* Posts by EvilDrSmith

71 posts • joined 30 Jan 2018


Brit Parliament online orifice overwhelmed by Brexit bashers


Probably where they are now.

Which is (probably, in a significant number of cases) not in the UK.

And thus not eligible to vote (technically, you require two answers)

Brexit text-it wrecks it: Vote Leave fined £40k for spamming 200k msgs ahead of EU referendum


Re: Dodgy behavior by Vote Leave?

Which does not alter the fact that the Prime Minister stated that the government would be bound by the decision, and Parliament raised no objection to this.

The Act did not state that the referendum would be binding (but equally clearly it is a lie to state that it said that it was advisory), but the government did state that the referendum was binding. Therefore, it was binding.


Re: Dodgy behavior by Vote Leave?


Directly copied from the first page:

European Union Referendum Act 2015

2015 CHAPTER 36

An Act to make provision for the holding of a referendum in the United

Kingdom and Gibraltar on whether the United Kingdom should remain a

member of the European Union. [17th December 2015]

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and

consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present

Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

The referendum

1 The referendum

(1) A referendum is to be held on whether the United Kingdom should remain a

member of the European Union.

(2) The Secretary of State must, by regulations, appoint the day on which the

referendum is to be held.

(3) The day appointed under subsection (2)—

(a) must be no later than 31 December 2017,

(b) must not be 5 May 2016, and

(c) must not be 4 May 2017.

(4) The question that is to appear on the ballot papers is—

“Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave

the European Union?”

(5) The alternative answers to that question that are to appear on the ballot papers


“Remain a member of the European Union

Leave the European Union”.

(6) In Wales, there must also appear on the ballot papers—

Anybody wanting to rad the full bill can do so here:



Re: Vote Leave fined for promoting Brexit

It wasn't framed as an advisory vote. The PM stated explicitly the result would be implemented. Parliament concurred. Therefore it was binding.


Re: Dodgy behavior by Vote Leave?

>The previous one was supposed to be advisory

No it was binding. The Prime Minister stating publically and directly that the result would be implemented, and the entirety of Parliament sitting on its hands and not objecting made that beyond any doubt.

Sovereign power comes from the people in a democracy.

Croydon school rolling in toilet roll after Brexit gift deemed unfit for the Queen's Anus Horribilis


Re: Grow your own

>or to allow sadistic *****s to blast captive bred birds to oblivion.

Not really. Clearance for agriculture, but also for building materials (ships and buildings) and for fuels - charcoal for much of the early metal working industry, for example, required lots of timber.

2 weeks till Brexit and Defra, at the very least, looks set to be caught with its IT pants down


Re: Ha

A very quick internet search brought up a Guardian article from 18 October 2017, referring to the Prime Minster's claim that No deal is better than a bad deal.

It would be reasonable to expect therefore that the government has been making no deal preparations for at least 17 months.

Instead, it seems that they started about 5 months ago.

Lack of no deal preparation = fault of government (Prime Minister) seems a fair assessment.


Re: "We keep, or even raise duties on anything we net export - e.g. lamb"

>Do you believe EU or other countries won't raise their duties on UK exports, whenever needed?

In the event that the UK is outside the Customs Union and there is no free trade agreement to take it's place, the EU will treat the UK just like any other third party nation under the rules of the WTO.

So they will immediately place their standard (existing) tariffs and other restrictions on UK exports to the EU, bringing UK exports to the EU in line with other third-party nations.

They will not thereafter "raise their duties on UK exports whenever needed", since that would put them in breach of the WTO rules, unless it was an across the board raising of tariffs affecting all other nations, not just the UK (which, of course, they might do as part of a more global assessment of trade).

Similarly for all other countries that are members of the WTO (which is most of them).

Biker sues Google Fiber: I broke my leg, borked my ankle in trench dug to lay ad giant's pipe


Re: While out

Yup: that would be the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991. You need a licence to dig holes in the road, and there is specific training / qualifications for NRSWA operatives (the guys that dig the holes and then make good after) and NRSWA supervisors (who make sure everything has been done correctly)

No guns or lockpicks needed to nick modern cars if they're fitted with hackable 'smart' alarms


Re: Land Rover Defenders

Yes, but the police will soon track you down; all they have to do is follow the trail of oil (On a Landie, the oil leak is a sign of life)

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


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


Thank you for the link.

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

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

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


Re: What possible delay?

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

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

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


Re: What possible delay?

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

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

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


Re: What possible delay?

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

Absolute bollocks.

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

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

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


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

>May et al to fall on their own swords

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

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


Re: As an outsider I am a bit confused

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

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


Re: What possible delay?

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


Re: What possible delay?

Well, based on

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

UK Sea Fisheries Statistics

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

You better tell Toyota:

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

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



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

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

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



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

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

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


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


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

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


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

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


Re: What possible delay?

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

There are of course many other groups, too.


Re: What possible delay?

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

Don't mean to alarm you, but Boeing has built an unmanned fighter jet called 'Loyal Wingman'


Re: Reaper What you Sow?

Current RPVs/drones (whatever you want to call them) are remotely piloted - I'm not sure how easy it would be to remotely pilot in formation. Also, this thing is supposed to have fighter-like performance, so is moving a fair bit faster than current drones, making the formation flying that bit trickier.(And current drones are generally too slow to fly alongside a modern tactical jet).

The 'loyal wingman' concept often seems to in fact be a 'loyal wingmen' concept: i.e multiple semi-autonomous aircraft. My feeble understanding is that they are all somehow networked, and operate as a (small) swarm, so the pilot controlling them all doesn't need to worry about what they are doing, and concentrates on flying his/her own aeroplane, only directly interacting to direct a specific course of action (if/when that action isn't already instructed).

It's a development of what we have in the way of drones, but with less direct Human control, higher speeds, and combining multiple systems.

Smaller tech firms just aren't ready for a no-deal Brexit, MPs told


Re: I hope any fallback systems have been tested for their interconnections ...

Fair points, but potentially this makes the problem one for EU27 companies, not the UK companies. The EU trades with countries world wide, and my understanding (admittedly very, very limited) is that the current version of 'Lugano' sets down that choice of jurisdiction is permissible (and enforceable), wherever it is in the world.

So in the hypothetical case of UK and Austrian firm, the Austrian firm would be bound by the EU's rules on contract, even in regard to a UK firm and a contract that stated English law applies, since EU contract law (strictly Austrian law compliant with EU agreements etc, etc) applies to the Austrian company, which says you must respect choice of jurisdiction.

The English firm would be bound only by English law, and would (in theory) not be subjected to these agreements. In theory, since the expressed intention by the government is that 'Lucarno' continues to apply.

And none of this alters the fact that long before Lucarno or the original Brussels agreement, contracts were written with jurisdiction specified, and somehow business worked ok.


Re: I hope any fallback systems have been tested for their interconnections ...

You seem to be implying that the basics of contract law don't apply in Cambodia (I couldn't comment; no experience in that matter), and that post BREXIT, it won't apply in the EU either (that is, that the EU27 will now act like some allegedly dubious less developed nation).

I on the other hand expect that the EU 27 will continue to operate like civilised nations where the rule of law is actually respected. Contracts stating under which legal jurisdiction they operate have been standard for many more years than the EU (/EC/EEC) has existed. Suggesting that in some way such clauses will be disregarded by the EU27 is not realistic or credible.


Re: Taking Back Control!

An open border allows people across it, but doesn't mean that they can legally work, obtain an NI number, access medical or educational services etc. Yes, they can disappear into they 'black economy', but that doesn't mean they won't be caught.

So anyone wandering across the border is liable to be picked up by immigration services sooner or later.

And anyone crossing the inter-Ireland border into the UK has to get into the Republic somehow first, which means passing through some form of passport control, unless you are suggesting that migrants from North Africa will start sailing out into the Atlantic then up to Ireland.

The easiest route for illegal migration into the UK at the moment appears to be Calais to Dover (whether covertly on an HGV, or the newer reported trend of small boats). An open border between NI and the Republic is not likely to change that. So the numbers of people that would try a Republic to NI route are going to be small.

So from a logical (rather than emotional) assessment of the possibility of an open border between NI and the Republic, it's not at all a problem (for the UK).


Re: I hope any fallback systems have been tested for their interconnections ...

>What happens if a customer in Austria decides to stop paying their instalments after a No Deal? Just finding out which court would be appropriate is something nobody has had to think about until now.

Well, step 1 is to read the contract and see if it says something to the effect that 'this contract is governed by English (or Austrian, or whatever) law and subject to the jurisdiction of the English courts', which tend to be a fairly common clause in my (limited but not zero) experience of international contracts.

Hubble 'scope camera breaks down amid US govt shutdown, forcing boffins to fix it for free


Re: But he got less votes.

Because the US has a system of representative democracy. ('A' system, not 'the' system... there are many variations...)

We just had this discussion re the .eu domain, where the argument was whether UK MPs as representatives can ignore the expressed instruction of the people on a particular issue. (Based on comments and up- / down- votes, the majority view amongst commentators seemed to be that the representatives should be able to ignore the expressed will of the people, and decide for themselves).

While not especially familiar with the US election system, it appears that the people elected their representatives, who then chose President Trump.

If the US presidential election was run along the lines of a referendum-style '50%+1 for victory', then the US would now have President (H) Clinton (simplified - this assumes only two candidates, of course).

Of course, the same system that gave us (well, the US) President Trump also gave the US Presidents (W) Clinton, Obama, and Carter, amongst many others. (Examples selected because they are markedly 'not-Trump', not for any other reason).

Strangely, there seems to be a lack of appetite amongst US presidents of any/all political persuasion to try to significantly change the system that put them in power.

Attention all British .eu owners: Buy dotcom domains and prepare to sue, says UK govt


Re: How long until the new referendum will be called?

The 1975 referendum was on membership of the EEC; the EEC changed into the EC and then the EU; the rights and obligations of the UK under the EU are substantially different to what was created by joining the EEC. It is therefore dishonest to suggest that the 2016 referendum was a 'repeat' of the 1975 referendum.

I do not recall there being any substantial call for a referendum on the UK's membership of the EEC after the result of the 1975 referendum (but admittedly, I was a bit young, so probably wouldn't have noticed it).

So in fact, the 'Brexiteers' did respect the result of the 1975 referendum, which the 'remainers' won.'Remainers' that then refused to allow any other direct consultation of the UKs membership of the EC/EU for 41 years.


Re: Wow, it's almost...

"Democracy is about representative government"

Not correct.

Representative government is (if implemented correctly) a form of democracy, but Democracy does not require representative government.

A society where every decision is resolved by ballot of all members of that society is a non-representative democracy, and in fact a truer democracy, since every member of that society gets to express their own specific view on every decision.

In practice, such a system seems impractical for any but the smallest groupings, hence representative democracy is generally accepted as the most practical solution.

In a representative (parliamentary) democracy, parliament is sovereign because it wields sovereign power (the 'parliamentary' bit of parliamentary democracy), but the sovereign power comes from the people, not the representatives (the 'democracy' bit).

If a parliament composed of the peoples' representatives is ever stupid enough to ask the people a direct question, then they cease to be representatives and, for that issue only, become ciphers, with no authority to exercise sovereign power other than as instructed by the people from whom that power originates.

No not THAT kind of Office Wizard! Roll a diplomacy check to win the election: Vote tie resolved by a D20


Re: Statistically speaking

Bah! Beaten to it....

As I was about to say, "Tsk! All true Dorks know that CHR is charisma..."

Blighty: We spent £1bn on Galileo and all we got was this lousy T-shirt


Re: Not it isn't allowed under WTO rules at all.

No problem at all with the grammar.

The UK is a member of WTO

On leaving the EU, we are still a member of WTO.

We then find ourselves without agreed schedules, so need to submit these for WTO approval, as per the WTO rules. These will be reviewed in accordance with the rules of the WTO. Other countries may object, but fortunately, WTO is a rules based organisation, so the objections have to be based on something other than an attempt to gain an unfair advantage.

What you forget to mention is that proposed fast track schedules for the UK are also accompanied by the EU attempting to reduce the quantities listed under their schedule - the proposal is that the current EU schedules are divided between UK and EU (that's already agreed between UK and EU).

If you are correct that this somehow renders the UK not party to WTO, then the same logic means the EU is also no longer party to the WTO.

It's also a lot more likely that the UK will simply agree to up the quantities permitted under the UK schedules, thus immediately addressing the concerns raised by third party countries, than it is that the EU will agree to keep the quantities listed in its schedule unchanged following the UK departure.


Re: FUD Central Nervous System @amanfrommars 1


>Am I going mad?

Possibly, there seems to be a lot of it going about...


Re: Not it isn't allowed under WTO rules at all.

Sorry, which part of the WTO's own statement that:

"The EU is a WTO member in its own right as are each of its member states."

leads you to think that the UK is not a member of the WTO in it's own right?

I like reality, it has less Zombies in it than the worlds that some pro-remain people seem to inhabit.


Re: Not it isn't allowed under WTO rules at all.

Richard 12,

From the WTO page on the UK:

"This page gathers information on the United Kingdom's participation in the WTO. The United Kingdom has been a WTO member since 1 January 1995 and a member of GATT since 1 January 1948. It is a member State of the European Union (more info). All EU member States are WTO members, as is the EU (until 30 November 2009 known officially in the WTO as the European Communities for legal reasons) in its own right"

No mention of associate membership there.

And later, in discussing groups of countries:

"The largest and most comprehensive group is the European Union and its 28 member states. The EU is a customs union with a single external trade policy and tariff. While the member states coordinate their position in Brussels and Geneva, the European Commission alone speaks for the EU at almost all WTO meetings. The EU is a WTO member in its own right as are each of its member states."

So the WTO clearly thinks that the UK is (already) a member in our own right.


Re: Not it isn't allowed under WTO rules at all.


The UK already is a member of the World Trade Organisation.


We are already covered by WTO rules (as is the EU) and hence we already trade in accordance with WTO rules, either in accordance with trade agreements negotiated by the EU, or under the normal 'most favoured nation status' for nations with which we have no deal.

If we revert to trading with the EU under WTO rules (the 'No deal' option) no doubt there will be some issues that need to be sorted out, but we will nevertheless be legally covered by the WTO rules.

Additionally, a number of the nations with trade deals with the EU have already stated publically that, for their part, they intend those trade deals to be rolled forward such that they continue to apply to the UK once outside the EU.


Re: I think the issue was the binary question


>I think the issue was the binary question

>1) Leave things as they are

>2) Change things

Not entirely true.

I have seen numerous people that support 'remain' claiming that they knew what they were voting for/it was to keep things as they were, yet this is incorrect: the EU is not static, but is constantly changing.

If you voted to leave things as they were, then, as (relatively trivial) examples, your vote has already been overturned by:

the implementation of PESCO (occurred after the vote)

the reduction in the percentage of tariffs raised by the Common External Tariff (which are, of course, actually paid by UK consumers, so amount to the UK 'sending money' to the EU) kept by the home nation from 25% (2016) to 20% (2017) (with commensurate increase from 75% to 80% paid to the EU).

Remain voters (assuming they were moderately intelligent and informed) voted for ever closer union - constant change, in a direction that was broadly known, but with huge uncertainty in the details.

So the options were:

Vote for moderate uncertainty (change things a little, but continuously), and a broad direction of travel that was known

Vote for extensive uncertainty (change thing a lot), on an entirely different direction of travel

'BMW, Airbus and Siemens' get the Brexit spending shakes


Re: BMW and Airbus have more to worry about...

Regarding 'easiest deal', that was July 2017, so over a year after the referendum, plus is invariably (deliberately, I suspect) mis-quoted (incompletely quoted): see my comment above.

But you are right - lots of promises:

A technical recession immediately after a vote to leave;

a guaranteed 500,000 unemployed within 6 months of the vote (unemployment actually fallen steadily and now at a lower rate than before we joined the EEC, let alone the EU);

GDP down by 3.6% (admittedly, that was compared to remain, but does anyone believe our GDP would rally be 3.6% higher today?)

Inflation 2.3% higher after a year

No plans for an EU army (yet we have PESCO; proposed European battle groups).

So the leave campaign lied. And the remain campaign lied.

Just like politicians always do in elections.


Re: "Keep calm and carry on"

From the FT, on the grounds that it is very pro-remain, and therefore is less likely to be accused of being pro-leave propaganda:

The UK’s international trade secretary Liam Fox has said that the country’s post-Brexit trade deal with the EU should be “one of the easiest in human history” to strike.Speaking to BBC Radio 4′s Today programme, Mr Fox said: “We’re already beginning with zero tariffs and maximum regulatory equivalence. The only reason we wouldn’t come to a deal is if politics gets in the way of economics.”

It's strange how everyone seeking to mock the claim always seem to forget that last sentence.

HMRC rapped as Brexit looms and customs IT release slips again


Re: no surprise

Charlie Clark

Not disputing any of your points (and I certainly agree that time was wasted in the aftermath of the referendum), but none prove all brexiteers = racists or all racists = brexiteers.

Nor does your post dispute that free movement is discriminatory (which it plainly is on the basis of nationality), or that such discrimination on the basis of nationality amounts in effect to discrimination on the basis of race.

Hence you do not address the fact that people that supported remain were supporting membership of the single market and free movement (for EU citizens) and were thus supporting a racist policy (in effect, if not in design).

It wasn't clear in my first post that I was trying to show that all who voted for remain were voting for a racist policy, but this does not by any means mean that all who voted remain are racist - I do not believe that and would view such an accusation as a dishonest smear. Just as I view the brexiteer = racist = brexiteer claim to be a dishonest smear.

17.4 million people voted to leave, and they did so for 17.4 million individual and likely high complex, reasons. Some will have been racist, and some won't be, just like some remain voters were racist and some won't be.


Re: no surprise

"I accept not all Brexiteers are racists, but I also accept all racists are Brexiteers..."

Then you're completely wrong.

Assuming (no evidence to support this, but it's a reasonable hypothesis) that most people that voted for Brexit agreed with the ideals put out at the time of the referendum, and which have been repeated continuously since then, Brexiteers voted to leave the single market and so end free movement.

It is, in fact, remain orthodoxy that everyone that voted in favour of leave did so because they wanted to leave the single market and thus end free movement.

Ending free movement means that immigrants from the EU are treated the same as immigrants from non-EU countries.

Remain voters voted to stay in the single market and thus keep free movement of people for EU citizens, which does not apply to non-EU citizens.

Free movement is taken to be a good thing, thus the single market gives a benefit to EU citizens that is specifically and deliberately denied to non-EU citizens.

Thus Remain voters have voted for a discriminatory policy (discriminating on the basis of nationality). This is clearly undeniable.

However, the bulk of the EU population are (again, no evidence offered, since I consider it self evident) white and Christian (by culture if not by observation).

The bulk of the world's non-EU population are non white and non-Christian.

Supporters of free movement are therefore, in effect, discriminating on the basis of race, since they support a policy that discriminates in favour of a majority white population, and against a majority non-white population.

Opponents of free movement (Brexiteers) are seeking to remove a mechanism that permits discrimination on the basis of race.

The continued repeat of the lie that brexiteer = racist = brexiteer merely proves to those of us that were not too fussed one way or the other about the EU that it's the hard core remainers that are the bigots.

UK space comes to an 'understanding' with Australia as Brexit looms


Re: RE: Mooseman

"I grew up in the 70's, I remember rolling blackouts, winter of discontent, cap in hand to the IMF, inflation, high interest rates. That's the whole reason we joined the EU in the first place."

I remember them too - they occurred during the mid- to late 1970's.

After we joined the EEC.

So not 'why we joined the EU in the first place'. (Plus of course, we joined the EU when it formed in 1992, by which time the economic problems of the 1970's UK were long passed).

If there is a link between those economic problems and the EU (which I don't actual think there is) it would prove that joining EEC (/EC/EU) was detrimental to the UK economy. Which in some respects it was, and in other respects it was beneficial.

I have no objection to remain supporters pointing out the lies told by the Brexiteer, but if they do, they should make a modicum of effort to tell the truth themselves, less they be labelled hypocrites.

Never mind Brexit. UK must fling more £billions at nuke subs, say MPs


Re: Let's cut the BS. It's about the UK's self image as a "World" power.

"IE A massive willy waving exercise"

To a large (but not entire) degree, yes.

But by your examples, you appear to misunderstand the principle of deterrence. Deterrence applies to any/all weapon systems, but only works if the weapon system is credible and the person to be deterred believes that you will use it.

Fairly obviously, you do not deter terrorists that are hiding within your own cities with city-destroying weapons (ICBM is not a credible weapon for use in this case, therefore cannot be considered to be a deterrent for use in this case)

However, deterrence worked perfectly in the case of the Falklands - hence there was no Falklands War of 1977, when the Argentines made all the same moves to invade the Falklands as in 1981/82, and the British response was to park a SSN in the south Atlantic. This left the Argentine junta in no doubt that the UK would defend the islands, and they were deterred from invading (since the weapon systems deployed to deter them were credible as a means of destroying the invasion fleet, and the Junta believed the UK government would use them).

In 1981/82, the British response to aggression from Argentina was to continue with the plan to sell off both carriers, scrap both the amphibious assault ships, and withdraw the Falklands guard ship without replacement. The logical interpretation was that the UK weren't prepared to fight to stop the islands being annexed. Therefore, the weapons possessed by the UK were irrelevant: the Junta believed there was no political will to use them.

A similar example of deterrence succeeding / failing due to political will would appear to be the invasion of Kuwait: the Iraqi invasion of 1961 didn't happen because the UK chucked in troops and made it clear to the Iraqis that we would fight to defend Kuwait, whereas in 1990, the US (the new 'outside power' dominant in the area) failed to make clear politically their view, and failed to deploy troops, so failed to deter, with the Iraqis thus assumed the US would do nothing.

Whether the UK needs a nuclear deterrent is certainty a point for discussion, however, there would appear to be a political/diplomatic advantage (willy -waving isn't entirely without impact).

It might also be noted that Litvinenko was poisoned by Polonium, an action which is generally held to have been the actions of the Russian state, and this year there has been a reported small scale chemical weapons attack against civilians in the UK, again the action of the Russian state. Given that the current Russian government has been prepared to use two classes of weapons of mass destruction (chemical weapons and radiological weapons) against targets in the UK (though only in very small scale volumes, and has attempted to do so covertly in both cases), one could conclude either:

(i) our deterrent has failed, and is useless

(ii) our deterrent is vital, and possibly the only thing stopping the use or the threat of use of a nuclear warhead against civilian target in the UK

(iii) we were never going to launch a nuclear warhead against an attack of such a small scale, so the deterrent was never relevant in either case, but the world is dangerous and unpredictable, so it might be a good idea to hang on to it, just in case.

So those are at least some possible points of the exercise.


Re: Simplistic solution to two problems

Not entirely.

On-shore wind appears to be particularly sensitive to variations in the wind speed, and the UK does get weather systems big enough to blanket the island, where no wind somewhere = no wind everywhere.

Off-shore is more dependable, and the turbines tend to be bigger, so it offers the potential for significant energy supply. However the development of these large offshore turbines in large off-shore wind farms is taking these machines to much harsher environments: long term durability of these big turbines in harsh conditions is still uncertain. Anything that needs to be maintained that far from shore in the conditions of the North Sea or North Atlantic is neither easy nor cheap to maintain (I don't, however, no how much maintenance these things actually need, so possibly the costs are low in relative terms).

Solar is relatively good for 'trickle-charge' type applications, but is unlikely to be a significant energy source for the UK - peak energy demand is, I suspect, on cold, dark, days in winter, when solar will struggle to generate much.

Solar panels on every new property would be useful for reducing demand from the grid - but there is environmental damage in actually creating the panel which needs to be considered.

Tidal has, in my opinion, real potential, but is nowhere near mature yet. Tides are predictable and reliable (and also vary slightly in timing around the coast). But the best tidal energy locations are where the tidal flow is highest, and sticking a tidal generator in these tidal flows is difficult - the same energy that you are drawing out of the water to create electricity is also trying to rip your tidal generator from it's anchorage and send it bounding along the sea bed, breaking its expensive bits in the process. And as with wind turbines, tidal turbines are in a harsh environment, where long term durability is going to be an issue.

Tidal lagoons offer a potential solution, but these are large scale structures - expensive, and with a heavy footprint on the environment.

Additionally, all these 'green' energy sources have to be built, installed, and the electricity brought to the grid, which makes for lots of vehicle movements shipping components, transporting to site, possible energy loses in transmission, etc There are direct environmental impacts (wind turbines emit noise, are visually intrusive, and kill migratory birds, etc). There has been little attempt at decommissioning any of these types of generators (what do you do with a 100-year old wind farm in the north sea, where the existing foundations are not strong enough to carry the load of your 22nd century mega-wind turbine? Can you recycle pv panels? etc)

There is also the issue of what effect these techniques have on the environment - these are not generating energy, they are taking it from the natural system. I suspect that the energy drawn from the wind by even the largest wind farm is insignificant on the resulting wind patterns. But then, the CO2 put into the atmosphere by burning coal was insignificant until it wasn't.

All three of these energy sources (Wind/solar/tidal) have potential, but solar is unlikely ever to be a major source of electrical energy in the UK, and tidal power is some years away from being a practical proposition.


The problem with that is in the year after you scrapped the Nuclear capability, you would have lots more money for your conventional forces. But after about 5 years, you'd have a reduced defence budget, and your conventional forces are back at the level they were when you had the Nukes. Only now, you don't have the Nukes.

Plus actually having sufficient conventional ships, planes tanks etc is quite expensive - buying the kit, storing the kit, operating the kit, and most importantly employing the large number of people to operate the kit.

Plus having Nukes is partly about deterrence (if the Russians/French/N Korea threatened to Nuke us, could we rely on the US to say no? If the US threatened to Nuke us, could we rely on the French to say Non?), and partly about diplomacy - we have nukes/we are on the UN security council/we something else, yar-de-dar, therefore we are important...

UK.gov finally adds Galileo and Copernicus to the Brexit divorce bill


Re: To anyone pro-Brexit



Re: To anyone pro-Brexit

I broadly agree, apart from it actually being democratic to hold another referendum - democracy, like justice has to be seen to be done, as well as to be done. The most voracious cries for another referendum are from those people that have been trying to overthrow the decision from the start.

Whatever the arguments for a new referendum may be, it will clearly be seen by many as an attempt to frustrate BREXIT, and as such would be harmful to democracy.

Add in that the EU (and ECC/EC) has a history of telling countries that have held referenda on EC/EU issues to think again when they came back with the 'wrong' result, and also the suggestion (repeated below I see) that it should be a three way referendum with two options to leave, thus ensuring the leave to vote is split so that remain can win, and any attempt to force through a second referendum would be viewed as an attack on democracy, and be even more highly divisive than the original back in 2016.

Which is pretty much what you said.


Re: To anyone pro-Brexit

So at the time the referendum bill was in parliament you wrote to your MP insisting he or she oppose it?

Or wrote a strongly worded letter to the Times, demanding the rules be changed?

Or took to the streets and opposed the whole process in a demonstration parliament square?

Or actually, you did nothing, smug and confident that your side would win by the rules which you knew (or which you would have known if you had made the modicum of effort to find them out).

And then only when you lost could you be bothered to do anything (that being, posting rudely worded comments on a discussion board).

How many of the people here so upset with the vote did anything to help the remain campaign?

How many volunteered to hand out fliers outside rainy stations, or deliver leaflets to a two-mile stretch of houses?

The rules were set down clearly, and in plenty of time, There was no widespread disagreement with them (with the exception, if I recall, of the SNP, who I think did object to some of the rules, but also to the whole idea of the referendum anyway).

How many even bothered to vote?

As a society, we agreed the rules and we agreed that the result would be implemented.

We reached a result.

We implement the result.


Re: To anyone pro-Brexit

You're logic is sound, but I disagree. Democracy is something that we in the 'liberal west' take for granted, yet it is so incredibly fragile and easy to lose, and it is invariably so difficult and bloody to restore.

You do not defend democracy when the government is a dictatorship, and the gulags/death camps are in operation - by then it's way too late; you defend democracy over the first little things.. when the PM tries to lock innocent people (erm.. terrorist suspects) up for 90 days without charge or trail.

Or when attempts are made to overthrow a decision of the people by assorted individuals, many of whom fail to understand that democracy doesn't mean that we all vote and that they then get what they want, but some of whom are politicians carefully noting how 'the people' are accepting that democracy can be ignored (if they accept it once, they have no fundamental principle over it happening again, and again, and again...).

Whether BREXIT is good or bad is irrelevant (and a matter of opinion).

We agreed a set of rules for the referendum. We agreed that the result would be implemented, on the basis that +1 vote was enough. We reached a democratic decision.

We now implement that decision. Anything else is an attack in democracy.

And it's never a waste of time to stand up and defend democracy.

I will no doubt now be heavily down voted. Meh!


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