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David Cameron announces resignation (theguardian.com)
403 points by matheusalmeida on June 24, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 337 comments



He'll go down in history as one of the worst leaders the UK ever had. Which he already was before yesterday. By the way, if he let the people decide on such a super topic as leave/remain in the EU, why does he not let his people vote on whether they want total surveillance or not? If they want a police state? Why can't they decide on stuff that affects their daily lives in a potential negative way? Or will they ignore the voice of the voters, Boaty McBoatface-style?


This government is for austerity and cutting public services and expenditure. He is no less a reflection of his party.

Next PM's in line: Theresa May: Pro snoopers (spying) charter. I don't like the term police state but her actions are worryingly in line.

Boris Johnson? A very charismatic idiot. His selling point being the golden coloured hairy creature that has permanently occupied his scalp.

Yes. We have a great line up of next potential PM's for Britain.


Theresa May is one of the scariest contenders as far as I've seen. Very pro-surveillance and anti-open internet. She would be a (nother) disaster for UK tech. If there's anybody left who hasn't moved to Dublin/Berlin by October.


People of Ireland speaking here:

-Want to stay in the EU?

-Want to trade in the Eurozone?

-Enjoy low corporate tax rate of 12.5%? Pro-business government?

-Enjoy friendly, well educated, English speaking, Pro-American people, good beer, decent music, nice quality of life, low crime and safe green natural environment? (Look how much fun even our soccer fans are http://www.irishexaminer.com/euro2016/euro2016-banter/10-rea...)

Invest in Ireland -> http://www.idaireland.com This has been a public service announcement from the country next door. #irelandlovesyou :)


As an Irish person, I would like our country to take the opportunity to welcome British business but say "thanks, but no thanks" to finance and banking.

I want our brightest and best to do more useful stuff, engineering and literature and medicine or whatever. We should consider our education system to have failed every time a bright student goes into finance.

It's the only long term sustainable plan. Convert debt to equity and keep the deposit base low.


What are your thoughts on this thread? Some really negative anecdotes about Dublin living: https://www.reddit.com/r/IWantOut/comments/4p9r9l/dublins_sk...


My god there is some serious whingey nonsense on that thread. Most of the arguments boil down to accommodation being expensive for students in the centre of a relatively wealthy European capital. Well no shit, as if it's not any worse in most other cities. As a software professional you'd be well able to afford it. I do agree there is a shortage of accommodation at the moment, but that's almost certainly a temporary issue. After the property crash in Ireland a few years ago builders and property developers were cast as the root of all evil. As a result (and because banks were broke and so weren't lending for mortgages), housebuilding ground to a halt even though Ireland has the highest birth rate in the EU and most commentators were warning this would lead to problems down the line. And so it has come to pass that now there is a shortage of cheap accommodation, and in particular social housing. However I expect this to resolve itself over the next few years, and the government has already promised to pump money into public housing.


Compare it to say Berlin though, where living is extremely cheap. It seems to help with tech startups quite a bit, and not because of generous tax breaks.


It's not just tax, Ireland also has a good infrastructure for government startup grants etc.

https://www.enterprise-ireland.com


Exactly!


Reddit/r/Ireland is extremely negative about everything. Some of the negativity doesn't make sense. The piece about not living in the city centre and instead the suburb commuter towns is madness. Totally the opposite. The commuter towns to Dublin are boring as hell, housing estates with very little services. Inner City Dublin is rejuvenating very fast, and parts of it feel like a smaller, more intimate version of Shoreditch or Williamsberg (except with better pubs and bars!). You can basically walk across most of the city within 45 mins.

Transport is poor compared to European standards and the cost of living is quite high. But if you live close to the city in Dublin it's not bad and it's a great place to socialise and be within 45 minutes of nature. It's probably one of the few capital cities in world where it's not unusual to strike up a conversation with a random person beside you on a bus.

Also it's a pretty easy place to do business. Our nature is humourously sarcastic and not liking authority which means we are pretty good problems solvers and management tends to be quite flat. The software is also small, so your only ever really a phonecall away from having a pint with whoever you need to speak to in the whole sector - from a graduate you met at a conference to a government Minister.

People also work to live not live to work (like the US) which makes a big difference. Also a big part of worklife is around interactions with colleagues - it's basically an assumption that most offices are full of at least a few characters who like to have the "craic" and banter. When working abroad I found I really missed those tiny interactions you have on a daily basis in Ireland - e.g someone telling you a story and making you laugh. Even in London you don't get that. It's not something you can pickup by getting an MBA but it makes such a big difference to the quality of life - compared to a stale work environment.

If your thinking about moving, drop me a mail!


The inability to talk to people on the bus was one of the first differences I noticed when I moved from India to the US.


On the downside it's hard to find decent place to live in Dublin for sensible price. On the upside Irish are one of the best people in the world.


Also, as it might be relevant to some people on here, a link about how to claim an Irish passport:

http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/travel_and_recreation/t...


The problem we currently have in politics it demography. People get older and older, the baby boomers forgot to "produce" children. Elder people tend to be deeply conservative and anti-technology. And as they are the majority now, they vote for stuff that they think is right ("let's 100% control that freaking thing called internet") and totally strangle the younger generation with their bad taste and shortsightedness.


I think a better way to come at this is to assume that on average, most people have given this decision a reasonable amount of thought, young people as well as old people. The debates have been going on for months, and pros and cons have been discussed at great length.

Further, I don't think it's fair to underestimate the experience and historic perspective old people have, that young people don't. After all, many of the older people who voted yesterday where around before the EU came about, and are able to factor in that extra information, plus their historic perspective in their decision, which, by definition, makes for a more informed decision.

You are right that older people tend to be more conservative, but you yourself may end up being more conservative when you are 90, vs. how conservative you are today, and you may only realize the reasons for it once it happens, and perhaps you will think those are actually quite good reasons, who knows.

The bottom line is that if you just attribute the older population's decision to "bad taste" and "shortsightedness", you may not realize the true reason behind their decision, which diminishes your ability to understand and influence others.


> After all, many of the older people who voted yesterday where around before the EU came about, and are able to factor in that extra information, plus their historic perspective in their decision, which, by definition, makes for a more informed decision.

Not necessarily. You'll still end up with people making decisions based on looking at the past with rose-coloured glasses, which isn't necessarily a fact-based decision. I think it's also equally likely that people will draw conclusions from economic conditions that had zilch to do with whether the EU existed or not. Thinking that experience necessarily leads to a informed decision ignores the way that humans works.


Blaming people (older people, immigrants, whatever) for our problems isn't productive. Let's figure out what's broken about the systems we're living in instead of alienating the people we should be working with to fix them.


In both the US general election and this referendum, the primary forces at play are emotive campaigning backed by false or at the very least misleading information (in our case: portrayal of immigrants, the '£350m a week' figure that has already had some very serious backpeddling, etc. etc.). We have an electorate that is woefully misinformed for a whole host of reasons. How you address this is beyond me.


Simply describing the arguments you disagree with as false and people who listen as idiots is why Remain has lost the referendum.

Are you going to learn from that and change your ways?

There was lots of flatly false and misleading crap coming from the Remain camp as well. Just look at how Cameron see-sawed on the consequences of an exit. Before his negotiation it was "things will be OK even if we leave, the economy is fundamentally strong". Then it was chaos, doom, "economic self harm", permanently worse off etc. Now the vote went against him it's back to "everything will be fine".

When the leader of the campaign can't even stay consistent on such a basic thing, that campaign cannot claim a monopoly on truth.


I'm not saying Remain didn't peddle crap (or even implied that only Leave was doing so). The two issues I've highlighted are demonstrably false. The whole campaign descended into the worst kind of politics on both sides.


This was also the reason for the voctory of current anti-european and proto-nationalist government in Poland last year.

Misinformation, fear campaign, memes, troll farms. It seems in social media age that's how you do politics. Viral marketing means you never have to say you were wrong.


I agree the new government in Poland is an embarrassment.

But you are mistaken in blaming the electorate. The "misinformation, fear campaign, memes..." have always been around. The primary reason people voted out the previous bunch is corruption and tunneling of the wealth created to a narrow group of people (a problem not limited to Poland only)


Honestly I think our best bet is to focus on education and childcare, then try to hold on for a generation. Many parents don't have time to raise their children as well as they'd like. Teachers are underpaid, under-respected and have in many cases had their agency taken away by standardized tests. It's no wonder so many people find it difficult to stay informed when they're starting from so far behind.


Agreed, for the Brexit vote, anyone with a degree was much more likely to vote remain (and there was a strong correlation between more education and likelihood to vote remain). This current government has made higher education much less attainable, and much less attractive for many people by raising the fees that students must pay (or loan) up front.


I find it at a little odd to read this characterisation on HN of all places. I mean, it's pretty much run by "old" technologists, right?


You are absolutely right, while I am, too. Of course there are progressive, far thinking elderly people and I enjoy being around them. I recently talked to a 71 year old who is into fractal programming and wants to get into Linux, soon (all while being politically liberal). But the elections and polls show always the same picture: the older people get, the more conservative/right wing they vote, which is often not what the younger need. I don't think it helps the younger UK generation, that has been used to think globally/European, that they now are politically separated from EVERY neighbor they have.


Well, it'd help if the younger generation actually bothered for things instead of complaining about them on social media. Less online petitions, more going down to the ballot box. If they were represented in the vote, more politicians would listen to them.

But they currently don't because the older generations actually show up on voting day.


This is disingenuous. Blaming millennials for not showing up at the poll is a strawman argument, as the vast majority of younger folk did show up (80% turnout ages 18-24)[1]. Sure, it's less than the 95+% of people 60 and older, but there's a hell of a lot more baby boomers than there are millennials. The problem isn't as simple as "young people don't vote".

[1] http://graphics.wsj.com/brexit-whos-voting-what/?mod=e2fb


> Blaming millennials for not showing up at the poll is a strawman argument, as the vast majority of younger folk did show up (80% turnout ages 18-24)[1] > [1] http://graphics.wsj.com/brexit-whos-voting-what/?mod=e2fb

I guess nobody followed up on your citation, because the link you supplied clearly states:

> Sources: YouGov online poll of 1694 likely voters conducted June 15–17; (demographics); YouGov online poll of 2001 likely voters conducted June 9–10 (economy and immigration); margin of error for both: +/- 3 percentage points

Absolutely nothing about the actual vote, just polling predictions.


Then I guess its another downside of an aging population and the obsession with money/status/career success over having a family. Gives you more old folk than young ones.


the older generations can show up on voting day because they don't have to work


If you can't get paid time off to vote, no questions asked - you have an entirely different and more serious problem. That, and isn't youth unemployment a very real problem in the UK too?


> If you can't get paid time off to vote, no questions asked - you have an entirely different and more serious problem

Welcome to the United States?


    Truth never triumphs — its opponents just die out.
     - Max Planck
Unfortunately, political progress tends to be the same. For some issues, the only way to move forward is to simply wait for enough old people to die off.


The demographic problem. Highly recommend reading "The Accidental Superpower" as it explains how this, as well as a few other geopolitical considerations, will shape the next few decades. (Hint: it's not pretty.)


No, the problem is that the younger generation is that they don't vote. They whine on Twitter . The only way to take control of the system from within.

Today was a very harsh lesson for young Brits. They'll have to live with the outcome of this decision for three rest of their lives.

The one positive is that those young people might now be encouraged to actually participate.


And that's how Remain lost.


> The problem we currently have in politics it demography.

I misread that as "demagoguery", and was going to vigorously agree.


I'm just back from Sweden - Gothenburg or Stockholm are starting to look pretty attractive if things go horribly wrong in the UK.


> Boris Johnson? A very charismatic idiot.

His persona is that of a charismatic bumbling idiot, but idiot he is not. Underneath this persona lies a highly intelligent, disingenuous, manipulative and calculating operator.

I genuinely think that he didn't believe in Brexit; rather he saw a potential route into number 10 and took a gamble on it.


"he saw a potential route into number 10 and took a gamble on it."

The funny thing is that basically Cameron used a similar gamble to be elected.

Push Brexit referendum, and hope for a Remain outcome.

I mean, it would be funny if the well-being of millions of people would not be impacted by all this gambling.


The main thing is that regardless of who pushed for or against the UK exiting the EU the voters voted to leave.

Neither Boris nor David made a unilateral decision. The people took action and voted against the EU. Lots of people are in shock but should not be.


Well, lots of people also voted for the EU – it was far from unanimous after all.


So when the votes align with the elites, do you see similar hand wringing? Oh, but so many people voted against our position... Not very likely.


And it seems many of the leave voters are regretting their choice now.


They both rode (in turn) petty nationalism sentiments to further their own ambitions.

I really don't think people's best interests have been served.


So is it better for a people to have their voice heard, and in that harm many of themselves, or to have their voice ignored "for the greater good?"


There's essentially no such thing as pure democracy at a national level. Even in cases of public referenda and ballot initiatives there's still a small group of (usually) professional bureaucrats of one variety or another that controls what questions are asked, how they are asked, and to whom.

Asking "the people to have their voice heard" on international organizations and trade agreements is particularly ill advised because those are "how" questions instead of "what" questions, and to a first approximation nobody actually cares about how. People care about whether their job is secure, or their groceries are affordable, or their culture is preserved.

Leaving the EU may or may not be a good idea for Britan, but crucially very few people really know whether it would or not. The level of specialized training necessary to reasonably predict the effects of leaving on any of the core interests that people do actually care about is prohibitively high. Directly asking whether to leave the EU is a bad idea because it doesn't capture what "the people" really want and it forces a specific course of action even when there may be safer and more effective methods for achieving the same ends.


I agree. I don't quite understand the dynamics of elections and voting but if a candidate looks like a bumbling idiot mixed with charisma and charm, it somehow resonates, at least in the UK and US.

Boris was this before being elected as mayor of London, somehow the image is perpetuated even now. In the run up to his mayoral elections his strong points were hardly discussed and his persona highlighted more than his abilities and skills. People perceiving him as a joke.

This is what eludes most and reinforces the notion that some of the electorate will purely vote on superficial terms.

He is absolutely manipulative and disingenuous who's riding on his buffoonish idiocy image.


Or, it's possible it just so happens his views on a key issue coincided with the views of a majority of the people who voted (and the turnout was large, and it's not as if when things go your way in elections you vacillate by thinking of the opposition who didn't vote).

It feels like this borders on elitism. That the people don't know what they want. I don't often see a similar sentiment when people vote along with the views of the elite (questioning sanity and motives).


Even his choice of idiot persona is an act of genius in terms of how well it has served him.


George Bush springs to mind. Though maybe he actually was a patsy.


Let's be fair here. Liberal bias requires people to either believe anyone with conservative leanings MUST be stupid or the received wisdom that liberal philosophies are naturally correct must be incomplete. There's no real choice here, every single person on earth will assume everyone else is stupid before assuming they may be wrong.


That's the exact opposite of liberal, "open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values."

There are plenty of intelligent people in all parties, disagreeing with them doesn't make them idiots. Greenspan comes to mind, I think his basic market beliefs are wrong, but don't think he's an idiot, I have read his book. GW is a lot closer to idiot level because of his demeanor AND his actions, but let's be serious few actual idiots make it that far, just not all of them are way above average intelligence.


But I don't actually think GW was an idiot by the sheer fact that he surrounded himself with some of the most brilliant conservatives of the time. Cheney is evil incarnate, but few would call him an idiot. The same can be said about his secretary of defense, donald rumsfield. Rumsfield is the shining example of "doing it right" and being a hard charger.That being said, the two of them colluded and it caused badness.

Knowing you're outclassed isn't the mark of an idiot, but of a brilliant mind. Trump thinking he has an excellent memory and is the best in everything is the mark of a true idiot.


Maybe wasn't clear, GW isn't an idiot, but closer than most leaders, I'd say. Did GW choose all those people, or were they all pretty much from the conservative cabal that got GW elected? I think things like Iraq lack of evidence due diligence and Katrina appointing super inept guy are the things that make me think GW's personal selection skills weren't great, he did have brilliant advisers as you listed.

I don't think Trump is an idiot, more of a huckster with extreme emotions, but certainly loves to pander to the idiot mentality.

Dan Quayle is really the only true idiot I can call to mind who had a major position in a US party I can recall.


There are two essential traits I look for in a leader. They should have goals that align with my own, and they should advocate for policies that could reasonably be expected further their goals. At least in American politics, I usually see the term "idiot" applied to politicians who pass the first test but fail the second.


I suspect George Bush's bumbling persona was put-on as well (or possibly honed over years) on the basis of this youtube[1] video comparing his oratory style between 1994 and 2004

1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvknGT8W5jA


>His persona is that of a charismatic bumbling idiot, but idiot he is not. Underneath this persona lies a highly intelligent, disingenuous, manipulative and calculating operator.

People used to say that about George Bush too. The fact he played off his ridiculous gaffes and wasn't always illucid doesn't mean he wasn't an idiot.

Bojo is conniving and he's managed to acquire a good number of strategic allies but he's still not particularly smart.


I've always said you don't become the president by being an idiot. Being rich (or your father being rich) only gets you so far.


> Being rich (or your father being rich) only gets you so far.

Your family being rich and extremely well connected politically, both domestically and internationally, gets you much further than your family merely being rich, and you being useful figurehead for people who are quite smart -- and smart enough to realize that you are more useful than them as the public face of leadership -- piled on top of that, gets you even farther.


Still trying to understand how austerity can still mean increasing spending. Looking at their expenditures they peaked in 2009 at 51.5% and dropped to lower forties but much of that has been because the economy finally started recovering faster than the government could spend money mostly because of pressure on politicians not to.

However the key here is, they never spent less than the year before, simply reduced the amount they increased spending. Increasing spending is not austerity


Simply put, there never was austerity in most of Europe. That's a propaganda line to simultaneously cover the lack of economic growth for nearly a decade, and to use as an excuse to acquire a larger State through even greater spending.

You can go line by line down the list of European countries and their government expenditures. Only a few of them reduced spending, most have increased spending. In actual fact, only two or three nations experienced any real austerity, but they all pretend to have.

What they're really experiencing, is the total suffocation of economic growth by extreme debt. The exact same thing Japan has been enjoying for a quarter century.


Boris Johnson is anything but an idiot - that image of a harmless buffoon is a front.


BoJo was a King's scholar at Eton - meaning he is probably the smartest guy in the room, especially if that room is a Tory party conference room.

Which implies him grabbing the leadership and dismantling the UK is not buffoonery, but deliberate. Scary.


I know next to nothing to Britain and London's politics but I can't trust/don't want to have leaders that have to put up buffoon front to get elected or get traction. Because next time you risk getting a real buffoon. Or worse, it won't matter wether politicians are buffoons or not.


Boris Johnson as Prime Minister. Imagine the bicycle lanes... Which is not to say that I disagree with you. As mayor of London he knew what was important and it was not what most people would think is important.


Theresa May would be a scary successor indeed, and may even top Cameron as the worst UK leader.

UK needs to vote conservatives out, and it needs to reconsider switching the voting system (this time to a proportional representation one).


They probably will at the next election, the trouble is the alternative is looking pretty pathetic.


A referendum was held on proportional representation (one method, at least) and was rejected.


Alternate Voting is not a method of proportional representation. It is another voting scheme. The Liberal Democrats wanted a vote for Proportional Representation and the Conservatives agreed to a referendum, but on the rubbish AV scheme instead. Many many people voted against AV because it wasn't as good as PR and didn't want to change multiple times.

PR is superior to AV and FPTP and should be implemented. It shouldn't even have a referendum. It should just be done.


> Alternate Voting is not a method of proportional representation

Alternative Voting (AV) is a single member district voting system that produces results where the representations of policy views in the elected parliament are more proportional to the views in the electorate than first past the post, and thus is a method of enhancing the proportionality of the election system for a parliament when the status quo is FPTP.

It do so less than Single Transferrable Vote (STV) in multimember districts (AV -- known more often to US audiences as Instant Runoff Voting [IRV] -- is just the single-member-district case of STV, which supports any district size).

Its relationship to other PR schemes where not all candidates are directly elected by-name by general election voters (the most frequent being Party-List Proportional and Mixed-Member Proportional) is complicated -- those schemes optimize for proportionality of partisan composition of the legislature, but provide weaker accountability of individual politicians to the general electorate.

But PR itself isn't a system, its a (continuous valued, not even binary) feature of an electoral system. You can't "implement PR", you can adopt a system that increases (or decreases) the degree to which you have PR.


Many people voted against AV because the Liberal Democrats proposed it.


I'm no fan of hers, but home secretaries seem to get house trained by the security service (MI5) soon after taking office. The home secretaries of the previous Blair/Brown Labour administration were also dreadful. Someone once said that every home secretary since Roy Jenkins has been worse than the previous one.

And Boris Johnson is no idiot. It's part of his act.


And how do all these people get voted in?


Cameron called for the referendum in the hope of shutting up the eurosceptics in his own party forever. At the time it was not a bad idea, given that literally nobody believed that the leave vote could win.


I wouldn't call someone who needs a nationwide referendum to silence opposition within his own party a very good leader.


It wasn't just to silence opposition within his own party. It was also to stop the haemorrhaging of support from all mainstream parties towards UKIP.

It was a reasonable gamble that failed.


Yes, people forget that he'd already had two MPs jump ship to UKIP. If he hadn't promised a referendum the party would've split down the middle.

What I don't get, and didn't get with the Scots referendum either, is why on earth they didn't require a super-majority? Surely with something as critical as this, you'd want a bit more convincing than a 2% margin?

It doesn't have to be a 3/4ths or even 2/3rds, but a 60.1/39.9 split would've been nicely convincing that one side is definitely in a minority. Instead we've just proven once again that the UK is fractured politically North/South/Scotland/NI/etc.


> If he hadn't promised a referendum the party would've split down the middle.

And now you have a country split down the middle.


Yep, not Britain's finest hour at the moment. Scotland have already begun the process for a 2nd independence referendum and will probably win it this time. Northern Ireland are likely to follow.

In 5 years time we'll just be talking about England alone. With maybe Cornwall and the North splitting from London and the South East.

Might be time to dig up my Scottish ancestry and get a dual passport...


Don't forget Spain claiming Gibraltar.


The odd thing is that after all the years of being staunchly British, Gibraltar might well accept. They were 95% in favour of the EU. Having that border heavily restricted will be a nightmare for them.


Yes, I think this will happen and likely it will happen on a much shorter time-scale than a Scottish vote for independence and entry into the EU.


I would wait a bit to see how things go for UK because Spain current situation isn't that good either.


Spain will try to block Scotland entering the EU, to fend off Catalonian separatism.


If the Scottish independence referendum had resulted in Scotland gaining independence from the UK (like Spain, then a EU country) and then applied to join, there might be a reason for Spain to worry, as that roughly mirrors the situation with Catalonia.

If there's another Scottish independence referendum, Scotland would gain independence from a NON-EU country (UK) and then apply to join. This is similar to the situation with Slovenia, which gained independence from Yugoslavia and then joined the EU. Spain didn't veto that.


It's also possible that Scotland's independence happens before or simultaneously with the UK's exit, in which case Scotland could remain a EU member by continuity. This would also be a good lifeline for the rest of the UK once they recover from their spell of madness - form a union with Scotland to sneak back in.


Another possibility is that we might have to hold an early general election now that Cameron has resigned. If the Conservatives lose, it's possible that the referendum loses it's legitimacy.

Very slim chance though, seeing as it was mostly the Labour heartland that voted for Leave.


There is already talk about a second referendum and a ton of support is behind it.


> Yes, people forget that he'd already had two MPs jump ship to UKIP. If he hadn't promised a referendum the party would've split down the middle.

Arguably, allowing a partisan realignment wherein people would vote for representatives balancing views on the EU with other policy concerns would have been healthier for the nation (if more disruptive to the elites of the existing major parties) than trying to preserve the existing party structure by splitting out the EU issue to a referendum.

And, it probably would have been more likely to succeed at keeping the UK in the EU.


That's like saying betting the house on one of Germany, Italy, or Spain winning the Euro cup is a reasonable gamble.


Do you forget what a shambles Tony Blair was? Led us into a pointless war that cost 100,000s of lives. As bad as David Cameron was, he kept us out of war.


Not really. The UK is bombing Syria at his behest. The joke is that a year or two before that, he tried, and failed, to get the UK to drop bombs on the other side of the war.


s/the other/another/

There aren't two sides in that war.


Blair is probably the reason many Labour heartlands voted for out, he opened the doors to mass migration without thinking about the implications for those who might be displaced by it (or rather feel they were displaced by it)


> opened the doors to mass migration without thinking about the implications for those who might be displaced by it (or rather feel they were displaced by it)

just... wow


Please elaborate, as in the Northeast this is exactly what happened. Do you agree or disagree, or are you just saying "wow" as youngtaff has opened your eyes to how many members of the tradition labour vote outside London view Europe?


Who, exactly, has been displaced by mass migration in the Northeast?


Historically labour voting workers have been displaced from their jobs by low skilled immigrants. Don't just take my words for it:

https://medium.com/mosquito-ridge/brexit-wins-an-illusion-di...

"Britain has voted to leave the EU. The reason? A large section of the working class, concentrated in towns and cities that have been quietly devastated by free-market economics, decided they’d had enough.

[...]

Neither the political centre or the pro-remain left was able to explain how to offset the negative economic impact of low-skilled migration in conditions of (a) guaranteed free movement (b) permanent stagnation in Europe and (c) austerity in Britain. "

Were you think physically displaced, rather than "taking over the role of" displaced?


> As bad as David Cameron was, he kept us out of war.

'Military interventions' during Cameron: Libya (2011) , Syria and Iraq are the first to come to mind. The first being politically motivated rather than on humanitarian grounds.


David Cameron wanted to bomb Syria, but didn't because of massive public opposition and the commons vote.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-23892783

I agree that Blair was a war-monger.


> As bad as David Cameron was, he kept us out of war

If this is all we're holding politicians to then it's a really sorry state.

The man has doomed a generation and removed the easiest way for that generation to leave the country and prosper elsewhere.


Semantically speaking, in the case of that war Blair was just following America, not leading anybody (his country happened to be attached to him so it followed America too), so because he wasn't actually a leader at all he couldn't have been the best/worst one.


>He'll go down in history as one of the worst leaders the UK ever had

Talk about lack of perspective. In the long term it's absolutely insignificant. It's like people calling GWB or Obama the worst US president. Can't believe such a poorly thought out comment is at the top.


Normally I would agree with you and say that "worst leader ever" statements are hyperbolic when the leader is still in office, but this time I think it's appropriate. The United Kingdom is probably going to ultimately dissolve as a result of this vote, and Cameron is going to be remembered as the moron who let it happen, all because of a catastrophically failed gambit to pander to the Ukip-leaning Tories. "Worst leader ever" seems apt when you directly caused a nation's end.


The time to judge Brexit is not after 10 hours. In 10 years we'll know how to evaluate the decision.


What I don't understand is that isn't this what the people wanted? Across the pond it sounds like he tried to call someone's (pro-Brexit) bluff and lost. At the end of the day it sounds like this is what the people wanted though. I'm not seeing a lot of news about how the pro-Brexit people feel about the dissolution of the UK. Surely they knew this was an outcome.


People used the pro-Brexit vote as a proxy vote for other issues: Anti-establishment, anti-politician, anti-immigrant, anti-corporation, etc.

The same exact undertones that drive Trump's support in the US (and to a lesser extent Sanders) were what drove the Brexit movement. Many of these people don't even understand the EU, they just want to give the finger to everyone who happened to be on the Remain side.

The vast majority of people who voted for it were older, so won't have to live with the consequences, or working class who outright rejected the arguments of experts/academics/etc. This was a "my heartfelt ignorance is just as valid as your knowledge" situation.

So, yes, 500K more people voted for Brexit than voted to Remain. But what is it that they actually were voting for? If you listen to them talk or look at surveys, it had little to do with the EU beyond immigration.


> I'm not seeing a lot of news about how the pro-Brexit people feel about the dissolution of the UK. Surely they knew this was an outcome.

Want to know something darkly amusing? It's possible that they didn't. This is still anecdotal at this point, and of course the Remain side could be playing it up, but there are reports that at least some Leave voters intended it as a protest vote thinking it wouldn't actually happen: https://twitter.com/AdamWSweeney/status/746261907233988609

How wonderful would that be, if the biggest blunder in Britain's history happened unintentionally because some people wanted to stick it to their council. I need to go drink some more.


A bare majority of the people, with some outright whoppers of lies told by the side that won. This is a "change the constitution" level of change, and it's been done with a pretty slim majority. Usually a country will require a 2/3rds majority or similar to make such a significant legal change.


> The United Kingdom is probably going to ultimately dissolve as a result of this vote

Well, the union between Scotland and the rest of the UK might dissolve, but going from four to three countries in the UK isn't really dissolving the UK (NI had a pro-EU majority, but it doesn't sound like it really changes the basic dynamics keeping NI in the UK.)

> "Worst leader ever" seems apt when you directly caused a nation's end.

Peacefully breaking with Europe in a way that might also result in a peaceful break with Scotland vs., for just the first competition that jumps to mind, the Munich Conference? Yeah, I think outside of the passions of the moment, Cameron's likely to be seen as something far less notable than "worst PM ever".


That's rather ... Chicken Littlish.

The people voted. Let's see what the people can do now.


I don't think he will necessary go down as the worst leader, but his name is going to be tarred with being the prime minister who started the dissolution of the United Kingdom.


He absolutely deserves the title in this case. What will happen in the UK/Britain over the next decade will likely rival the significance of the Magna Carta, except in a mostly-negative way. And it is his fault.


His fault and 52% of the voting public.


He justified policy actions by what happens on prime-time cop soaps.


"if he let the people decide on such a super topic as leave/remain in the EU"

That was a popular demand by the public as the UK hadn't had a referendum on EU membership in 40 years. He made a promise to hold the referendum because of this and fulfilled his promise. If a politician keeping a promise is a problem, then we're all doomed


> If a politician keeping a promise is a problem, then we're all doomed

Yes. We are.


Making that promise was an error in the first place


And his laughably bad (if it weren't so serious) handling of the 'renegotiation' with Europe months before the referendum. He certainly comes across as a blustering public-schoolboy, which was never going to go down well with his European counterparts.


> if he let the people decide on such a super topic as leave/remain in the EU

To reiterate what al_chemist has already said, the price for UKIP supporting the Tories to form government was holding this referendum. It wasn't a lark on the part of the Tories. Not even Farage thought UKIP would win - the BBC had quoted him stating they weren't going to win on the morning of the vote.


Hard to beat Blair, really. Cameron may be dumber, but certainly not worse.


Every prime minister has their "Suez":

David Cameron: losing the EU referendum

Gordon Brown: The financial crisis

Tony Blair: Iraq

John Major: Black Wednesday; Tory party "sleaze"

Margaret Thatcher: The poll tax

James Callaghan: The Winter of Discontent

… etc.


All political lives, unless they are cut off in midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure, because that is the nature of politics and of human affairs.

Enoch Powell


> if he let the people decide on such a super topic as leave/remain in the EU

It was a deal he striken during last election. To buy UKIP votes (their main goal was to leave EU) he said he will make a referendum. His calculation was that there are not enough UKIP voters (~20% maybe) to pass referendum, but it will allow him to get elected (his voters + UKIP voters).


Yeah he's a nasty weasly only likely marginally better than Bliar. I still think this is going to be a bad move. Yes Europe is very very broken but I think better to try to fix it than go it alone


A vote that causes an instant 5-8% downgrade in the market's evaluation of pretty much an entire country is something that affects people's daily lives, unfortunately. (I guess it's similar in scope to electing George W. Bush, but it was not clear how bad a decision this was for a couple of years.)

Before the vote, the consensus estimate by economists was that this would be a 2% hit to GDP. Again, that affects people's daily lives -- it's essentially a self-inflicted recession.


"Peace in our time."

-- Neville Chamberlain


you kind of lose some steam at the end of your comment there


In defense of the Boaty McBoatface incident, that was not democracy by a long shot. That was an internet poll, not any kind of official vote. It was a poll of people who actually knew about it, and bothered to get online and vote about it. That's nothing at all like a proper election where there are proper ballots (though a lot of government elections these days lack those too, but that's another discussion...), voters are notified, there's independent monitors, etc.

I don't think you can call the BMbB name "the will of the voters" in any intellectually honest way. If it had been made a ballot proposition during a regular election, then sure. But not with some silly internet poll.


I just watched his talk. He lost. He fought that he can avoid crack in his party and anti-eu members will be pleased if he make this move - referendum. Then he thought he will get what he wants from EU and then all citizens will vote remain. He was wrong on all this points. He is the biggest looser in this situation and he really knows it.


> He is the biggest looser in this situation

Except he isn't, really -- he loses his political position, but he and his family won't be existentially affected by what's going to happen, as opposed to probably tens of millions of people all around Europe.


A lot of hate for him came from his inherited wealth. He had no idea how austerity was hitting people. Everyone I know who works has given up going on holiday, buying cars, buying nice food. We're all sick of it. There is plenty of money in the UK and watching a rich PM tell us to tighten our belts.... psh.


Really!? Everyone I know who works is very pleased with how the economy has recovered, many friends under 30 have bought a house (without parental help), many are nearing 40% tax bracket and my Facebook feed is full of people going on holiday. Not sure which UK you are living in but the one I'm in is pretty nice - well it was, until this vote.

And before you say I'm in some kind of elite I run a small factory in the north east of England and even my lower paid members of staff go on holiday once a year.


> many friends under 30 have bought a house (without parental help)

Wow really? Do you live up north? Or have rich friends?

I mean I think the UK economy is in pretty good shape (especially compared to the rest of the world), but let's not pretend that houses are remotely affordable.


>north east of England

Property market here in the north is nowhere as crazy as in London. Which is why the constant moans about it in national media are extremely grating for us (it's actually hard to flog houses, over here).


You can buy a house in the North for 100-200k without any problems, and saving 10k for a deposit is not exactly difficult if you have a job. I'm in the same situation as OP, live in UK, everyone I know is quite well off and the economy is doing very well for us(or was until today).


I think I'm one of those rare people who lurk on hackernews, but who's friends are normal working types. Nurses, janitors, teachers, teaching assistants, plumbers, electricians, carpetenters, fisher men. None of these people are on your facebook feed, or hackernews comment section. These are the people who have had enough of all this crap. We're not stupid. We're just poor.


I am honestly struggling to see how people believe leaving will make us richer (as has been the rhetoric from the leave campaign) - taxes will quite likely not change, that money will almost certainly not filter back into the pockets of the workers, and will be used to prop up other sectors of the economy that will suffer as a result of this, or to just pay down other debt (which whilst a benefit, still wont help most individuals over their working lives)...


I imagine that a lot of leave voters hoped that this will make them richer in the short term (though reality seems to be sinking in). I think the more compelling argument is one that is certainly felt, but harder to put into words - the British want protectionism back.

If you're a factory worker, you might not care that the EU makes the UK richer through free trade. That the EU benefits you overall doesn't matter - you would prefer a system where the pound is weaker, and imports/exports are tough, if it means that the manufacturing needs of British workers are served by British citizens like you. Having a manufacturing job, even if it is less lucrative, is more appealing than having no job and watching the rest of the country enjoy a slightly higher quality of life. Open borders mean you let in foreign doctors and scientists; it also means that you let in cab drivers and factory workers, in greater numbers. The British are pushing back against this. Unskilled workers would rather have a dose of protectionism than the possibility of a vacation in Spain.

For what it's worth, I think that the leave vote will not bring the kind of protectionism the British want.


Well you sure aren't going to get any richer now. This is going to have an unpleasant impact on the UK economy (not as bad as the gloom and doom of this morning's news, but bad) and I can assure you that the pain is not going to be felt much at the top end. Get ready for your grocery bill to go up by 20% in the next few weeks and for a massive wave of redundancies.


At least something is happening. We didn't do it to get rich, we did it to stop the status quo, the endless rut of being so fucking skint all the time.

Putting petrol and groceries on the credit card is getting boring now. How many maxed out credit cards does one family need?

Rich folk keep saying "Why? Why? Why?" and we say "Why not?"


we did it to stop the status quo, the endless rut of being so fucking skint all the time.

As is (sadly) customary with major elections and campaign promises, I think you'll feel cheated again. There certainly are (were) good arguments to be made for leaving (the inability of the EU to fundamentally change its structure, the EP giving all of Europe the big finger when it happily elected Juncker as president instead of a reformist, the ideal of self-determination); but economics isn't one of those.


The vote wasn't to 'stop the status quo'. It was to leave the EU. There's no reason to think that will make you any better off.

"I'm fed up with being poor. I'm going to show those big-wigs that we've had enough! By voting to... leave the EU. Yeah. I'm like, 15% sure it has something to do with the EU."


Let me put it this way - I make 25k/year. My partner makes 30k. We can afford a house here in the north without having to save up for the deposit for a decade first. Are our salaries extraordinary? Are we rich? 1% of this country? Or maybe I just live in some bubble?


You do.

You're in the top 10% of the country:

http://www.ifs.org.uk/wheredoyoufitin/


£55k a year household income is well into the top 10%, and probably top 5% for the region. Not extraordinary, but not at all typical.


"The most recent SPI report (2012/13) gave annual median income as £21,000 before tax and £18,700 after tax.[1] The 2013/14 HBAI report gave median household income (2 adults) as £23,556." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_in_the_United_Kingdom#T...

You can be outside the top 1% and still be significantly better off than many.


> Not sure which UK you are living in

The UK where waiting times for A&E are at the longest they've been for years; where waiting times for NHS consultant-led treatment are at the longest they've been since they introduced maximum wait times; where there are no in-patient MH beds for adults (seriously, just last week all adult inpatient MH beds in the country were occupied. (This significantly increases risk of suicide)); where the rates of suicide are increasing (after many years of decline) (and we know that economic decline increases rates of suicide).


That's nothing to do with the EU. That's years of neglect, lack of investment and poor management by a series of UK governments both Tory and Labour.

If we want a good health service and good schools then we need to invest. There problem is the only way that is going to happen is if we borrow the money (Labour tried that - no thanks), or you raise taxes. Raising taxes political suicide, which no party wants to do, especially the Tories. Then it needs to actually be managed wisely with a clear plan of operational action for a longer period than five years between each national election. These things take time, and each time we swap leadership they throw out the plan and start from scratch. It's like a constant series of pivots in no particular direction.


No, I know it's nothing to do with the EU.

That's the point - people were told by Brexit that leaving the EU would free up £350m per week, and the money would be spent on NHS.

I know that was a lie, you know it was a lie, but many people believed them.

The Sustainability and Transformation Plans were looking rough before brexit. I dread to think what they'll be like now.


People are more likely to post (and like) holiday pictures than we have no money pictures.


You still need the money to go on holiday in the first place and the OPs point was that working people in the UK can't afford to go on holiday.


We live in a world where a few percent GDP drop is a recession. It does not mean _everyone_ suddenly lacks money to buy a plane ticket. But when a few percent means tens of millions of people, I don't really think we should base our (economic and other kind of) policies on some dude's Facebook stream.

There are working people who will just get laid off, because they have been hired to - let's say - coordinate a "shared service center" enlargement, but now that won't happen, because the company will instead freeze every expansive project in the UK due to the suddenly increased uncertainty, and that guy (gal) will probably won't go on holiday, though he (she) will have a lot of free time to like the holiday posts of others on Facebook.


FWIW you don't, the level of debt some people have is staggering.


What does your factory manufacture?

PS: Good luck with it, lovely part of the country.


Better prepare for some more belt tightening, whether the PM tells you to or not that's the direction this will go in now.


Yes, whatever you think about the debate, now is probably a time for saving.


>A lot of hate for him came from his inherited wealth. He had no idea how austerity was hitting people.

The later not the former. You can inherit wealth and retain humanity.


The EU's common agricultural policy was actively favoring and subsidizing large EU based multinationals and blocking entry into the market by small scale farmers and producers in developing countries. Seems to me like a huge new market called "the UK" just opened up for genuine and fair trade. So overall, this is probably good for hundreds of millions of people around the world.


The policies don't have to change. It's not like the UK severs all the connections with everyone. Multinationals will stay and ensure the new policies and trade treaties allow them to continue.


Isn't UK going to protect its own businesses and jobs? Not everyone is pro-trade in Leave camp, afaik.


Yes, the UK still grows half it's own food, those businesses will be lobbying hard.


Just what. Poland pretty much had only small scale farmers (Apart from some post-communist behemoths that were gangrenic) when it joined the EU. Our farmers have never been better or stronger, 15 years ago going to a countryside was like time travel to 1950. Now the countryside actually is a place to live. Same in Austria or Italy. The cooperatives there function properly. What are you on about?


Please read this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Agricultural_Policy

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is the agricultural policy of the European Union. It implements a system of agricultural subsidies and other programmes. It has been repeatedly criticised for its cost (€57.8 billion in 2014)[1] and its environmental and humanitarian effects, including raising food prices and stalling development in poorer countries by preventing them from exporting food to the EU.


"a huge new market called "the UK" just opened up for genuine and fair trade"

That would be fun to see. How do these small farmers get stuff onto the shelves of Tesco and Lidl (while the latter are still trading here)?

Room for some intermediation?


At last UK farmers can sell their top quality fruit and vegetables to the rest of the world.


Not without trade agreements that may take years to negotiate.

Also, UK farmers get over half their income from EU subsidies. So many of them are going to go bankrupt unless they get bailed out/supported by the government.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11967049/Brexit...


Sorry, I thought my sarcasm was evident. To anyone who's tasted UK-grown fruit and veg, it must be.


Its a Tory government, of course they will be supported. Green wellies &c.

Manufacturing not so much.


There is nobody left to pick it. We are about to throw out ask the Romanians and Bulgarians who do that hard graft, because no Brit will do the hard work for little money.


> but he and his family won't be existentially affected by what's going to happen

I'm pretty sure that he actually did think of his children.


With emerging talk of Irish unification and Scottish independence after the referendum, some legacy he is going to leave behind.


Irish unification would be a silver lining to this awfulness.


As someone from Ireland I'm really not sure I could be bothered dealing with all the shit that could entail. Would prefer if they just went independent and joined the EU as a separate country.


It would be rather ironic if after all the troubles the North said they wanted to reunify and the South said fuck off.


Something similar happened in Belgium a while ago:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partition_of_Belgium

It's still pretty much an unresolved situation at the present, in the longer term it could go either way.


Unfortunately Northern Ireland doesn't have the economy or infrastructure to realistically function as an independent state at this point. You never know about the future, but it's likely not on the table any time soon.


Why does it need to be large to function independently? There are a bunch of far smaller nations in the EU/Europe: Luxembourg, Andorra, San Marino, Liechtenstein, etc. If Northern Ireland became independent, it could just join the EU (regular Ireland is also an EU member), so they wouldn't have to maintain their own currency at least, and would benefit from the free trade. If Luxembourg can function as it is, I don't see why Northern Ireland can't do the same.


Which is ironic given how long foreign rule has had to sort the place out.


Not really. Northern Ireland is quite small.


It would also represent an economic hit for the Republic of Ireland.


This may be offset by the fact that Ireland will be the English speaking country in the EU in which multinational corporations can maintain a base of operations.


A lot of people from both sides of the border don't want unification.


> With emerging talk of Irish unification and Scottish independence after the referendum, some legacy he is going to leave behind.

As much as Sinn Fein might like to think they could exploit the pro-EU majority to push Irish unification, it seems to me that NI still has a unionist majority, and that those who are in the pro-EU/unionist overlap are predominantly going to favor staying with the UK instead of Ireland at the cost of the EU over joining the EU at the cost of unification with Ireland.


Never going to happen. The Britain transfers about GBP £11 Billion a year into Northern Ireland, to keep it afloat. The Republic could never afford that and the people in the Republic would never vote for it. Never mind the Unionist community up North.


And he agreed to this to get UKIP votes in last year's election.

Admittedly the pressure was building from UKIP (and eurosceptic tories), but this is very unlikely to be in Britain's interests IMO.


Labour voters voted predominantly to to leave in this referendum more so than the conservatives.


What's the source for that? Not challenging you but I'd be interested to see a party breakdown.


The Labour party heartlands in England and Wales voted pretty much unanimously in favor to leave.

Jeremy Corbyn is already taking flak for this outcome: http://www.newsandstar.co.uk/news/24northnational/Labour-inq... https://next.ft.com/content/a035f3d2-39c4-11e6-a780-b48ed7b6... http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/jeremy-corbyn-blamed-f...


This is ridiculous. London and Scotland overwhelmingly voted to stay. I have no love for labour after the alternate vote referendum but anyone who blames this on labour is clearly trying to rewrite history for scumbag David Cameron.


I'm not sure you can characterise Scotland as Labour anymore. Largest party in the Scottish parliament are SNP, second largest Conservative, Labour are a measly third place.

As much as London is Labour supporting it's only a very small part of their supporter base, their traditional heartlands are Wales and the North of the UK, both of which overwhelmingly voted to leave.


I'm no defender of Cameron, but the Labour party in the UK have absolutely failed – both recently and during their last period in government – to engage with long-term problems of identity, especially in the north of England. A huge number of traditionally Labour-voting areas have opted to leave the EU, and the party have to bear some responsibility for that.


That's true for the whole political spectrum, and not specifically labour voters.

It's a conflict that cuts through both parties and perhaps it is better described in terms of cities versus rural.


That explains the result of the referendum, not the agreeing to it in the first place.


As a Swiss this argument kind of baffles me. Governing according to the people's will should be the norm in a democracy, not some kind of strategic play.


Yes. Because you're thinking like a Swiss

Especially thinking that all decisions will be calm, collected and will result from evaluation of all sides

Most people will base a vote on false facts, spite and stuff like "following their heart"


I suspect that a country has to have referendums fairly often for them to work as intended.

One problem in the UK was that people were answering different questions to the one asked.


...and basing their answers on blatant lies. (EG We can spend some of the £350m per week on NHS.)


I can see some nasty cutbacks to things like the NHS coming - ideologically motivated but justified by our self inflicted forthcoming recession.


How is that a "blatant lie"?

Does that money go to the EU? Yes.

Would that money be freed up for other uses? Yes.

Would some of it end up being reallocated to the NHS? Very likely, given the politics of the UK.

If you'd said ALL of it WILL go on the NHS then you'd be right, but you aren't arguing with that statement.


Borris and Farage said that £350m will go to the NHS.

https://twitter.com/mgtmccartney/status/746245181532418048

"Let's give our NHS the £350 million the EU takes every week"

https://twitter.com/mgtmccartney/status/746245181532418048

"We send the EU £350 million a week

Let's fund our NHS instead"

The clear implication is that £350m per week is available, and that it will be spent on the NHS.

£350m is the gross figure, it ignores the > £200m per week we get back.

There is not going to be any increase in NHS funding. Anyone who voted leave because they thought there would be an increase in NHS funding hasn't been paying attention - the NHS has seen deep cuts in recent years and those are only going to get worse after Brexit.



Exactly. If the majority want out then we should come out - and I say that as a Remain voter. Really interested to see what the future has in store. Thankfully us tech people should weather it better than most.


Gerrymandering and other shady crap are still commonplace.


And sometimes inconvenient, eg Feb 9th.


I find it very amusing that England stopped Scotland from leaving (among other arguments) by saying "You would have to enter EU again", and then left EU the next year :)


I can assure you that the Scots don't find that amusing at all P:


Well you do get to use all of their own arguments/rationalisations against them next time around.


Its his fault we're here. His policies made inequality in the UK so high that people got angry and started blaming the EU and mainly migrants.


Nothing to do with that. He threw out the referendum promise in order to secure power, and then failed to get Europe to agree to the headline changes which would easily have secured the vote in his "renegotiation".

"Austerity" is not to blame for this. You can argue EU recalcitrance played a part, as did labour party weakness, but it's on him. His legacy will be this vote, this loss, and his failure to see through the consequences of his actions.


> "Austerity" is not to blame for this.

Austerity would be to blame for this - it contributed to people being more anti-immigrant, though indirectly.

Him calling the referendum, the outcome - are related to his parties policies without isolation.


We haven't had austerity in the UK, we have had nothing like what Spain or Greece have had to deal with.


Comparing UK with Spain or Greece? The UK was the fifth largest economy in the world. I don't your comparison to Greece is a fair, to say the least.

We've had an onslaught of austerity measures and public cuts too many to list in a sitting.


Yet unemployment is only 5.6%.


In Netherlands they changed the way unemployment is measured. Was something similar done in UK? The change it Netherlands makes me not trust easy figures anymore.

Further, seems in UK there's quite a big difference between working and actually having enough to live comfortably. A lot rely on support or barely can afford anything.

Anyway, that is my impression and don't mind being proved wrong.


"Further, seems in UK there's quite a big difference between working and actually having enough to live comfortably. A lot rely on support or barely can afford anything."

I mean, working is not the same as working full time. I couldn't live on 16 hours a week at minimum wage. I could live on full time minimum wage (though not easily if I were still London based). There are benefits and support available to working people, but not in the sense that it's a bad thing.

Unemployment only counts people actively looking and not employed at all - but the ONS publishes all those definitions. There hasn't been any new/recent fiddles that I recall.


Yes, the figures have been abused for years but it's still a huge distance from the 25% rate Greece has.

I should add I'm not a fan of what the Torries have been doing, I favour a larger state, it's the use of the term austerity I don't like.


We've not had austerity of the same severity as Spain or Greece but that's not to say we haven't had it. We have. Cameron (and Boris, Gove, etc) have no idea how it's affected poor people.


In my opinion, the most interesting thing he said in that speech is that he doesn't plan to trigger article 50 immediately.

That will be controversial in both, the EU and Britain I think.


If the UK starts muddling through, the EU should firmly act and suspend UK membership: we can not allow uncertainty, and a future ex-member abusing the good will of the rest of the EU.

Cameron promised to trigger article 50 immediately: if he does not, we should force him to.


> Cameron promised to trigger article 50 immediately

Did he?

edit: it seems to as the following quote is frequent (and from as early as February) though I can't find an original citation:

> Mr Cameron previously said he would trigger Article 50 as soon as possible after a Leave vote

though it follows up with this interesting

> but Boris Johnson and Michael Gove who led the campaign to get Britain out of the EU have said he should not rush into it.

And the following "wtf-worthy" declaration:

> They also said they wanted to make immediate changes before the UK actually leaves the EU, such as curbing the power of EU judges and limiting the free movement of workers, potentially in breach of the UK's treaty obligations.


There is no process for the EU to suspend the UK or for the EU to trigger article 50


You are not suggesting that the UK leaving the EU will be done on UK terms only, do you? Like "we get that funding chunk and then we leave" or "we attend that EU parliament session and then we leave" or "we don't say how or when, we'll just leave, whenever it suits us, and please don't disturb because I am too busy doing important things which you can not hope to comprehend". How long do you think the EU will wait for the princess to make up her mind?

I do not know the exact mechanisms by which the EU can force the UK out, but one thing I know: we can not allow us the luxury of keeping the enemy inside the gates.

I for one hope this is done with asap. Out is out.


The UK gets to decide when they trigger the process but the 'official' process can't start until the UK triggers it.

The referendum isn't actually legally binding so in theory article 50 may never get triggered, though as the vote is a reaction against politicians, that would be political suicide.

The final terms will be the result of negotiation and I don't think the UK actually has a good position.

The referendum was always a trap, if UK votes out we're probably screwed, if we voted in it becomes a signal for the political elites for even more political integration (and there seems limited support for that amongst the actual people of Europe)

Got to remember the politicians of the EU don't work for the people - witness how they shafted the people of Greece to save German and French banks, how TTIP is being negotiated in secret and hands more power to corporations etc.


Actually, Greece's problem was that the politicians of the EU do work for the people - namely, their own. It would have been electoral suicide for the leaders of Germany, the Netherlands, Finland etc. to be seen as too lenient for the Greeks.

Regarding the activation of article 50, sure the UK could delay it indefinitely, but there also would not be any requirement for the other states to start negotiating before it gets invoked. So I'm not sure if the "delay" strategy is going to work out very well for Britain.


> The UK gets to decide when they trigger the process but the 'official' process can't start until the UK triggers it.

If the UK spends the next 15 years making trouble in the EU, blocking a Brexit agreement, not taking decisions, and basically torpedoing the functioning of the EU, I hope the EU is going to do something about it.

The UK was bad enough for the EU while it was in, let's not allow it to destroy the rest of the EU while it is leaving.

There are mechanism to force the UK out now. One would be to marginalize them from any decision taking, any negotiation, and meeting that the EU participates in, internally or with partners. I do not know the exact mechanisms that the EU can use for this, but I know how I would deal with this in my partnerships: "sorry, I forgot to call you!" "Oh, I thought you were in holidays!" "Did you really not receive that memo? So sorry!" and the like. If the UK starts playing dirty, we should too.

Out is out: we do not want the UK in the EU anymore. Please pack and leave.


> If the UK spends the next 15 years making trouble in the EU, blocking a Brexit agreement

If they don't trigger Article 50, they have exactly the same role in the EU as if they never chose to leave (except that they lose the special concessions that they just got approved which were contingent on a "Remain" result in the referendum, which, AFAICT, is the only actual legal effect of referendum.)

Once they trigger Article 50, they are out in 2 years (barring an agreement to extend the process.) The only purpose of an exit agreement is to provide an alternative to the default exit terms, which would, e.g., leave trade relations between Britain and the EU reverting to WTO rules.


I doubt it. They have legally the same rights and obligations, but in practice I do not see the rest of the EU willing to work with the UK representatives. They will get the minimum legally required, and will have to satisfy the maximum of their legal obligations. British representatives will not be very popular in the european institutions now (not that they were very popular to start with)


> You are not suggesting that the UK leaving the EU will be done on UK terms only, do you?

The UK has to trigger Article 50, but the Article 50 process sets the terms (or, at least, the process by which the terms will be set), and it doesn't favor the country leaving.


We signed a treaty, as did the rest of the EU; we will comply with that treaty and they should too. And according to the treaty it's us who kick off the article 50 process. If the EU doesn't believe in following its own treaties then what is it even for?


We will respect that treaty. But, as all treaties, there is room for interpretation, which requires good will. Good will towards the UK has run out, and EU should be looking at its interests and nothing more.

During the negotiations process, the UK should be treated as what it is, a soon to be ex-member. For example:

> Meanwhile, Elmar Brok, a German MEP, CDU member, and chairman of the European parliament committee on foreign affairs, told the Guardian that the European parliament would call on Jean-Claude Juncker to strip the British commissioner Jonathan Hill of his financial services brief with immediate effect and turn him into a “commissioner without portfolio”.

Dozens of measures like this should be taken. Whatever is legal according to the signed treaties should be done in order to hasten the exit of the UK from the EU.


We will respect that treaty. But, as all treaties, there is room for interpretation

In other words you do not want the EU to respect the terms of the treaty.

I guess you approve of Juncker. When asked why the Commission was not punishing France for failing to meet the fiscal discipline targets, his answer was "because it's France". Sharp rebuke from the Dutch swiftly followed.


> In other words you do not want the EU to respect the terms of the treaty.

What part of the treaty spells the exact details? None. You have the right to leave, but not to drag your feet while you clarify your internal petty politics, hurting the rest of the EU.

So, please leave. Now. Otherwise we'll make sure the interests of the EU are respected, above the interests of the UK.

It is time to stop talking about UK interests and rights, and start talking about EU'interests and rights. You are defending your interests, and we'll defend ours.

If this sounds harsh, it is because today you didn't make a lot of friends in the EU. But mind you, you made some: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-36606184

And I say all this while fully respecting your decission to go. Just don't expect us to care about what your interests are, except when they happen to agree with ours. Having you on board of the EU now is absolutely not in our interest. Invoke article 50, and we get two years to part ways, which is more than enough.

Leave, or be marginalized. Once you leave, we can renegotiate treaties, one by one.


In fact the treaty allows for exactly that. There is nothing in the treaty about automatic invocation of the exit clause following a referendum. By "reinterpreting" the treaty to pretend there is, the EU would simply be violating it.


So, let me understand what you are saying: you are saying that, while the markets are in turmoil, the policical functioning of the EU is blocked, and the very existence of the EU is in question, the EU is politely going to wait until the british politians sort their internal affairs?

We can not legally trigger article 50, but we can LEGALLY do lots of things, including putting huge amount of political and economic pressure on the UK to STAND for your decissions.

You have voted leave, so please leave. You have two years to negotiate a deal, so start now.


> We can not legally trigger article 50, but we can LEGALLY do lots of things, including putting huge amount of political and economic pressure on the UK to STAND for your decissions.

The UK government -- the entity that would leave the EU -- has not made a decision to stand by (except a decision to hold a legal nonbinding referendum.) The only thing that was absolutely contingent on the referendum was the package of new arrangements for Britain the EU had approved.

No doubt, Britain will have a government soon that will invoke Article 50, but it is in the interest of Britain, the rest of the EU, and the long-term health of the markets for that to be a government with a clear policy and vision for an exit that can work with the EU on a minimally disruptive exit agreement, and the Cameron government absolutely is not that government.


> There is nothing in the treaty about automatic invocation of the exit clause following a referendum

Sure there is not. The details are necessarily vague, since it is not possible to know the exact situation in which a withdrawal from the union is done. It can be a referndum or any other process. But the vote is clear: you have chosen to leave.

> The UK government -- the entity that would leave the EU -- has not made a decision to stand by (except a decision to hold a legal nonbinding referendum.)

Up to now I have not heard a single politian (british, EU or otherwise) which puts into question whether the UK is going to leave or not.

But it seems that instead of accepting the consequences of your decissions, you have started to play internal politics (actually the same petty politics which brought about this disaster). But frankly, the EU is not interested in your petty internal quarrels anymore. All EU politicians seem to agree too: they want to start negotiations asap.

> that can work with the EU on a minimally disruptive exit agreement

Let me quote here Mr. Juncker (http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/683042/EU-referendum-Brexit...):

> Talking from Brussels after an emergency meeting with EU leaders, Mr Juncker told Britain the other 27 member states wanted to negotiate its exit plan “as soon as possible, however painful this process will be”

We do not care if it suits you or not. Just go.


> Up to now I have not heard a single politian which puts into question whether the UK is going to leave or not.

There is a difference between a consensus among politicians and a decision of the government; the UK is almost certain to leave, and to invoke Article 50 in the near future, but no British government has actually made a decision to do that.

But it doesn't benefit anyone -- the EU as much as the UK -- for there not to be a consistent hand at the wheel for the exit negotiations.

> But it seems that instead of accepting the consequences of your decissions

As an American who thinks the Brexit is a ill-considered idea, they aren't my decisions.

> But frankly, the EU is not interested in your petty internal quarrels anymore. All EU politicians seem to agree too: they want to start negotiations asap.

With whom? The present government of the UK doesn't represent the will of the people who voted to leave. That seems to be a big part of why Cameron is leaving -- the referendum was, in clear message if not in the formal, parliamentary sense, a vote of no confidence in both the present government and even the institutional party system in the UK, as much as it was a vote against the UK's future in the EU.


Maybe the EU should have thought of that when writing the exit clause? I guess that's the problem with thinking it'll never be used.


They haven't though of that, and lots of other things. As the UK politicians are lacking a plan too.

- Cameron organizing a referendum without a plan in case he loses, and stepping down? Check!

- Boris disappearing in moments of crisis? Check!

- Power vacuum in all political parties? Check!

- UKIP and Vote Leave backpedaling in some claims? Check!

So yes, lots of things were unclear. But we in the EU not want any of this. You have spoken, now please let's negotiate a deal. Two years! You have two years to do it!

Your internal politics are none of our business.


Exactly - our internal politics are none of your business. So why are you getting so worked up over our non-binding internal referendum?

When (and if) we send you notice as per Article 50, we can all follow that process. In the meantime, talking about "enemies" and kicking us out is utterly counterproductive.


The UK's internal politics are absolutely your business, that's why Article 50 exists.


Why?, we should have our cards in order before we do so.


You can try, but I do not think it is in the interest of the EU to let this drag for years, so we should force the UK to get out asap.

Your interests and the EU's interests are now very loosely alligned, and in this particular matter probably in contradiction.


I think dragging it out and muddling through probably suits the EU's interests very well - after all that's very much what they've been doing when dealing with Greece.


I dont understand your Greece reference, but the EU has zero interest in having a blocker in its rangs, and politicians are acting accordingly:

“EU leaders call for UK to leave as soon as possible“

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/24/europe-plung...

And even clearer:

“Top EU leader: we want Britain out as soon as possible“

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/24/top-eu-leade...

This is no joke. This is an existential threat to the EU, and we must act firmly. I fully support these statements.

So, who is the dragger here? Get your house inmediately in order and leave.


I wonder if he is hoping for more EU concessions and another referendum. About the only thing that would do it is some restriction on free movement, I don't know how likely that is.


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