A second referendum is the only way to unite Britain behind Brexit.

by Richard Dawkins


 

. . .  it is a well established principle of democracy that, in the case of major constitutional changes that are hard to undo, the bar should be set higher than 50%.  Amendments to the US constitution require a two thirds majority in both houses of Congress, ratified by three quarters of state legislatures. Well-run democracies generally impose a built-in bias in favour of the status quo based on the precautionary principle. Like the weather and like financial markets, public opinion fluctuates from day to day. It is obviously unwise to rush headlong into momentous and irrevocable change on the basis of what may well be a temporary spike above the fifty percent threshold. A two thirds majority, or at least a threshold that lies outside the statistical margin of error, is one way to guard against this.

 

Another way to guard against flash-in-the-pan spikes is to specify that there shall be a second vote, after a cooling off period: two weeks, say, of sober reflection on the consequences if the first vote for radical change were to be upheld.

 

Cameron could easily have set in place either or both of those precautionary safeguards. In his lamentable arrogance he thought he’d win anyway, and consequently gambled away the country’s long-term future for the sake of short term tactical gain within his own party. It is too late for Cameron to act on what must now be his bitter remorse. He must retire to well-deserved ignominy, and good riddance to him. But parliament, under Cameron’s successor, has a chance to unite the country. By holding a second referendum.

 

You cannot hold a second referendum simply in the hope of getting a different result. That’s no way to run a democracy, and it’s poignantly revealing that Nigel Farage, anticipating back in May that his side would narrowly lose, proposed that there should  be a second referendum. No, the justification for a second referendum is much stronger than that. It is that, if the result were to go the same way twice, we would all have good grounds for accepting that the people really have spoken their mind and truly favour the huge upheaval that is Brexit. Even staunch EU loyalists would then swallow our misgivings and unite behind a Brexited Britain. We would become good losers, prepared to pull our weight, and loyally make the best of it.


1- http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36306681


The full article is at present available only in the print edition of New Statesman (15th-21st July, page 17), but their website has extracts. Go to http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/staggers/2016/07/weeks-magazine-brexit-pm and search for “rerun”.

89 COMMENTS

  1. DEMOCRACY? This article utterly disgusts me!
    The leave vote exceeded the remain by 1,269,501 votes– 51.9% to 48.1%
    The bad losers of Remain and some media claimed it a ‘narrow margin’

    In 2002, the Swiss People’s Party launched a federal popular initiative “against asylum abuse” that was rejected by 50.1% of voters (with a difference of 4,208 votes).[10] In 2009, the referendum on biometric passports required by the Schengen Agreement was also accepted by 50.1% of voters (with a difference of 5,680 votes).[10]
    Here is the most recent ‘narrow margin’ in a UK election—
    “901 voters choosing to back Miliband rather than Cameron would have cut Tory support sufficiently to create a minority Conservative government.”
    Just over 900 people deciding a general election? This is just one of the weird things that happen in a first-past-the-post system.”

    Does the electoral system really work in multi-party Britain?
    These figures show how unrepresentative Parliament is when compared to the popular vote. Here’s just how different it would be:
    – no, the Tory government would NOT have got a majority under proportional representation
    – there would be 40 seats between Labour and the Tories, not 100
    – Ukip would have 82 MPs not one
    – the Greens would have 24 MPs, not one

    So, it is a bad idea to promote a “Second Referendum” when we know it was a CLEAR win for Brexit.
    The existing rigged FPTP system is bad enough without resort to any more fallacious argument. It was an independent referendum, NOT like the US Constitution regulations nor the ridiculous United Nations system of ‘Permanent Members of the Security Council’ and the 5[?] nation veto.

    “Even staunch EU loyalists would then swallow our misgivings and unite behind a Brexited Britain. We would become good losers, prepared to pull our weight, and loyally make the best of it.”
    OH, YEH! Of course you losers would- Or maybe “There’s still doubt, we must have a third referendum”

  2. SOURCE http://WWW.NEWSTATESMAN.COM/POLITICS/STAGGERS/2016/07/WEEKS-MAGAZINE-BREXIT-PM
    404 error- Page does not exist

    “You cannot hold a second referendum simply in the hope of getting a different result. That’s no way to run a democracy, and it’s poignantly revealing that Nigel Farage, anticipating back in May that his side would narrowly lose, proposed that there should be a second referendum.
    No, he did NOT. That’s the BBC version. ‘Nuff said.
    He did voice his doubts- that’s all.
    “Mr Farage said he believed the Leave campaign were on course for victory.
    But he said there would be resentment, particularly in the Conservative Party, if not, with claims the referendum will not have been a fair contest.

    And Prime Minister David Cameron said it was a “once in a generation, once in a lifetime” decision, saying the UK had “referendums not Neverendums”.

  3. Jim, you’re using the cheap trick of whatever number makes your case look better. Very cheap.
    The vote was 51.9% to 48.1% it was by no means a decisive victory. Why not just partition the country like India and Pakistan. London and the IN vote in the south can be its own country, no longer having to pay to support the north.

  4. These arguments should have all been made and agreed before the referendum. It was made quite clear that this was a straight in/out vote and the simple majority would decide. It wasn’t only Cameron who assumed he’d win; nearly all Remain voters did. There were no desperate demands from anyone for a two thirds vote for change before the referendum. In fact, I would say that Cameron has been honourable rather than arrogant, by gracefully accepting defeat. And I don’t think he ever thought it was certain that he would win.

    A decision to move the goalposts at this time and hold a 2nd vote would cause absolute outrage among most Leavers. It would, quite rightly, be seen as a stitch up by the establishment.

  5. JimJFox:

    You seem willing to put short term problems ahead of British sovereignty & forget Brussels has total control over UK law…

    Wrong. Simply wrong. Absolutely factually incorrect. Brussels does not have total control over UK law. EU law takes priority over UK law in those areas freely delegated to it by our elected parliament. Those areas are: trade policy, rules & standards for the EU single market, rules on competition and state aid, intra-EU migration and fisheries. Basically all the things that are required to make the Single Market work properly.

    There are other areas where responsibility is shared equally between the EU and the UK, and the EU does not have “total control”.

    But by far the largest number of policy areas are 100% the responsibility of the UK: health policy, education, fiscal policy and public expenditure, monetary policy, income tax, corporation tax, capital gains tax, non-EU migration, border control and security, pensions, welfare, foreign policy decisions, defence, intelligence, development cooperation and humanitarian aid, national policing, criminal justice and media regulation. Nothing whatsoever to do with the EU.

    And you are also overlooking the fact that even in the areas in which EU law takes priority, EU legislation has to be approved by at least a qualified majority of the member states and, for further-reaching legislation, by all of them. Member states, including the UK, obviously, are consulted about proposed legislation right from the very start and have the opportunity to help shape it before it ever reaches the point of being either passed or rejected. So the idea that it is something that is simply foisted upon us whether we like it or not is plain wrong. The UK has agreed with 97% of the EU legislation passed in the last 6 years.

    it took TEN YEARS to rid the country of the revolting terrorist thug Abu Hamsa because Brussels [or was it Strasburg?] said “NO! You are denying his human rights” Numerous examples exist of Brussels idiocy and supremacy. This is why knowledgable intelligent Brits voted OUT- we want no more of it.

    Neither knowledgeable nor intelligent, I’m afraid, since the Abu Hamza case was nothing to do with the EU. It is the European Court of Human Rights that is responsible for ruling on issues arising from the European Convention on Human Rights (which the UK was largely responsible for drafting, by the way), and that is not part of the EU. A quite separate institution. So those “knowledgeable and intelligent” Brits who voted out because of Abu Hamza are going to feel pretty silly (not to mention let down) when they discover that Brexit makes precisely zero difference.

    And so will several other EU members in the next few years, which will leave Germany alone carrying the financial can for Greece, Spain and other less productive nations.

    Actually, polls conducted across the EU show a very significant increase in support for the EU in the aftermath of the Brexit vote. https://www.buzzfeed.com/albertonardelli/support-for-eu-membership-is-on-the-rise-in-several-countrie?utm_term=.lyXDR7pa4#.ldaLrxy3e

    You are frothing here and elsewhere about resistance to the referendum result being undemocratic, but your comments are actually an excellent illustration of why the result is dangerously flawed. When an electorate is as woefully uninformed about the EU as you appear to be; when it is lied to, as you have been, by the press and the official Leave campaign, and when it falls for those lies, as you have, then we cannot speak of democracy. Deceit, yes. Manipulation, yes. Fraud, yes. Democracy, no.

    Since the result was made known, leading Leave campaigners have been rapidly backtracking on the promises and impressions they gave during the campaign. Polls post-referendum show a significant number of Leave voters now bitterly regretting their vote. Cornwall and Wales, which both voted Leave having been blithely promised by the Leave campaign that they would have their EU funding replaced by Westminster, have both since been informed that that will not, in fact, be the case. Already those willing to see can see the businesses relocating, the investment dropping, the jobs disappearing, the opportunities for young people shrinking, and our Higher Education and scientific research sectors desperately worried about their futures.

    The situation has materially changed since 23 June. Voters who had previously been systematically and deliberately deceived about the pros and cons of the EU and the supposed straightforwardness of Brexit and the bright sunlit uplands that allegedly awaited them on the other side have since had chance to begin to see the scale of the upheaval that will be caused, and the very doubtful benefits of enduring it.

    In any case, the Leave campaign never specified what form Brexit should take. Some Leave voters will gladly forego full access to the Single Market in exchange for an end to freedom of movement. Others want to retain full access to the Single Market even if it means retaining freedom of movement (which it will). So some Leave voters will be dissatisfied whatever the deal that is finally struck.

    Given the scale of the tsunami that will hit Britain if we go through with Brexit; given the most dishonest campaign in our history; given the fact that the margin between Leave and Remain voters was divisively narrow and that there is evidence of substantial numbers of Leave voters since having thought better of it; and given that there is no way the final Brexit deal is going to fulfil the promises made to the British electorate by the Leave campaign, it would certainly be totally justifiable to put the final deal to the people, in order to be absolutely certain that this is still what a majority wants.

    But I do hope, Jim, that if it does come to a second referendum, you will take the trouble to inform yourself better next time around, and that you won’t continue to fall for (much less peddle) myths and lies and downright nonsense.

  6. I agree with the common sentiment you cannot hold a second referendum to “make the unhappy stay vote accept the result” they need to be happy with the result as it is now. A trade union is not something that should be considered similar to a constitutional change. If truly this is what leaving the European Trade Union has become for your Nation than the people who voted skeptically of it’s strange influence that grabs further than it should, are absolutely right.

    You appear to be in the bargaining stage, you shouldn’t be this attached to a trade union. Your time for weeks of “sober reflection on the consequences” was….. WEEKS PRIOR TO THE VOTE. I cannot believe I’m hearing this nonsense from you of all people.

    The idea that the second vote would satiate the losers is silly, why not a third vote because come on third times the charm right. Surely SURELY if you voted twice it could go either way both times right if we vote seven times and the winner wins five times or more than we know for sure no one should be displeased with the results now right, especially because we knew the victory conditions were best of seven the whole time right?

  7. JimJFox #1
    Jul 16, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    So, it is a bad idea to promote a “Second Referendum” when we know it was a CLEAR win for Brexit.

    It was a very bad idea to have a first referendum, asking people who were grossly uninformed and misinformed to make some very serious decisions which are likely to cripple British industry and trade!

    All the examination of the brexiteers claims, shows that the brexit win was based on extensive fraudulent claims, recklessly made in the face of expert advice.

    The existing rigged FPTP system is bad enough without resort to any more fallacious argument.

    If the “fallacious arguments” were dumped, the Westminster Parliament would simply expose the fraud, recognise the referendum as advisory and deeply flawed, and duly bin it!
    Failing that a second referendum with proper safeguards and requirements for integrity in the standards of information voters were given is the next best way to fix the problems caused by a vote based on misinformation.

    The Westminster parliament is elected by the “first past the post system”!

    The EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT is elected by various forms of proportional representation, so brexit has just rejected UK elections to an EU parliament by proportional representation, and is looking to a “first-past-the post parliament to endorse this!
    http://www.europarl.org.uk/en/your-meps/european_elections/the_voting_system.html
    In England, Scotland and Wales the voting system for the European elections is the d’Hondt system of proportional representation – regional closed list. In Northern Ireland the system is Single Transferable Vote.

    Since 1999 voters in Britain have elected MEPs under a proportional representation system. The European Parliamentary Elections Act of that year introduced a regional list system with seats allocated to parties in proportion to their share of the vote.

    It was an independent referendum,

    It was “independent” of any honest evaluation of facts and expert advice by most of the voters!

    All sorts of wondrous claims were made about “superior trade treaties”, but the reality is that the UK does not even have ANY trained trade negotiators competent in the terms of treaties and international law.
    It seems about 500 are needed, just to replace the Euro treaties which are being thrown away!
    It is obvious, that these assurances given to voters by brexiteers, were utterly reckless, and coming from people who had done no homework whatsoever on the subject.
    A whole range of industries are now looking with horror at the mess the politicians have made!

  8. Time ran out to edit my last comment and I apologize but one last thing.

    Your best hope to have a “2nd vote” after “reflection on the consequences” should be after the consequences are met shouldn’t it? So considering you haven’t begun to leave yet alone been outside of the EU for a significant amount of time surely is unfair isn’t it. Your asking for a second vote after the period of instability but before even allowing the possibility of getting to the “good” part of Brexit where Britain is out of the EU.

  9. HalooINC #7
    Jul 16, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    I agree with the common sentiment you cannot hold a second referendum to “make the unhappy stay vote accept the result” they need to be happy with the result as it is now.

    The Remain vote was nothing to do with delusionally happy voters. It was about the practicalities of industry business, high-tech research and the international trade on which Britain relies for a living.

    If the public are happy with being sold a load of unworkable crap by a bunch of lying shysters, that makes not one iota of difference to the damaging mess they are making of UK industries and trade agreements!

    They have just voted to throw away the trade agreements we rely on, have NOTHING to replace them, and NO trained negotiators qualified to make new ones with other countries and trade blocks!

    They might just as well have voted to put a bunch of YECs in charge of university science and research grants!

    Suggesting Farage, Gove and Boris were competent advisors on international trade agreements, is a joke in bad taste!

  10. Alan surely you knew literally all of this prior to the vote and now your complaining about it? Lies in politics, this must be the first time in history.

  11. Simon Tuffen #4
    Jul 16, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    A decision to move the goalposts at this time and hold a 2nd vote would cause absolute outrage among most Leavers.

    I am more concerned about the future of the country than the feelings of the liars and the gullible, who swallow the lies!
    It is important that lazy thinkers learn from their mistakes rather than making lame excuses for them while aggravating the problems.

    It would, quite rightly, be seen as a stitch up by the establishment.

    Given that those involved had no perception of the realities in the first place, and blamed the EU for numerous problems caused by other organisations and other people, the anti-authority ignorance of that minority, is likely to remained unchanged, as they continue to soak up garbage from the trash media!

    The precedent for a second referendum is quite clear.
    It has been done previously by the Danes and the Irish.

  12. Alan your arguing for oligarchy as you sit here and proclaim you know better than everyone else and you don’t care what they think or how they vote because you know so much better about all the world and it’s workings, and yet you live in a democracy which doesn’t care about you not caring about the people.

  13. I’m for Britain remaining in the EU, which provides a counter balance to state and Parliament, the true natures of which social and political scientists poorly understand, because of their lack of a human-evolutionary perspective, a perspective which a previous generation of academics made a taboo of, in overreaction to the Nazis having hijacked and abused, for their own evil purposes, the half-baked ideas of social Darwinism.

    In a nutshell, what such a perspective reveals is that the state conflates and confounds very different aspects of the original tribal environment in which human nature evolved, long before the first states and civilisations emerged from it, with the modern “nation state” now deceitfully posing as our tribe or nation (intra- and inter-tribal environment) itself, while at the same time facilitating society’s SELF-exploitation (as an extra-tribal environment, on a par with the natural environment) to the personal advantage of its ruling elites and favoured (especially wealthy and academic/formerly priestly) clients, at the expense of society at large. This would explain why all civilisations have followed a cycle of boom and bust, eventually disappearing, as all ancient civilisations did. I fear that our own civilisation is fast approaching its own terminal bust, which we can only hope to avoid by quickly recognising and developing an understanding of this cycle.

    Besides the taboo I refer to, there is another reason why the academics we look to as authorities in understanding society and the state have failed to do so. Like their medieval predecessors and counterparts, they are privileged clients and employees of the state, with a massive personal self-interest (subconscious more than conscious) in rationalising and defending its role, self-image (as our “nation”) and ideologies (social, political, economic and racial, formerly religious), on which the state bases its claim to moral and knowledgeable authority.

    [Link to user’s blog removed by moderator]

  14. HalooINC #10
    Jul 16, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    Alan surely you knew literally all of this prior to the vote and now your complaining about it? Lies in politics, this must be the first time in history.

    I did! – Most of the voters did not.
    I have consistently said, that asking the ignorant to make decisions on complex technical subjects, is a very bad idea.

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/06/richard-dawkins-ignoramuses-should-have-no-say-on-our-eu-membership-and-that-includes-me/#li-comment-205011

    A misinformed vote does not sound like a good reason to hand the country over to a bunch of liars as a reward for their deceptions, so they can go on a wrecking spree to demonstrate, “how much better their ideological feelings are than the expert advice they failed to seek or heed”! !

    We know “how much better things will be under brexit” – and it is a BIG NEGATIVE across a wide range of businesses and services!

  15. Well then you should be angry that you aren’t a true monarchy, or an oligarchy, the aristocracy is gone and simply decrying those who disagree’d with you as “ignorant fools” is what every man who has taken a side has done since the beginning of history it doesn’t really convince me. It is the nature of those who think they know so much better than everyone else to take a complex change and say they simply “know” every faucet of how a change will affect everyone prior to that change happening.

  16. HalooINC #12
    Jul 16, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    Alan your arguing for oligarchy

    No! I am arguing for a representational democracy, where elected representatives invite expert advisors to specialist parliamentary committees, so legislation is framed before being put to the houses of parliament for further critical examination and approval or rejection.

    as you sit here and proclaim you know better than everyone else

    Anyone with competent reasoning skills can know better than the trash media disinformed masses, IF they seek out and examine the expert reports and advice on the subjects. – Especially when reports from a whole range of sources come to the same conclusions and recommendations.

    and you don’t care what they think or how they vote because you know so much better about all the world and it’s workings,

    I care about the damage which is being done by the stupid asking the ignorant, to decide on technical questions they are not capable of evaluating or answering competently.

    and yet you live in a democracy which doesn’t care about you not caring about the people.

    You have it backwards! Referenda are the last resort of the clueless politician who does not care about the consequences, but only about seeking to evade responsibility!
    Replacing representational democracy with collective ignorance and disinformation, has nothing to do with the competent operation of democracy, which seeks to legislate for correct answers to meeting the needs of the people and the businesses which support them.

    All the brexiteers are offering, is empty rhetoric about their perverted view of “democracy”, incompetent dogmatic ideology, and fraudulent assurances of a glowing future, based only on unpreparedness and whimsical thinking, where their chosen road to disaster exists.

    There are articles on second referenda linked on three of my comments here:-
    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/06/richard-dawkins-ignoramuses-should-have-no-say-on-our-eu-membership-and-that-includes-me/#li-comment-206124

  17. HalooINC #15
    Jul 16, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    Well then you should be angry that you aren’t a true monarchy, or an oligarchy, the aristocracy is gone and simply decrying those who disagree’d with you as “ignorant fools” is what every man who has taken a side has done since the beginning of history it doesn’t really convince me. It is the nature of those who think they know so much better than everyone else to take a complex change and say they simply “know” every faucet of how a change will affect everyone prior to that change happening.

    It is not necessary to “know everything”, to recognise the errors in the claims of those who know nothing, and who have done no homework to study the facts involved.
    Basic howling errors reveal the emptiness of their claims. – as Marco points out @#5.

    There have been various earlier discussion on this site.

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/06/britains-shaky-status-as-a-scientific-superpower/#li-comment-206506

  18. HalooINC #8
    Jul 16, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    Your best hope to have a “2nd vote” after “reflection on the consequences” should be after the consequences are met shouldn’t it? So considering you haven’t begun to leave yet alone been outside of the EU for a significant amount of time surely is unfair isn’t it.

    Unfair to whom? You have just illustrated that you have no idea what you are talking about. Once section 50 is triggered the process is irreversible, and the likelihood of ALL the other states agreeing to the UK being re-admitted after messing every one around, is approximately zero!

    Your asking for a second vote after the period of instability but before even allowing the possibility of getting to the “good” part of Brexit where Britain is out of the EU.

    Perhaps you could explain this mysterious “good part” of being out of the EU as as far as I can ascertain it is pure brexiteer whimsicality – perhaps apart from a bit of deregulation for the exclusive benefit of a few rich exploitative opportunists.

    I was talking to my son about the effect of the exclusion of the UK from EU -USA trade agreements at the end of the two year exit procedure. The trade agreements which cover data management and the tracking of international trade contracts according to the rules of these agreements.
    He tells me the industry has no idea what will happen when the UK is excluded from these agreements or what could replace them! – and he should know – being a specialist in the tracking of multi billion pound international deals which are conducted by multinational companies and governments!

  19. @OP – Even staunch EU loyalists would then swallow our misgivings and unite behind a Brexited Britain. We would become good losers, prepared to pull our weight, and loyally make the best of it.

    Nope!
    Once businesses start going down the pan in numbers, and the number of jobless and bankruptcies rise as successful businesses leave the country, people will be looking for the stupid lying losers who “won” the opportunity to inflict this on them, and for the spineless politicians who sheepishly went along with the media hype!
    “Unity” in continued mutual self destruction, will be the last thing on their minds when they start seeking to hold the fraudsters to account!

  20. @OP – A second referendum is the only way to unite Britain behind Brexit.

    Why should anyone “unite” to inflict the stupidity of brexit on Britain?

    Hopefully a properly constituted second referendum will produce a result based on the advice of the multitude of expert bodies which warned about the vacuous claims of the brexiteers, and the massive problems for British world trading, which brexit will cause.

    The indications are that if Little Englanders persist with brexit, the Scots and possibly others, will go for independence and staying with the EU.

    If that happens, my son may well move his international multi-million pound IT business to Scotland!

  21. HalooINC #21
    Jul 16, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    Unfair to those who VOTED for this result,

    Those who voted for this result were conned and got it wrong!
    I would hope they can learn from their mistakes and correct them, rather than dogmatically trying to defend wrong decisions based on ignorance and the wilful deceptions of the brexiteers which are now coming to light.

    which you would have been happy to accept had it gone the way you desired.

    All opinions are NOT equal, and the vast majority of EXPERT opinion was against brexit as the list on this link shows. They gave various warning predictions which are progressively becoming more obviously substantiated as time goes on.

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

    I’m not interested in an appeal to authority when the authority is your own son whom I have to take on your word is an authority.

    You are confusing the fallacy of appeal to (false) authority with the appeal to a consensus of expert opinion.

    Especially when the authorities’ advice is “I don’t know what’s going to happen”

    What he said was that when the EU operating rules are thrown out of the window, the legal basis of trade will become impossible until new rules and agreements are written – and there are many problems, making as good a deal as the one we already have via the EU very unlikely, – while our competitors will continue to benefit from THEIR trading under EU rules.

    You have been told crap, by brexiteers who did not even know the UK currently has NO competent trade agreement negotiators, and who have no idea how to draw up an international trade agreement!

    which doesn’t translate to a good or a bad.

    There can be no doubt that that translates as “BAD” in the mind of anyone who understands trade tariffs and competitive business pricing from inside and outside of free-trade blocks of countries!

    This is clearly explained on some of the linked discussions.

    also you literally say article 50 is irreversible then outline how it could be reversed.

    No! I am saying the second referendum needs to be conducted BEFORE article 50 is activated, BECAUSE it is irreversible.

  22. Finally somebody who gets it. And yes, I know someone is going to dangle the 51% victory in my face and say something like “the people have spoken, it’s done and you can’t take it back!”

    But democracy is not supposed to be a trap that you lure people into and then cackle with glee as you tell them “Ha! It’s too late! We don’t need to listen to you now!”

    Democracy is precisely about listening to people. And there is sufficient reason to think the Brexiters would lose a second vote (which is why they don’t want one). The post referendum attitude of the remaining politicians is downright mindless, with their steadfast resolve to not listen and plow ahead.

  23. Alan4discussion #21
    Jul 16, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    Just to expand and simplify these previous paragraphs:-

    What he said was that when the EU operating rules are thrown out of the window, the legal basis of trade will become impossible until new rules and agreements are written – and there are many problems, making as good a deal as the one we already have via the EU very unlikely, – while our competitors will continue to benefit from THEIR trading under EU rules.

    You have been told crap, by brexiteers who did not even know the UK currently has NO competent trade agreement negotiators, and who have no idea how to draw up an international trade agreement!

    What the brexiteers have promised, is that they will throw away their EU members discount cards to get rid of the terms and conditions (including terms and conditions which were never on the cards in the first place), and will them negotiate “superior tariff rates” for each individual trade contract, while standing in the non-members queue as the members transact their priority business.
    This assumes that any trade block or other country is interested in offering special treatment to those who have opted out of paying for EU membership, or using EU services arranged in package deals with those countries, and that the negotiations can be conducted by the UK which has no qualified international trade negotiators who understand the legal requirements!

    What the brexiteers have offered is to throw the present discount tariff rates out of the window, cancel UK eligibility, and have NOTHING to offer as an alternative, and no qualified people to negotiate or write any alternative agreements!

    As outsiders, the UK will be stuck with damaging WTO arrangements.

    Meanwhile the political clowns are discussing, “How can we unify everyone into accepting locking the country into this course of action,before most of the people work out what is happening!”

    The levels on the stupidometer go right off the scale!

  24. Clement Attlee and Margaret Thatcher were two major political figures of the twentieth century, who occupied the extreme opposite ends of the political spectrum, but who were in total accord in their opposition to the concept of the referendum.

    On May 21 1945 Attlee wrote:

    “I could not consent to the introduction into our national life of a device so alien to all our traditions as the referendum, which has only too often been the instrument of Nazism and Fascism. Hitler’s practices in the field of referenda and plebiscites can hardly have endeared those expedients to the British heart.”.

    Many decades later Margaret Thatcher echoed Attlee by saying: “Referendums are the device of demagogues.”.

    We all feel emotions, hold opinions and harbour prejudices, but we must never allow them to be played on or appealed to.

    At the beginning of the run up to referendum I was ignorant of workings of the EU, but knowing that I was duty bound to vote, I made it my business to learn as much as I could about it.

    And even for a bear of little brain like me, it wasn’t too difficult, and eventually I became qualified to to vote.

    Nowadays it is inexusable not to have learnt about the workings of the EU before voting!

    And it strikes me as being beyond ironic that those who claim to hold in the highest esteem British sovereignty, should be the first to accept the abandonment of the Jewel in its crown, namely Parliament.

  25. The UK has a very open economy. China, for example, does not. What do we propose to withhold when the majority of our material products are imported, with no immediate prospects of switching to UK alternatives?
    Thanks to the destruction of our manufacturing industries, we are very dependent upon service industries, which can be blocked by say the EU. We cannot reciprocate as we already dominate this market.
    Please, we have no negotiators and no bargaining chips, so what compared with what we have as part of the largest Trade Block in the world with access to EU negotiated FTAs, are we set to gain?

  26. The Brexiteers are certainly showing their “skills” at making friends and influencing people!
    Messing your neighbours and partners about is a really poor move!

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/four-european-countries-reject-generous-brexit-deal-with-uk-poll-finds-a7128001.html

    Voters in four European countries have said they do not think Britain should be given a generous deal when it attempts to renegotiate its ties with the European Union following the Brexit vote.

    An opinion poll published on Friday, found the majority of voters in Germany, France, Sweden and Finland think the UK should not receive any favours when negotiating a post-Brexit trade deal.

    Germans and the French were the most opposed to offering Britain a “generous deal” that pays tribute to Britain’s role as a neighbour and “important trading partner”, according to the YouGov survey.

    In both countries, 53 per cent of respondents said it should not expect any favours, compared to 27 per cent who said the EU should offer Britain a “generous deal”.

    Out is out in the cold!

  27. ‘Landslide’ – An overwhelming majority of votes for one party or candidate in an election. Oxford English Dictionary.
    This country has a population of 65 million (June 2015 ONS), a registered electorate of 46.5 million, a turnout of 33.5 million for this referendum.
    Only 17.4 million of 65 million actually voted LEAVE. 29 million of the registered electorate did not vote LEAVE (EU Referendum Results BBC 24th June 2016).
    This was a decision difference made by 635,000 voters. The numbers for 635,000 came both from my own calculations and from an article in the NewStatesman (Martin Fletcher – 1st July 2016). But you can work the numbers out by taking the vote difference and dividing by two. Why, because in a two choice referendum when you add a vote to one side you deprive a vote to the other side. Confused? Get two stacks of 5x£1 coins, remove one coin from one stack and add it to the other, a change of one coin results in 6 coins in one stack and 4 coins in the other.
    So that is 1% of the population or less than 2% of the electorate. Winning yes, but landslide or representative of the will of the people, certainly not.
    Staggering, no definition of what result was needed to be exceeded, to eliminate chance, was included. Let alone that it should constitute 50% of the electorate. I very much doubt that a medicine would be approved on that sort of result, but the future of our country for decades to come will be.

  28. Robert Cheatle #28 Jul 17, 2016 at 11:02 am

    The margin is much less if adjusted in line with the Ipsos/Mori poll conducted for BBC Newsnight shortly after the vote. The poll found that 5% of Leave voters would now vote to remain and 2% of the Remain voters would now vote to leave. I think that works out at a nett margin of 0.37% of the electorate or, as you might put it, only 0.19% more of the electorate would have to change their vote from Leave to Remain for the result to be a draw.

    When Parliament debated whether the EU Referendum should be allowed it was stated that the referendum would be advisory. The Government have treated it as if it was binding. What margin and turnout would Parliament have required if the referendum had been intended to be binding? The one-way nature of the exit process alone would justify a much higher bar than 52%-of-those-voting, so why not apply that to the result of the first referendum?

  29. Now at your local pub: The Brexit Pint: 52% Watneys Red Barrel, 48% Heineken. If you can get the bartender to be that precise. Not to be confused with a Bremain pint, same thing but proportions reversed. Oh, you probably couldn’t tell the difference anyway.

  30. The error was having a vote with a 50% cut off point. You can’t very well change the rules after the vote. Cameron screwed Britain.

    It seems to me most people voted purely on emotion without any thought of the consequences either way.

    This is another case of getting the government you deserve.

  31. As a devoted Atheist and a big admirer of yours for many years, I am shocked at your disdain for Democracy. I now realise you hold the normal people in contempt not just the religious. We are not as stupid as you obviously believe. I am Disgusted at such arrogance and hearing this from you has made me very sad. This is what it must feel like when you discover God doesn’t give a damn.

  32. The reason why direct democracy doesn’t work outside small communities is the same reason why westminster system prevailed. You cannot divest parliament from its right to legislate and you cannot deny it its sovereign right of being responsible for the future of the realm.
    As such a 2nd referendum in my opinion is not at all necessary.
    It is the sole responsibility of the Queen-in-Parliament to take the referendum’s outcome under advisement , and decide how to interpret it for the benefit and welfare of all Britons,-brexiteers and bremainers alike.
    The narrow result shows a need to have a brexit with a continuous access to EU single market, to cover all parties
    There is no specific mandate for limiting freedom of labor. There is however a mandate for a full repatriation of powers, including a very important one to sign and negotiate international treaties independently as a full sovereign state.
    What I see is a deal that will allow UK to have full access to internal market without challenging the four freedoms-even the most controversial one i.e. that of movement of labor.
    In return UK will be allowed a veto in order to have a peer participation with EU in shaping internal market’s rules.
    So I can see a Norway plus model only – full access to internal market with a veto as a trade off for all four freedoms implemented – instead of a Norway minus – full access to internal market with movement restrictions but with the obligation to abide to EU rules without any kind of veto rights whatsoever.

  33. JimJFox @ # 1.

    I too am disgusted Jim; but my disgust has been engendered by the fact that our Parliamentary democracy has been sidelined in favour of the cheap, tinpot, populst, manipulative device the plebiscite.

    We elect politicians to represent us at home and abroad, with the aid of teams of permanent staff who are specialists in their various fields of diplomacy, science, statistics, and many other disciplines, and I for one do not take kindly to our elected representatives asking us the electorate what they should do once in office!

    The whole idea is for them to familiarize themselves with their brief and get on with the job we pay them to do.

    But I do agree with you on one thing; there should, under no circumstances, be another referendum; when in a hole stop digging.

    There now needs to be a period of reflection and reassessment, before putting the question again to Parliament. Only Parliament is qualified to determine matters of such national importance.

    Already, twice this century, Parliament has been overriden: in 2003 with regards to the invasion of Iraq, and this year, over the UK leaving the EU.

    And the two instances have one glaring thing in common; the lack of any contingency planning.

  34. Giannis Laderos #33
    Jul 18, 2016 at 12:25 am

    There is however a mandate for a full repatriation of powers, including a very important one to sign and negotiate international treaties independently as a full sovereign state.

    There is however no freedom as an EU member, to sign independent trade agreements, and Switzerland has been told that EU free movement of goods, is dependent on also accepting free movement of people.

    In return UK will be allowed a veto in order to have a peer participation with EU in shaping internal market’s rules.

    I don’t see the other EU members being very sympathetic to the UK being granted any special privileges from outside the EU.
    Britain needs the EU market a lot more than the EU needs Britain.

    The sheer volume of negotiations (and lack of any qualified staff), plus the time-scales involved is in itself, a problem from the UK.

  35. Stafford Gordon #35
    Jul 18, 2016 at 3:14 am

    There now needs to be a period of reflection and reassessment, before putting the question again to Parliament. Only Parliament is qualified to determine matters of such national importance.

    I would agree with you IF I thought that parliament was likely to act competently in the best interests of the country.

    However, we have a Tory government hanging onto power, with a majority of 12, and a block of fanatical brexiteers larger than that number with the tail wagging the dog! They want to reclaim votes from brain-dead UKIP voters by pandering to them playing the immigrant card.
    They are also de-regulators who resent EU protections restricting the exploitative wealthy from abusing citizens and operating short-term rip-offs!

    We also have the Labour opposition led by Corby, who has no idea whatever about international trade, but whose top priority is to recruit UKIP voters in order to gain a parliamentary majority at the next election.
    Form many MPs the best interests of the country’s trading prospects, are not even on the agenda!

  36. I’m not very good at languages…………..

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/nigel-farage-lbc-show_uk_578bdf05e4b08078d6e8d838

    I remember watching films where there was conflict and all the travellers on a train, say, would have to show their ‘papers’… Those two cricket loving englishmen would only have to show their british passports to be left to get on with their journey. This mentality still exists in some
    as my friend who emigrated to South Africa showed. “Too many bloody foreigners in the UK” he said as he left to become a foreigner in SA. Just being English is the only passport you need, in his mind. Think I already told the story of his business demise and return. “We are not getting the benefits we are entitled to” was his cry on his return. We are english and they said because we left on our own accord we forfeit the rights to benefits for..(can’t remember the exact time limit?)

  37. We should ignore the referendumb result and stay in.

    We should also introduce border controls and make tampons VAT free and ignore any other EU rules we don’t like.

    If the EU don’t like it let them chuck us out.

  38. @#32 “As a devoted Atheist and a big admirer of yours for many years, I am shocked at your disdain for Democracy.”

    A second referendum would be a bad idea for the reasons outlined (not because I think Brexit is necessarily a good idea)

    The contingency was not put in place so it’s a moot point.

    Just say a second referendum did go ahead went in favour of remain by a small margin, what would happen then? Best of three?

    How much did the first one cost?

    I think the only way to get through this mess and it is a mess, is to unite behind the decision now.

    And by we, I mean both parties, not a lot we can do to stop the £/FTSE falling, interest rates / inflation increasing decreasing.

    Both Party leaders need to earn their money now.

    We (plebs) can still book holidays, buy goods, use fuel go to work.

    Also, I wish the remain guys would stop labeling all brext people as brain dead racists.

    It is possible to be concerned about immigration and security without being a neo nazi.

  39. Roedy #31 Jul 17, 2016 at 7:42 pm ”The error was having a vote with a
    50% cut off point. You can’t very well change the rules after the
    vote.”

    The rules were established when Parliament debated the European Union Referendum bill. Here is what Lord Higgins had to say about the consultative nature of the Referendum during that debate:

    ”I have always been totally opposed to referendums, and in particular
    to what one might call binding or mandatory referendums, which in
    effect represent the dictatorship of the majority and take no account
    of minority interests. They are the antithesis of representative
    democracy and leave Members of Parliament unable to wholly fulfil
    their jobs as representatives and not delegates. I was glad to see in
    a note prepared by the Library that this Bill, “does not contain any
    requirement on the UK Government to implement the results of the
    referendum, nor set a time limit by which a vote to leave the EU
    should be implemented. Instead, this is a type of referendum known as
    pre-legislative or consultative”.”

    (http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201516/ldhansrd/text/151013-0002.htm)

    The final European Union Referendum Act 2015 does not make the Referendum binding. It seemed to me that the Government went out of their way to give the impression that the Referendum was binding. It seems incredible that Cabinet actually thought that it was binding. The Government have not changed the rules – they are ignoring them. Parliament should have debated the result of the Referendum in context as soon as possible to minimise the damage to the UK, Europe, and the World. (In comment #37, Alan4discussion has given good reasons why Parliament might not do what is best for the country, to which I would add the fear of appearing to be undemocratic to those who do not understand representative democracy. I only wish that there was a counter-fear of MP’s feet being held to the fire by the BBC if they could not present rational justifications of their statements.)

  40. “I was glad to see in
    a note prepared by the Library that this Bill, “does not contain any
    requirement on the UK Government to implement the results of the
    referendum,”

    So for all the resignations, back stabbing and position jostling they don’t actually have to go through with it?

    Leave?

    Why don’t they just ****ing stay then if it’s such a bad idea?

    They can make announcement, “We just wanted your input, thanks for that, we have decided to ignore that option.”

    I can live with that.

  41. Pinball1970 #42 Jul 18, 2016 at 8:08 am ”They can make announcement,
    “We just wanted your input, thanks for that, we have decided to ignore
    that option.””

    Not ”ignore” it, but take it into account within the context of other considerations.

  42. HellFireFuel, #39

    The UK already has border controls. If you don’t believe me, try getting on a ferry from Dover or a plane from Heathrow without your passport. Do let us know how it goes just as soon as you get out of custody.

    As for tampon tax, there has been some confusion, but the European Commission is still planning to introduce proposals later this year that would allow member states to reduce/abolish it. Leaders of all 28 member states have already declared their support for such a move. It is true that the elected European Parliament recently voted against it, but I suspect that was because of concerns about the specific wording. There are still definitely plans to introduce new proposals. In the meantime, sanitary protection is already on the EU’s Reduced VAT list, which is why in the UK the VAT rate for such products is currently 5% (compared with the 20% standard rate that applies to, for example, shaving equipment and supplies).

    By the way, EU rules are legal obligations that we have freely signed up to by entering into various legally binding Treaties. It might be considered unwise at best to merely ignore those legal obligations at the very moment when we are actively seeking to persuade other countries to enter into new legally binding treaties with us.

  43. Marco #44
    Jul 18, 2016 at 8:18 am

    By the way, EU rules are legal obligations that we have freely signed up to by entering into various legally binding Treaties. It might be considered unwise at best to merely ignore those legal obligations at the very moment when we are actively seeking to persuade other countries to enter into new legally binding treaties with us.

    I don’t think this can be stressed too much!

    The notion that we can renege on existing legal agreements and just tear them up, and then expect foreign governments to believe we will act in good faith on any new ones , is just whimsicality!

  44. The notion that a second referendum could be prearranged to allow for the consequences of the initial vote to sink in is faintly ridiculous. Whether it be a fortnight, a month, or a year later is irrelevant – who would bother voting in the first round? Why bother?

    Democracy in its one man one vote format trumps all other forms of government. The fact that half the population are below average intelligence (and always will be) makes it all the more indispensable. In this respect some earlier posts are patronising in the extreme. Yes, there was a lot of misinformation during the debate, but it came from both sides of the argument.

    To govern in a consensual manner it is imperative that you bring public opinion with you. On this point the government and the EU has failed absolutely. The European project needed a century at least to bed in, but has been rushed through in just over a generation by a political class that is well meaning, but ultimately completely out of touch. Therefore we have Brexit, and politicians would do well to learn from it. Rather than proclaiming it as the unleashing of the right wing it should be seen as a precursor to the rise of the right – one brought about by the governing classes themselves.

    For the record I voted out. The EU’s aims and intentions are laudable, but their methods are hasty and crass. The project is failing and will continue to do so, and I wanted my country to have a head start in forging a new future before the whole thing inevitably implodes. Political and economic union will only be achievable if it is instigated in an organic fashion, rather than an artificial construct. Rapid expansion and blatant power grabbing have brought us to this pretty pass, so let’s hope the requisite lessons are learned. Calls for a second referendum suggest this is not the case.

  45. in spite of its dark political stupidity
    brexit has a silver lining
    de-globalizing the world’s economy
    smaller trading zones would mitigate climate change

  46. quarecuss #47
    Jul 18, 2016 at 11:31 am

    in spite of its dark political stupidity
    brexit has a silver lining – de-globalizing the world’s economy
    smaller trading zones would mitigate climate change

    Sorry, but the UK is not the globe.
    The EU will continue without the UK, and so will the Union of South American Nations free trade area (Mercosur), The United States has completed negotiations of a regional, Asia-Pacific trade agreement, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) , and there are various other groupings. https://ustr.gov/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements
    This was just a UK foot-shooting exercise, with the fanatical Little Englanders, the blind self-deluders, the liars, and the under-informed, overwhelming the expert advice by weight of numbers and collective ignorance.

  47. BroughtyBoy #46
    Jul 18, 2016 at 11:31 am

    The notion that a second referendum could be prearranged to allow for the consequences of the initial vote to sink in is faintly ridiculous. Whether it be a fortnight, a month, or a year later is irrelevant – who would bother voting in the first round? Why bother?

    I don’t think anyone suggested that a second referendum should have been prearranged.
    What is being called for is the opportunity for those who voted flippantly or who now recognise that they were misled by lying brexiteers, to reconsider the situation with the benefit of hindsight, now that the warnings which were recklessly dismissed by fools as “the fear campaign”, are materialising in front of our eyes!

  48. @alan4

    This was just a UK foot-shooting exercise, with the fanatical Little
    Englanders, the blind self-deluders, the liars, and the
    under-informed, overwhelming the expert advice by weight of numbers
    and collective ignorance.

    of course but that does not mean
    that it can’t have a single positive side effect

  49. quarecuss #50
    Jul 18, 2016 at 12:17 pm
    .
    of course but that does not mean
    that it can’t have a single positive side effect

    It would indeed be remarkable if it had none, but the overwhelming weight of negative effects, has been spelled out by one industry and one sector after another!

    The present antics in parliament are about political power struggles, not anything to do with the good of the country, although dumping Corbyn, would be a step in the right direction.
    Boris being given the push in the not too distant future would also be helpful!
    Some of the others might also panic when they realise the mammoth task they have taken on! The deeply stupid will just blunder on, and try to blame other people for the coming failures.

  50. Alan @ # 37.

    I think you’re splitting hairs; with all its faults, Parliament is far better equipped to decide the matter.

    The price I paid for researching the EU before voting was recognizing the lies; and watching them re-emerge time and again; going around, and coming round, like rides in a Fair Ground, or items in a Shooting Gallery being knocked down and then popping right back up again, as if nothing had happened, or they’d been missed by the pellets; anyone running a Fun Fair stall like that would deserve to have their neck wrung!

  51. Stafford Gordon #52
    Jul 18, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    I think you’re splitting hairs; with all its faults, Parliament is far better equipped to decide the matter.

    I think it usually is, but there are enough buffoons in the present lot who are more interested in recruiting followers and saving face, than doing anything useful!

    The price I paid for researching the EU before voting was recognizing the lies; and watching them re-emerge time and again;

    Perhaps you were looking at the wrong sources.
    I rely on verbatim quotes from specialist bodies who know what they are talking about.

    I see today, that the crap-writers of sensational newspaper headlines, are busy telling the public that ministers are making foreign trade deals to facilitate a quick EU exit! – regardless of the timetable built into the legal procedures and the fact that pre- activation of article 50, EU members cannot legally make independent trade deals!

  52. Chris Hill #54
    Jul 18, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    The problem with heroes is that they always let you down eventually. And it now appears that Prof Dawkins is no exception.

    It’s worse than that! Most of the science research community and those in high-tech industries, have been let down!

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/eu-referendum-stephen-hawking-and-150-royal-society-fellows-warn-brexit-would-be-disaster-for-uk-a6922296.html
    EU referendum: Stephen Hawking and 150 Royal Society fellows warn Brexit would be ‘disaster for UK science’

    ‘Being able to attract and fund the most talented Europeans assures the future of British science’

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jul/16/science-chief-calls-for-action-on-research-funds-post-brexit
    President of Royal Society, world’s oldest scientific organisation, warns ministers must compensate EU research funds or risk a UK brain drain.

    Ministers must intervene as a matter of urgency to underwrite EU research grants given to UK scientists, the president of the Royal Society, Venkatraman “Venki” Ramakrishnan, has warned.

    Failure to act swiftly could generate waves of uncertainty over UK researchers’ future involvement in major European science projects following last month’s Brexit vote, he said.

  53. OHooligan #56
    Jul 18, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    Arm Holdings was originally a subsidiary of Acorn Computers – remember them – The RISC windows operating system which British governments ignored and failed to back, while Microsoft took over the world!

    Fortunately ARM was floated off and sold its superior chips, with hardware operating systems, to Japanese and other foreign companies to put in games machines, mobile phones etc.

    Brexiteers will probably be looking for lots of other British innovative enterprises to sell off in order to prop up their failed economic policies!
    Foreign currencies can now buy lots of those now cheap pounds, and assets valued in cheap pounds! !

  54. This is the cherry plucked from a thriving fabless semiconductor business world in Cambridge within the last year or so. Cam Semi gone to Power Integrations. (Pissed me off because we had invested more than a little time getting them up to speed on a new application area and the work was trash-canned.) Cambridge Silicon Radio (Bluetooth chips for just about everything, gone to Qualcomm. Designed into our stuff…Fingers crossed.) Now ARM. something like 40% sales into Europe. Sitting pretty for the Internet of Things and big data to better manage eco efficiency. In February declared if Eu desicion went wrong they would consider shifting focus away from UK base. Selling to Japan would seem like the perfect solution for them redirecting efforts to IoT and the Pacific Rim. Expect more clever Chinese stuff.

    Herman Hauser (founder)rightly saw this as a bit of a UK catastrophe.

  55. Yes, I’m well aware of ARM and long delighted by its well-deserved reach into the technology space of “its-not-a-computer” computers, now the “Internet of Things”. Another BRITISH invention, as the late great Spitfire pilot turned broadcaster Raymond Baxter would have said on Tomorrow’s World.

    I have fond memories of coding for the ARM RISC processor, such a joy compared to the tedium of working with Intel architectures. Well, the tech will live on and thrive, I suppose, just not with much input from those bright folks in the UK any more, so it will either stabilise/stagnate/find its niche, or be adapted/enhanced/extended to “fit better with international standards” (ie become more like Intel until it ceases to be any better than it), and then fade away.

    The slow-motion train-wreck that is UK governance continues to derail, one carriage at a time. Complacent folks in the rearmost First Class dining car smugly toast each other with (Imported! French! ) Champagne, and continue to make-believe Britain is going to be Great (“again”) , while the head waiter sells off the silverware at bargain prices, to Foreigners, of course.

  56. Alan #49

    The second paragraph of Professor Dawkins article suggests exactly that.
    This argument would condemn my fellow Scots to an annual referendum until they voted to secede.

  57. BroughtyBoy #60
    Jul 19, 2016 at 5:05 am

    Alan #49

    This argument would condemn my fellow Scots to an annual referendum until they voted to secede.

    If England goes for brexit without retaining most of the single market access and associated features, it will probably only take the one Scottish referendum, to assess the changed circumstances. (My family will probably go for Anglo-Scottish passports and dual nationality.)

    As has been pointed out earlier:-
    the brexiteers made all sorts of rash claims about what their “wonderful plan” would deliver, but the reality is, they never had a plan – not even an organised plan about negotiating new treaties.
    (Anyone putting together a plan would have noticed the conflicts within their claims, the legal restrictions, and the UK’s lack of ANY qualified negotiators.) The only “plan” was to con the voters into voting for brexit!

    Furthermore, each of the brexiteers or groups, had their own whimsical notions of this Utopia, which is going to be magically delivered by “leaving” the EU”, so they are now squabbling among themselves, about what brexit is supposed to be, and where to start.
    The triumphalist “Leave” voters will probably moan even more, when all the things they blamed on the EU which they voted AGAINST, (which have NOTHING to do with the EU), remain unchanged!

    If in power, balm pots like Corbyn and Farage, would have immediately jumped in and activated section 50, without even bothering to consult their Euro MPs, cabinet, or Westminster colleagues, and oblivious to the need for any plan or understanding of legal issues!

  58. Alan4discussion #53
    Jul 18, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    Stafford Gordon #52 – Jul 18, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    The price I paid for researching the EU before voting was recognizing the lies; and watching them re-emerge time and again;

    Perhaps you were looking at the wrong sources.
    I rely on verbatim quotes from specialist bodies who know what they are talking about.

    That would be bodies like these:-

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-36834045

    The UK’s national academies representing science, medicine and engineering have told the government that Brexit is already harming science.

    A joint letter from seven academies says that the UK’s world-leading position in these areas is in jeopardy.

    The national academies represent the best researchers in their fields.

    They call for the government to make a “bold public commitment” to prioritize research in Brexit negotiations.

    The joint letter has been written by the presidents of the Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Academy of Medical Sciences, the British Academy, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Royal Irish Academy and the Learned Society of Wales.

    It states: “The UK’s outstanding research and innovation base is central to our economic, social and cultural well-being.

    “The result of the EU Referendum presents a challenge to maintaining this excellence. The current uncertainty is having immediate implications and raises many questions.

    “We stand ready to help ensure that Great Britain and Northern Ireland maintains its world leading position in research and innovation.”

    The academies say that ease of movement of researchers and students between the UK and EU countries is key to our future excellence and should be “reinforced”.

    “We believe it is vital that UK-based researchers and staff from other EU countries are given assurances that they and their dependents will be able to continue to live and work here. Similarly, opportunities need to be safeguarded for UK researchers to gain experience in other EU countries.”

    UK universities receive £850 million a year from European Union funds. A condition of full access to those funds is free movement of people.

    Following the referendum result it is unclear whether the UK would continue to be eligible for EU research funding.

    The uncertainty has already resulted in some UK research groups and small businesses losing funding.

    The academies call for “urgent discussions” on how the government will address any funding gap in both the short and medium term.

    Of equal concern, they add, is the loss of access to networks that have been built over decades and help UK research groups and businesses stay at the cutting edge of research.

    “It is… the intrinsically collaborative nature of these programmes that allows UK researchers to achieve more than they would alone. Similarly, EU programmes provide opportunities for industrial competitors to collaborate with each other and work together towards common goals, often for societal benefit.”

    The academies also ask that UK experts remain “fully engaged” in shaping the development of standards and regulations and to safeguard UK research by “seeking the closest achievable association with the EU research programmes”.

  59. Those “wonderful brexit benefits” just keep rolling in!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36834977

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said the UK’s decision to leave the European Union has “thrown a spanner in the works” of its global growth forecast.

    Instead of predicting 3.2% growth in 2016, the IMF’s World Economic Outlook (WEO) now expects only 3.1%.

    It says the UK will be the worst affected of all the advanced economies.

    *Its 2017 UK growth forecast has been slashed from 2.2% to 1.3% and this year’s has been cut from 1.7% to 1.5%.**

    The IMF does not believe that fears over an economic downturn have passed.

    But, now the vote has been taken, now the Bank of England has made it clear it stands ready to loosen monetary policy further to support growth, now the government has signalled it could be willing to borrow more at ultra-low interest rates to invest, the hit to confidence (that essential economic driver) may not be as severe as some believed.

    The IMF says that while the effects of Brexit are greatest in the UK, there is not enough information available to make a full assessment of its impact.

    It also highlights the stresses that Brexit may cause within the European banking system, particularly in Italy and Portugal.

    It says: “The Brexit vote implies a substantial increase in economic, political, and institutional uncertainty, which is projected to have negative macroeconomic consequences, especially in advanced European economies.”

    However Mr Obstfeld added: “The real effects of Brexit will play out gradually over time, adding elements of economic and political uncertainty that could be resolved only after many months.

    “This overlay of extra uncertainty, in turn, may open the door to an amplified response of financial markets to negative shocks.”

    The IMF has produced two other set of predictions, a “moderately worse” one, and another that is “much worse”, depending on how hard the UK finds it to re-establish trading relations with the EU and the rest of the world.

  60. (My family will probably go for Anglo-Scottish passports and dual
    nationality.)

    There’s no guarantee that dual nationality will be allowed. Many countries don’t allow it.

  61. Alan @ # 64.

    I think we’re talking at cross purposes. I will recognize all or most of the chickens as they come home to roost, precisely because I was looking in the right places before the vote.

    I was hoping to discover that I was wrong about what I thought leaving the EU would mean, but became increasingly pissed off by the realisation of just how right I’d been.

    I hope that’s cleared that up Alan.

  62. Stafford Gordon #69
    Jul 21, 2016 at 6:23 am

    Alan @ # 64.

    I think we’re talking at cross purposes. I will recognize all or most of the chickens as they come home to roost, precisely because I was looking in the right places before the vote.

    I was hoping to discover that I was wrong about what I thought leaving the EU would mean, but became increasingly pissed off by the realisation of just how right I’d been.

    Everyone has been struggling with the absence of hard information, and the actively promoted lies of the media and the brexiteers!

    I keep finding new problems coming to light, of which I was unaware prior to the vote.

    The appalling feature, is that the politicians appear to be locked into denial of the deceptions perpetrated on themselves and on the public, or are just too spineless or clueless, to challenge the inertial wave of media hype!

    The awful truth about the glib promises made about the brexiteers’ “wonderful plan for the future”, was that they had no plan, and had done no homework on the possibilities, methodology required, or the consequences!

  63. Like it or not it would appear very unlikely we will have any further vote on brexit.
    Although it isn’t unknown for politicians to go back on what they say. However what is being said at the moment on all sides is, the decision is made and the UK will be leaving the EU.
    Exactly how this is acheived is not very clear and I am sure there is some room for pre negotiations to take place although this is being vehemently denied all round.
    This is really the combined fault of the EU being in denial of the way it is sometimes, maybe incorrectly, perceived by the majority of citizens of member states and the over confidence of David Cameron in his ability to sell a rushed compromise to the British people.
    I still think the leave vote was the only logical answer to this even though it may now have some very serious drawbacks.
    If the UK and the EU both face up to the real problems then it is quite possible to come to a situation where both sides can minimise the damage and possibly both gain in some way at the same time. Of course remaining would certainly have been the smoothest option in the short or even medium term. But there are issues with the EU, it isn’t perfect. The only real question is wether it can be fixed, the upcoming brexit negotiations may go a long way to answering and facilitating this ‘fixing’.
    So my answer is we should not dwell on what didn’t happen, but do our utmost to move forward in the most constructive way we can.
    I also note that both Germany and France seem to be leading the discussions with the UK and would by inference be having more influence and control than other member states. This really exemplifies the way the EU operates and if anything it seems to have two levels of membership both economically and politically. This really isn’t the way it should work and I can quite understand that many others will be watching to see if the UK is getting ‘more than it should’ from the negotiations.
    The biggest danger will be if it looks too good to leave others may try and follow and if it’s too bad then it will be equally bad for the whole of the EU as well as the UK.
    Just very glad I don’t have to sort it out, although we all have to live with the result so best to get on with working for our mutual benefit rather than our mutual loss.

  64. Tim Smith #71
    Jul 21, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    Like it or not it would appear very unlikely we will have any further vote on brexit.
    Although it isn’t unknown for politicians to go back on what they say. However what is being said at the moment on all sides is, the decision is made and the UK will be leaving the EU.

    Legally, the decision is not made until article 50 has been approved by parliament and activated.

    Exactly how this is acheived is not very clear and I am sure there is some room for pre negotiations to take place although this is being vehemently denied all round.

    The rules of the treaty everyone is signed up to, says there isn’t! They can make a few enquiries, but that is all.

    This is really the combined fault of the EU being in denial of the way it is sometimes, maybe incorrectly, perceived by the majority of citizens of member states

    Or simply the perverse and deceptive claims made in the media to mislead the public.

    and the over confidence of David Cameron in his ability to sell a rushed compromise to the British people.

    That was the reckless gamble – made more reckless by the absence of a back-up plan by Cameron or anyone else!

    I still think the leave vote was the only logical answer to this even though it may now have some very serious drawbacks.

    I don’t think any sane person who looked at and understood the minimal benefits, the massive drawbacks and the potential difficulties of the negotiations with the EU and the 50 other countries with whom we trade via the EU agreements.

    If the UK and the EU both face up to the real problems then it is quite possible to come to a situation where both sides can minimise the damage and possibly both gain in some way at the same time.

    It is however unlikely that the UK will get back to as good a set of deals as it already has! It is also unlikely that those deals will be in place anytime in the next few years.

    Of course remaining would certainly have been the smoothest option in the short or even medium term.

    .. . . and of course it still could be if the politicians were up to the job of looking after the country’s best interests as they are being paid to do!

    But there are issues with the EU, it isn’t perfect. The only real question is wether it can be fixed,

    Which could have been started effectively, IF the UK had taken up its turn to be President of the Council of the EU, but apparently Mrs. May is too busy playing brexit, to bother with drawing up agendas for EU reforms from INSIDE the organisation.

    The UK had been scheduled to take up the presidency of the Council of the EU – which rotates on a six-monthly basis between the 28 EU countries, giving each the opportunity to shape the agenda – in the second half of 2017.

    the upcoming brexit negotiations may go a long way to answering and facilitating this ‘fixing’.

    This sounds like wish-thinking!
    Now let me see!
    Do EU members, and EU Council Presidents, have more influence than outsiders who are coming cap-in-hand to try to negotiate reacquiring some of the benefits they have just thrown away or not? ? –
    Given that all 27 other remaining member states have to approve new arrangements and the UK will have no say in the EU approving this once Article 50 is activated!

  65. Thanks for those comments Alan.

    What you say makes me feel even more that most of the more prominent remain campaigners were either some of the most arrogant oeople who ever existed. Or were closet leavers deliberately sabotaging the remain argument.

    I was very surprised we had the referendum when we did as Cameron originally said 2017. Almost seems as if there was a deliberate plan to make sure we never got to the presidency.

    My one question, is it just me or do nearly all polititians right across the board seem to be absolutely hell bent on brexit, now it’s been voted for? As you say May is busy playing the brexit game but she is a remainer, in theory, at least.

  66. Tim Smith #72
    Jul 22, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    My one question, is it just me or do nearly all polititians right across the board seem to be absolutely hell bent on brexit, now it’s been voted for? As you say May is busy playing the brexit game but she is a remainer, in theory, at least.

    The Corbyn and the Corbynites are just too ignorant to understand the implications and the legal complexities.
    I was talking to quite a few of them at a political meeting and they just don’t get it.
    They are babbling on about “the will of the people”, and “betrayal of their elected leader”, without any reference to, or understanding of, practical consequences or legal issues!
    Apparently Corbyn did not even consult his Labour Euro MPs or shadow cabinet, before proclaiming acceptance of brexit – immediately after the referendum result!
    For the 170+ MPs, this casual throwing away of hard-won employment rights, and potentially wrecking international trade without any consultation, was the last straw!

    May is trying to held on to a Tory parliamentary majority of twelve, with a large bunch of loony fringe right wing brexiteers among her MPs and cabinet.

    None of them seem to have the guts to stand up to the media hype, which from some newspapers continues to feed the public with lies and disinformation.

    All of them as a priority, are trying to woo votes from UKIP supporters.

  67. So it’s the old story. Politician’s only real skill is to get elected. They aren’t trained to solve problems, this time they have created a huge one they don’t even understand, and by extension, even if there are positive advantages to brexit they may be unable to realise these, unless they stumble upon them by chance.

    On top of this they run scared of the tabloid press, who use every chance to control them.
    The problem there is, too many people seem to believe what is printed. Without checking the source. When I was at college we used to have a saying to admit something was probably made up, “must be true I read it in the Sun”.

    I think Pinball made an earlier comment about taking the referendum result into account and using it to formulate policy, rather than just immediately taking it as “we are now leaving”.

    However if the politicians are as spineless and ignorant as you say then there is just no chance.
    In fact the biggest problem is the implosion of the Labour party together with FPTP voting has given us a almost non existent opposition. Seems the Conservatives have only just managed to hold it together and who knows where it’s going from here?

  68. Tim Smith #74
    Jul 23, 2016 at 6:58 am

    So it’s the old story. Politician’s only real skill is to get elected. They aren’t trained to solve problems,

    Those who mindlessly vote for party badges, would vote for a monkey if it was wearing the right colours!

    In fact, in some constituencies they have been doing so- re-electing muppets, for many years!

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/feb/25/astrology-help-nhs-claim-conservative-mp-david-tredinnick

    Astrology could help take pressure off NHS doctors, claims Conservative MP.

    He criticised the BBC and TV scientist Professor Brian Cox for taking a “dismissive” approach to astrology, and accused opponents of being “racially prejudiced”.

    The MP for Bosworth, in Leicestershire, who is a Capricorn and in 2010 paid back £755 he had claimed in expenses for software that used astrology to diagnose medical conditions, told Astrological Journal: “I do believe that astrology and complementary medicine would help take the huge pressure off doctors.

    Mr Tredinnick, 65, added: “Astrology offers self-understanding to people. People who oppose what I say are usually bullies who have never studied astrology.

    Opposition to astrology is driven by “superstition, ignorance and prejudice”, he said. “It tends to be based on superstition, with scientists reacting emotionally, which is always a great irony.

    “They are also ignorant, because they never study the subject and just say that it is all to do with what appears in the newspapers, which it is not, and they are deeply prejudiced, and racially prejudiced, which is troubling.”

    MPs put this idiot on the parliamentary science/ medical committee – and he even tried (unsuccessfully) to stand as its chair.

  69. Tim Smith #72
    Jul 22, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    What you say makes me feel even more that most of the more prominent Remain campaigners were either some of the most arrogant people who ever existed.

    I don’t see any basis for this claim.
    Those who had read and understood the treaties, looked at the prescribed time scales, or listened to the long string of expert scientific, financial, economic, legal, and industrial sector bodies, which were giving warnings about negative effects in their specialist areas, – had good grounds to be apprehensive about predicted consequences from those familiar with the specialist areas concerned.

    Or were closet leavers deliberately sabotaging the remain argument.

    There can now be little doubt, that Corbyn, either by ignorance and stupidity, or sabotage, was a closet “Leave” advocate who subjugated and suppressed, the expert warnings, to his priority of gaining votes from UKIP supporters.
    That’s what all the rubbish talk about “unifying the country behind brexit stupidity” is about – along with trying to placate the Scots!

    Of course the muppet media will make up or quote, any sensational story from any viewpoint, and present themselves as “knowing better” than any expert source.
    This volume of disinformation, tends to smother informed comments from the minorities who actually have expertise on specific subjects to properly inform the public!

    What you say makes me feel even more that most of the more prominent Remain campaigners were either some of the most arrogant people who ever existed.

    Surely the arrogant people were the “Leave” supporters who were posing as authorities, and giving bland assurances of the “benefits of leaving”, when they had no plan, no coherent evaluation of outcomes, no understanding of legally binding timescales, and were contradicting a long list of expert bodies whose opinions were based on a sound understanding of the evidence!

  70. Alan4discussion #73
    Jul 22, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    The Corbyn and the Corbynites are just too ignorant to understand the implications and the legal complexities.

    Further to my comments on Corbyn’s lack of understanding of international trade – He is into shouting about fighting for the workers, but not only does he fail to see the downgrading of UK wages, and the damage to British economy from his casual acceptance of brexit, but he has ironically been buying T-shirts for his “champion of the workers” campaign, from Bangladeshi Nicaraguan and Haitian sweat-shops!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3705087/How-low-Corbyn-new-slave-labour-T-shirt-scandal-poverty-stricken-workers-paid-pitiful-30-PENCE-hour-make-10-tops-fund-leadership-campaign.html

    Shirts made by workers on 30p an hour fund Labour leader’s campaign
    Mr Corbyn previously criticised Bangaladesh pay and working conditions
    Labour’s Momentum group is selling the shirts for £10 each in the UK

    T-shirts sold to raise money for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour leadership campaign are being made by poverty-stricken workers earning just 30p an hour, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

    The machinists in Bangladesh toil for up to ten hours a day to make the garments, which are believed to have raised thousands of pounds for the Labour leader’s fighting fund.

    Corbyn has previously attacked the pay and working conditions faced by clothes labourers in Bangladesh and urged consumers to think twice about buying products made in the impoverished country.

    Yet a Mail on Sunday investigation has discovered that Momentum – the Left-wing organisation central to Corbyn’s leadership campaign – has bought hundreds of the T-shirts, some emblazoned with the politician’s name in superhero-style lettering, to sell here for £10 each.

    One Bangladeshi factory worker Abdul, 35, said last night: ‘I feel angry that a politician is using T-shirts created with our back-breaking work to make a statement about workers’ rights when he clearly doesn’t care about our rights at all.’

    Last night Momentum cancelled its contract with the British supplier of the T-shirts and promised to ‘rigorously’ check the sourcing of its merchandise in the future.

    However, questions have been raised as to why the pressure group did not look more closely at where the garments were being made.

    If they had, they would have discovered they have been manufactured in factories owned by Gildan – the same Canadian clothing firm that last year was revealed by this newspaper to have paid factory workers in Nicaragua and Haiti as little as 49p an hour to make the official ‘Team Corbyn’ T-shirts for his first Labour leadership bid.

    This smacks of the same sloppy clueless incompetence, which led to the vote of no-confidence from Labour MPs.

    The Corbyn plan is that he will, through casual incompetence, sell the workers and the UK down the river, while insisting on being chief negotiator, and loudly proclaiming he is a champion fighting for their rights!

  71. So while Corbyn is effectively disabling the UK opposition and “respecting the will of the (conned) people” who voted for the wondrous “Emperor’s New Clothes of brexit”, government has been handed over to the brexiteers to put their non-plan” into operation! !

    (The latest double talk, is about restricting free movement of people from the EU while keeping an “open border” (north/south division of Ireland) with the (EU member)The Irish Republic)

    Corbyn and the loony-left of the Unite Union are still shouting about defending “workers rights”, while supporting throwing away the employment standards and living conditions won by the Euro MPs. The “plan” (such as it is) is to sack the UK Euro MPs to ensure they don’t reacquire such employments standards or living conditions, while Tory brexiteer ministers trot off to arrange “free trade deals with China”, so UK workers can compete on a level playing-field with Chinese sweat-shops, as budget cuts bring health and pollution standards into line with those in Chinese cities!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36877573
    Chancellor Philip Hammond has begun discussions with China on an ambitious free trade deal which could see greater access for major Chinese banks and businesses to the UK economy.

    The Chancellor told the BBC it was time to explore “new opportunities” across the world, including with China, one of the UK’s biggest inward investors.

    Chinese state media reported earlier in the month that the Chinese Ministry of Commerce wants to do a UK free trade deal.

    Mr Hammond has now revealed that Britain is also keen.

    It will be the first time the UK has embarked on such a major project with the second largest economy in the world.

    And will raise concerns about cheap manufactured goods entering the UK more easily.

    “The mood music that I have heard here is very much that this will mean more opportunity for countries like China that are outside the European Union to do business with Britain,” Mr Hammond said.

    “And as Britain leaves the European Union and is not bound by the rules of the European Union perhaps it will be easier to do deals with Britain in the future.”

    At the G20 many countries are now moving into practical mode – the Chancellor campaigned against leaving the EU and China argued against it, but Mr Hammond has clearly signalled that is now a matter for the history books.

    The British public have spoken.

    Yep! The protest voters with no idea, and disinformation fed the media parrots have spoken!

    I am sure those who see opportunities for even larger executive bonuses, will appreciate the left wing support for Corbyn’s (aided and abetted by some trade unions) continued disabling of any organised parliamentary opposition to brexit!

  72. What we have now is a candidate who has told the EU she is a “difficult woman” and is trying to out-trump Trump. A threatening speech that serves no good purpose. A Thatcher wannabe and that is a dangerous position to be in.

    https://youtu.be/FbDLNqfKB3Y

  73. Her followers have been slipping in (sometimes very awkwardly so) the; “me or Jeremy Corbyn” question in exactly the same tone and knew it would appear in this speech. It’s the special smugness at that moment that gives it away.

  74. Olgun #79
    May 3, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    Poor little Theresa who picked up the “better-deal Utopia fantasy trading (no) plan”, and the “super brexiteer negotiating skills package”, has just hit the brick wall of reality, so is now playing the whingeing victim of those nasty realist Europeans who expect people to follow agreed procedures, honour their commitments to pay their debts, and to actually have some understanding of contracts and to have some diplomatic negotiating skills in the real world!

    In a kind of echo of Trumpists chanting ” Drain the swamp”, I await the ‘Kippers chants praising the “no deal option” of “Refuse to pay and Walk away!”

    Of course brexiteers were TOLD last summer that only an expensive split, a worse trade deal, lost exports, companies relocating out of the UK, and damaged relationships with European partners, were the most likely outcomes but hey! – that brexiteer magic crystal ball and a few know-it all- muppets, told them this was just scaremongering!
    As Michael Gove pointed out, “people” are fed-up with “all these experts”!

    Gove is an obvious brexiteer “authority”! – After all, he has had even more votes of no confidence in him from informed people than Corbyn has!

  75. Olgun #82
    May 3, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    Can you see any way out Alan.

    Not at present, although some politicians are trying to get some “Remain” input.

    Not looking good.

    In the meantime, there are some council elections which may give some political indicators!

    It is ironically comical, that Theresa May – having made brexit a key election issue, is now whingeing that the Council of Europe practical responses calling out her fantasy notions of how her government was going to dictate to the other 27 member nations, have been well and truly sat on and squashed – along with fantasies about playing off members against each other!

    So far, those “brilliant” all-knowing brexiteer amateur trade negotiators, don’t even have a seat at the trade negotiating table, let alone a dominant position dictating terms of their own choosing!

  76. @#83 – It is ironically comical, that Theresa May – having made brexit a key election issue, is now whingeing . .. . . . .

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/live/2017/may/03/general-election-2017-official-campaign-begins-politics-live

    General election 2017: May criticised for ‘poisoning’ negotiations with claims of EU election interference – as it happened

    Theresa May accused European politicians of attempting to interfere in the UK general election she called by issuing threats and said the country’s negotiating position had been misrepresented by European media.
    The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, had earlier said he hoped to reach an “entente cordiale” but that there were still some in Britain labouring under the misapprehension that Brexit could be painless.

    May’s claim was attacked by her political opponents, with
    Labour’s shadow foreign secretary, Emily Thornberry, calling them “preposterous, paranoid and xenophobic” and likening the prime minister to a “hybrid of Richard Nixon and Cersei Lannister”.

    The Scottish National Party leader, Nicola Sturgeon, said May had poisoned negotiations for purely partisan reasons.

    After reports that the UK could be handed a €100bn (£84.5bn) bill when leaving the EU,
    the Brexit secretary David Davis said he believed the country could simply walk away from negotiations without pay anything. But he insisted that was not what the government wanted.

    Barnier, said an agreement on what Britain owed would need to be in place before negotiations on a trade deal started.

    Barnier also said that ministers intended to give EU nationals living in the UK a “generous settlement, pretty much what they have now”.

  77. Olgun #86
    Jun 5, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    For the same reason looks like I will be voting Lib Dem because Labour doesn’t stand a chance in my constituency. Do you think it’s a good call?

    If you are voting tactically, you need to identify a credible candidate who has a chance of winning and beating any candidates who look like disaster areas.

    I think the best chance for the country is a hung parliament with no overall majority for either of the major parties.

    That way they will have to listen to the Scots, the Greens and the Lib-Dems. The Irish and Welsh MPs will be a bit of a wild card!
    The Irish border will certainly be a brexit issue, but there could be underlying hidden agendas there.

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