When the wind blows…
It's almost as if nobody warned us that this might happen.
Still, I'm sure that diplomatic immunity will mean that there is still plenty of champagne over at Gournay Court for when the big day comes.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs isn't ready for a no-deal Brexit, and hasn't ensured new IT systems will be capable of dealing with future demand, the UK's spending watchdog has warned. In a report on Defra's progress in implementing Brexit, published today, the National Audit Office said the department …
Post Brexit there won't be any Eu agricultural subsidies to distribute so farmers will be freed of all that red tape.
There won't be any spare food to export, because we only grow 50% of the food needed and we certainly aren't going to be importing any of that filthy foreign muck once we take back control.
Apart from organising the rounding up of the unemployed to work on the land I can't see the need for any government involvement.
This encapsulates one of the biggest lies about Brexit: the "red tape" argument. The basis for the lie is that DEFRA (and its predecessors) have always been the ones that "managed" the programs, so that while general policy and funding stream definition (and funding) originated in Brussels, it went to DEFRA for implementation. And DEFRA drafted the forms and the instructions and put together the not-very-helpful help lines and so on.
There is, of course, the argument that it will all be so much simpler with it all under one roof. I'm sure no readers here have any anecdotes that might contradict that...
Have you considered how farming works in the EU? Do you understand the money that comes back to farmers in subsidies to ensure we all have food? (right or wrong I'm not debating subsidies here but take them away and there is no incentive to farm especially when all other EU farmers are being subsidised, then where do we get our home grown food from?)
It's all well and good going for a "Hard Brexit" but at least understand some of the issues that need to be resolved before anyone can think of doing that. I'll be stocking up on some stuff before it happens, better to be safe than sorry.
One could argue that, due to its sheer size, food security is less of an issue and the EU could do with less agricultural subsidies (not sure I'd agree but someone could make that argument). That is for the whole 28 countries, half a billion people strong EU.
If anything, the UK urgently needs more agricultural subsidies for at least a couple of years. 40% of all our food is imported and the UK is looking at going from trade agreements with over 60 countries to zero. Both food imports and exports are going to be seriously affected for a couple of years so subsidising farmers to make the UK more self sufficient could be of strategic importance.
That means that it helps to know who produces what (and who is fiddling what to claim subsidies they should not receive). That means we'll need a system to keep track of how many hectolitres of milk the cows of farmer X produce and how many kilos of sheep meat farmer Y produces on an annual basis.
Isn't that going to make trade negotiations a touch tricky?
We want to negotiate a trade deal with Johnny foreigner but want to stop them dumping the cheap products of their state sponsored industry destroying UK jobs.
While at the same time we will be trying to export cheap subsidised food to them ?
Politics has been termed the art of the possible. As the current omnishambles approaches the impossible, then there is some hope that some kind of face-saving climbdown can be arranged with the rest of the EU which parliament would have to approve. Cue apopleptic spittle from the ginger corner and relief from rest of the country.
Cue apopleptic spittle from the ginger corner and relief from rest of the country.
Alternatively, there is a very hard Brexit, and you'll find yourself in a cattle truck taking you from Germany back to a suitable Channel port for forcible repatriation.
Of course AFD might suggest more create ways of managing undesirables, but I'm probably invoking Godwin here.
Alternatively, there is a very hard Brexit, and you'll find yourself in a cattle truck taking you from Germany back to a suitable Channel port for forcible repatriation.
Tempting as that is, I already had permanent residence rights before I got dual nationality. And, as we all know, revoking residence rights can only be done to darkies.
The rise of the AfD makes me sad to have seen it coming.
As the current omnishambles approaches the impossible, then there is some hope that some kind of face-saving climbdown can be arranged
You have no idea how carefully planned the omnishambles has been.
The sole purpose was to demonstrate how Britain could not function without the EU.
Why else was a total failure in every job she has been in in government manoeuvred into power, told to hold an election which she nearly lost due to listening to cynical policy advice while the media bigged up Jeremy Corbyn?,..
The level of interference by the EU and by foreign powers in the affairs of this country, the total abandonment of truth common sense and probity shows that the EU and its supporters would rather destroy the united kingdom than let it leave.
THE EU has declared war on the UK, for daring to ask for more...And people had better work out which side they are on before its too late.
We are witnessing the ugly side of realpolitik, The ugly side of the EU and the ugly side of the Deep State as well.
Grow up. The EuroKinderGarten walls have been breached, and the reality of what its made of is becoming apparent.
>THE EU has declared war on the UK, for daring to ask for more...And people had better work out which >side they are on before its too late.
More? We already had significant concessions and opt-outs
>We are witnessing the ugly side of realpolitik, The ugly side of the EU and the ugly side of the Deep State >as well.
Your tinfoil hat has slipped.
I do see one advantage, from the politician's point of view. Given the general chaos of IT spending in the UK goverment, you will spend the next few decades hearing completely contradictory stories about how much Brexit actually cost, ensuring a fine revenue stream for the various rags that pretend to report on it.
El Reg excepted, of course.
I see another advantage, from the (Westminster) politician's point of view. They can more easily change policy to suit their political ends, which means more work for those maintaining the Defra (and other government IT systems). Unfortunately, it also will result in a rather big downside, Westminster politicians talking the talk but totally failing to deliver any real policy decision or provide sufficient funding for the policy to be effectively delivered and that is before we get on to the policy changes as ministers change jobs...
We are seeing this now with Rees-Mogg, he wants everyone to believe that those paid to worry about the UKs future are totally incompetent, whilst his band of Conservative party nutters aren't, yet have yet to deliver anything meaningful that survives the first skim reading...
That explanatory box on the side of the article is a good starting point. REACH, TRACES and EHCs are fairly important for UK farmers.
A lot of the fertiliser used in this country is produced elsewhere in Europe. Without it crop yields will be lower. There have been various schemes in Europe to reduce surpluses, food "mountains", and we could increase cropped area, but we'd need to import more fertiliser. There were attempts to use sewage as fertiliser, with a process akin to composting, but the supermarkets refused to accept the food, and the British sewage systems, after around 150 years, have a problem with heavy-metal contamination.
Farming also needs pesticides to control such things as crop diseases and insect pests, and that has a Europe-spanning manufacturing system, with a system for managing safe production and use. Some of the "traditional" alternatives, beloved of the 'organic' movement, are really nasty chemicals to handle and use. Some of the older insecticides have the same poisoning symptoms as nerve gases. Where is the necessary protective clothing made?
And 10% increase in cropping implies 10% more work to be done, Cultivation, crop management with fertilisers and pesticides, harvesting, storage, and done by machines operated by skilled labour. Where are those machines? Where are those people. Run a combine harvester 10% more hours in the year, but it will need 10% more maintenance and repair work, 10% more spare parts, and many of those spare parts are imported.
I've had to drive 250 miles in a day to get the specific bearing needed to fix a tractor. And I was lucky a new batch had just arrived in the country.
We're damn good farmers in Britain and Europe. Some of the best in the world for crop yields. And this government is setting out to wreck the whole system that allows us to feed you. I've had idiots telling me "we can't grow that in England" for as long as I can remember, while I've been growing it.
I doubt I shall starve, these idiots are going to cut of the supplies of medication I need. The last time we were this desperate was the winter of 1946-47, and this time we can't blame snow.
Anyone want to put in bids for my potato ration?
>I've had to drive 250 miles in a day to get the specific bearing needed to fix a tractor. And I was lucky a new batch had just arrived in the country.
Bet you are glad you're not using a John Deere...
>I doubt I shall starve, these idiots are going to cut of the supplies of medication I need. The last time we were this desperate was the winter of 1946-47, and this time we can't blame snow.
Before my time, but the winter of 1962 was particularly bad.
Well DEFRA is full of all the ex-DECC 'climate change' woofters so of course its incapable of actually doing anything beyond holding its hands up in horror and virtue signalling.
What should be done is to simply fire the whole department, appoint a new head who has some intelligence and common sense, and start again.
Other departments - e.g. the agency responsible for nuclear regulation - are well on the way to a situation that can cope with any Brexit deal.
The fact that DEFRA is not, shows how deeply incompetent a ministry it actually is.
But then we knew that already, since the Somerset levels got flooded due to 'eco-managing' them instead of dredging.
It is of course amusing to see the remoaner argument changing from 'Britain has almost total autonomy in the EU, to say that all the rules and regulations were made in Brussels is nonsense' to 'So many rules and regulations are managed by Brussels that we couldn’t possibly go it alone' . A real poopcorn moment.
Doublethink in these ones strong is.
Too many bureaucrats who only wanted a "high level" view of what was needed and too few willing to get down "into the weeds" of what it would take. Typical private sector conference table with 26 execs and managers, and good old Carl, who will do all the actual work -- including generating custom dumbed-doqn reports for his superiors -- standing at the back wall. Which really explains why "running government like a business" was such a good idea.
Think of the advantages.
All the cultural Marxists - Gone.
All the traffic on the M25 - Gone.
Loads of housing available,
All the unproductive public sector workers - Gone.
All the people who hate their country - Gone
All the people who don't want to work for a living - Gone.
And the BBC essentially staffless. God how wonderful. No more frottage in celebrities coming, dancing!
This is... a not entirely unforeseeable aspect of the tragedy of Brexit.
DEFRA, like for that matter every other gov't department both in the UK and in Europe, can't fully "prepare" for Brexit when no-one has the faintest idea of what, specifically, it's preparing for. And with negotiations still up in the air, and expected to come down to a traditional EU-style deadline-crushing intensive finale, no-one is going to know that until it's too late.
If they'd gone to the other extreme - creating contingency plans to cover every possible outcome of the negotiations - they'd have been (rightly) castigated for wasting hundreds of millions of pounds on consultants planning for things that were never going to happen.
The takeaway from this, apart from "let's shelve Brexit for at least ten years or so", is: don't have a referendum with a vague proposal. Negotiate and pass all the laws you need to first. Then the only question on the referendum paper is, "should these laws go into effect?".
DEFRA, like for that matter every other gov't department both in the UK and in Europe, can't fully "prepare" for Brexit when no-one has the faintest idea of what, specifically, it's preparing for.
Well this is of course typical of the 'cant do' attitude that the EU has fostered in the public sector.
On the other hand other departments HAVE managed to plan for every contingency, essentially by assuming they will have to go it alone.
Unlike DEFRA they are adult enough not to pull the covers over their heads and say 'make it all go away, all we ever did was take Orders From Brussels, look forward to a fat retirement pension at 50 and make vacuous virtue signalling statements about the Need For Renewable Energy To Combat Climate Change and Conserving The Newt Popultio In Islington and How To Manage Farmland Ecologically So Its Guaranteed to Flood, by Neglecting Maintenance, and we don't know how to do anything else'
Of course DEFRA is in a mess, It is a repository for failed ecologists cultural Marxists and utter star gazing incompetents,..
Who have been drawing Big Money to let Eurocnuts do their jobs for them for years.,
I think that's a fairly accurate sitrep on all of them. But, but...
We wants it
We needs it
We must have hard Brexit.
I will guarantee one thing about Brexit
Jacob Rees-Moggs company will make a shedload of cash out of it, either directly or through it's (newly opened) Dublin branch.
>Jacob Rees-Moggs company will make a shedload of cash out of it
Interesting seeing the news and reading about the Hungarian governments breeches of the EU's core values:
"Individuals close to the government have been enriching themselves, their friends and family members at the expense of Hungarian and European taxpayers. The Hungarian people deserve better."
Seems as if the same charge can be levelled at the UK...
Including Dr. Syntax.
DEFRA couldn't even manage to build an IT system to distribute EU subsidies to farmers and kept incurring fines for incompetence.
Designs were not optimal - for instance assuming that all rural farmers had the same kind of fast Internet access available to the developers.
If your current systems are red flagged, what are the chances of using the same resources to produce a speculative blue sky system against unknown rules? You are more likely to ease off on the current systems because they are unlikely to be fit for purpose post Brexit anyway.
I am pretty sure that DEFRA are not alone here. Standard project management to keep quiet about your problems and hope some other part of the project is going to force a slippage and get blamed. Then agree to align your project with the new longer timescales.
Personally, I suspect that the "hard" in hard Brexit reflects the times most IT systems will find themselves in. Will this be a licence to print money like Y2K? Or just an opportunity to build trade deals with non-EU service suppliers which include free movement in and out of the UK?
> but what it actually means ... is "brexit means 'no deal'", surely?
Well, the fat lady isn't due to sing for a while yet, so much will depend on the outcome of the current ruckus in the Conservative party, something we won't see until after the Conservative party conference...
About the only given is that the credibility of Westminster has and continues to fall...
1) Don't change the screens
2) Make sure the app tier will scale
Great idea at first scrum; "Lets skip the app tier and redesign all the screens so we have something to show management. What is someone asks what we're doing? Show them how many screens we've redesigned!"
Simple. On the day Article 50 was invoked, a No-Deal Brexit was possible. So preparations should have started. They've had nearly 2 years.
However, Whitehall, and a sizeable proportion of the Cabinet were (and still are) determined that Brexit should be as soft as possible, or not happen at all. Remember, Cameron expressedly forbade any such preparations whilst PM. So little or nothgin has been done.
This is a kind of reverse brinksmanship. Instead of convincing the other side you can walk away, you convince the rest of your side that you cannot.
@Missing Semicolon - Remember remaining in the EU was both UK government and Conservative party policy until T.May's election, so there was no real reason for Cameron to do any preparation; other than to organise a referendum that would get the 'right' result. The real reason the (Conservative) government are in such a mess over Brexit is that they have put the preservation of the Conservative party at all costs above that of the nation.
D.Cameron's real mistake was to attach any value to the current incarnation of the Conservative party; he should have put the knife in when he had the chance and so create the opportunity for a new party to once again rise phoenix-like from the ashes...
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