back to article Paper mountain, hidden Brexit: How'd you say immigration control would work?

At some point in the next few years we will be in a post-Brexit world, and the UK will have regained complete control of its borders. Or maybe not. At this juncture, it's worth taking a long hard look at how that might work. Spoiler: it won't. And that's because of two things, law and logistics. Those immediately affected by …

  1. William 3 Bronze badge

    Propaganda by CEO's

    Translates into "How can we pay our workers fuck all now that restrictions may be placed upon us from outside workers and the threats of closure didn't entice enough of our workers to do our bidding"

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Propaganda by CEO's

      How can we pay our workers fuck all

      The current reason is that successive UK governments have lobbied against EU "interference" in our "flexible" labour market. The Commission, at least, would have preferred stronger labour protection standards. It's the British government that has decided that exploitative agency employment schemes, zero hours contracts and Deliveroo- and Uber-style "self employment" are just what the country needs.

      There will be no reduction in the number of migrant workers in the country. If we're not in some EEA-like arrangement, all that will change in the future is that the incoming migrants will come from a wider geographic area and will not have any rights of residence - that means they can be exploited even more as they can be chucked out immediately they start asking for fair treatment.

      1. Richard 81

        Re: Propaganda by CEO's

        ...which suggests that what little labour protection we have will disappear completely post-Brexit. Assuming we have a Tory or even Tory-lite Labour government in power at the time.

      2. cambsukguy

        Re: Propaganda by CEO's

        > that means they can be exploited even more as they can be chucked out immediately they start asking for fair treatment

        I suspect that is what many Brexit folks want.

        1. Peter2 Silver badge

          Re: Propaganda by CEO's

          Personally, i'd prefer unskilled imigration to be very sharply reduced.

          There is a really weird thing where people say "oh, we need lots of unskilled labour for farming to gather fruit." without considering how other countries manage. How do other countries manage without massive levels of unskilled migration? A quick look around will lead you to something like this:-

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bt73GOk4JRY

          Now, why wasn't mechanical fruit picking like this invented in the UK? Even more, why is it not USED in the UK despite being invented, built and widely deployed elseware? I'm *sure* the answer has nothing to do with high competition for seasonal unskilled labour keeping wages at (or below) the minimum wage.

          Western workers don't want to do unskilled manual labour? No problem, economics takes care of the problem via automating it, substituting the unskilled jobs for higher paid semi skilled labour and then machine operators, mechanics etc which western people do want to do.

          So do we *need* unskilled migration, or is it a political choice to save farmers having to make capital investments in automation equipment that every other higher wage economy uses...? Answers on a postcard.

          1. MR J

            Re: Propaganda by CEO's

            In the US there are huge subsidies for farmers. My family has received them before too, for farming as little as half a hectare. If you watch the video you linked to you can also see Mexican workers in quite a few of the shots, so they are still using seasonal unskilled migrants doing the work. Its just that now there are less workers actually getting paid.

            What you suggest is that we get rid of workers and get machines. That is great in many ways, but those workers generally feed more back into the "system" than they take out. So here is the thing. That machine is going to save the farmer work and hassle while improving his productivity. Once that is done the council is going to earn less tax overall, so your tax will need to go up. Smaller farmers (Lets face it, in the UK many farms are not on a "Grand" scale like the US/Canadian farms) are going to struggler to meet the same productivity cost and will suffer unless they sell theirs as "Premium".

            I support automation. But thinking that automation will "fix" issues is just wrong. If you feel this level of automation would have stopped people coming to the UK to work, then you should have supported efforts to get farmers to use these types of tools (thus removing the need for seasonal workers!).

            Simply removing seasonal workers is not going to give a farmer more money to buy machinery.

            1. Peter2 Silver badge

              Re: Propaganda by CEO's

              "In the US there are huge subsidies for farmers."

              There are in the UK, and the entire of Europe as well.

              The basic point is that it is currently being accepted that there is no alternative to uncontrolled immigration because we need huge amounts of unskilled labour for farming. My point is simply that there are alternatives. No money to buy machinery? Politically, interest free loans to buy machinery is likely to be more politically acceptable to a large segment of the population than saying that we have to have large amounts of unskilled migration.

              There are choices, it's just that they aren't being discussed.

          2. big_D Silver badge

            Re: Propaganda by CEO's

            @Peter2 here, in Germany, there is a huge influx of migrant workers every year for picking fruit or harvesting vegetables - white aparagus, for example, is a labour intensive job that cannot be automated.

            Likewise, Amazon employs hundreds of migrant workers for peak times, such as Christmas, to work in their warehouses, usually underpaid and poorly housed; a documentary last year showed that the sub-contractor responsible for luring the workers from Spain, Portugal and points East, offered them decent pay and accomodation and flew them to the warehouses in Germany, where suddenly the promised wage was halved and if they didn't sign, they had to make their own way back home... The accomodation is often off-season summer bungalows in holiday parks, where a dozen workers were stuffed into a bungalow designed for a small family. It caused quite a scandal here, when the documentary was aired.

            Likewise, the food industry, especially slaughter houses often uses vast numbers of unskilled workers on their production lines at much lower wages than they would pay for local workers. The same for the building industry, anyone remember Aufwiedersehen Pet? That still goes on and a lot of the workers are so-called "black" workers, meaning that they don't have any papers, no contract and no residency permit. If they are caught, they are deported and the employer gets a fine.

            This also applies to a lot of restaurants, nursing homes, cleaning companies etc.

            1. silver darling

              Re: Propaganda by CEO's

              yeh done that as a migrant brit - fruit n veg picking in germany , appalling conditions/pay, 'black' work on german building sites, better pay (but sometimes no pay at all) more dangerous work.

              that's how it was for many brit workers in germany before UK and Germany 'integrated' into EU. sounds like nothing's changed then, which isn't great because for those of us in the north of britain Germany was a common escape from unemployment. and now we'll be back (if we're lucky) to the european labour market of the early 1990s. Or on our bikes in Basildon.

              Those whingeing about immigration always forget others' need to emigrate.

          3. Warm Braw Silver badge

            Re: Propaganda by CEO's

            Personally, i'd prefer unskilled imigration to be very sharply reduce

            But you don't say why.

            Up until 2013 we had a Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme in the UK, in common with most "developed" farming economies, to satisfy the need for short-term seasonal workers. It was scrapped in 2013 because the accession of Romania and Bulgaria meant that the required numbers could be met from within the EU, so unskilled immigration has a long history.

            It's simply cheaper to use unskilled labour than develop sophisticated machinery for a lot of crops. Even harvesting machines, where they're feasible, tend to depend on immigrant labour, as do all the processes of cleaning and preparing the crop once it's out of the ground. The alternative is not mechanisation, the alternative is simply not growing the crops in the UK at all and importing them from countries with lower labour costs. Indeed ex-Register economist Brexiteer Tim Worstall recommends concentrating on crops that can be grown efficiently and leaving the rest to the (relative) third world.

            Economics does not take care of the problem by incentivising automation if you can get the products more cheaply from a source with low labour costs that doesn't have huge amounts of capital tied up in machinery that can be used for a few weeks of the year.

            You can argue for Britain simply not to do agriculture, but to suggest automation that would make it unprofitable is simply arguing against economic logic.

            1. earl grey Silver badge
              Mushroom

              Re: Propaganda by CEO's

              Tim Worstall recommends...blah blah blah

              And we recommend that Tim eat a full complement of e. Coli and Listeria laden 3rd world food and let us know how that works out for him.

              1. YARR
                Stop

                This article continues a trend of Brexist articles in The Reg, and like the others it makes out that minor issues are major problems.

                Any argument that free trade requires open borders is simply untrue. Consider any non-EU country with whom we currently have trade tariffs and immigration controls. If the trade tariff is gradually reduced to zero, the relationship with that country does not change in any way that would now require free movement of people. Claiming that free movement of people is a prerequisite for free trade is an outright lie.

                @John Lettice

                You're assuming that post-Brexit all EEA+ nationals must have permanent residence or leave, yet you also claim the government has quietly guaranteed their status. To guarantee their status they will have to pass a new law, which will mean existing EEA+ nationals don't have to apply for permanent residence, but they will obviously have to be registered.

                Any EU law which states EU nationals must be treated equally wont be broken until after Brexit at which point it will no longer apply. Clearly British law will need to be updated / reverted post-Brexit.

                @Warm Braw

                "There will be no reduction in the number of migrant workers in the country"

                Why? Overall number or annual intake? There will have to be a reduction in migration eventually simply because the rising population will exceed the capacity that the country can accommodate. We are already beyond the optimal population size - as the population grows now, the country becomes less efficient and the cost per capita rises.

                "It's simply cheaper to use unskilled labour than develop sophisticated machinery for a lot of crops. ... Economics does not take care of the problem by incentivising automation if you can get the products more cheaply from a source with low labour costs that doesn't have huge amounts of capital tied up in machinery that can be used for a few weeks of the year.. to suggest automation that would make it unprofitable is simply arguing against economic logic"

                The development cost may be expensive, but once paid off, the manufacture and operating costs of machinery generally outperforms human workers. Expensive machinery can be shared between farms to make more efficient use of the investment. As the technology becomes more widespread the cost will fall. The sooner we invest in automation, the sooner society can benefit.

                @MR J

                "but those workers generally feed more back into the "system" than they take out ... once that is done the council is going to earn less tax overall, so your tax will need to go up"

                No, overall the lowest paid workers cost tax payers more in tax credits and benefits to support their dependents (though they are also more undervalued compared to the real value of their work). If they leave and are replaced by machines, the tax burden on higher paid workers will reduce.

                "Simply removing seasonal workers is not going to give a farmer more money to buy machinery."

                Well obviously it does. They can spend their wages on machinery instead, or on hiring machinery that's too expensive to buy.

                @Dr Paul Taylor

                "grilling David Davies and his pals mercilessly until they finally admit that this whole affair is economic suicide, a pack of lies and vastly infeasible"

                ... what an ignorant and unsubstantiated comment! If Brexit was economic suicide, then all non-EU countries would be in economic turmoil. In practice, the opposite is true. The issues from Brexit are just the undoing of what was done before - then things will return to a new normal.

                As a Brexit supporter I wish that a competent pro-Brexit politician representing the will of the people was running the country. Sadly the controlled global capitalist system has denied the electorate political representation on this matter.

                1. DavCrav Silver badge

                  "This article continues a trend of Brexist articles in The Reg"

                  Aw, diddums, did the nasty man with the facts make you upset again?

                  "and like the others it makes out that minor issues are major problems."

                  Minor issues like immigration? I thought that was pretty important to most of the people who voted to leave.

                  "Any argument that free trade requires open borders is simply untrue. Consider any non-EU country with whom we currently have trade tariffs and immigration controls. If the trade tariff is gradually reduced to zero, the relationship with that country does not change in any way that would now require free movement of people. Claiming that free movement of people is a prerequisite for free trade is an outright lie."

                  Blah blah blah. It is not a logical requirement to have free movement of people, money, goods and services (the four freedoms) in order to have freedom of movement of one of them, but the EU has made it a political requirement. It's not that they can't give you tariff-free access to the Single Market, it's that they won't.

                  Let's use an analogy: in the Scottish referendum, the SNP claimed that after independence England would continue to act as lender of last resort to Scottish banks. The rest of the UK told them to stuff off. It's not that it was physically impossible to act as such, they just refused.

                  Damn people and their free will.

                2. SpamBot

                  "As a Brexit supporter I wish that a competent pro-Brexit politician representing the will of the people was running the country."

                  As a result of the referendum it's become apparent that non of the pro-Brexit politicians are either interested in the job or competent to perform it.

                  It could be because the platform they campaigned on (as opposed to whatever is your personal Brexit motivation) was clearly not based on fact and was back-tracked on immediately after the result was announced.

                  The "will of the people" statement is the over-used. Of the people who voted it's 52/48% in favour of Brexit. That's about 37% of the electorate which means that approx 63% either didn't want to leave or didn't care either way. I appreciate that in a vote for elected parliamentary representatives that there are rules and thresholds and we abide by those, but there were none for what was essentially a government run survey.

                  Interestingly in Switzerland, a country that does use referenda on a regular basis, the Brexit vote would have failed to pass as it didn't meet the turn out needed, nor the % winning margin. That said that's a country that didn't have universal suffrage until the 1990s.

                  "Sadly the controlled global capitalist system has denied the electorate political representation on this matter."

                  I'm not sure where to begin with this one; If the "controlled global capitalist system" (and who that is isn't clear to me) do such a good job how come they let a referendum happen?

                  Then the referendum itself isn't binding on a Parliament where most of the MPs are pro-EU, and yet the ruling party has said it will abide by the "decision".

                  They seem to be a pretty lack lustre to me... but perhaps I need to put my tin foil hat on and it'll all become clear!

          4. Sherrie Ludwig

            Re: Propaganda by CEO's

            @Peter2, in the US, we have vigorously policed the border with Mexico, and as a result, crops are rotting in fields in California. This, despite all the automation that the much larger factory farms in the US can afford, to your smaller individual farms in the UK. Good luck with that, or do you want to be press-ganged into field work to save Britain's food supply? Now, THAT I would approve.

            1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

              Re: Propaganda by CEO's

              "... do you want to be press-ganged into field work to save Britain's food supply?"

              I am fairly certain that none of the Brexiters thought this through, especially the unemployed ones who thought that getting out of the EU would provide jobs for them. None of them thought that, in order to meet significant shortfalls, the requirements for what would count as reasonable requirements for getting a job might have to be relaxed almost to press-gang levels ("What do you mean, vegetable picking in Fife is too far away? - you only live in Newcastle! Take it or lose your benefits.") Those shitty jobs are not going to go away, and people are still going to have to do them. The pool of unemployed seem to be an obvious place to go, politically (lower benefits bills), though practically, who would want them? (People who don't want to do a job are going to be difficult to motivate - one of the advantages of any sane immigration system is that people willing to move to countries and cultures other than the one they were brought up in are likely to be motivated to do the job - that's why Poles, Czechs etc are such popular employees.)

              TL:DR - people might not have thought this through.

      3. Paul Shirley

        Re: Propaganda by CEO's

        There will be no reduction in the number of migrant workers

        There might be a reduction if migrant workers voluntarily decide not to come and the loud minority brexit mobilised stands a good chance of achieving that. That could be much worse. This mornings trip to hospital would still be going on without the predominantly migrant staff I saw. Not just making up the numbers, they largely are the skilled part of the NHS.

      4. Michael 28

        Re: Propaganda by CEO's

        Uber style self employment? Can I become a self employed cabbie, AND be resident in jersey for tax purposes?

      5. RockDoctor
        FAIL

        Re: Propaganda by CEO's

        "If we're not in some EEA-like arrangement,"

        Which (1) the EEA is not in any sense required to accept an application for joining ; and (2) the Norwegins are very unlikely to LOWER their standards to accept the UK into a club of which they are currently the largest member.

        Hmmm, more horse trading. Years of horse trading. It might be quicker to set up our own club-of-1, then try to persuade others to join. See "lowering standards" point above.

        Hey, Brexit campaigner, do you want a hand with that can of worms? Well tough shit, Sherlock.

  2. Dr Paul Taylor
    Flame

    Let's hope

    that when Parliament (especially the Select Committees) gets back from its hols, they actually do their job (as they failed to do by allowing the referendum to go through without a 60% threshold) by grilling David Davies and his pals mercilessly until they finally admit that this whole affair is economic suicide, a pack of lies and vastly infeasible.

    1. Richard 81

      Re: Let's hope

      How dare you suggest such a thing! Rhubarb rhubarb, undemocratic, rhubarb rhubarb, take back control, rhubarb rhubarb, make Britain great again!

      1. Dr Stephen Jones

        Re: Let's hope

        Diddums. You lost, you're in the minority. Get over it. (Etc)

        Davis & Co won't get everything they want. But a brake on unskilled immigration and easier skilled migration is pretty feasible.

        And that's good enough for most people, except sub-minimum-wage paying bastards. Slave labour is not a good thing

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. kmac499

          Re: Let's hope

          Yes I'm in the minority and I accept the vote (them's the rules).

          However in the absence of a formal detailed exit plan; which was mysteriously missing from the campaign, I am going to get involved in what happens next.

          Control of 'Unskilled Migration' is a laudable aim, as it's also prevents exploitation of the poor migrant sods used by the slave wage bastards. As far as I can see the only way to define an "acceptable migrant" is one who is, and is likely to remain, financially self supporting, with possible exception for key workers with sponsors. (Health staff being the obvious case.)

          But natural justice will ensure that such an arrangement is a two way street. I can't imagine the UK accepting disadvantageous terms if it were France that was leaving the EU.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Let's hope

            The vote is not legally binding. The government in a reality can, and should call this a hung vote. In reality, that's what we have.

            1. fruitoftheloon

              ac: Re: Let's hope

              Ac,

              A hung vote would be 50/50, may I remind you that the result wasn't 50/50?

              Also a a fellow commentard has pointed out, if the votes were totted up in the same manner as a general election, it would have been significantly more in favour of leave!

              Cheers,

              Jay

              1. lorisarvendu

                Re: ac: Let's hope

                "Also a a fellow commentard has pointed out, if the votes were totted up in the same manner as a general election, it would have been significantly more in favour of leave!"

                Alternately if a General Election were totted up in the same manner as a Referendum, we might not have a Conservative Government.

          2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Let's hope

            "with possible exception for key workers with sponsors. (Health staff being the obvious case.)"

            I'd have thought those would be self supporting in any case.

        3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Let's hope

          "But a brake on unskilled immigration ... is pretty feasible."

          That depends on whether you think the UK should be able to continue selling cars from Nissan etc. into the EU. Because it's been made clear all along that single market access means labour as well as goods. All the Brexit voters in Sunderland etc. won't be happy if their workplaces start to run down once their current models reach end of life and all new investment stays in the EU.

          It's a package, you don't get to pick and choose. I'd guess that's what May meant when she said "Brexit is Brexit".

      2. lorisarvendu

        Re: Let's hope

        "How dare you suggest such a thing! Rhubarb rhubarb, undemocratic, rhubarb rhubarb, take back control, rhubarb rhubarb, make Britain great again!"

        You forgot "will of the people" dude!

    2. kmac499

      Re: Let's hope

      Yeah the perils of a 13:12 result.

      The 13 winners were sold a complete Pup via a nod and a wink based on "take back control" and all will be sorted out by next Tuesday. (whilst an orderly reality will take years.)

      The 12 loosers completely failed to appreciate the concerns of the 13 while pushing fears of a broken economic future, which the 13 felt excluded from anyway.

      So the ideologues won out and, in the finest political tradition of never admitting failure whilst in office, they've got one unholy miss to sort out.

      Thankfully so far the consequences haven't been too dramatic, but I'm not holding my breath once the reality starts to crystallise.

      1. Red Bren

        Re: Let's hope

        @kmac499

        "The 12 loosers completely failed to appreciate the concerns of the 13 while pushing fears of a broken economic future, which the 13 felt excluded from anyway."

        One of the 12 "loosers" offered qualified "7 out of 10" support for the EU while expressing a desire to address some of the concerns of the "leave" camp. This nuanced approach has left him accused by his enemies of being responsible for the referendum result because he wasn't 100% pro-EU while simultaneously being out of touch with the electorate.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Let's hope

          > One of the 12 "loosers" offered qualified "7 out of 10" support for the EU

          I'm pretty sure that most of the "losers" felt that way, but that it was better in than out.

          Nobody said it was perfect but being outside the EU and having terms dictated to us is likely the worst possible outcome - that said, at least the UK government will no longer be able to push through EU laws despite opposition from other countries then enthusiastically enact them here whilst blaming "them barnpots in Brussells" for forcing them to do so.

          The interesting part is that many of the nastier laws that UK.gov has managed to ram through and then enact here (zero-hours, etc) are likely to be pulled in the EU and then end up having to be repealed here to retain trading agreements with the EU - meaning that our workers will end up with better protection because UK.gov would no longer have the ability to force the EU's hand.

          On that aspect it might appear the Neocon agenda pushing the Brexit vote has shot itself in the foot.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Let's hope

          "This nuanced approach has left him accused by his enemies of being responsible for the referendum result because he wasn't 100% pro-EU while simultaneously being out of touch with the electorate."

          Tabloids and the new BBC don't do nuance, and currently I'm waiting to see if the Blairites blame Corbyn because it's Monday, and everybody knows elections can't be won on Mondays.

          Unfortunately I've had managers who don't understand a SWOT analysis, expecting the 35% of the electorate who don't have the equivalent of grades A-C in English and Maths GCSE to so so was always going to be problematic.

    3. fruitoftheloon
      Stop

      @Dr. Paul T: Re: Let's hope

      Dr. Paul,

      I seem to have missed the bit about there being a designated 60% threshold, would you be so kind as to point me to the Hansard reference to it please?

      Kind regards,

      Jay

      1. Dr Paul Taylor
        Flame

        Parliamentary negligence

        I seem to have missed the bit about there being a designated 60% threshold,

        You missed it because the Cabinet, Opposition, Select Committees, House of Lords and maybe even the Queen (in her private weekly chats with her PM) failed to do their jobs in scrutinising proposed legislation. The one Remaining hope is that they will do their jobs at least in the rearguard defence.

        1. fruitoftheloon
          Happy

          Dr. Paul, Re: Parliamentary negligence

          Dr. Paul,

          Ah, in your opinion they didn't do their jobs properly (and that's news...?)

          Would you still hold the same opinion if the vote had been to remain?

          Also what is 'the rearguard defence'?

          Thanks for your input.

          Regards,

          Jay

          1. Dr Paul Taylor
            Flame

            Parliamentary negligence

            Jay, maybe you also missed the fact that it was a Leaver who started the petition asking for a second referendum,

            which has now been signed by four million people and is due to be debated on 5 September.

            There is no symmetry between whether there was a Leave or Remain win. There should always be a presumption in favour of the status quo and an obstacle to change. This has already been observed here by comparison to the US Constitution, for example, but since this is a tech site let me put it in engineering terms.

            The thermostat on your central heating doesn't turn it on as soon as the room goes 0.1 degree below the set level, because to do so would damage the system. Anyone who argues that one vote over 50% should be enough to trigger drastic change must equally accept that if two people change their mind then there must immediately be a drastic reversal. Clearly that would be stupid. Ergo, making the drastic change in the first place on such a flimsy margin is stupid.

            PS don't forget the March for Europe on 3 September.

            1. fruitoftheloon
              Happy

              Dr. Paul, Re: Parliamentary negligence

              Dr. Paul,

              I didn't miss that at all.

              Also one has a pretty good knowledge of stats and associated mathematics, with a general leaning in the direction of risk and probability.

              As to the voted for change being 'stupid' because it was a small margin, how so?

              Would you maintain your position re the stupidity of the vote if it had been to remain, by the same margin?

              It matters not if the margin was 5, 5k or 5m votes, it was a referendum, and folk voted as they pleased, that's how a democracy functions, for a given 'value' of democracy of course...

              As I have stated hereabouts before, I voted for out, but would have been perfectly happy if it went the other way, life goes on, the planet still rotates, politcians do what they do best (preserve their benefits, build empires, pretent to listen to the plebs...)

              The march for europe site isn't doing much from here at the moment, I'll check it out later.

              I wonder (half in jest), if it should have named 'pray for europe'...

              Thanks for your engagement here btw.

              Regards,

              Jay

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Dr. Paul, Parliamentary negligence

                The only difference a remain vote would have made is that we would have gone down with the EU.

                As it is, we have a year or two to row the lifeboat as far away as possible...so as not get caught in the undertow.

              2. Phil Lord

                Re: Dr. Paul, Parliamentary negligence

                Personally, I would have sighed in relief if we had voted remain, but, yes, it would still have been a stupid vote.

                If you voted leave, then you had (and still have) no idea at all what you voted for. It didn't say on the ballot paper, and nothing that the official leave (or any other leave) campaign said is even as poorly binding as a election manifesto. If you voted remain, then you did know what you were voting for. But you had no idea at all what you were voting against, for precisely the same reason.

                This asymmetry was very daft. Cameron assumed that few would vote for a leap in the dark, where the benefits were so utterly unclear. Unfortunately, he seemed to miss the fact that the problems and consequences were also utterly unclear.

                Since neither side could argue intelligently, from knowledge, we had a empty headed, brow beating, chest bearing chunk of nonsense, instead of an election. Out of which people chose to vote for hope, over policy. I admire their optimism, and desire not to be bullied.

                But they still made the wrong decision. And, now, here we are; a mess, still with no clear plan, or indeed a vision for what we hope to achieve. Hence "brexit means brexit". Yes, and "mince pies mean mince pies" also.

                1. e^iπ+1=0

                  Referendum

                  I think that the problem here is that the idiots (various elected politicians) who called for the referendum on Brexit failed to make things clear to the electorate.

                  That it's still no longer clear should come as no surprise.

                  Now we all have to pay the price.

              3. JimBob01

                Re: Re: Dr. Paul, Parliamentary negligence

                What you seem to have missed is that the referendum was informational and not legally binding.

                What it demonstrated was that the country was effectively split down the middle about EU membership.

                The bit you seem to have ignored is that any weighting of results should favour maintaining the status quo, ie unless a demostrable majority of the electorate desire change then change should not happen. Just in case you are not clear, Leave is the change in this case.

                "It matters not if the margin was 5, 5k or 5m votes, it was a referendum, and folk voted as they pleased, that's how a democracy functions, for a given 'value' of democracy of course…”

                Actually it matters a great deal what the margin of victory is. In this case, the country is being subjected to the will of 40% of the electorate. If Leave had received 5m more votes then it would have exceeded 50% of the electorate and demonstrated a clear "will of the people”.

                And for those expecting the EU to crumble, I live in NL and Geert Wilders is not getting much of an audience these days - especially compared to the run up to the Brexit vote.

                1. H in The Hague Silver badge

                  Re: Dr. Paul, Parliamentary negligence

                  "I live in NL and Geert Wilders is not getting much of an audience these days - especially compared to the run up to the Brexit vote."

                  FYI: Geert Wilders makes Farage, Gove and Johnson look like a bunch of screaming intellectual liberals.

                  What particularly annoys me is that Mr Wilders makes the usual complaints about "undemocratic EU" while, as I understand, his party has just two members who can vote at party AGMs: Mr Wilders and Mrs Wilders (who, I think, is from Eastern Europe). Even his MPs don't seem to have a say in the running of the party (which might explain why the regularly defect).

                  Mr Wilders and his PVV (Party for Freedom) are regularly described as right-wing. They are not, they are populist and against cutting social security benefits (as a right-wing party would be). I seem to remember that animal rights also used to be high on their agenda.

              4. Anonymous Coward
                Coffee/keyboard

                Re: Dr. Paul, Parliamentary negligence

                And the referendum was advisory not a mandate - Parliament could still say no, or might do so if Mr Corbyn wasn't such an useless wimp giving the present Gov a easy uncontested ride.

                Personally I don't think any referendum gives you any right to change anything by a bare majority - if it were 60 to 70 % then I would have to go along - but as it is I will have to accept yet another vote that doesn't represent my POV

                I blame the Daily Mail - Rant over, going to lie down

            2. Roj Blake Silver badge

              Re: Parliamentary negligence

              If your favourite team loses a football match 2-1 do you petition FIFA to *retrospectively* change the rules of football so that you need to be two goals clear to win the match? After all, a single goal is such a flimsy margin.

              Of course you wouldn't, that would be silly.

              1. This post has been deleted by its author

              2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

                Re: Parliamentary negligence

                If your favourite team loses a football match 2-1

                Let me stop you right there; if your favourite team loses a football match, guess what? It doesn't matter (except maybe to those with a financial interest in the team). It certainly doesn't result in 60 million people losing their EU citizenship, and associated rights. It doesn't result in a recession. It doesn't result in the rather amusing to watch disintegration of UKIP into a mess of warring factions (and over the longer term, the Tory party, and the 'Tory-lite' Blairite elements of the Labour party).

                Unlike your football match, the EU referendum has real, and negative, results. The fact that those who were busy loudly denying there would be any such negative results have now quietly slunk away (in in some cases decided to hide behind ridiculous facial hair - I'm looking at you Gove) only serves to illustrate this all the more.

                Maybe if those who allowed themselves to be convinced that 'Brexit' was such a great idea had stuck to the racist chants on the terraces, we'd all be better off.

                1. fruitoftheloon
                  Happy

                  @Loyal Commenter: Re: Parliamentary negligence

                  Lc,

                  Will you please calm down a bit, take a few long, slow breaths eh?

                  If I may correct some elements of your post and make a few pertinent observations:

                  - we don't know what is going to happen yet re 'our rights'

                  - you do realise that some of our brethren did work in Europe/marry foreigners/study in Europe before we joined the Common Market?

                  - err, we aren't having a recession, would you be happier if we did?

                  - the referendum may even have positive results, such as Heads of State pointing out that the EU fiddles with stuff that should not be its' concern (light bulbs, hoovers, now maybe kettles & toasters too),

                  - The commission may finally figure out that the Euro isn't working out for many countries (that don't speak German), so perhaps they should think about changing course (don't laugh, it'll happen at some point)

                  - the World Bank recently acknowledged that sacrificing Greece to save the Euro probably wasn't their finest hours (not a typo)

                  - Mr Gove can't really have much involvement with 'making it happen', due to being not quite as clever as he thought he was, plus he's no longer a Minister of State

                  - as to the 'if you voted Exit, you must be a thick, racist eejit', err f-off matey, you are painting with a very broad brush, ironically showing YOUR prejudices

                  - I have no doubt some folk assumed that an 'exit' would mean foreigners should offski sooner rather than later, I believe such views to be fundamentally wrong, childish, stupid, inconsiderate and very UN-BRITISH

                  Has it occured to you that many people who voted to leave the EU (not Europe) may have many reasons NOT related to EU citizens living here and immigration in general to vote as they did?

                  Ooi I can get by in French and German, my wife is pretty good at Italian and Spanish, we had our recent honeymoon in Paris, I love French wine & food, German beer & wine. We have three cars, two built in Germany, one in Austria (with German oily bits). We hope to retire somewhere in Italy or southern France.

                  Hopefully that gets the point across that we ARE NOT ANTI EUROPE.

                  Europe is great, the EU ISN'T!

                  Cheers,

                  Jay

                  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                    Re: @Loyal Commenter: Parliamentary negligence

                    "Mr Gove can't really have much involvement with 'making it happen', due to being not quite as clever as he thought he was"

                    So you're telling us that we've been manoeuvred into this position partly on account of the arguments of someone who's not as good as he thought he was. I'd rather we'd followed the advice of someone who was better than he thought he was.

                    "plus he's no longer a Minister of State"

                    This, I think, is a mistake. He should be set to work trying to make what he argued for work. If he isn't he'll try to blame failures on not being involved.

                    1. fruitoftheloon
                      Happy

                      @Doctor Syntax: Re: @Loyal Commenter: Parliamentary negligence

                      Ds,

                      I haven't told you anything, what I sought to do was to share my (I thought reasonable) opinions about the shenanigans so far...

                      I doubt anyone who voted was 'sold a pup' by their fave group, i.e. in or out, I thought the BS quotient was quite high on both sides, of course the remain bunch had the in-built advantage of being able to guarantee the world would end if we didn't obey their sage thoughts, and for good measure they also thought it prudent to blackmail us in adavance lest we have our an opinion that differed from theirs!

                      Re Mr. Gove MP being on the sidelines, I agree with you completely, may I suggest you point out the PM's error next time you are sharing a glass at Chequers, undoubtedly she will amend her omission sharpish.

                      Cheers,

                      Jay

                  2. H in The Hague Silver badge

                    Re: @Loyal Commenter: Parliamentary negligence

                    "… EU fiddles with stuff that should not be its' concern (light bulbs, hoovers, now maybe kettles & toasters too), …"

                    Errmm, that concerns technical and energy-efficiency standards. Very much an EU issue methinks. Energy conservation requires an international approach. Appliances need an EU or international approach to avoid creating barriers to trade, and to give consumers economies of scale. Incidentally, most appliances of reasonable quality seem to meet those requirements quite easily. It's only cheap crap from ….. that might be affected.

                    "We hope to retire somewhere in Italy or southern France."

                    Ermm, those retirement plans are completely dependent on freedom of movement (esp. freedom of movement for economically inactive people) - the very freedom that seems to have inspired many voters to tick the "Leave" box. If that freedom is maintained then the whole Brexit exercise is pointless. It might be the lateness of the hour, but somehow that doesn't compute to me. (Incidentally my other half and I have not dissimilar retirement plans so are v upset about the current situation.)

                    1. fruitoftheloon
                      Happy

                      H in the Hague: Re: @Loyal Commenter: Parliamentary negligence

                      H,

                      Chill matey, if i want to heat up 200mls of water from x to y degrees, how does using Kettle B, which has 50% of the 'welly' compared to Kettle A actually save any f'ing energy, IT WILL JUST TAKE LONGER.

                      Plus toast won't be toast, it'll be slightly warm bread....

                      Hoovering will take longer.

                      THIS ISN'T PROGRESS.

                      BUT if they could harmonise curtain hooks & tracks, ban flat headed screws, ensure 'easy open' packaging could be opened by ALMOST ANYONE that would be progress!!!

                      That aside, they need to stick to 'core competencies' which historically seems to be supporting French farmers and German industry...

                      Retirement plans ARE NOT dependent of freedom of movement (but it clearly makes it more predictable), they are dependent on movement of money, same as it ever 'twas...

                      I hope it all works out nicely for you both!

                      Thanks for your engagement.

                      Regards,

                      Jay.

                      1. H in The Hague Silver badge

                        Re: H in the Hague: @Loyal Commenter: Parliamentary negligence

                        "Hoovering will take longer."

                        No. The power of a vacuum cleaner in watts is not directly related to its cleaning performance. As it happens I had to get a vac for friends this weekend and got the impression only the cheapest brands had excessively powerful motors and a poor energy efficiency. On the whole, midrange and high quality units had relatively small motors (and presumably clean perfectly well).

                        "BUT if they could harmonise curtain hooks & tracks, ban flat headed screws, ensure 'easy open' packaging could be opened by ALMOST ANYONE that would be progress!!!"

                        I would vote for that (apart from the screws)!

                        "Retirement plans ARE NOT dependent of freedom of movement (but it clearly makes it more predictable), they are dependent on movement of money, same as it ever 'twas..."

                        I'm afraid they are. Before freedom of movement in the EU had reached its current stage I had friends who got hassle at the border for being in a country for more than three months, despite being married to a local. Not keen to get back to that.

                        All the best from sunny The Hague,

                        H

                2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                  Re: Parliamentary negligence

                  "The fact that those who were busy loudly denying there would be any such negative results have now quietly slunk away ... I'm looking at you Gove"

                  He should have been given one of the jobs in the galleys alongside BoJo & co.

                3. veti Silver badge

                  Re: Parliamentary negligence

                  Yes, but remember the regiments of fearmongers threatening what horrible things would befall if the vote was to leave?

                  Yes, the Brexiters were full of shit. But so were the Remainers. I don't see anyone really acknowledging that.

                  There is no recession.

                  There is no World War Three.

                  There is no brigade of vindictive EU governments out to screw us every way they can.

                  1. lorisarvendu
                    Happy

                    Re: Parliamentary negligence

                    "There is no recession."

                    Technically correct, since you have to have 2 successive quarters of negative growth before you are in one. So we won't know for another 3 months whether we are actually in one or not. If we are, and I see you on here round December time, I'll be sure to remind you.

                  2. smartypants

                    Re: Parliamentary negligence

                    Veti:

                    "But so were the Remainers [full of shit]. I don't see anyone really acknowledging that.There is no recession. There is no World War Three."

                    We are still in the EU. Brexit has not happened.

                    Do you really not know this?

                    It's as if people had warned you that driving off a cliff was going to hurt, and you'd decided to drive off the cliff anyway, and while on the approach to said cliff were crowing, like an idiot, "Look! See! It doesn't hurt!"

              3. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Parliamentary negligence

                "Of course you wouldn't, that would be silly."

                Much like your analogy. Well done.

              4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                Re: Parliamentary negligence

                "If your favourite team loses a football match 2-1 do you petition FIFA to *retrospectively* change the rules of football so that you need to be two goals clear to win the match?"

                This isn't a game. The vote can't change reality and reality is now what sort of a deal do we get and how adversely will it affect us, our children and our grandchildren. If you took and won a vote on abolishing gravity apples would still fall and planes would still need to keep moving above stalling speed to avoid flying out of the sky.

                The reason why a referendum to change the status quo should have a substantial majority is to ensure that the country as a whole is sufficiently behind such a commitment and is prepared to accept the consequences if the reality isn't what they expected. The vote shows it isn't.

                1. Red Bren

                  Re: Parliamentary negligence

                  @Doctor Syntax

                  This is a game, and games have rules. So you better learn those rules quickly Doctor because THIS IS NOT A GAME!!!

                2. lorisarvendu

                  Re: Parliamentary negligence

                  "The reason why a referendum to change the status quo should have a substantial majority is to ensure that the country as a whole is sufficiently behind such a commitment and is prepared to accept the consequences if the reality isn't what they expected. The vote shows it isn't."

                  Agreed. The Referendum is incorrectly seen as a fork in the road, with either direction being of equal validity, and involving equal and opposite consequence. It wasn't. It was a slip road on a motorway, with the choice being "continue and nothing changes" or "take the next exit".

                  The very words "stay" or "leave" show this. If you decide to sell your house and move, or stay in it; if you decide to leave your job or stay; if you decide to divorce your partner, or remain married, you're not at a fork in a road. Nobody would accept that these life-changing examples should be equally weighted, so why should the Referendum?

              5. Uffish

                Re: two goals clear to win

                In football ok, in tennis for example after a deuce score you need to win two points more than your opponent (in advantage scoring).

                Horses for courses.

              6. JimBob01

                Re: Re: Parliamentary negligence

                Of course that would be silly but let’s make the analogy more accurate shall we?

                "What if your favourite team lost a single tie, football match 1-1 on away goals?"

                Is there a reason why FIFA only makes away goals count when there are home AND away legs?

              7. Tryingtofindanameishard

                Re: Parliamentary negligence

                When I last checked you needed 11 a side for the match to go ahead, about 30% of people didn't bother to vote at all so are you saying that the result shouldn't stand as 30% of people couldn't be bothered? Just remember it was 52ish% of people who could be bothered to vote so far more people didn't vote to leave (yes I know it works the other way as well but its a fun troll). To be honest other than (maybe) having to use a different queue when going on holiday in Europe I don't think staying or leaving will have much of a difference either way for most of us. The only reason I voted to remain is that I don't trust our MPS not to totally screw up the exit plan and lets face it some of them think its a good idea to put a floating ducks hutch on their expenses...

              8. Red Bren

                Re: Parliamentary negligence

                "If your favourite team loses a football match 2-1 do you petition FIFA to *retrospectively* change the rules of football so that you need to be two goals clear to win the match?"

                There are sports that do require a clear margin to win the game, which is fairer than a narrow win on penalties.

                As for *retrospectively* changing the rules, well the referendum had no legal force, unlike the ones on Scottish Independence or electoral reform. It wouldn't be changing the rules to run a second, legally binding qualified majority referendum, especially now that the promised land of impermeable borders, eager global trading partners and £350M per week to spend on the NHS has turned into a dystopia of sterling devaluation, commercial and scientific stagnation, and an abandoning of all the promises made by the Brexit campaign.

              9. stu_ekins

                Re: Parliamentary negligence

                Pretty sure FIFA would be happy to consider your request. For a price...

      2. Tom -1
        Flame

        @fruitoftheloom Re: @Dr. Paul T: Let's hope

        well, since Dr Paul clearly stated that the MPs failed to include any threshold your expectation that he should be able to pointyou to a Hansard reference supprting the existence of one seems to demonstrate that you are so dim as to be unable to understand plain English and probably therefor equally unable to cope with the complexities of a question like the one put in the referendum, which may explain why you were on the side you were.

    4. P. Lee Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Let's hope

      1. DELEGITIMISE THE VOTE

      ...

      3. ECONOMIC RATCHET

      4. OPERATION PANDORA’S BOX

      5.ENVISIONING A SUCCESSFUL OUTCOME

      -http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/06/28/bong_eu_reentry_plan/

      4/5 In one paragraph and a title. Well Done!

    5. noboard

      Re: Let's hope

      So let's look at another universe, one where the remain vote won. All the remainers are happy for about a year before France, Denmark, Austria, Greece all vote in far right parties just to take them out of the Union. Hooray we're officially Scotland. Decided to take the soft way out and keep things as they are, just to find themselves fucked by another countries decision.

      Also, who in their right mind is going to vote for any major political party after this. Brexit has proved one thing, the people in power know nothing about running the country. The politicians that are in fighting at a time we need people looking at the new opportunities and then the head of the Bank of England's plan to stop a shrinking economy is to lower interest rates, even though the economy didn't shrink through lack of money.

      Frankly we could have all voted in a local independent candidate at the last election, helpd the referendum and still be in a better position than we are now. So instead of looking at a life outside the EU with a tory government, look at one with a holding govt. of independents that will allow people who can run the country to come through the ranks. It can happen if we just stop putting an x next to corrupt tw*ts

    6. breakfast
      Mushroom

      Re: Let's hope

      At least Labour have remembered how to do opposition again. Unfortunately they've only figured out how to oppose the other bit of Labour, so it's still a complete waste of everybody's time while the unchallenged Tories stomp Godzilla-like over every aspect of Britain leaving havoc in their wake but you know, got to be a move in the right direction hey?

  3. keithpeter
    Coat

    Challenge to the commentariat

    Can people who disgree with the sentiments expressed in the OA provide concrete proposals that could actually address the concerns raised?

    We are *not* fighting the referendum campaign any more. This has to work (for some value of work) and it is the administrative detail - layers of it - that will determine the extent to which it works.

    Coat: off out now.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Challenge to the commentariat

      "This has to work (for some value of work) and it is the administrative detail - layers of it - that will determine the extent to which it works."

      And it's down to those who thought it could work to make it work. Why should everyone who's said it couldn't - and still say it can't - be expected to waste their time (which is how they'll see it) trying to do what they consider impossible.

      1. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: Challenge to the commentariat

        Because, as said. There will HAVE to be a workable solution. Like it or not something is going to change and the old solutions won't work anymore. Stubbornly putting your fingers in your ears screaming "lalala, I told you so, lalala" makes you part of the problem that makes it unsolvable.

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Challenge to the commentariat

      Can people who disgree with the sentiments expressed in the OA provide concrete proposals that could actually address the concerns raised?

      Well, it's a little difficult since I don't think I've ever seen so may "what ifs" in any single article. It could perhaps be summarized as:

      - It might be OK, but it will take a lot of work

      - It might not be OK if we don't put some thought into it.

      - Nobody really knows, and anyway the author isn't an immigration lawyer.

      so no doubt the militant Remainers will use it as a reason why we're all going to die, and the militant Leavers will dismiss it as a non-problem.

      Some of the figures seem exaggerated. A very large number of working people will have a clear recording of having paid tax and NI, since the EU already has rules about how basic pension contributions can be combined, so that should deal with those who are legally working. Spouses who married such a person >5 years ago would also be OK, as would children. Indeed, there would be a reasonable argument that anyone under 18 at the time of the final cutoff should be given the benefit of any doubt.

      Retirees should also have a record of who paid their pension, which for the basic state pension will be their country of residence, so there again there will be a record.

      I think most of us could provide proof of where we've lived for the past 5 years, so the problems will only really arise for the exceptional cases, of where there should be manageable numbers. Of course someone needs to be working on it now, and it would appear trhe the government is at least thinking about the issue.

      I'd say the main thing is to hope they don't come up with an IT-based solution outsourced to Crapita.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Challenge to the commentariat @keithpeter

      Yes, the e-Borders system, as named, was canceled.

      No, that does not mean that there is not a solution in place. There is, even if it's scope was initially a little more limited.

      In the Computer Weekly article http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240216029/Government-finally-scraps-e-Borders-programme, It's stated "...although its intended functions have been incorporated into a new, broader project to secure the UK's borders"

      e-Borders is dead. Long live e-Borders.

  4. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Simple is best

    > and the UK will have regained complete control of its borders

    Well, we *already* have complete control of our borders - what with being an island (or several islands, to be precise).

    However, if you want to stop people coming in to the UK that's easy, too.

    The obvious answer: closing all the airports is not very practical as there are lots of Brits who might want to come back into the UK - though once the economy crashes and we look like Tajikistan in the rain, that might slow down a bit (tho' the numbers wishing to leave could well rise).

    A more nuanced approach would be to modify the entry system we have at present: with EU and non-EU channels at the UK Border. Just change this to GB and non-GB passport holders. The clever bit would be to only have one booth for the non-GB entrants, therefore making the queuing time somewhere between several hours and many days. A similar effect could be achieved by replacing all of the staffed non-GB border checks with the computerised versions that seem to be unable to process people any faster than 1 every 10 minutes.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Tannin

      Re: Simple is best

      This is your plan to rejuvenate the tourism industry then.

      1. phuzz Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Simple is best

        Have you seen how much people will pay to go on holiday in North Korea?

        If we shut all the airports and ferry terminals and turn into a failed state we could be coining it!

    3. James 51 Silver badge

      Re: Simple is best

      You're forgetting about NI which has a land border with ROI.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Simple is best

        Concrete bunkers and machine gun nests every 100 yards - sorted :D

        1. James 51 Silver badge

          Re: Simple is best

          Not sure if turning the UK into East Berlin is the direction anyone* wants to go down.

          *For a given value of anyone.

          1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            Re: Simple is best

            Not sure if turning the UK into East Berlin is the direction anyone* wants to go down.

            You may be right but how about just Essex? Gets my vote.

            1. fruitoftheloon
              Joke

              @Charlie: Re: Simple is best

              Charlie,

              That's just wrong matey, I may live in the middle of Devon now, but I still have many relatives who still live in Essex.

              Putting one around the London Liberal/loony lefties, that's an entirely different proposition!

              Cheers,

              Jay

              1. H in The Hague Silver badge

                Re: @Charlie: Simple is best

                "Putting one around the London Liberal/loony lefties, that's an entirely different proposition!"

                Can't be that lefty, as they pay almost double the amount of tax per capita as the average UK taxpayer:

                UK: 30.4 million taxpayers GBP 165 billion tax

                London: 3.9 million taxpayers GBP 38 billion tax

                2013 - 2014 data, source: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/income-and-tax-by-county-and-region-2010-to-2011 (Please check if I got the numbers right, bit busy with work right now.)

                Brexiters sometimes seem to forget that it's those ghastly liberal internationalists who bring in a lot of the money that supports economically depressed areas.

                But I'm sure Sadiq Khan will appreciate your support for the Republic of London, proud member of the EU :).

                1. fruitoftheloon
                  Stop

                  H in the H Re: @Charlie: Simple is best

                  HintH,

                  Did you spot the joke icon???

              2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

                Re: @Charlie: Simple is best

                That's just wrong matey, I may live in the middle of Devon now, but I still have many relatives who still live in Essex.

                Well then you know just what a bunch of fuckwits live there… ;-)

                1. fruitoftheloon
                  Stop

                  @Charlie Clark: Re: @Charlie: Simple is best

                  Charlie,

                  Where?

                  Did you note the icon???

              3. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @Charlie: Simple is best

                Essex is the Texas of Britain. ~95% white British and full of racists. I know this as I was sadly born there and, until very recently, had the distinct misfortune to live there. Sadly, I'm still related to some of them. It truly is a vile part of the country.

                As for the South West, the less said about that the better. When you come looking to the London Liberal/loony lefties to replace the EU handouts you've been getting, don't be surprised if you are told to fuck off.

                1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                  Re: @Charlie: Simple is best

                  "When you come looking to the London Liberal/loony lefties to replace the EU handouts you've been getting, don't be surprised if you are told to fuck off."

                  IIRC one Welsh Leave supporting MP, the day the result was announced, was demanding that HMG replace all the EU funding his constituency had been receiving.

                  1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

                    Re: @Charlie: Simple is best

                    >IIRC one Welsh Leave supporting MP, the day the result was announced, was demanding that HMG replace all the EU funding his constituency had been receiving.

                    Isn't that rather the point?

                    Instead of sending £££ to the Eu to be spread out across the continent with £ coming back to the UK you could simply send £ (or perhaps ££) direct to the region.

                    1. lorisarvendu

                      Re: @Charlie: Simple is best

                      Isn't that rather the point?

                      Instead of sending £££ to the Eu to be spread out across the continent with £ coming back to the UK you could simply send £ (or perhaps ££) direct to the region.

                      Bit like how whenever someone retires where you work, the resultant saving in wages is always redistributed amongst the existing employees. Because that always happens.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: @Charlie: Simple is best

                  "Essex is the Texas of Britain. ~95% white British and full of racists."

                  Utter tripe.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: @Charlie: Simple is best

                    Quite right; it was closer to 99% at the last census (2011). Or were you lamenting the racist quote? The proliferation of support for UKIP kind of proves that.

            2. lorisarvendu

              Re: Simple is best

              You may be right but how about just Essex? Gets my vote.

              Oi! My unmarried daughter lives in Essex with her 3 kids!...oh...wait...

          2. David Paul Morgan

            Re: Simple is best

            West Berlin might have been a better analogy.

            Or 'turn UK into East Germany'?

            It was West Berlin that was 'cut off' from the main part of Germany.

            1. James 51 Silver badge

              Re: Simple is best

              We have a PM who wants out of the ECHR which was designed primary by British lawyers to prevent governments doing to their people what fascists and communist governments of the early to mid-twenty century did to their own people. I put us in the East Berlin side of that equation.

        2. Bloakey1

          Re: Simple is best

          "Concrete bunkers and machine gun nests every 100 yards - sorted :D"

          Agreed, all of them pointed at the perfidious Albion side AKA the 6 counties!

          What amazes me is that Brexit has done more for peace and amity in Ireland than the Good Friday agreement ever could.

          Who would have believed the news below:

          http://smallurl.co/fXjiV

          1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

            Re: Simple is best

            Agreed. BREXIT may bring about a unified Ireland sooner than even the IRA might have dreamed of.

            Then there is the lack of pressure on the UK to have another referrendum until we gave them the right answer (like they did in a few other countries in the past). That leads me to suspect that the EU can't wait to see the back of us.

            That leads me to start thinking that we shoud not leave just to piss them nasty europeans off even more.

          2. Paul Shirley

            Re: Simple is best

            Any attempt to rebuild that border could work wonders for the English constructioni industry on the mainland... the rest of the EU might be less aggressive in response to any brit attempt to isolate and use Ireland as a bargaining chip. dont make that mistake.

          3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Simple is best

            "http://smallurl.co/fXjiV"

            That reminded me of the aftermath of an election many years ago. As usual nobody could be bothered to take down election posters. There were a fair number of DUP posters along my normal commuting route. As ever the pigments faded at different rates. Paisley senior ended up with a green face.

        3. kmac499

          Re: Simple is best

          "Concrete bunkers and machine gun nests every 100 yards - sorted :D"

          Facing which way ???

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Simple is best

          Can we send Bob Geldof back?

          Please?

      2. David Paul Morgan

        Re: Simple is best

        NI can just join Ireland - NI/UK citizens are already allowed to be Irish Republic citizens. Good Friday agreements etc.

        1. James 51 Silver badge

          Re: Simple is best

          For that value of 'just' people would be dying for decades if not centuries to come in England as well as Ireland. Here's one reason why:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulster_Covenant#The_Covenant_.28for_men.29

          Here's the most relevant bit:

          'And in the event of such a Parliament being forced upon us, we further solemnly and mutually pledge ourselves to refuse to recognise its authority. In sure confidence that God will defend the right, we hereto subscribe our names.'

          Or as my history teacher put it, 'We'll kill the king's soldiers and members of the King's government to remain loyal to the King.' Force a reunited effort (in contradiction of the Good Friday Agreement, various treaties between the UK and ROI and in violation of EU law) and it will be loyalist terrorism that will be boosting the construction industry.

      3. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Simple is best

        "You're forgetting about NI"

        Given that 10 out of the 12 NI counties voted "remain" by substantial margin and the other 2 only "exit" by a little bit (and they're not the most populous counties): It's entirely possible tor NI to trigger its right to vote to rejoin the Irish Republic. The interesting question is whether it can do this on a county-by-county basis in the same way that rejecting being part of the republic happened in the first place.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Simple is best

          "the 12 NI counties"

          When I lived there it was only 6.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Simple is best

            >"the 12 NI counties"

            >When I lived there it was only 6.

            I think the plan is to split each of the 6 counties in two and give the catholics/protestants each a half.

            It seems eminently sensible and workable

        2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: Simple is best

          Given that 10 out of the 12 NI counties voted "remain" by substantial margin and the other 2 only "exit" by a little bit

          Your figures are nonsense.

          - There are only 6 counties in NI.

          - The breakdown of the vote in the 18 parlimentary constituencies was

          8 voted to Leave

          10 voted to Remain

          Interestingly the places that voted Leave were mostly the pro-UK ones, despite the main parties like the DUP and UUP being pro-EU. The ones that voted Leave, sometimes with large majorities, were those that normally return SF or SDLP MPs, despite SF having long been opposed to the EU in its present form.

  5. Len Silver badge
    Holmes

    Free Movement will stay

    It is pretty obvious to me that Free Movement is not going away anyway.

    1) It is a condition of being in the Single Market. Plenty of voices, even on the Leave side, want to stay in the Single Market because they are free marketeers or at least not anti-business enough to do that to British firms.

    2) The UK economy is very dependent on the import of staff, from extremely bright high-flying talent to very cheap farm hands. Right now there is a jobs market where import is based on requirements of UK firms. A quick look at the very low unemployment statistics among EU expats in the UK shows that this market is working well.

    Nobody in the Private Sector (and very few in the Government) will be looking forward to having to go through endless amounts of bureaucracy before staff shortages can be sorted out by importing talent. Do businesses want to go through a whole bunch of forms (which will take weeks or months to process) to hire a new employee? Would the UK govt be responsible for reviewing a hundred thousand applications by UK business per year? Would talent be willing to come to the UK if a similar job is available elsewhere in the EU without months of uncertainty about job permit?

    It would be an enormous amount of red tape, a drag on the UK economy and very costly for the government to process.

    3) The UK government will want British Citizens to still be allowed to spend more than 90 days in the EU, own property there or work there, even after they are stripped of their EU Citizenship.

    All in all, even if a Brexit actually happens, any new deal will almost certainly still contain Free Movement.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Free Movement will stay

      "All in all, even if a Brexit actually happens, any new deal will almost certainly still contain Free Movement."

      Except that Free movement comes with Free Trade and having to accept all EU conditions.

      In other words, under such circumstances the only thing gained would be a lot of extra paperwork and loss of any influence in the EU parliament. (As previously noted this may be a good thing given the more looney EU rules are driven by the UK.)

  6. Dr_N Silver badge

    ID Cards

    Without compulsory national ID and residency cards and the hooks into immigration and police systems (as they have in the rest of continental Europe) the UK will never be able to control who is in the country. Brexit can and never could change this.

    And UKers will never support such a move.

    There are going to be a large number of very, very unhappy Brexit voters when they realise that mass deportations will not be enacted after Brexit is finally triggered.

    1. Richard 81

      Re: ID Cards

      I think my biggest problem with Labour's attempt at an ID card was being required to £80 to get one. £80 for something I don't currently need and don't really want? No thanks!

      1. Dr_N Silver badge

        Re: ID Cards

        @ Richard 81

        I get my French on for free.

        1. Bloakey1

          Re: ID Cards

          "I get my French on for free."

          Cool, ribbed or ticklers?

      2. Bloakey1

        Re: ID Cards

        "I think my biggest problem with Labour's attempt at an ID card was being required to £80 to get one. £80 for something I don't currently need and don't really want? No thanks!"

        The Irish have a very very elegant solution. No ID cards but a passport that you carry in your wallet and should it become and ID card later well there you go.

        It smells like an ID card, looks like one, contains the same data, photo etc. just do not call it an ID card. It costs 35 Euros and is a handy thing to have.

        I travel a lot and now I have this it speeds things up and most border control agents do not even want to touch it they just wave me though. Previously they would paw through my passport humming and hahhing over dodgy visas but now sweetness and light.

        https://www.dfa.ie/passportcard/

    2. Len Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: ID Cards

      You forgot regular Byron Burger-style ID checks. If you want to catch people overstaying their tourist or study visa you will have to do regular checks of random people in the street.

      That could have a range from having the police close off both sides of a street and checking every person in the net to requiring everybody in a public place to ID as soon as they are stopped for a broken tail light, dog fouling or throwing a cigarette butt on the street. One is more effective than the other, both are not very pleasant.

      1. Pete 2 Silver badge

        Re: ID Cards

        There does appear to be an enthusiasm if not actual pressure to reduce the number of cash transactions, in favour of card or contactless methods of paying.

        Once this becomes ubiquitous your card / phone is in effect your ID.

        No need for ID checks then, you voluntarily submit your ID (plus location and details of purchase) every time you buy something. With contactless methods, even your presence could be detected.

        1. Paul Shirley

          Re: contactless payments as ID Cards

          In the UK paying off the police is frowned on. What other reason would they have to check your card?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ID Cards

        Get also some lessons from you cousin across the pond about how to fire at them randomly. It could deter immigration also... <G>

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ID Cards

        Papers please!

        Just be careful when they wish you "Good Luck" as you board the bus

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: ID Cards

      EU citizens could have had a residency card or certificate though, just something which said who they are and when they first came. I'm not sure why they didn't do that, the UK treats British and EU citizens the same to almost religious levels.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: ID Cards

        Person who downvoted obviously has no idea how other EU countries do it.

    4. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: ID Cards

      >Without compulsory national ID and residency cards and the hooks into immigration and police systems (as they have in the rest of continental Europe) the UK will never be able to control who is in the country.

      Why? There weren't ID cards before Maastricht.

      We already have a visa system which we use to control non-EU nationals. We have border controls which we use to record and control immigration.

      We can use pragmatism and be overly generous rather than going OCD on edge cases.

      Perhaps many people who voted leave weren't doing so because they were following some loser politicians or are particularly worried about immigration, but because they don't like the political direction the EU is taking. Many people desperately want Leavers to be racist in order to justify denouncing them all, but that may not actually be the case. Politicians' statements are not the only truth. You can have voted Leave *and* think Farage is a bit of an idiot *and* not be bothered by free movement.

      1. Dr_N Silver badge

        Re: ID Cards

        @P Lee

        >Why? There weren't ID cards before Maastricht.

        There were in almost every mainland European country.

        Before Maastricht (1993 UK ratification iirc) travelling and working around Europe was less of a possibility for many EU citizens.

        And most Eastern Europeans weren't even allowed out of their country.

        Has the UK every really controlled it's borders in the last 50 years?

        Once you are in the UK, so long as you don't come to the attention of the authorities, you can more-or-less stay. You can't be stopped in the street and asked to produce ID. Unlike almost every other continental European country.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ID Cards

        Many people desperately want Leavers to be racist

        You should try actually listening to what leaver voters (and not just your peer group) say about the vote. Quite a few of us were shocked to discover just how many people we know stopped hiding their racism after the vote or how many we don't know made even less pretence. Wanting plays no part in how I feel about that and the ongoing, rapid descent back to the overtly racist 60/70s is another thing I don't want.

  7. Chz

    Home Office

    I thought it was quite obvious from the start of campaigning that the Leave side was conveniently overlooking the fact that the Home Office would need to bloat to 10x its current size if we actually pulled out completely. I can't see a Tory government hiring a million more civil servants.

    1. Richard 81

      Re: Home Office

      Not surprising, since the Leave side conveniently overlooked the fact that anything at all.

      1. fruitoftheloon
        Stop

        @Richard 81: Re: Home Office

        Richard,

        Indeed, of course the EU as currently constituted is running just fine, no-one has any significant complaints, it will carry on, all will be well, there won't be any problems at all....

        Meanwhile, back in the real world.

        Cheers,

        Jay

        1. Richard 81

          Re: @Richard 81: Home Office

          Nobody said the EU was perfect, in fact there is a lot to dislike about it. However none of those things seemed worse to me, at least at the time of voting, than the cost of leaving. Not that Leave campaign discussed the genuine problems with the EU, instead it was based entirely on a pack of lies. Sadly the Remain campaign was bloody useless and completely failed to call out the Brexiters on their bullshit.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Richard 81: Home Office

          > Indeed, of course the EU as currently constituted is running just fine

          Compared to how things have been in the previous 1,000 years before the EU? Fucking hell, yes! It's running like a charm!

          At least we're busy bickering about each other and not actively trying to kill each other. Already forgot that, have you?

          1. fruitoftheloon
            Happy

            @AC::Re: @Richard 81: Home Office

            AC,

            Err no, any particular reason why you feel the need to hide behind the cowards curtain AND swear at the same time?

            Ooi how old are you?

            Chill dude!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Home Office

      Part of the bloat is by having a form that is 85 (!!) pages long.

  8. cambsukguy

    Oh well, better send this article to my girlfriend

    Since the assumption was the right to stay but now, unemployment gaps and student status etc. start to rear their heads, not to mention proving residence when not the primary bill payer.

    1. Richard 81

      Re: Oh well, better send this article to my girlfriend

      You'd better put a ring on it.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Oh well, better send this article to my girlfriend

      Just get the application process for residency and then citizenship started. Should be pretty easy: existing rules will continue to apply until Parliament enacts laws to the contrary.

      Let the Home Office grind to a halt processing such applications. We all know what the solution will be: reduce the amount of paperwork and let all EEA & EU citizens without a criminal record pass.

      1. ZSn

        Re: Oh well, better send this article to my girlfriend

        @ Charlie Clark

        Well in that case better expect all the UK criminals living in Spain and the Netherlands to get chucked back.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Oh well, better send this article to my girlfriend

        "let all EEA & EU citizens without a criminal record pass."

        And just to cut down the workload further, ignore the criminal records.

  9. Jess

    I'm just curious how this controlling our borders sits with leaving the RoI/NI border as it is.

    How do you stop EEA nationals with freedom of movement entering the UK? How do you stop goods travelling to and from the free market?

    Or do you leave NI in the EEA and move the border controls to Great Britain? (Not sure how well that would go down). But if you leave NI in the EEA, then Scotland will justifiably demand the same. So then you'd need border controls between England and Scotland. (What would they do, move the borders and re-use Hadrian's wall?)

    Of course any part of the UK remaining within the EEA would result in a shift of corporates to the remaining part.

    That is why I am pretty sure we won't actually be leaving the EEA. And to be fair there is no mandate to do that. The question asked was about the UK leaving the EU. (Not breaking up or leaving the EEA).

    Leaving the EEA would certainly wreck the UK as a nation. Financially and its unity. Returning to the EFTA and keeping our EEA membership certainly wouldn't do much bad to the economy, and may not even break the UK up.

    We really need a better referendum that addresses these issues, and not rely on a 13:14 ratio where the two possible leave options were not differentiated, and the benefits of one and the consequences of the other were presented.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      My money is on a land border and the unfortunate return of real™ terrorism from people who actually know how to make bombs: remember the IRA sponsored "Central Manchester Redevelopment Plan" from 1996?

      1. The Travelling Dangleberries

        "Central Manchester Redevelopment Plan"

        Ah yes, I was lying in bed in my house a couple of miles from the Arndale Centre when it got remodeled. The whole house shook as the shock wave reached our bit of town. I didn't bother to go in and see the damage and shortly afterwards left the UK for the Netherlands. I have never been back to Manchester to see what it looks like now.

        I would certainly miss that lovely wavy concrete canopy that used to adorn the M&S building and probably that odd tiled "inside out public convenience" look that the arse end of the Arndale used to have. The irony of the high and the low points of Mancunian architecture so close together. Yes, I would miss that.

        I think I want to keep my old memories and illusions alive a little longer in this post-Brexit reality.

        "The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there."

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      There'll be a move to say isn't it cool we're all four separate countries getting along in the UK. Once that sinks in after a year or two, passport checks between NI and the three GB countries (what's wrong with passport checks between borders? Didn't we vote to control borders?) and scrutinise applications for work in NI with a microscope.

      Theresa May gets internal borders. Yay.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "scrutinise applications for work in NI with a microscope."

        Back in the late '60s when I went to work in N. Ireland there were employment restrictions for non-NI UK citizens. I wasn't aware of the details as my employer handled that.

    3. James 51 Silver badge

      Parts of the Good Friday Agreement involve treaties with the ROI and EU law is written specifically into the Agreement and the treaty. Exiting the EU and keeping the peace process going is going to be an extremely difficult if not impossible task. Putting in a hard border between NI and ROI could revitalise Republican terrorism and a hard border between NI and and GB could perhaps revitalise Loyalist terrorism and they are mutually supporting. When one rears its ugly head the other won't be far behind. If they leave things as they are, then the notion of 'taking back our border/control' will be a farce as anyone one in the EEA could go to ROI, stroll across an open border and then get a plane or boat across the Irish sea.

      That's not to mention the economic impact on one of the poorest regions of the UK either. In short it's a big mess and the best way to handle it might be to pretend the Brexit never took place and keep going as before.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge

        Pretend Brexit never took place

        Brexit hasn't happened yet. What has happened is a referendum, the outcome of which is such that the UK government is advised to start proceedings to leave the EU. And that too hasn't happened yet.

    4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "I'm just curious how this controlling our borders sits with leaving the RoI/NI border as it is."

      I'm sure Leave had a plan and as they're now in charge of working everything out all they have to do is apply it. BoJo and his colleagues can make it work because with Brexit in place magic will happen.

  10. illiad

    what about 'non-eu' workers in UK?? eg polish, indian, japanese, etc..??

    will they get the same 'rights' as others who have been working in UK for more than five years?? :)

    1. joeldillon

      Re: what about 'non-eu' workers in UK?? eg polish, indian, japanese, etc..??

      You are aware Poland is an EU member state right?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: what about 'non-eu' workers in UK?? eg polish, indian, japanese, etc..??

        > You are aware Poland is an EU member state right?

        In his defence, he did use quotes around 'non-eu' (never mind the capitalisation).

        I presume that's what the quotes were for, can't see any other possible reason.

        1. illiad

          Re: what about 'non-eu' workers in UK?? eg polish, indian, japanese, etc..??

          Thanks, i didn't realize that.. just channeling the panic of my polish friends.. and their worries about the exchange rate to the Zloty...

    2. Jess

      Re: what about 'non-eu' workers in UK?? eg ######, indian, japanese, etc..??

      As far as I can tell this is the current rules for EU workers, so if they have been here 3 years when article 50 is started, then they will have been here 5 years before the rules change.

      If they don't qualify then they will obviously hit the earn £35K after 5 years or you're out rule.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    20-23 pages for EU citizens

    I'm a EU citizen and I've applied for UK citizenship recently.

    When I started the process there was no need to get the permanent residence registration certificate. On the day I wanted to submit my application I found out that the form had changed in the meanwhile and that this was needed - the requirement entered into force on the day I was planning to go to the post office and send everything.

    OK... I got scared by the 83 page form, but... I only had to fill in about 20 pages. These pages are not contiguous - there are lots of sections to skip, but at least they say I should print and send only the pages that I did fill in, so I sent a much thinner stack than the full form.

    Then I had to move house, change job, delay application until two months ago... to find out that my IELTS certificate, issued in the UK in the autumn of last year, is no longer on the list of accepted language certifications... My IELTS, at level C2 (listening, reading, writing, speaking), was no good anymore. I had to go to Trinity College and get a B1 certificate (listening, speaking - hello, name of me Smith, colour I like is blue; PASS!). Now my file is with the HO (they confirmed they have it and took the money) and I hope to hear from them soon.

    I'm here to stay! I like you guys more than I like my own people.

    1. Roger Greenwood

      Re: 20-23 pages for EU citizens

      We like you too. How's your sense of humour?

    2. fruitoftheloon
      Pint

      @AC Re: 20-23 pages for EU citizens

      Dear AC,

      You're very welcome! Pray tell what you like about our little country??

      Btw I voted to leave, I am fine with the movement of people thing, I think it is one of the many attributes of our country that I am proud of.

      Anyway England is a country formed from immigrants anyway, a couplenof generations back my family came from Ireland and Holland.

      Have several on us!!

      Jay

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: @AC 20-23 pages for EU citizens

        Btw I voted to leave, I am fine with the movement of people thing

        Yes, because international agreements are like à la carte menus…

        1. fruitoftheloon
          Happy

          @Charlie Re: @AC 20-23 pages for EU citizens

          Charlie,

          One hoped to indicate that whilst voting to leave (and being surprised by the actual vote), I am most definitely not advocating 'foreigners out' or somesuch ludicrous, immoral concept.

          Apologies for being too subtle.

          It is interesting how many disgruntled 'remainers' are of the opinion that many who voted to exit want Johnny Foreigner kicked out sharpish.

          Cheers,

          Jay

          1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            Re: @Charlie @AC 20-23 pages for EU citizens

            Apologies for being too subtle.

            Yeah, right. Begs the question as to why you voted to leave. Not that it really matters. Some seem to think that the referendum is going to give Britain a better hand at future negotiations along the lines of "we want this, but not that", just like at a restaurant. This completely ignores the fact that the three "freedoms" are indivisible: trade, capital and labour and that none of the remaining 27 member states has any interest in giving the UK anything. Even Norway isn't keen on letting the UK join the EEA. Oh, and the UK will have to apply separately to join the WTO.

            1. fruitoftheloon
              FAIL

              @charlie Re: @Charlie @AC 20-23 pages for EU citizens

              Charlie,

              You could actually ASK what my motivations were, rather than painting with a large, inaccurate, imaginary brush...

              Or READ some of my previous posts!

              It's really not that complicated y'know

          2. Adam 52 Silver badge

            Re: @Charlie @AC 20-23 pages for EU citizens

            "It is interesting how many disgruntled 'remainers' are of the opinion that many who voted to exit want Johnny Foreigner kicked out sharpish"

            Well the guy I met in the pub wanted all the "foreigners" to "be melted down and used to make roads". If you sleep with racist dogs you get fleas.

          3. Richard 81

            Re: @Charlie @AC 20-23 pages for EU citizens

            "It is interesting how many disgruntled 'remainers' are of the opinion that many who voted to exit want Johnny Foreigner kicked out sharpish."

            Not really, since that was the thrust of the Leave campaign.

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: @Charlie @AC 20-23 pages for EU citizens

              "Not really, since that was the thrust of the Leave campaign."

              That and "take back control". Of what I'm not quite sure, not that it matters because that's going to be another chimera.

            2. fruitoftheloon
              FAIL

              @Richard: Re: @Charlie @AC 20-23 pages for EU citizens

              Richard,

              THE thrust, there weren't any other points at all?

              Do you genuinely think that most folk who voted exit did it because of the fairly shite campaign of the out crowd?

              Can you remind me of the POSITIVE elements of the remain pitch for why we shouldn't leave, because I sure as fk can't remember any....

              Over to you boyo!

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: 20-23 pages for EU citizens

      If they seriously told you that a C2 certificate wouldn't do and they wanted a you to give them a B1 certificate, it'd be like telling you to go away with your A-Level English certificate and come back with a GCSE English certificate. Madness.

    4. Bloakey1

      Re: 20-23 pages for EU citizens

      <snip>

      "I'm here to stay! I like you guys more than I like my own people."

      Bloody foreigners the lot of 'em. Part Saxon, Norman, German, Celt etc. a 'bastard' nation the English.

      I was born in Wimbledon and I like the cut of your jib old chap, welcome and may you get all you wish from your life in the UK and may you be in heaven a half an hour before the devil knows you are dead.

      Now about this Farage chap, why can't he speak other languages and why is he still drawing an MEP wage and expanses? It has been said that the German woman he approached on the night prior to meeting his wife gave him a near perfect score as a lover. She said nein, nein, nein.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: 20-23 pages for EU citizens

        "Part Saxon, Norman, German, Celt etc. a 'bastard' nation the English."

        Oi, some of up here are part Viking as well.

    5. Dr_N Silver badge

      Re: 20-23 pages for EU citizens

      "I'm a EU citizen and I've applied for UK citizenship recently."

      Just be under no illusion: You can have citizenship, but you will never be accepted as British or English in post-Brexit UK by the people who voted for "foreigners out".

      1. fruitoftheloon
        Happy

        Dr_N: Re: 20-23 pages for EU citizens

        Dr_N,

        I don't recall that being on the form where I registered my vote THANKFULLY.

        You do realise that not all folk who voted to exit are racist bigots?

        Or remain bigots who assume that 100% of anyone who disagreed with them MUST BE a racist bigot...

        Cheers,

        Jay

        1. Dr_N Silver badge

          Re: Dr_N: 20-23 pages for EU citizens

          @ fruitoftheloon

          "Dr_N,

          ~You do realise that not all folk who voted to exit are racist bigots? ~

          Yes. You do realise that most bigots voted "out" though? There's a bit of unavoidable overlap.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Dr_N: unavoidable overlap

            Absolutely; those who voted Leave knew they were siding with far-right racists, bigots and xenophobes. There is a moral price for that, and if it was one they were willing to pay then they are, even if only to a small extent, tainted with the same poison.

            It does not matter how persuasive the Leave arguments were, I would not have voted the same way as the EDL, Britain First, etc. under any circumstances whatsoever.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 20-23 pages for EU citizens

      > My IELTS, at level C2 (listening, reading, writing, speaking), was no good anymore. I had to go to Trinity College and get a B1 certificate

      ?? So a C2 is not accepted, but a B1, which is a lower certification does? Marvellous! :-)

      > I'm here to stay! I like you guys more than I like my own people.

      Oh, so you're from the Netherlands?

  12. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    So there's no getting rid of Johnny Foreigner. The Leave voters are going to be really chuffed about that. And, as they're the ones tasked with doing the work, the Leave campaigners are going to be the ones who have to tell them.

    1. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Nope. They'll blame the EU for making it hard. They'll blame the Bank of England for devaluing the pound to try to prop up the economy. They'll blame everyone else and then switch sides, just like they did when they were playing games at the Oxford Union.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "They'll blame the EU for making it hard. They'll blame the Bank of England for devaluing the pound to try to prop up the economy. They'll blame everyone else"

        It won't wash. The EU, BoE and everything else were all their when they conducted their campaign. They assured us there'd be no problem. It was their case that won the referendum. They have nowhere to hide.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Irish angle

    I would hazard a guess that a large proportion of EU-citizens living in the UK are Irish. Similarly, I would think that a lot of those UK citizens living/working in another EU country are doing so in Ireland (my Dad included). This has been going on for centuries, way before the EU even existed.

    And there are different arrangements between UK/IRL than those for UK/rest-of-EU. Including freedom of movement (no passport checks required for travel between UK and Rep. of Ireland), voting rights (UK citizens living in Ireland can vote in Irish general elections, and I think vice-versa, too). And then there's the complex situation that is Northern Ireland. All residents of "Norn Iron" are entitled to Irish citizenship, resulting in the Irish Passport office becoming overwhelmed with appilcations right after the Brexit vote (even Ian Paisley Jr. suggested it!!)

    You'd need two separate groups to deal with all that. One for UK/Ireland and other for UK/Rest-of-EU. But I suppose many Brexiteers never really gave that much thought. Just "Take back control of our Boarders" (deliberate spelling mistake), even though the sea and not being in the Schengen-Area pretty much did that already.

    I can understand that some voters in the UK had legitimate gripes with the EU, and wanted to tell Brussels to shove their regulations where the sun don't shine. And in many points I'd agree with them. EU bureaucracy is out of control and needs to be reformed. But the scaremongering and outright lying by Boris, Nigel, et. al. was downright disgraceful, especially when they ran away after they "won".

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Irish angle

      'especially when they ran away after they "won".'

      Boris, in case you haven't noticed, is now Foreign Sec so having to do his best(!) to make it work(!) despite the fact that his response to the referendum result seems to have been "no hurry". Nigel, well, he wasn't ever in danger of that. He's wasn't going to have been in the governing party whoever won in 2015. His objective was to get the referendum; I doubt lifting a finger to make Brexit work was ever part of his reckoning.

      However, I think Gove and minor lights such as Bill Cash should have been included in the Brexit chain gang.

    2. Ally 1

      Re: Irish angle

      "even though the sea and not being in the Schengen-Area pretty much did that already."

      I'd love it if, to get a trade agreement, the EU insisted in freedom of movement..and that our Schengen exemption had expired, so we'd have to sign the Schengen agreement. And then, insist that we follow EU laws.

      The EU would be a much better place without the little Englanders trying to block every law that tries to help workers like the working time directive.

      Failing that, I hope Scotland can gfto and try capture some of the businesses fleeing England to the EU

    3. H in The Hague Silver badge

      Re: Irish angle

      Interesting article on the Irish/Northern Irish angle:

      http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-nireland-idUKKCN10N1DC

      Absolutely brilliant how Brexit is already creating employment (for lawyers) this early in the process.

    4. Nifty

      Re: Irish angle

      Gonna have to bone up on Set Theory for this. I'm sure a computer system can then be programmed to do the admin.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Irish angle

        I voted remain, but as I hold both UK and Irish citizenship and am long enough into my career to have established myself as fairly financially safe, I kind of feel like an amused spectator by all this.

        Then I remember that my kids are going to have to face it all.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Irish angle

          "Then I remember that my kids are going to have to face it all."

          So are mine, and my grandchildren. But they, like SWMBO, can also claim Irish citizenship if they want.

    5. John Crisp

      Re: Irish angle

      If you can believe the beeb

      http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-uk-leaves-the-eu-36745584

      Around 850,000+ Polish followed 330,000+ Irish. That should be fun to sort for starters.

      Looking forward enormously to the pain on the face of prominent Brexiters falling slowly on their own swords. Any bets going on how long they stay in their posts?

      :-)

      1. gnasher729 Silver badge

        Re: Irish angle

        "Looking forward enormously to the pain on the face of prominent Brexiters falling slowly on their own swords. Any bets going on how long they stay in their posts?"

        In the case of Nigel Farage, he will stay in his post as workshy parasite MEP on permanent holiday, getting paid £85,000 a year by the tax payer for doing nothing, for another three years if everything goes well for him.

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Irish angle

        >Around 850,000+ Polish followed 330,000+ Irish.

        I think "more or less" already refuted that, the poles were being re-counted again everytime they arrived to work for a few months, the Irish were mostly permanent UK residents

  14. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    And, as they're the ones tasked with doing the work, the Leave campaigners are going to be the ones who have to tell them.

    I think this is Theres May's plan. I don't think she cares ideologically one way or another but she clearly understands the politics quite well. We can probably be expect Article 50 day to be based on some kind of never-never criteria just like Blair did with membership of the Euro (sun shining in Manchester, Newcastle winning the league, Piers Morgan not being a twat, etc.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Realpolitik.

      Kick the problem into the long grass. Preferably a patch with some nettles. Then when you think the person who went in after it has nearly found it, boot it further away.

      By the time anyone has grasped the answer perhaps the population will have wised up to the inherent problems and be more conciliatory.

      1. Nifty

        All 110 million of us, yes.

    2. Bloakey1

      I think it is a real shame that a woman got the job. By that I mean she has gained a poisoned chalice and will be remembered for this above all. When it is all over she will be tainted by it and people will probably treat women less kindly in future.

      Shame it is not a man who could absorb all the opprobrium and then let UK politics settle back in to business as normal.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        I think it is a real shame that a woman got the job.

        It's not as if anyone forced her to apply…

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "It's not as if anyone forced her to apply…"

          And anyway, she's passing the chalice to those who deserve it. My rejection of her stems from other matters.

          1. jason 7

            oh she'll still have the cast iron pension, benefits, book deal, non-exec board positions and consultancy roles.

            Never did Blair any harm after he left in disgrace.

  15. Nifty

    And the IT angle is...?

    This is politics not IT.

    But the elephant in the room IS:

    If the borders agency had been empowered to snoop and collate half as much as on incoming/outgoing travellers as GCHQ is on innocent Britons, we'd probably not be in half the immigration pickle and paperwork mountain that we are. Clue: "2.9 million, 3.3 million, or 3.5 million EU citizens in the UK".

    There must be a better way of organising it but as they say, if you want to get to there I wouldn't start from here.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "... it must surely be possible to shorten the form"

    Considering that it's 84 pages longer than the one in the EU country where I most recently applied for a permanent resident certificate, and 83 pages¹ longer than the one to apply for citizenship in another EU country I'm familiar with, I agree that it must surely be possible to shorten it.

    Neither of which applications have any direct costs² and very few associated costs (few trips to some office or another), unlike ... https://twitter.com/philip_roberts/status/763102209714323456.

    ¹ One page consists solely of an oath to abide by and defend the country's constitution and stuff like that, that you sign at the bottom.

    ² For permanent residence, my understanding is that the costs for EU citizens cannot exceed the cost of a similar procedure (e.g., obtaining an ID card) for a national, which tends to be free or in the area of a few Euros. I am not 100% sure though.

    1. Hans 1 Silver badge

      Re: "... it must surely be possible to shorten the form"

      >Considering that it's 84 pages longer than the one in the EU country where I most recently applied for a permanent resident certificate, and 83 pages¹ longer

      Yes, well ... other countries don't have these skullF*cked rules like, if you are a British Overseas National (Except Hong Kong, Cayman Islands and "whatever Island") go to section 13a, A British Overseas National (Hong Kong) goto 13b, A British Overseas National (Cayman Islands) goto 126e, a British Overseas National ("whatever Island") goto 3b, a British National from mainland UK, goto 1.b ....

      1b will read, "where you, your mother, your father, or your uncle's best mate born between 1800 and 1830 on the second Sunday after Easter on a full moon between quarter past and half past four AM, goto 3c, was your mother born outside mainland UK between Jan 1946 and April 1963, goto 5f .... I could go on ...

      Just accept anybody, problem solved!

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: "... it must surely be possible to shorten the form"

        "Just accept anybody, problem solved!"

        But Leave promised their supporters to clear out all the foreigners.

  17. jason 7

    I still have 'friends' saying...

    ...."hey you see the economy and markets are fine since Brexit! All back to normal! The remainers were so full of shit!!"

    Hang on...we haven't left yet! We are still in the EU!!!

    This is the level of delusion/stupidity we are dealing with here.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: I still have 'friends' saying...

      Point your friends at the Exchange rates.

      Perhaps they want £1 == $1 == 1 Euro or worse?

      I saw £1 = 0.95 Euros last week at one exchange.

      1. jason 7

        Re: I still have 'friends' saying...

        Yeah glad I bought $1000 Canadian for £500 back at xmas time rather than left it till now or later. We don't even plan to go till late next year but the rate seemed very good at the time.

        These muppets are the very same ones that will be moaning when my prices all go up.

        "Well that's what you get when you bet the house on a colour and number that's not even on the roulette wheel!"

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: I still have 'friends' saying...

        I saw £1 = 0.95 Euros last week at one exchange.

        The official rate is about 0.86 so that's just a shitty exchange happy to scalp its customers. To be fair in 2011 it was near parity so this is within "normal" market movements if you take normal to include massive interference by central banks. The real time to worry is what happens if the BoE has more problems at auctions: the total amount that Carney is prepared to throw on this particularly is about what Draghi spunks on bonds every month.

        If there is any form of general tightening of world monetary policy then the BoE may find its options severely limited and if the UK government has to go to functioning markets to borrow then rates will almost certainly have to rise.

        1. Adam 52 Silver badge

          Re: I still have 'friends' saying...

          Hmm. The ECB's QE programme is unconfirmed but estimated to be €80bn and the BoE's is £60bn. That puts Carney and Draghi roughly level, certainly not out by the order you suggest.

  18. Velv Silver badge
    Mushroom

    " it would take 140 years to process everybody"

    Which is fine. In 30 years we'll be having a referendum to join the Eurasian Power House at which point all those pending applications will become irrelevant.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Problem with this article

    Is that it doesn't consider what incentive the rest of the EU may have to cut the UK *any* sort of deal. Pre-referendum negotiations resulted in no concessions at all, and post-referendum, the EU's response was "here's your coat".

    It is not like any individual EU country benefits from having a handful of their population in the UK¹. On the contrary, they'd rather have them pay tax in their own countries.

    Likewise, a significant part of the UK expat population consists of pensioners, whose contribution to the local economy, mostly in the form of local and property taxes, is negligible and can easily and more conveniently be taken up by Germans and Scandinavians.

    ¹ And at least in the case of Poland, the Polish government considered that actively harmful and there was back in the day a campaign to avoid the brain drain it caused--at present, Poland has found highly beneficial the return of part of that work force who left in 2004-2006, and there is no reason why they wouldn't want more people back.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Problem with this article

      Southern Europe avoids social problems and benefit costs by exporting unemployment.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Problem with this article

        > Southern Europe avoids social problems and benefit costs by exporting unemployment.

        And your experience of Southern Europe is?

        The "exporting unemployment" thing was indeed something the Spanish government was accused of, by their own citizens, during their last economic crisis. ISTR their not very intelligent prime minister did say something along the lines of "well, there are plenty of jobs in Germany" or something like that. But I don't think it'd be wise to extrapolate from there.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Problem with this article

          I live here.

          If you've got nothing to keep you where you are and you can't get a job or you can but it's short term and badly paid, you would probably emigrate too.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Problem with this article

            > I live here.

            Funny, I live here¹ too!

            > If you've got nothing to keep you where you are and you can't get a job or you can but it's short term and badly paid, you would probably emigrate too.

            It's a bit² more complex than that, actually. It is not in everyone's nature to emigrate, as that is a risk-taking activity which also requires initiative. How much risk is involved, depends. It's obviously not the same thing to move from France to Switzerland as it is to go from Sierra Leone to Slovakia, whether or not you have family/contacts at your destination, etc.

            On the other hand, from the "or you can but it's short term and badly paid" bit, I make you in Spain. I have always found that, in Spain, every job that's more than about 10 hours per week, is not for life, and doesn't get you a large company CEO's salary, is "short-term and badly paid", which is why everyone wants to be a civil servant (for the bigots out there, I am generalising and exaggerating in order to illustrate a point, obviously most people do have more realistic expectations). Perhaps a little less consumerism and a little less speculation would do them some favours.

            ¹ For some value of "here".

            ² For very large values of "a bit".

  20. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Brexit date?

    In the year 2525, if man is still alive...

  21. Dr_N Silver badge

    Just Do A Farage!

    Dual or triple nationality is the answer to all possible Brexit residency issues.

    Just do what Mr Farage appears to be doing on the sly. For either himself or his offspawn.

    Allegedly.

  22. netminder

    GOSH! Who coulda knowed?

    Conservative pols lied about the whole affair and figured they were safe because Britons would not be stupid enough to vote Brexit. When the majority did the top guys all ran screaming from the room & only May was stupid enough to step into what is about to happen. Who could have guess they were all liars and con artists hoping to fuel the anger while having no real solutions?

  23. captain veg

    Just like to say...

    Welcome back John Lettice. I for one have missed your insights.

    -A.

  24. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    I'd have thought the fact that the loudest foghorns calling in public for the exit (Gove and Boris) bolted for the door as soon as the ballot was tallied would be a stomach-liquidizer for anyone who listened to their lies and "mis-statements".

    How fast *was* that "350 million quid" bus wrap pulled, anyway?

  25. pip2

    "A brake on unskilled immigration and easier skilled migration" is out of the question, if you wish to be part of European free trade. There is no two-tier Europe. There is no other Europe.

    There is no such thing (and can never ever be such a thing) as first and second class citizens of EU member countries. There is a very good reason for that. As soon as you start to say, this man is somehow better than this other man... then you are looking straight at the nightmare of facism.

    Preventing the horror of nationalism is what the whole European project is about. That is why I support Britain as it is now, as a full member of the EU; and Britain's future, as a full member of the EU; and the EU itself; and continued British leadership in Europe.

  26. Uffish

    If it all goes pear shaped...

    ... and Little England (and Little Wales) succeed in really pissing off all their neighbours I guess I will be turfed out of my peaceful retirement near Paris and have to come home (you can't stop me I have a British passport and no other nationality).

    Then you will see how really annoying an immigrant to the UK can be and you will long for the peaceful, hard working Poles and Afghans.

    1. Jess

      Re: Afghans.

      They won't be losing any rights. In fact if the economy doesn't tank enough that we don't need to replace all the EU migrant workers, they will find it far easier to get their friends and family over. (They will be on a level pegging with Europeans, who probably won't want to come over anyway.)

      1. Uffish

        Re: Afghans.

        "They won't be losing any rights." So you say, and in an ideal world that is what would happen.

        It would be wise to remember that Britain is geographically an integral part of Europe and economically, culturally and politically always has been. All European nations have schemed against and fought with other European countries and all European countries think that they are 'special' and not like the others.

  27. Adrian Midgley 1

    this is an effort to apply logic to

    something where logic is not involved.

    And really. it is better to leave the thickos to try to solve it than to do their homework for them.

  28. Yes Me Silver badge

    "So May is right to keep the guarantees to a minimum until she's clinched some form of reciprocity, call it a bargaining chip if you like."

    What nonsense. The only reciprocity available is free movement of labour in both directions. Even the Swiss had to accept that, and are now likely to lose everything because of their xenophobic anti-immigration referendum (binding in their case). Ms May knows that; she also knows that loss of free trade would be a disaster. She's just waiting for the right moment to announce the obvious conclusion (no Article 50, not in 2017, not ever).

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "She's just waiting for the right moment to announce the obvious conclusion (no Article 50, not in 2017, not ever)."

      I think she's been craftier than that. She's waiting for Boris et al to report back that it can't work and in effect announce it themselves. The Brexiteers have to do it themselves. It's the only way to put an end to it.

  29. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Boffin

    Not in favor of Brexit, but i would like to point out...

    That if remainders had won 13-12, they would insist that was a valid margin, and can I please get my retirement villa in Spain or Southern France.

    1. Richard 81

      Re: Not in favor of Brexit, but i would like to point out...

      Yeah, they would since the default result should be the status quo. Since the result was a very narrow majority, it's not at all conclusive given the turn out.

  30. pip2

    Albania is not in the EU

    Here is what Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama wrote in The New European on July 22-28, page 21:

    "We enjoy none of the benefits that Britain has. We have only limited access to the EU's market in services, and no passport for financial services. Our banks cannot operate across Europe as British and British-based banks currently can. We are outside the EU's customs union, meaning that we face costly red tape and rules of origin for exporting businesses, and tariffs on some of our best products.

    "Crucially, as a country aspiring to EU membership, we have to align fully with the EU's rules in the areas covered but have little or no say or votes over these rules when they are made.

    "To achieve the current stage [of EU relations] has taken six years. When I heard Boris Johnson, now Foreign Secretary, say during the campaign that this will all be resolved within two years, I found this almost as comical as his collegue Mr Gove."

  31. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    Operation Crap Creek

    But those who campaigned and voted for immigration control?"

    The only question in the referendum was whether we should "leave the EU" or not and that is all which was voted on.

    Brexiteers may have presented it as a vote to "Take Back Control", as if a political party who could deliver that, but the vote was only about leaving and they had and have no power to deliver on what they were suggesting they could.

    We don't definitively know why people voted to stay or remain, don't know how many want tighter immigration control or not, don't know if that's a minority or majority of people or not.

    We have had the vote on what people would like to do. We now need a second vote on how we want it done.

  32. lukewarmdog

    The problem of free trade and free movement need separating. Not everything once enshrined should remain. Seems to me that would solve a large part of the problem. It might take the Eurozone to disintegrate before they allow something like this but there's a decent chance that will happen.

    1. john.w

      I have tried to find a clear explanation of why free movement is so important to the EU, without success. The EU information online refers to post war ideals of allowing populations to live peacefully together within each other countries and to allow economies to grow by importing labour when needed and allowing it to flow back when a down turn hits. German Jews were German citizens and if a country wants workers why not let its elected government decide how it wants to support its economy.

      1. pip2

        Why is free movement so important to the EU? Here is why. Firstly, here is a link to the European Parliament debate on 28 June.

        http://tinyurl.com/hapsdkq

        Manfred Weber said, "There can be no such thing as first and second class citizens" of EU member countries. The reason that is so important is because it is all to do with the experience of what happened in Germany in the 1930s. The first step was the idea that some people were "worth" more than other people, simply because of who they were.

        Now read any one of the many books what happened next: identification, isolation, internment, concentration.... you know the rest. A stain on the soul of humanity that can never be erased. Need I go on? I need not go into the details here.

        The vital point is this. The first step is the one that enables all the others.

        That is why it is a vital principle for the EU, that there can be no such thing, and can never ever be any such thing, as anything that might allow that first step, when it comes to people who are citizens of EU member countries.

        All the other 27 members remember what it is like to be occupied. That is why they are determined to make the EU work, why it has worked up until now, why it is going to continue to work. I hope you will now understand why it can't be explained like this on the EU's own pages.

        1. john.w

          You make a very valid argument about the value of human life but my point is that those persecuted in Germany were German citizens so simply identify all those within the EU as equal and citizens of the EU does not protect them from persecution. That''s why we have the non EU ECHR to protect all members of society in the UK not just EU citizens. Your argument also makes all those without an EU passport second class which leads to immigration policy that is base on a two tier system.

    2. Uffish

      Re: "The problem..."

      You might also wish to have your cake and eat it too.

  33. GrapeBunch Bronze badge

    Brokenshire

    Is that more like Middlesex, or Westmorland, or Sussex, or Yorks? Or is it another way of saying that Hobbits gained safety not through obscurity, rather through unemployment?

  34. david drysdale

    5 years

    This article - and most similar ones state that you just have to be here for 5 years to get permanent residency status. That's true ONLY if you are a "qualified person" which includes having comprehensive private medical insurance (as well as being either self-sufficient, a job or active job seeking)..

    As the NHS covers EU nationals who live here very few bother to pay for additional private insurance just to satisfy some potential future need.

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