back to article Defra recruiting 1,400 policy wonks to pick up the pieces after Brexit

Defra – the UK government's Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs – is hiring 1,400 "business policy" folk so it can untangle itself from Europe after Brexit, according to multiple insiders. Of those, 300 will be looking at the tech/policy side of things, including decoupling systems from decades of European …

  1. smudge Silver badge
    FAIL

    I predict chaos

    It's many years since I last re-read "The Mythical Man-Month", but I do remember that one of its lessons was that throwing more people at a project which is behind time merely makes it later. The internal communication/co-ordination overhead soon outweighs any gains in productivity.

    Even if DEFRA don't read books about IBM mainframe operating systems, surely there must be modern management teachings which say the same thing?

    1. fedoraman

      Re: I predict chaos

      Ah yes, The "Self-propagating scheduling disaster".

      Great book, that one.

    2. paulf Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: I predict chaos

      It'll be worse than chaos. That picture in the article shows a chicken with only one leg that seems to be responsible for a basket full of eggs. What kind of agricultural marvel is this fowl future? A sudden halving in the supply of chicken drumsticks will have the Colonel crying into his special mix of herbs and spices until they realise it's easier to catch them.

      I, for one, welcome our new Mono-pod Avian overlords.

  2. Gordon Pryra

    Brexit

    = jobs for the boys!

    Even if the majority of the new jobs in Brexit land will be a pile of absolute steaming shitcake...

    1. Smooth Newt
      Meh

      Re: Brexit

      = jobs for the boys!

      If they can find them e.g. try and hire 1,400 Java programmers overnight, and those are relatively common folk. And some other HMG departments, such as the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy are probably in a similar pickle and also trying to recruit.

      Maybe Theresa May has a magic policy wonk tree that we don't know about, especially as I imagine non-UK EU nationals aren't invited to the party in case their insecurity and status as a Brexit bargaining chip doesn't give them a sufficiently positive attitude towards slow motion train crashes.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Brexit

        Brexit has completely screwed up contracting and free movement in general where it concerns the UK and British citizens. EU citizens won't come to the UK, EU citizens will leave the UK, British citizens working in the EU won't come back to the UK otherwise their residency clock in the EU country where they're currently resident will be reset and they probably don't want to lose that because that gives them a chance at getting citizenship, British citizens working in the EU won't move to another EU country to contract because that will also reset their residency clock, some British citizens in the UK may wish to leave the UK to get their last crack at residency or citizenship in an EU country, some EU citizens who take out British citizenship or British citizens who take out citizenship of the EU country they're in may find them obliged to renounce their other citizenship, and probably something else I've forgot.

        British IT contracting agencies specialising in work for EU citizens in the UK or British citizens in the EU must spend the day watching tumbleweed blowing through the office.

        All of this is mindless self-inflicted stupidity.

        1. inmypjs Silver badge

          Re: Brexit

          "All of this is mindless self-inflicted stupidity."

          Yes a terrible state of affairs as has been experienced by the whole rest of the world for ever.

          1. Tony W

            Re: Brexit

            Usual stuff, I have seen so much of it in comments. We don't care how much crap we (and our children) get just so long as we stop EU migration and can ignore the ECJ.

            Point out the obvious as much as you like (on both sides.) There will be no meeting of minds on this one.

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: Brexit

              "There will be no meeting of minds on this one."

              And when it's finally impossible to ignore the consequences we know what the few who will still admit to having been Leavers will say. We've already seen the "No true Scotsman" explanation being rehearsed.

        2. Snorlax
          Thumb Up

          Re: Brexit

          @Dan 55:"All of this is mindless self-inflicted stupidity."

          Can we put this at the top of the article in 50pt text?

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Brexit

          EU citizens won't come to the UK, EU citizens will leave the UK, British citizens working in the EU won't come back to the UK otherwise their residency clock in the EU country where they're currently resident will be reset

          More remoaner bollocks.

          There's no sign of EU citizens leaving, indeed recent newspaper stories suggest that they don't want to leave even if their companies want them to. British citizens who renounce it to get another citizenship can get the British one back afterwards just by asking. There's no 'residency clock', I'm a UK citizen, and I have a French "carte de séjour" that says "permanent". I return to the UK regularly.

          OK, we get it, you voted not to leave, but we're leaving. Would it be too much to ask that you STFU with the whinging and actually try and make it work? Or would you really prefer to see it all end in disaster just so you can stand in the queue at the dole office telling everyone "Well, I told them so." ?

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: Brexit

            There's no sign of EU citizens leaving, indeed recent newspaper stories suggest that they don't want to leave even if their companies want them to. -> Pick the NHS or agriculture sector or university teaching or research article of your choice. Oh, here's one.

            British citizens who renounce it to get another citizenship can get the British one back afterwards just by asking. -> You can only get British citizenship back once, it's expensive, and relies on Home Office say-so. The other country may force you to choose either British or their nationality (e.g. Netherlands).

            There's no 'residency clock', I'm a UK citizen, and I have a French "carte de séjour" that says "permanent". I return to the UK regularly. -> If you move to another country and start permanent residency there, you will lose your permanent residency in France. If you start your clock again now before Brexit you will probably have not spent enough time resident in your new country to get citizenship by Brexit Day. I assume (hope) you do realise that visits to the UK at Christmas and holidays don't count because we are talking about permanent residency.

            Would it be too much to ask that you STFU with the whinging and actually try and make it work? -> Would it be too much to ask you to STFU and find out a bit about what TF you're F on about before positing? People like you let loose with a vote in the referendum in the first place got the UK into this mess. You might have been mislead before the vote, but there's no excuse to be now.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Brexit

              you can only get British citizenship back once, it's expensive, and relies on Home Office say-so.

              Incorrect. You get it back once just by asking, if you try the same game again it gets harder, of course. The Home Office only wants a say if you're not a full British citizen at the time you renounced it, i.e. if your citizenship was obtained by some other way than birth in the UK to British citizens. Read the official form, it is quite clear.

              Obviously if I move permanently to another country I would no longer be a permament resident in France. That's not a time-based clock, and yes I do know that limited holidays don't count.

              People like you let loose with a vote in the referendum in the first place got the UK into this mess.

              Sadly I had no vote, becase Cameron reneged on his election promise to remove the 15-year limit on expat voting. I'm sorry you feel that I wasn't a suitable person to be "let loose" with a vote, democracy is hard to live with at times, isn't it. Perhaps you regret that the vote wasn't an EU-run one, where we could have been made to vote again and again until we got the right result?

              However, if I had been able to vote, I would have voted to leave. I would do so again today. I have not been misled, I have studied the issues for many years and after decades living outside the UK I am probably a lot better informed about the EU than many voters who have only lived in the UK.

              1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                Re: Brexit

                Incorrect. You get it back once just by asking, if you try the same game again it gets harder, of course. The Home Office only wants a say if you're not a full British citizen at the time you renounced it, i.e. if your citizenship was obtained by some other way than birth in the UK to British citizens. Read the official form, it is quite clear.

                Wrong. Read the guidance - section 1, there are conditions. Read the cost - an application with form RS1 is £1163.

                Obviously if I move permanently to another country I would no longer be a permament resident in France. That's not a time-based clock.

                If you have, say, spent four years in France you could not expect to move to another country, live and work there, come back, and continue where you left off. You'd need to apply for French residency all over again. Nor would that residency time in France count in your new country. If your new country also needed five years residency for permanent residence or citizenship and you wanted one of those, you couldn't manage to accrue that time that before Brexit Day. I struggle to see how you think that's not a clock.

                I have studied the issues for many years and after decades living outside the UK I am probably a lot better informed about the EU than many voters who have only lived in the UK.

                Possibly, but it still doesn't change the fact that you're wrong.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Brexit

                  Wrong. Read the guidance - section 1, there are conditions.

                  Indeed, the ones I mentioned:

                  You have a right (once only) to be registered as a British citizen if you renounced British citizenship in order to keep or acquire another citizenship.

                  A right, plain and simple.

                  You have a separate right (once only) to be registered as a British citizen if you renounced citizenship of the United Kingdom and Colonies

                  A right, once again.

                  If you renounced citizenship for any other reason, or if you have already renounced and resumed British citizenship (as a right), registration is at the discretion of the Home Secretary.

                  It can't be much clearer, you can get it back once as a right. Only after that will the Home Secretary want to exercise discretion.

                  As for the cost, I'd certainly hope it's expensive, it's not something to be taken lightly.

                  1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                    Re: Brexit

                    Your "just ask" is a ten page application form with a cost of over a thousand pounds.

                    The Home Office only wants a say if you're not a full British citizen at the time you renounced it, i.e. if your citizenship was obtained by some other way than birth in the UK to British citizens. Read the official form, it is quite clear.

                    Thus indicating you don't know the difference between British citizenship otherwise than by descent, British citizenship by descent, and the overseas British citizenships. I'm not surprised you won't put your name to the claptrap you post.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Brexit

                      you don't know the difference between British citizenship otherwise than by descent, British citizenship by descent, and the overseas British citizenships.

                      There are many, many, different ways to hold British citizenship, and I didn't think it would be useful to post them all, so I (crudely) summarized.

                      I don't put my name for exactly the reason you have so aptly demonstrated, so we can discuss the issues without ad hominem attacks.

              2. Smooth Newt
                Stop

                Re: Brexit

                You get it [British citizenship] back once just by asking, if you try the same game again it gets harder, of course. The Home Office only wants a say if you're not a full British citizen at the time you renounced it, i.e. if your citizenship was obtained by some other way than birth in the UK to British citizens. Read the official form, it is quite clear.

                It is indeed quite clear. The Government website says "In some cases it’s possible to resume your British nationality after renouncing it."1 which doesn't sound like "just by asking" to me.

                It costs £321 to renounce British Citizenship and then £1163 to apply to get it back and the application form is 10 pages long.2 It asks detailed questions like "do you have any criminal convictions in the UK or any other country or any civil judgements made against you (including traffic offences)?" - so that's the 9.2 million people in the UK who have criminal records who may be screwed, and civil judgements include someone successfully suing you, evicting you or even just divorcing you. And then there are several "what the fuck does that mean" questions like "Have you engaged in any other activities which may indicate that you may not be considered a person of good character?"

                As for your characterization of British citizens not born in the UK to British parents as not "full British citizens", I guess that means that people like the Duke of Edinburgh and indeed our illustrious Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs aren't "full British citizens". Has anyone told them?

                1https://www.gov.uk/renounce-british-nationality/resume-your-british-nationality

                2https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/417594/rs1_form_mar_2015.pdf

              3. smudge Silver badge

                Re: Brexit

                Sadly I had no vote, becase Cameron reneged on his election promise to remove the 15-year limit on expat voting. I'm sorry you feel that I wasn't a suitable person to be "let loose" with a vote, democracy is hard to live with at times, isn't it.

                Let's get this straight.

                You have lived outside the UK for more than 15 years. Presumably in France.

                And yet, if you had had a vote, you would have voted for the UK to leave the EU.

                Why? And why do you think you should have had a vote?

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Brexit

                  And yet, if you had had a vote, you would have voted for the UK to leave the EU.

                  Why?

                  Because I see the harm the EU is doing across Europe, and I expect one day to return to the UK, probably when I retire. The fact that I currently live outside the UK for work reasons doesn't change my views on the EU.

                  And why do you think you should have had a vote

                  I didn't say that I did, I merely pointed out that I didn't have one. I have no significant vote anywhere now.

              4. Trigonoceps occipitalis

                Re: Brexit

                " ... democracy is hard to live with at times ... "

                Cameron said "Let the people speak!"

                They have spoken.

                Bastards!

              5. Snorlax

                Re: Brexit

                @Anonymous Coward:"Sadly I had no vote, becase Cameron reneged on his election promise to remove the 15-year limit on expat voting. I'm sorry you feel that I wasn't a suitable person to be "let loose" with a vote, democracy is hard to live with at times, isn't it. Perhaps you regret that the vote wasn't an EU-run one, where we could have been made to vote again and again until we got the right result?"

                If you lived in some other country for 15 years you don't deserve a say in what happens.

                Do you vote in local elections in whatever country you're in?

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Brexit

                  Do you vote in local elections in whatever country you're in?

                  No. In my local village I have the "choice" of voting for one list, with the same names every year unless someone dies. Never seemed worth signing up just to feel that I have a say next time they agree to reimburse the teacher 27.32 euros for new school pencils.

            2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
              WTF?

              Re: Brexit

              Pick the NHS or agriculture sector or university teaching or research article of your choice. Oh, here's one.

              That's an article on how a British family business selling salad invested in new facilties but didn't get the increase in business that it needed to pay for it, which it blamed on the pound's fall after the referendum. It has nothing at all to do with EU citizens leaving the UK!

              1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                Re: Brexit

                Sorry, wrong tab. There's so much good news to choose from. Try this instead.

              2. Snorlax

                Re: Brexit

                @Phil O'Sophical:"That's an article on how a British family business selling salad invested in new facilties but didn't get the increase in business that it needed to pay for it, which it blamed on the pound's fall after the referendum. It has nothing at all to do with EU citizens leaving the UK!"

                Ok, how about 17,200 EU staff leaving the NHS last year?:

                "The figures, compiled by NHS Digital, prompted medical leaders to call for more reassurances to European workers about their future in the UK. A total of 17,197 EU staff, including nurses and doctors, left their posts in 2016, compared with 13,321 in 2015 and 11,222 for 11 months in 2014."

                Now it might be easy to replace the Polish kids in your local McDonalds with homegrown talent, but can you say the same for doctors and nurses?

                1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                  Re: Brexit

                  A total of 17,197 EU staff, including nurses and doctors, left their posts in 2016, compared with 13,321 in 2015 and 11,222 for 11 months in 2014.

                  Interesting that you stopped the quote there, and didn't continue with the next line:

                  "Even though EU staff numbers rose across the period analysed, experts fear the number of people leaving is the more significant trend."

                  So net EU staff numbers are going up but the Guardian's "experts fear" that the number they can use to crank the Brexit FUD machine is the significant one.

                  Well, it is the Guardian.

                  1. Snorlax
                    Thumb Down

                    Re: Brexit

                    @Phil O'Sophical:"Interesting that you stopped the quote there"

                    Interesting that you can't read the article. The figures were compiled by NHS Digital, not The Guardian as you claim.

                    Don't let that get in the way of your bias eh?

                    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                      Re: Brexit

                      The figures were compiled by NHS Digital, not The Guardian as you claim.

                      The figures may have come from the NHS, the opinion that stated "experts fear the number of people leaving is the more significant trend" was part of the Guardian article that you linked to, clearly bylined. The expert quoted is from the RCP, she said "confirm our our fears that EU doctors are feeling unsettled and, at worst, leaving or planning to leave the UK". Fears, not figures.

                      So, I repeat, it's interesting that you stopped quotiong the Guardian article where you did, and left out the bit that said "EU staff numbers rose across the period analysed" in the Guardian article.

            3. Mike Pellatt

              Re: Brexit

              I have an Indefinite B1/B2 US Visa in one of my passports.

              Try getting into the USA on that now.

              "Permanency" on a travel document can e revoked by the issuing authority at any time.

            4. H in The Hague Silver badge

              Re: Brexit

              "If you move to another country and start permanent residency there, you will lose your permanent residency in France. "

              That's right. Something similar happened to an Australian mate of mine: left NL for a year or two to work in the Middle East and promptly lost his permanent residency in NL. Bit of a problem as the house he owns is here. Ah, no problem, his wife is EU so they'll have to let him in - oh, wait, she's UK :(

          2. SiempreTuna

            Re: Brexit

            Which newspapers do you read? The Daily Fail? The Murdoch rags? The papers that propagated all the lies and bile spewed by the Brexit campaign, maybe? Y'know the lies and utter bollocks that started falling apart the morning of the result - literally.

            How about reading something that's even remotely interested in the truth, y'know, for a change?

            For anyone interested in reality, it is now certain that, best case, Brexit is an utter disaster. Unfortunately, the incompetents in charge of negotiating Brexit seem determined to turn that disaster into a calamity.

            Why on earth should remainers shut up? The racist* moron's who campaigned for Brexit told everyone that they were going to keep campaigning when they though the result was going against them: why would those with decency, common and sense, intelligence, a relationship with reality and the interests of the country not do the same?

            Somewhere down the line, we need to wake up and stop this nonsense before it's too late.

            * I campaigned for Remain and spoke to many, many Brexit voters and racism was the ONLY thing that mattered to them.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Brexit

              Which newspapers do you read?

              Of the UK ones, usually the Telegraph and Independent to get some balance, sometimes the FT. Also Les Echos in France, and various local ones.

              How about reading something that's even remotely interested in the truth, y'know, for a change?

              Care to point me at any UK papers that fit in that category?

              For anyone interested in reality, it is now certain that, best case, Brexit is an utter disaster.

              Since there are still 18 months of negoitiations and posturing to go before we have any idea of what Berexit will actually look like, that statement is about as far from reality as one can get.

              why would those with decency, common and sense, intelligence, a relationship with reality and the interests of the country not do the same?

              Full of yourself, aren't you. Let me guess, you're a LibDem voter?

              Can you, perhaps, step back a moment and consider that you are demonstrating exactly the holier-than-thou, we-know-what's-best-for-everyone, sanctimonius righteousness that is precisely why so many people are pissed off with the EU? Someone with that attitude is the very last person I'd want in charge of a village council, let alone a country.

              Somewhere down the line, we need to wake up and stop this nonsense before it's too late.

              Yes, as noted before, democracy is such a bummer, isn't it. Better just to stop all that nonsense and do what we're told, eh papa?

              I campaigned for Remain and spoke to many, many Brexit voters and racism was the ONLY thing that mattered to them

              Well, that says a lot more about where you campaigned than anything.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Brexit

              "The racist* moron's who campaigned for Brexit"

              And that attitude right there is why you lost.

              1. colinb

                Re: Brexit

                We've all lost.

                If you don't think so you are not one of the bargaining chips currently on the table.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Brexit

            "We shat on your plate, would it be too much to ask that you STFU with whinging and actually try to eat your dinner?"

          4. BongoJoe

            Re: Brexit

            More remoaner bollocks.

            That's it. I have had enough of this expression, "remoaner".

            From what I have seen over the past year and a bit over no end of web sites it's always been the pro-leavers who have been the moaners.

            So, what is going on?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Brexit

              it's always been the pro-leavers who have been the moaners.

              Strange, they're the ones who got what they wanted, what have they to moan about?

              The term "remoaner" is used for the people who voted to stay, didn't get what they wanted, and throw their toys out of the pram every time the subject is mentioned.

              Fortunately there are plenty of pragmatic remainers who, despite their disappointment, are prepared to work to make the decision successful. A far more constructive attitude.

              1. strum Silver badge

                Re: Brexit

                >Strange, they're the ones who got what they wanted, what have they to moan about?

                They've been whining for forty years - why should they stop now?

                They're moaning about the EU not caving in to every half-baked suggestion from HMG, moaning about legal challenges to unlawful gummint actions, complaining about the divorce bill, mithering about the impracticality of replacing all the EU standards and regulations, disgusted that we'll have to renegotiate 700 trade deals - no longer handled by EU.

                Yeah. Whiners.

            2. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: Brexit

              @ BongoJoe

              "That's it. I have had enough of this expression, "remoaner"."

              I understand that. Its like being called brexiter, brexshitter, racist, xenophobe, idiot or if you want to go to the golden oldie eurosceptic! Although that last one fell out of favour when we were proved right having almost the same arguments as we are having now.

              "From what I have seen over the past year and a bit over no end of web sites it's always been the pro-leavers who have been the moaners."

              I can only assume you are doing extremely selective reading. Did you miss the protests, march, legal challenges and political party pledge to scrap democracy and dictate that the result should be declared illegitimate and undone without any further discussion? Or the constant insistence that good news be represented as bad and that any good news must be because we are in the EU but bad news because we are leaving.

              Did you miss all of that? Any of that? Fgs I have yet to see an EU topic discussed without this kind of rubbish. Remoaner seemed to appear in response to brexiter.

              1. Alic

                Re: Brexit

                The referendum result was not legally binding so it's neither legitimate or illegitimate, so there was nothing to undo. As Parliament stated it was a non- legally binding advisory vote or in other words a Government sponsored opinion poll. Even the Supreme Court held that position. I think it's reasonable to moan when the Government undemocratically attempts to misuse "the Royal Prerogative" and discount Parliamentary Sovereignty.

          5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Brexit

            Would it be too much to ask that you STFU with the whinging and actually try and make it work?

            How? If you have an answer please let the cabinet know because they don't seem to have one.

            Or would you really prefer to see it all end in disaster just so you can stand in the queue at the dole office telling everyone "Well, I told them so." ?

            No we wouldn't but have a nasty suspicion that that's what will happen anyway. And when it does you'll scarcely be able to find anyone who claims to have voted leave.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Brexit

              >>Would it be too much to ask that you STFU with the whinging and actually try and make it work?

              >How?

              If you approach a difficult challenge with the attitude of "I don't see why I should bother, it'll all end in disaster anyway, it's all your fault, you're stupid and you've ruined my life, you racist moron" then you really can't be surprised that:

              a) It will end in disaster, and

              b) The people who are actually trying to make it work get royally pissed off with you

              If you're not willing to work towards the solution, at least try not to be part of the problem. Please.

              1. strum Silver badge

                Re: Brexit

                >If you're not willing to work towards the solution, at least try not to be part of the problem. Please.

                You weren't, so why the fuck should we listen to you?

              2. Alic

                Re: Brexit

                Please provide the an outline for a workable solution to the NI/EU border question. A solution within the timeframe for Defra's problem multiplied across a government of 405,000 civil service employees whose IT systems now need to be completely revamped, rewritten, created, tested from scratch within 20 months, while dealing with a moving target and not even knowing the basis for the systems. This is a perfect storm of a disaster and any assistance to this unnecessarily self inflicted disaster is the equivalent of going below decks on the Titanic with a bucket and a sponge.

                a) It's not going to end in a disaster, it already is one. (just look up VC funding issues in the UK due to Brexit).

                b)I really don't care if those who are sponging water off the Titanic's decks "get pissed at me" just so long as they pay at least a minimum of twice my current rates (I like being paid significantly more than inept Theresa May) to waste my time on impossible and unrealistic projects, which have as much chance to succeed as did the Immigration IT initiatives that TM bolluxed and wasted almost £1 billion on.

                If your not willing to work towards the solution (reversing Brexit), at least try not to be part of the problem (acting for Brexit). Please

          6. paulf Silver badge
            Mushroom

            Re: Brexit

            @AC "There's no sign of EU citizens leaving, "

            I have two friends - both are from EU nations, both work well paid professional jobs (IT/technology) and pay lots of tax, both do charity/voluntary work in their local community, and both are leaving soon as a direct result of Brexit and the sudden rise of xenophobia they've experienced because they're Forrinurs.

            It may be only two data points but by itself it blows the absolute claim you make out of the water - and they're not the only ones.

          7. smartypants

            Re: Brexit

            'Would it be too much to ask that you STFU with the whinging and actually try and make it work?'

            Assuming you to be one of the minority of the 37% of the population which voted Leave for reasons *other* than xenophobia, muslims, 350m a week for the NHS lies etc...

            Why is it OUR job to work out how to make brexit work when you lot can't even agree on what it is? See the latest hilarious policy document about the NI border... Perhaps your side should have thought things through *before* a referendum so you wouldn't be asking your enemies how to make your stupid idea fly. Ffs.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Brexit

              Assuming you to be one of the minority of the 37%

              Proof that we're in a minority?

              Why is it OUR job to work out how to make brexit work

              I've never suggested that it is. It would just be good if you'd stop getting in the way of people who are trying to make it work. Some of us actually care about this being successful, even for the folks who didn't want it.

              As for not understanding what it is, it seems to have escaped your notice that it is a negotiation, and one of the key things about a negotiation is that you don't know the result until you've actually negotiated.

              1. Alic

                Re: Brexit

                Proof that that you're in the minority.

                Theresa May losing her majority and becoming a minority government, when she asked the electorate to increase her mandate to make Brexit easier and the electorate rejected that.

                What gives you the right to demand that i make Brexit work, when your poin sition has led to an abrogation of my rights without compensation or compassion. How do I trust you not to take away more of my rights, particularly as the current Government, with full knowledge, attempted to bypass democracy and Parliamentary Sovereignty and continues to force the issue (No Queen's speech in 2018 as there's no time for it but the PM can take an extra weeks holiday abroad?) with parliamentary tricks and bribes (£1.5 billion)

                1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                  Re: Brexit

                  Theresa May losing her majority and becoming a minority government, when she asked the electorate to increase her mandate to make Brexit

                  That's an interesting interpretation of the situation, but doesn't correspond with the facts.

                  May was stupid enough to believe polls which said she had a chance to get a large majority, which would have put her in a position of much greater power in general. She then announced (or rather her advisors told her to announce) that her new powerful government would introduce laws that directly hit the finances of the people who voted for her. Unsurprisingly, they gave her a kicking.

                  It had little to do with Brexit, which should be obvious since the party which gained from the election was Labour, also pro-Brexit. The LibDems, who are vehemently anti-Brexit made only small gains, and even lost the seat which their anti-Brexit campaigner had won from Zac Goldsmith at the previous election. May is an clueless autocratic menace who does far more harm than good to the tories. The missed a chance to kick her out after the election and I think they'll come to regret that. That was the election issue, not Brexit.

          8. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Brexit

            > "There's no sign of EU citizens leaving"

            False. Numerous NHS Trusts have reported losing EU members of staff as a result of the referendum result - some of them have even appeared in TV interviews. Several of my (EU national) colleagues have stated that they'll be returning to their "home countries" after 20+ years of UK-residency, as a direct result of the referendum. I know at least one University had a professorial applicant reject a job offer, citing "Brexit". The question is not "whether it is happening", but "is it happening in significant quantities".

            > "There's no 'residency clock'"

            I'm not sure what other countries are like, but Switzerland (non-EU but EEA) requires you to live in the *same settlement* for 12 years before you can get a passport. Move towns, reset the 12 year counter to day 0, and start again.

            1. H in The Hague Silver badge

              Re: Brexit

              "> "There's no 'residency clock'"

              I'm not sure what other countries are like, but ...."

              Similar deal in NL, if you want to get NL nationality without losing your UK nationality you have to be resident here for at least 15 years without interruption (this is a simplification of the actual requirements). Friend of mine just discovered that, Brit who retired here, she's been here for yonks but went back to the UK for a year or two: "Sorry, you don't meet the requirements" :(

              Have a good weekend.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Brexit

              I'm not sure what other countries are like, but Switzerland (non-EU but EEA)

              So, you're arguing about the EU situation using an example that you freely state isn't EU-related? What can I say!

        4. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

          Re: Brexit

          "British citizens working in the EU won't come back to the UK otherwise their residency clock in the EU country where they're currently resident will be reset and they probably don't want to lose that because that gives them a chance at getting citizenship,"

          That residency clock also applies to British citizens currently resident outside the EU. If things didn't work out in that non-EU country, the EU used to offer a solid alternative to returning to the UK.

          Perhaps the grand plan is to force UK expats "back home" to help out.

          I can't see that they'll be very motivated in their new jobs, particularly if forced into so-called "permanent employment" (which it won't be) or contracting (subject to IR35).

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: Brexit

            Perhaps the grand plan is to force UK expats "back home" to help out.

            You've noticed that Whitehall is fond of partitioning solutions too? (Balfour declaration, India.)

      2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: Brexit

        @Smooth Newt

        If they can find them e.g. try and hire 1,400 Java programmers overnight

        You misunderstand - it's 1399 policy consultants and 1 trainee Java programmer - who also has to fix all the old COBOL they've got knocking around on a mainframe somewhere.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    1400?

    I can't even imagine what 1,400 people will do – they're all policy people seemingly, not delivery

    If we're lucky they'll just spend the next ten years holding meetings with each other, and drawing their inflated salaries (bang goes another year's worth of big red buses)

    If we're unlucky, they'll try and do something 'useful', create another 14,000 jobs for their consultant mates, as well as drawing their salaries

    And don't forget it all has to be tested and operational by the time Big Ben strikes midnight on March 31st 2219 (allowing for a sensible transitional period)

    1. John Lilburne Silver badge

      Re: 1400?

      They will need to replicate the software systems that the EU had in place for agriculture delivery, We all know how great the government is on building IT systems

      CHAOS IS ASSURED.

      ALL HAIL DISCORDIA

      1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

        Re: 1400?

        > ALL HAIL DISCORDIA

        You, sir, are a pope!

      2. breakfast
        Joke

        Re: 1400?

        The good news is that we have slightly over 18 months to prepare and large public sector IT projects created here have a great record of arriving well ahead of deadline, working well and costing surprisingly little.

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: 1400?

        @ John Lilburne

        But this is DEFRA we're talking about so what you describe is simply Business As Usual.

    2. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: 1400?

      By the time Big Ben strikes midnight on March 31st 2219

      Perhaps it would make more sense to get 1400 physicists to work out how to project Big Ben into space at sufficient velocity to give us down here an extra couple of centuries to work it all out. They're already dismantling it: shame not to take advantage of the opportunity.

    3. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: 1400?

      " (bang goes another year's worth of big red buses) "

      And then some.

      Even if the claim about £350million/week was true, it'd still be cheaper than having to duplicate everything locally.

      1. Trigonoceps occipitalis

        Re: 1400?

        " ... it'd still be cheaper than having to duplicate everything locally."

        What on Earth makes you think that we want to duplicate everything associated with that benighted and undemocratic monument to self perpetuating inefficiency, graft and pork barrels that is the EU?

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: 1400?

          Because we've got our own system of inefficiency, graft and pork barrels to sustain. Don't you ever read the news?

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: 1400?

          "What on Earth makes you think that we want to duplicate everything associated with that benighted and undemocratic monument to self perpetuating inefficiency, graft and pork barrels that is the EU?"

          The answer should be starting to be clear in a couple of years' time.

  4. David Roberts Silver badge

    Just wondering

    What skill sets they will be looking for.

    Warm and breathing looks likely.

    Not that I want such a job but I wonder how many commentards would be qualified.

    Beyond warm and breathing, that is.

    1. Smooth Newt
      Happy

      Re: Just wondering

      Not that I want such a job but I wonder how many commentards would be qualified.

      Beyond warm and breathing, that is.

      Well, some of us know a little bit about agriculture, at least what chickens coming home to roost looks like.

      1. breakfast

        Re: Just wondering

        I only regret that I have but one like to give.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge
      Trollface

      I've already fried an egg. I'm sure that makes me amply qualified.

      1. John G Imrie Silver badge

        @Pascal Monett

        I can fry bacon. Would you like a joint bid?

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          I think we'll make a great team :)

  5. MJI Silver badge

    From what I have read and seen

    The people they need are not fans of the exit and would like it to fail.

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: From what I have read and seen

      I'm pretty sure that's May's endgame. How else can you explain that election?

      Sadly, instead of playing along, the opposition is actually trying to stop her.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lies, damned lies and ...

    It is almost starting to sound like that "350M/week" from Boris/Nige's bus will have to be spent on, oh I don't know duplicating the EU administration in the UK.

    Think we've not been given the full picture?

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Lies, damned lies and ...

      @AC

      The problem of bureaucracy, they never seem to find an end to their work yet they always find need for more resources. The public sector didnt shrink with our involvement in the EU it shot up under labour and the others havnt really shrunk it much. Considering we are leaving the EU and didnt need such a large public sector before it makes me wonder what all these people are doing if not making matters worse.

      Something which seems fairly certain with the various IT systems, dismantling of border security (which we need even if we are in the EU for the non-EU visitors) and of course the EU regs we would now be able to burn.

      I am still waiting to see the public sector shrink and take less resources. I expect it might take a while.

      1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: Lies, damned lies and ...

        @codejunky

        The problem of bureaucracy, they never seem to find an end to their work yet they always find need for more resources

        How true - like the tales of HR departments having to expand to handle a major forthcoming round of redundancies.

      2. Andytug

        Re: Lies, damned lies and ...

        Unless you can stop governments coming up with ideas and trying to do (or un-do) things, no, it won't shrink. Your choices are public sector or private sector fed by public money (and creaming a fat % off the top).

        1. Mike Pellatt

          Re: Lies, damned lies and ...

          Unless you can stop governments coming up with ideas and trying to do (or un-do) things, no, it won't shrink.

          Along with that, you need to stop the populace demanding that "they" (i.e. Government) fix "it" (whatver the "it" may be that in reality Government can, at best, fiddle at the edges with - lack of housing, too many jobs, too few jobs, too many immigrants, too few immigrants, the weather, the trains (they sure broke them..), road congestion, etc., etc.)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lies, damned lies and ...

      duplicating the EU administration in the UK.

      The administration is already duplicated, the EU hands down rules & each country has to implement and administer them. Having those rules come from Westminster instead of Brussels/Strasbourg won't change that.

      What these 1400 chairwarmers are being hired for is to figure out how to make that move, and setup the necessary new UK rules. Of course, after that's done they will no doubt have made some cosy niche for themselves so they can't be fired. Maybe the next *exit contender will want some second-hand advisors?

      1. veti Silver badge

        Re: Lies, damned lies and ...

        Well, of course. If you were hired for a fixed-term contract with an employer with an AAA credit rating, wouldn't you try to carve out a permanent niche for yourself?

        Some of them may not. The best and the worst, probably not. But the solidly-average employees - once they're in, they're in to stay.

        Everyone who's ever devoted more than ten minutes' thought to the question always knew that Brexit would be horrendously inefficient. If only the Remain campaign had thought to mention that fact... but come to think of it, it probably wouldn't have made that much difference. The Brexit referendum was essentially a rerun of the Scottish independence referendum a year earlier - the issues were much the same and so were most of the arguments, except that the Scots actually did mention this issue, and it was still a damned close-run thing.

        As I wrote at the time: "There's only so long you can go on treating voters as idiots. Even if they demonstrably are idiots."

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not limited to DEFRA

    Many departments are hiring and re-assigning bodies to Bexit related activity. I am not sure there will be anyone actually running the government for the foreseeable future.

    The rest of the departments have just not finalised their positions for publishing.

    Can you imagine a corporate doubling it's size with consultants with no background in its operations with any hope of decision making towards a common goal?

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Not limited to DEFRA

      Can you imagine a corporate doubling it's size with consultants with no background in its operations

      Sadly, yes....but they do tend to be consultancy firms.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not limited to DEFRA

      I am not sure there will be anyone actually running the government for the foreseeable future

      Is anyone running it now?

  8. Snorlax
    Windows

    Just Wondering

    Does the chicken and the basket of eggs in the accompanying photo hint at what we're going to be using as currency post-Brexit?

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Just Wondering

      In your dreams - leaves and mud more likely.

      1. Snorlax
        Joke

        Re: Just Wondering

        No, we'll be building our houses from leaves and mud.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just Wondering

      basket of eggs

      I assumed it was meant to represent the Fipronil-contaminated eggs that the Belgians have been shipping all over Europe thanks to the wonders of the EU and CAP?

  9. Foxlv

    brexit cost

    Hi,

    Being from a small country in northern Europe that joined EU and Nato in 2004 (and I still believe it was a right thing to do) I'm wandering about few things when it comes to brexit;

    1. Will UK actually save any money from exiting considering all the cost that will be needed to employ thousands of people in the UK's public sector to do the same what they are getting via EU today. Of course, depending on actual brexit agreement, there might be billions from not contributing to EU budget, but will it be really on a plus side

    2. Does government and general public has a complete understanding how to practically make this separation happen and what will it mean for UK. Reading the news from UK it doesn't seem that there is a clarity.

    3. I understand that biggest benefits are seen in restricting immigration, but will it really be beneficial to UK?

    Coming from eastern europe country myself (I'm now living in Germany, working in IT and earning above average salary), I think UK, and western Europe in general, has too generous benefits for people who are not working (I'm not talking about people who cannot work due to disabilities or other serious medical reasons).

    I would suggest to make much harder to such benefits, provide them for shorter time and immigration problem will resolve itself. You will get only people who really "want" to work. And such people, in my own experience, are much keener to integrate in local society and contribute to the place they call home at that moment.

    Just a few non-IT related thoughts. :)

    1. Valerion

      Re: brexit cost

      1. No

      2. No

      3. No

      Any other questions? The answer will still probably be "No".

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: brexit cost

      1. Will UK actually save any money from exiting

      Doesn't need to save anything, just needs to break even. The UK is a net contributor to the EU, to the sum of around £8.5bn per year (£160m per week, not the silly £350m gross figure that's sometime bandied about) so there is budget to cover extra costs.

      2. Does government and general public has a complete understanding how to practically make this separation happen

      Nope. Never been done before, no-one knows how it will come out. That's why there are two years of negotiations before the full details will be agreed.

      3. I understand that biggest benefits are seen in restricting immigration

      That is incorrect. Some politicians have been using that as an excuse, and some of the pro-remain campaign use it to claim that all leavers are racists, but it's not the major issue. It will have some impact: reduction in "benefit tourism", and the UK won't be subject to EU quotas for non-EU immigration, but the UK is already one of the most welcoming EU countries for immigrants (just behind Germany) by choice. That is unlikely to change significantly.

      I think UK, and western Europe in general, has too generous benefits for people who are not working ... I would suggest to make much harder to such benefits, provide them for shorter time and immigration problem will resolve itself.

      This control of "benefit tourism" is exactly what the UK government has been pressing for for many years, but the EU consistently refuses to accept it. It was a key part of Cameron's "renegotiation" platform, and the fact that the EU rejected it was one of the many reasons that people voted to leave.

      The main reasons for leaving are economic. When the EEC was an economic group of co-operating neighbours it worked pretty well. When the politicians started to turn it into a trans-european empire it all started to go downhill. Economic stagnation, austerity as a failed cure, rising populism, refusal of the 'elite' leaders to listen, all signs of a group that is about to implode.

      It's not surprising, every time someone has tried to unite Europe under one leader, from Cæsar to Napoleon, and on to more recent events, it's always failed and often violently. Never seems to stop them trying.

      Being outside it will give the UK the opportunity to deal with other world countries on a level footing, not limited by EU policies and dogma. It won't be easy, but it will be better than going down with the sinking ship. It is a pity that it became necessary, though.

      1. H in The Hague Silver badge

        Re: brexit cost

        "This control of "benefit tourism" is exactly what the UK government has been pressing for for many years, but the EU consistently refuses to accept it."

        I'm not an expert, but I rather thought that you can deport EU citizens if they haven't found a job and are unlikely to find one. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36449974

        Similarly, when Germany wanted to deport an EU citizen (Romanian) who was only interested in claiming benefits rather than working, she appealed the case all the way to the EU Court of Justice which agreed with the German authorities. So I don't think this point is valid. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A62013CJ0333

        Furthermore, as far as I am aware, migrants are less likely to be claiming benefits than UK citizens. According to http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-7445/CBP-7445.pdf just over 2% of benefits claimants are citizens of other EU countries. If we assume that EU citizens make up about 5% of the total UK population this means that they're half as likely to claim benefits as UK nationals.

        Please do check the numbers and let me know if I've overlooked something.

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: brexit cost

          Please do check the numbers and let me know if I've overlooked something.

          The numbers seem correct, although the rules apply very specifically to (as the court judgement says) unemployment and maternity benefits and exclude social and medical assistance. The fact that this had to go all the way to the ECJ for a somewhat unusual case shows that individual countries have little control over it.

          If we assume that EU citizens make up about 5% of the total UK population this means that they're half as likely to claim benefits as UK nationals.

          Yes, that is unsurprising, and shows again that EU immigration isn't a major factor in Brexit, because most EU immigrants do come to work and contribute. It's only one, relatively small, issue.

          1. H in The Hague Silver badge

            Re: brexit cost

            "The numbers seem correct, although the rules apply very specifically to (as the court judgement says) unemployment and maternity benefits and exclude social and medical assistance."

            My interpretation is quite different: as far as I understand the ruling applies to non-contributory benefits, i.e. general social assistance, the safety net. So you may not be able to claim such benefits as a non-national. But please note I'm not a lawyer and I haven't read the judgment in full.

            (As far as I'm aware in most EU countries unemployment benefit and medical assistance are fully or partly insurance based, i.e. you can only claim on them if you've paid into the system. And if the obligation to pay is independent of nationality then obviously eligibility to claim should also be. But that's another matter.)

            " The fact that this had to go all the way to the ECJ for a somewhat unusual case shows that individual countries have little control over it."

            Disagree entirely. Looks like the German courts agreed with the German authorities. So the country concerned did have control over it. And was backed up by the ECJ.

            "Yes, that is unsurprising, and shows again that EU immigration isn't a major factor in Brexit, because most EU immigrants do come to work and contribute. It's only one, relatively small, issue."

            I think it shows that immigration shouldn't have been a major factor but that's not how it panned out. I'm not sure where you were during the referendum period or what people you met but I was under the strong impression that immigration was a key issue, I've heard people say "..... because there are too many Muslims." or ".... because there are too many Muslims and Russians in Battersea Park." I did point out to them, politely, that on the whole Muslims and Russian immigrants don't come from the EU. It seems geography teaching in schools isn't what it used to be.

            1. Snorlax
              Thumb Up

              Re: brexit cost

              @H in the Hague:"I did point out to them, politely, that on the whole Muslims and Russian immigrants don't come from the EU. It seems geography teaching in schools isn't what it used to be."

              Ha ha. True, so true.

          2. Alic

            Re: brexit cost

            Sorry but the fact that the case had to go all the way to the ECJ doesn't in any way show that countries have little control over immigration and benefits. What it does show is that an individual rights are taken seriously in the EU

      2. inmypjs Silver badge

        Re: brexit cost

        "3. I understand that biggest benefits are seen in restricting immigration

        That is incorrect."

        For skilled workers having their wages depressed and unskilled workers being put on the dole by economic migrants from eastern Europe it quite possibly is. Of course the rich who see economic migrants as cheap servants and cheap labour for their businesses see it differently.

        1. strum Silver badge

          Re: brexit cost

          >For skilled workers having their wages depressed and unskilled workers being put on the dole by economic migrants from eastern Europe it quite possibly is.

          Except that there is no evidence that this is actually so. EU migrants are economic contributors; they create wealth (along with everyone else). That wealth creates jobs (and supports salaries).

          (It's interesting that your message shows up just below one which claimed that immigration had nothing to do with Brexit.)

      3. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: brexit cost

        This control of "benefit tourism" is exactly what the UK government has been pressing for for many years, but the EU consistently refuses to accept it. It was a key part of Cameron's "renegotiation" platform, and the fact that the EU rejected it was one of the many reasons that people voted to leave.

        The big two complaints before the referendum were child benefit and winter fuel allowance, yet the UK doesn't tie them to claimants' residency status. This is a UK problem with UK law, not EU law.

        I can't imagine what their reply was other than a) "What do you want us to do about it" and b) "We don't care if you change things or not, but whatever you do treat EU claimants in the same way as British claimants".

      4. Trigonoceps occipitalis

        Re: brexit cost

        "... and on to more recent events ... "

        Close, but no Godwin.

      5. Alic

        Re: brexit cost

        1 Doesn't need to save anything just needs to break even.....

        The UK cannot break even after leaving. There are 34 agencies that the UK will need to replicate or have other agencies take over the tasks. There's numerous issues from customs to pharmaceutical testing to maintaining alignment with EU regulations (and providing proof for exporters) so the UK can export to the EU (and now Japan, which has taken on EU regulations and standards, as have many other parts ot the world). There are 57 FTA's to be renegotiated all with possible penalties that the UK may have to pay. There's new infrastructure which will have to be built to accommodate being out of the EU.

        2. That's why there are two years of negotiations before the full details will be agreed....

        The first phase of negotiations has made almost no progress and it's 4 1/2 months into the negotiations. Now it looks as though the architecture for a trade agreement won't even be on the agenda until December.

        Two years to untangle 40 years of integration, good luck. Lord Kerr the author of Article 50 has stated he made it an impossible thing to accomplish on purpose...

        3. It will have some impact: reduction in "benefit tourism", and the UK won't be subject to EU quotas for non-EU immigration,..

        Study after study shows that there is "no benefit tourism". The EU has no say and no quotas for non-EU immigration to the UK and never has. As to immigration and NHS failing to collect for use by EU immigrants (benefit tourism) blame that on Theresa May's failed Home Office IT projects (at a waste of almost £1 billion) to track immigration and use of Government services by immigrant. which has meant the UK can't apply EU law on freedom of movement or bill for NHS usage. What your complaining about is an "own goal". Nothing to do with the EU.

        Yes the EU's about to implode which is why it's growing twice as fast as the UK. Austerity has nothing to do with the EU, it's based on each EU countries government's actions, as it is in the UK.

        What you reference (Caesar to Napoleon...) is rubbish. Rome controlled most of Europe for almost 500 years and only failed due to outside invasions. What is different and why your point's misdirection is that the EU has not been created by military action but by EU nations voluntarily joining together. In fact it's so successful at it's primary purpose that it won the 2012 Nobel Peaxe Prize and Europa has had the longest period in it's history without a major war.

        Yes 65 million negotiating with 350 million or 1.38 billion or 1.32 billion or 550 million or 300 million. I can see that level footing. EU standards and policies are now adopted and used around the world, So much to not being limited. Yes a sinking ship that's the largest market in the world.

    3. Snorlax

      Re: brexit cost

      @foxlv:"I think UK, and western Europe in general, has too generous benefits for people who are not working"

      The cost of living in Western Europe is way higher than in Latvia?

      Former communist states have different ideas about welfare... For example Poland only introduced child benefit in 2016. It might be your opinion that benefits are generous, but anybody surviving on them may not agree.

    4. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: brexit cost

      @ Foxlv

      1. This comes from 2 sides. Yes the UK will save money as we are without any doubt a net contributor to the EU but we will also be free of the restrictions of the EU which cost us. The real question is if the gov will take the saving and the opportunity of freedom to make good decisions for the country or if they will continue with what we did while in the EU/worse.

      2. Unfortunately we are in a state of unbelievable FUD. There seems to be a determination that the UK must fail/crash/burn if it does not bend to certain wills. For nationalists that is to isolate us from the world but for some die hard EU supporters they also want the same destructive goals if we leave the EU. It is scary hearing people insist that good is bad and that success is failure.

      3. Kinda. The major problem of immigration was mostly down to the idiocy of implementation. The labour gov dismantled border controls in or out of the EU so we dont actually know who is or is not here nor if it is legally. We have ghetto's and parts of the country which are certainly not Britain anymore. This is mostly from outside the EU immigration but it causes problems for whites and non-whites all the same. However mass immigration from the EU produced growth in the country which labour squandered and didnt put the infrastructure in place to cope with it. Add the PC problem and it is pretty alienating in our own country.

      There are benefits to immigration and the best and brightest should be welcomed. Exchange of skills and cooperation is also a great benefit often overlooked. But the EU is learning the hard way with mass uncontrolled immigration. Add that the UK has for a long time been attacked by our 'ally' France thanks to the illegal migration from Calais. And sensible discussion is often attacked by our PC enthusiasts. The extent of the damage is visible from the recent scandals where police and officials allow serious crime in fear of upsetting migrants.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: brexit cost

        Interesting comment about areas of the country being not 'Britain' what exactly do you mean by that?

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: brexit cost

          @AC

          "Interesting comment about areas of the country being not 'Britain' what exactly do you mean by that?"

          The only personally witnessed example I can give is of the area I lived. We had Indian neighbours who were awesome, lovely, polite, could get on with anyone. Yet if they were to walk around certain areas the woman (not young girl but a full grown woman) would have to wear the full dressup to appease the muslims of the area. She would be treated as a second class citizen to her husband and yet none of them particularly practice any faith (I think they had some observance but mostly kept it to themselves). Unfortunately it was the norm for the area that if you are of a certain skin colour you must conform to certain expectations by the majority non-whites.

          I am not sure it could be called racism as they were of the same race but certainly cultural sexism which was socially enforced.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: brexit cost

        The real question is if the gov will take the saving and the opportunity of freedom to make good decisions for the country or if they will continue with what we did while in the EU/worse.

        The "No true Scotsman" excuse being warmed up already.

        for some die hard EU supporters they also want the same destructive goals if we leave the EU

        No we don't want this. We do, however, see it as the inevitable consequence of doing this damn stupid thing in the damn stupid way we voted against.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: brexit cost

          @ Doctor Syntax

          "The "No true Scotsman" excuse being warmed up already."

          Your going to have to explain that one to me sorry.

          "No we don't want this. We do, however, see it as the inevitable consequence of doing this damn stupid thing in the damn stupid way we voted against."

          I can understand that feeling. For 20 years there has been a ban on democracy concerning the EU and membership. Blair was extremely happy to sell the country to the EU in the hope of becoming an EU president. Left to him we would be in the Euro so instead of the UK and US being years ahead in recovery of the great recession we would have been in the Eurozone which is currently years behind and still in serious danger. Yet no matter how many self inflicted crisis the EU is in people damn stupidly think its some utopia dream world.

          Hell even the various news articles begging for remain to win were in the format of 'the EU is broken but we must remain to reform it', 'yes the EU will fail without reform, lets stay!' and other moronic rubbish. Even the claims of doom were for things the gov and BoE have been trying to do since the recession.

          Trust me I understand that feeling very well.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: brexit cost

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

            In this case when everything falls apart it will be blamed on the negotiating team not being true believers as real Leavers would have done a better job.

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: brexit cost

              @ Doctor Syntax

              "In this case when everything falls apart it will be blamed on the negotiating team not being true believers as real Leavers would have done a better job."

              Ah I see. Well yes I will be very pissed off if the negotiating team dont achieve the very simple goal in these negotiations. All they have to do is get us out of the EU. A failure would be not to. And I absolutely will blame them if they dont. You cant possibly think that is wrong can you?

    5. MJI Silver badge

      Re: brexit cost

      1 no 2 no 3 no

    6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: brexit cost

      "Does government and general public has a complete understanding how to practically make this separation happen and what will it mean for UK."

      Not in the least. That's why so many of them voted for it, including in areas where major employers were EU bases for non-EU corporations.

  10. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    One saving

    That expensive delayed computer system that hands out all those subsidies that farmers complain about.

    Just a simple letter saying - welcome to the 21st century, you now get the same subsidy the last tory lady leader gave the coal mines

  11. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    "has previously called for policy and legislation to lead technology and not vice versa."

    OMFG.

    That would be step change in how the HMG actually seems to do business, where a new IT system will (automagically) bring about improvements in costs and service delivery.

    But IRL

    <gollum>

    We wants it. We needs it.

    We must have hard Brexit.

    </gollum>

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wonking

    What's the going rate for professional wonking nowadays?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wonking

      What's the going rate for professional wonking nowadays?

      Same as always, either a P.45 or an OBE, depending on whether you wonked the right way or not.

  13. Big_Boomer

    Light begins to dawn?

    So, are the Brexiteers finally starting to understand that all that money that we sent to the EU wasn't just spent on jollies and pissups? Yes, the EU actually employed people to do stuff on your behalf and now that we are pulling out of the EU we are going to have to hire people to do it for us,.... in 2 years,..... with no extra money. It's gonna cost a damned sight more than what we paid to the EU (ever hear of economies of scale) which means we will be even more in debt or more likely will have to pay more tax,.... just so some ****hole politicians can get back some power. As every day goes by I believe more and more that Brexit is a huge mistake and is going to make us all poorer and more isolated. I'm no fan of Federal Europe but we are throwing away the baby with the bath water here.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Light begins to dawn?

      @ Big_Boomer

      "So, are the Brexiteers finally starting to understand that all that money that we sent to the EU wasn't just spent on jollies and pissups?"

      I already knew. It is for whatever the EU decides to spend it on. We are after all a net contributor.

      "we are pulling out of the EU we are going to have to hire people to do it for us,.... in 2 years,..... with no extra money"

      Actually that statement cannot reconcile with the fact that we are a net contributor. Nor do we need the EU end of our politics.

      "As every day goes by I believe more and more that Brexit is a huge mistake"

      Unfortunately some people will cling to this mindset regardless of all that has and is happening. It isnt a surprise with all the FUD still being spouted about leaving. probably doesnt help having the pro-EU anti-EU party dealing with the issue instead of the actual brexit party.

      "is going to make us all poorer and more isolated"

      This can only happen if things continue as they are. By that I mean staunch remainers insisting the country must be destroyed if we cant be in the EU and so siding with nationalists and racists. If the outward looking EU supporters would pull together with the outward looking leavers we wont have the problem you describe.

      "I'm no fan of Federal Europe but we are throwing away the baby with the bath water here"

      If you disagree with a Federal EU (not Europe, Europe is bigger than the EU. The EU is in Europe) you cant support the EU. The EU has 2 choices- federal, dissolved. The EU cannot survive in its current form as proven by the countries sacrificed to keep things plodding as they are. It is unsustainable and they know it. So they must reform and yet are struggling to pull together to save themselves. There is legitimate fear they could drag us down with them. The US and UK have been making a good recovery from the last recession but the Eurozone is still years behind in their recovery.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Light begins to dawn?

        "As every day goes by I believe more and more that Brexit is a huge mistake"

        Unfortunately some people will cling to this mindset regardless of all that has and is happening.

        What's all this stuff that's happened and is happening that's supposed to show us that it isn't a huge mistake? I know there are occasional quotes that the negotiations are all going well but given that it's politicians saying that it gets discounted by almost 100% without any solid evidence to show for it.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Light begins to dawn?

          @ Doctor Syntax

          "I know there are occasional quotes that the negotiations are all going well"

          I wanted to start with agreement. I have no idea if the negotiations are going well, nor do I trust those politicians. As for the negotiations I just seriously hope they dont make a mess of it but I think we have different ideas of what that would mean.

          "What's all this stuff that's happened and is happening that's supposed to show us that it isn't a huge mistake?"

          The currency fell causing an immediate stimulus. I dont actually credit brexit with that only the timing. It was already known that our currency was overvalued and needed to fall, brexit just forced an honest look to be taken sooner.

          Carney and Osborne seem to have been kinda right in parts of their analysis that (the above) would cause inflation and by extension reduce house prices. And as Mervyn King pointed out, this has been the stated and explicit aim of the BoE and the government since the recession. The claims that it is a bad thing is to argue against all of the attempts to return the economy back to the accepted norm.

          I do get amused at hearing about food costs going up. First there is a supermarket war on so no. Some products may be more expensive but in general just no it isnt so bad. However this is the point where people should legitimately be shrieking 'but we are still in the EU!'. This is because we are in the EU. The EU holds control over trade and dictates our tariffs to protect its cartel. The removal or even significant reduction of such allows the poor countries in the world that the EU protects itself against to actually bring the costs below current prices even with the fall in currency!

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Light begins to dawn?

        The country that has made the best recovery from the last recession, in fact barely noticed it, is communist China.

        All hail chairman May ?

      3. Alt C

        Re: Light begins to dawn?

        @codejunky

        This can only happen if things continue as they are. By that I mean staunch remainers insisting the country must be destroyed if we cant be in the EU and so siding with nationalists and racists. If the outward looking EU supporters would pull together with the outward looking leavers we wont have the problem you describe.

        As the then leader of the brexit party said - a 52% 48% split in favour of staying in the EU would mean it was 'unfinished business' for him - are the people who voted to remain not allowed the same feelings?

        Apparently not because you and your like tell us to shut up - well here's the thing, you spent your time pissing on the fire from the outside moaning about how awful the EU is - well i'm taking a leaf from your book and doing the same about brexit.

        Life's hard live with it.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Light begins to dawn?

          @ Alt C

          "are the people who voted to remain not allowed the same feelings?"

          Feel free to read my response to Dr Syntax. Yes you are. They are the feelings we have had for 20 years of political abuse.

          "Apparently not because you and your like tell us to shut up"

          So not me others like me? But not me. Because I didnt say that? Instead I generally comment that we ignore those who wish to be racist/nationalist along with those who wish we are in the EU or the UK must burn. And instead that outward looking remain and leave voters should work together to support an outward looking UK. Which would be the opposite of shut up. It would be lets pull together.

          "well i'm taking a leaf from your book and doing the same about brexit."

          We will see. Will you do what you say others like me say or will you do as I do?

      4. strum Silver badge

        Re: Light begins to dawn?

        > It is for whatever the EU decides to spend it on.

        The EU includes us (so far). Stop pretending it's something other than us.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Light begins to dawn?

          @ strum

          "The EU includes us (so far). Stop pretending it's something other than us."

          Net contributor. Aka we give them money, they give some of it back. If you like you can give me money which I will spend how I like and that will include giving you some of it back.

  14. Chris G Silver badge

    Curious

    As to what policy these wonks are supposed to come up with. How to copy the standard EU farming regs into only English or are they going to reform British Agriculture to reflect that it is really British now?

    Or are they going to think.of the farmers and how they could be allowed to be more productive with a little less paperwork?

    I read some years ago, that under the CAP the average British farmer spent as much as 60% of his week doing paperwork.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Curious

      Abolish Defra.

      Without complicated Eu rules, quotas and subsidies to administer the farmers are now free to negotiate their own trade with whoever they want - no need for remote bureaucrats in distant Brussels London telling them what to do

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        "Abolish Defra."

        No f**king chance.

        Keep in mind there is no "Dept of Vehicle mfg", "Dept of Aircraft mfg" or "Dept of IT Development" but there sure as hell is a Dept of Agriculture.

        The UK has probably the lowest proportion of its population working on the land in Europe. Most countries in Europe tend to have "part time farmers" with a few cows, chickens, etc and an actual day job as well.

        The UK has industrial size farms. The hardware on the farm of a Barley Barron could be a couple of £million

    2. strum Silver badge

      Re: Curious

      >As to what policy these wonks are supposed to come up with. How to copy the standard EU farming regs into only English or are they going to reform British Agriculture to reflect that it is really British now?

      There does seem to be a delusion that British agricultural bureaucracy began with the CAP. Did it bollocks.

      The old Min of Ag regularly issued instructions to the nation's farmers - to spray their crops on a given day, for instance.

      The Archers was created to soften the Min of Ag's image, and to nudge farmers to do the right thing.

  15. FlamingDeath Bronze badge

    Article 50

    An observation of mine is that before the referendum, I never heard the words "article 50" uttered once on the news, NOT ONCE. Yet the day after the referendum and the result was in, I never stopped hearing the term article 50

    Did anyone else notice this with the media?

    I think if I had known article 50 was a thing, I would have looked it up, perhaps been better informed about the vote, because if I am perfectly honest I did not feel informed and I looked and researched about it. I obviously didn't look hard enough though.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Article 50

      Did anyone else notice this with the media?

      No, it was very visible in the media I read. Right from the moment the referendum was announced there was discussion about whether leaving the EU was even possible, because until the Lisbon treaty of 2007 there ws no formal mechanism. Article 50 was often mentioned as the clause that made the referendum possible.

      Just two examples:

      https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/feb/28/if-britain-voted-to-leave-the-eu-what-would-happen-next

      http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-35233683

    2. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Article 50

      @ FlamingDeath

      There was a lot before the referendum about invoking article 50 but afterwards it was exposed to have been written without the intention of ever being used and the writer wanted to scrap it. Basically it was written to give the appearance of choice and democracy but it doesnt seem (to me) that it was written with sincerity or honesty based on the comments about the article after the vote.

      Based on the threats against leaving it seems the cartel had a mafia/gang mentality that you join but never leave. Even the threats used against the UK if we dare vote leave seemed that way to me.

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