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Brexit! Means! Brexit!

So: Brexit means Brexit means, apparently, a choice between a deal negotiated by Theresa May's government which is broadly as appealing as eating a shit sandwich, or leaving the EU with no transitional arrangement in place, the equivalent of stripping naked and rolling around in the contents of an entire sewage farm.

(Consequences of May's deal include: millions of people lose the right to move freely and live in the UK or EU territory they've relocated to, British citizens lose the right to move freely through 27 other countries, the UK has to abide by EU rules we don't get to vote on for an indefinite period, and a bunch of other unpalatable issues summed up, ironically, by pro-brexit politicians as "loss of sovereignty". Consequences of no deal make May's deal look like a walk in the park; food and medicine shortages, flights grounded, currency crisis, companies going bust because inputs and outputs are unavailable or suddenly subject to high tariffs, troops on the street, state of civil emergency likely.)

My money is on—eventually—either a parliamentary coup and a new Conservative PM who unilaterally withdraws May's Article 50 submission, or a period of chaos leading up to a second referendum (at which point the Leave side will be soundly defeated).

But. In the meantime. What options, however implausible, might make Brexit work?

Let me give you some ideas. (Then you can try your hand at 'make Brexit Brexit' in the comments!)

  1. Scotland/North Korea Swap

Scotland: fiercely pro-EU, spent most of the 500 years before the Union of Crowns in alliance with the French, politically a bunch of gay-hugging pinko commie socialists, but unfortunately indispensible to England because the Royal Navy nuclear deterrent is based at Faslane.

North Korea: fiercely independent, not even remotely an ally of France, has nukes and Juche ideology (which is pretty similar to British Conservativism, or at least British Conservativism minus the carpetbaggers and disaster capitalists), similar crinkle-cut highland landscape to Scotland.

A quick look at the big picture (which, according to the proponents of Brexit, is the only picture that matters) indicates that North Korea is a really good fit for England's requirement for a poor northern neighbour they can bully into tagging along on any world conquest junkets—at least compared to Nicola Sturgeon's wee LGBT-positive social democratic Scandinavian wannabe nation. So we propose to swap Scotland for North Korea. (How? Oh, the experts can figure out how to do it. Don't bother me with details, details are for nerds.)

With North Korea's votes, the Brexit arm of the Conservative party will have a baked-in majority in event of any attempt to re-run the referendum, plus a new happy home for the Royal Navy Trident missiles, a nuclear test range in the highlands (slightly leaky, one previous owner), and a whole bunch of party cadres to turn loose on any pinko back-sliders in exchange for a daily bowl of nettle soup and a moldy turnip.

(Quite what South Korea will make of their new kilt-wearing Buckfast-drinking northern neighbours is anybody's guess, but who cares? This isn't about them, this is about England.)

  1. De-decimalization

(Coincidentally, the key to rebuilding the British computer industry!)

Support for Brexit correlates with a number of social issues: support for reintroducing the death penalty, selling goods in pounds and ounces, banning CFL light bulbs in favour of filament bulbs, blue passports, permitting smoking in pubs and restaurants, and reverting to the pre-1971 non-decimal currency.

Interestingly, before the traitorious unpatriotic running-dog Euro-satrap Cameron government permitted Japan's SoftBank to buy the company responsible, more than 90% of the microprocessors sold in the world ran on licensed versions of a British computing architecture, ARM. No, really: the British computing industry used to be a world leader. And it still could be, again! But we need to give it a post-Brexit shot in the arm, a home mover advantage if you like, and also teach our kids how to do mental arithmetic (it'll give them moral fibre, along with the beatings and the cold gruel).

I propose to de-decimalize the currency after Brexit. (When Sterling crashes because our economy is in the shitter it won't make any difference anyway.) The new currency will consist, as of yore, of pounds, shillings, and pence. But the conversion ratio will be all new, so there will be:

23 shillings in £1 (pre-1971: only 20 shillings—this is because of inflation!)

11 pence in 1 shilling (to counterbalance the extra shillings in the pound)

3 ha'pennies in 1 pence

Note that these are all prime numbers. The new, post-nationalization ARM-13 architecture will have a separate quantum currency coprocessor for handling interconversion and factoring of British currency units; this will effectively lock out foreign-made computers from the British market, giving us a gigantic first-mover advantage (once we convince India to ditch the rupee/lakh/crore currency counting system which is far too rational, but I'm sure they'll tag along willingly once we explain the advantages of the Empire 2.0 project). We will of course also have to revive the Lyons Tea Company's computing arm to sell the LEO mainframes required by anyone wanting to trade with us.

Oh yeah, once we de-decimalize we will introduce the death penalty for trading in BitCoin, thus killing two birds with one stone. Er, noose.

  1. Invade Gibraltar

What this country needs (to distract attention) is a Short Victorious War. We obviously don't have the military might to send a task force to the South Atlantic these days, but I suspect a couple of C-130s full of Hereford's finest could credibly occupy the Rock. Once emplaced, we can fly in all the time-expired Harpoon anti-shipping missiles that are being offloaded from the Type-45 destroyers (no longer certified to carry them) and put them in the Grand Battery. If necessary we can probably beef them up with some second-hand Iranian Noor anti-shipping missiles from Syria.

We can then impose customs charges on all goods entering and leaving the Mediterranean Sea via the Straits, and send the Astute class submarines to blockade the Suez Canal and deter smugglers. (Memo to Admiralty: remember to get the Ministry of Justice to update their letters of Marque. Also: once out from under the ECJ we can carry a couple of spare judges in the wardroom to run the Admiralty Courts that will steal everything that isn't nailed down impose fines to a level necessary to fund the venture.)

Anyway, I submit that any of the above proposals is more credible at this point than a successful Brexit on the terms negotiated by Theresa May—or a no deal Brexit, for that matter, although they do have a few minor drawbacks in the practicality department.

What can you come up with?

958 Comments

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1:

Yes, precisely.

Nice that someone understands the problem....

2:

As we have been repeatedly assured, innovative IT techniques will resolve all known Brexit issues (and presumably some unknown ones too). So one should look to IT for an answer. And an answer is indeed readily available, without any geopolitical contortions. To quote wise words attributed to Anatol Holt:

"A large number of installed systems work by fiat. That is, they work by being declared to work."

Voila! All is well.

3:

WITHOUT reading what Charlie has written.
May KNOWS QUITE WELL that it's a shit sandwich, but the rabid breixteers still can't or won't face reailty [ The historical precedent for this sort of lunacy is the lead-up to the reform of the Corn Laws in (?) 1848 (?) ]
Howver, it is essential that this fails the Commons, which it will ...
We then have (just about ) 3 options - take the shit sandwich, crash out ( total disaster ) or "Remain".
Once this does fail the Commons, then a 2nd Referendum is going to be almost inevitable - unless we get an extreme Brexiteer ( Like FUCKWIT Corbyn ) as PM. Remmeber Corbyn is stuck in either 1972 or 1934 & is as rabid as Rees-Smaug about leaving, for opposite reasons, both equally disastrous for the country, though.
My money is on a second Referendum , with about a 55:45% actual majority for remain & "crash out" nowhere ...
We shall see.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

WITH reading Charlie's comments ....

1: “North Korea” - not funny, not clever & not true. There are plenty of Brit Con-Party members who are horrified by this – e.g. Ken Clarke.
You forgot the bad side of the SNP – their nasty habit of wanting to spy on us EVEN MORE than the tories or Labour.

2: Oops!
Do I detect a slight case of “A Modest Proposal” here?
OK, I get it, we are playing this for black humour, but I’ll leave my answer to # Para one, stand, just for the laughs …

3: Actually, I do wonder about re-introducing Letters of Marque & Reprise ……

4: Given the insanity of the whole thing, I think instant decriminalisation of AT LEAST Cannabis would make much more sense. After all, no matter how stoned you were, you couldn’t come up with a loopier set of proposals, could you?

4:

(1) Sink the French fleet. I realise that won't actually help but it is sort of the default setting. Plus we haven't had a chance since Mers-el-Kébir in 1940. Then demand Calais back for a laugh.

(2) Post the keys to Stormont to Leo Varadkar, with a Christmas Card and the covering note 'this shower of shit is your problem now - sorry'.

...oh you meant seriously?
Join EFTA. We haven't formally left the EEA but being either in EFTA or the EU is implicit in the agreement. So by joining EFTA we get to stay in the EEA (the economic bit which most people care about) making it as painless as possible. Some of the hardliners on both sides will kick off but they'll do that whatever happens so fuck 'em.

Then in a few years when everyone wonders what all the fuss was about and the mutual recriminations have died down we can rejoin, again as painlessly as possible. Dull I know.

5:

De-decimalisation does not go far enough. We need to repeal the 1824 Weights and Measures Act (the establishment of the Imperial weights and measures system) and go back to traditional methods.

For example wet (fresh) herring was counted by the short hundred (100), while red (smoked/salted) herring was counted by the long hundred. A hundredweight, as everyone knows, is 108 pounds.

This will have the advantage of bringing the British gallon back to the volume of a Queen Anne gallon, perhaps more vulgarly known as an American gallon.

6:

"Oh yeah, once we de-decimalize we will introduce the death penalty for trading in BitCoin, thus killing two birds with one stone. Er, noose."

Stop making that option look so attractive!

7:

Sadly, it's not just the ARM architecture that belongs to the Japanese, they will probably own the LEO IP as well, as LEO was merged into ICT, later into ICL, which was fully taken over Fujitsu in 1998.
My solution would be to declare the Isle of Wight to be Brexit Island, and move the whole, still-committed Brexit voting population there to form a go-getting, entrepreneurial society (like the much-admired Singapore that Brexiteers keeping mentioning). Population density would be similar to Manila in the Philippines, so clearly livable, though shipping in the chlorinated chicken from the US, cheap lamb from Australia & New Zealand might stretch the port facilities, but I'm sure a technical solution can be found.

8:

Another vote here for making Bitcoin (and anything else that uses voodoo maths to generate pseudo-wealth) illegal. Including the money market etc...

Re Leo, my uncle actually saw the thing running once. But the guy who was supposed to be demoing it to him (and other people from the then gas board) basically left it running and went away, so after about half an hour they went off and eventually bought an IBM mainframe.

9:

OK, serious suggestions time: the deal negotiated by May is a shit sandwich and should be dropped. Default to a no-deal Brexit and trade on WTO terms, with reciprocal zero-tariff deals being offered. All EU citizens currently in the UK get to stay, as per current EU law.

Then just wait.

The thing is this, if you take your eyes off the current situation and look at the wider EU, the picture isn't a nice one at all. The Euro currency is one of these ideas that looks absolutely spiffing until you try to implement it, at which point the flaws become apparent. Almost none of the current Euro member states actually met the strict convergence criteria when they joined; Germany certainly didn't and does not do now.

Germany loves the Euro because as a currency it is weaker than what the Mark would be if Germany weren't in the Euro; this is really great for a heavily export-dependent economy. Most other places are lumbered with a too-strong currency which cripples their exporting ability, and overheats their economy with stupidly-cheap credit. Ireland is suffering under this, and Italy currently has stupidly-high levels of youth unemployment.

Youth unemployment in a Western nation is a sign that the national government has truly cocked up. If you have lots and lots of unemployed but well educated young people then you have a very good, very strong workforce waiting to happen; couple that with cheap energy and Italy should be teeming with small start-up businesses. It isn't, because the Euro makes exports too expensive and thus starting businesses isn't worth it.

Eastern European EU states are also revolting. They were quite recently under the yoke of the Soviet Union, and they know just how nasty an overarching imperial government can get when someone tries to make it leave well alone. They left the Soviet Union vowing never to bend the knee to such an empire ever again, and here is the EU busy trying the same routine.

Trying to impose refugee quotas sounds an awful lot like the old Soviet trick of importing shedloads of loyal Russian voters to swing loyalty in a vassal state. They are rightly not having any of this, and having the likes of Germany firstly inviting waves of migrants to traipse through their territory, then demanding that they look after these completely unwanted migrants is far, far too much.

France's president is trying to make France green by imposing fuel taxes. His citizens aren't taking this lying down, and his days are politically numbered.

Even in Germany, Alternativ Fur Deutschland is gaining popularity. The UK is actually just about the only EU nation that lacks a nationalistic, anti-EU party gaining political support (and then only because we managed to put UKIP back in its box).

Folks, there's an awful lot of revolt and discontent knocking about in the EU at present. All we have to do is wait while all the other rebellions play themselves out.

10:

Those who shouted most loudly about sovereignty in the referendum debate and before, who are having fits about the ECJ's inclusion in the withdrawal bill go further back than you. They introduce a bill to restore sovereignty properly, that is to the body of the sovereign. They restore all the old titles that have gradually being stripped away by those lily-livered pusillanimous traitors of years gone by, so we will once again be ruled over by Queen Elizabeth, Empress of India, Queen of France, Terror of the Scots, Defender Fidelis, and a few others I've doubtless forgotten. But there are a nice trio in there to stir up Johnny Foreigner donchaknow. We'll beat them on the battlefields of Eton, playing wiff-waff!

11:

* Charge a royalty for the use of the English language.

It's clearly the most obvious British Intellectual Property out there, so clearly people from other countries should be paying a fee to use it, right? Maybe a bit of a discount for the colonies (as per Empire 2.0).

12:

British intelligence services start supporting far right populist movements on the continent in an effort to fill the EU parliament with fascists and make Brexit seem like it was a good idea in retrospect.

13:

OK, serious suggestions time: the deal negotiated by May is a shit sandwich and should be dropped. Default to a no-deal Brexit and trade on WTO terms, with reciprocal zero-tariff deals being offered. All EU citizens currently in the UK get to stay, as per current EU law.

Then just wait.

You have no idea, do you?

Hint: THIS IS A MATTER OF FUCKING LIFE AND DEATH. IF THE UK DOES WHAT YOU SUGGEST, MANY PEOPLE WILL DIE WITHIN A MATTER OF WEEKS. Quite possibly including me. Hint: medicines will run out. 'Nother hint: food is going to run out and/or where available prices will rise by between 10% (low-balling it) and doubling. The "plans" for a no-deal Brexit start with activating the Civil Contingencies Act (2004) — that's your keyword right there: it's a draconian law that replaces all the 20th century civil defense/state of emergency laws.

Yes. HMG considers a no deal Brexit to be grounds for declaring a state of emergency and bringing in the military. That's how serious this shit is. Suggesting we just shrug and nope out of the EU is not an option unless you want a lot of people to die.

A no-deal Brexit would be the biggest crisis to hit the UK since the second world war, which killed two thirds of a million people (in the UK) and bankrupted the nation so badly we had food rationing until 1954.

(PS: your news sources from Europe are weirdly biased. You know that in Germany the AfD is picking up fewer votes than the Greens, for example? Or that in Poland a good chunk of the reason there's a loony right wing government in power — with a voting base in the rural elderly — is that the youngsters voted with their feet and used the EU free movement regs to go somewhere more welcoming? The crumblies are slowly dying: the noisy neo-Nazi headbangers are more photogenic but don't have much clout overall. There's about as much discontent in the EU right now as in the USA, with consequences you're entirely familiar with (see also: the Tangerine Shitgibbon in the White House). That doesn't mean its victory is inevitable, or that the EU is about to collapse.)

14:

I see 2 issues with (1):-

a) The number of Englandshirers who don't speak Korean!
b) Less critically, the number of Scots who don't speak Korean either (this is less critical because a reasonable number of South Koreans speak English).

15:

Can't comment too much on the unemployment in Western Europe (which, looking in EuroStat, doesn't seem to be exactly right), but being from Eastern Europe, there's basically NO similarity between USSR and EU. For Eastern Europe, EU is basically a saving force that's able to keep in check the local corrupted elite, and forces down a lot of useful laws.

There are of course idiocies like the ton of problems with the current copyright directive, but that's small peas compared to stuff like the Warsaw pact, COMECON and all those wonderful things.

16:

Which causes other issues. Historically the sovereignty of Scotland vested in the body politic rather than in the person of the ruler (unlike in England), and it was not re-assigned in the "Treaty of Union Between Scotland and England" (1706CE) or in the "Act of Union with England" (1707CE). "Reclaiming the sovereignty of the UK" would therefore require a reversion to the position where the monarch is the sovereign of Englandshire, but an ordinary citizen in Scotland unless the Scots voted to make that individual the monarch.

Since multiple candidates could stand for the post, I rather like the prospect of "Anne 1, Queen of Scots" happening.

17:

Charlie
'Nother hint: food is going to run out and/or where available prices will rise by between 10% (low-balling it) and doubling.
VERY FORTUNATELY - this is going to be the first 2 weeks of April, so there will be virtually NOTHING AT ALL visible to steal from our allotment plots.
But, I will expect attempts & break-ins, nonetheless. NOT going to be funny.
Medicines: May herself depends on these ( Diabetes ) so I doubt it will actually happen - she's more likely to witdraw At 50 &/or call a 2nd Referendum first ....
I assume that the rabids are not taking the threat of the CC_Act being declared seriously, because they are fuckwits?

18:

a) The number of Englandshirers who don't speak Korean!

It's got to be easier than Glaswegian! '-)

19:

Well, let's look at the stated aims of the Leave campaign.

- Take back control
- Sovereignty, which is fortunately a very easy concept that everyone understands innately
- Secede from the ECHR
- More money for the NHS
- Bring back the death penalty

How are we to achieve all these aims, when leaving the Single Market will cause the economy, and therefore incomes and therefore the NI take to fall?

Easy. The NHS can generate a healthy budget surplus selling the organs and blood of young people to super-rich overseas purchasers like Peter Thiel. But how are these commodities to be sourced? Slamming shut the borders and kicking out all the forrins means that the most obvious source will have been ejected by the time "Plan Briss" can be enacted. Obviously there will be the opportunity to winkle the odd Spanish or Polish person out a priest-hole, but that's nowhere near the kind of volume we need.

No, the obvious thing to do is rely on Britain's glorious pastoral history, and farm the young people ourselves! We simply have to maximise the reproductive potential of the country. Now, obviously, those who actually voted for Brexit can only have an oversight role in this exercise, either due to the menopause or the difficulty of importing little blue pills under WTO rules. But those under 50 can be encouraged to "lay back and think of England" (particularly those in NI and Scotland, for whom it will be a helpful reminder of Who's In Charge).

The best thing about this plan is that we already have a decent, otherwise-useless stock of people young enough to interest the likes of Mr Thiel, so the plan can start immediately on exiting the ECHR's purview. The reclaiming of the UK's sovereignty will help immensely here, by allowing us to pass a law simply making it a crime retroactively to have voted, advocated, or supported Remain in any way. The reinstatement of the death penalty for such "heinous treason" (© Every Daily Mail Comment Since June 2016) is a simple and proportionate response, and guarantees a fulsome supply of... ahem... raw materials. The wheels of commerce can of course be greased by encouraging the general populace to "Snitch on a SociaEUlist" and they will by this time be so desperately hungry that an incentive as small as a loaf of bread should be more than sufficient.

What a beautifully elegant and integrated solution to all of the challenges presented by the seemingly-incompatible Leave promises! My heart leaps at the bright future of this glorious nation! FREEDOM!

20:

May is very unlikely to be relying on the standard NHS/pharmacy supply chains if it comes to that. It really wouldn't be her problem.

21:

"...unless we get an extreme Brexiteer ( Like FUCKWIT Corbyn ) as PM."

It is highly amusing to see people slag on Corbyn as the Tories drive the UK off of the cliff.

22:

"Medicines: May herself depends on these ( Diabetes ) so I doubt it will actually happen - she's more likely to witdraw At 50 &/or call a 2nd Referendum first ...."

Greg, you know full well that no matter what the laws, the top 0.1% of society will never go hungry or suffer shortages.

23:

Who needs to invade Gibraltar? Just mobilise the Royal Gibraltar Regiment*, and stock up the tunnels**.

* One of our syndicate at the School of Infantry for the Platoon Commanders' Course was from Gibraltar; the course started on January 3rd, we spent a continuous week outdoors on exercise on Salisbury Plain, and he'd never seen snow before. Poor sod was wearing everything he had from day 2... (Mario, why have you got your NBC suit on? Did we miss a chemical alarm?)

** The tunnels are apparently quite impressive, and above-ground the barracks still exist for a full battalion; my old unit has done a several annual training exercises there.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tunnels_of_Gibraltar

24:

I think y'all are making complicated something simple.

Aristocracy is a system in which a small aristocratic class owns everything of consequence and charges everyone else rent to live, with the rents set to the maximal level which doesn't obviously reduce rental revenues year-over-year.

The problem (if you want to be an aristocrat) is that the whole thing rested on ownership of land, which is expensive (fences! beating the bounds!) and obvious. (There's all this normative narrative about how we don't want nobility, democracy, freedom, etc.) Sometime around 1980 they figured out that you don't even want to own land; you can do the whole thing with a legal and financial framework and you can get people to compete to pay higher rents. (This is terrible for the broader economy but they profoundly fail to care; they will be rich, and people will have to do what they say, whatever it is.)

Brexit is a "the entire UK should be an aristocracy" movement; the "and we should be in charge" parts are really secondary to the "there should be an aristocracy, which means nobody not in the aristocracy gets to make laws". Since the EU is relatively tough to bribe and like any confederal system run by a complex bureaucracy hates aristocrats, getting out of the EU is step one.

There's nothing else to it. A hard brexit is the preferred brexit, and it was May's job to deliver that. May has succeeded, because the clock has been run down enough that there isn't time to hold another referendum. (You can see all the commercial "pull the rip cord" planning actuating because this is the point in time all their careful analysis indicates is the actual decision point, and now it's time to really spend the money involved in the unwelcome contingency.) Parliament isn't going to do anything useful because Parliament has no functioning narrative with which to describe doing anything. Parliament is deadlocked on "You have to admit Thatcher was bad" versus "You have to admit money makes you good" with side notes in "we don't want an aristocracy or any other saxon nonsense" and however you'd summarize the DUP in neutral language.

There isn't time to get a sensible narrative going, either; even if it wasn't swimming upstream against decades of tabloid narrative about why you should be terrified of everything.

25:

ADMINISTRATIVE NOTICE

I'm seeing too many opinions about how badly Brexit is going to affect some individual issue (e.g. Theresa May's insulin hoard), and not enough suggestions for how to make Brexit work.

Can we please stick to the topic? Kudos to Jamesface at comment 19 for taking the challenge seriously, but I'm really waiting for someone to explain how Elon Musk can save the day, or maybe the USA could revoke the Declaration of Independence and invite Lizzie Windsor to conduct a reverse-takeover and send in the US Marine Corps ...

26:

The British royal claim to the throne of France wasn't exactly "stripped away". It was more a case of George III deciding on his own account to stop using the title, what with France not actually having a throne any more and the Act of Union with Ireland giving him a new set of names anyway. It could, I think, quite plausibly be argued that (a) he was having one of his funny turns at the time so it doesn't count, and (b) there was some legal folderol required to make such things official which nobody could be bothered to do, so it twice doesn't count.

So it seems to me that one possibility would be (1) to assert the above position officially, and say the claim is still going, we just haven't bothered thinking about it for 200 years; (2) declare that since Germany doesn't have a monarch any more but British royalty is of German derivation, we claim the throne of Germany as well; (3) declare war to enforce those claims; (4) having won it, assert that since France and Germany, which are the most important bits of the EU, are now part of Britain, the rest of the EU is now part of the British empire. Oh, and (5) name a railway station after the climactic battle.

27:

Oh, and (5) name a railway station after the climactic battle.

Wouldn't that mean something like renaming Euston as "Munchen"? ;-)

28:

Er, at least some of us think that there is no satisfactory way of making Brexit work, and voted accordingly.

29:

Can we please stick to the topic? Kudos to Jamesface at comment 19 for taking the challenge seriously, but I'm really waiting for someone to explain how Elon Musk can save the day, or maybe the USA could revoke the Declaration of Independence and invite Lizzie Windsor to conduct a reverse-takeover and send in the US Marine Corps ...

The Commonwealth as a whole has a (taken with the utmost seriousness!) agreement to always use the same succession law.

You can easily argue that the succession law if the fount of sovereignty; we may all be running our very own nodes of the Westminster System with our own root passwords and everything, but the original certificates of sovereign authenticity arises from the succession.

Therefore, all the sovereignty nodes are members of the same class of nodes, and substitutable with one another. (All the Commonwealth monarchs are distinct, but they're all substitutable, too.)

Malta is already an EU member. Malta is a Commonwealth country, and politically active as such in this century.

If the Westminster Parliament passes a bill dissolving the English sovereignty node (certainly possible! the Crown is whoever Parliament says it is, Parliament can set it to NULL), and then for the avoidance of hardship, confusion, and unrest, recognizing that a monarch is required for good government and stable order, declares that the United Kingdom shall invite the Maltese Monarch to take the former Crown of England, accepting therewith the suzerainty of Maltese law and custom over the pre-existing and now dissolved English law (you can't have law without a sovereign!), probably sending ERII on a nice Mediterranean yacht trip to do something formal and stately in the bargain (leave Charles at home; send the photogenic grandsons along with), poof!, there you go.

England has absolutely left the EU. Gone, byesies, exited. All are delighted; Brexit has without question taken place, and "England" is now a sort of social club.

The adoption of Maltese sovereignty puts the nations of the island of Great Britain into the EU. (It's not objectionable conquest; it's a democratically determined action among free peoples! totes legit!) It being somewhat administratively inconvenient to have all the bureaucracy located on Malta, perhaps there will be some subsequent administrative adjustments. It certainly doesn't make sense to try to administer the northern regions from London, which is undergoing a sort of real-estate implosion. It won't take all that long to sort this all out, and goodness but the revenue stream is improved by having certain persons tried in ecclesiastical court by the Knights of St. John for failing to pay their tithes, er, taxes.

30:

The adoption of Maltese sovereignty puts the nations of the island of Great Britain into the EU.

Wouldn't that make the Maltese cross? Would we all become Maltesers in that case?

31:

Ooh yes, doesn't Prince Charles have a reasonable claim to be King of Greece (by way of his Dad, original title "Philip of Macedonia")?

32:

Ukrainian 'solution' ?

Scotland as crimea (critical naval asset), and NI as donbass.

Trafalgar Sq as maidan.

UKip as ukrofascists.

Irish army can shell belfast occasionally if required.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/28/vladimir-putin-ukraine-crisis-eu

33:

Paws: see also Swift, Jonathan, "A Modest Proposal".

34:

So, there's a simple solution to this. Trump is kind of suggestible, isn't he, and he really doesn't like the EU (at least the Germans and the French) of course because they keep humiliating him in such a way that even he realises. So dispatch a suitable royal (probably the Queen, definitely not Harry due to his unfortunate choice of wife) to have some words in his ear: the solution is that the EU should simply not exist and there's this big red button (a much bigger & more powerful one than anyone else has) by which he can arrange that.

Since France has nukes, they need to be targetted first, but it should be reasonably possible to reduce continental Europe to a wasteland with no serious chance of reprisal. The Russians will probably help if it's presented the right way.

This deals with the whole inconvenient having-to-negotiate crap that brexiteers somehow didn't see coming: even brexiteers should be up to negotiating good terms with a wasteland dotted wit pile of radioactive corpses. There will be fallout of course and a lot of deaths in the UK, but this too is convenient: we can simply declare martial war and run the country at our convenience, really indefinitely. Citizens of the former EU now have nowhere to go and (martial law, remember) no rights and can simply be used as slaves and food.

35:

Wouldn't that make the Maltese cross?

If we're postulating a Parliament with a sudden rush of sense to the head, not at all. The problem for Malta is that they're teeny. "The island nation of Malta" suddenly includes other, more populous islands, they acquire a bureaucratic advantage. (And you can always use up the faunching-for-Empire sorts creating weariness during initial negotiations; it's an island, it's far away, it's ours (well, no, technically, you're theirs, hush!) and you're going to do what we want about it! before they get disavowed and the actual negotiator shows up.)

If we're postulating a more usual Parliament, there aren't very many Maltese. A one-time outbreak of economic advantage ought to work fine.

36:

In 1998 I had the opportunity to visit the island of Taiwan, which is located in the Republic of China (according to the people who rule on the island) or in the People's Republic of China (according to the people who rule on the mainland). To us outsiders, these appear to be two different countries, but what both of those apparent countries agree on is that there is only one China. Thus it is impossible to have embassies of both countries in, say, Helsinki: since there already is a Chinese embassy there, why on earth would you want to set up another one? Apparently there were some Taiwanese politicians with the platform of "let's admit that there are two Chinas" but that wasn't really a very popular idea, as it might have lead to a need for one of the Chinas to address the secession, which would likely mean military action.

Therefore, here is my solution to Brexit: Britain-1 leaves the EU, Britain-2 remains a member, and there is only one Britain. Regions where a clear majority voted to leave would be part of Britain-1, regions like Scotland where the result was the opposite would be part of Britain-2, and some parts might want to adopt a system such as that in Miéville's City and the City, where you take care to unsee the people who reside in the other co-located city.

37:

On further consideration, it appears the sticking point is not the availability of prime human tissue but the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Despite neither of these countries being England, and therefore important, apparently some people are concerned about this. I have summarised their complaints below:

The Republicans (or maybe it was the Loyalists) want to ensure that Northern Ireland stays a part of the UK to the point that they will not have any regulatory differences whatsoever, but they also don't want a hard border between what will be, after March 29th, a non-EU country and an EU country. They fear this will lead to a return of "The Trouble" from the 1980s.

The Loyalists (or maybe it was the Republicans) want Northern Ireland to be part of the Republic of Ireland, and in the event that isn't possible, they don't want a hard border between what will be, after March 29th, a non-EU country and an EU country. They fear this will lead to a return of "The Trouble" from the 1980s.

Now I personally have spoken with many, many SPADs in the department. Some of them are very senior, and one or two were over the age of 35. We've all unanimously agreed that this "fear of a return to the 1980s" is poppycock. What I remember of the 80s was that the Tories were in power, Margaret Thatcher was doing a splendid job, and the grub at my boarding school was top-notch. What the SPADs remember of the 1980s took the form of a fascinating Spotify playlist they serenaded me with.

So, with this trifling and unlikely fear of unspecified "Trouble" treated as the distraction it is, one must turn one's considerable practical skills to understanding the real problem with this border. So far as I can see, the only distinction is this question of whether Northern Ireland is part of the UK or part of the Republic of Ireland. I think this is because after March 29th, there's likely to be a wave of refugees travelling from South to North, hoping to escape the oppressive socialist machinery of the EU, and who can blame them?

Obviously the easiest answer to this question is that the Republic of Ireland should simply see sense and also embrace the joy of renewed sovereignty by leaving the EU with us, because we say so. However Mr Varadkar seems to be somewhat unhelpful on this issue. Which seems rather short shrift, given all the Guinness we let them sell us.

My main concern is to deliver the Brexit that the British people asked for, and that of course means the most racist Brexit possible. We promised to slam the borders shut and I don't see why that should be different for a border that happens, through no fault of the British Government present or past, to fall on a different island. This "Trouble" is clearly a non-issue that could simply be talked through, in the name of a Hard Border for a secure British state. Ireland is a Christian nation, for God's sake, can't we just get them all to have a chat in the churchyard after a service? I can't see any way this would blow up in our faces.

38:

We need a second referendum, clearly. The one that's been proposed is effectively "Abort, retry, ignore?", but we can do better than that. I propose an STV setup, proposing that we admit that this "UK" business was a fundamentally bad idea and we apply to become part of one of the following countries instead:


  • Greater Ireland
  • Greater Scotland
  • France (after all, there's historical precedent)
  • India (we stole enough that we couldn't possibly give it back, so they can have the country in recompense)
  • The USA (no hegemony without representation!)
  • Somalia (for the libertarians)
  • Argentina (after all, we lost a war to them, so they should really get to rule us - that's how it worked for most of our national history)

The ensuing negotiations may take a while, but that's a problem for after we commit a further binding act of Democracy.

39:

Since France has nukes, they need to be targetted first, but it should be reasonably possible to reduce continental Europe to a wasteland with no serious chance of reprisal. The Russians will probably help if it's presented the right way.

Mmph.

You know that France is about 65% nuclear-powered?

And that the French nuclear reactors are clustered on the Normandy coastline, where in event of an uncontained meltdown the fallout plumes will helpfully be carried out to sea to the North-West (i.e. over South-East England)?

Yeah nope, that's not going to help Brexit much.

(Also: can't help but think that some of those French SSBNs have targeting codes for Washington DC. Just because, well, the whole point of post-Suez French foreign policy has been "we cannot rely on the perfidious Americans, we must be prepared to go it alone".)

40:

What to do with the 1.2 million UK citizens living in other EU Countries? You don't want them back, because that will make things even worse at home than they already are. For one thing, they've already exhibited questionable loyalty to English sovereignty by living in a foreign land. I suggest negotiating a treaty with Rodrigo Duterte where the UK pays a small fee for each non-UK resident citizen that the Philippines accepts. One-way tickets from EU countries to Manila provided. The evacuees get to live in an English-speaking country with decent health care (as long as you can pay for it), a warm climate, and the kind of no-nonsense administration that allows residents to deal with perceived criminals as they see fit. The Philippines can create retirement villages/pension farms, to ensure that they gain the maximum amount of foreign (albeit devalued) currency possible. Everyone wins!

41:

A further suggestion, based on the suggestion by some of the more senior Brexiteers that we should look to the Age of the British Empire, because that was great fun and larks for all involved with no drawbacks.

Rather than simply proposing that the Republic of Ireland leave the EU, let's make it an even more enticing offer, and allow it to accede to the United Kingdom! I'm sure they'd grasp the opportunity to become British with both hands - who wouldn't (no, really, Brexit is premised more than anything else on the notion that every single person on Earth who isn't British wants to be in Britain and turning British culture into Their culture)? That solves the NI and EU border issues at a stroke, AND gives us a larger tariff-free internal market to trade among.

In fact I think this idea has even more potential than that. Why limit the offer just to the Republic of Ireland? We can make the same offer to every major trading partner, in the name of getting them into that lovely tariff-free trading zone. Why, I can easily think of the top 27 states to whom we could make this offer, and they have the additional benefit of being geographically close to boot!

I'm sure every nation invited would be delighted to become a member of the Empire of Uk (or EU for short).

42:

What to do with the 1.2 million UK citizens living in other EU Countries? You don't want them back, because that will make things even worse at home than they already are.

I'm pretty sure that can be dealt with equitably using a judicious mixture of badly-run refugee camps, cheap AK-47s, and Lessons Learned from the Nakbah.

I for one see a glorious future for the English Liberation Organization, or should that be the People's Front for the Liberation of England-General Council, or maybe ... (fade to "splittists!").

43:

You're all wrong.
All we need to do is strip down the two new QEII class carriers. Strap the engines on the coastline somewhere (near Scarborough maybe?), and we take the entire country off on holiday.
Why don't we go and tour our old colonial possessions? I'm sure Jamaica would be overjoyed to see us hove over the horizon!

Not now nurse, can't you see I'm busy?

44:

You are all ignoring a basic tenet of modern political thinking: this is a post-truth era.

The correct thing to do is to assign the deal-making to a junior attache while loudly announcing that Brexit is taking place on December 31 at 11:59 PM, the event to be commemorated with fireworks in all major cities, and the Government is pleased to note that every concession demanded has been fulfilled. The name of the UK will be officially postfixed with (Not European).

At the same time, the official territory of Britain will be redefined as a small uninhabited island in the North Sea, and staffed with appropriate guards, customs agents, and so forth.

Britain shall have exited successfully, and everyone will be happy except people who don't count anyway.

45:

Charlie, is there a "disqualified for being too close to reality" category here?

(Alternate reaction: Boris, please quit reproducing your columns in other peoples' comment sections.)

46:

Petition for statehood. Or Commonwealth status a la Puerto Rico. You'd have to be awfully desperate. But the US can, in theory, grant it almost immediately along with an agreement to work out the rest of the details later.

47:

Royal Family merged with Disney. The Queen takes us to a unincorporated territory of the United States where the UK becomes half Disney World UK + half Epcot centre.

48:

Dammit sorta beaten to it!

The solution to the Irish border problem is blindly obvious, we re-impose English control across the entire island of Ireland, under enlightened English landlords and their NornIron cousins, uniting the British Isles once again.

We win so bigly it's hard to count all the ways.

They are going dangerously pinko with a gay leader and women's reproductive rights - we'll sort that right out.
It returns the EU border back to the English Channel where it belongs.
We can appropriate the big pharma factories to solve the medicines crisis.
It gives us a working enlightened corporate tax regime.
Access to a couple of Fabs for our new post- decimal quantum computers.
A cancellation of their tax bill will even get that bleeding liberal Cook onside so it will be iPhones agogo for our loyal collaborators followers.
We can even ship the moaning proles from Scotland to Ireland and vice versa if they cause trouble.
With a few judicious planning permission grants for new golf courses and restoration of the pre-eminence of the Catholic Church (only in the former south mind) we'll have Trump and the Pope in our corner.
We also make overtures to our old Allies the Dutch via a proposed continuation of the double Irish Dutch sandwich, and the Poles to maintain one of their main points of emigration giving us a good chance to destabilise the entire EU - that will teach them!

With a bit of vision we can achieve control for another 2 centuries thus giving them an entire millenium of oppression enlightened rule to rejoice about.

49:

Barry @ 21
I was *cough* merely pointing out that Corbyn is rabidly anti-EU - as well as having an appalling track record of supporting "causes" of extreme dubiety shall we say ( Can you spell "Maduro"? ) He's a sort of reverse-Thatcher, who famously wouldn't trust Mandela.

Graydon @ 24
there isn't time to hold another referendum.
Bollocks
Time for a General Election or a Referendum is SIX weeks

Charlie @ 25
or maybe the USA could revoke the Declaration of Independence and invite Lizzie Windsor to conduct a reverse-takeover and send in the US Marine Corps ... YES!

Pigeon @ 26
Presumably somewhere near Aachen? ( Charlemagne’s old capital )

@ 29-31
Oh dear …..

JKS @ 36
This has already been mooted
Inside-the-M25 & Manchester are in the EU, along with Scotland & one or two other enclaves – interesting.

Jamesface @ 37
That, as you realise, is the EXACT self-deluding crap the Brexiteers have been peddling all along.

Phuzz @ 43
Funny how that idea keeps on cropping up!
First though of, in about 1970 AFAIK, by the humorous journo Paul Jennings, now long sadly deceased.

51:

Royal Family merged with Disney.

By the definitional rule of Disney Princesses, this would make Prince Charles the brother-by-adoption of Ridley Scott's Alien.

52:

That, as you realise, is the EXACT self-deluding crap the Brexiteers have been peddling all along.

Sometimes the best satire is simply to repeat what's been said.

53:

1. The Alien is not real. Many people who grew up in the 80s think this is uncool.

2. The UK has a large number of skilled biotech researchers who are almost certainly wondering where their future grants are coming from.

Put 2 to work on R&D for the mass production of 1. If Disney won't fund a fly on the wall Aliens movie then change the title slightly and go with kickstarter.

I'm going to spend my last few days running tourist flights in a glass bottomed helicopter.

54:

I think Michael Cain has it. Petition to join the United States, perhaps starting out as a territory. This has several advantages:

1. We're not Europe.
2. Death penalty. We've got it. You want it. 'Nuff said.
3. Pounds and ounces. Feet, yards, inches, and miles. As God intended.
4. We're still not Europe.
5. Our President supports the Brexit movement. (Policies may change without notice. Act fast.)
6. U.S. law does not prohibit the use of alternative currencies, so you can still use shillings and quid or whatever...
7. You've got thousands of U.S. troops in Britain. Might as well face reality.
8. Did I mention we're not Europe?

Caution: You WILL have to switch to driving on the RIGHT side of the road.

55:

"(Also: can't help but think that some of those French SSBNs have targeting codes for Washington DC. Just because, well, the whole point of post-Suez French foreign policy has been "we cannot rely on the perfidious Americans, we must be prepared to go it alone".)"

In addition, just how many thousands of miscellaneous ships are in the North Atlantic at any time? How small are cruise missile launching pods?

56:

Death penalty. We've got it. You want it. 'Nuff said.

We don't actually want it; only the elderly brexiteers want it. (It's overall unpopular in the population, only >50% among the over-65s.)

We'll switch to driving on the right if you switch to obeying our gun laws.

57:

In 2013, 2014, when the german Pirate Party died of infighting and lost any lead in the polls and all their chances in the federal and the european elections, some genius thought that they need something positive. Something utopian, which makes people dream again. Let's build a space elevator!, was the message.
A great message, especially for a Brexit Britain with a prime minister Boris Johnson, chief proposer of bridges.

Some experts may niggle that you'll need a base location near the equator. Ascension Island may be a good British territory for the base of a space elevator, but that doesn't sound patriotic enough and is too far from any Leave voting constituency. Let's think bold and ambitious: The Falkland Islands are as far south as Great Britain is north from the equator. Let's build a space elevator with a forking cable, connecting base stations in Stanley, Falklands and some Stanley, UK with space, making a true Global Britain!

58:

Oh, well, I've always assumed that brexit is not really anything to do with ensuring a better future for almost anyone who lives in the UK (I mean the politicians who drove it, while clearly not the smartest, aren't that dumb, are they?): it's been about cementing power and wealth for the people driving it. They'd regard losing most of the southern UK for a few hundred years as just a fine tradeoff to make for power. They'd regard *anything* as a fine tradeoff for power.

A few French nukes getting to the US would be a bonus for them.

59:

Here's my question; does anyone in the Royal family fit the Disney rules for a "Princess?" Or do we have to make an animated movie about HRH first?

60:

Unfortunately, titles of nobility are not allowed under the U.S. Constitution.

61:

Do you have a citation for that? Note I am not disagreeing with you: I am delighted if it's true, although I'd always assumed that 'should we bring back hanging' is one of the questions, like, well, 'should we leave the EU', that sensible governments don't put to a referendum because they know what the answer will be.

If there is a majority in the UK against the death penalty, especially if it's stronger among people not due to die off soon this gives me hope.

62:

For WTO rules as we can set our own tariffs on goods,so set the import tax on Port and Spanish wine at 10 Yew staves per Firkin of wine.

We'll tax exports of wool again with proceeds back to the crown.

Sumptuary laws can kick in too - wear non-synthetic materials, tax at 1000% if you are earning below 40% tax.


63:

Didn't read comments past Charlie's Admin note, so here goes ...

Domesday Book 2.0 - do a detailed census of everyone and everything (intellectual properties & financial instruments included) to know for sure exactly what the UK has and does not have. Anything that is not included on this list/census obviously does not belong to any UK national. Everything that does will be tagged as belonging to a UK national therefore subject to appropriate taxation/oversight. The most interesting and likely result will be watching some folks try to figure which is the cheaper option. (The 0.1% are likelier to possess cash, property and other assets outside the UK, therefore likeliest to most afraid of a hard Brexit. Maybe they'll leave the UK to become someone else's economic refugee.)

Legalize mini drug labs across the realm to produce the 500 or so most used/vital drugs as per WHO. (If India can do this, so can the UK.) Provide a share of NHS funding to all universities to do quality control monitoring of these mini drug labs as well as to produce/manufacture the trickier drugs.

Food - in WW2 the UK relied on food imported from Canada and the US. There is no longer any uboat blockade in place, so apart from no longer having access to better priced European goodies (wines, cheese, chocolates), the UK probably won't starve. China would probably ink a deal with the UK for food too. Some of the South American countries that have had economic downturns but lots of arable lands would probably also welcome a trade deal for food. Ditto Africa. (Biggest problem here is British history/arrogance: over the centuries the Brits have managed to piss off most countries around the globe, so good luck striking a good trade deal.)

'English language' royalty on usage - Cute, but no go! English is a mashup of so many languages that if you tried this every other language group would sue, esp. the Italians, Greeks & Germans.

Who rules? - If the 0.1% become 'tax/financial exiles', then they should also lose/forfeit all of their legislative authority/power. This presents an opportunity for governance by 'knowledge authority' and possibly where the recently peer-for-life appointees finally show their worth (and earn their stipends & absurd daily expenses). The House of Commons would provide the common reaction/appraisal to whatever the Lords dream up but only if that MP actually has any personal deep knowledge of or experience with that subject.

Food production - similar to drugs/pharma, the gov't could support small vertical farming businesses dotted across the country. Also, the greater the spread of such farms, the lower the total transportation needs (fuel), therefore cost. BTW, the UK is ranked 10th in terms of food sustainability, so should be doable with the right planning and tech.

https://www.growup.org.uk/

https://www.fwi.co.uk/business/uk-ranks-10th-sustainable-food-production


64:

The axioms of Brexit include: less burdensome regulation and less socialism. The dogmas of the Conservatives include the state should be shrunk, reduce the deficit, private services are better than public, the best measure of what people want is what they will pay for, and charity is a private matter. Well, just carry those forward. Government departments should be self-funding profit centres, encouraged to make money, and to eliminate regulations so that companies would bid for the contracts. Let's not ask where it will go. Examples:

Environment. Planning would be a question of taking bids from the developers and activists - the latter can crowdfund, of course. If the EU doesn't want us to build coal-burning power stations in Kent and Suffolk, they can enter the bidding.

Defence and Foreign Office. Who do you want attacked? Want to use one of our bases? Want a Security Council vote? Make an offer.

Justice. Civil cases would be massively simplified. If enough people crowdfund for a conviction, he is clearly a bad hat; if he can match that, well, that's an appropriate fine. Judges would be on commission, and would bid for their posts, as in the glorious days of yore. Bring back imprisonment for debtors. The services of criminals would be for sale - see below under indigents.

Employment. No constraints on unions, nor employers calling in reinforcements. For objections to that, see Justice.

Welfare. Bring back (privatised) workhouses, who could sell the services of their clients. Drug companies etc. have a historical interest.

65:

Hrrm.

All very good points for the Scotland/NK swap, I'm sure. But the devil's in the details, and there's one that won't even make it to the nerds/beancounters: they not just speak funny (as the Scots do), they speak *furrin*.

66:

I think the U.K. should solve the problem by becoming even more of a tourism paradise than it is now, and should do so be removing all prohibitions against prostitution, currently illegal forms of pornography, all recreational drugs, suicide, pedophilia, slavery, and cannibalism. In short, it should become the next Thailand or the new Phillipines. Everything someone can't do at home would be legal here, including hunting and killing other human beings, having sex with children, and buying and selling other people. (Or you could just rent a slave while you're touring - many fine businesses would doubtless spring up to handle the demand, and foreigners still living in the U.K. after Brexit will make fine indentured servants - they just need a little training!)

However, to gain these privileges, each person entering the U.K. would have to bring in (at least until a series of trade agreements is negotiated) a suitcase full of food or medicine; the receipt would be your ticket to have a naked British girl carry your guns while you hunt brown children for food!

And don't forget the possibility of more specialized fun for the very rich or very jaded; possibly the Supreme General of Iran's Republican Guard would like to hunt a couple of nubile American teenager while shopping for a Trident missile system; the Tories will probably put together a package deal!

67:

Food and medicine? Are you some sort of communist?

68:

Don't be silly. Food and medicine are not for the little people; if they have enough money they can visit the veterinarian.

69:

Also, develop/sell a video game that models Brexit with 4 or 5 specific goals (e.g., food sustainability, health/medicine, civic unrest, financial liquidity, education, infrastructure, urban vs. rural development, etc.) as end points to get cheap modeling of potential as well as unlikely-to-be-thought-of-by-an-'expert'* solutions along with their likeliest snags/pitfalls. (EC et al to crunch the data.)

* Weird problems sometimes need weird solutions.

70:

Britain was the first to establish the idea of Copyright in the Statute of Anne. They should start enforcing copyright over copyrights and demand that all current copyright holders pay up.

71:

I'll toss this in: surrender to the Republic of Ireland. I'm sure there's some historic conflict to be found that wasn't Officially Resolved (or can be reopened formally). No more UK, no more Brexit problem.
(For teh lulz: imagine UKIP faces after surrendering to *France*.)

Sell the UK to the Tangerine Shitgibbon for $1, in a "lease back to the EU, with a buy-out option in 99 years" deal - if you just label it as "a deal", he'll be right on it. For bonus lulz, offer to build him his Mexico/USA wall as a commission, just make sure to include "actual delivery date to be negotiated right after Elon Musk has the New York/London Hyperloop service up&running".

72:

Re: 'The axioms of Brexit ...'

Your scenarios suggest an endless supply of thugs. Just where are these thugs being sourced from once the borders are closed? (Most estimates for incidence of murderous sociopathy are about 1% of the overall population and subject to more or less the same distribution across age groups. Are you suggesting there's a labor market for geriatric thugs?)

Also - after seeing their neighbors/family set upon by thugs, wouldn't the lower classes (that is, the 98.9% of the rest of the population)* figure out that they vastly outnumber the 0.1% and their 1.0% hired thugs and revolt? What about the police and armed forces: would they open fire at their families? (Of the impression that the 'Irish troubles' experience put an end to that level of obedience by the police & military.)

73:

The problem with Brexit is not about the form of the Brexit we settle on, it's about how we learn to live with each other after. If we crash out, and things inevitably go to shit, remainers are going to move on from disrespecting leavers into actual hatred. And if we remain, the Brexiters are going to morph into baby-eating Nazi cultists. (This is why May's awful turd bun is actually the only way forward - nobody can be allowed to win because the losers will be too salty to live with).

But let's say we do Brexit. We need to split up. I propose we create separate territories based on referendum voting patterns. No brexit supporters will be allowed in London, Brighton, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Bristol, or any of the other remain strongholds. No remainers will be allowed in Lincolnshire, Thanet, or Bromsgrove. Leavers will have to stay in their stronghold, and will control their own borders. They will have to figure out how to become self sufficient in the name of getting back control. Meanwhile remainers will travel freely through all remain areas, and can choose to rejoin the EU if they want.

It's the only way.

74:

The trick is to hire thugs from one area, bus them somewhere full of people they are predisposed to dislike and rely on their lack of imagination. Rarely fails.

Properly arming said thugs ensures that things have to be really bad before the 99.9% will risk taking a bullet to deal with them.

This takes me back to Troutwaxers post about tourism. Maybe the psychotourists will pay for entry with hard currency and bullets.

75:

Better yet, you can go to Jolly Old England and pay for your holiday by being a thug!

76:

The USA (no hegemony without representation!)

Yeah, right. Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa ... "alien races, different from us in customs, modes and thoughts" (John Oliver on that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CesHr99ezWE). I'm sure the Tangerine Shitgibbon would be all too happy to adapt that for the UK.

77:

Re: Brexit pharma

Errm ... forgot that the UK is home base to some pharma giants so a bit of rethinking leads me to this:

The likeliest problem for the UK pharma/medicines sector will be how much of current R&D and taxable revenue will try to leave the UK. Possible gov't response could be: impose severe financial penalties (payment hold-backs, gov't contract cancellations, exclusions from bidding on NHS contracts, loss of R&D stimulus packages/financing/grants, etc.) to any outfit that relocates too much of its operations. If the large British pharma companies leave because their number crunching suggests a financial downside to maintaining current levels of operations/R&D in the UK post-Brexit, this could provide Indian and Chinese pharma an opportunity to increase their presence in the UK because they're not yet as profit-hungry. (Oh the irony: imperialist Brits relying on Asian colonials to ensure local supply of life saving modern pharma!)

78:

The only things that will put it to bed are a brexit going horribly badly, or magically well. Either one essentially discredits one side, persuades the swing voters and forces everyone but the fanatics to stfu. "no brexit" or "survivable but a bit shit" keeps the argument going forever.

There's an asymmetry there - remainers can't in good conscience wish for mass starvation and death from preventable diseases, while all other outcomes can be claimed as a win for the leave side.

79:

I've noticed that people seem to be taking the brexiter rhetoric seriously. As if the gammons will actually run riot in the streets. They don't exactly have the support of the police now do they? And I'm sure the youth of today would kick their arse in a fight.
So basically all the extreme rhetoric means there will be an uptick in stochastic terrorism, but there won't be massive social unrest.

As for the aim of Charlies post, crowdsourcing ideas, I don't have much to say. I don't have a sufficiently baroque mindset.
But what if we renamed the EU instead?

80:

Re: ' ... psychotourists will pay for entry with hard currency and bullets.'

Possibly ... wonder how much the cable NRA channel charges for 30-second spots. Ex-Brit John Oliver's research team probably knows.

81:

What to do with the 1.2 million UK citizens living in other EU Countries?

Well, if you don't want them, the Western Hemisphere could absorb them (in a good way) without a blink. USA and Canada, of course, but there are large expat communities from Mexico on down to Patagonia.

82:

That might work — move the entire country outside the five mile limit, so everyone's a foreigner and awkward laws will no longer apply :-)

Anyone remember when the Goodies suggested that in the 1970s?

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3kgp61

83:

Like it; I think we should combine several of the suggestions...

Firstly, we join the United States. If we're fast, we could perhaps beat out DC and Puerto Rico to join as the 51st and 52nd States (because obviously, Ireland).

The Democrats will love it, because four more senators from an Overton window closer to their own. The Republicans will love it, because they don't have to build any more walls, we don't speak Spanish, and we're mostly white. Job done.

Secondly, don't joke about the British Space Program. After all, we have a couple of near-equatorial sites with decent runways (Diego Garcia and Ascension) and a plausible launch system in Skylon. After campaigning to stop non-EU countries from participating in the Galileo program, any hard Brexist means either a loss of sovereignty to GPS (Boo! Hiss!) and needs to pony up a couple of billion to manufacture and launch a British satellite navigation constellation, Hurrah!

Strategically, we have a lot in common with another island nation with a constitutional monarchy, a reliance on trade, and a population with a depressing dislike of foreigners. Yup, time to revisit the early 20th Century and work on our old alliance with Japan...

84:
Caution: You WILL have to switch to driving on the RIGHT side of the road.

Hey now, the US Virgin Islands drive on the left, this weirdly crowded version of Harry Potter Land can do it that way too.

You all still drive vintage Minis and Landys and the Austin FX3 right? Don't worry, we'll modernize you by exporting some American made left hand drive Chevy Suburbans, it'll be great.

Do you think that blue police box technology can be used to fit more bombs on the F-35? Our top military minds are very interested.

85:

Except that American citizens are not allowed to have titles of nobility.* So everyone from an OBE on up is screwed. (Of course, they will still have all the money and land.)

* I forget the exact phrasing, but it is a Constitutional issue, not merely a legal one.

86:

Pffft, mere details, and negotiating a change to the Constitution of the United States will of course be the easiest deal ever, David Davis said so.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Title_of_Nobility_Clause

without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present,... After all, the obvious workaround is for Congress to agree to it. Or to point out that these are no longer foreign awards. Or that they aren't being accepted, they're already held. Easily... ignored, or regarded as a variation on "Kentucky Colonels"

We could always make it the 53rd, 54th, and 55th states of the Union, and keep the House of Commons, and the unicameral assemblies in Edinburgh, Cardiff, Stormont, and Dublin as the "state governments", bin the Lords, and announce that Her Majesty is in fact the Governor of England (Charles gets Wales, obviously, Anne gets Scotland, Andrew is lumbered with Northern Ireland)...

...this way, the USA actually gets decent football and rugby teams, and I'm sure that we can find some Rounders enthusiasts to help out with the World Series...

87:

(4) The Good Friday Agreement gets applied in reverse and the UK, unable to achieve consensus in the house of commons, reverts to direct government. In this case, since Belfast is currently U/S thanks to the DUP crashing the Stormont Assembly in favour of a truly Trump-level financial scam and NI is in fact currently holding the european record for longest stint without a government (suck it, Belgium); it would fall to Dublin to take on the role of direct government.


What? You can't seriously think Irentry would be any worse than Brexit, surely?

88:

Boringly, we could refactor our way out of the EU one slow and carefully considered step at a time. Start with EFTA then step slowly away from there.

Or declare ourselves the Brotherhood of Mann and somehow get all the trade benefits of the EU without actually being a member of anything at all.

89:

OK, first a little levity, since that's how you started: summon Fabian Everyman. No, really. After all those years of Conservative rule, the British public will be happy to have a leader who actually cares whether they live or die. (Not so much for good reasons, of course, but still... even toxic love is still love, right?)

Now for a bit of serious speculation: Send an envoy who, on bended knee, begs Canada for a temporary free trade deal that can be implemented by January. Start with developing the logistical support for massive food and medicine shipments to the U.K. to save lives. There won't be any Eurocrats or Eurocracy to deal with, and Canada (being mostly quite a bit like our meek and good-natured international stereotype on average) is quite likely to come up with something acceptable. Not to mention being acceptable to the average Brit because "those Canadians are People Like Us".

Justin Trudeau, for all his other faults, is a strong and committed humanitarian and when faced with a summary of the post-Brexit disaster predictions, is quite likely to accept an interim "no strings attached" deal to save the U.K. from starvation and cannibalism and plague while a serious long-term deal is worked out. Think of it as a disaster-relief program, which is a role that Canada traditionally excels at.

Let me be quite clear: I've worked for the feds, and watched them operate ever since I left. I know how cumbersome such things are to actually implement. I have no illusions this would be an easy implementation, unless Justin mirrors his father and implements the War Measures Act so he could ram this deal through.

This is likely to be a popular deal here in Canada. (Apart from the fact that there's a significant cadre of people who will disagree with and vigorously oppose everything Trudeau says just because he's a Liberal and the son of his father. cf. Obama.) Reasons? We're getting increasingly fed up with relying on the U.S. for the largest share of our exports and imports, and for having to endure a free trade agreement with the Yanks that has historically boiled down to "we'll do what we want, when we want it, and you'll just politely go along with it because you're Canadian and because we own the appeals tribunal that resolves disputes".

We have enough of a food surplus to feed the U.K. and then some. We have a large pharmaceutical sector that would be deliriously happy to to ramp up production of generic drugs or licensed drugs, as the case may be. We have an oil patch (our province of Alberta) that is desperately seeking new markets for its oil because prices for their products have collapsed. And I think I mentioned that we desperately need to reduce the proportion of our GDP that is exclusively dependent on trade with the U.S. I don't think there's much love lost for our former imperial masters, but we've been on good terms with the U.K. since we repatriated our constitution. Combine a serious humanitarian cause with a major economic opportunity and I think you've got a surefire winner.

90:

JohnK @73 No remainers will be allowed in... Thanet...

Goddammit I held my nose and voted for Mackinley to stop Farage getting in and this is all the thanks I get. (I should note that Mackinley has a very sweet and well behaved Chocolate Labrador named Libby so he has that going for him)

Troutwaxer @85 An OBE is not a title of nobility. In fact even if you have a knighthood, you're still a commoner. (A hereditary knighthood or baronetcy might not pass that test though they have always been excluded from the peerage. It's worth noting at this point that the remaining hereditary peers in the House of Lords are the only ones there that have been elected to the position. None of this helps with Brexit, but then what does?)

91:

Pffft, mere details, and negotiating a change to the Constitution of the United States will of course be the easiest deal ever, David Davis said so.

LOL!

I suppose we could just grandfather them in; kids don't get a title.

92:
...this way, the USA actually gets decent football and rugby teams, and I'm sure that we can find some Rounders enthusiasts to help out with the World Series...

Ridiculous! The USA already has world champion football and rugby teams.

If you could somehow figure out how to keep people awake during baseball, that would be quite the achievement, though.

93:

I have three humble suggestions on how to smooth Post-Brexit affairs. This might seem a bit snotnosed, coming from abroad, but I can assure you I harbour only the kindest feelings. And I wouldn't mind to see Berlin flooded with disoriented, somber and red cheeked Briton refugees but for the distress and suffering of said refugees.

First and most important for a state on its way on the dark road of failing welfare, oligarchy and corrupted institutions, is to invent an enemy. This can't be underrated. There must be somebody to take all the blame. Russia isn't a good candidate because Putin might welcome the fake, take some real action and demonstrate his prowess. As Trump still owes him for the election and EU countries might not feel responsible because of hurt feelings, NATO support will be lacking and Britain might become involved in a nuclear war, left to her own devices. The USA aren't a good candidate either, because then all Hollywood products would have to be declared as enemy contraband, withdrawing major entertainment from the populace. Without sufficient entertainment people will become restless, what is to be avoided at all costs. The EU itself of course isn't suited as a fake enemy at all, because people might get the wrong idea from the propaganda. Fake news about EU agitators inciting unrest and insurrection could become a self fullfilling prophecy. This said, I suggest denmark as a promising candidate. They are a peacful country, so it can be garuanteed that provocations won't backfire. The stereotype of invading vikings will be great to inspire terror by shouting "Invaders! Invaders!". Also you could hold a yearly reenactment of the Second Battle of Copenhagen on the Thames, with lots of gun barges, fire, sinister lighting, shouting and canon blasts. That will do well to ease and soften unrest and agitation.

Second you will want to make serious efforts to push the economy. Pounds will have do be printed in masses and the inflation will smooth the export balance a bit. Here in Germany goes the story that one of the best things to crank the economy is building motorways ... hrm. Instead, with decreasing trade and goods traffic in the Post-Brexit aera I'd rather like to suggest another project: You really should consider to build a large seawall around London. This will not only rescue the City from rising sea levels, it will put people in jobs and keep Pounds in cirulation for many years to come. You could even try growing some frost resistant tea bushes on the southern slopes of the wall. The Great London Sea Wall will become a world wonder side by side with the chinese wall and it might even be possible that it can be spotted as a pimple on earth's majestic face from outer space. And if we can't manage the carbon dioxide thing and the wall is flooded, you can still use it as a training area for the Royal Navy.

Third, as I aready mentioned, you can't underestimate the importance of dissipating unrest in the populace through entertainment. Here is one idea how to keep at least some people busy and away from dangerous introspection: One year my family planned a vaction in Scotland ... well, it was my daughter's idea. Anyway, a few days before departure, we learned that our dog would have had to be chipped, sterlizied, decontaminated, inoculated and vaccinated by a licenced veterinary plus accompanying documentation with half a year (or so) of qualifying period before beeing allowed to set her paws on Her Majesty's island. I couldn't convince my wife to participate in the crime of smuggeling the dog onto the ferry, so we had to cancel the vaction. But I digress. Certainly a few dogs harbouring rabies and other dangerous deseases might have, despite all precautions, invaded the island unnoticed. After the borders become sufficiently closed in Post-Brexit days the government should therefore hand out licencens to hunt down any dog who isn't leashed, chipped or who coughs suspiciously. This will occupy a lot of people, keeping them from dangerous renitency, especially if there is an official app which tags dogs through surveilance cameras and publishes their GPS coordinates live. It will become a volkssport. I won't advice here on methods of extermination, though some collateral damage will be inevitable for the sake of the greater good.

One last thing: Grow potatoes whenever and wherever you can. They feed you in times of hunger and dire need. Also, gardening clears the mind and calms the soul.

94:

I'm trying to figure out that whole decimalize the currency thing. Why not 29 Knuts to the Sickle, and 17 sickles to the Galleon? That would have the advantage that more people have at least heard of the system, and the iconography would be pretty straightforward.

95:

I'm not sure Denmark is a good idea - lots of people won't believe it, and many Britons would be happy to be conquered by someone from the UE.

How about Ecuador? Gives evil Russian pawns asylum in their embassy, won't cooperate with the "Make America/UK Great Again" project, probably needs a border wall, and best of all, the people who life there are Not White. (Is "Wogs" still a term I can use without censure? I'm not sure what terms are OK under UK anti-racism ideals.)

96:

The Brexit is clear evidence of a prolonged psychotic episode at the national level. It seems fair to say that the UK is now a danger to itself and possibly others.

If this were a person, there would be a good case for sectioning them (UK term for the legal process of placing someone into compulsory mental health care).

The way forward is clearly for the UK as a whole to be sectioned. Of course, it would have to work differently at national level. The UK's closest partner - EU member states - would seem to have a duty of care and they would need to decide how to proceed. I would suggest appointing a national government as guardian, to take important decisions on behalf of the UK until the UK is once again able to take decisions for itself.
The obvious candidate for this role is, of course, Ireland.
After all, the two countries have a history together and even speak the same language, for the most part. We could call it the "United Kingdom Irish Protectorate, Project for Ensuring Rehabilitation" or UKIPPER for short.

...

Sorry, I got distracted. How to make Brexit actually work? One word: partition.
The only thing I can think of would be for partition, much like what happened in India at the end of the British Empire. Let the Brexiteers live in Wales and the English counties south of the Birmingham-Peterborough line, and the Remainers everywhere north. And yes, that means that Little England wouldn't get to have those nuclear submarines to play with.


Incidentally, I am a cross-border worker. There is nothing in the 585 page agreement about maintainng existing reciprocal social security arrangements (including healthcare) after the Brexit. So those arrangements will expire on 29 March 2019. Because of this, I'm probably going to have to quit my job (which I like very much) because of the outcome of a vote (which I couldn't participate in), which we now know was riddled with lies and illegal activity. So my UKIPPER suggestion is looking pretty good to me right now.

97:

Ah, I see you got there before me with your 'rule from Dublin' idea.

98:

An ignorant question from a former colonist: what would happen if the UK was defined as, say, Wales (or Sealand, for that matter), and the rest of the country got defined as the Kingdom of England, Scotland, etc? Then the Brexiteers could emigrate, and everyone else could stay in the EU...

99:

The Tories meet together and hatch a plan. May is blamed for everything going wrong with Brexit--the Tories defenestrate her to drive the message home. The Tories draw by lots, or maybe just the pick guys that attended second tier schools, they already lost the most important lottery, and sufficient number are chosen to defect to Labour. These ex-Tories will also be blamed for Brexit going less well than promised.

With Labour now in majority, Brexit falls on them. With Corbyn PM or not? The Tories are already having fun. Labour also has to decide on Brexit. They don't have time for anything clever, so they will take the easy path and do a referendum. Sure there isn't time, but either they rush it through, or the EU, having new hope for a good result, gives UK an extension. UK votes to stay in EU, the conservatives can all blame Labour threefold--for their turncoat Tories, for opposing Brexit, and for keeping England in EU. The Tories are the opposition, and can pass the time whipping up the anger of their base.

100:

Interesting.

Thoughts from the western side of the pond.

From my view it seems Brexit will happen hard or not at all. Both paths are complicated and very messy and will wreak the lives of a lot of people. But May's way may happen. But the path to that seems way more complicated from my view over here.

If no Brexit the hard core will blame everything from the jobless rate to rainfall in London to the rate of cat adoptions on the failure to leave the EU. And will drag a non trivial amount of "voters" with them for years.

If Brexit goes hard, well saddle up [1]. Yes imports of food, medicine, and all kinds of things will grind to a halt as the customs folks implement the law. Then someone high up will say let the necessities through. They will have to as they don't want their head literally on a pike. But now an opportunities will be open for the fun to really start. Anyone remember sawdust in baby formula in China. People who value money about lives will start exporting stuff from counties without much laws about such and moving it through various countries with various paperwork that eventually makes it look like it came from a food plant in Canada and will be waived into the country. And then the pikes will likely come out for real.

And add to this the "non essential" things that get held up in customs. Like that specialty bar stock of titanium steel allow that someone making insulin injectors needs. It isn't a crisis. For 2 months. Then is becomes a REALLY BIG DEAL. [3]

As to the politics it seems that both parties officially want Brexit but for vastly different reasons and their voters are either getting more and more confused or really don't agree. But don't know how to overthrow their party hierarchy in less than a decade of action. (Parties tend to structure themselves this way on purpose.)[4]

Solutions. Sorry. You folks made a mess and get to live with it. Well your leaders did.[4]

[1] Too much of a US old west reference?
[2] Welcome to the results of a Trump trade war.
[3] Welcome to US politics. Where there are more voters not registered with a political party than either Rs or Ds. Which makes it very hard to implement with a change in either away from hard line ideological views.
[4] Sigh, Trump.

101:

Re: ' ... referendum. Sure there isn't time, but either they rush it through, ...'

Why would they need more than a week to do a referendum? It doesn't take that long to print and distribute 50 million yes/no ballots. You can't claim that everyone hasn't been watching/listening to anything else for the last 18 months.

102:

Megpie71 @ 11: * Charge a royalty for the use of the English language.
It's clearly the most obvious British Intellectual Property out there, so clearly people from other countries should be paying a fee to use it, right? Maybe a bit of a discount for the colonies (as per Empire 2.0).

Yeah? Who you gonna' collect it from. According to you guys we stopped speaking "English" over here in the States a couple hundred years ago.

103:

Charlie Stross @ 25:

I'm seeing too many opinions about how badly Brexit is going to affect some individual issue (e.g. Theresa May's insulin hoard), and not enough suggestions for how to make Brexit work.

What if there IS no way to make it work?

104:

How does Brexit work? Well, a few months into the Brexit (hard, soft, purple, or whatever), a zombie apocalypse breaks out on the Continent. The UK cuts the Chunnel, and, eventually, they're the only ones who survive.

That's how Brexit might work.

105:

Brexit is clearly the start point of the Dark Empire of Granbretan as foretold by the prophet Moorcock in the History of the Runestaff, and other works. Soon our dark legions will charge across the channel bridge, erm tunnel, and lay waste the continent. Shame about the tragic millennium though... And the ignominy of being saved by Dorian Hawkmoon, Duke of Köln. Ah yes, Rees-Mogg as Baron Meliadus, Boris as Shenegar Trott, Count of Sussex. It all becomes clear...

106:

[ IDIOT DRIVE-BY DELETED BY ANNOYED MODERATOR ]

107:

Rather than their current laughable set of policies the Tories should adopt the platform of the McGillicuddy Serious Party in its entirety. You'll note their plan to use giant space mirrors to melt the icecaps and drown major cities is much faster than the Tory plan to do the same by burning things, and the plan to ban anything invented after 1830 is not noticeably different from the plan not to be able to afford anything invented after that date. So not all policies need to change.

We should also reintroduce the tradition(1) that cabinet posts are for the life of the holder. Including that of prime minister. They can still resign any time they like. All they need to do is have their death certificate validated by the keeper of the seals(2).

The resulting chaos would distract everybody while a proper Brexit was negotiated. I'm not sure what that would be, declaring war on then surrendering to Montenegro appeals, but I think Estonia would be more practical - you sail the royal navy into their ports, disembark and have a glorious cavalry charge(3) against Rakvere Castle(4). They have their e-citizenship system in place already so it should be straightforward to enrol every briton in in that, then get them all learning Estonian(5).

2: why does parliament even have seals? Wouldn't it be more practical to have lions, or corgis or something less fishy-smelling?
1: it's probably not actually traditional but luckily the current government doesn't care about accuracy
4: I know it's inland. That's why you need cavalry.
5: Finno-Uralic languages are fun to learn(6)
3: by cavalry I mean corgis. Or perhaps seals. Mounted navy troops are navy seals, right?
6: fun to watch other people learn. Same thing, really.

108:

All eminently sensible, but I have to ask where one would go to obtain pre 1830 space mirrors.

109:

staphanos @ 96
Let the Brexiteers live in Wales and the English counties south of the Birmingham-Peterborough line, and the Remainers everywhere north
NO
Inside the M25 voted overwhelmingly Remain ...
Not going to work, even in fun ...

HalfAlu @ 99
Not going to work, either.
Remember that Corbyn is as fanatic about Brexit as Rees-Smaug.
He wants Brexit so he can buid Venezuela, here ....

JBS @ 103
You noticed

david 17675david
No - nothing to do with physics, everything to do with regulations.
Now go back to the Daily Express

110:

I for one welcome our new Finno-urgaic overlords! Even though I’m neither British, nor a Corgi

111:

david17675david, please, you've been invited to give a light-hearted dystopian Brexit plan. The best way to make your point is to lay out an obvious satire, then reveal the twist that by changing one or two key facts it would actually be your preferred post-Brexit proposal which would work just fine.

So, the EU are withdrawing Volts and Amperes is a good start (I assume we lose Joules or possibly Jules too, though we get to keep Watts). Now unfortunately electrical units have been metric since their first adoption due to their late development. However we do still have the ability to use steam (BTUs - British Thermal Units) and of course horses (horsepower - hp[1]). Britain has never been great horse country, not having large areas of wide open plains that aren't good for intensive agriculture. So the obvious way to deal with this is to level off the Welsh Mountains, the Pennines and the Scottish Highlands, using the spoil to build sea-defences around the country, and become horse-nomads, Mongol or Comanche style.

[1] half-formed tangent on hit points/ horsepower removed due to silliness

112:

Greg, I'm well aware of the way the regional vote went. Partition and the accompanying displacement of people is always a bastard. London could petition to become a satellite of the north.

113:

The thing that keeps tripping me up is the "We can just cancel the §50 notice and remain" thing.

For one thing, there is nothing in the treaty about that, so the ability to do so depends entirely on the charity of the council of ministers, and there aint a lot of that about these days.

So will they, or wont they ?

I can absolutely guarantee that they wont even say even one third of "Never mind, come back, all is forgiven."

"Never mind" is not happening, next thing you would have Italy doing the same stunt. "Come Back", ain't happening either, because that would mean reinstating all the preferential treatments UK has managed to tantrum EU into over the years. And forgiveness will take decades and require solid assurance that the lesson sticks.

Assume $whatever happens in UK, and the PM (same, other or entirely new) sends a letter saying "Sorry, we changed our mind, we actually love EU."

If that letter comes with anything less than a solid ⅔, approaching ¾ majority, chances are pretty damn good that we will be right back in #brexit2 in a few months or years time.

Answer will be: "Sorry, treaty doesn't allow for that. Please see §49 for how to apply for membership, but we're still OK with the May-agreement to tide you over."

Reapplying, should it ever happen, will require full convergence, which is almost certain to include stripping privileges from the square mile, land reform, adopting the Euro and resolve all issues with individual EU countries (Gibraltar, The Marbles etc.).

If the letter comes after a new referendum which overwhelmingly quashes the brexit-insanity, leaving absolutely no doubt UK's voters no *love* EU. (I can't imagine what events could make this happen which doesn't involve heads on stakes, but lets roll with it.)

EU's council of ministers will still want is proof of commitment from UK, preferably something which hurts just enough to be a lesson for UK and everybody else, but preferably something which leaves everybody better in the long run.

Answer will be: "We've looked at it, and the treaty doesn't really give us much freedom there, but we think we can get UK through §49 real quick if you jump on the Euro, some kind of electoral reform so this doesn't happen again, let go of Gibraltar and remove City of Londons privileges."

So yeah, No-Deal brexit would be catastrophy, May's deal would leave UK a lot worse than without #brexit, but #remain will take fully and wholeheartedly embracing the European Project.

My predict-o-meter says that that May will get her deal though, because the alternatives are so much worse and key people are not that insane.

What happens next is "nothing much."

UK will be stuck in May-Deal-Backstop-Purgatory, steadily bleeding business and talent, ending up as EU's Puerto Rico.

114:

Theresa May imitates a stroke of political genius by calling for another election. The Tories are wiped out at the polls, with the only remaining conservatives MPs consisting entirely of Bulldog Drummond types.

Labour wins but Corbyn waffles.

Actually here's a question; If Labour did win an election before the Article 50 is triggered, how would Corbyn and co react?

115:

Petition to join the United States, perhaps starting out as a territory.
(blinks) (looks at the personal world-building script as of circa 2014) Yep, this is about as close to a guess as I could get. Of course, it is only a minor part of the whole plot, and certainly wouldn't be complete with other events mostly in second-half 2020s, but this point is necessary too. (The basis for the plot was American Empire from GITS world-building, with some heavy corrections).

Meanwhile, a certain Britain organization not unlike C-bridge A-lytica has been uncovered by "anonymous source". Given the amount of diversion and subversion we lately are getting in our national media and press I almost ready to believe that this is indeed a very important report. As much as I want to consider about it with a pinch of salt, if this information is exposed to the public, most likely there's already a plan to deal with it.
http://www.tellerreport.com/news/--non-russian-intervention--hackers-released-british-instructions-to-counter-moscow-.HyLQ2TrR7.html

It's not like Britain did not announce any measures, sanctions, or even military actions before, but their threats have been going on for a while, despite remaining unknown or too vague to be brought to pulic attention - not to talk about reasons for these actions. Now it seems the situation has changed suddenly.

It would be very convenient for Britain to continue on the same course of fighting both Russia and EU after the Brexit will go into full force. It will be able to follow America's calls and demands for freedom and join the ranks of such prominent anti-Russian fighters as Poland, Ukraine, Baltic states and ISIS. Of course, while these states obviously can not compete with either Russia or EU with their personal night, Britain is sure to take an edge in this struggle with liberal application of ideology, information and cyberwarfare, and chemical "defense" if necessary. The perspective is thrilling, most certainly.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/11/20/interpol-infiltrated-russia-uk-must-work-countries-set-alternative/
Also meet your new boss and a future eminence grise.
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/bill-browder-interpol-canada-committee-1.4915961

116:

"The thing that keeps tripping me up is the "We can just cancel the §50 notice and remain" thing."

Agreed. The EU leadership would be bonkers to simply accept that, because other EU coutries would play the same game, as well as the next Tory/UKIP/whatever montrosity to assume power.

IMHO, what the UK leadership will learn in the next year is what the US will learn over the next decade ('cause we're bigger) is that reputation for reliability is easy to lose, and very hard to regain.

117:

ending up as EU's Puerto Rico.

Not even that good. Puerto Ricans have jus solis US citizenship and can pick up and move to the States any time they want. As many have done for reasons of the economy, hurricanes and family.

http://scholarscollaborative.org/PuertoRico/exhibits/show/historical/birthright

118:

As with anything Brexit, this is what I would like to see happen. I'm cautious about writing it down, because every time I do that with Brexit something even worse/more idiotic happens, that I hadn't even considered was a possibility.

Parliament rejects the deal. A good proportion of the house (everyone that isn't loyal to the Govt) campaigns for a second referendum, and gets one.

May asks for a 6 months extension of article 50, which is granted. She then immediately resigns. Tory party starts its leadership contest, but it won't conclude until after the referendum. Hammond is acting-up as interim PM.

May campaigns for remain in referendum 2.0. Corbyn campaigns for leave. Remain wins, 55 to 45%.

Corbyn resigns from top spot.

Both parties are now having a leadership contest. Conservatives end up picking a remainer (seeing as all of the high profile Brexiteers ended up resigning from cabinet and backing the wrong horse in referendum 2.0). Labour picks a leaver. No-one is sure why.

Another general election is called. Big surge for smaller parties, lib dems back to 50 seats, greens get 10. Labour and conservatives both do badly. Vaguely-left government made up of a loose coalition of labour, lib dems, SNP. Labour put a decent leader in charge after 6 months. The coalition managers to stick together and not make any terrible mistakes.

Oddly enough, I could see a similar situation happening in politics if Brexit does happen. Those old conservative voters need a lot of medicine to stay alive, and a lot of cheap migrant workers to keep their care homes going.

119:

I don't think "Never mind, come back, all is forgiven" is even remotely possible. The most probable answer ' and there is a valid historical precedent for it ) would be: "présentez vous pieds nus, en chemise et la corde au cou"

120:

Perfidious Albion. 'Nuf said.

121:

Seems that getting ready for or 'surviving' Brexit isn't any different than getting ready for war. If 21st century Brits can't handle Brexit, they're totally screwed once climate change ramps up.

Get your act together folks 'cuz it ain't gettin' any easier!

122:

The Doctor phases in, runs around Parliament a bit, and discovers that everyone on the English side at the Battle of Hastings was tagged with a DNA targeting control Field, and since then all their descendents have been under the control of a cockroach-like alien race using their Field to create havoc and destruction. Explains a lot of British history, eh? The Doctor destroys the Field control device, which has been hidden in the form of a pack of corgis, expels the aliens, and sanity returns to England.

Brexit is still going on of course, but as the Doctor says, not *all* of the recent history is explained by the Field, and you'll sort it out eventually. By the year 2250, the Troubles are only a paragraph in the history books.

123:

Maybe there is a "gripping hand" to all this. The EU might let the UK off the hook if it can be proven that there is a strong Russian influence involved with Brexit, but I see no official interest from the UK in trying to find out what actually happened. There does not appear to be either an ongoing counterintelligence operation/investigation, nor any form of "special prosecutor," nor any news organization which is digging deeply enough to uncover anything.

I'd go so far as to note that the lack of interest in these issues is interesting in-and-of itself.

124:

Last resort for fixing post-Brexit cash flow problems is to sell off museum assets which are probably worth over a trillion by now.

125:

Neil W @ 111
Joules? Jools?
How about: "Hello I'm Jules & this is my friend Sandy" from "Round the Horne" ???
LIKE THIS - most appropriately this particular sketch is about politics & elections ....

P H-K @ 113
Err .. no
Both Macron & Merkel ( Who are the ones who really matter ) have said that cancelling At50 will do it, because anything else simply isn't worth the hassle, if nothing else.
And they don't have to redistribute the budget, either ...

gijoel @ 114
NO! How many fucking times .... Corbyn is as rabidly pro-Brexit as Rees-Smaug - hasn't that sunk in yet?
Both he & R-S want to wreck the country for their own opposing ends ....
Think Nazi-Soviet Pact, huh?

Robby @ 118
A VERY LIKELY outcome - I hope

126:

Greg,

Dont ever confuse what the news-crew thought they heard with what the politicians said.

Here is a good example from june 13th:

https://twitter.com/business/status/874624233459994624/video/1

That got the headline "The U.K. would be welcomed back to the European Union if the Brexit vote were reversed, Wolfgang Schaeuble says."

At best he said "We will not refuse, if UK wants to join EU again."

Neither he, nor anybody else, has said what it would actually take because it says so right there in Article 50:

"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."

To be "welcomed back" UK has to complete that article 49 process, just sending a letter saying "never mind" will not do it.

In a second referendum the choices will be "We said Leave, damnit!" and "Far more EU than anybody ever thought possible."

"Good ol' days" is not an option.

127:

In montypythonic terms, brexit is upperclass twits buying a parrot in a cheese shop.

128:

Um, no; "wog" is definitely not acceptable in general, and I'd be surprised if OGH found it anything other than offensive. My advice would be to use it at your peril, in the UK.

("Surprised" here translated to "stunned and appalled".)

129:

Thanks for the cultural education on this issue. I will now class w-g with the n-word on my list of stuff I should never say or write.

130:

"The EU might let the UK off the hook if it can be proven that there is a strong Russian influence involved with Brexit, but I see no official interest from the UK in trying to find out what actually happened. "

That's likely because on the UK Right (as for the US Right), they *like* the interference, because it got them what they want.

Which leads to the problem that any Russian interference might have made the difference between the success and failure of the (Tory-called and Tory-rigged) Brexit *referendum*, but the Tory *desire* was always there.

131:

gijoel @ 114: Theresa May imitates a stroke of political genius by calling for another election. The Tories are wiped out at the polls, with the only remaining conservatives MPs consisting entirely of Bulldog Drummond types.
Labour wins but Corbyn waffles.
Actually here's a question; If Labour did win an election before the Article 50 is triggered, how would Corbyn and co react?

Badly.

And instead of waffles, might we please have pancakes instead?

132:

You are all ignoring a basic tenet of modern political thinking: this is a post-truth era.

Exactly.

My suggestion: Have the Murdoch media empire print, at Boris Johnson's expense, the passage from The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy in which Arthur learns to fly by falling and failing to notice the ground, and require all loyal subjects to practice this skill from the top of the tallest nearby building.

After that, Brexit will go swimmingly. How can it not, for a nation of superheroes?

133:

A health warning accompanies this notice.

If you want to see the depths of unreality that is permeating the more rabid Brexiteers ..
Try here
Like I said, there is almost no reasoning with them - most want a no-deal, without thinking AT ALL - it's actually quite painful.

134:

graydon wins this comment thread with an idea that is just possible, consistent with European history (see history of the Holy Roman Empire, the Papal States, etc., etc.) and utterly delightful.

Well done, graydon! A career in Mergers and Acquisitions awaits you, with thinking like that.

135:

We know perfectly well that there WASN'T a significant Russian influence, and that there WAS a significant USA one. Bugger Arron Banks, Facebook campaigns and that, which made very little difference - it was the 20-30 years of relentless, lying anti-EU propaganda from the media that made it inevitable. The dominant moguls are one USA citizen and one non-dom, with BBC and ITV constrained to be milk-and-water.

136:

@ Greg Tingey

I thought that was the case, but as I live on the other side of the planet my knowledge of UK politics is not as nuanced as yours.I read somewhere, BBC I think, that Brexit is largely a English phenomenon. That pro-Brexit voters would happily see the end of the UK if it meant keeping them forn-en-ers out. A lot of them also want to see the return of capital punishment, Imperial measurements.

137:

I am a little surprised that no one has put forward the one obvious way that Brexit can be a success: the return of King Arthur.

As prophesied, at Britain's Darkest Hour, with the risk of the UK becoming a Vassal State due to bungled Brexit negotiations, King Arthur will sail from Avalon wielding Excalibur, with the Knights of the Round table and the wizard Merlin at his side. The Queen immediately steps aside to let the Once and Future King resume his reign, and Arthur assumes supreme executive power, dismissing parliament.

Arthur then saves the sovereignty of the kingdom by seeing through the hardest of hard Brexits, while bringing back the utopian ideals of Camelot, thereby avoiding all the problems that the critics of Brexit had put forward: an immediate free trade agreement with Avalon! Food and drink have always been bountiful at Camelot! Those who are ill can simply drink from the holy grail and be cured! No need for imported European food and medicine, and the NHS can finally be disbanded and the money put towards tax cuts for the cruelly overtaxed rich people!

And best of all for those who have pushed for Brexit, the Kingdom shall once again be a proper feudal kingdom and the members of the ERG shall all be appointed Knights of the Round Table, the better to rule over those poor deluded people who could not see the righteousness of Brexit.

138:

I for one wonder if Brexit was a scheme by MI5 to uproot a Russian psyop that went off the rails. The way to make Operation BREXIT work would be to arrest all the collaborators...

139:

Just as you thought it couldn't get any madder THIS happens
[ High court to rule on legality of vote ... ]

140:

There seems to be an option no one has considered. Instead of becoming part of Malta (Graydon @29), there's a large South Pacific island that could help out, in a real reverse take over. Become part of the Commonwealth of Australia!

Same language, same sovereign, similar laws and parliamentary structure, more sunshine and fresh food. We have lots of FTA's either in practice (eg USA) or in development (eg EU) plus the TPP. We have visa free travel into the Schengen zone so the NI border issue should be solvable.

We have a conservative govt looking like it will be wiped out at the next election due next year. Saving Mother England would be the kind of dramatic gesture that would appeal to a lot them.

Plus, we're generally saner (or less insane) than most other places.

And for the final gesture, we'll load up all those BA 747s and A380s with the ~40k prisoners in Australia at any one time and send them over. That strategy worked well for us so you should welcome them.

141:

Become part of the Commonwealth of Australia!

The good news is that Australia is awesome at negotiating with surrounding countries, we managed to persuade Timor that their gas fields are mostly ours, we persuaded PNG that their silly human rights act doesn't apply to "guests" in Australian concentration camps, and Nauru has pretty much ceased to exist as a sovereign nation (insofar as it ever was, it ain't now). With that sort of example hanging over them the pesky uropans would no doubt be falling over themselves to comply with whatever reasonable requests Australia came up with.

The bad news is that you'd have to accept that football is the Australian Rules version of the game, played on an oval shaped pitch that has far too many goalposts by gentlemen (and ladies) with odd shaped balls.

142:

we're generally saner (or less insane) than most other places

That's not a very high bar.

We're proposing to open two big new coal mines in order to become carbon neutral by 2050, for example. And we're apparently going to make it easier for the Minister of Immigration to create stateless persons in order to help people adopt Australian Values{tm}. Oh, and it's even possible that "Australian Law overrides the laws of mathematics" is going to rear its stupid head in the form of the discredited and previously discarded bill making it an offense not to break encryption on demand. Note that *anyone* can be guilty of that, the law doesn't require that the target be capable of decrypting the material, or even that they are subject to Australian law, merely that they be identifiable.

"less insane"... it's not a very high bar, but I'm not sure that we clear it.

143:

Most of these plans, regrettably, have unfortunate subtexts that leads one to suspect that the authors are not committed to brexit. Shortages? LOSING wars of empire? Cession of critical North Sea defensive positions?

A workable brexit plan must take the real economic situation into account. The EU has been dragging the UK down, retarding economic growth. Now, since the last recession, the GDP figures (in US dollars) are:

2009: 2.383 trillion
2010: 2.441 trillion (+2.4%)
2011: 2.62 trillion (+7.3%)
2012: 2.662 trillion (+1.6%)
2013: 2.74 trillion (+2.9%)
2014: 3.023 trillion (+10%)
2015: 2.886 trillion. This downturn was clearly the fault of the EU and shall not be counted.
Declines in 2016-2018 are the result of Remoaning and market uncertainty and shall similarly be ignored.

So, WITH the EU dragging the UK down, expected GDP growth in 2010-2015 averaged 4.84% annually. With freedom to make trade deals with the entire world, we can modestly expect more than double that. Sure, there will be hardship during the adjustment period as supply chains retool, but that is temporary. The GDP will grow at a nice 9.69% annually. The Brexit Dividend (henceforth, Brividend) will be huge, and very tangible. But it takes a while for that growth to trickle down to the general populace, and while the job creators can handle temporary hardship well Jack Pensioner cannot. So, to silence Remoaning until Brexit is demonstrably a success, and make the brividend tangible, we shall deliver the first five years of it IMMEDIATELY. Being free of the EU will also allow the currency to float without snide remarks from Eurocrats, boosting UK exports. Therefore, every UK subject (defined as a person residing or owning a holiday home in a part of Britain that was previously part of the EU) shall receive a lump-sum payment of USD21172.64 (£41145.28 post-brexit). This shall be paid for by a tax on corporate wealth over £1million and personal ealth over £2million, collected from British citizens and legal persons registered in Britain.
This includes foreign holdings and complicated partnership structures, of course. Britain will use the IRS Form 5471 as a model for this process.

While this may SEEM like near-Communist levels of wealth transfer, in reality the wealthy will have fully recouped the money paid up-frontin taxes through the growth in the British GDP, and by 2029 income inequality will be far higher.

Temporary shortages in the NHS will be trivially addressed - prudent UK residents will have saved some of their £41K, and will be able to purchase a ticket to the US and seek care in an emergency room there. The transfer of large sums of capital to the entire population will also obliterate Communist sympathies, as the average UK resident will be suddenly rich and naturally come to share the class interests of the rich - WITHOUT the need for any violence.

Brexit has also exposed an ideological faultline between the South and the North. The Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the American Civil War all show that North-South divides are deadly to a nation. To promote national unity, concrete steps are needed. A new national brand will support patriotic sentiments; there will be a referendum to choose between Greatest Britain, The Former EU Republic of Brittany, Granbretan (Thanks to Therion667 for reminding me), the top two results from our online poll - (Brexity McBrexitface and an American slur that decency laws do not allow us to print), or Macedonia (suggested as a means of sabotaging any future attempts to rejoin the EU). A massive transportation program will be enacted to help ensure that the border in the Irish sea is as frictionless as possible, with every UK city no more than two (*Except Edinburgh) train stops from every other UK city. Now, what has less friction than vaccuum?

DOUBLE vaccuum. Elon Musk will be commissioned to construct a series of Hyperloops allowing non-stop travel between the Carrick hub (selected through 5 seconds of internet research) and every UK city or town with a population above 10,000 except Edinburgh. Edinburgh will get six hyperloops, but they will all go through interchanges in Wales on their way to Carrick. This is to remind the Scots of the folly of backing independance.

Going it solo will require the Brits to apply their national ingenuity. The icecaps are melting faster than expected. While the Great Powers may be able to implement RESPONSE SNOWFLAKE (blot out the sun with spaceborne mirrors) or RESPONSE TIDDLYWINKS (use radioactive plumes from all major cities and military facilities in oil-producing nations to lower the rate of sunlight absorbtion), the UK does not have the facilities to implement RESPONSE TIDDLYWINKS at scale and due to cutbacks planning permission for the launch facilities needed to implement RESPONSE SNOWFLAKE depends on delivering the paperwork to Marnie before 10AM on a Thursday, but Marnie's shift doesn't start until half past.

There are two major tendencies in Brexit Britain that must be considered.

If it is decided by the tabloids that Britain is necessarily going it alone and it is unreasonable for the people of the UK to spend money to protect other nations from their problems (especially as un-drowned people in other countries may include those UK-resident medical tourists insufficiently forward thinking to select an INLAND emergency room for care, who are likely to be the most expensive patients), RESPONSE TORTUGA can be applied.

Alternatively, if Brexit Britain is looking to the Globe and not the Continent, RESPONSE SCARAB can be applied - a response which, if implemented successfully, will completely avert global warming. RESPONSE SCARAB will
involve the construction of a network of nuclear reactors throughout Scotland - cooled by and connected to each natural loch. The reactors will extract CO2 from the atmosphere and store it in a stable supersaturated
layer at the bottom of the lochs. Funding for this project will be collected by expropriating all fossil fuel derived wealth postdating the oil companies becoming aware of global warming, so pre-1977 oil wealth will be untouched.
This expropriation will be applied to any and all fossil fuel companies whose products released CO2 that may have passed over the British atmosphere, so Martian and Venusian production will be unharmed. In the event that a fund
(Alaskan and Saudi sovereign wealth funds, for instance) contains both petrochemical and non-petrochemical source income, having been over 50% petrochemical at any point in time will be considered sufficient. In the
event funds collected exceed the cost of bringing the British atmosphere back to 1925 CO2 levels, after a five year period the surplus may be reclaimed by those persons they were collected from (less handling fees, returned money to be fairly distributed among taxed persons).

Due to the fact that many oil company and wealth fund assets are hidden away outside Britain, personal holdings of executives and major shareholders may be confiscated to pay the costs. In the case of a national wealth fund, all government officials will be considered executives. A de minimis rule will be applied to exempt those with less than £20,000 in susceptible assets from the tax (except, of course, when the assets are being seized in lieu of corporate assets sequestered outside British jurisdiction.)

RESPONSE TORTUGA exemplifies the ingenuous character of the British nation with a local response to a global problem. A VAST SEAWALL will be constructed around the United Kingdom (and, to maintain the Good Friday Agreement, Ireland). The wall will rise 500 meters above sea level, keeping out not only sea level rise but all but the most altitudinatious hurricanes. It will encompass key British fishing areas, without being hindered by the restrictions of faceless Eurocrats in Brussels. Most importantly, it will extend along the entire coast of Norway, keeping those pesky Vikings from getting all the best rollmops and improving the comparative advantage of British coastal tourism. As with RESPONSE SCARAB, the wealth tax on fossil fuel extractors will pay for it, with the exception of the part
surrounding the Republic of Ireland - this will be paid for by the Irish.

RESPONSE TORTUGA will also reduce the risk of refugees trying to take boats to England, because boats will be unable to cross the VAST SEAWALL.

The wealth tax infrastructure created by SCARAB/TORTUGA and the Brividend will, of course, come in handy in the event that the NHS runs short of the funding goals Leave promised, or any other expensive improvement that a Leaver
promised fails to materialize. For example, the UK can use it to rebate tariffs that adversely affect exporters, or to reopen factories that were closed to to Remoaning corporate executives relocating them to the Continent,
or to help all the deserving British poor who the xenophobes insist need help before the refugees get it. And, of course, in the event that the 9.69% year-on-year economic growth from brexit fails to materialize in
any future five-year period, a further Brividend can be extracted.

Brexit will also free the UK from the shackles of EU restriction on personal data distribution. To reassure users that Facebook and other surveillance-funded platforms are only collecting information that they
would not mind having distributed, all users of a social media platform may request the information, in the form and quantity that that platform sells their own information, that that platform has on its executives, employees
making over £15,000 a year, and any person owning more than £1000 in stock in said company.

144:

As an American, I (and any Brit who has visited the States) can tell you Americans do not speak or write (those who can read and write, a minority) English, but American. It is spelled and pronounced (except in particularly backwards areas, like the American South) differently. And the vocabulary is much larger, with American loan words in use in Britain and the rest of the world.
More likely, Brits will be charged for the Americanisms in use, and there will be a Language Police, as in Quebec, enforcing Pure British Speech.

145:

I like the way you think, and I believe we should combine our plans. Response TORTUGA and Response SCARAB, plus the use of UK soil for SDU (Sex/Drug/Ultra-violence) tourism will allow the UK to totally surmount all the depraved indifference of the warmongering EU welfare state, leading to an overwhelming international advantage for the party cadres standing behind the glorious might of Supreme Leader May!

146:

Hint: THIS IS A MATTER OF FUCKING LIFE AND DEATH. IF THE UK DOES WHAT YOU SUGGEST, MANY PEOPLE WILL DIE WITHIN A MATTER OF WEEKS.

Well, since we're in to Swiftean Modest Proposal territory, would that be such a bad thing? For anyone other than a few million dead UKans, anyway.

The problem the world has is that memories have faded of the lessons of the great depression and WW2. Ludicrous right wing fuckwittery and anti-rational populism has made a comeback.

So come on, Britain. Come on Charlie. Take one for the team. Your mountain of corpses will save the rest of the world from its own stupidity.

147:

So come on, Britain. Come on Charlie. Take one for the team. Your mountain of corpses will save the rest of the world from its own stupidity.

This is so hard to argue with! Naturally, I see the essential wrongness of the idea, but considering the horrors which conservatism/fascism could inflict on the world, perhaps an early bad example is the best way to save the maximum number of lives... and I am anxious to travel to the UK six months after Brexit and see if anyone will trade sex for a sandwich!

Meanwhile, I hope Charlie and Feorag have the good sense to GTFO!

148:

> Meanwhile, I hope Charlie and Feorag have the good sense to GTFO!

As long as pet passports remain valid...

149:

No
THIS IS OUR HOME ....
( Though a non-Brit passport would be useful,if it gets really bad, in "political" terms.
People in the US can easily move to another state, if things go to shit ( See my link about Ohio earlier ) ... here it's just a little bit more difficult.

150:

Elladan @92: They're bringing you an entire population who can not only stay awake through a cricket Test match, they can also remain enthused for the whole four-day duration. What more do you want?

JBS@102 - I'm an Australian. They'd be collecting it from my country as well (although we could presumably make an equally valid argument we're not speaking "English" any more... we're speaking Strine, or Strayan!). Presumably the other alternative would be to start suing all the various colonies who have adulterated the language for copyright infringement or something. (Look, I don't have to make this work - like I said, I'm Australian. I just have to watch with popcorn while it happens a reasonably safe viewing distance away).

151:

Kenneth Horne: Now if you're like me you've heard a lot about Brexit but don't really know what's going on. So when I heard about some people who'd looked into it I popped round to find out what the BONA RESEARCH GROUP thought of it.

[Doorbell]

KH: Hello is anyone there?

Julian: Hello I'm Julian, and this is my friend Sandy.

Sandy: Oh Mr 'Orne, how nice to vada your eek. Come in come in.

KH: Now I'm here to learn about Brexit. I understand that you're closely associated with the Brexiteers.

S: Oh yes, very closely.

J: Very closely.

S: You might say intimately.

J: Yes intimately.

KH: Can you show me some keen Brexiteers?

S: Brexiteers. Oh Mr 'Orne. We've got lots of big Brexit-eers.

KH: Well why's that?

S: All the better to hear you with love. Brexit-ears, Brexit-noses.

J: Brexit-mouths.

S: Brexit-mouths, Brexit-eyebrows.

KH: So you've got Brexit for the whole body do you?

S: Oh Mr 'Orne.

[And so on for a while]

152:

Presumably with a large enthusiasm for "Cottage Industries" I assume?
I can thnk of several more along those lines, but probably not for a Family Magazine ....

153:

>What can you come up with?

How to fix brexit?

The short answer? You can't. It was broken and impossible from day one - and there's no point in even trying. Brexit was stillborn - no point in trying to revive a corpse. You are wasting your time a bit like that old joke; "Can you give me an example of wasted energy? Telling a hair-raising story to a bald-headed man".

The long answer?
First of all I fear that may's deal really could get through. I wonder (for example) if may will - to coin a phrase - "stuff the DUPs mouths with gold". That and at least some MPs appear to have "rubber backbones" and who would gladly take this terrible deal if the choice came down between that and "you've lost your seat".

Whoever is PM be it may or somebody else there is only one sensible and logical solution to brexit. And that's to scrunch up the brexit papers and throw 'em in a bin. Just wait around a while, it'll go into one of those black binbags and the bin men will be around soon and take it away in a rubbish lorry. Job done, or in other words - remain in the eu: Bin brexit.

Brexit itself might be dead in any case however - there's one thing lots of people have forgotten and that is the investigation into aaron banks and his possibly illegal money donations. If the police find a crime was committed that surely means that brexit has been founded on a crime, and then how can any politician back that?

154:

Greg Tingey noted "People in the US can easily move to another state, if things go to shit ( See my link about Ohio earlier ) ... here it's just a little bit more difficult."

But you can just move across the channel into any European mainland state! Easy peasy! Oh, wait... that only works if you're a Brexit profiteer.

155:

And it might, for two or three generations, grant the ability to distinguish between Conservatives and thoughtless reactionaries. Expletive high price though.

156:

Re "stuff the DUPs mouths with gold"

Wouldn't it be cheaper, all things considered, to buy SNP votes with an IndyRef2 ?

If things go south, SNP will do that anyway, so it's not exactly a big loss for May.

I would also be surprised if everybody in Labour is sold on Corbyns disaster-socialism gamble.

Re the High Court and validity of referendum case

The referendum was only advisory, May was not in any way bound by the (possibly invalid) result when she sent the Article 50 letter.

From EU's point of view, the result of that case is only relevant as far as the EU monitors election integrity in the member states.

The only UK court-case I can see which can invalidate the A50 letter in the eyes of EU, is if May is found guilty of High Treason by sending the A50 letter. Given the referendum was only advisory, that seems unlikely.

Re EU court and "forget A50 letter" case

The two most likely verdicts are "This is for the Council of Ministers to decide" and "Once Article 50 is started with notice, Article 49 applies for reentry." Both amount to more or less the same thing for UK.

The absolutely totally unlikely verdict is: "Sure, UK can make a fool for EU for a couple of years and then yank the letter back right before the deadline and suffer no consequences for this manipulation of the common market."


157:

The only UK court-case I can see which can invalidate the A50 letter in the eyes of EU, is if May is found guilty of High Treason by sending the A50 letter. Given the referendum was only advisory, that seems unlikely.

Certainly guilty of poor judgement, though after our experiences in the U.S. it's tough not to wonder who in the U.K. might be on Putin's payroll - not that I'm making any accusations about specific people - but the NCA inquiry does seem to be about a year behind Mueller's probe, so the UK public has far less idea than the US public about who might be tainted.

The smart move at this point might be to ask the EU for an extension until the NCA has completed their inquiry and some kind of parliamentary committee has seen whatever intelligence your various services might have gathered on the whole thing. I further suspect that some of the EU's intelligence services know things they are unwilling to talk about.

One thing I feel strongly about in both the US and UK's situation is that we need to stop worrying too much about the "sources and methods" issues and start declassifying information about Brexit/Trump-Russia in time to keep our countries' heads above the fucking water!

158:

Interesting. The UK seems to be more on top of certain issues than I'd previously noticed.

Ted Kramer is CEO and co-founder of Six4Three, a creepy US-based machine-learning startup whose debut product was a Facebook app called Pinkini that let you search your friends' photos for pictures of them in bikinis; when Facebook shut down the app after a terms-of-service change, Six4Three sued Facebook and obtained a key trove of internal Facebook documents through the discovery process.

Kramer was in London this week for work, and somehow the UK Parliament got wind of the fact that he was carrying a laptop with all those discovery documents...

159:

Greg Tingey @ 139:

Just as you thought it couldn't get any madder THIS happens
[ High court to rule on legality of vote ... ]


Ok, so suppose hypothetically the High Court does rule BREXIT is null & void. What happens then?

160:

And it's not the Leave voters who've been stockpiling emergency supplies of food, putting solar panels on their roofs and so on in anticipation of everything going tits up, is it?

161:

Conservative MP Damian Collins ... despatched a Parliamentary serjeant at arms to Kramer's hotel and dragged him before Parliament....”
Well at least one Tory has done something useful this year.

162:

Why would they need more than a week to do a referendum?

Firstly, there's no constitutional mechanism to run a referendum. So every referendum requires an Act of Parliament to be passed, to allow for the referendum. (It's essentially a constitutional hot-patch applied on the fly.)

Secondly, you can't just re-run the paperwork for the last Brexit referendum — at a minimum a second ref would require a different choice: probably a three-way with ranked voting on "May's Deal", "No Deal" or "Withdraw Article 50". So, new legislative boilerplate needs drafting and then running through both houses of parliament in a crowded legislative period in the run-up to the Christmas/New Year recess.

Thirdly, campaigning. A minimum ten week period is required, traditionally, to ensure the voters are properly informed and not bounced into rubber-stamping an initiative without debate.

Fourthly, it takes time to distribute advance postal ballots and set up polling stations and election counting centres: this isn't a permanent infrastructure, venues needs to be requested and confirmed, staff for the count need to be booked, parties need to be able to nominate election monitors, and so on.

Upshot: taking all critical path elements into account it takes a minimum of about 4-5 months for the UK to schedule a snap referendum (a general election can be run in as little as 12 weeks, but there's a repeatable constitutional mechanism in place for that). Normally referenda have taken 12-24 months in the past, so 4-5 months is a rush job.

163:

To help those of us observing from afar is this a reasonable description of what is going on at the moment?

Brexit debate
currently
Just the deluded fighting those in denial

https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/brexit-debate-currently-just-deluded-fighting-those-denial-u-k-ncna939636

164:

I've been intrigued by the mention of "technological means" for border controls between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, so that the border can be simultaneously open and closed. This blog is one of the finest possible places to discuss technology, so let's talk about technological means. Brexit is an exceedingly complex problem. But it was proposed as a simple solution that was ideal in every respect except that it was an utter fantasy and not practicable in any way. The complexity arises from the inherent conflicts between the fantasy that was promised and the reality that needs to be implemented, and from the huge scale. It's pretty clear that only the newest and most modern technology has a chance of addressing the complexity while maintaining the appearance of simplicity. Therefore I would like to propose the deployment of "Brexit Reality".

Wearing your Brexit Reality glasses and automatic noise canceling earbuds, you will see and hear carefully curated information that is appropriate to your nationality, immigration status and political beliefs. Irish or UK citizen approaching the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic? You see an open highway with no border controls. EU citizen? Your road leads to the border post where you are detained, interrogated and strip-searched. Have to allow EU fishers in UK waters? Simple, the Brexit Reality goggles edit the scene so UK fishers see Union Jacks flying on the EU boats. (Simply not seeing the EU boats would be unsafe.) Leave supporters can see goods prices in shillings and pence, while Remain supporters can see them in Euros. When Theresa May needs must appear before the European Court of Justice, her Brexit Reality goggles can add wigs to the judges, and translate their speech into proper British accents.

165:

Actually, I had developed this scenario involving poisoned tea, the Royal Family, and English football fans -- but after reflection,

I realized that since we elected the dipshit Antichrist over here and you all are cheering for Brexit over there the whole planet has entered the Stupidity Singularity and anything posted will never compare.

166:

RvdH @ 161
Actually, that's SERIOUS. It's also a message to Zuckerberg, as an arrest by the Serjeant-at-Arms, means you have not been arrested by the mere police, oh noe ... you have been arrested by Parliament.
And, if MZ shows his face here again, he's likely to get the same treatment - after all "secure" accomodation is available ......

Charlie @ 162
Not quite.
Assuming a bill for "Ref2" couild be rushed through in a single day ( And it has been done in the past ) then it can all be done & dusted in 6 weeks.
So the ultimate deadline for "Ref2" is approximately - St Valentine's Day, oops.

daerien @ 165
Actually, in one respect we are in an even worse pickle than you.
Assuming that Pence & the christofascists don't mount a "state of emergency" before 2020, your problem may be over, but Brexit is PERMANENT ... and the balance was SO CLOSE to evens.
Hence my hope for "Ref2".

167:

Update Re. David L @ 163
From your linked article: The U.K. — a nation which in living memory was administering the largest empire in the history of the world — is at present a country where the deluded are fighting with those in denial. It could all end very badly indeed.
Yes, I’m deeply afraid this is our 1940 – without even firing a shot ….

168:

Greg,

Lets say Parliament nixes the May Agreement, and calls for a referendum giving three choices: "Hard Brexit", "Mays agreement", "Remain(Withdraw A50 Letter)".

By 1st of feb you have the result: 55% Remain, 20% May Agreement, 20% Hard Brexit

PM X.Y.Whoever sends letter to BXL: "Nevermind A50, we'd like to stay."

Please tell us what happens next ?

169:

Charlie @162 - I know some of the retired women who make up the backbone of our local election staff and they need about six weeks notice to train/schedule/book-and-kick-the-flower-arranging-course-out-of-the-hall* to make sure it runs as smoothly, transparently and fairly as it does. Less than that and they'd cut corners which would turn out badly.

Poul-Henning Kamp @168 - I agree it makes no sense to allow the UK to rescind the A50 declaration. But the reason it might happen is that of the various ways of dealing with the idiot nation on the EU's North West frontier, maybe this is the least stupid?

* Good turn out from disappointed flower arrangers

170:

For which you should blame Noah Webster, who changed spellings with malice aforethought, "in order to be different".

171:

that football is the Australian Rules version of the game, played on an oval shaped pitch that has far too many goalposts

I never really understood Aussie Rules, mostly on the level of "why invent this in a World that already contains Rugby Union?" I will give you that it's way more fun to watch than soccer.

172:

Actually I can answer that. New South Wales and Queensland are big into Rugby (though more Rugby League than Union). Because of this Victoria and South Australia have to be different and so prefer Aussie Rules.

Or perhaps VIC and SA love Aussie Rules so because of that NSW and QLD obviously prefer the Rugby code for their odd-shaped balls.

tl;dr: regional rivalry

173:

And in lots of other locations Polling Places are schools (infant / elementary level as a rule), which means scheduling an extra "school holiday" for the individual schools involved since, under the Representation of the People Acts they may not be used for their normal business on the Polling Day in case "undue influence" is brought to bear on the voters.

174:

Cheers; that actually makes sense, along with people watching Aussie Rules in order to see Collingwood lose (which is an international thing, not just an Aussie one).

175:

This is the explanation from my cousins, big Aussie Rules fans from Perth (also Aussie Rules country), who have a genial contempt for anything from the East coast of Australia.

176:

Those old conservative voters need a lot of medicine to stay alive, and a lot of cheap migrant workers to keep their care homes going.

Alas, I've been getting a lot of face time in care homes in the past few months, and about 80% of the residents are past voting.

(Their middle-aged kids are another matter, but their politics may be dominated by other issues. Most people are short-sighted and vote over whatever's right in front of their nose.)

177:

A wise choice ... because they're synonyms!

178:

Some only watch it to see Carlton lose, too, so it's pretty ecumenical that way. Oh, and this was a thing. Looking at that now, I imagine people from Europe and America might consider the crowds to be "cute". The most noticable feature of aussie rules has always been the tight shorts though (or as they would have put it in the 70s, "something for the ladies", particularly given the players didn't traditionally favour the "brick shithouse" physique common in the Rugbies).

179:

A major difference between AFL and Rugby (I can't tell the various codes of Rugby apart, apparently those who grew up in it can) is that when 20,000 people turn up for a Rugby Grand Final the organisers and commentators and officials have orgasms.

When 20,000 people turn up for a 2nd division AFL game, nobody notices.

Of course, AFL Grand Finals get 100,000 people to the game...

180:

This is an elaboration on Jouni K. Seppänen's suggestion @36, but a good one I think. Very doublethink, much City and the City, wow.

181:

at a minimum a second ref would require a different choice: probably a three-way with ranked voting on "May's Deal", "No Deal" or "Withdraw Article 50".

This sounds almost like hope. Do you really think that the powers-that-be would make an intelligent decision?

The choices on Referendum 2 would be "May's Deal" or "No Deal". "Withdraw Article 50" is IMPOSSIBLE. It Cannot Be, and therefore such a choice is unacceptable. Brexit! Means! Brexit!

182:

Re: Fastest time to arrange a Referendum

Appreciate the explanation - thanks!

And how much time does it take Parliament and the populace at large to react to a natural disaster? Seriously, the UK (along with the rest of the planet) needs to figure out their 'supply-chain' response-strategy in the event of any of a wide range of modern day disaster scenarios (political - Brexit, terrorist, climate/weather, etc.).

Even 6 weeks is way too long. As for the lead time to appropriate schools as voting venues: Don't you folks ever get snow days? If yes, just how screwed is your K-12 education at the end of the school year if it snows more than you had planned for? (C'mon, get serious and stop with the lame excuses.)

183:

Does the UK have an e-file system for personal income tax filing?

If yes, this system could be securely repurposed for voting since identity validation and overall security (the trickiest parts) are already in place. This would mean ensuring that the web site ramped up its servers/processing capacity especially if the 'vote' had to be conducted within some arbitrary 24-hour period.

FYI - Data shows that 81.7% of the UK population had access to the Internet as of 2011. 'Recent Internet usage' reached 90% in early 2018 with the lowest usage rate among the older age groups.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/itandinternetindustry/bulletins/internetusers/2018

If you figure that about 50% of this demo would not be cognitively capable or inclined to vote even if there were 12 weeks to set up the old-school version of a referendum, this means no loss of voting rights. That leaves the 5% of the total population who probably for financial reasons do not already possess any Internet access. These folks could be accommodated via existing public facilities such as public libraries that free/no-fee computers (desk tops) connected to the Internet. I'm guessing that a maximum 3-options question configured as an electronic ballot shouldn't be too tricky for anyone who's ever used an ATM. (Which is probably close to 98% of the overall population ... even in the UK.)

184:

PM X.Y.Whoever sends letter to BXL: "Nevermind A50, we'd like to stay." ... Please tell us what happens next ?

I think the UK would get to remain (with footnotes).

It wan't in the EU's interest for the UK to leave, in the first place. The whole debacle to this point has inflicted huge amounts of economic damage on the UK already, in terms of billions of pounds of lost annual GDP growth and corporations moving out into more stable EU members.

If the UK does leave, the risk is that the economic damage will be generalized to the detriment of the rest of the EU (the UK is a major trading partner for other EU members), and it sets a precedent that leaving is even possible.

If the UK is allowed to slink back into the manger, chastened, that will be a powerful lesson for potential splittists elsewhere — think Poland, think Hungary, think some of the hotheads in Northern Italy.

Footnote: however, the UK will be made to pay, one way or the other. It is unlikely that the financial institutions who've already moved their nameplates will return. The loss of diplomatic soft power is immense and permanent. There may be strong pressure for the UK to converge with the Schengen mainstream, although I think ditching Sterling for the Euro is vanishingly unlikely at this point (both because of symbolism and because it serves the EUs interests to have an unofficial second reserve currency).

Thus, in such a situation the EU will play the magnanimous and forgiving party in public, but in diplomatic circles and committee back rooms there will be copious gouts of arterial (British) blood as the sharks extract payment in flesh.

185:

And how much time does it take Parliament and the populace at large to react to a natural disaster?

Oh, that's easy: they invoke the Civil Contingencies Act and initiate a 30 day period of Rule by Decree — ministers have the power to create law on the fly, but there's a rolling sunset timeout on these powers. They have to be renewed by Parliament, AIUI.

However, the CCA was passed in 2004 under Blair, at a time when the machineries of government hadn't just been through eight years of austerity-motivated cuts that axed 30-50% of local government spending. A lot of institutional hollowing-out has occurred, and it's extremely likely that when the ministers start yanking on the control column to pull out of the nose-dive they'll discover that the cables and control surfaces have been sold off as scrap.

186:

Does the UK have an e-file system for personal income tax filing? If yes, this system could be securely repurposed for voting since identity validation and overall security (the trickiest parts) are already in place

Yes it does, but no it can't, because the vast majority of the UK population don't file income tax returns at all: tax is deducted at source via the employers by PAYE (Pay As You Earn). Self-employed people deal with e-filing, in theory — but again, theory and practice diverge: I just throw my receipts and bank statements at my accountant once a year and sign the finished form they send me without actually having a login on the HMRC system. And so on.

Also, 0.5% of the UK population is currently homeless, 3-5% are destitute (starving/homeless/relying on food banks and soup kitchens) and another 20% are officially below the poverty line. About 60% of benefits payments go to people in full-time work that pays so little they qualify for income support. If you put a barrier in place to voting, even one as trivial as requiring internet access (from people who can't afford to pay a mobile phone bill) then you're skewing the election outcome towards the Rich Folks' Party.

187:

voidampersand @ 164: I've been intrigued by the mention of "technological means" for border controls between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, so that the border can be simultaneously open and closed. This blog is one of the finest possible places to discuss technology, so let's talk about technological means.

Easy Peasy. Everything gets an implanted RFID tag so THEY can track its movement. EVERY thing ... and every one.

188:

I do not believe that the UK would get to remain, I think the best offer it would get would be the current transition remains in force until the UK has re-negotiated admission.


The new membership deal would be no special status, rebates and euro membership and the UK would be excluded from the Council until the new details of membership are concluded.

189:

Don't you folks ever get snow days?
Well yes, in some cases but there is a fundamental difference between a snow day and a Polling Day. On a snow day, the staff and pupils are told "take the day off", but it would actually be illegal for them to visit the school for educational purposes on a Polling Day (other than individual parents taking children to the Poll with them or or teachers visiting the Poll because the relevant school is also the local Polling Place).

190:

UT @ 188
How many times do I have to repeat what Macron & Merkel ( & others, especially NL & DK ) have said?
That from their p.o.v we can stop it at any time up to the deadline.
It's in their interests as well as ours, that we stay.
OK?

191:

Charlie @ 186:

Does the UK have an e-file system for personal income tax filing? If yes, this system could be securely repurposed for voting since identity validation and overall security (the trickiest parts) are already in place
Yes it does, but no it can't, because the vast majority of the UK population don't file income tax returns at all: tax is deducted at source via the employers by PAYE (Pay As You Earn).

That's the way it works for the most employees here in the U.S. But you still have to file a tax return, if for no other reason than to claim a refund for taxes withheld in excess of taxes owed (or occasionally to pay extra because they didn't hold out enough).

What do y'all have to do if your employer holds back too much for taxes? Is there a mechanism to claim a refund of excess taxes deducted? Or are y'all just SOL in that case?

192:

Over payment only tends to happen if you leave a well paid job for no job or less well paid,

But its an Easy answer - about 6 months after the end of the tax year you get a letter from the Inland revenue saying you've overpaid and here is your refund cheque attached - no need to file or apply

193:

What do y'all have to do if your employer holds back too much for taxes? Is there a mechanism to claim a refund of excess taxes deducted? Or are y'all just SOL in that case?

Simplistically, how much tax you pay depends on two things — your tax allowance, and how much you actually earn. In the case that you have overpaid your tax (for example you earnt less than expected in the second half of the year, while you paid tax at full rate in the first half), this is frequently sorted by adjusting your tax allowance for the following financial year, so that you may earn more before becoming liable. If you overpaid a lot, this adjustment might not be sufficient, so in such cases the taxman may send you a nice cheque instead.

If you've underpaid, then much the same is the case. A small discrepancy will be sorted by decreasing your allowance for the following year. A large discrepancy is when they will be writing to you and asking you to send them a cheque.

Note that I am not a bookkeeper or accountant in any way. But for most of us, most of the time, it's nice and simple and we don't need to involve paid help.

194:

paws4thot @ 189:

Don't you folks ever get snow days?
Well yes, in some cases but there is a fundamental difference between a snow day and a Polling Day. On a snow day, the staff and pupils are told "take the day off", but it would actually be illegal for them to visit the school for educational purposes on a Polling Day (other than individual parents taking children to the Poll with them or or teachers visiting the Poll because the relevant school is also the local Polling Place).

It's been a long time, but when I was in elementary school, the school I attended was a polling place. They set up in the back of the cafeteria. We didn't get out of school. Classes continued normally. We just had to stay out of that part of the cafeteria on that day and part of the playground was cordoned off for voter parking.

Hell, I've even seen them open the polling station in a High School gymnasium that still had people living in it because it was an Evacuation Shelter after a hurricane & they didn't cancel school for that either.

Why wouldn't that work for y'all?

195:

thank you!

Though I think the core point is that if the political machinery wanted to solve this, it could. It's not even difficult.

"Purpose of a system is what you see it doing", etc. The "don't make simple things complicated" take is either "everyone holding political power in the UK considers whatever would be required to avoid a hard brexit not in their best interests" or "there is a strong elite consensus that instituting an aristocracy is essential" or "I am so specialized to function in an existing political norm that when removed from that context I am absolutely helpless".

I suspect it's a combination, and I am nigh-certain the proportions don't matter. Just hanging all of the second group wouldn't fix the problem, even if you could perfectly identify them. (I don't think it would do any actual harm, but it wouldn't solve the problem. It would function to make the other two parts of the problem larger.)

196:

It can be even easier than #192 suggests. Under UK PAYE, when you leave $old_job you get an official form stating how much you earned in that job, and how much tax you paid, which you give to $new_employer. The payroll system then recognises that you have overpaid tax relative to your new earnings for the year, and will reduce your tax due accordingly. In extreme cases you may also receive a rebate after the end of the tax year.

197:

USian?

If so then British law is different! Under the British Repesentation of the People Acts it is illegal to carry on other businesses in a Polling Place on Polling Day, and no amount of talking about foreign law will change the fact.

198:

Re: ' 0.5% of the UK population is currently homeless, 3-5% are destitute (starving/homeless/relying on food banks and soup kitchens) and another 20% are officially below the poverty line '

Yet they still have Internet access ...

199:

Under the British Representation of the People Acts it is illegal to carry on other businesses in a Polling Place on Polling Day,

Depends where you draw the boundary of a Polling Place. My local Polling Place is a couple of function rooms in a local hotel which continues to be open for business as a hotel, restaurant and bar while polling takes place. There is a separate entrance to the Polling Place rooms, that seems to be enough to satisfy the law but I may be wrong.

200:

Yet they still have Internet access ...

Do they?

In BC they changed welfare applications to require internet (unless you are lucky enough to live near one of the few remaining offices), on the grounds that everyone had internet access (at a public library if no where else) — just as the libraries (locally funded) were cutting internet access because they couldn't afford it.

Access on a mobile doesn't necessarily cut it — some online forms for my government really need full screen and several plugins to work.

201:

I have read suggestions that the conservatives could run a deal vs no-deal referendum. Remain would not be an option. It would be quite something to have another disastrous referendum result and make one last lunge toward the cliff.

Ok...


Uh...

Scotland, N. Ireland, and Gibraltar leave the UK and remain in the EU.

UK keeps food and medicine available by having no incoming border controls at all except against people. Consumer prices actually drop!

A batch of bad eye drops leaves ten percent of the population with eye-patches.

A batch of bad foot cream leaves ten percent of the population with one or more peg-legs.

Exotic animal smugglers flood the country with colorful parrots, etc.

The currency collapses and is replaced with actual gold coins.

200 years later this is seen as one of the best examples of future-prepping an entire nation for the chaotic world of coastal flooding.

The sun never sets on the British smuggling empire.

203:

From Robert Preston in that article: "The delay could be no more than a couple of months, because there is an absolute horror of the UK participating in elections for the European Parliament at the end of May."

I'm always interested in timelines. This is saying that the EU will not want to delay brexit by more than a couple months, because then the UK would participate in the EU parliamentary elections. The EU wants them gone or remaining before those elections. That, I think, is a pretty big blow to a lot of plans to get out of this without disaster that require a longer transition.

204:

Re: 'The EU wants them [UK] gone or remaining before those elections.'

Depends on how many current EU members would like the EU membership terms eased. Regardless, Brexit could still end up being a major campaign issue in the EU election.

According to the below, UKers with a residence in some EU member states are allowed to vote in the upcoming EU elections therefore could elect one or two UK-sympathetic members which could then stall the final exit for a few more years.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elections_to_the_European_Parliament#Proposed_reforms

'Eligibility

Each Member State has different rules determining who can vote for and run as the European Parliamentary candidates. In Spain v United Kingdom, the European Court of Justice held that member states are permitted to extend the franchise to non-EU citizens.[33]'


Re: Bermuda

Lots of money (est. 12% of ALL outgoing financial tran$action$) goes to Bermuda from the UK (see 'double Irish, Dutch sandwich') making this island a much more relevant contender for the NeoBritannia capitol than revenue-puny Gibraltar.

Imagine if the UK merged with Bermuda: all that unpaid tax revenue repatriated.

http://uk.businessinsider.com/r-google-accounts-show-11-billion-euros-moved-via-low-tax-dutch-sandwich-in-2014-2016-2

205:

BREGRET Significant numbers of remain voters seem to be changing their minds, now facts are avialable ....

206:

My time in South Korea leads me to believe that they'd get along famously with the Scots, but that the "getting to know you" period would involve many drinking contests, and I'm not sure who I would put odds on.

207:

no special status, rebates and euro membership

Euro membership is vaguer than most people realize. While new members have to commit to joining the euro, there's no set timetable for it except for "when debt/currency convergence criteria are met". Which could be any time, really. After the Greek fiasco the ECB is not eager to push the issue.

Which is why I have a small purse full of Polish Zlotys on my desk. Poland joined in 2004 and is theoretically committed to joining the euro; it's just taken 14 years so far with no sign of motion.

The UK could in principle commit to joining the euro at some undefined future date, then kick the can down the road indefinitely: the real question is what would this do to confidence in sterling as a reserve currency in the meantime.

208:

Well, this was breaking news 8 hours ago

Excerpt:
LONDON (Reuters) - Europe’s top court will hold an urgent hearing on Tuesday over whether Britain can unilaterally reverse its decision to leave the EU, in a case supporters of membership hope could pave the way to a second referendum and ultimately stop Brexit.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) is being asked to interpret whether Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty - the mechanism by which Britain notified the European Union of its intention to leave - can be revoked. '
--- end excerpt ---

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-article50/stopping-brexit-eus-top-court-hears-uk-exit-reversal-case-idUSKCN1NV1OW

209:

What do y'all have to do if your employer holds back too much for taxes? Is there a mechanism to claim a refund of excess taxes deducted? Or are y'all just SOL in that case?

It gets refunded automatically through your payroll when HMRC catch up — usually within 2-3 months of you starting a job on an emergency tax code. (Happened to me in the 90s after a period of being a student: got allocated an emergency code, paid too much tax for my first couple of months, then suddenly got a month and a half with no tax.)

210:

I now go to Peter Watts' site for the happy songs. As OGH would say, 2018: Who ordered that?

211:

Re: Homeless (but not phoneless)

First read about this type of initiative almost 10 years ago. The article below is about homelessness in Australia and a specifically designed app (AskIzzy) that helps folks access help/resources.

"Ninety-five percent of people who are homeless have mobile phones, and 80 percent of those have smartphones," said Spriggs. "Often they might be on prepaid phones, with no credit, but they access free Wi-Fi to get online."

https://www.cnet.com/news/homeless-not-phoneless-askizzy-app-saving-societys-forgotten-smartphone-tech-users/

Similarly in a Canada smartphones help urban and rural homeless and at-risk populations (e.g., domestic violence) maintain communication with authorities as well as more effectively access aid at critical times.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/social-media-indigenous-women-safety-facebook-1.4032899

In the UK, there's a new smartphone app that allows digital-economy-only folks to help homeless folk (who may or may not have a smartphone).

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/08/08/homeless-people-wearing-barcodes-new-project-increase-donations/

'When you scan the barcode on your smartphone, a profile of the homeless person appears. This tells you more about their circumstances, such as how they became homeless or what their job used to be.

The project, which is being trialled in Oxford, is supported by Oxford University Innovation and Oxford’s Said Business School.'

212:

As an aside, why do the brexiteers get to sound a bit like musketeers, while the remainers only get to be remoaners?

213:

Sorry, the EU keeping in check the corrupted officials?

I'm thinking about the pro-Russian government of the Ukraine*, that was assassinating some citizens, as opposed to the current pro-West government, that started a war, and is at least as corrupt....

* One set of my grandparents came from Odessa, so I can call it whatever I want, which is the Ukraine.

214:

Back in the mists of time in the 80s, The Monster Raving Loony Party and the Rainbow Alliance had a plan to end The Troubles. All the islands off the west coast of Europe would unite under the banner of "The Rainbow Isles". Since then the rainbow has been co-opted by the LGBT movement. This suggests a way of alleviating the worst of Brexit. We need to immanentise CASE NIGHTMARE RAINBOW. Instead of the UK becoming a tax haven for corporate money we need to join with Ireland in creating a safe haven for the pronoun-challenged and non-heteronormative. Give me your queens, your dykes, your huddled bears yearning to breathe free! This will so enrage the gammon fraternity that they will seek to leave (and be encouraged) to emigrate to the less enlightened and more bigoted parts of Europe and the world. Given the strong correlation of those people with the Brexiteers, it kills two birds with one stone. With the Houses of Parliament needing serious refurbishment before it falls down, MPs will have to move out. An upstairs room at the Admiral Duncan in Old Compton Street should be sufficient and would mean they could stay in London in familiar surroundings.

The traditional British Empire way of keeping a newly conquered territory under control is to put a hated minority in charge. This gets a bit tricky with post-Brexit UK because the obvious candidates are all a bit ideologically unsound and I'll get into trouble if I suggest them. I'd offer the Buddhists but there's not really enough of them and even they are getting a bit of a bad name just now. So I think Vegetarian Hindus are the thing. When the borders shut, we'll have trouble feeding ourselves. And nobody wants cheap tasteless chicken from the colonies. However there's never any decent veggy curries in the supermarkets. So, I for one, welcome our new Hindu, many-armed overlords with their Masala Dosa, Roti and Daal. Until global warming really kicks in and East Anglia disappears, there should still be plenty of sugar beet. So it's Beet Curry for the poor and Charlie Bighams Beet Tikka Masala from Waitrose for the rich. Or perhaps an artisanal "Beet Dansak For One", from your local farm shop. If we can just use CRISPR to transfer the caffeine and nicotine genes from coffee and tobacco to the humble sugar beet we should be able to combine an energy drink, too much carbs, unprocessed sugar and a vape into one easily digestible takeaway meal or packet of crisps.

215:

There's another easy answer for the problem of all the unemployed, esp. the young people: forget about a "short, victorious war", no, no, where's the profit in that. The obvious far better answer is: pick up the war with France!

It will go on for years (and think of all the money to be made by war porfiteers!), and it disposes of surplus population, *and* provides health spare body parts!

I can see the recruiting posters now, SERVE, FOR QUEEN AND COUNTRY! Brave the broadsides with the Frech Imperial ships! Be part of The Line!

Mr. Hornblower, the doctor will see you now....

216:

One more small addition: since the government will then be so small that the 1% will run it all, you will need an agency to regulate the obvious means for them to settle disputes among themselves.

Just that the law should require duels to the death to be played by the principal, not a hired duelist.

217:

Don't be silly! Think of all those unemployed young 'uns! They can hire themselves out at the airports to be "best boys" (was that the phrase, in the Golden Past of the Empire?)....

Can't you just see Saudi, and African, and Afro-Americans hiring them...?

218:

Interesti8ng statistic. One's immediate following thought is to wonder how many of that 1% of psychotic, antisocial thugs overlap with the wealthiest 1%.

219:

Ukraine is not part of the EU. They reached an association agreement in 2012, but this triggered a whole load of political unrest, culminating in the current Russia-Ukraine nastiness — apparently Russia is strongly opposed to the idea of former-USSR states joining the EU.

220:

No, no. Giant barded war frogs should be what they're riding.

221:

Cane toads. Giant mutant cane toads.

222:

No, too much danger that the cane toads would win. What would the UK do with Occupied Estonia? Especially "Estonia and 20 billion cane toads"?

223:

Ok, commitment to join the Euro and actually joining are different things but would a UK application to re-join the EU on the same terms as Poland, get support in the Commons? Also would Spain be tempted to veto unless Gibraltar is handed over?

224:

You mean, as opposed to the illegal money from American right-wing billionaires that we've already started hearing about?

225:

Well, that's completely absurd, and a waste of money. The countracto4s hired to build the seawall will stop at 150 meters, and declare it done, claiming that costs had risen too high to continue, but thank you for the ROI....

226:

Tiny bit of news -- in the back of my mind I seem to remember trump saying if the UK gets a trade deal with the EU there'll be no trade deal with the US.

Prehaps I was correct?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-46352463

227:

I see a lot of proposals for seawalls that go part way round things. It's as though the proposers don't understand how water works. Usually it's just that the realise that 20,000 km of seawall is a bit of a big ask so they just focus on their little bit of the coast instead. Or just as likely, they can't think globally and only care about their little bit, not realising that it's all connected.

Reminds me of the old days when after storms there would be demands from some people that "the government" put all the sand back on the beach. Error: scale issue.

If one sacrifice to the elder gods is good, does that mean that 10 billion is better?

228:

What do y'all have to do if your employer holds back too much for taxes? Is there a mechanism to claim a refund of excess taxes deducted?

Unless I'm badly mistaken the UK and others in the EU have a vastly simpler tax code than the US. Especially for "people". Which means that rarely does anyone over or under pay except if they job hop a lot or their salary varies a lot.

So basically how much is reported on their equivalent of a W2 (US statement of earnings from a company) determines their tax bill.

In the US some R's really wanted to move to such a system in the 80s and at times there after but they kept tying it to cutting the government budget by 1/2 so it went nowhere.

229:

For the reference, EU also opposes dragging Ukraine into the EU, because they've had enough problems already with countries with stagnating economy like Spain or Italy, and US-affiliated countries like Poland or Baltics. It is the US that pushes the association, because it will put much greater load on EU budget and therefore will make it go bunkrupt. That is a one major reason for the country to still staying in transition status with only small part of its citizens allowed to visit Europe (and these are mostly imported workforce). Incidentally, US itself can not allow Ukraine to join NATO, because, as I already noted before, the entire purpose of NATO is to NOT go to war with Russia and this is not what current owners of Ukraine asking for. However, it is very hard for Ukraine to actually go for war for the threat that the central government will collapse in the result of even more economic abuse. Oh wait...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqipJumBdlM
Current situation is of course even more absurd if you see it it from the point of international law about maritime borders. The previous strait status was a coordinated use by two countries (that is, you need to have the permission of both sides), so when the other shore changed hands, the status in general did not change - to pass through the strait you still need to ask Russian side for permission. Practically, they just surrendered their own men, not even bothering with consequences - which of course, happened in the past so many times that nobody bothers counting.

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/11/26/europe/ukraine-russia-kerch-strait-intl/index.html
Not only that, the president immediately declared martial law, because, obviously, you don't need to wait several days for decisions that have already made before the "provocation". A very amateur job, but of course, the public will eat it with the straight face. This is what happens when you do not even bothering with fooling anybody but yourself.

230:

Are you sure that the current Parliament, stuffed with Blair PLC pro-corporate television celebrities, has as much concern for the fate of Britain as you suggest? If it took any level of courage to stand against the desires of the stupendously wealthy right, can you point out who has it? The right can rely on the already-prepared police state infrastructure to protect them, while Britain slides into chaos, a punishment of the unwise for not recognising the true power of finance's preferred politicians. The notion of Parliament's independence is pre-BBC, we have been warned repeatedly that it has become merely vaudeville, and its intellectual and interrogatory powers completely failed to reveal the absence of any evidence for the Iraq war. Who would lead a coup?

It seems possible that the super-rich prefer history based on cycles to make inherited wealth work. Why was May absent from the Armistice centenary? Perhaps the intention is to revisit Baldwin's New Conservatism, the original attempt to use the police to exploit the end of the war. This time when 'the balloon goes up' it won't be deflated by a King who declares for Hitler, but rather than an island at war readiness, will create a brutish police state?

231:

How about join the Dark Side of the Atlantic? An unholy Anglo union of North American power and British spunk and je ne sais quoi (?)! We bring the unflinching intolerance, you bring the cultural superiority - a temporarily broken relationship repaired by the gravity of ignorance!

(On a side note - I do actually think there could be an opportunity were our stupid governments able to conceive it - but they won't.)

232:

Similarly in a Canada smartphones help urban and rural homeless and at-risk populations (e.g., domestic violence) maintain communication with authorities as well as more effectively access aid at critical times.

If they have cell phones. In Vancouver that might be a good bet (although Vancouver also has public transit and government offices), but up the Coast or in the Interior where public transit is rare and offices are closing (and libraries are closing or cutting back on public computer access, because money) fewer people have cell phones.

The problem isn't using smartphones and the internet as an additional method of communication — it's a tendency to make it the only method of communication.

233:

Re: Canada's Internet - 'the last mile'

My understanding is that the Canadian Feds are looking into funding small ISPs in order to provide 'the last mile' of Internet connectivity to all its residents. No idea whether when conducting this study they looked at other countries that have similarly distributed populations, i.e., a dozen densely populated urban areas across its 5,000 km breadth with hundreds of sparsely populated towns/villages scattered here and there and often at a considerable distance away from the large urbs. Can only think of Australia, Brazil and Russia as having a similar challenge.

The recommendations section starts on pg 35:

http://www.ourcommons.ca/Content/Committee/421/INDU/Reports/RP9711342/indurp11/indurp11-e.pdf

In comparison, getting all of the UK population online is much easier and cheaper because its small area (1/41 the size of Canada) is already covered in multiple layers of communications infrastructure that can be used as a backbone or to piggyback on.

234:

[ ASTROTURF DRIVE-BY WITH SUSPICIOUS USER DETAILS DELETED — mods ]

235:

If you want people to buy cardigans, you make a real point of offering them a choice between a red one and a blue one.

It makes it difficult to remember other options exist.

People do not deal well with environments in which people around them lie a lot. (there's a whole literature about what happens when volunteer organizations acquire a sociopath. It's not pretty.) Advertising, especially politically directed advertising, creates an environment where you can't trust anything. Lots of people react to this by trusting absolutely because that lowers their insecurity to tolerable levels. Basically the authoritarian trick (virtue consists of hurting yourself for disobedience) with electronic amplification.

The oligarchy is incompetent and net-negative in every respect from the point of view of anyone who isn't one. There's no reason to tolerate having the thing at all, and several strong reasons to get rid of it by the least sufficient means. We're not supposed to notice that; we're supposed to go all delusive and imagine being rich ourselves.

236:

There is no proposal of 'economic war' from Europe, the problem is the UK squandered all the time it had to prepare for Brexit wishing the EU would just give it everything for nothing (eg no border on either side of Ireland, but the UK doesn't have to follow any EU rules). Now with just... 93 (+/- a few) days left they cannot prepare effectively so they either make a complicated agreement with the EU or they 'crash out' with whatever last minute preparations they can make after realizing they are actually going to do that.

Given this sequence of events it isn't entirely unreasonable to suggest the UK might be better off with France and Germany just running this stuff. On the other hand look at Greece.

237:

And of course the option the current government wants to pretend doesn't exist: they call the whole thing off, wake from the fever dream, and continue about their business.

238:

julian Bond @ 214
Cough
I have just made a really delicious Venison Dhansak, using home-grown veg in the mix & side-dish - & I didn't pay for the Venison, either ... there's a lot of it running around the edges of Epping Forest & the surrounding fields .....

sleepingroutine @ 229
Actually both the present corrupt leaders of Ukraine, the previous corrupt-&-murderous leaders of Ukraine & the corrupt-&-murderous leaders of Russia all deserve each other.
Pity about all the "little people" caught out in the open, isn't it?

P @ 230
? ? ? ?

John @ 234
NO
Option 3 - cancel At-50 & REMAIN
See also # 237

239:

Referring back to sleepingroutine @ 229
This article very non-judgemental, gives an interesting background to the present troubles.

240:

That might be legal under the ROtPA, if the said function rooms can be separated from the rest of the building by doors that are locked, and placed under the sole control of the Polling Officer on site from they start to set up until after the ballot boxes have been collected.

I think it would require an actual visit to the site by the Returning Officer so that they could satisfy themself that the Polling Station could be separated from the rest of the building.

241:

Surely the New Management will take care of everything.

242:

John @234 Either you are misinformed or trying to mislead us*. Worse still your comment is neither amusing, interesting, enlightening or thought-provoking**.

* The choice is between 1. a transition period in which the UK is still subject to some but not all EU rules, and with no voting rights (but not a permanent arrangement) during which the UK negotiates a long-term trading agreement between itself and the EU and 2. exit the EU with no deal and try to sort out all the problems that causes on the fly, while still trying to negotiate a trading agreement with the EU.

** Thinking back to Dan H's comment, all the way at @9 - even if we accept his analysis of the long term EU problems, it would still be better to take the terrible transition deal and use the time to either prepare for full exit or negotiate a trade deal that would take advantage of his predicted upcoming turmoil.

243:

How about join the Dark Side of the Atlantic?

Impossible.

I obviously don't have to explain to you (presumably American) why the US Senate resists every attempt to add more States to the union.

Bear in mind that the UK has a population of 65 million, nearly as many as Texas and California combined, and a GDP of $3Tn, or 15% of the entire USA.

For an equitable merger, the UK would need to be allocated 15-20% of the seats in the Senate, equivalent to forming 8-10 new states. (Let's go for: Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Cornwall, Greater Yorkshire, Midlands, London, and Northern England. There's some skew in the population density, but nothing totally out of the ordinary for a distribution of US states.)

These new states would vote wildly to the left of centre in US political terms, with Scotland and London to the left of Bernie Sanders and pretty much nowhere fitting in with the Republican party.

And that, right there, is your "nope" factor (even if the UK was willing to ditch the monarchy and accept the second amendment and all the rest of it ... yeah, not going to happen.)

244:

If they have cell phones. In Vancouver that might be a good bet

Do not get me started on the despicable venality and crap level of service that is the Canadian telecoms market. They actually make the US cellphone carriers look good. A worse hive of scum and villainy I have not been forced to deal with to in recent years ...

(The only worse personal experience I've had was in Australia, and that was some years ago, so they may have improved since 2013.)

245:

Yes. Our democratic processes are routinely, heavily and overtly influenced from the USA(*), but That's All Right. As in the USA, a Parliamentary report said that there was no evidence that Russia had actually influenced Brexit - they very carefully didn't ask whether the USA had.

I have been flamed on this blog for saying that Brexit was, but the decades of anti-EU from the Murdoch media is proof positive. Yes, the Wail was worse, but less influential. And, as you say, there is increasing suspicion that the pro-Brexit campaigns were largely funded from the USA. But we already behave like a subservient territory of the USA - I use the expression "the Puerto Rico of the North".

(*) And another country, which isn't Russia, but isn't relevant to Brexit, as far as I know.

246:

NOTE: Comment by "John" @232 deleted and commenter banned because it smells very fishy — random Yahoo email address with digits in the name, no previous posting history on the blog, arguing in very bad faith as some of you have already noticed (fallacy of the excluded middle, misrepresenting the options, arguing for the preferred choice of the Bannonite fash, i.e. Strategy of Tension).

Shorter Charlie: if it smells like an alt-right sock puppet, it will be treated like an alt-right sock puppet.

247:

Seconded. Before setting out on our trip from Norway to Canada, I'd checked to see whether I ought to be getting bandwidth on my O2 contract. It appeared that everywhere we were going except the Faroes was covered.

I arrived in Canada, and discovered that although I could get 4G reception from Telus, there was no bandwidth behind it. None at all. I could have made phone calls or sent SMS messages (why would I want to do that?), but not a drop of data. I ended up a few days later buying a data SIM in Montreal for a local carrier.

Iceland? No problem.

Greenland? Fine.

Canada? Nope.

248:

The joys of an unregulated monopoly.

Yes, there are three nominally distinct entities -- Telus, Bell, and Rogers -- and SaskTel because socialists. And the "people go with Telus because they're just a phone company, not those pirates at Rogers or unspeakable horrors at Bell" is a thing. But it's functionally a monopoly and it's got immense political cover because there are major pension funds heavily invested in Bell.

I'd nationalize the actual backbone parts and burn the rest of it to the ground, but no one is asking me.

249:

Parliament rejects the deal. A good proportion of the house (everyone that isn't loyal to the Govt) campaigns for a second referendum, and gets one.

May asks for a 6 months extension of article 50, which is granted

This is not how it's going to go down, what happens is this:

1) Parliament rejects the deal, perhaps even rejects it twice on Dec 11'th and then on Dec 19'th too since the crashing FTSE and falling GBP will not persuade the swivel-eyed Brexiteers. This pulls the pin on the grenade, since Brexit will not stop just because Parliament does not want a transition period (which is what the deal is, it is not the final thing)

2) Theresa May calls for one of those clever snap elections. Which she somehow manages to lose, now handing the very much live grenade to George Corbyn with only seconds left of the fuse.

3) George Corbyn can now: Attempt to get the deal passed again (the EU will probably allow a few months for that*), Cancel Article 50 or Deal with a Hard Brexit.

4) Whatever happens, the Torys and the various swivel-eyed loons and chancers hanging around Brexit can now relax and concentrate on blaming Labour for whatever happens for at least a decade in opposition. The Tory Brexiteers from some tax shelter, obviously, since Corbyn could in theory use his emergency powers to strip their assets and shoot the lot of them!

The UK leadership are not just insane, they are straight-up psychotic, borderline diaper cases, totally out of this world with no clue on what's next.

*) The EU probably wants Britain gone before the next European Parliament elections, in may 2019.

250:

EC @ 245
Just fot the odd occasion - I am in 150% agreement with you.
I presume the "Other Country" is the right wing in AUS?

Charlie @ 246
Thanks - I meant 234, of course in my earlier post - my apologoes to R Prior!

fajansen @ 249
Oh shit, you may have a case, especially since JEREMY Corbyn is stuck in a timewarp ( possibly 2 of them ) has certainly never had an original idea since about 1972 & is grossly incompetent - think BoJo without the humour ....

251:

I've been laughing at Monty Python since I was twelve, but when I see that there are British government officials called "The Returning Officer" I get them a little more deeply; it's almost as if, in a particularly profound way, they're not satire at all.

252:

Actually both the present corrupt leaders of Ukraine, the previous corrupt-&-murderous leaders of Ukraine.
Actually, that's the other way around, at least previous leaders did not go for the civil war and promoted the murder, robbery and expulsion of their own citizens for "separatism" and "invasion".

As for the Russian Federation, by 2015 or so most of the people agreed that without large bloodshed involved it is impossible to fix situation in observable future. The time was lost, the critical point was passed in about a decade prior (at the time of orange "revolution") and nothing could stop free application of such "democratic" institutes as civil war, terrorist cells, propaganda ministry, religious sects, unrestricted corruption and total poverty. Since then, the situation has continued to worsen, because every "colored revolution" is a constant process of destruction of sovereignty in every form and establishing colonial administration and dictatorship of international capital.

Simply put, Russia is responsible because of the inaction rather than action (though it wasn't really in position to do much in time), and the answer to this responsibility will come much later. Without a threat of war between country (which will surely result in a lot of casualties), the only viable solution is isolation. Russia has already constructed several pipelines, railroads and roads around the country borders, and also implemented targeted sanctions and strengthened border control - keeping this policy will help to contain rampant Ukrainian nationalism secured until their own citizens will eat them without salt and pepper.

@239
The peninsular has changed hands a number of times – it was occupied by the tsars of the Russian Empire in 1783, was a centrepiece of England, France and the Ottomans' eastern war with Russia in the 1850s, and was returned to the Ukrainian people by former premier of the Soviet Union Nikita Khrushchev in 1954.
As far as non-judgmental it can be, it starts with the blatant lie and ends with stupid bullshit. Nobody even said that they broke every international agreement by running directly into protected zone and refusing to respond to warnings and commands - every normal navy would probably just reduce them to flotsam for this violation alone. And Khrushchev couldn't "return" Crimea to "Ukraine", because before 1954 Crimea did not belong to anything Ukrainian in the first place. In the same manner they also demand to "return" large areas in Russian Federation, because they somehow became "ethnic" in the last 100 years.
https://toinformistoinfluence.com/2017/05/15/there-are-more-ethnic-ukrainians-than-ethnic-russians-in-russia/
If you think this "Anonymous expert" a fucking joke, I have some bad news for you. This is what their modern "nationalists" think.

253:

"How about join the Dark Side of the Atlantic?"

IMO this goes along with the US breaking into at least three pieces.

So the UK joins up with the North East.

The west coast and Hawaii form a nation.

Alaska gets annexed by Russia.

And one or two... or twenty... jebuslands in the middle.

Which kind of implies a very chaotic situation, so I think this happens *after* a disastrous crash out brexit and sea-level pulse triggers a global depression and brief US civil war.

255:

Four words: Bring back the Danelaw.

256:

That's not quite how the U.S. system works.

The U.K., joining as N number of states would generate N times 2 completely new Senators. In other words, if the U.K. joined the U.S. as 5 new states, it would generate 10 completely new Senate seats, and the U.S. would now have 110 Senators. This is because each state is constitutionally allocated 2 Senators.

However, the number of U.S. House members is Constitutionally restricted to 435*, and these are allocated according to population (which is why states such as California are so influential in the House.**) Thus the addition of the U.K. as five states would dilute the power of each state's Congressional Delegation slightly, and make each House member's seat a little larger in terms of population (and area as a side-effect.)

I can imagine that current titles of nobility/royalty might be grandfathered in, with the proviso that the children of such nobles would not be officially titled, but I can also imagine that idea not being acceptable to the courts. (The children of such nobles might still own huge estates in terms of both land and business, but that's completely acceptable in the U.S.)

As to the Senate not allowing new states, this has not been recently tested on locations where White, European people are the majority; the unwillingness to allow locations such as Puerto Rico to be states is based at least as much on racism as anything else. Sentiment might allow the U.K. to join the U.S, but probably with less states than you imagine. I'd expect territories (you have to be a territory first) to be assigned to Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, and England, perhaps divided into Northern England and Southern England.

Frankly, the option is probably worse than Brexit in the long run. In the short run it's probably a vast improvement over a crash-out.

* Each state gets at least one House member

** Nancy Pelosi being Speaker of the House when Democrats are in charge is no accident; her district is in California. (Southern England would have a gigantic House delegation.)

257:

The "Returning Officer" for a parliamentary constituency is a very responsible person. (S)he has to organise issuing, return and checking of candidates' nomination papers, arrange for Polling Places and a Counting Place (where the ballots are physically sorted and counted), have the ballot papers compiled, checked, printed and proof read, appoint Polling and Count Clerks to run the Polling Places (at least 2 for for each few streets in the area covered by that Polling Place. For West Dunbartonshire, this would be about 60 people) and Count itself, and and deal with the nominations of party Polling Agents and Count Agents for each constituency and party. They may be called upon to arbitrate actions in the case of a very close Count, including literally resorting and recounting all the physical ballots. Finally, they get their "big moment" at which they announce the result.

None of this work other than pre-selecting Polling and Counting Places can be done until an election is called because all the relevant paperwork will have to state "for the $type election to $body on $date". Still think the post is even vaguely funny?

258:

However, the number of U.S. House members is Constitutionally restricted to 435*

Nope. The number of House members is Constitutionally limited to no more than one Representative per 30,000 people, with each state guaranteed at least one. That would be about 11,000 currently. The actual number, subject to those restrictions, is set by statute. Congress regularly increased the number of Representatives until the 1920s, leaving it at 435 since then (plus a non-voting member from the Federal District of Washington, DC). Some of the current gerrymander and voter suppression problems would be helped by doubling or tripling the number of Representatives.

259:

I didn't ever think the office was funny. I do think the title is funny.

260:

You're right about that part. But my "lesson" was substantially more correct than what preceded it.

261:

Never mind not having to post guns from a Second Amendment jurisdiction to the soldiers of the Cause, it'd be interesting* to see if the revanchist ex-NORAIDers are more tightly wrapped in the Stars and Stripes or the Tricolour.

*terrifying

262:

With a new news story things suddenly very interesting indeed.

Maybe it was all one conspiracy? Farage? Manafort? Various Russians? All meeting with Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy? Cambridge Analytica* working on both Brexit and the Trump Campaign? Not only does it "quack like a duck" but I think there's only one duck!

* Owned by an American Billionaire of exceedingly odd politics...

263:

Well, I didn't mean actually join the federal government of the United States, but it certainly is fun to imagine those scenarios. I was envisioning something akin to the old EEC perhaps. A complete political union would be monumentally difficult - setting aside the fact that I don't think Americans really want even a titular monarch (although you wouldn't know that from the media's fascination with the royal family), attempting to fuse Parliament with Congress, the Supreme Court, and the powerful executive branch represented by the president would be... well, it would require a completely new constitution that would need to be adopted by a supermajority of the new nation-state, which - hahahahaha. Not happening.

Some kind of trade/immigration/free movement of people thing could work in theory, though, and might open up some opportunities for both sides, especially for the UK, which is about to be escorted to the kids' table of economic/geopolitics. Pipe dreams, though. Bagpipe dreams?

264:

Oh, and I was curious after I saw the comments about relative sizes of economies, because I thought California rated #5 in the world by itself, which would put it ahead of the UK.

I was right: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/california-now-has-the-worlds-5th-largest-economy/

CA would be #5, followed immediately thereafter by the UK at #6.

Texas apparently comes in at #10, just ahead of Canada. (That stat from Wikipedia, so... I dunno).

265:

We've known it was all one conspiracy for some time.

These are not state actors, although some of them have state resources.

(Which is why the "no Russian, but American" take on Brexit vote meddling is wildly unhelpful.)

It's a movement to implement an aristocracy on the basis of control of the financial system (rather than land), and using fascism as the opiate-of-the-masses religion substitute.

It shouldn't have got anywhere but when the legislators are members of the monied class the personal cost to saying "you know what? the limited liability corporation as a legal form of organization needs to go, because it's those or democracy" becomes a difficult question.

266:

Not only racism... North Dakota has a population of 755k, while the District of Columbia has a population of 693k+... but, of course, DC is heavily Black, and, oh, yes, about as conservative, from what I see you folks saying, as London.

267:

51st state discussion seems a poor, fraudulent response to being forced out of Europe under Article 50. Europe resorted to this new stick after its population refused its new state-corporate constitution, instead of rights Europeans are to have Britain as an Aunt Sally.

May was not the only symbolic absence from the Armistice Centenary, where were the royals? It is rumoured that Diana survived the crash but was driven onto a bridge to die, does that make them incapable of representing the country? Lidington was there on our behalf, Dark Arts at the Armistice itself.

268:

I don't recall off-hand whether North Dakota has one or two House members, but if the U.K. joined the U.S. and North Dakota lost 50% of their House representation, that would be a horrible outcome for North Dakota... I think DC only gets one regardless.

269:

You appear to have wandered off from "why can't I have a unicorn?" to "my flying sparkly unicorn does not love me enough".

270:

...and North Dakota lost 50% of their House representation, that would be a horrible outcome for North Dakota.

We took away half of Montana's House representation after the 1990 census. We are almost certainly going to take away half of Rhode Island's House representation, and one third of West Virginia's, after the 2020 census. It's part of being a small population state. Since it's within Congress's power, I would guess that they would expand the House if they were adding all of the UK's 66M people at once.

If almost anyone other than Trump were President, I would expect a US/Canada/UK free-trade zone could be done very quickly and could cope with at least the immediate food and medicine problem (so long as the UK said, "We accept your food and drug standards as adequate for now").

271:

No. Their effect on our politics is negligible.

272:

President Trump is the President, if anything happened to him Pence would be President. There is as yet no credible Democratic challenger, with less than two years to President Trump's reelection.

The observation that Britain is not sufficiently competent to represent itself at a meeting of the world's leaders is not close to being as delusive as 51st state vapour. The Danelaw seems more pertinent.

273:

It's only one conspiracy if you include a 'tacit agreement to work in tandem' as such. The reason that the 'not Russian but American' take is important, though I agree misleading, is mainly to counter the incessant propaganda that it's a Russian plot, and the UK should step up hostilities against Russia. As is happening as I post :-(

274:

Troutwaxer @ 262
I have long thought that Assange was a Very Useful Idiot - probably paid by Putin, who is also paying or bribing or blackmailing Trump, of course .... ( And, quite frankly, it doesn't matter which of the preceding options, either )
Question: If this gets enough publicity & traction, could it be wonderful excuse/reason to - at the very least - "Stop the Clock" on At-50?

EC @ 271
Whom, then?

NOT "the Danelaw" but something like Cnut's empire or an enlarged Union of Kalmar, especially since Denmark, Norway & Sweden are all constitutional monarchies & are all inter-related.
Call it, oh: "The Union of the Northern Sea" - Netherlands, too, of course!

275:

Beg pardon? There are a good number of popssible candidates.

But "not credible"? You're telling me that in 2015 the Malignant Carcinoma was considered a "credible candidate"?

276:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'd gotten the impression that the current number of Representatives in the US Congress was set by the size of the chamber. Sure we could increase the number of reps, but then we'd have to rebuild the Capitol. Also, if you happen to be a believer in Dunbar's Number, you can see that 438 is a stupid size, but not nearly as stupid as, say, 521.

The real problem is that there are 435 representatives for 325.7 million people. Of these, 39.5 million are in California, and we've got 53 Congresscritters.

England currently has 54 million people, so based on California's proportionality, they'd get 73 Congresscreatures. Scotland, at 5.3 million, gets 7 Congressblokes, while Wales at 3 million gets 4 Congressfolk and Northern Ireland gets 2 Congresslad(ie)s, possibly split by religion.

So I'd say there are three problems here:
A. Except for the nutters, most UK politicians fall left of center in the US Democratic party, so this would effectively insure a democratic majority in the US until the Republicans successfully infiltrated the UK. That's enough to stop Agent Orange and his Senatorial enablers from taking the deal right there. Heck, y'all want fascist billionaires messing with your elections even more than they do now? Come right in.
2. Your cherished MP system would devolve into state-level politics, and so forth down the line. Shadow governments? International diplomacy? Scratch all that. Your military and intelligence assets would belong to us. Erm... Yeah.
III. Would the US be in or out of the Commonwealth? Would the Royals have to move to a commonwealth country (Canada? Australia?) to continue to be the heads of the Commonwealth? Do they get to keep their property in the UK, or does that all get sold off or nationalized too?

277:

David L @ 228: In the US some R's really wanted to move to such a system in the 80s and at times there after but they kept tying it to cutting the government budget by 1/2 so it went nowhere.

What they proposed was a "flat" 10% tax on WAGES. All other income[1] would be UN-taxed. If you think about it a bit, you'll understand how grossly unfair and regressive such a system would be.

I'll give you another way the U.S. tax system screws working people; one I actually experienced. An employer withholds taxes from your pay but doesn't remit the funds to the IRS. WHO is held responsible for the "unpaid" taxes? Hint: It ain't the employer.

[1] Excepting income from the sale or possession of illegal drugs.

278:

President Trump was the leading Republican candidate in terms of name recognition when he declared in 2015. While he was outspent by his major rivals, it was clear that he would always have sufficient funding, and his lack on dependence on outside funding was a factor in his success.

The polls will be more significant in 2019, however if you want to attempt to name a Democratic candidate as credible as Trump was, go for it?

279:

So if I get you right, instead of a few guys ducking around, you're saying it's a whole clusterflock?

281:

the unwillingness to allow locations such as Puerto Rico to be states is based at least as much on racism as anything else.

Too simplistic. PR is our NI. A non trivial portion of the population wants nothing to do with being any part of the US. There was even a shooting inside of the Senate chambers by people with such leanings.

It's complicated. As always.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1954_United_States_Capitol_shooting_incident

282:

Sure we could increase the number of reps, but then we'd have to rebuild the Capitol.

Naw.

Instead of small desks they'd just switch to tiny desks. No one actually "works" at those desks. They are basically places to mount voting controls. The biggest issue is that it would require another office building to house the new members and staff. And in DC around the capital that would be really hard.

283:

If you think about it a bit, you'll understand how grossly unfair and regressive such a system would be.

I didn't say anything about that aspect. Just that those proposals are about the closest we've come to an EU style of tax system for individuals. Such changes when proposed to the current system generate howls of pain and tend to bring out interest groups with torches and pitchforks.

284:

Hmmm, well, as an employer, I can tell you we remit the withheld taxes straight to the IRS (and state withholding as well) twice a month, and if we don't, we get nasty notices and threats of penalties and such, so I don't know what your situation was. Employers also pay 1/2 of payroll taxes - is that fair? That the employer not only pays someone wages but also 1/2 of a certain class of taxes on the very wages being paid?

It probably IS fair - it's a contribution to the social welfare system (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid), which ultimately substitutes for a private pension, and is the product of a bargain struck in the wake of the New Deal as I understand things. But it is something that is a bit of a surprise when you first start running a business. Most people don't really think much about it.

285:

May was not the only symbolic absence from the Armistice Centenary, where were the royals?

Errrr..... could you give an example of such an absence? Because I kept seeing The Firm at Armistice commemorations....

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/100-years-on-from-the-armistice-the-nation-remembers

Compiègne was a French / German memorial service; Trump was supposed to attend the commemoration at Aisne-Marne American Cemetery. May was at St Symphorien (containing the graves of the first and last British soldiers to die on the Western Front).

286:

Admit all of the UK as one state, so lots of congressmen but only two senators (thus not endangering Red America's* grip on the Senate.

In order to keep the ornery leftists in line, implement strict voter ID requirements, and make certain that voter IDs are hard to obtain outside the city of London. (Standard voter suppression which works so well at home.)

Of course, no former Brit would be eligible to be President, as they wouldn't be "natural-born" Americans. If there's an inconvenient precedent get the newly-stuffed Supreme Court to rule that it doesn't apply in this case.

For further amusement, and to gift former Britain with some built-in strife, decide that Scots, Welsh, and Irish only count as 3/5 of a person for voting purposes when setting up new congressional districts. There's legal precedent for fractional humans, after all!

And anyway, no matter what is promised immediately eliminate those horrible socialist things like the NHS and benefits, so in a few years many of the more left-wing types will have died of medical conditions, starvation, or overwork.


(The above is intended as satire, obviously.)


*Has the US always been divided into red/blue camps? When I was growing up in the Cold War calling someone "red" was an insult — were the republican strongholds always called red states etc?

287:

I was teasing Canadian Ken about how Canada should join the USA - but he had a great rejoinder - they have guns. So maybe we should just merge/join with Canada - more or less common language - no guns - they even just about get along with the French in Quebec - Trudeau vs Macron seems a fair bet - Queen is acceptable -BofE is already Canadian - Commonwealth fringe benefits ...

Canada +++++ anyone?

Must be preferable to the insanity of the EU any day

288:

It's only one conspiracy if you include a 'tacit agreement to work in tandem' as such.

That's your usual conspiracy among nobility; saves establishing any formal hierarchy inside the conspiracy.

The level of documented co-ordination is... implausible of accident. And on about exactly the same scale for which Edward VIII was deposed. The precedents are there if anyone should care to use them.

289:

Join the Greek Orthodox Communion. Solves most of the Brexit issues - we'll run out EU imports / exports via Mt. Athos (which has a particularly unusual territorial status) and will be able to operate within the SM / CU without actually being part of either.

It wouldn't even be the first time that this country had changed churches to deal with domestic political challenges.

290:

we remit the withheld taxes straight to the IRS ...if we don't, we get nasty notices and threats of penalties... Employers also pay 1/2 of payroll taxes - is that fair?

In Australia the situation is much the same, but employees can't be asked to pay income tax that's been stolen buy their employer. Since the employer is required to withhold that tax and send it to the ATO it's considered a debt owed by the employer. The employee can actually end up ahead because the ATO calls whatever they get paid their "after tax income" and then goes after the employer for the tax that should have been taken out :)

Payroll taxes are just a cost of doing business and I'm shocked to hear that you'd ever expect an employee to pay any part of them. But then, in the US employees also have to pay for private health insurance due to the failed medical system. It's more feudal capitalism than social democracy, but apparently you're taught to like it that way.

Australia is actually pretty good for employees, there's a whole raft of protections that come down to "not your problem, let us send the headkickers around to reason with your employer". There are still holes, failings and thefts, but it's better than Aotearoa in many ways. The "my employer stopped paying me" ... "the tax office will pay you, then get that money from your employer" (up to six months wages!) is nice and *very* effective. I went from owed 3-4 months salary to paid in full overnight with one phone call :)

291:

The Red State/Blue State thing only dates from the 2000 Presidential election. Back in the Cold War, calling a Republican a Red would be fightin' words. Now many of them seem to be proud of being like the modern Russia...

It's too easy to satirize, but since Canada's population is less than England's population, merging the two would leave England dominant...

On the other hand, the NRA would be salivating at all the people they could sell guns to if the UK merged with the US and came under the second amendment. My goodness, there'd be maybe a million sales in Northern Ireland alone! And with an open border to smuggle move them into Ireland, why gosh, those sales of AR-15s would be spectacular. That alone would be a reason for the US to merge with the UK. And I'm sure there'd be loads of Scots/Irish rednecks flocking back to the mother country to fill jobs and recolonize the old sod and all.

292:

maybe we should just merge/join with Canada

Far too realistic, and Canada has much more effective laws against money laundering and other financial crimes. Sorry the "legitimate banking activities" on which the City of London is based. Who would pay the millions of pounds in post-parliament gratuities that Tory MPs expect if the City wasn't awash in cash?

I suggest partnering with Mauritius or Vanuatu (since the smaller Nauru is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Australian concentration camp industry). Mauritius has the advantage of already being recognised as a tax haven and having most of the systems in place, so a huge expansion would be "like that, but more so" where Vanuatu is kinda new to the game but has the advantage of not being widely recognised as a tax haven - you could pretend to be legitimate more easily. Both are part of various trade circles already, and are small enough they buying them would be pretty affordable even using post-Brexit pounds.

Sadly in both cases you have to compete with China's "belt and braces" programme, but since that has to cover a wide area and the UK could focus on one tiny island nation it should be doable.

293:

Some of the people who committed crimes to feather their own nest don't understand that a every large bill is coming due on the other side of the pond. (See what happens when you egg me on?)

294:

since Canada's population is less than England's population, merging the two would leave England dominant

That would suit our neocons right down to the ground. Among the little things Harper did was redesign the federal websites to use red white and blue (the colours of the conservative party, because colours of the union jack) rather than red and white (the colours of our flag), increase emphasis on royalty, etc.

(Well, it would suit the CPC (non-communist)* if the Tories are running Britain.)


*As James Nicoll points out, "CPC" used to stand for "Communist Party of Canada" until the Progressive Conservatives merged with Reform and realized that Conservative Reform Alliance Party of Canada had a worse acronym.

295:

Canada has much more effective laws against money laundering and other financial crimes

I'm not so certain about that. Certainly we cooperate with offshore havens in the Caribbean.

I've recommended this one before:

https://fernwoodpublishing.ca/book/legalizing-theft

To quote Linda McQuade's blurb:

In this timely and powerful book, Alain Deneault unveils the scope of the problems created by tax havens, and documents the many ways in which they are weakening the very bonds of our society. Importantly, he shows how Canada – contrary to popular belief – lags behind the world in taking steps to clamp down on this ‘system of legalized theft.’

296:

"...had a worse acronym."

But one that is probably more accurately repressive of their policy platform?

In Australia the Country Party changed its name to the National Party, and these days is usually known as the Nats. They didn't use an abbreviation like that previously (although others may have about them).

297:

Ack, "repressive" => "representative". Silly touch keypads and autocorrect.

298:

I didn't say they were good... :(

There are a lot of surprises when you start looking into this stuff, Aotearoa is absolutely awful (their anonymous trusts are an important part of the money laundering circuit) even though we do really well on the various corruption indices.

It's a classic race to the bottom and there are noticeable penalties for having proper rules that are properly enforced.

But that's also confounded by a bunch of things that are very useful, even essential, on a small scale but are utterly broken on a larger scale. NZ used to have "your legal name is what you tell people it is" including the ability to open bank accounts. That possibly saved my life savings when my parents got divorced* and I never really thought about it until a friend at university lost her car and anything else "she" owned that could be sold... her parents sold the lot and kept the money as punishment for her leaving home. She was 17... technically her parents owned everything, even stuff in her name.

* a friend of the family quietly advised me to have a bank account in a different name that my parents didn't know about, and only put money they didn't know about in it. Just thinking about that helped me with the savings my parents did know about. In classic fashion I don't *know* that one of them would have taken "their" money from my accounts, but the fact that they couldn't means I didn't have to worry about it.

299:

In Australia the Country Party changed its name to the National Party, and these days is usually known as the Nats

The G is silent :)

And now they're part of the COALition government, led by Scott "I like coal" Morrison.

I still like Tony "I will not lead a minority government" Abbott, who indeed did not lead a minority government for very long. Something to do with not being very good at negotiating with minor parties, including the one he was in coalition with... (you might note the use of "strong and stable" in that article, which means much the same thing here as it does in the UK).

300:

Dan @ 284: Hmmm, well, as an employer, I can tell you we remit the withheld taxes straight to the IRS (and state withholding as well) twice a month, and if we don't, we get nasty notices and threats of penalties and such, so I don't know what your situation was. Employers also pay 1/2 of payroll taxes - is that fair? That the employer not only pays someone wages but also 1/2 of a certain class of taxes on the very wages being paid?

It probably IS fair - it's a contribution to the social welfare system (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid), which ultimately substitutes for a private pension, and is the product of a bargain struck in the wake of the New Deal as I understand things. But it is something that is a bit of a surprise when you first start running a business. Most people don't really think much about it.

There are a certain class of "employers" who don't give a shit. The IRS has got to catch them before they can prosecute them. I wasn't the only one screwed over by this crook.

I was young and naïve and didn't know the "employer" was a crook when he hired me. I worked for a couple of months until I came to work one Monday to find "work" wasn't there any more. He'd cleared out over the weekend (including stealing my tools that were at the shop). My paycheck for the previous week bounced and I couldn't get a W-2. That's when I found out he hadn't been remitting the withholding. He didn't even have an account with the IRS. The NC Department of Labor and the Revenue Department didn't know anything about him either.

The only "upside" was the pay was shit, so the taxes I "owed" wasn't too much.

Damn! That was almost 50 years ago. I didn't realize I was still so angry about it.

301:

Robert Prior @ 286: Admit all of the UK as one state, ... Of course, no former Brit would be eligible to be President, as they wouldn't be "natural-born" Americans. If there's an inconvenient precedent get the newly-stuffed Supreme Court to rule that it doesn't apply in this case.

I think the precedent would run the other way. The Constitution restricts the Presidency to "natural born" Americans OR "a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution". Congress has interpreted "natural born" to include persons born in U.S. territories, particularly if the Territory later became a State (mainly Barry Goldwater who was born in Arizona Territory before it became the State of Arizona). Since the UK is not a U.S. Territory, only those born there AFTER it became the 51st State would be "natural born" U.S. Citizens.

I just don't see that happening. If the two nations were to decide to become one, there'd have to be a whole new Constitution written from scratch.

OTOH, a new Constitution wouldn't have any amendments yet & we could write a rational policy for how to implement the right to keep and arm bears that didn't allow anything goes the way the NRA thinks it does, so it wouldn't necessarily be all bad.

302:

Yes. Famously so.

C.1970 a notoriously long winded Country party MP began a speech to parliament with the words 'Now, I'm a Country member. . .'

At which point future Labour PM Gough Whitlam interjected 'We remember!'

303:

Just heard something on the radio that gave me pause ...
An SNP MP talking good sense (!)
He was suggesting that we need a second referendum &/or an HoC vote, but the Binary Choice should be: Mr's May's unfortunate deal - or - Remain.
I can see that gaining traction, actually.

304:

So, all this “51st State” talk?

Is this actually some kind of project fear operation on the behalf of hard-line Brexit promoters to convince us that their vision is some kind of lesser evil....?

305:

Greg, the SNP has been pro-Remain (in the EU) all along and is opposed to Brexit: it's a pro-EU party (and anti-Tory).

306:

So, all this “51st State” talk?

Is crankish foolishness with a nasty whiff of white supremacist anglophilia underlying it.

The idea that the "white Anglo-Saxon world" should unite in some kind of bizarre conglomerate of USA/Canada/UK/Australia/NZ — conveniently ignoring all the non-white European-descended people there — is basically an English-speaking expression of the same ideas as Hitler's greater Germany. The sort of thing that would appeal to Steve Bannon.

307:

Charlie - I'm quite aware that about the only sane thing in the SNP is "Remain" - it was the other parts of what was said that I found very interesting.

@ 306
Yes.
And, the "others" - i.e. "Us" are simply NOT going to accept the US "2nd" lunacies at any price, either.

308:

I understood that this is exactly something Bannon is into. Howard and Abbot too, hence being pretty topical over here down under here also. Aka Anglosphere (after Stephenson) and the variant without the US, called CANZUK. It plays into and exercises the loony fringe right, along with a range of similar culture-war projects (such as the proposed Ramsay Institute).

309:

Well, or a simple search for an outcome worse than no-deal.

Just think, suppose that the UK successfully petitions for admission as a territory. See, that gleefully sidesteps the unfortunate reality that the UK is to the left of the US by ensuring no representation at the federal level. Now, that's taking back control.

Next, to alleviate violence stemming from the immediate hard Irish border, you have the 2nd Amendment - ain't it grand. To minimize violence, enough automatic rifles are shipped to arm every man, woman, and toddler. When that doesn't work, grenades and rockets are added to the mix.

Fortunately, in order to cope with the disasterous economic consequences of no-deal, you'd have the same sort of steady oversight and competent planning that killed several thousand people in Puerto Rico.

But, good news, by superceding British worker protections with US federal law, at least economic consequences would be concentrated among the poorest.

And, another bonus, draconian cuts to social services as the UK, as a territory, lost significant borrowing power. On the bright side, given unrestrained federal spending in conjunction with tax cuts, there is the advantage of having assumed liability for the US debt.

Fortunately, US health insurance will be available to insure that the well employed are able to devote a quarter of their salaries to maintaining something slightly below the health standards of the NHS. The remainder, for those with families, can be devoted to aiding their relatives in need. On the bright side, unemployment of the seriously ill drops significantly owing to high mortality.

Another bright side, researchers at the NIH are finally able to pinpoint the health costs of the American diet, by comparing health outcomes prior and post introduction of chlorinated chicken and other, far more ghastly, dishes.

310:

Greg @ 250: The Australian right wing in politics can't find its arse with both hands, a map, GPS tracking and a pantomime crowd yelling "look behind you". They're busy bolloxing up ruining a country with a population of 27 million. Why the bloody hells would they be interested in trying to influence Brexit?

If you're referring to Uncle Rupert, he is the USA's problem now, not ours. They bought him, they get to clean up after him. He and his kids have all taken US citizenship, and the only reason they're interested in Australia these days is because they own most of our media assets, and they have to hang on to them (no matter how unprofitable they are) if they want to collect the full global set.

Greg @ 274: My take on Julian Assagne is that yes, "useful idiot" is probably going to be the most appropriate title, since I'm pretty sure what would have been offered to sweeten the deal on his side would be a (fraudulent, of course) promise he wouldn't have to be hiding out from US extradition if he just helped them out a little. And quite honestly, if Assagne is so damn stupid as to not recognise that one for the blatant pork-pie it clearly was, from a bloke with the labour relations history of Donald Trump (who has a decades-long reputation for shafting contractors until they stop being nasty and demanding things like payment), he deserves to spend the rest of his natural life in a broom closet under the stairs somewhere.

Charlie @ 306: It's also a recognition of the US cultural hegemony which has been spreading over the world since approximately the end of World War 1, when the last stretch of US isolationism evaporated in a sudden burst of "that was our ox got gored!" muscularity. Between the Hollywood movie and the US television serial, the English-language-speaking world has been basically marinating in US cultural values for most of the past century, and only more so as the predominant "value" of neoliberal capitalism cored out many non-US local cultural production centres in favour of importing more and more audio-visual propaganda from the USA. To the point where the political Right in Australia are busy trying to just use tactics straight out of the US Rethuglican play book to win elections (and that worked so spectacularly[1] in Victoria last weekend, didn't it, guys?) and getting slightly irritated when most Australians don't respond in the correct fashion (our current PM, for example, is busy trying to hammer on the "Evangelical Protestant Piety" button, but hasn't worked out that most of us don't have that one installed as a factory standard).

[1] Spectacularly badly, that is. ALP government returned with a landslide majority.

311:

The UK as 51st state, or 51-54 or whatever, is fun to play with just to see how it effs up the US house/senate. Nobody with the sense of a hyperactive kitten should consider it seriously. Certainly, nobody south of the equator would consider it more than a laugh. If one wanted to add the various current US posessions (PR, USVI, AmSamoa, etc) instead, well I'm sure there's a few play-throughs on alternatehistory.com, soc.history.what-if, etc.

Since we're past 300. Completely off topic:
Since I don't have a twitter a/c - remember that 54 & 3/4 can be the time to celebrate 20,000 days on earth. Have a party in 6 months or so. (grin)
(says he wondering much the same, though only "50-fucking-hell-how-the-fuck-did-that-happen?")

312:

More importantly:

The last two states added were both non-contiguous and given statehood mainly to simplify DoD's operations during the Cold War.

Buying Greenland from Denmark was also considered in same time period (Project IceWorm, DEW line etc.), but compliant Danish governments made that unnecesary.

The non-contiguous bit has very much been a bummer for the civilian side of USA, and it is certainly a large part of the reason why Puerto Rico is not going to have an easy path to state-hood, even if they ever make up their mind to seek it.

Mexico is in much greater risk of "Anscluß" than any part of UK will ever be.

313:

Thanks for that; the image evoked by Para 1 has just made my entire week!

314:

I remember about 20 years ago the Times publishing extracts from a book by the name of '51st State', wherein Britain voted to leave the EU and... well, the clue's in the title. The monarchy was dealt with by having the King drink himself to death, IIRC. Looking on Amazon, I think it must have been by Peter Preston.

315:

Now that variant of the second referendum idea is one I could support...

What I'm afraid of is that we get one with three choices, two of which are flavours of Leave - probably as Charlie suggested earlier, May deal/No deal/Remain - each of which gets roughly a third of the votes. So there is no clear majority for Remain and neither does it resolve the infighting among the Leave crowd, result, nothing significantly changes except that Leave crow about their "success" and the last hope of getting out of the mess in a sensible manner goes down the tubes.

316:

Mexico is in much greater risk of "Anscluß" than any part of UK will ever be.

If you mean a real 1938-style Anschluss, there's currently very close to zero sentiment for that in either MX or US. Various proposals for greater economic union have been floated for a long time, but the now-defunct NAFTA is as close as they've ever gotten to realization.

317:

> once we de-decimalize we will introduce the death penalty for trading in BitCoin

Okay, that might just be a worthwhile tradeoff. And since we aren't in the Euro zone, we can do it without the Brexit part.
As a potentially beneficial side effect, working in Euros will be so much easier than new pounds that there'll be increasing pressure to join the Euro zone.

As for how we can make Brexit work, perhaps we could extend China Miéville's cities of Besźel and Ul Qoma to the entire country. Leavers and Remainers agree to live in different countries, in a shared location, and unsee each other. Leavers find themselves in a country with no immigrants, no EU nationals, and are happy. (Apart from the deaths if they can't import enough food or medicine, but that's what they voted for, so it's their problem.) Solving the practical difficulties of a frictionless border with free movement of goods and people being in the exact same geographical place as a hard border with strict controls is left as an exercise for the reader.

318:

What I'm afraid of is that we get one with three choices, two of which are flavours of Leave - probably as Charlie suggested earlier, May deal/No deal/Remain - each of which gets roughly a third of the votes.

Nope, won't happen. There's precedent in recent UK law for ballots with ranked preference voting rather than X-marks-the-spot style FPTP; look at the Scottish party list system.

So in event of a three way poll voters would be expected to rank their choices in order of preference, and "Remain" will almost certainly beat out either "May's Deal" or "No Deal" for the majority of voters (because a bunch of moderate leave voters would rank "Remain" second, rather than the chaotic no-deal option).

You'll know it's rigged if the people's vote isn't some sort of preferential system, or is kneecapped so there are only two options.

319:

I think all those solutions concerning North Korea, North America or Australia are a little far-fetched and won't help with Brexit.
Once the Britons realize that Brexit wasn't such a clever idea (so around May 2019), they'll have to look at the problem more analytically. Basically, the British/English had three problems with the EU:
1. The EU is run by Germans (mostly)
2. Germany does well in the EU while the UK doesn't
3. The UK has to shoulder all the security and military responsibility whereas Germany is a country of softies

So the obvious solution is that the UK joins the Federal Republic of Germany, just as the GDR did in 1990. Germany has a track record of sucessfully uniting with another nation (ok, there were some glitches, but nothing as bad as Brexit). The UK already has a German monarch. All is needed is that the British states join the German federation and adopt the D-Mark - oops, Euro - at a fixed rate, say 1.97 to 1. England will probably have to be split into several Bundesländer, with London becoming a city state and the surrounding -shires and -sexes grouped into four other states. Scotland would be quite large for a Bundesland, but so is Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and that's ok because hardly anyone lives there.
The advantages would be great:
- the UK would get a modernized government with PR and a clear constitution
- the UK would profit from Germany's higher productivity
- the trade balance of both countries would improve, in fact the combined UK/BRD would have a trade surplus
- most Germans already speak English and most British know at least a few German words from WWII movies
- the UK's military and security strengths would be complemented by Germany's economic strength
- together, Germans and Brits could boss the rest of the EU around. The British might still hate the EU, but at least then it's their EU.

321:

Re: 'The UK already has a German monarch.'

Depending on where the Duchess of Sussex delivers her baby, there may be an American 7th in line to the British throne. Quite a few fans of the Royals in the US, so baby Sussex could be the impetus to create a unified Anglo-American Empire.


322:

If this happens, be sure to set up some cameras so you can record the screaming shades of everyone convinced Prince Albert was going to take over exploding from their graves.

323:

Link doesn't work ...

324:

They updated the entry: from Guardian politics live blog

Here's the origibnal twitter announcement:
ECJ announcement

It's not the ECJ decision, though, just the opinion of the Advocate General. Still more relevant as the pleadings from the hearing.

325:

I'm not sure I agree. First of all, because what we're doing here is speculation, not advocacy, and second, because the UK suffers from the lack of a written constitution which is sufficiently difficult to change. If I understand things correctly this means, among other things, that the UK could redefine citizenship rights for minorities. (I understand that this is highly unlikely, but not impossible. Please correct me if I'm wrong about this.)

This can't happen in the U.S. If you're born in the U.S., your citizenship can't be taken away, (14th Amendment) and that would almost certainly apply to other territories which join the U.S. In other words, UK Jews, Punjabis, Sri Lankans, Kenyans, etc., would have much better, much stronger, Constitutional protections than they currently have.

Add to that the (from the American view) left-leaning politics of the U.K. and I suspect you'd end up with a version of the U.S. which was far more liberal than the current version. Imagine the U.S. with 10 more Senators that were far-left. Imagine the same in the House, but probably 50 more House members which were far-left. It would be a VERY different country than the one Steve Bannon envisions.

I understand that the whole thing is highly unlikely, but only that special kind of American ignorance regarding foreigners (which I don't share) makes it a racist daydream.

326:

Quite. I find it very typical of the republicans (UK sense) that most would regard it as racialist to say that someone with a Nigerian great-great-grandparent is Nigerian, but see nothing improper in repeating that old libel.

To Troutwaxer (#325): it's not just not impossible - it's been and is being done. My first daughter was not born stateless only because my father was a twin (strange but true), because of the 'Windrush' exclusions brought in under Wilson and Thatcher (and, puke, Howard) - never mind that I have NEVER had any other citizenship, nor was entitled to any. And, recently, May has been revoking the citizenship of people who the Home Office (retch) merely assert might be entitled to some other nationality.

Also, I assume that you have seen the mutterings about changing the constitution to exclude birthright (possibly even retrospectively)? The usual culprits: Trump, Scott Adams etc.

327:

Yes, I have seen the business of revoking birthright citizenship. It's awful. Also, Scott Adams has been a terrible disappointment. He takes notice when your work has a pointy-haired boss, but not when your country has a pointy-haired president...

Sad. What a distorted man. A terrible disappointment.

328:

For the avoidance of doubt I’m taking the “51st State” thread of discussion entirely in the spirit and context of Charlie’s original post.

On the other hand if somebody did want to make the ongoing clusterfuck of Brexit look more appealing than it currently does then putting it on the table would be one of a very small number of things which would send me running towards the welcoming robotic arms of Auntie Theresa...

329:

Um. It it possible that there might be enough treacherous or imbecilic MPs to produce a wrecking referendum bill or, more likely, block one so that we get "No Deal" by default. While "Brexit means Wrecksit" is satire, many or most of the people behind Brexit and quite a lot of their front-men really DO want to tear the whole social, political and economic structure of the country apart, so they they can rebuild it as they want.

It's definitely going to get worse before it gets better, if it does in our lifetimes. I shan't repeat the Graves misquote, but I keep being reminded of it.

330:

All the suggestions so far have been on how to make the UK's parting with the EU work. But what if there wasn't an EU? Rather than worry about leaving the EU, the Brexiteers should look at ways to make it implode. Since Germany is the strongest member, getting them to leave the EU would cripple it. So, rather than make the UK the 51st state, Brexiteers should find a way to have Germany and the USA merge. I'm not sure about the best way to accomplish this (I need to get back to work), but the benefits are obvious:

-There are 44 million USA citizens of German ancestry, far outnumbering the Scots/Irish and English.
-Germans drink cold beer, and it's good.
-Germans LOVE the American West and would now be able to take a domestic flight to visit.
-There are already 16 Bundeslaender, or states, and several of them are conservative enough to elect republican type senators.
-Real Amuricans could drive Audis, Mercedes, and BMWs without feeling unpatriotic.
-There would be more manufacturing jobs in the US economy, overnight!
-Retired GDR engineers could use their expertise to build a real wall along the US-Mexican border.
-People born in the USA could visit Europe without going to a scary foreign country.
-The Deutsch-Dollar would become the new global reserve currency.
-With Trump's grandfather being German, he'd find it palatable, and be able to rant about the threat of Syrian refugees every day.
-Brexiteers will have no EU to rail about and could return to more profitable pursuits, whatever those might be.

331:

Not so. Cruz and Rubio, off the top of my head, had really good name recognition, and Huckabee, from a previous bid for President, did also. In addition, they were known as experienced in government, where he was a reality show and real estate mogul. And as a sexual predator, and a crook (contract breaker), and...

Warren and Cory Booker, to just grab two. And Beto O'Rourke, who just got vote-supressed out of being a Senator in Texas, has already generated headlines and column inches.

And if the Democratic wave that was larger than during Watergate wasn't proof enough, I don't know how to convince of the depth and breadth of HATRED for the Malignan Carcinoma is here.

332:

Nice to see someone sane. I get *really* aggravated at people who have businesses, esp. "self-incorporated" individuals, who do it for tax purposes, and then rant about "double taxation", because they can't wrap their heads around the realization that they, the individual, are not the company, an artificial person, or that they're their own employee.

Obvious music:
"I'm my own grandpaw...."

333:

You may find it an up-hill struggle to convince Germans of that idea:
Germans and Americans 'worlds apart' in view of relations

334:

RANTSCREAMRAVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I swear, if I run for Congress, or the Senate, in '20, a) I GUIARANTEE that it will get national attention, and b) I'll make my campaign color red, like the socialist I am. And lecture journalists at press conferences that they'd better not describe me as "blue".... Single-handedly, I'll change that deliberate obfuscation (hey, you're red? so you're a strong supporter of unions, right?)

frogfriggenmoroorons... same folks that put out a brand of pants called "chinos", sold blue ones, and the Dodge Steath, that all I ever saw was flaming red....

335:

No, no, they're all too far from that Green and Pleasant Land (tm). Turks and Caicos are much closer, more familiar with British rule, and are major players in the tax haven game.

336:


Her parents sold *her* stuff? Everything?

If she'd had a clue, she could have divorced her parents before they could do that.

Or maybe given someone "favors" to go invite her parents into a dark alley....

The 2.5 times I've been divorced, and there were kids involved, whatever I felt, it was *ALWAYS* "this is you and me, and nothing to do with the kids, we keep them out of it", so I can say anything I want about uncomposted sewer waste of people like that.

337:

This can't happen in the U.S.

It happens in the US. Plausibly a million in the 1930s ("Mexican repatriation" is the search term), who knows how many now.

The US constitution is highly uneven in application; the lawsuits over whether it followed the flag (related to conduct in the Philippines) were important, and went the wrong way.

338:

Moderators: if this is too nasty, feel free to delete. [ Moderators say it's ok! -- SEF ]

Yeah, don'tcha just *love* that one great-grandparent makes you Black (or whatever), rather than the other way 'round?

To me, that means it's obvious that Aryan, sorry, "white" genes are terribly, terribly recessive and weak. I think we should round up all them pure White Folks and put 'em in reservations, as they're obviously an endangered species. Then we can have tours of the reservations, with warnings not to feed, or breed, with the native.....

339:

'Therefore I would like to propose the deployment of "Brexit Reality".'

Brilliant, The City and the City approach. (China Miéville)

340:

You'll like this then:

https://youtu.be/zEKYQ4GOqmk

(Another Billy Bragg song…)

341:

Re: Brexit tweeterade ...

BoE announcement off the same twitter feed:

'The Press Association has snapped these headlines.

The Bank of England has warned the pound would crash, inflation will soar and interest rates would have to rise in the event of a no deal disorderly Brexit.

In the event of a disorderly no deal, no transition Brexit, Britain’s GDP could fall by 8% from its level in the first quarter of 2019, according to analysis of a worst case scenario by the Bank.

The unemployment rate would rise 7.5% and inflation would surge 6.5%. House prices are forecast to decline 30%, while commercial property prices are set to fall 48%. The pound would fall by 25% to less than parity against both the US dollar and the euro.'

Think they're underestimating the hit to employment 'cause Brit nationals currently working in the EU would probably be sent back home.

342:

Wikipedia has a brief summary:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexican_Repatriation

American indians were denied citizenship until 1924:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_American_civil_rights

Canada didn't grant citizenship to indigenous peoples until 1947/1956. We currently have jus solis citizenship (birthright citizenship) but some of our neocons want to take that away.

(As an immigrant, I'm keenly aware that theoretically I could be stripped of citizenship and deported to a country I left as a baby.)

343:

Absolutely true. But we're past comment #300, so plausibility is not a concern anymore. I did want to point out that most "white" people in the USA aren't from the UK or Ireland. If not for WWI, much of the Midwest would still be speaking German.

344:

Well, no, let's call things by their right names. Most Canadian conservatives want a legal framework enabling enforcing white supremacy through ethnic cleansing.

(I so want a re-melination virus to get loose. It'd be fine if it CRISPR'd other useful things (vitamin C synthesis, maybe) but just getting rid of the lack of melanin would be a fine thing.)

345:

It's pretty easy to remove a naturalized citizen's citizenship in the US -- you simply declare that they lied about something, or omitted something, that would have influenced the naturalization. See https://immigration.findlaw.com/citizenship/can-your-u-s-citizenship-be-revoked-.html for various ways to do so.

Removal of citizenship for someone born in this country is legally impossible. But "legally impossible" means that the courts have to follow the law, which they... don't do a lot of times.

346:

RE: Anglosphere/UK-as-51st-state

The upside is that, unlike the U.S., any such conglomeration would have a proper left wing. There would at last be, both among the public and within the body politic, a counterweight to the neoliberal juggernaut.

Just imagine British politicians verbally tearing into southern Republicans. And presidents having to submit to Question Time. Perhaps saying the UK should join the U.S. is getting things backward; it's the U.S. that needs to join the UK.

Relatedly, I've long hypothesized that part of the reason for America's "missing left" is that many of the lefty would-be elites and power brokers live in the other Anglophone countries. Optimistic progressive activists in the U.S. are convinced the missing left voters are to be found in the 40+% of eligible voters who currently don't vote. I wonder if they're wrong, and it's rather that those voters are in Canada (and the UK, Australia, etc.).

347:

There are 44 million USA citizens of German ancestry, far outnumbering the Scots/Irish and English.

In all seriousness, I've heard it said that, in some ways, American culture is more German than it is Anglo-Saxon. Particularly middle-class American culture.

I've never been to Germany so I can't say myself. Those of you who've spent time in all three countries, what do you think?

German ancestry far and away predominates in the U.S. Midwest so it's entirely plausible.

348:

If she'd had a clue, she could have divorced her parents before they could do that

That's both harder and slower than it sounds, and "facts on the ground" have a way of making the result moot. The parents knew they had to act quickly and unexpectedly, so they waited until she was either studying for an exam or sitting one, went to her flat, took 90% of her stuff, went to uni, used a spare key to get her car, then by the time she worked out what had/was happening it was a bit late. Not least, it was late as in 10pm...

Even if she had known, part of economic abuse/being poor is that it's very hard to get legal advice let alone take legal action. And afterwards what can you do... even if the criminal system forced the parents to hand over the money they got, that's not going to cover the cost of buying replacements. The pragmatic response is to hide.

I had one friend at high school whose mother was schizophrenic and used to get quite difficult when she was off her meds. Discharging firearms at people level "difficult". She was involuntarily committed to residential treatment programs more than once. That made the paperwork for "I need government help to live away from home and attend high school" relatively simple, but there was still a strong official presumption that living at "home" was better and that had to be fought during every 3-month review.

My point is that in the 1990's that was the standard for "divorce your parents". "I think they might sell my stuff" isn't going to cut it, even today.

349:

German ancestry far and away predominates in the U.S. Midwest so it's entirely plausible.

And German language enclaves still exist, though they're rapidly fading. Central Texas has some.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwgwpUcxch4

350:

Or the reverse. Back in the 90s I had a neighbour, nice lady, single mom, two kids. One was 16, and a terror. Stole from mom, sister, neighbours, etc. So mom and daughter had no jewelry or valuables (stolen), had to pay for vandalism damages (parental responsibility assumed), phone couldn't make toll calls (so sister couldn't call grandparents) etc. She had almost no legal authority over the boy but still the responsibility to feed/cloth him. (So when he sold his winter jacket she had to buy a new one etc.)

There was no legal way for her to say "I can't cope, I have no control" until he pulled a knife on her when her daughter was present. At that point it became a safety issue for the other child, and he could be moved to a group home.

351:

None of the possible Democratic candidates mentioned seem to me to have more support among Democrats than President Trump had among Republicans when he sought the nomination in 2015?

It hasn't been often that a President seeking re-election has been defeated, the last time was when there was a substantial third-party vote. Also, the Democrats had more or less decided on a candidate for 2016, can they produce as strong a candidate in 2020?

It is apparent that the Democratic Party dislikes President Trump, however can you explain how this dislike will lead to more of a challenge than 2016?

352:

One of my former students* got tired of hearing two English war brides** complaining about immigrants on a bus. He stood up and said "excuse me, I was born here, where were you born?" to a round of applause from the other passengers.

This was before smartphones, so no video :-(


*Korean ancestry.

**decades in the country and they still kept their accents!

353:

I am not a drive by.

I lurk, I have been longer than you know

354:

I do n't and have never read the Daily Express

355:

My comment was an implied reference to the old joke about congress repealing the law of gravity.

Leo Varadkar did after all say something about stopping British aircraft flying to Ireland. He did however forget to define what is a British aircraft. If Airbuses have their wings made in Bristol will they be obliged to leave their wings behind when flying to Ireland? And is this a sneaky way of helping Ryan Air?

356:

Stole from mom, sister, neighbours...

Very much so. My ex's sisters are habitual drug users. There is almost nothing sellable in their mother's house as a result. Their father will not let them into his house, and is effectively estranged from them (the connection between those two things is way more complex than the obvious one).

A lot of this stuff makes me grateful for my relatively positive family relationships and all the other privileges I've been born into.

I also spend a bit of time trying to work out how to build a better system for dealing with these problems, and how we'd get to there from here. And I know people way smarter than me who have spent their entire careers doing that (one of my uncles, for example). It's less about the criminal system and more about that dreaded cliche "whole of government". First you create an underclass...

357:

The upside is that, unlike the U.S., any such conglomeration would have a proper left wing. There would at last be, both among the public and within the body politic, a counterweight to the neoliberal juggernaut.

Except it doesn't work like that.

Here in the UK, Scotland, with roughly 10% of the population, overwhelmingly votes non-Conservative—a high water mark for the Tories is polling 26%. Nevertheless, Scotland has been ruled from London by Conservative governments for about 50 of the last 60 years.

Exactly the same problem would afflict a UK that merged with the USA, because (a) gerrymandering and (b) FPTP elections are broken by design (to weight the dice in favour of awarding extra seats to the largest party, rather than a proportional allocation).

358:

Leo Varadkar did after all say something about stopping British aircraft flying to Ireland. He did however forget to define what is a British aircraft.

* Eye roll *

Have you been following the news about ICAO treaty derogation and EU membership?

Here's the CAA on the effects of Brexit on civil aviation. Shorter version: pilots licenses, engineers licenses, airline regulatory approval, air traffic control, and the legal right to transit foreign airspace and take off/land at foreign airports are all governed by international treaties. The UK stopped being an independent nation in this respect ages ago, and is covered by agreements negotiated by the EU. If we bomb out of the EU, we lose access to things like the EU-US air traffic agreement (providing for EU and US airlines to fly to and operate on one another's territory), mutual recognition of airworthiness certificates, and a whole bunch more.

This stuff can be re-negotiated, sure. But it takes time, and in the meantime, planes can't legally fly between the UK and foreign destinations with no reciprocal air navigation agreements or mutual recognition of certification.

Planes won't fall out of the sky. Airlines will however lose the right to fly certain (most!) international routes. Which may be partly why British Airways looks set to decamp for Spain in event of a no-deal Brexit ...

359:

And here I thought it was written in 1889, and was the official theme song of the British Labour Party....

Which isn't to say his version isn't good, any more than to say his Part of the Union was cribbedfrom Union Maid, written by Joe Hill of the IWW more than a century ago. It's all part of the folk process....

mark, filk-processor

360:

A good part of the reason for the missing US left was the legal attacks on it, from the time of WWI, and before. A socialist won a significant part of the vote for President in 1912. But the Red Scare, that started after 1917, and proceeded into the COMMIES UNDER THE BED!!! Cold War.

As of 2016, the most-looked up word in English was, I kid you not, "socialism". And the DSA is growing *very* rapidly. But... because the rules are rigged, we work with folks who run as Dems, to get on the ballot.

361:

First, it appears to me that you're saying that a number of Democrats have the name recognition that Trump did, or more.

Second... you *did* see the results of the elections a couple weeks ago? The Democrats took 39 or 40 seats from the GOP, in formerly heavily GOP districts. It's reported to be a larger gain than during Watergate in '74. And they flipped several of the worst governors (like Walker in Michigan). And it was a HUGE turnout for a midterm. It's reported that almost half as many votes as were cast in '16, which was a presidential election year, which *always* get far more votes. For the US, it's big.

Oh. and we're waiting for ALL the indictments from Mueller....

362:

I hope I'm not going off topic here and I apologise if I am! But since the vote in the HoC is still a little while away what does everyone here think will happen -- will it be stay in the EU, may's dreadful deal or crashout?

Random thought: If it is may's dreadful deal what then? Big "Brexit Betrayal" marches in london? Resurgent UKIP lead by Bojo? Maybe it would just delay crashout for a few years?

ljones

363:

Charlie Stross @ 306:

The idea that the "white Anglo-Saxon world" should unite in some kind of bizarre conglomerate of USA/Canada/UK/Australia/NZ — conveniently ignoring all the non-white European-descended people there — is basically an English-speaking expression of the same ideas as Hitler's greater Germany. The sort of thing that would appeal to Steve Bannon.

But you did ask (@25):

"for someone to explain how Elon Musk can save the day, or maybe the USA could revoke the Declaration of Independence and invite Lizzie Windsor to conduct a reverse-takeover and send in the US Marine Corps ..."

I don't think there IS any way to make BREXIT work. Unless y'all can find some way to call the whole thing off, you're screwed.

364:

whitroth @ 338
My pale-brown-skinned neighbour has got used to me referring to (him & me) as "Us Aryans, oops, not supposed to say that any more!" because he is as Indo-European as I am ... ( Granparents from Kashmir )
However the racist fuckwits will never ever get it, unfortunately.

ijones @ 362
Even "May's deal" is better than crashing out, but,as Charlie points out it's still a shit sandwich.
A 2nd Referendum is stll our best hope.
Note: NOT Corbyn becoming PM, because he would prefer us to "leave" the stupid little shit.

365:

Megpie71 @ 310: (Replying to Greg @ 250:) The Australian right wing in politics can't find its arse with both hands, a map, GPS tracking and a pantomime crowd yelling "look behind you". They're busy bolloxing up ruining a country with a population of 27 million. Why the bloody hells would they be interested in trying to influence Brexit?

If you're referring to Uncle Rupert, he is the USA's problem now, not ours. They bought him, they get to clean up after him. He and his kids have all taken US citizenship, and the only reason they're interested in Australia these days is because they own most of our media assets, and they have to hang on to them (no matter how unprofitable they are) if they want to collect the full global set.

WE didn't ask him to come here. He just moved in. He's no more an invited guest than fleas or bedbugs. You can come get him and take him back to Australia any time you want.

The Bee Gees & Kilie Minoge are welcome to stay.

366:

DaiKiwi @ 311: The UK as 51st state, or 51-54 or whatever, is fun to play with just to see how it effs up the US house/senate.

Who says we need any help from the likes of you to eff up the US House/Senate?

367:

Troutwaxer @ 325: I'm not sure I agree. First of all, because what we're doing here is speculation, not advocacy, and second, because the UK suffers from the lack of a written constitution which is sufficiently difficult to change.

I've been informed (perhaps it was even here) that the UK DOES have a written Constitution, it's just not written down all in one place as a single document like the U.S.

368:

Elderly Cynic @ 326: Also, I assume that you have seen the mutterings about changing the constitution to exclude birthright (possibly even retrospectively)? The usual culprits: Trump, Scott Adams etc.

Donald Trump "mutters" about a lot of shit he knows fuck-all about. He thinks he can over-ride the Constitution by Executive Order. He can't, and he's going to get himself in trouble some day if he keeps on fucking around.

Scott Adams would do well to heed the NRA's advice and "Stay in his lane!"

369:

The old songs are often the good songs. All those "the same X chords in every pop song" songs... peeps, have you even glanced lightly in the direction of folk music like, ever? The same music is used for a whole pile of different songs, repeatedly. Any time you see "music: traditional, arr {someone}" you're looking at "theft of intellectual property from the dead", to use the modern terminology.

On that note, I do quite enjoy the way the language has changed over time "play it loud muthafukka" has replaced "fortississimo" and "allegretto" means "shred that guitar" :)

370:

Graydon @ 337:

This can't happen in the U.S.

It happens in the US. Plausibly a million in the 1930s ("Mexican repatriation" is the search term), who knows how many now.

The US constitution is highly uneven in application; the lawsuits over whether it followed the flag (related to conduct in the Philippines) were important, and went the wrong way.

The U.S. Constitution is quite even. It happens in the U.S. when the government, who are supposed to obey that Constitution, are "uneven in application". That's why there were so many lawsuits, because the Government at the time wasn't following the Constitution.

The flaw is not in our stars, but in our selves.

371:

Re: '... how to build a better system for dealing with these problems, and how we'd get to there from here.'

At some point there will be enough displayable/viewable-in-real-time data showing what is going on in the human brain during certain types of behavior. From there, hopefully it will be easier to educate TPTB and regular folks that like poor eye sight*, quite a few behavioral and cognitive issues are very firmly grounded in one's nervous system.

* Can't recall the last time someone said that anyone with poor vision/blind was evil and/or was being punished by sky-fairy and therefore should be avoided and doesn't 'deserve' help.

Yes - I'm aware it's much more complex than the above, but such tangible evidence would help. Another thing: politically/socially, the opioid crisis is also shifting some societies'/countries' attitudes toward reevaluating what was once considered plain criminal/sinful.

One of the biggest things we need to figure out is a compelling narrative that tells the facts, one with a more humane POV, therefore a new/different emotional impact on the audience.

372:

whitroth @ 359: And here I thought it was written in 1889, and was the official theme song of the British Labour Party....

Which isn't to say his version isn't good, any more than to say his Part of the Union was cribbed from Union Maid, written by Joe Hill of the IWW more than a century ago. It's all part of the folk process....

I thought Woody Guthrie wrote Union Maid.

373:

ljones @ 362: I hope I'm not going off topic here and I apologise if I am! But since the vote in the HoC is still a little while away what does everyone here think will happen -- will it be stay in the EU, may's dreadful deal or crashout?

If I were a betting man, I'd put my money on "crashout". H.L. Menkin once wrote "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public." I suspect that's just as applicable to Parliament as it is for the U.S. Congress.

374:

No-deal hard Brexit is clearly the goal.

(What would a group of people who wanted no-deal do differently? Close to nothing.)

You know how one of the problems with getting rid of white supremacy is how it's constructed as virtue and people who pick up the axioms very young not only can't but have no interest in shaking them? It looks like an opportunistic combination of people who really, really want a pre-Glorious Revolution aristocracy (or at least how they imagine such a thing), various "let's hurt Europe" funders, and ... something. I cannot escape the sense that there's a faction actively in favour of climate change out of somewhat deluded economic expectations.

375:

My problem with the local socialists is that they're not fun to be around, unlike the democrats.

Seriously though, the democrats pretty much ran stuff from the New Deal onto Johnson pushing through the Great Society and getting scuttled on Vietnam. Then the Southern Democrats deserted the party for the Republicans, and we've been drifting right ever since. Some people have blamed air conditioning for the rise of the south.

There are two things to realize, especially if you're not an American. One is that there are multiple voting blocs in the US, and the two main parties cobble these together into coalitions within the party. For instance, the racist white bigots in the south are a major swing vote that went from the Old Left to the New Right.

The other thing to realize is, to paraphrase a political friend of mine, that privilege matters, especially if you're poor. If you're white trash, you've still got the privilege of being white. In the US, this means that you're unlikely to get shot by a cop unless you shoot at him first, child protective services are slightly less ready to take your kids away, you're more trusted, more likely to get a job than your black doppelganger, and so forth. If you're dirt poor, out of work, and have no hope of industry coming back to your town in your lifetime, being white is an important privilege, and you're going to fight to keep it. One of the ways democratic elites screw up is to try to take away the privilege of being white, and depriving people of this privilege is really important and really stupid, unless you can give them other privileges that make up for this loss. So when you have one candidate who's talking about making everyone the same, and the other one who's telling the whites that they'll be number one, guess who the poor whites see as a better deal? As my friend notes, this is the progressive argument for why it's important to give everybody enough positive privileges (like universal health care and state pensions) that they don't have to depend on the more problematic ones based on race and gender.

Finally, it's worth pointing out the power of corrupting the system: Clinton won the 2016 election by 2 million votes, just as Gore won the popular vote in 2000. Things like gerrymandering matter in the outcome of elections, and a lot of politicians stay in power only because they've crudely hacked the system.

376:

Framing "health care" as privilege is such a massive mistake I don't know where to start.

You can't get anywhere better from there. (Never mind that the entire 'privilege' narrative is what happens when people who don't understand the limits on American black speech and the coding thereof grab a discussion and terminology they don't understand. There is no such thing as privilege; it's a (n historically variously-used) euphemism for the exercise of power, both outgoing and incoming. And I most emphatically mean power; "who may I beat to death for funsies?" literal material power.)

There is no possibility of justice while the notion of whiteness remains in the political discourse. ("white" = "I am sufficiently blessed that it's OK when I rape, murder and steal"; it was a conscious ethnogenosis in support of really large scale piracy at the start of the colonial era.) A conscious act of ethnogenosis to be something else and something else that's (necessarily!) more broadly defined might work. "Substitutes for whiteness" will not, and haven't; it's a system with almost nothing to recommend it but it's extraordinarily good at copying itself into the future.

377:

Brexiteers should find a way to have Germany and the USA merge.

Sure. I'll go with that one. Especially since both my wife and I are 1/2 German (via very very different paths) and thus my kids are 1/2 German we'd be cool with it. We'll all be in Germany in December so maybe I can take a poll. And likely get tossed across the channel for doing it. :)

378:

First off I suspect that there will be some "emergency" decrees letting things continue. If somewhat chaotically. Maybe a whole lot chaotically.

Second, my wife has wanted us to spend a week in London for years. I now have a 7 night certificate for upper tier Marriott hotels. My original plan was to use it next summer. Now I'm beginning to think that might not be a great idea. The certificate expires in August 2019. It will likely get a bit devalued in terms of the category of hotel I can book Jan 1, 2019.

So do I book now for early March so the weather isn't just terrible but at least we're in and out before Brexit? Do I wait and see how things go but likely wind up in a not as nice hotel? Do I book the hotel now and have a backup plan to fly to Amsterdam or Paris and Chunnel it over? (Surely that will work? Yep. Check Roger.)

Ugh.

379:

From there, hopefully it will be easier to educate TPTB and regular folks that like poor eye sight*, quite a few behavioral and cognitive issues are very firmly grounded in one's nervous system.

Oh boy. You expect to use facts to change people's behavior. You obviously haven't been keeping up with current events.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyfriipc61A

380:

Now for something completely different. Just saw a clip of May addressing Parliament. What are all of those old looking book on edge on the desk/table in front of her?

381:

it's important to give everybody enough positive privileges that they don't have to depend on the more problematic ones based on race and gender.

My impression from the US is that that would be a generational solution. Right now there are large numbers of people for whom "better than you" is really, really important. "I will kill you" important. And they do. Regularly.

Universal healthcare would be even more of a vote-changer than Obamacare is. As the Republican voters keep saying, this is about white supremacy and don't you forget it. They don't care if you screw them completely, just as long as they can see coloured people getting screwed worse. That's why Trump is so focused on making sure his "children in cages" and "pardon white killers of black people" stuff gets maximum media coverage. The non-1% Republican supporters don't care about tax cuts for the rich, loss of jobs, destruction of their health, just so long as they know that somewhere, somehow, a black kid is getting beaten to death by a white guy. Preferably a white guy in uniform.

382:

paws4thot @ 313: You're welcome.

JBS @ 365: "You can come get him and take him back to Australia any time you want."

You're assuming we want him. That's pretty courageous of you.

David L @ 380: Having not seen the business for myself, but coming from a country which does a lot of Westminster-style pomp and circumstance, I'd guess they'd be either Hansards (parliamentary records) or statute books.

383:

Surely not statute books because "ignorance of the law is no excuse", and even if the common man is woefully deficient in that area at the very least you'd expect the people who make the laws to know them.

384:

What are all of those old looking book on edge on the desk/table in front of her?

Ammunition for when she needs to throw the book at someone.

385:

With all the daily chaos as the processes of government in the HoC get increasingly heated, I'm waiting for The Mace to again wake from it's slumber. As the dark, eldritch forces embodied in it take over the mind of some receptive MP and compel them to wield it in anger. The sacred texts in those books are the only thing that keeps it in check. But only if they are NEVER OPENED.

386:

Comment from a Finn I know on "Trumpolini" - "It is worrying when the POTUS is the comic relief on the evening news" (for context, this was relating to the Finns raking (or not) the forest floors to prevent fires).

387:

You're assuming we want him.

Traditionally current Australians aren't given a choice when foreign criminals are shipped over here.

388:

All true, with the note that we did manage to elect one party with an absolute majority in the Scottish Parliament once, despite an electoral system designed to make sure that this never happens!

389:

"Halsbury’s Laws Of England" apparently, printed copies (not the originals which were traditionally on parchment until recently) of Acts passed by Parliament.

390:

Which may be partly why British Airways looks set to decamp for Spain in event of a no-deal Brexit .
Wouldn't this mean that "British" Airways would lose the right to fly through UK airspace, whether on UK domestic or on international services?

391:

I have some bad news for all you people contemplating a merger between either the UK and Germany or the US and Germany:

The constitutional mechanism that allowed other territories to join the Federal Republic of Germany (or, more precisely, to join "den Geltungsbereich des Grundgesetzes" = the territory that is governed by the German constitution (former article 23 of the German Grundgesetz)) was removed when the latest such joining took place (concurrently with German re-unification on October 3rd, 1990). This was done to make it emphatically clear that Germany does not seek to expand into any further territory (particularly not into any former German territories that now form part of Poland and/or Russia).

Thusly, it wouldn't be straightforward for the UK to become Bundesländer No. 17 to ca. 28 or for the US to become Bundesländer No. 17 to 67 (I suppose Germany would allow Washington DC to join as a full Bundesland, after all we already have some city-states). (Any other solution than the anglophone country becoming part of Germany and accepting the German Grundgesetz would be patently absurd, obviously.)

Note that in case of the UK a merger with Germany would have some consequences for the (former) royal family. In Germany, titles of nobility and all privileges associated with them were formally abolished in 1919 with the adoption of the Weimar Constitution. (You wouldn't believe it if you read the German Yellow Press, but it's still a fact.) Thusly, no claim to the "German Throne", because no such throne exists anymore. As sort of a compensation, the former aristocrats were allowed to retain a likeness of their former titles as part of their surname. Thus, Lizzy could opt for "Queen of England, Scotland etc. pp." as her official surname in her ID papers (yes, in Germany it's mandatory to have a government-issued identity card (Personalausweis)). I'm not sure whether it's legal to have two surnames at the same time, but I suppose not, therefore she'd have to drop the name "Windsor". Charlie would presumably get "Prince of Wales" as his legal surname. At the death of his mother he would inherit her surname (starting with "King", obviously) and would have to apply for a new ID card and passport.

392:

They're not in front of Maybot (or indeed Corbyn). They're in front of the Woolsack.

393:

It would be more interesting to watch you trying to make the Yousay adopt the Reinheitsgebot! :)

394:
Thus, Lizzy could opt for "Queen of England, Scotland etc. pp." as her official surname

On second thoughts, this would of course be "Königin von England, Schottland usw." and "Fürst von Wales" for her first-born. The other children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren would be "Prinz/Prinzessin von England, Schottland usw.", by the way.

And the same would apply for all the other aristocrats, of course.

395:

No. You can buy liberties from the UK government quite cheaply and, anyway, refusal to provide them would cut off our air transport - oops, cut off the continent from the UK.

396:

That claim is as erroneous as the implication that there is nothing written. Yes, there is a lot in writing, but that includes formal laws like statutes, records of interpretation, precedent and procedure, and more. And then there is the interpretation, precedent and procedure that is NOT written down, but is equally important. All of those are changeable, in some cases by a single decision of a single organisation.

397:
It would be more interesting to watch you trying to make the Yousay adopt the Reinheitsgebot! :)

I'm quite sure that in case of the US much hilarity would ensue. Just think about adopting the social security system and confiscating of all guns. And, of course, de-nuclearization (both civil use and military).

398:

Book early, go for the nice hotel. It's not as if there's going to be a Zombie Apocalypse, unless you have a severe navigational embarrassment and end up in the dodgiest part of town...* :)

If hard brexit's a-coming, you'll be secure in the knowledge that the dollar in your pocket will buy a lot more than normal. Bring blue jeans, spirits, cigarettes, (proper**) chocolate, and nylons, they'll do as barter goods in the new economy; make sure to wear your pink and greens...

...we promise to dress as chimney sweeps and do song-and-dance numbers with really dodgy mockney accents. Probably involving penguins from Edinburgh Zoo, if we haven't eaten them by then.

* I was in Kuala Lumpur in 1998, when there were serious riots and protests against the Government. All us athletes were restricted to our official accommodation, and the closing ceremony for the event had a lot of extra, and humourless, police standing between us and the VIPs. Our best guess was that in the extremely polite and good-humoured society we'd observed in downtown KL, that there might have been some raised voices, perhaps a few shouts and some jostling. Nowhere near "The Year of Living Dangerously" standard.

** Proper, i.e. +cocoa -wax, none of that Hersheys rubbish. You know, Belgian or Swiss...

399:

Wrong House, they're on the table in front of the Speakers Chair. The Woolsack is the Lord Chancellors seat in the Lords.

400:

No. That's a distortion, at best. Privilege is automatic power, yes, but does NOT necessarily imply the abuse of it. There was (and, to some extent, still is) a tradition and principle in many societies that the privileged have a duty to use that power for the benefit of the less privileged. One of the crimes of the lunatic left is to remove the privilege from such people and transfer it to others that have no such principles. This has been particularly visible in the UK in the past century.

401:

I cannot escape the sense that there's a faction actively in favour of climate change out of somewhat deluded economic expectations.

I agree, and I think their agenda is toxic white supremacism: leverage agricultural and ecosystem collapse to kill all the brown people, retreat into the north (or South Island of NZ), and wait it out for a few centuries before repopulating with freshly bred pure aryan serfs to provide for the needs of their natural masters. A global population of 200M serfs and maybe 20K overlords is well within the planetary carrying capacity and can also support the scientific/technological R&D base to handle the overlords' medical needs and luxury goods.

I find this abhorrent, needless to say …

If I was going to write a dystopian satire it'd be set in exactly this kind of future. Plot: our plucky rebel daughter-of-nobility and viewpoint protagonist thinks she's rebelling against her impending arranged marriage; so she runs away on an adventure into the hinterland. She's getting tired of pissing behind bushes when she discovers the ruins of an old-timer city. Excitement ensues until she realizes that the old-timers weren't real people like her, they were mud people. Appalled, she goes home expecting to settle down and breed more blonde aristocrats for the good of the race … but due to the political machinations of a rival of her father's she's framed as a mud person herself and sent to a Care Camp (in a climate black zone where the 12 month survival rate is well under 50%). Of course she approves of the existence of the camps because she sincerely believes that mud people need to be suppressed, even though she herself has been cruelly framed … because the narrative is from the naive viewpoint of a brainwashed product of a genocidal regime, and she lacks the insight to realize that revolutions eat their own. Six months later she dies of heat stroke. THE END (with the same ironic framing as "Winston Smith loved Big Brother".)

Needless to say I am not going to write this book because about 20% of all readers interpret anything I write exactly ass-backwards, ESPECIALLY when it involves unreliable narrators and weaponized irony, and I don't want to get a rep as a white supremacist.

Gaah.

402:

I didn't mean he wrote it, I meant he was singing it.

I suggested it because you were talking about reclaiming the colour red.

403:

Sorry, that was supposed to be in response to withroth's comment that you were replying to. Don't know what happened. May be related to whatever makes me have to sign in again after every comment I post.

404:

mea culpa, but I've not used that data in decades, and "The Woolsack" is funnier anyway!

405:

But their milk chocolate is so bland, and Hershey doesn't use wax.

406:

I am not convinced that race is the sole criterion, on the grounds that they regard anyone who isn't a part of their in-group (including 'Aryan' foreigners) as "One Of The Lesser Peoples". But race is certainly a large part of that, because their brown allies won't get invited. I would dearly like to disbelieve the rest of it, but ... :-(

As you know, I regard a lesser form of that as being the intent of the people behind Brexit.

407:

Privilege is automatic power, yes, but does NOT necessarily imply the abuse of it.

I argue that it does automatically produce the abuse. It's a bit like "is there such a thing as a just patriarchy?"; no, obviously not, just as soon as one stops restricting the viewpoint to the beneficiaries of patriarchy. Automatic or inherent power is a generalization of that circumstance.

408:

I'd prefer to generalize it as, in social terms, power (or privilege) is a zero-sum game. That is: if I have more power or agency than the average, it implies that other people have less.

Universal healthcare is, by definition, universal, which takes it out of the privilege/power game. A universal franchise would be, by definition, universal; in practice it isn't (we don't let children vote, or individuals classed as mentally incompetent, or prisoners, or, or … a bunch of other restricted categories).

The fewer people are affected by restrictions on agency, the less significant the converse privilege or agency becomes.

And, humans being hive apes that live in troupes and self-organize hierarchically, some of us tend to seek out markers of significance, and privileged status leveraged against the immiseration of others seems like low-hanging fruit.

409:

Megpie71 @ 382 in Reply To JBS @ 365: You're assuming we want him. That's pretty courageous of you.

Hah! I'm not assumin' NOTHIN'. I'm saying he's YOUR FAULT, so y'all should be the ones that has to clean up the mess.

410:

_Moz_ @ 387:

"You're assuming we want him."
Traditionally current Australians aren't given a choice when foreign criminals are shipped over here.

He's not even a foreign criminal in Australia, he's home grown. It's only fair they be made to take him back.

411:

MSB @ 391: I have some bad news for all you people contemplating a merger between either the UK and Germany or the US and Germany:

Drat! ... and I betcha France will have some lame excuse for not wanting to take y'all in too.

412:

Right now there are large numbers of people for whom "better than you" is really, really important. "I will kill you" important. And they do. Regularly.

They also kill because information is (deliberately) not put into context. Dylan Roof, for example, killed because he had been to the website of the CCC (Council of Conservative Citizens) website and seen their listing of Black-on-White killings. But he was never educated about how many murders there were overall every year, nor how many deaths, nor how many white-on-black killings, etc.

The same is true of Bowers, the Pittsburgh Synagogue shooter. He was (in a very racist manner) concerned that the members of this particular synagogue gave considerable aid to a charity which helped refugees. But he probably didn't know that illegal border crossings were at an all-time low, (20% of what they were 20 years ago) or that the number of illegal residents in the U.S. is currently at a multi-decade low. Instead, he responded to panicked news reports about the "refugee caravan" coming north from Honduras, which was nothing more than a minor uptick in a descending graph!

I'm not saying you're wrong, BTW. I'll grant, quite happily, that both Bowers and Roof are horrible people, but they're also people who responded to an information environment where bad information was poorly presented and given without context. And this lack of context kills!

Forget the low information voter; I want to help the "low information shooter" (because then they might not shoot at all.)

413:

Robert Prior @ 402: I didn't mean he wrote it, I meant he was singing it.
I suggested it because you were talking about reclaiming the colour red.

That wasn't me. It was someone else, but I'm too lazy to scroll up to find out who it was.

414:

Confederation of English-speaking countries in the future may be a bit far-stretched possibility, considering you don't have any of them yet, despite this much glorious past of British Empire. However, I presume, if we take current situation with world powers, shake it a bit for another decade and leave on a shelf to settle dawn, perhaps, a confederation of several of them might be an answer. The rest, again, could exist as independent territories or there might also be some form of protectorate territories outside this scope of things. I even invented the name for such entitiy - The Empire (with a dozen additional signifier names attached to it), that will be created after the Last War. Though these names are about as ironic as the last war we know to be named as such - WW1, and the "empire" itself is an allusion on Roman empire, which was more of a cultural/national thing rather than ethnic.

See, we don't know yet how modern technology is going to shape future world's politics, because right now it is still holding onto old traditions - barely, at times. But it in the future this might not live long enough, as many of cyberpunk prophets of the previous century have wondered. Sooner or later the change will come, and as we speak, these limits are weakening, coming under attack from every direction. Maybe in the future, the "country" will change definition, the citizenship will be established by electronic surveillance means, and so on. "Distributed republic" is rather idealistic model, so maybe there might be something more mixed system in practice later on.

In other news, another flagship of modern media industry - the BFV - has been hit with harsh criticism for it's blatant history rewriting. At least where the criticism is still allowed as an activity. I'm not saying that po;itical issues are primary reason for the game failure of a start, but they go hand in hand with crap management decisions. It is better to view it than to read about it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAlAITCBprI
Photo manipulation? Selective facts? Stories pulled out of someones' arse? Wait, where did I hear it before already? Oh, it was with those dastard communists/socialists/fascists, except they are supposed to be long-gone by the glory of the "end of history" and "liberal democracy".

Well, I am, obviously, do not favor modern rampant globalism that treats people as a resource. But neither do I have any sympathy for the people most opposed to them, who constantly exercise their glorious past as a measure of their own implied supremacy. Both points of view are, of course, completely beside the problem these people really are facing. They exist in a virtual space loosely connected with reality and practice outside their limited knowledge (and this is not only about video game industry). But watching closely I find it inherently amusing, and somewhat of a divine justice, if you will.

415:

That's too simplistic, as animal behaviourists and evolutionary analysts have discovered. While it is most of the truth, altruism is also widespread and can be Darwinistically beneficial. There is the classic one WWI of it being an officer's duty to lead from the front - which was one the major factors in the demise of the class structure in the UK. Or the hereditary peers standing up against Thatcher for the rights of us lesser classes, in lieu of a functional opposition. I could give lots of other examples.

What Graydon has missed is that virtually NO abolition of privilege has ever done that - in every case I can think of, it has simply replaced one set of privileged people by another, not always immediately but in fairly short order. Almost every so-called democracy is actually controlled by an elite, often for their own benefit rather than for the people they are supposed to serve. Even when the leaders come from 'the people', the privilege is in the hands of the most effective demogogues and schemers.

Privileged classes should be judged by what they do for those less privileged, whether they are nominally elected or no.

416:

The problem is that your whole idea is racially problematic. What makes you think that all the brown people along the equator are going to die?

If you want to write the book, plucky protagonist heads south and discovers that the Australians and Indonesians got together and bred some fish/seaweed that could live in warmer seas, and that they are gathered along the coasts and still retain technological civilization, that the South African Army has occupied the Antarctic, that the Indians have put genes for fruits and vegetables into giant ferns (adapted for heat already, right?) and are trading with the Aussies and Indonesians, that a Meso-American civilization has colonized the southern part of Argentina, etc. Plus solar-power and air-conditioned greenhouses.

She discovers that the whole idea of "all the brown people died" is nothing more than propaganda, and her entire "nobility" is nothing more than a hateful lie.

In the real world, the whole "kill all the mud people" thing is going to get rather messy when the Indian Army starts moving north and the Pakistanis deploy their nukes to "clear a northern homeland of Anti_Islamic elements." And so on.

Or when American racists discover that the combination of White Liberals, Black People, Hispanic People, Asian People and LGBTQ folk outnumbers them by around 2-to-1.

Of course, Trump and Brexit are all about the U.K. and the U.S. blowing their demographic transitions, and of course we're screwing this up when our real attention needs to be about climate!

417:

Heteromeles @ 375; Graydon @ 376; _Moz_ @ 381:

I think y'all are missing something. Much of the racism in the U.S. is a result of deliberate policy by power/privilege elites. It's intended to keep ALL lower classes - white, black, brown - separated by contrived rivalry. It's meant to keep black & white & brown from getting together and figuring out who is really screwing them over.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPf6ITsjsgk

It's not just white southern power/privilege elites. It's ALL of those who are part of that "class", everywhere in the U.S.

The 1% oppress everyone who is not part of the 1% and fomenting racism is the tool for keeping the other 99% from uniting to demand their fair share of the bounty. I don't expect it to get any better as long as the 1% hold onto the levers of power.

There was a "joke" going around during the 2008 financial crises & election that pretty much sums it up. Goes something like this:

There's a town hall meeting where the local banker, a local small business owner, and a teacher from the local high school are scheduled to debate the town's future. The organizers provide refreshments in the form of a plate with a dozen cookies. The banker proceeds to snatch up 11 of the cookies and gobble them down, then leans over to the small business owner and says "If you don't watch out, that UNION GUY over is going to try to take part of your cookie."

Racism in the U.S. works the same way, just substitute "Black", "Hispanic" or a slur on any other despised "minority" for UNION.

418:

Much of the racism in the U.S. is a result of deliberate policy by power/privilege elites.

Hallelujah!

419:

Ammunition for when she needs to throw the book at someone.

The _Laws_ are not the first choice of front-benchers when tempers flare up, there's an weapon of war racked up there conveniently to hand -- the Mace, a symbol of the Crown which mist be present otherwise votes in the House cannot be lawfully carried out. Actually there's a bunch of maces, spares kept with the Crown Jewels in the Tower just in case.

As for Britain's Constitution, it's not really written down anywhere other than the current way of doing things being recorded as precedents followed by the courts, Judiciary, subsidiary administrations like county and city councils etc. Parliament is sovereign and can do what it wants any time it wants and no scrap of paper can prevent it doing so. What the law books say goes, there are no unconstitutional laws if they are passed by the Houses and signed into statute by the Crown.

420:

You did see that the BoE is predicting a "savage recession" in the case of a crash-out brexit?

To recall the old YIPpie slogan, "eat the rich". I'd be happy to contribute a really good, mustard-based barbecue sauce....

421:

Hey, it's a damn good thing I didn't have liquid in my mouth when I read that....

Oh, and I can say the same: my grandparents - one set from eastern Austia-Hungary, and the other from Odessa, were for many generations closer to the Caucasus Mountains than any of these "Aryan caucasians" in the US....

Oh, and they were all Jewish, which, as you know Bob, isn't Really White....

422:

No, he *bought* his way into the US, as opposed to the "illegal immigrants", who work their tails off 12 hours a day (if they can get it) and live 6 to a 2-bedroom apt.

But I'd be happy to put him up... in an orange jumpsuit, for little things like "incitement to commit murder" (women's healthcare doctor who also did abortions, and D&Cs), and bribing government officials, and illegal campaign contributions (no, no, they're just opinion shows in prime time), and....

423:

Whyat, you, too? Come on, *warn* me before you write things like this. Luckily, I'd already finished my tea before I read it....

Um, my folks were part of the "folk scare" of the fifties. I *really* need to burn to disk a prize possession that was theirs: The Weavers At Carnegie Hall". My first Philly Folk Festival (largest and longest running folk festival in North America, last year was the 53rd), got folk singer friends... and I have an occasional house party/song circle. And when I say, "page xx in the hymnal", I am, of course, referring to Rise Up Singing.

Nahhh, don't lissen' to that folk stuff....

424:

GHU! Quick, where's the paper bag to pull over my head as I type a mea saurus....

425:

Amen, brother!

A "right" to carry all the guns you can afford, but no "right" to healthcare, or privacy, or...

I TRULY DESPISE referring to anything as "entitlements... and that's come from the 1% who think the only ones who should be entitled are *them*.

Maybe they think you're a baron if you've over $10US, and a count (so that you actually count) if you're over $100M, and Earl for $1BUS, and a Duke if you're over $10B.

To which it's not only their privilege that I want to remove - there are spoiked fences that need decorating.

426:

Yeah, I've had a problem with ignorance of the law" for a while. I take it to mean that whoever says it knows tax law, and corporate law, and labor law, and criminal law (non-capital cases), and .....

427:

Gotcha. Now, if Mark the Red wehen't already taken, back in the late sixties/early seventies....

428:

No, it's not just race. Gotta find smaller groups to create, since more is better (easier to manipulate). You forgot religion (cf "the Pope is the Anti-Christ")

And then there's class ("think's she's too good for me"), and let's not even get into "women who think they're as good as a man" (my Eldest just had that, via euphemism, used at her, but then she lives and works in the land of the two-toothed rednecks, as my late ex used to say).

429:

I'm not missing the 1% and contrived separation bit at all. What I'm pointing to--again--is the pernicious nature of the separation. When people are divided along "ethnic" lines (and note that there's little genetic evidence for ethnicities, but that's a side issue) and gain something from being part of a favored group, then asking them to give that something up is simply not going to fly. The only way it works is if you can show them something better that you're going to give them, and so far, the US Democrats have been really bad at doing that for rednecks.

430:

I agree, and I think their agenda is toxic white supremacism: leverage agricultural and ecosystem collapse to kill all the brown people, retreat into the north (or South Island of NZ), and wait it out for a few centuries before repopulating with freshly bred pure aryan serfs to provide for the needs of their natural masters. A global population of 200M serfs and maybe 20K overlords is well within the planetary carrying capacity and can also support the scientific/technological R&D base to handle the overlords' medical needs and luxury goods.

That's one subspecies of a whole set of narratives, and these generally revolve around the notion that:
--Overpopulation is a problem
--Darwin said that more are born than can possibly survive, so most everyone's going to die horribly (note that this long predates Darwin).
--I'm going to survive The Coming Crisis.

...and the rest follows. The wealthy and powerful use their money and power to insulate themselves (there's a small industry selling underground bunkers to the well-off in the US). The racists see this as a way to prove that their group is superior (and it's not just white Xtians, although they're the most on display at the moment. Another version of the cult is big in Silicon Valley). The survivalists do their whole SHTF thing. The agrarian dreamers go get their farm somewhere off-grid in the boonies. And so forth.

I'd suggest that you could do an extremely humanist novel simply by running this scenario where:
--almost everyone does die
--things break down, people implement their I'll Survive/Fuck All Y'All scenarios,
--almost all the scenarios fail in various ways (providing a lot of chaos and villains for the novel)
--the protagonists win simply by suffering, mourning, picking up whatever pieces remain, and making a new community that probably breaks a bunch of times in the future and rebuilds itself (each of which can be a new story, actually)

The ultimate morals of this novel are that something like climate change is not a one-off crisis, it's the new normal for the coming thousands of years, that people cannot survive on their own, that community building works, because humans require communities to survive, and that since everything will be uprooted in a changing climate, extending the notion of community to include other species is necessary as well.

In regard to this last, it's not enough to hunt and gather, if you want to survive in the wilds, you've got to spend a lot of effort making sure there's always enough for you to hunt and gather. Ditto with farming, running woodlands for wood, and so forth.

432:

In fact, I like it a lot, maybe even better than mine.

433:

There is literature on this. Notably Gad Horowitz in Canada.

In short tories think there is a structure to society, liberals don't. The left forked from toryism, not liberalism. They differ on what the structure should be, not whether it exists.

The tories got driven out of the USA in and after the rebellion. Some came to Canada and formed the Family Compact, the reaction to that is the Canadian left.

434:

And when I say, "page xx in the hymnal", I am, of course, referring to Rise Up Singing.

I like the idea of that in a formal setting, ideally a deconsecrated church.

I find that a small bit of paper with the first lines of songs actually does 90% of the work. These days I have a bunch of stuff on my phone and that works pretty well most of the time (but not always, phone battery has been known to go flat). In Australia we have a rock canon I think more than a folk one (Midnight Oil, Hunters and Collectors etc although Paul Kelly could perhaps count as folk).

If you ever want to terrify a bunch of people at night, singing "throw your arms around me" in a Nick Cave voice will do it.

I will come for you at night time
I will raise you from your sleep
I will kiss you in four places
As I go running along your street
I will squeeze the life out of you
...

As we all know, the difference between a love song and a nightmare is consent.

435:

The only way it works is if you can show them something better that you're going to give them, and so far, the US Democrats have been really bad at doing that for rednecks.

They have the problem that for over 100 years rednecks were D's by default. Since Lincoln was an R they HAD to be Ds. Then the 50s to the 80s occurred and they switched. The D party had just assumed they would stick around for no other reason and then they left.

436:

NATO led military coup.


Natural disasters regularly force regions of the United States to allow the National Guard to take over and make the distribution of necessaries a matter of military logistics rather than market economics. Have NATO declare martial law on both sides of the channel and monitor the production and transportation of food and medicine, stepping in with non-monetary inducements to resolve any bottlenecks in the process that emerge.

437:

There's a least one Liberal Jewish congregation I know of where "Union Maid" is in the hymnal.

last Saturday was my new synagogue's Labor on the Bimah service, which closed out with a rousing rendition of "Union Maid" which absolutely nobody actually needed the lyric sheet for. We've now been to this temple a couple of times and it seems like a really good fit--not only a big emphasis on tikkun olum and social action, but the tunes and prayers are close enough to what I had growing up to "feel right."

The author of Ahnistrike.org is, BTW, also an author who works in Lovecraft's oeuvre.

438:

That's awesome :)

439:

BTW, on the subject of Brexit and/or Trump, the Germans raided Deutschebank today. It should be easy to find on a search engine.

440:

jrootham @ 433
NOT EVEN WRONG
The Madwoman from Grantham famously stated that "There is no such thing as society"
So I suggest you try again, huh?

441:

There is a difference between tory and Tory. The madwoman is absolutely a classical liberal.

Or did you have another point? I couldn't tell from the brevity of your response.

442:

CD of 'The Weavers At Carnegie Hall' was available via Big River, last I looked. Same with the Reunion one.

443:

Now, wait for the economic downturn in the US. (2019ish). Republican approval plummets with the falling economy. A gigantic blue wave crashes in. The now-ex-president, and great friend of Farage, moves to London - touting England as the last bastion of non-brown people. His followers move, en masse, to England, also filling up Scotland and Wales. (70 million or so)

Then, these people, now firm residents of the UK, hold another referendum and opt to leave the US.

Brexit could work.

Admittedly, not for the UK. May's plan could be worse.

444:

the Germans raided Deutschebank today

:D Subtly different from when the vikings raid it, but perhaps the modern equivalent? We'll know it's serious when it starts raining senior executives.

... on a different note: tories think there is a structure to society, liberals don't

I think they mean "hierarchy", or perhaps they regard feudal as a silent adjective whenever they use structure to refer to society. Plus there's the bonus confusion between nihilists and liberals, although I suspect that from the perspective of an overlord there's no difference (might I suggest that the difference is subtle but important... one lot are really into guillotines, the other into bureaucracy and due process).

445:

I saw an interesting interview/chat thing from British TV between Billy Bragg and some RBP suit*, with the suit insisting on British unity but persistently referring to England then correcting himself. All the while bemoaning devolution in any form and asking why anyone would want to leave the UK and join the EU. The Bragg was a bit mediocre, warbling about opposition to globalisation. I would have preferred a few more digs about "the English see it as loss of control, for Scotland it would mean *more* control".

* I suggest when trying to appeal to/represent the common man some smooth banker type with rounded vowels and an expensive suit is not the ideal choice. But I understand that that is traditional for the English when appealing to their subjects.

446:

Re: 'Oh boy. You expect to use facts to change people's behavior.'

Yes, starting with the sane countries. The other countries might eventually come around. In places where law suits rule, i.e., ethics based on torts laws, the most important event would be to win a major court case thereby establishing precedent.

447:

Interesting. As I understand it, the current US President only did business with the Deutsche Bank Private Bank, because he burned so many commercial lenders that they (along with the Russians) were among the only to bankroll him.

My question is, was that raid across all divisions? Officially it's linked with the 2016 Panama Papers, and there are a lot of wealthy people who showed up there, not just ol' Agent Orange.

448:

I guess we'll have to see, though I note that the FBI also raided one of Trump's lawyers today. Said lawyer is also a Chicago alderman, so whether this has anything to do with Trump is currently unknown.

Here's the thing which resonates with me. The other EU countries must see Brexit as threatening, and they desperately need to know whether another country is behind it, the main suspects being Russia and various U.S. billionaires, so it would not surprise me if they did what they could to help Mueller, find out what they could about any number of issues, and, if they can dig up something useful, have the U.S. intelligence services owe them a favor if they can dig something up on either Trump or Russia.

Or I could be dead wrong and it's just about the Panama Papers.

449:

The Chicago raid was for the office of Trump's former tax accountant. And no word yet as to why. Could be totally unrelated to the DT.

450:

That's what I said.

451:

Hush don't point out to a remainiac that these things run 2 ways. Reciprocity is not in their vocabulary. They all know that Brexit will bring about a Mad Max world.
On a sidenote Charlie is quite right I haven't read the report he references. I am not going to either, as gregtingy said this nothing, everything that needs to be done to fly safely is already done. The rows are merely about the paperwork, and sorting out how to message the CAA about any changes after Brexit when the European air safety regulator is going to be told by the EU to sulk and not pass on messages. What grown up attitude that exemplifies.

452:

jrootham @ 441
STILL NOT EVEN WRONG
The Madwoman a "classical liberal" - you what - given her actual social & political views, supporting racist (South Africa) & fascist (Pinochet) regimes?

david 17675david
Are you a troll, as well as jrootham?
Actually, if we really do "crash out without a deal" I'm very scared as to the outcome.
I supect we might get temporary fixes up-&-running in a week or so, but the disruption could be - major. I note you are blaming the evil Europeans in advance, which tells me something, as well.

453:

@365 - I think you mean "the Bee Gee" (sorry)

454:

The problem is that your whole idea is racially problematic. What makes you think that all the brown people along the equator are going to die?

Because the whole plot is predicated on deliberate genocide. (Using climate change rather than gas chambers.)

See also "Swastika Night" and the whole 1930/40s micro-genre of "year 3000, after the Nazis won".