back to article Brexit: UK gov would probably lay out tax plans in post-'leave' vote emergency budget

The UK government would be likely to have an "emergency" budget shortly after next month's EU referendum if there is a "leave" vote. It would use that budget to give clarity on its priorities for changes to the tax regime. Its proposed changes to the corporate tax regime would be influenced by the eventual trading relationship …

  1. wolfetone Silver badge

    A Novel Voting Approach

    Take a coin. Heads you vote Leave, tails you vote Stay. Throw it in the air, and whichever way it lands you take that as your way to vote.

    Either way we're all screwed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A Novel Voting Approach

      Maybe, however the question that needs to be asked how much screwiness will be be subject too, which may change voters decisions.

      Personally, this never should have been needed, teddy and pram springs to mind.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A Novel Voting Approach

        When I became a man, I got out if the pram.

        Does the 4th largest economy in the world really need to stay protected in Merkels walled kindergarten?

        1. John Hughes

          Re: A Novel Voting Approach

          Now you're claiming fourth largest economy in the world? When do you think you passed Germany?

          If your claiming to be a man maybe you'd like to learn to add up first.

    2. Kane Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: A Novel Voting Approach

      "Take a coin. Heads you vote Leave, tails you vote Stay. Throw it in the air, and whichever way it lands you take that as your way to vote."

      What happens if it lands on it's edge? Icon related, enquiring minds need to know...

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: A Novel Voting Approach

        "What happens if it lands on it's edge? Icon related, enquiring minds need to know..."

        Then you spoil the ballot paper.

      2. Spudley

        Re: A Novel Voting Approach

        > What happens if it lands on it's edge?

        That would be the coin-toss simulation equivalent of everyone in the country spoiling their ballots.

    3. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: A Novel Voting Approach

      Flip a coin ...

      That what I do, but the difference is that if I don't like the coins decision, then I go against it. It's the best way to know what you really think without thinking.

  2. paulc
    Mushroom

    General Election also required...

    both major parties are split... and we need to make sure the Tories get kicked out before they can sell any more of our national assets to their chums...

    1. wikkity

      Re: both major parties are split.

      No, only one party is split, there are only a handful of non-tory MPs supporting leave

      1. TheTick

        Re: both major parties are split.

        I have it on reasonably good authority (that I won't disclose here) that the Labour Party has made a decision to look united on the EU question as much as possible in the hopes it shows them in a good light so they have a better chance at winning the next election.

        Yes, that's right, Labour MP's who think we should leave the EU are keeping their gobs shut because them getting into power is more important to them than the most important referendum this country has had since the 70's (arguably even more so). Only a few mavericks like Kate Hoey are stepping out of line.

        Reminds you of old Tony B.Liar doesn't it?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: both major parties are split.

          Reminds me a bit of Boris Johnson...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      Re: General Election also required...

      "and we need to make sure the Tories get kicked out before they can sell any more of our national assets "

      I agree, re-nationalise everything and send us back to the 70's when everything was so good and perfect. The three day week, 25% inflation, constant blackouts, rolling stock that was over 50 years old, constant strikes and piss poor build quality...Ahh those were the days.

      BTW I'm no Tory fan either.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: General Election also required...

        rolling stock that was over 50 years old,

        It's over 90 years old now.

        I'm totally disillusioned by the whole thing. The willingness of people to try and manipulate the media using barefaced lies, this is the worst campaign phase of a democratic process that I've ever witnessed. After it's all finished (which it is already for me because I voted a week ago) I'd like to see these liars face criminal charges. Totally irresponsible, self-serving immoral lying bastards.

  3. Uk_Gadget

    Use the BellyButton method.

    If you have an Innie, vote IN

    If you have an Outie, vote out

    Simples

  4. James 51 Silver badge
    FAIL

    "third countries would be likely to offer equivalent terms to the UK standing on its own."

    I can't believe people are letting leave get away with this one. We don't know that we will, they just hope that we will. There is no way that the UK alone is going to get better terms than it gets as part of the EU which has a lot more clout in these situations and if the UK is in a vulnerable position then other counties will exploit that weakness to get terms that benefit them.

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      I can't believe people are letting leave get away with this one

      I can't believe the level of debate in general. Or indeed what it says about the state of politics when ministers are effectively calling each other liars individually while still expecting us to trust them collectively in government.

      The only thing that is clear is that Cameron's attempt to deal with the Tory's equivalent of the Militant Tendency by winning a decisive referendum majority has backfired quite spectacularly. Even if he secures a majority at all he's toast and we'll be back at the ballot boxes on a regular basis until we deliver the right answer.

      1. Unep Eurobats

        Re: equivalent terms

        This is the crucial thing. Other EU countries that have been prevented by EU law from putting tariffs on UK exports will be able to do so and if they think it will protect their domestic producers then they will. Sunderland-built Nissans will become more expensive for French and Germans to buy: Renault, Peugeot and BMW will be very pleased about that. Sunderland's Nissan workers less so.

        But the flip side of this is the opportunity for the UK, freed from the EU's sclerotic bureaucracy, to negotiate our own deals with non-EU countries and sell those Nissans to Brazil, Morocco etc.

        The first scenario is definite. The second - well, I have no idea.

        1. billat29
          FAIL

          Re: equivalent terms

          Why would you think Nissan would export cars made in the UK to Brazil when it already has a manufacturing plant there?

          And if there are tariffs imposed on UK built Nissans, where do you think Nissan might build its next model?

        2. inmypjs Silver badge

          Re: equivalent terms

          "prevented by EU law from putting tariffs on UK exports"

          The UK is a substantial net importer from the EU. BMW will not be the slightest bit happy when the tariff on UK built Nissan exports results in a similar tariff on their beemer imports.

          1. ratfox Silver badge

            Re: equivalent terms

            I believe the UK is in a relatively good position in Europe, having low corporate tax rates to attract companies to London. I would guess they even congratulated themselves on that fact when the rules were drawn (though they probably didn't see coming the Facebooks and Apples choosing Ireland with an even lower tax rate).

            All in all, my guess is that it would be a net loss to leave the EU, because London would lose a lot of business from companies currently selling in Europe, which wouldn't be recovered from companies in Europe selling to the UK.

          2. Rich 11 Silver badge

            Re: equivalent terms

            The UK is a substantial net importer from the EU. BMW will not be the slightest bit happy when the tariff on UK built Nissan exports results in a similar tariff on their beemer imports.

            Woo-hoo! Trade war! That's bound to make us popular with everyone and have them all bending over backwards to sign agreements beneficial to the UK.

        3. itzman
          Linux

          Re: equivalent terms

          Sunderland-built Nissans will become more expensive for French and Germans to buy: Renault, Peugeot and BMW will be very pleased about that. Sunderland's Nissan workers less so.

          How can that be when everyone* agrees that sterling will tank against the Euro, thus making foreign holidays more expensive, but British exports highly desirable?

          Or is it simply more Orwellian doublethink?

          TGFL.

          *On the remain side..

          1. YARR
            Thumb Down

            what nonsense!

            This thread has the situation reversed: Britain is a major net importer from the EU and many other nations, hence Britain is a DESIRABLE trading partner and is in a stronger position to negotiate trade deals. Not to mention more Europeans work in Britain than the reverse, so they are dependent on our economy for their income.

            Post Brexit, Britain will be £18 million a day better off and will only have one layer of government bureaucracy to support. With no UK contribution to prop up the EU the burden for other nations will increase. Imposing tariffs on the UK would be economic suicide for the Eurozone. The loss of exports to the UK would likely tip the Eurozone back into recession.

            Tariffs would not be good for Britain either, but there would be an economic incentive for us to buy more British made cars. Likewise its easy enough for us to buy cars from anywhere in the world - my car was made in India and was notably cheaper than a European made car, irrespective of trade tariffs. Brits could easily grow accustomed to buying cheaper cars from outside the EU.

            1. YARR

              And if there are tariffs imposed on UK built Nissans, where do you think Nissan might build its next model?

              That depends on where it sells most of it's cars. If the majority are sold in the UK, then it would make economic sense to stay here.

              If the EU was mad enough to introduce tariffs the British government could subsidise car exports using the income made from taxing cars imported from the EU. Since we are a net importer of cars from the EU, Britain would make more income from tariffs than the EU.

              My favourite.. we can close the borders if we vote out... no, no we can't

              Of course any independent country can close it's borders if it so wishes. No post-Brexit government would go that far, but they will have the power to control all migration into the UK.

              This idea is only slightly less delusional than the idea that Berlin and Paris will allow Europe financial affairs to be run from outside the EU.

              "Berlin", "Paris" and "Frankfurt" will remain subservient to the EU so can't decide anything. The EU's financial affairs aren't run from London. If the EU's answer to Brexit is to issue more red tape it will make the EU even less attractive.

    2. d3vy Silver badge

      This is the same as the Scottish referendum where the outs kept saying "if we get independence we will have x,y,z" where in reality that was little more than a wish list of things that could possibly be achieved if everything went their way.

      The outs say we can negotiate new trade agreements... yes I'm sure we can, but will they be better or worse than we have now?

      My favourite.. we can close the borders if we vote out... no, no we can't, we can reduce the number of people we KNOW are here but we will increase the number coming illegally (you can get here from the continent in a pedalo if you are determined enough)

    3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Why not

      This idea is only slightly less delusional than the idea that Berlin and Paris will allow Europe financial affairs to be run from outside the Eu.

      If we for one second assume that delusion to be in the realm of reality (very far fetched), yeah, sure, UK will be able to negotiate good terms with anyone. In fact, it can, in theory, negotiate better therms as the Eu cannot keep it on a short leash while it runs a "good terms or your assets get it" gambit.

      The issue is that the idea of the London City after a Leave to be anything more than a glorified version of Virgin Islands corporate registry is exactly that - in the realm of "WTF are these guys smoking". Paris and Berlin will not allow that for a split second. That automatically removes any UK negotiating leverage in any trade negotiations.

      When the City gets "nuked", some smaller hedge funds may survive (for a short time, then move). All larger financial entities including 99% of stock trade activity will move to Frankfurt within less than 2 years. With the relevant consequences for everything else (thank you Maggie for making the whole UK economy being wholly dependent on the City fortunes).

  5. Tom_

    So basically...

    If we leave we can look forward to spending several years negotiating with the hope of reaching a position about the same as we're already in. But on the plus side, we can get rid of all those silly laws that protect us from unscrupulous employers, so that's good, right?

    1. Julz

      Re: So basically...

      Don't forget those pesky data protection rules that the EU foisters upon us.

      1. Kane Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: So basically...

        Or the fact that the new snoopers charter won't be able to be challenged in those irritating European Courts of Justice.

        1. James 51 Silver badge

          Re: So basically...

          The ECHR is not part of the EU. That's another thing the leave campaign seem to keep forgetting to mention when they talk about getting 'control back' from the EU:

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36128318

          1. Kane Silver badge

            Re: So basically...

            "The ECHR is not part of the EU." - James 51

            "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." - Inigo Montoya

            I never mentioned the ECHR. I mentioned the ECJ. Which is a fundamental part of the EU.

            The reason I mentioned the ECJ is because I assumed (maybe wrongly? happy to be corrected on this) that would be the first place that a legal challenge against the new snoopers charter would be launched, as the ECJ is responsible for upholding EU law for all EU state members. It's possible that a Human Rights challenge could be launched in the ECHR, on the basis that parts of the Investigatory Powers Bill might be in breach of Article 5 and Article 8.

            But, IANAL so I could be entirely wrong on the subject - again, happy to be corrected and always willing to learn stuff.

            1. James 51 Silver badge

              Re: So basically...

              My post wasn't a direct response to yours. Tom_ and Julz also mentioned (indirectly) super national courts and the leave campaign often talks about those issues the ECHR handles as if it was part of the EU. They criticise decisions it has made and then say that leaving the EU would prevent the UK having to abide by those decisions so in this context, EU courts doesn’t always mean ECJ (even if it should).

    2. M7S

      Re: So basically...

      The same position that we're currently in being the decade it has taken so far for the EU to negotiate a trade treaty with the US? Not exactly an inspiring example.

      1. Vic

        Re: So basically...

        The same position that we're currently in being the decade it has taken so far for the EU to negotiate a trade treaty with the US? Not exactly an inspiring example.

        TTIP?

        The more decades that's "in negotitation", the better I like it...

        Vic.

    3. FlatSpot

      Re: So basically...

      Or we could look at our own Commonwealth and improve trade with them and also look at the rest of the world, Asia, Russia etc. Take a look at a GDP graph of the EU countries the majority of them are insignificant, besides their ability to supply cheap exploitable labour for the UK, Germany and France.

      1. James 51 Silver badge

        Re: So basically...

        Russia is currently under sanctions because of their actions in the Ukraine including their highly probably involvement in the killing of hundreds of EU citizens:

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-28357880

        Do you advocate ignoring this and normalising relations?

        There's also nothing to stop UK companies selling products to commonwealth, Asian, BRIC etc etc countries.

        1. Jess

          Re: Russia is currently under sanctions

          I think this is why Putin will be pleased to see us quit.

          We won't be able to afford to keep the sanctions, if we don't leave the 2 year negotiation period with an agreement. (And the period can only be extended with unanimous support, somewhat unlikely I think)

          Anyone else reckon that all the old historical disagreements will come back to haunt us during this period?

          My guess is Spain will block everything unless we give them Gibraltar.

          Time to start learning Russian seriously, I think.

    4. inmypjs Silver badge

      Re: So basically...

      "can get rid of all those silly laws that protect us from"

      Seems to be a common argument. *I* don't trust the democratically elected UK government to do what *I* want so *I* would prefer to be governed by unelected bureaucrats in Brussels.

      Me? I want democracy.

      1. Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face

        Re: So basically...

        "EU law"... that phrase really rankles. Law without democratic legitimacy is really lawlessness.

        1. James 51 Silver badge

          Re: So basically...

          The EU has been stitched together by treaties our government signed up for. We didn't vote for them directly but the people we voted for to vote on our behave did vote for them.

        2. itzman

          Re: So basically...

          Law without democratic legitimacy is really lawlessness.

          No, its totalitarianism.

          If you think of government - all government - as a self legalising protection racket, it all becomes clear.

          The point about democracy is that you dont need guns to pick a different Godfather, that's all.

          The point about the EU, is that you do.

          Unless you vote Brexit, and even then, its not clear whether the EU will let Britain go.

      2. James 51 Silver badge

        Re: So basically...

        So do I but until we get it there are plenty of examples of the EU protecting the citizens of constituent countries from their governments, particularly over things like privacy protection and spying on law abiding citizens:

        http://www.politico.eu/article/uk-high-court-strikes-down-british-data-retention-law-policy-act/

      3. Phil W

        Re: So basically...

        "Me? I want democracy."

        I don't. Democracy sounds like a great idea, until you realise that it means everyone has an equal say, and then you look around you a realise how many complete fucking idiots there who get to vote.

        That is the scariest thing about this referendum, and the only reason it is so close in the polls, there are so many people who completely misunderstand which issues relate to the EU and which don't or any of the reality of how international politics works, and don't read any further than newspaper headlines.

        I have spoken to several people now who firmly believe that Syrian refugees coming to the UK is purely an EU related issue which will suddenly go away if we leave, and that the EU wants to ban all British made kettles and toasters and are therefore convinced that these are important reasons to vote leave.

        Social media is also interesting, in a cursory glance over Facebook comment threads on the referendum you will see many clear and cogent arguments from those on the Remain side, some from those who are undecided or don't care and a mere handful from those on the Leave side. What you do see a lot however is those on the Leave side posting short one word comments of "Out!" and "Leave!".

        The whole Leave campaign, both officially and unofficially seems to be largely comprised of shouting loudly and catchy headlines that are either exaggerated or fundamentally untrue.

        Personally I'm in favour of staying in, however I'm also sure a clear, reasoned and sensible argument based on accurate factual statements could be made for leaving. I'm equally sure that no-one in the Leave campaign has done that yet.

        1. itzman

          Re: So basically...

          Democracy sounds like a great idea, until you realise that it means everyone has an equal say

          ROFLMAO!

          Nah

          Democracy means one man, one vote, and I am that man!

          (attributed to Robert Mugabe).

        2. Kane Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: So basically...

          "Democracy sounds like a great idea, until you realise that it means everyone has an equal say, and then you look around you a realise how many complete fucking idiots there who get to vote."

          Obligatory Pratchett quote:

          "Vimes had once discussed the Ephebian idea of ‘democracy’ with Carrot, and had been rather interested in the idea that everyone had a vote until he found out that while he, Vimes, would have a vote, there was no way in the rules that anyone could prevent Nobby Nobbs from having one as well. Vimes could see the flaw there straight away."

          1. Phil W

            Re: So basically...

            Being compared to Sir Samuel, high praise indeed.

      4. jbuk1

        Re: So basically...

        Not democratically elected. Like our house of Lords you mean?

      5. itzman
        Paris Hilton

        Re: So basically...

        *I* don't trust the democratically elected UK government to do what *I* want so *I* would prefer to have a system that allows me a chance to sack them every so often.

  6. BurnT'offering

    I doubt the government will move as fast

    as the multi-national will in wriggling out from under formerly burdensome EU laws. Forget about your right to be forgotten for a start.

    On the bright side, we can disable those stupid cookie warning panels

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Forget about your right to be forgotten for a start.

      I shall be trying some of those delete your facebook content addons for chrome and firefox over the next couple of weeks.

      Any recommendations?

    2. TheProfessorY

      Re: I doubt the government will move as fast

      And see all of the search results from Google, Max Mosely and all.

  7. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Oh yeah that'll make a change

    "Leaving the EU is unlikely to soften the current government's approach to clamping down on tax avoidance by multinationals"

    Right. Because governments all over are doing a bang-up job of keeping multinationals in line right now.

    Oh yeah, a great job.

  8. Alan Johnson

    "There is no way that the UK alone is going to get better terms than it gets as part of the EU which has a lot more clout in these situations"

    Not only that but there will be overlapping periods of uncetainty for each country/block. Initially know one will know what is going to happen, then we will drop onto interim/default/de facto trading arrangements for each country, then there will be negotiations, finally there will be agreements. It will be tempting for countries to gain leverage by applying or thretening to apply punitive interim trading arrangements. Final agreements will take years, some will take a decade or more . It is very likely that there will be very few, possibly no, agreeements which are beneficial to the UK compared to the current EU based arrangements. There will be strong efforts to offusticate what the agreement means to save UK embarassment. Despite that the biggest damage will be in the long period of uncertainty. The uncertainty and poor agreements will be blamed on foreign governments rather than the predictable consequences of brexit.

  9. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    At least John Major says it like it is.

    It's silly to rush into a decision that is wayyyyy more important than any general election.

    A Stay vote leaves room for new decisions in the near future.

    A Leave vote means a very long period of being locked into that decision.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Well, perhaps we should take anything Major says about the EU with a pinch of salt given what happened on his watch.

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        "Well, perhaps we should take anything Major says about the EU with a pinch of salt given what happened on his watch."

        True, but why is Majors point worth less than those of Boris Johnson and Michael Gove? At least Major has some points on his record he can be proud of. I'm not sure if Johnson or Gove have done anything good other than act a clown and pretend they know everything about education.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Major had to U-turn on the Eurozone and stay out of Schengen only because his party wouldn't let him go along with it after Black Wednesday. If it weren't for that the UK would be in both.

          If you don't agree with BoJo the Clown and Gove's points there are those from David Davis or Paul Mason which make infinite more sense. Certainly more than Cameron saying he's Turkey's strongest advocate and now saying they won't join the EU because of a veto that he holds, or calling the new mayor of London an extremist then sharing a platform with him a week later, or etc...

  10. H in The Hague Silver badge

    A few observations

    "... including offering additional incentives without having to seek EU state aid clearance."

    Ermm, I thought Brexiters were mostly on the right of the political spectrum, so perhaps not that much in favour of state aid. And why should tax payers' money (collected from successful individuals and businesses) go to prop up failing businesses? Anyway, to negotiate favourable access to the EU markets we would probably have to abide by the same state aid rules as the EU. So I very much doubt this argument flies.

    "The Treasury might also be tempted to introduce a law abolishing historic EU-law based tax refund claims, saving the exchequer many billions of pounds."

    Ermm, this Brexit stuff is supposed to be business-friendly. That doesn't really tally with screwing folk out of legitimate tax refund claims.

    "However, leaving the EU would enable the UK to extend the scope of zero rating and exemptions."

    Which will just be tinkering in the margins to come up with a few populist items. Every pound that is not collected in VAT will have to be collected elsewhere. Or lead to another pound of austerity (which is going to hit folk at the bottom hardest).

    "... whether the UK is able to secure the same or improved terms to those currently available ..."

    Have you any idea how difficult it is to negotiate these agreements? Most unlikely to manage that in two years. Unless you go for the Norwegian option: get favourable access to the EU market, but have to contribute to EU budgets, allow freedom of movement, have to follow EU legislation - all without having a vote in the EU. That seems totally pointless and much worse than the status quo.

    Also the EU and the USA (which are broadly the same size) are finding it v difficult to negotiate a new trade treaty (TTIP). So the UK (broadly ten times smaller than the US) is going to find that even more difficult.

    Incidentally, what really p.... me off is that toffs like Johnson and Farage are, in my view, misleading people in low paid jobs, working long hours, who are most likely to be adversely affected by economic upsets and the loss of some worker protection legislation.

    1. James 51 Silver badge

      Re: A few observations

      "Ermm, I thought Brexiters were mostly on the right of the political spectrum, so perhaps not that much in favour of state aid."

      They Tory's only ideological guiding principle is power. If helping out their friends and past/future colleagues (of course in the name of the greater good) helps ensure this then that is what will happen.

      1. Vic

        Re: A few observations

        They Tory's only ideological guiding principle is power.

        It's not just the Tories...

        Vic.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: A few observations

      I've found that even the most right-wing people usually become very favourable to state aids as long as they pour into their pockets, and keep alive their burned companies which true capitalism would need to fail to clear the space for new, better ones. Of course, capitalism is good as long as it makes you money, when it shows you the bill for complacency and incompetence it suddenly becomes bad, and taxpayers have to save your business... double standards are what are killing the western world.

      And after all, to the extreme right wing of the political spectrum you will find the fascisms which were all intervening a lot into economics and pouring money into friendly companies...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A few observations

      Ermm, I thought Brexiters were mostly on the right of the political spectrum, so perhaps not that much in favour of state aid. And why should tax payers' money (collected from successful individuals and businesses) go to prop up failing businesses?

      The business isn't failing, it's just going through a rough patch due to the slow economy. The CEO says he just needs a few billion to stave off impending job losses, and the company will be able to pay it back lickety-split. I've no reason to doubt the word of an old Eton chum.

      Also the EU and the USA (which are broadly the same size) are finding it v difficult to negotiate a new trade treaty (TTIP). So the UK (broadly ten times smaller than the US) is going to find that even more difficult.

      Nah. When equals make a treaty it does take time to come to a compromise, but it'd be comparatively quick for the UK and US to finalise a trade treaty, because the UK would have to accept whatever they're given, or be effectively locked out of the US market.

      1. SkippyBing Silver badge

        Re: A few observations

        'or be effectively locked out of the US market.'

        Well we don't have a trade deal with the US now and yet it's our biggest single trading partner, so how does that work?

        1. codejunky Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: A few observations

          @ SkippyBing

          Dont upset them with facts, they are arguing to remain! Apparently this country couldnt have existed before the EU. Oh praise the saviours.

        2. Jess

          Re: 'or be effectively locked out of the US market.' - so how does that work?

          I think it refers to free expansion of the market, not what we already have.

          Poorly worded, I grant you.

        3. John Hughes

          Re: A few observations

          Well we don't have a trade deal with the US now and yet it's our biggest single trading partner, so how does that work?
          You pay customs duties on every item exported to or imported from the US, that's how it works.

          Also some service companies have limited access to the US market, and US law reserves certain government contracts to US countries.

          Not having a trade deal doesn't make commerce impossible, it just makes it harder, more expensive and potentially unfair.

          Notwithstanding that, TAFTA or whatever it's called at the moment is shit, and with a bit of chance France (among others) will veto it, with the EU parliament as a backstop if no country can quite work up the courage.

    4. Jess

      Re: Norwegian option

      The Norway option is in reality pretty much what the Brexiteers claim our situation is at present.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Optional indeed...

    could

    would also be able to

    might

    1. sysconfig

      Re: Optional indeed...

      Exactly what I thought, too. A lot of if, would, might, could, likely, unlikely etc etc

      In essence the article supports what the "fear mongers" (remain camp) are saying: We do NOT know what's going to happen when Britain leaves, or when. A lot of things will have to be re-negotiated, which takes time and causes uncertainty - and that's always bad news for business.

      On the pro side, if Britain left the EU, the next 1-2 goverments here will have a very hard time blaming any shit on the EU or migrants.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Optional indeed...

        @ sysconfig

        "On the pro side, if Britain left the EU, the next 1-2 goverments here will have a very hard time blaming any shit on the EU or migrants."

        It also means that we can vote for our government and have changes based on what we want. If we want to move more left or right we can.

        I do wonder what will become of the EU. It cant survive as it is which means the EU will have to go through some serious and likely unpopular changes. The question is of which countries it will be unpopular with. Or maybe it will stay as it is and continue as the economic basket case until it crashes. I hope they fix their problems before more people and countries suffer.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: On the pro side

        It would also benefit the environment.

        With Britain (Or more likely England) out of the EU they wouldn't have to keep watering down their environmental protection laws.

        That would means 27 countries with much higher standards for the price of one with poor standards, as opposed to 28 with compromised standards.

        It would make the extra expense and trouble of going to the EU worth it.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: On the pro side

          We are not like Norway.

          Norway is like a neighbour on the other side of the road who is earning really good money which they are carefully investing in sensible options (North Sea black gold -> Sovereign Wealth Fund)

          We are like the people over-mortgaged, with two premium cars on finance, several credit cards all maxed out wondering how we are going to pay to have the leaking roof repaired and the subsiding foundations shored. (NHS & Pensions).

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If the UK did not join the EEA on leaving the EU

    I bet the EU members of the EEA would try to stall the UK trying to get back to the EEA, to extend the example for other, potential, EU leavers: look, it really does NOT pay to leave us...

    p.s. while such tricks stink big time, it does not mean I will vote to "leave", on the basis of "we should show them!"

    1. H in The Hague Silver badge

      Re: If the UK did not join the EEA on leaving the EU

      That has crossed my mind too. Basically, it's going to be a very nasty divorce, with too many emotional issues and everyone is going to get hurt and likely to be v unhappy.

      Also, a vote for Brexit may well lead to another Scottish referendum. Before you know it there could be two nasty divorces instead of just one. (And then some parts of the North may decide they like Holyrood more than Westminster, leading to even more headaches.)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If the UK did not join the EEA on leaving the EU

        Also, a vote for Brexit may well lead to another Scottish referendum.

        Not only that. A vote for Brexit could add quite some fuel to the fires in Germany, France and other countries, where voices for a referendum get a lot louder recently, too. It would set kind of a precedent in Europe, being the first to leave. A couple of years down the line we may suddenly find ourselves renegotiating everything with pretty much everyone individually.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: If the UK did not join the EEA on leaving the EU

          find ourselves renegotiating everything with pretty much everyone individually.

          Bring it on.

          Or simply saying 'trade deals and tariff barriers? We aren't the EU, we dont do trade deals and tariff barriers!'

          1. James 51 Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: If the UK did not join the EEA on leaving the EU

            I am not sure if you're a troll, trying to be funny or just stupid but here goes. The UK steel industry is screaming bloody murder because Chinese produced steal is being dumped for less than it cost to make on the world market in an effort to soften the blow reducing over capacity will have on the Chinese internal jobs market and prevent social unrest. Without tariffs how do you plan to stop this abuse?

  13. Ye Gads

    Nope. Wrong....

    If we vote to leave the EU on the 23rd we're not immediately out of it, nor do our responsibilities for implementing/enforcing its rules end there.

    How you leave the EU is stated in the Treaty of Lisbon (Article 50). When a state says it wants to leave it has 2 years in which to agree what our relationship with the EU is going to look like, the extent and type of access we have to the EU single market, etc. Until this happens we are still subject to EU treaties.

    So, will there be an emergency budget? No. We are bound by EU treaties until June 23rd 2018 and cannot change any items (VAT on fuel, etc) if they are restricted by existing EU directives/treaties/blah. Not only that, we may not be able to change them as these items may be bound up in an agreement with the EU covering future relations with it.

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: Nope. Wrong....

      "So, will there be an emergency budget? No. We are bound by EU treaties until June 23rd 2018 and cannot change any items (VAT on fuel, etc) if they are restricted by existing EU directives/treaties/blah. Not only that, we may not be able to change them as these items may be bound up in an agreement with the EU covering future relations with it."

      You're only half right.

      There is no mention in the article you've stated that says when that 2 year time period starts - or how it would even be 2 years. The country needs to notify the EU of it's intention to leave. So this involves Cameron going to Brussels to do it. That won't be the day after the referendum. And Cameron has been quoted in the recent past saying that the result of the referendum will be used to change the minds of the EU. So voting No won't mean we leave the EU automatically, it'll be used for bargaining power first. Then ultimately we will leave.

      What it does say in the treaty that you missed is that after the intention to leave has been served there will be a period of negotiation. After the negotiation, and on agreement of a qualified majority, then the state can leave. So there will be a massive period of negotiations which the UK would have to agree to as would the Council, and then it has to be voted on etc.

      So, actually, even if the UK say they want to leave but can't agree how they would leave, then the UK couldn't leave.

      http://www.lisbon-treaty.org/wcm/the-lisbon-treaty/treaty-on-European-union-and-comments/title-6-final-provisions/137-article-50.html

      Furthermore, it's worth pointing out that when Ireland voted against the Lisbon Treaty a high profile member of the EU basically told them to re-run the vote until the result was what they wanted.

      1. Jess

        Re:.can't agree how they would leave, then the UK couldn't leave.

        No. If that happens after 2 years we are out with no agreements.

        My guess is the only way such negotiations would go smoothly are if either:

        1. We go for Norway style EEA membership.

        2. Scotland votes to stay in the EU, and subsequently to quit the UK and the negotiations include sorting this out (The Auld Alliance would help this I think.)

        Otherwise I would predict stalling by any nations holding a grudge against us.

        I also predict EU compensation for any businesses who move to remain within the EU.

        So for all us contractors out there there will be two years of solid work, before the bottom falls out of the market.

        1. wolfetone Silver badge

          Re: can't agree how they would leave, then the UK couldn't leave.

          "No. If that happens after 2 years we are out with no agreements."

          Actually no. Again, there is no time frame set out in the rules of the Treaty of Lisbon, and there is no reference to time frames and/or negotiation lengths in Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. So it's negotiation, negotiation, negotiation until an agreement is struck upon. Otherwise the UK will be slapped with massive legal bills, legal challenges, and ultimately compensation if it decides to pick it's football up and go home without a word.

          Furthermore, what countries have "a grudge" against the UK? The UK are pulling out of the EU, which will wreck the economies of the EU. If the shoe were on the other foot and it was Germany wanting to pull out of the EU what do you think the UK's response would be? A shake of the hands and a wish of good luck?

          We have signed up to these rules through various MEPs we have sent (UKIP, Labour, Conservatives etc). The MEPs we sent over agreed to this. It's not just some optional thing like going to a local WI meeting or Scouts group where you can just say "Ah I'm not coming back next week". If this country votes to leave then we go through the process of leaving, whether that is 2 years or 10 years.

          1. Mark3

            Re: can't agree how they would leave, then the UK couldn't leave.

            Errmm, para 3 of Article 50 does give a two year limit -

            "3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period."

            and para 2 -

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

            1. wolfetone Silver badge

              Re: can't agree how they would leave, then the UK couldn't leave.

              Quote the full article.

              "3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period."

              So again it might be 2 years, it might be 10 years. The 2 year thing is a rough yard stick that can be moved.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: can't agree how they would leave, then the UK couldn't leave.

            "Actually no. Again, there is no time frame set out in the rules of the Treaty of Lisbon, and there is no reference to time frames and/or negotiation lengths in Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union."

            http://www.lisbon-treaty.org/wcm/the-lisbon-treaty/treaty-on-European-union-and-comments/title-6-final-provisions/137-article-50.html

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

            3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.

          3. Jess

            Re: can't agree how they would leave, then the UK couldn't leave.

            "If the UK was to reach the end of the two year period specified by Article 50 without

            having reached an agreement, and if any of the 27 other Member States vetoed an extension

            of this period, this would lead to the UK leaving the EU with no immediate replacement

            agreed, without any protection under EU law for the rights of UK business to trade on a

            preferential basis with Europe or the EU’s free trade agreement partners, UK citizens to live

            and work in Europe, or UK travellers to move about freely in Europe."

            ref: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/504216/The_process_for_withdrawing_from_the_EU_print_ready.pdf

            And grudges, it would be easier to ask which countries haven't. The whole point of the EU was to set aside all the historical garbage that has caused problems of varying degrees in the past. If we pull out, especially since it will cause them some damage, it will resurface.

            The most obvious one is Spain, with Gibraltar.

        2. itzman

          Re: can't agree how they would leave, then the UK couldn't leave.

          Basically if Cameron doesn't get a move on, UKIP will win (enough of) an election and declare UDI.

          Peopels patience is running out.

  14. Michael Habel Silver badge

    Define shortly after ~next month~ for me again

    As the Referendum is the fourth Thursday (i.e. The 23'erd), OF THIS MONTH!

  15. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Flame

    Leaving the EU; the least of our problems

    It is the division and polarisation, resentment from the half who don't want whatever we get, which is going to be the real long term problem.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Leaving the EU; the least of our problems

      A bit like Scotland since 2014, you mean?

  16. Spit The Dog

    Is it just me?

    Or are the brexiters treating the EU referendum as a protest vote against the past 40 odd years of right and centre right UK government? Most of their issues seem to have nothing to do with or very little could change if we're in or out of the EU.

    1. H in The Hague Silver badge

      Re: Is it just me?

      Good point. You may well be right here. From the papers I get the impression that there is also a lot of that here in NL where I'm currently living. A large proportion of the electorate, throughout the world, seem to think that we need strong leaders and simple solutions for complex problems. That really worked so well the last time .....

      I get the impression too many people don't want to stop and think about how the world works - it's an infinitely complex web of interconnected economies and systems, as well as limited and unequally divided resources - it's not an app on the latest whizzbang phone. People seem to forget that imposes many constraints on our actions and that simple, knee jerk solutions are not going to work. Does that amount to loss of sovereignty? Yes, but the only way we can be completely sovereign is to move into a cave, grow our own food and die a miserable and early death.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is it just me?

      are the brexiters treating the EU referendum as a protest vote against the past 40 odd years of right and centre right UK government? Most of their issues seem to have nothing to do with or very little could change if we're in or out of the EU.

      No, they are treating it as a protest against the left or center left government of the last 40 years.

      We haven't really had a right wing government since Churchill, and he was hardly Mussolini.

      The nearest we got was Thatcher, but she was hardly 'right wing'

      Its been pinko liberal lefty since Macmillan really.

      The EU is a Euro socialists faced Mafia. An oligarchy that holds reign by paying off bureaucrats and lefty organisations and the media across the EU, and calls itself socialist, but is in fact broadly supported and paid for by multinationals who all together despise the citizens they spend their lives lying to and selling to. Just like the virtue signalling Champagne Socialists of the Islington and Hollywood Wankerati.

      Its about as intelligent to expect a centrally governed Europe to work as having a dashboard full of engine management dials in your car. You have the control, but you cant possibly keep up with the changing conditions. That's why you have an autonomous 'local governing body' to run the engine.

      The EU cant possibly hope to 'govern' Europe effectively, and it doesn't even try. You only have to look at the drunken shambling Junckers to get a glimpse of the reality. Its a boys club for the boys, a marvellous gravy train to ride, and they chuck power at unelected little grey men sitting in offices who at a stroke will destroy and entire industry (like fishing) at the stroke of a ballpoint pen.

      All that matters is staying in power and riding the gravy train. Immigrants? Who really cares? What's the Liberal Line on immigrants Claude? Oh, we should be tolerant and Christian? Ok:

      'Europe must be tolerant and Christian, and allow itself to become Islamic'

      ER, what???

      Even the Orwellian Doublethink is simply ignored.

      Increase your salary, stay drunk, take the money, spend it on whores - that's all that is worth doing, and if challenged tell them its 'all about social justice'.

      Ok, as long as its all about social justice, its OK!

  17. TheTick

    Most of the arguments that we keep hearing all over the media, trade/how much we pay/immigration etc are of little relevance. The absolutely fundamental issues are getting next to no airing at all.

    The people who make the laws are not elected by the people, they are elected by other politicians who might be elected by the people. Now I don't know about the rest of you but that's not bloody well good enough for me!

    For centuries we have wrested power from the elites and passed it closer to the people, we fought a civil war and chopped off a king's head to prove there was no divine right to rule. This is the first time that I can think of (admittedly only an amateur student of political history) where the direction of power has been the other way round. Those who seek to rule us are now less accountable than they were 50 years ago. Back then we could directly vote for or against the top decision makers, now we can only vote for people who might vote for the top decision makers we want.

    They ignore referenda in smaller countries like Ireland, making them vote again until they get the answer they want. They have desposed elected governments in Italy and Greece and placed appointed apparatchiks in their place. The EU Arrest Warrant undermines our ancient right of Habeas Corpus (Google Andrew Symeou).

    I really wish all those points were the top item on the media and the Leave campaign's agenda but I barely hear a peep about it.

    1. Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face

      I agree wholeheartedly. It's thoroughly depressing that the campaigns have focused almost exclusively on immigration and economics. There are massively important issues of national identity, sovereignty, historical legitimacy, democracy and freedom at stake here.

    2. lorisarvendu

      "The people who make the laws are not elected by the people, they are elected by other politicians who might be elected by the people. Now I don't know about the rest of you but that's not bloody well good enough for me!"

      Not strictly true. MEPs make the laws, and all UK citizens can vote for their MEP (that's how UKIP got theirs in). However, you raise a point that may be at the heart of disillusionment with UK politics.

      Namely that in our Local and General Elections you can only vote for the people that your particular Political Party puts forward. So although you think you've got a free democratic vote, you have no choice in what candidates you can vote for, and if you don't particularly like the representative of your particular Party affiliation, then you're in the same boat.

      Of course perfectly principled candidates do often come up, but since they're almost always independents with nowhere near the campaigning power of a major Political Party, hardly anyone is even aware of them, let alone votes for them.

      It's obvious this is the case, because you only have to look at any particularly despised member of the current (or any previous) Government. If everyone hates IDS or Theresa May or Michael Gove, why were they elected? A significant amount of their Constituents voted for them, probably because in the UK most people vote for the Party, regardless of whether they like the candidates on their ballot paper or not.

      Strictly speaking the British Public didn't elect David Cameron as Prime Minister. His constituents only voted him a seat in Parliament. It was his Party who voted him as Leader.

      In fact isn't the US system a bit like this as well? US citizens don't vote for their President, they vote for Electors, who are actually the ones who vote.

      1. TheTick

        "Not strictly true. MEPs make the laws"

        I'm not sure that's accurate, as I understand it MEP's only get to vote on laws that are proposed by the EU Commission/Council/Whatever which is the same amount of power as our House of Lords has, they cannot propose laws themselves. Whereas our MP's do make the laws, even opposition MP's can bring a private member's bill to be voted on.

        If you haven't already watched it Brexit the Movie does discuss this among a host of other issues:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYqzcqDtL3k

        I strongly agree with the rest of your post however, and I've always considered the US method of open primaries to be very interesting. e.g. Love him or loathe him, the Republican voters want Trump and they are getting him.

        1. lorisarvendu

          "I'm not sure that's accurate, as I understand it MEP's only get to vote on laws that are proposed by the EU Commission/Council/Whatever which is the same amount of power as our House of Lords has, they cannot propose laws themselves. Whereas our MP's do make the laws, even opposition MP's can bring a private member's bill to be voted on."

          You're probably right there. Though they do have more power than the House of Lords because if just one country's representative votes no, then the law isn't passed. Every country has the option of Veto on every law. Brexiters often quote that the UK has had a Veto taken away, but as I understand it that is on certain economic matters of the Euro, meaning that the UK should have no say in laws applicable only to the Eurozone, which we're not a part of.

          Another point that I keep hearing is that the UK only has until 2020 before it will be forced to accept the Euro. However I have been unable to find any factual documentation to back this up. If there was any hard evidence that our Eurozone opt-out had a time limit, then I'm sure both Leavers and Remainers would have posted links to it, and yet there's nothing but hearsay. In fact this Telegraph article from 2014 implies that we won't be forced to join (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/10935617/After-2020-all-EU-members-will-have-to-adopt-the-euro.html):

          "...by 2020, all but five member states of the EU are due to be euro members and Poland is likely to join by then as well, leaving just the UK, Denmark, Sweden and Bulgaria outside."

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          ...the Republican voters want Trump and they are getting him.

          The appalling thing is that democratic voters seem to want Hillary.

          Trump is a relatively loathsome piece, but Hillary should have stayed under a stone.

          The whole problem with US politics is that that is what is on offer, at all.

        3. John Hughes

          I'm not sure that's accurate, as I understand it MEP's only get to vote on laws that are proposed by the EU Commission/Council/Whatever
          MEPs get to amend, accept or reject laws proposed by the Commission.

          It is indeed unfortunate that MEPs can't directly propose legislation, but then again, in practical terms neither can back bench MPs.

          even opposition MP's can bring a private member's bill to be voted on.
          The only private members bills that get passed are the ones that get government support, and include such gems as the Knives Act 1997.

      2. Jess

        Re: MEPs make the laws

        No. They vote on the laws. They don't propose them.

        That is one thing that could seriously do with changing,

        But it's certainly not a good enough reason to leave.

        1. TheTick

          Re: MEPs make the laws

          "But it's certainly not a good enough reason to leave."

          Only if there was a reasonable possibility of this changing in the future. But I don't see any reform in the direction of more democracy and accountability coming from the EU in the foreseeable future.

          Elected representatives proposing and repealing laws is pretty much the most fundamental reason to stay in or leave the EU. All of the other problems stem from this basic failure of representative democracy. So yes, it is a good enough reason, and it is the reason I will vote to leave.

          I would urge you to not take it lightly.

          1. Jess

            Re: MEPs make the laws

            I will take it lightly because of the following.

            I have voted in every election I was able in the last 34 years.

            Never has my vote contributed to any MP who votes on the laws my country makes.

            However in the EU elections it has.

            Therefore I get more representation with the EU than without it.

            I don't see any reform in the direction of more democracy and accountability coming from Westminster in the foreseeable future.

            1. TheTick

              Re: MEPs make the laws

              That's an appalling reason to vote to stay in the EU.

              Are you seriously saying that fundamental matters of accountability, democracy, legitimacy and all the rest are less important to you than the fact the person you like got elected as an MEP in your region?

              Jess, that MEP you like has almost zero power. He/She cannot propose legislation, nor propose to repeal legislation. If you are happy with that level of power then I pity you.

              I don't see much reform coming from Westminster either, but the current setup is significantly better than the setup in the EU and is therefore an improvement from the current situation.

              1. Jess

                Re: that MEP you like has almost zero power

                Still more representation than I personally get from voting in Westminster Elections.

                So therefore I totally dismiss all sovereignty arguments as completely irrelevant.

                However there are much more important reasons to stay.

                Freedom of movement and the fact that the EU prevents the national bickering between countries escalating into something more serious are the primary ones.

                If we end up in the EEA, that would be fine, and the irony of the position we would be in being exactly what the UKIP falsely claim we are in currently would amuse me.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        MEPS make the laws???

        No they dont. They can ionly block them, and even that is pretty hard to do when its a 'regulation'

        Another golden EU myth.

        MEPS have as much power as the UK house of lords.

        The EU house of commons doesn't exist. There are bureaus and commissions full of paid people who take backhanders from any lobbyist they want, to initiate any law they want, so long as they can craft a plausible politically correct excuse for doing it.

        If someone said 'you will lose 30% of your savings if we leave the EU Id still vote out. I might be able to make it back if we left, and trust me, the EU would have it anyway.

  18. H in The Hague Silver badge

    Norwegian option

    The Brexiters seem to think that an arrangement like Norway has would be a viable solution. However, I seem to remember reading in one of this morning's papers that this arrangement only covers the free circulation of goods, not services.

    Does anyone know more about that?

    Not having free access to the EU services market would be likely to have a major impact on the UK banking and IT industries.

    Do any of our readers work in IT or banking? :)

    1. Jess

      Re: Norwegian option

      Large contribution to the EU budget with nothing in return. Requirement to enact the majority of EU rules and laws without any veto or voting rights. Freedom of movement, with less opt outs than EU members.

      I can see the Brexiteers loving that.

      On the upside, Britain is usually the country vetoing or watering down good laws. (Protection for steel, anti-corruption powers, etc.)

  19. Richard Parkin

    Parliament is sovereign not the People

    Parliament is sovereign, not the people so a vote for brexit will only be put into effect if a majority on MPs are in favour, which they are not. The whole thing is a charade like the Scottish referendum where scotnats were promising to "stay" in EU and keep the £, neither of which were remotely possible.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Here is an idea for the twats at the top.

    Tell me the benefits of staying in the EU

    Tell me the benefits of leaving the EU.

    No making up numbers, no wild claims you can't back up and no "my mate says that if X then Y will happen"

    Or just be honest and say, "actually, I don't have a clue what will but I'd rather take my chances with staying / leaving the EU"

    1. itzman

      Re: Here is an idea for the twats at the top.

      Benefits in staying in the EU:

      Benefits of leaving: We can sack the UK government and UK government will be 100% responsible for UK legislation.

      1. James 51 Silver badge

        Re: Here is an idea for the twats at the top.

        Actually if we remain in the EEA or want to sell a bunch of stuff to the EU Brussels will still make a lot of UK law.

  21. Jess

    Re: "stay" in EU and keep the £, neither of which were remotely possible.

    Actually they both were.

    Of course they would keep the pound, have you never seen Scottish bank notes? The question really was whether both versions would be linked. When Southern Ireland left the UK, its pounds were linked to ours for decades. Even to the extent of having the same size coins.

    The EU would not have wanted to lose territory and citizens. It would not have been in the remainder of the UK's interests to have it on the outside. Any technicalities would have been sorted out.

    And if we wanted them to stay in the EU, we could easily have managed the situation. (Dissolve the union, so that either we were all out or none out.)

    1. Richard Parkin

      Re: "stay" in EU and keep the £, neither of which were remotely possible.

      Of course I meant pound sterling. The Scots could call their currency whatever they wished but it would not be sterling.

  22. Jess

    You can't make any accurate predictions,

    because we don't know how it will pan out.

    We don't know if the UK will survive intact.

    We don't know if we will be in the EEA or not.

    (If we were to be, then Brexit wouldn't really bother me.)

    Will we get a deal at all?

    Will the EU actively help businesses to relocate to remain within the EU?

    Will it be Cameron or Boris negotiating?

    Will there be a snap general election?

    Will the rest of the world spring to our rescue, or take advantage of our situation?

    It seems to me about as good a move as Nokia ditching their own systems for Windows. We could all see it was a likely train wreck, but they still did it.

    1. itzman

      Re: You can't make any accurate predictions,

      But that hasn't stopped any of the doom mongers has it? Making 'accurate predictions'

      Its a bit like climate change 'the science is settled...but we need another 10 million greenbacks just to make sure..'

      Of course there is one thing we DO know for certain, if we leave the EU. WE will be able to make a lot more laws unique to Britain. And we will be able to - unless a British government removes the power, vote the lawmakers out if they do a more than usually venal, corrupt and incompetent job.

      And that is all I need to know.

      1. John Hughes

        Re: You can't make any accurate predictions,

        All I need to know that once again, scratch a Brexiter it turns out they're also a climate change denier. Odd, that.

      2. billat29

        Re: You can't make any accurate predictions,

        "WE will be able to make a lot more laws unique to Britain."

        Well, yes and no. The UK is currently signatory to 14,000 treaties (source: FCO website) so that is going to limit our options.

        And, if we are going to sell into various jurisdictions, then we might have to enact certain laws to enable us to trade there.

        And those might just turn out to be the ones that we think we can repeal if we leave......

        1. lorisarvendu

          Re: You can't make any accurate predictions,

          ""WE will be able to make a lot more laws unique to Britain."

          Well, yes and no. The UK is currently signatory to 14,000 treaties (source: FCO website) so that is going to limit our options.

          And, if we are going to sell into various jurisdictions, then we might have to enact certain laws to enable us to trade there.

          And those might just turn out to be the ones that we think we can repeal if we leave......"

          Those advocating Exit seem to think the UK will then be able to throw out all EU laws it doesn't like and make up it's own to suit itself, regardless of how the rest of the world sees us. Like sorting out those pesky immigrants once and for all by either denying them any housing/child/employment benefits, or simply slamming the door in their faces. However if we're outside the EU and we start passing draconian laws that go against the spirit of Human Rights, we could see ourselves at the wrong end of some pretty unpleasant economic sanctions. We're currently protected from trade embargos and tariffs because we're in the EU, not because we're British.

      3. H in The Hague Silver badge

        Re: You can't make any accurate predictions,

        "WE will be able to make a lot more laws unique to Britaiit'n. "

        I may have misunderstood something, but I thought that on the whole Brexiters are in favour of less legislation rather than "lots more laws'.

        Anyway, on the whole EU legislation sets minimum standards. The UK can, and does, have stricter legislation in many areas (e.g. in the UK a lot of work on gas and electrical installations can only be done by a qualified technician, while here in NL it's a free for all). Or are you trying to say that British citizens deserve weaker consumer standards and employee protection? Now, I'm right of centre, but I still feel that protection of rights in these areas is essential.

        "And we will be able to - unless a British government removes the power, vote the lawmakers out if they do a more than usually venal, corrupt and incompetent job."

        We only get that opportunity every five years or so. And if your constituency is a safe seat and you don't like your MP then your vote counts for little in first pass the post elections such as those for the Westminster parliament. I get the impression that on the whole parliamentary candidates are more loyal to their party than their constituents. See also someone else's comment that their vote had never really counted in Westminster parliament elections, although it had in EU parliament elections.

      4. James 51 Silver badge

        Re: You can't make any accurate predictions,

        You go be a unique and special little flower. Let the rest of us live in the modern, interconnected world.

  23. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Coat

    All of you

    have missed the final small print paragraph at the bottom of the Lisborn treaty

    "Member states are free to leave the EU subject to the usual military formalities"

    <<<running for the door

  24. Bob Rocket

    Scottish Independence ?

    The Scots Nats, who have a majority in Scotland, want independence from the Union and retention of EU membership.

    It will be a long time/cold day in hell before any UK Government allows another independence referendum, however if the UK votes Out then the Scots Nats have stated that they will run their own referendum.

    The Scots Nats should campaign for Brexit as that is the only way to gain their stated goals.

    Incidentally, if the Scots Nats leadership continue to side with the rest of the established UK parties (including the Hated Tories) then they will be annihilated at the next election. (Labour were punished across the UK for getting into bed with the tories).

    1. Jess

      Re:Scots Nats should campaign for Brexit as that is the only way to gain their stated goals.

      That wouldn't work. (Unless they campaigned for the English to vote leave and the Scots to vote remain.)

      The only way the validity of their recent plebiscite would be undermined is if they UK as a whole votes to leave, but Scotland votes remain, and the vote is higher than the vote to remain in the UK. (Which seems likely at present.)

      Anyone voting to leave in Scotland would be voting for the whole UK to leave intact.

      Anyone voting to stay is voting for the whole UK to stay.

      A solid vote to stay in Scotland but an overall UK leave vote would undermine the referendum, because of a material change.

      They would then have to be asked if they wish to be an independent state within the EU, or to remain in the UK but leave the EU. (Or alternatively, PM Boris could send the tanks in, of course.)

  25. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    "Of course any independent country can close it's borders if it so wishes. No post-Brexit government would go that far, but they will have the power to control all migration into the UK."

    Since the tabloid press is making HUGE CAPITAL headlines about illegal immigrants arriving on the shores of Britain in their DOZENS, may I just point out that the "closing" of borders makes absolutely no difference to illegal immigration. If you don't want to risk your life, you can probably just come here as a tourist and then not leave. Now you are an illegal immigrant, and the border control didn't manage to stop it.

    Brexit won't solve that issue, unless it also means that in the future all dark-skinned people, or people with an eastern European accent, in the UK are to be automatically assumed to be here illegally. Brexiters must then also logically be for mandatory ID cards, permanently carried, and "random" controls on our streets.

    You should probably be careful what you are asking for.

  26. Jess

    Re: scratch a Brexiter it turns out they're also a climate change denier

    On the upside, Brexit would be good for the environment.

    Britain is the country that keeps vetoing and watering down EU environment regulations.

    Currently there are 28 Countries with compromised regulations. After Brexit there would be only one.

    It would be good for the environment, just not ours.

  27. strum Silver badge

    >*I* don't trust the democratically elected UK government

    Why should I trust an unelected cabinet or an unelected House of Lords?

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