published a brochure claiming that the EU was ONLY 12 out of 48 European countries and therefore to be despised. So where are the other 36? They were counting not only the dubiously sovereign minnows such as Andorra, Monaco and San Marino (the dreaded Norwegian-San Marinan Alliance is coming to town, you'd better watch out!) but all the ex-Soviets as far east as Kyrgyzstan. Beats having Oz in the Eurovision, what? And we still couldn't get it to 36.

Point: "No" brochures were as anti-papal as Ian Paisley, and made much of our Lutheran bonds with the Baltics. And Brussels was what St John had in mind with his 666, of course. Hello, but Lithuania is actually Catholic. Think they knew that, or could find it on the map? No, it was just a name they could declare friendship with, so they didn't look quite as dickheadly racist as they actually were.

Faugh.

148:

See my reply @ 145 above, quoting from Radio_4 a few seconds ago ....
So no, the EU officialdom are panicking.
Some in the EU will want to "Punish" Britain/England as a warning, but there is nothing they can do, until "we" actually officially trigger Article 50, can they?
As you know, I voted "in" at the very last moment, because of the international complications.
So - why should I NOT blame everyone else?

149:

I am fascinated by the way Spain demands Gibraltar back while waxing indignant about how Ceuta and Melilla must be theirs until the heavens fall. Come on, sauce for the gander!

150:

Yes, there is no provision to kick someone out of the Union. But it's dishonest and disingenuous not to invoke Article 50 as fast as possible. Both towards the British population who voted to get out *and* your European partners.

It's okay to leave. Really. That's why there is an article 50 after all. But now we EU guys need to move on and we can't do that with a notorious fence-sitter. As long as the UK is a member, I fully support their rights as EU members, to work the European parliament, the commission, etc.

But they made the decision to cease to be a member. How and why they did is their business and their business alone. Frankly, I do only moderately care – Great Britain had had every chance to actively work in the Union, but apparently they only wanted the European Common Market. That's also okay. We have agreements with Norway and Swiss to that effect. If they want to apply for those, they have my blessing.

But any attempt by the United Kingdom to drag their feet and try to peddle for a better deal yet again should be stonewalled.


151:

Seriously.
Huge numbers actually believe that the European Court of Human Rights is part of the EU - and are AGAINST it, the idiots.

Still on Radio_4: Lord Hennessy, almost exactly the same age as me - born in the shadow of WWII. And he was/is "pro-Remain":
Quote: "We had to have this referendum at some point ....
The trouble with the EU is that it's seen as a Catholic, left-wing, French, bureaucracy ... And most British or English people have problems with at least three of those things."
Made me smile, even in the midst of all that.

6 o'clock News now on, so interesting comments are diminishing.

152:

Why not?
After all, France & the French pick-&-choose which EU regulations to actually observe, & put as many possible obstructions they can to foreigners & foreign companies inside their own borders.
Tu quoque.

153:

"But it's dishonest and disingenuous not to invoke Article 50 as fast as possible."

You said a bunch of stupid stupid things last night, I want you to hurry up and make binding commitments based on them.

Right.

The loser here, I think, is democracy and democratic institutions. All the conservative fears about both have been confirmed. And what the devil do the Scots do? They'd have to be crazy to join the Eurozone (that's pretty much all countries whose names don't begin with a G and end with a Y) and they'd have to be crazy to stay with England.

Oh, this will end well.

154:

A quote in a private e-mail from a friend (Son of a friend) living in Edinburgh, in response to my questions ...
Begin Quote:
Wales and Scotland very different situations.

Scotland will be independent within 5 years - probably before the EU leaving is completed by the UK. Not only does it give ammunition to the SNP, but most importantly it's a defined total injustice for the people of Scotland which the bedroom tax in the indyref just didn't quite have enough punch to be. It's ripped the heart out of the unionist cause as plenty of unionists I know are either now willing to accept independence or won't be able to being themselves to campaign for a no vote. Honestly I count myself in the latter camp. I would still vote no, but after this I don’t think I could bring myself to campaign again.

A good friend from school who did Medicine at Dundee as is moving back there in August after a couple of years in Cardiff as a foundation year doctor is and has been a LibDem for his entire life, but he is already making the case for independence.

Scotland is its own animal now.

Wales however - as seen in the last Assembly elections - is suffering from the failings of Labour and large areas of deprivation in the formerly industrial areas and many rural areas have the farming community's list of EU grievances. Most of Wales was easy pickings for Leave for mostly the same reasons as, variously, the Midlands and North East (failed industry) and any rural area you care to name in England respectively.

First thing I did this morning was to post a picture of Private Fraser from Dad's Army saying "We're Doomed!"

I hope within my lifetime we manage to start seeing the advantages of this decision, but I fear I may be dead before any of those potential phantoms appear.

I also think that geographical and socio-economic factors played their part. I only know one person who was for Leave in my group of friends from Edinburgh - and he is the nutcase libertarian from a rich farming family who trade exclusively with the states. Based on who I know I was expecting 52-48 in the other direction.
End Quote.]

Charlie - how close is that to what you see in Edinburgh?

155:

Greg, the better idea would have been to copy the French tactics - stay in, get all the advantages, but don't implement the ideas you don't like until absolutely forced to.

After all, it is up to the government to implement any directives from the EU, until they do they can be safely ignored.

Unfortunately the only directives we were anxious to prevent were the ones around money laundering and tax havens, primarily because the UK controls most of them as crown territories or ahem The City of London.

Leaving means we now get all the disadvantages, with none of the benefits.

156:

So the beige dictatorship is crumbling, since one faction of it started to play the xenophobia card so much that they actual populists could pick up the ball with it.

Which description fits both the US and the UK. I had seen it going for a long while in the US, but hadn't expected it to sweep like that in the UK.

Yes, the EU is far from fascist. I'd go so far to say that the EU bureaucracy and leadership is functionally anti-fascist: they're post-nationistic, elitistic-technocratic, and not at all about the idea of a former golden age that they want a return to.

157:

So there I was thinking that the racist hooligans had led the charge to sink the UK to their level, when it occurred to me that perhaps we're interpreting this all wrongly.

Since Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain, then in a sense, what England and Wales voted to leave was the United Kingdom. So, the remaining UK keeps on with business as usual (or thereabouts allowing for several years of negotiating) and the EU does the same other than new trade negotiations with this upstart 'Britain (and Wales)' country. (Might need to work on the name a bit.)

It would certainly save all the money and time engineering Scottish independence and rejoining the EU.

What to do about London? Since they clearly didn't want to leave either, they can be part of the remaining UK also. London is practically a city state anyway. We can see a precedent in Berlin post WWII. They could even build a wall. The other cities which voted to remain could do the same.

So, even if Ireland reunifies, the UK would still be the United Kingdom of Scotland and London (and some other cities which know on which side their bread is buttered.)

Call me crazy, but it just might work...

158:

I shall be watching it later. It seems appropriate for today.

And like any great movie about cons the last scene is the best of the movie.

159:

Just finished The Nightmare Stacks in a fevered day of trying to avoid social media, news and gut wrenching dread. Very much enjoyed it, how wrong is it to look at the Laundryverse Britain and feel like it would have been better to wake up there today...?

160:

One of the interesting questions is, why is Wales so anti-Eu, when Scotland isn't?
Both have farming, and had industries decimated by anti-industry Tory policies, or more importantly, little enough done to deal with the aftermath of said policies.

So why has Wales decided taht the EU is the fount of all problems? Is it xenophobia? But getting out the EU ties them into England, a country many Welsh people don't like. Is it all the english folk who have moved there? Is it a desire to stick two fingers up at politicians?
The latter seems more likely to me, insofar as I haven't heard about Wales having a positive campaign about anything really, unlike here in Scotland. Instead they feel betrayed etc.

161:

That's an important point, carefully avoided by the leave campaign- if we want access to European markets like Norway we have to pay, and can't say anything about the laws involved.

I really want to know what leavers were thinking about. One I've run into thinks it'll make us stronger. They don't want to get into an argument just now, but since modern strength is predicated upon having a strong economy, not just how much cannon fodder you have, the policy seems a failure so far.

162:

The union of the crowns is a separate deal from the union of the kingdoms, and predates it. When the Tudors petered out without heirs, the nearest claimant was king of Scotland, so he ended up sitting on both thrones (I suppose he put them next to each other and cut off the arms in the middle, or something). Since then the monarchs have all been Kings/Queens of England and of Scotland at the same time, and technically have two different regnal numbers at the same time if the numbers of preceding monarchs with the same name in the two countries differ, although only truly epic pedants ever refer to them by the Scottish one.

The hereditary stuff that justifies a royal being Thingy of England works just the same to justify them as Whatsit of Scotland, and still would if the union of the kingdoms was dissolved, since it never depended on that to begin with.

Well... officially. The Jacobites claim that the passing of the throne to a lesser claimant - technically by military force, really by invitation - when the incumbent wouldn't learn not to be Catholic, was invalid, and spent some time trying to get the throne back under the arse of a candidate from the more direct hereditary line. They eventually gave up after the latest candidate turned out to be an utterly useless tit, but they still existed as a faction. There's still a Jacobite heir around - I think he's the holder of some minor German title - and I'm sure a few persistent Jacobites would want to do something with him, since there are always one or two people who are nutty enough for anything, although whether he'd want to do anything with them is another matter.

As for the English naval forces, that came up during the Scottish referendum and IIRC the official position was that they'd have to stay because there's no port down here that can take them, although I suspect that was a "contingent truth" aimed at putting people off voting Out in order to get rid of them, and if push came to shove we'd either find a port or build one.

163:

I'm told the south west (at least the farming communities there) voted Leave because they felt money they should have been getting was going to subsidize French farms, rather than to them. They feel that without the EU pulling that money away, they'll be better off. At least, that's what my relatives are telling me was the community feeling in their areas.

164:

1) Don't worry about promoting your book. I for one will be working my way through all of your work in time. Just bought myself come comfort reading and a sympathy chat from my local feminist co-operative.

2) Don't blame me, I voted Remain.

3) There were many reasons to vote Leave. Some people have been driven mad my austerity. Some people are staggeringly information-poor. Yes, some people are racist and want to be out of the EU to suspend the European Convention on Human Rights. Specifically Article 8, the right to a family life which has been used to hold families together when one member falls foul of petty bureaucracy.

4) On information poverty. There was a correlation between social security payments and Leave voting. There seems to be a "lump of social security" fallacy on the loose. This is a belief there is a finite lump of social security to be divided among claimants. For example the first happy face I saw today thought he would be getting a share of £350M per week. Yes he is racist, yes he thought he would be getting more because we would be deporting the brown people, no he didn't vote Leave because he is racist. He voted leave because he thought he would be getting more in social security. I don't think he's the only one.

...more when I get back from work.

165:

What are the odds for this scenario?

If it's going to take two years for the divorce to proceed, there's time for the British voter to have a collective freakout when they realize that there's serious consequences. They might have a change of heart. Could they hold an opposite vote to say no, we'd like to change the our vote? What then? Could this damage be unwound?

166:

If you want to delve into real horror, take a sniff around the "Deutsche Bank is collapsing" meme. (Down from 32.02 on July 31st 2015 to 13.37 today) to get an inkling of the game plan.

And yes, of course Trump, RT and anti-EU supporters all over the place have been fanning it.


~

In other news for those whose cats need a cheering up:

Angel Catbird, which is hitting shelves in the fall, is about a superhero whose powers come from a tragic incident in which he was tangled up with a cat and an owl. Margaret Atwood Has Written A Graphic Novel?! A First Peek At 'Angel Catbird' Tells Us A Lot Bustle, 23rd June 2016.

It's written for a cat charity, apparently.

167:

Folks,

From Reuters, an excerpt:
In Britain's second-largest financial hub of Edinburgh, the referendum result sparked talk the city could benefit.

"I am already hearing rumors from contacts in London that big financial companies are instructing lawyers to look at Edinburgh as a hub," said Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp, chief executive of Business for Scotland, adding he expected a fresh Scottish independence vote by 2020.

Nearly two-thirds of voters in Scotland wanted to stay in the EU, and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Friday a second independence referendum is highly likely.
--- end excerpt ---

http ://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-banks-idUSKCN0Z92G8

Oh, great, Charlie - are you looking forward to a "real estate boom" (pricing everyone out of Edinburgh)?

mark

168:

"...this upstart 'Britain (and Wales)' country. (Might need to work on the name a bit.)"

Edwardia or Henricia. I'd prefer Henricia.

169:

... said Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp

He would say that, wouldn't he?

Franfurt and Dublin are more likely destinations. Whither Scotland is currently too confused a question to make them happy.

170:

There's no "actually we've changed our mind" in Article 50. You trigger it, you get two years to get your affairs in order, you're out. If you want back in you join the queue. At the back, please, and Schengen and the euro are mandated.

This is not to say something might not be able to be cobbled together... but between Cameron's stunning inability in EU diplomacy and the referendum, goodwill is at an all-time low.

171:

you make a lot of specific predictions
if after 5,10 or 15 years you are wrong, will you apologize ?
or is venting an artform that renders apologies unnecessary ?

I dont know what the equivalent in the UK is, but if you were in the US, I would say, go to Akron OH, and find a street that used to be prosperous and is now a slum, and knock on the door of a family that used to do well with a good union job with bennies, and you ask for the man or woman of the house, and you say to them

hey, I really feel you pain, does that make up for having your life trashed ?

172:

The Jacobite claimant is the 82-year-old Duke of Bavaria.

He doesn't have any children; his heir is his 79-year-old brother.

He only has daughters, and Bavaria applies the Salic Law, so they won't inherit the (nominal) claim to Bavaria.

The eldest daughter is the Hereditary Princess of Liechtenstein (ie married to the eldest son of the current Prince). Presuming that neither of the two old men has a late-life child, she will inherit the claim - probably about the same time that she becomes Princess (ie married to the head of state of) Liechtenstein. She has several children, including a son who is the heir to both the Principality of Liechtenstein and the Jacobite claims to the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland.

So in a decade or so, there will be a state in the hands of the Jacobite claimant.

173:

That's wishful thinking on the Edinburghers. Why should a financial firm move to uncertain Scotland if they could move to Dublin, Frankfurt or Paris?

174:

I was interested to see that the leave vote was driven entirely by folks over 50. As an over 50er, I register my strong disapproval.

175:

I think there are already people working on that, but with a tighter time frame.

176:

> Yes, the EU is far from fascist. I'd go so far to say that the EU bureaucracy and leadership is functionally anti-fascist: they're post-nationistic, elitistic-technocratic, and not at all about the idea of a former golden age that they want a return to.

If I might frivolously drop into the science-fictional mode for a moment, that reminds me of the Overgovernment in Schmitz' Federation of the Hub stories. Indeed the FotH was and the EU is, as I understand it, as much about preventing a recurrence of past horrors as anything else.

http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/schmitz_james_h

Back to existential dread mode.

177:

Here are two observations/questions

1. Who's next? Would it be possible for France or the Netherlands to stage a similar referendum?

2. This has been a failure for both polling and bookies. That scares me in regards to their predictions on Donald Trump.

178:

Which does rather fit in with what I noticed, or had explained to me, a decade ago. In North Lanarkshire, ostensibly a labour stronghold, but people were feeling abandoned by all party's and thinking of voting BNP.

179:
Who's next?

Denmark seems possible.

180:

I'd go so far to say that the EU bureaucracy and leadership is functionally anti-fascist: they're post-nationistic, elitistic-technocratic, and not at all about the idea of a former golden age that they want a return to.

The question is, are such "empty suit" people suitable for running a civilization? When you remove, God, country, tradition, etc., what is left to give you strength in difficult times? When I saw the scared looks and tepid reactions from these old technocrats after the Paris attacks, I knew the answer was "not very damn much".

181:

160+ comments into the thread, and I have to stop reading. My piss-poor mood is interfering with my ability to follow an argument and sort wheat from chaff.

I lived and worked in London for 8 years, returning to Canada in 2010. The multi-cultural environment within the ring road puts cities like Toronto and Vancouver to shame.

Some of the people I met in London were neither of English descent nor citizens of the UK. And I remember them with great fondness. They taught me much about work, love, and dealing with life's grown-up problems.

Economic and political motivations aside, this referendum wound up posing the question "What are you more afraid of - the other in society, or change?"

One of the reasons I am a reader of Charlie's work (Glasshouse, anyone?) is that it often explorers exactly the fears laid bare in this referendum. It comes as no surprise to me that he's able to write with such cognizance in the aftermath.

But for myself, I can't get past the anger. I feel like Little England has insulted me, some of my friends, and itself all at the same time. And I resent it.

182:

Have done no research into how reliable a source this is, but was shared by an old friend who works in the finance industry in London. We may experience a brief moment of schadenfreude at the discomfort of the bankers, but long term this can't be good for the economy. What was that plan about waiting on taking further action being to our advantage?

http://news.efinancialcareers.com/uk-en/248265/london-banking-redundancies-brexit

183:

Basically it's in the EU's interests to get Britain out as fast and harshly as possible, lest other countries decide the EU is easy to roll by threatening to leave.

Along those same lines it's in the interest of the EU to welcome an independent Scotland. It would discourage countries that may have regional differences or independence movements from considering an exit as well.

184:

Yes, that's a very good question, and OGH has already coined a great term for their type of governorship: the beige dictatorship.

But I'm fairly convinced that the answer is "No". Thank god we have at least one reasonably statesman within the EU in Angela Merkel.

(I really doubt that Denmark will go the anti-EU route. Since they have a true multi-party system, there is much less likelihood that a single extremist position can hijack any of the major parties. Instead, they often get relegated to an often sizable but still manageable minority. That said, Denmark has a huge problem with racism in various forms, but several of the established parties have bought into the racism as well; a kind of unholy alliance that sticks in my throat but does give a certain protection against fascist parties taking over wholesale.)

186:

Thing is, it's not only about last night. This was decades in the making.

Personally, the most worrisome prospect isn't Britain leaving. That's an economic annoyance. No, it's a possible resurgence of right wing "leave" campaigns in other countries, with France doing something really stupid and leaving the Union. Then its basically over for the EU as a whole, with Germany - comfortably reunited for nearly a generation - still being there, as the largest economy on the continent and with the 2nd largest population after Russia. Twirling thumbs and having nothing to do. Except of cozying with Russia, because resources.


187:

There might be but it could swiftly be fixed by a General Election.

Unless PM Boris ballses it up all up and looses that, but can you see an opposition winning being entirely DeBrexit?

188:

The one hope I hold out is that there quite a lot of precident for a second referendum. Just look at the Lisbon treaty shenanigans.

189:

You have to admit that it's pretty bizarre to call everyone “racist” who simply wants to maintain the ethnic status quo in their homeland. By this logic, pretty much the whole world is racist, which begs the question of why this is such a big deal, and who is benefiting from these accusations. It looks to me like a lot of “leftists” have been coopted by anti-democratic Synarchist/neoliberal elite agenda simply by painting the opposition as evil racists. A clever ploy, but one that I suggest has rapidly diminishing returns now.

190:

Let us suppose that, after a suitable interval (at least 6 months) that Article 50 gets its button pushed.
Scotland then eventually leaves the UK by a n other referendum & applies to join the EU
They MUST adopt the Euro & "bow down to the bureaucrats in Brussels" ... err .. is this a good idea, either?
It just gets more & more complicated.

191:

For those of you interested in Galdruxian's beliefs. He isn't trolling. He's sincere. He is a believer in The Archdruid, a guy who favors getting rid of technology and returning to a feudal systems run by priests (such as himself). Heck, he was even cheering for Ebola to spread globally and usher such a state.

192:

Yes
Also Huffpo reporting on Independance for London - "Nuffink to do wiv us guv"

And the comment in your second link that: "There will have to be another vote."

193:

I call "faceless EU bureaucrat" fallacy again!

194:

I must admit that when I googled "synarchist" from his first post, my loon-detector gave a bit of a wobble. Thank you for clarifying and confirming.

195:

If you say you want to maintain the ethnic status quo, you are basically implying that people should be treated differently depending on their race. That is racist!


196:

I really like Morgan cars. I've been lusting for one for ages, though reports of the hacks required to make one legal for the US have rendered that mostly an obvious lost cause: Lucas electronics and a Rover engine from the 60s clearly would make it a project, not just some driving fun. But a few years ago, Morgan made a 3-wheeler, and it it was good; a test drive showed it was a tight fit, but fun to drive. So, I started saving up, putting together an aggressive portfolio to see if I could maybe buy one for an upcoming milestone birthday. Then, just about a month ago, I heard the news: Morgan was actually in the process of getting one or more of their 4-wheel cars up to snuff for legal import and road use in the US.

I let my hopes get up. I got a bit more aggressive on the savings: a 4-wheeler is going to be significantly more expensive than a 3-wheeler. But instead of a somewhat problem-prone S&S engine, the 4-wheelers use Ford performance engines, have much better protection from the environment, and aren't considered motorcycles (with helmet requirements) in the US. So I contacted one of the very few dealers in the US and got my deposit in, one of the first US build slots reserved for when production starts.

Now Brexit. While my deposit is secured and fully refundable (in US dollars, even), suddenly it's not clear if Morgan will have the capital to continue with the US export plans. While if Brexit *does* go through the cost will probably be lower (the Pound has already dropped some 30% overnight), my dreams of a sports car with a high power-to-weight ratio and a frame made of ash wood are now . . . chancy.

Any thoughts from those closer to the issue? Give up the hope of a Roadster or 4+4, and settle for a 3-wheeler? Hope Brexit settles down an keep hoping? Find some other marque to lust after?

197:

Heck Article 50 is worded in such away it's arguably already triggered by the formal vote.

198:

The problem is simple: Most Syrians probably can't go home. They've tapped out their groundwater, their river allotment was cut in half by Turkey, and every time there's a bad drought, the farms are going to die. That's one of the big things what started their civil war in the first place.

A lot of Iraqis can't go home either. They've been salting their farmland since the early bronze age, and that little war they're stuck with didn't help.

A lot of Afghanis can't go home, for much the same reason.

In coming decades, tens to hundreds of millions of Bangladeshis won't be able to go home. Many are already so used to losing their homes in floods that they put their names on all their belongings, so that when the next flood destroys their home, they can find and collect their belongings later, assuming they didn't get swept into the Bay of Benghal. Unfortunately, sea level is rising, and pretty soon they won't have any land to live on.

Shall I go on? There's a long list of people who are going to be displaced in coming decades, from Shanghai to Kiribati. It may well even include a ten or twenty million Californians. It may be me and my family, depending on what that predicted earthquake does to those very shaky California aqueducts I get my water from.

In coming decades, we're looking at an age of migration that will dwarf the one 1500 years ago.

Now, if every old white dude has a jingoistic freakout and screams and kills until the border is closed, what are those people going to do? It's not like they can go back to their homes.

Worse, we either did it to them or helped them do it to themselves.

So yeah, as a species we've got a problem, and the Brexiters and various xenophobes are making it worse. If things get bad enough, don't think your borders will hold, either.

199:

Since ITER is welfare for PhDs, the inability of brits to join is a good thing for the UK

200:

I call "Tampon Tax" & raise you !

201:

Just to add to the fun ... this quote from Iain Banks, 2013.
No surprises how apt it still is.

I won't miss waiting for the next financial disaster because we haven't dealt with the underlying causes of the last one. Nor will I be disappointed not to experience the results of the proto-fascism that's rearing its grisly head right now. It's the utter idiocy, the sheer wrong-headedness of the response that beggars belief. I mean, your society's broken, so who should we blame? Should we blame the rich, powerful people who caused it? No let's blame the people with no power and no money and these immigrants who don't even have the vote, yeah it must be their fucking fault. So I might escape having to witness even greater catastrophe.

202:

Where do you get that? Since the vote is not binding and final power resides with the parliament, notification can only be made after an act of parliament.

203:

Galdruxian: you are persistently annoying me, and my skin is particularly thin right now because a bunch of fuckwits just decided to trash the economy I live in (never mind the whole damn country and the EU on top), so I am banning you. If you think this is unfair, I urge you to re-read the moderation policy several thousand times.

Goodbye.

204:

Angela Merkel is not a good european stateswoman - she played with the idea of a Grexit, after all. And look at her statement from today - totally uninspired.

205:

Heteromeles is right if you think the immigration backlash is bad now you ain't seen nothing yet. One of the reasons why it's gonna be hard for the EU to survive

With regards to Britains next play one possibility is to stay in the Eu , negotiate for free trade and in the meantime do everything they can to disrupt EU operations until they get what they want

Is a single member nation actively trying to gum up the works a credible threat?

206:

An entry of Scotland into the EU will need approval by Spain (it needs approval by all members. This will be difficult if the spanish government doesn't want an independent Catalonia. And France and Spain will think of the Basques.

207:

There's an island off the coast of Louisiana which has just been evacuated, as the remaining land area is shrinking and currently much too little for the 400 people there to do much of anything except drown. The Florida Keys? Drive that highway now. With ocean water coming into the downtown streets of Miami, the Keys won't be there that much longer--one good hurricane in the wrong spot and the highway linking the Keys won't be there that much longer. North Carolina won't call it climate change, but they're levying funds for 'persistent flooding'--well, at least they're doing something even if they have to call it something else. Oh, yes, and salmon occasionally spawn in downtown Tillamook, Oregon.

It's not just the Third World...

208:

Correct, and that's why Spain mucked in against Scottish independence before.

But a Scotland declaring independence from a UK that's outside the EU, then petitioning to be let in, is a very different situation from a Scotland trying to secede from another EU member state -- it doesn't set a precedent for Catalonia, for one thing, and it sticks a thumb in the eye of the separatists in England, for another.

So I think it quite possible that in the wake of Brexit, the EU's internal diplomatic calculus surrounding Scottish independence from the UK will have changed completely.

209:

Given the vote breakdown, I am not terribly worried about next European war. 60-year olds are not very good at goose-stepping.

210:

No. The number of items that require unanimity are very few and not very relevant in the short term. So if Boris starts acting in bad faith, the EU can just ignore that. That's by design. The people who put the EU together did know how the liberium veto turned out

211:

Could an independent Scotland meet all 35 tests for accession? I thought the benefit of joining as a successor state was to avoid them.

212:

A friend sent me a movie suggestion today, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

An excellent idea - turns out it's even on Netflix.

213:

Correct. The referendum is not legally binding on the government, even if politically it's difficult to ignore.

Consider the scenario that BoJo becomes PM. He then undertakes extensive "consultations" before finally coming out and declining to invoke article 50 immediately on the defensible basis that only a minority of the voters voted for Out. He then calls a second referendum, one which will be binding, but only if an absolute majority of the electorate so decide.

214:

According to the coverage here in the States, the ex-pats found the logistics of voting very difficult - hard to do, hard to find out what you had to do. It seems pretty likely they've have voted to stay; I wonder if they were a large enough group to make a difference in the result.

215:

Feh. He's Australia's renegade Australian. I disdain and despise the man, and he represents me in the same fashion Homer Simpson represents the tenured professors of Oxford. To say that Rupert Murdoch and I are divided by a common language is utterly inadequate. We are divided by phylum - whatever I am I'm not Pond Scum - and basic issues of decency.

216:

So far no one's saying who's making money on Brexit. In a usual human-human divorce case, it's the lawyers, real estate agents and/or home-builders, appliance manufacturers, etc. So who's going to get the money out of the Brexit debacle apart from the stock market and exchange houses. (I'm kinda thinking it'll be US multi-nationals who now have more fear-based ammunition to push for even friendlier (lower tax) arrangements with England. Also heard that at least 4 times the usual money was exiting the UK within an hour of the vote confirmation. Whose money was it?)

I've been watching horrified from NA not just at the final vote results but also the utter lack of good information/journalism leading up to this vote. Democracy can work provided the population is kept well-informed.

Sorry, but it's Fs all-round folks on this one.

So Charlie - when are you moving to Toronto?

217:

If it makes you feel any better, Rupert Murdoch surrendered his Australian citizenship to become an American over thirty years ago.

218:

In re "leave doesn't mean leave" - this morning (your afternoon) I was listening to the BBC saying that different folks who supported leaving had wildly divergent reasons why and equally divergent expectations of what they'd get out of it. So here's my wild prediction:

In the next 6 to 18 months an actual exit plan will get put on the table, based on negotiation with the EU and the article 50 provisions (no, I haven't read article 50). At that point there will be a much clearer picture of who gets what out of the divorce, and the next PM will decide that it too needs to be put before the people before pushing the button. Aghast at what they are actually getting vs what they thought they'd get, a significant majority of the pro-exit group votes against the proposal. So the button doesn't get pushed, and everything stays in limbo for a few years. The uncertain future is worse for business than either staying or going, so it winds up being a "worst of all worlds" scenario as things spiral down. Meanwhile Scotland and Ireland secede, say in the EU, and start looking better and better compared to the UK. They wind up having a new problem, thoigh - economic refugees from the south start showing up as immigrants . . .

219:

Er, that should be "stay in the UE", not "say in the EU."

220:

People keep suggesting that the EU will end up doing better economically than the UK. I don't think that likely without a complete abandonment of the past and current policies of the central bank and others within the EU, which would basically involve repudiation of finance driven neoliberalism and austerity.
At the same time I don't see the UK doing much growth unless it also abandons the shibboleths of the early 20th century and actually learns something from the events of the 1930's and 2000's. And I am sure that a lot of the 'growth' in the UK the last few years compared to the EU has been because we have been in the EU yet not quite of it and thus a useful staging post or halfway house, and so leaving it will result in less such investment.

221:

I beg to differ. What looks like attractive pay depends a whole lot on what you were getting before. Sub-minimum page and horrid working conditions look really good when the alternative is starvation, war, the threat of a radical theocracy, and getting gassed by your own government. The German doctor and French engineer aren't likely to be attracted to the UK.

222:

Anyone know if there are any large 'remain' demonstrations planned?

I'm about to write to 38 degrees and ask them. I'd like to march with about 10 million or so of my neighbours, in London and other cities, in favour of the EU, the UK, against austerity and the abandonment of communities to the neo-liberal market, and against Brexit. On Sunday say. Sometime soon enough that instead of teetering on the brink of the abyss, we can pull back.

223:

I agree, an independent Scotland would not face nearly as many negative arguments from current EU member states worried about their own internal politics.

There is an obvious pressure on the SNP to demand a second independence referendum; the Brexit vote clearly meets the "significant and material change in circumstances" the SNP put forward in its election manifesto in May as reasons to demand another referendum.

The question for SNP now is can they win that vote ? I think the answer is yes but there are questions that would need answering. The economic conditions are now very different for Scotland than two years ago, notably due to the collapse in the oil price, which has resulted in Scotland's deficit rising to 9.7% GDP. As the Economist points out any accession to the EU will require an agreement to reduce that deficit. The austerity measures demanded may well be significantly greater than those on offer from a British government using quantitative easing to stabilize the economy post Brexit. Secondly we can expect London to rule out sharing sterling as a common currency as they did in the previous election, forcing adoption of the euro which was a real problem for the independence movement two years ago when the euro was seen as a risky gamble. Maybe the spectre of a euro collapse has faded now, but it's not going to be an easy sell. Maybe a Scottish pound nominally linked to sterling with the promise of euro adoption at some unspecified point in the future will do it. Finally the Brexit vote has brought the spotlight on to immigration, and a post Brexit London government is unlikely to want to leave a back door to England open via Scotland, meaning border controls will be seriously debated. The Economist estimates the Scottish goods traded across that border to be four times Scotland's trade with the rest of the EU combined. The existence of a controlled border does not necessarily mean tariffs, but SNP will need to make the case for how the Scottish economy operates under those conditions.

I expect the border control issue to be more of an issue in Ireland, where it is already triggering demands for a referendum on Irish unification.

224:

Since I happen to understand the minds who think like this, I'll translate this from ideological nether-nether-land into something a little more mature / non-gibbering.

It boils down to two pictures:

Putin responds to FEMEN protester

Draghi cowers as woman launches vicious glitter attack

Draghi cowers as woman launches vicious glitter attack (close up: different angle)

[Astute readers will note the picture locations to give a slightly weightier clue at where they've been most used / have had the most impact]

Whilst the Putin picture got meme'd to death (It is too late Sergei, it was always too late), the Draghi one didn't.

Why?

www.reddit.com/r/retiredgif


If you've two choices, guess which one actually has something respectable in it? Hint: it's not the man scared of glitter. [Note: this isn't an endorsement, it's a translation from the "Alpha Male" Mindset].

(To translate for Greg: a retired gif is a meme that has been used so perfectly that it can never be used again - it's the Plato's Sun of Memes).

~

Same thing has happened in this debacle.

Things we've learned:

1) The remain campaign neither meme'd well nor sold a vision of utopia nor even said anything positive at all. It boiled down to suits stating that the economy would tank, which is the last thing (post-2008) you want to do if you want the poor to give a shit. Even Eddie Izzard etc missed the point of it - young people voted 3:1 to remain, yet didn't turn out.

Why?

No fire, no great memes.

Remember, this is the generation post the Fight Club soliloquy.

2) Remain tapped into old people. The post-war, post-responsibility generation. And they squawked - "FUCK YOU, GOT MINE, SWINEHUND GERMANS AT IT AGAIN" while the NHS gets burnt to the ground. [Yes: that was a Cameron joke].

3) Democracy is a sham both ways - the EU (post replacing many member states with ex-Goldman Sachs technocrati wunderboys) has done precisely fuck all to solve or address the inherent issues of inequality, youth unemployment, ecological meltdown or even 0% interest rates and QE Unicorn Cash [meta-meta: putting Legarde on trial just shows the petty shit post "stitched up with a maid" DSK rape thing. EU is burning, power players are playing power].

A photo OP of leaders parading down a closed street with an artificial crowd behind them or bravely stating that 2oC will not be breached while enacting nothing to stop it...

Does. Not. Count.

And from the bottom up?

Look at the people sailing the boat.

BJ (yes: that is why he should never be PM) while announcing his Pyrrhic victory looked like the skin over his eyes were enveloping them in a Lovecraftian curse of "The Land of the Blind is Lead by the Blind" this morning. Grove looked like his soul was crumbling as he did his speech.

The best part?

Mentioning the UK as the fifth largest economy in the world... as the markets stomped the pound and put France ahead.

Now that's schadenfreude.

~


Anyhow, Hetero has got the point, kinda.

But not really.

Historians will know that the UK had the first European civil war and general "kick the King in the bollocks" movement far before the rest got into the act.


~

This is all just a stress test.

You all got a F-.

225:

(And no, I don't like translating from that side, but it at least has a non-Babylon Tower Syndrome motive).

226:

I don't know that those voting for sovereignity reasons will respect the "lol nonbinding" arguement. Then again I don't know that those voting for sovereignity reasons would respect indyref2 either.

Also, those expecting to renegotiate a good trade deal are out of their minds: The UK has no trade negotiators. They all work for the EU.

227:

I know there was a "Remain Supporters Group Hug" in Norwich, and a lot of petitions are appearing on the internet. I hope more events are organized in the next days.

228:

Charles -- What actually happens to you personally as a consequence of this?

One scenario is that the local economy goes to hell and no local people buy your books because they are giving priority to buying basic things like food and that's most of your clientele so you are in trouble.

Another scenario is that most of your sales are outside the UK so your income stays mostly constant and the overall cost of living in your area goes down, so you're better off financially in the short term. Then all you have to do is cope emotionally with living near people who are having to give priority to buying basic things like food, and potentially dodging riots if things get bad enough.

Or maybe the only part that goes to hell are the currency speculators in London who can no longer trade Euros and they move to Paris and buy your books to reminisce about when they used to live in the UK and nothing else significant changes.

229:

I'm looking for something about three times the size of the anti-war demonstrations in 2003, calling for another referendum. But this time, unlike with Blair, all the establishment are on side.

230:

Oh, and while Sir Patrick Stewart's comedy routine in tribute to Monty Python "What has the EU ever done for us" was funny and well done, it just showed the generation gap.

Anyone with any sense for the times would have got a sincere, emotionally honest but factually correct YouTube video out there by someone like PewDiePie [but not the Fine Bros, since they burnt their capital badly this year] in support of Remain whilst urging for reform and purging of the more self-satisfied and gravy train riding parts of the edifice.


But hey.


"Fuck you, got mine".


You gotta want reform to enact it.

231:

That might not be seen as a major issue in Scotland: I seem to recall our host mentioning that Alex Salmond expressed the opinion that Scotland could use some new blood, the implication being that in the event of a Yes vote they'd significantly loosen immigration controls, and nobody seems to have thought that heretical or seditious.

And given an awful lot of quite talented English people with specialised skills (ie anyone doing EU-funded scientific research) are going to be out of a job soon, they have the potential to make out rather well.

232:

And just to add some ridiculousness: what does that do for the Duke of Edinburgh? Does he change titles?

Depends on whether Scotland keeps the monarchy or not, I suspect. Would they go full-on republic, or keep the Crown as a legal head-of-state (like Canada and Australia)?

Although there is precedent for nobility keeping titles to lands they no longer hold…

233:

Thing is, as has become very obvious, the EU is desperate for the UK to press the Article 50 button NOW. They fear the uncertainty, and the fear the 'contagion' of more people seeking votes. They want it over and done with, and an example made of the UK.

Which means, of course, the UK shouldn't go anywhere near that button.

My guess is the button wouldn't be pushed UNTIL the major planks of the replacement treaties, and in particular trade, are agreed. The EU will try and avoid this, but all the UK has to do is sit there and do nothing. The city is going to move anyway, so uncertainty there isn't a player.

The pressing of the button is a bargaining chip in it's own right.

In fact it's now in the interest of the UK to break apart the EU, and as Yes Minster pointed out - that's best done from the inside.

The EU bureaucrats are even casting around for mechanism to throw the UK out - which is totally outside the treaties. In it's own right that points up to interests across europe how anti-democratic they are; not a smart move.

As has been pointed up, the EU is unlikely to survive the next GFC, at least in anything but rump form, and this screwup is potentially going to cause one as the markets go ape. That means the UK has two bargaining chips.

This is down to tactics now. I just hope the civil service have a good chess player on staff.

234:

Well, the obvious response to 'whose money was it' is anyone with any common sense, but it's a bit more complicated than that. Sterling is one of the most highly traded currencies in the world, so there is always going to be big volume turnover.

Usually one would expect sterling holders to have put a lot more hedging in place, but they didn't; I think the largest element was that Brexit was such a blindingly obviously stupid thing to do that traders assumed it wouldn't happen. Expecting people to behave rationally is not very rational; the central banks had arrangements in place to provide liquidity, but there are limits to what anyone can do when trillions are changing hands.

Once it became clear what was happening corporate and individual investors chose to dump and run, and there's also the role of investment trusts; many of them have rules in place requiring them to invest only in triple A rated securities, and if the rating goes down they have to sell.

The Bank of England has said it will provide up to £250 billion in cash to ensure liquidity; it is trying to avoid the point where market makers can't function because there simply isn't the cash to pay sellers. Standard and Poor have downgraded British gilts from Triple A, and Moody's has downgraded longer term British debt from stable to negative, which means there are an awful lot of sellers.

That's the very short version of the short term position. Over the long term it gets worse; Britain is hugely dependent on foreign capital and investors don't like countries apparently determined to commit economic suicide. Boris promising to say he's sorry if he got it wrong isn't going to make investors forgive and forget...

235:

Charlie in the OP wrote:
A London that is out in the cold will lose that business. Expect much of the British financial sector to decamp to Frankfurt, Paris, and Brussels. And there will be other ghastly economic consequences; if the UK is allowed to get a no-fault divorce, when why should Greece put up with the Troika's demands?

Reapting BillK at 50, this is bad news? That's probably why the British communists and other lefties wanted to leave.

A favourite subject among commentators on this blog is - or was - how Britain is dominated by bankers and stockbrokers, that the London financial sector distorts how the entire country is governed for their own benefit. And I don't remember too many favourable opinions on government 'austerity' policies either.

Now there's a real chance of getting rid of the vampire squids and y'all are complaining?

Think of it as one of those hill-climbing optimisation problems. If you want to climb to a higher peak from the one you're on, you have to start by moving downhill.

236:

Is a single member nation actively trying to gum up the works a credible threat?
YES
The French have already played this card, more than once, with reasonable success.

237:

The city is going to move anyway, so uncertainty there isn't a player.


City isn't going to move, and since no-one here has even mentioned the reasons why I'm not going to point them out.

Everyone is squawking like a referendum actually means instant action.


Spoilers: All plays come in three parts, this is act II.

Morgan Stanley denies moving 2,000 London jobs to Dublin and Frankfurt Independent, 24th June, 2016

238:

...back from work. This time I might spell some words correctly.

5) On racism. I should have done more to close down racist opinions. I didn't because I wanted to give people the benefit of the doubt, didn't want to be seen as shrill, didn't want to be seen as politically correct. We have gone from racists polling 5% nationally to 52%, it's been done bit by bit and anyone who speaks for human rights is still "being PC", is still "talking down to the working class", etc. Obviously being nicey-nicey hasn't worked. I for one will no longer be afraid of looking like a high-handed snob when I encounter racist opinion. I need to remember to complain when I encounter racist opinion being indulged in broadcast and print media.

6) On lying. How do we get to the situation where deliberate, persistent liars are indulged in their fantasies? When did lies stop cratering reputations? Print media will print anything so long as it has an official source. So long as no one can sue they don't care if the story is total bollocks. People need to stop buying this shit. The broadcast media is more terrified of being accused of bias than of broadcasting a lie. Time to start complaining when they allow toxic shits to spout drivel?

7) Bad economics. The world is still dominated by a school of economics which has yet to forecast one single economic crisis or explain sensible macroeconomic policy after one happened. Everything in economics is seen as in perfect equilibrium, everything that disturbs a market from equilibrium is an exogenous shock. This is the economics where the EU is seen as a unique evil, why regulate something which needs no regulation. The UK today is in the hands of people who would strip the wings, rudder and pilot off a plane to make it go faster, killing all the passengers, then blame the passengers. They're already at it today, they say the falls are nothing to worry about, currencies and markets go up and down, markets revert to mean. Does it take someone frighteningly clever to convince people of this rubbish or is mass insanity part of the human condition.

8) Substance abuse and idleness is ruining lives. I seem to see more people wrecking their bodies, self-medicating their anxiety problems, with alcohol, tobacco and bad food. A few years back I realised I felt awful because things were awful. It wasn't a fault in me. There being no need to be cheerful I gave up drinking. It was as if I had lifted a tremendous burden and I encourage others to do the same (Or at the very least never, ever drink in Wetherspoons). I encourage everyone to keep fit and stay away from bad habits. People need you to stay mentally and physically healthy and you can't depend on the NHS to help with your chronic health problems.

9) I'm going to join my workplace's union and swallow my misgivings about its Labour tie.

10) I've put a little cash away against the event of mass ATM closures. I've put a little tinned food and water away against the event of panic buying in the supermarkets. No idea how much is prudent, I'd appreciate your thoughts.

11) At what point should one stop fighting and run for the lifeboats. It might be better to leave now than later. But where better place to fight fascism right now than in England?

I think I'm done venting. Full day of work tomorrow. If you can't be good, be safe.

239:

If you want to get frisson, Queen is getting old, death-bed speeches are so very important, bets on skipping Charles to have a young King for the new era?

Symbolically sacrificing one's son for the good of the Country and Commonwealth moves emotional mountains far deeper than fear while still tapping that good old Nationalism.

240:

218 & 220
You have, inadvertently, put your finger on the EU's main problem - the "unaccountable bureacrat" problem ...(maybe)
WHY are there so many binding regulations & rules, demanding that every EU state do exactly the same for so many minor & trivial things?
There is less variability in the EU in many areas than there is between states of the USA, which is a nightmare.
"Harmonisation" is the name of this particular piece of bullshit.

As for economic woes - really?
NZ & AUS & Canada have smaller economies than the UK, but are doing OK, but, because we are (supposedly) going to leave the EU (Really? I hae me doots) everything is instantly going to hell-in-a-handbag.

As you may have noted, I am very sceptical about the EU, changed my mind in the last few seconds & voted "IN" & am still deeply sceptical about any & all options now available, including the very likely (IMHO) option of re-re-negotiating a non-exit from the EU.
Which IS bloody idiot Cameron's fault, he should have played harder ball & gut a real re-negotiation, which would have persuaded a lot more people.

241:

Looking at the results geographically, you could sum them up as being the most English parts of England voting "Leave", and the cosmopolis and its satellites voting "remain". Three of my four grandparents were English; they all came from areas that voted "Leave". The other link with the UK is more remote, but from County Antrim... which also voted "Leave".

242:

AND, Scotland cannot call a second referendum until the article 50 button is pressed ... which it won't be, for some considerable time - not until Boris ( err, a new PM ) is settled in office, & maybe not for another year, whilst Brussels & Juncker are made to sweat. And Sturgeon, of course.

243:

Harmonisation is partly about efficiency in transnational trading, you should know that. Ensuring different countries have the same sort of legislation and demands about things that are sold means companies can trade across borders much more easily, and the consumer gets greater choice without having to work out or get caught out by the local differences.

It's also of course part of the power play as mentioned above. And lots of people don't like the loss of diversity.

244:

Don't need to.
Trade deal?
Certainly, no mutual tariff barriers, either way UK : EU

Sold.
Simples.
Unless someone wants to be stupid & vicious ( the French in this case) but the German car manufacturers won't wear it ....

245:

AUS & Canada have smaller economies than the UK, but are doing OK


Both have housing bubbles of Biblical proportions, mainly driven by Chinese nationals using loop-holes to get cash out of the homeland.

Sigh.


Their Law YT: music: 6:41

246:

Yes, exactly.
"Oh THAT clause 50 button", no, we aren't thinking of pressing it until we're ready old chap"

Oh & GO players, not Chess

247:

Like I said before:
"Tampon Tax"

Look it up - The Indy has several pieces on it.
TOtally unneccesary & really good indicator oif screwing something up for the bureaucrats benefit & no-one lese's

Oh & read CT ( HB / NN /CD ) @ 241
Just for once I am 100% in agreement.

[ But CT @ 248 - we also have a housing bubble, which is, hopefully, going to burst - an unadulterated good, IMHO ]

248:

A long time before hitting the button is a recipe for bigger economic headaches for the UK as it means a longer uncertain period, and a longer period where investment will avoid the UK, the pound will face speculation, and the property bubble will burst.

249:

Actually Greg, they can kind of call a referendum whenever they like. Of course Westminster will say its invalid, and might even try and stop them, but all they really need is cover such that they can negotiate with the EU on successor status.

Then, when the UK presses the Article 50 button, the scots play their "we're leaving on the same day" button. Th UK screams, but they would have other fish to fry, and if they leave on the same day that the UK leaves, they can have successor status (eg it was England & Wales leaving both the UK and EU).

The smartest move in this game is going to be not to play - eg never to press that Article 50 button until the EU is already falling apart. Something like an 'emergency eject' button.

250:

So much for celtic solidarity. Never been so thoroughly disgusted by my fellow country men/women: £4bn of funding since 2000 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36417964).

https://twitter.com/warrenellis/status/746147133779226624

251:

Something has just occurred to me:

Something that seems to be emerging via these reports about people who voted Leave and now wish they hadn't is that they all believed their own variety of bollocks. Some of it is what you'd expect people to arrive at from the media, but a lot of it isn't, and it covers a very wide spectrum of bollocks. All it really has in common is that each person's bollocks made perfect sense to that individual - right up until this morning when their pants fell down. It is as if some evil influence has been encouraging people to believe bollocks, letting their formless suspicions choose a path of least resistance in their mind and then nurturing and encouraging that line of thought until it becomes a full-blown conviction of bollocks - which persists until the influence is withdrawn, and then suddenly collapses into "wtf was I thinking?"

And then I thought: ah. That's how both the Ring and its maker get round people...

Boris is Sauron. He's got the Ring. Frodo failed; he got fucked ages ago. Sam might be Corbyn, possibly.

Farage is Saruman, with Gollum's face. His hopeless lust for the Ring has turned him into an unknowing puppet of Johnsauron, but he still has his powers of persuasion.

Crossrail! Too deep we delved there, and woke the nameless fear. Now we call him Cameron, of course. It is suspected that his latent baneful influence while still buried may have caused the Moorgate disaster.

Don't expect any help from the Rohirrim. They've become an elite SS cavalry unit.

252:

Australia's economy is not doing well, as predicted five years ago when they tried to play hardball with China over mineral resources and lost. Hard.
Now the minerals sector is slowing down severely as the lost sales are coming to the top of the queue. That's showing up how poor *everything* else has been doing. The dollar is down 40c on the USD compared with 2012, capital investment is in the dumps, and interest rates are as pathetic as here.

The housing bubble is about the only thing going there, and it'll burst soon enough.

New Zealand is doing better, but they took a hammering last year when China slowed.
The huge agricultural exports help somewhat, but poor milk prices means Fonterra is hurting. Still a lot better than Oz though. Says it all that the NZD-AUD rate is at .95-1, when it used to trade at .8, while it is still down against the USD.

253:

Reasons are being assembled for allowing the Remain-majority in parliament to delay triggering Article 50. See Cornwall: but what about our EU funding? for an example.

I was also wondering why the EU leadership was having a freak-out (there is nothing in Article 50 about being able to force a country to translate a non-binding referendum into pressing the Article 50 button). Thinking of it as a ploy to trigger stubborn resistance (cf. Greg's comments above) seems more likely.

Brexit might not have been intended as a Shock Doctrine intervention, but it sure seems that it is now being managed that way.

254:

It is true that racism and bigotry is only one of the characteristics of fascism, and not an ideologically central one, but it is a central characteristic of how fascism is remembered as having acted in history, and one of the ways in which it differs from most (not all) other dictatorships.

It's also true that fascism is not ideologically committed to being a dictatorship. But it is remembered as such, and the most nortorious examples have all been dictatorships. (You could make a good argument that any government whose decisions are largely driven by what the corporations want is a fascist state, in which case the US and Britain would both qualify, but this isn't how the term is usually used.)

255:

I think you need to get to grips with the harsh facts of life; I don't want to crush anyone's dreams, but the British economy is highly dependent on foreign capital. That capital is disappearing rapidly, for very obvious reasons, and it won't reappear until there is stability; I know it's boring to be told over and over again that business, and the markets, require certainty but unfortunately for your dreams it's true.

The idea that foreign investors would put money into Britain whilst it's dicking around refusing to follow through on the vote to leave the EU is pure fantasy; it will do the reverse. It will convince those investors that Britain cannot be trusted, and make them all the more likely to write off Britain long term as a place to invest in.

I appreciate that you think you've found the Holy Grail; unfortunately it's a lot closer to a plastic washing up bowl from Woolworths. (I claim extra points for working Tom Holt into it). Instead you seem convinced that you have 'a cunning plan' but we all know how those turned out.

It's delusional to believe that investors are going to put money into a country which has not only behaved very stupidly, but also seems unable to grasp that it has behaved very stupidly.

Declaration of interest:'I have lived in the Barbican in the City of Londorn since 1982., and I'm an immigrant 🌟

256:

That capital is disappearing rapidly, for very obvious reasons, and it won't reappear until there is stability; I know it's boring to be told over and over again that business, and the markets, require certainty but unfortunately for your dreams it's true.


Out of date and inaccurate.


QE + 0% interest rates stopped all clocks.

Nothing matters anymore apart from which Banks can hold that line.


Thus my reference to the run on Deutsche Bank's stock price.

257:

Since host is nice, we'll all pretend you're ignorant and not blowing smoke here.

Riddle: where did all the QE go?

Answer: mostly in stock buy-backs and we have a stupid situation where many Corporations are sitting on $20-150 billion in CASH and doing nothing with it.


~

Hint: this makes all of your economic arguments invalid.

258:

And, no.

The Hedge Funds that Apple etc are running (which is such a blatant failure, what drove 2008 crash: GM, GE etc "diversifying" into financial markets) are not part of this.


Just to stop your bullshit right there on that one.

259:

My view is that 'stability' argument has flown the coop, never to return. The financial markets will move no matter what, and inward investment monies will do what it's always done, seek out the biggest return.

If you take that as read, then not pressing that button is the best move for the UK. Personally I'd say "ever", but at least for a period of years. If the EU wants things done faster than that, they will need to negotiate.

260:

Sigh.

And here was I hoping that Greg or anyone would make the obvious leap:

When the UK defaulted in the 1970's, and the IMF got involved, the debt issue was, I seem to remember: £4-6 billion.

Apple alone now holds $137 billion in cash, outside of the USA [tax] and not including the Hedge Fund it's running.

The USA national debt is $17+ trillion

And so on and so forth.


~

Kids.

Here's the tip:

Money got broken and no longer has any relation to reality. [And no: gold / silver are not solutions]

Any fucking idiot can play Computer Games: you kinda just did it and then bullied reality into making it real. Newsflash: Unlike Rome, I don't think we should save The Walmart Civilization.


Our wings are spread; Make a choice - Volcano or Earthquake.


It's better than Lot's Wife's deal.

261:

I'm not convinced about all this doom-saying. With a devalued currency England will be a more attractive tourist destination as well as other business.

If the bankers do decamp, the pressure on London and surrounding properties will drop, making housing more accessible and affordable.

My guess is that the banks will simply relocate independent branches inside the EU to continue to trade. This is a small part or banking. One attractive place to relocate would be Dublin.
But a London outside the EU will also be freer to do certain types of business. I wouldn't bet on bankers not being smart enough to adapt.

While the economy may be a bit rocky for a while, I doubt it will be nearly as bad as is being suggested here.

To me, the political implications are far more interesting. Scottish independence, Eire and NI, the impact of the UK out of EU decision making, other EU countries possibly exiting the EU, changing the geo-political landscape. Russia possibly taking advantage of the EU periphery?

We live in interesting times.

262:

I'd guess the most likely scenario goes something like...

(a) Middling-serious recession in UK
(b) Collective sobering up during negotiation of exit terms.
(c) Deliberate sabotage by Germany of any negotiated exit allowing London to be a financial capitol (Oh, look, Frankfurt)
(d) Gradual movement of financial industry to Europe proper
(e) Failure to ratify negotiated exit terms.
(f) Grudging permission for England to remain in the EU
(g) Permanent loss of financial sector. On the downside, the UK will be poorer on a permanent basis. On the bright side, inequality will go down.

The alternate futures are similar, but involve either a collapse of the EU or the UK eventually accepting a poorer Norway-style deal.

263:

Yawn.


#3


Reality kicks in and no-one cares about the poor people. Parliament refuses to pass legislature and Queen dies, nothing changes.

264:

this is beginning to look like CASE BADGAG TWEED.

Some fraction of "Leave" voters are starting to act like people who just failed at a suicide attempt, suddenly realizing they didn't mean it after all.

It's probably going to take an act of god to get Parliament to actually implement the Article 50 exit, and will the Queen approve?

F— F— F'ity F—

265:

What does a bank really need to do to trade Euros outside the EU? Set up an EU subsidiary, registered/headquartered in in teh EU, perhaps Dublin?
Do the employees even need to work locally, or can they stay in London? If they must work locally, Dublin is within easy flying time of London, allowing bankers to work in Dublin but live in London, at least for the weekend.

266:

The U.K. could procrastinate on triggering article 50, but the resulting limbo may be as economically damaging as the worst-case outcome of renegotiation. This would also not satisfy the 52% of Leave voters.

There is some precedent: Sweden has been stalling on joining the Eurozone by deliberately flunking some of the stability pact criteria required to join.

The most likely EU response is to just freeze the UK out of the process for the vast majority of decisions that require only a qualified majority to pass. Stop inviting UK representatives to the informal meetings where all the horse-trading is done, and only allow them to attend the votes, which are a mere formality. The situation would certainly be an improvement over historical British obstructionism from the EU point of view, and quickly become intolerable for the British. There is also precedent for that: in 2000 Austria was put on ice while Jörg Haider was in government.

The British commissioner on the EC will also be suspended. Since he had finance in his portfolio, that is not good news for the City.

People who believe BoJo has negotiating leverage are delusional. The limbo is only hurting the UK, starting with the financial sector, and the end of foreign direct investment.

267:

It would help if you could provide links to support your statements. Everything I have written has been based on my own knowledge after more than 30 years in the City of London, together with the Financial Times, Reuters, Bloomberg, etc which are the papers you read if you are in the financial markets.

We take money very seriously here; we do expect people to support their arguments with evidence, particularly when people start claiming that, say, the sun will rise in the west tomorrow. So do please provide the sources for your statements. In my view there can never be too much information...

268:

So much for celtic solidarity. Never been so thoroughly disgusted by my fellow country men/women: £4bn of funding since 2000 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36417964).

I'm wondering if the anti-EU resentment in the UK from regions that have a net inflow of money from the EU is equivalent to the anti-Federal-government resentment from net-tax-recipients in the US? It seems to have the same feelings-over-numbers vibe, but I don't know enough about either to make the call.

269:

It makes me feel worse, thanks. And he's still an Aussie as far as I'm concerned.

270:

Some fraction of "Leave" voters are starting to act like people who just failed at a suicide attempt, suddenly realizing they didn't mean it after all.

I wonder what fraction assumed that Remain would win and voted Leave as a protest vote?

That's what happened here in 1990 — many voters assumed that the Liberals would win (again), as predicted in the polls, but wanted to 'send a message' to Peterson that they didn't like him calling an election so soon. So they voted NDP as a protest, and the NDP ended up with a majority. No one, including the NDP, expected it.

271:

Since the EU might be looking to grab Northern Ireland or Scotland, I think it might be a good idea to get a bid in from the other side of the pond. IMHO, Northern Ireland and Scotland should consider becoming U.S. states... Scotland has oil, and that's always good for an opening bid, and the U.S. has long since put away our prejudice against the Irish... so why not apply for statehood?

Unlike in the EU, we don't have problems with well-managed deficits, we don't typically use austerity to manage economic crisises (that only happens during Republican administrations) and we grant U.S. states the kind of law-making independence an EU nation can only dream of! Both Scotland and Ireland would get two U.S. Senators apiece and also Congress-critters in proportion to your populations (off the cuff, I'd guess one Congress-person per 500,000 people) and you'd be able to freely travel to the U.S. any time you felt like it!

Scotland would be a U.S. State that has a land-border with the U.K. and probably get very rich thereby, whilst Northern Ireland would be a U.S. state which has a land border with an EU nation!

The disadvantage would be that you'd have to adopt the U.S. Constitution as the supreme law of your lands, and accept the decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court as binding legal precedents. (That particular issue seems to be heading the right direction just now, and I would look to a very liberal court if Hillary is elected.) You'd also have to give up the NHS, (though you'd be welcome to set up something similar on a state level.)

Anyway, you folks should consider joining the U.S... you'd be better off than you are now, that's for sure!

272:

The show ain't over until the fat bojo sings ....
Re the morning-after remorse of some UK Self-Destruct Yes voters, I know that in at least one past thread you've commented that the Remain arguments were not even described in detail, let alone well communicated, and appreciate CT's harshly chiding comment about the dearth of positive Remain messaging[1]. But still, these morning-after stories are just appalling (even if cherry-picked; yes need a proper big poll to be more sure).
Do you have any sharable speculations about the least painful path(s) forward for the UK? Damage is being done very rapidly.

[1] That note about positive messaging now doubly applies to the upcoming US election(s) as well.

273:

Thank you! Needed a laugh. Hope the UK peeps find it amusing.

274:

It is the probable scenario, though I do wonder if the City will give even more permissive terms to the financial markets to keep them in London?

On the positive scenario side, it's been becoming obvious that the western status quo isn't going to survive - with all the spoils going to the rich, the 99% getting nothing, climate change, and automation meaning that 50% of people won't be needed. Something else is needed, something sustainable.

Now the UK, by dint of shooting itself in the foot, has the opportunity to restructure society around a very different model. It could, if it wanted to, try something new.

Only problem is 'Shock Doctrine' and the reality that BoJo is likely to get control with a right wing, neoliberal, game plan, crossed with more distrust of foreigners.

It's seldom the cream that floats to the top in times like these.

275:

Why should the UK peeps find it amusing? If the EU makes a play for Scotland and NI, there's no reason someone else shouldn't have a go at them too. Fishing in troubled waters is a very old nation-building strategy and joining the U.S. is one of the better things that could happen to Scotland and Northern Ireland under the circumstances.

On a more serious note, I find it very sad that my country's best friend has experienced horrible testicular damage. Unfortunately, I find it darkly humorous that the wound was self-inflicted due to said best friend building a nuclear-powered nut-kicking machine and testing the device on themselves. I'm doing my best to be sympathetic, but every once in awhile I flash on the whole Wile E. Coyote-esque* craziness of the whole thing and -

DEAR GHOD! WHAT WERE YOU PEOPLE THINKING?



* For those who were not raised on U.S. cartoons, Wile E. Coyote is a cartoon character who frequently purchases high-tech hunting gear from the ACME company. ACME's products suffer from poor quality control, so Wile E. Coyote's life is essentially one long, freakish accident which would end immediately if he stopped trying to catch the damn bird!

Metaphor? I have no idea what you're talking about!

276:

Those arguing about when to push the button can learn from history:

https://www.reddit.com/r/thebutton

277:

You know, this seemed, like, totally reasonable...until I realized that you're asking Scotland, of all places, to be in the same nation-state as Donald Trump, Republicans, cold beer, and football played with helmets. One of those is bound to screw up the deal, but I'll be damned if I can figure out which one it would be.

278:

As always, it's complicated.

I have no special insight into the land of (some of, but they did give me the language, albeit pronounced badly) my ancestors, but I can say what to watch.

The mainstream parties are against Catalan secession. They are, however, weakening. Podemos is open to the idea. Ciudadanos is not, but they are wobbly. Their positions are the ones to watch.

How they jump is an empirical question. Given the recent surprises from British politics, I would caution against reasoning from first principles.

279:

I'm not convinced about all this doom-saying.
Nor me, neither ...
Other thoughts ... delay pressing At50 until as late as possible - Juncker & his crooked cronies want it NOW, which is as good a reason to delay ... A threat was muttered that the Commission would press At50 all on their own ...
I think it's been pointed out that at that point the screen would drop & all the N European guvmints would revolt ( Um, err .. )
OH - yes - Charlie's comment in the preamble: opened the door to the goose-stepping hate-filled morons of the extreme right.
People like the man I've just heard on the radio, you mean, who should have been leader of the Labour party instead of the wanker Corbyn - Frank Field? - Who is "brexit" incidentally ... oops.

CT/HB/NN/CD - yes to all your comments # 259 to 263.

280:

Cobblers
(a) Middling-serious recession in UK
Very small dip, over in less than a year
(b) Collective sobering up during negotiation of exit terms.
Which will not start until at least October 2016 & possibly not until 2018 ....
(c) Deliberate sabotage by Germany FRANCE of any negotiated exit allowing London to be a financial capitol (Oh, look, Frankfurt) Err, no German car-makers .. & France, because of Le Pen
(d) Gradual movement of financial industry to Europe proper,. Ain't going to happen (much)
(e) Failure to ratify negotiated exit terms. Exit terms put to second referendum, with option to return to Status quo ante bellum as fall-back - which is my expected, if not preferred result, oops.
(f) Grudging Enormously relieved permission for England to remain in the EU
(g) Permanent loss of financial sector. On the downside, the UK will be poorer on a permanent basis. On the bright side, inequality will go down.

You have forgotten: Britain is the second-largest contributor to the EU budget - they need us, though crooked shits like Juncker won't admit it.

281:

and we grant U.S. states the kind of law-making independence an EU nation can only dream of!
And THAT in a nutshell is why so many people loathe the EU.
I repeat: "Tampon Tax" as an example of lunacy, if nothing else.

282:

Oh yes.
Why did I vote "in" at the last moment?
Foreign & similar policies, in three words:

Gibraltar
Ireland
Scotland
(Alphabetical ordering)

283:

Yeah, we Americans tax tampons as a luxury too. It kinda sucks for women, which is why they're starting to campaign against it.

284:

I think that the predictions of a depression due to the Leave vote are overstated. A great deal of British exports will actually get a boost from the falling Pound. Banking is likely to be hit, but other parts of the economy are likely to move in various directions. Some will benefit, some will lose.

And, by the way, EU has proven to manage things so badly that I'm surprised that it has survived this far. Apparently the career prospects of politicians weight more than managing their own countries.

Actually I thought that Remain will win. UK already got a fairly decent deal with EU and most of the real issues for leaving EU do not hold for UK.

285:

With a devalued currency England will be a more attractive tourist destination as well as other business.

My barista had been joking about cheap holidays over the water. Yesterday I asked her whether she had booked, and she said she might repurpose the shopping trip as a fact-finding visit to the now de-developing country. I suggested as a title, "Heart of Whiteness".

286:

Most in Ireland have a complex feeling this AM. Sad, that our neighbour is having a psychotic break. Schaudenfreud at the English empire breaking up. Fear, at the forces unloosed next door. Concern/ill disguised glee at seeing unionist politicians in NornIron tweeting about getting an Irish passport. Concern/Glee at seeing scottish independence reviving (just, don’t take our FDI, mmmkaaay?). Mostly puzzlement. Real fear that the INGERLAND INGERLAND INGERLAAAAAAND brigade will not distinguish between us and the Poles when it comes to chucking out time. Revulsion at the reality that we have to listen to Bertie Aherne AGAIN. Etc etc

287:

no. EU Citizenship comes from national citizenship where the nation is a member of hte EU. So, you will become, oh, Moldova, for nationality purposes.

288:

Yes, read all that. But not everything is a conspiracy by bureacrats to have fun and make money, believe it or not.
For instance, I recall years ago hearing on the radio an interview with a lawn mower manufacturer, who agreed that there were some regulations and stuff to get on with, but was now happy that they could sell in lots of other countries without having to jump through hoops and tangle with regulations for every single other country they could try to sell in.

289:

Something that you have missed is that it is precisely the people who voted leave who are happiest with us being subservient to the USA. Don't ask me why Whitehall have so systematically sold us down the river to the USA military-industrial machine, but they have, and the Little Englanders just love sucking up to bigger bullies.

290:

I suspect many honestly believe the USA is on our side.

291:

The most positive outcome I can think of is fantasy, though some aspects might happen, such as: the Conservative fire sale of the keys to No. 10 turns seriously acrimonious, and the victor is utterly loathed by a rebellious 30% of the party, who back Labour in a No confidence vote. That's quite plausible. But, to make it positive, that has to be replaced by something better than before.

Corbyn isn't the man for the job, but there doesn't seem to be anyone else capable of restoring even a vestige of public service to the Labour party. Since Clegg did a Byrhtnoth to his party and electoral reform, the Libdems can be ignored, and I can't see any of the others making much impact. Realistically, and I am perfectly serious here, the best solution would be a Parliament which could not form a government, followed by an election and another one, followed by Her Majesty appointing one directly to sort out the mess.

292:

And the thing that you are missing is that many (most?) of our exports are by multinationals, who are based in the UK only because it is a tax-friendly country in the EU. Those aren't going to disappear overnight, but disappear they will.

293:

Quite unlikely. In economy things do not tend to move in simplistic ways.

I remember that a big deal of banks and multinationals said that if UK does not join Eurozone, then they will leave. They did not.

At the same time a big part of industrial production has been moved outside the EU. Apparently the EU membership is not really an issue in the way it has been stated.

At the same time it is interesting to note that Switzerland gets very significant foreign investment (if I remember right, FDI level in Switzerland is higher per capita than in any EU country) and Switzerland is still the worlds most industrialized country (per capita, of course).

Unfortunately UK's industry has deteriorated during the last decades, and therefore the Switzerland way may not be as production as it could.

294:

There is the chance that the art. 50 may never be invoked. In fact any delay increases that possibility. The only new factor in favor of the article since the 22th is the referendum and opinions change and the balance might change. We may well see a long period of business as usual in which the only change it’s the diminished power of the UK to influence any change in the EU (If you don’t want this new regulation, you can activate art. 50 right now).
It’s only a possibility, but it should be contemplated.

And, on another subject: Can anybody explain me, in detail, why is bureaucracy so reviled? It may be cumbersome and tedious, but it’s not only the business of faceless men in Europe. It’s the way that armies, companies, and even capitalism work. The past three centuries can only be explained if you take into account the administrative developments and the work of bureaucracies. I don’t understand how something so basic for progress and society could be so reviled while offering no other thing in its stead.

295:

There's also the fact that industrial production moved out of the EU to lower wage countries. The UK would take a while to become one of those, so I see no upside in that regard; we;ve got nothing to offer anyone, so there can be no actual positive results from leaving the EU, only negative ones.

Negative ones also include concerted efforts by tories to remove all worker protection that the EU put in place, all environmental legislation, and nothing being done about climate change at all. At least with the EU we had a chance of getting something done, but with tories happier to spend billions on nukes to maybe kill people at some point in the future, rather than nukes now to definitely give us some relief from climate change getting too bad.

296:

Yes, indeed. The most optimistic plausible scenario is a long period of prevarication and obfuscation, with the UK's economy and government degrading as that goes on, until the referendum is stale enough to be ignored. But that will do nothing to reduce the causes of the disaffection. I predict that, when the dust settles, the pound will be worth at most a dollar, and considerably less if we actually do leave.

297:

I should have mentioned confusion, as the third leg of the process. I should guess that this will be debated, with a great deal of heat but little light.

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/131215

298:

I meant to add this. I distinguish administration, which is a service function intended to cause a (desirable) effect, from bureaucracy, which is the creation of regulations and procedures in order to enhance the status of the bureaucrats. In this sense, the EU is mainly inefficient administration. But that is a PERSONAL definition.

299:

"Switzerland gets very significant foreign investment "

In addition to the other factors mentioned doesn't Switzerland make quite substantial payment and accept free movement of people as part of its EEA deal?

300:

The idiots have broken the UK? You might be right. But who are the idiots?

Do you think the idiots are the ones who voted the way you think they shouldn't have voted?

Or do you think the idiots are those who think that Thursday's vote happened in some sort of contextless vacuum?

Are the idiots the people who seem to think that everything was just peachy before the plebs were asked to scrawl X onto the paper?

Causes and consequences. Shared responsibility. You may not have voted the wrong way, but you were part of the forces that led to the 17.5m who did.

301:

Yes, and Switzerland is in deep doo-do with Brussels at the moment, in consequence of a referendum (the usual coin of Swiss politics) that put xenophobic(*) limits on said free movement of people. The EU said, if you won't keep your side of the deal, then we won't keep ours, like free admission of your exports. Ha! Cackle, cackle. No good the gummint saying, "It wasn't us, guv", nothing they can do. Swiss initiatives become he law of the land when passed.

Verbum sapientibus, don't tell the Swiss that the EU can't play hardball.

And the Swiss franc is through the roof as a refuge from the euro (they found that central-bank intervention to keep the value DOWN doesn't work any better than the usual British thing of intervention to keep it UP): the northern Swiss are buying their groceries in el-cheapo Germany now, and the shops on their side are going bust.

So they really didn't need to be made to stand in the corner as well.

(*) Switzerland holds the record for size of the racist-dickhead vote in Western Europe, despite or because of having more immigrants per capita than anybody.

302:

So far no one's saying who's making money on Brexit.

* Raises hand *

In a huge ironic twist, I stand to make money on this mess. You will note, please, that I voted "remain" and encouraged everybody else to do so. Nevertheless, I earn about 70% of my income in US dollars and get paid in large, irregular lumps, usually when books come out. And next week's great steaming pile of greenbacks for "The Nightmare Stacks" is now worth approximately 10% more to me than it was on Thursday morning.

I considered the profitability of voting to depress sterling (hey, I have savings in US dollars -- it's not just a single payment that has suddenly appreciated) against the drawbacks, and decided it was better to be an ordinary citizen in heaven than to reign in hell, and voted accordingly. But if you ask "cui bono?" you should look for an answer to those people who are based in the UK and whose income is largely denominated in euros or dollars and who don't have an intimate knowledge of high finance (because the entire investment industry's attitude to Brexit was roughly equivalent to a Victorian paterfamilias' attitude to his daughter receiving a visit from Dracula). And that narrows it down considerably.

303:

Yes, I agree that the economic consequences of Brexit are most likely negative. But my point is that the negative impact is greatly exaggerated.

It is, however, interesting that Switzerland and Singapore are the most industrialized countries and the wages are not that low in either of them. The location of industrial operations is not as straightforward as it is normally assumed.

BTW, Switzerland has trade surplus even now, and that despite the appreciation of Franc.

In UK's case floating currency will greatly help.

304:

Yes.

It's remarkable how people have arrived at this point and still haven't noticed that Switzerland not only has to pay very large sums of money to the EU but also has to allow free movement of people. A couple of years back I arrived in Basel via train from Paris and hopped on the free tram to the hotel with nary a passport checker in sight.

Incidentally, from further up the page, I suspect the 'faceless men of Europe' have been pressed into service as the spiritual heirs of the 'gnomes of Zurich'.

305:

The economic conditions are now very different for Scotland than two years ago, notably due to the collapse in the oil price, which has resulted in Scotland's deficit rising to 9.7% GDP.

Yep. But oil exports were already in long-term decline. Meanwhile, you might want to look at the Scottish energy sector in more detail. The last coal-fired power plant closed down for good a few months ago and Scotland is heading to be 100% renewables-based in a matter of single-digit years; the Scottish renewable energy base is extraordinary and we're currently seeing a "dash for renewables" similar to the dash for oil of the 1970s -- Scotland is now exporting electricity to England, and it seems likely that even after the oil industry winds down Scotland will remain an energy-exporting economy in the long term.

And it's not just generating wind and tidal power: there's a lot of engineering and construction expertise that is generating export orders for equipment.

You're right that Scottish independence is not unproblematic -- but thanks to last year's campaign and the ensuing debate the issues are now fairly well understood, which is a necessary prerequisite for working out how to address them.

306:

There is this thing called path dependency, you may have heard of it. The UK isn't going to become anything like Switzerland and Singapore (except perhaps the latter, in terms of government control {you do know that the Tories are currently trying to make all schools accountable to the government, not the local council?} let alone all our anti-terror laws and the new snooping bill that lets them look at everything for up to a year) any time soon; it's not just a matter of high wages, but high costs, lack of the correct skills (or lack of desire of management to train them up when you can import from abroad) and so on. Many others have been explained up thread.

Basically, in order to convince me you are going to have to lay out a path for the UK to go from it's current state into something like Switzerland. It'll be rather hard for you to explain that though.

307:

British manufacturing exports rely a lot on importing raw materials such as steel and aluminium which have just suddenly gone up in price which means an increase in the ticket price for exports real soon now. We also import a lot of our energy in the form of gas and woodchips so those costs have also just increased too.

308:

No fire, no great memes.

Actually, we got #CatsForRemain ... the Sunday evening before the election, from a bored and annoyed academic. It rapidly went viral: my cat ended up in the Telegraph, the Metro, and on the BBC News website.

But you can't run a political campaign on spontaneous meme generation by amateurs.

This is all just a stress test.

You got that right.

309:

I am surprised that people think the British can either ignore the referendum, or simply delay the "pushing article 50 button" while negotiating stuff or "making the EU sweat".


First, you can legally ignore the referendum. Provided you are willing to put UKIP in charge at the next elections, because let me tell you one thing: that's what they are going to campaign on. "We do not live in a democracy" "You have proof that your vote counts for nothing, except with us".

Boris probably didn't expect the vote to go either, but he's (at the moment) the best hope for the Conservatives to stay more or less in charge, because he's seen as the guy who is going to follow the vote. No matter how stupid it was.


Second, at that moment, you can bet that every department in Brussels is sorting every project with the UK and every subsidy to the UK, and putting every one they can on hold or dropping them ("we're sorry, the next installment of the joint 200M€ highway financing will not be forthcoming until uncertainty is lifted"). Meanwhile, the UK OWES the EU its full budget contribution, and any reduction it had negotiated is now gone. "Pay, all of it, now, or suffer the legal penalties for late which we've never enacted so far, but were written in case".

You've never dealt with a bureaucracy that does actively want you out. Merely applying strictly and rigidly every line of every regulation is enough to completely freeze everything. If Brussels wants you to feel the pain, and you no longer have the "I can get out if you hurt me" card because you've already put that on the table, you're jolly (censored).

People thinking that the UK can afford to delay implementing the article 50 are forgetting this: until you do, the EU can AND will ask you for all the money you still owe it, while it will give you back as little as it can. That's what yesterday's reminder about "full obligations" was: you still have to pay the EU dues, but the EU is under no obligation to give any of it back.

310:

Charles -- What actually happens to you personally as a consequence of this?

Survivor's guilt.

About 70% of my income comes from the United States. I'm in the process of moving between publishers there (which I will blog about only once THE NIGHTMARE STACKS is published in the US market), but things are stable enough that when sterling tanks, all that happens is that my US visits get more expensive but my income goes up to cover the other side of the see-saw.

But it really sucks to live well while your friends and neighbours are suffering.

311:

... EDF runs more or less the entire grid, correct? That is not going to be awkward at all.

312:

Actually I do not see a viable way of turning UK into something like Switzerland, Singapore or Sweden (Sweden is also astonishingly industrialized). Of course it could be done, but I do not see it politically likely.

My point is that Brexit does not mean that the sky is falling or that swarms of locusts will eat the land bare. Claiming inevitable economic collapse after Brexit is as truthful as Boris comparing EU to Nazis.

Brexit is most likely a stupid move, but shit happens.

313:

I know Switzerland pretty well, though not as an employee or businessman, and have done my share of wondering.

The normal Swiss workday is ten hours, broken by a long lunch. They do seem to have a strong work ethic, including a preference for doing things right the first time. They have none of the Austrian Schlamperei or chronic sloppiness, and seem like what people think the Germans still are, but in fact aren't.

One of the things that bugs people about the Swiss is their social control. God has died and put Mrs Blochli in charge of the minutiae of everyone else's behaviour. But I fear me that this mentality may actually be related to orderliness and work ethic. We have all seen the British social capital eroded away, I have seen it in Norway too since the Seventies, the Swiss are on the same path but not yet as far along it. They aren't yet skyving off.

314:

Sadly, our currency isn't floating. It's sinking, even with the massive ongoing support of the central banks; without them sterling would already have gone through the basement floor heading for Australia.

Which was, of course, entirely predictable, and it was predicted, over and over again in the financial press prior to the vote. I have been unable to find any informed comment in the financial press suggesting that 'the negative impact is greatly exaggerated'.

I would love that to be true, but as a general rule I don't believe things in the absence of any evidence to support them. I'm not making an exception to that general rule.

315:

I agree, total economic collapse is very unlikely, although I think it clear that a Brexit increases the chances, due to the knock on effects on investment, the EU falling apart, etc. But by more likely I mean from say 5 to 15%, so still unlikely. It looks to me like in 2008, the elites will do what they think necessary to keep the machine spinning along. Of course one of the outcomes of that has been 6 years of Tory austerity in the UK, leading to misery for millions. And of course the austerity in the EU, with similar results.

316:

People are idiots many of you have said. Many continue to do so. After the fact, precisely when a Herculean effort is needed, you'd rather call us racists and idiots than either ask us why or face up to your own role in dividing the nation, whatever that may be.

For the record, I welcome immigrants even as I understand that some others may use immigration to drive down wages, the latter is a choice not necessarily connected to immigration. I also welcome presenting the larger context of the refugee crisis in Europe, at every opportunity. Context such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, or the consequences of NATO/EU/US expansionism in Ukraine. I value the many good things which EU has achieved and don't want to lose them. I certainly feel closer to the people of Europe than ever before. I'm not a 'petty nationalist.'

But in the end I didn't vote, I couldn't associate myself with either of the 'camps.' I would have voted leave.

Your 'ignorant working class' didn't create this situation nor the immigrants.

However it came about, here is an opportunity to really change things. Can we begin to use our famous brains to imagine that? A better more representative media? A 21st century democracy? Or maybe even just a passing curiosity about who 'the working class' are?

Is is it game over? I thought you guys were good at imagining stuff?

317:

Reason for the mockery: there is a sizeable fraction of the US political establishment that will baulk at giving an appreciable slice of Congress - both houses - to a state where the majority of the political establishment is avowedly, actually socialist, not just the weaksauce version that gets you the name in US politics. Whether they joined the democrats or just voted with them on condition of a leftward shift, this would interrupt the "healthy bidness climate".

Also, I'm intrigued as to how you sell the Second Amendment to the nation that hosted the massacre that gave the UK its current firearms control laws...

318:

It was made pretty clear during IndyRef 1 that an Independent Scotland would be styled the Kingdom of Scotland, and retain the monarchy -- after all, we only loaned it to the English in 1606!

319:

I think you mix up "freedom of speech" with "being allowed to say anything without others protesting against it". Of course racists are allowed to state their racist views in public (not here), but they should be prepared to be called to account for it.

320:

But who then subsequently sold it to the lowest bidder due to fears of the Scottish lot's Catholicism, no?

321:

So, when does the Queen moves her principal residence to Balmoral?

322:

Now there's a real chance of getting rid of the vampire squids and y'all are complaining?

The "vampire squid" are 12% of the UK economy. Getting rid of them completely is like amputating your leg because of an ingrowing toenail.

As for "austerity" -- in the UK it was imposed the conservatives as cover for their desire to privatise everything they could get their hands on, which in practice means handing it over to their private sector cronies and then taking jobs as directors of the firms renting the assets back to the taxpayer. Cover for corruption on a massive scale, enabled by the economic illiteracy of the voters, in other words.

Yesterday was just another display of public economic illiteracy. To which the conservative prescribed cure is privatisation of the education system, a maths syllabus that focusses on arithmetic (and drops statistics), and a history syllabus that focusses on dates, kings, and battles without reference to economics.

I wish I was making this up.

323:

the EU can AND will ask you for all the money you still owe it, while it will give you back as little as it can.

Do you actually have any evidence to back any of that up. Until we actually Brexit the EU has to abide by all of its agreements with us. The biggest problem with your premise is that the EU is a glacial bureaucracy and any kind of punitive action will take longer to bite than the brexit process does.

Expect lots of poisonous bluster from juncker and co but not much real action.

324:

Brexit might not have been intended as a Shock Doctrine intervention, but it sure seems that it is now being managed that way.

Yes, that's it exactly.

Which is quite terrifying in and of itself.

325:

Actually the currency depreciation is *helping* the UK economy to survive the shock.

I think that the markets overreact, bounce back, and balance after that. Quite likely Pound will be at least somewhat depreciated, but that is not so bad.

Of course all bets are off if Brexit in contagious. There are already talks about referendums in at least France, Sweden, Denmark, and Netherlands. EU has to get euro working or the exit fever will spread, which could mean the end of EU.

326:

The problem is feedback. Too much of our economy is based on recycling on money internally and (worse) Ponzi schemes (often the housing one) - which is why, when Osbastard cut public services etc., the tax income dropped so badly. In particular, most pensions and banks are dependent on those.

We need only enough business to leave the UK to cause a significant number of people to be desperate to sell London houses, in order to cause prices to drop. And, in turn, that makes London a less attractive place to invest (often foreign) money in housing, and so a lot come on the market, and the price drops further. But what does THAT do? It causes a lot of people to have debts they will never be able to repay, and repossessions, which fuels the cycle. The point is that UK housing is something like 3x over-priced, and a huge number of people have mortgages that they can never repay unless the house inflates in 'real' value (i.e. relative to GNP/capita), so the the lower bound of realism is a long way down.

There are more such feedback loops, plus other factors (which have been explained above). And that means that, when the slide starts, it isn't a one-off but progressive. Say, 10% a year for 10 years, if we are lucky. If we are unlikely, the feedback accelerates, and we get one of the (essentially) exponential changes.

327:

That might be true in a closed economy. But UK is not a closed economy and currency depreciation is making the housing scheme relatively cheaper (from the foreign point of view).

Previous experience of serious currency depreciation hints future inflation. And the most important factor in inflation is wages, not imports.

In that sense the plummeting Pound is actually helping UK economy to survive the shock. Of course many people and many businesses lose, but others will benefit. Hence the depreciation helps in the macro level.

328:
Do you actually have any evidence to back any of that up.
Well, of course it's going to take more than one day to fully percolate. But as I said: the evidence is Juncker's statement about "all of its obligations". That's what his angle of attack is going to be. Every subsidy is going to dry up as fast as they can make it. Why did you think Cornwall was already asking for the money? Anything already agreed is going to come as late as possible, anything optional is going to stay optional.

It's a glacial bureaucracy, but if the boss at the top say "stop everything", most of everything is going to stop. It takes a lot less effort to stop projects and bury proposals than to execute them. I should know: I do work in a bureaucracy. If I wanted to be unpleasant, with backing from my bosses, I could freeze pretty much every single project of a given department, using just two or three regulations applied to the letter.

I was joking at a friend who just had a stressful meeting for a joint EU project involving one british partner. My answer was "why didn't you ask him why we should listen to his opinion? He'll be out before the project gets off the ground anyway"

329:

Possibly worse than that.
"In one of the later cartoons, it is revealed that ACME is "A Wholly-Owned Subsidiary Of Roadrunner Corporation," suggesting that The Road-Runner possibly controlled the nature of the products that Wile E. ordered so that they would backfire."

Doomed to fail all along.

330:

Enough is enough. Just look at the figures corresponding to what I have said, OK?

331:

Not really. Sterling is about where it was in February this year and not that much below where it was in 2009. Overall, Sterling has been declining versus the USD for many years, but the headline 10% devaluation is more a response to a short term upswing in value that has now been eliminated. Having said that, Sterling hasn't been as favorable to USD for a very long time. I would expect a boost in Americans visiting London to shop as very much on the cards, as they did during Reagan's term as POTUS when the USD went ballistic before it tanked with the Plaza Accord devaluation. (Recall Reagan's famous quip: "all currencies could be strong like the USD"?)

GNP/USD 10yr history

332:

Actually not OK. The reason being that the interaction between currency and economy is well known.

By the way, Paul Krugman presents views that are quite similar to mine (see his "Brexit: The Morning After" post, which includes nice graphics also).

333:

You may not have noticed, but the Basel tram system has tram stops in France and in Germany as well as in Switzerland.

(As I understand it, the recent extension of the #8 tram line three stops into the German town of Weil am Rhein was paid for by the citizens of that town the better to facilitate Swiss shoppers coming in to their shopping centres.)

Mind you, the buses have long been running with no perceptible pause across the borders in the three-country region.

334:

Just to bring the human cost of the Brexit campaign home, I've just had to deal with - not going to say 'comfort' because if you think there's a happy ending in all of this you've not been paying attention - a 'leave' voter who is now terrified to the point of tears of the possible consequences for their children.

335:

''... if the boss at the top say "stop everything", ...''

I doubt that there will be any such action - in so many words - because that is legally and politically risky. But experienced bureaucrats are pretty good at interpreting hints. Not so much hitting a brick wall as wading through chest-high treacle.

336:

The most optimistic plausible scenario is a long period of prevarication and obfuscation, with the UK's economy and government degrading as that goes on, until the referendum is stale enough to be ignored.

Not plausible in my view. Juncker & co were a little miffed because they expected Cameron to invoke article 50 the next morning and made plans for that. Now they have to make new plans.
The uncertainty of a pending article 50 invocation will cause pressure mostly on the economy and UK politics. The companies will prepare for the worst and move toward stability, i.e. out of the UK. If the government just ignores the referendum while the economy tanks, they will be lucky to survive until the end of the regular term.

337:

Indeed. This was always a benefit of staying out of the Euro to some extent. Out of the EU will allow Sterling to float freely again.

let's not forget Greece was tied to the Euro and the hinted at return to the Drachma never happened. It would have been very hard to implement if it tried. Britain doesn't have that complication.

An issue for Scotland wanting independence attached to the EU is that the currency will likely have to be the Euro, as it is in Eire.

338:

Well, yes. independent Scotland with Euro for the currency would be much more stupid than Brexit. Would like to impersonate Greece, anyone?

I do not really understand the tendency in which some people consider Brexit stupid (it is), but think that Euro is a nice idea (compared to Euro the Brexit seems completely rational and beneficial move). But in any case, without Euro the EU would not be such a monster and there would not have been a vote on Brexit.

339:

I'm only up to comment about 200 odd, so please excuse me if someone else has already pointed this out.

There's no Article 50 button.

The EU get to decide when the decision referred to in article 50 has been made. They've already announced that decision.

http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2016/06/24-joint-statement-uk-referendum/

"As agreed, the “New Settlement for the United Kingdom within the European Union”, reached at the European Council on 18-19 February 2016, will now not take effect and ceases to exist. There will be no renegotiation."

That agreement is cancelled in the case that the UK makes a decision to leave. "It is understood that, should the result of the referendum in the United Kingdom be for it to leave the European Union, the set of arrangements referred to in paragraph 2 above will cease to exist." They clearly think that decision rests with the people of the UK, not their leaders and not with some sort of notification process. They've already taken action based on that by cancelling the New Settlement.

There's now two years for negotiations, after which the treaties cease no matter what state the negotiations are in. If the negotiations can be concluded earlier than that, you can go sooner, but not later. Spinning out the negotiation or the notification will not stop the wheels that are already turning.

If you don't like that interpretation of Article 50, tough. You're not part of the EU now for purposes of figuring out how to interpret that rule. "For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it." You don't have a say. Sorry.

You guy's are out, there's no turn back from here. Any delay means you get less than 2 years for negotiations. I wouldn't be wasting any of it...

340:

Until we actually Brexit the EU has to abide by all of its agreements with us. The biggest problem with your premise is that the EU is a glacial bureaucracy and any kind of punitive action will take longer to bite than the brexit process does.

Expect lots of poisonous bluster from juncker and co but not much real action.

But not much action is all what's needed. Without article 50 invocation the EU will refuse to do any exit negotiations and hold Britain to their EU obligations. Which will put pressure on UK politics because there was a referendum but the people see no change. If the UK does some unilateral steps like suspending the EHRC or stopping EU immigration, they might suspend Britain's EU-membership completely. As they said: in is in and out is out.

341:

The majesty of British Sovereignty at work

UK ELITES: "We want to leave the EU!"/ "We want to stay in the EU!"

EU: Oh. Please Stay.

UK Electorate Vote To Leave

UK ELITES: Actually, there's no hurry.

EU: FUCK OFF. RAPIDEMENT! SOFORT!

Rest of World: *Cuts credit rating, shorts Sterling*

UK ELITES: Errrr.......Errrrrrrm

LEAVE SUPPORTERS: ?????

Your handy 'save to favourites' guide to whether the UK is in the European Union or not


http://hasarticle50beeninvoked.uk

342:

If you don't like that interpretation of Article 50, tough. You're not part of the EU now for purposes of figuring out how to interpret that rule.

Wrong:
1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

Since the referendum is not binding, the constitutional requirements are not met. It needs at least a decision of the government (dunno if a parliamentary vote and the ok of the Queen is also needed).

343:

That's right, and the official statement says that (I can't say "makes it clear", as it doesn't). The deal Cameron arranged is dead, and don't expect it back again if we change our minds, but article 50 has not yet been invoked, so we CAN change our minds. As I and you have said, all the EU needs to do is to refuse to negotiate (or even cooperate beyond the mandatory minimum) until it is. The pressure is then on us.

Let's see what the exchange rates and share prices are (a) three days after the new PM takes office and (b) if he invokes article 50, three days after that. The three days is to allow them to settle.

344:

I'm wondering if the anti-EU resentment in the UK from regions that have a net inflow of money from the EU is equivalent to the anti-Federal-government resentment from net-tax-recipients in the US?

I think it's exactly the same.

The net-tax-recipient regions are by definition the ones with depressed economies and a lot of poverty. Which in turn leads to lots of protest votes.

Let's keep a sense of proportion: just 1% of the electorate coming out to say "stay" would have saved the day for the Remain campaign. But poor folks who have seen no evidence of voting changing anything for the past 30 years are disinclined to vote -- or, if they do, to not take the possible consequences of a protest vote seriously.

345:

And, on another subject: Can anybody explain me, in detail, why is bureaucracy so reviled?

Easy. Bureaucracies, like many other before-the-fact net benefits, suffer from invisibility by prevention. Dammit, the bureaucracy won't issue me a permit to hang glide off the top of Canary Wharf (but on the other hand the bureaucracy put in place planning, construction safety, materials and civil order regulations that mean Canary Wharf exists, is safe enough to climb, and when I break the rules and jump off I get arrested on landing instead of shot in flight).

You only directly perceive the effects of bureaucracy when they're negative (to you at that moment). Any other time they're just "common sense" or invisible.

346:

There is no way in hell that the US senate as-is would accept Scotland. You think Bernie Sanders is left-wing? Bernie is center-right by Scottish standards.

Also, there's the whole gun control thing. (Air pistols are licensed here. Handguns? That will be a mandatory five year prison sentence for merely having touched one in the process of reporting it to the police -- seriously, if you see one in Scotland, treat it like kiddie porn, only with harsher sentencing.)

347:

Now the UK, by dint of shooting itself in the foot, has the opportunity to restructure society around a very different model. It could, if it wanted to, try something new.

My pessimistic prediction, for what it's worth: England is indeed going to try something it hasn't tried before ... fascism.

348:

DEAR GHOD! WHAT WERE YOU PEOPLE THINKING?

We'll be saying the same back atcha when you elect President Hairpiece.

You wait.

349:

Could you please explain precisely how the currency depreciation is 'helping' the economy to survive the shock?

You do seem to be long on sweeping generalisations and short on explanations; I appreciate that this is the Internet and thus traditionally we expect sweeping generalisations, but these are exceptional times.

Moody's have just downgraded us from stable to negative, one more nail in the coffin of the inward investment on which the British economy heavily depends. The guys currently demolishing the building opposite will be bloody lucky to keep their jobs; the City of London alone has massive construction work underway, dependent on foreign capital.

Post Brexit that capital is going elsewhere, and with it go the jobs of the people in the construction industry; I doubt they will feel that sterling tanking is 'helping' the economy to survive the shock caused by their fellow citizens deciding to commit economic suicide...

350:

Actually bureaucracy is the way to have just government. Without bureaucracy we would have a system that is completely ad hoc and even more prone for nepotism and corruption.

Strict procedures and processes make it possible to have something that sometimes resembles a just system. Without those, the system would turn to the will of the mightiest.

In my opinion bureaucracy is the poor man's hope against the rich and mighty.

The law system is an example of bureaucracy that at least tries to handle all people in the same way.

Unfortunately too much of something may not be beneficial. Too much bureaucracy bogs the common man, but the mighty find ways to influence things directly.

351:

"Handguns? That will be a mandatory five year prison sentence for merely having touched one in the process of reporting it to the police"

Seriously? I knew the laws were pretty draconian, but a mandatory five year sentence for handing one in to the police you find in (say) the street seems a bit, er, fascist.

352:

I have another theoretical outcome that I want to run past the brains trust here.

What this referendum has made clear is that Parliament continues to be out of touch with the desires of much of the country, and London, for better or worse, has specific and vastly different needs from the rest of the UK. The two being located in the same place conflates these problems - London's needs get conflated with the needs of the whole country, and the perception of the rest of the country is that Parliament only gives a toss about London (specifically The City).

So, move Parliament to Manchester. It supports the Northern Powerhouse rhetoric (not that the NH rhetoric will ever matter in the long term) and it adds significant distance between the legislature and the City. And I do believe and agree that it would direct increased amounts of infrastructure investment to areas that desperately need it.

Meanwhile, London already has a devolved Assembly that could be given additional powers, and without needing to the seat of Government within the union, could operate under a Hong Kong-style Special Economic Zone arrangement. This would require the EU to allow continued Euro market trading, which wouldn't be easy to negotiate, but an SEZ London would have more flexibility in which carrots to offer. This also essentially solves the problem of allowing London to remain an EU member - the SEZ agreement could do this in all but name.

I know this is not without problems. Not only would the EU need to accept London's SEZ status, but in order to retain competitiveness London would probably seek to reduce regulation on the banks, and we know how that goes. The UK as a whole would need some guarantee that London would continue to contribute to the union as well, so that would require certain other instruments.

What am I missing?

353:

Actually bureaucracy is the way to have just government

Exactly. These are all things that, when you grow up in a bureaucracy, only become obvious by their absence.

354:

Wrong any pressure is purely imaginary there seems to be some evidence of a brexit hangover already and everything else can be blamed on European intransigence. The UK has spent 40 years being the awkward squad of Europe expect that to be prolonged for as long as possible.

Also I believe there is a real risk the tough approach being counter productive if the rest of the EU see all stick and no carrot they will question the EU more not less. My expectation is that they will step over the line and get reined in by Merkel.

355:

The British EU commissioner is already out and is replaced by Latvian Dombrovskis. I will remind you that Dombrovskis was the person who was put in charge of Latvia as a Prime Minister just after the crash of 2008 where Latvia was the hardest hit EU country of all. He instituted the harshest austerity measures of all the EU, cut all government salaries by 40% overnight, increased taxes and instituted a "100€" program where unemployed persons could apply to do menial city clean-up for 100€ per month while still keeping their unemployment benefits. THis turned Latvia around and made it the fastest growing EU state soon after. Despite all the tax increases and harsh austerity the party Dombrovskis got even larger majority in Latvian Parliament in the next election cycle. Some time after that, when the recovery was no longer in question, Dombrovskis was pushed out by oligarhs again and went on to the EU Commission.

Now he is in charge of the EU monetary and financial policy. If you think that he will allow euro clearinghouse activities to remain in London, you are dreaming.

356:

"Could you please explain precisely how the currency depreciation is 'helping' the economy to survive the shock?"

That is easy. I'll simplify radically.

Since UK is an open economy, the UK exports have two characteristics. The first one is quality and the other one is price. This holds for both the services and the products.

Now when a shock hits, the currency will plummet. This will make everything sold from UK to other countries less expensive (from the foreign point of view). That will seriously help exports. The quality/price will get a serious uplift.

Now the amount of Pounds that will be got for the exports will grow (due to depreciation and since your stuff is now much, much more competitive). That will make more real money to circulate in UK economy and revive the activity.

At the same time everything in UK will seem much cheaper from the foreign point of view. Cheaper to invest, cheaper to buy. More money to UK.

Currency depreciation is like giving a permanent 20% discount to your customers without slashing costs. Sales will soar. The increased price of imports will play a role, but the principle is the same.

Therefore the plummeting currency will make it easier to export. At the same time it makes more money to circulate.

At the same time the fact that UK Government borrows in Pounds makes it immune to the depreciation. Hence the depreciation actually improves many parts of the economy and that makes the shock smaller than it would have been for an Euro country, for example.

357:

Yeah, exactly.

I read (somewhere) an essay on 'why Trump is popular'.

Boiled down it was that most of the Trump supporters aren't actually stupid people. They know he's an idiot. The thing is that they're getting completely screwed by the system as it is. Trump promises change. It might be better, it surely couldn't be any worse (for them).

People have revolutions because they want change. They're not sure what the new order will look like exactly, but it will be 'different'. This was an opportunity for a reasonably bloodless revolution that will shake things up. They might be better. It probably won't be, but it might be. That's why people buy lottery tickets too.

358:

Aberdeen, like the rest of Scotland, voted remain despite having the highest non-UK born population share (16%) in Scotland and many residents whose pay or pension is paid in US $ who benefit from a falling pound. I myself earn 100% in $ and voted remain.

359:

UK will have to sell more to get less. Largest UK exports are things where demand does not really grow that fast as the price falls - industrial machinery, gems, aircraft, technical equipment. And the price for the financial services is quite unrelated to the value of pound - those are more often expressed in % of euro or USD value of the service. Meanwhile all brits will be 20% poorer instantly. Talk about real impact.

360:

I've just had to deal with - not going to say 'comfort' because if you think there's a happy ending in all of this you've not been paying attention - a 'leave' voter who is now terrified to the point of tears of the possible consequences for their children

Interesting article in the local paper:
https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2016/06/24/for-britains-devastated-millennials-the-cruellest-of-horizons-analysis.html

And this in the Guardian:
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jun/24/young-angry-eu-referendum

I wonder how the 'generational divide' is going to play out.

361:

dunno if a parliamentary vote and the OK of the Queen is also needed
Yes.
And, no Juncker would LURVE to push At50 right now, but probably dare not - because, as stated previously, it would really reveal who is running the show - the arrogant crooked little unelected shit from Luxembourg, what a surprise - which would then play very badly indeed in those other countries thinking about also holding referenda.
Note that the important qualifier about Juncker is: "unelected"

362:

For those that think that the UK Government can delay exit as long as they want I have a question:
Is this politically viable? Presumably most of the Tory pro Brexit backbenchers believe in it and why will they stand by and allow the plebiscite result get nullified and why would UKIP not win the next election by just banging the drum of the "Tories do not respect the will of the people"?

363:

I wonder to what extent this petition affects things btw?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36629324

That news article is slightly "out of date" btw; the petition (according to BBC R4) is around 1.5 million now.

I guess though it only has to be considered and isn't a guaranteed vote? I mean a debate is one thing but a debate dosen't mean an actual binding vote on the subject as well.

Though that could cause problems. Imagine if parliament voted to stay in the EU and put that next to the 51.9% of people who voted to leave. What on earth happens then?

ljones

364:

I wonder how the 'generational divide' is going to play out.

Badly, I should imagine. I can't see any of the non-nationalist parties managing any kind of engagement with the non-wonk 16-24 demographic. Who are, judging from the comments from my children and their friends, seething about this. Won't take much frustration to turn that into long-term apathy.

365:

Frank Field said something very similar on the radio this morning.
People who haven't voted for years, queuing up to vote "Out" in Birkenhead - as a protest, because they're fucked-off.

None of this need have happened, but I put a huge amount of blame also upon the arrogance & out-of-touch nature of not merely our own politicos, but the Brussel nomenklatura whose arrogance knows no bounds.

366:
I wonder how the 'generational divide' is going to play out.

Badly. Because if you look at the poll data it's as much – if not more — a class, location & education issue than an age one. The bar charts have been presented in ways that make it an "issue" rather than showing the data fairly and even in the last 24 hours I've see a bunch of agist idiocy in my timeline. Where folk firmly in the "remain" camp are getting abuse coz of their age.

Nothing like turning friend against friend.

(and curiously seeing very little about the way different ages turned out to the polls…)

367:

Also
The EU bureacracy is based on the FRENCH model [SCREAM] - believe me "l'administration" is something you want to avoid.
Re-quoting Lord Hennesey (again) "The EU is perceived as a French, Catholic, left-wing, bureaucracy ... & most English people are going to have serious problems with at least 3 of those ..."

368:

The pro-Brexit MPs aren't even a majority in their own parties, let alone in parliament. I'm pretty sure that won't get turned into a no-confidence vote and an early General Election, though. You'd need enough Tories confident enough of surviving a General Election to cross the floor.

369:

I really, really hope that people in London sober up and pass a new bill according to which a new UK government pushes the article 50 button, starts the negotiations with EU and when the conditions are clear calls for a second referendum on those exit conditions (binding one this time). If that goes for Remain, then cancel the whole thing.

EU, naturally, will not negotiate anything until article 50 is invoked while cutting UK out of anything possible. Not doing that would be a political suicide for Junkers and co. Dombrovskis will immediately initiate euro clearinghouse move from London to Frankfurt (for market stability purposes). And the market slump will go on until the exit conditions and decision are clear. The best thing the Remain people can do is give Boris and UKIP the wheel and watch them crash and burn before taking the control back after the terrified public votes to Remain.

370:

Really?
Got an official link & back-up for that statement?
Because, until we press At50 it's business as usual (supposedly)

371:

Also about the further procedure, check this opinion piece that was published before the referendum on the next steps required if there is a Leave vote - http://www.standard.co.uk/business/anthony-hilton-why-we-may-remain-even-if-we-vote-leave-a3272621.html

372:

Well, that is simply strange.

British exports of services to EU is less than 28% of total. The remaining 72% of service exports is to countries outside the EU. This includes all banking and finance.

The product-type exports are machinery (21%), transportation (15%), mineral products (13%), chemical products (10%), textiles (5.6%), metals (5.2%), foodstuff (5.2%), precious metals (4.0%), plastics (4.0%), and instruments (3.1%). Other items are below 3%.

I am really, really confused with if someone says that price does not have an impact in this context.

373:

He's resigned rather than being chucked out. So this isn't really evidence that the EU consider the decision made.

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/25/uk-european-commissioner-jonathan-hill-quits-brexit

374:

David Graeber's collection of essays The Utopia of Rules discusses at length our love-hate relationship with bureaucracy, and looks at the trend in capitalism to increase it but under other names.

375:

For those that think that the UK Government can delay exit as long as they want I have a question:
Is this politically viable? Presumably most of the Tory pro Brexit backbenchers believe in it and why will they stand by and allow the plebiscite result get nullified and why would UKIP not win the next election by just banging the drum of the "Tories do not respect the will of the people"?

It's politically viable in Europe (current tubthumping by the council notwithstanding); it's essentially the argument we've used for standing on the sidelines of the Eurozone since '99.

Within the UK I agree it gives a certain whipping point to UKIP, but it's not like UKIP needs extra whipping points, it's already the protest party of choice and will almost certainly gain a large number of seats in the next general election. For the Tories that believe in it, I imagine it has just as much power when held over as a doomsday device as it does when actually activated.

376:

Seriously? I knew the laws were pretty draconian, but a mandatory five year sentence for handing one in to the police you find in (say) the street seems a bit, er, fascist.

In extremis those sentences tend to get reduced on appeal ... but the principle of "strict liability" applies to being in possession of a banned weapon (which is the offense), much like being found in possession of kiddie porn (another strict liability offense).

If you find a gun in the street, or in your dead grandpa's attic, you're supposed to back away and call the police to deal with it -- much as if you were cleaning your dead grandpa's laptop and stumbled across some kiddie porn. (Except in the latter case it'd be a lot easier to simply remove the hard drive and fry it: guns are rather more difficult to dispose of tracelessly than data.)

The cases where people ended up doing time for trying to report a handgun ... in one case IIRC a woman had inherited a WW2 "souvenir" and had it on her mantelpiece for a few years before a cop, visiting her about some unconnected matter, saw it. In another case, an ex-Special Forces guy who had returned from Afghanistan and been discharged had a handgun found in his kit bag when it was inspected by customs.

The UK legal position on handguns is that they're basically military/police weapons with no justifiable excuse for civilian ownership -- like suppressors or grenade launchers in the US.

As we have maybe 1-2 shootings in the UK per month (equivalent to one gunshot incident per week in the entire USA), and US police killed more people in March than British cops killed in the entire 20th century, there's not much demand for loosening up these restrictions.

377:

Indeed. This was always a benefit of staying out of the Euro to some extent. Out of the EU will allow Sterling to float freely again.

The GBP has been floating free since 92, how much more free floating would you like it to be?

378:

One strange issue is that Scotland might be quite well-off in EU if it can have its own floating currency. Having Euro as the currency is total poison for peripheral countries (like Scotland --- remember Greece, Portugal, and Spain).

If I were Scottish I would like to have independence, EU membership, and our own floating currency.

I suppose that SNP is stupid enough to adopt Euro after they get rid of London.

Worst of all worlds. Utterly stupid if they fall to the Euro trap.

379:

>My pessimistic prediction, for what it's worth: England is indeed going to try something it hasn't tried before ... fascism.

Well I guess it's almost arguable that we are there already. All the referendum did is just put a big red line underneath it. Think about it all: blair taking away democratic rights in the last decade beacause of "terrorism"; TTIP; privacy and security and the laws that get passed; no change in the way politics is truly done in 30+ years; society top-heavy with the super-rich, etc.

It might be that we are already in a fascist state, though it is early days. Sort of version 0.001 alpha. It isn't like we're going to go to sleep on the "last" day of a democracy (albeit weak) and then wake up in a 100% fully formed fascist state.

What do I mean? Prerhaps it is a little as cory doctorow has stated -- that most humans don't recognise change if it is very slow and gradual. For example - if you smoked a cigarette and it instantly gave you cancer nobody would ever smoke again. But that dosen't happen -- the effects are delayed and by the time you notice it's too late.

So we might already be in a fascist state ... :-( what a truly horrible and depressing thought.

ljones

380:

So we might already be in a fascist state ... :-( what a truly horrible and depressing thought.

This rings altogether too true. According to twitter, Polish families in Huntingdon have had cards pushed through their letterbox calling them vermin.

381:

The guns... My schoolmate, who is now a career officer in the army, once summed this gun issue in a very good way:

"If you have a mass-murderer running around with an axe, then you can outrun him. But if you have a murderer with assault rifle, then you cannot outrun him. Having your own gun does not help since it is likely that you will not have the required training."

During my time in the army I was trained as a sniper. After that I have had rehearsals at least twice a year (now I am getting too old for them, but anyway). I would really, really hate to have someone to have those tools with them and deciding to kill quite a few people. Army level weapons should not be available to the public.

382:

Now when a shock hits, the currency will plummet. This will make everything sold from UK to other countries less expensive (from the foreign point of view). That will seriously help exports. The quality/price will get a serious uplift.

That's economically naive and unrealistic.

A key problem is supply chains. Much of the stuff manufactured in the UK today is actually dependent on supply chains with inputs from overseas. A weak pound means that the cost of these inputs goes up, from the perspective of the manufacturers. Manufacturers are also dependent on tooling and equipment imported from overseas -- we're part of a global market, after all -- which in turn costs more now (in sterling).

About the only things we can "manufacture" domestically that aren't reliant on imported material inputs are intangibles like software or financial products; goods which coincidentally do not produce mass employment. So we're looking at manufacturing industry taking a hit relative to low-employment high-automation service sectors, so we're looking at (ultimately) higher unemployment.

Meanwhile: the government does indeed borrow in pounds. So the bonds it issues to borrowers are now worth less in real (global) terms, so the borrowers won't buy them unless they pay a higher return on investment, which means a higher interest rate is chsrged on government borrowing. Inflationary, in other words.

This is not a good place to be as you might remember if you'd been paying attention the last time the pound was this weak (in the early 1980s when Thatcher was still drinking the monetarist kool-aid).

383:

Yebbut, if I have it right, that's 51A in the Firearms Act 1968, and it's not quite mandatory: "unless the court is of the opinion that there are exceptional circumstances ... which justify its not doing so." I know about those cases (or ones like them), but was querying the specific case of picking up a banned firearm to hand it in. In most of the UK, the police would simply take it and your details and investigate that you were telling the truth. If it went to court, you might get convicted, but I doubt it, and it certainly wouldn't be five years. Of course, leaving it in your car boot while you went shopping rather than going straight to the nearest police station would Not Be Clever. I know that Scotland is more paranoid, but ....

384:

To be fair, most people in America believe or used to believe that the U.S. government was on their side.

385:

There is some precedent: Sweden has been stalling on joining the Eurozone by deliberately flunking some of the stability pact criteria required to join.

While technically true it is not really a accurate picture. The Swedish economy is after all one of the healthier economies in Europe and has since at least 2012 meet all economic targets except this years 0.7% inflation target (Sweden is at 0.9%). By not joining the EMR II (we consider that voluntary) we are however failing the "be a member of EMR II for two years" criterion and we also fail some of of the "compatibility of legislation" criteria since we haven't made any effort to align them.

There is little chance of Sweden joining the Euro, in recent years polls have shown the support for that between 9-15%

386:

But wasn't Cromwell's Protectorate a kind of proto-Fascism?

387:
About the only things we can "manufacture" domestically that aren't reliant on imported material inputs are intangibles like software or financial products; goods which coincidentally do not produce mass employment

Even intangible folk have problems. For example Amazon Web Services are priced in USD. Which is going to lead to some entertaining conversations next week for some UK companies.

388:

To be fair, most people in America believe or used to believe that the U.S. government was on their side.

Ahem:

"To be fair, most middle-class White Anglo-Saxon Protestant males in America believe or used to believe that the U.S. government was on their side. (Everyone else? Not so much.)"

There, I fixed that for you.

389:

Dear OGH,

I really, really dislike to oppose you since I seriously like your books. But in this case I just have to do that.

In all economic literature, being either Keynesian or New Classical (or even libertarian), the floating currency has been shown to be the solution *even in the case of supply chains*.

In this case the plummeting currency really, really helps UK economy. The shock would be enormously more profound without the plummeting Pound.

If you want, then I can send you serious analysis by Paul Krugman and Olof Svensson. Although you can easily find them from the Internet.

390:

The question is if that's enough to compensate the lost trade and investments due to uncertainty. And in case that the UK doesn't get the free trade agreement it wants from the EU, the impact of tariffs.

391:

And the number of businesses that will move out because they want a base in the EU.

392:

Yes. That is at least partially true.

With normal type of tariffs that would not be a problem. It has not been a problem for Chinese. Hence I do not think normal tariffs to be a problem.

Although it could be the case that EU decides to show resolve to UK and uses some kind of punitive solution.

It is, however, the case that EU is not the only trading partner of UK. In the service sector EU is almost 28%, but that is not as much as one may assume.

393:

You would be surprised how many African Americans, poor/working class Americans, Catholic/Jewish/Hindu/Mormon, even QUILTBAG Americans believed in the American Dream for at least a small portion of their lives or still do in many cases. Unfortunately, we do usually get over it. (Unfortunate in the sense that it would have been nice to have not been wrong, not because it would have been nice to never wise up.)

394:

I read some pages about this "passporting" that Matthew Elliott thinks there's no reason why it shouldn't continue after Brexit. Good luck with that...

395:

Oh, here's the link to that Matthew Elliott quote.

396:

Free floating currency might have some reduction of some economic downturns due to reduction of costs of the value added on the exported produce, however that is a tiny reduction on a tiny part of the overall value. And at the same time the freefall of the currency produces a ton of different, negative effects on the economy by destroying the existing value in the country and also showing the risk of future destruction of value to any investors. If today all properties in Britain have lost 20% of their value, would you invest in Britain now, if this also shows you the possibility of other, similar value drops in the future days and years? Any investment needs to know not only that prices are low now, but also they will raise in the next couple years. There isn't even a credible hope of that right now.

As for increase of exports - if the exports are in a categories where the demand is inflexible, then changes in price have little impact on volume sold in the short term. You are not going to suddenly decide to buy twice as much factory equipment just because it is for some reason at half price now. You will buy the same amount for half price and move on.

397:

Another casualty of the Brexit vote: Brits lose right to claim that Americans are dumber. At least until November.

398:

Oh, one other note. Did anyone hear the foreign ministers of nations remaining in the EU this morning. There was something about them wanting the breakup between the UK and the EU to be "fast and furious," as in, ideally, not even waiting for Boris Johnson (or whoever) to become the new prime minister.

Looks like, if they get their way, after losing their house, the Brits will be sleeping in a Reliant Robin, not that ol' Jaguar. Scottish Independence types really better get into, um, top gear, if you want to avoid the maelstrom.

399:

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

Having carefully checked to make sure that we have not been miraculously returned to the 18th century, I find it difficult to know where to start, though pointing out that this is not the18th century seems as good a place as any; the markets have changed a great deal since then without you apparently noticing.

Radically simplifying things, I'll take your claim that the British Goverment borrows in sterling and point out that it's bollocks. The Bank of England borrows, and lends, in a vast range of currencies; it has to because it's the Bank of England, and therefore has to be able to provide liquidity in a vast range of currencies in order to prevent the banking system juddering to a halt.

London is the centre of the global financial markets; every tradable currency in existence passes metaphorically through our doors. It's perfectly commonplace for traders to use, say, Mexican pesos as a hedge against sterling, as if the poor b*stards didn't have enough to worry about already with the prospect of combover squatting on their northern border.

I suppose this extraordinary ignorance of the way in which modern financial markets actually work is what enabled BRexiters to con voters into thinking they would wake up in a world in which foreigners tugged their fore locks and begged to be allowed to give them lots of money. Instead the foreigners are very sensibly running, not walking, to the nearest exit with as much of their money as they can salvage, and a strong determination to avoid us like the plague until such time as we learn to behave like grown ups.

At that point our credit rating might improve and we may be able once again to attract capital investment, but it's going to take years for that to happen. My rather nice view of the Gherkin is going to last a lot longer than it would have if we had voted to remain, but the guys who lose their jobs are going to pay the price for that.

400:

Scottish Independence types really better get into, um, top gear, if you want to avoid the maelstrom.

Already happening, but ... see the next blog entry (up five minutes ago)!

401:

"And at the same time the freefall of the currency produces a ton of different, negative effects on the economy by destroying the existing value in the country and also showing the risk of future destruction of value to any investors. If today all properties in Britain have lost 20% of their value, would you invest in Britain now, if this also shows you the possibility of other, similar value drops in the future days and years? Any investment needs to know not only that prices are low now, but also they will raise in the next couple years. There isn't even a credible hope of that right now."

Are you serious?

You have a very strange perception of value. If I am an USA investor, then I do evaluate value in USD. This practically means that if I invest money to a foreign firm, then I am interested in USD returns. Those returns depend on the turnover and cost structure of the firm in which I invested. Currency depreciation will benefit my investment, costs will plummet and profit margins will grow (export firm, remember).

Of course the situation is different if I invest in stocks. But let's assume that I am not naive enough to invest in stocks using foreign currency.

The situation is different if you operate purely in the imaginary world i.e. the world of finance. In that case you might be screwed.

Product based export industry is likely to benefit from the plummeting Pound.

402:

"I suppose this extraordinary ignorance of the way in which modern financial markets actually work is what enabled BRexiters to con voters into thinking they would wake up in a world in which foreigners tugged their fore locks and begged to be allowed to give them lots of money."

Thank you. I appreciate this.

Since the policy of my employer prohibits me to use real names, I just have to admit that things look quite good. In the sense of making money, I mean.

403:

"If you have a mass-murderer running around with an axe, then you can outrun him. But if you have a murderer with assault rifle, then you cannot outrun him. Having your own gun does not help since it is likely that you will not have the required training."

Unfortunately that makes way too much sense for most American gun-nuts to understand.

404:

There is a gigantic sentimental liking, perhaps even love, in the U.S. for the U.K. Only the most hardened sociopaths can overcome their sentiments.

405:

Nobody is mocking me. I was simply noting that once Scotland and NI become independent, their scope for making alliances increases greatly. I may have used humor to make my point, but my point stands without the humor. Scotland and NI will make great states... for someone.

406:
The GBP has been floating free since 92, how much more free floating would you like it to be?

That isn't quite true. While Britain is not in the ERM, it does manage the economy and with it the currency, to try to reduce volatility with the Euro. Just compare the exchange rates with the EUR and the USD to see the difference.

The point is that outside of the EU, Britain can use all its financial levers to manage the economy. A devalued sterling will have a positive impact on trade and tourism. It is up to Britain to capitalize on that. As a country, it is a lot stronger than in the dark days of the late 1970's. At that time, Britain could't make consumer goods of any quality at all. I well remember the "Buy British" campaign that petered out to a whiny "Will you at least look at British goods before buying foreign". That is no longer true.

Britain is going to take a major trade hit on both financial services and EU trade. I expect British banks will find a solution while staying in London. EU trade might be a little harder, but trading relationships don't just start or evaporate with treaties. Supply chains are complex and you don't want to change them if possible.

The tourist trade is far more sensitive to exchange rates. Britain is a major tourist destination. (I remember in the 1970's when it was suggested that Britain become a national "Dicken's Land" to attract Japanese tourists. Ugh, even in jest.) A devalued sterling will attract more visitors. Just make sure that they can be accommodated and feel welcome. Don't play the game of "rip off the tourists with raised prices".

It's pretty clear that how financial services works out is important. But if it doesn't, at least London housing will become more affordable.

407:

It's actually worse than that. The physics model of Wile E. Coyote's world is actually pro-Roadrunner... hmmm... maybe the Wile E. Coyote cartoons really are an excellent metaphor for Brexit!

408:
Meanwhile: the government does indeed borrow in pounds. So the bonds it issues to borrowers are now worth less in real (global) terms, so the borrowers won't buy them unless they pay a higher return on investment, which means a higher interest rate is chsrged on government borrowing. Inflationary, in other words.

That's not correct. That only applies is the pound forex rate is expected to continue to decline. A sharp devaluation prevents that. Already purchased bonds will have taken a loss, but that is a sunk cost. Looking forward, there is no reason for bond or gilt purchasers to assume persistent declines in sterling and therefore a rise in interest rates to compensate.

Sterling bond rates data suggests the markets are sanguine about interest rate rises.[At this moment. No guarantee of tthe future].

409:

This is going to take a couple paragraphs, so enjoy the ride...

Oddly enough, at the moment U.S. politics are heading in a fairly liberal direction. If we elect a Democrat in November the Supreme Court will stop being conservative. (This is why the Republicans are unwilling to confirm Obama's Supreme Court pick. It's not just racism.) The justices picked by Reagan and Bush I are retiring and electing a Democrat this year will change the face of U.S. Jurisprudence for 30-50 years, because the next president will pick 2-4 Supreme Court justices. (This assumes 8 years on office.)

It's also likely that Trump as the Republican front-runner will result in massive Democratic victories. There are two things that need to happen for a big Democratic victory. We need to keep Trump as the Republican candidate, and the economy needs to stay good at least until November. If we can manage that, I'd expect (at least) a Democratic Senate, and the chances of passing Gun Control improve enormously.

(Brexit caused a 600-point Dow crash. Thanks guys! Not.)

In other words, I'm expecting that the equation for easing Scotland and/or NI into the U.S. as a state will change dramatically in November, with a much more liberal Supreme Court and a Democratic majority in the Senate. This would pretty much fix the U.S. side of the equation.

The Scottish/Irish side of the equation is very different and it simply does not involve joining the U.S. as states under any circumstances, but there would be wonderful poetic justice if both the U.K. and the E.U. lost Scotland.

410:

Fortunately, I don't think that's going to happen - we haven't had enough austerity yet - but if it does... damn, what a blow against sanity and reason!

411:

Unfortunately, they ( the SNP ) ARE that stupid arrogant & gullible, because, like a lot of politicians, they believe their own lies.

412:

I actually supported "Leave", but did that from a leftist perspective (super-ultra-radical-rabid left, if compared to English standards – but, I suppose, not Scottish ones –, since I'm Italian). How come that almost nobody in these 411 comments hinted at the fact that the Troika-driven EU is not exactly a progressive or egalitarian or useful force for any kind of betterment of the life of the majority of human beings? Perceiving the Brexit as the second coming of nazism is, also, a crass distortion of the actual historical reasons why fascism was born in the first place and what was it main focus (repressing the popular surge towards workers' rights, which is actually was the EU has been doing in the last 15 years, at least in the more progressive nations). Am I blind to some really obvious aspect of the matter? How can the EU be perceived as a "leftist" force? This has been a vote with obvious class underpinnings (in a brutal synthesis: the elites for "Remain" and the Unwashed Masses for "Leave"). I am asking out of curiosity, because this situation actually surprised me. I mean, I would support the EU if it actually was a democratic federation, but it is not one and it will never can be one, since (for example) a European public opinion cannot exist, for purely pragmatical reasons (the language, for starters). Am I missing something?

413:

Am I missing something?

There is a very long and detailed answer to your question and I'm sure someone will offer it.

All I'll ask is how you think a leftist approach is compatible with a campaign fronted by Boris Johnson, noted friend of the construction and banking industries; Michael Gove, noted pro-privatisation libertarian; and Nigel Farage, head of the furthest-right party on the mainstream UK spectrum?

In fact, from the leftist perspective, who in the official Leave campaign was remotely compatible with your politics?

414:

Visible political action is now starting to mirror underlying reality. Leave/Remain was fought between right and ultra-right. There was no Left option. The Left was literally excluded from framing the process. We reached a point in history where all we can do is blame the Left for not supporting the "correct" Right position. That is by far the most depressing thing we learned again this week. Can we blame the low-information "working class" when they were literally given no good choices? Support the guy who is kicking you now or support the guys who will kick you later, but who will kick your Other neighbors now. It was basically a coin flip with a little bit of soft core racism to tip the odds. Frankly, I would expect a bigger Leave mandate if Britain was mainly on racism that day.

You want Corbyn to give a big rosy Vote of Confidence to We Just Take Your Money, Not Your Life and New Labour. To be fair, he understood they were better than the Brown Shirts, but how much enthusiasm did you expect?

Is the big plan to limit our options to Accept the Status Quo or Right Wing Revolution? Only monsters choose the latter and if you reject the choice itself, then the monsters win. You're not part of the problem, are you? You don't want rampant monsterism, do you? Of course not.

415:

Leave/Remain was fought between right and ultra-right. There was no Left option.

That's kind of my point. The left's distaste for the EU is a matter of record, the Guardian flirted with plenty of "leftist arguments for Brexit" articles in the runup to the referendum, it is as Massimo says essentially a solid anchor around which to wrap a capitalist and technocractic state, it binds nations into a very restrictive financial regime and so on and so forth.

But I only recall seeing two options on the ballot paper, and if there was a third for "Leave but also roll back the 2015 election" then I missed it. Within the political context of the referendum, I don't understand how anyone could consider that voting Leave would have any effect but to move the country hard right, even ignoring the subtext of leadership wrangling between the very- and extremely- right factions of that party.

416:

Heh. I'm also something that can be perceived as a super-ultra-radical-rabid left, for Swedish values of same.

Back when Sweden had the referendum about joining the EU, I was vehemently on the No side. But if Sweden were to have a referendum about leaving the EU today, I'm not sure I'd have voted Leave.

Part of it would be the huge legal, bureaucratic, economic, and human effects. Now, the UK economy is larger and more diverse than Sweden's, so better able to withstand some of those, but it is by no means immune.

But more importantly, the EU we are in now isn't the EU that we joined twenty years ago. The EU at that time was a decidedly elitistic and undemocratic construct, and the way the referendum was pushed used decidedly undemocratic and dubious methods, by both the EU and the Swedish authorities.

But the EU has changed, and for the better. The parliament, while still not as important as the commission, has proven that it can act and win against the other EU institutions. The EU is now much more of a leader in issues like chemical safety and many issues of environment.

One of my private tests about if a country is democratic, is if it continually works on improving and strengthening that democracy. Right now, the EU passes that test while Sweden doesn't, and that's been lasting for ten years or more.

417:

it binds nations into a very restrictive financial regime and so on and so forth.

The sensible policy for England freed of EU austerity would be to pump money into the economy. Unfortunately the government you have, and the hopeful one in waiting have both bought into austerity as the preferred policy. I cannot see UKIP being sane as their agenda almost relies on the economic result of austerity.

I tend to think that those foreseeing a rise in fascism in the UK are more likely right than wrong. It is not the England I emigrated from (as friends keep reminding me).

[I can feel somewhat aloof and detached watching from across the Atlantic, but that will change if Trump wins in November. I hope my fellow Americans learn the right message from Brexit, but I fear they won't.]

418:

I tend to think that those foreseeing a rise in fascism in the UK are more likely right than wrong.

So far today...
The National Front had this banner out in Newcastle
A variety of racist and ultra-nationalist responses to a picture of the London-born London Mayor at London's Pride parade
A Welsh Muslim businesswoman told to "pack her bags and go home"

The dogwhistles have been abandoned, now the fascists are in the shouty phase.

419:

Buercacy just like most human institutions is horrible except for all the other alternatives

It's horrible because any static set of rules is never going to deliver just or consistent outcomes under all circumstances. When it does go wrong there is generally no effective appeal. Plus thr more complex the rules in order to better accommodate grey areas the slower more arcane and inefficient the process

Not to derail off to gun control but one key fact this forum consistently misses with regards to pro-gun America is that those views are not at all driven by a desire to increase personal or societal safety. Many Anericans do not prioritize safety even in their top ten list of priorities

Just like Brexit supporters are not prioritizing economic security

Nations are only strong when their people commit to ideals over practicalities

420:

That banner in Newcastle was pretty outrageous. Far more worrying than the odd hostile tweets.

One can just imagine what might happen if the Brexit referendum gets overridden in some way.

421:

Might be worth keeping in mind that "Floating currency will adjust to external shocks" is financial code for "we're going to take a bunch of money from anyone with GBP savings and anyone on GBP wages and use it to prop up exporting industries".

422:

Just done some super fun number crunching, using the referendum and last election results. To paraphrase Moss, you’d better put seatbelts on your eyes...

At the 2015 election, UKIP got 3,881,099 votes nationally, on a turnout of 66.1%. Had the last election had the same 72.2% turnout of the referendum, and the results stayed proportional, they’d have got 4,239,264 votes. The leave vote was 17,410,742 votes. Since it is safe to assume all UKIP voters were for leave, they’d have made up 24.3% of the leave vote. If you added in similarly adjusted votes for the BNP and English Democrats, you get an equivalent of 8,954 extra votes from, lets say more dodgy parties. Giving a total of 4,248,218 UKIP/BNP/ED voters, who will have voted leave. Still only 24.4% of the leave vote, or 12.6% of everyone who voted (including spoilt ballots, this figure is 33578016).

So, my conclusion is that around a quarter of leave voters, or a mere eighth of all voters, were likely to be UKIP/far right voters. Which suggests there is a huge majority of people who are still pretty reasonable. Of course, many UKIP voters are actually pretty OK, whilst remain has a good share of nutters. As do other parties. I’m presenting a worst case scenario here.

I reckon this indicates there’s not a huge chance of some kind of racist, fascist apocalypse led by Farage.

423:

Since it is safe to assume all UKIP voters were for leave

Actually it was only 93%, not that it affects your conclusion (though it does beg the question, WTAF?).

The problem is not that suddenly half the country has woken up racist and far-right. The problem is that the small number of racists and far right arseholes now feel they have popular support, and that emboldens them.

424:

TBH I more hacked that out for faceache world, where everyone seems convinced that we're about to resurrect Oswald Moseley. But having taken bloody ages, I thought it'd be appropriate here too. Thought it might cheer up and embolden a few better folk :)

425:

Thought it might cheer up and embolden a few better folk :)

Then I strongly recommend you don't run the numbers on the NsDAP's performance in the July 1932 election.

426:

Different time, far, far worse circumstances. You can learn from history, but I think we have plenty of time yet.

427:

To play with the divorce analogy just a bit more, Dady want's a divorce, but instead of leaving right away, he'll be sleeping on the sofa until October. It does give one hope that they could get some counselling in the interim.

I still blame Cameron for offering the lever to people who didn't understand what it was for. Enough people seemed to think it would give the bankers a good jolt of electric current, which was played right into by the Remain campaign pushing the doom and gloom 'all the bankers will leave' message which sounded good to enough people. Meanwhile the UKIP were selling it as the 'wogs out' switch.

Couple that with the 'oh, you mean the vote was actually serious' remorseful morning after crowd, and it's 'oops we wrecked the country.' Still it is particularly poignant that our far left Italian friend helped embolden the very team that would wish to kick him out of the country.

As for the survivors guilt, Charlie, I wouldn't worry too much. Like many here I'm sure, I'm fully in favour of you getting a 10% bonus. I can see that it would be a help to your local economy, whether you spend it in your neighbourhood or go really 'local' and stand an extra round at the pub now and then.

428:

And a sizable number of middle-class White Anglo-Saxon Protestant males in America may grudgingly admit that the local government (composed of proper White Anglo-Saxon Protestant males) may be on their side, but no way in hell are those bastards in Washington on their side.

429:

But that's my worry. In the past week we've seen a left-wing MP assassinated, the NF back on our streets and open racism under real names on Facebook. And that's before the effect of a predicted cut in GDP greater than the 2008 recession. If things are this bad now, what odds on Kristallnacht by Christmas?

430:

one key fact this forum consistently misses with regards to pro-gun America is that those views are not at all driven by a desire to increase personal or societal safety. Many Anericans do not prioritize safety even in their top ten list of priorities

Very true, and actually ties with my post #428. The main justification of the most pro-gun Americans is that population must be armed in order to resist the government if/when* it turns tyrannical. The more honest among that crowd admit that 30,000+ gun deaths per year is a bad thing, but it is "the price we pay for freedom".

I do not agree with that position, but it must be recognized if one is to have a clue about American gun ownership issues.

*For some, "when" as opposed to "if" is an article of faith. They believe that ALL governments turn tyrannical sooner or later.

431:

"On the positive scenario side, it's been becoming obvious that the western status quo isn't going to survive - with all the spoils going to the rich, the 99% getting nothing, climate change, and automation meaning that 50% of people won't be needed. Something else is needed, something sustainable."

Its problems have been becoming obvious ever since it started to happen, but any solution has been blocked by the moronic notion of making the requirement for quantity of work an absolute rather than recognising that it decreases as such things as mechanisation, more efficient methods, economies of scale etc. come into effect. People have been pointing this out for a very long time - since the 19th century at least - but nobody takes any notice due to the endemic irrational hostility to the idea of not doing stuff you don't need to do. It's not a case of "automation meaning that 50% of people won't be needed", it's a case of "mechanisation, efficiency etc. mean that >90% of people already aren't". (And that figure predates microcomputers becoming widespread; similar figures exist which predate microprocessors.) But instead of doing the sensible and obvious thing, the universal response has been to invent other tasks of ever-increasing uselessness and continue to insist that people "must work" regardless of how useful it is and regardless of the lack of any supporting argument other than dodgy religious quote-mining and calling people names who disagree (with a heavy dose of childhood indoctrination to give the name-calling bite).

What's happening nowadays is simply that the process of inventing useless work is beginning to hit the stops. Not only are they running out of things to invent, but we are approaching the stage when it will be almost impossible to invent crap for a human to do that can't be done by a machine instead. And the process has already failed so far as to give rise to millions of people for whom it hasn't been possible to invent something to make them do... and who suffer from an intense campaign of vilification from the establishment supporters of useless work, in order to obfuscate the evidence, provided by their very existence in such numbers while everything still continues to function, that the current system is bollocks, beneath a blanket of prejudice and hatred.

What we have is a system that facilitates people making money, and doesn't concern itself with whether or not people get what they need; that is just sort of expected to drop out of it by magic. Which of course doesn't work, so we have extra bits bolted on, under protest, to try and fill in the gaps... and do so imperfectly as they are in conflict with the greed of those in charge of the system. What we need is a system that is designed to make sure people get what they need, and doesn't concern itself with making money... which after all is a matter of greatly reduced importance once it's been disconnected from provision of needs.

Now the UK, by dint of shooting itself in the foot, has the opportunity to restructure society around a very different model. It could, if it wanted to, try something new."

Yeah, I've been trying to lift my mind with that kind of thought too, but the trouble is that although it may be a necessary condition, it isn't a sufficient one. Two big problems are immediately obvious. One is that we need to be self-sufficient in basics - food and energy. Energy we could manage - the figures going around for coal reserves before Thatcher fucked it all up were that we had 300 years odd of it left. Food, though, we can't, because we have more people than our agriculture can feed; we need to get the population down to a level where that is no longer true.

The other is of course that the ingrained prejudice against the idea of people not working is still in full force, and as long as that is still the case we haven't got a hope. As such cases as prejudice based on race or sexuality demonstrate, it can be changed, but it takes a fuck of a lot of time and effort to achieve even a superficial appearance of consensus, and even longer to make a real difference to what people actually think in private.

432:

"I still blame Cameron for offering the lever to people who didn't understand what it was for."

While it kind of grates to say it - I don't. At least not from his point of view. The thought process seemed pretty obvious to me: it was highly doubtful whether the Conservatives would win the election; a significant and clearly-identifiable leak of potential Tory votes was to UKIP; to offer a referendum will bring most of those back, as if you want a particular policy which two parties offer it makes more sense to vote for the party that stands a chance of getting in than the one that doesn't; at the same time, although the fish fanatics might be noisy they are still a minority, so a Remain vote is a foregone conclusion and will be a very useful tool for getting them to shut the fuck up. I'd have done the same in his position.

What went wrong, of course, is obvious, but I submit that it was not obvious at the time and didn't even move towards "risky" until it was far too late to back out. Cameron clearly never expected a "Leave" vote - and neither did I. The spectrum of my "social bubble" continued to confirm the "Cameron assumption" right the whole way through - the left and centre were solidly for Remain, and so were the long-term Tory voters; it was only a small pool of UKIP-supporting extremists who were in favour of Leave.

I still find the result staggering. I had no idea that so many people even gave enough of a shit to support such a turnout, and where the fuck all these Leave voters suddenly appeared from baffles me entirely. Given the huge variety of reasons, with the only common factor being stupidity, for voting Leave that have been quoted from Leave voters, I rather think it will never cease to baffle me.

433:

"Money got broken and no longer has any relation to reality."

It's been broken for thousands of years; people love breaking it, because it gives them opportunities to be cunts for gain. The religious prohibitions on usury are there for much the same sort of reason as the food hygiene stuff: "don't do this or it'll give you a disease", backed up by invoking divine authority to save having to explain it to people who are too thick to understand. It's a recognition that the finance disease is another viral mental hijacker and one sufficiently well-adapted that it can often out-compete religion.

434:

Yep, I was trying to look on the positive of this shitstorm. And yes, the 'what are you plebs for' issue has been a long lasting one - which seems to be coming to a head. Only so many telephone sanitizers before you start building the B-Arks.

The level of thinking in this, from the UK and EU government sides, seems all too small scale to consider that though. They are frantically trying to maintain a status quo, or exploit it for their own ends.

I wonder if Elon Musk has any places on his Mars Colonisation mission?

435:

Will anyone outside of London even notice the economic meltdown? Most of England has already melted down. I get the impression that London did its own Brexit some time ago, back in the 80s. Nine out of ten of the poorest areas in northern Europe are in England. What is going on there?

Referendums are a terrible idea. You'd think someone would have learned something from that Boaty McBoatface idiocy. We in Washington State are always getting idiotic referendums, so we vote to double school spending and to halve taxes and then complain that our legislators and governors are idiots because 2+2=4. Unfortunately, our referendums are binding. The UK has a lot of politics before it actually hits the Brexit button.

436:

"Now there's a real chance of getting rid of the vampire squids and y'all are complaining?"

The problem is that it's happening the wrong way round. Currently we have a society which has allowed itself to become dependent on being parasitised by vampire squids and sustaining itself by picking the sweetcorn out of their shit. That this situation is bloody stupid doesn't change the fact that it has become a necessary condition for getting rid of the squids to at least identify a practical alternative source of sweetcorn.

This is what drives me up the wall about the whole situation: back and forth about the economy this, the finance that, etker, etker, but nowhere any sign of recognition (except by CT, apparently) that simply being able to talk like that is only possible because the whole structure is barking mad, let alone being made to suffer for it.

Like this: "Britain has lost £350e9 in the space of a few hours..." No. No. No, it hasn't. Nobody has "lost" anything. Nobody has paid anyone any money. No invading army has landed and walked off with £350e9 of our shit. No bunch of hackers has cracked the banking system and lifted £350e9 out of people's accounts. Everyone still has exactly what they had before, and this figure of £350e9 exists nowhere but in people's imagination.

NONE OF THIS SHIT IS REAL, GUYS. It's all made up. You're running your world entirely on stuff that you have made up and fucking yourselves by making up nasty things. Running the world on fairy stories which are all about the Wicked Witch and insisting that you don't have the option either to make up stories about the Fairy Godmother or not to run the world on fairy stories at all. Well, STOP IT. Either make up something nice for a change or stop making things up at all. Otherwise not only does the economy, which is made up, "collapse", but so does the ecology, and that isn't.

"Think of it as one of those hill-climbing optimisation problems. If you want to climb to a higher peak from the one you're on, you have to start by moving downhill."

Yeah. The problem is that what we've done is implement the "moving downhill" by nuking the flipping mountain, while failing to do anything to ensure that the survivors aren't too dumb to try anything other than piling up the rubble and climbing back up it again.

437:

Actually, this is the part that raised my eyebrows the most:

>Reality is somewhat less convenient and Brussels has no alternative but to play hardball if it is to deter other loosely-bound members from following England's example.

The EU is supposed to be a mutually advantageous union. The legitimate way to encourage nations to stay in the EU is to make sure it remains advantageous to them to do so. A union that will "play hardball" rather than compromise to keep nations in once they've joined is not what anybody signed up for, and seems at odds with the principle of free self-determination of government.

Charlie's post does not mention why so many people wanted to leave the EU. Without that piece of information, it's pointless to argue whether it's a bad thing or not.

438:

Dear Sir or Madam,

Currently we have a society which has allowed itself to become dependent on being parasitised by vampire squids and sustaining itself by picking the sweetcorn out of their shit. That this situation is bloody stupid doesn't change the fact that it has become a necessary condition for getting rid of the squids to at least identify a practical alternative source of sweetcorn.

I applaud this sentiment and would like to subscribe to your pamphlet.

Either make up something nice for a change or stop making things up at all. Otherwise not only does the economy, which is made up, "collapse", but so does the ecology, and that isn't.

See above.

439:

Called it.

However, there is talk around Westminster- in the wake of a plunging currency and falling share prices - of whether any deal on Brexit negotiated with the EU should then be put to a referendum further down the line.

[[ Fixed broken HTML - mod ]]

440:

And people think that I am joking or being a loon when I say that we should abandon this lunacy and go back to government by the Sovereign in Council?

441:

The EU wont go out of it's way to screw the UK. But they will also not give them a sweetheart deal for leaving, because that would be creating incentives that point in all the wrong directions. I expect them to put the EEA on the table, and maybe the deal the turks have (customs union for goods, but not services.) What they wont do is expend energy writing up a set of rules just for the UK.

442:

Or a Lord Protector?

I guess the point is about the moment when you realise that others not only are behaving as though an entire elaborate but arbitrary and abstract system is real, they expect you to as well. People react to that realisation in diverse ways, from disbelief to stage-fright. Disbelievers are automatically outsiders, to be effective is to follow the advice that in order be convincing, you must be convinced.

Sadly this seems to apply to all groups. And if the belief is in a system that itself wields the power to shape or take people's lives, then the question isn't whether it's real but rather whether enough people are willing to behave like it is to make the question moot. Ultimately, the secret police are citizens too.

443:

No. Absolutely NOT. I am talking about someone brought up from birth to believe that it is her duty to rule for the benefit of the country. You are talking about a religious fanatic (even though Cromwell himself was not one of the worst) - i.e. an earlier Ayatollah Khomeini.

444:

The Cabinet is just a committee of the Privy Council anyway, so what exactly would change?

(And I don't give a shit what delusions Queeny has about her "duty". Hereditary monarchs are without honour, without legitimacy, and without any justification except sheer inertia. Fuck the lot of them.)

445:

Well democracy may not always be able to deliver good or even sane decisions, but so long as it remains the basis to form a government it can remove autocratic megalomaniacs without bloodshed. That power is the same as any other, dependent entirely on whether people in the right time and place are willing to go along with it. Even if it's just the palace guard.

It might make sense to create one person as a dictator in the form you describe, but what happens when the roll of the dice delivers a Caligula or a Stalin as a successor, despite the best efforts of selection and training? Some might say this is the only thing democracy is good for, and it may happen that use is almost entirely subverted now. It didn't work for Cromwell.

446:

Some do say that about democracy. I haven't analysed the data, but there are plenty of counter-examples: Zimbabwe, for one.

447:

"it can remove autocratic megalomaniacs without bloodshed"

A hundred years ago, yeah sure. Now we're ruled by immortal psychotic hive mind aliens and there's no way to remove them, with or without bloodshed.

448:

Hmm, the Crocodile stays in power by blaming everything on furrin' meddling, doesn't he? Plus brownshirtery. How familiar.

449:

That won't work. A Brexit deal can only be negotiated after triggering Article 50, and rejection of the deal by referendum results in out without a deal when the two year limit expires.

450:

Ken Macleod's "Cosmonaut Keep"'s Terran sections are in a world with Scotland in a tightly-integrated E.U. (Communist but free—why, the European Parliament includes everything from Trotskyites to Maoists!) and England that's basically Airstrip One for the U.S.. In a different history, his "The Star Fraction" features an heavily Balkanised London.

451:

A good civilisation does not need to be 'run', and the general tone of the post smacks both of either worship of ancient tradition or else a cynical, Straussian desire that others worship it so in order to be kept in line..,and of an over-valuation of 'butchness' that has nothing to do with actual toughness...but a lit to do with fascism.

452:
The tourist trade is far more sensitive to exchange rates. Britain is a major tourist destination. [..] A devalued sterling will attract more visitors.
The tourist trade is also sensitive to racist incidents, and reports are starting to roll in...
453:

This Irish person sez "not until you have proper privacy rights, thanks."

454:

I stick to Eco's "Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt" for a fascism reference. Saying that a government were 'fascist' just because it does the will of the corporations misunderstands what the Fascists meant by 'corporatism', which was rehashed 'the State as the body in macrocosm' political theology.

455:

Calling the E.U. 'soft fascist' misunderstands the E.U. and Fascism. As noted elsewhere, the E.U. is not founded on the principles of 'corporatism' (which does not mean 'rule by corporations'), an idealised past moment as an end-goal, the glorification of a nation or a race or of truculence itself, and the belief in War as both a purifying good in itself and as the ultimate source of value-judgements.

The E.U. has, i.m.a.o., glorified the Market on one hand and pushed mystified bureaucracy with the other, but it seems to valorise process and actual individuals' happiness, health, creature comfort, and complacency rather than glorify Glory and Butchness and Nation and valorise War, all with definitely majuscule first letters.

456:

For Christ's sake, Greg, words mean things. He was nominated as the EPP's candidate before the European elections; voters voted for the party knowing they would put him forward for the Commission office. Then the leaders of the EU member countries voted on him. Then the Parliament voted on him. If there's one word you can't use to describe Juncker, it's "unelected"!

If you were struck by an imp of the perverse, you could even make the argument he's as elected to his position by the electorate as Cameron was to his...

457:

I agree - there are plenty of counterexamples and failure modes, which can themselves be studied. The point remains though that no matter how subverted democratic institutions might become, smaller oligarchical and monarchical institutions are (surely) even more susceptible to the same vulnerabilities.

458:

Gerald Fnord --

Did you read post #191? It explains a lot about Galdruxian.

459:

This brings up an interesting question. Any oil-fired or natural-gas power plants in Scotland left?

460:

I'd have said your fascism comment was overrated, but in the small Cambridgeshire city I live in (middle-class central), on Friday, I stumbled going down the hill and a sweet little old lady on a mobility scooter nearly ran into me.

So, of course, in a perfectly reasonable example of not overreacting at all, she called me a 'stinking kike' (at least I think that's what it was, the 'stinking' may have been another word). I didn't think that was even a UK term: maybe she'd been watching a lot of US TV?

(Plus it's inaccurate: I'd never met the lady before and she could have no idea what religion I am, so the judgement must have been based purely on some sort of racist correlation of facial physiognomy with religion.)

One side-effect of the fucking toxic leave campaign: all the brownshirts and racists are energized. My joy is truly overflowing :(

461:

But if Sweden were to have a referendum about leaving the EU today, I'm not sure I'd have voted Leave.

Same Here. I believe the EU - when properly implemented and policed - is a great source of improvement.

I am also not sure that the EU is, in fact, the primary source of all evul skulduggery that it is often made out to be.

I rather suspect that a lot of the very worst scummyness we see from the EU is work "outsourced" to the EU system by the national governments, who do not dare present anything like that in national parliaments but find it quite tolerable to bleat and whine about "what the EU makes us do".

Like this:

http://wolfstreet.com/2016/06/22/eu-preparing-for-stealth-coup-ceta/


... last week a letter from the Italian minister for economic development, Carlo Calenda, to the EU commissioner for trade, Cecilia Malmström, was obtained by the Italian “Stop TTIP Campaign,” and posted on its site. In the letter, the two discuss the possibility of Italy’s government coming to the Commission’s rescue and effectively blocking the parliaments of all the other countries from having their say on CETA.

The neo-liberal Sweden and some Italian with bailouts to pay "helps" the EU push CETA along in secrecy. The EU gets the rap, yet, representatives for national governments are in fact doing the skullduggery

Same with Britain: Who flooded the streets with Polish plumbers? The EU only gave them the right to travel, the Brits have no minimum wage or any licensing system for tradespeople, they fought the EU on this, so they set the scene for the undercutting of British workers.

The alleged "No go sharia zones" in London? Well if your very own police force is not up to the job of enforcing the law, that is not the responsibility of the EU either!

In Denmark, one gets the impression that a diverse fuckwit community of criminal EU-migrants and ill-integrated migrants is allowed to persist for generations, simply to give certain political parties something to be "outraged" about (and as a handy excuse for cutting & gutting social services).

I blame "the left" for the mess that politics have become (the right are what they are, it's their nature after all).

It is "the lefts" inept, bumbling stupidity which allows the racists and haters of all colours and creeds to inflict their stupidity on society totally unopposed by any coherent argument.

Just calling people "racist" and therefore beyond reason is, IMO, part of an effective losing strategy (which, one might add, could be seen as a strategic failure on the part of "the left"; they are perhaps secretly content that the white people got all the social improvements, education, women's rights, ..., that my parents fought for and the brown people, who came later, well, they get to keep "their culture" instead?).

The actual racists are in reality very few people. Most people dismissed out of hand with the racist labeling have actual, real-world, concerns that could perfectly well be addressed in a non-racist way.

IF "we" actually wanted to do that. But, it seems we don't. After all, that sounds like it's hard work work and that it might take a while.

It's much quicker and more convenient just want to blame the other for our own incompetence.

462:

IIUC "kike" is an Americanism. According to legend, at least, illiterate Jewish immigrants at Ellis Island refused to make a cross in the place for their signatures and drew a circle instead, and the Yiddish word for "circle" was "keikl"... hence the epithet.

463:

More-or-less caught up (I don't normally read the web much over the weekend).

1. Scotland goes free. Serious British border controls. Smugglers... occasional raids... sorry, have we just jumped back 300 years?
2. The EU: perhaps this will give Greece the push it needs to actually get out, which would let them control their economy better, without the right-wing Germans deciding that You Need To Tighten Your Belt!
3. I really liked Corbyn, what I read of him. But now I'm reading that he just could not get the media attention well.
4. In both the US and the UK, the centralist billionaires crushed the rest of us, again.

Sorry for the last US ref, but with Wasserman-Schultz's management, I'm recalling O'Brians line to Winston, before putting his head in the cage with rats: "You want a vision of the future? Think of a hobnailed boot, smashing into a human face, forever." (Sorry for any misrememberment, but I was 17 when we did the play in high school...)

At any rate, that's the real issue with what should be the left: the Democrats here, and Labour there, have had neoliberalism replace their actual inner workings... and that's nothing more than a centrist, as opposed to right-wing, version of the same thing.

mark

464:

Hey, Charlie (and your fellow UK'ans:

An article just showed up in today's Washington Post that the leave website,
http ://www.voteleavetakecontrol.org/, has suddenly been wiped completely clean, no interviews, no "fact sheets", nothing, and the report says there's a ton of online speculation that they're hiding what they had claimed....

mark

465:

I'm seeing it. No idea how much has changed, but it still has stuff like this:

FACT
Since 1973, the Government has sent over £500 billion to the EU, three times the annual NHS budget.

FACT
The EU now costs the UK over £350 million each week - nearly £20 billion a year.

FACT
Our EU contributions are enough to build a new, fully-staffed NHS hospital every week.

FACT
EU regulation costs small businesses millions every week, energy rules cost consumers and businesses millions more.

466:

I'm not sure the folks in Westminster who'd like a second referendum after the Article 50 negotiations are reading Article 50 the same way I would. The way it looks to me, the UK first has to commit to leave, after which there's a negotiation on the terms. But there's nothing in the text which says explicitly, "... and after the negotiations, if the outcome is unsatisfactory, the departing state can decide not to leave after all." And the airwaves have been full of statements from both Brussels and Berlin to the effect that there will be no informal negotiations preceding a British decision to leave -- statements which would be pointless if Britain was allowed to go back on that decision later.

So, if Westminster thinks they could opt to maintain membership on current terms (particularly with the special favors that the UK has been getting for years), they should check carefully. If letting the UK remain is a choice that the EU bureaucracy would have to make, they might well put the screws on as a condition of readmission as well. (And it's not clear that Brussels will be willing to discuss this ahead of time even if the UK asks; see once again that chorus of statements that there will be no negotiations on anything until Article 50 has already been invoked...)

467:

FACT: Ex-Soviet countries in Eastern Europe didn't collapse into a maelstrom of war a la (broken up) Yugoslavia.

Sure, the mafia in Albania, Romania and so on (as well as the organized gangs of 'gypsies' who are not gypsies at all) have run a little bit rampant.


~


Ask the Polish and Czech nationals and they will tell you that the UK is a wonderful place. Sure, they send money back (which due to economies is scaled into vastly better-than-local wages, creating its own pressures in their home countries).

More importantly, it's called 'soft power'.


Have a poll in Poland or Czechoslovakia on whether or not the UK should leave the EU and their views (positive / negative) of the UK.

Hint: NATO says thank-you-very-much.


468:

But there's nothing in the text which says explicitly, "... and after the negotiations, if the outcome is unsatisfactory, the departing state can decide not to leave after all."

More than that, it says: "The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period."

That 'shall' (if their legalese is like our legalese) means that it's mandatory. You can leave early with an agreement, or, you leave in 2 years without one. (unless we say you've got longer, which we won't because it says 'unanimous' and that's unlikely in the extreme)

So in the event that the negotiations are unsatisfactory, and no agreement can be reached, you still go.

469:

I really liked Corbyn, what I read of him. But now I'm reading that he just could not get the media attention well.

Corbyn's problem is not getting media attention; it's that the media hate him.

The right-wing media think he's Dracula (an old-school center-left Labour guy, i.e. soft socialist) and will accuse him of blood drinking at the drop of a needle.

Meanwhile, the left-wing media are no better; The Guardian for many years now has been a stomping ground for New Labour apparatchiks, and the likes of Poly Toynbee are incandescent with rage that "their" party, the party of the Parliamentary Labour Party of Jack Straw, Tony Blair, Gordon Broon, the Millibands, and so on has been taken over by an "old Labour throwback", i.e. an exemplar of the grass-roots of their own party base and the sort of guy they thought they'd gotten rid of in the late 1980s.

Finally, the BBC was brought to heel by Tony Blair and is now a mouthpiece for the government, whoever they are -- which means New Labour (see above) or the Conservatives (also see above) for the past 37 years. They don't even remember what impartial means.

The knives are out and the only people standing with Corbyn are ... about 80% of the rank and file of his own party, who are un-people in mass media terms. Embarrassing, that.

470:

Corbyn has bigger problems than the Media:
- He appears sincere but stupid
- He does not seem to have any leadership qualities or experience
- An increasing number of Labour MPs face losing their seats under his leadership
- His supporters include many from the hard left
- Constituency reports are saying corbyn is upsetting the labour core vote (of course this may be media spin)

471:

Those are media problems: every single one is either a presentational choice or - putting it as charitably as possible - assertions made without evidence. For the reasons OGH noted upthread.

Corbyn has the mass of the party behind him and I suspect that what's happening in the Parliamentary party is that the small minority who don't agree with the party membership (per Tony Benn, apologies if I go for sense over exact words "New Labour is the smallest political party in Britain. The trouble is that its entire membership is in the Cabinet.") are being asked not to let the door hit their backsides on the way out.

Labour had a similar problem before the 1983 General Election, and it's part of why the Tories got the landslide they did: if Corbyn is attempting to get the splitters out far enough ahead of the next election that they can't do for the chimp Johnson what the SDP did for Thatcher, I hope it succeeds and think it's a bloody good leadership decision. They'd probably already be out if Clegg and the Coalition hadn't toxified the Lib Dem brand.

472:

Some facts:
- corbyn's educational level is poor
- for example continuing Trident but without the missiles IS stupid
- what leadership experience or qualities are on record?
- Labour MPs expecting to lose seats: any counter-evidence available?
- Left-voting people tell me frightening things about Corbynista attacks - its not just a media story
- I do not have any direct evidence about the labour vote deserting corbyn - as I said it may be media spin, but its certainly credible.

I agree the media is against him: but whats the counter-evidence to prove these problems are just media spin?

473:

Well, picking just one: you've picked one particular adjective out of the whole english language to describe an education as 'poor'. Why that one? He hit the same educational level as my brother (who also did finish his degree, but failed his finals), who's running a quarter-million a year business as sole proprietor. Doesn't seem to have held him back any. And picked out the level of formal schooling he reached as a characteristic to judge him on forty years after he left school...

This is the character of the attacks on Corbyn: stuff that doesn't really stack up but uses loaded words to sound plausible.

I mean, there's no solid evidence that Cameron ever did stick his dick in a dead pig's mouth: I keep repeating it because it's hilarious. (And by the time I was at the same university a couple of years later the same crowd were daring each other to shit in the street. On the steps of notable public buildings for maximum points. So the pig thing is at least plausible. That said, there was some stuff I did when I was a student I wouldn't care to have brought up all these years later either.)

474:

Facts:

He has an E grade for 2 A levels.
He started a course in Trade Union Studies at North London Polytechnic but left after disagreeing with his tutors about the curriculum.

I don't see how you can describe that as anything other than a poor education record for the current leader of the opposition.

475:

TLDR:
I had myself driven from the hospital direct to the polling station to vote "Leave".
As I have said before, if the EU Parliament were a real parliament instead of a rubber stamp for the unelected Commission (the only body that can make EU law) I would have voted Remain.
Prognosis? A welcome fall in the £ which is long overdue, Theresa May as PM (as I said here months ago) and nothing much happens for years.
How to fix the EU? Give the Commission's powers to the EU Parliament

476:

Corbyn's problem is that he was not ruthless enough early on. He should have cleaned out the Blairite traitors the moment the first one reached for a knife to stab him in the back.

477:

#411 I'll bite. Because I'm not attached to the notion of Westminster sovereignty. We have had universal suffrage for less than 100 years, and it's been less than 100 years since Westminster had tanks and howitzers on the streets of Glasgow, less than 200 since Peterloo and John Frost Square, 30 since Orgreave, and what's happened in our former mining and steel towns has been every bit as bad as the EU treatment of Greece.

Secondly - because we are heading towards a world where larger agreements that nation state level are required - ie climate change or sea pollution will not be dealt with while small economies can gain economic advantage in avoiding responsibility, economically we need baseline workers rights, otherwise the same logic will apply in terms of 'being more competitive with China'.

If you like, we need to be heading towards the feared New World Order - which American nutjobs think is global socialism, and the U.K. left think is neoliberal domination, but really needs to be about stopping countries screwing each other over for short term gain.

(And Greece's problems, like so many countries, come down to politicians repeatedly focusing on the short term and passing the bomb to the next one)

2) I think the threat of automation is being exaggerated -we employ masses of people in China because they are quick to learn and cheap to program. 25 years in the software industry has taught me that just because you can identify a task can be automated that doesn't mean it's cost effective to do so.

I've just spent 2 months of analysing a companies very manual business process to come up with a design for automating them, and it came out around 450 days work. They can't afford to pay for this, even though it would pay for itself in about a 3 year period.

So while it seems obvious to me that the most effective way to rewire a house would be using a team of small robots, the most effective way to repair a roof would be using a drone, there is this gap where things are possible but not economic.

Hairdressing was another one that was cited. It would fail in the grounds that I personally lack the vocabulary to accurately say how I want my hair cut. It strikes me as a harder AI problem to crack than a number of more 'skilled' jobs.

And finally - Corbyn. Once the Blairite traitors have been kicked out, along with the 40% of us who voted for a different leader, will we have a party or a cult of personality? Isn't there something scary about a political party where 100% of candidates will have been vetted by the membership on the single question - are you loyal to Jeremy Corbyn. (And ironically, not the party he wanted to build, but in refusing to work with him, the one that may be created).

The other question some people should ask themselves is why the rebellion in the PLP is larger than just the clear Blairites. It is getting dangerously easy to use that to dismiss ANY questions or criticism of Corbyn.

(My gut feeling is that once the Blairites have been expunged, the Corbynites will then split along the Leave/Remain fault line which clearly splits them already, if it wasn't for their alliance against 'Tory light traitors'. Because if you are invoking the language of traitors now, you will be doing it for ever smaller and smaller niches of thought. As every good right wing nationalist propaganda merchant knows, it saves having to win a rational argument.

Which is a shame, as he has some good rational argument winning policies, which have been shown to work elsewhere in Europe.

478:

That is quite likely to be a folk etymology. Rosten's work has been called ‘at best casual and eclectic’ by the people who actually work in this sort of stuff (for starters, the usual word for ‘circle’ in Yiddish is קרײַז krayz).

The OED finds an origin in the surname suffix -ki more likely, even if it's quite noncommital about it.

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This page contains a single entry by Charlie Stross published on June 24, 2016 12:07 PM.

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