Britain’s Shaky Status as a Scientific Superpower

Jun 25, 2016

By Adrienne LaFrance

In the end, the vote that decided Britain’s exit from the European Union revealed a sharply divided electorate. But for many researchers in the United Kingdom, there was never a question of what ought to happen.

In a March poll by Nature, 83 percent of researchers working in the United Kingdom said they wanted Britain to stay in the European Union—12 percent said they favored leaving, while 5 percent were unsure. On Thursday, the voters who wanted Britain to leave the European Union edged out the ones who wanted to remain, 52 percent to 48 percent.

About half of the scientists said in the Nature poll that leaving the European Union is likely to be “very harmful” for scientific pursuits in the United Kingdom. And given Britain’s status as a global scientific superpower, many of them say, what’s bad for Britain is also bad for the rest of the world.


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70 comments on “Britain’s Shaky Status as a Scientific Superpower

  • About half of the scientists said in the Nature poll that leaving the European Union is likely to be “very harmful” for scientific pursuits in the United Kingdom.

    Yeh! – but the media-fed ignorant have spoken! (What do all these experts know???)
    According to my wife, some of the local “voting decision making brains of the area”, were asking on twittering media:
    “Where were the polling stations where they were supposed to vote?”
    Some helpful people pointed out that the addresses were printed on the polling cards which had been sent to them!

    Quality research based decision making on complex international business issues (allegedly) !!!!!!!!?



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  • ” About half of the scientists said in the Nature poll that leaving the European Union is likely to be “very harmful” for scientific pursuits in the United Kingdom. ”

    So the other half of the scientists polled presumably did not agree with the proposition. Were they just more of the “media-fed ignorant” ?
    There are so much sour grapes coming from the losing side in this referendum, we could create a massive EU vinegar lake.



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  • Any voter that watches television or listens to the radio could not have avoided hearing about the innumerable costs of leaving the EU (including the problems it would cause for UK research.) I still think the public’s ability to at least occasionally reign-in the country’s “leaders” is far too important to have slip away. The EU needs some democratic checks and balances that the organisation has absolutely no intention of ever allowing … so no, thank you, EU. Now this is just the unsolicited opinion of one Canadian, but it seems nearly 52% of Britons may share my view. The real shame here is that this whole issue is shaping up to be so divisive within the UK.



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  • rogeroney #2
    Jun 26, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    ”About half of the scientists said in the Nature poll that leaving the European Union is likely to be “very harmful” for scientific pursuits in the United Kingdom. ”

    So the other half of the scientists polled presumably did not agree with the proposition.

    Preumption is a very poor basis for reaching conclusions!
    You really can’t rationally come to that conclusion, from the claims that only half were offering a firm opinion.
    If scientists are not certain, or not in possession of sufficient evidence, those who are not well enough informed decline to take up positions and will seek expert advice from those who are.

    Were they just more of the “media-fed ignorant” ?
    There are so much sour grapes coming from the losing side in this referendum, we could create a massive EU vinegar lake.

    They are probably those who honestly admit they don’t know but recognise dubious information sources.
    There is actually a whole list of serious problems which are as yet undressed despite the warnings from expert bodies with investigative facilities and specialist knowledge.

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/06/richard-dawkins-ignoramuses-should-have-no-say-on-our-eu-membership-and-that-includes-me/#li-comment-205561

    The “media fed ignorant” have been making the (irrelevant and inappropriate) ” reasons” for their choice of voting for “out”, very clear!
    (Such as blaming Europe for the austerity imposed by the Westminster government, or claiming losing their right to elect their MEPs and council of ministers, is “more democratic”!) )



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  • NorthernVoice #3
    Jun 26, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    but it seems nearly 52% of Britons may share my view.

    I think a significant proportion of that 52% have absolutely no idea what they were voting for!
    Some are now shocked at what they have done!

    The real shame here is that this whole issue is shaping up to be so divisive within the UK.

    This was about a reckless gamble by Cameron to patch up splits in the Tory Party, and stop his loony fringe MPs from defecting to UKIP.
    The result seems to be tearing apart the UK to try to patch together the Tory Party.

    There are many reforms needed in the EU, but they won’t be achieved by ripping it apart and trying to reach agreements across the uncoordinated fragments.



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  • rogeroney #2
    Jun 26, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    @OP – ”About half of the scientists said in the Nature poll that leaving the European Union is likely to be “very harmful” for scientific pursuits in the United Kingdom.”

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/06/richard-dawkins-ignoramuses-should-have-no-say-on-our-eu-membership-and-that-includes-me/#li-comment-206098

    The science establishment expressed its “disappointment” on Friday with the referendum’s outcome.

    It had been in the “remain” camp.
    The decision to leave the EU now means new structures will have to be put in place if the science sector is to continue to enjoy favourable access to the union’s programmes and funding*.

    Britain’s science sector has done increasingly well out of the EU in recent years, receiving €8.8bn in research funding in 2007-2013 versus the €5.4bn it paid in over the same period. And UK-based scientists have won about a fifth of all the grants, in terms of value, from the top-tier programmes run by the European Research Council.

    The view of the scientific establishment is spelt out very clearly!

    Isolation would severely handicap joint ventures with European universities and research projects.



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  • “…leaving the European Union is likely to be “very harmful” for scientific pursuits in the United Kingdom.”

    “Scientific pursuits” includes the totality of making and using the stuff.

    For UK businesses

    47% of Aerospace exports are to the EU
    54% of Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals
    46% of IT and Telecoms….

    These exports all hit a cost hike now and that hike comes straight off the bottom line. The effect will be huge and the use of scientific product will suffer a long cut back. Such resources are not easily turned on after a turn off as we know from the merger led eviscerating of our technology sector in the 1980s, when accountants gleefully started closing R&D facilities to turn them into turboed Bentleys for their bosses. It took over a decade to recover.



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  • @NorthernVoice #3

    The EU needs some democratic checks and balances that the organisation has absolutely no intention of ever allowing …

    Per Wikipedia:
    “In the European Union, there are two sources of democratic legitimacy: the European Parliament, directly elected by the people of the European Union as a whole; and the Council of the European Union (the “Council of Ministers”), together with the European Council (of heads of national governments), that represent the peoples of the individual states. The European Commission (the civil service of the Union) is appointed by the two bodies acting together. Democratic legitimacy within the EU can be compared with the dual legitimacy provided for in a federal polity, such as the USA, where there are two independent sources of democratic legitimacy, the House of Representatives and the Senate, and, to become law, decisions must be approved both by one institution representing the people as a whole and by a separate body representing the peoples of the individual states”.

    More specifically:

    All European legislation has to be approved not only by ministers in the Council but by directly elected MEPs as well who citizens themselves choose specifically to deal with European issues who they send on their behalf to Brussels.
    National parliaments receive all European proposals in order to check that the EU has not gone beyond its remit (principle of subsidiarity) and allowing them to give their input on the substance.
    EU governance is provided under a charter of rights to reassure citizens that no decision taken by the European institutions and no provision of EU law can violate fundamental rights.
    All EU citizens can directly petition the European Parliament.
    The EU citizens’ initiative allows for transnational campaigning in order to bring an issue of public concern before the Commission if signed by over 1 million signatures in a number of member states.
    An ombudsman helps citizens who feel that they have been subject to maladministration in the EU institutions.
    The EU Council has to meet in public when deliberating on legislation and all Union institutions and bodies are required to conduct their work as openly as possible.
    There is a wide ranging right of access to EU documents.

    So the EU has basically the same democratic checks and balances as its constituent countries. Just because you may not have liked it’s decisions over the years does not make it undemocratic.



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  • john.wb #8
    Jun 26, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    So the EU has basically the same democratic checks and balances as its constituent countries.

    I was commenting on the other thread I have linked earlier, that the yahoos chorus chanting about “restoring democracy”, are largely too ignorant to know anything about the EU democratic structures, and according to comparison figures for local elections compared to the referendum, many of them don’t usually bother to vote anyway.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/the-local-election-results-prove-why-everyone-should-be-forced-to-vote-9427739.html
    It’s been predicted that the voter turnout for yesterday’s local elections was around 36 per cent.



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  • I’ve been feeling depressed since the result was announced. It will not end well for England (never mind Britain which is now effectively finished). France in particular will seek to punish us “pour encourager les autres”. The Scots will demand another referendum, (who can blame them?), which seems sure to result in separation. The EU will then welcome, with open arms, a newly-independent Scotland.

    It’s ironic that immigration was one of the central issues of the Leave campaign. Most immigrants from EU countries to the UK are young people coming to study or to work. They contribute more to the economy than they receive, in other words the very people the country needs to stay strong into the future. By contrast most Brit emigrants to the EU were retirees taking advantage of reciprocal health care – now they’ll remain here, and some of the ones already there will return and will have to be cared for by UK taxpayers.

    Brexit is a setback for the EU but in the long run will be a benefit; without Britain as a handbrake the EU countries can continue to pursue closer economic and political union which benefits all. For England Brexit will prove an unmitigated disaster.



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  • john.wb #10
    Jun 26, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    For England Brexit will prove an unmitigated disaster.

    It is not yet too late to fix this IF the opposition parties get their fingers out and get stuck into dealing with it.

    Unfortunately Corbyn is not only useless, but obstructive and counter productive, with a determination to stay as leader, and battle-strategy of roll over and surrender!

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/06/richard-dawkins-ignoramuses-should-have-no-say-on-our-eu-membership-and-that-includes-me/#li-comment-206123

    Others may manage to get this re-run together to avoid the disaster!



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  • Is this another step in the ongoing collapse of the British Empire, an empire that spanned the globe, that had its roots in the English conquest of Scotland and Ireland? Losing “the colonies”, retreating into ever smaller territory? Eventually, an Independent England, surrounded by the EU but not party to its decision making, with a dwindling currency and dwindling prospects. What’s the step after, another war of the roses? North vs South? Ah, well, they’ve still got Wales.



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  • I see there is a National Geographic article linked in “This Week In Science”.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/06/brexit-science-climate-change-environment-policy/

    Also at stake is European funding for the United Kingdom’s research universities, which totals more than a billion pounds (1.37 billion dollars) per year.

    That’s a significant chunk of change. Nature News reports that research grants from the European union provided 16 percent of British universities’ funding. The Guardian’s Ian Sample reported in May that more than 40 percent of the United Kingdom’s cancer research funds—some 126 million pounds (173 million dollars) over the last decade—came from the European Union.

    The United Kingdom’s departure from the EU may also diminish the country’s role in influencing the union’s research plans, such as its Horizons 2020 initiatives.

    “In almost every area of science now, you can’t be a lone wolf and do it on your own,” says Jones. “You have to work with others. And the EU provides that potential.”

    The plan also could have repercussions on the international fight to assemble a global policy response to climate change. While the United Kingdom has long been a leader on climate policy—passing influential domestic legislation in 2008 that aimed to reduce carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050—its negotiations for the Paris Agreement climate pact were done as part of the European Union delegation.

    Boris Johnson, the Conservative former mayor of London, pro-Brexit campaigner, and leading contender to replace David Cameron as prime minister, has a checkered history on climate. In recent years, he has alternately worked with mayors around the world to address climate change and expressed dubious views on climate science in newspaper columns.

    Nigel Farage, the leader of the U.K. Independence Party and a prominent voice in the pro-Brexit campaign, has falsely dismissed climate change as a scam, and his party’s platform has advocated, among other things, the abolition of the U.K.’s Department for Energy and Climate Change and the repeal of the 2008 Climate Change Act, the British emissions plan.

    It looks like the carbon industry denialists (many of whom are brexiteers) will love this!



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  • Among leave voters, 68% agreed that “the media exaggerates the level of scientific agreement there is on human activity causing climate change”, compared to 52% of remain voters.



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  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36633238

    Corbyn office ‘sabotaged’ EU Remain campaign – sources

    And today, some of the most senior figures in the Labour Party are trying to push their leader out too. There have been concerns about Jeremy Corbyn’s performance for months and months. But it was his role, or lack of role, in the campaign to keep the UK in the EU, and his sacking of Hilary Benn in the middle of the night, that has given members of the shadow cabinet the final reasons to quit. Several have already gone; as many as half will be gone by the end of the day, I understand.

    And documents passed to the BBC suggest Jeremy Corbyn’s office sought to delay and water down the Labour Remain campaign. Sources suggest that they are evidence of “deliberate sabotage”.

    One email from the leader’s office suggests that Mr Corbyn’s director of strategy and communications, Seumas Milne, was behind Mr Corbyn’s reluctance to take a prominent role in Labour’s campaign to keep the UK in the EU. One email, discussing one of the leader’s speeches, said it was because of the “hand of Seumas. If he can’t kill it, he will water it down so much to hope nobody notices it”.

    A series of messages dating back to December seen by the BBC shows correspondence between the party leader’s office, the Labour Remain campaign and Labour HQ, discussing the European campaign. It shows how a sentence talking about immigration was removed on one occasion and how Mr Milne refused to sign off a letter signed by 200 MPs after it had already been approved.

    The documents show concern in Labour HQ and the Labour Remain campaign about Mr Corbyn’s commitment to the campaign – one email says: “What is going on here?” Another email from Labour Remain sources to the leader’s office complains “there is no EU content here – we agreed to have Europe content in it”. Sources say they show the leader’s office was reluctant to give full support to the EU campaign and how difficult it was to get Mr Corbyn to take a prominent role.

    Meanwhile:-

    Jeremy Corbyn unveils new shadow cabinet top team after resignations.

    and Tom Watson – deputy leader and vastly more capable leader than Corbyn, has called on Corbyn to resign – according to the BBC!

    The sooner Corbyn goes the better!!
    He’s good at making idealistic noises, but useless at fighting for the rights of the people and interests of the country.

    Even Farage had a “plan B” if the referendum did not go his way!

    It looks like Corbyn is hanging on and recruiting more ideologue stooges like the ones who messed up in his office earlier! – Just when the country needs clear opposition leadership to stop the rot!



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  • Tom Watson, good man. Heart and head in the right place and a professional politician, not a pamphleteer.

    Corbyn arrived on a wave of new, young interest in politics. I don’t think, in pandering to the old grass roots left with his least effort performance on pro-remain, he realises he has squandered a significant fraction of his mandate.

    Myself, though Cameron caused this, and was hugely negligent in not insisting on a minimum threshold for any change, I can see a new centre party of anti-ideologists from Labour and Tory fleeing from looney (non pragmatic) left and ugly minded right. It would attract the best and most competent. It would restore choice where it is most needed…. It must though address the needs of the disadvantaged far better than has been the case in the recent past. This is the root of the problem that left and right ideologues have sought to exploit, with no hope of a workable consensus.



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  • Hi Guys,

    Alan [#15]: [Corbyn’s] good at making idealistic noises, but useless at fighting for the rights of the people and interests of the country

    Corbyn is a dyed-in-the-wool socialist – the Party must come first.

    Labour lost so many (previously ‘safe’) seats in Scotland at the last general election that many commentators have considered the possibility that Labour may never win another general election. This is a little over-blown, perhaps, it depends on the SNP’s ability to deliver. However, unlike that other Celtic Labour stronghold, Wales, Scotland has friends in high (unelected) places.

    Some of us have been saying for a very long time that Mr. A. Blair effectively killed the Labour party with devolution. It was only a matter of time because as a well known Australian, who’s name escapes me for the moment, put it at Davos one year: [paraphrase] Propaganda works. You can’t just win an election by using propaganda from the moment the election is announced (hinting that propaganda works best over long periods), but you can move the opinions of significant numbers of people in the long term – you just need a drip-drip-drip every day.

    Unless I am very much mistaken (always a possibility), Corbyn will have said to his very closest political allies that the Party can only return to government if devolution becomes secession. His rhetoric always seemed to me to be suspect and, with that wisdom that sometimes comes with hindsight, he does appear in retrospect to have run a campaign (when he was visible at all) for Remain that was calculated to turn off older voters who remember the Cold War and the many negative connotations that has.

    Phil [#16]: Myself, though Cameron caused this, and was hugely negligent in not insisting on a minimum threshold for any change

    I agree. In fact I will go further: Cameron has left us with a potentially explosive position.

    12 million didn’t vote – about 30%. The margin between Leave and Remain was 2%. In what way is the referendum result a legitimate decision to leave the EU? In my book not at all, and I’m extremely angry about that.

    According to the pollsters before the referendum a difference of 2% was within the margin for error. Therefore, a 2% difference is no mandate for change.

    It is also clear from comments made by leading Leave Campaign politicians that they know the campaign led with some humongous lies – not that this is a surprise to some of us. This is not to be borne, we cannot allow politicians to make such an important decision based on falsehood.

    Cameron is also at fault for resigning immediately after the result became known. He should have remembered that all referenda are only advisory and faced down calls for an immediate and comprehensive withdrawl from all EU treaties and institutions. If I could I would thump him – he’s a spineless moron.

    Nigel Farage (who gets more press than Tim Farron … no bias there then) when asked post referendum about his own pre-referendum statement that a 52-48 split would mean that the game isn’t over responded: [paraphrase] No, it’s not a two out of three game. One rule for Leave and one for Remain, anyone?

    Am I the only British voter who is outraged by this?

    In short: No politician has a legitimate remit for leaving the EU – I refute that absolutely and I’m apoplectic that some of them are pretending that they do.

    NO. ALL THEY PROVED IS THAT THE COUNTRY IS EVENLY SPLIT.

    If they actually want to leave the EU they must, as a matter of morality, ethics and decency use the same rules as have been used for other recent referenda: At least 50% must vote to leave. Currently they have – not 52% – but 36%, barely more than a third.

    I refuse to recognise that there is any legitimate vote for Britain to leave the EU – that is the biggest lie of all.



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  • A chap can dream….

    The centre in British politics always evaporates, after each attempted re-charging, which is a pity, because consensus and pragmatism, fueled by compassion from the left and enterprise from the right would suit us well. I think this political black hole is an artifact of the need for the media to run simple narratives of polar opposition.

    I think a re-energised middle might find media traction if the narrative is the open, compassionate, pragmatic centre versus the communitarian ideologues of left and right. Pragma v. Dogma. That should be polar enough.



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  • phil rimmer #16
    Jun 27, 2016 at 7:33 am

    Myself, though Cameron caused this, and was hugely negligent in not insisting on a minimum threshold for any change, I can see a new centre party of anti-ideologists from Labour and Tory fleeing from looney (non pragmatic) left and ugly minded right.

    There is no doubt that Cameron’s recklessness was primarily responsible, but the politically stupid ideologs have just given the right wing media every opportunity to redirect blame!

    Corbyn appears to be to ignorant, arrogant and stupid to even recognise his mistakes!

    Some credibility could have been salvaged if he had had the grace to listen to the more able members of his cabinet and go quietly!

    Cobyn’s “mandate” from the inexperienced, (recently joined on a cheap subscription) left-wing Labour Party members, looks like making the party unelectable as well as ineffectual in legislating on real problems.



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  • phil rimmer #16
    Jun 27, 2016 at 7:33 am

    Tom Watson, good man. Heart and head in the right place and a professional politician, not a pamphleteer.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36638041

    Deputy Labour leader Tom Watson has told Jeremy Corbyn he has “no authority” among Labour MPs and warned him he faces a leadership challenge.

    The two men met after a spate of resignations from shadow cabinet.

    The Labour leader launched a fightback on Monday morning, unveiling a new top team after a fresh round of walkouts from shadow ministers.

    Mr Corbyn, who was elected in September in a landslide victory, is facing a vote of no confidence from Labour MPs.

    Shadow business secretary Angela Eagle, Maria Eagle (defence) Lisa Nandy (energy) and Owen Smith (work and pensions) are among the latest members of the front bench to resign.

    Mr Corbyn has pledged to stand in any new leadership election if there is a formal challenge to his position.

    Corbyn really does not get it!!!! What a waste of space!!!

    The talks between the two men were described as “civil” by a spokesman for the leader, but a senior Labour source said Mr Corbyn was left in no doubt he had lost the support of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

    Meanwhile, Labour MPs will later consider a vote of no confidence in Mr Corbyn – and a secret ballot could be held on Tuesday.



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  • Stephen of Wimbledon #17
    Jun 27, 2016 at 9:04 am

    Corbyn is a dyed-in-the-wool socialist – the Party must come first.

    He is from the loony left wing. He does not even put the party first!

    Over 50 of his MPs including several experienced members of his shadow cabinet have told him he has messed up and have no confidence that he will not mess-up again.

    His response is to promptly mess-up again by refusing to step down, While starting infighting as he sits in denial, and bates his critics with ironically comical comments in the House of Commons, about voters not liking plotters starting in-fighting!”

    (There are “plotters” in politics???? Who would have guessed it????)



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  • Is this still the site for reason and science ? Despite Brexit, plumbers will still have to deal with pipes, electricians with wires, farmers with cows. Workers of whatever country of origin will continue to be workers. Plus ca change..



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  • Mr DArcy #22

    Despite Brexit, plumbers will still have to deal with pipes, electricians with wires

    And exporters of pipes and wires will lose cost free access to a market ten times the size of their local market?

    Plus ca change? We don’t live in Trumpton.

    Soon will though.



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  • Mr DArcy #22
    Jun 27, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    Is this still the site for reason and science ?

    Yep! Last time I checked!

    Despite Brexit, plumbers will still have to deal with pipes, electricians with wires, farmers with cows.
    Workers of whatever country of origin will continue to be workers. Plus ca change..

    It’s just that in brexit England, they will work without the European employment protection, rights legislation, and without the regularted stable systems so hated by the would be deregulating brexiteers, and in an uncompetitive position against foreign competitors, courtesy of the science deniers attitude to grants, liberated opportunists, and global marketeers using third-world labour!



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  • I see Farage has been demonstrating his “negotiating skills ” to our European partners!

    Would anyone send him to negotiate these brexit promised “improved trade deals”? ??

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36648664

    There have been bitter exchanges in the European parliament during a debate on the UK’s vote to leave the EU.

    A central figure in the Leave campaign, UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage, was booed, called a liar and accused of using “Nazi propaganda”.

    But in his speech Mr Farage told parliament members “you as a political project are in denial”.

    He said hardly any of them had ever done a proper job in their lives, or created one.

    Illustrating, that Farage has no idea what a competent proper job is! (Clue: – In the modern hi-tech world – He is a science denier!)

    The parliament was holding a special session ahead of a meeting later on Tuesday between EU leader and UK Prime Minister David Cameron – the first such meeting since the UK’s vote.

    Mr Cameron is stepping down, saying it will be up to his successor to trigger the formal method by which the country leaves the EU, and to conduct exit negotiations.

    The European Parliament voted in favour of a motion urging the UK to do so immediately, by triggering Article 50.

    Opening the session in parliament, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the British government should “clarify” its position.

    Mr Juncker said the will of the British people must be respected, prompting shouting and clapping from Mr Farage.

    “You were fighting for the exit, the British people voted in favour of the exit. Why are you here?” Mr Juncker responded, to applause from others in parliament.

    He also accused Mr Farage of lying about using the UK’s EU contributions to fund the country’s National Health Service, saying he had “fabricated reality”.

    Others went much further. Belgian ex-PM Guy Verhofstadt, and leader of the liberal group in the European parliament, said Mr Farage had used “Nazi propaganda” in the campaign, referring to a poster showing lines of refugees.

    In a veiled condemnation of Leave campaigner Boris Johnson, and likely contender to be the next British Prime Minister, Mr Verhofstadt attacked “the selfishness of one man prepared to do anything to become the prime minister of the UK”.

    Jeers, insults and applause, by Bethany Bell, BBC News, Brussels

    Manfred Weber, the chairman of the European People’s Party group, said: “The times of appeasement are over. We have to stand up for our European project.”

    “Apologise to the British, shame on you,” he told Mr Farage, adding: “Stop this populist Brussels bashing.”

    Hitting back, Mr Farage told parliament that they were “in denial”.

    “We now offer a beacon of hope to democrats across the European continent,” he said. “The UK will not be the last member state to leave the EU.”

    For any non-UK readers, Farage is the reprentative of the Yah-Hoo’s chorus of the ignorant elected to the European Parliament.
    He more often than not, makes headlines about his idiot stunts, ludicrously clueless outrageous public statements, and in-fighting with members of his own party!

    Enough of the ignorant have swallowed his lies to vote on matters they knew nothing about!
    He has nothing to offer in the way of constructive plans for the future!



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  • The expert evaluation of its “shaky status” in its financial position, seems to be in direct contrast to political statements!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36644934

    The UK has lost its top AAA credit rating from ratings agency S&P following the country’s Brexit vote.

    S&P said the the referendum result could lead to “a deterioration of the UK’s economic performance, including its large financial services sector”.

    Rival agency Fitch lowered its rating from AA+ to AA, forecasting an “abrupt slowdown” in growth in the short-term.

    The moves come after Chancellor George Osborne said the UK will face the future “from a position of strength”.

    Speaking earlier, in an attempt to restore calm to the markets, the chancellor said the economy would need to “adjust” but was strong enough to cope.

    S&P had been the only major agency to maintain a AAA rating for the UK. It has now cut its rating by two notches to AA.

    On Friday, Moody’s cut the UK’s credit rating outlook to negative.

    A rating downgrade can affect how much it costs governments to borrow money in the international financial markets. In theory, a high credit rating means a lower interest rate (and vice versa).

    S&P said that the leave result would “weaken the predictability, stability, and effectiveness of policymaking in the UK”.

    Fitch expects an abrupt slowdown in UK growth in the short term.

    But it also warned that medium term growth is likely to be weaker “due to less favourable terms for exports to the EU, lower immigration and a reduction in foreign direct investment“.

    S&P also warned that it expected the UK economic growth to be hit by the outcome of the vote.

    It said that there was a risk of “a constitutional crisis” if the referendum’s outcome leads to a second referendum on Scottish independence from the UK.



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  • phil rimmer #23
    Jun 27, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    And exporters of pipes and wires will lose cost free access to a market ten times the size of their local market?

    Are you a prophet Phil – or could it be that that is a scientific prediction based on evidence?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36646251

    German carmakers have said that the UK will have to accept the free movement of EU citizens in return for access to the single market.

    Matthias Wissmann, from the German Automotive Industry Association, said the UK would have to accept the “bitter pill” of free movement.

    Restricting access to the UK was a key promise of the Leave campaign.

    Leave campaigners also argued that, to help car exports, Germany would push for a generous trade deal with the UK.

    However, the German carmakers appear to be taking a tough line.

    “We don’t like to build new barriers… but any bid to secure full access to the single market would necessarily come with conditions. Everyone who negotiates on the British side will understand that,” Mr Wissmann said.

    “If you want full access to the market, that comes necessarily with the free movement of people.
    That’s the bitter pill the Brexiteers have to accept,” he added.




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  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36647006

    Tax rises and spending cuts will be needed to deal with the “shock” to the UK economy caused by leaving the EU, Chancellor George Osborne has said.

    He said such decisions would be taken by the next prime minister, adding that his pre-referendum warnings “have started to be borne out by events“.

    Yep! Those dire warnings given by experts and dismissed as “scaremongering” by brexiteers, just keep materialising into reality!

    Meanwhile at an urgent EU Parliament meeting, UKIP’s Nigel Farage told MEPs: “You’re not laughing now”.

    Farage has accidentally got something right!

    Nobody is laughing at the emerging predicted disasters and serious problems he and the brexiteers dismissed as scaremongering, while promoting their fantasy images of Utopia to con the uneducated! !



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  • The big mistake was having the referendum in the first place!
    I voted in as did my youngest son and wife, but the ins were routed by the outs in our section by 62,358 (56.8%) out, 47,430 (43.2%) stay in – alas the a(pathetic) 36.8% who didn’t vote are mostly moaning that they wanted us to stay in……I despair that democracy opens us up to such crass stupidity!



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  • bonnie

    I’ve told a friend a few times how valuable all the “inside” information, opinions, and UK perspective is here, to me.

    I absolutely agree. Very valuable indeed.

    In fact, I need to access this information to understand why my retirement 401K account has dropped $20,000 dollars in two days. A ripple effect that came across the Atlantic like a tsunami. Just one person that lives many miles away. Can’t imagine the upheaval you are all feeling in the center of things.

    I’m trying to get a sense from this conversation and others if there really is any hope of undoing this stupid event. I feel the weight of my bias and I’m sure I’m leading myself straight into a state of wishful thinking on your behalf.

    As for this Farage person, I say Get the pillory out of storage! Dust it off and set it up for him in the town square!

    That’s the old New Englander in me. If only things were so simple again just this once.



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  • 34
    Pinball1970 says:

    @M27 alas the a(pathetic) 36.8% who didn’t vote are mostly moaning that they wanted us to stay in…

    Yes that will be me but if you put a gun to my head I still would not be sure which way to go



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  • Alan4discussion #21
    Jun 27, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    Stephen of Wimbledon #17 Jun 27, 2016 at 9:04 am
    Corbyn is a dyed-in-the-wool socialist – the Party must come first.

    He is from the loony left wing. He does not even put the party first!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36647458

    A motion of no confidence in Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been passed by the party’s MPs.

    The 172-40 vote, which is not binding, follows resignations from the shadow cabinet and calls on Mr Corbyn to quit.

    The leader’s allies have told his critics to trigger a formal leadership contest if they want to challenge him.

    Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said Mr Corbyn was “not going anywhere”, accusing his critics of trying to “subvert democracy”.

    Some of these useless muppets are still obstructing any effective action under new leadership at a time of urgency, when they should be co-ordinating combined opposition party action as its elected representative MPs acting on expert advice in the best interests of the country!

    They now have a diminishing standing as a loony-left protest party who can call on 40 votes in parliament, until someone gets a grip on reality and pulls a team together!

    Unfortunately, the other 172 combined with the Liberals, the Scots, and any Tory defectors, are probably not enough to beat Cameron’s Tory majority!

    Shadow chancellor John McDonnell was the useless stooge Corbyn appointed as shadow chancellor to the dismay of many!

    Cameron seems to understand when a failed leader should resign, but Corbyn seems to be just too clueless!

    The most recent resignations from Mr Corbyn’s top team include shadow justice minister Andy Slaughter, and a senior figure in Labour local government is now calling for Mr Corbyn to go.

    Dave Sparks, a councillor in Dudley and a former chair of the Local Government Association, warned that if Mr Corbyn stays, Labour will be wiped out.

    He told the BBC that if the leadership does not change both its leader and its course, the party is looking at its support disappearing in England as it has melted away in Scotland.

    Dame Margaret Hodge, the Labour MP who tabled the no confidence motion, said the Parliament Labour Party meeting had been “extraordinary”.

    “I couldn’t believe the strength of feeling, the overwhelming rejection of Jeremy as our leader, and the pleading with him that he should consider his position and go with dignity,” she said.

    But one of Mr Corbyn’s allies, newly promoted shadow health secretary Diane Abbott, said the no confidence vote “has no meaning”.

    MPs don’t choose the leader of the Labour Party, the party does,” she told Today.

    That was the loony left change in the rules which has caused the problem!



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  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36647458
    On Monday evening Mr Corbyn – who had also rebuked his party critics during a Commons speech – told grassroots supporters from the Momentum campaign group in a rally outside Parliament to stand up for the causes they believed in – including social justice, economic equality and human rights.

    This is ironically pathetic, from someone who has just rolled over and surrendered from all the European employment and social policy objectives of “Remain” his party had been campaigning to protect, when he circulated an email calling on everyone to “respect” the lies and deception on which the referendum decision from many misled voters was based!

    “Don’t let the media divide us; don’t let those people who wish us ill divide us,” he said. “Stay together, strong and united, for the kind of world we want to live in.”

    Ah! – The delusions of the left-wing faction called the “Momentum campaign group” within the Labour Party!

    Speaking at the same event, Mr McDonnell accused a “handful of MPs” of trying to “subvert” the party and challenged them to put up or shut up.

    Clearly this stooge shadow chancellor, is as incompetent at estimating the size of the “handful”, as he is at everything else!
    This little plotters far-left protest clique, has to go, if Labour Party is ever going to become effective again!

    The loony left has historically tried to organise and plot take-overs of the Labour Party from time to time, because they have no electoral prospects wearing their true colours!

    The timing of the present effort is very unfortunate for the country and Europe!



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  • Is this not off topic. I do have this to say. Many Americans in particular are a little ignorant when it comes to all things European. Perhaps this is because the EU rather grandly refers to itself as Europe.

    I can happily report that British scientests will not have any access problems to CERN, whilst CERN is a European body, it has nothing to do with the EU. I would think Switzerland might be a clue since it has never been a member of the EU.

    Britain is a founder member of CERN and contributes to its budget every year. Britain was not a signatory of the treaty of Rome which established the EEC now called the EU. Indeed CERN actually predates the EEC and EU.

    In addition there are members of the EU who are not members of CERN, Cyprus comes to mind, probably Malta, Luxembourg the Baltic states Poland etc. Many are not full members like Britain, Germany, Switzerland and France.

    Whilst, science does enjoy great budgets from the EU, we must remember that Britain is a net contributor to the overall EU budget. This means that it gives more than it gets back.

    There is no reason whatsoever other than a political decision taken by the then elected government of the U.K. For these levels of funding to continue. This is no less different than if Britain stays in the EU. The budget is decided at a political level in the EU.

    All that is changing is Britain is taking back control of its own budget as things stand now. It is possible that in a deal with the EU Britain will get some separate status without uncontrolled immigration and the benefit of being able to secure its own trade deals around the world. If this is the case then Britain will still contribute to the EU budget which will please a lot of nations who would have to contribute more like Germany (2 or 3 billion).

    Science and innovation is at the heart of Britain and the British. Scientests from all around the world do vital research in Britain and this will not change.



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  • Many Americans in particular are a little ignorant when it comes to all things European. Perhaps this is because the EU rather grandly refers to itself as Europe.

    Priceless.

    With half of our high tech exports threatened by new trade tariffs our use of scientific product (the output of scientists) will probably decline. So, with a reduced market for photonics, say, photonics will be afforded less research budget.

    Lacking any broad view of the use of science in the UK these partial and bland reassurances are valueless



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  • Andrewmorrison #39
    Jun 29, 2016 at 10:32 am

    I can happily report that British scientists will not have any access problems to CERN, whilst CERN is a European body, it has nothing to do with the EU. I would think Switzerland might be a clue since it has never been a member of the EU.

    Switzerland is indeed an example and has disqualified itself from some benefits as a result of not allowing free movement of people across its borders.

    Whilst, science does enjoy great budgets from the EU, we must remember that Britain is a net contributor to the overall EU budget. This means that it gives more than it gets back.

    There are massive international problems in Europe and the middle east, so spending some money collectively, with the richer countries paying more makes sense, rather than having nearby problems escalate.

    There is no reason whatsoever other than a political decision taken by the then elected government of the U.K. For these levels of funding to continue. This is no less different than if Britain stays in the EU. The budget is decided at a political level in the EU.

    The EU budget is decided at EU level by a parliament elected by all the member states including the UK. This is separate from the UK national budget.

    All that is changing is Britain is taking back control of its own budget as things stand now.

    Britain never lost control of its national budget. This is just media hype to con those insufficiently informed.

    It is possible that in a deal with the EU Britain will get some separate status

    It is however more than likely – especially with the mess caused for other members, that in going cap-in-hand for associate status, the deals will be much worse. With associate status Britain will have terms offered by the EU but will no longer have ministers from the elected UK government on the council of ministers, and no longer have UK MPs elected to the EU parliament which takes the decisions.

    without uncontrolled immigration and the benefit of being able to secure its own trade deals around the world.

    While immigration has been a problem – especially with the refugee crisis caused by reckless war-mongering in neighbouring countries, immigration into Britain is not the problem the brexiteers pretend it is! Many of our services depend on immigrants to make up staff shortages.
    Trade deals around the world have always been available, but the UK will trade less competitively in the EU (10 times the size of its home market) if it has tariffs imposed on it as a non-member.

    If this is the case then Britain will still contribute to the EU budget which will please a lot of nations who would have to contribute more like Germany (2 or 3 billion).

    Ducking our responsibilities and escalating problems, during a crisis, is unlikely to encourage our ex-partners to offer us good deals.

    Science and innovation is at the heart of Britain and the British. Scientists from all around the world do vital research in Britain and this will not change.

    The disproportionate allocation of grants to UK science will undoubtedly change, (see#6) as will funding to UK universities. A UK minister has given assurances that they will be replaced from the UK budget, but such ministers have a long record of claiming to be giving budget increases when in reality they were making cuts and quickly forgetting as time goes on.

    It will change if the shouted for cross border restrictions are put in place.

    Many companies in the UK are going to suffer serious damage, despite all the lies and media hype of the brexit “Leave” campaign.

    Some of them are suing the “Leave Campaign” for misrepresenting the company position on the “Leave” website and in their leaflets.
    See Nissan and Toyota on the link – https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/06/richard-dawkins-ignoramuses-should-have-no-say-on-our-eu-membership-and-that-includes-me/#li-comment-206096



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  • Hi Andrewmorrison,

    Whilst, science does enjoy great budgets from the EU, we must remember that Britain is a net contributor to the overall EU budget

    Is this the same trope as: Let’s use the net contribution that Britain makes to the EU to fund the NHS? You know: The idea that was nailed as a lie by Nigel Farage immediately after the vote.

    … Oh yes … yes it is …

    Britain’s net contribution is up for grabs if we leave the EU – and we can confidently expect it to go on tariffs to continue trading with our second biggest export market. EU members will want to send a clear message to any other country thinking about an exit: It will cost you.

    It is possible that in a deal with the EU Britain will get some separate status without uncontrolled immigration …

    Britain already has full control over its own borders. What are you talking about? What has immigration got to do with science in Britain. Oh, wait, I get it – we’ll close the door to spouses and other family members – thus reducing the pool of top talent available to us. You’re right Andrewmorrison, what a terrible;e decision leaving the EU would be.

    It is possible that in a deal with the EU Britain will get some separate status … and the benefit of being able to secure its own trade deals around the world

    In what way will a country that represents a much smaller market get a better deal? You must tell us Andrewmorrison, the World’s economists are on the edge of their seats.

    The free trade deals that the EU negotiated with 53 countries, including Canada, Singapore and South Korea, will no longer apply to the UK if we leave. This is an improvement in what way?

    Britain will still contribute to the EU budget which will please a lot of nations who would have to contribute more like Germany (2 or 3 billion)

    The BBC reports the exact opposite: “The UK will stop paying into the EU budget once it formally leaves the bloc.” Therefore, by your logic, we’ll make a lot of enemies.

    Science and innovation is at the heart of Britain and the British. Scientists from all around the world do vital research in Britain and this will not change

    That’s a cute statement. On what evidence do you base this opinion? How will Britain attract the best scientists if it no longer gets access to some of the best projects?

    Peace.



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  • I must additionally re-iterate the point about the nature of the political force into whose hands we have fallen.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jun/16/brexit-voters-almost-twice-as-likely-to-disbelieve-in-manmade-climate-change

    18% of leave voters and 10% of remain votes disagreed with the statement: “human activity is causing climate change.” Some 3% of leave voters said they didn’t know, versus 1% of remain voters.
    Among leave voters, 68% agreed that “the media exaggerates the level of scientific agreement there is on human activity causing climate change”, compared to 52% of remain voters. But several studies have shown around 97% of climate scientists agree climate change is manmade.
    The polling also found 44% of leavers thought scientists had too much influence on British politics against 25% of remainers, and 46% of leavers agreed that people who question the theory of evolution “have a point” compared to 36% of remainers.
    On energy, leave voters were more likely to oppose onshore windfarms in rural areas (36% versus 21% of remain voters), and more likely to support increasing the use of fracking to extract shale gas (40% versus for 35%)….
    …Many prominent leave campaigners are either openly opposed to action on climate change or have cast doubt on man’s role in it, including former chancellor Nigel Lawson, former environment secretary Owen Paterson and columnist Matthew Ridley.

    We are newly at the potential mercy of a bunch of science sceptic politicians.



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  • Andrewmorrison #39
    Jun 29, 2016 at 10:32 am

    It is possible that in a deal with the EU Britain will get some separate status without uncontrolled immigration

    .. But only in the minds of wish thinkers!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-36659900

    European Union leaders have warned that the UK must honour the principle of free movement of people if it wants to retain access to the single market after it leaves the bloc.

    European Council President Donald Tusk said the UK could not pick and choose.

    The French and German leaders also made clear that the freedom of movement of EU citizens was non-negotiable.

    But all the leaders were clear that you cannot have the advantages of the EU single market without playing by the rules – including free movement of people.

    and the benefit of being able to secure its own trade deals around the world.

    and also lose the trade agreements the EU has made with the rest of the world!



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  • Phil Rimmer:

    And exporters of pipes and wires will lose cost free access to a market ten times the size of their local market?

    Plus ca change? We don’t live in Trumpton.

    You are looking at things from a British point of view. I am looking at things from a working class point of view. Jobs might be lost in Britain, but they will be created elsewhere. King Capital doesn’t care about countries. Nor do I.



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  • Mr DArcy #45
    Jun 29, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    You are looking at things from a British point of view. I am looking at things from a working class point of view.

    The working class voters who bought into the strawman benefits promised them and listened to the Scaremongering claims about the real problems with brexit, are going to reap what they have sown! – along with most of the rest of us!

    Jobs might be lost in Britain, but they will be created elsewhere. King Capital doesn’t care about countries. Nor do I.

    I’m sure the those working with no job security in the increasing number of sweat shops, and those who lose jobs but can’t get replacements, will appreciate that!
    The de-regulating brexiteers are itching to abolish the employment, health, safety, consumer, and environmental protection, Euro MPs have worked to give them!

    We don’t live in Trumpton.

    Americans might if they take the same sloppy approach to voting!



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  • Let’s have a look at some Faragian gems!

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/apr/15/ukip-manifesto-2015-the-key-points


    • A commitment to spend 2% of GDP on defence initially, looking to increase it substantially after that.

    • Deportation of foreigners who commit crimes in Britain. Repeal of Human Rights Act and introduction of new “British bill of rights”.

    • Reversal of opt-in to EU law and justice measures, including European arrest warrant.

    • Remove UK from the jurisdiction of the European court of human rights.

    Overseas aid
    • Cut by £9bn, prioritising disaster relief and schemes to provide water and inoculation against preventable diseases.

    • Close the Department for International Development (DfID) and merge its essential functions with the Foreign Office.

    • Priority in social housing to be given to ex-service personnel and those returning from active service. Creation of a minister for veterans and a veterans service card.

    • Promote a “unifying British culture open to anyone who wishes to identify with Britain and British values”.

    • End the use of multi-lingual formatting on official documents, which will be published only in English and, “where appropriate”, Welsh and Gaelic.

    • Amendment to smoking ban to give pubs and clubs choice of opening “smoking rooms”.

    • The Department for Culture Media and Sport is among those earmarked for abolition or merger with other departments.

    • Support for development of shale gas (fracking) provided safeguards are in place to protect local communities.

    • Repeal Climate Change Act. Encourage redevelopment of British power stations.

    • Abolish “green taxes” and levies and withdraw from EU’s emissions trading scheme. Establish commission to investigate ways to assist and rejuvenate the coal industry.



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  • Meanwhile as Corbyn mucks about like a headless chicken, and Cameron dithers, other people are suggesting what the opposition parties should have been doing from the moment the result was announced!

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jun/29/john-kerry-brexit-could-be-walked-back-david-cameron

    The US secretary of state has raised doubts about whether Brexit will ever happen, suggesting most leave campaigners do not truly believe in Britain’s divorce from the EU and do not know how to achieve it.

    Claiming there were a number of ways in which Thursday’s vote could be “walked back”, John Kerry, who visited Downing Street on Monday, said David Cameron was loth to invoke article 50, the EU exit procedure.

    He said he British prime minister felt powerless to “start negotiating a thing that he doesn’t believe in” and “has no idea how he would do it”.

    Apparently referring to Boris Johnson, one of the frontrunners to replace Cameron, Kerry added: “And by the way, nor do most of the people who voted to do it.”

    Cameron was worried that Britain would be forced out of the EU at the end of the two-year negotiating period without a trade deal, Kerry told Aspen Ideas festival on Tuesday. Asked if this meant the Brexit decision could be “walked back” and if so how, Kerry said: “I think there are a number of ways. I don’t, as secretary of state, want to throw them out today. I think that would be a mistake. But there are a number of ways.”

    The US was a big cheerleader of Britain’s continued EU membership and has stood by White House warnings that the UK would go the “back of the queue” when trade deals were being negotiated.

    Earlier in the week, Kerry stressed the rupture with the EU would have consequences, saying it was “not possible” the vote would have no impact.

    If the British government invokes article 50, it will enter into two years of negotiations on an EU withdrawal treaty. EU officials have described the process is “irreversible” once launched, although that is not stated in the treaty text. Legal experts have told the House of Lords that a country could change its mind, albeit with “substantial political consequences”.

    The article 50 talks would cover Britain’s EU exit, including the status of EU nationals living in the UK and Britons on the continent. A trade deal would be negotiated separately, a process that insiders think would take anywhere from five to 10 years. The EU side insists Britain cannot have a trade deal until the article 50 divorce is signed and sealed.

    European leaders have voiced frustration at Britain’s delay in triggering article 50, urging Cameron’s successor to act speedily. Officials are angry and incredulous that during the campaign, leave politicians “didn’t have a clue” what they wanted.

    “What I don’t understand is that those who want to leave are totally unable to tell us what they want,” Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European commission, said after Cameron’s final EU summit on Tuesday. “I thought that if you wanted to leave you had a plan … they don’t have it.”

    So there you have it, despite all the false assurances, the “Leave Campaign” has no plan beyond winning an “out vote”!

    Apparently, the people from the “Remain Campaign”, who should be pressing for a second honest referendum with safeguards where the voters are properly advised on the likely outcomes, also have no plan!

    Farage and the village idiots, are busy celebrating the potential disaster!

    The false “Leave Campaign” claim that warnings were scaremongering “project fear”, – (as Nicola Sturgeon put it), have now morphed into “project farce”!!!



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  • anton #49
    Jun 29, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    sore loser!

    I may come as a surprise to you, but this is likely to turn out to be a marathon, not a sprint!

    There will however be a great number of sore losers, many of whom will be kicking themselves for letting themselves be conned once the consequences start to hit them personally!

    This is about future lives for years to come for millions of people.
    It is not some silly child’s game, even if some of the participants have the mentality of silly children!



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  • Alan 4 Discussion:

    I’m sure the those working with no job security in the increasing number of sweat shops, and those who lose jobs but can’t get replacements, will appreciate that!
    The de-regulating brexiteers are itching to abolish the employment, health, safety, consumer, and environmental protection, Euro MPs have worked to give them!

    The struggle between employers and employed is international. Yes there has been beneficial legislation in favour of the employed, witness the Factory Acts in Britain in the 19th century. Marx admired the tenacity of Leonard Horner, whose job was to enforce those Acts, but of course came head to head with the employers. It was only when the employers realised that the endless supply of cheap labour power was not infinite that THEY, the employers started to take such things as health and safety, hygiene , etc seriously, but only in their own interests. Also they need relatively well educated employees, as the technology and science advanced. After all the golden geese need some degree of comfort before they can lay their golden eggs.

    In or out of the EU, the workers will still struggle to make a living. Witness China and India to name 2.



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  • Andrewmorrison #39
    Jun 29, 2016 at 10:32 am

    Many Americans in particular are a little ignorant when it comes to all things European.

    I’d have to ask if you are American?

    Perhaps this is because the EU rather grandly refers to itself as Europe.

    I think that would be because the letters “E U” stand for “EUROPEAN UNION” of 28 states (27 if Britain goes – or back to 28 if an independent Scotland stays in) plus some associated EFTA members from the same continent, and odd ones queueing to join.

    http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/europe_map.htm

    It’s a bit like the USA calling itself “America”.



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  • Mr DArcy

    45

    King Capital doesn’t care about countries. Nor do I.

    Pity. The EU have championed the circular economy that strongly favours repatriating income saved on reducing imports of manufactured goods as increased refurbishing businesses that are necessarily local.

    I now may be forced to effectively relocate a circular economy business to the EU from the UK because it only works with big enough scale and as a profoundly eco venture it deserves the scale. The planet comes before the KIngdom of England’n’Wales.

    51

    In or out of the EU, the workers will still struggle to make a living.

    A crass generalisation.

    Inequality in this country is the very root of our current malaise. We follow closely behind the US in having rapidly increasing inequality. The gambling debts of the very richest are paid for by the poorest.

    The levels of inequality are measured by the Gini coefficient.

    http://www.poverty.org.uk/e14/index.shtml

    The EU is far ahead of the UK in delivering equality,and has been for very many decades and the gap with the UK is growing. (Read the Spirit Level by Wilkinson and Picket for the facts.)

    Very many business leaders on the continent know perfectly well that business health depends on political stability, trained workforces and happy consumers with plenty of spending power. Long term investment depends critically on this. There are growing numbers of enlightened businesses here, inspired by and jealous of the German mittelstand and its investment profile..

    Brexit helps how?



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  • anton #49
    Jun 29, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    Richard Dawkins reminds me of Nigel Farage in some ways, and i mean that in a positive way.

    Ha! Ha! Ha!

    A world class scientist who is careful to base his views on sound reasoning and evidence, reminds you of the clueless village idiot who makes it up as he goes along on the basis of what the ignorant members of his audience might like to hear!!



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  • Andrewmorrison #39
    Jun 29, 2016 at 10:32 am

    Science and innovation is at the heart of Britain and the British. Scientists from all around the world do vital research in Britain and this will not change.

    It seems that British leading scientists and scientific bodies, do not share your view.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36499790

    Leading scientists have been particularly vocal in arguing against the UK leaving the European Union.

    More than a third of the research scientists working at Cambridge are overseas nationals. 23% are from other EU countries. A reflection of the international nature of modern scientific collaboration.

    “It’s about attracting the best brains to do the best science” according to the head of the School of Veterinary Medicine at Cambridge Professor James Wood.
    “The days of the single genius working alone are over. We need to be part of the family of researchers working together, and the more that we can enhance this sort of collaboration the better.”

    Cambridge, and UK science, has thrived in this collaborative, internationalist environment, emerging as Europe’s scientific powerhouse and punching well above its weight in terms of research papers published, citations, university rankings and Nobel Prizes.

    All of which helps to explain why 13 of Britain’s leading scientists, including the physicist Professor Peter Higgs and the President of the Royal Society Sir Paul Nurse, added their voices over the weekend to the chorus of dons, dames, knights and Nobel laureates who have come out emphatically for “Remain”.

    In a letter to the Daily Telegraph, the group said science should be “front and centre in the EU debate” and that losing European funding would put UK research “in jeopardy”.



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  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36678222
    The European Union’s top trade official says the UK cannot begin negotiating terms for doing business with the bloc until after it has left.

    “First you exit then you negotiate,” Cecilia Malmstrom told BBC Newsnight.

    After Brexit, the UK would become a “third country” in EU terms, she said – meaning trade would be carried out based on World Trade Organisation rules until a new deal was complete.

    A recent trade deal with Canada took seven years to negotiate.

    The Canadian agreement will also require ratification by all EU countries, adding another one to two years before it takes effect.

    There is concern in the City that having to do business for years under WTO rules could be disastrous for the UK’s service industries.

    Ah! Those “wonderful” deals and benefits promised by brexiteers!



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  • I’ve been sitting here for twenty minutes or so, but I cannot think of a single thing to say!

    Except to quote Spike Milligan : “What are we going to do now? What are we going to do now? What are we going to do now? What are we going to do now? What are we going to do now? What are we going to do now? What are we going to do now?



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  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-36664094

    The vote to leave the EU risks making staffing shortages in the NHS worse, health leaders are warning.

    The NHS Confederation said doctors and nurses from Europe may be put off accepting jobs after the referendum.

    If that happened the NHS could face some major problems, it said.

    The organisation, which represents health managers, said there were currently 130,000 EU health and care workers in the UK, including 10% of doctors and 5% of nurses.

    Elisabetta Zanon, the director of the NHS Confederation’s European office, said: “There is a real risk the uncertainty and the falling value of the pound will make people think again.

    “If that happens, we could see shortages in some key areas get worse.”

    A report earlier this year from the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee warned the front line in England may be as many as 50,000 staff short – out of a workforce of slightly more than 800,000 clinical staff.

    Speaking at a conference in London, the former Health Secretary and Tory peer Lord Lansley agreed there were many areas of concern.

    “The EU may not tell us how to manage our NHS, but it impacts in many ways,” he said.

    Lord Lansley said the medical research community was clearly “distraught” and leaving the EU would require steps such as writing the UK’s own competition law for the public sector.

    And he called on the sector to help put the case in the coming months for why it was important to protect the rights of people from the EU working the NHS.

    “If we don’t have enough people coming from the EU, our care sector cannot deliver.”

    The “brains of UK government” also have a second plan to “help”, by cutting bursaries and grants for UK medical students!



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  • Alan4discussion #11
    Jun 26, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    john.wb #10 – Jun 26, 2016 at 6:34 pm
    For England Brexit will prove an unmitigated disaster.

    It is not yet too late to fix this IF the opposition parties get their fingers out and get stuck into dealing with it.

    Unfortunately Corbyn is not only useless, but obstructive and counter productive, with a determination to stay as leader, and battle-strategy of roll over and surrender!

    He has sent out emails calling for member to “respect” the referendum decision – and has no plan to fight it and run a second referendum, but has the cheek to now send out this in response to the vote of no confidence in him by a large majority of his MPs.

    Hi,

    United we stand, divided we fall is one of the oldest and truest slogans of the Labour movement.

    After last week’s referendum, our country faces major challenges. Risks to the economy and living standards are growing. The public is split.

    The Government is in disarray. Ministers have made it clear they have no exit plan, but are determined to make working people pay with a new round of cuts and tax rises.

    Labour has the responsibility to give a lead where the Government will not. We need to bring people together, hold the Government to account, oppose austerity and set out a path to exit that will protect jobs and incomes.

    To do that we need to stand together. Since I was elected leader of our party nine months ago, we have repeatedly defeated the Government over its attacks on living standards. Last month, Labour become the largest party in the local elections. In Thursday’s referendum, a narrow majority voted to leave, but two thirds of Labour supporters backed our call for a Remain vote.

    I was elected leader of our party, for a new kind of politics, by 60% of Labour members and supporters. The need for that different approach now is greater than ever.

    Our people need Labour Party members, trade unionists and MPs to unite. As leader it is my continued commitment to dedicate our party’s activity to that goal.

    Yours sincerely

    Jeremy Corbyn
    Leader of the Labour Party

    The man is delusional!
    The government has no plan and neither does he!

    Labour has the responsibility to give a lead where the Government will not. We need to bring people together, hold the Government to account, oppose austerity and set out a path to exit that will protect jobs and incomes.

    He is leading a path to surrender our trade agreements and employment protection legislation, and throw away all the benefits our Euro MPs have worked for. He cannot even muster a majority of his own MPs, let alone mount a majority co-ordinated effort with other parties and dissenters from brexit to repair the damage, and he is telling Labour members he his leading the charge to protect jobs and incomes! !!

    Is it any wonder his MPs and cabinet members who have tried to work with him put some constructive plans in place, have passed a vote of no confidence in him and his clueless empty rhetoric!



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  • @#61 – He is leading a path to surrender our trade agreements and employment protection legislation, and throw away all the benefits our Euro MPs have worked for.
    He cannot even muster or convince a majority of his own MPs, let alone mount a majority co-ordinated effort with other parties and dissenters from brexit to repair the damage, – and he is telling Labour members he his leading the charge to protect jobs and incomes! !!

    .. and just in case anyone doubts this, here is one of his earlier emails, with its laughable claims!

    Hi,

    After yesterday’s European referendum, politicians of all parties must listen to and respect the vote. Millions of voters have rejected a political establishment that has left them behind. Communities that have been hardest hit by government cuts and economic failure have voted against the status quo.

    The first task is to come together and heal the divisions. Our country is divided and things need to change. Politicians on all sides must respect the decision of the British people.

    Ours is the only party that can meet the challenge we now face. Labour is best placed to re-unite the country. We can do so because we didn’t engage in project fear, and because we share people’s dissatisfaction with the status quo. That was why we put a case for both remain and reform.

    I will be making clear to both Remain and Leave voters that Labour will fight for the exit negotiations to be accountable to an open, transparent parliamentary process. And we’ll do everything to secure the best deal for the people of Britain at every stage.

    We cannot leave it to the Conservative Party – who have shown time and time again that they can’t be trusted to stand up for working people.

    The Prime Minister has resigned and the Tories are deeply divided at a time when the country needs to come together and we need stability to head off economic crisis.

    I want to thank all our campaigners, from Alan Johnson – who chaired Labour’s campaign – to our whole Shadow Cabinet, and to members in constituencies across the whole country, for their tireless campaigning and commitment to social justice.

    Labour was created to serve people in their communities and workplaces. We need to put that historic purpose into action now and campaign to protect and represent the people we serve.

    Yours sincerely

    Jeremy Corbyn

    Leader of the Labour Party

    Lets look at some of these claims!

    politicians of all parties must listen to and respect the vote. Millions of voters have rejected a political establishment that has left them behind

    So according to this we must listen to people cannot distinguish the relevant trade agreements, rights, and employment issues of the EU, from “the political establishment” responsible the banking crisis and austerity!

    Ours is the only party that can meet the challenge we now face.

    as a divided opposition party in turmoil, whose “Remain Campaign” has just failed and whose leader just keeps on demonstrating his cluelessness! Laughable!!!!!

    We can do so because we didn’t engage in project fear, and because we share people’s dissatisfaction with the status quo

    Yeah! He was too clueless to recognise the serious warnings from numerous expert bodies, probably because of anti-intellectual bigotry, so swallowed the media hype about “*project fear**- and wants to blame the EU for the British and world’s problems.
    This is either pig-ignorance or crass dishonesty!

    And we’ll do everything to secure the best deal for the people of Britain at every stage.

    While currently demonstrating that he has no plan, no idea where to start, minimal support, and no idea what those alleged “Project Fear” problems are, or are likely to be.

    I want to thank all our campaigners

    Yeah! all those supporters who were working hard at campaigning against brexit, exposing false claims, delivering leaflets, and drawing attention to the looming problems and warnings which he cluelessly describes as “Project Fear”.

    Meanwhile their erstwhile “leader” was watering down the campaign to try to win a few votes back from the ignoramus UKIP protest voters at the next election!

    Apparently he thinks because he was directly elected by party members, that he has a mandate to dictate to Labour MPs, order them to ignore their responsibilities to promote the best interests of their constituents and the country, and to accept incompetent leadership!



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  • I see Nigel Farage has decided to stand down as his “party’s leader” while continuing as the UKIP Euro MP who was at odds with the party’s only Westminster MP. – As the usual form for UKIP is squabbling among themselves!

    He now thinks he has succeeded in conning Britain into leaving the EU and does not have to move to his “plan B” to try for a second referendum if the “Leave Campaign” lost!
    He thinks the magic Utopia of an isolated Little Britain, has been achieved, so as he had no understanding of mechanisms of government or further plans, he feels his celebratory triumphant rantings are sufficient!
    Jumping overboard, was the sum total of his plan!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36702468
    Nigel Farage says he is standing down as leader of the UK Independence Party.

    Mr Farage said his “political ambition has been achieved” with the UK having voted to leave the EU.

    He said the party was in a “pretty good place” and said he would not change his mind about quitting as he did after the 2015 general election.

    Leading UKIP was “tough at times” but “all worth it” said Mr Farage, who is also an MEP. He added that the UK needed a “Brexit prime minister”.

    Mr Farage said the party would campaign against “backsliding” on the UK’s exit from the EU, saying he planned to see out his term in the European Parliament – describing his party as “the turkeys that voted for Christmas”.

    He said his party’s “greatest potential” lay in attracting Labour voters, adding that he would not be backing any particular candidate to replace him.

    Mr Farage said he would “bury the hatchet with anybody” including UKIP’s sole MP Douglas Carswell, who tweeted an emoji picture of a smiley face as the leader’s resignation was announced.

    The two have repeatedly clashed and tensions rose when they backed rival Leave campaigns ahead of the referendum.



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  • Then the scientists are mistaken. We give money to the EU and they give about half of it back to fund the CAP and university science. The same money will still be available to university science just without going through a third party, the EU. We may even provide better funding to university science. The EU has bigger calls of its financial resourses like rescuing the PIIGS. A post Brexit UK government (your servants doing your bidding and if they fail they are replaced by your new servants) has no choice but to fund research perfectly.

    The best form of government is “rule by the best argument” and that is exactly what we have in western parliamentary democracies thanks to freedom of speech, a free press and debate and scrutiny followed by debate and scrutiny repeat, repeat. UK institutional scientists can double their financies if, and only if, they have the best argument. We are ruled by the best argument.

    I am convinced that the best science is conducted outside of instituations and this will continue to be driven by the best financial argument. It will continue to be performed by Astra and GSK and commercial bodies who do it whilst at the same time paying 32 taxes. Don’t we just love the mixed economy that replaced capitalism 150 years ago.

    We want a world where anyone can sell his goods and services tarrif free so long as his product meets an ISO. We don’t want anti free trade clubs like OPEC and the EU. We want the WTO and GATT hammering down on protectionism.

    The EU is reaping the rewards of not trading with third world countries. The EU could trade with Africa instead of spending the lion’s share of its budget on the CAP. Heavily subsidising its farmers to produce what they could have bought from the third world cheaper. The result is that Africans from all corners of the continent are so impoverished that they flee to the EU perfectly aware of the perils they face. Comments welcome.



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  • These comments are full of politics. That’s good. Politics is life. In western parliamentary democracies the best argument generally wins. If it fails the first time it wins in the end. We not only empower YOU to put your argument forward, we beg that you do it. If you sit on your argument you are a waste of time and allow suffering to presist. But if you put your argument forward and it fails to become law or change an existing law then you must role over and admit that it wasn’t the best argument and respect the better argument that won the day. These are the facts of life in western parliamentary democracies. The best argument wins and who could object to rule by the best argument?



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  • David #64
    Jul 4, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    Then the scientists are mistaken.

    No! What you are missing is that the shared resources are used on internationally shared projects with co-operation between researchers in different countries and acting as teams. The isolated individual reseach scientists is a Victorian concept!

    We give money to the EU and they give about half of it back to fund the CAP and university science. The same money will still be available to university science just without going through a third party, the EU.

    The international nature of the research teams will be lost! That is the point!

    We may even provide better funding to university science.

    This is pure wish thinking without any connection to practical issues.

    A post Brexit UK government (your servants doing your bidding and if they fail they are replaced by your new servants) has no choice but to fund research perfectly.

    This is again pure wish thinking, – especially if we look at the science denying politicians who were key parts of the brexit “Leave” campaign, who are now trying to take over the leadership of the government.

    We are ruled by the best argument.

    Nope we are ruled by some very stupid politicians!

    I am convinced that the best science is conducted outside of instituations and this will continue to be driven by the best financial argument.

    This is fantasy!

    It will continue to be performed by Astra and GSK and commercial bodies who do it whilst at the same time paying 32 taxes. Don’t we just love the mixed economy that replaced capitalism 150 years ago.

    The mixed economy is the way to go, but brexit just gets in the way of the public investment side of this.

    We want a world where anyone can sell his goods and services tarrif free so long as his product meets an ISO. We don’t want anti free trade clubs like OPEC and the EU. We want the WTO and GATT hammering down on protectionism.

    They can hammer down cartels like OPEC, but that should be the limit,
    unless you want production moved to low-pay, poor working conditions and highly polluting third-world sweat-shops!



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  • Remember that problem of illegal immigration which brexiteers love to shout about?

    Well guess what?
    Yet another issue where there are attempts to blame failures of the UK government on Europe!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36960905
    Britain’s Border Force has a “worryingly low” number of boats to patrol the UK’s coasts, MPs have said, amid concerns that coastal security is under threat from people smugglers.

    The Home Affairs Select Committee said that only three boats were available to patrol 7,000 miles of shoreline.

    Royal Navy vessels should be made available to plug any gaps, it said.

    The Home Office says it makes use of radar and aerial surveillance and has ordered eight more boats.

    The UK has a total of five Border Force vessels, but one has been deployed to the Mediterranean and another is in dock for maintenance.

    The Border Force has been given a “key role in implementing strengthened coastal security measures”, but it is “experiencing problems in gaining access to a sufficient number of patrol boats”, the committee said.

    Labour MP Keith Vaz, chairman of the committee, told BBC Radio 5 live: “The government has done the right thing in ordering more vessels but this should have been done much earlier and criminal gangs are not going to wait until order books have been fulfilled.

    “They are making huge amounts of money and they are the ones we are going to be targeting – we need to ruthlessly deal with them.”

    The MPs also called for security to be stepped up at smaller ports, after the National Crime Agency warned earlier this year that they were being targeted by people smugglers.

    The UK really did not need to leave the EU before it could place an order for eight more patrol boats!!



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  • BTW: I see another cynically comical misleading headline!!
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-36946565

    Research head urges UK to seize Brexit opportunity

    The superficial reader might think this is someone with research credentials, rather than just an ex-treasury political appointee!

    The man who has taken charge of UK research funding says Brexit presents scientists with an opportunity.

    In his first interview in his new job, Sir John Kingman has told BBC News research could be at the heart of Britain’s post-Brexit industrial strategy.

    Sir John’s previous job was as acting Permanent Secretary at the Treasury. He was seen as a friend of science arguing the case for research during his time at the Exchequer.

    Sir John has recently taken over as chairman of the newly created UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) body.

    The organisation oversees £6 billion of research funding annually.

    There is a powerful story to tell about the relevance great science has for our economic future

    Sir John’s role will be to co-ordinate UK spending on research and encourage more interdisciplinary science. But his priorities shifted within weeks of his appointment when the UK voted to leave the EU.

    The UK receives around £850m of research funding each year from the European Union.

    British universities employ more than 30,000 scientists from EU countries. Leaders of research organisations are concerned that funds from European funding bodies could drop substantially and so lock British researchers out of important collaborations with scientists on the continent.

    They also fear that restrictions on the free movement of labour would make it harder to attract the best researchers to UK labs.

    BBC News has reported on how the uncertainty following the referendum result in June has already had an effect on funding, collaborations and staffing.

    Sir John has told BBC News that he wants to make a virtue out of necessity.

    “The critical point for me is that the new Prime Minister has quite rightly called for a new industrial strategy posing the question what is the best way to formulate a new economic future for an independent UK outside the European Union and I think that great science, great research universities have a huge amount to contribute to that,” he told BBC News.

    So just write off European international co-operation and co-ordination! After all! The brexiteers’ media puppets have spoken, and their wish-thinking without a plan is infallible!!!!



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  • Alan4discussion #25
    Jun 28, 2016 at 7:56 am

    For any non-UK readers, Farage is the reprentative of the Yah-Hoo’s chorus of the ignorant elected to the European Parliament.
    He more often than not, makes headlines about his idiot stunts, ludicrously clueless outrageous public statements,
    and in-fighting with members of his own party!

    As I was saying last June, UKIP is only good for superficial disputes and infighting – and now its own leaders both demonstrate this and say so in public!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-37682828

    A UKIP MEP who spent three nights in hospital after a row with a party colleague is quitting the party, saying it is in a “death spiral”.

    Steven Woolfe, who had been running to be the next leader, told the BBC there was “something rotten” in the party.

    He also accused fellow MEP Mike Hookem of inflicting a “blow” to his face in the row at a party meeting.

    Mr Hookem has acknowledged a “scuffle” but said he “categorically did not” throw a punch at his colleague.

    Mr Woolfe was rushed to hospital after collapsing following the incident, which UKIP described as an “altercation”, and came during a meeting to discuss reports the North West England MEP had had discussions about joining the Conservatives.

    These are the disputatious clowns (along with “hedge-my-bets”-Boris), who the clueless followed into a pro-brexit vote!

    Brexit means as they say – Means “brexit”-r more preciesly “Whatever anyone wants it to mean”! – Given that there is still no coherent plan for MPs to approve or reject! –
    May thinks she can simply avoid discussing the absence of a plan, by denying MPs a debate and vote!

    Enough of the ignorant have swallowed his lies to vote on matters they knew nothing about!

    Some still whimsically think – despite persistent informed advice to the contrary, – that “a pick-and-chose your Utopian Options” will be available to the UK, after throwing away, slamming the door on the best ones we currently have! !



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