Out!

I’m genuinely shocked by the UK referendum result. I’d been largely ignoring it, mainly because, from what I did see, noone really had compelling arguments for either case, and much of what was said seemed simply untrue. I had assumed that it would be close, but that Remain would just sneak in. Clearly I was wrong.

I think this is a very disappointing outcome and that we will eventually regret this decision. I think it’s inward looking, short-sighted, slightly selfish and unwelcoming, and is using the EU as a scapegoat for problems that are mainly of our own making. I don’t think we will be better off out of the EU, and I think we’ve damaged our reputation both with our European neighbours and with a large part of the rest of the world. I also think it’s an indication that we’re rapidly forgetting why we forged these relationships in the first place; this wasn’t just about free trade agreements and economic activity, but was also intended as a way of developing a European community that works together to solve problems, rather than one that creates problems by regularly fighting amongst itself.

Of course I work in a sector that has benefited greatly from the EU and is very supportive of the overall goal of developing a community that collaborates for the benefit of all. The Higher Education sector, and research in particular, will probably suffer as a result of this decision. We will lose access to funding sources that have a brought a lot of research income into the UK and will probably find it harder to develop meaningful collaborations with European partners. If this were for the greater good, that might be fine, but I suspect it is not. I genuinely hope I’m wrong, though.

That’s all I really have to say. I think we’ve just taken a step in completely the wrong direction and I really do hope the consequences of doing so aren’t too severe.

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290 Responses to Out!

  1. As far as I could see, Leave just read straight from the tobacco/climate denier handbook. They didn’t seem to have a positive reason to leave and used as much fearmongering as they could (Turkey…).

  2. A lot of the chatter at the moment is about the difference between the north and metropolitan south (London). But the disparity between what younger and older voters is what strikes me. The young like my daughters and granddaughter will be the ones who will have to live with this. We know that promises to spend more on NHS will not be kept, because the leaders of Brexit are mostly ones who support privatisation and are anti public institutions (especially world class ones like BBC, NHS and MetOffice). But Cameron and tory party brought this on themselves and the whole country is in the cross-fire of their own internal struggles. What this means for post-Paris? … I am fearful.

  3. The Brexit ringleaders borrowed the tactics of the climate ‘skeptics’—not surprising as many of them were much the same people—and the gullible ‘don’t knows’ who were just confused fell for carefully-conceived simple memes such as “£350m diverted from the EU to the NHS”. Now it’s over the Brexit ringleaders have got what they want and they’re backtracking: https://twitter.com/Independent/status/746228248460156928

    It’s a sad day and a set back that will have its repercussions throughout my children’s lives.

  4. verytallguy says:

    It’s OK. Now we have established that our alliance with Oceania was to blame for all of our problems, they will be solved by leaving to form a treaty with Eastasia.

    And it could be worse, at least Donald Trump isn’t in the UK. Oh. Wait. Shit!

  5. lord sidcup says:

    Post-fact politics has triumphed. I predict Owen Paterson will be in charge at DECC by the end of the year – if, that is, DECC still exists with the extra austerity we now face. Maybe I’m being too gloomy.

  6. fragmeister,
    I think there was some fear-mongering from the Remain side too, which is even more irritating. If Cameron and Osborne thought it would be a disaster to leave the EU, they should never have allowed the referendum in the first place. The reason we elect people is so that they make these difficult decisions.

    john,
    Indeed, and there are strong links between climate “skepticism” and Brexit.

    vtg,

    🙂 Trump is rather showing his ignorance by hailing this as a good decision while visiting Scotland.

  7. Martin Mehta says:

    As US conservatives are also discovering right now, turns out that when you lie through your teeth, devalue expertise in favour of rhetoric and false ‘balance’, and blame problems you yourself caused on unpopular groups, there’s nothing to stop somebody even more extreme from using the same tactics against you. Couldn’t have seen that coming. I wonder if the reason Cameron’s going now is to make sure he’s not remembered as the last PM of the UK.

  8. Martin,
    I have a feeling he’s leaving partly because he knows he messed up (shouldn’t have called the referendum in the first place) and because he can’t really lead a government that is going to have to do something that he opposed.

  9. Indeed, and there are strong links between climate “skepticism” and Brexit.

    I heard a Leaver say he was swayed by Lord Lawson. I didn’t hear the rest for my own laughter.

  10. Magma says:

    ATTP: I think much of the ‘fear-mongering’ from the Remain side was justified, and Cameron’s too-clever political pledge to call the referendum will go down as one of the worst misjudgments in UK political history. Not only is the future of the United Kingdom now in doubt, and Britain’s economic and political future now under a pall, but Nigel Farage barely waited an hour before reeling back some of Leave’s claims about the costs of EU membership. Talk about adding insult to injury.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/eu-referendum-result-nigel-farage-nhs-pledge-disowns-350-million-pounds-a7099906.html

    And what of Johnson, Gove and Farage as leaders of a weaker, poorer, possibly smaller, isolated Britain? Apart from everything else, where does that parcel of political opportunists and climate science deniers leave both general science and the Paris Accord?

  11. Martin Mehta says:

    In similar news, the BBC currently has an article up claiming that Michael Gove brought “intellectual heft” to the Leave campaign.

  12. Magma,

    I think much of the ‘fear-mongering’ from the Remain side was justified, and Cameron’s too-clever political pledge to call the referendum will go down as one of the worst misjudgments in UK political history.

    Exactly. If it was so obvious after calling the referendum that leaving would be a disaster, why wasn’t it obvious before doing so?

  13. verytallguy says:

    In other news… shock as xenophobia and nationalism are used to manipulate public opinion

    VP in Moscow said “It’s an interesting idea, but my population would never fall for it” then winked knowingly whilst regarding Kaliningrad on the map on his wall.

    RM in the Hague said “We tried it and it was brilliant. Peace and prosperity immediately followed” then asked if his leadership skills gave him enough points for citizenship in the newly free UK.

    DC in Clacton who is disabled, said that she voted leave because of pressures on the NHS.

    “I’ve waited eight months for an appointment at Colchester hospital. Other countries are fine outside Europe, we’ll be fine too.”

    [the last one of these is genuine. I kid you not]

  14. izen says:

    If I were French and were motivated to ‘punish’ the UK for its actions I would throw out all Uk police on French soil and cancel exit checks on boat, train and plane passengers to the UK.

    Cooperation has restricted many migrants in Europe that want to reach the UK, hard to see why the EU would continue that policy.

  15. I am not surprised by the result. Just look at the front page stories of the most popular newspapers over the last 20 years. Blaming immigration and the EU for our problems and calling it barmy over decades has sunk into the cultural identity of many voters.

  16. > and were motivated to ‘punish’ the UK for its actions

    I’ll write my own blog, of course, but that last one gives me a chance here to try out one of my thoughts: that the EU / Remain shot itself badly in the foot over the threats of “punishment” if we voted leave. Because it made the EU sound unpleasant, and more than that, it made it sound like they were saying “the only reason you’ll stay is if we punish you to leave”. Why stay, if that’s valid reasoning?

  17. Willard says:

    > I think it’s inward looking, short-sighted, slightly selfish and unwelcoming,

    UK at its finest. Not that they can’t do better than that – the UK could even blame EU for making them do it. Let our Stoatness lead the way. Suggested title – Do You Think It Helped?

  18. WMC,
    I hadn’t thought of that angle, but I do think they shot themsleves in the foot with their claims of disaster if we left. Since those saying this were also those who decided to go ahead with the referendum, it made it seem (to me, at least) that they really hadn’t thought this through and didn’t really know what they were talking about.

  19. mightdrunken,
    Indeed, some elements of the media (some of which are read by many people) have spent years blaming the EU for all – or most of – our problems.

  20. Willard says:

    > at least Donald Trump isn’t in the UK.

    He is, but only if you count Scotland in:

    The latest company accounts for Trump International Golf Course Scotland (TIGCS) showed in 2014 it was £38.5m in debt – nearly all of which is owed to Trump, and is losing well over £1m a year. Trump claimed in 2008 that his planned resort would employ 1,200 people; it currently employs 95, many of whom will be seasonal. The course is closed over the winter, thanks to the harsh weather.

    His original masterplan included two championship golf courses, complete with a five-star hotel, tower blocks of timeshare apartments, luxury villas, equestrian and tennis complexes, a golfing academy, and shopping village strung along a sweeping avenue called Trump Boulevard.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jun/23/donald-trump-faces-wall-of-opposition-as-he-returns-to-scotland

  21. Phil says:

    What this means for post-Paris? … I am fearful.

    Given that, if “Remain” had won, Cameron’s likely successor would have been George Osborne (who always seemed to me a closet Climate Change denier) then perhaps this result is less important.

    My view is that many “Leave” supporters voted because they thought things would become better for them if we left, but since they almost certainly won’t, then (hopefully) there should be a backlash against the pro-Leave politicians when the EU grants to impoverished areas (South Wales and Cornwall, for example) disappear, and the Polish builders and Spanish Doctors are allowed to stay, because we need them. So paradoxically I now see a bleak future for UKIP (the only political party that currently denies AGW). The question is whether, if the Conservatives shift rightward, they too will embrace AGW denial. Perhaps its good thing that, at the moment, Climate Change is not a big priority for UK voters, and that most UK politicians are better informed on the subject than the electorate.

    The real worry is that this result is a harbinger of things to come in the US presidential election, with Trump’s “disaffected” vote being much larger than currently predicted.

  22. BBD says:

    The rise and rise of right-wing populism. I had a horrible feeling the Brexiteers would win. So many people I have spoken to recently were entirely taken in by the £350m bollocks and – I’m sorry to say it – were basically for exit because of the perceived lack of control over immigration. Well, here we are. Brave new world, innit.

  23. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Izen, scrapping the bilateral (not EU) Le Touquet Treaty probably wouldn’t mean that the Jungle would move to Dover.

    http://infacts.org/more-than-treaties-keep-migrants-in-france/

    And: ‘Cooperation has restricted many migrants in Europe that want to reach the UK, hard to see why the EU would continue that policy.’

    If it didn’t, it would be breaking its own (admittedly unworkable) rules, which say that asylum should be claimed in the first EU country entered.

    And I don’t know why the French would want to punish the UK for voting to leave the EU. A majority of French people want their own referendum on EU membership. (The same poll said that Rester – or is it Restez? Restant? – would beat Departer by 58% to 42%, not including les indécis.)

  24. Vinny,
    I suspect that after this referendum there will be no others (on EU membership, at least) unless the government of that country actually wants to leave the EU.

  25. Well of course, this almost guarantees that Scotland will leave the UK, sooner or later. The ‘City of London’ will shrink (actually I am seeing news flashes that suggest that might already be underway).

    OK, so a weaker pound may help small scale manufacturing, but will (imagining) Nissan want to build their 2030 EV plant in UK or EU?

    We can have a thriving economy, but it will be significantly smaller for a host of reasons. Oh, but we were told that by ‘experts’, right? And like Climate Scientists, Virologists, Economists, Central Bankers, etc., are all to be ignored if it conflicts with our emotions.

    Daniel Kahneman nailed it:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/06/05/british-voters-succumbing-to-impulse-irritation-and-anger—and/

  26. Dikran Marsupial says:

    I am profoundly disappointed by the whole thing.

  27. verytallguy says:

    Dikran, is this you?

  28. JCH says:

    If Scotland leaves the UK… does it join the EU?

  29. JCH – They have clearly stated that is their goal, and #Brexit is a reason for having a second Scottish Referendum on leaving the Union (UK one).

  30. Dikran Marsupial says:

    VTG LOL, more

    i.e. “pessimistic, gloomy, depressed [and] anhedonic”, but at least trying to make the effort ;o)

  31. I do not expect the EU to punish the UK. A prosperous UK and good neighbourly relationships are good for Europe.

    Some claim that the EU would do this to make leaving the EU look less attractive. I expect that even if the EU is helpful, the situation in the UK will not be rosy and other countries will not voluntarily put themselves in that position.

    The balance of power naturally does change. I heard that Airbus was thinking of shifting operations out of the UK. You naturally now have less friends to fight for your interests. The same for the ECMWF. I am not expecting it to leave soon, but if some other country/city would be interested in hosting it, the UK would be weakened in the power struggle. The UKIP will probably call that punishment to distract from who they punished the UK, but that is a normal consequence of the change in power.

    Of course I work in a sector that has benefited greatly from the EU and is very supportive of the overall goal of developing a community that collaborates for the benefit of all. The Higher Education sector, and research in particular, will probably suffer as a result of this decision.

    The UK could pay money to the EU to keep UK participation in EU research programs. Switzerland does the same. Similar relations are possible for many EU programs; the main change would be that the UK is no longer deciding on the rules and would have to do what the EU wants.

    I feel it would be a good idea to have a second referendum when it is clear what Leave means. Will you become like Switzerland? Have nearly all the benefits of EU membership, but also have to implement all the EU rules while having just no voice for your money. Or will you chose not to implement EU rules (on safety), which means that customs at the borders become necessary; a relationship like Canada.

    I would expect that the people who voted Leave all had their own idea what that would mean. Once we know what Leave means, a referendum choosing between that and EU membership would be a much fairer referendum question.

  32. verytallguy says:

    Dikran, ahedonic, I like it!

    I know, let’s cheer ourselves up with some good old British humour:

    “I say I say I say, what’s the difference between Boris Johnson and Donald Trump?”

    Bugger, this is harder than I thought….

  33. lerpo says:

    How could you leave this decision to a simple majority? About half the population is against this move. With a vote that close you may get a different result a month from now and a different one again a month after that. Shouldn’t a clear majority have been required for a change like this?

  34. Marco says:

    “£350m [per week] diverted from the EU to the NHS”.
    I can’t understand why this hasn’t been blown up a lot larger. Everyone (involved in the campaigns) knew this was a false pledge, impossible to do. Everyone. The net amount that the UK paid to the EU was far less than this, and, again, everyone knew that.

    As I said elsewhere, the UK may well have to do what Switzerland and Norway do, which is buy themselves access to the EU open market. Of course, this means the UK *still* has to follow lots of EU laws and regulations!

    Some things that will also not go unnoticed is that the European Medicines Agency and the European Banking Agency will have to move out of the UK. After all, they are essentially EU agencies, and they should therefore not be in a non-EU country. There’s going to be some infighting regarding which EU country will get those agencies…

  35. Marco says:

    Apparently Sinn Fein has already mentioned a Northern-Irish referendum as a necessity. This is not good, and likely to cause renewed tension.

  36. verytallguy says:

    Marco,

    I can’t understand why this hasn’t been blown up a lot larger. Everyone (involved in the campaigns) knew this was a false pledge, impossible to do. Everyone.

    it’s the dead cat strategy. From Lynton Crosby and originally described by one B. Johnson.

    In a 2013 article for The Daily Telegraph, Boris Johnson noted that one of Crosby’s tactics when losing an argument and having the facts against you was to do the equivalent of “throwing a dead cat on the table”: bring up an issue you want to talk about that draws widespread attention from the populace, forcing opponents to also talk about your new issue instead of the previous issue.

    Turkey was used in precisely the same way. Everone know Turkish accession was a lie; leave kept on repeating it so it gets discussed; merely discussing it makes it the big issue.

    Note the parallel to climate change deniers shouting “fraud”

  37. Dikran Marsupial says:

    VTG:

  38. This is almost scarily prescient.

  39. Dikran Marsupial says:

    Lerpo writes “How could you leave this decision to a simple majority? “

    well quite!

  40. Andrew Dodds says:

    Was very surprised this morning to find out..

    The EU is hardly perfect – witness the catastrophic treatment of Greece. And it’ll be fun to see those wealthy Tory landowners see their CAP subsidy dry up (although it’s odds on to be replaced like for like, given our current government). But it seems like we will lose a lot of bits and pieces.

    It seems to be another example of the way that UK politics is now dominated by the elderly; just as the last general election was (much to the surprise of the pollsters).

  41. Dikran Marsupial says:
  42. Vinny Burgoo says:

    ATTP: ‘I suspect that after this referendum there will be no others (on EU membership, at least) unless the government of that country actually wants to leave the EU.’

    These things get forced on governments – by their own repeated promises, for example.

    (The enlargement part of the Yes, Minister video is sorta true. I don’t think the civil service argued for it for those reasons – it tends towards Eurofanaticism – but I remember Tory politicians arguing for enlargement because a bigger EU must necessarily put a stop to ever closer union. They were wrong, of course.)

  43. Vinny Burgoo says:

    (In the short term, that is.)

  44. snarkrates says:

    Vinny: “And I don’t know why the French would want to punish the UK for voting to leave the EU. A majority of French people want their own referendum on EU membership.”

    I think you answered your own question. If Britain comes out of this well, it will become dangerous to stand near the exits. Brussels is going to make this one hurt. They have to or else they will only be ruling Belgium.

  45. talies says:

    Does anyone know if this is a plausible course of action?
    Twitter exchange:

    Is it poss the new PM could call a General Election, and not feel bound by the #Brexit ref? Leave it to new parliament? Clutching straws??

    Victor Venema ‏@VariabilityBlog 6h6 hours ago
    @4589roger Who knows. Opinion polls could look very different next week.

    Roger Davies ‏@4589roger 1h1 hour ago
    @VariabilityBlog I’m hoping Cameron’s successor will not feel bound by the ref. Will let parliament decide (remain)

    Victor Venema
    ‏@VariabilityBlog
    @4589roger Now that you had the stupid reference, it would be undemocratic to ignore it. It would require a better formulation

    Roger Davies ‏@4589roger 1h1 hour ago
    @VariabilityBlog We could have an election t to give democratic authority to a new parliament

    Victor Venema ‏@VariabilityBlog 1h1 hour ago
    @4589roger If there is a clear shift in the opinion polls, a normal election may do, which might happen. Not sure people were well informed.

    Roger Davies ‏@4589roger 1h1 hour ago
    @VariabilityBlog But it was not legally binding on parliament. Only advisory. Parliament is sovereign, and 3/4 for remain

  46. Unless something realy odd happens, I suspect the new PM will be a leave supported and hence would be unlikely to want to avoid continuing with this course of action.

  47. anoilman says:

    The consequences of Brexit is of course increased prices for everything, and an inability to negotiate.

    So.. Cost… The UK will continue to produce manufacture and otherwise remain compliant to all EU regulations. This is the expedient decision as they are your largest trading partner. However unless you fully embrace all EU regulations you will need to enforce your own, which costs. Oh, and well known that its pretty costly to adapt a product to a new market. If the UK is not using EU regulations, it’ll have to pay through the nose or do without.

    UK is small. Tiny. This will make it impossible to negotiate for what you want. The UK will be a lot like Canada, yelling “Me Too!” Seriously folks, no country knows better than Canada how Abrasive the US can be in a negotiation. If you really think the underdog always wins, you got a lot to learn about life.

    I don’t really know what will happen, but it doesn’t look wise to me. EU has some financial issues… Maybe they should tax those upstarts in the UK.

  48. anoilman says:

    You know.. the funny thing is that the UKIP tapped into the anti immigration sentiment. You have to admit that those who are less well off (poor education, competing for bottom jobs) were feeling it the most. Equally interesting is that the businesses that profit by this will be unlikely to see that process end. If it never ends they always have a vote block.

  49. The new PM will be elected in October. It should be much clearer by then what the bad consequences of this vote are and how little it solves. Curious if a Leaver will win.

    It would be best, however, if a Leaver would lead the conservatives. Only then could you legitimately interpret a new election as a 2nd referendum with better informed voters.

  50. Hyperactive Hydrologist says:

    Interesting to see top EU leaders wanting Britain out as quickly as possible, to minimise the period of uncertainty, while Boris Johnson says there is no rush. It is almost as though the leave campaign doesn’t really have an EU exit plan. I can see this dragging on until after a new PM is appointed before Article 50 is enacted.

  51. Hyperactive Hydrologist says:

    talies,

    The referendum is not legally binding. The government could put it to a vote in the House of Commons. Although I imagine that may result in riots.

  52. Please consider the future long term potential upside for the UK that never existed while in the EU, economically, *in the long term* (yes, the short-term is going to be painful), as evidenced by what is said by many economic scholars such as the one I cite further below:

    In terms of per capita nominal GDP, Norway and Switzerland (except for those small city-states like Luxembourg) are by far the two richest countries in Europe, and have been for decades. Not only are they not in the Eurozone, but they are also not in the EU. Is it completely a coincidence the two richest countries in Europe have 100% national sovereignty over their countries’ monetary and fiscal policies (of their countries’ federal governments)? Many do not think so. See such the articles I cite below for just a tip of the iceberg.

    This vote could and I think should be viewed as a country wanting to free itself from the austerity of conservative economics imposed on it from abroad and from home. These two countries I mentioned above are free from any legal influence from all those conservatives (in Germany and elsewhere) economically running more and more of Europe into the ground with their austerity polices via monetary and/or fiscal policy forced onto more and more of Europe via both the EU and the Eurozone. (With respect to the Eurozone, see the conservatives in Germany and other conservatives essentially calling the shots with respect to the ECB’s austerity policies – see the fact that the legal mandates of the ECB were created by pro-austerity conservatives, policies of not having a mandate of pursuing strong economic growth for all of the Eurozone.)

    *In the long term* (yes, the short-term is going to be painful), the UK has given itself at least the opportunity to join both Norway and Switzerland to pursue very pro-growth (that is, very progressive when necessary) economic policies, both monetary and fiscal, and obtain a per capita nominal GDP in the same category as Norway and Switzerland, well above the rest of Europe (except for those small city-states in question).

    Please read all those many articles on this idea such as these next two, written before the vote by Dean Baker, a progressive economist who has shown himself to be a true progressive, much more progressive than Paul Krugman, who has shown himself to be not so progressive after all via his repeated dumping on the progressive movement that Bernie Sanders has started here in the US (yes, Krugman has now started to show his true political leanings, repeated dumping on such as single payer healthcare, something he claimed to be in favor of bringing to the US prior to shilling for Hillary, against Bernie):

    Is David Cameron’s Austerity Three Times as Bad as Brexit? http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/is-david-cameron-s-austerity-three-times-as-bad-as-brexit

    Quote:

    “If we can credit the I.M.F. research staff for knowing what they were doing in their 2008 projections, then the U.K.’s austerity policies have cost it an amount of output equal to 16.8 percentage points of 2007 GDP or more than three times the estimated cost of Brexit. This means that if Brexit is an economic disaster then Cameron’s austerity has been three times as costly as an economic disaster.”

    Also by Baker:

    German Finance Minister Plans to Make Europe Poorer to Punish Britain
    http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/german-finance-minister-plans-to-make-europe-poorer-to-punish-britain

    Quote:

    “It would have also been worth pointing out that the economic policies imposed by Germany have cost the EU a decade of growth and needlessly kept millions of people out of work. This policies are based on some sort of quasi-religious belief in the virtues of balanced budgets and have been shown to be unmoved by evidence. It is reasonable to believe that if the European Union had pursued policies to promote rather than stifle growth, Europeans would have a more positive attitude toward it.”

  53. verytallguy says:

    Victor

    The new PM will be elected in October.

    It will be Boris. 100% cast iron guaranteed. Elected by the Conservative party, not by the country, note.

    There is no guarantee of another general election for four years. If Boris arranged for one, there is no way any party would stand on a manifesto of reversing the referendum vote. It would be political suicide.

    Your scenario is constitutionally possible, but entirely incredible.

  54. Magma says:

    Hardly the only example, but here’s one short interview on Twitter illustrating some of the ignorance and lack of thought behind some of the Leave votes*:

    “The majority of us voted to leave, but we are actually regretting it today.”
    “Did you think you might get a chance to vote again?”
    “Yeah, actually, I said to my sisters just before they flew out, I hope, I wish we had the opportunity to vote again.”

    Just in passing, I don’t think this young woman and her family will find UKIP to be a warm and welcoming party.

    * Were there also ignorant and thoughtless votes behind Remain? Well, almost certainly… but they didn’t break anything, did they?

  55. Hyperactive Hydrologist says:

    KeefeAndAmanda,

    Not sure you can compare the small countries like Norway and Switzerland with UK. Also Norway has huge amounts of natural resources. Plus GDP growth rate for Norway and the UK looks pretty similar.

    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-kingdom/gdp-growth

  56. VTG: “If Boris arranged for one, there is no way any party would stand on a manifesto of reversing the referendum vote. It would be political suicide.

    At the moment, yes. I would not be surprised if in October/December the polls will show very different numbers in opinion polls on the EU. If Leave is then mostly seen as a huge mistake, it would be a good opportunity for Labour to call the election a 2nd EU referendum, especially if Boris is the Tory leader. If the voters accept that framing, it could work.

  57. Willard says:

    FWIW:

    Although the Kingdom of Norway is not a member state of the European Union (EU), it is closely associated with the Union through its membership in the European Economic Area (EEA), in the context of being a European Free Trade Association (EFTA) member.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norway%E2%80%93European_Union_relations

  58. KeefeAndAmanda, the EU forced austerity on Mediterranean countries and Ireland in return for financial aid. The unprovoked austerity to hurt the poor in the UK was “David Cameron’s Austerity”. Or do you have evidence of EU influence? I never heard of that.

  59. Willard says:

    And regarding the SUI-EU relations:

    The relations between Switzerland and the European Union (EU) are framed by a series of bilateral treaties whereby the Swiss Confederation has adopted various provisions of European Union law in order to participate in the Union’s single market.

    In February 2014, the Swiss voted in a referendum to introduce quotas for all migrants in Switzerland. Such a quota system would, if implemented, violate the agreement between Switzerland and the European Union on the free movement of persons, and so terminate all the various bilateral agreements between Switzerland and the European Union.

    Guillotines, billions upon billions of guillotines.

  60. Magma says:

    @KeefeAndAmanda: Leaving aside the refugee crisis and focusing on economics, I have long thought that Germany has played a dangerously self-serving game of its own in the EU, painting cash-strapped southern European countries as lazy spendthrifts supported by a generous north, Germany foremost, while carefully omitting any mention of Germany’s enormous balance of trade and exports subsidized by a low Euro. But this is a different issue.

    At least from outside the UK it hardly appears that the likes of Norwegian and even Swiss social democrats are leading the Brexit charge out of the EU. Maybe they aren’t selling themselves well, but to me it appears as if an angry, aging and poorly-educated razor-thin majority (that may actually be a minority) has put its trust in political opportunists and charlatans and rejected a larger opportunity and turned to a mythical past.

    I don’t hold much hope that good things will arise from such sour beginnings.

  61. Hyperactive Hydrologist says:

    To reiterate the EU has no fiscal control of the UK, it is not part of the Euro. It was the Conservative government who imposed austerity and some how they have managed to blame everyone else Lib Dems, EU and immigrants, for the decline in public services.

  62. toby52 says:

    Victor Venema,

    Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU, and the Republic would in the morning by an even larger majority. However, this means two links in the chain of relationships that kept the peace on this island are now gone – Northern Ireland as a region of Europe with cross-community interests, and North-South common membership the EU. I am old enough to remember border posts, customs searches and driving along back roads to and from Belfast when there was cheaper shopping in the UK. It is an unpleasant prospect – the Celtic Fringe is largely dissenting from Brexit, except for Wales and Cornwall.

    Here is a German article about anti-EU sentiment in Cornwall, a recognised “deprived” region in the EU, with special protections for its language, and a direct link to EU subsidies. Yet is voted for Brexit, and the people spoken to seem convinced that the subsidies will be replaced by ones from London. “It’s our money” the reporter was told.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/brexit-debate-in-cornwall-anti-eu-sentiment-despite-eu-subsidies-a-1097012.html

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/brexit-cornwall-issues-plea-for-funding-protection-after-county-overwhelmingly-votes-in-favour-of-a7101311.html

  63. toby52 says:

    IMHO, the important thing for the UK is to get the Tories out. They contrived this mess from fears of UKIP and from their own incessant internal squabbles.

  64. T0kodave says:

    I couldn’t help but note your previous post…”They can’t be this stupid?” Prescient.

  65. Vinny Burgoo says:

    VV: ‘If Leave is then mostly seen as a huge mistake, it would be a good opportunity for Labour to call the election a 2nd EU referendum, especially if Boris is the Tory leader. If the voters accept that framing, it could work.’

    That’s the old EU way of thinking, VV. Wallstrom’s ‘Plan D for Democracy, Dialogue and Debate’ encouraged the EU to take referendum results seriously. It didn’t work at first (or at second (or at third)) but referendums in the modern EU will never be retaken when the first result is thought wrong. Probably.

    (Well done, Margot.)

  66. verytallguy says:

    If the voters accept that framing, it could work.

    Victor, I understand where you’re coming from, and perhaps it reveals some of the divide between uk and continental Europe.

    In my opinion, there is zero chance of your scenario panning out. Brits rather arrogantly regard ourselves as more democratic than anyone else. This means any party promising to overthrow a referendum result would lose, entirely regardless as to whether the population still thought the outcome was good for the country. One might regard this as principled, or bone headed, but either way I’m certain that’s how it is.

    Secondly, the referendum was not fought on rational arguments. There is no reason to suppose that opinion polls will change as the irrationlaity of the original decision is more acutely exposed.

    Thirdly, the EU may be deeply in the mire as a direct knock on of Brexit by then anyway.

    We’re out. But of course there is a huge spectrum of what out means. That question will obsess British politics for years to come, I expect.

  67. Vinny Burgoo, I am not forcing you. Just describing a possible future the British people may want to chose when they see the impact of this referendum.

    The EU will do just fine. The Euro stayed stable today, it is the Pound that dropped 8%. But I wish better for the British people than being forced to go down with the likes of you.

  68. Vinny, bon appétit. 🙂

  69. Steven Mosher says:

    “the ignorance and lack of thought behind some of the Leave votes”

    here’s the thing. some people are sick and tired of being ruled by a class of people, group of people, a collection of folks, that regard them as stupid.

    and of course the “elites” or political class or whatever we want to call these folks, still don’t get it.

    “As Brexit proves, working people around the world are in no mood for common sense. They are angry, restless, uncooperative.

    They demand a response to their cries in the dark on issues which, for some time now, politicians from Washington to Westminster have proved deaf to.

    Primary of these, of course, is immigration. When the political classes not only fail to provide answers but, all too often, insist that the question is not even valid, the public will look elsewhere for leadership.

  70. here’s the thing. some people are sick and tired of being ruled by a class of people, group of people, a collection of folks, that regard them as stupid.

    Indeed, but leaving the EU is very unlikely to change this. If anything, those who will end up running the UK will probably aim to turn back some of the EU rules that actually benefit those who are sick and tired of being ruled by a class of people who regard them as stupid.

  71. verytallguy says:

    Steven,

    I agree with much of what you say, but I think you’re mistaken to identify immigration as the key issue.

    Economic disenfranchisment is, I believe, the root cause. Demonisation and scapegoating of out groups such as immigrants is the classic tactic, used throughout history to great effect, to deflect blame on those truly responsible.

  72. verytallguy says:

    *from* those truly responsible, rather!

  73. Steven Mosher says:

    witness this

    ‘I couldn’t help but note your previous post…”They can’t be this stupid?” Prescient.

    if you believe these people are stupid, if you tell them they are stupid, repeatedly.
    If you tell them that you are acting for their own good and they continue to suffer
    what do you expect them to do? believe you? or come after your power. remember you
    believe them to be stupid, irrational, unhinged. How intelligent is it to call stupid people
    stupid? Maybe rubbing their nose will work, it works with puppies… not

  74. The referendum is a poll if the opinion of the people, it’s not exit, and it’s not legally-binding. The UK is as much a part of the EU today as it was yesterday. We’ll now make arrangements to leave, but the moment of exit will not take place for another two years. Is there any chance between now and then our leaders (perhaps as a result of an up-welling of public opinion) will decide not to press the button? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-32810887

  75. Steven Mosher says:

    “Indeed, but leaving the EU is very unlikely to change this. If anything, those who will end up running the UK will probably aim to turn back some of the EU rules that actually benefit those who are sick and tired of being ruled by a class of people who regard them as stupid.”

    I dunno. If I am a MP in the UK I’d think twice about pissing angry people off. ahem.

  76. BBD says:

    what do you expect them to do? believe you? or come after your power.

    Steven, the people were mislead and manipulated into this. It wasn’t an informed, rational decision. This isn’t about power to the people. It’s about an elite grabbing more power for itself.

  77. Steven,
    Okay, it’s possible that there will be attempts to make sure people appear to benefit from this. If, however, we do head into another recession (which seems a distinct possibility) that’s going to be pretty difficult. Also, the UK economy is very London-centric and they voted to remain. It’s not going to be easy to change that the UK economy so that those outside London who voted to leave suddenly feel better off.

  78. verytallguy says:

    I dunno. If I am a MP in the UK I’d think twice about pissing angry people off. ahem.

    They can’t do anything other than piss them off. The leave prospectus was an unachievable fantasy.

  79. Steven: you suggested that this is not true: “If I am a MP in the EU I’d think twice about pissing angry people off.”

    I think they did. Do you have any contrary quotes?

    It are (50% of) the normal citizens of the UK that are pissed off the the beautiful country they lived in has been destroyed and today let off some steam.

  80. Magma says:

    But sometimes groups of people *are* that stupid (for example, the young woman in my 4:31 pm comment) and pretending to not notice that awkward fact is a matter of diplomacy or politeness. Then the question is whether to:

    A) raise their level of education and/or income security;
    B) find common ground, where possible;
    C) ignore them;
    D) patronize them (sometimes coupled with A, B or C);
    E) exploit them economically;
    F) exploit them politically.

    Note that there are entire classes of professional operators ruthlessly skilled in E and F, expert at undercutting A and B, and quite capable of spotting and seizing opportunities arising from C and D. The UK and EU has just witnessed a masterful demonstration of this… where the Brexit leaders will almost certainly fall down is the next step: what to do now that they’ve ‘won’.

  81. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Victor Venema, that Schmidt pic is totally wrong. No true Brit uses, or has ever used, a… what are those little handless cup things called? Anyway, we never use them for food. We use things like that for keeping small parts – screws, washers etc – together when DIY-ing.

    But he’s been away for a long time, so can be forgiven.

  82. Vinny Burgoo says:

    PS: The currency swings are just Cityboyz gambling. Fuck ’em.

  83. Magma says:

    None of this is to excuse what appears to have been deep incompetence of the Remain campaign, which included such brilliant moves as trotting out George Soros, John Major and Tony Blair to speak on its behalf, failing to insist that 16 and 17-year olds be eligible to vote (as in the Scottish referendum), failing to heavily promote turnout among the younger pro-EU voters who will be most affected by this, timing it during the midsummer holiday period rather than in autumn, and setting a simple 50% + 1 threshold rather than the 60% supermajority often reserved for major or irreversible constitutional changes.

    This being andthentheresphysics, a relevant analogy would be if a leading scientific agency allowed the terms of a climate change debate to be set by contrarians, failed to recruit active and sharp-elbowed climate scientists for said debate, and dragged out a table of comfortably dozy emeritus professors to argue the “Why yes, one could well argue that global warming might be a concern, couldn’t one?” side.

  84. Steven Mosher says:

    Steven: you suggested that this is not true: “If I am a MP in the EU I’d think twice about pissing angry people off.”

    I think they did.

    hmm.. think harder..

  85. Latest news: EU eager to expedite process, furious:
    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/24/top-eu-leader-we-want-britain-out-as-soon-as-possible

    Can’t blame ’em. On the stupid thing, I agree namecalling is worse than useless, and Magma’s list is exactly right. Social on, folks!

  86. Steven Mosher says:

    A) raise their level of education and/or income security;
    B) find common ground, where possible;
    C) ignore them;
    D) patronize them (sometimes coupled with A, B or C);
    E) exploit them economically;
    F) exploit them politically.
    G) question your ability to judge people’s intelligence.

    ya furgot that one

  87. Joshua says:

    ==>
    Mr. Wilders said: “Like in the 1940s, once again Britain could help liberate Europe from another totalitarian monster, this time called ‘Brussels’. ==>>

    ==> “Victory for Freedom! As I have been asking for years, we must now have the same referendum in France and EU countries,” Le Pen wrote on. ==>

    ‘Nuff said.

  88. verytallguy says:

  89. BBD says:

    G) question your ability to judge people’s intelligence.

    ya furgot that one

    If you misinform people, their choices may not reflect their actual intelligence.

  90. Steven Mosher says:

    “It are (50% of) the normal citizens of the UK that are pissed off the the beautiful country they lived in has been destroyed and today let off some steam.”

    If you call your opponent abnormal, and they are angry, one might expect that they will will not take that sitting down.

  91. Steven Mosher says: “hmm.. think harder..”

    Steven Mosher says: I dunno. If I am a MP in the UK I’d think twice about pissing angry people off. ahem.

    Was a reply to: “Indeed, but leaving the EU is very unlikely to change this. If anything, those who will end up running the UK will probably aim to turn back some of the EU rules that actually benefit those who are sick and tired of being ruled by a class of people who regard them as stupid.”

    Thus I assumed you were saying that European politicians called their voters stupid. Good to hear you did not intend to say that.

    I would have no illusions about British politicians in London serving their population better. Rupert Murdock favoured Brexit because the British politicians do what he tells them to do. In the EU he would need arguments.

  92. Joshua says:

    ==> If you call your opponent abnormal, and they are angry, one might expect that they will will not take that sitting down

    Indeed. Drama-queening and self-victimhood always make it clear that is always someone else’s fault.

  93. Steven Mosher says: “If you call your opponent abnormal, and they are angry, one might expect that they will will not take that sitting down.”

    Read again. I did not do what you accuse me of.

  94. Steven Mosher says:

    “Steven,
    Okay, it’s possible that there will be attempts to make sure people appear to benefit from this. If, however, we do head into another recession (which seems a distinct possibility) that’s going to be pretty difficult. Also, the UK economy is very London-centric and they voted to remain. It’s not going to be easy to change that the UK economy so that those outside London who voted to leave suddenly feel better off.”

    Well then folks in London have a problem to solve wont they?
    once cannot simply try to claim the economic high ground, cultural high ground, moral high ground, intelligence high ground, and then run from the problems…

    one could just say ‘let them eat cake” that’s a plan.

  95. Well then folks in London have a problem to solve wont they?

    Indeed, and I hope they do. I simply think it is going to be a good deal more difficult than it was claimed by many who supported us leaving the EU.

  96. Steven Mosher says:

    “Indeed. Drama-queening and self-victimhood always make it clear that is always someone else’s fault.”

    Its not about drama queening. Look, Obama knows enough not to utter the words that only serve as a recruiting tool.. And, folks in the UK seem angry enough and crazy enough that one of them took matters into his own hands.. So, I’d suggest that it might be counter productive to speak so disparagingly of the remain folks.. I mean if they are all really stupid, and dont know any better, and abnormal… and willing, in extreme cases, to do really henious things.. ya might want to re think your approach to them.

    Na… the current plan worked fine. challenger go with throttle up!!

    fixing the blame is a stupid game. Fix the problem.

  97. verytallguy says:

    Steven, if you think the outcome of today’s vote will be that those in power address the real concerns of the dispossessed who voted out, well… I don’t believe for a moment you think that’s going to happen.

    The idea that Boris Johnson has the concerns of the poorest in society at the forefront of his mind is delusional.

  98. verytallguy says:

    Demonising outsiders is the oldest trick in the playbook.

    Patriotism: the last refuge of a scoundrel.

  99. Elli Rabett says:

    We are all poor today by quite a lot with the markets falling to who knows where

    This is the fault of Cameron and Osborne, not of anybody else and they should suffer the consequences

  100. Elli Rabett says:

    and oh yes, the EU will and wants to punish the Brits as much as possible. You don’t mess up so badly and get a free pass

  101. The Times have surprisingly published this piece unpicking the childish “Independence Day” nonsense of Farage, Boris, et al (oddly reminiscent of ‘take our country back’ from GOP). The paywall is down, so enjoy …

    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/comment/it-will-take-an-age-to-recover-from-this-victory-for-the-exit-fantasists-zzfpxsc66

    (and then worry if this cancer in the Tory Party isn’t the most cunning coup d’etat of all time!).

  102. BBD says:

    VTG

    Patriotism: the last refuge of a scoundrel.

    Maybe even worse than playing the poors.

  103. Richard,
    Yes, that’s quite a remarkable article.

  104. Steven Mosher says:

    “An attempt to lighten the mood.”

    I saw that. made me laugh.

    Still, I’m not rejoicing as many of my conservative friends are. it looks pretty grim.

  105. verytallguy says:

    BBD

    Maybe even worse than playing the poors.

    If I understand you correctly, playing both simultaneously is entirely possible.

  106. Steven Mosher says:

    “and oh yes, the EU will and wants to punish the Brits as much as possible. You don’t mess up so badly and get a free pass”

    the UK can always hire Trump to do the negotiation.

  107. The reason Boris does this dazed-and-confused comical act is not merely to amuse a dazed-and-confused public who seem to love an absailing court jester. It is calculated, so if he needs to change his mind and say some rubbish that contradicts the prior rubbish, then no one will be quite sure if he has or not. In a fact-free world, who cares anyway. The only clues as to when he really has jumped ship and changed course are the daggers in the backs of the ‘friends’ and ‘lovers’ he has betrayed, and the red stains on his hands. Et tu Bojo.

  108. BBD says:

    VTG

    If I understand you correctly, playing both simultaneously is entirely possible.

    You did, and I should have said that patriotism is a subset of playing the poors.

  109. verytallguy says:

    I’m 47 and this makes *me* angry!

  110. Ignorant, stupid, insane, or just plain evil?

    Mosher takes exception to ‘stupid.’

    That leaves ignorant, insane, or evil — unless SM is implying he believes Brexit was the correct vote. Equity markets (short-term) and bond markets (long-term) do not support the notion this was the correct decision.

    I dunno. If I am a MP in the UK I’d think twice about pissing angry people off. ahem.

    Yes, much safer telling them fantasy stories that they’d prefer to hear instead of the truth. Of course those that follow such sage advice are generally considered moral cowards.

    VTG – it used to be the last refuge, now it’s usually the first.

  111. I’m 47 and this makes *me* angry!

    We’re in the same demographic. I’m not too pleased either.

  112. anoilman says:

    I think the EU should increase taxes on British goods to help shore up the EU economy, and of course protect EU jobs.

  113. verytallguy says:

    We’re in the same demographic

    Heartfelt commiserations

  114. Joshua says:

    ==> So, I’d suggest that it might be counter productive to speak so disparagingly of the remain folks.. ==>

    Sure. I’d suggest, however, that facile reasoning about causality is…well…facile.

  115. Magma says:

    G) question your ability to judge people’s intelligence.

    ya furgot that one — Steven Mosher

    No, I didn’t. But maybe you should stick to your own knitting, which clearly does not include political analysis.

  116. Magma says:

    @ Richard Erskine 10:45 pm

    That was my impression of Boris Johnson as well. One doesn’t stumble into his type of wealth, connections and political success solely by being a clown. But those masks don’t stay on forever.

  117. I see a few people have mentioned Norway (and Switzerland). As someone who lived there for the better part of five years, I think the comparison to — and lessons for — post-Brexit UK are limited, if not downright misleading: http://grantmcdermott.github.io/2016/06/24/quick-thoughts-brexit/

  118. t0kodave says:

    Steven: I interpreted ATTP’s comment as regarding “collective” stupidity. I believe this is a colossally stupid decision which will haunt western civilization for decades. I’m not alone in thinking this:http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2016/06/britons_radical_rejection_of_the_status_quo_should_terrify_all_liberal_democracies.html
    and this from Nicholas Barrett:”Thirdly and perhaps most significantly, we now live in a post-factual democracy. When the facts met the myths they were as useless as bullets bouncing off the bodies of aliens in a HG Wells novel. When Michael Gove said, ‘The British people are sick of experts,’ he was right. But can anybody tell me the last time a prevailing culture of anti-intellectualism has led to anything other than bigotry?”
    Are the individuals “stupid”? Probably mostly no, they’re making what they think are rational decisions. Unfortunately as Nicholas notes, those decisions are based on a fiction. I’m embarrassed to say as an American, I’m all to familiar with this in 2016.

  119. No man is an island,
    Entire of itself,
    Every man is a piece of the continent,
    A part of the main.
    If a clod be washed away by the sea,
    Europe is the less.
    As well as if a promontory were.
    As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
    Or of thine own were:
    Any man’s death diminishes me,
    Because I am involved in mankind,
    And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
    It tolls for thee.

    John Donne 1624

    We will live to love another day …

  120. izen says:

    @-KeefeAndAmanda
    “This vote could and I think should be viewed as a country wanting to free itself from the austerity of conservative economics imposed on it from abroad and from home.”

    Certainly the antipathy towards Europe was driven by the real degradation of living standards for the majority caused by ‘austerity’.
    Austerity in this case is a euphemism for the realignment of the socio-economic system back to its ‘Natural Order’ of most of the wealth and power concentrated in the 1%. That readjustment has been going on since the 1970s at least. Helped by the regulatory capture of governments by a small elite of economic interests.

    But the Brexit vote was not a rejection of a unrepresentative governance beholden to an economic elite in favour of a more responsive national government with a track record of resisting the blandishments of big business. Quite the opposite, the UK government has been LESS responsive to social concerns than the EU. In fact one of the motives for those that favour leave is the residual trait of social-democratic concerns that make their way into EU regulations.
    Working hours directives and employee rights were not reformist policies advocated by the UK government but blocked by Brussels.

    @-Steven Mosher
    “They demand a response to their cries in the dark on issues which, for some time now, politicians from Washington to Westminster have proved deaf to.”

    The ‘deafness’ is caused by the fact that as a result of regulatory capture those governments are actively pursuing policies that cause the real reduction in the quality of life for the majority.

    @-“Primary of these, of course, is immigration.”
    No, imMigration is a scapegoat all to often invoked by national governments when faced with internal dissent. It is also pretending that a local symptom, immigration, is a cause of problems which can be solved by a local policy, (Walls?). In reality Migration has always been a destabilising factor in human history.

    @-“if you believe these people are stupid, if you tell them they are stupid, repeatedly.
    If you tell them that you are acting for their own good and they continue to suffer
    what do you expect them to do? believe you? or come after your power.”

    Of course it is rude and unproductive to tell people they are stupid or ignorant and you know better.
    It can be instructive to see how those celebrating this victory for common sense and national sovereignty are viewing their opponents. Stupid and ignorant would rank as the least of the epithets. Try looking at a comment thread at the Daily Mail or Express. But first don haz-mat protection, its toxic.

  121. Ken Fabian says:

    Having blamed the EU for so many of their woes for so long, I expect the promoters of Exit can be counted upon to blame everything that goes wrong during divorce proceedings – and after – on the EU!

  122. verytallguy says:

    Beyond surreal fallout from the vote:

    Ian Paisley Jnr encourages constituents to apply for Irish passports.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/ianpaisleymp/status/746316224024481792

    The end times are surely upon us.

  123. entropicman says:

    Very tall guy

    As an Englishman living in Northern Ireland I feel that the Leavers have really dumped me in it. What should I do now?

  124. verytallguy says:

    Entropic,

    Beware of troubles ahead.

    If the politicians had the remotest idea of what they have unleashed, Cameron would be in Belfast today. We are take peace for granted at our peril.

    What can I say? Good luck.

  125. Here’s another backtrack: https://twitter.com/BBCNewsnight/status/746466834610692096
    The Brexiteers stitched up the British electorate big time.

  126. john,
    I saw that. Amazing. Quite likely that we will end up spending as much as we are now to remain part of the free market and will – as a result – have to agree to free movement of labour. Essentially, the same as now but no representation in the EU parliament.

  127. A parliamentary petition calling for a second referendum has attracted nearly a million signatures.
    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/131215

  128. I saw that. I feel rather uncomfortable about it. I think it would have been quite sensible to have had some kind of clause like that (a new referendum if less than 60% voted to leave and if the turnout was less than 75%), but I don’t see how we can enact that retrospectively.

  129. izen says:

    @-“Essentially, the same as now but no representation in the EU parliament.”

    Except we will be able to ignore any further expensive welfare rules for workers or migrant rights. And can avoid demands for transparency in financial services that enable people to invest tax free in places like the Cayman islands.

  130. izen,
    Is that true? I was under the impression that those nations who are part of the common market, but not part of the EU, also have to obey most of the EU rules.

  131. izen says:

    The parts of the economy that trade with the EY may have to comply with the rules, but running services outside the EU enable them to evade those regulations if they are not tradeing/operating within it.
    This was a big worry for part of the UK financial sector,-
    http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/taxation/other_taxes/financial_sector/index_en.htm

  132. verytallguy says:

    Victor, I guess those million people are past denial and anger, and into bargaining. Acceptance follows next. 😉

  133. I saw that. I feel rather uncomfortable about it. I think it would have been quite sensible to have had some kind of clause like that (a new referendum if less than 60% voted to leave and if the turnout was less than 75%), but I don’t see how we can enact that retrospectively.

    A better formulation would have been to ask for a second referendum and this time make clear what the alternatives mean. Leave is undefined. That is a mess and undemocratic.

    Before the second vote I would suggest to break up the Murdoch press, to pass a law against the concentration of media power. So that the population actually knows what it is voting on. There have been so many lies in this “campaign”, that is bad for democracy, which works on the basis of a well-informed electorate.

    1,106,403 signatures by now. I would love to see some polling.
    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/131215

  134. I was a bit slow writing. It is 1,135,496 signatures now. Wonder when it will pass 18 million.

  135. It’s growing at around 40 votes per second. At that rate, it will exceed the number of votes for leave in 5 days time. Now, that would be interesting.

  136. It’s growing at around 40 votes per second. At that rate, it will exceed the number of votes for leave in 5 days time. Now, that would be interesting.

    Should take some more datapoints and see it an exponential function fits. 🙂

  137. snarkrates says:

    So, what will be more damaging for the UK–Brexit or having Boris Johnson as PM?

  138. You do realise that we are quite likely to get both.

  139. In reply to my comment on June 24, 2016 at 4:25 pm, Hyperactive Hydrologist said on June 24, 2016 at 4:42 pm and June 24, 2016 at 4:55 pm, respectively,

    “… GDP growth rate for Norway and the UK looks pretty similar.”

    “To reiterate the EU has no fiscal control of the UK, it is not part of the Euro. It was the Conservative government who imposed austerity and some how they have managed to blame everyone else Lib Dems, EU and immigrants, for the decline in public services.”

    And in reply to my comment above, Victor Venema said on June 24, 2016 at 4:48 pm,

    “The EU forced austerity on Mediterranean countries and Ireland in return for financial aid. The unprovoked austerity to hurt the poor in the UK was “David Cameron’s Austerity”. Or do you have evidence of EU influence? I never heard of that.”

    When I referred to the per capita nominal GDP’s of Norway and Switzerland, I was not referring to present GDP growth rates – those are different measures. See here
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)_per_capita
    how much higher their per capita nominal GDP’s are than the rest of Europe and even almost all the rest of the world – they blow away even the US. See especially the 2014 figures from the World Bank and the United Nations. In 2014, Norway’s per person nominal output was at roughly $100,000, about twice as large as the US. (In 2015 according to the IMF, due to changes in exchange rates, Norway’s per person nominal output was “only” at roughly $75,000, which is “only” about 50% larger than the US. At roughly $80-85,000, Switzerland’s per person nominal output is also “only” about 50% large than the US.)

    When progressive economists like Dean Baker refer to EU fiscal control over its members under a conservative economic policy created and maintained by Germany, and that this control has been running more and more of Europe into the ground, economically, the below is the type of thing they refer to (this fiscal control exists along with conservative monetary policy via the Eurozone, which is not the EU, but has spillover effects onto the rest of Europe, including especially those EU members not in the Eurozone):

    Stability and Growth Pact
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stability_and_Growth_Pact

    Quote:

    “The Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) is an agreement, among the 28 Member states of the European Union, to facilitate and maintain the stability of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). Based primarily on Articles 121 and 126[1] of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, it consists of fiscal monitoring of members by the European Commission and the Council of Ministers, and the issuing of a yearly recommendation for policy actions to ensure a full compliance with the SGP also in the medium-term. If a Member State breaches the SGP’s outlined maximum limit for government deficit and debt, the surveillance and request for corrective action will intensify through the declaration of an Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP); and if these corrective actions continue to remain absent after multiple warnings, the Member State can ultimately be issued economic sanctions.[2]”

    Although several years ago the UK was granted an “exemption” from sanctions for not strictly abiding by the recently passed most strict version of this main fiscal rule of the EU, the UK was still expected to “behave” and abide by the rules, anyway, since that is what the UK promised. I don’t think the EU would have granted this “exemption” without such a promise.
    See this article written on Jun 11, 2014:

    The U.K. Has Been Violating the EU’s Economic Rules for Years
    http://blogs.wsj.com/brussels/2014/06/11/the-u-k-has-been-violating-the-eus-economic-rules-for-years/

    Quote:

    “The EU’s Stability and Growth Pact is the centerpiece of the bloc’s economic rulebook. It requires EU governments to hold their deficits to under 3% of annual gross domestic product….The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, has the power to propose sanctions on governments that don’t comply.

    There’s a footnote here. The U.K. has an exemption from a section of the pact that would allow Brussels to impose sanctions. Nevertheless, it has agreed to “endeavor to avoid an excessive government deficit.” It’s kind of an obligation, but completely toothless.

    Way back in December 2009, the European Council agreed that the U.K. should bring its deficit under 3% of GDP by the 2014-2015 fiscal year. The U.K. deficit this year is forecast at 5% of GDP.”

    I don’t agree that it’s completely toothless. If the UK were to make it clear that it will never abide by the EU rules, then I think it should be clear that the EU would take action. If you want to be a member of a club, then you cannot expect to forever get away with refusing to abide by that club’s rules, exemptions (that should be clear are not really true permanent exemptions) or not, since the other members would say, “why can’t we be free of these rules, too?” In the end, the only way to not have to abide by the club’s rules is to not be a member of the club. Think about it: It says above that the UK agreed to “endeavor to avoid an excessive government deficit.” Why would it agree if it really thought it would never have to abide by said rules?

    Once the UK leaves the EU, it will have legal powers it did not have in the EU to pursue very aggressive pro-growth government policy (see Keynesian economics), via such things as temporary deficit spending at much higher levels, of course properly coordinated with pro-growth monetary policy.

    Example: During and after the 2008 Great Recession, China itself never went into recession – they just kept on growing at very high rates, reasonably close to 10%. This happened in part because the Chinese government applied Keynes very aggressively, to counter the effects from the Great Recession that occurred elsewhere. To keeps things going, the Chinese government ran deficits temporarily as high as 20% of nominal GDP – much, much higher than member states of the EU are allowed. Much of this government spending was in the form of financing public bank loans to local governments and businesses. Yes, they managed pretty well to quickly bring down the temporary higher levels of inflation – up to around 6% – that ensued, to where it’s now only 2-3%. Not bad, considering that their growth rates roughly are now 2-3 times greater at roughly 6-7%.

    Baker and other progressive economists are saying that this conservative aversion to pro-growth government policy, this conservative aversion forced onto EU members via EU regulations such as the above, is part of what has been keeping Europe from growing out of the Great Recession at the much faster rates it could and should have. The other part is of course the conservative aversion to pro-growth monetary policy forced onto Eurozone members via conservative European Central Bank policy, where the almost-no-growth result in the Eurozone spills over to the rest of Europe outside the Eurozone. These progressive economists are saying that over the long term, via the spillover effects to even European countries outside the EU, it is conservative economic policy over not just the Eurozone but over the larger EU that is the main cause of Europe’s overall lack of growth, which also via this spillover effect slows down the rest of the world’s growth in comparison to what it could have been.

  140. Lionel Smith says:

    I am 69, very shortly 70 and I am angry. On FB I have been fending off caustic comments from my one time peers in the armed forces especially RN’s FAA and some RAF and the results that largely the greybeards brought on us was not unexpected, I had been fearing such. Few seemed to grasp the wider implications of a Brexit, with a renewed push for Scottish independence and renewed trouble in Ireland. Recent post on FB featured a Union Flag upside down. Some not knowing the meaning of this (one commenting that it would help if it was the right way up), a sign of distress, failed to understand that the flag will be consigned to the history books as the UK fragments. Maybe all those areas who had a majority wishing to remain could join forces and chose to do so.

    Just when the world needs to get together to tackle the looming environmental crises, of which warming is the biggest with so many knock ons, small minded bigots are breaking up established geo-politics. Just watch what could happen in France with Marine le Pen threatening a new round of social intolerance there.

    And then there is Trump amongst who’s supporters are those, often professed Christians, who go on about pro-life whilst at the same time advocating for the 2nd Amendment and the NRA. I guess if you have more guns you need more live targets. The multi-faceted irony does not seem to register.

    It appears that some are already regretting their, misused votes, and a second Referendum is being pushed for:

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

  141. Vinny Burgoo says:

    It seems likely that the petition was set up last month by a member of the English Democrats, a far-right party that wants to leave the EU. Ironic or wot?

  142. verytallguy says:

    Vinny, if true that is very funny. Any source?

  143. Yes, a source would be good.

  144. Vinny Burgoo says:

    No source but petitions run for six months, so this one was set up on 25th May. A William Oliver Healey was a politics student at De Montfort University in Leicester. He stood as a candidate for English Democrats there. I can’t find anything online by him since the end of last year. Drop his Facebook image into Google Images and you’ll find his blog plus a few comments on other blogs.

  145. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Here y’are:

    https://www.facebook.com/Oliver.Healey.English.Democrats/

    Google first new about the petition on 25th May:

    http://tinypic.com/r/5fn393/9

  146. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Or even knew.

  147. izen says:

    @-KeefeAndAmanda
    “Baker and other progressive economists are saying that this conservative aversion to pro-growth government policy, this conservative aversion forced onto EU members via EU regulations such as the above, is part of what has been keeping Europe from growing out of the Great Recession at the much faster rates it could and should have.”

    While this may be true, I see no evidence that the Euro-sceptic faction of the Tory party, or the majority that voted in favour of Brexit, were motivated by discontent with the rigour of the EU monetarist policy and its aversion to Keynesian style government debt/spending.

  148. I guess it’s not definitive that it’s the same Oliver Healey, is it?

  149. But why wouldn’t Oliver Healey to in favour of leaving the EU. Also Nigel Farage wants a second referendum if the result is close, for example 48 to 52%.

    http://metro.co.uk/2016/06/24/remember-that-time-nigel-farage-said-52-48-votes-should-lead-to-second-referendum-5963900/

    KeefeAndAmanda, even Germany and France as Euro countries who could theoretically face sanctions used pro-growth policies in recessions and may have violated EU rules. Nothing happened. And the 3% is also for the structural deficit, not for additional spending to get out of a recession.

    Austerity is power play to punish countries who need financial aid and make sure they do not do repeat the policies that produced the need for aid. And austerity is for social Darwinian politicians who want to punish the poor in their country and have some plausible deniability so that you can hope some of the poor will still vote for you. In this case that is Cameroon and not the EU.

  150. Vinny Burgoo says:

    I’ve found his Twitter feed now:

    https://twitter.com/OHEALEYFORPM/with_replies

    On 25th May he got very interested in the govt petition website and tweeted links to several other petitions. I suspect that he also tweeted links to his own – I’m 90% sure now – and deleted them later.

    (You have to look in the ‘with replies’ section because most of his tweets are spam addressed to individuals. Lots of multiple tweets, so you have to scroll down for miles to reach the end of May.)

  151. Okay, that would seem rather remarkably coincidental if he wasn’t the person who set up the petition on about the 25th of May.

  152. BBD says:

    You’ve the makings of a good journalist in you, Vinny.

  153. Well, Vinny, worked out who I was months before anyone else.

  154. Szilard says:

    Did the Leave campaign or anything associated with it produce any economic studies showing the UK better off with Brexit? I think there were 3 high-profile downside studies, including this PwC/CBI thing from March, which I’ve looked at a bit:

    http://news.cbi.org.uk/news/leaving-eu-would-cause-a-serious-shock-to-uk-economy-new-pwc-analysis/leaving-the-eu-implications-for-the-uk-economy/

    The “Leave” commentary I’ve seen on these reports was weak – “EU lackeys”, hand waving. But was there anything less lame than that, any actual analysis?

  155. Szilard says:

    VTG: Thanks for that

  156. BBD says:

    Well, Vinny, worked out who I was months before anyone else.

    Well, the line between creepy stalkerish behaviour and journalistic nose is sometimes a fine one.

  157. VTG – the ‘Economists for Brexit’ remind me of one of the standard neo-liberal/libertarian/free-market think tanks that can be counted on to produce ‘papers’ supporting the latest incarnation of Randian fantasy.

    As Martin Wolf wrote:

    “… modern approaches, on which other analyses build, start from realities. Prof Minford’s assumptions of homogeneous goods, perfect competition and no geographical effects contradict them. This, argue the LSE authors, “is poor scholarship and bad science”.

    In short, the other involves orcs.

  158. verytallguy says:

    ONeill,

    Well, yes, “Economists for Brexit” is kind of like “Astrophysicists for Geocentricity” but I was just trying to help!

  159. VTG – Astrophysicists for Geocentricity? I refuse to Google that to see if there actually is such a group. I don’t wanna know.

  160. verytallguy says:

    Oneill,

    made up. But yes, best not to Google it, truth stranger than fiction and all.

  161. Vinny Burgoo says:

    I hear Tutt’s Clump is lovely at this time of year, BBD.

  162. BBD says:

    ?

    You’re the one who occasionally posts when the worse for drink, Vinny.

  163. Vinny Burgoo says:

    OK. Nork Rise, then? Pratt’s Bottom? Jeffries Passage? (This could take some time.)

  164. verytallguy says:

    Problem solved:

  165. Pingback: Post-referendum thoughts – Stoat

  166. Willard says:

    FB’s CDN is too recalcitrant for WP, Very Tall. Find another source.

  167. Well, the line between creepy stalkerish behaviour and journalistic nose is sometimes a fine one.

    That actually wasn’t what I was implying.

  168. BBD says:

    ATTP

    That actually wasn’t what I was implying.

    I admit that I’m surprised. Breaching someone’s anonymity requires a fair degree of effort. Why do you suppose Vinny went to all that trouble? I’m always a bit disconcerted by this sort of thing but if I am projecting, then the fault is mine.

  169. Expect he didn’t really breach it. He asked me privately if he was correct, and that was all.

  170. Vinny Burgoo says:

    BBD, it didn’t take very long. I bunged some commonly used phrases plus ‘physics’ or something into Google and out he popped.

    Stalking? Yep, of a sort.

    (I thought you were joking re stalking but even if you weren’t it’s no biggie.)

  171. BBD says:

    ATTP, Vinny

    Well, it looks as though I am indeed projecting here. Apologies to Vinny.

  172. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Thanks, BBD, but no need. (I can’t work out how you think you were were projecting. Prolly best not to say.)

    [Mod: This may just be a joke, but I just can’t tell.]

  173. verytallguy says: “Your scenario is constitutionally possible, but entirely incredible.

    Maybe I should become politician. It is a very different way of thinking from science, but also an interesting play with ideas and realities.

    According to the German radio there is talk in governmental circles in the UK to have a second referendum when the negotiations are finished. Ha!

    Now even more likely because it looks like Scotland and Northern Ireland have veto.

    And because of Ireland, Leave would have to mean open borders with the UK (and probably also if UK wants to stay with Scotland). (Or a customs and immigration border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.)

    That is likely not the Leave most Leavers were dreaming of. The opposite solution, splendid isolation, is like also not what a large part Leavers were dreaming of. So I would expect that when it is clear what Leave means, the second referendum would vote for remain.

    The UKIP should not complain about a second referendum

    (But UKIP likely will still do so. They have a victim syndrome.)

  174. Vinny Burgoo says:

    A few hours ago I asked Healey on Twitter if he cared to comment about the petition. He has now ‘protected’ his Tweets. Final proof, I reckon.

    (PS: BBD, I thanked you for your unnecessary apology but it didn’t go through.)

  175. I hope it will not come to a veto by Scotland or Northern Ireland. That would be a very frustrating way to resolve the conflict and be bad for the atmosphere in the UK. But that they may have that option, makes it more likely that the UK will opt to negotiate for open borders with EU. Which makes Leave less bad for all of us and makes normal EU-membership more attractive (then you at least have a say).

  176. verytallguy says:

    Victor,

    A large number of points to respond to in one post there.   Have you considered becoming a climate change denier?  😉

    I’m really quite touched that you still want us in the EU at all given that we are behaving like a three year old with a behavioural disorder. 

    Anyway,  here goes. 

    1.  Yes, Nigel Farage has no principles.   Did you know a teacher once tried to have him removed as a prefect for marching through a village singing Nazi songs when at his exclusive school?  Unfortunately as his modus operandi is to demonise outsiders as to blame for all problems whilst being persecuted by the “establishment” for being so courageous he will successfully avoid any actual scrutiny. 

    2.  Leavers will not get the leave they were dreaming of.  This is self evident and has been all along.   The prospectus for leave was always a childish fantasy akin to running away to a desert island.   Nothing even close to it was ever remotely possible.   “Control” requires being able to influence others and obviously leaving the EU reduces rather than increases control. I agree that the borders will be a difficult thing to sort out and I expect an unsatisfactory compromise. 

    3.  The Wales and NI thing is interesting and I don’t properly understand it.   It suggests influence over negotiations will be complex – which is already the case given the voting patterns,  note the mayor of London has demanded a place on the negotiating team.  I doubt it will stop a Brexit; remember that once article 50 is invoked,  the EU has control of the timetable.

    4.  The brexit vote was  driven by emotion and prejudice, not rational analysis. 

    5. I’d just emphasise once more the British belief in our democracy and superiority.   We will,  I think honour our democratic referendum,  *especially* if it becomes clear it was stupid,  just to make that point .   Think of it as like the French going on strike – the principle is much more important than the outcome. 

    Thank you again for caring! 

  177. BBD says:

    Vinny

    (PS: BBD, I thanked you for your unnecessary apology but it didn’t go through.)

    Censorship. And wrt Healey, good catch.

  178. He, you guys gave us Monty Phyton and Fawlty Towers. That is enough for a century.

    The day the UK leaves the EU, Scotland will join. On that same day, the UK could also join again. All the laws and institutions are already in place.

    Funny that you have such a positive view of your democratic system. I hate district systems where you have no influence in most districts even if you like one of the big parties and have no influence anywhere if you have an alternative opinion. A disenfranchisement machine that makes people hate politics, I would call that. Then you have this undemocratic House of Lords. And no constitution and no constitutional court to protect minorities against government abuse of power. It is a miracle that nothing more serious has gone wrong up to now.

  179. @Johnrussell40 at 9.14am

    The person being interviewed is as far right as you can get and still be in the Conservative Party. He is Daniel Hannan, an MEP but want to destroy the EU (don’t imagine he will be satisfied with Brexit … he will want to support every rightwing political group across Europe also wanting to leave).

    He never misses a chance to knock institutions which he regards as ‘socialist’. See this interview on Fox News where he is dissing NHS. And he was part of Remain campaign that said £350m per day would (could?) be redirected from EU to the NHS. Of course, Dan Hannan wants the NHS dismantled and replaced by a US style insurance based system. Needless to say, not something many people know.

    This is the problem for #Leave, because they have not agreement on a plan for UK, and actually no plan whatsoever.

  180. The petition for a second referendum now has 2,317,102 signatures. Growing by 3 million signatures per day.

  181. verytallguy says:

    Victor,

    I agree with you entirely on the deficiencies of our democratic system.

    My views are not mainstream.

  182. Andrew J Dodds says:

    VV –

    You mean that our proud system whereby 20% of the population can effectively elect a dictatorship is less than perfect? Perish the thought..

    (And it looks like I’m very slightly younger than some on the thread, just making it into the under 45 ‘bremain’ demographic. Go me.)

    I do get the increasing impression that the brexit brigade have absolutely no clue what to do now they have won. And that the disconnect between the brexit politicians and brexit voters is a chasm. Might get nasty.

  183. numerobis says:

    Seems plain that the Leave camp had no plan for what to do if it actually won — rather like Trump had no plan for the general election.

    Victor: you’ll need to lobby your government hard (and others their own) for the UK to be allowed to re-enter the EU. I suspect there’ll be some retributive feelings among members. Regardless, the UK will lose all its privileges in the interim.

  184. verytallguy says:

    Seems plain that the Leave camp had no plan for what to do if it actually won

    Worse still, it’s evident the uk government has no plan for what to do in the event of a leave vote and has now gone into hiding.

    It’s an appalling abdication of the most basic leadership during a crisis.

    I can’t imagine any PM or chancellor in my lifetime behaving the way Osborne and Cameron have since the vote. BoJo and Gove have disappeared. I’m incredulous.

  185. Rebecca’s upset:

  186. Magma says:

    A scorcher in The Guardian: There are liars and the there’s Boris Johnson and Michael Gove

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jun/25/boris-johnson-michael-gove-eu-liars

  187. Magma says:

    Not sure if my preceding comment got put into moderation because of a flagged word in the headline and URL, but there’s a blazingly angry commentary by Nick Cohen well worth reading in The Guardian: There are liars and the there’s Boris Johnson and Michael Gove

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jun/25/boris-johnson-michael-gove-eu-liars

  188. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Why does Rebecca Roache use as her Twitter profile pic a photo of Nigel Farage being pulled from the wreckage of a fatal plane crash? Is it something to do with philosophy? I’m not very up on that.

  189. Magma says:

    @ VB

    The symbolism seems obvious enough to me, although a train wreck would have been even more apt.

  190. “Retributive feelings” for what? For the Iraq war? Too long ago, although it did cause the current troubles with refugees, which are now the reason why the EU is so terrible.

    There was this funny video of the Remain campaign comparing the UK with a man demanding a divorce and then expecting sex. Well it is not a love affair, it is just collaboration. Europe is better with the UK and the UK a lot better with Europe. You will not get to negotiate even more perks than all the others have, but if you would like to change your mind Europe would be stupid not to take that offer.

    I am saying you do, but sometimes you get the feeling that people speaking about retaliation by the EU see the EU as a conspiracy against humanity. The small version of the communist/fascist/Jewish world government. I guess that is the brain damage you get from having to read the disgusting British press. (If you want to improve the UK, get rid of your current press, rather than the EU.)

    If you do chose Leave, losing all the benefits of membership will be a hard blow. There is no need whatsoever to make it worse to set an example for other countries that may otherwise want to leave. The EU is far from perfect, but the benefits of membership are large. That is an additional reason for EU countries to prefer the UK to leave fast. That will make it visible for Euro-sceptical people in all of Europe how large the benefit of collaboration are.

  191. MikeN says:

    Why are people predicting disaster for a country of over 60 million people that existed independently for thousands of years during which time it produced Magna Carta, ended the slave trade, ended suttee in India, spread its legal system around the world, and produced one of the largest empires in history?

  192. Pete best says:

    The EU benefits are large, not large enough it would seem. Time to person up. Democracy has unfortunately spoken and out we go.

  193. Andrew J Dodds says:

    One of the biggest problems with the EU is the Common Agricultural Policy, which basically works to funnel money from taxpayers to large landowners, whilst promoting environmental destruction (see moinboit for details). Strange that the leave campaign completely failed to mention it, until you realise that many of their leadership do very well out of it and planned to keep a UK version.

  194. Hyperactive Hydrologist says:

    Andrew,

    Without farm subsidies the UK would just have superfarms that would be much more detrimental to the environment than what we currently have. The current system is much better than the previous livestock based system that just encourages overstocking. I agree that the large often very rich landowners do much better out of the current system as payments are based on the number of hectares owned. I’m not sure how to resolve this issue, perhaps means testing the payments.

    In general I can’t agree with the statement that the CAP promotes environmental destruction. I think Moinboit has found a few extreme examples of bad management which does not represent the overall picture of the UK Stewardship Schemes.

    My dad is a farmer (now semi retired) so I have some understanding of the issue. Without subsidies his farm would not be viable and the land would be sold to one of the large neighbouring dairy farms who would farm the land much more intensively. He still manages the land in a very traditional way and has some very high value habitats including more than 5km of traditionally managed hedgerows and 10ha of ancient wet woodland.

  195. Hyperactive Hydrologist says:

    KeefeAndAmanda,

    Apologies I miss read GDP per capita for GDP.

    I’m still not sure how you can compare the economy of Norway with the economy of the UK. Norway has a tiny population ~8% of the UK and vast amounts of natural resources. It also has the largest public sector as a proportion of GDP.

    “Norway’s modern manufacturing and welfare system rely on a financial reserve produced by exploitation of natural resources, particularly North Sea oil”

    Read the Norway economic and ask yourself could the UK have a similar economy.

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

    If you want a more realistic comparison of what the UK could be outside the EU why not Japan?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Japan#GDP_Composition

  196. Hyperactive Hydrologist says:

    I think the UK needs to fix it’s own “democratic” system before blaming the EU. The first past the post system is fundamentally broken and in my opinion a proportional system needs to be implemented. Flaws in first past the post system are eloquently explained in the you tube video below.

  197. Marco says:

    MikeN: because the world has changed. The UK is no longer that superpower, and most certainly cannot do today what it once did (largely by force). You might have noticed that the British Empire today is, well, not quite as large as it used to be.

  198. In reply to my comment on June 25, 2016 at 11:12 am, izen said on June 25, 2016 at 12:48 pm,

    “I see no evidence that the Euro-sceptic faction of the Tory party, or the majority that voted in favour of Brexit, were motivated by discontent with the rigour of the EU monetarist policy and its aversion to Keynesian style government debt/spending.”

    I give some evidence in part through the writings of progressive economists I cite such as Dean Baker, one I’ve already cited, and Michael Hudson, one I cite below with links to some of his writings and interviews. But it’s indirect, not direct evidence, in that it combines what these economists say with history – as in the popular uprisings against The Establishment – and common sense, that we can put in a well-known saying: “Desperate people do desperate things.” I add this saying: “And the more desperate they become, the more desperate will be the things they do.” [If the only way to escape a death trap is to chew off a leg,…especially if one has the DNA to grow it back over time,…]

    When oligarchs continue to obtain ever greater power over the people and to an ever greater degree use this power to enrich themselves and/or their buddies at the expense of an ever increasing percentage of the people, we should expect that sooner or later we will see an ever greater percentage of the people wanting to lash out in the name of collective self defense in whatever way they can.

    Yes, this lashing out might actually be partly irrational on the surface, and part of its surface might actually be ugly (as in racist ugly and so on), but it’s still rational in its own way underneath the surface. That is, what would be irrational would be to expect a population that is economically screwed to an ever greater degree by oligarchs to never, ever lash out in whatever way it can in an act of attempted collective self defense. It would instead be rational to expect this lashing out to manifest itself in some form. See the recent vote where Scotland almost left the UK. See this vote where the UK voted to leave the EU. And see the rise here in the US of Bernie Sanders and, yes, even Donald Trump.

    On the rise of this oligarchy in the modern world and on The Establishment that enables or even promotes it, regardless of whether this establishment manifests itself through the EU or my own federal government here in the US or anywhere else:

    The very reputable, truly progressive economist Michael Hudson is a specialist in finance. His quotes at Wikiquote show some of his thinking. (Scroll down and read some of the longer quotes, especially the one on Europe becoming a banana republic – but note from his other writings that he says this is going on all over the world, including the US.) Please read all the following, a sample of his thinking in recent years that should make everyone think very long and hard about the rise of oligarchy in the modern world and what if anything can be done about it other than people lashing out against the oligarchs in whatever way they can, this lashing out manifesting itself more and more in the modern world in ways that unfortunately can become more and more ugly:

    Revolts of the Debtors: From Socrates to Ibn Khaldun
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/06/24/revolts-of-the-debtors-from-socrates-to-ibn-khaldun/

    Quote:

    “In Book I of Plato’s Republic (380 BC), Socrates discusses the morality of repaying debts. Cephalus, a businessman living in the commercial Piraeus district, states the typical ethic that it is fair and just to pay back what one has borrowed or received.[1] Socrates replies that it would not be just to return weapons to a man who has turned into a lunatic. Because of the consequences, paying back the debt would be the wrong thing to do.

    The morality of paying off the IMF and ECB is analogous to paying off the madman discussed by Socrates. At issue is what should be saved: wealthy creditors from loss (and the morality that all debts should be paid), or the overall economy from unemployment and misery leading to emigration, worse health and shorter lifespans. They have used their debt leverage to demand that Greece impose austerity, increase unemployment (now running at an enormous 25 percent for IV-2015 – I-2016), scale back pensions to retirees, and privatize public infrastructure to pay creditors – while running a budget surplus to suck even more money out of the economy.

    My own paper for the conference described how Ibn Khaldun’s “rise and fall” view of history in The Muqaddimah was echoed in Giambatisto Vico’s The New Science (1725), and later by the French and Scottish Enlightenment by writers such as Adam Ferguson, who endorsed Montesquieu’s statement in Spirit of the Laws (1748): “Man is born in society, and there he remains.” To survive, people need to cooperate in a system of mutual aid. “Man is, by nature, the member of a community; and when considered in this capacity, the individual appears to be no longer made for himself. He must forego his happiness and his freedom, where these interfere with the good of society.”[3]

    All this teaches the opposite of today’s two guiding economic premises: “Greed is good,” and “There is no such thing as society.” Economics used to be called moral philosophy, but it has succumbed to individualistic extremism. Homo economicus has replaced zoon politikon. Debts are supposed to be paid without concern for how this impoverishes the economy.”

    US imperialism the BREXIT culprit
    http://michael-hudson.com/2016/06/us-imperialism-the-brexit-culprit/

    Quote:

    “So the whole withdrawal from Europe means withdrawing from austerity. If you look at the voting pattern in London, in England, you had London to stay in. You had the university centers, Oxford and Cambridge, voting to stay in. You had the working class, the old industrial areas of the north and the south. You had the middle class and the industrial class saying, we’re getting a really bad deal from Europe. We want to oppose austerity. And we don’t want Brussels to give us not only the anti-labor, pro-bank policies, but also the trade policy that Brussels was trying to push onto Europe, the Obama trade agreement that essentially would take national economic policy out of the hands of government and put it into the hands of corporate bureaucracy, corporation courts. And the bureaucracy in Brussels, then, is largely pro-bank, pro-corporate, and anti-labor.”

    Europe’s Transition From Social Democracy to Oligarchy
    http://michael-hudson.com/2011/12/europes-transition-from-social-democracy-to-oligarchy/

    How Financial Oligarchy Replaces Democracy
    http://michael-hudson.com/2011/06/how-financial-oligarchy-replaces-democracy/

  199. Joshua says:

    KAA –

    Thanks for pointing to Dean Baker’s views on Brexit, who provides interesting perspective…

    http://cepr.net/publications/op-eds-columns/in-the-wake-of-brexit-will-the-eu-finally-turn-away-from-austerity

  200. Joshua says:

    That said, KAA, I can’t agree that Trump’s popularity is even partially explainable by a reaction against oligarchy. Those vast majority of those who support Trump just want their own oligarchs.

    The notion of Trump as some crusader for the common people, working class hero, truth-to-power speaker is a Trojan Horse.

  201. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Thanks, Victor Venema.

    Healey’s statement is gibberish. It seems that he set up the petition hoping to stop the UK being trapped in the EU by establishing a mechanism to make referendums unwinnable, thereby trapping the UK in the EU.

    And how do you hijack a petition that, despite its (bizarre) partisan aims, was worded in a non-partisan way?

    What a numpty.

  202. verytallguy says:

    What a numpty

    Surprising that, for a member of the “English Democrats” party 😉

  203. Joshua says:

    Can someone who lives in the UK tell me whether or not “leave” voters largely coincide with the segment of the UK public who most strongly advocated for austerity measures when dealing with Greece?

  204. Joshua,
    If you mean the actual voters, rather than those who ran the Leave campaign, then I would guess that it does not.

  205. verytallguy says:

    Joshua,

    Greek austerity was decided by euro zone members. Britain had no say in the decisions.

  206. Joshua, from, How the United Kingdom voted on Thursday… and why

    The Tories , whose gov’t has imposed austerity in the UK, voted 58% – 42% to leave. And UKIP, their partner in gov’t, voted 96% to leave. Everyone else voted to stay. So there’s a very high correlation between austerity and Brexit.

    If you’re thinking along the lines I suspect – yes this is a counterituitive result. Those hurt most by austerity voting to leave, which is likely to result in more austerity. Such is life when opposition leaders can’t make effective arguments and the mass media conspires with liars and charlatans.

  207. izen says:

    @- KAA

    Thank you for the extensive reply to my comment. I am not unaware of the Micheal Hudson analysis, and other progressive economists as I may have indicated with my comments about regulatory capture by economic elites. Similar analysis emerges from the work of Atkinson, Sen and Piketty. Most of the time I find myself in agreement with those ideas. Although at times the ardent insistence that the economics they espouse is rational and reality based sounds rather to similar to similar claims made by their diametrical opponents on the neo-libertarian right. Such assertions of pragmatism prompt suspicions that economics has crossed the borderline into ideology.

    I also find the idea that the Brexit vote is evidence of the opposition of the general population to the growing dominance of the oligarchy strangely familiar. I am reminded of the early 70s when the imminent uprising of the proletariat was the constant expectation of the radical left-wing. In the face of such obvious evils as the Vietnam war, colonial/imperialism how could the revolt of the masses be more than a few months, or years at most, away ?! Every anti-government fad was taken as a sign…

    Historical examples of a popular uprising throwing off the yoke of an authoritarian oligarchy are difficult to find among established nations with mature systems of government. There are examples in the independence movements that dismantled the British empire. Although about half the time the successors were carefully chosen puppets. Occasionaly the new ruler would have the imprimatur of imprisonment. They tend to work best when an enlightened oligarch realises the game is up and facilitates a peaceful transition. South Africa may be an example of that. Algeria was an example of the opposite. However as with Chile and Indonesia there is always the danger that the extant powers will engineer a return to oligarchy as more compliant with their economic interests.

    Unfortunately the historical evidence indicates that in the more mature states a reduction in general living standards and the degradation of the welfare systems that legitimise the civic social contract has resulted more often in a transition to extreme authoritarianism. Often accompanied by Nationalism and scapegoating of an outside threat and an enemy within.
    The 51% of the voters that supported leaving seem to be far more motivated by those sorts of attitudes as a short perusal of the vitriol directed at migrants and ‘do-gooding liberals’ indicates, than a sign of any emerging political awareness among the older and less educated voters.

    I suspect the idea that a Brexit vote presages the spontaneous revolt of the downtrodden and oppressed may be the result of viewing this event through pink tinted spectacles!
    (grin)

  208. izen says:

    @-Joshua
    “Can someone who lives in the UK tell me whether or not “leave” voters largely coincide with the segment of the UK public who most strongly advocated for austerity measures when dealing with Greece?”

    As vtg points out the UK had no direct say in the Greek austerity/bailout program.
    That did not prevent strongly held views about the Greek bailout emerging.

    Given the demographics of the ‘Leave’ vote it is unlikely it was framed as imposing austerity on the Greeks. The media that reflects, and strongly shapes, the way in which such issues are framed for those ‘tribal’ groups presented it as justified punishment for Greek financial profligacy and corruption. Greeks were presented as tax-avoiding, state pension receiving Lotus-eaters, living the good life in the Sun while spending money they didn’t have. As I remember much was made of the need to eliminate the over-generous pensions and welfare payments to avoid a default to the banks. Very little effort went into explaining why this made it imperative for the state to sell its ownership of the main port, (a money making enterprise) to an American private company.

    It is another reason why I differ from KAA and do not see this vote as any sort of conscious or informed protest against austerity policies. Quite the opposite, I suspect that many who voted leave think that increased austerity should be imposed on immigrants and ‘those rich out-of-touch lefty, cosmopolitan southerners’.

  209. Joshua says:

    Thanks flee the replies…

    One –

    ==>
    If you’re thinking along the lines I suspect – yes this is a counterituitive result
    ==>

    Actually, MY intuition was that the same ideological cohort that voted “leave” would be the cohort that would have most likely supported be as bureaucratic prescriptions for austerity measures by the EU. I don’t expect logical consistency to be an obstacle when ideologically aligned groups choose their positions on various issues.

    It’s like when putative “fiscal conservatives” and “small government” advocates in the States choose costly positions on prosecuting “voter fraud” when there’s very little evidence of such, or choose positions on government intervention in a woman’s right to control their own bodies, or choose positions on government overreach when Muslims want to Everett the county, etc.

  210. Joshua says:

    Gotta love auto-text.

  211. Phil says:

    Just a correction to oneillsinwisconsin. UKIP are not partners in the Tory Government. They have one elected member in the HoC – Douglas Carswell. The Tory Party have a majority of 12 MP’s (or thereabouts) and so have no need for a partner.

  212. John Archer says:

    Hello,

    I see I’m in enemy territory here, as I’m for Brexit.

    I have read quite a few (but not all) of the comments here and so I’m pretty sure it’s going to be news to you that there has been a well thought-through and realistic plan for leaving the EU in existence for a few years now. Yes, you read that right — years. It is one that the MSM, including (even) the Telegraph, have been at pains not to mention. Indeed, I’d say it was deliberate suppression. But never mind that. Lots of reasons though. Not invented here being just one, but there are others such as giving the lie to so much bollocks emanating from both sides. Yes you read that right too.

    Moreover with the likes of serial liar and archclown, Bozo Johnson, muscling in on the act to become the public face of the leave campaign and it taking years for Nigel Farage (who ‘doesn’t do detail’) to accept that the only way to leave the EU was via Article 50, it is hardly surprising that they would bother reading anything more than a short list of bullet points. I see Daniel Hannan tripped over his own boot laces on Newsnight recently. Duh! I mean with the likes of these jokers on one’s side it’s a miracle we won.

    Anyway, if you’re interested, here’s a link to a 429-page PDF of that plan: http://www.eureferendum.com/documents/flexcit.pdf

    Here’s a taster from the summary:

    Leaving the EU will have significant geopolitical and economic advantages. But we believe it is unrealistic to expect a clean break, immediately unravelling forty years of integration in a single step. Following a vote to leave in the referendum, therefore, we have set out a process of phased separation and recovery.

    After a period of preparation, following which Article 50 of the Treaty of European Union is invoked, we identify six phases, where we expect progress to be driven by political realities. In the first phase, which deals with the immediate process of leaving the EU, we believe that an agreement must be sought within the initial two year period allowed in the formal exit negotiations. We also believe continued participation in the EU’s Single Market will be necessary, for the short to medium term.

    The six phases involve both short-term and longer-term negotiations, to achieve a measured, progressive separation. In the first phase, there are three possible ways of securing an exit. One is by rejoining the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and trading with the remaining EU member states through the European Economic Area (EEA) – the so-called Norway Option. Another is the “shadow EEA” and the third we call the “Australian process”.

    As part of the first phase, we would repatriate the entire body of EU law, including that pertaining to agriculture and fisheries. This would not only ensure continuity and minimise disruption – and reduce what would otherwise be massive burdens on public and private sector administrations – but also buy time for a more considered review of the UK statute book.

    We would continue co-operation and co-ordination with the EU at political and administrative levels, where immediate separation of shared functions is neither possible nor desirable in the short term.

    ….

    DISCLAIMER: I’m a swivel-eyed, right-wing, klimate-denying bigot. I know that because I can do the transformation to your coordinate system where things look very different. If you ask me kindly I might just tell you what you lot look like from mine, but I imagine you have a pretty good idea already.

  213. John,
    If they’ve had a realistic plan for years, they seem to have forgotten it.

  214. verytallguy says:

    Ah, so there is a detailed “plan”, which is a series of options which no-one has any view as to which we should attempt to implement, and none of which would deliver what the leave campaign told voters they would get.

    Perfect, what could possibly go wrong?

  215. John Archer says: “I see I’m in enemy territory here, as I’m for Brexit.

    It is typical for people who like Brexit and dislike climate change mitigation to see people who are different as an enemy, rather than as a learning experience.

    Maybe there was a plan and your plan sounds optimal. The leaders of the Leave movement clearly have no plan. I would say there were multiple plans, there are many UK citizens. The problem is that the people who voted Leave did not vote for your plan. Your plan does not fit to the promises of the Leave campaign.

  216. Magma says:

    It’s hard not to notice Jeremy Corbyn is working harder to keep his job than he did to keep the UK in the EU.

  217. jamesannan says:

    Seems weird to be very disappointed when you didn’t think there were compelling arguments for either case.

    I think it is a disaster….for the brexiteers. For it is now clear that article 50 cannot be invoked and the threat to leave is an empty one. It may take time for this to sink in to the chattering classes in the westminster/media bubble but they will work it out sooner or later.

  218. Magma says:

    DISCLAIMER: I’m a swivel-eyed, right-wing, klimate-denying bigot. I know that because I can do the transformation to your coordinate system where things look very different. If you ask me kindly I might just tell you what you lot look like from mine, but I imagine you have a pretty good idea already.contrarianism is the same approach he’s taken regarding global warming and climate change for nearly 30 years. — John Archer

    Even if you had (or supported) a very, very long and cunning plan, why would you close off your post with this?

  219. James,
    I should probably have written that neither side actually made compelling arguments, rather than compelling arguments not being possible. I think the remain side could have made much more compelling arguments than they made. There are probably also valid arguments for leaving, but their arguments seemed to either not be true (350 million) or not be what people thought was being suggested (we may well remain in the common market, pay for doing so, and still have free movement of labour).

    From a personal perspective, it was always pretty clear that leaving would be bad for Higher Education and for research, so I was always pro staying in the EU, hence my disappointment. Of course, that’s rather selfish so I could imagine a scenario where leaving might damage HE and research, but still be worth doing for the overall good of the country. I really don’t believe that that is the scenario that we’re facing.

  220. James,
    Actually, what you say about Brexiters and Article 50 is interesting. I’m not convinced. I can see them trying to forge ahead regardless. I may well be wrong.

  221. jamesannan says:

    ATTP, the nuclear option is if the tories write a firm time scale for A50 into their manifesto for the upcoming election, and then win. In that case, it may become unstoppable. I hope they aren’t that stupid. Otherwise, it’s more likely to be a case of “at the appropriate juncture, in due course, in the fullness of time”.

  222. James,
    Won’t the EU force them to make a firm decision well before the next election, or are you suggesting that they’re planning to call an election soon?

  223. jamesannan says:

    I believe they will need a snap election to get a mandate for the negotiations. The leavers have not endorsed any particular negotiating team or goals and a large proportion of them will be unhappy with any specific plan or outcome that is presented to them (though they may still think it’s better than the status quo).

    However, it is not straightforward to call an election before the end of the 5y term.

  224. John Archer says:

    ATTP,
    If they’ve had a realistic plan for years, they seem to have forgotten it.

    Which ‘they’ are you talking about?

    VTG,
    Ah, so there is a detailed “plan”, which is a series of options…

    By your reckoning I suppose chess players, military commanders, computer programmers and contingency planners only have “plans” too? There are no conditionals in your world? Amazing how you manage.

    …which no-one has any view as to which we should attempt to implement…

    I’m sure there are are lots people of people—probably at least 48% of the voting public going by a recent estimate—who don’t have any view either besides this no-one fellow you mention.

    … and none of which would deliver what the leave campaign told voters they would get.

    Interesting. The leave campaign eh? Did you read my comment?

    The electorate was asked a simple yes/no question. How they chose to answer that and who they chose to listen to—if anyone—in making up their minds was up to them. Me? I took no notice of the liars and bozos who were appointed to run the leave campaign. I didn’t approve of that appointment, much as I didn’t approve of so many other appointments about which I was not consulted, such as that of that Maoist Barroso, or that Herman von Rumpoid creep. Remember them?

    “£350 million a week!” Oh well done bozos! You just shot yourselves in the foot and severely lessened our chances of leaving the EU. No, I didn’t approve of them.

    By the way, what did you think of the remain campaign? Did you approve of them? OK, they were just rhetorical questions. I’m not interested in the answers anyway.

    One other thing. I suspect you didn’t read the document I linked to. Never mind. You’ve got plenty of company.

    VV,

    It is typical for people who like Brexit and dislike climate change mitigation to see people who are different as an enemy…

    I’ve noticed that stunning correlation too! And the converse. I reckon it might have something to do with politicisation involved in both. I’d guess there are many others who are as clued in as we two since one doesn’t need anything like tree-ring data or an idiosyncratic principal component analysis to spot it.

    …rather than as a learning experience.

    Well, there you go, Teacher! And that’s another reason.

    Maybe there was a plan and your plan sounds optimal.

    “Maybe”? Are you sure?

    It’s not my plan. I can’t claim any credit for it.

    The leaders of the Leave movement clearly have no plan.

    I’m not sure about now as there some signs they might finally get one but yes, the appointed leaders had no plan — I spotted that one too!

    Indeed, it was a hell of a flaw in their strategy, if one can call it that. I mean it was so bad a flaw that anyone even remotely inclined to indulge in conspiracy-theory pastimes might suspect these so-called leaders to be plants, rather like that high-profile female defector from Leave and her Damascene conversion to Remain at the last minute. Her argument for doing so was no less than cogency incarnate. Duh!

    I would say there were multiple plans, there are many UK citizens.

    Yes, that’s something we can agree on!

    Incidentally, you’ll note it gives the lie to there being no leave plan, something which the Remain campaign and its sympathisers tried to imply because of the clear absence of one given by the official, appointed leavers’ Baldy Pevsner Own-Goal team.

    The problem is that the people who voted Leave did not vote for your plan.

    What problem? They didn’t vote for Bozo Johnson either.

    Listen. No one was asked to vote for a plan. They were asked whether or not they wanted the nation to leave the EU.

    Your plan does not fit to the promises of the Leave campaign

    You don’t say! Haha!

    Everyone,

    No disrespect to you in this regard but I’m not interested in debating this with you as I know we’d just go round in ever-expanding circles as our world views are so completely different. I just wanted to point out that a serious plan to effect our departure from the EU existed, and has existed for some years. Of course, what you think of it and whether you like it or not …. yadda yadda ….

  225. verytallguy says:

    John,

    to post a link to a 429 page document then criticise people for not reading it is an interesting way to approach communication.

  226. vtg,
    To be fair, John did say that he wasn’t interesting in discussing/debating this.

    James,
    Possibly. I notice that there seems to be a suggestion that if Theresa May becomes the next PM that a new election will not be necessary as she was part of the government during the last election, while there will if Boris Johnson becomes PM as he wasn’t. This could, of course, simply be coming from those who are supporting Theresa May.

  227. jamesannan says:

    I did look at that doc, to the extent ot searching to see how it covered the Irish question, only to find that…it didn’t. (It mentioned customs, but the more important issue is people, law, and the good friday agreement.)

  228. John Archer says:

    Magma,

    DISCLAIMER: I’m a swivel-eyed, right-wing, klimate-denying bigot. I know that because I can do the transformation to your coordinate system where things look very different. If you ask me kindly I might just tell you what you lot look like from mine, but I imagine you have a pretty good idea already.contrarianism is the same approach he’s taken regarding global warming and climate change for nearly 30 years. — John Archer

    Even if you had (or supported) a very, very long and cunning plan, why would you close off your post with this?

    Because I didn’t. And that’s another reason I don’t want to discuss this with you.

  229. Magma says:

    Thanks, that does save time.

  230. John Archer says:

    VTG,

    John,

    to post a link to a 429 page document then criticise people for not reading it is an interesting way to approach communication.

    Who did I criticise here? Tell me.

    And your kind of comment is yet another reason I don’t want to debate this with you.

    Let’s not pretend. There is no good faith between us.

    jamesannan,

    I did look at that doc, to the extent ot searching to see how it covered the Irish question, only to find that…it didn’t. (It mentioned customs, but the more important issue is people, law, and the good friday agreement.)

    The Battle of the Bulge caught the Allies on the wrong foot. For a while. It would have been much better had they figured that one in. Damned planners!

    ATTP,
    To be fair, John did say that he wasn’t interesting in discussing/debating this.

    Thanks.

    [Snip. -W]

  231. Somebody wants to make some points, and not to discuss it, while distributing insults far and wide. Sound familiar (hint: inTolerant). How’s about we all move on. The points are interesting but largely irrelevant in the light of current events.

    My local rag, the Boston Globe, can be very good and has made some good points.

    in practice, most countries require a “supermajority” for nation-defining decisions, not a mere 51 percent. There is no universal figure like 60 percent, but the general principle is that, at a bare minimum, the majority ought to be demonstrably stable. A country should not be making fundamental, irreversible changes based on a razor-thin minority that might prevail only during a brief window of emotion.

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2016/06/24/britain-democratic-failure/Mx888Cle7t6OUyuWyX8n2M/story.html

    (It mostly makes the same point several times; for example, a divorce is more difficult.)

  232. Willard says:

    Hello JohnA,

    Please keep your shirt on (e.g. your DISCLAIMER), and your comments shorter.

    Thank you for your concerns.

  233. John Archer says:

    For those of you who might be interested here’s an update on the progress of the adaption of that plan I mentioned earlier by R.A.E. North, the principal author of it:
    http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=86121

    It will be interesting to see how much of it is now “taken on board”—as the politicos and manidgemunt types say in that hideously repulsive fugly speak of theirs—no doubt so that they can “move on”.

    Aren’t they just begging to beaten to a pulp! 🙂

  234. John,
    Just to be clear, the plan you’re suggesting has been in place for quite some time, is really simply something written by someone who writes a blog?

  235. John Archer says:

    Willard,

    Was that short enough for you?

    By the way, got any ships you might want to jump?

  236. John Archer says:

    ATTP,

    Yes, it’s simply something by someone who writes a blog.

    You make it sound like that might a problem for you.

  237. Hyperactive Hydrologist says:

    Info on the Author. He works with Christopher Booker. So there’s your climate change link.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_A._E._North

  238. Willard says:

    Yes, that was short enough, JohnA. Your “begging to beaten” looks like more shirt ripping to me. If you like arguing by rhetorical questions, please try Lucia’s.

    The document you cited is dated “16 June 2016 v. 06.” We’re far from the “years” you claim. Do you have the dates for the other versions?

  239. John,
    No, it’s not a problem for me. I just don’t see how something written by a random person on the internet qualifies – in this context – as a plan. I think people were referring to something developed by those who might actually be in a position to implement it.

  240. It is hilarious how John Archer works to get into a fight to be able to avoid having an reasoned debate.

  241. Phil says:

    ATTP:

    If you follow HH’s link you can end up here http://www.iea.org.uk/in-the-media/press-release/iea-announces-brexit-prize-shortlist – Brexit plans aplenty, but none of them official, and all better than North’s – if you happen to agree with Nigel Lawson et al.

    JohnA:
    If you don’t wish to debate this, then you have to stop posting comments.

  242. Hyperactive Hydrologist says:

    Despite my initial scepticism after having a quick browse of the document it seems quite reasonable. Although I have no expertise in this area so not really in a position to comment.

    John, just for clarification where do you stand on immigration and financial contributions to the EU to access the single market?

  243. verytallguy says:

    What AT said.

    The point isn’t than random bloggers have speculations, it’s that neither Cameron nor BoJo have a plan that’s the problem.

    Cameron is also defying the will of the people, according to the Guardian:

    Cameron’s troubleshooter Oliver Letwin will also be given a new “facilitative role”, consulting across government and with experts about the options.

    Experts. Experts!!!

    We just had a referendum to repudiate the involvement of those lying bastards!

  244. Dikran Marsupial says:

    I have a well thought out and realistic plan for preventing the Andromeda galaxy from colliding with ours. I have been known to blog a bit. Problem solved, and in this case, and with four billion years to spare. I think I’ll take the rest of the day off.

  245. Joshua says:

    I don’t think that anyone reading this comment here would able to engage in a rational discussion with me about Brexit, but I just want to leave a comment to let everyone here know that I don’t think that they can have a rational discussion with me about Brexit, and even if they could, I wouldn’t be interested discussing Brexit with them because even without hearing their views of anyone here about Brexit, I am quite sure that they’d be irrational views if they’re held by anyone here.

  246. John Archer says:

    There are plenty of you and one of me. I don’t want to discuss the plan. My purpose was solely to draw your attention to its existence. That’s all.

    Look, I don’t dislike all this to and fro, in fact sometimes I enjoy it. It’s just that I don’t have the necessary amount of time for it right now, and besides there are other things I’d rather be doing.

    [Snip.]

  247. Magma says:

    @ Dikran Marsupial

    That better not be the same plan I came up with, and you’d better not have sold it to the Andromedans too. Because you know what they’re like when they think they’ve been cheated [shudders]

  248. John Archer says:

    OK. I give up. You win.

    Goodbye.

  249. Joshua says:

    John –

    First you say this:

    ==> No disrespect to you in this regard but I’m not interested in debating this with you as I know we’d just go round in ever-expanding circles as our world views are so completely different.

    Then you say this:

    ==> OK. I give up.

    What was it that you gave up on?

  250. verytallguy says:

    I was distracted by England being knocked out of the Euros by Iceland

    There must be a worst time to have been English.

    1066 perhaps?

  251. 1066 perhaps?

    According to Twitter, no 😉

  252. verytallguy says:

    Well, who am I to challenge the wisdom of twitter?

  253. Joshua says:

    John –

    ==> No contradiction there, in case that was what you are trying to imply.

    Near as I can tell you poisoned the well and then complained that the well was poisoned, along with saying that you don’t care whether the well was poisoned along with saying that you couldn’t drink fresh water because others had certainly poisoned the well.

    But I might be wrong.

    So let’s look at your 7:19 where you do explicate your goal (that I was wondering about).

    ==> My purpose was solely to draw your attention to its existence. That’s all. ==>

    I don’t think that calling people out with a presumption of bad faith does much to advance that goal. To advance that goal, it seems to me that you might simply have dropped off the link with all the non-on point editorializing.

    ==> It’s just that I don’t have the necessary amount of time for it right now, and besides there are other things I’d rather be doing.

    That being the case, once again, it seems to me that you worked at your own cross-purposes. (1) if there are other things that you’d rather be doing, then just do them.Why are you taking the time about how what your doing isn’t what you’d rather be doing even as you’re doing it and, (2) if had better things to do than engage in to and fro, then maybe you’d have been better off if you had left off the multiple something extras. Contrary to what you stated you believe, I think that it is possible here to engage in discussions from varying perspectives rather than just going ’round and ’round in well worn tracks (at least to some extent), but it isn’t likely to happen when you directly initiate the sameosameo.

    I see nothing in the rest of your 7:19 that convinces me at all that (1) you have better things to do or that, (2) all you intended to do was what you described. In fact, it seems that your entire 7:19, not to mention much of your other comments, were actually intended to initiate and perpetuate the to and fro.

    Since you were interested in some quality to and fro, by which I mean reasoned exchange of differing views, I would suggest a different approach than the one you have taken. If you aren’t interested in to and fro, then I would suggest a different approach than the one you have taken. If what has transpired is exactly what you wanted, then I would suggest that you continue exactly as how you have already conducted yourself.

    And with that, I’ll leave you to continue to do something that you’d rather not be doing as you explain how what you did wasn’t what you wanted to do and that it’s someone else’s fault that you did it.

  254. Willard says:

    Another plan has been uncovered:

  255. Another Norwegian says:

    Looking at this discussion from Norway, it seems to me that there is a mix-up of critique of the Leave campaign, and some of the figures behind it, and the actual decision, and possible consequences.
    I would say that:
    The UK may be better off economically in the EU, or better off outside. That is actually hard to say. But most probably decisions and governments in the UK counts more than EU membership.
    Probably the most disruptive factor about leaving EU is the question of Scotland and NI, not the relation to the EU itself.
    And please note that the political power in the UK has not changed much. Most notably, the UKIP still has 1 – One – MP. If you want the UKIP to grow, there are two good ways to ensure that:
    1) Argue for a new referendum, to give the uniformed a change to regret, and vote correctly.
    2) Argue for an “ever closer Union” in the EU,

  256. Victor Venema says: “The new PM will be elected in October. It should be much clearer by then what the bad consequences of this vote are and how little it solves. Curious if a Leaver will win.

    It would be best, however, if a Leaver would lead the conservatives. Only then could you legitimately interpret a new election as a 2nd referendum with better informed voters.

    verytallguy says: “It will be Boris. 100% cast iron guaranteed. Elected by the Conservative party, not by the country, note.

    1:0 :o)

    Now let’s see when the 2nd referendum will be.

  257. BBD says:

    Victor

    Boris is probably playing the long game. He knows whoever wins this Tory leadership catfight will be destroyed by blowback from Brexit. Then he might make his move. It’s actually *much* cleverer than diving in now.

    As for a second referendum on leaving the EU – very, very unlikely. I think the best we can hope for is procrastination – but many EU leaders are loudly demanding immediate exit for the UK – actually counterproductive if the real desire is to give the UK any chance at all of easing gently back from the abyss.

  258. verytallguy says:

    Ha!

    Good spot Victor. I will happily confess I am much less certain about anything than I was when I wrote that. i will not, however, make any rash promises (Gary Lineker knows who he is).

    The rate at which “leavers” have been admitting their lies has been quite amazing.

    UK politics is very, very ugly right now, but quite impossible to predict. Gove for PM(!). But I maybe we at least provides some amusement for you continentals. Even Farage can be funny:

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/29/eu-health-commissioner-explains-farage-facepalm-vytenis-andriukaitis

    In the meantime, we can only support Iceland in the Euros and hope for the best.

  259. verytallguy says:

    Victor, not sure if you are familiar with Winnie to Pooh, or British profanities. If yes to either, you might enjoy this excellent description of our predicament, from facebook:

    “How did you vote?”, asked Pooh
    “Leave”, said Piglet
    “Oh, for fuck’s sake”, said Pooh, “Why the fuck did you do that?”
    “Because if we leave, then we’ll fix the NHS”
    “We’re not going to fix the NHS, Piglet, that was all bollocks. All the people who told you to vote Leave are the very same people who want to privatise the fucking thing”
    “Oh. But anyway there’s also those bloody Heffalumps”
    “Heffalumps?”
    “Yes, the bloody Heffalumps who keep coming to live in the wood, there are too many”
    “But they do things for us, Piglet, and voting Leave won’t actually stop them coming anyway”
    “Oh. But I just want to get back control of the wood”
    “You fucktard. You never had control of the wood, you’re a fucking piglet. You’re just going to get even more fucked over by different people”
    “Oh. But why did you want to Remain?”, asked Piglet
    “I liked that everyone worked together, I felt safe”
    “Is that all? You’re probably still safe”
    “I also fancied going to live in a different wood one day, and maybe if I had kids they would too, but now maybe we can’t.”
    “Oh. But we’ll have more honey to go around now…?”
    “I’m afraid not, Piglet. We won’t have to give away any honey, but there’ll almost certainly be less to begin with”
    “Oh. Well at least we’ve got rid of the pig-fucker, I didn’t like him”
    “I can understand that, Piglet, but have you seen the next guy!? I have a feeling he’ll be doing more than just oral”
    “Oh my. But they were going to build a huge scary super-wood”
    “They never actually said that, and even if there were going to be a huge super-wood, would you rather be part of it, playing with all your new friends, or just outside it with nobody paying you any attention?”
    “Oh, I see what you mean. But ours used to be the most important wood of all the woods”
    “That’s true, Piglet, but that was well over a hundred fucking years ago now, and none of us were alive. You really need to get your head out of your arse”
    “But our grandparents won the big war to protect our wood, we need to make sure we keep it safe”
    “Actually, that’s a load of horse-shit. We won the big war to protect other people in other woods and to stop nationalist fuckers killing people because they were different. It showed that we’re safer if we all work together and stop thinking of each other as different”
    “But the Heffalumps, I don’t like them, they’re not like us”
    “Fuck my luck. Piglet, you’re a fucking Piglet and I’m a stuffed Bear. We’re all different, that’s what makes the wood a fun place to live. You like Kanga don’t you? She’s different”
    “But Kanga’s been here for ages and I like her food”
    “Christ on a bike, Piglet, you are a fucking cockwomble”
    “Beer?” asked Piglet
    “You’re buying” said Pooh, “and I want pork scratchings”
    “Oh my”

  260. JCH says:

    If I’m the EU I would never risk allowing Central England (of the CET fame) to procrastinate. I take solid memberships from Scotland and Northern Ireland. Those are my beachheads, which I shower with extra special benefits. Then I just lay back and wait for the eventual surrender of those rascals.

  261. John Hartz says:

    A humorous look at Brexit from across the pond…

    A Bachelor Named Britain, Looking for Love, Op-ed by Frank Bruni, New York Times, June 29, 2016

  262. BBD says:

    “Cockwomble” is a new one on me, I must confess, VTG. Must remember that for Newsnight.

  263. verytallguy says:

    You need to get out more BBD. Too much Newsnight perhaps. Personally, like Gove*, I’m down with the boyz in the hood.

    * Warning: description of Gove from one of his supporters follows. Not to be consumed in conjunction with coffee

    Michael Gove is the right leader for the country … He can speak out to the aspirational underdog in our society, the kid from the council estate …

  264. Vinny Burgoo says:

    If Scotland left the UK and rejoined (or somehow stayed in) the EU, its MEP tally would double from 6 to 12 or 13. Northern Ireland would do even better, going from 3 to 7 or 8.

    And if I declared independence from the UK and joined the EU, my representation would go from 1/800,000th of a seat to six seats, this being the minimum representation for a member state (which is why every resident of Malta gets 1/70,000th of an MEP). I don’t think MEPs have to be citizens of the states they represent but they do have to have been resident for a certain number of years and that might cause problems even if residence in the pre-independence part of the UK – my garden – qualified as residence in the new member state: there aren’t six people living in my garden. But we could probably sort that out at the accession talks.

    Would such generously degressive proportionality be worth the price of EU membership? Probably not. Aside from the fact that the parliament is a mostly powerless talking shop devoted to fine wines and pietism (or ‘virtue signalling’, as it is called these days), the new member states would have to join the eurozone. I don’t know about Scotland or NI, but I wouldn’t fancy joining the eurozone. With luck, Michael Gove would let me keep the pound.

  265. Steven Mosher says:

    “OK. I give up. You win.

    Goodbye.”

    Jexit

  266. Steven Mosher says:

    financial collapse.
    too funny.

  267. BBD says: “Boris is probably playing the long game. He knows whoever wins this Tory leadership catfight will be destroyed by blowback from Brexit. Then he might make his move. It’s actually *much* cleverer than diving in now.

    Boris is not the only politician who knows that invoking Article 50 is the end of your career. If he knows, everyone knows.

    BBD says: “As for a second referendum on leaving the EU – very, very unlikely. I think the best we can hope for is procrastination – but many EU leaders are loudly demanding immediate exit for the UK – actually counterproductive if the real desire is to give the UK any chance at all of easing gently back from the abyss.

    I would argue, the more you procrastinate, the more sense a 2nd referendum makes.

    A Brexit could even be positive for Europe, or at least for the rich and powerful countries in the EU. Many jobs will be transferred from the UK to the EU, this may well compensate for the declines in trade.

    The politicians in Brussels may even like a Brexit. It makes it easier to govern the EU and they likely hope that it helps to make the EU into a federal state. I hope the UK will not exit because I hate to see the suffering in the UK and because I like the EU, but do not want it to become a state.

    Most politicians in the EU member states likely do not like the Brexit for strategic reasons, but they just want to see the situation resolved as fast as possible to reduce the economic impact. Not sure if they see that a Brexit could still be avoided. Except for Merkel, I do not like her politics, but she is smart and likely sees the opportunity to keep the UK in the EU. She is a conservative and would prefer the UK to stay for strategic reasons and to keep the EU more right wing.

    verytallguy says: “In the meantime, we can only support Iceland in the Euros and hope for the best.

    Me too. Iceland kicked The Netherlands out. So if they would win, The Netherlands would at least be second. 🙂

    Yes, you cannot claim that British politics is boring at the moment.

    Not sure if Winnie would use such language.

    The EU would likely start the negotiations claiming that Scotland would need to accept the Euro, but quickly drop it. Officially they might not even be allowed to join the Euro because you need to be member of the European Monetary System for 2 years before you can join. While there are rules that members of the EMS should join the Euro once criteria are met, which are not enforced, there are no rules that you need to join the EMS. We should get rid to the Euro anyway, makes no sense to make the Euro area larger.

  268. semyorka says:

    @jamesannan
    “I believe they will need a snap election to get a mandate for the negotiations. ”
    The Tories will not go for a snap election because they face two huge risks, one UKIP making massive gains and two a pro second referendum Labour platform seeing a large surge in once in a lifetime Con to Lab voters holding their noses to vote Lab and get a chance to remain In. Lab\Lib\SNP\Green deals would also be seen as acceptable to their respective electoral constituencies, it would kill the Labour civil war dead and the deal would likely include a second election after the referendum if it was in so free the Con\Lib\Green voters to know they were not voting for 5 years of Lab.

    They have the “mandate” from the referendum.

    The one way I would see a new general election is if May and the CBI\Business community genuinely seen a one off Lab win as worth the chances of a second referendum in the long term interests of the UK, basically being 5th columist remainers in the Tory wing.

  269. Kestrel27 says:

    I’m very late to this so probably no one apart from ATTP will read this. However, it is the balance of the comments for and against Brexit that I find interesting; only about three leavers seem to have poked their heads above the parapet. You would never guess that about 40 in 100 AB voters voted to leave. My hypothesis is that this is because most regular contributors here are academics but I may be entirely wrong.

    There is hardly any mention in the comments of the thing that, according to research, influenced leave voters more than any other, namely ‘taking back control’; in other words, sovereignty and democracy. That is certainly what influenced me most. My take on this is as follows. The Euro was introduced after the Commission had received expert advice in a report commissioned by itself that in order to make it work arrangements needed to be in place to transfer up to a third of the annual GDP of richer member states to poorer ones. Ironically, in the light of your later post about Gove and experts, the advice was of course ignored. In taking this, to my mind disastrous step, the EU not only put the cart before the horse but naively seemed to expect the cart to do the pulling. The result has been the predictable, and indeed predicted, economic emasculation of the countries of Southern Europe. In order to maintain a system that is unworkable the EU authorities have directly undermined democracy in both Greece and Italy. That is why the EU is not a club of which I believe this country should be a member. Of course the EU never has valued democracy greatly; its founding fathers saw it as being largely responsible for the right wing demagoguery that lead to the Second World War.

    Many remainers, including some of your contributors, have argued that the old have obstinately or selfishly robbed the young of their futures because the old will not be around as the consequences of their vote develop. This does seem to me a very poor argument. One might just as well argue that precisely because they won’t be around they are able to take a more dispassionate view about what is best for the country’s future. And yes, I am one of that generation.

    Finally, I admire your honesty in saying that the grants your university gets from the EU had a bearing on your wish to remain.

  270. Kestrel,
    My own view is that EU was a scapegoat for poor policies implemented in the UK. I suspect many of those who voted to leave because they felt they were disadvantaged by the UK being a member of the EU, where really suffering because of our own policies, and not because of the EU. Also, I suspect we will end up agreeing to continue paying so as to remain part of the common market and – as a result – will have to agree to obey the EU rules and to accept free movement of labour. Ultimately, little will change other than we will no longer be represented in the EU parliament. So, we won’t even have a role in deciding the rules that we will have to follow.

    Finally, I admire your honesty in saying that the grants your university gets from the EU had a bearing on your wish to remain.

    It’s not just grants. The HE sector benefits greatly from the EU, both in terms of funding, but also in terms of free movement, the ability to collaborate easily, and the fact we have students and staff from all over the EU, and the world.

  271. Kestrel27, so do you feel in control now that Oborne plans to reduce corporate taxes meaning that long term you will have to pay more and get less services. My main argument for the EU would be that it allows normal citizens some control over the corporate elites, who can trample over national governments. The government in London does what Rupert Murdoch tells them to do, that is the main reason Murdoch wanted to get out of the EU. It looks like Murdoch kicked Boris Johnson out; did you feel in control of that?

    And yes I would like may things in the EU to be different, including getting rid of that horrible Euro. But in a democracy you do not always get everything you would like, just like my national government does not always do what I would like them to.

  272. verytallguy says:

    Kestrel,

    I don’t think it’s anything to do with being an academic.   If you pick any group who were

    -highly educated

    -working

    -environmentally concerned

    I think you’d get a similar view on brexit. 

    The added selector here,  I suspect,  is that exposure to the climate debate leaves you with a highly honed bullshit detector. 

    And leave were full of shit,  for sure. Like the”control” argument, for instance.

  273. BBD says:

    Kestrel

    Control and democracy? Are you kidding? The Brexiteers are about the business of turning the country into a tax haven for corporates and the wealthy (as Victor said above). Unless you are one or the other, this has nothing to do with control or democracy for you. I’d berate you and tell you to wake up, but it’s a bit late now, isn’t it?

  274. Kestrel27 says:

    ATTP. On the points you make about what is likely to happen, you may be right; we will have to wait and see. Do you really see leaving as a barrier to students attending universities in other countries. I hope it isn’t.

    I notice that nobody has actually challenged what I said about the EU’s shameful attitude towards democracy.

    Victor. Taxation is not always a zero sum game; reducing tax rates sometimes results in a higher tax take. But what you say does seem rather speculative anyway. I have read your own thought provoking blog from time to time and realise that politically we see things from such different perspectives that we will have to agree to differ. I don’t see the EU as a democracy but as a bureaucratic oligarchy with some of the trappings of a democracy.

    Verytallguy. Vulgarity aside I don’t think you can have been paying attention to my observation that about 40 per cent of AB voters voted leave. Some of your thinking about what mindsets led people to vote remain or leave is however supported by Lord Ashcroft’s interesting research into voting patterns. I would link to it but I’m afraid my tablet skills aren’t up to it. I feel that I am environmentally concerned but clearly not in the same way as you; I would like to prevent the industrialisation of the countryside by wind farms.

    BBD. You think I’m living in a fantasy land and I think you are so there is no point in having a debate.

  275. Kestrel,
    Not a barrier, necessarily, but maybe just more difficult.

    I notice that nobody has actually challenged what I said about the EU’s shameful attitude towards democracy.

    Given that there are elected MEPs and others who are appointed by the member states, I’m not sure how they have a shameful attitude towards democracy.

  276. Kestrel27 says:

    ATTP. See my earlier comment about the wilful undermining of democracy in Greece and Italy. MEPs, as I’m sure you know, have a limited role. I could go into detail about why I don’t think the fact that the member states appoint the Commissioners or the fact that member states approve EU legislation by unanimity or qualified majority results in a genuinely democratic system but I fear it would take far too long. I will try it if you are interested but it might take some time.

  277. Without the EU, the IMF would have done something similar to Greece.

    We need international bankruptcy legislation for states that are not able to pay their debts. Humans can file for bankruptcy, corporations have limited liability, but somehow nations can be destroyed to the bone. That makes no sense.

  278. kestrel, I believe you would benefit by reading some economic history. Channeling Charles Kindleberger on Brexit would be a start. Perhaps followed by Populist Backlash and Political Economy over at Brad DeLong’s.

    It’s also instructive to note that the failure of the EU is not that it has too much centralized power — but that it doesn’t have enough. I.e., a single currency but multiple and widely varying social institutions, but insufficient centralized power to ‘rescue’ individual states.

    Consider the U.S.A. as 50 individual countries with a single currency. There is free movement across borders, A single currency. Social institutions vary from state to state, but the centralized institution – the federal government – has enormous power to assist individual states. As Paul Krugman wrote back in 2011:

    “…the thing that’s really pressing is that we have a federal budget and they barely do. We have a degree of automatic support for troubled states that [Europe] doesn’t have at all for troubled countries.”

    Nevada, then, doesn’t have to worry about the cost of a bank bailout or endangering Social Security payments for residents during an economic crisis because the United States federal government will continue to offer support. Ireland, meanwhile, is considering cutting both health and pension benefits for its residents.

    As for, “reducing tax rates sometimes results in a higher tax take — do you mean a causal or coincidental relationship? If causal, the answer is: almost never. The downward side of the Laffer curve is very far out — nowhere near rates we see today. Please remember Kansas and the wet dream of political policies that Sam Brownback and his GOP cohorts passed into law. Kansas has lagged the rest of the US ever since.

  279. Marco says:

    “Do you really see leaving as a barrier to students attending universities in other countries. I hope it isn’t.”

    Brexit means an end to the Erasmus program for the UK, of which over 200,000 UK students have already made use. They will have to find funding in the UK itself, but EU-based universities may well require a higher fee (which, ironically, is noted as one of the few ‘positives’ for UK universities after a Brexit: they can charge higher fees from EU students).

    Of course, all that unless the UK buys itself access, like Switzerland does. And then we return to the problem that buying access means you spend money on something that you cannot influence.

    It reminds me of the Danes, who don’t want to be part of the euro (the general population at least), but have attached their currency to the euro in a way that means its currency rates are largely dependent on whatever happens in the euro-zone, but have no say in it.

    Hurrah for “more control”…

  280. verytallguy says:

    Kestrel,

    I can only apologise for my vulgarity. I’m pleased the damage to your sensitive feelings didn’t prevent you responding.

    As to a lack of challenge to your point on

    the EU’s shameful attitude towards democracy

    with a head of state appointed through genetics, a lower chamber largely appointed through appointment but some also through genetics and religious position, and an electoral system which can give zero representation for millions of votes… perhaps we should sort our own house out first?

  281. BBD says:

    Kestrel

    BBD. You think I’m living in a fantasy land and I think you are so there is no point in having a debate.

    The proposed – and astonishing – reduction to corporation tax is a matter of record. As is the slashing of the top rate of income tax. It’s pretty clear who is in denial.

  282. Since there’s been a recent flurry of comments on the subject, I thought it good to point out two articles very recently written by two of my favorite economists, very consistent in arguing for social democracy, Michael Hudson and Dean Baker.

    Please everyone read every last word of the following two articles, regardless of political beliefs. And please keep in mind that these articles are not really about the relation between the UK and the EU, but are outlines about the much broader picture and the fact that the status quo will be ever increasingly bad for an ever increasing percentage of the EU outside of Germany and for an ever increasing percentage of the US (my previous comment on June 26, 2016 at 12:13 pm gives a number of links to Michael Hudson articles on this broader picture):

    By Michael Hudson:

    The Brexit Silence
    http://michael-hudson.com/2016/07/the-brexit-silence/

    Quotes:

    “The real problem is not merely that bureaucrats are making the laws, but the kind of laws they are making: pro-bank, anti-labor austerity. Tax and public spending policy has been taken out of the hands of national governments and turned over to the banking centers. They insist on austerity and scaling back pensions and social spending programs.

    Instead of working to heal the economy from the debt deflation that has occurred since 2008, the European Central Bank (ECB) finances banks and obliges governments to save bondholders from loss instead of writing down bad debts.

    To top matters, Brussels bureaucrats seem quite bendable to U.S. pressures to sign the T-TIP: the Obama Administration’s neoliberal Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. This is a corporatist program shifting regulatory policy into corporate hands, away from government: environmental policy, public health policy and food labeling for starters.

    What used to be a socialist left has been silent about the fact that there are very good reasons for people to say that this is not the kind of Europe they want to be a part of. It is becoming a dead zone. And it cannot be “democratized” without replacing the Lisbon and Maastricht treaties on which it is founded, and removing German opposition to public spending on recovery for Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece and other countries.

    What is remarkable is that in the face of rising resentment by the “losers” from neoliberalism – the 99 Percent – only the nationalist right-wing parties have criticized the EU’s neoliberalism and the T-TIP. The formerly left-wing Socialist parties of France and Spain, German Social Democrats, Greek Socialists and so forth have endorsed the neoliberal, pro-financial program of austerity and rollbacks on labor union power, wages and pensions.

    So the riddle is, how did originally pro-labor parties become anti-labor?”

    By Dean Baker:

    Washington Post Neglects to Mention Germany Is Responsible for Weak Economies Elsewhere in the EU
    http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/washington-post-neglects-to-mention-germany-is-responsible-for-weak-economies-elsewhere-in-the-eu

    Quote:

    “According to a new study from the European Central Bank, the euro zone’s economy is 6.0 percent below its potential level of output. With Germany near or at its potential level of output this means that the output gap in other countries is considerably larger. In discussion of the roles of various countries in the EU it would have been appropriate to point out how the economic policies demanded by Germany have undermined its rivals.”

  283. Kestrel27 says:

    oneillsinwisconsin. Thank you for the links which I shall read with interest. On the need for further centralisation in the EU, I would agree with you if there was any sign that the peoples of the member states wanted it. There are no indications that they do.

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