back to article Three-quarters of crucial border IT systems at risk of failure? Bah, it's not like Brexit is *looks at watch* err... next month

Six of the eight border IT systems viewed as critical for a no-deal Brexit are at risk of failure, compounded by their reliance on each other and the fact delivery partners aren't ready. The latest damning assessment* of the UK's preparedness for a sudden no-deal departure from the European Union comes from the National Audit …

  1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    What possible delay?

    "Prime Minister Theresa May said she would allow Parliament to vote on a possible delay"

    Parliament can vote to define pi as 3 but that will have just the same effect as "delaying" Brexit. A delay requires a unanimous agreement from the other EU member states. Perhaps the UK could buy a delay at enormous expense but they have demonstrated the inability to negotiate anything tolerable in two years. They certainly cannot buy a delay in under a month for any sane fee. What parliament could do without any EU agreement is cancel Brexit. A speck of honesty from May would be appreciated (and shocking).

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: What possible delay?

      What parliament could do without any EU agreement is cancel Brexit.

      And just to throw a sop to the Brexiters, promise they can try again in five or ten years' time, once they've drawn up a feasible exit plan, gained nominal partner agreement to outlines of the requisite new trade deals and actually spent time researching and understanding the full impact of the change they wish to make. Then maybe if polling shows sufficient support in the country we can splash out on another referendum, properly informed and with campaigns ran by people who've promised not to mention the war or to lie on the side of a bus or to pose in front of a poster of Syrians fleeing a war zone while describing them as Turks planning to come to Britain even though Turkey's attempt to join the EU had stalled years before.

      Yeah, that'd work for me.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: What possible delay?

        @Rich 11

        "And just to throw a sop to the Brexiters, promise they can try again in five or ten years' time, once they've drawn up a feasible exit plan, gained nominal partner agreement to outlines of the requisite new trade deals and actually spent time researching and understanding the full impact of the change they wish to make."

        Ha, so get remainers who want to stand there looking dumb to try and avoid brexit to do something useful? That worked out well so far. The only good news is the result of the vote could actually be respected and those anti-democratic blow hards can suggest something to die hard remainers- we leave, and if you guys can muster enough support to vote for a party willing to rejoin then you can get back in. Probably without your special opt-outs so you will be in the disaster project in full.

        "Then maybe if polling shows sufficient support in the country we can splash out on another referendum"

        Been done. 3 votes in favour of changing our relationship with the EU 2 GE 1 referendum. 2 of those directly resulting in leave. That would be 3-0 for leave.

        "properly informed and with campaigns ran by people who've promised not to mention the war or to lie on the side of a bus or to pose in front of a poster of Syrians fleeing a war zone while describing them as Turks planning to come to Britain even though Turkey's attempt to join the EU had stalled years before."

        Also no economic bollocks from the Treasury and BoE, gov, propaganda paid by taxpayers from the gov, etc. As if they could manage that.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: What possible delay?

          Been done. 3 votes in favour of changing our relationship with the EU 2 GE 1 referendum. 2 of those directly resulting in leave. That would be 3-0 for leave.

          Not been done. Setting aside that May did not win enough seats to form a government in 2017 (she had to buy ten more), a general election is a chance to vote for a party (well, strictly just for the best person to represent your constituency regardless of party affiliation, but that's become a somewhat old-fashioned concept now), and support for one party does not equate to support for every single policy it promotes. We can tell this not only from a basic understanding of democracy but also by the fact that Parliament is so split on the subject of Brexit -- something you completely fail to consider.

          By your argument the 2005 GE was a vote in favour of the legitimacy of the Iraq war, because we failed to chuck Blair out (not surprising, given the alternative). A vote for Cameron in 2015 was not necessarily a vote to hold a referendum. Neither equate to an actual referendum on a single subject, so if you want to keep score then it's 1-1 (you forgot all about 1975).

          Also no economic bollocks from the Treasury and BoE, gov, propaganda paid by taxpayers from the gov, etc.

          I am absolutely in favour of this. Since neither of us know what the flavour of the government of the day would be, it's a matter of practicality as well as principle.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: What possible delay?

            @Rich 11

            "Setting aside that May did not win enough seats to form a government in 2017 (she had to buy ten more)"

            And so who is in government? Legally and abiding by the rules of election of the country? Regardless of that the only main party for remain was almost wiped out. If the most important thing facing us is brexit then they would have stonking support.

            "and support for one party does not equate to support for every single policy it promotes"

            Absolutely, I agree. So we had a referendum as well as the GE for a referendum to have our say and the election which wiped out the EU supporting party. 3-0 for leave.

            "Parliament is so split on the subject of Brexit"

            Which is great news for leave voters as Gina Miller insisting parliament should have the vote will likely lead to the default legal option- brexit.

            "(you forgot all about 1975)"

            The EU didnt exist then. Or if you want to argue it did then we can leave the EU and have another referendum in 40 yrs.

            "I am absolutely in favour of this. Since neither of us know what the flavour of the government of the day would be, it's a matter of practicality as well as principle."

            But this is the problem with the remain argument. It entirely seems to rest on the propaganda of destroyed economy and FUD. Very few (and I appreciate discussing with them) seem to argue sensibly on fact.

            1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

              Re: What possible delay?

              "and the election which wiped out the EU supporting party"

              Bullshit. Neither the conservative or labour had a solid position on EU/Brexit at the last GE, and they aren't clear now. Labour is still fudging it, last I heard they want a customs union, which crosses pretty much all the leavers red lines (have to follow EU laws, abide by ECJ rulings) so I'm not sure whether they are pro or anti EU, but they certainly aren't what most leavers want*.

              The conservatives have managed to negotiate a Brexit deal which they can't get passed by their own party, let alone cross party. So again, no idea if they are pro or anti EU since they can't actually agree what they want, let alone what they can negotiate as a party position, government position, let alone as a country.

              "But this is the problem with the remain argument."

              Other than it's the status quo?

              My argument for remain is that it is a complete proposal. All the current systems support it, and there are plenty of things that the leavers want** that the UK could do while remaining part of the EU, but won't (*cough* immigration *cough*). I think drawing attention to the things that are going wrong with the EU is a good thing (whichever side you're on), but Whitehall has spent decades hiding their own incompetence behind the facade of the EU.

              As an example DEFRA is unbelievably shite on making payments, so despite the farmers doing their paperwork, the EU paying DEFRA out, British farmers still get paid months after their EU counterparts. So British civil servants being incompetent at doling out EU money is somehow an EU problem. If only the EU was a federal state and could sort out the British civil service, but it turns out that all the EU members are in fact sovereign. Well, sovereign in legal terms, I'm sure there's some other definition :)

              If and when I see an actual proposal from the leavers, rather than empty promises, then I'll listen. One that is based on a) the current situation and b) things that are available now would be nice.

              Mind you, it would be pretty funny if other policies were allowed the "creative freedom" that leavers utilize. Then we could have a defence debate on the merits of the Royal Navy using laser armed sharks versus powered armored marines. Or energy policy, where parliament can declare that nuclear fusion will solve all our power supply needs, and that it will be available in six weeks time....

              "Very few (and I appreciate discussing with them) seem to argue sensibly on fact."

              I found that using facts in a debate with leavers is asking for a fight. It's pretty clear that most have a decided position, and it's not based on facts and logic. This is the norm for most politics, and why the "informed voter" is a myth.

              * I recognize that identifying what leavers want is very hard, since it's mainly about what they don't want, and that most of the time those "nays" are contradictory. Or undefined. Or are words that means something different to them than me.

              ** and aren't wrong about, IMHO

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: What possible delay?

                @MonkeyCee

                "Bullshit. Neither the conservative or labour had a solid position on EU/Brexit at the last GE"

                Your right. We had the Tories who held the referendum and promised brexit. Labour who refused to back remaining and the leader being against the EU. The only party guaranteeing binning the result and remaining was libs, and they almost wiped out completely.

                "Labour is still fudging it, last I heard they want a customs union"

                From what I hear they basically want things you cant have unless we remain while being for leave. So yeah fudging badly.

                "The conservatives have managed to negotiate a Brexit deal which they can't get passed by their own party, let alone cross party."

                This is fantastic because Gina Miller went to court and made it so parliament had to have a vote and there is no majority to do something. So the legal default is hard brexit. Leave might actually win this due to the incompetence of the desperate attempts to remain.

                "Other than it's the status quo?"

                Any idiot voting remain because it will keep the status quo is probably waiting for their unicorn to arrive. Idiot doesnt cover it, how can anyone be so deluded?

                "My argument for remain is that it is a complete proposal."

                That is actually a good argument. It is something that bothers me as a leave voter that leave is not that hard. Unfortunately trying to remain while delivering leave is extremely hard and is the problem.

                "I think drawing attention to the things that are going wrong with the EU is a good thing (whichever side you're on), but Whitehall has spent decades hiding their own incompetence behind the facade of the EU."

                Absolutely. One mistake often made by responders to me is to think I support the gov or think they are good. Our gov have screwed up plenty and so has the EU. My argument generally sits on an incompetent government above an incompetent government doesnt fix the situation.

                "If only the EU was a federal state and could sort out the British civil service, but it turns out that all the EU members are in fact sovereign. Well, sovereign in legal terms, I'm sure there's some other definition :)"

                Showing the slave that they are allowed to step out of their cage and therefore are not a slave doesnt change the facts. But I wouldnt be shocked if the solution to a lot of the EU problems is to federalise, the alternative being to back down to a working trade block. The mishmash they have now seeming to cause a lot of their trouble.

                "If and when I see an actual proposal from the leavers, rather than empty promises, then I'll listen. One that is based on a) the current situation and b) things that are available now would be nice."

                UKIP actually had a full plan for leave. The brexiters seemed to have some sense of a plan in the tory party. Unfortunately the party is lead by remainers and they want to remain. Hard brexit was considered better than Mays deal not long ago, yet the push is for Mays deal and taking hard brexit off the table. Yet hard brexit is a very good and strong option even the EU worries about (gives us a competitive advantage in their words).

                "Or energy policy, where parliament can declare that nuclear fusion will solve all our power supply needs, and that it will be available in six weeks time...."

                Funny you mention power because the EU push for green is one of the problems. That and Tony Blair being a moron (followed by further morons).

                "I found that using facts in a debate with leavers is asking for a fight. It's pretty clear that most have a decided position, and it's not based on facts and logic. This is the norm for most politics, and why the "informed voter" is a myth."

                I understand that. I do see that too. I also have exactly the same problem with remainers. Look at how many times I have had to correct the amazing lies which then they will continue to repeat anyway. Their view is the only one and no facts are allowed in. That is why I try to keep to the facts in these discussions because even if the one I respond to is blind beyond their view the people reading might not be.

                "* I recognize that identifying what leavers want is very hard, since it's mainly about what they don't want, and that most of the time those "nays" are contradictory. Or undefined. Or are words that means something different to them than me."

                Very true. But the different people with different perspectives unite on the common problem. The same exists for remainers who have different views of the EU and its direction yet for them they unite on the common problem.

              2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
                Unhappy

                "I found that using facts in a debate with leavers is asking for a fight."

                Indeed.

                I asked various British people who voted Leave why. The most coherent answers I got were

                "I never got a vote in 1992 for the change from the EEC to the EU" AFAIK they were about 6YO at the time.

                "To protect the fishermen" Not knowing that fishing rights in the North Sea are the only thing not in the draft agreement.

                The rest were not even that coherent to rate as an explanation.

                Dominic Cummings has a f**k of a lot to answer for.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What possible delay?

            "(she had to buy ten more)"

            With taxpayers money, no less. And the Tories will get away without repercussions (May of course is already finished - but not because of spunking 1Bn at the DUP).

            Apparently there is such a thing as a magic money tree.

        2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

          @codejunky

          The current polling is 52:48 in favour or remain.

          1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

            Re: @codejunky

            In Wales it's 55:45 in favour of remain. Scotland is even higher.

            1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
              Coffee/keyboard

              "In Wales it's 55:45 in favour of remain. "

              Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

              So all those hill farmers finally woke up to the fact they'd been played like banjo's and in fact Wales was one of the few parts of the UK that the rest of the EU is a next contributor to ?

              Or was it the Welsh Government's very blunt assessment of how f**ked Wales would be in a no deal Brexit?

              Pity that had not been done during the Referendum.

              It might have stopped this farce ever starting.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @codejunky

            The current polling is 52:48 in favour or remain.

            It was 51:49 in favour of remain the night before the referendum.

        3. Joe W

          Re: What possible delay?

          "non binding referendum"

          remember that?

          It could have been used as a strong argument to help reform either the EU, or change the UK's position inside the EU. In fact, many people outside the UK thought so (non representative sample from two countries, I admit).

          1. The Specialist

            Re: What possible delay?

            Indeed, and should it were binding, the courts would throw away the results and ask for a fresh referendum due to "alleged" foreign influence and irregularities.

            1. EvilDrSmith

              Re: What possible delay?

              Foreign influence? You mean Donald Tusk and President Obama both directly intervening to support remain, I assume?

              1. Chemist

                Re: What possible delay?

                " You mean Donald Tusk and President Obama both directly intervening to support remain, I assume?"

                No - Trump & Putin supporting leave - Jeez !

                1. EvilDrSmith

                  Re: What possible delay?

                  I an fairly confident I can find incontrovertible evidence of Donald Tusk and President Obama actively intervening in the referendum.

                  Can you provide evidence that Putin actually intervened during the referendum? During the referendum, note: expressing an opinion after the referendum had no effect on the vote, so does not constitute interference.

                  Or are you just repeating lies? Allocations made by people that want to overthrow a democratic decision do not constitute evidence.

            2. MonkeyCee Silver badge

              Re: What possible delay?

              If it was binding a simple majority would not have been enough.

              And stop with all this 48:52 crap.

              37.5% of the electorate voted for leave the EU.

              34.5% of the electorate voted for remain in the EU.

              28% of the electorate didn't vote.

              If we held a binding referendum, then having that third group express their opinions might give an accurate picture.

              Traditionally a referendum that says "We currently do X, lets do Y instead" counts the net percentage of "do Y" votes and compares them against all the others. In other words, not voting is effectively the same as voting to continue the status quo.

              "ask for a fresh referendum due to "alleged" foreign influence and irregularities."

              I thought it was because both sides breached campaign spending and finance laws.

              I am impressed by Putin's judo hands-off moves. For the cost of dozen cruise missiles he's managed to cause the US and UK to piss off their military allies, distract their legislatures onto petty domestic matters, and create or widen deep divisions within the people.

              1. livin' thing
                Boffin

                I've done the maths...

                And according to my numbers 78.9% of people in the UK voted to leave Europe behind, like a discarded McDonalds wrapper on a street in Slough.

                My next set of sums demonstrates unequivocally that 138.4% of all US citizens voted for Trump and even more will do so again in 2020, or whenever.

                (Disclaimer: I work for Gartner.)

              2. EvilDrSmith

                Re: What possible delay?

                >In other words, not voting is effectively the same as voting to continue the status quo

                Absolute bollocks.

                Apologies for the bad language, but really, that statement deserves it.

                In a democracy, if you vote in favour of something (or some a particular party) than you are deemed to support that idea or person.

                If you do not vote, you are deemed to accept the result from the majority that voted.

              3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
                WTF?

                "In other words, not voting is effectively the same as voting to continue the status quo."

                In which case why is Brexit proceeding.?

                The majority (IE including those who did not vote) voted Remain.

                1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                  Re: "In other words, not voting is effectively the same as voting to continue the status quo."

                  The majority (IE including those who did not vote) voted Remain.

                  Using that logic the majority in 1973 voted not to stay in the EEC (since only 67.23% of 64.62% voted "Yes") and the majority of the French voted not to create the EU in 1992 (51.04% of 69.69% voted "Pour").

                  People who didn't vote don't count. Trying to claim that people who didn't vote clearly supported your preferred option is just silly.

        4. ckm5

          Re: What possible delay?

          Also no economic bollocks from the Treasury and BoE, gov, propaganda paid by taxpayers from the gov, etc. As if they could manage that.

          You mean other than two major employers (Honda and Nissan) announcing they are pulling out of the UK with loss of up to 50k jobs? And Dyson relocating HQ to Singapore? Or Jim Ratcliffe pulling the Brexit parachute over Monaco?

          Let's face it, the UK is, at best, a second rate economy - it's not even as large as California - and without the EU would struggle in the face of raw global competition. And it will take decades to replace all the trade agreements the EU already has with the rest of the world. And your famous 'special relationship' partner has already said 'no deal' to a trade deal, so there goes that.

          Even the head of the Carlyle Group - vulture capitalists par excellance - thinks it's a terrible idea - https://pitchbook.com/news/articles/carlyles-david-rubenstein-wants-second-brexit-vote-as-uk-pe-deals-dwindle

          Thing is, delusions of empire don't really count in the real world. Leaving the worlds largest trading block because Polish people are doing the work no British person wants to do is a great way to turn your 2nd rate economy into a 3rd rate economy.

          Maybe you can sell off your new aircraft carriers to fund the NHS for another six months. I'm sure Brazil, India or Thailand would offer you a good price. Maybe even the Russians, who are bound to be your new BFF. After all, they did engineer this brilliant political coup call Brexit.

          1. EvilDrSmith

            Re: What possible delay?

            >You mean other than two major employers (Honda and Nissan) announcing they are pulling out of the UK with loss of up to 50k jobs

            That will be the Honda decision to close a factory in the UK, which Honda stated unequivocally was due to general conditions in the world car industry/market, and not because of Brexit?

            And the Nissan decision to not proceed with production of the predominantly diesel engined Kasquai in the UK, after the combination of the German auto-industry's deceit regarding emissions tests and government responses have collapsed the diesel engine car market throughout the EU, and especially in the UK? Coupled with the EU Japanese trade deal which meant they could build them in Japan to service the Japanese/Chinese (also a struggling market for car sales)/East Asian market, while importing the small number that they will sell in the EU tariff free?

            1. Alister Silver badge

              Re: What possible delay?

              Ahem:

              https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-47457219

              "Car giants Toyota and BMW have both warned a no-deal Brexit threatens the production of their cars in the UK."

      2. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge

        Re: What possible delay?

        Do you want Farage back so badly?

        The only reason UKIP support collapsed was the promise of Brexit.

        He is already setting up his UKIP-lite non(ahem)racist party ready for the EU elections, please don't give him a way back.

    2. Alister Silver badge

      Re: What possible delay?

      More to the point, I can't see that asking for a delay will achieve anything other than a delayed no deal.

      Despite Theresa May shuttling back and forth across the channel, there has been no substantive change to the agreed conditions of exit for the last two months, and I don't see that there ever will be, the EU has stated its case, and that's that.

      It is past time for May to admit that she will not be able to re-negotiate the terms, and that we are stuck with what we've got.

      1. Simon Harris Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: What possible delay?

        If you think all those trips to Brussels are about trying to get a new agreement...

        Theresa May: "Oooh, that's a nice crate of wine in the AirMiles catalogue... How many points have I got?... Oh, a couple more trips to Brussels and I'm sorted".

        Mine's the one with the copy of the Lisbon Treaty in the pocket ------>

        1. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: What possible delay?

          She travels by Eurostar, and Eurostar points give you money off future train tickets.

          1. Ken 16 Silver badge

            Re: What possible delay?

            and £33Million on ferry contracts

      2. SundogUK

        Re: What possible delay?

        If what we've got is 'no deal' then that is what I voted for in the first place. Job done.

        1. nematoad Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: What possible delay?

          "If what we've got is 'no deal' then that is what I voted for in the first place. Job done."

          Yes, and if there is a no deal then a lot of other peoples' jobs would be done as well.

          The one thing I would like to know is: What's in it for the country if we do leave without a deal?

          1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
            Unhappy

            "The..thing I would like to know is: What's in it for the country if we do leave without a deal?"

            That's easy.

            According to the Bank of England an estimated 9% lower GDP over the next 15 years than if the UK leaves with a deal.

            Of course kwitters will call that just another piece of "Project Fear."*

            *That's if they knew about it. Most of them are probably drinking themselves stupid on cheap cider dreaming of the good, well paying job they are going to get (with no qualifications or experience) when "We take back control."

    3. ratfox Silver badge
      Angel

      Re: What possible delay?

      No worries, the EU member states have said they will agree. But only if there is a second referendum. And I think Spain is going to ask Gibraltar in exchange.

      So you see, no issue at all.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What possible delay?

        Germany said they'd agree, so did Ireland. France said not without something in return and Spain...you're pretty close but I think it was just the airport that they want for this extension.

        1. NerryTutkins

          Re: What possible delay?

          Yes, but since agreement has to be unanimous, it doesn't really matter if Germany says it will vote for an extension - the decision will come down to whether France and Spain agree. It's pretty clear May has no intention of actually changing her position, she's just buying time to stay in office a little longer and exhaust all the alternative routes to either a softer brexit or a referendum, so we're left with her shitty deal, or jumping off a very high cliff.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What possible delay?

            Actually the decision will come down to whether Slovenia and Wallonia feel they're getting enough out of the withdrawal agreement to bother supporting it. What's in it for them?

    4. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: What possible delay?

      @Flocke Kroes

      "What parliament could do without any EU agreement is cancel Brexit"

      Without EU agreement yes. But thanks to Gina Miller parliament must actually vote for something (not against) so they would need to agree on a path forward. And they cant. The default is hard brexit thankfully so there is hope as long as they all continue to argue and disagree with each other.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: What possible delay?

        The default is hard brexit thankfully

        You must really hate the people who would suffer the most if that were to happen. Or are you so utterly convinced that everything except the One True Brexit is all a part of Project Fear that you don't believe anything bad could possibly happen to anyone because of it, and in fact we'll all just be happy bunnies frolicking with the the unicorns in the sunlit uplands. Jesus fuck. Wake up and get some mirror neurons.

        1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

          Re: What possible delay?

          " The default is hard brexit thankfully - You must really hate the people who would suffer the most if that were to happen "

          You must really hate those of us who would suffer the most if we were to remain. F*ck you: if the EU want to cut off BMW and Mercedes Benz's noses to spite their faces, so be it.

          1. eldakka Silver badge

            Re: What possible delay?

            You must really hate those of us who would suffer the most if we were to remain.
            Who in the UK is being harmed by being in the EU?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: What possible delay?

              Jacob Rees-Mogg. Nanny says it's made him come out in a nasty rash.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Who in the UK is being harmed by being in the EU?

              Have a look at the EU Anti Tax Avoidance Directive, originating from maybe five years or so ago, due for implementation this year.

              Until recently, I'd have said that might help you understand who *will* be harmed *if* the UK stays in the EU.

              It now seems that many of the individuals likely to be most affected by a clampdown on corporate tax dodging in the internal market have chosen to leave the UK anwyay, whether they are the City moneychangers that dream up and facilitate these scams, or individual corporate businesspeople and similar, whose businesses benefit from these practices..

              And almost none of the EU ATAD stuff has been reported in the usual meejah.

              Odd, that.

            3. EvilDrSmith

              Re: What possible delay?

              Fishermen, apparently. They don't seem to like the EU's Common Fisheries Policy.

              There are of course many other groups, too.

              1. disco_stu
                Facepalm

                Re: What possible delay?

                Fishermen - who sell most of their catch to the EU

                1. EvilDrSmith

                  Re: What possible delay?

                  Well, based on

                  The House of Commons' Briefing paper Number 2788, 5 December 2017

                  UK Sea Fisheries Statistics

                  The UK exports some fish, and imports some fish, but is a net importer of fish.

                  Obviously, there are numerous different species, so we tend to export the species we catch at home and import from abroad, but nevertheless, we are a net importer of fish.

                  The document shows exports tonnage is more than half of the total landings by UK fishing fleet in UK and overseas combined (though it does not follow that this is all exported to the EU).

                  However, it also shows that landings by EU (non-UK) boats operating in UK waters exceed the tonnage exported by the UK (this fish is not included in the UK tonnage, so if landed / sold in the UK, would presumably count towards fish imports, despite being caught in UK home waters).

                  The same document shows a steady decline in the number of people that have been working in the fishing industry (reasonably steady for approx. period 1970 to 1990, then declines sharply; now about half what it was), while the Gross tonnage of the UK fishing fleet has dropped by about one third since the mid-90's.

                  Perhaps most relevantly, I have yet to see or read an interview with a UK fisherman that considers that the EU has been good for the UK fishing industry; I have seen many that express the opinion that it has been bad. If the people working in the industry think the EU is bad for them, they're probably correct.

                  1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

                    Re: What possible delay?

                    If the people working in the industry think the EU is bad for them, they're probably correct.

                    Or, just possbily, what is bad for the fishing industry is dredging all the fish out of the sea, which is what EU quotas are designed to prevent. So that short-sighted greedy individuals can't catch all the fish today and fuck anyone who comes after them. "It's them unelected byoooorocrats tellin us what to do innit!"

                    See also - Northwest Atlantic cod collapse.

                    1. codejunky Silver badge

                      Re: What possible delay?

                      @Loyal Commenter

                      "Or, just possbily, what is bad for the fishing industry is dredging all the fish out of the sea, which is what EU quotas are designed to prevent."

                      Apparently that isnt working very well and is part of the problem.

                      "So that short-sighted greedy individuals can't catch all the fish today and fuck anyone who comes after them."

                      Like a politician buying votes today with the bill coming tomorrow.

                    2. EvilDrSmith

                      Re: What possible delay?

                      This being the EU quota system that sees fishermen of all EU nations throwing dead fish back into the sea to avoid being fined?

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: What possible delay?

                        Test.

                        Just seeing how deeply the threading can go.

                  2. jwa

                    Re: What possible delay?

                    Prehaps it would have helped if a third of the quotas hasn't being sold by British boats to foreign boats.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What possible delay?

          If you want to stay in the EU, just send me £100 a week and I'll send back £75 and tell you what to buy, and you have to tell everyone that I bought it for you.

          1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

            Re: What possible delay?

            If you want to leave the EU, just send me £500 pounds a week and you can keep what you have now, with no rebate, and done less efficiently, to a lower standard that you were getting under the EU.

            FWIW, it's closer to £100 a year that an individual pays towards the EU to support such things as nuclear, medicines, aviation, safety etc. regulators, access to a proper human rights court, visa-free travel, cost-free mobile roaming, amongst many other things, all of which benefit from economies of scale.

        3. SundogUK

          Re: What possible delay?

          No one is going to suffer. This is the twenty first century and the UK is the worlds 5th or 6th largest economy.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What possible delay?

            And soon to be 7th or 8th, apparently.

          2. NerryTutkins

            Re: What possible delay?

            Ah yes, the magic of brexit.

            You can take 50% of your trade from the best terms (single market) to the worst (WTO rules) and we'll brush it off, we'll hardly notice (despite all the border checks, tariffs, chaos). Apparently the best trade deal we have, covering 50% of our trade, really isn't that important.

            But we absolutely MUST leave the customs union. Why? Because if we don't, we won't be able to sign new trade deals. Apparently these new trade deals create MASSIVE benefits (unless they're with Europe for 50% of our trade, in which case, they erm... don't).

            And let's not even consider the fact that the EU has the best set of free trade deals of any economic block or country, and Liam Fox is (not surprisingly) shit out of luck when it comes to even getting those countries to continue on the same terms. But we're supposed to believe when the UK is a fraction of the size of the EU, it's going to sign better deals with China and the US.

            No, it's going to part it's cheeks and accept whatever painful deal the US forces on it. Look into Liam Fox's background, and you can see that's his wet dream. The UK as the 51st state, though one without any representation or power, blindly following US rules.

            1. ckm5

              Re: What possible delay?

              No, it's going to part it's cheeks and accept whatever painful deal the US forces on it. Look into Liam Fox's background, and you can see that's his wet dream. The UK as the 51st state, though one without any representation or power, blindly following US rules.

              Well, the US has already said there would be no quick trade deal https://www.kitv.com/story/40053335/britains-hopes-of-a-trade-deal-with-america-just-suffered-a-big-blow and https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/us-uk-trade-deal-brexit-deal-theresa-may-trump-ambassador-woody-johnson-a8705056.html

              I'm sure China & Russia will be happy to do a quick deal, however.

          3. FrozenShamrock

            Re: What possible delay?

            People suffer in a recession regardless of how big the economy is, or was.

          4. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

            Re: What possible delay?

            No one is going to suffer. This is the twenty first century and the UK is the worlds 5th or 6th largest economy.

            That's okay then. You go and tell those workers in the car building industry that their jobs are safe after all!

        4. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: What possible delay?

          @Rich 11

          "You must really hate the people who would suffer the most if that were to happen."

          Hate who? I dont hate the various member countries, I feel sorry for them being trapped in the EU. I dont hate this country I dont want us afflicted with this curse known as the EU.

          "you don't believe anything bad could possibly happen to anyone because of it, and in fact we'll all just be happy bunnies frolicking with the the unicorns in the sunlit uplands"

          Not at all. I am just not deluded. The EU proper (Eurozone) has tanked economies and is dragging the area down so badly due to political mismanagement that they broke a signed agreement not to use our contribution to bail out Greece (which the EU tanked). I dont think we need the law to approve of what we do, only to disapprove of bad thing meaning a white van man should not be fined for not littering. The amusement that is the banana law which some remainers dont think exists shows excessive overreach. And of course the EU is not able to compete on a level ground with the US nor China and is in multiple self inflicted crises.

          Or for my amusement in the EU- "you don't believe anything bad could possibly happen to anyone because of it, and in fact we'll all just be happy bunnies frolicking with the the unicorns in the sunlit uplands. Jesus fuck. Wake up and get some mirror neurons."

    5. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: What possible delay?

      A speck of honesty from May would be appreciated (and shocking).

      A speck of honesty from the Conservative BRexiteers would also be appreciated.

      Watching Tuesday evenings news was fascinating, as Brexiteer after Brexiteer failed to answer the simple questions put to them. About the only honest thing was the one's (yes Brexiteers) who said they would vote the opposite way to Mogg...

      So expect in the coming votes, in May's cunning plan, to see Brexiteers voting both for and against whatever it is they are being asked to vote on, including all the various procedural motions eg. having a vote on whether to put the motion to the vote.

    6. fandom Silver badge

      Re: What possible delay?

      "A delay requires a unanimous agreement from the other EU member states."

      No, the european court that decides these things has ruled that the UK can unilaterally revoke Brexit

      1. NerryTutkins

        Re: What possible delay?

        Wrong.

        The UK can unilaterally *cancel* brexit by withdrawing it's article 50 notification to leave.

        But to simply *delay* the leave date, without cancelling it, it needs unanimous agreement.

        The European court has ruled that withdrawing article 50 cannot be done in play of a delay. In other words, it must be a genuine cancellation, and not simply a tool to delay brexit by using the fact it can be done unilaterally (which delaying cannot) and then triggering article 50 again later.

        1. fandom Silver badge

          Re: What possible delay?

          Nerry, where is you imagination? you can revoke it now and activate it again in two months, you may not call that 'delay' but that's a distiction without a difference.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What possible delay?

            "Nerry, where is you imagination? you can revoke it now and activate it again in two months, you may not call that 'delay' but that's a distiction without a difference."

            The UK has created enough doubts about its truthfulness and the value of its commitments with trying to weasel out of agreements already made.

            Your tactic would make the next agreement make May's deal look absurdly generous. Current estimates of about a 9% hit on the UK economy for no deal assume a friendly Europe that wants to trade. A pissed off EU that doesn't trust the UK as far as they can levitate it from Calais will produce a trade environment that will hurt a lot more than that, and rightly so.

            They wouldn't believe a thing a UK government promised, with good reason.

            On the other hand, it would be amusing if you had to fly from the UK to New York in order to get to Amsterdam.

            And all your anti-immigration bigots will doubtless applaud getting rid of all those Poles and Germans in favour of Bangladeshis, Vietmnamese, Chinese, Egyptians and Syrians in even greater numbers after desperate negotiations to get a trade deal with anyone.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: What possible delay?

              "it would be amusing if you had to fly from the UK to New York in order to get to Amsterdam."

              Stranger things have happened, and should perhaps serve as a warning to the NoDeal merchants.

              E.g. IP packets from UK ISP Pipex's DSL user accounts used to route via the USA to get to the BBC's web content in the UK, which was rather unfortunate. Fixed eventually, but irritating while it lasted.

            2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
              Thumb Up

              "all your anti-immigration bigots will doubtless applaud getting rid of all those Poles

              and Germans in favour of Bangladeshis, Vietmnamese, Chinese, Egyptians and Syrians in even greater numbers "

              I damm near pi**ed myself laughing at this .

              Kwitter "Yeah I voted to stop all those Indians and pakis coming here."

              Remainer "So when did India and Pakistan join the EU?"

              You have to admire Dominic Cummins* ability to find all those little groups of malice, spite and hatred (with the aid of Aggregate IQ of course) and tell them just what they needed to hear (or rather not hear) about the EU to get the result he wanted.

              *Actually I don't. When it was clear some of those lies are diametrically opposite and therefor undeliverables it was obvious Brexit would be a s**tstorm. No wonder he, and Farage and Cameron, made sure they were out the door before that happened.

        2. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

          Re: What possible delay?

          "it must be a genuine cancellation, and not simply a tool to delay brexit by using the fact it can be done unilaterally (which delaying cannot) and then triggering article 50 again later."

          The main problem here is political.

          If we wished, we could say we were cancelling Brexit and holding another referendum (preferably binding and with real details on what the game plan would be). It would effectively be a delay while we were asking the people to decide how to proceed, but it would be a cancellation and therefore compatible.

          However, the problem comes from the "people" (OK, a vocal subset of half the people) who would see it as a real cancellation and "subverting the will of the people". They would shout and scream that their One True Brexit was being taken away from them, and unfortunately we can't just take them to one side and whisper "Ssssh, this is all just a trick! You'll get your Brexit but we need more time to stop it completely destroying the country."

          1. SundogUK

            Re: What possible delay?

            "...completely destroying the country."

            If you sincerely believe this you need committing.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What possible delay?

            "The main problem here is political."

            The main problem here is that clearly a large segment of the British populace can't be trusted - either their promises or their reasoning abilities.

      2. Stoneshop Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: What possible delay?

        "revoke" .nes. "delay"

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What possible delay?

        ""A delay requires a unanimous agreement from the other EU member states."

        No, the european court that decides these things has ruled that the UK can unilaterally revoke Brexit"

        Until you realize that 'delay' and 'revoke' mean very different things, you will remain confused.

    7. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: What possible delay?

      They certainly cannot buy a delay in under a month for any sane fee.

      One month? That's two Agile sprints or something, quite enough to get those vital systems done, tested and live, isn't it?

      1. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge

        Re: What possible delay?

        If you believe that I have a change to the MVP that is a showstopper.

    8. don't you hate it when you lose your account

      Re: What possible delay?

      We need to have faith in Billy Great Britain, all will be well and the streets will flow with the finest ale. Oh, and Facebook deserves our full confidence and compliance.

  2. Ken 16 Silver badge
    Trollface

    Cheer up, what's the worst that could happen?

    After the economy collapses, transport links grind to a halt, food and medicine run out, London burns and a woad decorated kilty army surges south for revenge?

    1. Locky Silver badge

      Re: Cheer up, what's the worst that could happen?

      Yeah, but apart from that, what has Brexit ever done for us?

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Cheer up, what's the worst that could happen?

      a woad decorated kilty army surges south for revenge

      Did the Picts use much woad? I'd have thought that it was too cold up there to run around semi-naked..

      (Mind you, I've been in Newcastle[1] city centre on a crisp weekend night so maybe not.. )

      [1] Yes, yes - Newcastle != Scotland (although it once was part of Scotland)

      1. Ken 16 Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Cheer up, what's the worst that could happen?

        I was referencing Braveheart not history :-)

        Geordies are generally welcome in Scotland though, it's only when you get down to Leeds and Manchester that you bump into real southerners.

      2. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: Cheer up, what's the worst that could happen?

        When the land north of Hadrians wall was part of Scotland (Caledonia) there wasn't a Newcastle and border control was in Latin.

        1. Ken 16 Silver badge

          Re: Cheer up, what's the worst that could happen?

          No return to the hard spiky borders of the past

        2. Simon Harris Silver badge
          Childcatcher

          Re: Cheer up, what's the worst that could happen?

          and border control was in Latin.

          Rees-Mogg is getting excited with that idea.

        3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Unhappy

          " north of Hadrians wall was..Scotland there wasn't a Newcastle..border control was in Latin."

          I time Jacob Rees Mogg imagines fondly returning to.

    3. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Cheer up, what's the worst that could happen?

      a woad decorated kilty army surges south for revenge

      I hope they meet up with the Farage fantasy force en route. Hilarity will ensue, though possibly not for very long,

    4. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Cheer up, what's the worst that could happen?

      @Ken 16

      Until you mentioned london I thought you were talking about the EU. They are already on their way there now.

    5. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Cheer up, what's the worst that could happen?

      Kilty army?

      Why would they bother? If the UK leaves the EU and there is a 'backstop' which results in different customs and trade rules in NI compared to the rest of the 'United' Kingdom, then that is in breach of the 1707 Act of Union, which is very clear that all customs, tariffs and trade conditions must be the same throughout the Kingdom.

      So Scotland would have an excellent case to unilaterally leave the Union, based on breach of contract, and apply to the EU to take over the UKs membership, which I suspect would be granted in very short order.

      Then we can build a wall again from Tyne to Solway!

      [And totally unconnected - who can explain the spelling of tarriff, tarif, tarrif, tttaaarrrriiiffff, tariff ? why can't it be consistent with the r's and the f's?]

      1. Ken 16 Silver badge

        Re: Cheer up, what's the worst that could happen?

        There's no f-ing reason why not.

        Not sure about your argument on the act of union, how does that line up with the DUP asking for NI to change its corporation tax to match Ireland or the Scottish government taking an extra 1% income tax?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cheer up, what's the worst that could happen?

        > 'backstop' which results in different customs and trade rules in NI

        > compared to the rest of the 'United' Kingdom,

        No, that’s not what the backstop says because the DUP wouldn’t agree to anything that treated NI differently from the rest of the Union. The “backstop” involves the whole of the UK adopting EU-compatible trade rules until some future final settlement.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Cheer up, what's the worst that could happen?

          On the contrary, the DUP insist on NI being treated differently - e.g. libel laws, abortion, and so on.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Cheer up, what's the worst that could happen?

          er, they were asking for different tax rates in NI long before Brexit - they want corporate tax to be 10%

          The original backstop was about alignment of customs, food and other regulations in NI only, it was the UK government who asked for that to be delivered a UK wide customs union.

      3. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: Cheer up, what's the worst that could happen?

        I think Spain would block Scotland from picking up the UKs membership post any separation because that would give credence to the Catalan & Basque regions wishing to follow suite.

        The whole point of the backstop arrangement is to facilitate the transfer of N-I to the South as the price for a trade deal. Once it's signed, the EU will quite happily string along negotiations forever until the UK finally gives up one way or the other.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Cheer up, what's the worst that could happen?

          Ireland doesn't want Northern Ireland without the enthusiastic consent of the people there - it would be too much of a struggle. Even if they do want to get into bed with Ireland, it will be another generation before Ireland can afford to keep them in the style they're accustomed to.

          1. Teiwaz Silver badge

            Re: Cheer up, what's the worst that could happen?

            Probably not a fair direct comparison, but up until the 1990's the glaring cross-border infrastructure differences screamed that the ROI could not match the same level of investment.

            A lot of the investment (roads especially) was EU funded - but then, there were a number of NI projects that benefited from EU money.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Cheer up, what's the worst that could happen?

              Yeah, Ireland's only the 10th richest country in the world in terms of Gross National Income per Capita. Wait until we overtake Luxembourg before we can afford vanity projects like NI.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Cheer up, what's the worst that could happen?

          Never mind that the Tories, who it was that negotiated the backstop, would most happily trade NI off if there was a few pieces of silver in it (the DUP knows this of course).

          At this point I think the EU just wants the UK to pack it's shit, return the keys and move out!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Cheer up, what's the worst that could happen?

            I was rather surprised at the view uin my local (rural east midlands) pub, the consensus during a discussion on Brexit was that we should leave with no deal and hand over NI to Ireland as 'who cares'. Oh and definitely no freedom of movement, apart from seasonal agricultural workers obviously.

            1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

              Re: Cheer up, what's the worst that could happen?

              Oh and definitely no freedom of movement, apart from seasonal agricultural workers obviously.

              And of course NHS and care home staff and local staff for engineering staff (is there any left in the E Midlands), and teachers and.....

              But hey no free movement.

              1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

                Re: Cheer up, what's the worst that could happen?

                "apart from seasonal agricultural workers obviously.

                And of course NHS and care home staff and local staff for engineering staff (is there any left in the E Midlands), and teachers and....."

                But apart from that, what have the EU FOM rules ever done for us?

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: Cheer up, what's the worst that could happen?

                  @Dr. Mouse

                  "But apart from that, what have the EU FOM rules ever done for us?"

                  Added to homelessness figures. Reduced wages at the bottom. Deprived EU member countries of workers as we pay better.

            2. tiggity Silver badge

              Re: Cheer up, what's the worst that could happen?

              Why be surprised at the views in a (rural east midlands) pub,

              East Mids has way too many racist f**ktards especially in the smaller towns / villages (where they are less likely to be meaningfully interacting with people of other nationalities or non UK white heritage )

              .. I speak as some born and raised in E Mids - not some metropolitan effete elite person

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Cheer up, what's the worst that could happen?

                I live in Scotland but grew up in England.

                People here were astonished by the vote result. Of course they have all visited England any maybe lived there, but only in the “nice” bits. The discovery that the rest of England was full of horrible racists was a real shock.

              2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
                Coat

                ".. I speak as some born and raised in E Mids - not some metropolitan effete elite person"

                Solihull?

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Cheer up, what's the worst that could happen?

              "Oh and definitely no freedom of movement, apart from seasonal agricultural workers obviously."

              I wonder what they would think if they realized they'd have to pay 30,000 GBP each for agricultural workers?

        3. NerryTutkins

          Re: Cheer up, what's the worst that could happen?

          Spain has already indicated it would not veto Scotland joining the EU, assuming it was leaving a UK which had already left the EU.

          It was different at the time of the Scottish independence referendum. The UK was an EU country, and Spain would have been very nervous about Scotland being able to leave, and then join the EU. That would clearly encourage other EU regions to push for independence, including its own.

          But if the UK was outside the EU, then there is really no problem for Spain. The fact Scotland had left a bigger country should pose no barrier.

          After all, Spain didn't veto the Czech Republic or Slovakia joining the EU (Czechoslovakia had previously split into two) or Croatia (which was part of the former Yugoslavia which split up in a rather messy way). Bosnia is also a candidate country.

          The relationship between the UK and Spain is likely to deteriorate over Gibraltar, and so encouraging Scotland to go for independence by supporting its bid for EU membership might in fact be rather attractive to Spain as another way to kick the UK in the balls.

        4. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Cheer up, what's the worst that could happen?

          If UK leaves EU then I sincerely favour with Scotland immediately leaving the UK union and I hope they prosper and the two fingers are properly shown to the south.

          In fact I hope this country gets everything it deserves. Though I do feel a bit sorry for the terminally gullible.

      4. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Cheer up, what's the worst that could happen?

        So Scotland would have an excellent case to unilaterally leave the Union, based on breach of contract, and apply to the EU to take over the UKs membership, which I suspect would be granted in very short order.

        The EU has already said very clearly that a future independent Scotland would not be able to do that. It would be welcome to apply to join, but would need to meet all the conditions of any new member, including implementing the Euro, meeting the economic convergence criteria and joining Schengen.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Cheer up, what's the worst that could happen?

          At the moment they are aligned with EU rules, if they leave the UK they will need a new currency and I'm sure Ireland will support their opt out from Schengen. As for Spain, while they may not want to encourage Catalunya, they might want to screw over the English so that's a coin flip.

        2. Phil Endecott Silver badge

          Re: Cheer up, what's the worst that could happen?

          A “hard border” between England and Scotland would be hard to imagine.

          1. Ken 16 Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Cheer up, what's the worst that could happen?

            Agreed, I mean that's over 150km with 24 crossing points, that'd be much harder to put a border on than the 500km and 310 crossing points between Ireland and Northern Ireland, wouldn't it?

          2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: Cheer up, what's the worst that could happen?

            A “hard border” between England and Scotland would be hard to imagine.

            Never mind the legal arguments about where it is drawn.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Cheer up, what's the worst that could happen?

          The EU has already said very clearly that a future independent Scotland would not be able to do that. It would be welcome to apply to join, but would need to meet all the conditions of any new member, including implementing the Euro, meeting the economic convergence criteria and joining Schengen.

          ------------------------------------------------------

          And if Britain leaves the EU, it will also have to agree to those terms when it rejoins.

      5. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Cheer up, what's the worst that could happen?

        [And totally unconnected - who can explain the spelling of tarriff, tarif, tarrif, tttaaarrrriiiffff, tariff ? why can't it be consistent with the r's and the f's?]

        It's an anglicization from Arabic, so originally wouldn't even have been in the same alphabet as the English word.

      6. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: Cheer up, what's the worst that could happen?

        The backstop only kicks in if the current May deal is accepted and comes into effect, and only then if we get to the end of an additional negotiation on the exact trade relationship without an agreement on those terms. This period is either 19 months or two years, I can't remember which.

        People appear to completely forget this next phase of the deal if it comes into force. During this additional period, all the current rules will continue as they are.

        If we hit leave with no deal, there is no backstop.

        1. Daniel 18

          Re: Cheer up, what's the worst that could happen?

          "If we hit leave with no deal, there is no backstop."

          Only chaos.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cheer up, what's the worst that could happen?

      A lot of us don't need to come south after the post Brexit fall, we are already here. Now what is the going rate for a bucket of woad and a broadsword on eBay today?

    7. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Go

      Re: Cheer up, what's the worst that could happen?

      a woad decorated kilty army

      First read that as 'kitty army'.

      Meow! Hiss! Scratch!

  3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "The two groups have been tracking the government's prep for border control in the event of no deal"

    It doesn't sound as if they need to put much effort into it. Ring round the suspects once a day - or even once a week: "What have you done?" "Not a lot.".

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      "What have you done?" "Not a lot."

      Sooo - much like various Brexit ministers over the last two years. What little 'progress' that has been made seems to have been done by May in the last six months - presubably after she realised how inept Davis et. al. had been..

  4. Evil Auditor Silver badge
    FAIL

    "We are fucked"

    Not living on the British Isles I would like to say: you are fucked. And you are, by the way.

    Unfortunately, it is not only going to affect the UK. I guess a lot more will be fucked, too.

    icon for obvious reason

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "We are fucked"

      No, Ireland will be worst affected and even then it's on the level of a non-consensual testicle squeeze. By the time you hit Netherlands the impact is at the level of frotting on a crowded train.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: "We are fucked"

        I thought the Netherlands was famous for that...

        1. Simon Harris Silver badge

          Re: "We are fucked"

          I didn't get frotted once on the train from Schiphol Airport to central Amsterdam (or back the other way) - I demand a refund of my train fare.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "We are fucked"

            It can't have been that bad if you don't remember whether it happened "back the other way" or not

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "We are fucked"

        Ooh, sounds like the embryo of a new El-Reg standard unit of discomfort scale...

  5. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Simple system

    What is your name?

    What is your quest?

    What is the airspeed velocity of a fully laden swallow?

    Incorrect answers will result in the foreigner being ejected into the dire chasm separating Britain from the rest of Europe

    1. Jimmy2Cows
      Coat

      Re: Simple system

      African or European Swallow...?

      1. Ken 16 Silver badge

        Re: Simple system

        Not a bloody European one, obviously

        Coming over here, eating our birdseed.

  6. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    TL;DR

    We're fucked.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: TL;DR

      Whose this "we" ?

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: TL;DR

        Anybody in the UK without an offshore account/portfolio.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is what you get when MPs have never had to negotiate anything other than their expenses ..

    Write from "the continent", it's been astonishing and depressing in equal measures at how the British parliament is so puffed up with their own importance.

    They can pass whatever votes they like - it will have no effect.

    It's a shame they didn't fucking listen when Tusk made his statement a couple of weeks ago. But then it seems Brexit has never been about listening but shouting.

    Tusk statement wasn't an idle off the cuff remark. It didn't just "pop out". The EU doesn't work that way.

    His statement was a clearly coded (again, to those who were listening) signal that the EU considers its work is done. There is nothing more they can do, and nothing more they will do. It's only the UK press that has mentioned an extension. Or is it "extensions" - there seems some confusion.

    The only route to an extension will be via a request from Theresa May. And the only way an extension will be granted is if the UK can show it will materially change something. Otherwise it's bye-bye on the 29th (and more than one EU27 member whispering "good riddance").

    I think the less European readers need to bear in mind that even before the UK decided on this collective madness, the mood music was all about how the UK doesn't need the EU to get ahead in the world, and that needs to be carefully remembered when talk of extensions arises.

    Ideally, more time would help the EU prepare a bit more. But Tusks statement was a clear sign that they are willing to suffer the pain now. He would not have said anything otherwise.

    1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

      Re: This is what you get when MPs have never had to negotiate anything other than their expenses ..

      "

      And the only way an extension will be granted is if the UK can show it will materially change something.

      "

      I disagree. I expect the EU will readily agree to an extension at the rate of, say, £350 million per day. Which we could finance from the NHS budget, perhaps.

      1. fajensen Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: This is what you get when MPs have never had to negotiate anything other than their expenses ..

        Why is it that everything is about money with you people?

        The EU-side wants to close the situation and then do other things. They keep saying it.

        The British side seems utterly convinced that the EU wants to not resolve the situation and even extract some rent from it. Ignoring that there is a huge opportunity cost of dealing with the weekly Brexit shit-show episode, which blocks everyone (including the UK-side) from doing those other, more important, things they need to be doing.

        1. Jimmy2Cows

          Re: This is what you get when MPs have never had to negotiate anything other than their expenses ..

          You're suggesting they wouldn't happily take the money...?

          These are politicians remember. Saying they want to close the situation and move on doesn't mean they actually want that. I'm sure they'd grudgingly "settle" for weekly mountains of cash in the meantime.

  8. codejunky Silver badge

    Ha

    For those wanting government to take over more of the economy.... this is government. 2 years and total desperation not to do what they are paid to do and making a mess of it all good and proper.

    And this applies here in the UK and in the EU

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Ha

      For someone so in favour of leaving the economy in the safe hands of private enterprise, you appear remarkably willing to ignore what business is actually telling the government about Brexit.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Ha

        "you appear remarkably willing to ignore what business is actually telling the government about Brexit."

        It's just project fear, as is everything else he doesn't want to believe.

      2. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Ha

        @Rich 11

        "For someone so in favour of leaving the economy in the safe hands of private enterprise, you appear remarkably willing to ignore what business is actually telling the government about Brexit."

        I really aint. We have threats from Airbus and actual investment from JCB. We have any news of business leaving as proof of brexit harm (even when Honda stated it had nothing to do with brexit but waaaa) and business arriving isnt seen as significant. The honest reporting that uncertainty is the problem is due to the pissing about and trying to remain when we voted leave and probably will.

        If you mean the big business complaints what about the small businesses generally ignored? What about the economic damage inflicted by the EU? Or as the EU phrase it our competitive advantage. They have already realised they wont be taking Euro clearing into the EU because they would be fucked. Businesses in Germany telling them to stop being so pig headed.

        Throw in the catastrophe that the EU has been for economies and we are looking better to leave.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: Ha

          and actual investment from JCB

          Well, good for Baron Bamford for putting his money where his Brexiteer mouth is. Pity you can't say the same for other high-profile Brexiteers like James Dyson or Jacob Rees-Mogg. Why might that be?

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Ha

            @Rich 11

            "Pity you can't say the same for other high-profile Brexiteers like James Dyson or Jacob Rees-Mogg. Why might that be?"

            Didnt Mogg move the EU fund into the EU territory because thats how it is an EU fund. Dyson moving low paid work away, would you like to do it? So business carries on regardless. I dont understand why that upsets you.

            1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
              Unhappy

              "Dyson moving low paid work away, would you like to do it?"

              Wrong again.

              He's moving the companies Head Office operation to Singapore,

              The mfg plants went years ago.

              So that's all the senior management posts that are relocating, along with their tax revenues.

              "I'm backing Britain (down the sh***er of history)" might be an accurate description of such behavior.

              As a business man I consider it a reasonable choice. It was doing after he'd banged on about Leave beforehand that's pretty despicable.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: "Dyson moving low paid work away, would you like to do it?"

                @John Smith 19

                "Wrong again.

                He's moving the companies Head Office operation to Singapore,"

                Damn your right! He is moving the head office but still leaving the UK bases where they are to be taxed here as usual. Good catch, seems a pretty smart move and it will be interesting to see if he can market his company to the asian market.

                "In practical terms, the change is a minor one. Two senior executives will be transferred to the Singapore office, where the company itself will now be registered.

                'There will be no impact on its 4,000 workers in Britain, and according to Mr Rowan, little impact on its tax affairs either. In 2017, it paid £95 million to the Exchequer.' - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46962093

    2. Joe W

      Re: Ha, making a mess

      A mess of the whole Brexit thing yes. Pity.

      I personally would have liked the UK to stay in. While London - Paris - Berlin not always agreed, it was a strong political axis of three bigger (and wealthy, important) nations. I would not call them the voice of reason, far from that, but the combination was enabling a bit of a counterweight of the EU versus the USA, for example.

    3. fajensen Silver badge

      Re: Ha

      Give it to G4S and Carillion then! Oh, you already did!?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ha

      @codejunky; "....this is government"

      No, this is *a* government, or rather, a weak Tory prime minister led by the nose by the hard right, anti-EU wing of her own party that she's trying to placate... and will never be able to because it's blatantly obvious they *want* the process to fail and default to a hard Brexit.

      The fact that more of parliament doesn't want this, the fact that those same uber-hard-Brexiteers who live by the sliver the Brexit vote was won by, but aren't similarly prepared to die upon the fact that the poll said *nothing* about the type of Brexit that was voted for is irrelevant- those people who won by an inch and are trying to claim a mile are the minority in charge, thanks to an incompetent Tory prime minister who forced herself into a weak position, who places keeping power and holding her party together (#) over the prosperity of the United Kingdom in the face of these extremists- the "Momentum of the right"...

      All this is the work of the Tory party, the people who supported them, the people who ignorantly pandered to them by voting for the Brexit that same hard right wanted in the first place.

      Not a problem with "government" as a general principle... absolutely everything to do with *the* current government. One that anti-EU right wingers like yourself are responsible for.

      (#) And ironically is currently driving it apart by placing keeping that hard right minority on board above the interests of more centrist Tories

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Ha

        @AC

        "No, this is *a* government"

        Yes. And there are many governments everywhere with a good chunk not being considered very good. As for government of this country it changes and we went from spineless Blair to crap brown to spineless Cameron and Clegg to spineless Cameron to the current idiot with their associated cronies. Whatever is in government hands (during a good or bad government) will be in the hands of the next gov, and they could be better or worse. This is government.

        The solution some people seem to push which never seems to make sense is putting the EU government (same problem) above ours.

        "poll said *nothing* about the type of Brexit"

        Nor the type of remain. There was a GE with the promise of change and a massive turnout for UKIP too. A referendum where the wonderful EU couldnt even break 50% support of one of the largest turnouts.

        "the prosperity of the United Kingdom in the face of these extremists"

        The extremists who lost 3 votes and are still trying to force us to remain?

        "One that anti-EU right wingers like yourself are responsible for."

        You are welcome. How did right wing become an insult? I do wonder about that. Extreme left or right is a problem but being left or right wing isnt inherently bad is it?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ha

          "This is government."

          No, this is the government Middle England voted for. Forty years of the Tories or New Labour's centre-right (by traditional standards) Tory-lite acceptance and continuation of Thatcher's policies.

          In short, a reflection of the fact that English politics have fundamentally diverged from those of Scotland and that not only is there clearly no prospect of changing things as long as Scotland remains within the Union, it is now paying the price for believing the lies of the "No to Independence" camp who used scaremongering about Scotland's position within the EU as a central tenet of their campaign.

          Good thing we (#) trusted them on that one then, and a nation that voted 62% to 38% in favour of Remain isn't being dragged out of the EU as a result of sticking with its "chums" in Little England.

          "How did right wing become an insult?"

          It's not an insult (though feel free to take it that way), it's a statement of fact. The original impetus for Brexit came from those on the hard right of the Tory party.

          The fact that some useful idiots on the hard left were also in favour of it for their own reasons (##) doesn't change the fact that the impetus for Brexit came from the right wing of the Tory party (and UKIP for those to the right of that). Cameron only entertained the idea to placate the Euro-sceptic right wing of his own party, treating the interests of the UK itself as a political football for its own in-fighting. Similarly, the vision of Brexit being pushed is that of the same Tory right- something which was obviously going to happen to anyone paying attention, but not for the gullibles that bought the "£350m a week for the NHS" line from the same UKIP types who had been arguing for its privatisation not long prior.

          (#) Not myself personally, but- I suspect- a significant enough proportion of the generally more Unionist older generation that trusted those nice Messrs Cameron, Clegg and Milliband. Funny how they've all fucked off or been kicked out now and aren't in a position to deliver the transparently opportunistic promises they made at the time.

          (##) I'm convinced- doubly so in the context of his later enthusiam to get on with Brexit- that Corbyn was never a convert to the Remain cause, and Labour's half-baked support for it was malicious "incompetence" on his part.

  9. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    You can't blame the government...

    Yes, we're fucked because none of the customs systems will work by 29th March, only 10% of the necessary truck permits are available, there's no infrastructure for border checks etc...

    But that's NOT THE GOVERNMENT'S FAULT.!

    They did their planning, quite reasonably, on the basis of a clear statement from a government minister that all the UKs existing Free Trade Agreements would have been replicated before Brexit - easiest deals in history. So it would have been a shocking waste of public money to spend billions on unnecessary changes to customs and borders, or on stockpiling insulin, or calling up the military.

    1. fandom Silver badge

      Re: You can't blame the government...

      But the, just because the UK is going to be out of the union doesn't mean that customs have to check everything coming from the continent.

      The UK having regain control of the frontier might as well not check anything coming from the union until they can actually do it.

      1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: You can't blame the government...

        Something...something...taking back control of our borders?

        And we can be damn sure the EU will check stuff coming from the UK, particularly if they are letting any old crap into the country without checks.

      2. ibmalone Silver badge

        Re: You can't blame the government...

        This would put us in a rather awkward position with regard to WTO rules and "favoured nation status". Customs control is also far more than simply the checking at the border, in theory that's simply to make sure nobody is circumventing the rules.

      3. NerryTutkins

        Re: You can't blame the government...

        WTO rules, as ibmalone indicates, would require that if the UK just waves in EU stuff (even though there is no customs union or other deal), it would have to extend the same courtesy to everything from other countries.

        It would also lose what leverage it claims to have (e.g. German cars, prosecco), you know, the things that would definitely break the germans and the EU and make them beg the UK for a trade deal.

        However, considering that the UK car industry is already closing down, I suspect the germans will have no problem selling cars to the UK, which will no longer produce any itself.

        1. EvilDrSmith

          Re: You can't blame the government...

          >However, considering that the UK car industry is already closing down<

          You better tell Toyota:

          "There are two manufacturing plants in the UK, representing a total investment of £2.75 billion and employing approximately 3,000 members (including Agency). The vehicle manufacturing plant is located at Burnaston in Derbyshire and the engine manufacturing plant is located at Deeside in North Wales."

          "The official start of production of the all-new Toyota Corolla Hatchback and Touring Sports wagon was marked today by a ceremony at the Toyota Manufacturing UK (TMUK) car plant at Burnaston in Derbyshire." (News from 14th January 2019)

          Source:

          https://www.toyotauk.com/toyota-in-the-uk/

          Meanwhile, the German car industry isn't doing too well either, apparently:

          "And with 835,000 workers, the auto industry is Germany’s biggest employer, responsible for a fifth of the country’s exports.

          But automotive employment will start to decline this year, the powerful IG Metall union predicts. Germany may have reached peak car, posing a threat to the most important pillar of the economy. “We’re preparing for a time when fewer people will work in the industry in our region"

          Source:

          Bloomberg.

          As regards the WTO - if the UK request a free trade agreement with the EU (which is what the pro-leave side suggested two years ago), and the EU agree to start negotiating, then there is a grace period when the UK can treat the EU differently to all other nations.

          I think it's article XXIV that allows for an interim agreement prior to the full free trade agreement being implemented, which means that the UK and the EU could, within the rules of the WTO, continue to trade as if still in the customs union, while negotiating a free trade agreement. The interim period is time limited to a 'reasonable period' or some such, but this is not formally defined, I understand the generally accepted figure is 10 years.

          Granted, this does requite the EU to agree to start negotiating a free trade deal with the UK, but since a FTD is to the benefit of both parties, why would they not?

          1. ibmalone Silver badge

            Re: You can't blame the government...

            Granted, this does requite the EU to agree to start negotiating a free trade deal with the UK, but since a FTD is to the benefit of both parties, why would they not?

            Le sigh.

            tradebetablog.wordpress.com/2018/12/27/myth-of-10-year-grace-period/

            1. EvilDrSmith

              Re: You can't blame the government...

              ibmalone,

              Thank you for the link.

              A detailed, well presented and informative opinion, which does strongly suggest that the whole '10 year' issue is irrelevant.

              Though it is also clear that the WTO rules are in fact not clear.

              It also seems that there are no WTO rules covering one of the largest world economies leaving a customs union but then seeking to immediately continue with the free trade elements of the union but without the protectionist Common External Tariff. So whether anything the UK/EU do is compliant with WTO rules will likely only be decided by trying it and seeing who if anyone complains. But that in itself will take a month or two to resolve. Given the original article to which we are responding, any time gained would be of value, and the penalty for being found in breach of WTO rules is in the first case, as I understand it, having to stop what you are doing.

          2. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: You can't blame the government...

            which means that the UK and the EU could, within the rules of the WTO, continue to trade as if still in the customs union

            Like the logic, however, Mogg and others of his ilk will just see the last bit and throw his toys out of the pram because that means the UK will still be "under the EU yoke"...

            Like I said it is interesting seeing the brave Brexiteer MP's being blatantly evasive when given simple direct questions...

            re: Toyota

            For Toyota to be doing this, the government has had to give them some rather strong personal guarantees - failure to deliver will be taken as a total loss of face requiring May et al to fall on their own swords...

            1. EvilDrSmith

              Re: You can't blame the government...

              >May et al to fall on their own swords

              Of all the comments posted under this topic, the idea that May would 'fall on her sword' is surely the most delusional...

              She'll need to be dragged out of No10, with her fingernails scratching grooves in the carpet

              1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
                Unhappy

                "She'll need to be dragged out of No10, with her fingernails scratching grooves in the carpet"

                Oh yes.

                I'm thinking Gordon Brown's exit when it finally turned out he had not won.

              2. Roland6 Silver badge

                Re: You can't blame the government...

                >Of all the comments posted under this topic, the idea that May would 'fall on her sword' is surely the most delusional...

                The idea isn't in itself delusional - although admittedly someone else would have to 'assist ', however, expecting her to would be delusional; just pointing out the nature of that "special deal" she struck with Toyota must have had some real personal substance about what she was actually going to deliver, otherwise, the Toyota management would have done exactly the same as Honda...

          3. fandom Silver badge

            Re: You can't blame the government...

            "Meanwhile, the German car industry isn't doing too well either, apparently:"

            Most of the UK car industry belongs to the Germans anyway, if they have overcapacity there, they can always move production of Rolls, Bentleys, Minis or Vauxhalls to the continent.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: You can't blame the government...

            "Granted, this does requite the EU to agree to start negotiating a free trade deal with the UK, but since a FTD is to the benefit of both parties, why would they not?"

            --------------------------------

            1. Brexit has proved that Britain can't be counted on sticking to its agreed deals for a week, let alone years.

            2. Britain has proved that it can't decide what it wants other than all the benefits for nothing.

            3. Realistic negotiations cannot produce agreements that can be approved by Britain.

            4. Britain does not listen to nor understand other countries.

            5. Britain will make all sorts of unreasonable demands, and when this are rejected, keep repeating them over and over instead of considering compromise.

            6. Britain appears to have zero competent international trade negotiators or politicians. David Davis was Brexit secretary for two years without realizing what he was negotiating - not the terms, just the 'thing' - a withdrawal agreement that enables a transition period. Liam Fox thought the world would be falling all over themselves to sign British dictated trade deals in days... when it was still not allowed under the rules of an organization Britain was part of for decades. Apparently, no one in Britain bothered to re-read the rules for Galileo that they insisted on (as a US proxy)... and they were offended when they were pointed out.

            ... and so on...

          5. Alister Silver badge

            Re: You can't blame the government...

            Update:

            "Car giants Toyota and BMW have both warned a no-deal Brexit threatens the production of their cars in the UK."

            "The head of Toyota's European operations said a negative outcome could put future investment at its UK factory near Derby at risk.

            Johan van Zyl told the BBC that if the Brexit "hurdles" are too high it would undermine Toyota's competitiveness."

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So um what's the worse that could happen ? The country burns to the ground, no power ?

    1. EvilDrSmith

      The Zombie Apocalypse. I'm sure that's what the BBC said it would be...

  11. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge

    Twitter play by play

    This thread gives an excellent inside look at the workings of the May cabinet.

  12. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    RA50N: The only RA50Nal thing to do right now

    Revoke Article 50 Now.

    Before the need for rations starts.

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: RA50N: The only RA50Nal thing to do right now

      During WW2 rationing was an improvement in eating quality (not volume) for quite a lot of the poorer members of society. It would be the same today and I very much doubt the import issues will be on the same scale as the one the U-boats caused.

      We import a lot of food from across the planet now because we can afford to pay for it and also have our farmers leaving fields unused for environmental reasons.

      There's quite a lot of spare capacity in a system that can fly fresh veg. across the Atlantic.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: RA50N: The only RA50Nal thing to do right now

        Unfortunately this time rationing will mean lots of cheap chlorinated pink-slime chicken nuggets from the land of the obese, and no more fresh salad from Spain.

        1. EvilDrSmith

          Re: RA50N: The only RA50Nal thing to do right now

          Though if that salad is pre-washed, it's also Chlorinated:

          https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2008/sep/03/foodsafety.fooddrinks

          And at least the Chlorinated US chicken gets cooked before it gets eaten.

          Still, nice to see that hard line remainers are just as keen to ignore inconvenient facts as hard line Brexiteers

      2. Ken 16 Silver badge
        Unhappy

        We import a lot of food from across the planet now because we can afford to pay for it

        And those who can afford to pay for it can continue to do that.

        Supply and demand does suggest that when the supply drops, the price will rise. Oxfam estimate that 2 million people in the UK are malnourished now and half a million reliant on food banks. Those are the people for whom life will get harder, not Tim Martin, James Dyson, BoJo or Rees-Mogg.

      3. fandom Silver badge

        Re: RA50N: The only RA50Nal thing to do right now

        Have we already forgotten the tragic lettuce shortage in 2017?

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: RA50N: The only RA50Nal thing to do right now

          with fondness

      4. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        WTF?

        " It would be the same today "

        I see.

        So improve the number of malnourished poor people by flushing the British economy done the sh**ter of history?

        Interesting strategy.

        Or perhaps you could just improve health directly?

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: RA50N: The only RA50Nal thing to do right now

        "There's quite a lot of spare capacity in a system that can fly fresh veg. across the Atlantic."

        Oh yes, that's ever so much more efficient, cost effective, and environmentally sound than shipping them 100 km on a train.

        NOT.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: RA50N: The only RA50Nal thing to do right now

      >Before the need for rations starts.

      Silly boy, there will be no rationing...

      For rationing to happen, you need to have printed ration books and distributed them and as we know the government have been carefully preparing for a no deal Brexit for a long-time...

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: RA50N: The only RA50Nal thing to do right now

        No problem, Crapita ave been given a contract to develop a rationing IT system - with 6G online mobile blockchain cloud technology

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looking at it strictly from an economic standpoint as someone with no emotional or theopolitical (since it seems to have attained a level of faith on either side that borders on religious fervor) involvement since I am not from the Continent or UK, I can roundly say that Brexit was a crash and burn from the get go kind of situation.

    When the referendum passed, there was neither the allocation of funds necessary to make it work, nor are there enough people trained in all the things that needed to happen to make it work in anything close to the time frame allocated. Seriously, where were the $100 billion pounds and 200,000+ people able to do what is needed, and the buffering from the theology of separation they needed (and in theological circumstances every one thinks just a bit differently so getting agreement on the smallest of details can take centuries), to actually make Brexit even a theoretical success?

    I feel like I am watching an entire country jump off the top of a 100 story building without a parachute, and when someone shouts out a window on the 40th floor and asks them how they are doing, they are getting the standard, "so far, so good" response from the Pro b's. Meanwhile that social and economic reality labeled "concrete" is below and the detail of what it really looks like is getting clearer and clearer.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Yes but promising the referendum got Cameron out of a tricky situation at a party conference and promising nothing and everything allowed May to keep her job for another year.

      So for the people that matter its all good

  14. John Savard Silver badge

    Silly Me

    And here I thought that if the EU wouldn't agree to a deal that the British people found acceptable, then whatever the current Prime Minister might prefer, Parliament would ensure there would simply be no withdrawal of Britain from the EU. If necessary, a referendum to confirm this would be held. So this eventuality of a no-deal Brexit - will never happen.

    1. ibmalone Silver badge

      Re: Silly Me

      This is precisely why they rushed into invoking article 50 without a plan (because plans weaken your negotiating position or something). By locking in leaving while brexit fever was still high (anyone remember a national newspaper branding judges traitors for upholding parliamentary sovereignty?) it was possible to make sure we were pointed at the cliff, and now nobody can agree who should hold the steering wheel.

      Which rather neatly illustrates why major constitutional change often requires some kind of supermajority or a clear up-front plan. With support so divided and no properly articulated course of action set they'll be grabbing at the steering wheel right up to the end.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Schadenfreude Popcorn

    Get yours now, beat the Brexit Disaster rush!

    LOL

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Schadenfreude Popcorn

      I've given up worrying about it - I'm heading for Project Beer ... it's the only sensible path left.

    2. TimMaher
      Facepalm

      Re: Schadenfreude Popcorn

      But.. but.. it’s Schadenfreude Popcorn. I shall have to import it from the Black Forest, in Southern Germany.

      Will it arrive in time?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Schadenfreude Popcorn

      As a Scot (who voted- along with a 62 to 38% majority of my country- to Remain (#)), I'd enjoy that a lot more if the consequences of Brexit weren't going to affect me just as badly as the English and the Welsh, who were the ones that voted for Leave.

      (#) What makes this worse is that a central tenet of the "No" campaign in the 2014 Scottish independence vote was that saying "Yes" to independence would risk Scotland's position within the EU. (I haven't noticed Alistair "Better Together" Darling shouting very loudly about how that worked out).

      So you'll understand why I've grown significantly more hostile towards the Union when (after "No" winning and England going back to forgetting we existed) the Tory government that reflected and served the views of English voters let incompetent pandering and attempting to placate its own hard right mutate into the Brexit fiasco.

      And you'll understand why I'd like those who voted for it to get everything they deserved if it wasn't going to affect me- or my country- as well.

      1. A.P. Veening

        Re: Schadenfreude Popcorn

        As I told others before, that Brexit means the end of the Union. And pretty soon the Union Jack will be renamed to the Union Jack Off.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We don't need any preparations...

    ... we just need to leave.

    Experts writing reports? Bah. They are just part of the liberal media deep government trying to thwart the absolute will hardworking Englishmen.

    Why-oh-why do people not see all this winning we are experiencing on the sunny uplands of rainbow lit Brexit England!?!

    Computer systems? Just go back to using card index systems. Those worked fine to defeat Europe during the last war!!!

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: We don't need any preparations...

      Computer systems? Just go back to using card index systems. Those worked fine to defeat Europe during the last war!!!

      I hear TNMOC has some working kit from that era, so you don't have to do it all by hand.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: We don't need any preparations...

      I couldn't bring myself to upvote your post, as it's too close to what spouts from the orifices of some brexiteers to be sure that it is indeed satire.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think we're finally giving Fritz Sausage, Pierre Onions and Guiseppe Siesta a proper dose of our best British Spunk.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You need to spend less time on xhamster

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Less time inside xhamster more like.

  18. Stoneshop Silver badge

    plans intended to save the government's bacon

    Has this bacon been tested to DEFRA standards (such as they are)?

  19. streaky Silver badge

    TL;DR

    TL;DR: I've never worked in IT project management and I don't know what red risk is but it's obviously bad.

    SMH.

    Did we actually read the risks or just look at the colours and make judgements based on them that we're all fucked? Different projects have different impacts, the most important are amber/green and y'know, risk.. Without looking at the project boards it might be, y'know, projects can't complete without policy decisions and it could be solely down to that - they could otherwise be ready to go and most of the NAO notes suggest exactly this.

  20. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Stop

    Pity the small traders

    Unlike the government squandering our tax payments, or multi-nationals with coffers overflowing with extortionate profits, these enterprises are simply unable to make any plans. In the first place they have no information about what systems might be put in place that they will have to work with. Even if they did, they do not have a fraction of the spare funds need to prepare for all options.

    1. H in The Hague Silver badge

      Re: Pity the small traders

      "multi-nationals with coffers overflowing with extortionate profits"

      Actually, I don't think most multinationals make extortionate profits.

      But you are right in saying that the impact will be less on them as many will be used to trading with countries outside the EU. Hence they have the export departments, familiarity with complex WTO schemes, software, etc. However, hundreds of thousands of small businesses in the UK only have international trade with countries in the EU. This is because these markets are close, have the same regulations as the UK, and there is no customs/export/import hassle. It is these businesses which will be hard hit - never mind any tariffs, it's the bureaucracy and trying to figure out what rules apply that's going to hit them. (As I said before, getting to grips with the WTO schedules is a complete pain, and you also need to know what treaties apply in addition to them.)

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Pity the small traders

        However, hundreds of thousands of small businesses in the UK only have international trade with countries in the EU. This is because these markets are close, have the same regulations as the UK, and there is no customs/export/import hassle.

        So the Single Market was doing exactly what M.Thatcher envisaged for it, namely providing a significantly larger home market for UK businesses.

        Just shows that the current Conservative party doesn't have a clue about the UK economy and business.

      2. streaky Silver badge

        Re: Pity the small traders

        "However, hundreds of thousands of small businesses in the UK only have international trade with countries in the EU"

        Most small businesses don't actually trade outside the UK and frankly, the ones that do tend to be international in nature and are used to trading under international rules. The only difference is tariff regimes in reality. The "problem" businesses are the ones that sit in the venn diagram of trading internationally but *only* within the EU so have no experience of customs declarations or that trade almost exclusively to the EU and don't really have a proper customs declaration procedure in place - and that's not actually many businesses by the way. Plus customs declarations are easy.

        "Just shows that the current Conservative party doesn't have a clue about the UK economy and business."

        Doesn't show anything of the sort and by the way if the conservatives don't, nobody else does.

  21. Flak
    Stop

    Next month? (checks watch again) - this month!!!

    A"£$^^^%$!!!!

    1. Carazow

      Re: Next month? (checks watch again) - this month!!!

      MAY be „Bond, James Bond“ kicks in at 0 0 7 days before ETD?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    EU hating (apart from the trips to Spain),, Leave voters taking back control

    It's like a slow motion train wreck. Why are we even persisting with this. If it was a IT programme, it would have been killed off long before now as unaffordable and for scope creep.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: EU hating (apart from the trips to Spain),, Leave voters taking back control

      Scope creep?

      No one even defined the problem at a fairly high level - as proved by the number of problems that were not considered, anticipated, or believed to exist.

      For that matter, the referendum was not properly designed and specified, either.

      It's been pure marketing vaporware all along.

  23. FrozenShamrock

    As an outsider I am a bit confused

    I am not British and the country can do as it pleases. But, watching this chaos unfold over the last several years it has been very confusing at times. The politicians advocating for Brexit seemed to be offering no details at all (which seemed very odd given the magnitude and importance of the proposed move), or were spouting obvious nonsense such as Britain would have the upper hand in negotiations and would somehow have 300million pounds a week for the NHS, etc. Now they are pretending a no-deal Brexit would have no adverse consequences. Of course it will have adverse consequences. If a majority of British voters are ok with a no-deal Brexit and all the attending problems that will inevitably entail, then fine, Britain is sovereign nation and can make its own decisions. But, to keep pretending there are not going to be consequences for the decision is delusional. Britain will survive after Brexit; but, let's be honest, it will be poorer, at least in the immediate aftermath and possibly longer looking at the mess your internal politics currently are.

    I noticed Nigel Farage basically dropped out of politics once he got Brexit approved in the referendum leaving others to clean up the mess and eventually take the blame. Once the shit hits the fan he will no doubt step back in to the fray saying he could have and would have done it better. The people most loudly demanding Brexit should have been required to actually implement it.

    And, the fact that Donald Trump thought Brexit was a good idea should be all you need to know on the subject.

    1. EvilDrSmith

      Re: As an outsider I am a bit confused

      >The people most loudly demanding Brexit should have been required to actually implement it.

      I suspect that a lot of people that support Brexit would agree with you in this regard, and would in fact argue that the mess we are currently in is precisely because the people that wanted Brexit were prevented from implementing it by a pro-remain PM who had her own idea of what Brexit should be.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        "the people that wanted Brexit were prevented from implementing it "

        Actually several hard line Brexitieers have been involved in implementing it.

        Gove as Farming Minster.

        Davies as Brexit Minister

        Johnson as Foreign Minister.

        Grayling as Transport Minister

        I'd say all of these roles were quite deeply involved in Brexit.

        No doubt when the s**t hits the fan they will all claim they weren't involved enough (otherwise it would have been soooo much better done blah blah).

  24. herman Silver badge

    Get rid of the royal parasites

    If the UK gets rid of the K part in its name, there will be enough funds to cover whatever hardships Brexit may cause.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Get rid of the royal parasites

      All of my knowledge of the British monarchy comes from walking through the room while my wife watches "The Crown" on Netflix but from what I can make out, that Prince Philip is very good at stopping alien invasions and may be worth keeping on that basis alone.

      1. A.P. Veening

        Re: Get rid of the royal parasites

        Besides that, the Royals bring in more money than is spent on them, just make sure you get all the numbers. The real problem is the "U", that is going to disappear.

        Q: What do you get when the Union Jack looses the crosses of St. Andrew and St. Patrick?

        A: The Union Jack Off

  25. raindog
    Thumb Up

    I'd feel sorry for Britain, but...

    I'd feel sorry for Britain, but I'm too busy dismissing website cookie warnings.

  26. Stork Bronze badge

    It is all project fear!

    And sabotage, stab in the back from remoaning civil servants (continue as you see fit), ...

  27. shawnfromnh

    Sounds like a lot of people were planning on Brexit not happening even though it was passed. I'd just do it and say the heck with the idiots that were against it and planned on it being repealed even though it was a fair vote. Seems like the UK deepstate that loves globalism and hate UK people is not being toppled like in the US.

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