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Speaker: A Disorderly Brexit

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  • Rich of Observationz,

    I don't quite understand the "not punish" thing? If the EU allows UK-based corporates continued free access to sell goods and services into Europe without complying with EU laws and regulations, then they'll be "punishing" everybody in mainland Europe by undermining their labour and environmental standards.

    (At the moment, anyone can buy a car in the UK and import it to a mainland EU country without paperwork. A warehouse or factory can ship a container of goods through to anywhere in the EU without it being opened or inspected, That relies on having common standards. Equally, British-based banks can operate in the EU supervised to an agreed standard by the Bank of England.
    When the UK leaves, all that is gone (without an EEA-type agreement to replace it).)

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to John Palethorpe,

    G’wan the boy Corbs.

    Indeed! He has the popular vote of the membership so appointing new shadow ministers so quickly was exactly the right thing to do. May the remaining Blairites piss off and allow the party to flourish.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1436 posts Report Reply

  • John Palethorpe,

    Attachment

    Although the unelected House of Lords Labour group deciding to boycott their elected Parliamentary Party leader is a beautiful touch of self harm from the upper house...

    Auckland • Since May 2015 • 83 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    At the moment, anyone can buy a car in the UK and import it to a mainland EU country without paperwork.

    BMW build minis in the UK and the Netherlands. In a few years, UK minis will attract a sales tariff in the EU while those from the Netherlands won't. Which country would you choose if you were on the BMW board?

    Financial services make up 10% of the UK economy. HSBC have already announced a move to Paris and dozens of others are expected to follow suit.

    The full consequences of the Brexit vote are yet to be unveiled.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1436 posts Report Reply

  • Dennis Frank, in reply to Caleb D'Anvers,

    Caleb, thanks for that link to Ashdown's exit poll you posted earlier. It illuminates the motivation of voters authoritatively (more than 12,000).

    The identity politics section reveals that 79% of leavers identified themselves as English not British, whereas 60% of remainers identified themselves as British not English.

    Of the leavers, 81% thought multiculturalism is a `force for ill’, 80% thought the same of immigration, likewise for social liberalism, 78% likewise viewed the green movement as a `force for ill'(!), 71% had that same view of the internet(!), 69% had it of globalisation. Yet the leavers’ view of capitalism was balanced: 51% negative, 49% positive!

    Of the remainers, the favourable views ranked as follows: 79% immigration, 71% multiculturalism, 68% social liberalism, 62% globalisation & the green movement. They had the identical balanced view of capitalism as the leavers, while they also had a balanced view on the internet (51% for, 49% against).

    Their is no evidence here of any rebellion against the capitalist system: rather, voters seem entirely neutral about that. Looks like the rebellion derives from a cultural divide: a massive chasm, more like. The testimony of those polled reveals a schism in the nation polarising those who embrace multiculturalism, immigration, globalisation & liberalism, against those who loathe these things. Much like the USA…

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 292 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    so will all the British retirees in Spain have to go home when their visas are up?

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    At the moment, anyone can buy a car in the UK and import it to a mainland EU country without paperwork.

    BMW build minis in the UK and the Netherlands. In a few years, UK minis will attract a sales tariff in the EU while those from the Netherlands won't. Which country would you choose if you were on the BMW board?

    BMW ain't the only ones. I had a couple of friends from Derby over yesterday. Derby, effectively, has two employers: Rolls-Royce Aerospace, and Toyota. Toyota originally hedged their bets, and set up a plant in Derby, and one in Paris. Guess which one might now relocate? Rolls-Royce is also highly dependent on mutual co-operation with EADS, a European Union company with primarily French, Dutch and German roots.

    Derby is already a post-industrial shithole with extremely high unemployment and a gutted city centre with that semi-permanent 'atmosphere of imminent violence' all too common in the UK, and which my friends only visit if absolutely necessary. The Specials 'Ghost Town' is going to look like 'everything is awesome!' if either of those two start packing up the wagon.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    so will all the British retirees in Spain have to go home when their visas are up?

    Probably not under the status quo, (but with today’s inconclusive election results who knows what will change down the line), but here’s real concerns judging from the media.

    As soon as Brexit is final, they’re going to have to start paying the full whack for their healthcare just like every other non-EU citizen with resident status. No matter how hard Boris blusters, its going to be a snowball party at Satan's crib before EU taxpayers quietly swallow the healthcare costs for British expats.

    Here's another wrinkle I'd never thought of:

    However, more of a worry to retirees will be whether their state pensions will be up-rated annually. At the moment UK citizens who live in the European Economic Area (and Switzerland) have their state pensions protected - they're pegged to wage or price inflation.

    Following the vote to leave, the UK government will have to decide whether this will continue or whether UK pensioners living in EU countries should be treated as they are if they retire to Canada, for example, where their pension is frozen.

    At the moment, part of the reason that UK pensioners in the rest of the EU see their pension go up every year is because the principle of the single market is applied. That means pensions and other social security payments rise wherever you live. Because this agreement is a mutual arrangement between the UK and the rest of the EU, it is now likely to form part of the renegotiation process.

    However, Tom Selby, senior analyst at AJ Bell, says: "While some believe the government will be able to negotiate protections for expat pensioners - it is worth noting the UK has not arranged a similar deal with a non-EU country since 1981."

    The pound sliding into the crapper is also not great news if your main (or only) source of income is a British pension or investment income not already paid in Euros.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Rich Lock,

    Toyota originally hedged their bets, and set up a plant in Derby, and one in Paris. Guess which one might now relocate? Rolls-Royce is also highly dependent on mutual co-operation with EADS, a European Union company with primarily French, Dutch and German roots.

    And while the Article 50 process may take two years, these companies can't just hang around until the 1922 Committee pulls finger, the Tories decide who their new leader is and the Government deigns to come back to work again.

    Please cue the "evil corporate bastards" music if you must. I sympathize, and hope I'll never be the kind of prick who says an awful lot of Leavers have brought it all down on their own heads and Vote Leave just don't care.

    But its also more than a little naive to think contingency plans weren't being drawn up for a Brexit from the day the referendum was announced, even if the politicians weren't among them.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    I don’t quite understand the “not punish” thing? If the EU allows UK-based corporates continued free access to sell goods and services into Europe without complying with EU laws and regulations, then they’ll be “punishing” everybody in mainland Europe by undermining their labour and environmental standards.

    Let's get down to the brutal electoral realpolitik. The French presidential and German Bundestag elections are coming up next year. Hollande and Merkel would be politically battered if there was even a hint of the UK being allowed access to Europe on those grounds.

    I know the pro-Brexit media love running that "punishment" line, the UK seems determined to act like that ex-flatmate who made you move out but keeps bothering you for money you don't owe, and is still pissy that he has to go buy his own wok.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Rich Lock,

    The Specials 'Ghost Town'

    Speaking of protest songs from the 1980's, I've had this earworm running through my head for the last two days:

    On! on! on! cried the leaders at the back
    We went galloping down the blackened hills
    And into the gaping trap
    The bridges are burnt behind us and there's waiting guns ahead
    Into the valley of death rode the brave hundreds

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    But its also more than a little naive to think contingency plans weren’t being drawn up for a Brexit from the day the referendum was announced, even if the politicians weren’t among them.

    While the tories appear to have no plan B at the ready which explains their current headless chook impression, the EU was certainly preparing contingency plans and is keen to implement them as soon as possible.

    The Institute of Directors has surveyed 1,000 of their members, 20% of whom are already considering moving their businesses outside the UK.

    HSBC has announced a move from London to Paris and other banks are likely to follow soon.

    As government cockups go, this one is a real doozy.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1436 posts Report Reply

  • JLM, in reply to Alfie,

    Sachs is an interesting person. He’s one of the only economists to switch sides from being an avowed Freidmanite who helped to destroy democracies in Latin America, Poland and Russia by advising them on making the transition to market-led economies, to developing a humanist perspective which actually considers the poor.

    That’s a major leap in ideology.

    I remember listening to his Reith lectures when you could hear that switch beginning as he struggled to understand why his audience were asking such hostile questions.

    Judy Martin's southern sl… • Since Apr 2007 • 241 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to John Palethorpe,

    It’s taken him less than 24 hours to do it without being conciliatory to them. All those resignation letters, all that media time, and he’s gone nowhere and shuffled them off to the backbench. G’wan the boy Corbs.

    The timing of the coup attempt is clearly unhelpful and it's clearly at least partly about things other than the referendum.

    But does it not seem that Corbyn was a half-hearted-to-useless campaigner on an issue he was clearly not committed to? Shouldn't he have campaigned properly or tried to win the the argument to align Labour with Leave (which would, to be fair, have been a bloody debacle). I'm a bit lost as to what's good about him right now.

    Jonathan Freedland points out the young voters who helped secure him the leadership were far more passionate about Remaining than Corbyn. And argues that Corbyn was worse than half-hearted:

    Yet this weekend provided evidence of something much more serious. The BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg and others have seen the documents which prove that Corbyn and his top team were guilty of much worse than a lack of enthusiasm. They engaged in “deliberate sabotage” of the remain campaign. They pulled out of critical media appearances at the last minute, or else passed up media opportunities to make the case against Brexit; they removed pro-EU lines from speeches; they repeatedly diluted the official Labour position of support for in.

    My own reporting, speaking to those involved with the in campaign, confirms this account, as does Phil Wilson MP, parliamentary chair of Labour In For Britain. At those moments of the campaign when Labour was to be given the floor, the party had either prepared nothing or used its platform to attack the Tories fronting the remain campaign, rubbishing George Osborne’s warnings of the economic consequences of Brexit for example. There were plans for a dramatic intervention by all Labour’s leaders – past and present – to stand together and call for remain, designed to ram home to Labour supporters where their party stood. But that was scuppered by Corbyn’s refusal to be associated, even indirectly, with Tony Blair. One idea would have seen Blair in Belfast, Gordon Brown in Glasgow, Neil Kinnock in Cardiff and Jeremy Corbyn in England – but Team Corbyn said no to that and every other version of the plan.

    What exactly was going on here?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I Storyfied a pretty compelling stream of tweets from a Northern Irishman called Shocko on the hellish problems the Leave vote poses for his country.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    Speaking as one of the Wandsworth London StrongerIn organisers, Labour was both helpful and not. The individual membership of Labour and their activists were very helpful and friendly. Many volunteered for us when they could.

    They did what they could via backchannels to assist us. However, they were constrained as to what they could give to us on a formal basis. Then there was the decision to call the Tooting by-election, which distracted the party* till a week before the Referendum. At that point the local party seemed to do what it could right up till Get out the Vote on Thursday and that helped us get to about 80% (we think) for Tooting,.

    * although I concede it was smart politics to go to the people on the bounce from the mayorals given the Conservatives had discredited themselves.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1024 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    Regarding that petition, well, I think by this stage everyone knows its provenance and also accepts that it wouldn't change the result. It seems to be as much an exercise in showing our anger.

    It will be interesting to see where it ends up. It does appear quite likely that the Remain groups that formed during the campaign will keep together here and there, where there is a critical mass. Not clear what we can do with that, but in London's case there is a lot of chatter about enhanced devolution (not independence!). There are also a lot of newly minted activists looking for a home - currently that isn't Labour or the Conservatives. It might be the Lib-Dems or the Greens and given how crazy things are today we might even end up with a new party this week (parliamentary rebels?).

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1024 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Ben Austin,

    Thanks for the info, Ben, that's interesting.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Ben Austin,

    They did what they could via backchannels to assist us. However, they were constrained as to what they could give to us on a formal basis.

    So ... constrained by the party leadership? Sheeit.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    Worth noting that Wandsworth also had a large number of Conservative In people helping (the two local MPs and a few councillors). We couldn't have done it without them. Although also worth noting the Vote Leave organisation locally was made of their local comrades, which made things a bit awkward at the Count.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1024 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Seems that way. It wasn't necessarily clear at the time though. The activists didn't always feel able to give us full story. They noted various legal issues with full cooperation.

    Worth noting that a lot of us in StrongerIN at the volunteer level were new to the game, as it were, so had to take advice on trust from friendly sources. Now of course we know a little better.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1024 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    Their is no evidence here of any rebellion against the capitalist system: rather, voters seem entirely neutral about that. Looks like the rebellion derives from a cultural divide: a massive chasm, more like.

    I’d still argue that the divide is basically economic. That exit poll indicates that “leave” voters were disproportionately likely to be on state benefits or pensions and to live on council estates. This section of the “leave” constituency doesn’t participate in markets as fully as the rest of Britain does. They haven’t followed market signals and moved to where there is work. They haven’t engaged with the education system. They’re not mobile, upwardly or otherwise. Instead, the forms of identity and association that make sense to them are localized and non-market-based: the identity claims of family, street, town, region, race, or nation. To the extent to which they belong to an “imagined community” outside their own lived experience, it’s one defined by the information bubbles of The Sun and The Express: hardly a “marketplace of ideas.” This set of allegiances explains why they’re intrinsically hostile not only to economic migrants (those who follow market logic) but also to competing global forms of identity like the internet or the green movement. And pointing out that deprived regions of the UK benefit from (indeed, to a large extent, actually rely on) EU structural funds isn’t likely to cut much ice with them either. As Will Davies point out in Thoughts on the Sociology of Brexit, “handouts don’t produce gratitude.” The economics of top-down social curation combined with an attitude of metropolitan-elite condescension produce local cultures of abiding resentment.

    For erstwhile liberal leftists like me who are appalled by this result, meanwhile, it’s a reminder of how embedded we ourselves are within global neoliberal capitalism, and how much we’ve assimilated that logic into our own identities. We’re a mobile bunch; we’ll happily migrate to follow a job or a career path or shift towns to attend university. Local ties and allegiances might not mean much to us, but that’s a function of our relative privilege. I’m qualified; I’m mobile; I’m open to market signals. But millions of Britons aren’t and the implications of that worldview were made clear to the rest of us on Thursday.

    London SE16 • Since Mar 2008 • 482 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Ben Austin,

    Seems that way. It wasn’t necessarily clear at the time though. The activists didn’t always feel able to give us full story. They noted various legal issues with full cooperation.

    This Guardian story has some detail. What a terrible mess.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I Storyfied a pretty compelling stream of tweets from a Northern Irishman called Shocko on the hellish problems the Leave vote poses for his country.

    Thanks for putting it together. RTs have been popping up my feed for a while, and every single bloody one of them in heart-breaking. I guess we can just put “the ugly and raw symbolism of thousands of Irish having to negotiate armed guards and checkpoints every day” to the dizzyingly long list of shit nobody thought through.

    But does it not seem that Corbyn was a half-hearted-to-useless campaigner on an issue he was clearly not committed to? Shouldn’t he have campaigned properly or tried to win the the argument to align Labour with Leave (which would, to be fair, have been a bloody debacle).

    Yes and yes, but there’s still this frankly bizarre narrative among Corbynistas that Brexit was all about “working class rage at Tory austerity” and somehow Labour is going to leverage this into an overwhelming victory at a snap election that will happen by the end of the year. Which is downright delusional on so many levels, it is terrifying.

    Something else: I know Corbyn and large swathes of the media have a relationship that could most politely be described as "mutual contempt". But it's a little disingenuous to be pearl-clutching and crying media bias when the Brexit media swooned every damn time he appeared at a Remain even and started with "I'm no fan of the EU, but..."

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers, in reply to Russell Brown,

    You have to bear in mind the recent trauma of losing Scotland to the SNP in the wake of the Scottish independence referendum. The lesson that the Labour leadership seems to have taken from that turn of events is that coordinating too closely with the Tories toxifies the Labour brand and reinforces the “they’re all the same” strain of cynicism that has been eroding the Labour vote since Blair. Also, as others have already pointed out on this thread, exit polling suggests that the Labour vote did go to “remain” by a large margin: between 63% and 70% of those who voted Labour in 2015 cast a ballot for “remain” in this referendum. This (according to the Ashcroft polling data) compares with corresponding figures of just 42% for the Tories, 64% for the SNP, and 70% for the avowedly Europhile Lib Dems. Claims that Labour’s campaign was singularly inept simply don’t hold up in the light of those figures. The fact that Freedland and his Guardian colleagues aren’t laying into Sturgeon and Farron for failing to mobilise their bases indicates that there’s a certain degree of bad faith in this reporting, as there is with most Guardian coverage of Corbyn and his faction.

    I’d also point out that disproportionate support for “leave” in Labour strongholds isn’t the same thing as Labour supporters voting leave. By and large, these voters probably weren’t Labour. Instead, they were largely habitual non-voters or what used to be called the “Tory working class,” largely invisible under First Past the Post and used to their votes not counting in national elections.

    London SE16 • Since Mar 2008 • 482 posts Report Reply

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