back to article Fear and Brexit in Tech City: Digital 'elite' are having a nervous breakdown

As Brexit sends London's tech sector and Silicon Roundabout into post-traumatic shock, and protesters out onto the streets of London, inventor Andrew Fentem wonders "what sort of hippy free-for-all is this anyway?" While some sections of the British press celebrate the Brexit vote in the UK, in the technology press there has …

  1. Triggerfish

    Freedom of movement

    When I asked why they were offering so little, my friend replied that with the EU’s mandatory freedom of movement, the owners of the company "know that they can get away with it".

    If thats one of your arguements for Brexit, do you think it works in a online techpaper thats talking about a lot of British companies outsourcing to other countries?

    If we trade with Europe freedom of movement is still going to be happening so your friends sorted, if not he can go contact someone in the often used Asian market, or other commonwealth countries. So I can't see there being a sudden pay rise for developers because we have left Europe.

    1. Mike 140

      Re: Freedom of movement

      "If we trade with Europe freedom of movement is still going to be happening..."

      So any company that trades with an EU country has to open their borders to EU inhabitants? Oz, Canada, USA, Japan ,..... ?

      Rilly?

      1. K Silver badge

        Re: Freedom of movement

        Mike 140 - Is Rilly your name? Or did you mean really?

        No, any country that operates within the single market is subject to free movement of money, people, goods and service! You don't have one without the other three. Since so much of the UK economy relies upon the single market (inc. our banking and finance sector which employs over 2m people) we'd be insane to leave it!

        So for this alone, his friend is sorted, as freedom of movement is a condition of being part of the single market.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Freedom of movement

          So for this alone, his friend is sorted, as freedom of movement is a condition of being part of the single market.

          Funny. I was talking to lots of my relatives last week (>20), all for Leave, and all basically stating that the freedom of movement was exactly what they did not like about the EU

          1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
            Unhappy

            " freedom of movement was exactly what they did not like about the EU"

            The technical term for your relatives is "played"

            Because they have been.

            Nothing changes for at least 2 years and this "taking back control" bo***cks leave banged on about is more BS.

            You know how remain said the Australian style points system could increase the number of EU migrants?

            Guess what. It could.

            BTW I'm guessing at least a few of your relatives have private pensions. Props to them for taking the £74Bn hit on the share prices most of them are held in.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Freedom of movement

            you might want to relay this scenario to them: leaving the EU, but staying in EEA for single market access, means we have to retain free movement of people, but should Turkish accession talks get anywhere, the EU nations will get a vote (not UK), but free movement for Turkish citizens will apply across the whole of the EEA (including UK). Did they see that flyer that featured Turkey, Iraq and Syria (you know, the blatantly offensive one)? Well, their vote just took that scenario even further out of our control ....

        2. inmypjs Silver badge

          Re: Freedom of movement

          " Since so much of the UK economy relies upon the single market (inc. our banking and finance sector which employs over 2m people) we'd be insane to leave it!"

          The customs union you call a single market costs more than we get from it. We would be very sane to leave it. The transitional period will be painful, but, then so would be being in the EU when it finally collapses.

      2. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: So any company that trades with an EU country has to open their borders to EU inhabitants?

        No, though the Europeans are making it clear that we can't keep the relationship we currently have, where free trade goes with free movement of people. Whether they'll stick to that will come down to the negotiations I guess. If they desperately want to trade with us they'll come to a deal, if they think they can get the trade they need and charge us a bit of tax on the way, they'll do that. Don't forget there's political pressure from the EU to not make this too easy for us else it'll encourage other breakaway states.

        A quick Google reveals that, as usual, this is massively more complex than it originally sounds: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_trade_areas_in_Europe No wonder Dave ran as soon as he realised what he'd been lumbered with sorting out....

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: So any company that trades with an EU country has to open their borders to EU inhabitants?

          I've read that one possibility is trade and free movement with the original six EU states and maybe the EFTA states.

          Whether that'll fly is something else.

        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: So any company that trades with an EU country has to open their borders to EU inhabitants?

          "If they desperately want to trade with us they'll come to a deal"

          The point being they don't need to. Seriously. They won't be that desperate.

          If it all falls through to WTO rules then there's shitloads of extra paperwork for anyone making anything here and exporting to europe or vice versa. There's also a 10% tarriff on motor vehicles.

          The UK is a small market compared to the EU, which means that EU companies don't need to be bothered with the paperwork, but UK companies do (which means extra costs and difficulties) - and that 10% tarriff means that pretty much every multinational automaker is going to run down production in the UK vs mainland factories simply in order to remain competitive - which in turn means that all the suppliers to the factories here will suffer. Carmaking is a large chunk of what remains of the UK economy.

          The extra paperwork means than any outfit with a substantial sales presence in the EU is going to move where the paperwork (and costs) are reduced.

          Banks are already moving, as they can't take uncertainty. It's nice having all that stuff here in terms of tax take but once an avalanche has started the pebbles don't get to vote. Even if the businesses themselves don't pay much tax, the employees do.

          As for salaries: depressed pay is a "thing" right across the EU and London/SE England is just an extreme example of where it hasn't kept pace with costs. I know a bunch of UK people who've moved to Romania for various support work and are very happy. It's not what you get paid which counts, it's how much you have left at the end of the month.

          I'm pretty firmly convinced that Brexit or no Brexit, now that that companies have started moving out, that can't be reversed. The kind of incentives needed to keep them in the UK are illegal under EU rules and probably insufficient if outside the EU.

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge

            Re: So any company that trades with an EU country has to open their borders to EU inhabitants?

            The UK is a _small_ market? Sorry, I don't think that's the case. I'm not in the UK but I DEFINITELY understand how important to the world the UK is. Otherwise, why ELSE would all that "cheap labor" be flocking to the UK, instead of STAYING PUT?

            It's because the UK economy IS important, and that's where the JOBS are. (other countries too, and they may be NEXT to vote 'leave').

            Some years ago Google and other silicon valley companies were caught colluding to keep wages down, by agreeing to NOT engage in 'predatory hiring practices' with one another's employees (among other things, as I recall). It's therefore NOT surprising that companies would vote 'remain' to keep more 'free movement' immigrant workers in the 'available' pile.

            (yeah we have a bit of a problem with that over here in the USA, too. I live in San Diego. Border issues and immigration are pretty important topics where I live).

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: So any company that trades with an EU country has to open their borders to EU inhabitants?

              "It's because the UK economy IS important, and that's where the JOBS are. (other countries too, and they may be NEXT to vote 'leave')."

              Exactly. The is certainly not the power it once was, and out of the EU may be even less of a power, but an advisory referendum suggesting that we might choose to leave the EU has already cause ructions all over the world in the markets and financial sectors.

              It's likely that the UK will leave the EU, it might even be good for us in the long run, but that referendum is still legally only and advisory one. Parliament could, if it chose, ignore it. IIRC, the correct parliamentary procedure is for the Commons to vote on invoking article 50. The PM can't just unilaterally invoke it. And a larger majority of the commons supported the remain campaign. It could be very messy, but we could end up staying in the EU Even though I voted stay, I hope we do leave now. Staying after the vote could be worse than leaving.

            2. fajensen Silver badge

              Re: So any company that trades with an EU country has to open their borders to EU inhabitants?

              Otherwise, why ELSE would all that "cheap labor" be flocking to the UK, instead of STAYING PUT?

              'cause, strangely enough, life can be shittier with shit on top in places like Romania, even though they are EU member states, they are still 3'rd world in many respects. The cleaning lady at my former job was a Romanian veterinarian (There *could* be an opportunity there is once can find a way to employ all of those immigrants at their actual skill level rather than the menial level society deems appropriate for foreign riff raff).

              This is exactly what wrong with EU, according to the continentals: Too much 'free trade and markets', too little 'humanity'.

              Which is one of several reasons why "our" side of the pond are not exactly clamouring for the immediate return of the UK and there is just about Zero political support for yet another special deal with the UK.

              The words coming out of the national (even the right-wing nationalists) politicians are generic regrets over Britain leaving and nothing else, they are leaving the discussion to the EU, which will go exactly By The Book. Even Boris didn't want to be holding that grenade after pulling the pin on it!

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: So any company that trades with an EU country has to open their borders to EU inhabitants?

            "...As for salaries: depressed pay is a "thing" right across the EU and London/SE England is just an extreme example of where it hasn't kept pace with costs. I know a bunch of UK people who've moved to Romania for various support work and are very happy. It's not what you get paid which counts, it's how much you have left at the end of the month."

            That is correct. And to make matters worse. Why don't people question the price hikes for rent etc...

            The article states "...Since those days, general compound inflation has been approximately 100 per cent, and rents have increased approximately 200 per cent..."

            But more often nowadays these price hikes are pure theft. I've heard energy prices as a reason for a price increase while energy-cost have actually become cheaper the last 2 years. So people really should question this "inflation".

          3. hoola

            Re: So any company that trades with an EU country has to open their borders to EU inhabitants?

            So a handful of large companies are threatening to leave the UK. Does this mean that the are proposing to do no business in the UK what so ever? Some of those are the very companies that nearly bankrupted us anyway with their insane working practices, something that is clear they are still doing is you look at the way the "Markets" have been behaving. Make no bones about this, all the movement in the markets will be for the benefit of the organisations. Forcing currencies down is now a game so that the BoE or ECB pump money into the system that disappears straight into the coffers of the very organisations that caused the problem.

            Life may be more difficult but what is simply not possible is for the UK to be the destination of every economic migrant in the EU. One only has to look at places like Wisbech, Boston, and Peterborough, they are essentially enclaves for Eastern Europeans, all using they system for what they can get. That is not their fault, the system is simply broken in the UK and the rest of the EU does not give toss because it does not affect them.

            The UK is the principal destination because of the English language and the benefits system. The joke is that the density of the migrants is so high that they no longer need to speak English!

            1. fajensen Silver badge

              Re: So any company that trades with an EU country has to open their borders to EU inhabitants?

              Life may be more difficult but what is simply not possible is for the UK to be the destination of every economic migrant in the EU.

              That is not entirely the fault of the EU .... You should maybe have considered that fighting the EU so hard for the "right" to have zero-hour contracts and no minimum wages would induce businesses to import only the most desperate workers, those willing to put up with anything, was maybe not in your own interest?

              As far as I remember, one had to work in the UK for 1 year before being eligible for any benefits at all.

          4. Naselus

            Re: So any company that trades with an EU country has to open their borders to EU inhabitants?

            "The point being they don't need to. Seriously. They won't be that desperate."

            Actually, that's not strictly true.

            See, there's been a lot of comparisons for this - like the EU accounts for 50% of British exports and Britain only accounts for 12% of the EU's - which are true, but they're also a bit disingenuous, because the EU isn't a single country. It's a collection of individual countries which each have their own trade relationship with Britain operating within that single market. And some of them really are going to be pretty desperate to have access to the British market... especially Germany, who need to be able to compete with the rise of China.

            Britain is Germany's 3rd largest export market, and it's place is not going to be taken by Italy or Romania or some other country that's remaining in the union. That introduces a lot of business pressure on Merkel's government to try and maintain free trade with Britain - pressure she's very likely to fold under, even if she does so while throwing out lots of bluster about how Britain cannot 'have its cake and eat it'.

            Germany arguably needs Britain's markets more than Britain needs Germany's, in fact, given that German is an engine of manufacturing production and Britain is mostly a clearing house for international capital. Expect to see a lot of posturing on the German side before a relatively sweet deal is offered.

            France is a little different; they have a much, much greater need to prop up the EU and the Euro because any hint of collapse would cause more or less all the capital in France to flee across the Rhine overnight, reducing the country to near-medieval poverty very quickly. They also have a larger Nationalist Right than Germany's relatively marginal one, and a lot more of their population has grown Euro-skeptic in recent years, so they have to prove that Frexit would be a disaster. France's position is much more likely to hinge on a punishment position, though Germany industrial interests will likely in out in the end (as they more or less always do in European politics).

            Italy and Spain are in economic chaos and really just need to get a deal sorted quickly. Poland is a rising star but still lacks much clout compared to major powers. Sweden is similarly middle-ranking, and while it can make it's voice heard it's not particularly interested in punishment politics. No-one else in Europe really gets a say in the matter, no matter what everyone likes to pretend; they're just present to hold Germany's currency valuations down and soak up excess production.

        3. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: So any company that trades with an EU country has to open their borders to EU inhabitants?

          "The Europeans are making it clear that we can't keep the relationship we currently have, where free trade goes with free movement of people. "

          I think you've got it bass-ackwards there.

          The EU is saying to the UK that the UK _CANNOT_ have free trade without free movement.

          The UK is trying to get tree trade without the free movement and that's simply something that will not be allowed. The UK has been whining and footstamping in the EU like a petulent child, getting concession after concession, but this is a step too far and the thing that will cause the entire EU to close ranks and say "NO", along with cancelling every single existing concession.

          There are 2 choices on the way forward:

          Brexit: Start from scratch with no concessions and no free trade.

          No-Brexit: Keep Free trade and free movement and try to retain some of the remaining concessions, otherwise we'll lose the lot.

          The UK is about to be spanked and sent to its room with no supper. We are not a global power and haven't been for 70+ years - and don't think the Commonwealth will be any more sympathetic than the EU. This is hardnosed business stuff where if any outside country senses a weakness in negotiations they'll exploit it (just like New Zealand did in 1938-9 to lever a 100-year food supply contract at above-market rates. They weren't being friendly and sending all that mutton for free.)

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

        4. Lars Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: So any company that trades with an EU country has to open their borders to EU inhabitants?

          " down to the negotiations".

          Either you are in or out. This idiotic dream of cherry picking has nothing to do with the reality. The idea of gaining regarding the EU by leaving is just silly. It would be wrong towards each and every country in the EU, nobody wants that to happen, and it will not happen. And that has nothing to do with how we, as before, appreciate the UK and its people. But a crybaby, no thanks. The EU, even with 27 countries and +400M people is as an economic power much stronger than the UK.

          Personally I still hope that you could come to your senses. Boris has apparently realized he cannot mend the mess he has created and Farage was born an idiot.

          1. ToddR

            Re: So any company that trades with an EU country has to open their borders to EU inhabitants?

            Lars, rather than coming to our senses, many of us think democracy is worth fighting/paying for, so keep the "unreformed" Brussels autocracy, as we voted against it.

            1. fruitoftheloon
              Pint

              @ToddR: Re: So any company that trades with an EU country has to open...

              Todd,

              Well said Sir, please have one on me!

              I mean, who'd a thunk it eh, some pesky Big Englanders deciding that what they want their country to do is more important than there 'betters' think?

              Isn't democracy wonderful?

              Also, lest anyone drivel on about 'omg what have you done?'/ 'screwing things for the younger generation...' An 'in vote' would have suited my wife & I as well as my nascent UK-based export business much more than the decision we made...

              We view it as a greater good!

              Cheers,

              Jay

          2. JLV Silver badge

            Re: So any company that trades with an EU country has to open their borders to EU inhabitants?

            +1

            And, another reason I think the Europeans will miss the UK is because the UK was pretty good at shooting down the more obviously stupid European initiatives, like France's longstanding desire for corporate tax homogenization. This loss of common-sense examination of the subsidiarity principle will be a loss for the EU as a whole, methink.

            But that doesn't change much to the fact that a Brexit-ed UK will either

            a) trade with the EU in a lot less integrated manner, having to go through a lot of Fortress Europe's trade red tape.

            b) have preferential access status, as negotiated by Norway and Switzerland. However, "negotiated" in this case means pretty much having to put up with many of the same rules as everyone else and also paying some level of membership dues.

            I suspect it will come down to b) and the net benefit is not obvious, except to British nostalgia. Shooting down strawmen like Hoberman, who well deserves it, doesn't magically result in magical ponies roaming the countryside, the author's opinion notwithstanding.

            There is another option, which is that the Brexit concept becomes sufficiently unpopular (in the strict sense of the word) for the whole thing to be brushed under the carpet and Article 50 not being invoked. That might be an attractive solution, but in order to preserve democracy, it would have really have to be a strong, legitimate, grassroots movement. Not just the "we'll ask you again until you give the right answer" kinda crap that the Europhiles pulled on past referendums like the EU constitution votes. So I also doubt that will happen anytime soon.

            BTW, I realize that one of the European fears about Brexit is that it becomes contagious. If the economics of it are as fraught as some of the gloomier Brexit scenarios, perhaps the end result will be just the opposite. With the UK having taken on France's traditional role of showing others which policies are best avoided.

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: So any company that trades with an EU country has to open their borders to EU inhabitants?

              "doesn't magically result in magical ponies roaming the countryside"

              You've just shot down the whole of Leave's economic policy.

            2. itzman

              Re: So any company that trades with an EU country has to open their borders to EU inhabitants?

              Some good points raised.

              The EU as currently constituted cannot allow free trade without free movement.

              Ergo Britain will not get a free trade deal, as free movement is by and large what brexiteers voted against. And they WON.

              However that doesn't mean no trade, and I suspect a compromise of 'low tariffs' and 'some movement of some people' will be hammered out.

              Carny has signalled low interest rates and that's dumped the pound a fair bit but restored the FTSE.

              A low pound might offset EU import tariffs, but the reverse is true. A low pound and an import tariff makes EU goods very expensive. Good for the trade balance. Bad for the ailing Eurozone economies.

              The net effect of that will be that British exports are unaffected to the EU, and improve to the rest of the world, whilst the EU loses market share to e.g. the rest of the Anglosphere, which is queuing up to do deals.

              French wine even more expensive. New Zealand wine cheaper?

              The real answer is of course that the doom and gloom forecasts were based on a lot of assumptions, most of which are imponderable.

              What happens next depends on how we proceed, far more than the fact of exit. And whether the considerable increase in the ability to act politically independently, is used wisely or not.

              1. Jess

                Re: free movement is by and large what brexiteers voted against.

                So what?

                The question was whether the UK should remain in the EU or not. No mention of the EEA.

                Since 48% obviously supported freedom of movement/EEA membership because that is part of EU membership, it means that if less than 24 in 25 exit voters support leaving the EEA then there is no mandate to leave the EEA.

        5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: So any company that trades with an EU country has to open their borders to EU inhabitants?

          "No wonder Dave ran as soon as he realised what he'd been lumbered with sorting out...."

          Given that he was with remain why should he sort out leave's problems. Now Boris, first coming out with the "but not just yet" line and then ducking out completely...that you can certainly describe as running away. Did he ever think about what might be involved before the result came up? And have those who've signed up to run for the leadership thought about it at all?

        6. Lars Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: So any company that trades with an EU country has to open their borders to EU inhabitants?

          @sabroni

          "If they desperately want to trade with us they'll come to a deal, if they think they can get the trade they need and charge us a bit of tax on the way, they'll do that".

          Please sabroni, while I know the world is complicated, it's not the exporting country that puts "a bit of tax on the way". And as for "desperation" is it not rather the UK that is out desperately begging for additional advantages.

          And Dear Sabroni, Britain will import what it needs as before, and I would advice you to try to understand why "London" voted remain. This whole Brexit farce had hardly nothing to do with trade but the result will affect it. Well, you will by what you need, and so will I.

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. YARR
      Thumb Down

      The UK is proof that free movement of labour doesn't work. When a foreign employee is taken on that puts pressure on the local infrastructure. Unless the employer is contributing enough in taxes to cover those costs (which might be hundreds of thousands of pounds to pay for new housing so the local population is not adversely affected, more capacity in public services and transport etc) then the new job is a net loss to the host nation. The employee and employer may benefit but overall the host nation does not, as the overall cost of living increases and the poorer members of society are most affected. That is why so many people across a wide section of society voted for Brexit - they're not stupid, they know they're worse off thanks to freedom of movement of labour in the EU.

      The EU can either learn from this mistake and adapt or it will continue to fail and become more unpopular. The alternative is the UK can take the initiative by bypassing the EU and begin a new free trade agreement with interested partner nations, not necessarily restricted to Europe. You don't need free movement of people for free trade and capital movement. The EU knows this but is attempting to block the UK to justify it's own bureaucratic existence and maintain the heading for an EU superstate.

      A sensibly run system would only permit an employer to take on a foreign worker if the local authority gave assurance there was sufficient free accommodation and capacity in public services to take them on.

      1. sed gawk

        Delusional

        "The UK is proof that free movement of labour doesn't work", do you have any further reason why free movement of people, as opposed to generations of under-investment is to blame https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation_does_not_imply_causation

        "When a foreign employee is taken on that puts pressure on the local infrastructure..."

        Where as when a Londoner moves to Preston, the local infrastructure is unaffected, as the housing, social provisions magically adjusts itself...

        A sensibly run system would only permit an employer to take on a foreign worker if the local authority gave assurance there was sufficient free accommodation and capacity in public services to take them on.

        You are arguing for a command economy, please consider moving to a country with such a regime and allowing us, including me a British born chap, the freedom to run my business and trade with the EU, including working shock horror, in Europe, and earning Euros, and paying VAT, Corp Tax, NI, Income Tax to HMRC. I was lucky enough to work on a E.U. funded science project, it meant the E.U. paid for the open sourcing of scientific data, money which was spent in the U.K.

        Explain how my business taking money from the E.U. and paying tax here *because* of free movement is "is proof that free movement of labour doesn't work".

        I think your premise is flawed, and your prescription for toothache is decapitation, thanks to you, and your ilk, we are worse off, and likely to have one of the most illiberal home secretaries in our history as PM.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tell your friend I'll do Junior coding for 25k. I already live here. It'd be nice to have a 5k payrise

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Too late, your jobs off to india instead now!

      http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/brexit-promises-massive-boost-to-india-uk-relations-minister-priti-patel/story-UaYX6DMnHxUW2QipS537cK.html

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        It looks like Patel wants to replace EU cheap labour with Indian cheap labour by giving Indians visas to level the playing fields.

        That's not going to make her very popular with a section of her fellow Brexiters.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Yes but its a choice we at least can make.

          If we truly are that unhappy about it, (I doubt) We can vote the people responsible out and new people in.

          And on top of all that if it too extreme we can curb it rather than just shut it off, we don't have any of the above options if in the EU, just chin up and accept it.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            ...and to be honest, the vast majority of IT jobs are not highly paid, highly skilled, high demand jobs any more. The few high flyers who do the high end work, yes, they get the big bucks and travel the EU or the world, picking and choosing the work they do but most of us grunts are happy to have a job, My job pays almost the same as it did 10 years ago, maybe a bit less in real terms. But my mortgage is paid off, I enjoy the job and it;s enough for our lifestyle. I'm happy. But there's a big market out there of people with the skill levels I have. I just have 25 years experience.

            So for most of us, being in or out of the EU and free movement is far far less of an issue than it is to the high flyers.

        2. itzman

          Re: Priti Patel

          No, just levelling the playing field.

          Euope no longer gets special status so india has to be considered in equivalent terms.

          Good.

          Watch Priti. One hell of a smart cookie.

          We will have a deal with India before we have one with the EU...

  3. John H Woods Silver badge

    Legal Headaches

    "The EU has primarily been a source of legal headaches"

    Of course it has; within the EU it is the source of regulation. To me it makes sense that a single trading bloc will try to harmonize regulation. But, regardless of whether you agree with that or not, surely it is rather simplistic to expert that regulation will go away. You'll just get your legal headaches from trying to comply with UK regulation instead.

    1. AndyS

      Re: Legal Headaches

      In other news, the vast majority of arrests come after interaction with police. Therefore if we abolish the police, crime will disappear!

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: Legal Headaches

        In other news, the vast majority of arrests come after interaction with police. Therefore if we abolish the police, crime will disappear!

        For some reason I was just reminded of Thatcher.

        http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/margaret-thatcher-dead-how-bashed-1819966

        "

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        Margaret Thatcher

        Margaret Thatcher 1925-2013: How she bashed miners and the unions but backed yuppies

        13:37, 9 Apr 2013

        Updated 12:16, 10 Apr 2013

        By Mike Ridley

        After Baroness Thatcher's death at 87 , we look back at the strikes, riots and yuppie boom

        Shares

        John Harris Leslie Bolton from 'Women Against Pit Closures' defends herself as Police mounted on horseback attack, Sheffield

        Margaret Thatcher's second term saw Britain's economy boom... but prosperity for the rich was paid for by millions of working men and woman.

        The result was that the 80s saw Britain under Thatcher bitterly divided - while champagne corks popped in the City, the unions reeled from her assault on organised labour.

        In the spectacular stock-market boom of the late 80s, Britain's rich became even richer.

        Half of all the tax breaks brought in during Thatcher's 11 years in office went to the top 10%.

        The Big Bang which revolutionised the way the City of London operated, throwing out hundreds of years of safeguards, brought untold riches to City spivs as Thatcher sold off the family silver, privatising state-run utilities such as British Gas and British Telecom.

        A flurry of privatisations followed - of electricity and airlines - which raised a fortune for the Treasury.

        City whizzkids, nicknamed yuppies, short for Young Upwardly-mobile Professionals, made huge bonuses by shifting money around the globe, contributing nothing but their ability to play a market."

        1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          Re: yuppies

          The last line says it all

          "contributing nothing but their ability to play a market."

    2. inmypjs Silver badge

      Re: Legal Headaches

      "rather simplistic to expert that regulation will go away"

      A lot of it should. In the EU much of it was bought by large companies to help stifle competition from large companies outside the EU and smaller companies everywhere.

      Big business loves regulation because small business finds it much more expensive.

      1. H in The Hague Silver badge

        Re: Legal Headaches

        "Big business loves regulation because small business finds it much more expensive."

        Well, as a consumer I'm all in favour of safety and efficiency regs for, say, electrical equipment. And my industrial clients seem to be quite happy with the regs for, say, power tools and lifting equipment.

        In fact we've long had regulations like that. The difference is that on the whole there's now just one set of regulations. That makes it much easier for creative and specialised small companies, with a limited regulatory compliance budget, to sell their kit to a much larger market. So harmonised regulations benefit small businesses.

        There is still a plethora of national regulations, especially for stuff that doesn't move, like buildings. So, some building products come under EU product regulations, but building regulations are different in England, Scotland, the Netherlands, etc.

    3. ToddR

      Re: Legal Headaches

      And if we don't like the UK regulators, we can vote the bastards out at the next General Election, gedditt?

  4. TheOtherHobbes

    Do you really think the salary on offer would have been £100k if the UK had been outside of the EU?

    Or that the job would exist at all?

    1. breakfast

      To be fair within a few years an average starter salary may well be £100k. Of course, it will only be about $25000, but still...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let cooler heads prevail...

    At last sanity speaks!

    Are we better off in the EU, probably, but will the sky fall down, will the four horsemen be seen in a street near you because of Brexit? Probably not...

    Meanwhile, life carries on as normal.

    1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

      Re: Let cooler heads prevail...

      I disagree. By the four horsemen I take to mean - Teresa May, Teresa May (again), Michael Gove, and that scrawny, creepy looking, mole-faced fuckwit... Michael Gove.

      So actually then... we have a one horseman + one horsewoman of the Apocalyse cluster in a fault tolerant active-active configuration.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Let cooler heads prevail...

        I think the four horseman are Gove, Dacre, Murdoch and Farage.

        1. Paul Shirley

          Re: Let cooler heads prevail...

          Farage might be one of the horses...

          Far from certain 'sanity' is here. We've pulled one leg back into the frying pan with the self serving Boris temporarily sidelined but there's no way to please all the brexit voters. There's too large a gap between those that just wanted a 'better deal' and those that want completely out at any cost.

        2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Unhappy

          I think the four horseman are Gove, Dacre, Murdoch and Farage.

          Indeed.

          Gove or "Double Brutus" as he's been called over his "support" for call-me-Dave then signing up as Boris's "Campaign Manager" has been getting a lot of love from both Rupert and Dacre, or as we like to think of him, the husband of the owner of the Daily Heil.

          Ladies and gentlemen, time to grease those cheeks and grab those ankles.

          This is going to hurt.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Let cooler heads prevail...

        So no job for Boris? Shame on you.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Let cooler heads prevail...

      ...and Princess Diana is still dead

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge

          Re: Let cooler heads prevail...

          "It's now time for the return of King Arthur."

          he might have some trouble getting things through Parliament...

          1. InfiniteApathy
            Pint

            Re: Let cooler heads prevail...

            > he might have some trouble getting things through Parliament...

            Should sharpen his sword then

            1. Domquark

              Re: Let cooler heads prevail...

              "Should sharpen his sword then"

              Alas, that won't work. The gap between the (read: any) governing party (the government) and the opposition is a specific distance, which conforms to the ancient law of being "two swords and one inch apart". This serves as a reminder to solve issues by peaceful means.

              So, no sword play between Boris and Corbyn! Lightsabres outside anybody???

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Let cooler heads prevail...

                'Swordsman' and philandering Boris in the same discussion... that's conjuring some bad images

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cv5vEd2WRQw - probably safe for work

              2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: Let cooler heads prevail...

                "So, no sword play between Boris and Corbyn! Lightsabres outside anybody???"

                One could always try swinging the Mace.

    3. Shadow Systems Silver badge

      Re: Let cooler heads prevail...

      Wait, the Horsemen *aren't* coming? DAMN! I was SO looking forward to getting an autographed picture of them! What does a World have to do to get the Horsemen to appear so we can get autographed pictures? Sheesh!

      (If you can't spot the sarcasm tag, I'll happily send one via Pony Express. *Grins*)

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Let cooler heads prevail...

      "Meanwhile, life carries on as normal."

      Yep. If only the stock brokers would think the same way. It's not really all that big a deal. It's just the the market traders see anything "different" as a reason to panic sell and then buy back on the cheap for more virtual profits. I'd imagine that certain people in the IT industry are responsibly for some of this too as the authors of the automated trading systems, especially the high speed margin stuff.

  6. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

    Looking the wrong way

    You are looking the wrong way with this.

    What has depressed wages in jobs like these is not our membership of the EU, in itself. It is globalisation in general.

    In modern times, communications technology means that it is not even necessary to have your developer sat in the office with you. He can be at home, or in a cafe, or... on the other side of the world.

    People in less developed countries are training like mad in development, IT support, and all sorts of other professions. While they tend to have the reputation of producing lower quality work, they produce results which are "good enough" in many situations, for a fraction of the cost of someone in the UK.

    Freedom of movement in the EU is only a symptom of this. It allows a company to employ someone from Eastern Europe to sit in their office and work, instead of them working remotely.

    So I do not expect Brexit to increase wages, even if the economy is not damaged by it. On the contrary, I would expect that it will lead to more off-shoring of work, which will lead to less demand in the UK and, subsequently, more wage depression.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Looking the wrong way

      Exactly. The US isn't in the EU or anything like it and yet millions of jobs from manufacturing to coding to accounting / legal work to radiology have been outsourced to lower cost countries like Mexico, India and China.

      The main difference is that the people of the US have (in theory) the ability to vote out the people who make treaties or laws that allow / encourage such things to change them. The success of Trump's campaign shows that this isn't so easy....I guess you can argue that his success IS people trying to affect such change but even if he's elected as President he doesn't have the power to unilaterally abrogate existing treaties like NAFTA, or change the law to make outsourcing more difficult. The republicans in congress will still be firmly on the side of free trade, and many democrats as well (at best half of democrats would side with him, based on Bernie Sanders' results, but they might take a page from the republican playbook with Obama and decide to unify and be obstructionist against Trump and hope it makes him a one term president)

      In contrast, the UK has traded their sovereignty in some matters to the EU so the only way to make such changes is to leave the EU entirely. Instead of free movement into the UK (for coders, effectively as if the US had unlimited H1-B visas) so the work is done and taxes are paid within the UK, now those jobs will be outsourced. Those city companies won't hire junior coders for more money to work in the UK, they'll have their junior coders working in India and only have the senior level people based in the UK. Future startups might happen in Berlin or Barcelona and leave the UK out entirely. Instead of UK resident junior coders having their jobs priced down, they'll be eliminated completely - and the tax revenue the UK was collecting will go away.

      As stated, this is a problem with globalization, especially with regard to high speed worldwide communication making it almost as easy to work with someone in India as with someone the next floor up.

      The big problem with the EU is the alliance between rich and poor countries, with everyone trying to maintain their own budgets and standards of living. The poor countries only joined to become richer, and much of that happens due to the free trade and free movement. The US is a bit like that with the states, where the richest like California and New York are net contributors to the federal government and others like Mississippi are getting more money back than they put in, but these things move in cycles. When the confederate states tried to leave they were the richest ones and they supported the north. Maybe in 150 years Mississippi will again be among the richest states, who can tell?

    2. JLV Silver badge

      Re: Looking the wrong way

      >globalisation in general

      +1

      Not to mention technical progress, which will massively accelerate as job-specific AI matures. Looking just at Uber and self-driving cars, for example, there is little doubt that we risk seeing entire chunks of jobs disappear in the next 20-30 years. Taxi and lorry drivers for example. But also reduced demand for entry-level accountants, less retail salespeople, etc...

      This will be hard to adjust to and it is by no means obvious that new jobs will appear to replace all of the old ones. In a perfect world, our respective electorates would be able to respond in a thoughtful fashion, rather than Luddit-ing away or just blaming all of their politicians and choosing to elect nitwits like The Donald.

      The signs aren't good so far. But democracy is a surprisingly robust system, despite its flaws.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Looking the wrong way

        As more and more jobs go away people WILL go "Ludditing away" because that will be the only way they can insure their survival. Otherwise everyone with an IQ below a certain level (that rises over time) will be obsolete in the workforce at some point, while those that own the robots claim the income they would have formerly been making.

        There are three choices in such a future:

        1) those people vote themselves a better deal (for some value of "better deal"...could be socialism/communism, could be outlawing robot/AI workers, lots of options)

        2) revolution

        3) the owners of the robots turn their robot army on the now-useless masses and exterminate them

  7. Jedit
    Unhappy

    "Whatever happens after Brexit..."

    Don't be too quick to assume that London will remain popular after an EU exit. A lot of the banks are declaring plans to relocate, and France is pushing slyly to poach much of the rest.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: France is pushing slyly to poach much of the rest.

      You're referring to the push to move Euro Clearing into the Eurozone, yeah? Rather than having all their currency move through London. Seems more like common sense than being sly.

      1. breakfast

        Re: France is pushing slyly to poach much of the rest.

        There's a little more to it than that- from what I could understand of what I was reading yesterday ( not a finance specialist! ) banks have a passporting system to trade in Europe. France look to be pushing for a deal that lets Britain have most of what they want from a post-EU deal aside from passporting our banks. We get free trade with some migration controls, they get the financial sector, but nobody here minds aside from people working in the financial sector and politicians because most people hate the banks.

        I don't know how much veracity there is to this suggestion, but it's interesting and seems like it would be a good move for France.

        1. maffski

          Re: France is pushing slyly to poach much of the rest.

          Here's the thing. Much as they might think otherwise politicians don't get to make everyone's choices. If they did the majority of Euro clearing would already be in the Euro zone. And if they found some way to do it, what use is a global currency you can only clear 10 hours a day? All they would do is ensure the Euro isn't used in international transactions.

          1. xnfec

            Re: France is pushing slyly to poach much of the rest.

            Actually, "France" is spread right around the globe. From France proper to Cayenne in South America, Martinique, Guadeloupe & St Martaan in the Caribbean. St Pierre & Miquelon off the coast of Canada, Tahiti, Wallis & Futuna, New Caledonia in the Pacific, Reunion and Mayotte in the Indian Ocean. With a bit of wire and few computers they could easily go 24/7/365

    2. H in The Hague Silver badge

      Re: "Whatever happens after Brexit..."

      http://www.telegraaf.nl/binnenland/26110868/___Brexitloket__in_Amsterdam__.html

      Apparently the UK desk of "In Business" which aims to attract overseas companies to Amsterdam has been extended. And the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency is appointing two more staff to their London office to assist businesses considering relocation.

      So Boris, Farage, et al were right: Brexit will increase emloyment!

    3. John Miles

      Re: "Whatever happens after Brexit..."

      I'll be interested to see how many of those banks actually follow up on it when they remember France's desire to tax the finance world - link

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The current "plan" seems to be to introduce some form of "points-based" system for controlling which furriners can work in the UK. This has important economic implications as the rules and exceptions will be set up to benefit major contributors to the ruling political party of the day.

    PS: who are these political commentators in the mass media ? First they were shocked by the referendum result, now they're shocked that Johnson is not standing for the poison chalice that is leading the Tory party during the Brexit negotiations.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      The current plan does not matter

      It will be at least two years before there is any chance of a new plan being implemented. That will be plenty of time for the Brexits to argue with each other about what the plan should be.

      1. Yes Me Silver badge

        Re: The current plan does not matter

        There is no current plan, and there never was one because the Leave campaign was entirely based on emotion and fantasy. The best plan I have is for 350 MPs to ignore the current party politics and vote a motion that explicitly forbids the Government from invoking Article 50.

        1. P. Lee Silver badge

          Re: The current plan does not matter

          >The best plan I have is for 350 MPs to ignore the current party politics and vote a motion that explicitly forbids the Government from invoking Article 50.

          The "Leave Campaign" was always a fringe thing in terms of party politics - the vast majority of the mainstream politicians didn't want it. Those that did want it were Boris (buffoon with no eye on the top job in the Tory party), May (mostly hated), Gove (mostly hated). Farage - UKIPs *only* MP. Hardly a compelling team of winners.

          Despite that, most of the electorate did want it, however. What you are suggesting is that politicians ignore the the explicitly declared will of the people, because they (or perhaps you) know better.

          Perhaps the fact that UKIP only had one MP despite over half the turnout voting "leave" is an indication of just how strongly the political elite have manipulated the system so that it serves only their purposes. How could all the major parties be so out of touch with the electorate, unless they have an effective way to insulate themselves from them? Perhaps if the parties allowed more "loyal opposition" they might have been able to see where the people are and negotiate for an EU more in line with what people are willing to accept, rather than pressing ahead with their own agendas.

          The parties are supposed to represent the people. They've stopped doing that and when one small chink in the armour was spotted, the electorate took a wedge and jammed it in hard. It isn't just Westminster either. If MEPs represented the people and created an EU the people wanted, we wouldn't be in this situation.

          Meanwhile Project Fear continues apace. Why try to bury bad news when you can blame it on Brexit? Of course we can't blame "the people" so we'll blame "party politics," "the politicians" or "the campaign." While its true that revolutions are generally ugly, even Obama is lining up Brexit as the cause of worldwide economic disaster. I guess there will be no let-up, with all bad things blamed on it. Obama, Vodaphone and everyone else... all their problems will not stem from years of financial mismanagement, mountains of debt and poor judgment, nope, its because England didn't want to play nice with France. Your racism has doomed us all! How dare you not let other countries write your laws!

          There doesn't need to be a conspiracy to cause this situation, I suspect that its merely that politicians and much of society are so focused and dedicated to winning their arguments, that they cannot hear or admit any alternative explanations or plans to the ones they wish to put forward. How can you keep a grip on reality when "what is effective" trumps "what is true"?

          My view on the "cheap labour" issue is a little different. Those who want to go for the cheapest things will do so, be it to eastern Europe or India and their products will reflect that quality. More significantly, how did our economy get so out of sync with the rest of the world? If it was due to EU protectionism was that ever a sustainable position or would it require ever more subsidy to maintain? If we go it alone, should we replace EU protectionism with UK protectionism or will that damage us in the long term? Would reducing household debt be a more effective way to raise the standard of living than to prevent some wage competition?

          1. lorisarvendu

            Re: The current plan does not matter

            "Despite that, most of the electorate did want it, however. What you are suggesting is that politicians ignore the the explicitly declared will of the people, because they (or perhaps you) know better."

            We elect MPs because we hope they will form a Government that does know better than us. In this case I will still have to trust that they do. Because although someone may believe that they know better than the Government how to run a country, that doesn't mean they do.

            If a significant number of 600 member of Parliament vote to ignore the Referendum and not trigger the Exit process, then we have to believe that they may know better than us. Just because 52% of the public voted to Leave doesn't make them right, and doesn't mean it would be the best decision for the UK, any more than the 48% who voted Remain are right as well.

            We have to trust our democratically elected Parliament to lead us in this, because if we don't, what the hell is the point in having our current voting system anyway? Unless you're just going solely on the numbers and saying 17.4 million Leave votes trumps at most 600 MPs?

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: The current plan does not matter

              @ lorisarvendu

              "We elect MPs because we hope they will form a Government that does know better than us."

              And all along we were told that we would be fine outside, but they wanted to stay in. We were even encouraged that Cameron would campaign for out if he didnt get his impressive deal (that he watered down, was then rejected badly, then told us it was a victory). We were sold out to the EU by a traitor (potentially war criminal) and have finally had the referendum promised from the beginning. Just because the desperate tune changes at the last minute when the 'right' answer wasnt about to be given doesnt change the fact that we will do fine out like the many other countries.

              We also have the promise that the will of the people will be carried out hence the point of voting in the referendum. If we cant trust them that far then why should we trust they know what is right for us to the abandonment of our will?

              1. Disk0

                Re: The current plan does not matter

                In my lifetime there was a referendum about the European Community membership of the UK in 1975 and the vote by 67% was to stay In. So no history repeating this time.

            2. Lars Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: The current plan does not matter

              @ lorisarvendu

              I haven't read anything this guy has written earlier but I think he is thinking something similar.

              http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2016/06/29/hadas-britain-picks-the-wrong-time-to-play-games/

            3. Paul Shirley

              Re: The current plan does not matter

              We elect MPs because we hope they will form a Government that does know better than us

              We use representative democracy because:

              1: naked democracy is dangerous: prone to persecuting minorities, making decisions that can't be easily undone, too easily hijacked by emotion rather than facts

              2: it's inefficient

              We've stopped at a system that should be more efficient (but looking at the chancers infesting it might not be). More importantly, done right it provides the essential pauses before making damaging bad choices. Time to think, time to find facts, time to talk people down.

              Except our democracy has been captured by the party system, where often the only break on madness is convoluted legislative process injecting some delay. Where politicians have decided to be leaders instead of representatives. Where the voters can be manipulated and lied to at will.

              When they called for naked democratic voting they abandoned their purpose of moderating the madness. The only possible argument for letting these c**ts interfere is that they chose to interfere so monstrously in the voting. That's a justification for sacking the lot of them, possibly disbarring them from any public service, not an excuse to give them more power.

          2. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

            Re: The current plan does not matter

            Those that did want it were Boris (buffoon with no eye on the top job in the Tory party), May (mostly hated), Gove (mostly hated). Farage - UKIPs *only* MP.

            Actually, there's 2 glaring errors, here.

            Firstly, May backed Remain. She pretty much kept her head down, but she was on the Remain side.

            Secondly, Nigel Farage is not an MP. He is an MEP. Douglas Carswell is UKIPs only MP.

            I'll leave the rest of it. I agree with some points, but disagree with most of it. However, you are entitled to your opinion, and I've had enough of arguing over politics from this campaign to last me a lifetime!

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: The current plan does not matter

              "Firstly, May backed Remain. She pretty much kept her head down, but she was on the Remain side."

              ISTM that she backed it only sufficiently to enable her to stay in the govt. if Remain won. She seems to have been strongly against anything from the EU that concerned her department.

              1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: The current plan does not matter

                "ISTM that she backed it only sufficiently to enable her to stay in the govt. if Remain won. She seems to have been strongly against anything from the EU that concerned her department."

                Especially since she got the biggest and most kickings from the EU in terms of the Snoopers Charter. I suspect she is now quite happy with the result,

          3. ToddR

            Re: The current plan does not matter

            Farage isn't an MP, apart from that everything else you said was wrong too

          4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: The current plan does not matter

            "the explicitly declared will of the people"

            A small minority is not the explicitly declared will of the people. It's the vague feelings of a small percentage who could have voted differently the week before, could vote differently now and could vote differently again next week. It's the tail wagging the dog. An explicitly declared will is more like 2/3 of the voters - or even 2/3 of the electorate. A change of the status quo of this magnitude should require a referendum but it should also require a majority sufficient to demonstrate that the people are whole-heartedly behind it.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: The current plan does not matter

              "An explicitly declared will is more like 2/3 of the voters - or even 2/3 of the electorate. A change of the status quo of this magnitude should require a referendum but it should also require a majority sufficient to demonstrate that the people are whole-heartedly behind it."

              Yeah, just like the conditions attached to the Scottish independence referendum. It does seem odd that similar conditions were not attached to what was effectively the same type of vote.

          5. fajensen Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: The current plan does not matter

            Exactly! The politicians, with all those resources available, should have seen this coming for a decade or more!!

            Meanwhile Project Fear continues apace. Why try to bury bad news when you can blame it on Brexit?

            There is a huge overhang of mal-investment and straight-up fraud which was quietly buried in the rose patch and left festering after 2008. Of Course everyone with skeletons stacked in their closets, gardens and basement floor will seek to throw them in the skip now that there is opportunity to blame the losses on "other people".

            I wouldn't call that "Project Fear", because it's not propaganda; it business. Just riding that business cycle. Smooth and Easy.

          6. Wandering Reader

            Re: The current plan does not matter

            "Those that did want it were Boris (buffoon with no eye on the top job in the Tory party), May (mostly hated), Gove (mostly hated). Farage - UKIPs *only* MP. Hardly a compelling team of winners"

            May supported remain, Farage isn't an MP. Are paragraphs 2,3,4,5,6,7 any better?

        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: The current plan does not matter

          "The Leave campaign was entirely based on emotion and fantasy."

          And that's about the best summary. Farage is no fool, he knew bloody well that getting a leave vote would be bad for the kind of business he himself was in. He's a Court Jester.

          The looks on his and Boris' faces said a lot. They've entered a "Mouse that Roared" scenario and don't really know what to do next.

        3. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

          Re: The current plan does not matter

          Yes Me

          Quote: "There is no current plan, and there never was one because the Leave campaign was entirely based on emotion and fantasy. The best plan I have is for 350 MPs to ignore the current party politics and vote a motion that explicitly forbids the Government from invoking Article 50."

          There is 1 minor problem with that.

          Its what you say to the people that voted leave..... it says your vote does'nt matter

          It says "we dont care how you vote"

          It says "if you vote the wrong way, we'll correct that for you"

          And given the people I work with as an example, what would happen is that they will stop voting for tories or labour or liberals and goto the people who will step into the gap left and say "We'll make your vote count" ie the extremists of left and right...... (B)loody (N)azi (P)arty anyone?

          1. MK_E

            Re: The current plan does not matter

            Have an upvote. That last part is especially true - pretending that public opinions outside of the mainstream don't exist, or sweeping them under the carpet and calling them fringe bigots or whatever, is exactly what drives otherwise reasonable people towards the fringe parties.

            Remember the outcry when Yorkshire voted in a BNP MEP? The establishment response was to scream and stamp their feet and call an entire county nazis while not actually bothering to look into what caused them to vote the way they did. UKIP, on the other hand, who were barely a footnote in british politics back then, moved into the position of "hey we'll represent you on this issue so you don't have to go for the COMPLETE racist lunatics" and suddenly seemed a much more attractive option. Basically ate the BNP's lunch in the process.

            If Brown had allowed a referendum on the Lisbon treaty like he promised, when anti-EU sentiment hadn't reached the boiling point it has in recent years, one of the biggest pieces of ammunition the leave campaign had, that it was undemocratic and that it didn't have a mandate, that we'd voted for a trade union and not a political one, would have been invalid.

            Dismissing people and calling them fringe lunatics or whatever other smear you can come up with doesn't magically make their concerns go away. All it does is make them ensure you're not in earshot before voicing them to whoever WILL listen.

          2. xnfec

            Re: The current plan does not matter

            If we don't trust the government to act in our best interest then why have them? http://www.roughtype.com/?p=7114 (After Math) says we no longer use or need our brains and politicians and the propaganda (PR) folks know how to manipulate us into backing whatever hare-brained scheme sells most papers/page views/biscuits.

            Let them vote. They can't make a worse mess than we already have.

        4. Aitor 1 Silver badge

          Re: The current plan does not matter

          Ignoring the referendum would be terrible,undemocratic and germany and france have already hinted that they would treat the referendum as an Article 50 invocation. It makes sense, as all politicians said they would implement the will of the people.

          1. Graham Dawson

            Re: The current plan does not matter

            France and Germany can hint until they're blue in the face. Article 50 is quite explicit about how it is to be invoked. The government invokes it. Not the people, not the legislature, but the government.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The current plan does not matter

            "Ignoring the referendum would be terrible,undemocratic and germany and france have already hinted that they would treat the referendum as an Article 50 invocation."

            The referendum cannot be treated as an article 50 invocation under EU law. This states that notice must be given that follows the constituitional arrangemenst of the country concerned. The referendum had no provisions that it was binding and has legally in the UK no force whatsoever.

            Personally I think following the referendum is anti-democratic unless there is a vote in parliment. Parliment voted to join the EU and anything less than a vote in parliment to reverse that decision is anti-democratic and probably illegal and invalid. At the very least there could be a legal challenge if parliment doe snot vote creating even mor econfusion and uncertainty.

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: The current plan does not matter

        "It will be at least two years before"

        No, it has to happen in 2 years AT MOST.

        1. ToddR

          Re: The current plan does not matter

          Nope, we have up to 2 years to invoke Article 500 and the renegoatiation can take 2 years more

          1. Jess

            Re: The current plan does not matter

            > Nope, we have up to 2 years to invoke Article 500

            We can do that when we like. (Assuming 500 is a typo)

            > and the renegotiation can take 2 years more

            After two years we are out on WTO rules if nothing else has been agreed.

        2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Unhappy

          No, it has to happen in 2 years AT MOST.

          Clause 50 has to be invoked.

          This has not been done yet.

        3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: The current plan does not matter

          "No, it has to happen in 2 years AT MOST."

          Wrong. It has to happen in 2 years AT MOST from when Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is invoked. And that won't happen until AT LEAST October when a new PM is installed.

          FTFY

          1. James 51 Silver badge

            Re: The current plan does not matter

            In theory with the agreement of all 28 countries the deadline could be extended past two years. However it is difficult to see this happening in practice.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      > The current "plan" seems to be to introduce some form of "points-based" system for controlling which furriners can work in the UK

      We already HAVE a point-based system for controlling which non-EU furriners can work here.

      This is not going to be extended to EU citizens, no matter how much wishful thinking Call me Dave and his mates are trying to push out. Such a move would automatically mean the end of any free trade agreement or negotiations involved.

    3. JLV Silver badge

      Dumb question, but I confess I dunno UK specifics.

      Cameron has announced his future resignation, which in many countries would result in general elections, after a new party leader was chosen. But, if I understand correctly, you vote in a local MP from a party and the PM is the leader of the party with the most MPs.

      In the case of the UK, once the Conservative successor to Cameron is chosen, are there new general elections where the public get to vote for PM again (because well, not the same lot)? Or is it all internal to the Conservative party and the winner of its leadership contest automatically becomes PM? I assume it's #2.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "In the case of the UK, once the Conservative successor to Cameron is chosen, are there new general elections where the public get to vote for PM again (because well, not the same lot)? Or is it all internal to the Conservative party and the winner of its leadership contest automatically becomes PM? I assume it's #2."

        Yes, it's #2. We don't vote for a PM. We vote for a local MP. Once the vote is over, the Queen invites the leader of the party with the most vote to the Palace and will usually ask the person to form a Government. The party leader doesn't actually need to have won his/her own seat to become PM, For that matter, s/he doesn't even have to be a party leader. S/He just needs to be someone who can "command the respect and support of The House". In theory, literally anyone could become PM, no matter the voted assemblage of MPs in the House of Commons. IIRC it was a little over 100 years ago when Lord someone or other was asked to form a government despite being neither an MP or party leader.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "Dumb question, but I confess I dunno UK specifics."

        Not at all dumb and deserves an answer.

        The leader of the largest party after an election is normally the one asked to form a government. If that party has an overall majority that's pretty well a shoo-in. If not then someone has to try to form a coalition or even run without a coalition or overall majority.

        It's possible for a party with no formal coalition or no overall majority to govern; they might not get all their policies through and can be displaced by a vote of no confidence - that happened to Callaghan when he lost the support of the Ulster Unionists. In general that's not a good form of government because it's apt to hand disproportionate power to a very small fraction of the electorate.

        There's an extra twist when there's a no-overall majority in that the previous governing party might try to form a government even if they're not the biggest party so everybody has to wait until they decide it's a non-starter which caused some hesitation after the 2010 election.

        Once a party is in government they generally have the option to change leader and hence PM without having to call an election. That could be through ill-health (Eden and Wilson, for instance, within living memory) or by revolt (Thatcher), because the PM sees the runaway train coming down the track (Blair who handed over to Brown just in time for the latter to catch the consequences of his 10 years of pretending that housing costs could be ignored when measuring inflation, even if that meant ignoring rampant house price inflation /rant). It could also come from an intention to hand over to a new leader who'd then have time to establish himself before a general election which was Cameron's stated intent although he might have intended to leave it a little later.

        During the course of a parliament a government can lose its majority by by-elections which, IIRC, was what happened to Callaghan, and then becomes victim to a vote of no confidence.

        The current situation has the extra factor that there's an Act in place which imposes a strict 5-year interval on general elections. That was part of the previous coalition arrangement; it protected the LibDems against a snap election and also limited the Tory right wing's ability to rock the vote. It could, however, be repealed any time if Parliament wanted and presumably the Queen could, acting with the Privy Council if necessary, ignore it in an emergency.

        An incoming Remain PM could have the option of asking Parliament to repeal that act and hold a general election fought primarily on that issue so that it would be a new Parliament that would (or wouldn't) invoke section 50; there seems to be a general feeling over the last few decades that kicking stuff to the other side of a general election is a Good Thing in that it gives the electorate a chance to reflect. Irrespective of the next PM's views it would still be a Good Thing. In fact I think even some of the Leavers were saying that - or it might just have been Boris.

        HTH

        1. lorisarvendu

          "An incoming Remain PM could have the option of asking Parliament to repeal that act and hold a general election fought primarily on that issue so that it would be a new Parliament that would (or wouldn't) invoke section 50; there seems to be a general feeling over the last few decades that kicking stuff to the other side of a general election is a Good Thing in that it gives the electorate a chance to reflect. Irrespective of the next PM's views it would still be a Good Thing. In fact I think even some of the Leavers were saying that - or it might just have been Boris."

          If this course of action was (or more likely is) being considered by the current Government, then it will only work if there is no mention of it beforehand by anyone. Theresa May's recent comments are very telling - "Brexit means Brexit" and "no second referendum". On the surface this seems to say that if May becomes PM she is committed to taking us out. However she isn't saying that. She isn't saying "We WILL leave the EU, in accordance with the results of the Referendum/Will of the People". She is saying "Leaving means Leaving" which says nothing, and "no second referendum", which we all know.

          These well-chosen phrases seek to reunite the country, to tell the Remainers to give up fighting, and to reassure the Leavers that the Govt is on your side and will honour your vote.

          When she then announces that the Government is ready to honour the People's Decision, there will just be the little formality of a Parliamentary Vote to ratify Article 50...at which point 80% of both Houses may well vote No. If this happens there will be nothing an incumbent Government will be able to do. Parliament has spoken. I don't know enough about Parliamentary Law to know if a Government can ignore a defeat in the House of Commons, but if they do, they certainly risk a vote of No Confidence by the Opposition, which might just be carried by a few dissenting Tory MPs and result in a General Election. Which would delay Article 50 even further. While going along with the vote and scrapping Brexit plans would please 80% of MPs (including 90% of Labour MPs) and 48% of the General Public. Sure you'd have 17 million pissed-off Leave voters, but what are they going to do?

          This of course will only work if no hint of it gets out, and the new PM continues to play the "We're Leaving" card right up until the last minute. So keep an ear out for any MP actually saying "We will be invoking Article 50." I bet you won't hear it.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            "I don't know enough about Parliamentary Law to know if a Government can ignore a defeat in the House of Commons, but if they do, they certainly risk a vote of No Confidence by the Opposition, which might just be carried by a few dissenting Tory MPs and result in a General Election."

            I don't think it's law, just procedures of the House.

            If it was a free vote then AFAIK there are no consequences at all, likewise if it was a minor element of a govt. bill.

            If it was on a key principle of govt. policy and the govt. had an overall majority then a govt. might resign although resignation as a point of honour seems to be out of fashion these days. If it didn't there might well be a vote of no confidence (respecting votes of no confidence also seems to have gone out of fashion, doesn't it Jeremy?).

            With a minority govt. there'd be more of an expectation of the govt. just continuing on the basis that it couldn't really expect to get everything through and there might not even be a vote of no confidence if the opposition didn't fancy facing an election at the time. In any case there's no precedent for this with the current law on elections which was partly intended to avoid this turn of events for the late coalition.

            The real issue here is what happens in the event of a motion that most members of most parties don't want, isn't govt policy (assuming a remainer becomes PM) but has come about as a result of a non-binding referendum. I'm sure that must be totally unprecedented and very hard to call. Labour might try to play politics and abstain, turning it into a Tory in-fight. However with their own party having its own problems at the minute do they really want to provoke a major constitutional crisis?

            There could well be a case of here's the referendum result, here's a free vote on it and let's tip-toe around it and carry on.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Upvote, main article.

    If I had one, and could give an up-vote to the main article....its yours.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If I had one,

      Yeah, I'd need to be pissed to upvote that bollocks too!

  10. tentimes

    Cheap labour? Wait until the Convervatives get busy

    The author cites the availability of cheap labour from the EU whilst ignoring the fact that the minimum wage here is £7.20 and a huge amount of the workforce is on just that.

    Do you really think they will pay more now? There is a pool a people ready to jump at £7.20 and long will it continue.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Cheap labour? Wait until the Convervatives get busy

      "There is a pool a people ready to jump at £7.20"

      I'm sure this is one answer to the lack of increased productivity in the economy that puzzles economists. It's cheaper to simply add more cheap labour to cope with an increase in demand than to invest in more productive machinery. The other answer, of course is multiple layers of management occupied in pitching PowerPoint presentations at each other, probably about the advantages of using more cheap labour instead of investment.

  11. codejunky Silver badge

    Hmm

    "People feeling rejection. I think this is what the Leave campaign underestimated: the psychology of rejecting openness."

    I think this is a serious blindness for those fighting the leave campaign. Unfortunately the best way to make an argument against brexit is to only focus on the few who want to close ourselves off. However brexit was also the position of globalists who didnt want to be cut off from the world. If those in the remain camp want more global cooperation then they need to back the globalists of the leave group. The EU might want to wall itself off, it probably wont. We are already hearing of other countries wanting to make deals with us while our civil service claims its own incompetence for things being difficult.

    As someone wanting global participation I never understood those wanting to hide behind the walls of the EU accusing us of rejecting openness.

  12. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    More of the Same Sort of Nonsense with Establishment Players is AIRoot Madness ‽ .

    Hmmm? ...... And who's to say that everything is not going exactly according to plan, in a series of plans you be not privy to, by virtue of their stealthy construction and silent browser distribution ...... http://www.ur2die4.com/160630-2/

    IT and Times Leading Players in spaces with places are a'changed and a'changing the present crooked nature of future virtual reality. And your common disbelief is the sweetest of stealthy delivery systems at their work, rest and play:-).

    Thanks for that. Such is just so wonderfully kind.

    And please, do one and all and yourself a great favour, and investigate the linking information you are here freely given, in order not to prove, beyond a shadow of any doubt, that radical fundamental change is long overdue to provide progress and prosperity rather than austerity and chaos with CHAOS [Clouds Hosting Advanced Operating Systems with Global Operating Devices]

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cheap labour? India and Ukraine are not EU members, so what changes?

    BA, like many others in UK, is offshoring to India, which is not an EU member. Meanwhile a US company like Idera (who bought Embarcadero who bought the dev tools from Borland), is closing its Spanish offices, and there are hints their job are being outsourced to Ukraine, again, not an EU member. Oracle has shifted EMEA jobs to Egypt, once again, not an EU member.

    While some jobs may go to some cheaper EU members like Poland or Romania, it looks to me that most jobs, especially in the IT sector, are offshored or outsourced to even cheaper countries outside the EU, so what we're talking about? If needed, people from those countries immigrates anyway on some kind of special visa obtained by the companies employing them, so again it's not an EU "freedom of movement" issue.

    Maybe instead of the Polish Plumber, we should be more worried about the Indian Rent-A-Coder?

    Unless UK labour rules don't change to forbid the use of offshoring/outsourcing at cheaper prices, nothing will really change, EU or not EU.... but as long as the minister for employment is an Indian, guess what will happen?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: but as long as the minister for employment is an Indian, guess what will happen?

      I'm not a racist, but....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: but as long as the minister for employment is an Indian, guess what will happen?

        It's not a matter of being racist. Some cultures keep very strong ties to their "origins". And they actively work to ensure members of their "clans" get all the advantages, at the expenses of what they see as "enemy" clans.

        It's part of clan-based societies, it happens, for example, in mafia-like organized crime. It something that has nothing to do with "race" - you will see that happen regardless of race - but it's something cultural.

        Clan-based cultures truly fears everything out of their clans. They try to recreate the same clan-based society wherever they go, and usually adapt very little to the cultures they migrate to. They tend to speak their original language, not that of the country they live in. They must keep their traditions, even the worst ones. They will even look for wives and husband in their country of origin.... it's a huge cultural issue. They can't truly cut their ties with their origins, and become citizens of their new country.

        That's one of the reason many fears the EU also - it asks to cut many ties with the "country of origin" and become European citizens.

        While I strongly believe all people are created equal, I strongly believe that not all cultures are equal. There are many that are plainly wrong, and just led, and still lead, to poverty and tragedy. That's why people emigrate. Just they want to bring with them the same culture that made their country of origin a tragedy Stupid, and dangerous.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: but as long as the minister for employment is an Indian, guess what will happen?

          I'm not a racist, but....blah blah blah blah blah blah I am a little bit racist.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The answer, it turned out, was £25k a year for junior roles. I was quite shocked. In the very early 1990s I was briefly employed as a junior coder and was paid about the going rate back then: £19k. "

    Yeh but that's reality. UK trades at a loss, it loses 25 billion just to the EU alone each year in trade. To keep the GDP growing, it blows internal economy bubbles, debt / mortgages / student loans etc. So everything costs a shitload in the UK, and is dirt cheap in the Eastern parts of Europe.

    Obviously it can't go on forever, Cameron failed to renegotiate, and so we ejected him. Him and his cronies (like May) seem to be trying to hang on after being rejected, but that can't last.

    Really its up to Boris to take the lead now.

    He won, we Brexit, its for him to negotiate a new deal, and show a bit of upbeat confidence like the new leader he is.

    1. The JP

      Really its up to Boris to take the lead now

      Ha ha ha! Your new leader realises he has broken it, and doesn't know how to fix it. The funny thing is, no one else knows how to fix it either.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Really its up to Boris to take the lead now

        Boris doesn't want the next PM job, he wants the next next PM job. They need to find a victim who will take the job, serve section 50 notice and then resign, clearing the way for Boris (or whoever) to place ALL the blame for the big mess that ensues on the sucker.

        That assumes a PM can unilaterally serve notice without getting Parliament to agree. Any UK residents know whether that's possible? Even if that's not really allowed, could he do it anyway and claim his resignation was over the potential illegality of what he did?

        The question is, who is going to be dumb enough to take the job now? It will have to be someone either very old who just doesn't give a damn because he won't live to face the consequences or someone who would otherwise never have a chance in hell of being PM who just wants to see his name in the history books as having been PM, even if only for a couple days.

        1. John H Woods Silver badge

          Re: Really its up to Boris to take the lead now

          "That assumes a PM can unilaterally serve notice without getting Parliament to agree. Any UK residents know whether that's possible?" -- DougS

          IANAL but according to these experts it absolutely is possible for the PM to serve this notice.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Really its up to Boris to take the lead now

          "They need to find a victim who will take the job, serve section 50 notice and then resign, clearing the way for Boris (or whoever) to place ALL the blame for the big mess that ensues on the sucker."

          No, your victim's successor will have to do some real work clear up the mess, if that's possible. The only possible good job on the horizon is the one after that.

    2. A K Stiles
      Facepalm

      unfortunately, you appear to not be aware of the most recent news...

    3. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      "Really its up to Boris to take the lead now."

      Boris does not seem to agree. He just did his own BJexit.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        "He just did his own BJexit."

        It's pretty obvious that whoever takes over from Call Me Dave is signing their own political Death Warrant. Boris may be many things but he's not stupid (despite the buffoon persona).

        1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

          Indeed, as this parody shows:

          http://youtu.be/-a6HNXtdvVQ

    4. Dan 55 Silver badge

      You know, if I could just make crap up and lie outlandishly with a cheeky grin without troubling my conscience, I'd probably have a sizeable majority of people demanding that I be PM too. I don't need the crap hairstyle though, I've already got one of those.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To me Brexit mostly shows...

    That a lot of politicians and upper managers who don't have any clue what's actually happening in the real world are now being thrown back into reality and now their virtual masks get torn off. In other words: now you can really see for yourself how little they actually know.

    Theory is not always equal to reality.

    Welcome... to the real world.

  16. ecofeco Silver badge

    Night of the Living Dead

    This whole thing is like the end of the movie, Night of the Living Dead (the original). The very last spoken lines in the movie:

    "You don't want to go over there. They're... they're all messed up."

    On one hand, there are claims that cheap labor was readily available because of the EU, on the other hand the EU had some pretty decent "average person" protection laws from labor to health and general human rights.

    Yet somehow, the GB Powers That Be (henceforth referred to as the PTB) seemed to have no trouble sending tech jobs overseas, recruiting immigrants employee below market rates and generally fucking over the tech sector. You know, just the U.S.

    My question is, how will this change? Because all I see is that without the strong human rights laws afforded by the EU, the PTB are going to basically strip mine tech labor worse than before and all the complaining you hear is merely a diversion as was the reason given by the tech sector to Remain.

    In other words, it seems like you've been bamboozled and it's my belief the PTB will dismantle as many human rights protections, especially labor, as quickly as they can.

    I've seen this movie before. More than once. Trickle down anyone? Society of prosperity? Deregulation? Free trade? Dismantled unions? Yeah, how did that work out?

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Night of the Living Dead

      "...just like the U.S."

    2. Down not across Silver badge

      Re: Night of the Living Dead

      "You don't want to go over there. They're... they're all messed up."

      +1 just for that

  17. Starting
    Thumb Down

    Three-day week

    " ...in 1974 (when I was very small) the UK only had commercial electricity for three days a week.... Amazingly, the UK survived."

    I'm older than you and remember it well — it wasn't fun. Is this the Albanian option? No doubt the Albanians were without electricity for years. What's your point? We're in the ****, but, hey, it was fun waving the union jack.

  18. AlexS
    Megaphone

    We are NOT out yet. I felt so strong about this I wrote a song:

    https://m.soundcloud.com/alex-shirley/hold-onto-your-second-referendum-rights-mix-1

  19. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Childcatcher

    Any Correlation to Vampires and Zombies Are Coincidential

    One of the great things about draining a long time swamp is to uncover all the dead things, the long lost things laying sometimes for generations waiting to be finally disposed of properly.

    Personally I believe there are way too many zombies and vampires in government........period and THEY dislike change.

  20. YumDogfood

    May be a tad opinionated...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Convention_on_Human_Rights - "...the convention entered into force on 3 September 1953. All Council of Europe member states are party to the Convention..."

    The EU was formed in ~1993. The Maastricht treaty, and all that subsequent jazz - If you remember the fuss over it at the time. So, only those treaties and such after 1993, or those superseded by EU rulings are potentially going to get a full kerb stomping and kicking if we go full article #50. This is only conjecture from a poor semi-edumacated lad (thank you Labour, Tories. A pox on _all_ your houses), but I suspect the shape of the future to be somewhat familiar and not utterly alien. Human nature and history being what they are (rare bright spots in a whole load of crap.)

    I'm disappointed that we may be leaving the EU. Note: not sad, weepy nor panicky Kermit the frog arm wavy. The dissembling, rhetoric and overtly emotional appeals to illogic are prime fuel for the dysfunctional who just love having an enemy, any enemy to fill up on hate with. Politics and soap opera indivisible.

    This needs to stop or we'll continue to tear ourselves apart. I loath the GWB with us or against us partisan mentality that seems to wash over politics today. We need to get real and work it out, think instead of blamestorming the other side. Calling brexiters names will only push them Trumpwards. What happens if you get called a bad name? You think better of the name caller? Love em' up more, right? Use your noodle and persuade. Be subtle instead of deionising[1] putdowns.

    OK, time for my meds and a cold shower. Nurse!

    [1] Demonising of course, but I let the spell checker have its way.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Please do not use URL shorteners

    Sorry, editorial comment here - please use full URLs behind links, as a matter of principle. The youtu.be one is about the only one you can trust not to go south, but in any other case I prefer to see where a URL points before I follow it, also because I tend to strip out any trackers before I do so. Please use a full URL.

    That's all, thanks.

    (for the rest, the "tech elite" interests me exactly squat. That they found a way to gather eyeballs doesn't make them experts in almost anything).

  22. xnfec

    Fear and Brexit in Tech City

    I lived through the 70's while I was Uni. It was not that bad. I still had a good time. The brown-outs were inconvenient and caused by strikes - we still had Unions then - not popular, I know, but they did fight for our wages until, irony of ironies we earned enough to become tories and then kicked them out. We survived the Blitz too though I sure you are not suggesting we go back to that. In this country we have got used to blaming the EU for everything - both sides do it, it is a convenient scapegoat so it is no surprise we voted to leave. Whether it was a rational choice is another topic. Without the Unions, we let the bosses decide everything so they pay crap wages and then, like Pilate, hold their hands up and say: that's the way it is, what can I do? The EU has kept the peace in Europe since it's inception. For that alone is worth keeping it and staying in.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Fear and Brexit in Tech City

      @ xnfec

      "The EU has kept the peace in Europe since it's inception. For that alone is worth keeping it and staying in."

      No it hasnt.

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