back to article Treaty of Roam: No-deal Brexit mobile bill shock

The UK's Ministry of Fun* has introduced draft legislation enabling UK operators to charge roaming fees for calls and data inside the EU, should the UK crash out of the EU (and the larger EEA) next month. Labour Tom Watson MP called it a "Tory Tourist Tax". But that doesn't mean it will happen. So will it? A draft statutory …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So predictable !

    First up roaming charges.

    Next up will no doubt be undoing GDPR.

    Then will be the EU employment legislation.

    The UK will essentially become like the US. A corporation's wet dream with few or no controls on the rights of the individual.

    Screw the customers to the eyeballs, slurp all their data, ram marketing down their throats and be able to fire individuals from their jobs at a whim without risk of repercussions.

    Well done Westmonster. Well done.

    1. David Neil

      Re: So predictable !

      Why blame Westminster, this is what people voted for in the referendum.

      Not quite what you expected? must be someone else's fault

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So predictable !

        >> Why blame Westminster, this is what people voted for in the referendum.

        Why blame Westminster ?

        Simple.

        People voted out. Fine. No problem. I have no issues with the democratic process, long live democracy !

        What I do have issues with, and the point of the orignal post is the attitude and behaviour of the great supine protoplasmic invertebrate jellies that inhabit Westminster.

        Instead of spending two years bickering and fighting like a bunch of school kids perhaps they could have ... I don't know .... done some fucking work for once !

        I mean, its not like Brexit is an important topic that might impact the country for generations to come or anything like that.

        1. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: So predictable !

          "Instead of spending two years bickering and fighting like a bunch of school kids perhaps they could have ... I don't know .... done some fucking work for once !

          I mean, its not like Brexit is an important topic that might impact the country for generations to come or anything like that."

          MPs aren't magicians. People want no freedom of movement, but also want a seamless border with NI/RoI and to have all of the benefits of being in the EU. This isn't possible, hence bickering as to which bit of the pipe dream should be thrown away.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: So predictable !

            > MPs aren't magicians. People want .....

            If you told me that at the time the Brexit vote happened, I would have been more sympathetic.

            However, the truth of the matter is here we are, two and a bit years later and those morons at Westminster have not achieved anything out of their bickering. Nothing has been agreed on anything.

            Its a farce, whichever party's colours you nail to your door. The idiots at Westminster would quite literally be unable to agree how to organise a piss up in a brewery.

            1. DavCrav Silver badge

              Re: So predictable !

              "If you told me that at the time the Brexit vote happened, I would have been more sympathetic."

              Told you what? That people voted for fantasy Brexit? I could have told you that. The Tories have at least three versions of Brexit in their ranks, Labour's six tests were fundamentally impossible, and were only abandoned yesterday, and so on.

              And the general public, the Brexit-voting half of it (which apparently is the only half that needs to be considered) mostly voted out so they could kick out anyone called Mohammed. Who aren't actually from the EU in the first place.

              So it's still a mess because, fundamentally, the whole this was always going to be a mess.

              1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

                Re: So predictable !

                "mostly voted out so they could kick out anyone called Mohammed. "

                Lolz, that's STILL why you believe we voted leave? Because we mistakenly thought Pakistan was part of the EU? Bless!

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: So predictable !

                  Not denying it though are you.

              2. This post has been deleted by its author

              3. Wincerind

                Re: So predictable !

                "mostly voted out so they could kick out anyone called Mohammed"

                No.

                Mostly because in the 1975 referendum we were told it was a simple trading agreement. Then Major signed the Maastricht treaty which basically converted the EEC "trading agreement" into the EU, forcing it through with a three line whip and no mandate from the people. Then Bliar promised a referendum on the EU Constitution/Lisbon treaty then didn't hold one.

                The 2016 referendum was the first time the people had been given a vote on membership of "ever closer union" and the majority of those who voted said no.

                Maybe if Major or Bliar or even the 1975 referendum had been a bit more honest with the people then we wouldn't be in this mess.

                1. phuzz Silver badge
                  Facepalm

                  Re: So predictable !

                  That might be why you voted, but most people would have trouble distinguishing between the EU, the EEC and the EEU, in the same way that many people didn't seem to distinguish between immigrants from the EU, and asylum seekers from the rest of the world.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: So predictable !

                  >Maybe if Major or Bliar or even the 1975 referendum had been a bit more honest with the people then we wouldn't be in this mess.

                  They were very honest. The aim was always political and economic union. The greater aim was to avoid people like you dragging our children back to the 1930s.

                  Here's a labour MEP's take on it. Actually it's not his take; it's the take of our favourite right-wing rag, the Daily Mail. https://www.richardcorbett.org.uk/daily-mail/

                  As for the mandate of the people, I didn't vote Theresa May as prime minister. Yet there she is. I also didn't vote for the majority of MEPs. Yet there they are. I certainly didn't vote for the queen. Yet somehow she's the head of state. And not a single one of us voted for this so-called "hard brexit". Yet here we are.

          2. Ledswinger Silver badge

            Re: So predictable !

            MPs aren't magicians. People want no freedom of movement, but also want a seamless border with NI/RoI and to have all of the benefits of being in the EU. This isn't possible, hence bickering as to which bit of the pipe dream should be thrown away.

            The NI issue is a red herring. The UK government and people of Ireland don't want a hard border, the EU do. So, let the EU require Eire to institute a hard border with Northern Ireland, but the UK and Northern Irish government don't need to implement any such arrangements. It would be a one-way border control system. If the armed thugs choose to attack it, it won't be Northern Irish officials in the firing line.

            In this scheme, the EU won't do any immigration or customs policing for the UK authorities, but there's already an open border despite different currencies, passports and tax systems, so the UK would be no differently off to how we are now. The people of Ireland would have to tolerate one way Eire border controls when crossing from Ni to Eire, but that's only as big a problem as the Dublin government choose to make it. If the locals don't like it, they would need to take that up with Dublin or Brussels.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: So predictable !

              "The UK government and people of Ireland don't want a hard border, the EU do"

              The EU doesn't want a hard border, which is why the backstop part of the withdrawal agreement is there. It was voted down by the UK parliament, not by the EU.

            2. DavCrav Silver badge

              Re: So predictable !

              "The NI issue is a red herring. The UK government and people of Ireland don't want a hard border, the EU do. So, let the EU require Eire to institute a hard border with Northern Ireland, but the UK and Northern Irish government don't need to implement any such arrangements. It would be a one-way border control system. If the armed thugs choose to attack it, it won't be Northern Irish officials in the firing line."

              Congratulations, with one paragraph you have demonstrated that your opinion is worthless.

              It's the WTO that requires the hard border. Unless we are in a FTA with the EU, we need to set up customs. If we don't, we are legally barred from stopping ANY COUNTRY ON EARTH sending us whatever they want, duty and inspection free. That's how the WTO MFN clause works. You have never heard about it, but that's because you don't actually deal in real things.

              1. Andy 73

                Re: So predictable !

                @DavCrav And in your subsequent paragraph you demonstrate the same.

                The WTO do not require a hard border, they require that customs are maintained across a border. That does not have to be through a physical stop at the point of crossing. Both the EU and the UK have said that they would be OK with checks occurring away from the border and through technological means, and the WTO is understood to accept such arrangements.

                1. DavCrav Silver badge

                  Re: So predictable !

                  "The WTO do not require a hard border, they require that customs are maintained across a border. That does not have to be through a physical stop at the point of crossing. Both the EU and the UK have said that they would be OK with checks occurring away from the border and through technological means, and the WTO is understood to accept such arrangements."

                  This doesn't exist anywhere else on the planet. No such systems have been shown to work. Even in theory it would be impossible to stop mass smuggling, never mind in practice.

                  1. Andy 73

                    Re: So predictable !

                    @DavCrav "This doesn't exist anywhere else on the planet. No such systems have been shown to work. Even in theory it would be impossible to stop mass smuggling, never mind in practice."

                    You do understand that there is already a border between RoI and NI, that they run different taxation regimes and that 'mass smuggling' is prevented on a daily basis across that border? You just don't see it because most of the police and customs operations are run away from the border itself.

                    Frankly, the understanding of these issues is laughable. But of course, everyone has political skin in the game and the basic facts get lost to the whichever view the reader thinks most fits their beliefs. It's lovely that 'IT experts' think that their desktop skills give them special insight into how an international border works.

                2. Champ

                  Re: So predictable !

                  Of all the places for the "technological means" unicorn to rear it's head - not the Reg! Nooo! Here the forums are full of people who actually understand IT, and what it can, and more importantly, can't do.

                  I'm now very depressed that even here, amongst "my people", someone should seriously promote this nonsense

                3. katrinab Silver badge

                  Re: So predictable !

                  Sure, we could give Seaborne Freight a contract to operate a flying unicorn service between Dundalk and Newry.

              2. W.S.Gosset Bronze badge

                Re: So predictable !

                > It's the WTO that requires the hard border.

                Wrong.

                And even if there IS a hard border -- ever driven across the EU-Swiss border? They don't quite have a sign saying "please don't rev your engines, you'll wake the customs officer" but it's pretty close.

                1. DavCrav Silver badge

                  Re: So predictable !

                  "Wrong.

                  And even if there IS a hard border -- ever driven across the EU-Swiss border? They don't quite have a sign saying "please don't rev your engines, you'll wake the customs officer" but it's pretty close."

                  The WTO requires customs arrangements. It's either hard border, an FTA, or magic.

                  Switzerland has an FTA, in fact thousands of bilateral agreements, with the EU. When the UK leaves the EU, at least right now, it will have none.

                  Please don't mislead with this stuff. It's serious. Max fac is magical thinking. If there is no border between France and RoI, RoI and NI, and NI and GB, there is no border between France and GB.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: So predictable !

                    If there is no border between France and RoI,

                    France is in Schengen, RoI isn't. There's no land border between the countries, but there is a de facto border, and always has been.

                    1. DavCrav Silver badge

                      Re: So predictable !

                      "France is in Schengen, RoI isn't. There's no land border between the countries, but there is a de facto border, and always has been."

                      So all we know is that the person driving the lorry had a passport that the Irish border guard liked. We have no idea what's in the lorry, because there is no customs point between them.

                2. nigel watkinson

                  Re: So predictable !

                  I have and whilst for cars, it is indeed a simple affair - mainly making sure that a Swiss vignette is on display - it's a different story for wagons. Dozens parked up for hours waiting for inspection of their papers and in some cases, their loads.

              3. Valerion

                Re: So predictable !

                I think it's also the case that the RoI would have a duty to maintain a border should we be on WTO terms, in order to protect the Customs Union and Single Market. With no physical checks on the border there would be nothing to stop any old goods being shipped into the UK from anywhere (regardless of whether we charged duty or not) and then being moved into the EU.

                1. DavCrav Silver badge

                  Re: So predictable !

                  "I think it's also the case that the RoI would have a duty to maintain a border should we be on WTO terms, in order to protect the Customs Union and Single Market. "

                  Yes, both sides will need border infrastructure in the event of No Deal, for the same WTO MFN reasons.

            3. This post has been deleted by its author

            4. phuzz Silver badge

              Re: So predictable !

              "The UK government and people of Ireland don't want a hard border, the EU do."

              No, that's just wrong. The EU have been very clear that they don't want a hard border, because the Republic of Ireland is part of the EU, and it's their interests that the EU are negotiating on behalf of.

              As for the UK government, their stated position might be that they don't want a hard border, but indevidual members of the government clearly wish that the Irish would sod off and stop getting in the way of their 'glorious brexit'.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: So predictable !

                Of course, the simple solution would be to just give them the rest of their country back.....

            5. Ken 16 Silver badge
              Facepalm

              Re: So predictable !

              I'm sure you're right, there would be no way that the UK would stop a van coming from Ireland into Northern Ireland to see who or what is in the back. They don't need to know whether it's 8 Romanian plumbers and 40 bags of untaxed cement or some local lads with some duty free fertiliser. Even if there is martial law in the rest of the UK, there is no reason whatsoever to put soldiers on the Northern Ireland border.

          3. cambsukguy

            Re: So predictable !

            Don't include me in 'people'.

            Many of us knew reasonably well that 45 years of connection to Europe could not be easily undone.

            Many of us knew how much more difficult trade and travel were prior to joining.

            Many of us knew that £350m quid a week was a bullshit number.

            Many of us knew that the poorest areas gained most of the benefit.

            Many of us knew that immigrants are a net benefit to a society and have shown it to be so time and time again.

            Some even knew that Churchill himself believed that a 'United States of Europe' was the future ideal to prevent future catastrophic wars on this continent.

            People who voted leave without the minimal knowledge described above were truly led by donkeys (apologies to donkeys everywhere - they are very hard working and nice animals).

            What I do know is that the amount of people misled and wish they had known easily exceeds 2% and, regardless of those who now want to leave when they voted remain (because they are tired or believe the EU is 'bullying' us) are doing so not because of extra knowledge but mostly spite.

            The cries of FUD every time a story occurs detailing the problems we have remind me uncomfortably of the climate change debate... "Look, it's cold, where is your Global Warming now".

            Firstly, we have spent inordinate time and treasure on this already so there is already a loss, it cannot be recovered unless there is a requisite *extra* gain that comes later and covers *all* that was lost and adds as time goes on, possible but unlikely indeed.

            We are taking an extreme risk for no visible benefit - the laughable 'benefit' of sovereignty suggest that a given voter has a 'voice' - most people's votes are meaningless because they are thrown away by the First Past The Post system - I know, I lived in John Major's constituency so my vote has never counted.

            The loss of sovereignty for the greater good has always been a benefit, England no longer has wars with Scotland (honestly, we don't).

            Isolationism is a poor mechanism for self-improvement - it should be obvious since that dolt Trump believes in it, and he heads a stupidly rich country which could stand alone, unlike us.

            And that is notwithstanding the fact that our membership also helps those (financially) less fortunate than ourselves - even if we made a net gain (which we will not - it is far, far from a zero sum game), we should consider the help that we give others via the EU - more easily accomplished that us doing it alone.

            And, shame on our MPs - especially the Labour Party, for not biting the bullet, telling the truth, and saying that the referendum was advisory and they will use the result to pressure the EU for changes to reflect some peoples' unhappiness and stay in the club to help make improvements.

            1. Kernel

              Re: So predictable !

              "Some even knew that Churchill himself believed that a 'United States of Europe' was the future ideal to prevent future catastrophic wars on this continent."

              Never mind Churchill - I've read that Henry VIII had a few thoughts in a similar vein.

              I have to say that, from an outsider's point of view, it does look as though a lot of UK citizens don't want to have anything at all to do with the EU - except for those parts that are to their advantage.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: So predictable !

                Never mind Churchill - I've read that Henry VIII had a few thoughts in a similar vein.

                As did Hadrian, Charlemagne, Napoleon, Hitler, and quite a few in-between. It never worked.

                1. Kurt Meyer
                  FAIL

                  Re: So predictable !

                  @ AC

                  "As did Hadrian, Charlemagne, Napoleon, Hitler, and quite a few in-between. It never worked."

                  Perhaps you could enlighten the commentariat by telling us which of those four names you offered was either Prime Minister (Churchill) of the United Kingdom, or King of England (Henry VIII), as were the two names mentioned in the post(s) that you were so cravenly responding to.

                  And why limit yourself to just the four names? Surely there are more, aren't there? What about Ghengis Khan, no love for him? Attila? Tamerlane? Suleiman the Magnificent? The list of candidates seems very much longer than your pitiful effort.

                  Do you know what is predictable? This...

                  In every thread that even remotely has to do with Brexit, whatever the actual subject under discussion, some cringing, snivelling, pants pissing, anonymous coward will make a fuckwitted reference to either Napoleon or Hitler, comparing them to the European Union.

                  That's predictable

                  1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                    Re: So predictable !

                    Perhaps you could enlighten the commentariat by telling us which of those four names you offered was either Prime Minister (Churchill) of the United Kingdom, or King of England (Henry VIII), as were the two names mentioned in the post(s) that you were so cravenly responding to.

                    Well, if you like history, there's been a lot of that around Europe.. Hence a long and noble tradition of invading France. Monarchies are so much more reliable. One butt to kick, or occasionally treat to a red hot poker.

                    some cringing, snivelling, pants pissing, anonymous coward will make a fuckwitted reference to either Napoleon or Hitler, comparing them to the European Union.

                    Not me guv. I'll raise you a Verhofstadt. A chap who's lead an.. interesting career in one of the smaller bits of Europe. Most famous achievement was probably an inability to form a government, and after Belgians realised they could manage pretty well without one, finally gave Verhofstadt the boot. So he found his way into the natural home of slightly used politicians, the EU. But given his performance in dividing Belgian politics, his comments about UK hell were a little hipocritical.

                    But I'll also throw in an Italian Communist, Altiero Spinelli. One of the founding fathers of the EU, and Verhofstadt's a big fan.. Which is the other little division in the EU. The Spinelli Group and Verhofstadt are staunch federalists, that old 'ever closer political union' which during Project Fear wasn't meant to mean a Federal EU. So dear'ol Guy was probably never keen on keeping the UK in the Union given we, and other conservative states opposed the idea of a Federal Superstate.

                    But such is politics.

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: So predictable !

                    some cringing, snivelling, pants pissing, anonymous coward will make a fuckwitted reference to either Napoleon or Hitler, comparing them to the European Union.

                    And some self-righteous twit will leap in to write a response without actually taking the time to understand what was written.

                    The original comment noted that a well-known and respected European politician had suggested that a European superstate could be a way to avoid wars. I pointed out that many other European leaders in the past had suggested, and even tried to implement, such a superstate, and it had never worked. At no time was I comparing the EU (which is a thing) to either Napoleon or Hitler (who are people).

                  3. HelpfulJohn

                    Re: So predictable !

                    "... some cringing, snivelling, pants pissing, anonymous coward will make a fuckwitted reference to either Napoleon or Hitler, comparing them to the European Union."

                    Well, both of those gentlemen did have their own slightly vapourware dream of a united states of Yurp, as did many, many others. One could say that Alexander, Mao and good old Uncle Joe also saw a united Yurp as a possibility albeit under the rules of various capital cities not necessarily *in* Europe. Indeed, many, many interesting dreams of a united world have been dreamed by people over the millennia., including by me. I wanted a Yurpeen Empire with Queen Liz as the head of state as a stepping stone to making her Empress of Man's Dominions. I never thought it would happen and Brexit has shown that it won't any time soon.

                    Comparing Adolf's vision of a Germany-led united planet with Uncle Joe's, Xerxes's and the E. U. isn't necessarily evil, bad or wrong, it is in fact a good thing. It shows us what could have been and how fortunate we are that what is, is.

                    We are very, very lucky to have the Yurp that we do. It could have been ever so very much worse. You could have ended up with me as Emperor.

                    Were I not to lazy to bother.

                2. W.S.Gosset Bronze badge

                  Re: So predictable !

                  William the Conqueror in 1066 was in fact putting that precise plan into actual practice.

                  Didn't work.

                  1. HelpfulJohn

                    Re: So predictable !

                    "William the Conqueror in 1066 was in fact putting that precise plan into actual practice.

                    Didn't work."

                    Well, it sort of did which is why he has the sobriquet of "the Conqueror". He just didn't complete the job, build a chunnel or swallow up the Swiss bankers and some other fringe groups. He did quite a good job on uniting England with ... err ... other bits of England. It was a start. He probably got distracted by cat videos or something, as one does.

                3. HelpfulJohn

                  Re: So predictable !

                  I have never wanted a U.S.Yurp save for one reason, as a stepping stone on the way to a global then multi-galactic government, a government of all of the human-derived species and any others who may be around. Where that puts me on the Hadrian to young Adolf spectrum I have no idea but it does feel nice to be in such famed company.

                  I voted for the E.U. way back in the last Millennium as I thought I could see the glimmerings of the global, then trans-global, dream. I could have worked. It may even have been starting to work. Sure, it had massive flaws and there was endemic corruption and graft but that's true of just about all human governing bodies.

                  The idea of ever closer union was good. Brexit is idiotic, insane and demented. Brexit is one of the stupidest things ever to happen which is why I expect that it *will* happen. Coming to a city near you, soon.

                  Whatever happened to the idea that Homo. Sap. was "Man the Wise"?

            2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: So predictable !

              "Many of us knew that the poorest areas gained most of the benefit."

              And the realisation of that was demonstrated PDQ. The morning after the vote some Welsh politician who'd campaigned for Leave was demanding the the govt. replace all the EU funding his constituency had been receiving.

            3. CountCadaver

              Re: So predictable !

              If you'd given me an option to "disband westminster" I'd have ticked that box....

              We seem to get more sense (well mostly) out of the EU, than we do out of our lot.

              Mobile roaming charge abolition - we opposed

              Working time directive - we opposed

              Minimum wage and holidays - tories opposed

              Along with a tonne of other pro consumer / worker legislation that our lot opposed.

              1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

                Re: So predictable !

                "We seem to get more sense (well mostly) out of the EU, than we do out of our lot."

                True. My fav being the vacuum cleaner testing done without any dirt.

                My second fav was the, remind me how many years, the EU auditors refused to sign the audit report.

                My third fav was the way they took GBP290m a week and spent a small % of that in the UK and thought we should be grateful. Meanwhile, the NHS could have had all or some (or none) of that money.

                My fourth fav is the pan-european army that was announced, as predicted, after the vote.

                1. Ken 16 Silver badge
                  Facepalm

                  Re: So predictable !

                  There's no European army

              2. HelpfulJohn

                Re: So predictable !

                But at least we have a government that thinks it wants to do really *IMPORTANT* stuff like implement Daylight Saving Time all year round.

                Last week, at the bottom of England, it was dark, at the beginning of February, at seven o'clock in the morning. Our wise, erudite, clever, smart and wonderful leaders want this to become *eight* a.m.

                Dark at eight in the morning, every morning from about September to February. Worse in the frozen northern shires.

                And this is the important work they want to do in Pestminster.

                1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                  Re: So predictable !

                  But at least we have a government that thinks it wants to do really *IMPORTANT* stuff like implement Daylight Saving Time all year round.

                  So does the EU, they even held an EU-wide survey about it last year, which voted to drop the regular time changes (by 84%)

                  Of course, they didn't publicise it very well, I think the French turnout was 0.6%, the UK managed 0.02%!

            4. W.S.Gosset Bronze badge

              Re: So predictable !

              > Many of us knew that £350m quid a week was a bullshit number.

              Correct, it's only £163m/week that's "new" money no longer simply handed over. £8.5bn/yr subsidy to/of the EU.

              But it IS ~£350m/week total which the UK regains control over. The extra is the ~£9bn handed over to the EU for the EU to decide where they applied it in the UK as subsidies. As to how _useful_ that application was, well, just pop up to Glasgow and observe with awe the half-built completely-supernumerary bridges and so on, abandoned when the gravy train switched to the next Shiny Thing. Quite surreal seeing a bridge just stop, halfway across a river. Etc.etc.

              I'm Australian. Don't have a dog in the fight. But I have to say, in my 20yrs in the EU & UK, I was unable to find ANY material benefit to the UK from the EU (as opposed to the EEC, which IS useful), but I DID find many many profound negatives.

              Thank your lucky stars Soros crashed you out of any chance of being part of the Euro... (give you an idea of HOW toxic the EU is : they deliberately structured the Euro agreement such that there is NO exit possible.)

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: So predictable !

                Err, we didn't want to be in the Euro and that was something negotiated, an exclusion from the rest of the EU. Another example of how things did work in our favour sometimes.

              2. Roland6 Silver badge

                Re: So predictable !

                I'm Australian. ... in my 20yrs in the EU & UK, I was unable to find ANY material benefit to the UK from the EU (as opposed to the EEC, which IS useful), but I DID find many many profound negatives.

                Enjoying catching up on Australian politic's then? From the crash course I had in January (on Australian political situation), it seems a lot has changed, for the worse, in 20 years. Seems Australia could benefit from some of the social directives that came out of Brussels.

            5. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: So predictable !

              "Churchill himself believed that a 'United States of Europe' was the future ideal to prevent future catastrophic wars on this continent"

              Didn't Hitler & Napoleon have that idea as well.

              1. HelpfulJohn

                Re: So predictable !

                "Didn't Hitler & Napoleon have that idea as well."

                Not exactly. Adolph wanted his U.S.Yurp to be run from Berlin and to be German. Boney-parts wanted his U.S.E. run by guys (himself, mainly) in Paris and for it to all speak French. The E. U. couldn't agree on where it wanted its "capital" so they had at least two and they couldn't agree on a sensible Yurpeen Common Language so they had dozens.

                Meanwhile, our fine Mr. Churchill probably wanted the place run from a gentleman's club in London and for the One True Language to be universally used. Both of which are far more sensible than anything the others suggested or the E. U. implemented.

                Even the 'Merkins would agree that English should be the first and official language of all polities.

          4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: So predictable !

            "also want a seamless border with NI/RoI"

            I doubt many of those who voted leave have given the NI/RoI border a moment's thought, either before or after. If roaming charges come into operation it will make using mobiles near that border interesting. Cell edges don't respect borders.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: So predictable !

              Cell edges don't respect borders.

              That's why phones let you turn off international roaming.

          5. W.S.Gosset Bronze badge

            Re: So predictable !

            > but also want a seamless border with NI/RoI

            Actually, all the surveys show the Irish overwhelmingly couldn't give a stuff. Ditto the British island.

            The ENTIRE "seamless border" thing was created by the EU negotiators, and they have been quite candid in public and in writing that it was a deliberate posture intended to screw the UK.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: So predictable !

              "..they have been quite candid in public and in writing that it was a deliberate posture intended to screw the UK."

              If this is true, then you will of course be able to produce a link to where they have said this?

            2. DML71

              Re: So predictable !

              Yeah. It's all the EU playing hard ball over the border that's the blame.

              Have you any of these surverys to hand? Doesn't sound right to me. It may be an inconvenience and sticking point in the Brexit process but that is not a fault of the EU or the republic of Ireland.

              The open border was part of the Good Friday Agreement which is seems ROI and the EU put more value on than Boris and Jacob.

        2. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: So predictable !

          Instead of spending two years bickering and fighting like a bunch of school kids perhaps they could have ... I don't know .... done some fucking work for once !

          It seems a little unfair to blame MPs when May and her devious government have not allowed parliament much say at all on how brexit will be. She keeps running the clock down and keeping them at bay from having any say or influence at all.

          Latest reports are that she will be delaying the next vote on the deal no one wants until the end of February. Another ploy to ensure MPs have little choice but to accept the deal she wants or face a no deal brexit.

          As for what this supposed compromise MPs should have been able to come up with, which would satisfy the two polarised sides of the issue, would be; I have no idea. It seems to be another imaginary magical solution carved out of unicorn shit and wrapped in rainbows.

          Mine's the one with the "we're fucked" note in the pocket.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: So predictable !

            "It seems a little unfair to blame MPs when May and her devious government have not allowed parliament much say at all on how brexit will be."

            Has it not occurred to you that how Brexit will be is what can be negotiated? Short of sending the whole of Parliament over to negotiate is about the only way they'd all be able to get a say. I can imagine how well that would go.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: So predictable !

              "Short of sending the whole of Parliament over to negotiate is about the only way they'd all be able to get a say. I can imagine how well that would go."

              May and her close knit negotiating team could have been a lot more transparent over the last few years instead of leaving the "grand reveal" until the 11th hour.

          2. Clunking Fist Bronze badge
            Coat

            Re: So predictable !

            Mine's the one with the "a good man is hard to find, a hard Brexit is awesome" note in the pocket.

        3. tfewster Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: So predictable !

          > Instead of spending two years bickering and fighting like a bunch of school kids perhaps they could have ... I don't know .... done some fucking work for once !

          Be fair chaps, it seems at least one Ministry has been doing that.

        4. tfb Silver badge
          Big Brother

          Re: So predictable !

          The democracy thing is funny. People voted to leave, yes, and that's fine. They almost certainly didn't vote for what's actually going to happen though, because very obviously no-one (not the leave voters, not the remain voters, not he politicians: no-one) had a clue about what that was going to be in 2016: they really have no idea now so they can't have known then. So it might seem reasonable, at the point where what 'leave the EU' means something definite, to ask people if that is what they want, right? But bo, that would be 'antidemocratic': democracy, apparently, does not involve getting people to vote on things unless those things are so nebulous as to be meaningless, especially if they might vote the wrong way.

          And it gets better than this. The demography of the original leave vote means that if no-one had changed their minds since 2016 then the majority for leave went away sometime in January this year. (This assumes that people who have entered the electorate since 2016 vote statistically the same way as people that age did in 2016.) So what's going to happen is going to happen because dead people voted for it, and in particular because dead people voted for something no-one understood. But asking the living, who will be affected by this thing more than dead people will, once we know what it is, whether they want it or not would not be democratic.

          This is, in fact, a democracy of zombies.

    2. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: So predictable !

      Next up will no doubt be undoing GDPR

      Not if they wish to maintain a vestige of hope that the personal information of EU citizens will ever cross the channel. They're not taking back as much control as they fondly dream...

      1. fajensen Silver badge

        Re: So predictable !

        Well, they got GCHQ doing the slurping already, sooo?

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: So predictable !

        "They're not taking back as much control as they fondly dream."

        So little that the actual net quantity will probably be negative.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So predictable !

        "Not if they wish to maintain a vestige of hope that the personal information of EU citizens will ever cross the channel."

        Some of our customers have already decided not to run that risk and have moved their business to companies hosted in and/or operated from within the EU.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So predictable !

      "The UK will essentially become like the US. A corporation's wet dream with few or no controls on the rights of the individual."

      The UK government already tried to force that on us, by signing up for the trans-atlantic trade partnership agreement with the US, which would have given corporations the power to sue government.

      We got lucky that a couple of the other countries in Europe blocked it.

      I'm guessing this is in part why so many of the Tories are so determined now to split the UK out of Europe so that they can head us back down that road. Notice that the emphasis for Brexit is all about trade - all of them are deliberately ignoring the destruction of the countless rights, agreements, treaties, subscriptions, memberships etc which we enjoy under EU membership.

      I don't agree with a lot that George Monbiot says, but his article on this subject is chilling: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/04/us-trade-deal-full-frontal-assault-on-democracy

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: So predictable !

        "Notice that the emphasis for Brexit is all about trade - all of them are deliberately ignoring the destruction of the countless rights, agreements, treaties, subscriptions, memberships etc which we enjoy under EU membership."

        Which, essentially, are about trade to a greater or lesser extent. Even things like food quality, worker protection etc. have a trade element in them to prevent one country within the group gaining trading advantage by adopting lower standards. If the things you list are things you care about, you care about trade.

      2. CountCadaver

        Re: So predictable !

        Be interesting to see whether Fox or Gove win the argument over food safety, for once I hope Gove does, though Fox's dept have quietly acquired the power to alter regulations on various things without parliamentary oversight to facilitate "dealmaking"

        Fox is about a good a "dealmaker" as Drumpf is....i.e. not, his get out will be "I said up to 40" the weasel words being "up to" and the total number being naught or maybe negative.....

        Says something about the Tory Party when their best candidate has said she isn't interested, she being Ruth Davidson and best being a relative thing, her manifesto in the last x campaigns having been "Vote Ruth Davidson" with Scottish Conservative and Unionist in small type, when challenged she also struggles to articulate any policy positions that aren't "the SNP are ruining the country", when asked what they would differently....she blusters.

    4. CountCadaver

      Re: So predictable !

      The govt ignore everything else WE want them to do (i.e. for starters fix the blooming potholes (probably some bomb craters in the middle east that are smaller), bad enough in a car let alone on motorcycle / bicycle or even educate this country's young folk to the level of Singapore)

      So why this mad rush to "honour" the "democratic will"?

      Anything else would have been tied up in committees for about a millenia, before being sent out (or so they say) for consultations, committees, more consultation, by then folk have forgotten or somerhing else has taken the ministers fancy.

      Disaster Capitalism...mark my words.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My money's on Vodafone being the first to start charging

    Their bills already bear no resemblance on reality (or what you thought you signed up for).

    Plus its well known Vodafone are already in a position where there is an expectation on the stockmarket that they'll have to reduce the dividends they pay to their shareholders sooner or later as the current level seems unsustainable. So a little cash from roaming fees would no doubt be welcome at Vodafone HQ so that they can keep their shareholders in the dividend lifestyle to which they have become accustomed.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: My money's on Vodafone being the first to start charging

      Well, probably, being Vodafone - but it would be a little surreal because Vodafone will still run a lot of networks on the other side of the Channel...

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: My money's on Vodafone being the first to start charging

        Not at all surreal, just BAU for Vodafone and other pan-European mobile operators. If you're a Vodafone UK subscriber, Vodafone would happily charge you to roam across to Vodafone France, or Germany. It caused much fun trying to develop a pan-European mobile data solution when the mobile operators all treated any SIM moving outside of the country it was ordered in as roaming.. Which was and still is a nice earner for the big mobile operators.

      2. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: My money's on Vodafone being the first to start charging

        with subsidiaries in a dozen EU member states (plus Turkey) and partner networks in over 20 more

        Vodaphone* must know something we don't. Apparently the EU consists of at least 32 states rather then the mere 28 us mortals can count.

        * Well, Orlowski thinks they do. ;-)

        1. JassMan Silver badge

          Re: My money's on Vodafone being the first to start charging @Rich11

          The difference between 28 and 32 is:

          Lichtenstein, Monaco, Switzerland and "The Holy See"(the Vatican to normal humans) which for roaming purposes are all treated as part of the Customs Union even though legally they are more like EFTA.

    2. H in The Hague Silver badge

      Re: My money's on Vodafone being the first to start charging

      Not necessarily. I've been with Voda NL for ages and, at least for the contract's I've had, I didn't have to pay roaming charges well before the EU ban on them. But your mileage may vary.

      (I know it's not cool to defend Voda, but here in NL they provide a perfectly good service at a reasonable price, and local call centres (though I rarely have to contact them).)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: My money's on Vodafone being the first to start charging

        > local call centres

        They have local call centres in the UK too. You wouldn't trust the majority of people working there to tie their own shoe laces let alone give you advice on a mobile phone issue.

        I've been mis-sold contracts, unable to get answers to straightforward questions, the whole caboodle courtesy of the Voda UK callcentres.

    3. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: My money's on Vodafone being the first to start charging

      I suggest you take a close look at your existing contract.

      EE for example already includes EU roaming calls (ie. when you take your phone abroad and make calls) in your call allowance, however calls to the EU27 (eg. UK to Ireland) are charged at "the standard rate" ie. they are treated as international calls.

      Obviously, you have the option of buying an international call add-on that gives you a call allowance for selected countries.

      Personally, I expect many operators will in the first instance amend their fair use policy, before offering contracts without EU roaming as standard.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: My money's on Vodafone being the first to start charging

        "Obviously, you have the option of buying an international call add-on that gives you a call allowance for selected countries."

        Yes, but have you seen:

        (a) how much vodafone charge for such add-ons

        (b) how little you get for paying vodafone your £5 a day

        (c) the vodafone conditions for the above which carefully carve-out all sorts of things.

        I travel extensively and getting your hands on a local SIM card is pretty much always better value for money than throwing £5 a day down the drain at Vodafone for their "Business Traveller" package for example.

      2. CountCadaver

        Re: My money's on Vodafone being the first to start charging

        I don't know if any of them will jump tbh....first one to do will then face a barrage of negative advertising from the rest : example: Going on holiday? with Vodaphone it could cost you hundreds but with O2/EE/3/TescoMobile etc its all included in your bill. Now isn't that helpful?

        My bet is on EE, given they are owned by BT and when does BT miss out on a chance to gouge folk? Heck they are still charging various old dears >£10 a month to rent a phone that costs <£30 to buy, some under the impression they have to rent a phone as part of the contract. My mum was dead set they would cut her off (and she's not even an old dear) if she didn't rent a phone or they would take an age to do any repairs, I spoke to my old man, he said cancel it, phoned BT, asked where to send the phone back, guy said "It was obsolete ten years ago, just bin it, we don't want it back" Kept using it for a good few more years after that.

        1. tiggity Silver badge

          Re: My money's on Vodafone being the first to start charging

          Depends on your contract

          I have SIM only 3 with no free EU roaming, very expensive to use outside the UK

          .. So I use a different SIM abroad

          Keep old contract as its cheap unlimited data and no corresponding deal anywhere near as cheap

    4. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

      Re: My money's on Vodafone being the first to start charging

      Interesting, I'm with Voda in New Zealand. For $NZ40 I get unlimited minutes to NZ and Aussie numbers (except special rate numbers like 0900, etc) with 10GB. I can roam most of the world and for $NZ5 a day, I can use my minutes locally.

      But in reality, I use my 10GB data to communicate over skype and whatsapp.

      I don't know what the telcos offer in your country, but I'm sure the EU can't take credit for my plan in NZ.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: My money's on Vodafone being the first to start charging

        >Interesting, I'm with Voda in New Zealand.....but I'm sure the EU can't take credit for my plan in NZ.

        To a large extent, the EU just ensured that what was happening elsewhere in the world also happened in the EU, one of the more profitable mobile marketplaces.

        However, what the EU hasn't done is to impose EU wide member-to-member tariffs. Thus whilst I can take my UK mobile to various countries (eg. EU, US, Oz and New Zealand) and make calls to UK numbers - as if I were at home and thus have these calls included in my unlimited minutes, if I make a call to a non-UK number eg. I'm in NZ and call a NZ number, it will be charged as an international (UK-to-NZ) call. I expect your contract is similar. The next logical step in the EU would be to start treating any call within the EU that states in one member and terminates in another (eg. UK-Fr) as an inclusive minutes call.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: My money's on Vodafone being the first to start charging

      It's interesting to see what's happening in France recently. All the cellphone companies have started adding 'extras' to phone contracts, for which they increase the monthly charge. Things like "TV on the phone" or "data allowance increased from 4GB to 10GB", which many people won't either use or care about. They advertise it as "better value" to justify the price rise, but in the small print there's often a note that says you can refuse the new feature but the price still goes up. They are also all hiking their roaming and call charges for non-EU countries. All predictable, they need to keep their margins up now that they can't (over)charge for EU roaming.

      My bet is that some UK operators will start offering cheaper contracts without free roaming, probably pushing them as "domestic" or "all-Britain" or some suitable marketing fluff. They'll wait and see how popular they are with the large number of folks who never go abroad, and once they've got plenty of people to shift they'll rebadge the older contracts as "professional" or "frequent traveller" ones, and increase prices all round.

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Um, guys, only 1 month left

    Do you really, honestly think that there's a deal just waiting to be signed ?

    Under the authority of the muppets that are supposed to be in charge now ?

    I really don't think there's any chance of not bailing out hard, because if there was a viable deal, you'd have heard all about it because everyone would be hollering about what he didn't like about it.

    1. technoise

      Re: Um, guys, only 1 month left

      Pascal Monett: Do you really, honestly think that there's a deal just waiting to be signed ?

      Yes.

      There is a deal that all 27 EU members have ratified. All that is required is for the contents of Parliament to develop the collective political will to sign it.

      1. Jemma Silver badge

        Re: Um, guys, only 1 month left

        All that is required is for the contents of Parliament to develop the collective political will to get beaten like a Chipperfield monkey.

        There I fixed it for you.

        Brexit is the political equivalent of a 1100cc Allegro - miserable, pointless, underdeveloped and bought by just the sort of cretin spawned from the sort of cretin who'd formerly Buy British on a Monday and play "whack-a-black" on a Saturday night circa 1982.

        I've been to Ipswich hospital today - A12 and A14 and the roads were a bumpy unpleasant mess even in a Merc and the whole trip was carpeted in rubbish hanging from trees and stuffed down rabbit holes. How the hell do people think Brexit is going to improve matters. Between here and Russia the ONLY piece of road as bad as the A12 is the two miles either side of the Russian border - not because they don't want to fix it up, simply because there's not enough room between the traffic for an anorexic centipede, let alone a resurfacing/rebuild crew - they were as of last year building a WHOLE TEMPORARY ROAD just so they could do up a 4 mile section. Our local council can't even afford to put a roundabout in that they've known they'll need for 20 years.

        England is a fucking embarrassment, Wales isn't much better - we've got more potholes than the centre of Dresden circa 1945 - the public transport system imploded when Leyland Nationals still wheezed the earth and the NHS would be on its last legs but it got funding diabetes and someone chopped them off (with a rusty chainsaw). And this is BEFORE Brexit happens.

        That's not even to start on every company that'll be using Brexit as an excuse to run for the hills (have eyes, and air-cooled teeth*) even if it's got nothing to do with it. So there go the jobs.

        It be like Ashes to Ashes without the humour or anything more memorable on the road than a bloody Vauxhall Za-fryer or C*ntryman. Audi Quattro Turbo - can't be having one of those sir, the pollution dontchaknow (despite the inconvenient fact that even using a Model T Ford would be better for the environment than the collective pollution of building all its replacements over the years you greenpeacetard cretins).

        There is, according to US military research a 16-18% retard ratio in the human population - up to 18% of a given population can't be trained to point a rifle in the correct direction and use it. Yet we have given these people a Brexit vote... I'll let you do the math..

        Oh... Right.. Sorry.

        If you ever wondered by the way why the Conservative party get in most often - you can thank the retard ratio.

        *Only in North Wales.

        1. DougS Silver badge
          Trollface

          As a yank

          I had no idea how important Brexit was to the maintenance of potholes. So if I want all the potholes caused by our snowy winter to be fixed, should I tell my congressman to petition for entry into the EU, or tell the EU that the US still isn't interested in joining?

          1. Thought About IT

            Re: As a yank

            Same goes for funding of the NHS, Social Services, local government, the police, etc. We're fed up of the EU forcing the Tories to impose austerity on us!

            1. Dan 55 Silver badge

              Re: As a yank

              In these heady political times, you'd better edit your post and put a joke alert icon on it...

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: As a yank

              "We're fed up of the EU forcing the Tories to impose austerity on us!"

              Don't worry. Soon it will all be under the control of the British government so there will be absolutely no more finger pointing and blaming others for their pitiful policies and unbridled contempt for the masses. Honest. It'll be great. A revolution in British politics and social care.

              No seriously. Some bloke down the local Wetherspoons told me all this just the other day ....

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: As a yank

                If he plied me with 9 pints of cider I would believe him too ....

            3. W.S.Gosset Bronze badge

              Re: As a yank

              Umm... having watched Blair etc blow out the debt+fixedcosts, to the point where they deliberately _changed_ lunatically-expensive contracts to have catastrophically ruinous exit clauses once they realised they were going to lose the election (ie, to prevent them being reversed), what you call "austerity" is what most people would call trying desperately to rein in the psychosity and get things back on an even keel.

            4. fajensen Silver badge
              Pint

              Re: As a yank

              We're fed up of the EU forcing the Tories to impose austerity on us!

              Not true at all. Everything that is shit in Britain was caused by Parliament! That they are blaming the EU for it, is just because finger-pointing was always the safe-space of the incompetents and cowards.

              Every speck of Neoliberalism* (and NPM) in the EU, was spawned in the UK starting with Margaret Thatcher. The UK has quite consistently, across several governments, sabotaged every attempt there ever was of the EU acquiring a "social dimension". "Markets Only (and damn everything else)" was always the official UK position.

              From my side of the water It's the bloody Tories trying to force more austerity (and more stupidity) onto the EU, except this time they overreached and fell on their stupid faces right in their own mess and they are still thrashing around!

              *) Ordoliberalism, OTOH, there you might have a point.

              1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: As a yank

                "We're fed up of the EU forcing the Tories to impose austerity on us!"

                "Not true at all. Everything that is shit in Britain was caused by Parliament! "

                WHHOOOOSHSHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

          2. Jemma Silver badge

            Re: As a yank

            I bet you don't either. To explain. The roads are "maintained" partly by the highways agency and partly by local authorities. The highways agency and the local authorities get their funding from whatever bunch of dribbling retards are on the thieve at the time from taxes paid by business and private citizens (unless of course they're American corporations or Japanese car companies).

            People are going to be out of jobs because Brexit - any company that wants out will blame Brexit and disappear so fast the only things left behind will be skidmarks and an unpaid tax bill. It doesn't matter if Brexit is the cause - it'll be the excuse.

            Since most corporations pay the exact minimum in tax and inbredistanis just ignore everyone anyway when it comes to tax, the future of humanity, and basic human rights, what do you think will happen to the available funds from taxation? Yes, clever Inbredistani, they'll go down faster than a Clinton intern. No jobs, no wage, no wagee, no payee taxee - no taxes, no money for roads or anything else.

            I'm giving it about three weeks after that until the potholes actually join up and we disappear into the sea like a 6th rate chav infested Atlantis. Hopefully in the last weeks the potholes will gain a sentience and a sense of irony and express a preference for those driving second hand BMW/Audi and those execrable electric cars. I did think about issuing an "I support Brexit" Christian fish type car sticker - but a chrome plated depiction of Rodney Trotter being nailed up the ass by a Charolais bull would probably offend* (PETA) even if it is perfectly apt.

            * Not, you understand, because they find the image of a lanky twerp being nailed up the ass by an animal, sans lube, offensive. Heavens no. It's because the Charolais Bull is white, and that's racist (I'm sure someone will suggest painting it orange - good luck with that)**

            ** See PETA and milk - I wish I was kidding - gives "snowflake" a whole new meaning.

          3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            Re: As a yank

            So if I want all the potholes caused by our snowy winter to be fixed, should I tell my congressman to petition for entry into the EU

            If you believed the UK papers, you might well think it is all the EU's fault, but in fact the principles of subsidiarity are intended to devolve power to the lower levels. It's similar to but not the same as the federal system in the US. The supranational body is charged with international negotiations but also with the single market, which is why standards, weights and measures come in.

            Politicians across the EU have for a generation found it expedient to blame "Brussels" for anything unpopular even though they have more than likely voted for in the European Council.

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: As a yank

              Politicians across the EU have for a generation found it expedient to blame "Brussels" for anything unpopular even though they have more than likely voted for in the European Council.

              The fact that they're choosing to deprive themselves of that expediency cays a good deal about their capability of forethought.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Um, guys, only 1 month left

          Thank you Jemma - you almost read my mind.

          I often travel into other parts of Europe and it amazes me how efficient/clean and well organised they seem to be - well at least on the surface to a non resident. And yet we have had the gutter trash of the media blaming Europe for all that is wrong in Britain for the past 40 years. Said trash managed to convince enough of the population to vote brexit under some guise that taking back control will make things geart again. Giving control to the muppets in Westminster? Amber hastag Rudd and Diane 2+2=5 Abbott? Please save me........

          Your example of the A12 and A14 is wonderful. I often travel from North East netherland (Groningen/Leeuwarden) and the roads there are straight, smooth, well maintained and a pleasure to drive. Around Amsterdam-Rotterdam they are busy and congested, but still smooth and maintained. Then you cross into Harwich and drive the A12 to the M25.... I used to wonder why I could hear lots of strange noises on my car when driving in Holland, then realised it is because the roads are so smooth and quiet I start to hear the squeaks and rattles the car always makes. Once back on the A12 there are so many crashes, bangs and thumps from the suspension as the car shakes and veers from one pothole and badly patched up strip to another, that it drowns out all the other noises.

          Many other Europeans laugh at us - yes, they like our histrory and culture, but despair at the small minded inm-breds we have become.

          I really do despair for what this country has become during my lifetime and the direction it is heading....

          1. M.V. Lipvig

            Re: Um, guys, only 1 month left

            I have to wonder, as an Amerikaner, if perhaps the roads are so good on the mainland but not i Merry Old England, might not be because Brussels is using British tax money to pave the roads? I mean, Britain is all the way across the sea, and they don't know how to drive anyway (else they'd be driving on the right side of the road instead of the wrong side) so why do they need nice roads anyway? Just a thought, of course, from someone who has no dog in that fight, just watching from afar.

            1. Jedit
              FAIL

              "... because Brussels is using British tax money to pave the roads?"

              No. It's because our government is giving all the British tax money to the rich. Since 2010 the wealth of the rich in Britain has risen by almost exactly the value of the austerity cuts.

        3. DuncanLarge Bronze badge

          Re: Um, guys, only 1 month left

          "and the roads were a bumpy unpleasant mess even in a Merc and the whole trip was carpeted in rubbish hanging from trees and stuffed down rabbit holes. How the hell do people think Brexit is going to improve matters. "

          Well, being in the EU certainly improved matters then... oh wait.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: Um, guys, only 1 month left

            Yeah, ten years of central-government imposed austerity does that to a country.

            But not as much as leaving the EU with a deal yet not even knowing if you'll be able to trade with 71 countries via EU trade agreements during the transition period (Twitter link to jump over FT paywall). We ain't seen nothing yet.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Um, guys, only 1 month left

          A12 and A14 and the roads were a bumpy unpleasant mess even in a Merc

          Funny, it was like that 30 years ago when I used to commute along it regularly. Nothing new there, it's the lorries heading to/from Felixstowe.

          a 16-18% retard ratio in the human population - up to 18% of a given population can't be trained to point a rifle in the correct direction and use it. Yet we have given these people a Brexit vote

          You arrogant twunt. No-one should have a vote unless they vote like you would? Ever thought of applying for the presidency of Venezuela, that seems to be what they like there?

        5. Fatman Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: "retard ratio"

          <quote>There is, according to US military research a 16-18% retard ratio in the human population - up to 18% of a given population can't be trained to point a rifle in the correct direction and use it. Yet we have given these people a Brexit vote... I'll let you do the math..

          Oh... Right.. Sorry.

          If you ever wondered by the way why the Conservative party get in most often - you can thank the retard ratio.</quote>

          I think that is also the best explanation for tRump being elected in the USofA.

          1. M.V. Lipvig

            Re: "retard ratio"

            Wrong. Trump won because the Democrats ran Clinton, who nobody likes. Even Bill doesn't like her. I have several family members that are so left-wing they lean to one side, who backed Sanders in the primary, who then voted for Trump rather than... you know, your retard theory might just hold some water there. A lot of Democrats DID vote for Trump...

            1. JohnFen Silver badge

              Re: "retard ratio"

              Yes. But even then, she would have won if she hadn't run such a horrible and insulting campaign. She did win the popular vote, after all, just not by enough to overcome the electoral college.

        6. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Um, guys, only 1 month left

          If you want to feel better about the conditions of your roads, take a look at the ones we have in the US!

      2. cambsukguy

        Re: Um, guys, only 1 month left

        Pretty certain it has not been ratified - and won't be until it is a signed deal, possibly not even then.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Um, guys, only 1 month left

        All that is required is for the contents of Parliament to develop the collective political will to sign it.

        And then we'd be well and truly fucked, since that deal leaves us under EU control until the EU decides otherwise, but we'll have no say in anything. Worse than either full Remain OR hard Leave.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Um, guys, only 1 month left

          "Worse than either full Remain OR hard Leave."

          AFAICS it's about the only sort of Bexit arrangement that leaves us with a working economy. That much was always clear. What wasn't only clear was that it's been achieved as a side effect of something else.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Um, guys, only 1 month left

          EU control until the EU decides otherwise, but we'll have no say in anything.

          Well, just put the new border with the EU, that thing that you lot voted to have, in the Irish sea and the backstop goes away to day. Or come up with the fairy-dust technology, that you lot insisted/s on totally exists, to create a border-less border in Northern Ireland.

          Easy Peasy. It's not like the EU wants you to stay. It's just that Theresa May fucked up the sea border option with her snap election and nobody has managed to show that the borderless border tech totally exists.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Um, guys, only 1 month left

            "Well, just put the new border with the EU, that thing that you lot voted to have, in the Irish sea and the backstop goes away to day."

            I'm sure the Unionists will be sooooo happy with your simple solution.

    2. fajensen Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Um, guys, only 1 month left

      Sure, someone very much like Failing Grayling has procured an innovative mobile network design involving two hollowed out turnips and a long piece of string. It can be manufactured locally from available resources, it is totally mobile and one can even eat the handsets, should the need arise.

      Only 40 million quid for the license to manufacture.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: Um, guys, only 1 month left

        Is that the second generation development of the comms gear sold to the Army as Bowman 25 years ago?

    3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Um, guys, only 1 month left

      Do you really, honestly think that there's a deal just waiting to be signed ?

      Shouldn't that be

      Do you really, honestly think that there's a viable or workable deal just waiting to be signed ?

      Where are BoJo and Farage at the moment? They seem totally invisible recently.

      Perhaps they are buying up as much gunpowder as they can lay their hands on as they want to take us back to 1605 as that is the sort of world I think that they are dreaming of.

      King Bojo and Chancellor Farage perhaps?

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Um, guys, only 1 month left

        >King Bojo and Chancellor Farage perhaps?

        Don't you mean Court Jester Farage, given his performances in the EU Parliament...

        This would leave the Chancellor role to Mogg, who will most likely relocate No 11 and the Treasury to Ireland...

        1. Jemma Silver badge

          Re: Um, guys, only 1 month left

          I hope he does move to Ireland - that way he'll be a pair of boots in a smoking crater before you can say "Octavo" and with any luck they'll get the whole hell spawned family (lest the evil persist).

          He'd be burning benefits claimants, single mothers and atheists in power stations if he could get away with it. The sooner he's buried at a crossroads with a stake through his heart and decapitated the better (and what's the betting the crossroads will need resurfacing in 3 months...)

      2. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: Um, guys, only 1 month left

        Good point. I'll go sharpen my axe.

      3. DuncanLarge Bronze badge

        Re: Um, guys, only 1 month left

        "Where are BoJo and Farage at the moment? They seem totally invisible recently."

        Well Farage is on LBC everyday at 6pm and as he is still an MEP he is doing that stuff too.

        As for seeing him involved in UK politics, he left it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Um, guys, only 1 month left

          I believe Mr Farage is currently earning something like 100K as a senior MEP and 300K as a radio talk show host - luckily he has the time and talent to handle both jobs. This shows his planning skills since obviously after BrExit he will down ~100K - although as he has been an MEP for a long time he will qualify for an EU pension of ~70K/year (which is one of the elements that make up that settlement payment of ~40 billion).

          1. W.S.Gosset Bronze badge

            Re: Um, guys, only 1 month left

            > senior MEP ... - luckily he has the time and talent to handle both jobs

            No material time/effort required to be an MEP. Utter sinecure.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Um, guys, only 1 month left

              "No material time/effort required to be an MEP. Utter sinecure."

              If you actually try to do the job properly you have to turn up and work to represent your country's interests. But yeah, if you roll like Farage it's a piece of piss.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Draft statutory instruments

    With anything other than status quo happening around Brexit, my understanding is that the government will need to implement statutory instruments for all existing EU regulations to allow existing rules and regulations to be enforced. I am guessing this is in draft status in case it needs to be rushed through if something gets decided or we drop out with no deal.

    In terms of where this will end up (i.e being retained/dropped), I'm unsure if there is any clear indication either way at this point. And as there's no clear indication of it being about to be dropped, there isn't any lobbying that can be done to stop it (i.e. nothing) happening...

    But I guess status quo wouldn't make for a clickbait story.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Draft statutory instruments

      No, the statutory instruments are a lovely and undemocratic way to repeal EU regulations that are UK law. It's called "taking back control (by the government, because who needs a parliament)".

      1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: Draft statutory instruments

        The reason why draft statutory instruments are required is because there is no hope whatsoever that all of these amendments could be debated by both houses in this century, let alone before March 29th. They need to be draft now so that they can be waved into effect with a single vote on March 29th if a deal does not get agreed. We don't (and in fact can't) bring them into force now, because the EU bills are still in effect.

        The main purpose of the process is that each EU article enacted into UK law needs individual scrutiny to change the wording to remove references to the European courts and the other legal entities in the EU, and replace them in the legislation with the appropriate UK bodies. This is what prevents the wholesale bulk change of the relevant laws.

        Whilst there is the possibility that other changes could be made during this process, that was not the stated intent of the legislation that was passed to allow this all to be done as SIs.

        Like many other Brexit related processes, we as non civil servants don't actually find out about the things that need to be done unless we look. The whole process is hugely complex, and there will still be things to be done long after March 29th. We really needed the whole of the two year period (and potentially more) to put in place the mechanisms, whatever the outcome (and the deal has this built in to the transition period), but not enough has been done for a WTO exit.

        The thinking was that a no-deal exit was unthinkable, so didn't need to be planned for. Unfortunately, the people who thought this were over optimistic...

        (Much as I don't want it, I can still see Article 50 being rescinded on March 28th, because the enormity of the mess if a deal is not found is only beginning to sink in to politicians heads!)

    2. Jemma Silver badge

      Re: Draft statutory instruments

      Governmentese translation number #456

      Draft Statutory Instrument = Unlubricated Butt Plug, voters for the use of.

    3. W.S.Gosset Bronze badge

      Re: Draft statutory instruments

      > the government will need to implement statutory instruments for all existing EU regulations to allow existing rules and regulations to be enforced.

      No, that was already done at the time each came into being. The UK (all EU countries) implement EU directives immediately as local law, subject to EU law. Part of the requirements of EU membership.

      One point: the UK was almost the only EU country to actually do this honestly and correctly. Much of what remainers tout as the obvious superiority of EU countries' various services/freedoms/etc. is actually due to them _breaching_ their EU requirements. Worse, the UK's virtue-display merchants often over-egged their local legislation, making it even stricter than the actual EU requirements ; that process was so bad it even got a standard media label: "gold-plating" the EU reqts.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Draft statutory instruments

        “No, that was already done at the time each came into being. The UK (all EU countries) implement EU directives immediately as local law, subject to EU law. Part of the requirements of EU membership.”

        And in the event of Brexit, EU laws for UK companies operating in the UK will not apply. Hence the need for a way of untangling the relevant laws via statutory instruments. For mobile roaming, it states some of the regulations remain untouched (transparency and having to advise users when they hit certain limits) but moves authority for applying the regulations to OFCOM.

        “One point: the UK was almost the only EU country to actually do this honestly and correctly. Much of what remainers tout as the obvious superiority of EU countries' various services/freedoms/etc. is actually due to them _breaching_ their EU requirements. Worse, the UK's virtue-display merchants often over-egged their local legislation, making it even stricter than the actual EU requirements ; that process was so bad it even got a standard media label: "gold-plating" the EU Reqts.”

        I wholeheartedly agree - much of what is called “taking back control” was not taking control away from the EU but instead taking the excuses offered by UK politicians/civil servants for not making changes away. I’m not sure that even with control, there will be real change because the things that were done were in the interests of the UK politicians, but I guess a British judge will be “fairer” than some foreign judge who probably only speaks English as a fourth or fifth language.... (cue the downvotes from Remainers who consider sarcasm racism and Brexiteers who consider sarcasm an attack on fine, upstanding British judges)

        Unless the politicians acknowledge their part in the path to this, I’m not sure whether leaving the EU will be the end of the discontent with the political classes. I think voters want responsibility and all too often UK politicians over the last ~50 years pointed to the EU and said “it’s their fault”. And now many of those same politicians are wondering why things turned out the way they did while avoiding looking in the mirror.

  5. Tim Almond

    Government taking credit

    The thing when governments manage to get businesses to do things, and make a big announcement, is that it's often something business is going to do anything because of business development, and the EU taking credit for scrapping roaming charges is one of these things.

    Before their announcement, Three had already scrapped roaming charges, so if Three could do it, presumably everyone else could. And this was partly about one company gaining a competitive advantage, but also that the value of roaming had collapsed. I knew someone who was doing business around Europe and switched from making calls on phones to buying hotel wifi for £5 a day and using Skype. He reckoned his bill fell from over £200/month to around £30/month.

    If roaming was introduced by a company they'd gain nothing. Even if all of them did it there would be little advantage. People would just use cafes in Magaluf or Paris to upload their data.

    1. Jemma Silver badge

      Re: Government taking credit

      You are of course assuming that senior management has heard of the term "common sense".

      In reality they're the sort of people who get asked to pick a colour for their new spin off company logo - and manage to pick out the one purple in the entire of Europe that no one can formulate as paint (but is available as ink for the brochures). It cost that company (an ICI agrochemical spin off if I remember rightly) more to do the sign writing on the vans (because they had to invent a new process to make the paint), than it did to buy the vans outright.

      Management aren't P.Narrans, they aren't even H.Sapiens - they're more along the lines of somewhere between australopithecus afarensis and Wally from Dilbert.

      1. W.S.Gosset Bronze badge

        Re: Government taking credit

        Nah. Wally's a bit too proactive.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Government taking credit

        “Management aren't P.Narrans, they aren't even H.Sapiens - they're more along the lines of somewhere between australopithecus afarensis and Wally from Dilbert.”

        Wally could never be management. His goal is to look out for himself by doing nothing as ultimately, doing things results in unwanted consequences. Management looks out for itself by collecting money and “credit” for distributing blame and work to others.

        Dilberts boss (as collective middle management) and CEO (as a respresentation of the board rather than the individual) cover large companies remarkably accurately. Having said that, getting individuals and teams to focus on tasks that match a companies goals or even identifying a companies goals can be challenging - doing so while being politically correct, meeting the companies social and financial goals, avoiding alcoholism/drug addiction, achieving a work/life balance and not being a serial killer in your spare time is, I believe, impossible, so pick the trait you are most comfortable with being exposed for. Okay...you can have grumpy, bitter and twisted too...

  6. JimmyPage Silver badge
    FAIL

    Rory Cellan-Jones - naive or what ?

    "Individual operators will be reluctant to be first to pull the trigger"

    Clearly he didn't live through the 70s and 80s when petrol prices (which used to feature daily on the news) all went up in lockstep, and you'd here the delicious phrase ...

    <MegaOilCorp> is raising it's prices to remain competitive

    PaddyPower could do a book on it. I reckon 6 weeks after B-Day.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Rory Cellan-Jones - naive or what ?

      As you noted above, the companies' first duty is to there shareholders. I suspect roaming is less of an issue for many Brits as it is for, say, the Dutch so you can easily see new contracts being introduced that look cheaper for day to day stuff but with lovely £200+ bills for people on their jollies, just like in the good old days.

    2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: Rory Cellan-Jones - naive or what ?

      Well, RCJ does work for the Bbc, who aren't well known for their fact checking. See for example-

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-47133564

      Prices are rising because Ofgem is allowing suppliers to charge more to cover the higher wholesale costs they face owing to the higher global price of oil. Wholesale costs account for more than a third of a typical energy bill.

      Which ignores certain realities. Like the UK doesn't use oil for electricity generation, and oil prices fell below $100 and have remained there. The reason why electricity prices rise is thanks to the EU (and UK)'s love of 'renewables'. But the Bbc loves 'renewables', and dislikes the reality.

      I'm also curious if the Bbc's so against Brexit because it doesn't want it's EU operations regulated as a foreign broadcaster, like RT and Al Jazera.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Rory Cellan-Jones - naive or what ?

        “Which ignores certain realities. Like the UK doesn't use oil for electricity generation, and oil prices fell below $100 and have remained there. The reason why electricity prices rise is thanks to the EU (and UK)'s love of 'renewables'. But the Bbc loves 'renewables', and dislikes the reality.”

        The UK is however heavily dependent on gas for both electricity and heating, and the cost of gas is affected by the cost of oil (largely historic due to oil being the focus and gas being a byproduct but now beginning to move independently with producers providing gas-only products due to shale etc). While renewables maybe part of the issue, I believe most operational renewable sites are cost effective outside extreme weather events unless there’s some subsidies I’m not aware of as a lot were mothballed/closed/had significant alterations to make them profitable after the initial subsidy-driven madness.

        Gas is rising because old European gas fields are closing fast and large parts of Europe are trying to pretend they aren’t completely reliant on Russian gas yet. While the UK relies on Norwegian and Scottish gas, both are rising because of significant European demand and the availability of interconnects to Europe.

        The real comedy was the BBC explaining how the price cap caps the price you may pay unless the cost goes up, and then they have to increase the price cap.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        re: BBCs so against Brexit ..

        I guess they must be pretty balanced then, since from where I've heard, watched and read they've done everything to push Brexit ... allowing Farage and his ilk to spout of without a single challenge (like "facts"), whilst at the same time terrorising anyone who dares suggest Brexit is a shit idea. John "why doesn't Ireland fuck off ?" Humphries being the worst.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes! We're All Winners Now!

    This is the Will O' The People. The sweet smell of sovereignty and the heady bouquet of control. Savour it.

  8. DuncanLarge Bronze badge

    Yawn

    Might have roaming charges again, yawn.

    I really dont care. I personally think that #firstworldproblem is a very relevant hashtag for anyone who is concerned about paying a little more for a phone call, which can be made in other cheaper ways in the host country, instead of freedom and independence from a plutocratic mess that has lost its way and is clearly in need of a major rebuild/redesign.

    Reminds me of Cypher in The Matrix wanting to go back into it so that even though he is a slave he will think he is living in bliss because he can enjoy the taste of chicken over the slop he has to eat in the real world.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yawn

      Yeah too right! I remember when phones and tarifs were reassuringly expensive which had the bonus effect of stopping the hoi pollois from having them. Happy days! Sadly any pleb can get one now. Hopefully after Brexit we elites can **** and **** on people even more than we do. First World First!

    2. AmishFuturist

      Re: Yawn

      So Brexit is Morpheus?

      Interesting concept.

  9. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Can't HM Gov't simply apportion some of the 350 megaquids per week to defraying these charges?

  10. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    I’m lost. Who exactly is it who wants to allow mobile companies to charge the outrageously out of proportion roaming charges? It might benefit the mobile companies but is that really so important that legislation gets made right now in preparation for this?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      exactly is it who wants to allow mobile companies to charge the outrageously out of proportion roaming charges

      Nobody. Read what the legislation is actually designed to do.

  11. mexicanacheese

    Bring Back EU Roaming Charges!

    I'd like charges brought back, preferably at an extortionate rate, so I can go on holiday with friends who aren't glued to their bl**dy phones updating social media, instead of fully participating in the holiday ;-)

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Time to buy a dual SIM Huawei phone then ;)

    One for the UK, one for the local tariff. Take your pick.

    And no 5 eyes backdoors spying on you.

    Win-win.

    What's not to like?

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