back to article IT systems still in limbo as UK.gov departments await Brexit policy – MPs

The two UK government departments most exposed to Brexit have yet to show progress on how their IT systems will cope with the "unprecedented" challenge of leaving the EU – Parliament's Public Accounts Committee today warned. "The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for International …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    La la la la

    what 3 years to completely redesign every system that does any form of interaction with our largest trading partner?

    We'll give you the design criteria in a years time, until then...la la la la laaa

    Oh look a pigeon.

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Re: La la la la

      That's not pigeon it's an incognito squirrel

      1. Christoph Silver badge

        Re: La la la la

        It's an omen pigeon

    2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: La la la la

      Simple answer: Go back to pencil and paper systems operated by the extra million or two unemployed we're going to end up with as a result of leaving the EU.

  2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    The Agri & Horticultural Development Board impact study reckons most british farmers..

    are f**ked.

    Only Pig farmers survive in all scenarios.

    The only way it's BAU for "British Farming Ltd" is for DEFRA to maintain all the CAP payments.

    Otherwise upland sheep, lowland dairy and cattle, arable and worst case even chicken production is all roadkill.

    But hey maybe the fishermen won't have to abide by the hated fishing quota system?

    Err, no. They will for at least 2 years after Brexit, maybe more.

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: The Agri & Horticultural Development Board impact study reckons most british farmers..

      Maybe the fishermen won't have to abide by the hated fishing quota system?

      Maybe no-one will. It's not just the IT that's ill-prepared...

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: The Agri & Horticultural Development Board impact study reckons most british farmers..

      "But hey maybe the fishermen won't have to abide by the hated fishing quota system?"

      And those who depend on the hated EU as a market for their catch (because we're only really keen on a limited range of species) aren't going to be able to sell what they do catch.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: The Agri & Horticultural Development Board impact study reckons most british farmers..

        On the other hand, the UK might be able to capitalise on its headless chicken mountain.

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        "And those who depend on the hated EU as a market for their catch "

        Nonsense, that's just remoaner scare mongering. Of course they will be able to sell them.

        Subject to the non-EU import tariff first of course.

        Because membership had it's privileges, which will now be gone.

    3. teknopaul Bronze badge

      Re: The Agri & Horticultural Development Board impact study reckons most british farmers..

      Sea rape is not a national issue. You cant go it alone on that one. Gonna have to talk to the neighbors im afraid.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Clearly those in government don't want to do Brexit so we are going to be left with a big steaming turd when/if we leave.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Clearly those in government don't want to do Brexit"

      There seem to be plenty who do.

      "so we are going to be left with a big steaming turd when/if we leave."

      No argument there. But it's not because the government don't want Brexit, it's because they want it so much that they just charged on without impact assessment, planning or anything else which might have been relevant.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You might be right, just doesn't seem that way, neither side can agree what it is going to be so we can't do anything and neither can they.

      2. FlamingDeath Bronze badge

        "it's because they want it so much that they just charged on without impact assessment"

        A bit like Iraq then

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Clearly those in government don't want to do Brexit

      They do. However they have the understanding of the subject matter of an Oxford University humanitarian degree graduate combined with the hubris of an Oxford University humanitarian degree graduate. The so called "red brick lodged in rectum" syndrome.

      To put it bluntly, if they had even the faintest clue of how much REAL work it is to execute successfully on this one, they would have never been waving the BrExit banner. I am leaving all arguments of "pro and con in the endgame" aside and leaving just the execution here by the way.

      Personally, I am preparing my retreat positions abroad. I have observed the action blockbuster called "cold turkey removal of a country from a trading block" after the dissolution of the Eastern European trading agreements in the 1990es(*). It is a B-movie one does not want to watch from the front row more than once in a lifetime. I watched it once. It's enough. Yes I do not need to see decades in the future as I have seen this cluster*ck a few decades in the past.

      By the way, we are already observing the opening sequence - on every UK road. It looks exactly the way Polish, Bulgarian, Romanian, Hungarian and Czech roads looked in the 1990-es. If you have any objection to that you are probably driving a tank (or something similar which does not notice potholes).

      (*)It is irrelevant is a trading block good, bad, red or blue. One day you have relationships spanning 20 years with suppliers and customers. The next day you do not and there is no money to pay your workers so you are parking agricultural, industrial, etc machinery on the lawn in front of the parliament asking for money - which they do not have. It is as simple as that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I was talking about the civil service not wanting to do Brexit, we all know the politician splits that will eventually lead to another general election and vote.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "I was talking about the civil service not wanting to do Brexit"

          Of course not. Whatever's said about the Civil Service they have a much better grasp of reality than do politicians.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "To put it bluntly, if they had even the faintest clue of how much REAL work it is to execute successfully on this one, they would have never been waving the BrExit banner."

        They probably would still have been waving it. Why should the amount of REAL work matter? Somebody else does that.

      3. Milton Silver badge

        "cold turkey removal of a country from a trading block"

        Voland's right hand makes a few good points.

        The quality of "thinking" in UK politics is pitiful and certainly not improved by the fact that that lowest of of all life forms, the Career Politician, is "educated" with crap like PPE—the posh equivalent of a Tourism degree. People whose minds are already crippled by an affinity for politics need a scientific education to cure them, not more rubbish that reinforces their delusion that style and spin are all that matters while detail and substance are irrelevant. Imagine how much less shit would have spewed from the minds and mouths of a Boris, an Osborne or a Cameron if they'd had to get a decent degree in something hard like physics. The intellectual poverty, and often outright bankruptcy, of the Westminster clowns is doing terrible damage.

        The comparison of Brexit consequences with what happened in 1990s easter Europe is also telling. I suspect that even those who are thoughtful and realistic about the disastrous effects of Brexit haven't really appreciated all the knock-on pitfalls and losses this country will experience.

        You could perhaps argue that the UK will do better than those former Warsaw Pact nations, given that it has a much larger economy, already trades extensively overseas and, critically, isn't hampered by a command economy. That would seem logical. But it's also arguable that we have some very specific weaknesses that are going to make this crash especially catastrophic. These include: positively barbaric, Victorian-era levels of inequality, accompanied by the seeds of a US-style regressiveness of economic policy; a savaged social welfare system; crippling under-investment in police, schools, health and transport infrastructure; an increasingly dysfunctional democracy, "led" by manifest fools like May; a sewerpress which, with ever fewer exceptions (nod to The Guardian) has become a toxic swamp of propaganda and hate-filled populist screeching; and a population that ceases to value mature, rational, evidence-based decision-making.

        Yes, Brexit is a symptom of the Age of Stupid, the sheer lazy ignorance of politicians and the tribal polarisation of culture leading to bigotry and hate: it arises from the loss of our ability to work together like thinking, rational, adults.

        But those same weaknesses are also going to make the actuality of Brexit much, much worse than it needs to be. Brexit was always going to severely damage the UK, but the same forces that make it happen are actually also going to make the damage a lot more severe and enduring.

        The angry, stupid children have smashed up the house: and they are precisely the wrong people to fix it.

        1. Dr Paul Taylor

          Who smashed up the house?

          The angry, stupid children have smashed up the house: and they are precisely the wrong people to fix it.

          Agree with you completely, except that the angry stupid grandma and grandpa smashed up the house, leaving the children to fix it.

          I have been of the opinion since Gordon Brown was in no 10 that we have no competent politicians in any of the parties.

          1. Stoneshop Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Who smashed up the house?

            Agree with you completely, except that the angry stupid grandma and grandpa smashed up the house, leaving the children to fix it.

            For which they barely have the tools, skills and experience. Maybe they'd do better getting some East-European workers ... oh, hm.

            1. teknopaul Bronze badge

              Re: Who smashed up the house?

              Maybe they'd do better getting some...

              Honestly. Crap racist jokes like this are the _cause_ of your woes.

              Replace East-European with black or women in that sentence. reevaluate your "joke" and realise its unacceptable now. And always.

              Were it unacceptable two years ago uk would not be where it is now. If you lose your anti-european racism you might be allowed back in one day.

              1. Stoneshop Silver badge

                Re: Who smashed up the house?

                Crap racist jokes like this are the _cause_ of your woes.

                My woes? You're so barking up the wrong tree.

                And geographical origin is not equal to race. Apart from that, a large part of the reason you'll find East Europeans working construction in Western Europe is that a) there are jobs here, more than there are at home, and b) those jobs' pay is better than those at home.

                Good luck with you lot getting those jobs filled next year.

                1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

                  Re: Who smashed up the house?

                  Good luck with you lot getting those jobs filled next year.

                  Same as the Gulf states, we allow large construction companies to bring in unlimited numbers of cheap Indian/ Bangladeshi workers to do the job, live on site, be paid a pittance, and shipped home at the end of the job. Obviously to make it profitable we will have to relax health and safety and workers rights a little - but that's why we voted to be free from euro-justice meddling.

                  The British people will love it - Auf Weidersehen Pet meets Bridge on the River Kwai

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Who smashed up the house?

                @teknopaul

                It wasn't a joke - it's called irony.

                And it's perfectly acceptable.

          2. Adrian 4 Silver badge

            Re: Who smashed up the house?

            Yes. though Gordon Brown is far too recent a watermark (and possibly a poor one - his main fault seems to have been that he didn't handle the media well).

            I can't remember a competent minister in my entire life, and I'm not far off retirement age. Perhaps I missed one pre-thatcher, I wasn't really aware of their faults before she dispelled my parent's belief in the conservatives. But although there may be a few competent MPs, they're all culled before they reach newsworthiness.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Who smashed up the house?

              Perhaps I missed one pre-thatcher

              Thatcher was competent, I.M.O. Not only that, she was Three things: Evil, Productive and Competent .... Misery^4.

              Theresa May wants to brand herself as Mrs T. reincarnated (probably from a vat in a secret facility somewhere adding super-powers) but I.M.O. only manages to highlight how much of a screwup and lightweight she is compared to The One. One should in principle be grateful for that - except, IMO, stupid, incompetent people are overall far worse threats than capable but evil people -

              Because "competent evil" has a plan, we can then work to sabotage the plan.

              "Incompetent stupid" have no plans, they are random people, one can never know what they are going to do next, they have no limiters, and they never stop. They are too stupid to realise that not doing anything would be more productive and people would like them more.

              1. H in The Hague Silver badge

                Re: Who smashed up the house?

                "Theresa May wants to brand herself as Mrs T. reincarnated"

                Which ain't going to work too well as she has neither Mrs T's clear vision, nor her leadership ability (not that I'm a massive Thatcher fan).

                Incidentally, being slightly to the right of the political centre, my favourite Mrs T quote is "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money to spend." Strikes me that you could replace 'socialism' by 'Brexit'.

      4. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

        subject matter of an Oxford University <b>humanitarian</b> degree graduate

        While I agree with much of your post I'd just mention that it's "humanities". If you think Johnson and Rees-Mogg are humanitarians you might also want to invest in my Bering Strait Bridge project.

        Cameron (and Miliband) did PPE - a bit of philosophy, a bit of politics and a bit of reconomics while spending much of your time down the Union scoring debating points. Fine when politics was an amusing pastime for sons of the peerage too clever for the Army but not clever enough for the Church.

        Johnson did classical literature - reading books from a time around 2000 years ago when slavery was fine, women were oppressed but we're supposed to look up to them because of nude statues and an empire. He managed to get a 2:1, which hardly makes him a genius,

        And Rees-Mogg did history, I'm afraid I can't be bothered to dig out his grade.

        Not one of them therefore has the slightest in-depth knowledge of a real subject which might cause a little humility faced with an unfamiliar subject.

        Kipling 1899:

        "Far called, our navies melt away/on dune and headland sink the fire/lo all our pomp of yesterday/is one with Nineveh and Tyre." He was right.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You're being quite misleading here. UK roads were shockingly bad long before the referendum, and they will be shockingly bad long after, due to a long (20 year) strategic underinvestment.

        I know the likes of you want to blame everything on Brexit, in a similar vein to the BBC, but you're factually incorrect on this one.

  4. xyz

    I know....

    they buy the eu's systems, change the screen colour to brexit blue!

    I'm just gagging to use the brexit gps system...when you get on the ferry at Dover all it keeps repeating is "THAR BE FOREIGNERS!"

    1. Dominion

      Re: I know....

      You mean make a UK copy of an existing system and migrate all the data across? They should get Paul Pester in to manage it, he’s well in with the UK Gov at the moment....

    2. TRT Silver badge

      Re: the Brexit gps system... Galileo version for EU citizens heading to the UK.

      At the next available opportunity... turn back.

      ***ATTENTION***

      ***Geofence triggered***

      ***System updating***

      ***Loading new local data file***

      Go straight ahead towards Local.

      This is a local area for local people.

      There's nothing for you here.

  5. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

    Stop talking the country down. This is Britain! Of course we can reproduce all the EU's IT systems in a millisecond, if we pull together.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      if we pull together

      And let's not forget a nice cup of tea, toast and lashings[1] of ginger beer!

      [1] But not in the Tory MP sense..

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Of course we can reproduce all the EU's IT systems in a millisecond, if we pull together ask the Russians.

        TFTFY

  6. }{amis}{ Silver badge
    FAIL

    Excuses Excuses.........

    Let's face it even if they had had a clear definition of exactly what needed to change from the day after the referendum they would still be screwing it up now.

    The mess that is the negotiation is just a convent excuse to plaster over the militant incompetence that is a government IT project.

    Their systems were @~*& before Brexit and will be @~$% after the dust has settled the only thing that will change will be the excuses on the press statement.

    1. Joe Werner

      Re: Excuses Excuses.........

      Yeah, they then can no longer use the "Brussels made us do it!" excuse - at least that's the hope...

      Seriously: the governments of the EU member states have a say in how the rules are made in the EU, and then they go home and say that "it was the EU wot made us do it". All of them, all member states. It is obvious that they are incompetent OR lying (and that's a logical OR, not an XOR)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Excuses Excuses.........

        >All of them, all member states. It is obvious that they are incompetent AND lying.

        FTFY

        1. GIRZiM

          Re: Excuses Excuses.........

          "FTFY"

          He said "and that's a logical OR, not an XOR" - do keep up.

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Excuses Excuses.........

        Yeah, they then can no longer use the "Brussels made us do it!" excuse - at least that's the hope...

        No, they'll use the excuse that it's due to the inheritance they've received from the nasty EU.

        Hell, Mayhem tried it last week for Windrush. Apparently it was the fault of the government in 2009.

        1. Notrub

          Re: Excuses Excuses.........

          No actually she didn't.

          For the first time I can remember, a sitting government admitted to a fuck-up without the slightest attempt at dodging.

          What they DID state, quite truthfully, was that previous governments SHARED responsibility - indeed the key administrative change that caused the problem was authorised while Labour were in power - unlikely of course that the then Home Sec knew anything about it, or that TM was aware when the change was implemented.

          BOTH Labour and Tories have for a long period of time, been rather schizophrenic when it comes to immigration, on the one hand cracking down with ruthless fury on any sniff of illegitimate immigration, while on the other, opening doors far wider than any EU or other rules obliged them to, in order to keep pushing the GDP onwards and upwards.

          1. Rich 11 Silver badge

            Re: Excuses Excuses.........

            For the first time I can remember, a sitting government admitted to a fuck-up without the slightest attempt at dodging.

            So Amber Rudd's various positions on whether there were deportation targets, and the whitewashing of the term 'hostile environment' as 'compliant environment' don't count? Pull the other one...

          2. Smooth Newt Silver badge
            Stop

            Re: Excuses Excuses.........

            For the first time I can remember, a sitting government admitted to a fuck-up without the slightest attempt at dodging.

            You mean after ministers spend two years denying there was any problem at all, when it finally exploded into a front page political crisis the minister in charge of the Home Office tries to shift the blame to her staff for actually implementing her Government's policies? “I am concerned that the Home Office has become too concerned with policy and strategy and sometimes loses sight of the individual.”

            And it's nothing to do with going for the low hanging fruit to meet targets of people deported because we don't have targets. Until a memo is leaked which reports progress on the “path towards the 10% increased performance on enforced returns, which we promised the home secretary earlier this year”.

            How is that not dodging?

            1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

              Re: Excuses Excuses.........

              They admitted to a fuck-up (really ? or perhaps an intentional but unjustifiable campaign against a sector of our own nation ?) only when it became impossible to continue to lie so blatantly.

              This is the stuff our politicians are made of.

          3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Excuses Excuses.........

            "indeed the key administrative change that caused the problem was authorised while Labour were in power"

            As the Home Sec of the time confirmed (maybe the brainwashing does wear off sometimes).

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Excuses Excuses.........

            "For the first time I can remember, a sitting government admitted to a fuck-up without the slightest attempt at dodging."

            It took them several weeks of dodging, obfuscation and lying to get to that admission - and someone only finally got the chop after the Grauniad released a memo that proved she had lied, several times. (and sadly even then it was a resignation and not a dismissal - presumably so that the government can do as they did to the Disgraced Former Defence Secretary and bring her back in once it's died down)

            Unfortunately the actual architect of the mess still inhabits a large house in Westminster...

      3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Excuses Excuses.........

        Yeah, they then can no longer use the "Brussels made us do it!" excuse - at least that's the hope...

        This just in — the new universal™ excuse Brussels stops us doing it!

        1. Nano nano

          Re: Excuses Excuses.........

          Remainers stabbed us in the back ....

          1. Stoneshop Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: Excuses Excuses.........

            "What have the Remainers ever done for us?"

            That toga, gratias tibi ago.

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