back to article UK.gov finally adds Galileo and Copernicus to the Brexit divorce bill

Nestled among the mass publication of no-deal guidance yesterday was the UK government's vision for the future of the Brit satellite and space programmes if the country falls out of the EU with no pact in March. The guidance is, unsurprisingly, grim. Galileo Billed as the EU's answer to the USA's GPS system, and aimed at …

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>Who would have thought that Brexit was so complicated

Just have a trade war with the Eu - Trade wars are good and easy to win.

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Anonymous Coward

"Who would have thought that Brexit was so complicated"

Ummmm... anyone who thought about it for ten minutes?

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Facepalm

"Who would have thought that Brexit was so complicated"

Ummmm... anyone who thought about it for ten minutes?

WHOOOSHHH!!!!

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"Who would have thought that Brexit was so complicated"

That's an easy one: everyone who voted against it.

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There is no point investing any money in looking at an alternative - not only would it be prohibitively expensive to create our own system, by the time Galileo is up and running we will likely be trying to get back into the EU anyway.

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Getting back into the EU means joining the Euro. If it's possible to cancel Article 50, then that's viable and can be sold to the public. But joining the Euro is economically insane - unless you plan to have a much larger EU budget and use that money to make large economic transfers between the member states.

The current EU budget is about 1% of EU GDP. In order to make the Euro a viable long-term currency that's got to be increased dramatically, to something like 10-20% of GDP, and large chunks of it spent in the regions of the Eurozone that are suffering economically at that particular time. You can cut that amount by having schemes like jointly issued government bonds and a well-enforced common banking supervision and bail-out system - and obviously a large chunk of that spending could be common unemployment insurance - so it needn't require the EU to become the state and the countries just regions. But it definitely means much more political integration - which isn't even popular in the countries like Germany where a large minority of voters actually believe in a federal EU - let alone Britain.

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Anonymous Coward

"by the time Galileo is up and running we will likely be trying to get back into the EU anyway."

I'm not sure that that is such a good idea, overall.

Sure, it would be good for the UK, but not so much for the EU.

Historically the UK has been an obstructionist force and a drag on the evolution of the EU into one of the 21st century's superpowers. They're better off without the UK.

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>Historically the UK has been an obstructionist force and a drag on the evolution of the EU

That's unfair. Historically the UK has been an obstructionist force everywhere

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If it's possible to cancel Article 50, then that's viable and can be sold to the public. But joining the Euro is economically insane

I don't think that joining the Euro would be forced on the UK should some arrangement to stay in the EU be drafted. Apart from the politics of selling the deal to the Brits (everybody would scream right up until they found the coins still had a picture of the queen on them), there are politics of the Eurozone and the future direction of the currency to deal with. But I also don't think it would be economically insane either. UK fiscal policy is closer to that of Germany than that of Italy and it hasn't favoured devaluation for years because it has a labour market that is flexible enough to deal with competitive pressures directly.

But let's not put the cart before the horse.

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"But joining the Euro is economically insane"

Except as an alternative to something worse and that's going to be the consequence of this nonsense.

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"I don't think that joining the Euro would be forced on the UK should some arrangement to stay in the EU be drafted."

Not as part of an arrangement to stay. I'm sure it will be part of the terms to rejoin.

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Not as part of an arrangement to stay. I'm sure it will be part of the terms to rejoin.

Probably on the same terms of the never never than Denmark, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Sweden have (and that Britain itself signed up to): "when the time is right". The Eurogroup has to do some reforming which, due to consensus being required, will be easier to do with a smaller group.

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But Nigel was in favour of a second referendum!

In this BBC story - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36306681 - just a month before the referendum and with a Remain victory seeming likely Nigel Farrage was reported as saying "In a 52-48 referendum this would be unfinished business by a long way. If the Remain campaign win two-thirds to one-third that ends it."

Funny how with Leave having won unexpectedly by precisely that margin those who voted Remain are supposed to just accept it when the Brexiteers clearly weren't prepared to.

I don't understand why Brexiteers are so scared of a second vote. If "Leave" was the will of the people two years ago and still is then surely it will only confirm that?

The problem of course is the "and still is" bit. I suspect many in the Leave camp know they attracted a protest vote - about things other than the EU - which they won't benefit from second time round.

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Re: But Nigel was in favour of a second referendum!

They are afraid of a second referendum because they fiddled the first one and now the light has been turned on they are scurrying into the corners like a bunch of cockroaches crying that it's worldn't be democratic to hold a second vote.

Hell, we vote all the time, if it's not democratic to hold another vote then why do we have a democracy?

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Re: But Nigel was in favour of a second referendum!

It was always a case of do what I say not what I do. The whole idea of leaving was mainly a way of putting pressure on the Tory party to adopt particular policies and losing the referendum closely would have given them the opportunity to claim that it was the wrong question or that the government fiddled the process.

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EU-based businesses, of course, can carry on snuffling around the trough of Euros

And so could the UK industry if the government wasn't so hell bent on screwing up the country...

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Unhappy

And so could the UK industry if the government wasn't so hell bent on screwing up the country...

I don't think you can call the "European Research Group" the British government. *

*Bunch of delusional xenophobic little Britain nutters. Bunch of power hungry political chancers. Bunch of city types seeing some angles to make a big killing on the markets as the UK economy goes down the sh**ter certainly. Bunch of pocket lining liars.

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Re: And so could the UK industry if the government wasn't so hell bent on screwing up the country...

*Bunch of delusional xenophobic little Britain nutters. Bunch of power hungry political chancers. Bunch of city types seeing some angles to make a big killing on the markets as the UK economy goes down the sh**ter certainly. Bunch of pocket lining liars.

And the others are the ERG .....

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From Wikipedia:

"Referendums in the United Kingdom are very occasionally held at a national, regional or local level. National referendums can be permitted by an Act of Parliament and regulated though the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, but they are by tradition extremely rare due to the principle of parliamentary sovereignty meaning that they cannot be constitutionally binding on either the Government or Parliament, although they usually have a persuasive political effect.

Until the latter half of the twentieth century the concept of a referendum was widely seen in British politics as "unconstitutional" and an "alien device". As of 2018, only three national referendums have ever been held across the whole of the United Kingdom: in 1975, 2011 and most recently in 2016."

If the result of a referendum is not constitutionally binding on the Govt/Parliment, then why doesn't the govt just ignore the result & remain in the EU? Seeing how the UK hasn't got a clue on how to go about leaving the EU, and looks like it is going to lose a shed load of jobs if/when it does leave.

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Because in a democracy sovereign power comes not from parliament (or even the sovereign), but from the people.

If the peoples' representatives ask the people for direction, then they follow the instruction they get back from the people.

The sensible thing is, of course, never to be stupid enough to ask the people a direct question like this in the first place.

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Can you see any MP who voted against the motion to leave the EU surviving the next election if his constituency voted to leave?

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renniks,

I don't see how Parliament can reverse a referendum result, without going back and asking permission first.

Obviously our constitutional position is that "no Parliament can bind the hands of future Parliaments" - so it's not unconstitutional. But it's politically unaccepable. Also our constitution works by precedent. We joined the EU without a referendum. But after a huge political argument, we had one on whether to stay in or not. So that sort of sets a precedent that the EU is now a decision for public vote. Particularly as we had an agreement from both major parties that we shouldn't join the Euro or sign the European Constitution without a referendum. Although admittedly they simply renamed that the Lisbon Treaty and pushed it through largely unchanged - and it's arguable that this was the breach of faith that massively increased support for leaving the EU and made leaving much more likely. I still don't think it would have happend without the Euro-crisis and a decade of unprecedentedly high net immigration though.

So I'd say we're stuck with referendums on major EU issues now. Our constitution changed by precedent. After all, each time we sign another EU treaty previous Parliaments were binding the hands of future Parliaments in that they were giving away their power to make decisions in major areas of policy to the EU.

There's a good argument that if we do want to stay in the EU we need a written constitution in order to protect us from EU mission-creep.

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>Can you see any MP who voted against the motion to leave the EU surviving the next election if his constituency voted to leave?

Yes! :)

Remember the last GE...

However, I suspect if the MP was a member of the Conservative party and the nutters in that party hold sway, I suspect they will be deselected...

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"If the peoples' representatives ask the people for direction, then they follow the instruction they get back from the people."

The only sensible conclusion to draw from the result was "we're not sure".

However, taking the result as an advisory vote to leave the responsible thing would have been to start a proper project, starting with a feasibility study and to take a responsible decision, based on that, as to whether to continue. In effect we're now seeing the results of that feasibility study. Would a responsible government go on to the next phase in the light of those results?

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"Can you see any MP who voted against the motion to leave the EU surviving the next election if his constituency voted to leave?"

Yes, once it had been clear what the consequences would be for the constituency.

But can you see any MP who voted to leave surviving the next election once the consequences of leaving are experienced?

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"So I'd say we're stuck with referendums on major EU issues now. "

If we leave the only future EU issue would be about rejoining. And, just as with leaving, it would be on the EU's terms because, as with the existing fiasco, beggars can't be choosers. So preventing EU mission-creep would have to be accepted if/when we want back in.

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Bitter

A lot of bitter remoaners in this thread.

Face it we're leaving, if we're lucky without a deal so we save £40bn for naff all.

And for the remoaners who keep going on about "Stupid Brexiteers didn't know what they were voting for...waaah!" - NEITHER DID YOU! The EU has changed hugely in the last 40 years and no one knows what will happen in the future.

The only people with the experience to give an informed vote were the people who swung it for liberty - the oldies.

They remember what life was like outside the EU.

They remember the promises made about joining the Common Market.

They know how those promises turned out.

They made the decision based on all that - and did the right thing!

So suck it up sweethearts and enjoy the ride :)

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Re: Bitter

Face it we're leaving, if we're lucky without a deal so we save £40bn for naff all.

Sure, there's no settle-up payment with a no-deal, but there are more indepth costs to not having a deal, which will likely cost way more than that £40bn in the long term.

Typical shallow thinking from the Brexit trolls.

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Re: Bitter

> A lot of bitter remoaners in this thread.

And perhaps you would like to reflect on that as May and brexidiots continue to hijack leaving and push the uk into doing something the majority do not want.

Going against the will of the people and forcing things upon them which they do not want has a habit of ending badly and often violently.

You have noticed how bitter remoaners are now: I can assure you they will be no less bitter when May or brexidiots have had their way and more so when the reality of leaving bites.

I would advise a blue passport and an escape plan if I were you.

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This post has been deleted by its author

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Re: Bitter

And for the remoaners who keep going on about "Stupid Brexiteers didn't know what they were voting for...waaah!" - NEITHER DID YOU!

That's true. We didn't know what Brexiteers voted for for the simple reason that they didn't all seem to vote for the same thing. And we still don't know what they voted for.

What's worse, whatever they, as individuals, voted for, they didn't know what they were going to get because, as supplicants, it wasn't going to be in their hands. That we did know.

What we voted for was quite clear: the status quo.

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@ Richard Speed

Richard, your article is refreshingly accurate and a well explained account of the actual state of affairs.

For whatever reason, most other journalists have shortened the idea to "UK will be kicked out of Galileo", which people have very wrongly interpreted as "Galileo positioning will not be available in the UK".

You even go on to mention the exact implications for EGNOS. I am seriously impressed.

Congratulations Richard, this was an excellent article indeed.

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To anyone pro-Brexit

Don't even bother posting on The Reg.

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Re: To anyone pro-Brexit

You're logic is sound, but I disagree. Democracy is something that we in the 'liberal west' take for granted, yet it is so incredibly fragile and easy to lose, and it is invariably so difficult and bloody to restore.

You do not defend democracy when the government is a dictatorship, and the gulags/death camps are in operation - by then it's way too late; you defend democracy over the first little things.. when the PM tries to lock innocent people (erm.. terrorist suspects) up for 90 days without charge or trail.

Or when attempts are made to overthrow a decision of the people by assorted individuals, many of whom fail to understand that democracy doesn't mean that we all vote and that they then get what they want, but some of whom are politicians carefully noting how 'the people' are accepting that democracy can be ignored (if they accept it once, they have no fundamental principle over it happening again, and again, and again...).

Whether BREXIT is good or bad is irrelevant (and a matter of opinion).

We agreed a set of rules for the referendum. We agreed that the result would be implemented, on the basis that +1 vote was enough. We reached a democratic decision.

We now implement that decision. Anything else is an attack in democracy.

And it's never a waste of time to stand up and defend democracy.

I will no doubt now be heavily down voted. Meh!

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Re: To anyone pro-Brexit

We agreed that the result would be implemented

No we fucking didn't.

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Re: To anyone pro-Brexit

So at the time the referendum bill was in parliament you wrote to your MP insisting he or she oppose it?

Or wrote a strongly worded letter to the Times, demanding the rules be changed?

Or took to the streets and opposed the whole process in a demonstration parliament square?

Or actually, you did nothing, smug and confident that your side would win by the rules which you knew (or which you would have known if you had made the modicum of effort to find them out).

And then only when you lost could you be bothered to do anything (that being, posting rudely worded comments on a discussion board).

How many of the people here so upset with the vote did anything to help the remain campaign?

How many volunteered to hand out fliers outside rainy stations, or deliver leaflets to a two-mile stretch of houses?

The rules were set down clearly, and in plenty of time, There was no widespread disagreement with them (with the exception, if I recall, of the SNP, who I think did object to some of the rules, but also to the whole idea of the referendum anyway).

How many even bothered to vote?

As a society, we agreed the rules and we agreed that the result would be implemented.

We reached a result.

We implement the result.

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Re: To anyone pro-Brexit

EvilDrSmith,

To be fair, I think a reaonable argument can be made to re-run the referendum. If enough people think circumstances have changed, then that's politically acceptable. Despite a lot of cherry-picking of poll data, I'm not sure we're at that stage yet. I just don't think Parliament can do it.

Tactically it's awful, as it hands the EU negotiators the option to offer nothing, in the hopes that the decision will be overturned. But due to the way the Commission have run the negotiations so far, there is currently no acceptable option on the table. Even a lot of remain politicians don't think they can justify agreeing free movement without another referendum anyway, and I'd hope no serious politician would be willing to put up customs barriers between NI and the rest of the UK. So we're currently headed for hard Brexit, even though I don't think anyone but the head-bangers on either side actually want that. The Commission have over-played their hand in the hopes of forcing May to accept something like EEA status and full freedom of movement - and I don't think there's a majority in Parliament to agree that either.

There's still plenty of time to apply massive amounts of fudge though...

So I still see it as democratic to allow another referendum. Not ideal, but acceptable. But the cost to trust in politics would be massive. I also think that would lead to a permanent divide in our politics on EU membership - which would lead to us leaving in the long-run anyway. Once the rest of the EU decided that they didn't want to offer concessions for a re-run - I think remaining in the EU became almost impossible.

That's why leaving the EU is not like a divorce, or leaving a club. It's like a huge constitutional mess - but then so's staying in it.

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Re: To anyone pro-Brexit

I broadly agree, apart from it actually being democratic to hold another referendum - democracy, like justice has to be seen to be done, as well as to be done. The most voracious cries for another referendum are from those people that have been trying to overthrow the decision from the start.

Whatever the arguments for a new referendum may be, it will clearly be seen by many as an attempt to frustrate BREXIT, and as such would be harmful to democracy.

Add in that the EU (and ECC/EC) has a history of telling countries that have held referenda on EC/EU issues to think again when they came back with the 'wrong' result, and also the suggestion (repeated below I see) that it should be a three way referendum with two options to leave, thus ensuring the leave to vote is split so that remain can win, and any attempt to force through a second referendum would be viewed as an attack on democracy, and be even more highly divisive than the original back in 2016.

Which is pretty much what you said.

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Re: To anyone pro-Brexit

> But the cost to trust in politics would be massive.

The cost to trust of screwing up implementing Brexit is also huge too though. For all the shit May has pulled, there's no denying she's in a fecking awful position.

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Re: To anyone pro-Brexit

EvilDrSmith,

Remember that people who care deeply about the EU are in a minority. Probably less than 5% of the electorate are actual federalists and maybe another 10-15% hard-core remainers.

And for 40 years numbers saying they want to leave the EU have hovered around the 30%-35% mark. With the odd move about of course. That leaves the other half of the electorate who are not huge fans of the EU, but can take it or leave it. They decided the referendum, and if enough of them change their minds might still be able to force a re-run.

So far most polling I've seen has shown not a huge amount of movement, and a majority who believe the referendum should be implemented whichever way they happened to vote. But those numbers are shifting a bit, and if happens in a major way, there's still time to do something about it.

Like-it-or not, if you have a strong opinion on EU membership, you're probably in a minority amongst the general electorate.

That's why it took 40 years to build up enough steam to get another referendum after all.

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Re: To anyone pro-Brexit

Agreed

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Re: To anyone pro-Brexit

Ben Tasker,

It's a different thing. People expect politicians to make a mess of things. And after all, the majority voted to leave - though admittedly the voters are quite prone to say "who us?" and blame the politicians for stuff they agreed with at the time anyway.

But directly reversing a referendum result is another thing entirely. I think if the public mood changes it might be possible, but even now I think the polls show there's still a majority that think that would be illegitimate and undemocratic. Even from voters who voted remain.

Note that the yes/no balance has barely changed on Scottish independence, yet polling consistently shows that a large majority don't want another referendum.

As May found last year, it's been an axiom in politics for decades that the voters don't actually like elections. They want the policiticians to get on with it - and however high you are in the polls, if you call an early election, you'll regret it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: To anyone pro-Brexit

>As a society, we agreed the rules and we agreed that the result would be implemented.

>We reached a result.

>We implement the result.

No, the people just offered their opinion. The referendum was only ADVISORY.

‘This Bill requires a referendum to be held on the question of the UK’s continued membership of the European Union (EU) before the end of 2017. It does not contain any requirement for the UK Government to implement the results of the referendum, nor set a time limit by which a vote to leave the EU should be implemented. Instead, this is a type of referendum known as pre-legislative or consultative, which enables the electorate to voice an opinion (etc).’

http://acgrayling.com/letter-to-mps

and it took Gina Miller and the High Court and Supreme Court to stop the government resorting to un-challengeable royal prerogative powers from 1610 rather than Parliament voting that Article 50 process could be triggered because only Parliament can take away rights that Parliament has granted.

I offer you sovereignty and democracy.

https://www.peoples-vote.uk/petition

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Re: To anyone pro-Brexit

"We agreed a set of rules for the referendum. We agreed that the result would be implemented, on the basis that +1 vote was enough."

I, and many others, never agreed to that, it was forced on us. A vote with such a possible monumental significant change should have a been based on a distinct and significant majority and I said so at the time. Basing a referendum of this magnitude on a simple "+1" majority was monumentally stupid without compulsory voting. No one knows what those who didn't vote thought and neither side can claim all thier votes or discount non-voters as "don't care". The 25%(ish) who didn't vote failed to do so for many reasons and can't be simply tarred with the same brush. I'm sure quite a few didn't vote because they either thought it was a waste of time, ie leave would lose, and a few might even have been so confident in a leave win that they didn't bother.

The Brexit vote had even larger ramifications to the UK as a whole than the Scottish Independence vote, yet was treated with such disdain that no one bothered to place similar conditions on it, eg minimum turnout + significant majority in favour.

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Re: To anyone pro-Brexit

"And after all, the majority voted to leave"

You should define "majority". You can't claim the "don't knows/don't cares" as positive for either side. It certainly wasn't a majority of eligible voters, and was barely a majority of those who voted.

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Re: To anyone pro-Brexit

"We agreed that the result would be implemented"

No, we most certainly did not. Unless you think any old shit is now legally binding. Let's put that to the test; Find me something, anything, in our statutes that said the referendum result would be implemented. If you can't, you owe me £5000. If you can, I owe you £5000.

So, purely on the basis I've written that, we agree to that, right? No, I didn't think so.

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Re: To anyone pro-Brexit

Don't even bother posting on The Reg.

Yeah, why bother when you've got the BBC's HYS and The Mail to vent your brainfarts.

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Re: To anyone pro-Brexit

"Don't even bother posting on The Reg."

Good advice. You'll be dealing with people who, on the whole, have skills at working through the nuts and bolts of what decisions will lead to. It's their every-day job.

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Re: To anyone pro-Brexit

"We agreed that the result would be implemented"

Actually no. It was an advisory vote and I doubt even its proponents had any workable idea as to how to implement it or even expected to win it. AFAICS they were just expecting Cameron to stay on and implement it when they won. The panic when it fell to them was evident. Those who stepped up to the plate failed, those who stood on the sidelines shouting have yet again, last week, ducked out of giving is their view of how to do it, apparently out of fear it would be torn to pieces.

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Re: To anyone pro-Brexit

"We reached a result.

We implement the result."

Which was, by a small majority, that people wanted to leave the EU. There was no indication what they wanted to do instead. There was no indication whether they'd still want to leave if it cost them their job, if it reduced the quality of health care by denying the NHS staff (even if £350 million a day was really available it wouldn't help if there weren't enough UK staff) or if it cut pensions and benefits as a result of a contracting economy.

So, how does a responsible government react? How does any business react to an ill-constructed requirement? It tries to put in some detail. It does feasibility studies. None of that happened. Cameron stood aside. The gung-ho leavers stood aside from taking his position. The resulting half-arsed government tried to push ahead blindly without even determining what was the legal way of doing so*, let alone looking at practicalities. As a result the outcome is looking worse and worse.

*Remember that it took a citizen to bring the matter to court to determine that. She was vilified by Leavers who still haven't even grasped that without that a court could have come along now and had the entire invocation of Article 50 declared illegal for lack of Parliamentary consent. In fact, it's a pity she did take that step as it would have been a useful brake no have invoked now.

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