Blood donation sessions cancelled around March/April time in case of no deal Brexit. If only all these people could just have faith that it’ll all be fine as per the spokesman for the working class Jacob Rees-Mogg.
Well that’s something but have a feeling that someone in government leaned on them.
"Whether homosexuality has caused less harm (than slavery) is debateable" - Ada
Trashing the UK’s international standing and reputation in order to repair a rift in the Tory party. Wonderful.
Which is precisely what got us into this mess in the first place. Cameron called the Brexit referendum for the sole purpose of postponing the inevitable Tory civil war for another few years. Party before country, always and forever. While the whole treaties and agreements with lesser races (which is to say everyone else) aren't worth the paper they're written on schtick is even older, centuries older. They will wipe their arses on this agreement and any other one, including the Good Friday agreement.
The best way of thinking about this is to imagine the converse situation, in which the EU at this late stage announced that despite what has been agreed in the negotiations only by, say, increasing the financial settlement and changing the backstop back to being Northern Ireland only will it be possible to secure sufficient support from the European Council and Parliament. The outrage of Brexiters can easily be guessed at, and the UK response would almost certainly be a flat refusal.
That may be the EU response, as some early reports suggest. I hope not, because it will just feed the absurd punishment narrative and allow Brexiters to pretend that they had sought a deal in good faith and been rebuffed. Better, and perhaps more likely, for there to be some new declaration or form of words which will then put the responsibility that they so hate back in the hands of the Brexiters. On this, much may hinge for the future both in terms of UK politics and EU-UK relations.
Whilst all this is going on, there is some really serious damage being done. ...
In fact, I was wrong to say that bewilderment and dismay are the only feelings to be had about what is happening. There is also shame. The shame not so much of being a member of a country where such political oafery exists – all countries have their share of that, after all – but of one whose entire political class has brought us to this. I don’t (just) mean Brexit, I mean a country made so weak and incompetent that it is reduced to begging the friends it has reviled for non-existent solutions to problems of its own making, for fear of fantasists, charlatans, numbskulls and thugs.
And, worse, since that unholy alliance is beyond appeasement and reason it is rather more likely tonight – despite the passing of a non-binding, and in itself rather meaningless as it is not a vote for anything, amendment that rejected a no deal outcome - than before that the UK will be leaving the EU with no deal. If so that will be the very worst outcome of Brexit, and nothing remotely like what voters were promised, leaving Britain facing a calamitous future.
and he mentions the "cretin" (Carl's terminology, not mine )
Every Brexiter MP and commentator is an instant expert on the food industry, just as they are on the car industry or aerospace, knowing far more than those who actually work in and run those businesses. Or, for those of such self-evident ignorance that any claim to expertise would cause instant laughter, a more boorish approach is taken. Hence one of the most shameful of recent events, when Mark Francois, Deputy Chair of the ERG, denounced the CEO of Airbus, one of the UK’s most important employers, for being German, tore up his letter warning of the consequences of no deal, and talked about his own father having stood up to German ‘bullying’ on D-Day. It would be hard to find a more compelling image of the silliness and sheer nastiness of the Brexit Ultras.
Another German publication, Der Spiegel, sees furious lobbying from Spain to put the question of Gibraltar back on the table should the Withdrawal Agreement be reopened.
"If the British now demand further concessions on the Irish question, the Spaniards would probably bring the British overseas territory back into play - as before. And other EU countries could make new demands, such as the fishing rights in British waters."
Spain's El Pais says reopening the deal at this stage is a nightmare scenario for Brussels. "The European Union has run into one of the most feared Brexit scenarios at only 60 days before the deadline set for UK's departure from the EU."
It puts the EU in a difficult position - exposing itself to a no-deal Brexit or "accepting a very delicate renegotiation that could open a Pandora's Box", the paper says.
As with the financial settlement issue, the worst aspect of this doltish refusal by Brexiter politicians to engage even minimally with reality is that it so profoundly deceives the general public. In the end reality will bite as it always does, but Brexiters will have misled the public to believe that they have been bitten not by reality but by the caprice of the EU, with all the attendant bitterness that will bring. Anyone who reads this blog regularly will know that I think that leaving the EU is a disaster for Britain, an epic and unprecedented act of economic and, no less important, geo-political and cultural self-harm. But as the months go by what I find almost equally grotesque is the sheer boneheaded incompetence with which Brexit is being pursued.
a colleague of mine (an attractive lady, btw ... ) wants to visit the UK in April (bc of the last concert of UFO) and I have warned her not to use a British airline for that purpose (she will use Lufthansa now). She has friends in England and she told me that the public is more and more divided in a very toxic way.
People are now defining themselves by the call they made on Brexit, and the coarsening of attitudes signals lasting conflict across England ... The Daily Mail reports that over 1.6 million relationships have ended, and a million people have “cut off a relative” because of differences over Brexit.
She also told me that there is a certain problem with the English mindset - the "keep calm" under every circumstance may turn out very counterproductive in the case of Brexit. She told me, when an English man tells his friends that he has a little problem this will mean that his house is burned down, his underage teen daughter is pregnant and his wife wants a divorce ...
Yet there is another loser, too, one not being mentioned nearly often enough: the United States of America.
American presidents have historically had their own view of the U.K.-EU relationship: They wanted Britain in Europe, both to expedite trade and commerce across the Channel and because they counted on Britain to veto anti-American actions by other European countries, especially France.
and this blocked the EU in many ways to go forward ...
British governments tended to agree with the United States that the defense of Europe was a job for the U.S.-led NATO alliance—not for some autonomous European defense force. British governments usually opposed state ownership, efforts to build protectionist barriers around Europe, and other dirigiste industrial policies that ran counter to U.S. economic interests.
The Republican front-runner, Donald Trump, expressed strongly pro-Brexit views. Many in Britain counted on Trump, should he win, to fast-track a U.S.-U.K. free-trade agreement that would more than compensate for any economic shocks of EU exit. Some are still counting on it, long after they should have known better. Instead, Trump hit Britain, as well as other trade partners, with steel and aluminum tariffs in the summer of 2018—and then threatened a follow-on strike against autos, an important British export to the U.S.
A responsible American president would pull America’s friends back from this brink. ... By now, the U.K. and EU alike would likely welcome a face-saving compromise—one that spares the U.K. the humiliation of asking to be released from the exit process it triggered, and that protects the EU from the disruption of losing its most economically dynamic and militarily capable member state. The EU’s own rules offer no obvious off-ramp from the looming crunch—but American help and American pressure might possibly construct such an off-ramp just in time.
The trans-Atlantic dysfunction has far-reaching ramifications, given the role the United States and Britain, pillars of the NATO alliance, play in counterterrorism operations, intelligence sharing, sanctions enforcement, and dealing with conflict zones like Syria.
With both countries also turning away from multilateral trade agreements, China has the opportunity to step in and play an even bigger role in the global economy. And Russia has seen an opening to expand its influence in Europe, where rising nationalism has threatened to fracture the European Union.
If the two countries are both vulnerable to gridlock, that is partly for historic reasons. As two of the world’s oldest democracies, they spring from the same, centuries-old model: the electoral system known as first-past-the post or winner-take-all. Democracies that developed later, like Sweden and Finland, introduced proportional representation, which allows for smaller parties to enter Parliament. Winner-take-all, by contrast, tends to increase polarization between two large parties, and exaggerate geographical divides, setting up stark conflict between sections of society.
“We’re concerned that a hard Brexit would have an immediate and significant impact on the global financial system, including U.S. banks, which account for between 40 to 60 percent of activity in the global derivatives markets,” J. Christopher Giancarlo, the chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which regulates derivatives, said in a presentation in October to the U.S. Financial Stability Oversight Council, which oversees U.S. markets.
On December 19, the FSOC for the first time listed “Brexit” as a potential systemic risk to the economy, noting that a no-deal Brexit in particular would disrupt contracts and international financial flows, as well as generally deteriorate confidence in the economy.
The European Commission, in its emergency contingency plan for a no-deal Brexit published on Wednesday, confirmed Giancarlo's fears — focusing on derivatives as the one major area in financial services that needs a safety net.
Still, despite such warnings by policy and regulatory insiders, many politicians seem to be just cluing in to the potential risks.
In the technology industry, Brexit concerns are focused on issues like data transfer, taxes, immigration, intellectual property protections and data privacy regimes.
Josh Kallmer, executive vice president of policy at the Information Technology Council, whose members including Google, Twitter, Amazon and Facebook, said that a trade agreement between the U.S. and the U.K. allowing robust market access in Europe is a top priority for the industry. Tech companies also need a data transfer deal that is safe and workable.
Kallmer said the technology industry is also closely watching the Brexit process for clues about how the newly independent U.K. will deal with foreign workers and also whether London will seek to adopt a more industry-friendly regulatory regime when it comes to data privacy, he noted.
Mary Creagh, the chair of parliament’s environmental audit committee, said: “The UK’s waste and recycling system is already fragile but these shocking emails show it will grind to a halt if customs checks and WTO tariffs prevent the export of millions of tonnes of waste.”
“If there is a no-deal scenario, the current export of waste may cease for a period. This could result in stockpiled waste which causes licence breaches,” the email said. “Odours will obviously be an issue as the stockpiled waste putrefies and there may be runoff of leachates, causing secondary pollution.”
(WEEE being a part of Waste management I can proudly say that I have been the only one mentioning it here many months ago... still no one talking 'bout it - will the old Brit one cell brain phoneys throw their old Brit cell phones into the sea now? )
4 months ago seems this had not been enough of a wake-up call for all ministers?
The crucial difference now is that no matter how much Brexiters shout they cannot make the EU accept as true a claim that is untrue. This is not a matter of being ‘inflexible’ or refusing to give ‘concessions’, as so much of the media reporting in the UK would suggest. It is simply not in the gift of the EU to agree to something when what they are being asked to agree to is the pretence that something which does not exist does exist. The very most it can do – and has already done in the present Withdrawal Agreement – is accept that if at some point in the future these technological or other alternatives come to exist then the backstop would be rendered obsolete.
Brexiters seem oblivious to it, but the UK’s reputation for trustworthy negotiation is being trashed by their antics – not just with the EU but with the wider world looking on. Indeed, one of the roots of the current EU determination to have a legally watertight backstop agreement is the cavalier way that the then Brexit Secretary David Davis, at the conclusion of phase one of the talks, immediately declared that what had been agreed (including the first version of the backstop) was not binding.
I’m not sure that, even now, Brexiters realise how much damage was done to the UK’s reputation just by that one remark. Taken together with persistent mutterings from Boris Johnson and others about not really accepting the financial settlement either, and from some that even the Good Friday Agreement could be reneged upon, a picture of a country that is not a reliable negotiating partner has been presented to the world.
The new environmental watchdog is needed to fill a potential governance gap after Britain leaves the EU, since the European Commission has played a role in holding the government to account on environmental measures including air quality. However, indications in the government’s draft of the environment bill – that Defra would fund the watchdog and appoint its chair – raise questions about its independence, the auditors said.
Environmental advocates, however, worry the UK will lose backup measures and oversight from Brussels – which London is free to build upon – and that the environmental watchdog will lack the power to penalise any shortfalls.
The NAO said the UK’s track record and future outlook on environmental protections are mixed.
opportunities, opportunities, ... sometimes it's better when the audit is coming from the OUTSIDE
The lack of a "green watchdog" is also mentioned here, but also something else
A hard Brexit is not expected to disrupt electricity flows between the north and south or lead to new trade tariffs. But it could lead to longer term problems such as a reduction of electricity traded across the border and changes in rules known as network codes on the EU and UK side. Northern Ireland faces a greater risk of electricity shortages than Ireland does, as its capacity is already squeezed and older coal- and gas-fired power plants are nearing shutdown, said Paul Deane, a research fellow at University College Cork.
But let us have a general look on the preparedness.
EVERY British citizen should have a look at these 12 pages:
This paper looks at the UK Government’s progress in preparing to leave the EU without a deal. It assesses the status of Brexit legislation and the practical preparations required for day one outside the EU
The UK leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement on 29 March 2019 – and therefore without a transition period – would be the biggest change in relationship in the shortest possible period of time. Even if the Government had been preparing for no deal from the day after the referendum in 2016, under three years would have been a much more compressed timetable than was required for other major (though much simpler) programmes like Universal Credit, Automatic Pension Enrolment or the 2012 Olympics. But the Government did not start preparing for no deal from day one – the actual timelines have been much shorter.
The problems facing the Government in being ready for a no deal Brexit are largely a reflection of the sheer scale and complexity of the task. But the Government’s approach to no deal preparations – being unwilling to talk publicly about plans and developing an adversarial relationship with Parliament – has caused further problems. It is not just the Government that needs to be ready – business and citizens need to know how the changes will affect them and what they need to do: the Government only started its communication effort late in 2018.
The Prime Minister is heading back to Brussels to try and reopen negotiations on the Withdrawal Agreement. The EU is so far standing firm and attempts from MPs to try to request an extension of Article 50 have failed. The default outcome remains the same: a no deal Brexit.
• The Government may have won a formal confidence vote but is struggling in both the Commons and the Lords to control parliamentary business. That means it cannot, as governments normally do, rely on its Commons majority to get its business through.
• It looks increasingly unlikely that the Prime Minister will be able to get the six outstanding Brexit bills* through Parliament in time. Some of the major bills still have not started their Lords stages – where the Government does not control time. Any piece of legislation can become a target for people wanting to frustrate the Government’s intentions.
• The Government is also behind on secondary legislation. Despite a major push from government departments, only around 100 of the 600 statutory instruments required for a no deal Brexit have made their way through Parliament.1 Almost half are yet to be tabled
• Legislation can theoretically be rushed through Parliament, but that would bypass important scrutiny and, most importantly, require a stable majority – something the Government cannot currently bank on. That means there is a very significant risk that the laws that need to be in place for a no deal Brexit will not be on the statute book
• The even bigger risk to readiness is having the new processes, new systems and new staff in place by March 2019 to avoid disruption. The Government has not had enough time to begin with to do everything required, but has made its problems worse by refusing to openly engage and keeping its plans secret.
• Business will need to be ready to use new systems and operate under new rules – but was told about plans too late (and has been outspoken about the lack of preparedness). The UK has still not said what tariff regime it would operate with the EU after Brexit. Business is normally given years to prepare for these kinds of changes, but in this case has had just a few months – with ‘technical notices‘ released by the Government only in August 2018. For some businesses, mainly the bigger ones, contingency plans have been in place or activated since the end of last year. But for many there is simply no work being done to prepare.
• The Government is also seeking to roll over existing trade deals and other EU agreements with countries around the world that the UK has access to as a member state. While some progress has been made, particularly on air services agreements, the Government has not said how many replacement agreements are outstanding.
• There are limits to how far the UK can be ready for no deal. What happens also depends on the EU. The EU has said that in the event of no deal it will not negotiate a ‘managed no deal’ with the UK but will put in place unilateral contingency measures. It has already taken some action on some aspects of financial services and on flights between the UK and individual member states. But its aim will be to minimise disruption for EU citizens and businesses – not soften the blow for the UK.
I REALLY recommend downloading that paper and browsing through the tables in the PDF