back to article Not auf wiedersehen – yet! The Berlin scene tempting Brexit tech

After Britain voted to leave the EU in June 2016, there was a flurry of articles about how London's tech startups, shocked by the prospect of Brexit, could soon decamp to cheap, fun Berlin. German politicians fed the hype. The Berlin authorities opened a new trade office in London explicitly to capitalise on Brexit uncertainty …

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Unhappy

Re: Free movement of people

Isn't that exactly the thing that Brexit is meant to stop?

Yadda yadda take back control yadda yadda make Britain Great again yadda yadda

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I like the whole Brussels-to-Berlin corridor

My company is talking in a very desultory way of Europe and we are looking at Amsterdam or across northern Germany. I suspect we'll do nothing until the gates start closing and we will be among the last-minute scramble to get aboard. By then everything will be more expensive. I personally was hoping Stockholm or Oslo, but the cost of living there was deemed too high, certainly to cover the help needed to relocate staff. A shame: I was getting ready to buy a small house on a lake...

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Re: I like the whole Brussels-to-Berlin corridor

All of this depends on if some accommodation over residency or citizenship is sorted out. Nobody can plan anything, everyone could be flying back after B-Day and applying for residency from an embassy in London and waiting for a reply, something which an entire company can't afford to do.

Not the cleverest of ideas to leave the EEA, but then again the Tory party was never a meritocracy.

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Re: I like the whole Brussels-to-Berlin corridor

Tory party was never a meritocracy.

I agree with you but don't forget that the term was originally coined as one of derision, which seemed to be vindicated by last year's "rebellion".

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People start and finish work a little later than in London

When I moved to London, the first thing I noticed was that people seem to start & finish about an hour later than elsewhere in the country. I put this down to commuting time.

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Re: Commuting time

That aspect is a major factor in how I, at least, would see any alternative location to move to. No point in moving to some city where your employees wast 2 hours or more of their life every day commuting. What is that equivalent to, around 10% of your waking life?

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Re: Commuting time

Waste? On my hour long commute I read, I look at (partly work-related) stuff on the internets, or I sleep. None of that's wasted time.

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Meh

For those who need or want to restrict themselves to the EU moving may make sense. But the lack of exodus is not a shock. I dont know if the EU truly believed it would happen but over here it was basically a FUD effort. Just as the financial market exodus fizzled out with a few offices in Europe changing their status. Even Oxford uni got into the act opening a campus within the EU.

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Re: Meh

" But the lack of exodus is not a shock."

Of course it isn't. Moving a business across a city is one thing. Moving it from city to city within a country isn't always straightforward. Moving to a different country with a different language, sorting out schooling for key employees' children, working out how many employees will move and how many will dig their heels in - it's all going to take time. What you see now isn't necessarily going to be what you see in another year or eighteen months.

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Re: Meh

@ Doctor Syntax

"What you see now isn't necessarily going to be what you see in another year or eighteen months."

Yup. It will come tomorrow. I know I said that yesterday but I know it is coming tomorrow. And if tomorrow becomes today and it hasnt happened then I will say the same then too. Because its coming... tomorrow.

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Headmaster

Re: Meh

I dont know if the EU truly believed it would happen but over here it was basically a FUD effort.

Grammar pedant alert: you're using the past tense to talk about something that hasn't happened yet...

(Finally, a use for the Jimmy Edwards icon!)

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Re: Meh

Probably only 10% (guesstimate) of firms will be actually *moving* anyone. Most will just make them redundant here and rehire over there.

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Re: Meh

For those who need or want to restrict themselves to the EU moving may make sense.

What? You mean like Goldman Sachs, Google, Toyota?

The single market is important because it sets standards not because its exclusive: look at how Germany's trade with India and China has continued to grow.

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Re: Meh

"And if tomorrow becomes today and it hasnt happened then I will say the same then too. Because its coming... tomorrow."

I guess you've never been involved in a company move.

At former employer - I'm not quite sure how long the management decided to move out of central London to just outside. Then they announced the move and that they'd found a site. A few weeks later the property deal fell through. After a few more months looking round they found premises in the north. The office started to "move" which meant offering relocation or redundancy. They also started recruiting new staff in temporary offices. A few of the London staff who relocated might have moved at this point. After a good few months the new premises were ready and the already recruited new staff moved in and the relocations started over the spring and summer.

I was one of the later tranche to move; I had a daughter at GCSE stage. I'd noted that particular summer as one that would be suitable for a move years ago - it was only the second suitable moving window in several years due to schooling. I think the office move was completed about a year after the first new recruiting, about 18 months after the initial site fell through and there were still other parts of the business to move. It must have taken well over 2 years for the relocation to complete, probably more like 3 from the initial planning. And that was within the same country.

Bootnote. About a fortnight after I moved I got called by a head-hunter about a job about 10 miles from where I used to live.

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@ Charlie Clark

"What? You mean like Goldman Sachs, Google, Toyota?"

Did you mean to include google in there or is that a joke?

"The single market is important because it sets standards"

Yes. How did we live without the EU dictating standards? Oh yeah it was by creating them and not needing the force of law to dictate them.

"look at how Germany's trade with India and China has continued to grow."

So not an EU success then? Is Germany now the only example of success? I guess it helps when the Euro forces their currency to be artificially low while at the same time artificially too high for Greece. The success of a country through the destruction of others is not really a success story.

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Re: Meh

Yup. It will come tomorrow. I know I said that yesterday but I know it is coming tomorrow. And if tomorrow becomes today and it hasnt happened then I will say the same then too. Because its coming... tomorrow.

It's an increasingly open secret that the companies in the financial services are already opening small offices. They can relocate pretty quickly, bug as long as there is no immediate need to move, then why should they?

Indeed the recent rise in Sterling since the announcement of the election was justified by May using the bigger majority to renege (surely not!) on repeated pledges about the UK leaving the EU. But, as long as Brexit means Brexit, how can she be accused of anything?

We will see movement associated with any of the many EU research initiatives and of course the regulators. But the litmus test may well be industrial and whether the government can deliver on the secret assurances it has given to Toyota, Nissan, etc.

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Re: Meh

@ Doctor Syntax

I am talking about the oh so many doom and gloom predictions which have been more of a damp squib than a problem. But since this article is about startups which should be fairly quick (comparatively) to move this sounds a lot like the bank bluster that ran out of wind. And based on your time scales above how many months are these businesses needing when the EU seem almost desperate to accommodate their move?

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FAIL

Re: Meh

Yes. How did we live without the EU dictating standards?

You don't think that the UK helped set some of those standards? Standards setting wasn't uni directional but it will be now because the UK will be forced to follow the EU unless the UK wants strange more-expensive cars, TV, telecoms, etc...

So not an EU success then? Is Germany now the only example of success? I guess it helps when the Euro forces their currency to be artificially low while at the same time artificially too high for Greece. The success of a country through the destruction of others is not really a success story.

However the EU is good for the UK as it is 42% of the UK's exports. Leaving it will be the wilful self-destruction of the UK.

And based on your time scales above how many months are these businesses needing when the EU seem almost desperate to accommodate their move?

It's several different countries touting for business, not the EU. Ye gods.

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Re: Meh

@ Charlie Clark

"t's an increasingly open secret that the companies in the financial services are already opening small offices"

Not really secret at all. The EU claimed our financial services would move, instead offices already there (if they didnt have one just got one) and it bypasses the problem. Its only quiet from the EU and their supporters as the services have no reason to go anywhere.

"We will see movement associated with any of the many EU research initiatives and of course the regulators."

EU money and busybodies returning to the EU. Yup. So.

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@ Dan 55

"You don't think that the UK helped set some of those standards?"

The line directly under the one you quote- "Oh yeah it was by creating them and not needing the force of law to dictate them."

"uni directional but it will be now because the UK will be forced to follow the EU"

No no no and no. Why would the UK be chained by the EU? Companies selling to the EU yes but as a country applying to global trade and actually participating in the world... no.

"However the EU is good for the UK as it is 42% of the UK's exports. Leaving it will be the wilful self-destruction of the UK."

Why? Are you suggesting we stop selling to the EU and cut them off in some sort of nationalist nuttiness? Sorry but I cannot agree with your nationalist view, why would we cut people off when we can trade with anyone who is interested? Or are you saying the EU is so petty and childish that they would cut us off? If so then why do we want to be chained to them?

"It's several different countries touting for business, not the EU. Ye gods."

Not the EU? Thanks for clearing that up. So the Euro has nothing to do with the EU (Euro clearing threats + various banking threats). Oddly these threats do seem to be insular in nature by threatening to retreat from the world into the cartel borders. Almost nationalistic if the EU was to be one nation.

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Re: Meh

No no no and no. Why would the UK be chained by the EU? Companies selling to the EU yes but as a country applying to global trade and actually participating in the world... no.

China can set their own standards because they're a bloc of a billion people. The EU because it's a bloc of 500 million people. The US because it's a block of 320 million people. 65 million people don't get to dictate standards. The UK was a part of that standards setting process across the whole of the EU and helped set standards that were convenient for it. Now it does not have a say in that.

Why? Are you suggesting we stop selling to the EU and cut them off in some sort of nationalist nuttiness? Sorry but I cannot agree with your nationalist view, why would we cut people off when we can trade with anyone who is interested? Or are you saying the EU is so petty and childish that they would cut us off? If so then why do we want to be chained to them?

My nationalist view? How do you think the UK will make products from materials and parts which travel three times across the Channel if it's out of the single market and customs union? How do you suppose that it will supply materials and parts to other EU countries? Answer: It won't. There will be customs tariffs and trade will be slower due to customs checks... useless when it comes to JIT economies. Distance is still important so why is it in the UK's interest to make things more difficult to trade with our neighbours if we can't trade just as easily with distant countries?

Not the EU? Thanks for clearing that up. So the Euro has nothing to do with the EU (Euro clearing threats + various banking threats). Oddly these threats do seem to be insular in nature by threatening to retreat from the world into the cartel borders. Almost nationalistic if the EU was to be one nation.

Are we talking about businesses or the euro? This article is about businesses relocating, not the euro. The UK had the good sense to opt out of the euro yet as part of the EU it could sell euro-based financial services. If it leaves then it can't sell euro-based financial services and if it goes back in then a euro opt-out won't be an option.

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Re: Meh

China can set their own standards because they're a bloc of a billion people.

It can and does sometimes but, like many countries, it's often happy to use standards that somebody else has already spent time and effort coming up with.

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Re: Meh

Did you mean to include google in there or is that a joke?

Nope, Google has a significant presence in the UK and elsewhere in the EU (and Switzerland).

Not much is happening yet, because the future terms of trade are unknown. And you might expect your government to try and keep you in the dark for as long as possible.

I guess it helps when the Euro forces their currency to be artificially low while at the same time artificially too high for Greece.

Nonsense: among other things Germany practised wage restraint for years, while countries like Greece squandered a period of low interest rates to fund a credit boom. Other than that pretty much every country has been holding their currency down since 2008, though this has generally been a welcome side-effect of financial repression rather than explicit fiddling with the currency. Indeed for the last few years most Germans would like to see higher interest rates and hence a stronger Euro.

Is Germany now the only example of success?

When did I say that? You're the one who doesn't seem to think that businesses can succeed both within the single market and out of it. Talk to any German industrialists and they'll tell you how important the integrated supply chains within the EU are to their success outside of it.

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Re: Meh

@ Dan 55

"China can set their own standards because they're a bloc of a billion people."

Eh what? Everyone sets their own standards. The standards being what you are willing to accept into the country. The EU can accept what it wants, China what it wants, UK what we want.

"The UK was a part of that standards setting process across the whole of the EU and helped set standards that were convenient for it. Now it does not have a say in that."

So what we dont set standards for the EU. Thats up to them. We dont dictate standards to Aus or Iceland or anywhere else, so what. We followed fine enough standards before the EU started moving them into laws.

"My nationalist view?"

Yes. You seemed to suggest we would stop trading with the EU or something just because we left it. Why? Being out frees us up for more trade.

"How do you think the UK will make products from materials and parts which travel three times across the Channel if it's out of the single market and customs union"

Go to google. Now search for images of the earth. Then search for images of the EU (not Europe, dont make that mistake). Overlay them and BANG! You are aware the UK has been trading for a very long time and not trapped in a little cartel.

"Distance is still important so why is it in the UK's interest to make things more difficult to trade with our neighbours if we can't trade just as easily with distant countries?"

And then you look at our trade with the US and with the EU. Yet the US seems further away on that map you googled.

"Are we talking about businesses or the euro?"

So financial businesses are no longer business. Whodathunkit. And as I wrote a few comments above, yes it can still deal with the Euro without relocating the financial sector. The financial sector fixed that problem all on its lonesome disappointing EU politicians with minimal effort. Although the EU did twitch when they realised how much of their money relies on London and cutting it off would not be smart

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Facepalm

Re: Meh

See icon.

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Re: Meh

@ Charlie Clark

"Nope, Google has a significant presence in the UK and elsewhere in the EU (and Switzerland)."

So UK and Switzerland and getting constant grief from the EU and countries within (I remember reading of news outlets suffering when Google was being abused by politicians).

"And you might expect your government to try and keep you in the dark for as long as possible."

Makes for good negotiating. Glad they didnt cave to the pressure of idiots wanting them to broadcast their negotiations.

"Nonsense: among other things Germany practised wage restraint for years, while countries like Greece squandered a period of low interest rates to fund a credit boom"

And still doesnt change the fact. If Germany left the EU which way would their new currency go? Here is a hint UP! And of course if Greece left their new currency would fall. Tie them together in the euro and both suffer opposite problems.

"Indeed for the last few years most Germans would like to see higher interest rates and hence a stronger Euro."

Marry that to the above and you are in agreement.

"You're the one who doesn't seem to think that businesses can succeed both within the single market and out of it"

When did I say that? Of course some businesses can succeed. It does limit our options though.

"When did I say that?" followed by "Talk to any German industrialists and they'll tell you how important the integrated supply chains within the EU are to their success outside of it"

Is Germany the only one in this single market or are they the only success story?

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Re: Meh

@ Dan 55

Your welcome but dont feel bad. Your not the only one with these funny ideas.

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Re: Meh

"restrict themselves to the EU" -- somewhat like the Continent being cut off due to fog in the Channel? It is the EU that has plenty of trade and culture within its own borders, not to mention trade agreements with all parts of the globe.

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Re: Meh

@codejunky, we are still in the EU. Nothing has happened yet except for some post Article 50 chats that did not go well. I keep feeling we've heard the crunch of the iceberg against the hull but, so far, everything is fine, isn't it, because the decks haven't started to tilt.

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Re: Meh

Why? Are you suggesting we stop selling to the EU and cut them off in some sort of nationalist nuttiness?

Yes! I take it you've never personally been involved in the EU sales side of Business?

Leaving the EU will automatically rule the UK out of a large swath of EU business because NONE of the EU Ts&Cs about "level playing field" will apply! For example with ITT's for government contracts, there will be little point in a UK company applying as they will be highly unlikely to be shortlisted.

T.May might succeed in "getting access to the Single Market" but you can guarantee 'access' will be very different in practice to 'membership', which we shouldn't forget will be associate membership, not full membership with a seat at the table and voting rights...

So yes, expect our EU export trade in GBP post-Brexit to fall, the only question is by how much?

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Re: Meh

Is Germany the only one in this single market or are they the only success story?

Well, we do need to go back to the political reasons why the US and the EEC wanted the UK to join; one of which was to provide a counter to the German economic dominance of Europe. The concern now is that post-Brexit we can expect the EU to move more along lines dictated by French and German interests...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Meh

>Makes for good negotiating. Glad they didnt cave to the pressure of idiots wanting them to broadcast their negotiations.

The EU have already announced that they will publish the details of the negotiations on an ongoing basis. They will be publicly available, just not from the UK government (at this point).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Meh

Your not the only one with these funny ideas.

@codejunky, calm down. You're more than welcome to stay in the new shiny Wonderland that the UK will be post Brexit. Just don't try to convince people who are NOT on drugs that it's so wonderful. Most of us have been alive long enough to look for hard facts and evidence, and experience shows that election promises should never be confused with those.

The Brexit people have done a number on the UK. I have no idea why, but even IF there are any befits, you can be certain that it will first take quite a few meagre years before the mess is sorted out. Be prepared to take up farming for a bit - as in the US, them pesky foreigners did actually do some rather important jobs before you booted them out for political profit..

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Re: Meh

@ Hollerithevo

"somewhat like the Continent being cut off due to fog in the Channel?"

Not really, just trapped with the regulations of the EU. Of course anything sold to the EU must meet such regulations but others manage that well enough, while the rest (majority) of business doesnt have to meet EU standards. We can make what we want to buy to the specifications we want.

"It is the EU that has plenty of trade and culture within its own borders"

Well said. This is a point I seriously agree with, it is a very good cartel to the protectionism of those within the cartel but not so much for those outside. Unless there is a trade deal that favours that particular trade.

"not to mention trade agreements with all parts of the globe"

That I must disagree with. They seem to be lacking trade agreements with various emerging markets which we should absolutely want to be taking advantage of such as China. And since China have expressed interest in a trade agreement we amusingly may get one before the EU! However the cartel does block out the poor by forcing high tariffs against countries that can compete, all in the interest of protecting jobs.

"Nothing has happened yet except for some post Article 50 chats that did not go well"

I do love this as a reasoning. Anything considered bad goes under brexit while anything considered good gets the 'we aint left yet' pass. As for chats that didnt go well, I think things are going reasonably well and as long as the gov recognises that no deal is still a very good deal for the UK we can be happy that no deal is the worst outcome the EU threatens us with. The worst deal we can get is to remain in the EU.

"I keep feeling we've heard the crunch of the iceberg against the hull but, so far, everything is fine, isn't it, because the decks haven't started to tilt."

I must admit I feel it too. The Euro currency should have been dissolved but instead a country was sacrificed. The utopia dream of equality destroyed when Germany unilaterally invited the middle east to move in. The idea of competent trade negotiation was tarnished when the EU gave up its sole reason to exist over the Canada trade deal and got held hostage by a tiny section of the population. Their kind faces twisted when they try to subvert elections. And of course the illusion of a friendly club washed away by demanding punishment of those who dare consider the option of leaving.

My main concern though is for over here in the UK where the idea of democracy, freedom and choice has been bought or coerced away by anti-democratic people who feel the result of the referendum should be ignored because x,y,z of poor excuses.

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@ Roland6

"Leaving the EU will automatically rule the UK out of a large swath of EU business because NONE of the EU Ts&Cs about "level playing field" will apply!"

You might need to reread the exact line you quoted that this is in response to. I asked why we should cut off the EU in some nationalistic nuttiness and you are talking about them cutting us off because we are not within their borders.

"So yes, expect our EU export trade in GBP post-Brexit to fall, the only question is by how much?"

That is a very different thing and I do expect that too. If the EU are interested in giving us access to the single market then that would be nice. But if they insist that means we must (as above) cut our selves off in some EU nationalistic nuttiness then we should say no.

"The concern now is that post-Brexit we can expect the EU to move more along lines dictated by French and German interests..."

I cant say I have anything against the Germans nor the French. Also is this why people keep shouting that the UK have never been a cooperative member. Is our entire existence in the EU to be the US poodle? I remember that was one of the claims remainers would make until Obama opened his mouth.

Why not let them do the ever closer union they want or whatever? We just dont want to be part of it. I dont see a problem with that.

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Re: Meh

"And you might expect your government to try and keep you in the dark for as long as possible."

Makes for good negotiating. Glad they didnt cave to the pressure of idiots wanting them to broadcast their negotiations.

Have you been reading the Dummies Guide to Game Theory again? How does keeping the electorate in the dark help the government, except in areas which the electorate might not like: cf. the ideas about dispute resolution in TTIP.

As for negotiating with the rest of the EU. What do you think that the UK can hide from the countries with which it currently trades the most?

"You're the one who doesn't seem to think that businesses can succeed both within the single market and out of it"

When did I say that? Of course some businesses can succeed. It does limit our options though.

You keep on saying that being outside the EU will give the UK more freedom in trade. This conveniently ignores the fact that the UK can already trade with non-EU countries and that it benefits from any trade agreements the EU signs. Outside the EU those agreements will have to be negotiated from scratch. Trade agreements generally take years to negotiate.

Is Germany the only one in this single market or are they the only success story?

No, it's merely an example and the one I'm most familiar with.

And still doesnt change the fact. If Germany left the EU which way would their new currency go? Here is a hint UP! And of course if Greece left their new currency would fall. Tie them together in the euro and both suffer opposite problems.

Germany isn't planning to leave the Euro or the EU any time soon, so there is no "fact" to be changed. If it did it would continue to do what is necessary to remain competitive: increase productivity through rationalisation and wage restraint. As for Greece, currency devaluations do not solve systemic problems and can make these worse.

Currency unions are always compromises: in the US the economies of Mississippi and California are extremely divergent; within the Euro area Ireland and the Baltic states have practised "internal" devaluation to remain competitive as, to a lesser degree have Portugal and Spain. Indeed Latvia and Lithuania worked hard to join the Euro even during the crisis because their governments understood the advantages of the currency union. Greece is a basket case because successive governments have failed to undertake the necessary reforms to benefit from the single market.

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FAIL

Re: Meh

Not really, just trapped with the regulations of the EU…

Yes, because BSE was caused by the UK's own laxer regulations over the dubious practice of feeding sheep carcasses to cows…

The Euro currency should have been dissolved but instead a country was sacrificed. The utopia dream of equality destroyed when Germany unilaterally invited the middle east to move in.

This is, as usual, superficial nonsense.

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Re: Meh

@ Charlie Clark

"Have you been reading the Dummies Guide to Game Theory again?"

Never read it. Is it any good?

"How does keeping the electorate in the dark help the government"

I think we can end that discussion there. In a negotiation you do not state what you are after at the start. Not giving a running commentary while negotiating allows you to keep your position private and not have to suffer idiots.

"You keep on saying that being outside the EU will give the UK more freedom in trade."

This might explain why you dont understand my comments. Yes I keep saying that, that line I agree with and do say. That has no relation to what you claim I say- "You're the one who doesn't seem to think that businesses can succeed both within the single market and out of it". Those are 2 entirely separate statements.

"Outside the EU those agreements will have to be negotiated from scratch. Trade agreements generally take years to negotiate."

Yes. But is putting in the effort a good reason not to? When we can have trade agreements the EU doesnt have? And without those trade agreements just by leaving the EU we will be able to reduce the excessive tariffs that lock out parts of the world.

"Germany isn't planning to leave the Euro or the EU any time soon, so there is no "fact" to be changed."

The fact is if they left the euro their currency would grow much stronger, it is being held down. This problem has been demonstrated by devaluing the euro to help Greece but then Germany pulls it up with more trade. Both due to the euro's value.

"Currency unions are always compromises: in the US the economies of Mississippi and California are extremely divergent; within the Euro area Ireland and the Baltic states have practised "internal" devaluation to remain competitive as, to a lesser degree have Portugal and Spain."

The problem with comparing the US with the EU is fiscal transfer. If the stronger economies are not willing to support the weaker by transferring the wealth then they cannot survive in a currency union. That internal devaluation is literally going home with less money and the abysmal unemployment/youth unemployment situation has been the result. The EU is behind the curve on recovering from the last recession, to the point of being a global threat as people complained about China's rocky situation.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Meh

>I think we can end that discussion there. In a negotiation you do not state what you are after at the start. Not giving a running commentary while negotiating allows you to keep your position private and not have to suffer idiots.

But the running commentary is going to be public. The EU are going to publish it. Our government are trying to keep the electorate in the dark while it is still daytime outside. You just need to open the curtains and take a look. It might be from the other side, but the information will be readily available for all to see. I suspect it won't necessarily look good on our government though (or they fear it won't).

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Re: Meh

>But the running commentary is going to be public. The EU are going to publish it.

For some reason I can't help thinking of Spycatcher, particularly given T.May's previous performances...

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Re: Meh

@codejunky

Re: "nationalistic nuttiness"

The example I gave is totally in line with "nationalistic nuttiness", only I was applying it in same way to Brexit that people up and down the country apply to speeding: Its against the law, yet we still do it and when we get caught we then complain how unfair it is...

So it is the UK, in a fit of "nationalistic nuttiness" who is deciding not to remain within the borders of the EU/Single Market and so putting itself outside of the club and benefits of membership. The remaining members will merely apply the rules of membership, they don't need to actively do anything, the rules are sufficient to close doors...

In this respect, once again you are showing your ignorance of the real-world EU market. One of the big impacts of having the UK in the EEC/EU has been to open up the highly protectionist European markets to UK businesses! (Remember Margaret Thatcher was one of the key founders of the Single Market). The UK has to some extent suffered (excessive immigration, UK businesses losing out to non-UK EU state subsidised businesses) because it has been the market leader (and partially because Westminster/Whitehall has been stupid in the way they have conducted procurements and so in some cases discriminating against UK businesses!). Without the UK being on the inside, pushing for change, the impedus for change in the EU will reduce.

The trouble with Brexit, is that many government procurements are 18+ month projects. So does a UK IT business commit significant resources (£1~3M) to bidding for a French government contract, where the company stands a good chance of reaching the shortlist (and thus incur costs towards the top end of the budgetary estimate). However, with Brexit we can expect the final decision to be delayed to when the UK is likely to be outside the EU and thus meaning the UK company can be ruled out and being outside of the EU, the company will have no recourse to EU competition law...

Is our entire existence in the EU to be the US poodle?

Your take on global politics and ignorance of recent European history associated with your support for Brexit is troubling. Remember the US only got directly involved in WWII, due to pressure brought to bear on it by Churchill, until then the US was happily selling stuff to Hilter and the UK! The post-war directive from the US was more along the lines: Europe get your act together, the US doesn't want to be involved in another quarrel between European neighbours; to the UK, continental Europe are your neighbours, get involved. [Aside: In this respect, I get Trump's comments regarding European security, namely the expectation that the European nations have had 70+ years of peace to sort themselves out, when it took Germany less than 20 years to rebuild its military capability... ]

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Re: Meh

@AC

"But the running commentary is going to be public. The EU are going to publish it. Our government are trying to keep the electorate in the dark"

You seem to be saying 2 different things. Either it will be public and so our gov isnt keeping people in the dark, or the information you want is going to be kept in the dark and the EU wont be publishing it either.

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Re: Meh

"How does keeping the electorate in the dark help the government"

I think we can end that discussion there. In a negotiation you do not state what you are after at the start. Not giving a running commentary while negotiating allows you to keep your position private and not have to suffer idiots.

A football match is a form of negotiation; each team will have a match strategy with the intention of winning. Following the logic of negotiation cited above, it would imply that football matches would be better conducted behind closed doors without a crowd or running commentary, with the result only being announced by an official after the final whistle; no questions as details of the match (ie. negotiation) are confidential...

We live in a democracy - even though T.May (and some in the EU) rather we didn't, there is no reason whatsoever why the negotiations can't be live streamed; in fact given the level of belief in the Brexit emperor's new clothes it may actually be beneficial!

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Re: Meh

@ Roland6

"So it is the UK, in a fit of "nationalistic nuttiness" who is deciding not to remain within the borders of the EU/Single Market and so putting itself outside of the club and benefits of membership."

So the UK is nationalistic by not staying within the borders of the EU but by looking globally instead. And to be outward looking we would have to retreat from the world and hide within the EU borders. Is white black and black white too?

"One of the big impacts of having the UK in the EEC/EU has been to open up the highly protectionist European markets to UK businesses!"

Ok something we can agree on, the EU is protectionist. And by being out of that we can stop paying their inflated prices to protect their industries through high tariffs against countries outside the cartel.

"Without the UK being on the inside, pushing for change, the impedus for change in the EU will reduce."

Except the EU doesnt want to change. Remember the amusement of Camerons amazing deal he would get or campaign to leave. Then he proposed a damp squib which the EU refused to agree to (it would be voted on after the referendum and need unanimous support). Then he came back claiming victory and campaigned to remain. The UK is known as the trouble maker because we vocally dont want ever closer union. But it is the whole point of the project.

"The trouble with Brexit, is that many government procurements are 18+ month projects."

So your against brexit because governments and businesses relying on the EU will have a harder time? Is this a last ditch prayer of an argument?

"Your take on global politics and ignorance of recent European history associated with your support for Brexit is troubling. Remember the US only got directly involved in WWII, due to pressure brought to bear on it by Churchill, until then the US was happily selling stuff to Hilter and the UK!"

And here we have it. I thought leave was supposed to be backward looking and racist etc. Why are you comparing Europe to the nazi occupation or arguing against the US as that argument seems to do. Or are you crediting the EU with peace in Europe which is not only a laugh and a joke but demonstrably wrong. The EU has only recently existed in that history and during that time it has brought up division (Greeks bringing up the nazis and comparing Merkel to hitler), cause a surge in extreme parties as the only ones offering an anti-EU stance or option and sparked war in Ukraine. Obviously not a full list of serious problems leading to unrest in Europe in and out of the EU.

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Re: Meh

@ Roland6

"A football match is a form of negotiation;"

Yeah I think we aught to give up there. You dont seem to be following the idea of negotiation. Brexit is not football. But even then the fans dont sit with the manager and insist on certain strategies/vote on it. They watch from the sidelines and get the result.

"We live in a democracy"

And we have a referendum with a leave vote. Thank you goodnight! *fireworks*

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Meh

>You seem to be saying 2 different things. Either it will be public and so our gov isnt keeping people in the dark, or the information you want is going to be kept in the dark and the EU wont be publishing it either.

Not saying two different things at all. The reporting in the UK, either through our government or the media, will mostly be filtered to show the EU in an unflattering light or show our negotiators as having the upper hand going with the jingoistic mood that they've been following since June. AFAIK the EU will just be putting the transcripts online, with little or no filtering.

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Headmaster

Re: Meh

Yeah I think we aught to give up there.

Well, you ought to until you learn to spell and set commas correctly.

And we have a referendum with a leave vote.

The referendum was only ever advisory because … drumroll … parliament is sovereign. And the reason the UK doesn't govern by referendum is because referendums are shit for detailed policy, such as trade negotiations. The margin to leave was small, which is one of the reasons why policy referendums usually come with quorums and 2/3 or 3/4 majority requirements to favour the status quo. So, we still only know that "Brexit means Brexit". Two packets, please.

Thank you goodnight!

We can but hope so.

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Go

Worried - No

Do we really need to be worrying retaining the sort of tech firms that inhabit around Silicon Roundabout? Hipsters sucking up funding catapults to write apps with no viable business model, except hoping they might get bought out by Google or Facebook.

The real UK tech industry is based all around the UK, and intends to stay here.

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Re: Worried - No

Some of it is. For the moment.

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Go

Anecdotal data point

My employers are in financial services. Of my previous two, one ahs already announced they're probably off to Dublin, assuming passporting goes, and the other (a US megabank) has made very clear that thousands of jobs will be "moving" to the EU.

(Of course for firms with more than, say, 500 employees, "moving" mostly means "making redundant here and hiring new people there"; as the TFA says, once people have mortgages and kids over the age of 2, upping sticks for another country becomes a really big deal, even if you're both lucky/clever enough to speak the language.

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