I personally feel like a passenger on a train that has a 50/50 chance of derailing. I didn't choose to get on this train, and my time remaining to get off is running out very quickly. But I can't just get off because I have lots and lots of baggage. I can't hear the screaming in the driver's cab. Maybe there is no driver. All the posh people in 1st class keep going in to the cab to argue and decide my fate. All the other passengers are just drinking tea and enjoying the views of ye olde England.
Totally agree. (Disclosure: I voted ‘remain’). If I do have to debate Brexit, I tend to focus on the massive opportunity cost  of the leave decision. To manage Brexit, the UK government has created a new department: Department for Exiting the European Union  which has ~650 full time employees, not including contractors and management consultants. Other existing government departments, and several companies, have staff devoted to developing Brexit plans and contingency plans. This need for people and their time will continue for years as new post-Brexit processes and laws come into effect.
All this at a time when the UK has several problems that need to be managed, e.g. the NHS’s funding crisis, the lack of affordable housing, and many others. Front-line services (the UK term for actual police on the beat, nurses on wards, social workers who help the vulnerable, etc) have been dramatically cut over the last few years as a result of austerity spending, and yet we have had to create a massive number of posts and roles to manage the Brexit process. Vast amounts of parliamentary time are also devoted to managing Brexit (or not) rather than dealing with other problems.
As much as Trump is loose cannon, our trade was based on the USA being the 'importer of last resort' and many of the changes we're making are not THAT extreme compared to history, or compared to other developed nation's existing rules. Plus we are the ones choosing to make these changes.
With Brexit, GB has failed to make any sort of deal or even seemingly understand their negotiating position. The 'deal' they're eventually going to receive is 'having EU non-member rules forced upon them'.
Furthermore, even if the USA did the same thing and pulled out of all treaties instantaneously with no forethought or negotiation, we're a big enough economy that other countries would be forced to negotiate. Check out the comparison of US and UK economies. http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/compare/United-King...
Britain appears to have gone with the intent of negotiating by political dogma.
There has only been the illusion of progress in the talks. Really things are in largely the same state they’ve been in since January.
The Northern Ireland border issue has not been solved, because it is effectively impossible to solve. The EU wants Northern Ireland to remain in the customs union to prevent a border on the island of Ireland, however the UK conservative government depend on the DUP, who are opposed, for support and will not agree. The EU will not consider any deal that introduces a border. There is no compromise position here, either one side backs down or there is no deal.
Also the conservatives have floated the idea of a “Canada+++” free trade deal, which to my knowledge has never been offered by the EU, as it would include services and thus be too close to the single market, rendering it meaningless. Even if the NI border issue were to disappear overnight, the substance of a deal still appears to be unagreed.
The deadline of March next year is fast approaching and any extension to the current negotiation period will need to be passed by the EU. If it comes to that, some EU government will likely derail the extension process and it won’t happen. Then everyone will shout “But we couldn’t possibly have seen this coming!”, even though you could see it months ago, as the UK hurtles towards no deal Brexit with no means of stopping.
Ireland and Northern Ireland desperately want to prevent a hard border in order to maintain the hard-won peace and prevent the return of the bloodshed that drenched the island (and the rest of the UK). Ireland being in the EU, the EU has put its weight behind Ireland. That's how amplification of international clout/power through shared institution works.
In fact, the UK government also claims to want to prevent a hard border, yet has provided no way of actually doing so except "magically it won't be there", and the only practical solution (discounting magic) is for NI to remain in the CU and SM. That has been clear from the start.
(Even though the actual circumstances are dire.)
The whole last few years remind me of an 80s movie where a teen threatens to run away and the parents let them go through the motions before they realize how screwed they'll be on their own.
No, we immediately got the guilty promoted and content free slogans like "Brexit means Brexit", a slogan that clearly demonstrates the level of esteem our politicians have for the electorate.
It's so clearly a slow-motion train wreck that I am astonished there hasn't been a real parliamentary attempt to actually stop it or avoid it. No, keep going until we are firmly over that cliff. As someone else said we can have an easier and more rational conversation on religion.
Still it'll give Brits plenty to talk about "what might have been" for the next 40 years as we sink further into insignificance.
I don't know what could be done to address that though, it's not something that can be undone I would have thought without huge political and economic consequences.
The real issue for the EU is the lack of financial and political solidarity. You can bankrupt a EU country and expect the others to pick up the tab, even if there nothing written down in the EU constitution saying so. The Syrian migration issue is a glaring example of a lack of political collaboration.
EU countries needs to acknowledge the fact they are actually tightly bounded to the union and make changes in the way the EU works to reflect that situation.
I sympathize with Brexit voters, I would vote to leave the EU at any given day if given the chance.
The Bolsheviks also gave fair elections a shot....one shot....one and done.
There have only ever been 3 national referendums in Britain. One to join the EU, one to leave the EU, and one over Alternative Vote. They used to be considered unconstitutional, a tool for demagogues. I would be happy to ditch them forever.
Heck, we have confirmation dialogs when you close a word document - I don't understand the opposition to having an "are you sure you want to quit?" for brexit.
Brexit is a pretty major decision, and it's not unreasonable to me to require that the majority that voted for it is in fact stable and consistent via holding a second vote. If the second vote does not indicate that a majority supports leaving, that seems like an indication that it was a fantastic idea to hold a second referendum.
We either have a direct democracy, or a representative democracy, not bits of each as suits someone's point. Up until the first EU referendum in the mid 70s they were considered unconstitutional in Britain.
This is sounding ever more like the Quebec referendum, they didn't separate in the end, but the damage was done.
I'm in favour of letting them eat their cake and enjoy a complete separation.
I know it’s easy to pretend that Brexit got a massive majority but really it didn’t. It was just 52-48%.
A large number of us didn’t vote for it and still don’t want Brrexit.
As a pro eu person from nl(if that even exists) i would prefer not to give uk a hard time to come back on their decision. And even íf they really quit: we still have to work together. It is in interest of all of us to have the uk with us. It is just impossible to negotiate for brexit and cherry pick all the good parts of the eu, while not doing something in return. They will end up with a eu type of deal, with a few minor things stripped off. Or a hard brexit, which may not even happen.
It is a shitty situation, which starts to affect my life as well. I have some stocks on a company “degiro” which has its license in the uk. This is a problem because i am unsure what is going to happen. I moved my investments to a broker with dutch bank accounts and licenses.
Honestly the problem isn't Brexit itself. I don't agree with that policy, but it's possible to see how it could be executed in a constructive and honest fashion. If we were able to accept that there are benefits to EU membership, but that we were willing to give those up in exchange for theoretically greater sovereignty, the situation would be better. If we were working towards a scenario that was minimally damaging, while importantly being honest about the tradeoffs, then the country would make some progress.
Instead we have an absolute catastrophe of untruth circulating. Large parts of the party of government appear to be aiming for a no-deal, cliff-edge event, claiming that everything will be fine. A huge share of the population seem to think that "no deal" means "status quo" instead of "immediate large-scale problems".
I don't know how we deal with that. We're genuinely in the time of post-facts, post-truth politics, and I don't know that we currently have the tools to fix that.
> They will end up with a eu, with a few minor things stripped off.
Maybe. They had that already
The rules for winning were known before the votes were cast, just like in 2016 in the USA. Do the do-overs stop as soon as you get the result you want?
How open are you to the idea of a third, fourth and subsequent referenda on Brexit should a second one happen? Or would you declare the second one as "final" if it achieves whatever result you desire?
That is certainly what happened in Ireland: Nice 1 was rejected in 2001, a year later after an intensive, one-sided government propaganda fest Nice2 was passed.
Similarly in Denmark, Maastricht Treaty 1 and 2 were held in subsequent years (1992,3)
I think there are other examples. A glaring one is the Greek Bailout referendum where people voted to tell the EU to stuff off, but again, their government knew better.
For me, this argues that governments, whether national or supra-national will ignore the popular vote and there should be more referenda. Obviously there needs to be some sort of pre-referendum polling to indicate whether exists a reasonable proportion of the population that is interested in the Question of What to Name Brian`s Cat. And there should probably be some safe majority (5%? 10%) of turnout required.
This is a meaningless argument. To the extent it is not, the way to bring it closer is to enable to people to have more say.
> How open are you to the idea of a third, fourth and subsequent referenda on Brexit should a second one happen? Or would you declare the second one as "final" if it achieves whatever result you desire?
The key part of my argument is that no decision is ever final in a democracy, so I will accept whatever number of referendums there is support for. If there is a push for an ongoing series of referendums it is a sign that the flaw is the questions being asked: Nobody bothers to seek compromises. It should have been clear from the beginning, for example that given a narrow "Leave" result in the Brexit referendum, given that most Remain voters would likely (but it's a shame this was not asked) prefer the softest possible Brexit if Leave were to win, and that some Leave voters would also prefer a soft Brexit, in the case of a Leave result, the most democratic outcome almost certainly would be one of the softest possible alternatives.
If politicians can't come up with referendum questions that make people stop wanting to change the outcome, then it is evidence they're not doing their jobs.
> I think there are other examples. A glaring one is the Greek Bailout referendum where people voted to tell the EU to stuff off, but again, their government knew better.
I think your examples are fundamentally flawed. The Danish Maastricht vote, for example, let to substantial guaranteed opt-outs before the second vote. That Denmark were able to secure those opt-outs was a direct result of putting the treaty to a referendum, and the swing in the subsequent referendum was big enough to make it clear to opponents a second one would not be viable for some time.
Similarly Nice was rejected on a crazy low turnout and with concerns over security policy being a major factor. The latter issue was resolved through guarantees before the second referendum. Again I'd argue that this reflected a genuine change, and that a major concern of those voting no the first time was addressed.
But as you say, there should probably be more, rather than less. Part of the problem is the lack of a defined process for instigating one.
> The swing in the subsequent referendum was big enough
> crazy low turnout
Given the harshness and stridency of your evaluation of my attempt to remind you that the UK is quite unlikely to pose such questions in a referendum I think it's fair to echo your own criticism back... and then some!
I think you've failed to make the case that there are any countries besides Lichtenstein which operate democratically, or propose even roughly what counts as reasonable margins or mechanisms.
I think you have failed to grasp that change ratchets towards centralized power and that the Brexit was a horrible mistake in which the operators of this machinery temporarily took their eye off the ball.
Calling for a second referendum without specifying the exact terms under which referenda should be callable is just an attempt to have another roll of the dice, no matter which side of the Brexit issue one is on.
W.r.t. Nice specifically, both turnouts were low. And now it looks as though Ireland will be dragged into a "common defence pact" although they will not be "part of an EU army. ( The only recent example of a high turnout that I can remember was Norway... in which a clear majority decided they wanted to retain independence from the EU in a large number of areas. )
I do agree that no decision _should_ ever be final in a democracy though and that there should be democracy (not constitutional monarchy with electoral representation, nor representative democracy in a republic or any other of the not-democracies).
That is the only argument I've been making. Everything else above is irrelevant to my arguments.
Now, the election of the CAQ last mont: _that_ is likely to cause some damage if they succeed in enacting their stale neo-liberal policies and fail to react to the CLIMATE CHANGE CRISIS.
Not everyone who left QC is a francophobic, and while I do understand some of the French side's worries, things like Loi 101 are sometimes "too much" (like requiring board games to be in French)
In France, we also got a law (Loi Toubon) saying you must translate anything from another language to French, for exemple in ads (most propably for preventing misunderstanding).
But you can still have slogan in english (or another language).
Quebec continues to do well despite the relocation of a few businesses.
I don't think so, no. The Republic of Ireland is the EU in this case. Or part of it, in agreement and solidarity with the other parts. There are plenty of statements from the ROI's political leaders to this effect.
Having said that, I have no clue about when you should jump ship or hang on. Additionally, these are not the issues of my country. So even if I had an opinion, I'd just shut up about it.
With that prefix, the Brexit discussion is about as whacked as any public discussion that I've witnessed online. You can see from the HN comments that there's a ton of emotion around this thing.
I don't think it belongs on HN. And I've been deleting political leaders as fast as they appear in my Twitter feed telling me to feel one way or another about it.
I love talking with fellow nerds about things that are contentious that we can reach some agreement on, even if it's just to agree to disagree. This doesn't look like one of those things. This looks like something that no matter what you say, people are going to be upset about it.
A friend of mine is visiting Europe. As a yank, he also doesn't have a strong opinion. His first night there, he was asked about Brexit.
He said something like "I don't know. Why not leave if you want to?" thinking that if people had voted for it, even the people against it would see how it looked from far away.
They did not. Instead he lost some friends that night, and it completely blindsided him.
Nobody wants to live in a bubble, but if the group is incapable of reasonable discussion, call it out. Let's move on. Just saying it's important isn't going to change the emotional dynamics. In fact, it'll probably just make them worse. The reason people can't discuss it reasonably is because they think it's so bloody important.
I am personally strongly opposed to the idea of the UK leaving the EU. That doesn't mean that I'm incapable of reading, processing and disagreeing with constructive arguments in support of a viewpoint I don't hold. But when that conversation devolves to petty, objectively nonsensical catchphrases like "neoliberal media establishment" then it's reasonable to question whether or not it's even possible to engage in constructive discussion.
As the 10%-ers, their livelihood depends on them not understanding it - and their social circles can only consider the people who do unwashed masses and scum.
Yes, from all I've read and seen it's a case of "millions out of jobs, devastated? tough luck, they need to embrace change, the future's is for those that adapt, etc..." -- all the while those saying it benefit from the current economy and so have no experience whatsoever with "adapting" themselves (and if they were on the other end would be crying like little babies).
Except of course that's not going to happen. Nobody's going to leave anything after all, as per a well-known line from a well-known Eagles song, about the feasibility of check-out.
The EU was a great and prosperous (for some) experiment but it has outlived its usefulness for all but the elites desperately clinging to power. It's only a matter of time until another major country exits, then the balkans, then the south. The UK should rip the band-aid off now and focus on their core strengths of Finance and Tech, work to build out domestic manufacturing and agriculture capabilities, and establish trade agreements with key partners.
The UK will come out stronger and more globally competitive in the end.
I'd like to understand what you are talking about. Could you give some more details on this "oppressive regime?"