Meanwhile across the pond and the chaos with Brexit

So many executive orders, so much twitter. What to do? Well, discuss it here for one...

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Re: Meanwhile across the pond and the chaos with Brexit

#26 Post by CDFingers » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:36 am

SubRosa wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:47 am
CDFingers wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:01 am
There is always opportunity for profit amid chaos.

CDFingers
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Re: Meanwhile across the pond and the chaos with Brexit

#27 Post by highdesert » Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:27 pm

max129 wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:01 am
This is all 'unintended consequences' - politicians wanted to simplify a complex issue down to super simple reductions. In fact, they crossed the line from truth to falsehood early in the Brexit promotions. Ignoring the Northern Ireland border issue was one of those issues that got removed from the story. Brexit was going to shut down the flow of immigrants. (Seen the native British birth rate? The British NEED immigrants. Hell, 25% of the NHS may be immigrants.)
Yes the Brexiteers lied, like in this poster with Trump's buddy Nigel Farage (UKIP leader) front and center.

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And this, which is also a lie.

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The Brexiteers want access to the EU market, but the price from the EU is open borders. The Brexiteers yearn for the old days of Empire which are gone forever. German site has it: "What a Brexshit!"

Prime Minister Theresa May said on Wednesday that Britain will be leaving the European Union on March 29, and that the bloc would only consider extending the ‘Article 50’ negotiating period if there was a credible alternative exit plan.

“The government’s policy is that we are leaving the European Union on the 29th of March. But the EU would only extend Article 50 if actually it was clear that there was a plan that was moving towards an agreed deal,” she told parliament, a day after her proposed Brexit deal was rejected by a large margin.
https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-brit ... SKCN1PA1M0

Looks like May is playing the brinkmanship card and welcomes chaos.
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Re: Meanwhile across the pond and the chaos with Brexit

#28 Post by Buck13 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 2:43 pm

And...she survives another vote! Barely.

I assume this means the Tories fear NOTHING so much as a general election at this point. Are her DUP buddies still backing her? I don't know how British newpapers work.

Scottish National Party demands extension of Article 50 and a second referendum. Bring me more popcorn! (Just kidding...I'm on a stupid low-carb diet. Bring me a handful of roasted almonds.)
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Re: Meanwhile across the pond and the chaos with Brexit

#29 Post by highdesert » Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:39 pm

Yes the Ice Queen won by 19 votes (306 to 325), she keeps the keys to 10 Downing Street for now. It was expected.
Mrs May said she would start talks with other party leaders to find a Brexit compromise that MPs will back. Giving her reaction to the result, Mrs May told MPs she would "continue to work to deliver on the solemn promise to the people of this country to deliver on the result of the referendum and leave the European Union".

She invited leaders of all parties to have individual meetings with her on the way ahead for Brexit - starting tonight with offers made to the Westminster leaders of Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the SNP and Plaid Cymru [Wales independence party] - but called on them to approach them with a "constructive spirit". "We must find solutions that are negotiable and command sufficient support in this House," she added.
Mr Corbyn's no confidence motion was backed by all the opposition parties, including the Scottish National Party and the Liberal Democrats. His party has not ruled out tabling further no confidence motions - but Mr Corbyn is under pressure from dozens of his own MPs and other opposition parties to now get behind calls for a further EU referendum instead.
The leader of the Liberal Democrats, Vince Cable, said it would be "silly not to talk", but he also said no deal had to be taken off the table, as well as the PM having a "willingness" to discuss another referendum - which is the party's preference. Sir Vince also reiterated his calls from Jeremy Corbyn to get behind the "People's Vote" [for a second referendum] too now that he had lost his no confidence motion. "He has now got to change his position and come behind the 'People's Vote' or he will just be seen, and will be, a handmaiden of Brexit," he told BBC News.
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-46899466

Jeremy Corbyn wants to be prime minister so...bad. If he doesn't change course on a second referendum reports are that Momentum and other groups will abandon him.
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Re: Meanwhile across the pond and the chaos with Brexit

#30 Post by K9s » Thu Jan 17, 2019 2:57 pm

Interesting viewpoint from India made me chuckle.

The Malign Incompetence of the British Ruling Class: With Brexit, the chumocrats who drew borders from India to Ireland are getting a taste of their own medicine.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/17/opin ... mpire.html
Describing Britain’s calamitous exit from its Indian empire in 1947, the novelist Paul Scott wrote that in India the British “came to the end of themselves as they were” — that is, to the end of their exalted idea about themselves. Scott was among those shocked by how hastily and ruthlessly the British, who had ruled India for more than a century, condemned it to fragmentation and anarchy; how Louis Mountbatten, accurately described by the right-wing historian Andrew Roberts as a “mendacious, intellectually limited hustler,” came to preside, as the last British viceroy of India, over the destiny of some 400 million people.

Britain’s rupture with the European Union is proving to be another act of moral dereliction by the country’s rulers. The Brexiteers, pursuing a fantasy of imperial-era strength and self-sufficiency, have repeatedly revealed their hubris, mulishness and ineptitude over the past two years. Though originally a “Remainer,” Prime Minister Theresa May has matched their arrogant obduracy, imposing a patently unworkable timetable of two years on Brexit and laying down red lines that undermined negotiations with Brussels and doomed her deal to resoundingly bipartisan rejection this week in Parliament.

Such a pattern of egotistic and destructive behavior by the British elite flabbergasts many people today. But it was already manifest seven decades ago during Britain’s rash exit from India.

Mountbatten, derided as “Master of Disaster” in British naval circles, was a representative member of a small group of upper- and middle-class British men from which the imperial masters of Asia and Africa were recruited. Abysmally equipped for their immense responsibilities, they were nevertheless allowed by Britain’s brute imperial power to blunder through the world — a “world of whose richness and subtlety,” as E.M. Forster wrote in “Notes on the English Character,” they could “have no conception.”

Forster blamed Britain’s political fiascos on its privately educated men, callow beneficiaries of the country’s elitist public school system. These eternal schoolboys whose “weight is out of all proportion” to their numbers are certainly overrepresented among Tories. They have today plunged Britain into its worst crisis, exposing its incestuous and self-serving ruling class like never before.

From David Cameron, who recklessly gambled his country’s future on a referendum in order to isolate some whingers in his Conservative party, to the opportunistic Boris Johnson, who jumped on the Brexit bandwagon to secure the prime ministerial chair once warmed by his role model Winston Churchill, and the top-hatted, theatrically retro Jacob Rees-Mogg, whose fund management company has set up an office within the European Union even as he vehemently scorns it, the British political class has offered to the world an astounding spectacle of mendacious, intellectually limited hustlers.

Even a columnist for The Economist, an organ of the British elite, now professes dismay over “Oxford chums” who coast through life on “bluff rather than expertise.” “Britain,” the magazine belatedly lamented last month, “is governed by a self-involved clique that rewards group membership above competence and self-confidence above expertise.” In Brexit, the British “chumocracy,” the column declared, “has finally met its Waterloo.”

It is actually more accurate, for those invoking British history, to say that partition — the British Empire’s ruinous exit strategy — has come home. In a grotesque irony, borders imposed in 1921 on Ireland, England’s first colony, have proved to be the biggest stumbling block for the English Brexiteers chasing imperial virility. Moreover, Britain itself faces the prospect of partition if Brexit, a primarily English demand, is achieved and Scottish nationalists renew their call for independence.

It is a measure of English Brexiteers’ political acumen that they were initially oblivious to the volatile Irish question and contemptuous of the Scottish one. Ireland was cynically partitioned to ensure that Protestant settlers outnumber native Catholics in one part of the country. The division provoked decades of violence and consumed thousands of lives. It was partly healed in 1998, when a peace agreement removed the need for security checks along the British-imposed partition line.

The re-imposition of a customs and immigration regime along Britain’s only land border with the European Union was always likely to be resisted with violence. But Brexiteers, awakening late to this ominous possibility, have tried to deny it. A leaked recording revealed Mr. Johnson scorning concerns about the border as “pure millennium bug stuff.”

Politicians and journalists in Ireland are understandably aghast over the aggressive ignorance of English Brexiteers. Business people everywhere are outraged by their cavalier disregard for the economic consequences of new borders. But none of this would surprise anyone who knows of the unconscionable breeziness with which the British ruling class first drew lines through Asia and Africa and then doomed the people living across them to endless suffering.

The malign incompetence of the Brexiteers was precisely prefigured during Britain’s exit from India in 1947, most strikingly in the lack of orderly preparation for it. The British government had announced that India would have independence by June 1948. In the first week of June 1947, however, Mountbatten suddenly proclaimed that the transfer of power would happen on Aug. 15, 1947 — a “ludicrously early date,” as he himself blurted out. In July, a British lawyer named Cyril Radcliffe was entrusted with the task of drawing new boundaries of a country he had never previously visited.

Given only around five weeks to invent the political geography of an India flanked by an eastern and a western wing called Pakistan, Radcliffe failed to visit any villages, communities, rivers or forests along the border he planned to demarcate. Dividing agricultural hinterlands from port cities, and abruptly reducing Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs on either side of the new border to a religious minority, Radcliffe delivered a plan for partition that effectively sentenced millions to death or desolation while bringing him the highest-ranked knighthood.

Up to one million people died, countless women were abducted and raped, and the world’s largest refugee population was created during the population transfers across Radcliffe’s border — an extensive carnage that exceeds all apocalyptic scenarios of Brexit.

In retrospect, Mountbatten had even less reason than Mrs. May to speed up the exit clock — and create insoluble and eternal problems. Just a few months after the botched partition, for instance, India and Pakistan were fighting a war over the disputed territory of Kashmir. None of the concerned parties were pushing for a hasty British exit. As the historian Alex von Tunzelmann points out, “the rush was Mountbatten’s, and his alone.”

Mountbatten was actually less pigheaded than Winston Churchill, whose invocation stiffens the spines of many Brexiteers today. Churchill, a fanatical imperialist, worked harder than any British politician to thwart Indian independence and, as prime minister from 1940 to 1945, did much to compromise it. Seized by a racist fantasy about superior Anglo-Americans, he refused to help Indians cope with famine in 1943 on the grounds that they “breed like rabbits.”

Needless to say, such ravings issued from an ignorance about India as intractable as that of the Brexiteers about Ireland. Churchill’s own secretary of state for India claimed that his boss knew “as much of the Indian problem as George III did of the American colonies.” Churchill displayed in his long career a similarly imperial insouciance toward Ireland, sending countless young Irishmen to their deaths in a catastrophic military fiasco at Gallipoli, Turkey, during World War I and unleashing brutal paramilitaries against Irish nationalists in 1920.

The many crimes of the empire’s bumptious adventurers were enabled by Britain’s great geopolitical power and then obscured by its cultural prestige. This is why images cherished by the British elite of itself as valiant, wise and benevolent could survive, until recently, much damning historical evidence about these masters of disaster from Cyprus to Malaysia, Palestine to South Africa. In recent years, such privately educated and smooth-tongued men as Niall Ferguson and Tony Blair could even present the British as saviors of suffering and benighted humanity, urging American neoconservatives to take up the white man’s burden globally.

Humiliations in neo-imperialist ventures abroad, followed by the rolling calamity of Brexit at home, have cruelly exposed the bluff of what Hannah Arendt called the “quixotic fools of imperialism.” As partition comes home, threatening bloodshed in Ireland and secession in Scotland, and an unimaginable chaos of no-deal Brexit looms, ordinary British people stand to suffer from the untreatable exit wounds once inflicted by Britain’s bumbling chumocrats on millions of Asians and Africans. More ugly historical ironies may yet waylay Britain on its treacherous road to Brexit. But it is safe to say that a long-cossetted British ruling class has finally come to the end of itself as it was.

Pankaj Mishra is the author, most recently, of “Age of Anger: A History of the Present.”
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Re: Meanwhile across the pond and the chaos with Brexit

#31 Post by highdesert » Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:06 pm

Paul Scott is probably best known as the writer of the "Raj Quartet" made into the series "The Jewel in the Crown" which is excellent. Lord Louis Mountbatten was the son of Prince Louis of Battenberg, Admiral of the Fleet and First Sea Lord (equiv to US Chief of Naval Operations) but had to renounce his German titles in WWI and their name was Anglicized to Mountbatten. The royal family's name was also Anglicized from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to Windsor. Lord Louis had a long naval career like his father and was the Supreme Allied Commander, SE Asia in WWII. When Mountbatten was Viceroy of India his wife Edwina was sleeping with Nehru which complicated matters. Lord Louis Mountbatten (later Earl Mountbatten of Burma) was the uncle of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, really a foster father they were very close.

EM Forster commented in his novel, "A Passage to India" about the British civil servants having that "public school attitude" about colonialism and other cultures. Yes Brexit has a lot of the "old school boys" at the helm who yearn for the good old days of empire.

Northern Ireland is a problem of Britain's own making. King James I of England who was James VI of Scotland brought protestant Scots to settle in No Ireland and help subdue the Catholic majority. And when Ireland gained it's independence in the 1920s, Britain carved out the six northern counties that became the province of Northern Ireland (Ulster) and let it govern itself which precipitated the decades of "Troubles" with the IRA, NI protestant militias, the British Army and the corrupt Royal Ulster Constabulary. The hard border between the Republic and NI is at the heart of Brexit.

Churchill was an old empirist, he once commented if I have it correct, "I have not become Her Majesty's prime minister to preside over the dissolution of the empire." But after WWII Britain couldn't afford the empire any longer and the world had changed dramatically.

France, Ireland, Netherlands, Germany and Spain along with rest of the EU are already planning for a no-deal Brexit.https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-46906046
Last edited by highdesert on Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Meanwhile across the pond and the chaos with Brexit

#32 Post by K9s » Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:50 pm

In a lot of ways, I think UK is worse off than the USA. They have a whole lot more to do if they are going to back off this cliff. We have, at most, six more years of Trump. Brexit is Brexit unless they vote again soon. I don't see an easy way out for the UK. They messed up worse than we did - so far.
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Re: Meanwhile across the pond and the chaos with Brexit

#33 Post by Mikeinmich » Thu Jan 17, 2019 7:33 pm

That was really interesting! Just another example of my lack of an education on the rest of the world. Sigh. It does strike me as especially interesting that the US suffers from the same clicking bullshit about the superiority of graduates of “elite” schools even when some of them demonstrate obvious incompetence, stupidity or a lack of an ability to govern and were likely accepted because of connections rather than merit. I doubt all of the brilliant attorneys attended Ivy League schools but you won’t find them on the SC. Of course the whole idea that the children in charge could govern their way out of a paper bag at this point seem a little far fetched at the moment. Lol

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Re: Meanwhile across the pond and the chaos with Brexit

#34 Post by K9s » Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:15 pm

I think it is good that we are having this discussion in the 21st century. "Let them eat cake!" is an attitude that is still alive and well across the globe.
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Re: Meanwhile across the pond and the chaos with Brexit

#35 Post by Bisbee » Fri Jan 18, 2019 12:47 am

Excellent analysis by a very good historian and thinker. I am currently reading Mishra’s, “From The Ruins of Empire; The revolt against the West and the remaking of Asia.”
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Re: Meanwhile across the pond and the chaos with Brexit

#36 Post by YankeeTarheel » Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:33 am

My wife has been saying for about 30 years that we are living through the decline of the American Empire, and, of course, the Orange Shit-Stain is accelerating it exponentially, but it began with Reagan and the GOP working to kill manufacturing and the unions, and, thus, the vast American middle class.

Yet our problems always seem to be foreshadowed by the UK's. For example, NOBODY expect Brexit to pass in mid-2016--so many Brits stayed home and it snuck through. They weren't thrilled with the EU, weren't passionate about it, but were complacent enough not to vote.

Likewise, nobody expected the shit-stain to win, most weren't thrilled with Hillary, so many stayed home or cast protest votes...and the shit-stain snuck through on a technicality that only has come up 5 times since 1788.

It's not exactly that when we sneeze, the UK gets a cold, but more like when the UK gets pneumonia, it foreshadows the US getting the flu. Their "elite" is more elite, their ignorant working class types are more ignorant, etc. Just think: When WE say someone is brilliant we mean they are truly a genius acting like a genius, or nearly so. When they say someone or something is "brilliant" it means it's pretty good.

Yes, this is a GROSS stereotype, but the similarities and this relationship has struck me for decades. Theresa May has NO good alternatives, and neither does Britain.
There's May.
There's their fatter, weirder "Trump", Boris Johnson.
There's anti-Semite Corbyn.

Like all thieving minds, Brexiters figured they could save what they pay to the EU, but not have any of the penalties they now face in leaving! Northern Ireland is caught between those that would want to secede and join the Republic, and retain EU membership, and those that are loyal to the UK. Scotland desperately doesn't want to leave the EU, but as an independent nation they'd have to go through a long, lengthy process to join...and are far to large to merge with Ireland--Ireland would never tolerate it having a smaller population. Then there's Wales, where people STILL don't grow up speaking English! Centuries of their local colonialism in the British Isles, and England's predominance over Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, are finally coming back to haunt them.

At the end of March, the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic closes...And every port and railway stop of the Chunnel becomes a bottleneck for British exports and travelers.

I have an old friend whose husband (her 3rd, but I think he's the keeper) is Dutch, and it's totally unclear what his status will be, if he can stay and work in the UK, or if they both have to leave for the Continent. She just doesn't know and is worried sick as they're both over 60.

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Re: Meanwhile across the pond and the chaos with Brexit

#37 Post by TrueTexan » Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:29 am

Britain's ruling class has a problem. They still think they rule the Empire and control European affairs. This was evidence when they joined the EU but refused to give up the Pound Currency. they wanted the benefits of the EU without the cost. Rule Britannia is long dead.

The American Empire is following the same course. With Orange Slime and his cohorts the slide is just accelerated.
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Re: Meanwhile across the pond and the chaos with Brexit

#38 Post by highdesert » Fri Jan 18, 2019 11:20 am

Historically we've been closely aligned with the UK and in spite of Trump, that's not going away. The UK has a population of about 66 million and Great Britain the island (England, Scotland and Wales) is a little smaller than Oregon and because of their empire, their population is very diverse. They will survive the Brexit ordeal once the chaos is over. The Brexiteers are just trying to run out the clock and leave without any deal. Theresa May is history.

Jeremy Corbyn is a joke, he's never held any cabinet position, he was always a rebel and bucked the party and now that he's party leader he wants everyone to fall in line. If Labour had a leader like Keir Starmer they'd win the next election but voters are afraid of electing Corbyn. The Liberal Democratic Party leader says they won't back another Labour no confidence vote because of Corbyn.

Northern Ireland is backward compared to the Republic, while same sex marriage and abortion were legalized by plebiscite in the Republic (they are legal in England, Scotland and Wales), they are still not legal in Northern Ireland. The Sinn Fein Party which is the political wing of the IRA has members in the Republic parliament (Dail) and in No Ireland elect representatives (7) to the British Parliament at Westminster, but those members never take their seats because they refuse to take the oath of allegiance to the Crown. Prior to the limited US entry into WWII, Churchill was desperate to bring the Republic into the war (the Republic was neutral in WWII) and offered Eamon De Valera (Irish prime minister) to reunite NI with the Republic. It was De Valera who refused, he didn't want the political opposition that NI would bring. If Michael Collins had lived it could have been a very different history.
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Re: Meanwhile across the pond and the chaos with Brexit

#39 Post by K9s » Fri Jan 18, 2019 12:18 pm

So, we agree. Statehood for Puerto Rico, DC, Northern Ireland, England, Wales, and Scotland. Right?

:)
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Re: Meanwhile across the pond and the chaos with Brexit

#40 Post by max129 » Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:56 pm

K9s said:

So, we agree. Statehood for Puerto Rico, DC, Northern Ireland, England, Wales, and Scotland. Right?
Where do I vote for this? I am in. (Even if Wales is on the list.)
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Re: Meanwhile across the pond and the chaos with Brexit

#41 Post by highdesert » Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:34 am

Wales and Scotland both have ruling parties that favor independence and the Scottish National Party (SNP) is pushing for a second independence referendum. They do have regional parliaments (devolution) as does No Ireland and Scottish, Welch and No Irish MPs in the Westminster Parliament can't vote on laws that pertain only to England. PR, DC and NYC still have a chance to become states. :)
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Re: Meanwhile across the pond and the chaos with Brexit

#42 Post by YankeeTarheel » Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:13 am

highdesert wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:34 am
Wales and Scotland both have ruling parties that favor independence and the Scottish National Party (SNP) is pushing for a second independence referendum. They do have regional parliaments (devolution) as does No Ireland and Scottish, Welch and No Irish MPs in the Westminster Parliament can't vote on laws that pertain only to England. PR, DC and NYC still have a chance to become states. :)
No way the GOPers will allow that! SIX more Democratic Senator???? NFW will they tolerate that!
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Re: Meanwhile across the pond and the chaos with Brexit

#43 Post by K9s » Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:08 pm

Well, I assume that Texas would break up into five states and then the five NYC buroughs could, too. I think the best compromise is just to add DC and PR. See how reasonable I am?
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Re: Meanwhile across the pond and the chaos with Brexit

#44 Post by highdesert » Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:34 pm

:hmmm: Independence for Scotland could mean they have to produce more scotch whisky for export, right now the value of food and beverages they export is 5 billion sterling and 80% is whisky. They might have to license more whisky distilleries and more brands, single malt and blends. The US is their biggest export market for whisky. Financing your own country is expensive, I'll help.
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Re: Meanwhile across the pond and the chaos with Brexit

#45 Post by YankeeTarheel » Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:43 pm

highdesert wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:34 pm
:hmmm: Independence for Scotland could mean they have to produce more scotch whisky for export, right now the value of food and beverages they export is 5 billion sterling and 80% is whisky. They might have to license more whisky distilleries and more brands, single malt and blends. The US is their biggest export market for whisky. Financing your own country is expensive, I'll help.
Don't forget: They'll claim the North Sea oil fields as well. But they STILL won't be part of the EU.
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Re: Meanwhile across the pond and the chaos with Brexit

#46 Post by YankeeTarheel » Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:47 pm

K9s wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:08 pm
Well, I assume that Texas would break up into five states and then the five NYC buroughs could, too. I think the best compromise is just to add DC and PR. See how reasonable I am?
Well, we COULD peacefully break up into The Prosperous Liberal Blue States of America and the Antediluvian Red Theocratic Fascist Impoverished States of America, but a lot of good people would want to relocate! And "Blue" would mean in the Black and "Red" would mean in the Red!
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K9s
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Re: Meanwhile across the pond and the chaos with Brexit

#47 Post by K9s » Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:32 pm

YankeeTarheel wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:47 pm
K9s wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:08 pm
Well, I assume that Texas would break up into five states and then the five NYC buroughs could, too. I think the best compromise is just to add DC and PR. See how reasonable I am?
Well, we COULD peacefully break up into The Prosperous Liberal Blue States of America and the Antediluvian Red Theocratic Fascist Impoverished States of America, but a lot of good people would want to relocate! And "Blue" would mean in the Black and "Red" would mean in the Red!
Red states are 40-50% blue. The blue areas have most of the money and good restaurants. You can't just leave us here!

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Re: Meanwhile across the pond and the chaos with Brexit

#48 Post by YankeeTarheel » Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:34 pm

Yeah, I don't know how to handle that--my BIL, MIL and nieces and nephew are all there...
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Re: Meanwhile across the pond and the chaos with Brexit

#49 Post by K9s » Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:02 pm

Maybe a Berlin style solution for the blue cities in red states?
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Re: Meanwhile across the pond and the chaos with Brexit

#50 Post by highdesert » Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:22 am

It's beginning to look like Britain will fall out of the EU without any exit agreement. Earlier this month It looked like Parliament was taking charge, but votes yesterday were that the Commons wants the government to renegotiate the backstop in Ireland. The EU has been saying since November that the deal is done, period. The Conservative Party aided by Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party has made a mess.
For months, Britain’s embattled prime minister, Theresa May, has taken much of the blame for the handling of the withdrawal from the European Union. Now the tarnishing has spread to Parliament.

On Tuesday, lawmakers gave Mrs. May a mandate to renegotiate a legally binding exit deal with the European Union, known as Brexit, even though the bloc says the negotiation cannot be reopened. And, while lawmakers protested the looming prospect of a potentially disastrous exit in less than two months without any agreement, they refused to take the power to stop it.

“I think it’s a travesty that, at this point in the proceedings, with the country facing a grave political and economic crisis, members of Parliament have been voting for things that the European Union says it cannot agree,” said Simon Tilford, an expert on Europe at Chatham House, a research institute based in London. “What was striking was how reluctant members of Parliament were to do anything that could be interpreted as taking back control,” Mr. Tilford added. Brexit, he said, had “discredited the British Parliament and shown the whole British political class in a thoroughly unserious light.”

On Wednesday Mrs. May was preparing for a battle with the European Union, whose leaders have already rejected her new plan endorsed by Parliament to break the Brexit deadlock. Some also warned that the risks of a disorderly departure are rising. For Mrs. May, the votes in Parliament at least won her some time. She can still hope that, as the March 29 exit day comes closer, the European Union might offer her concessions and more lawmakers might eventually support a revised version for her unpopular agreement, for fear of a no-deal exit.
Earlier this month, the 650-seat Parliament rejected Mrs. May’s Brexit deal by the crushing margin of 230 votes, leaving the process in limbo. With Mrs. May facing another vote in Parliament in two weeks, she needs results fast.

Business is growing increasingly alarmed as it ramps up contingency plans for a damaging rupture. After the parliamentary votes, Carolyn Fairbairn, the head of the business lobby group, the Confederation of British Industry, offered a wearily negative verdict, describing the outcome as “deeply frustrating.” “The never-ending parliamentary process limps on while the economic impact of no-deal planning accelerates,” she said. In recent days supermarkets and restaurant chains have warned that some fruit and vegetable supplies could run out and prices could rise if ports are paralyzed and supply chains are disrupted. In a commentary titled “Parliament flops; hard Brexit risk rises,” Kallum Pickering, a senior economist at Berenberg Bank in London, described the actions of lawmakers as “a major opportunity missed.” “Parliament is badly divided over Brexit,” Mr. Pickering wrote. The political paralysis, he wrote raised the risk that Britain “could crash out of the E.U. without a deal.”

For Mrs. May, the good news is that, with the plan to renegotiate, she has temporarily reunited her bitterly divided Conservative Party behind a strategy that, in theory, could help her resurrect her Brexit deal. The bad news is that involves doing something that even she said was impossible only recently.
On Wednesday, the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, said that “the withdrawal agreement will not be renegotiated,” warning that the risks of no deal were rising. His opposition to renegotiating was echoed both by the Austrian chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, and the German foreign minister, Heiko Maas.

Brexit supporters argue that at least Parliament has made a clear demand, albeit one difficult to achieve. They point out that the European Union does not want a no-deal Brexit either and hope that, as the prospect looms, continental Europeans will blink first. So far there is no sign of that outcome. Officials in Brussels seem in no hurry while the British Parliament gives confusing signals.

And speaking to the Ireland broadcaster RTE, the country’s foreign minister, Simon Coveney, rejected Mrs. May’s calls to rewrite the Irish backstop and dismissed her negotiating tactics that threaten a no-deal Brexit. Such tactics, he said, were like saying “either you give me what I want or I will jump out of the window.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/30/worl ... rexit.html

The pound sterling keeps dipping lower, a good time for a trip to the UK but if it's after March 29th wait about three months.
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