back to article Home Office told to stop telling EU visa porkies

UK ad watchdog the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has told the Home Office to pull a radio advert aimed at encouraging Europeans living in the UK to apply for "settled" status, because it is misleading. The home of the "hostile environment"* ran the ad in April. It said of the EU settlement scheme: "The scheme is fully …

  1. Archtech Silver badge

    "Hostile environment"...

    'The real reason that we can’t have the Ten Commandments in a courthouse: You cannot post “Thou shalt not steal,” “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” and “Thou shalt not lie” in a building full of lawyers, judges, and politicians. It creates a hostile work environment'.

    - George Carlin

  2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "The campaign was factual and complied with all necessary clearance processes for radio advertising."

    No matter that the relevant adjudicating body says otherwise. Clearly this is the Ministry of Truth speaking.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      indeed

      Now if 500,000 were to submit an applocation using a photo of Donald T or our PM, they'd soon get it sorted.

      {not that I'd want to be a citizen of the same country as POTUS}

    2. Cederic Bronze badge

      It's a bit odd though. The people providing exactly the information the ad stated were indeed properly assessed and the process to assure they can stay in the UK initiated.

      In that regard the ad is correct and useful, even if the process itself runs less smoothly for a quarter of the the people going through it.

      I guess the people making the complaint to the ASA would have preferred that the Home Office saved their money and didn't bother to provide any information at all?

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        No, they would have preferred that it was advertised as something it was rather than something it was not.

  3. Bonzo_red

    So they change the ad to "in most cases". Big deal.

    1. AVee

      Or better: They change the procedure and just accept anyone with a passport, that saves them changing the ad and a boatload of paperwork. The millions of pounds saved can be used to fund the NHS instead!

      (Come to think of it, why no just allow free movement of people. Maybe we can start some sort of union between countries for that...)

      1. Len
        FAIL

        Just a passport is not enough, the requirement is for people to have been resident in the UK for over five years (five years of exercising Treaty Rights). There is, however, no reason why a passport and a National Insurance Number should not be enough. If person paid NI contributions for >5 consecutive years Go To {Settled Status} Else Go To {Further analysis}.

        Perhaps optionally ask for a Tax Reference Number or the Unique Taxpayer Reference to check against HMRC databases and the validation process should take seconds per applicant. Obviously that would make sense and would work so they opted for something else to make sure it would become a Very British Clusterfuck.

        I know people who have been in the UK for decades, been employed for decades, have run businesses for decades, paid taxes for decades and still the Home Office 'can't find enough evidence' of them having been in the UK long enough. That would never happen in the developed world.

        1. Archtech Silver badge

          Platonic notion

          "That would never happen in the developed world".

          True, certainly.

          But is there a developed world? If so, where?

          1. Spanners Silver badge
            Alien

            Re: Platonic notion

            But is there a developed world? If so, where?

            Estonia? A bit close to Russia for my tastes though...

        2. anothercynic Silver badge

          And conversely, there have been people living here for decades, have run a household as a dependent for decades, had children here, been active in the community here, but the HO claims they've not been here long enough. Relying on HMRC is not enough... but yes, like you say, it's a shambles.

    2. Ordinary Donkey

      Very big deal for those affected.

      "That's all I need? No problem, I've got until $DATE, I'll do it a few days before."

      "What do they mean in most cases? Better find out more with plenty of time to spare."

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Yep. I've met a few Brits, here in Germany, who are putting it off getting German citizenship or checking to see if they need a work permit until the last minute. Their faces go rather pale, when I explain that a) the process will take a minimum of 3 months and b) if it isn't through by the time Brexit goes through, they might need to apply for a work permit, which will also take time and c) if they get it in before Brexit, they get dual citizenship, but afterwards they have to give up their British citizenship.

        I didn't need to get German citizenship, I have a German wife, but the question of work permits and being able to carry on working after Brexit made me go on the safe side. I applied in October and I got my citizenship through 2 days before the original Brexit deadline. Mainly because I had to wait over a month until I could find a place in a German Language exam for migrants - I was lucky, I managed to get one in December last year, but that was the only appointment I could find that was not after May this year. There are a lot of immigrants here needing the language certificates.

        It is interesting, can I fly to the UK on my British passport and then return on my German one?

        1. Ordinary Donkey

          I find if I travel to the UK on my British passport and return on my EU one I get a higher number of people wanting to check my passport. I guess it flags something that this passport number wasn't recorded as entering or something.

          But once they've looked it over, no drama.

        2. jmch Silver badge

          "can I fly to the UK on my British passport and then return on my German one?"

          I don't see why not

          1. lglethal Silver badge
            Go

            IANAL, but a) you are supposed to leave a country on the same passport you entered on, and b) you are supposed to use your home passport when entering that country. So if you have a UK and a German passport, you should enter the UK on the UK passport, leave on the UK passport, and then enter Germany on the German passport.

            Not sure how strictly this is enforced, but I was told by a colleague that you can get a fine for entering Australia on another countries passport if you're an Aussie citizen. And considering how many laws we steal from you Brits, I'd assume that rule also applies in the UK.

            1. H in The Hague

              "Not sure how strictly this is enforced, but I was told by a colleague that you can get a fine for entering Australia on another countries passport if you're an Aussie citizen."

              Similar in Canada.

              1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
                Go

                Similar in Canada.

                Last I heard, there's a few cases of people being denied entry or having a visa with expiry date stamped in their passwords forcing them to "flagpole*" at the border\port of entry.

                I always fly out on my UK one going back to Blighty** & return on my Canuck one.

                * Flagpole - Drive across border explain to Homeland Security that you are flagpoling, they take you into the office, give you a letter (Not a refusal stamp in the passport) saying you have been refused entry & then let you drive back into Canada to re-enter with your immigration documents or correct passport.

                **Something my daughter learned to appreciate by letting her UK one expire, then lose it in a lake (Don't ask), major trauma trying to get her Canadian PP in short time for her grandmothers funeral & got treated as a visitor at UK immigration).

            2. Dan 55 Silver badge

              Not sure how strictly this is enforced, but I was told by a colleague that you can get a fine for entering Australia on another countries passport if you're an Aussie citizen. And considering how many laws we steal from you Brits, I'd assume that rule also applies in the UK.

              It can't, Northern Irish citizens have the right to identify as British, Irish, or both whenever they feel like, however the Home Office is doing its best to undermine that part of the Good Friday Agreement.

              Note I am linking to an Irish media outlet most British media* has trouble with mindbogglingly complicated concepts like residency rights (where you can stay), citizenship (which country you belong to), and dual nationality (which other countries you belong to).

              * By which, of course, I mean English media.

            3. veti Silver badge

              The Australians are outliers in xenophobia, though. Remember, they're the country that refuses the right for dual nationals (such as the present UK PM) to sit in their parliament.

              1. lglethal Silver badge
                Go

                There are very few countries that allow dual nationals to sit in parliament. I have no problem with this, the risk of shall we say foreign interference would be unacceptably high otherwise.

                By the way BoJo dropped his US citizenship in 2016. So no he is not a dual national. I am surprised he didnt have to drop it when he entered parliament the first time, but then I am one of those Xenophobes you mention who thinks that a parliamentarian should only be beholden to the people who elected him and the country he's representing...

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Except the Aussies were doing it to people who had dual citizenship because of their parents birth.

                  While there are obvious national security reasons to exclude potential kiwis this does smack a little of racial purity

                2. Archtech Silver badge

                  A few exceptions, maybe

                  "There are very few countries that allow dual nationals to sit in parliament".

                  Except perhaps people with Israeli citizenship? (Bearing in mind that the government of Israel claims all people of Jewish descent as citizens).

                  And - the most obvious exception - dual citizenship of their own country and the Empire of Cash. Indeed, you really need to be a Mammonite in good standing even to become a candidate for office.

                  1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

                    Re: A few exceptions, maybe

                    Our wonderful PM introduced a law allowing deporting native born citizens if they had, or could obtain, some other nationality.

                    Obviously this would only be used for serious terrorist offences ... at first ....

                    But it was rather eyebrow-raising for a born again christian to introduce a law effectively allowing them to kick out all the Jews.

                3. veti Silver badge

                  Very few countries? I only know of the UK, US, Canada, New Zealand, Germany...

                  So yeah, nowhere you'd really want to live.

                4. Roland6 Silver badge

                  By the way BoJo dropped his US citizenship in 2016. So no he is not a dual national.

                  In who's eye's?

                  If you read the US government position on this, you will see that it has merely presumed BoJo has given up his US citizenship. However, BoJo is free to challenge this presumption and regain his US citizenship...

        3. Len
          Happy

          It's generally advised to always travel all legs of a journey on the same passport to not mess up Exit Checks. The challenge is that UK is still struggling to introduce Exit Checks so the UK systems are not an accurate reflection of who is and who is not in the country.

          If, at some point, the UK would get its border control in order (I am not counting on it happening any time soon, it took seven years of trying to implement e-Borders and give up on it again) you might have an issue when you travel to the UK on a German passport but leave on a UK passport as it may appear in UK systems that some German citizen has stayed in the country. For now that is not a real risk due to the UK systems not working well.

          The other way around is a bigger issue. The Schengen Area has its systems pretty well set up and so if you enter Germany on a UK passport but leave on a German one you might get flagged for overstaying in the Schengen Area. The way it's looking now (unless there is some agreement on this at some stage) UK Citizens will only be allowed 90 days out of a 180 day period to stay in the Schengen Area without a visa. It will then depend on German immigration whether they go and look for this 'illegally immigrated Brit' or whether you get flak the next time you pass any Schengen border.

          1. anothercynic Silver badge

            He means the other way around... he enters Schengen on a German passport, and exits with the British one.

          2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Except the airline in country A is only going to let you board if they are sure you will be welcomed in the destination country B, so the best thing to show them is your passport for B.

            So if you travelling between two countries you hold passports for - you are pretty much required to enter and leave on different passports.

            Obviously this doesn't apply if a couple of dozen countries somehow got together and made some sort of agreement that you could travel freely...

            1. jmch Silver badge

              "Except the airline in country A is only going to let you board if they are sure you will be welcomed in the destination country B, so the best thing to show them is your passport for B"

              You can show 1 passport to the airline check-in / boarding desk, and a different one to passport control

        4. anothercynic Silver badge

          Except the Bundestag is now debating legislation that will allow Brits to get their affairs in order after Brexit with sufficient time. It's only been recently tabled by the German interior ministry.

          As for travel, yes, you travel to the UK on the British passport, and you return on the German one. The joys of multiple passports.

        5. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          >I didn't need to get German citizenship, I have a German wife, but the question of work permits and being able to carry on working after Brexit made me go on the safe side.

          You are Mr Farage and I claim my £350M

        6. Roland6 Silver badge

          >I didn't need to get German citizenship, I have a German wife

          I note you are currently in Germany, however, just been through this with a German aunt...

          Her right to abode in the UK was guaranteed through marriage etc. with the unexpected death of her husband her situation has changed, it has taken her solicitor sometime establishing her right to continue residing in the UK in their home of circa 40 years and to continue to receive a UK state pension...

          1. jmch Silver badge

            "Her right to abode in the UK was guaranteed through marriage etc. with the unexpected death of her husband her situation has changed..."

            That seems odd! If the husband died immediately after marriage it might make sense to question the status (and might even raise some suspicions), but after 10 years+ married it makes no sense to automatically revoke spousal statuses just because the spouse died. Doubly so because for couples who have been together a long time (40+ years) it's likely that they are both quite old and with higher probability of death... I'd have thought such situations have occurred many times before with non-eu citizens and have established case law

  4. NerryTutkins

    home office buffoons

    I have had personal dealings with the home office on a number of occasions on behalf of friends, and my wife. Their management are xenophobic zealots and the staff who work there are inept jobsworths. I am sure both inadequacies contributed to this misleading advert. The bottom line staff have no idea what the rules or requirements really are, so whoever did this ad probably believed it.

    The staff training is appalling, I know more about immigration rules and procedures than their own staff, and it's little more than a hobby to me.

    The Border Agency are probably the worst, the people I encountered were exactly like this guy:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_S2wWVGprMQ

    I spent an hour stuck at an airport in the UK with a border agency guy who insisted he was going to deny my wife entry (she's from Brazil) even though we were married and lived in Portugal, so under EU law she had freedom of movement. He was somehow convinced that once she was given the opportunity to pass through the golden gates of paradise (the sliding doors from customs to the arrivals lounge of Luton Airport), she would do a runner, leave me with our two kids, and go find a job washing up pots in a London restaurant (giving up her career as a lawyer in Portugal for the dream of a life in Britain).

    That said, after an hour of insisting he really should call EU casework to avoid a very expensive violation, another officer stepped in and went off to make some calls, and then sheepishly came back to ask if we had a marriage cert, and then stamped her in, and warned her that she had only three months (we only came for two weeks to see my family) and would face stiff penalties if she violated any UK laws, as if he was somehow doing us a favour but warning us not to take the piss (he had no choice, we knew the law, especially since my wife is an immigration lawyer).

    These guys are going to love Brexit.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: home office buffoons

      On the other side, I applied for German citizenship. Friendly, efficient and knew exactly what they were doing. Provided useful information and pointed me in the right direction for things like the language certificate to prove I could speak German (actually sitting there and talking to them for half an hour didn't count, bureaucracy for you).

      1. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: home office buffoons

        I would think that demonstrating the ability to understand government officials for half an hour is evidence of the highest degree of linguistic mastery.

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: home office buffoons

          I also pointed out that I had spent the last 6 years interpreting German legal documents! But that isn't a certificate either! The test was a doddle, I had 3 hours, I only needed around 74 minutes and 30 minutes of that was listening to recorded conversations, which you can't speed up anyway.

          I did meet a Scot at the Citizenship Test who has worked at a local department store for 20 years, he managed to get away with a signed letter from the directors, saying that he was fluent in German. At the test, around a third of the participants, around 20 people, were British.

          1. smudge Silver badge

            Re: home office buffoons

            I also pointed out that I had spent the last 6 years interpreting German legal documents! But that isn't a certificate either!

            I have a friend who has lived in Germany for about 30 years, and for a lot of that time was MD of a chemicals firm. But he, too, had to sit the language test. Inconvenience only - he was quite confident about passing :)

            He is now a German citizen, and very happy about it. Though there must also be some sadness at feeling that you have to give up your birth nationality.

            1. big_D Silver badge

              Re: home office buffoons

              At the moment, because the UK is still in the EU, you get to keep your British citizenship. I have both. You can elect to drop the UK citizenship or keep it.

  5. caffeine addict Silver badge

    "The scheme has been criticised for not providing an Apple version of the app to scan your passport and face."

    I seem to recall (6 month old memory of a R4 interview) that this wasn't the HO's fault - rather that Apple restricts access to some of it's sensors (RFID? NFC?) and wouldn't allow the HO to use them.

    1. Len
      Holmes

      The use of RFC by third party iOS apps was initially not allowed but that has changed in iOS 11. Core NFC documentation

      Edit: Ah, apparently the reading of passports is supported from iOS 13.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "The scheme has been criticised for not providing an Apple version of the app to scan your passport and face."

      Last time I checked Apple only had 15% of the mobile market so surely it makes sense to focus on the much bigger alternative mobile platform (and not pay the Apple "tax").

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        "The scheme has been criticised for not providing an Apple version of the app to scan your passport and face."

        I wonder if the criticism stems from the other problem: "The app has had mixed reviews, with many users unable to get it to take an acceptable photo of their passports."

        I have found the cameras on iPhones/iPads to consistently be good, however, with Android phones - due to the greater range etc. results are very variable. Hence I can see users complaining without understanding the poor image quality is down to them using a cheap phone...

        >"Last time I checked Apple only had 15% of the mobile market so surely it makes sense to focus on the much bigger alternative mobile platform"

        But what about the target user group for this app...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ASA told the Home Office not to run the advert again

    it's kinda moot now, eh?

    btw, 2M out of 3M apparently haven't registered yet. Oops.

    1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: ASA told the Home Office not to run the advert again

      btw, 2M out of 3M apparently haven't registered yet. Oops.

      Because the government, including that advert, tells people there is plenty of time to register, and they will have until "30 June 2021, or 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal".

      This is why the government's new hostile environment - free-movement ending on 1st November - creates so many difficulties. Those having not acquired "settled status" may not be allowed back in if they leave the UK.

      It looks set to be Windrush Redux :(

      1. anothercynic Silver badge

        Re: ASA told the Home Office not to run the advert again

        That's what The 3 Million and the British In Europe campaigns have pointed out again. I can only say that Tanja Bültmann is like a dog with a bone about this one. Priti Patel says something, Tanja goes and checks if a) it's legal, b) it's possible, and c) makes any sense at all. And so far, it's black marks for Patel all round.

        I'm very ashamed these days to call myself British because this is not the Britain I know, it's not the Britain I grew up with, and it's bloody well not the Britain I would ever want to represent me or my interests.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: ASA told the Home Office not to run the advert again

          I doubt it's just Patel. The HO seems able to get all Home Secs working in the same mode PDQ. It's just that she was set up as a Home Secbot straight out of the box.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: ASA told the Home Office not to run the advert again

            With a bit of luck she will deport herself

    2. Len
      Facepalm

      Re: ASA told the Home Office not to run the advert again

      The deadline for the Settled Status application is 30 June 2021, or 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. There is still plenty of time for people to apply.

      This is regardless of the uninformed nonsense Priti Patel and her cronies have been bleating about "ending Freedom of Movement per 1 November". They have no idea what they are talking about. Freedom of Movement is a function of EU law, not English, Scottish or NI law, and the day the UK leaves the EU is the day Free Movement of People ends by automatic operation of EU law. That will mainly apply to UK Citizens as they lose their EU Citizenship on Brexit day. For the remaining 450 million EU Citizens FoM remains unchanged, it just goes from 28 countries to 27 on Brexit day.

      Priti Patel seems to be under the impression that she could block people from entering the country but that is nonsense. FoM is not related to border control, the Border Force don't check or apply Freedom of Movement rights. They check the rights to enter a country, not the right to work or live.

      Unless the UK would suddenly introduce visa restrictions on Brexit day there is no method (or incentive) for a Border Force agent to check if Joe Bloggs showing up at their booth is coming to visit Harry Potter World and Madame Tussaud's or to take on a job as commodities trader.

      If Joe Bloggs comes in with the intention to visit Madam Tussaud's and then decides to stay on to take on a job as commodities trader it's not the Border Force that is a hurdle, it's Joe's employers. His prospective employers will need a National Insurance Number from him and will likely ask for proof he is allowed to work in the UK. That proof is where Brexit will make a difference, not at the border.

      1. Cederic Bronze badge

        Re: ASA told the Home Office not to run the advert again

        So the Home Office need to coordinate with the DWP and HMRC. Not a major surprise there, and I believe they already do.

        It's almost as though we'd start treating EU nationals the way we currently treat people from outside of the EU: Welcoming, but with controls over their access to employment and public services.

        Strange that. Anybody would think we were trying to become a country with laws and borders.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: ASA told the Home Office not to run the advert again

          "So the Home Office need to coordinate with the DWP and HMRC."

          Those three! Shudder.

        2. Len

          Re: ASA told the Home Office not to run the advert again

          Based on the issues we have seen so far the Home Office hasn't been (or very poorly) working together with the other agencies to sort it out. If you look at all the issues with registering for Settled Status that made the press they are all cases where a basic check in other organisation's systems should have prevented the issue.

          Some millionaire who has never had the need to apply for an NI and only paid council taxes in the UK (because they had no need to work in the UK) is in the grey area when it comes to exercising Treaty Rights (In first instance I would say they wouldn't qualify), would not show up in basic checks and so should expect to provide more proof of five year's continuous residence.

          Someone who has been living in the UK for a decade without break and has paid NI from day one should not be denied Settled Status. There is no excuse for that, that's just a system failing.

        3. Dan 55 Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: ASA told the Home Office not to run the advert again

          So the Home Office need to coordinate with the DWP and HMRC. Not a major surprise there, and I believe they already do.

          There's no way a resident EU citizen who's had contact over the past five years with the DWP and HMRC should be denied settled status, so whatever they're doing, they're doing it wrong.

          It's almost as though we'd start treating EU nationals the way we currently treat people from outside of the EU: Welcoming, but with controls over their access to employment and public services.

          Yes, I'm sure EU citizens have welcomed the three years of constant gaslighting, where in even weeks it's "we shall safeguard all your rights" and odd weeks it's "we have trouble understanding the concept of a residency card for a family member of an EU citizen despite it having existed for 15 years/we'll send you a letter saying that 10 years of bank statements aren't enough/we'll send you a letter saying you must leave the country/we'll announce the immediate withdraw FoM rights and leave enough doubt in the announcement so that already-resident EU citizens wonder if they are affected or not".

          Anybody would think we were trying to become a country with laws and borders.

          Because the UK now is a borderless lawless country, right? Or judging by today's announcement about shutting down Parliament maybe it is.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: ASA told the Home Office not to run the advert again

        "the day the UK leaves the EU is the day Free Movement of People ends by automatic operation of EU law."

        No exactly. There no such thing as "EU law". There are EU Directives which each member country enacts into their local laws. The UK will continue on with the same laws we have now unless and until they are rescinded. That's what the Big Bill is about. But they need to be careful they don't mistakenly rescind laws we need without proper replacements. I hope human rights people and lawyers will be watching this process very, very closely.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ASA told the Home Office not to run the advert again

      And if you read the smaller print you need to know your old passport number and keep updating the home office with both old and new passport numbers for the rest of your life as the settled status expires if the document you applied with expires. Nice little hole there to make use of in the future. Almost as if they can't wait to get rid of us. (And enjoy their hundreds of thousands of overseas immigrants instead I guess. $diety forbid you're not born in a country that at some point was colonised and pledged alegience to the monarch.)

      1. anothercynic Silver badge

        Re: ASA told the Home Office not to run the advert again

        That's exactly it. And there's no paper proof either that you can show to the Border Agency to say "yes, I *AM* allowed in, here's the Home Office proof". It's horrific.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: ASA told the Home Office not to run the advert again

          Don't worry, it's all going to go like clockwork when you get your ID card/passport swiped at the border. Especially around the time when you give them new ID/passport numbers, nothing at all's going to go wrong there.

  7. CJatCTi

    One of the 3231

    Being one of the 3231 who downloaded the app for my wife, she has an Android phone but no NFC chip, putting her phone in the same catergry as Apple owners, the hardest thing was getting my phone to find the chip in her passport.

    Being organised I had also got her on the previous scheme where she proved she had been working here for over 5 years and she got a residency card, I am now told that no longer counts.

    I know govenment officials only see what they want to, so I have worked on the jump through the hoops before they stop you at the airport & say you can't come back in, you don't have correct paperwork. Get it before the rush.

    Now how do I get one of those visit Europe Visas?

  8. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

    Seeing as 4% is an "overwhelming majority" and 52% of the people is all the people, yet 48% is not enough to care about at all, you can see that 27% is obviously noone and 73% is everyone.

    Welcome to the post-truth world where counting beyond one hand is despised as the province of "experts" (as are definitions of words which do not involve tautologies).

    1. Alien8n Silver badge

      In today's "post-speak" world everyone voted for No Deal as it was mentioned (however briefly in the small print on a website somewhere, probably stapled to a leopard in the basement toilets).

      And now to ensure Nigel Farage gets his No Deal, they're going to do the completely unprecedented and close Parliament. If Boris is still PM come Christmas it wouldn't surprise me to see Farage getting a knighthood for services to Boris's bank account.

      I hate having to repeat this but... the vote was not overwhelming, and no one voted for No Deal. Everyone was promised a deal. In Leave's own words "a deal will be the easiest thing ever" "they need us more than we need them" etc.

      The fact is 2/3 decided to vote, 1/3 didn't, either through apathy, distrust, inability (how many millions were denied a vote because they had lived outside the UK for too long, despite still being British citizens?). I almost didn't vote, as what was promised as part of Leave was a deal, maybe like Norway, maybe like Switzerland, but A Deal none the less. And the ones who voted to Leave did so with the same knowledge that there would be A Deal. The problem though is what was wanted was actually 17 million different deals. Because it was a black box labelled "Brexit" with 17 million different interpretations of what that meant. And because you can't get consensus on 17 million different interpretations of what it means we have to put up with what the minority wants, a process hijacked by a political elite to appease fascists and idiots to bring about a populist ideal with no frigging clue about how they're going to fix the mess it will create.

      And the solution from our new Prime Minister? Accept whatever the USA demands to get a deal. Except even the USA will refuse a deal if whatever happens on October 31st leaves the Good Friday Agreement in tatters. God save us from Tories who still believe they're fighting a war against Northern Ireland.

      1. big_D Silver badge

        I don't know, I've met some Brexit supporters who want out with no deal, trade under WTO conditions.

        Point out that it isn't that simple, or that WTO conditions are there to protect those too incompetent to make their own deal doesn't seem to resonate with them.

        I was lucky, with the first vote, I was 3 months away from being ineligible to vote, not that it made much difference. If their is a second vote, I won't be allowed to vote.

        1. Cederic Bronze badge

          A lot of people that voted to Leave would like to leave with a deal, but want to leave whether there's a deal or not.

          A lot of the people causing so much fuss about 'no deal' are just trying to prevent us leaving at all, including far too many traitorous politicians. I hope they get deselected and lose their seats.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "WTO conditions are there to protect those too incompetent to make their own deal doesn't seem to resonate with them."

          It seems like a pretty good resonance to me.

      2. codejunky Silver badge

        @Alien8n

        I see a lot of the common crying but nothing already shot down.

        "the vote was not overwhelming, and no one voted for No Deal"

        The majority won. By the rules put in place for the vote (by the frickin remainers!) leave won. And the vote was to be in or out of the EU. Thats it thats the vote and leave won. Since then there has been a general election (leave parties won) and MEP election (brexit party won). This isnt a disputable point no matter if remainers close their eyes, plug their ears and sing 'laalaalaaa'.

        ""a deal will be the easiest thing ever" "they need us more than we need them""

        Two facts demonstrated at any point the UK didnt bend over. May started with brexiters negotiating and the EU were found wanting. Then May buggered up and handed the country over either by compliance (she was a remainer) or stupidity. I dont trust Boris but so far the EU are again reconsidering their position because he actually looks ready to leave the EU. A good example of remain incompetence- complaints that we dont have skilled negotiators was followed by NZ offering negotiators to us, and May turned it down.

        "The fact is 2/3 decided to vote, 1/3 didn't"

        One of the highest turn outs.

        "I almost didn't vote, as what was promised as part of Leave was a deal, maybe like Norway, maybe like Switzerland, but A Deal none the less"

        Ok so you cant read. The referendum was clear. And yes we probably could have had some sort of deal if remainers would allow negotiations to go on. Remainers might as well slap their own faces and cry their faces hurt, what a shock.

        "Because it was a black box labelled "Brexit" with 17 million different interpretations of what that meant"

        And there are countless polar opposite views of what the EU is for remain. Hell even the guardian was putting up articles before the referendum about how bad the EU is but we must remain to reform it. Reforming it was a big feature for the remain campaign. For a political union we cant reform (as the French president is finding). As I have said before Remain is as divided as leave (I think no worse) believing the EU to be socialist/capitalist, globalist/protectionist, trade area/federal block, ready to reform/need no reform, etc

        "a process hijacked by a political elite to appease fascists and idiots to bring about a populist ideal"

        Such as ditching the result of the vote to enforce remain, refusing to allow the people to have a say or a choice but to be force-fed propaganda about a wonderful utopia that will be made in Europe as the federal union rises.

        "Accept whatever the USA demands to get a deal"

        Where has this been said? Why is it ok to suggest we will be under the US 'oh woe is me' but its ok to say 'spank me harder master' to the EU? I do wonder if the subservient expectations of remainers is because they are used to that situation under the EU. The idea of not being subservient being new to them.

        "Except even the USA will refuse a deal if whatever happens on October 31st leaves the Good Friday Agreement in tatters"

        Which it wont. But for some reason it is a problem when Trump declares a wall must be built and the Mexicans will pay for it, but not when the Euro muppets (dunno who is in charge currently) declare a wall must be built but the UK must pay for it.

        Sorry if my reply sounds a little harsh but you wrote a long comment full of rubbish discredited over the last 2 1/2 years. All you seem to be lacking is a third prediction of a recession some fuzzy point in the future 'but because of brexit!'.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: @Alien8n

          "May started with brexiters negotiating and the EU were found wanting"

          Only wanting in the view of those who said a deal would be the easiest thing and so forth. The EU negotiating team wasn't being run to help Leave! No shit, Sherlock.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: @Alien8n

            @Doctor Syntax

            "Only wanting in the view of those who said a deal would be the easiest thing and so forth"

            Not at all. Those idiots were gonna come and take the banking industry. Buckled. Got some brass plates and brassed off. Then changed their minds because it would screw up the EU.

            The WA deal is not open for renegotiation at all at the insistence of the EU. Boris steps in with his oct deadline regardless of a deal and suddenly one of the presidents is offering more time to renegotiate.

            The EU has a huge bill for us. And cry their little hearts out when told no. And almost have an aneurysm when we suggest taking our share of the assets.

            Hell the EU negotiators refused to talk while UKIP were in the room and were publicly shamed for acting like little children.

            Everything has been negotiable and flexible on the condition we were willing to leave. When that stopped suddenly we had a deal considered worse than remain or leave.

            1. Alien8n Silver badge

              Re: @Alien8n

              The only part of the deal considered worse than remaining or leaving is the Backstop. Which was put in at our insistence to ensure the Good Friday Agreement stayed intact. You know what that is surely? Although I'm sure you'll have some placitude about how no one wants a return to The Troubles regardless of what happens to the border

              Anyone who thinks Northern Ireland is now some peaceful backwater of the UK where terrorism has been defeated and everyone lives in peace and harmony just needs to take a walk through Belfast. It's better than it was, but it's a fragile peace that is broken by both sides on a regular basis. Until the last child of the Troubles has passed on then that peace remains fragile. Neither side gives a toss about Brexit. They only care about the border with Ireland.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: @Alien8n

                @Alien8n

                "The only part of the deal considered worse than remaining or leaving is the Backstop"

                So even you see it as worse than remain or leave.

                "You know what that is surely? Although I'm sure you'll have some placitude about how no one wants a return to The Troubles regardless of what happens to the border"

                All the reason not to make a hard border then. Hopefully the EU will consider this as they are the ones insisting on one.

                "Neither side gives a toss about Brexit. They only care about the border with Ireland."

                And for that reason people really need to question why the UK doesnt want a border, Ireland and N. Ireland dont want a border but the EU does. Its their choice.

                1. Alien8n Silver badge

                  Re: @Alien8n

                  "So even you see it as worse than remain or leave."

                  Did I say that was my position? I said it was considered as worse than leaving or remaining, but it's considered that by leavers more than anyone else. Personally I don't see the problem with it.

                  "All the reason not to make a hard border then. Hopefully the EU will consider this as they are the ones insisting on one."

                  They aren't "insisting on one", they're quite rightly pointing out that you can't have an open border without an agreement that covers movement of people and goods.

                  "And for that reason people really need to question why the UK doesnt want a border, Ireland and N. Ireland dont want a border but the EU does. Its their choice."

                  Read above. For $Deity's sake, to have an open border you need an agreement in place. We had an agreement, Parliament didn't like it. It's not the EU's fault that no one bothered to ask how we leave before handing May a bunch of red lines. You can't have an open border with Ireland and a closed border with France/Belgium, etc.

                  The reason we want that open border is nothing to do with trade, or immigration, or any of the other reasons for Brexit. It's to make sure we don't break the Good Friday Agreement. That's why there was a backstop, because it was a way to keep that border open while we negotiated all the trade and freedom of movement rules that we couldn't agree on because of Theresa May's bloody red lines.

                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: @Alien8n

                    @Alien8n

                    " I said it was considered as worse than leaving or remaining, but it's considered that by leavers more than anyone else. Personally I don't see the problem with it."

                    Ahh ok. Generally its regarded as worse than remain or leave, and even parliament couldnt agree to it.

                    "They aren't "insisting on one", they're quite rightly pointing out that you can't have an open border without an agreement that covers movement of people and goods."

                    Excellent so they will come to agreement?

                    "We had an agreement, Parliament didn't like it"

                    That wasnt an agreement, parliament didnt agree. But the option was to effectively take N.Ireland off the UK by putting a border between the UK. I always thought it an interesting idea but put the border between Ireland and the EU. Problem solved.

                    1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

                      Re: @Alien8n

                      "But the option was to effectively take N.Ireland off the UK by putting a border between the UK."

                      No, that's why they included (at the UK's insistence and against three desires of the EU) that the rest of the UK would stay in three customs union of the backstop was triggered. That way there would be no border between GB and NI.

                      1. codejunky Silver badge

                        Re: @Alien8n

                        @Dr. Mouse

                        "No, that's why they included (at the UK's insistence and against three desires of the EU) that the rest of the UK would stay in three customs union of the backstop was triggered. That way there would be no border between GB and NI."

                        Yet NI will have to abide by EU rules while the UK less so (but still not out of the EU we voted to leave 3 times so far!). The position originally being that if the UK left the EU completely that NI would effectively still be in the EU and an EU territory.

            2. ibmalone Silver badge

              Re: @Alien8n

              The EU has a huge bill for us. And cry their little hearts out when told no. And almost have an aneurysm when we suggest taking our share of the assets.

              All this stuff, and of course the German car manufacturers who were going to save us, is just self delusion. The EU would like a deal, but they're getting fairly bored of the whole affair. Brexit is going to affect the UK far more than the EU, their remaining major concern is trying to support the Irish in not having a hard border, and as we keep refusing to do that (rambling on about technical solutions that don't exist) there's not much left to talk about. And of course they'd like us to pay our remaining commitments. Maybe we'll wrangle out of them, it'll be an auspicious start to 'taking a new place' (or an old and somewhat worn stool) on the world stage to have mitched out of treaty commitments. I'm sure everyone will admire us and be eager to do business.

              Of course those who want to remain in the EU are against no deal or the hard brexit that some on the other side want. But guess what? 52:48 means the winning side is going to have to compromise some. And they didn't. The withdrawal agreement got voted down by the ERG, who aren't usually seen as the most staunch of remainers.

              If the leave camp were willing to compromise on a softer brexit then they might have had it sorted out three years ago. If they could have agreed with each other what they wanted they might have sorted it out this year. But no, there was a plan, and it was to trigger article 50 and stymie a deal until the clock ran out, while persuading everyone that we've always been at war with eastasia. I'll admit it's been nicely played.

              Meanwhile it's all justified because people can tell themselves stories about how the Big Bad EU are Crying Their Little Hearts out. A bit inconsistent, but that's fantasists for you.

              If you don't believe me about eastasia, I'll leave you with this quiz question:

              Boris steps in with his oct deadline

              Who set the October 31 deadline?

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: @Alien8n

                @ibmalone

                "All this stuff, and of course the German car manufacturers who were going to save us, is just self delusion"

                Yes. We dont need german car manufacturers to save us. The EU has a choice- cut their nose off to spite their face or to negotiate. It is a choice they have and can do what they like.

                "The EU would like a deal, but they're getting fairly bored of the whole affair."

                The EU would like us to shut up and remain. As has been their position all the way through. Often they make an irrational and emotional decision they then reverse for the damage it will inflict on themselves. Their position becomes flexible when we are ready to walk away yet May kowtowed to their demands and called it a deal.

                "their remaining major concern is trying to support the Irish in not having a hard border"

                Which is easily fixed. The EU can make a deal. Even if its only to treat Ireland differently.

                "And of course they'd like us to pay our remaining commitments"

                I am sure they would. Money they promised in our name, and we should pay them. But the fact that the EU needs to understand is we dont have to pay them and that makes a big difference. Also as a joint venture we are due our assets if we are to be due our liabilities. So they can surely cough up.

                "But guess what? 52:48 means the winning side is going to have to compromise some."

                No it doesnt. Polar opposite options where the rules were made very clear and one of the options gained more votes than the other. After that a general election resulted in leave parties winning. After the March deadline the MEP elections returned a majority for a party newly set up just supporting brexit. The losing side need to grow up. It isnt democracy only if they win. Thats how children see the world.

                "The withdrawal agreement got voted down by the ERG, who aren't usually seen as the most staunch of remainers."

                Voted down by Corbyns lot too didnt it? In the hopes of a second referendum.

                "If the leave camp were willing to compromise on a softer brexit then they might have had it sorted out three years ago"

                If remain won would we be leaving the EU as a compromise? Thats the same stupid logic. We have consistently voted to leave the EU. That is not ambiguous, a grey area or a debatable result- it is fact.

                "If they could have agreed with each other what they wanted they might have sorted it out this year"

                Actually if any anti-hard brexit group could get a majority to do something else they could get that done (or have their chance to). The answer is sorted, its just the determination to stop the democratic result from being implemented that is the problem. If we get on with it we are done. Its a unilateral action. There is no reason for it to carry on longer than we are willing to carry on for.

                "But no, there was a plan, and it was to trigger article 50 and stymie a deal until the clock ran out"

                Actually parliament having the say was because of an attempt by remainers to stitch up brexit and have it overturned.

                "Who set the October 31 deadline?"

                The twit May and her EU supporters to get the awful deal accepted.

                1. Roland6 Silver badge

                  Re: @Alien8n

                  @codejunky - I think you need to improve your line of argument. If you replace EU with UK in the above comment and make a few minor changes, it still scans correctly (ie. fits the facts) to someone outside of the UK...

                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: @Alien8n

                    @Roland6

                    You have my interest. Please do make the changes and post.

        2. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

          @codejunky

          "The majority won. By the rules put in place for the vote (by the frickin remainers!) leave won. And the vote was to be in or out of the EU."

          This is true. I'll ignore, for a moment, the allegations of misconduct by the Leave campaign and other aspects, and focus on the result.

          The result was to Leave the EU. No more, no less. This has a wide array of options available, but even TM struck out on a fairly hard course from the start with red lines which guaranteed we did more than Leave the EU. To be honest, I think it would have been a reasonable course for negotiations, a reasonable compromise between a soft exit (staying in the Single Market/Customs Union/EFTA) and a hard exit (Leaving with no deal or transition period), but as she spent no time or effort trying to reach any sort of consensus within the house until after negotiations, both sides of the debate rejected what she brought and the deal fell through.

          We know that the EU would have given a better deal with different red lines. They said this fairly consistently until the point where they realised TM & HMG were not going to change them, at which point they defaulted to the WA being the only deal on the table, take it or leave it. BJ is now asking for more concessions from them (and they've already conceded a lot) without offering anything in return. He's threatening to take his bat and ball home if they don't give them what he wants, which has only hardened the EU position further.

          "May started with brexiters negotiating and the EU were found wanting."

          The EU have remained consistent and united throughout the entire negotiation, which is much more than can be said for the UK. If anything, the UK has been found wanting.

          "EU are again reconsidering their position because [BJ] actually looks ready to leave the EU."

          The consistent message is that the WA cannot be changed, the backstop cannot be removed. This has not changed. TBH the backstop is a sensible move - both the UK and Ireland need an insurance policy to protect the fragile peace in NI. If I were to make one change to it, it would be to appoint an independent third party to oversee it (ICJ or similar) rather than requiring both sides to agree it was no longer needed. However, the EU do not want it triggered and would prefer it to not be necessary. BJs negotiating position over the backstop is basically "trust me, we won't need it", which is comical as that's also the EU's position ("Trust us, it's not a trap, just a way to protect Ireland").

          "Why is it ok to suggest we will be under the US 'oh woe is me' but its ok to say 'spank me harder master' to the EU?"

          In the EU, we have (or at least had, until this farce began) a massive amount of influence over decisions, as well as vetos and opt-outs against things we didn't like. When negotiating with the USA, they are the much larger party (instead of being one of 28 where we are at least one of the most powerful). They have already said they will expect political support for controversial things they do on the international stage, and it is likely they'll require lowering of food and animal welfare standards (and food labelling rules) to allow their low quality agricultural products to flood our market. We can, of course, say "No", but where else are we going to get trade deals from to fill the gap left by leaving the EU?

          In a No Deal situation, we become (at least temporarily) the only first world country with no trade deals whatsoever. We are placed on the back foot, desperate to secure deals before our economy crashes. How long do you think before we would bend over and accept whatever scraps the USA or India choose to throw our way just in order to stay afloat?

          "Euro muppets (dunno who is in charge currently) declare a wall must be built but the UK must pay for it."

          When have they said that? They have, of course, said that there will need to be checks at the border if there is no trade deal between the UK and the EU. This is required to protect them from, among other things:

          - Illegal immigration from NI to IE

          - Goods being imported and sold which do not meet EU standards

          AFAIK it would also be required purely under WTO rules in one form or another, unless there is a trade deal or the EU (and the UK) opens up its borders to everyone.

          To be honest, given the fact that a large part of the Leave campaign centred around control of borders and immigration, it seems folly that they now want to leave our only land border with the EU completely open and uncontrolled. If there is no controlled border between NI and RoI, no controlled border between NI & GB, and FoM between RoI and the rest of the EU, there is in effect no controlled border between the UK and EU...

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: @codejunky

            @Dr. Mouse

            "The result was to Leave the EU. No more, no less"

            Which removed anyone calling for remain. The EU quickly stated that we either remained or leave and no in-between so that removed anyone calling for anything other than leave.

            "We know that the EU would have given a better deal with different red lines"

            Actually we can be fairly sure the EU would negotiate a better deal if we stuck to being willing to leave regardless of a deal. Something May refused to do and so her concessions and failure to stand by leave (she was a remainer so somewhat understandable but still wrong).

            "He's threatening to take his bat and ball home if they don't give them what he wants, which has only hardened the EU position further."

            Actually he is negotiating as we did at the start. The EU wanted to negotiate step by step and wanted their money and their demands etc which May caved to. Yet at the beginning the facts were presented to the EU- we dont have to pay you a penny, nor do we have to have permission to leave. Those facts change the negotiation completely.

            "The EU have remained consistent and united throughout the entire negotiation"

            When? I know the UK gov has been fractured throughout but no they have not been consistent. EU domain names. London banking. Part of the EU want to punish us, part doesnt care, part doesnt want to lose us and part knows they are screwed if they do something stupid.

            "The consistent message is that the WA cannot be changed"

            For the short time that the WA has existed and nobody until now willing to challenge it.

            "TBH the backstop is a sensible move"

            I have always considered the backstop an interesting idea. But move the border between the EU and Ireland. Its perfectly sensible, just as sensible as putting the border the other way. Isnt it?

            "In the EU, we have (or at least had, until this farce began) a massive amount of influence over decisions, as well as vetos and opt-outs against things we didn't like."

            And we are so wonderful at doing so that we voted to leave 3 times. Blair selling the country and gold plating laws in the hopes of becoming EU president. We have voted against what we dont like, we voted to leave the EU.

            "require lowering of food and animal welfare standards"

            From what? Higher standards can be seen as a good thing until you cant eat. But its high standards so it must be good? Nope. Using standards to isolate your industries from competition is protectionism, and the EU is protectionist. Leaving the EU is about rejoining the rest of the world, that is the context to look at this. Remember their glorious standards of butter mountains and milk lakes.

            "allow their low quality agricultural products to flood our market."

            If it is so bad people wont buy it. So what is the problem? The problem is people will buy it because they will choose to and the EU member governments will lose votes. 27 countries all demanding their own protections is a lot of protectionism and not in the favour of the majority of the countries.

            "where else are we going to get trade deals from to fill the gap left by leaving the EU?"

            Is it trade deals or trade we want? Not saying either or but the EU has high tariffs and is a protectionist block. Then they rely on trade deals to interact with the world. A lot of doomsday assumptions are based on us charging the same protectionist tariffs as the EU forces us to, which is stupid. Also there was a queue for trade deals with the UK.

            "In a No Deal situation, we become (at least temporarily) the only first world country with no trade deals whatsoever"

            Nope. There are deals ready to be signed as soon as we leave.

            "We are placed on the back foot, desperate to secure deals before our economy crashes"

            Nope. We move from protectionist requiring deals to a trading nation. Also if the fear is the economy crashing then you definitely want out of the EU due to the mishandling of their economy.

            "How long do you think before we would bend over and accept whatever scraps the USA or India choose to throw our way just in order to stay afloat?"

            Longer than it takes us to bend over and accept the scraps from the EU.

            "When have they said that?"

            Either they say there needs to be a hard border in ireland or they dont. I dont know anyone of either side saying they dont. Right now there is a border with different taxation and rules and smuggling and nobody really sees it as a problem because there are severe limits on what can be done about it. So no its not a problem and yet the EU demand its a problem.

            "AFAIK it would also be required purely under WTO rules in one form or another, unless there is a trade deal or the EU (and the UK) opens up its borders to everyone."

            Thats ok the EU is supposed to be good at trade and negotiation? So we can agree to both allow no border and its much the same as now. Ahhh but the EU isnt so good or they wanna cry or something because they are magically making a problem. And its their problem. They can implement a hard border if they want to but its the EU insisting on one.

            "To be honest, given the fact that a large part of the Leave campaign centred around control of borders and immigration, it seems folly that they now want to leave our only land border with the EU completely open and uncontrolled"

            Why? This is not a failure of leave but of remains understanding. Control is to make our own choices. Taking control to apply control is entirely consistent. To not understand that is the confusing part.

            1. Alien8n Silver badge

              Re: @codejunky

              @codejunkie

              You continue to argue under a false belief that we have a strong position. We lose that position the moment we leave, but forget that for now. Most of your arguments are simply rehashing soundbites by Boris and Farage and hold as much water as a sieve.

              "Which removed anyone calling for remain. The EU quickly stated that we either remained or leave and no in-between so that removed anyone calling for anything other than leave."

              While many are demanding to Remain I've stated before, my position was ambivalent except with regards to the blatant lies told by the Leave campaign. Leave campaigned on the premise that we would have a deal. There was no campaign to leave with No Deal until after the Referendum.

              "Actually we can be fairly sure the EU would negotiate a better deal if we stuck to being willing to leave regardless of a deal. Something May refused to do and so her concessions and failure to stand by leave (she was a remainer so somewhat understandable but still wrong)."

              Are you the sort of person that demands a restaurant gives you a free dessert? The position of "give us a deal or we walk" has always been the position given. The difference is everyone else knows that No Deal is an absolute clusterfuck and quite rightly want to avoid that. The mistake was not getting consensus from Parliament over what we should be negotiating for, instead taking the Hard Line Brexiteers' demands as red lines resulting in something that no one would accept. Without compromise it was always doomed to fail.

              "Actually he is negotiating as we did at the start. The EU wanted to negotiate step by step and wanted their money and their demands etc which May caved to. Yet at the beginning the facts were presented to the EU- we dont have to pay you a penny, nor do we have to have permission to leave. Those facts change the negotiation completely."

              Actually the "Divorce Bill" is made up of commitments to various EU and European institutions that we contribute to. Some of these commitments involve treaties. So it is wrong to say we don't owe them anything.

              "For the short time that the WA has existed and nobody until now willing to challenge it."

              Any change needs to still get through Parliament. Which is now impossible to do. Even if they do manage to create a New Deal we will leave without a deal because there is no time to debate any changes before the end of October.

              "I have always considered the backstop an interesting idea. But move the border between the EU and Ireland. Its perfectly sensible, just as sensible as putting the border the other way. Isnt it?"

              Have you seriously just suggested that Ireland leave the EU? Putting the border between the EU and Ireland means having a trade deal with Ireland and only Ireland, something that can only happen if Ireland is not in the EU.

              "From what? Higher standards can be seen as a good thing until you cant eat. But its high standards so it must be good? Nope. Using standards to isolate your industries from competition is protectionism, and the EU is protectionist. Leaving the EU is about rejoining the rest of the world, that is the context to look at this. Remember their glorious standards of butter mountains and milk lakes."

              Have you actually looked at US food standards? They are so low that the chances of getting food poisoning from lettuce is around 20%. Why do they wash their chicken with chlorine? Because their standard are so bad it's to kill all the faecal bacteria that covers the chicken. EU standards on the other hand follow a very simple rule, don't get shit on your food in the first place. US food standards allow for faeces, rat hair, and maggot remains in processed food.

              "Nope. There are deals ready to be signed as soon as we leave."

              Technically correct, there are 13 trade deals ready to be signed into effect. Not one of them is with our biggest trading partner however. The majority are with smaller economies that will benefit from trading with us, rather than the other way round. Arguably the best deal though is with South Korea, which at least means we'll still have cheap flat screen TVs.

              "Longer than it takes us to bend over and accept the scraps from the EU"

              "Scraps"? What you mean is the same trading terms as currently, but without having to pay towards membership surely? You are aware that even Norway pays the EU in order to trade? So from this I guess what you really mean is you never want a trade deal with the EU, to continue only on WTO terms, meaning the UK is always trading at a disadvantage with it's largest trading partner.

              "Either they say there needs to be a hard border in ireland or they dont. I dont know anyone of either side saying they dont. Right now there is a border with different taxation and rules and smuggling and nobody really sees it as a problem because there are severe limits on what can be done about it. So no its not a problem and yet the EU demand its a problem."

              I'll repeat again. The problem is the Good Friday Agreement. The Good Friday Agreement states no hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, something that can't work if there is No Deal as that would mean no hard border between the UK and the EU (in case you missed it earlier, Ireland is a member of the EU). If you break the Good Friday Agreement you risk setting Northern Ireland's peace process back over 20 years. There are still paramilitaries in Northern Ireland, on both sides of the sectarian divide, some of which would love to see a return to The Troubles.

              "Thats ok the EU is supposed to be good at trade and negotiation? So we can agree to both allow no border and its much the same as now. Ahhh but the EU isnt so good or they wanna cry or something because they are magically making a problem. And its their problem. They can implement a hard border if they want to but its the EU insisting on one."

              I'll silence the voice at the back of my head that wants to scream. If there is No Deal we default to a hard border with the rest of the EU. There is a reason for this, and it's nothing to do with the EU making it a problem, it's to do with standards and tariffs. It's to ensure cheap electronics that don't meet EU safety standards don't enter the EU through the UK. It's to ensure we don't undercut EU prices, by flooding the market with cheap imports. It's also to do with the movement of people. How do you control immigration without a deal if you leave one border open and shut all the others? You want to control the number of Eastern Europeans? You need an agreement that allows movement or you shut all EU facing borders. Otherwise all that happens is that instead of entering via Dover, they enter through Ireland. And yes, the EU is very good at negotiation, that's why they have deals that benefit EU members. Deals that up until October we have benefited from.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: @codejunky

                @Alien8n

                "You continue to argue under a false belief that we have a strong position"

                You continue to argue under a false belief that we have a weak position.

                "my position was ambivalent except with regards to the blatant lies told by the Leave campaign"

                So your ambivalent except with regards to the blatant lies told by remain too? And that the gov directly threatened the population to vote remain?

                "Are you the sort of person that demands a restaurant gives you a free dessert? The position of "give us a deal or we walk" has always been the position given."

                Not sure where you are in the world but it has been clear constantly that our gov has refused no deal from May even to a recent vote by parliament.

                "The mistake was not getting consensus from Parliament over what we should be negotiating for"

                The EU made clear it was remain or leave and no negotiation. Or do you think our parliament can dictate to the EU?

                "Actually the "Divorce Bill" is made up of commitments to various EU and European institutions that we contribute to. Some of these commitments involve treaties. So it is wrong to say we don't owe them anything."

                No. We dont owe them anything. We can pay those commitments and it would be right to. But some of those things are not even bills yet as they are backing in case someone else doesnt pay their bill, so no we dont owe it unless the EU backing has to pay. And of course if we are on the hook for the liabilities we also get our share of the assets, which is a considerable chunk apparently. Its plausible the EU owes us.

                "Even if they do manage to create a New Deal we will leave without a deal because there is no time to debate any changes before the end of October."

                And thats after all this time! May bringing the same damn crap deal back again and again in a fashion mirroring the EU.

                "Have you seriously just suggested that Ireland leave the EU? Putting the border between the EU and Ireland means having a trade deal with Ireland and only Ireland, something that can only happen if Ireland is not in the EU."

                Ha!! I love this reaction. Apparently its ok to use the backstop but if that same border is between the EU and Ireland it drives remainers into a fit. Do you suggest N.Ireland leave the UK? If its good for the goose its good for the gander.

                "Have you actually looked at US food standards?"

                Waaaaa developed country waaaaaa dont like their standards waaaaaaa! So why would you buy it? If you wouldnt then whats the problem? Freedom of choice for what is safe as declared by the European Food Standards Agency and you want to ban it? What is wrong with you?

                "Technically correct, there are 13 trade deals ready to be signed into effect. Not one of them is with our biggest trading partner however"

                You mean the biggest trading partner because we are trapped within their protectionist borders which force that? That is a seriously stupid argument, but if such trade is so important then the EU will deal yes? Or are they nasty foreigners?

                "I'll repeat again. The problem is the Good Friday Agreement."

                I repeat- no problem.

                "It's to ensure we don't undercut EU prices"

                Finally you hit on something right but somehow dont see the problem. The EU protect their members from being undercut so me and you can pay more for less. We leave and pay less for more.

                "How do you control immigration without a deal if you leave one border open and shut all the others?"

                So your saying immigration should be out of control? That is the alternative view surely?

                1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

                  Re: @codejunky

                  Where to begin?

                  "You continue to argue under a false belief that we have a weak position"

                  Actually, he was arguing that we would not be in a strong praising, but that doesn't necessarily mean a weak position. There is a middle ground. Your assertion is incorrect.

                  "The EU made clear it was remain or leave and no negotiation."

                  It was made clear that we couldn't have all the benefits of membership without following all the rules. There was always a negotiation to be had, but the red lines set by May and the Brexit extremists left very little room for negotiation.

                  "Apparently its ok to use the backstop but if that same border is between the EU and Ireland it drives remainers into a fit."

                  There would be no border between NI and the rest of the UK under the negotiated backstop, as the UK would remain in the customs union until an alternative was found. This was the solution proposed by the UK, and the EU hated it but accepted it as a compromise solution.

                  "Waaaaa developed country waaaaaa dont like their standards waaaaaaa! So why would you buy it? If you wouldnt then whats the problem?"

                  The problem is that the USA know that few would buy their crap, even if it was significantly cheaper, so would insist on food labelling changing so we couldn't tell the difference. Added to which, are people going to ask every restaurant they go in to whether they're using American food products? Would they even know? If food standards were lower, would our own farmers keep higher standards, or would everyone drop to the lowest common denominator?

                  "I repeat- [the GFA is] no problem."

                  Do you understand how fragile the peace is in NI? How often it is broken by both sides?

                  "So your saying immigration should be out of control?"

                  No, he's saying that if;

                  - there is no border control between GB and NI because they are all part of the UK,

                  - there is no border control between NI and Ireland's, because we can't break the GFA, and

                  - there is no border control between Ireland and the rest of the EU, because all are in the EU and there is FoM

                  Then there is effectively no border between the UK and EU. Any border controls in that case put up between the 2 are no more than a sham, as there is a path of free movement of goods and people between the EU and UK in both directions. It would mean both sides completely giving up on controlling the borders between them, which is one of the things Brexit was supposed to be about.

                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: @codejunky

                    @Dr. Mouse

                    "Actually, he was arguing that we would not be in a strong praising, but that doesn't necessarily mean a weak position. There is a middle ground. Your assertion is incorrect."

                    I responded to what he wrote. How do you come to the conclusion he has a different meaning to what he wrote? My assertion is correct to his comment.

                    "It was made clear that we couldn't have all the benefits of membership without following all the rules. There was always a negotiation to be had, but the red lines set by May and the Brexit extremists left very little room for negotiation."

                    So we are either in or out. That isnt badmouthing the EU, you must be part of it or not it isnt a buffet. The negotiation aspect of how much in the EU we are, but we must be in the EU to get the benefits of it. Precisely what we voted against.

                    "There would be no border between NI and the rest of the UK under the negotiated backstop, as the UK would remain in the customs union until an alternative was found."

                    So the UK remains stuck in the EU and paying them with less of a voice than we had before. Which is not what we voted for. We voted to leave. The backstop being to put NI under more EU rule than the UK.

                    "The problem is that the USA know that few would buy their crap, even if it was significantly cheaper, so would insist on food labelling changing so we couldn't tell the difference."

                    And of course we can say no. So what?

                    "If food standards were lower, would our own farmers keep higher standards, or would everyone drop to the lowest common denominator?"

                    Our laws force them to be the higher standard dont they? Otherwise we already would do it. Because as high and mighty as we like to pretend we will buy what is cheaper. And that would force the farmer to provide as the customer wants. That being why the EU doesnt want to allow the competition because of protectionism.

                    "Do you understand how fragile the peace is in NI? How often it is broken by both sides?"

                    And thats as it is now. If we dont change it any.... then it dont get any worse. If the EU want to kick that hornets nest the EU can have another interfering cockup on their record.

                    "It would mean both sides completely giving up on controlling the borders between them, which is one of the things Brexit was supposed to be about."

                    I think remainers get hung up on the word control. Think in the context of sovereignty, its ours to control. As we like, as we choose, as we please. The sham border that already exists makes the point that there is nowhere for an actual hard border unless we want to wall off the two sides. Ireland doesnt want to, the UK doesnt want to.... so its up to the EU if they want to spend on it or not. If they dont then NI is UK, RoI is EU and life goes on. Ireland probably benefits greatly from being both in and out of the EU.

                    1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

                      Re: @codejunky

                      "I responded to what he wrote. How do you come to the conclusion he has a different meaning to what he wrote? My assertion is correct to his comment."

                      His actual statement, which you quoted, was: "You continue to argue under a false belief that we have a strong position." While there is potentially an implication there that he believes we are in a weak position, he does not say so. He just says that we are not in a strong position, which could just add well indicate a neutral position, neither weak nor strong.

                      "The negotiation aspect of how much in the EU we are, but we must be in the EU to get the benefits of it. Precisely what we voted against."

                      You appear to have a very different definition of in the EU to me, or even trip what logic dictates. You are either in the EU, a full member as we were, or out of the EU, not a full member. Norway, for instance, is not in the EU, not is Switzerland. However, both follow some EU rules in order to gain some benefits which are enjoyed by full members.

                      In short, you cannot be a partly in the EU, you are either in our out, but you can gain some benefits which members also gain while being out, although you must agree to follow some rules in order to do so (just like in any other trade deal).

                      WRT USA demands in return for a trade deal: "And of course we can say no. So what?"

                      And they can then say no to a trade deal, one which they don't really need but we, at that point, would (having no trade deals in place, or at most trade deals with tiny nations which don't come close to replacing the EU).

                      "Our laws force them to be the higher standard dont they? Otherwise we already would do it. Because as high and mighty as we like to pretend we will buy what is cheaper. And that would force the farmer to provide as the customer wants. That being why the EU doesnt want to allow the competition because of protectionism."

                      So you are saying you are happy to have lower dose standards to get cheaper food, which would lead to more food poisoning, lower productivity of workers, more load on an already stretched NHS, and lower animal welfare standards? Such standards are not protectionism, they are there for our benefit, to keep both is and the animals were farm in good health.

                      We could, of course, lower standards to get cheaper food. We could have chalk and sawdust in our food again to pad it out. Sound good?

                      WRT the Irish border: "I think remainers get hung up on the word control. Think in the context of sovereignty, its ours to control. As we like, as we choose, as we please."

                      I understand that, but you don't seem to grasp that leaving one part open when it is with a country with open borders with the EU means there is defectively an open border with the EU. If you made a chicken run with a gap in it, the chickens could escape just as easily as if there was no run, and the foxes could get in and eat the chickens just as easily too. You may as well not bother with any border controls for EU borders if you are going to leave one open.

                      "The sham border that already exists makes the point that there is nowhere for an actual hard border unless we want to wall off the two sides."

                      There was a hard border with military checkpoints not very long ago. Even if it's only on major routes it would make life hell for those living either side, and likely kick off more sectarian violence.

                      "so its up to the EU if they want to spend on it or not"

                      The EU will protect its borders. The only way I can see them allowing an open border with a third country with no deal in place or roles to follow would be to place a border between Ireland and the EU, which would in effect be the UK dragging Ireland out of the EU against its will. (Before you say it would be the EU shopping so, it would all be because of the British decisions and actions that it would become necessary, and a British failure to negotiate or even to consider the effect of their actions on anyone else.)

                      1. codejunky Silver badge

                        Re: @codejunky

                        @Dr. Mouse

                        "While there is potentially an implication there that he believes we are in a weak position, he does not say so"

                        It is possible he doesnt mean a weak position but from reading his comments thats how it comes across. Maybe he will clarify? I still disagree as we are in a strong position.

                        "You are either in the EU, a full member as we were, or out of the EU, not a full member. Norway, for instance, is not in the EU, not is Switzerland. However, both follow some EU rules in order to gain some benefits which are enjoyed by full members."

                        Normally the argument is for a Norway Plus (aka single market and customs union) which would require following EU rules, freedom of movement and pay into the EU while having no say. Basically a less influential member of the EU. We still wouldnt be able to make trade deals but the EU can open access to our markets without considering any gain to us. We would be better off leaving and just having a trade deal with the EU.

                        "And they can then say no to a trade deal, one which they don't really need but we, at that point, would (having no trade deals in place, or at most trade deals with tiny nations which don't come close to replacing the EU)."

                        Why would we require a trade deal? The EU is protectionist. They require trade deals otherwise they would be isolated pretty badly. We dont have to follow the same model. This idea of desperation is wrong in itself. Yes trade deals help and there are some ready for signing once we are out, but the doomsday scenarios typically assume we will either max out WTO tariffs or keep the same high protectionist tariffs as the EU. As a trading nation why would we do that?

                        "So you are saying you are happy to have lower dose standards to get cheaper food"

                        We can lower some standards without a problem (unless you disagree with the US and European food safety agencies). And people who complain about poorer people in the country having less should be absolutely behind this. One of the initial complaints was how costs would rise and we would be poorer for leaving the EU. Not only was that bunkum and started getting an asterisk to a note saying *from the EU but using standards to stifle competition is not doing it for our benefit.

                        "which would lead to more food poisoning, lower productivity of workers, more load on an already stretched NHS"

                        The sky falling in, penises to droop, 4 horsemen, etc. Are you done? You are blowing it out of proportion and pushing to extremes just to wail. I thought this was supposed to be an american thing where the rest of the world is a dangerous place? Have you been to other developed countries? Did you die from their differing standards? Are you saying the other developed countries are lesser?

                        "I understand that, but you don't seem to grasp that leaving one part open when it is with a country with open borders with the EU means there is defectively an open border with the EU"

                        Why dont I grasp it? It would do wonders for Ireland on the whole to effectively be in and out of the EU.

                        "Even if it's only on major routes it would make life hell for those living either side, and likely kick off more sectarian violence."

                        The great news is Ireland and the UK have said we dont wanna do that.

                        "The EU will protect its borders."

                        Ahhh. And this is why its the EU's problem.

                        "which would in effect be the UK dragging Ireland out of the EU against its will."

                        If that is how the EU wished to conduct themselves. Actually sounds like the UK is in a pretty strong position if we could force the EU to re-evaluate its borders.

                        1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

                          Re: @codejunky

                          I'm done with this now. We are obviously coming from completely different points of view and neither is going to agree with the other. I see logical fallacies in your arguments, but continuing to point them out is not going to change your mind. I could easily continue countering each of your points in turn, but I believe it would be a waste of my time (and yours).

                          I hope we don't crash or without a deal as I believe it would be a very bad thing for the country (except for the richest tax avoiders and hedge funds etc). However, if we do, we will find out which of us is correct (or closest to).

                2. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

                  Re: @codejunky

                  Also, in all that, I missed a point:

                  "But some of those things are not even bills yet as they are backing in case someone else doesnt pay their bill, so no we dont owe it unless the EU backing has to pay."

                  This is why the "bill" is an estimate and is spread out. For instance, we must pay or share of MEP pensions, but they will only be paid when they retire and until they die, so they will be spread out over decades and may vary. Other parts are payable as they become due or if they are needed, and all are things we've committed to pay for under international law and treaties (whereas by international law and treaties we don't own a share of EU owned assets...)

  9. elgarak1

    Kurtzmann: [on Buttle] You see? The population census has got him down as "dormanted." Uh, the Central Collective Storehouse computer has got him down as "deleted."

    Sam Lowry: Hang on.

    [goes to a computer terminal]

    Kurtzmann: Information Retrieval has got him down as "inoperative." And there's another one - security has got him down as "excised." Administration has got him down as "completed."

    Sam Lowry: He's dead.

    Kurtzmann: Dead? That's awful. We'll never get rid of the bloody thing [the error in their computer] now!

    --- Brazil, written by Terry Gilliam, Tom Stoppard, and Charles McKeown

  10. Andy 73

    Misleading headline is misleading

    The political bias in this piece is hardly justified by the story that prompted it. The ad was not sufficiently informative - that's rather different from 'telling lies'.

    As for the 'hostile environment' comment - about as current as referring to Thatcher as 'the milk snatcher'.

  11. irg

    The Home Office are lying deceitful and malicious?

    Shocked, I tell you.

  12. SVV Silver badge

    It was risking another Windrush scandal over this issue.

    "We're not risking another Windrush scandal. We're planning one."

    Has anyone considered the consequences of all this, in case large numbers of angry British citizens end up being turfed out of EU countries as a reciprocal measure?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: It was risking another Windrush scandal over this issue.

      Of course not.

  13. Ian Emery Silver badge

    SOP from the HO/FO

    Every HO/FO form I have ever had to fill in whilst getting married to a foreign national was set up to fail the applicant.

    The forms ask for minimal documentation; but if that is all you submit, you get screwed.

    If they ask for A, B and C, I can guarantee they will ask for documents ranging from D to Z on the day.

    Case in point, a friend followed the Marriage Visa form to the letter, submitted 40 pages of documents, and got refused THREE times - at over £1,000 per application.

    On the 4th try, they followed my advice and submitted around 300 additional pages and got the visa. NONE of those extra documents are listed as required in any of the "Help" files that accompany the forms.

    They were messing us around for months, so come the day, my new wife and I turned up with over 600 A4 pages of additional documents; they asked her ZERO questions about any of it, and spent her entire interview telling her about my previous fiancée in an attempt to break us up.

    1. Len
      WTF?

      Re: SOP from the HO/FO

      A friend of mine had to send his passport to the Home Office for some formalities. They kept it for six years(!) and so for six years he was unable to leave the country. As a C-level executive of an international company. He had to sue the Home Office to get his passport back. Now he has got his passport he hardly spends any time in the UK any more, enjoying his freedom and making up for being locked up on a small island.

      If I had to do any dealings with the Home Office I would never do it myself, always through a specialised law firm and with a clearly communicated intention to sue them if they made mistakes. I've seen too many Home Office 'cock ups'.

    2. veti Silver badge

      Re: SOP from the HO/FO

      I must be missing something in this story - what did the HO know about "your previous fiancée", and why?

      1. Ian Emery Silver badge

        Re: SOP from the HO/FO

        "I must be missing something in this story - what did the HO know about "your previous fiancée", and why?"

        My previous fiancée was also from China, and the visa application went through the same Consulate.

        (She couldnt cope and decided to go back to China after only 3 weeks).

        So the question should be, why were they holding that information for all those years, when the Data Protection Acts meant they should have deleted it all - and also - who authorised them to access those illegally held files??

        BTW, their excuse for the above was - I might be a human trafficker.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We've had our fair share of problems. One example: My Russian wife initially came to UK on a fiancee visa, we got married in UK and then went for several weeks holiday (/honeymoon) in Russia. The visa was going to expire before we came back to UK so we applied to the UK embassy in Moscow to replace it with a Spouse visa.

    I'd been googling and got a UK Home Office document on the process that explained what was required. Printed that off and took it with us along with everything it said we needed. They couldn't cope, the expectation was that she'd have made the fiancee to spouse visa change in UK in the short interval between getting married and going on honeymoon. The embassy staff came up with their own "how to" document, well actually two versions English and Russian (and older than the version I'd got from the internet). On one version there were 12 requirements, on the "translation" only 11.

    The problem then was that the requirements included that I provide documents which must not be more than 6 months old including proof of income/assets (pay slips, bank statements), evidence of my residence like domestic utility bills. Not surprisingly I'd not taken those on holiday with me. I pointed out they had them on file from the fiancee visa, they pointed out that those were now older than the required 6 months and presumably they thought that was enough time to sell my house and spend my demonstrated net asset value of around £1M. I countered with the version of the requirements from the internet, essentially, if I recall correctly: a copy of the marriage certificate and her Russian passport complete with fiancee visa.

    Having accepted that the current set of rules from the internet was valid and better than the old and confusing ones they had, now the guy had a struggle with the conditional clauses.

    "We need to see X" he said so I pointed out the document said "If you don't have Y then you need X", that meant as we had Y we didn't need X.

    To their credit he did eventually conclude that someone more senior needed to get involved. "Come back tomorrow to see him". The new guy turned out to have the added benefit of a functioning brain and that rarest of commodities in the public sector: common sense. "Come back this afternoon and you'll have the visa."

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