Alternative titles include: Brexit means Breakfast or How I Learned to Stop Worrying about the Economy and Love Racism
I started writing this article about 18 months ago, so much of it may reflect the situation at the time, rather than contemporary events.
Please forgive the lack of structure and rambling , ah suck it up. Why did it take me so long? Maybe it was an homage to Her Majesty’s government’s handling of Brexit. Or maybe, I’m just a lazy perfectionist. It’s time to finish this post. I know I probably haven’t covered the last year in as much detail as the first year post-Brexit referendum. But if I don’t finish it now, there’s a risk I’ll never finish it a la Duke Nukem Forever. I could probably write a book on this subject and this post is already long enough already.
“Brexit happened because people voted with their emotions rather than their minds”. This apt quote from a European politician sums up the whole affair well. Why did Brexit happen? A number of reasons, to my mind including:
- Anti establishment/Protest at the current system
- Blatant lies/misinformation
- Immigration/Racist backlash
- Cod wars
- Anti EU feeling
Why did we have this referendum in the first place? There’s only one man to blame, David Cameron. Cameron was probably buoyed by the victory in the Scottish referendum and probably thought this one would go similarly. There was a persistent, vociferous anti-EU contingent in the Conservative party. Cameron was afraid of defectors and losing votes to UKIP. So, he decided to confront the problem head on and stamp out the rhetoric once and for all (he gambled on having a coalition with the Lib Dems again, they would supposedly veto the referendum as part of a coalition deal). At least that’s what should have happened…Instead his legacy is a divided country with dismal prospects. The posho coward didn’t even stick around to clean up his own mess. In truth, if the referendum had been held earlier than the vote date, there’s a chance remain would have won. The poll’s certainly looked more favourable back then. However, a deluge of misleading propaganda spread enough fear, uncertainty, doubt, lies to convince 650,000 people to vote the other way. The result was not expected by anyone. Farage, the markets you name it – everyone thought remain would win (though there is a suggestion that Farage knew Leave would win but publicly lied so his hedge fund buddies could make a killing in Forex). There was no plan of what to do, how to negotiate if leave won, which has contributed to this mess. It’s amazing it was so close in the end, given the perennial lies written in the right wing gutter press about “bendy bananas” and other nonsense over the many years. Indeed, pick your favourite here! Let’s not forget the wanton rule breaking by the vote leave campaigns: overspending (Cambridge Analytica), suspicious sources of money, delays in registering spending. Thankfully they are now subject to a criminal enquiry.
Objectively, you can make a judgement of Brexit by looking at its greatest proponents. Boris Johnson, a man fired from several newspapers for making up news. A man who has cheated on his wife two times (at least). Should we be believing this serial liar about anything? Only recently he lied about scaremongering the public, about Turkey being poised to join the EU. Disgraced Dr Liam Fox, a man who cheated the tax payer by fiddling his expenses and who was involved in several lobbying scandals, he’s in the pocket of big corporations. Jacob Rees-Mogg, a man who believes in Brexit so much he’s moved his hedge fund to Ireland, to prepare for the event. A man who believes gay marriage and abortion should be illegal. Take a look at his terrible voting record. James Dyson similarly, a vocal Brexiter, believes in Brexit so much, he’s building a factory in Singapore so he has access to the single market. And finally Nigel Farage a deeply repugnant man with abhorrent views. Another serial liar, a tax cheat and a hypocrite. At best a xenophobe but likely a racist. They all want Brexit for financial or other personal gain. Do you know who thinks Brexit is a great idea? Donald Trump. I needn’t say more.
The most salient points from Nick Clegg’s book are as follows. The UK holds a position of privilege in the EU with numerous opt-outs (Schengen, Euro etc). The single market was in fact Margaret Thatcher’s idea. Brexit was never a grassroots anti-establishment operation, it was actually backed by billionaires and tax avoiding newspaper editors. The UK was one of the few countries not to delay freedom of movement, from new entries to the Euro bloc and thus received much higher immigration than those other countries. Flaws in freedom of movement are due to failures of domestic government (open labour markets, no residence checks, universal access to healthcare), which can be alleviated by following examples in countries like Liechtenstein and Germany. For more detail you can read my review of the book here.
Why did people vote leave?
Society is broken. You’ve got bankers breaking the law with impunity and the very poor being penalised heavily, for not being able to work through sickness. Couple this with 6 years of austerity and you have a mood that demands change. So remain is thought of as the status quo and therefore more misery. Our public services aren’t adequately funded (attributed to austerity, though it’s more likely clandestine Conservative dogma to bring the NHS to its knees and privatise it) and post-brexit we’ve supposedly give them more money through the windfall on EU subs. I am of course referring to the widely debunked “£350m a week to the NHS” that was on the side of the bus. Indeed, the frog-faced arse-wipe Nigel Farage himself, said on TV the very next morning after the brexit vote that £350m a week would not be going to the NHS. Dominic Cummins, a former government advisor and chief stagiest of the Vote Leave campaign, says he doesn’t think the referendum would have had the outcome it did, if they hadn’t lied about giving the NHS £350m per week on exiting the EU. How can these pricks get away with this?
Of course, Brexiters will be eager to point out that there were lies on both sides aka “project fear”. Some people did say in the event of a leave vote there would be economic disaster. To a certain extent, they were right. Sterling has plummeted in value against the Euro, our products experience “shrinkflation”, the economy has had a slowdown and is now growing more slowly than Greece and we are dubbed the sickman of Europe. Airbus has rebranded “project fear” as dawning reality as it warns that it is making preparations to move operations abroad in the event of hard brexit. Let’s not forget, that as of writing we are still in the EU so we’re not going to feel the full effects of leaving until leaving day or more realistically when the transition period is over.
If you watched the Wife Swap Brexit Special, you would have got an insight into what Brexit voting people are really like. It’s not their fault they’ve been fed false ideologies by shitrag “newspapers” but it is their fault for not doing appropriate fact checking. Maybe they want to believe falsehoods, so they do. Lies like foreigners just come over here to claim benefits, lies like the Pakistanis will be deported after Brexit. You can’t reason with these people. In one telling exchange, bald fat man Andy (voted leave) said he can’t back up his arguments with so called “facts” or “statistics” he can only express his
xenophobia views from the heart.
Let’s take a quick look at the arguments presented in this programme, for voting leave:
1. Political correctness gone mad This is bizarre, where to start on this one. People seem to believe that the EU is ordering the UK to be politically correct and that by leaving the EU people will be able to say what they want. Political correctness was only ever about protecting the most vulnerable in society from unnecessary rudeness (Paraphrasing Danny Wallace). Some people have misinterpreted this and done some quite questionable things, though in good faith and they should be held accountable, I would argue this isn’t political correctness being applied properly. Leave voter Pauline gives the example that Xmas has been cancelled for fear of upsetting foreigners, which is of course a lie (widely debunked, refers to the shortlived Winterval – James O’brien). You are of course free to say anything you like in the UK but be prepared to defend what you say. These people want to say what they want without fear of being challenged.
2. Immigrants only come over here to take homes and claim benefits, which they are given unconditionally and immediately. EEA migrants must wait 3 months before being able to claim benefits and only then for a duration for 6 months. Now let’s deal with housing. In 2014 the government changed the rules, so that non-UK nationals were forbidden from claiming housing benefit. Verdict? Another lie from the gutter press.
3. Open borders The UK is not within the schengen area. Article 6 of the citizens directive allows member styates of the EU to police their borders. In fact, EU rules only guarantee a stay of 3 months, after that you’re allowed to do what you want. In some continental countries, they will deport you after 3 months if you don’t find a job. During the migrant crises of 2015 and 2016, people confused poor national borders with EU policy.
(Source: http://www.eearegulations.co.uk/CitizensRightsDirective/ByPage/Article_06 )
4. (a) Loss of identity. People say they feel like they’re living in a “different country”, due to areas being ethnically diverse with Pakistanis/Bangledeshis. I was a little sympathetic with this argument til I heard, “This used to be a good white area”. Really. Now it’s just good old fashioned racism. Here have another one: “Too many in one area”. This is just a thinly veiled white genocide conspiracy theory. What these fools don’t realise is, these immigrants came over in the 50s and 60s (after being invited by HMG). They predate the EU. To which balding fat man ripostes: “You’ve got statistics and I don’t, what I say comes from the heart!” Great, so even his overworked heart is plagued with the burden of xenophobia.
(b)(i) Not contributing. Ah yes the good old myth of Schrödinger’s immigrant. You know, the one who claims benefits and takes your job. Studies have shown that EU migrants pay their fair share in taxes and are net beneficiaries to the treasury.
(ii) Lack of integration. An actual legitimate argument! Or is it? Let’s put the shoe on the other foot, eh fatso? What have you done to ingratiate yourself to the migrants eh? You say there’s too many of them and made you lose your identity? The reason immigrants live in so called “ghettos”, is because when they initially came over to the UK, they were subject to wanton racist and or physical abuse. They only felt safe in neighbourhoods with high numbers of their own race. This is a failure of government though, one not to protect these people in the first place. Two, now that the racism appears to have fallen over the decades (now sharply risen, thanks Brexit) the government should do more to integrate parts of society.
5. The refugee crisis Here, refugees from outside of the EU were confused with EU migrants.
6. The EU forces migrants upon member states Just a plain lie. Where’s the evidence? There were plans for resettling migrants to member states, as a fairer distribution but only with the agreement of that country.
Clarification: After further research I now know that: During the migrant crisis, the EU initially tried a voluntary scheme to resettle migrants, which the Eastern Bloc refused to be a part of. The EU then felt like it was left with no choice but to settle migrants involuntarily in member states. Lets unpack this. I do agree that only refugees and not economic migrants should be able to claim asylum. Do the Eastern Bloc have no sympathy for people fleeing war just as it’s own citizens were ravaged by it in the 40s?. Italy and Greece felt it unfair that due to Geography that they bore the brunt of having to deal with migrants. So the EU felt it was fairer to redistribute them evenly across the whole EU. It is all moot for Brittan however, as it was not part of Schengen, the UK was not required to take part in this scheme. In the end, it was largely moot for the EU as well, the EU brokered a rather tawdry deal with Turkey to keep refugees within its border. Paying a princely sum for the privilege.
7. Lack of vetting of migrants People are afraid that criminals are being given access to this country. Well perhaps more could be done to adequately vet people entering the UK, if the border force and home office were adequately funded. But why do these zealots demand better vetting of EU migrants yet not those from the rest of the world? By being in the EU, the UK already has access to Europol and many other European security services through information sharing.
8. Putting the great back into Great Britain It is possible to be a patriot and to be against Brexit. Brexit will not make the Britain “great”, whatever that means. I suspect they are referring to days of empire when Britain ruled the world. Yeah, Brexit will not bring those days back, you deluded colonial prick. Also, the “great” in great Britain purely refers to size, as Brittany in France was “little” Britain and the British isles were comparatively bigger.
9. Migrants put an excessive strain on public services, British people should be looked at first e.g. homeless services. That is discriminatory. Also it’s not necessarily migrants causing the public services system to fail, although they certainly won’t help matters. It’s chronic underfunding from 8 years of Tory government.
This wasn’t mentioned in the show but I might as well talk about the cod wars here. British fishermen are feeling the squeeze viz. quotas. There is a misconception that our membership of the EU has somehow apportioned off our fishing rights, such that EU ships have the rights to our waters. In reality, the UK was a significant contributor to the Common Fisheries Policy, also why don’t continental fishermen complain about British fishers, fishing in their territories? John Major’s government overhauled the quota system, so that fisherman could mass sell their quotas to large companies. Good for the economy eh? But bad for the individual fisher. Of course there were continental companies that bought these rights and were unjustifiably scapegoated.
I would have less of a problem of people voting leave if they did it for the right reasons. If they’d seen genuine evidence of models without a deal and the other options etc and decided on balance that we’d be better off on our own. But no. They were fed lies, false promises of good times to come.
David Davis, the so called master negotiator, the “Brexit Bulldog”, is a man who should be ashamed of himself. He was a man who had earnt my respect back in 2008, when he resigned as an MP to trigger a by-election, to protest against a law that would erode civil liberties. Sadly the unimaginatively named David Davis will now only get contempt from me. His role in handling Brexit and the negotiations is despicable. As this article is published every country within the United Kingdom has published impact reports of Brexit on areas such as the economy etc (was true Dec 2017). Despite promising to do ~50 reports last year Davis had not completed a single one. This is the biggest constitutional change for generations and Davis hadn’t bothered to do his due diligence. What has this man been doing? Has he taken a leaf out of Damian Green’s book and been wanking himself silly
allegedly? Davis also recently bemoaned that the EU have been making precautions against a “No Deal” Brexit, despite the government and therefore himself by extension threatening that no deal is better than a bad deal. You can’t make this shit up. How dare the EU move the European Medicines Association and the European Bank away from London?! Wait wasn’t this project fear? Oh dear…
Raab deserves to be a footnote in the Davis section. The man who resigned because the deal he negotiated with EU wasn’t good enough. He’s essentially saying he was shit at doing his own job. The man who realised a few months into the job, that the Calais/Dover crossing was crucial to the UK…
My perceptions of Boris Johnson were of an entertaining buffoon. Though after his role in the referendum campaign I emanate nothing but pure unadulterated hatred towards this insidious prick. It was his charisma that helped bolster the faltering leave campaign and legitimise its bonkers views. Privately of course, Johnson knows that Brexit is and will be a disaster. He only became pro-brexit to further his political career and eventually become leader. How’d that work out for you Boris?
People accuse the EU of being undemocratic, saying rules are foisted by unelected officials upon Britain without our say and we’ve lost our sovereignty. Do these same people also complain about the House of Lords? No. It doesn’t matter anyway, because they’re wrong. 90% of laws passed by the EU are voted for in favour by the UK anyway. The EU is democratic because, we vote for MEPs who vote for politicians to be on the commission. The prime minister sits on the European council, we vote for MEPs to represent us in the European Parliament who must agree on any decision made by the European Council. EU commissioners are proposed by member states which must be approved by parliament. The council of ministers are made up of heads of domestic government departments. Parliament has the final say on any laws with the power for them to be amended. The UK throws its weight around in the EU and is more often than not the rule maker rather rule taker. Ask brexiters which rules they actually disagree with and they’ll flail around uselessly as they come up with nothing of substance.
Benefits of the EU
How dare the big bad EU impose on us free data roaming?! Oh right that’s quite good. How dare they impose on us clean air laws?! Oh wait… I could go on. It’s funny how Theresa May is so unimaginative and has so few good policies that she’s now taking credit for EU laws and passing them off as her own, i.e. banning credit card surcharges. Not only that but she’s taking old Labour policies and putting those through parliament to boot! (a cap on energy tariffs and forcing land developers who have planning permission but do nothing to relinquish their land). “This is why U.K. is leaving the EU. Tories claim credit for what are actually EU rules while blaming EU for their own failings. ” – K A Armstrong – in a nutshell.
Here’s a brief summary of what the EU did for us:
The story so far
In 2016, the government announced it wanted to use the royal prerogative to strip away EU laws without the say so of parliament. So called Henry VIII powers, how devious of May and her cronies to try and use half a millennium year old laws to sneak away our rights without debate. Luckily a plucky woman called Gina Miller challenged this way of thinking and won her case. She got death threats for her trouble from Brexshiteers of course. What’s wrong? I thought these guys wanted English courts making decisions on English matters? Naturally the Daily Heil called the highest judges in the land enemies of the people and brought up irrelevant bits of their past in an attempt to smear them. Truly shameful behaviour. Sadly the government turned a blind eye.
The chief mistake Theresa May made, against advice, was triggering article 50 before negotiating the terms of negotiation. Brexit is quite possibly one of the most complicated legislative processes of recent history. The government hopes to negotiate a free trade deal within two years, something which took Canada seven. How easy will it be to a trade deal with someone you have been vilifying for the past 3 years? And that’s without all the other problems Brexit causes: citizen’s rights, the Irish border issue, the divorce bill etc. Sir Ivan Rogers a highly experienced EU ambassador advised May not to trigger article without first negotiating the terms. Now we’re over half way through negotiations and major issues still remain, the deadline is looming and the risk of a no deal is increasing. She’s also tied her own hands by setting down so called “red lines”. Such as paying into the EU, freedom of movement and ending the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. Now she will look a fool, if she opts for the attractive “Norway model”, something Brexshiteers advocated during the referendum but now want nothing to do with.
We will get a very Btitish Brexit. There’s still a part of me that hopes in vain that we’ll stay in the EU, but what we’ll end up with is something not extreme enough for the pro-brexit lot and something not soft enough for the remainers. A situation where no-one is happy. It increasingly seems like we’ll get a Brexit in name only, something which I can live with. People can’t be upset about not getting a hard enough Brexit, because no-one knew what they were voting for. The ballot was a pure binary in/out question. Nothing was said about the single market, customs union, Euratom, european medicine agency, the Irish border, citizens’ rights, the divorce bill etc. When people voted in 1975 to join the EU, they had the information to make an informed decision. They knew what we’d be joining. The culpability of course lies with the campaigners who lied day in day out. According to the London economic, 25% of Brexit voters feel duped.
In 2017 the papers were boasting of a 10+ point lead of the Conservatives over Labour. Buoyed by this her advisors convinced her to call a snap election, something she had previously ruled out. May wanted a great big thumping majority to crush her opponents, but instead decided to tell the public that she needed a majority to help her negotiate Brexit. Something which EU officials denied would have any bearing at all on negotiations. It’s interesting that the prime minister, campaigned on a hard brexit, an issue so divisive, to give her a majority – given that you’re potentially alienating half the electorate only this time it’s first past the post rather than a referendum. Somewhat poetically, she was served up a reduced majority, making her look enfeebled and a laughing stock to the EU.
The EU holds all the cards in these negotiations. This has been evidenced by the way the first phase of talks has gone. The UK has capitulated on every single issue of contention so far. Let’s look at a few examples. Boris Johnson famously said that “the EU can ‘go whistle'” over Brexit divorce bill. Let’s skip forwards by five months and a settlement of £35-39bn has been agreed. People often claim we can get more out of Brussels if we bully them back. Why don’t we take an example from history, when Alexi Tsipras tried to renegotiate the terms of the Greek bailout, because voters rejected it in a domestic referendum. He got nothing and I don’t imagine the UK getting major concessions from the EU either.
Let’s look at the Irish border. May wants to be out of the custom’s union and the single market, she wants us to be out of both. This creates a few problems – namely a hard border between the two Irelands, jeopardising the Good Friday agreement. If we allow N. Ireland to be in the single market or the customs union by itself, this would create a sea border with N. Ireland, something the DUP are vehemently against. What a sticky situation. Well, this is one of the red lines for the EU and they’re putting the republic first in any deal. Then the news comes there will be “no hard border”. This means at the bare minimum that the UK must remain in the customs union. Barring some imaginative technological solution which has no chance of passing muster…
Why? The economics are clear. A no deal scenario would be so damaging that we are desperate for a deal, despite the empty threats we give. The government published analyses of the devastation caused by Brexit to the economy, a no deal being the worst, but naysayers will continue to stick their fingers in their ears and claim bias or massaging of figures without any evidence to the contrary. It’s almost as though they have so much invested in this position now, that they can’t be seen to lose face by backing down and admitting they were wrong.
According to some reports, the editor of the Daily Heil (Paul Dacre) himself hand picked Theresa May to be leader of the Conservative party and what a poor leader she’s been, especially with regard to Brexit. To please the nefarious cunt Dacre, she has gone down the road of a so called hard Brexit. Nick Clegg says her two biggest crimes are ignoring the 48% who voted to remain and ignoring the youth, the majority of who voted to remain too. Of course it is them who will inherit this mess and will have to sort it out. Some even say, that we’ll end up reapplying for EU membership in the future. What is bizarre about May, is that she was effectively humiliated in the snap election having to form a government with the help of the DUP, yet she acts as though she has a massive majority…
In March 2018, Theresa May finally made a speech outlining what sort of relationship she wants to have with the EU post Brexit, that of mutual recognition. It’s interesting because not even member states of the EU have this right of mutual recognition. May is deluded.
In July 2018, May hailed a landmark deal with the
EU err her own cabinet. She surprisingly has opted for closer ties to the EU than many extremists would have wanted. Much to the discord of Johnson and Davis, who resigned shortly after. Davis I can understand as a man of principle, because he didn’t believe in these proposals so couldn’t negotiate effectively. Johnson on the other hand, is a snake and saw an opportunity to bring down the government so resigned, hoping to trigger a leadership contest and win. The image of rats fleeing a sinking ship come to mind. You’d think I’d be happy with this turn of events but no. Why are the bastards who created this mess fucking off and leaving others to fix it? C’mon guys don’t do a Cameron on us! It’s clear after two years of dawdling, Mrs May finally sees reality, that leaving the EU without a deal would be so disastrous to the economy, that closer ties are required. However, these latest plans still have elements of cherry picking and they are unlikely to be accepted by Brussels.
Fundamentally Brexit comes down to a binary choice: Either have close ties to the EU like Norway or Switzerland (EEA, EFTA, customs union etc) or sever all ties and rely on WTO rules, hoping to make a free trade with other countries in the far future with many years of economic pain in between. Currently there are objections to the UK trading under WTO rules, following a no deal Brexit from several countries (something the Brexshiteers don’t mention). The fallacy of Brexit (and I’m not just saying proponents are dickheads but that is also true) is that it assumes that we are better off making our own trade deals as an individual country with the rest of the world. This is wrong for many reasons. You can see the disparity in negotiating power at the moment, how little the UK is getting from the EU. One of the great prizes of Brexit is supposedly a deal with the USA, whilst the USA is the largest single trading partner outside the EU, you think Trump is going to give us a fair deal? The man who stiffs his own suppliers and wants America first? The man who says the comparatively low price paid for drugs, by the NHS is too low and should have to pay more, to be in line with the US? So we can see any deal we get is going to be one sided. The other problem is the quality of goods from the US isn’t as good as that from the EU. Indeed, if the UK continued to follow EU rules after brexit that’s one of the reasons why we can’t make a free trade with the US. Trump said in mid-July 2018 that the prospect of a trade deal has been killed by the Chequers white paper. Good, keep your chlorinated chicken and your E. Coli filled lettuce for yourself thanks.
Where do we go from here?
May has already lost one vote on the withdrawal act. She’s essentially pushing through the same act and hoping nobody notices. It will likely fail. What happens after that? Nobody knows. No deal? extension? Revoke Art. 50? Second referendum? There’s no clear path for any option. The 2nd referendum seems attractive, though who’s to say the result would be any different? Polls are as tight as ever. Alas, the prevailing wisdom is Brexit will likely happen. Though now at least parliament is ruling the roost and May isn’t getting her way. My money is on an extension on Art. 50 then some sort of deal. Next most likely is no deal. All I can say in closing is, this referendum has truly brought out the very worst in society. And still that absolute twat David Cameron is unrepentant, saying he does NOT regret calling the referendum in the first place. Jesus wept. A Spaniard once asked me what I thought about Brexit, I said people were lied to. He replied “That’s politics”. What a sad state of affairs.
Brexiters promised us a unicorn and are now offering us a pony, in a somewhat applicable metaphor. Yes, it’s easy to make ridiculous promises on the campaign trail, but a somewhat harder task to implement them. In a free democracy it is ok for the people to change their minds. Brexiters are insisting that the 2016 vote is final and cannot be overturned. Somehow more democracy is anti-democratic. Brexit is being rushed through by its supporters because if we actually stop and take a fresh look at it all, we realise how stupid the whole idea is. Whether it’s the fact democracy was cheated, proper analyses aren’t being done or knowing what deals we want, it’s just a gigantic mess. I’m by no means arguing the EU is perfect, rather that it is possible to stay and reform its ways. Many of the problems Britons claim with the EU are failures of domestic legislation for which the EU is scapegoated. Much like how the SNP scapegoats Westminster for all of Scotland’s problems. When the full effects of Brexit happen, make no mistake, the orchestrators will blame the remainers. Sadly, I don’t imagine the gutter-press will defend them, but will use them as a convenient scapegoat.
I’ll leave you with these quotes:
How convienient for Brexit extremists that the OECD, IMF, BBC and every other UK expert and economist are part of some elaborate conspiracy to keep Britain in the EU.
Thank god for this noble tax-avoiding press barons who run the Sun, Mail, Telegraph etc…And the brave billionaire Tory politicians who entirely coincidentally stand to benefit from the destruction of our welfare state.
A dumb idea….Leaving will be an error –
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/jacob-rees-mogg-brexit-scm-ireland-investment-fund-conservative-mp-a8461021.html (Beyond parody)
Matt Forde did an excellent series titled – “How to brexit”, pointing out the riduculousness of it all. Example.
Richard Herring https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bp2a-pE4hO8