back to article Brexit government pledge sought to keep EU-backed UK science alive

Scientists and politicans have called on the Brexit government to keep funding EU-backed projects at current rates or risk becoming a backwater. Nicola Blackwood, chair of Parliament's Science and Technology Committee, urged the Brexit Government to move quickly to reassure scientists and their collaborators in the EU that the …

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Thank you Google

Now I know what Bree Exit is; it's when Frodo and the lads left Bree to hunt Orcs!

*goes back to reading bikini pic "articles" on TOI*

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brexit government?

What's that. There is no Brexit government to appeal to. There's a government that's been bounced into starting a process but no indication it or current parliament will be one to make those sort of decisions.

And the promises of those that did the bouncing have already shown to be lacking.

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Re: brexit government?

The referendum result is not legally binding on the government. The start date is when someone invokes article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. That will not be David Cameron. He does not want to be blamed by 48% for pressing the button, or by 52% for not pressing it. He wants to be out by October, and let some other fool suffer the consequences.

Anyone know who can initiate article 50? Does it require a vote in the house of commons who are currently 70% remain. Perhaps an early general election would change that, but that requires a vote of no confidence in the government, by the government. Imagine a bunch of Brexit candidates being asked to comment on the current and impending financial headlines. They would flee in terror from an early general election.

The most obvious outcome of this referendum is some dithering followed by another referendum.

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Re: brexit government?

see my post on the other thread....I agree, I think this is all a circus. The only real information we have is that someone *can* activate Art.50, not that anyone *will*.

Again, there is surreal nature to the whole Bojo mayor becomes Bojo PM, because now he can't be Bojo president...that's gone to another Blondish Pretender...

P.

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JC_

Re: brexit government?

"Anyone know who can initiate article 50?"

Here it is:

1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention.

It's vague, but given there's been a referendum I'd imagine the PM in his role as "head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom" could simply send a letter. Passing a bill or a motion might be the way they actually do it.

I'd expect that if the remaining EU members feel they're getting jerked around with the UK govt. delaying then they might come up with a creative interpretation of "notify" and get the ball rolling.

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Re: brexit government?

"The most obvious outcome of this referendum is some dithering followed by another referendum."

This is my hope. Once all those who voted leave in order to to give Cameron and Osborn a kicking have realised that what they've done is initiated a 10 year recession.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: brexit government? @Adam 52

We're due a *global* depression whether Brexit happens or not. US debt is currently approaching $20 trillion and nothing the central banks try from the West to the Far East is making a damn bit of difference with regards to stimulating growth. I'm afraid the print more money/quantitative easing game simply has its limits.

Now with all that in mind, the question is, do you really think it'll be any less painful if we're tied to the EU which is in a much worse condition structurally, economically and politically than we are, when the shit really starts to hit the fan? I don't see the EU providing any solutions in the months and years ahead, only further problems.

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Re: brexit government?

>"The most obvious outcome of this referendum is some dithering followed by another referendum."

Indeed, the powers that be did not get the answer they wanted so they'll keep asking until they get the result they want.

See "Ireland."

It isn't a resounding mandate from the whole country to leave. But it is a larger mandate than the one to stay. Suggesting that "people didn't really mean it so we can ignore it" shows utter contempt for democracy. This is a far clearer expression of views on this precise subject than any general election platform. Far clearer a mandate than, for example, the use of fox-hunting as a pretense to make the Lords more compliant with the Executive.

Who exactly in the EU is funding our science? Would that be the Greeks or the Spanish, the Danish or Dutch? The Germans or the Poles perhaps? Where is this money coming from? Maybe the French are funding our science.

Another question is "Why is the EU funding our science?" If we aren't a net beneficiary or the EU has a no impact on our income, why are they holding the purse strings for science? Does it improve trade? Is it required for the organisation of a single market, the free movement of goods, services and people? Or is it just a power grab so the EU institution gets some PR for "giving funding to science?"

While the downturn in economics always leads to unpleasant racist politics, I suspect most people who voted "leave" don't dislike Europe or Europeans, what they dislike is the institution of the European Union which is about as "white middle-aged male" as you can get, and its the usual supporters of "white middle-aged-male" institutions who have had enough. Having said that, you can be sure that if Westminster does ignore or seek to revise the referendum results, you're going to see a major swing away from the middle of politics and its going to get ugly.

Cameron has turned out to be a coward. You don't ask people what they want, and when they don't choose what you want, refuse to follow through. "Would you like Coke or Pepsi? Ah, you didn't choose Coke (I like Coke), maybe the next waiter can help you. No, no-one else can serve you until I go off shift, but I'm going to stay here for a bit." Even if the waiter is going off-shift and the drink won't arrive for a while and is delivered by someone else, we do expect the order to be placed. Cameron forgets he was elected to serve us, not get huffy when he doesn't get his way.

As far as the economy is concerned, its already shot. There is recession coming all over the world due to the debt the neo-Keynesians have racked up. All that "government debt" that's piling up despite several governments mouthing of the word "austerity" actually belongs to the people. We are the ones who will have to pay it off. Our standard of living will plummet as inflation climbs. I suspect that as in the 80's the UK will take the hit first, but we'll also come out of it first. If we manage to pay off our debt in ten years, I'd be pleased with that result.

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Re: brexit government?

"Cameron has turned out to be a coward. You don't ask people what they want, and when they don't choose what you want, refuse to follow through."

Well, no.

Since people within his own party voted to leave, it makes sense that they are allowed to implement the mess they asked for. Without Boris bringing in the non-UKIP vote, I doubt very much that the Brexiters would have managed a majority.

Besides, he wouldn't be trusted to implement something he doesn't believe in.

Those complaining, I suspect, don't see the leaders of the Brexit campaign as very statesmanlike. I certainly don't.

Back-pedalling on the utopia they presented doesn't instil confidence.

I hope those 90 year olds, who remember what it used to be like, don't get disappointed when the troopers don't arrive and clear out all that Eastern European riff-raff before they themselves die of old age. Talk about voting for a pie in the sky...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: brexit government?

Does this man look very statesman-like to you?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPgiI46FCDU

Oh BTW, the "old have stolen the young's future" canard is a total strawman. Only 25% of 18-24 year olds could be bothered to get off their arses and vote in this referendum. The overwhelming majority of that demographic simply don't give a shit about anything beyond the latest American TV series, reality show or phone app. This explains why so many were furiously googling "What is the EU?" *after* the referendum results and the implications of the vote became clear. In terms of raw numbers, I wouldn't be surprised if more geriatrics voted for Remain than did the millennials!

An utterly hopeless, dumbed-down generation which of course plays perfectly into the hands of the ruling elite. We've truly achieved Idiocracy.

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Re: brexit government?

That the stupid youth didn't vote doesn't really have anything to do with the fact that many, many Brexiters voted for non-existing carrots.

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Re: brexit government?

Can we keep the pressure on though by signing this:-

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/131215

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Re: brexit government?

>I'd expect that if the remaining EU members feel they're getting jerked around with the UK govt. delaying then they might come up with a creative interpretation of "notify" and get the ball rolling.

Apparently there's no legal interpretation which allows the EU to decide to start the process without a formal notification.

So it's a stalemate. Cameron's going to pass the buck, because he doesn't to be the one. And no one knows where the buck stops, or if it ever stops at all.

The only people who really want to leave are a large but shrinking proportion of the population, the top level of the EU leadership - specifically Juncker, who needs to learn some humility anyway - and some of the EU countries.

Every one else wants to stay. And the percentage who want to stay in the UK will keep growing as it becomes more and more obvious that Project Fear was really Project Actually We Were Just Warning You What Would Happen For Real.

The vote is an epic disaster and tragedy, but I haven't had this much fun watching the imploding career prospects of all our favourite scheming dishonest politicians careers in my entire life.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: brexit government?

"Another question is "Why is the EU funding our science?" If we aren't a net beneficiary or the EU has a no impact on our income, why are they holding the purse strings for science?"

I can answer part of this one. My sister is doing cancer research, she's based at Oxford but part of a European project. The EU finances the cost of travel, conferences and other sharing between the various EU teams.

My University research was funded by the EU on the back of a grant from the Welcomme Trust, not taxpayers. That's just money the UK (or England as it will be) would have to compete for, and frankly a pan-European team is more likely to succeed at both the research and getting the grant.

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Re: brexit government? @kryptylomese

Read this article very carefully and consider whether you want to jump from the frying pan straight back into the fire.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-06-26/civil-uprising-escalates-8th-eu-nation-threatens-referendum

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Re: brexit government?

Well said. This is BAD, VERY BAD, for UK science (something we're actually really, really good at) We're the second most cited country behind the US World wide, we win over 1/5 of all EU science contracts (despite being BOTTOM yep BOTTOM of the G7 for science funding, just in case any of you say "well its our money anyway so the government will fill the hole, remembering of course all of the £350M a week will go to the NHS) Not forgetting this EU money isn't hand outs like say Objective 1 monies, this is contracted work that we can bid for and do very well at winning. The worry is depending on the outcomes of trade talks we will be limited in what work we can bid on. The government as already shafted the science community NC monies have been reduced and the whole future of the Research Councils is up in the air and now this! The lab I work in gets around 40% of its income from EU contracts, some areas of research over the last 5yrs has been 80% funded by EU contracts! We have something like 25% of our workforce from the EU.

RIP UK Science

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Re: need a brexit petition

"Can we keep the pressure on though by signing this:-

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/131215"

I doubt it. What we need is a gov petition to force immediate notification under article 50. Feet to the fire time, find out what plan the Eton crew had for self benefit. Though it looks very like the plan actually went wrong and they weren't all expecting to have to deal with brexit.

The alternative is Johnson,Gove and co spend the next 3 years pretending the EU is blocking them (and the voters will fall for it again) then, if they aren't offered improbable and unbelievable terms to stay (not happening) they'll have timed it to steal the 2020 election. Before the public feel any real pain from brexit :(

Cynical? I find you can never be too cynical when politicians are involved.

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Re: brexit government?

>Only 25% of 18-24 year olds could be bothered to get off their arses and vote in this referendum.

'Twas ever thus. I'm 65, and my generation (my, my, my gggeneration) was just as apathetic/confused.

We may have gone on protest marches, but we didn't vote.

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Re: brexit government?

Wah! We lost, so now we want to change the rules...

Fuckwit.

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"Hook demanded an immediate pledge"

Who the hell is he to demand anything?

Now we get to decide how we spend our money that was half the point.

If you think you have a deserving case make it and *ask*.

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Re: "Hook demanded an immediate pledge"

You don't get to decide how your money is spent though- that wasn't the point of the referendum- and Nigel Farrage is after admitting that the 350m a week simply doesn't exist.

The default will have to be that pre-existing EU spending in the UK should be met from Central Funds- unless a valid argument is made as to why it should not.

Keep in mind- the Norwegian and Swiss contributions to the EU budget- in exchange for access to the Single Market- which the government has insisted it will have access to- is actually higher- per head of population- than the UK contributions were- before yesterday........

If you want to look at the argument about EU regulations- Norway and Switzerland have to implement 93 of the most expensive 100 regulations in the EU- only they have no seat at the table to negotiate the regulations..........

Best case scenario- is that the UK is offered a similar package to that enjoyed by Norway and Switzerland- however- there is no net financial benefit to the UK from this............

Look at the two UK countries who voted to remain in the EU- Scotland and Northern Ireland- both receive massive EU subventions- in Northern Ireland to the tune of 6.4 billion per annum. Can you see the British Treasury take on 19.6 billion in expenditure- that is currently paid straight by Brussels?

The Leave campaign have sold fairy stories that the Brother's Grimm would be jealous of- unfortunately a majority of the population did not see through their falsehoods- though now- Farrage has officially made a statement that the figures being bandied- the mythical 350m a week- is complete and utter bollox.

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Re: "Hook demanded an immediate pledge"

"19.6 billion in expenditure- that is currently paid straight by Brussels?"

So the EU is going to be 19.6 billion better off - you would think they would be a bit happier about us leaving.

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Re: "Hook demanded an immediate pledge"

As the pie is now smaller, some projects get less funding and some get none.

It's the economy, stupid.

:(

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Pint

Re: "Hook demanded an immediate pledge"

Well, Norway did not join because of its fishing rights... but yes, they have to implement almost all of the rules and have no say in them. Many still think it was a good decision not to join the EU. It does come with monetary costs and some inconvenience though.

Basically the "leave and we will make our own regulations" is not true - at least not if one wants free market access / integration, I guess many businesses driving the British economy would want that.

I'm still feeling... empty... checked the calendar twice to see if it's the 1st of April... I'll now try to at least change the "empty" (icon)

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Re: "Hook demanded an immediate pledge"

you would think they would be a bit happier about us leaving.

Why should anyone be happy about wasting time, resources and money which could be spent on something more productive. On top of everything, after the Eu has grudgingly said, OK, we will get on with it if you wish so, you get the two Eaton raised and Oxford educated w*nkers not bothering to even start the process and passing each other the ball in public. I think that was probably the final straw which pissed off the continent most of all (especially the Germans) - to the tune where they are now looking to invoke article 50 on the Eu side regardless of when UK will bother to do so.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Hook demanded an immediate pledge"

It's Eton actually.

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Re: "Hook demanded an immediate pledge"

When I joked two days ago that next thing after Brexit should be abolishing science in the UK, I received a few down votes.

And now we see a real example of the very narrow mind attitude.

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Re: "Hook demanded an immediate pledge"

"Why should anyone be happy about wasting time, resources and money which could be spent on something more productive."

Dunno that sounds like quite a good description of what the EU does.

The reality is they will be about 8.5 billion p.a. down on spending money and have to worry about trying to keep the 8 billion a month trade surplus the EU has with the UK while being tough on the UK to discourage other members from conducting similar experiments with democracy.

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Re: "Hook demanded an immediate pledge"

Keep in mind- the Norwegian and Swiss contributions to the EU budget- in exchange for access to the Single Market-...

If the EU block access, then there will be a lot of short term pain. But more for them than us, since we run a £50-100bn a year trade deficit with the EU and we'll be their single biggest export market. If they don't want to sell their cars here, fine by me, the UK needs to balance its trade books. The main risk is that our spineless politicians and incompetent bureaucrats are too stupid to realise that we have the whip hand in trade discussions and throw the advantage away.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Hook demanded an immediate pledge"

"Now we get to decide how we spend our money "

What's the weather like on your planet?

Farage has already said the "to spend on the NHS" thing was an outright lie - oops, sorry, my mistake, I mean an accident that just happened to help win votes

Be careful what you wish for, you just go tit.

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Re:But more for them than us, since we run a £50-100bn a year trade deficit with the EU.

They won't be able to assume that will carry on because of the drop in the Pound vs the Euro.

Also quite a bit of that may relocate back to the EU.

I think the EU will suddenly decide the Crimean Plebiscite was valid and they can be friends with Russia again, and they'll take up the slack.

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Re: Re:But more for them than us, since we run a £50-100bn a year trade deficit with the EU.

"I think the EU will suddenly decide the Crimean Plebiscite was valid and they can be friends with Russia again, and they'll take up the slack."

Medium size country decides to sever relationship with a major trade partner, as a result of which economy starts to go titsup (especially as major trading partner isn't very nice about it.)

Part of this country that wanted to keep tht relationship goes off and has a referendum. As a result, it rejoins major trading partner.

America declares sanctions of major partner and expects EU to enforce them.

Except for the last bit, that could potentially be the scenario with Scotland as well as with Crimea. The "return to Russia" vote in the Crimea wasn't much different from the referendum result in Scotland.

So...if the EU allows Scotland to stay, will President Trump demand the EU levy sanctions against itself?

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Re: "Hook demanded an immediate pledge"

They aren´t happy as the cost for their economies has been huge.

But now they want us to go out as soon as possible.

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Re: "Hook demanded an immediate pledge"

Yes, great, because that worked SO well for Cuba...

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Gen IV

This would be an appropriate time to upgrade the UK's nuclear research commitment to full membership of the Generation IV International Forum.

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Re: Gen IV

would be an appropriate time to upgrade the UK's nuclear research commitment to full membership of the Generation IV International Forum

Why? The UK will need new nuclear plant to replace the already-life-extended AGRs long before any Gen IV project becomes production ready. The Areva EPR is a total mess, and (hopefully) the obscenely overpriced Hinkley Point C project will now be canned. Areva still don't have a working EPR anywhere, EDF never wanted to build Hinkley Point once the costs became clear, and the French government will now see no reason to backstop EDF's finances.

Which means that the UK has two options for our electricity - a new dash for gas using CCGT, or to turn to proven Gen III nuclear technologies that can be built out serially at lower cost. It is possible that the AP1000 proposed for Moorside (Sellafield/Windscale/Calder Hall) might count, but there's still no working example in the world, albeit the projects under construction are neither as delayed nor as costly as the EPR.

I would suggest that a better nuclear bet would be for DECC to stop dicking around with multiple, unproven designs from rather unwilling consortia and to licence the Korean APR1400. There's s already a reference example in operation, and about another seven under construction, three of them at very advanced stages.

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The fight over the crumbs begins.

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Quite. I'm torn between financial action to protect my pension and stockpiling weapons while I can to enhance my future Road Warrior status.

[deep breath]

I'll commit to trying the political and financial route before expanding the cellar into a revolutionary war room. But if Nigel gets a place in Boris's government, all bets are off.

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Anonymous Coward

Boris Gudonov?

"Boris's government"

Asking as an American:

Is that what the expectation is?

What about Gove?

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Re: Boris Gudonov?

@Meldreth: At the moment there is no really obvious candidate as far as I can tell. BoJo has yet to strike his colours. Michael Gove is a possibility as is Theresa May.

To be honest we are in a bit of a pickle as I see it. We really need a Mr Churchill to surface and lead the country, delivering unforgettable speeches and generally behaving as though things will be all right but unfortunately we have a bunch of Mr Beans doing politics at the moment.

The right side of the pond has changed somewhat overnight and I have a feeling it will change a bit more when the Netherlands and others see that we have not imploded as a result. Europe has always been a bit volatile and we are just adding another chapter to the story. I just hope that it has a happy outcome.

We may well be fucked but I suspect that it will all sort itself out for the best in the end. As the GBP:USD ratio tanks it would be nice to hear "she'll be right" (*) with reasoning from an authoritative figure that we can all respect.

Cheers

Jon

(*) en_NZ: Concise representation of what I would have waffled in en_GB - cheers Murray Ball for Footrot Flats. May well be en_AU as well but I don't know.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Boris Gudonov?

Familiar with both Messrs Churchill and Bean: if you have any spare Churchills around, we have an unlimited supply of Beans - perhaps a swap?

We have this election coming up....

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Re: Boris Gudonov? @gerdesj

As the GBP:USD ratio tanks it would be nice to hear "she'll be right" (*) with reasoning from an authoritative figure that we can all respect.

The say that when the pupil is ready, the master will appear.

A tanking exchange rate is brilliant for the UK, albeit in the medium term. It strengthens our exporters who need all the help they can get. It makes imports more expensive and reduces demand (which we need to because we can't keep importing more than we export). If the EU choose to get arsey about trade out of juvenile spite, that helps the UK as well, since they buy far less from us than we do from them. Short term those levers won't get the response I describe, and people will moan "we should never have left" as import, energy and foreign holiday prices rise, but had we stayed then sterling would have remained over-valued, our trade deficit would have continued to grow, and we'd have gotten into a bigger pickle that would eventually have come home to roost in even more spectacular style. Simply holding membership of the EU doesn't enable countries to avoid their macro-economic problems forever, as Spain, Greece, Portugal have found, and as Italy, even France may yet.

And it is interesting to note the extent to which UK equity markets bounced back within hours to "only" 3% down, whereas German and French markets reacted worse and didn't recover as much - what does that tell you? The UK equity market had already outperformed European markets for the past six months, and in relative terms we've now improved further. I suspect some of that (relative) euphoria will unwind, but even so, this isn't the end of the world, it's just the UK stating that it wants to trade with Europe (if they are willing), not be governed by Europe. If they aren't willing, then we can all have trade barriers, and the UK can start the work to re-forge the valuable international commercial relationships that it has foolishly neglected for forty years, for the most part with much faster growing economies that those of the EU.

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Anonymous Coward

You forgot to mention the impending prospect of 'The Trumpster' with his finger on the big button

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Re: Boris Gudonov?

> really need a Mr Churchill to surface and lead the country, delivering unforgettable speeches and generally behaving as though things will be all right

Maybe he would start with this speech... http://www.churchill-society-london.org.uk/astonish.html

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Re: Boris Gudonov?

If Boris Johnson is Gudunov, does that make Gove Shuisky and Farage False Dmitri?

The scenario of that opera could be worryingly prescient.

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Anonymous Coward

(Winners)

F**k the French, f**k the Germans. I love them all, but we are so much better on our own. Watch Britain shine, Europe, watch Britian shine.

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Re: (Winners)

Bugger off anon. You can't even be bothered to spell Britain correctly.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: (Winners)

I'm too clever to spell Britain the same way twice. That's why I voted leeve.

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Re: (Winners)

"F**k the French, f**k the Germans. I love them all, but we are so much better on our own. Watch Britain shine, Europe, watch Britian shine."

Some kind of satire, I presume?

One really can't be sure nowadays.

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Anonymous Coward

"Hook demanded an immediate pledge.."

Well, you see Captain Hook: that's the kind of attitude that has people pissed off in the first place.

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