I am somewhat amused to see the ecstatic enthusiasm with which the Guardian readers are welcoming the thought of being able to remain as individuals within the EU.
Presumably this would take the form of a Visa or Eu passport for which they will have to pay. What none of them consider is quite how much they will have to pay! Will they have to use it or lose it? All sorts of wrinkles there that may prove very expensive indeed.
As you know I have been to and fro the USA since 1976, working visas, residency, medicals, photographs, biometrics, fingerprints, flights to maintain residency, all are taken regularly and paid for! By us. I have never actually had the strength to tot up quite how much all this has cost over the years, but it is many thousands.
Do these idiots seriously think the broke EU would pass up a chance milk cow like this? A veritable whole stampeding herd of a dairy presenting their udders with gay abandon. Not a snowball’s chance in hell! Place your bets as to how much this will cost the participants, my bet it would aggregate to several hundred pound of direct and indirect fees a year in due course after paying for this that and the other. Jolly expensive for the average remainer who goes on the odd continental jaunt or holiday property owner, the wannabee dreamer residents. For those who actually work there. their bills will no doubt be picked up by their employers. I foresee great enthusiasm at first with the scheme withering dramatically after the first five years of bills rendered especially amongst the young when reality and family costs hit. More likely to be lucky to be able to afford going camping in Devon for a week
Maybe I’m too cynical in my old age, but I doubt it!
24 thoughts on “Ruminating Remainers”
I somehow doubt that there will really be much of a change. HM’s Government, much to their discredit, have made an absolute dog’s breakfast of the British response thus far. The EU has largely presented a united front in which traditional allies such as Sweden, Denmark and Malta are willing to “fight the UK’s corner” so long as the “four freedoms” are respected. My suspicion is that the UK will have to accept high levels of migration from the Continent with perhaps an agreement that no benefits can be paid for a certain number of years and criminals, ne’er-do-wells and gypos — but I repeat myself — will have to go home.
I certainly agree with your assessment of it being a dog’s breakfast so far. Should have hit it hard and fast before the opposition had time to gather forces. One begins to think it ain’t ever going to happen. I don’t think the ‘Clapham omnibus riders’ are going to be too impressed for too long at this sclerotic progress.
CO: The problem, as the Delightful Mrs May and her Continental comrades, are realising is that this will all be terribly complex. The likes of May and Hammond weren’t necessarily keen on the EU, but like many experienced cabinet members they realised that it would be a long, drawn-out process with an uncertain outcome. They were also hamstrung by Wavy Davy and George Blow and Hoes refusing to acknowledge the very real likelihood of the UK voting to leave. To her credit, May has assembled a cabinet of rivals but the fact that the UK voted to leave before it had a clue of what sort of relationship it wanted to have with the EU is fairly obvious. Most Britons, by far, want to remain on good terms with the continental trade bloc and to keep the economic benefits — but they remain oblivious to the fact that the EU might not be so keen on giving the UK a deal that gives the UK almost everything it wants with no real concessions. Not even Norway, Iceland, Switzerland or Liechtenstein were able to manage that.
Few passengers on the fabled Clapham omnibus give a moment’s thought to the complexity of gubmint. This little banana kingdom with fewer than 10% of the UK’s inhabitants, has managed to develop national administration into an abstruse artform – like opera, practised by few and understood buy fewer. The UK promotes the idea (myth?) that its Civil Service is superior and capable of coping quth anything the politicians cast before its porcine feet. Well, we’ll soon see, won’t we? It certainly employs some breathtakingly intelligent folk, but so does the Beeb and look what….etc! Cynicism aside, friends, Brexit will go ahead, somehow, sometime, so let’s be patient. (Shut up, Backside!)
Janus: In the past decades the West has grown incredibly sterile and stagnant. What people have lost sight of as a result is that in diplomacy there are very few true successes, merely opaque muddles. Enoch Powell criticised the EEA as something that would be impossible to reverse. Not quite, all things can collapse. However, the UK — and many on the continent — are realising that they’ve created a monster and no one knows what to do about it. So the British Government is singing the “Brexit Means Brexit” Hymn the British people gave it at the same time the likes of Donald Tusk admit that the EU has gone far too far and it would be better off devolving powers back to its member states. Even the most rabid federalists like Juncker have publicly admitted that the EU has gone too far in seizing competences. Everyone knows that things cannot stand, but no one knows where to go or what to do with it. The UK must find a workable muddle, but the EU is terrified that it will crumble all the more if they’re too generous. It will have to change, and it will have to be scaled back, but no one knows how to do it.
Exactly, Christina – a bugger’s muddle, no less. But the likes of Clegg and Bliar don’t help at all.
I love your image of herds of British milch cows willing to be fleeced (mixed agricultural metaphor there) by the EU, Christina. What I want the EU to do is present a list of the wonderful benefits such payment would entitle the holder to, ‘cos I’m damned if I’ve seen any EU benefits so far. But then I never was fussy about the shape of bananas or cucumbers.
Sheona: On balance the UK loses more by being part of the EU than it gains. In some ways the EU made it easier to move goods, services and staff. For example,insurance companies could hire experienced staff from France, Germany and Italy who could divide their time between London and their respective homelands. Manufacturers in Germany could easily source parts from the UK. This goes well beyond a simple trade agreement and so many laws, contracts and business arrangements have been predicated on this settlement that a significant change could pose serious challenges for *some* industries. The problem is that the UK is expected to pay the second highest contribution to the EU’s budget, give up control of its fisheries to the dregs of the earth, I mean, Spanish fishing trawlers (infamous for shoddy practices that have devastated much of Europe and Africa’s fisheries) its agriculture to French dysfunctionaries and to a regulatory regime that might be somewhat applicable to a civil law country like France or Germany, but is absolutely toxic to a common law country like the UK. Except Scotland.
But Christopher, if the europrats really wanted to tempt Brits to remain “European” (which we are anyway of course) it should be offering free champagne in the Hotel de Paris in Monaco or free oysters in Brittany and free foie gras and so on. And it definitely has to get its small mesh fishing boats out of Scottish waters. I suspect that the very idea of losing British tourists will so frighten Spain, Italy et al, that the whole idea of penalising Brits will die.
Sheona: Really? I thought that by voting to leave the EU the UK would magically be transported to the Solomon Islands! After all, isn’t that the logical result of leaving Europe? Anyway…There will be bluster in abundance, but as you said, the fear of losing revenue from British travellers will do much to help cooler heads prevail. I also think that there will be much screeching, but it will be an excuse to set precedents to re-work some of the less convenient aspects of the EU’s “four freedoms”.
Eh? The EU’s four freedoms? Didn’t know they had any!!
Sounds hideously Castro-esque.
CO: The four freedoms are the free movement of goods, services, capital and labour. The fourth is the UK’s sticking point. Other than Romanians and Bulgarians most are in order, certainly vastly superior to Germany’s Yank problem.
Officially, true. Unofficially:
Freedom from checks, balances, foreign policies and long-term plan.
Freedom to bully or favour states and/or minorities at will without redress.
Janus: Agreed. The rank hypocrisy, however, is rapidly catching up. Italy’s patience has almost run out. Spain, Ireland and Greece feel badly done in. The Swedes, Finns, Danes, Dutch and Austrians aren’t quite comfortable with the status quo. In Germany only the very remote and out-of-touch political elite are still enamoured with the status quo. Most Germans have had enough and the largest and most reliable voting bloc in Germany, pensioners and those a decade from becoming pensioners, are having enough of the ECB’s inflationary policies that are coupled with low interest rates. Their hard-earned savings are being depleted before they can even start tapping them. France is already taking very surprising turns.
I’m not surprised at all. as you know I have always maintained that humanity is both atavistic and tribal by nature, the natural product of the odd few million years of societal development. However much you repress these sentiments with so called civilising social mores, when the chips are down people revert to type. Threaten the individual, family, group, tribe and people come out swinging. It is inbuilt self preservation of the species. I consider it delusional to think that modern current practices are more than a few cells deep and very easily sloughed off under any pressure at all. I fully expect the EU to revert to a pack of nation states with frontiers. The liberal elite will only have themselves to blame for allowing untrammelled access of hordes of depredating wog gimmigrants to their countries. Their only salvation, for the elite and the EU, would be to send them all home right now, which they will not do.
Yes, and none if them get it because they avoid living where the hordes are moving in. To see the effect of awakening tribal urges, visit any big city.
Exactly so J! You can quite see the fundamentals of a revolution in the making coming along nicely.
I have never seen any academic work comparing revolutions in history to see how many conform to the same progressive steps to bloodshed, upheaval and removal of the current elite but certainly since the French revolution most seem to have conformed to a fairly similar pattern. Strikes me that all the ingredients are present ,just the pot needs to be stirred and boiled a bit.
Frankly Revelations looks less of a fairy tale every day!! (Hate to admit it, but do you think Trump could qualify as an antichrist?) Enough to reach for a drink even at ten in the morning!!! Well, perhaps not quite but you know what I mean.
As you say, all the elites and a good few like ourselves have had the good sense to remove ourselves from the main theatre of ongoing performance. I’m rather glad I sold that flat in Brum this spring!
CO: Kerensky, the Weimar Republic, the Second Spanish Republic, the First Portuguese Republic and the First French Republic weren’t able to hold the legitimacy that the states they succeeded had. Lenin, Hitler, Franco, Salazar and Napoleon were able to understand the pulse of their countries and — at least initially — made it seem as if they would deliver. In the mid-to-long term, all caused far more harm than good. Ho Chi Minh and Khomeini were widely seen as the only non-discredited figures who wouldn’t sell their countries out at the first chance. Mao established a parallel government that was able to rule somewhat effectively after the KMT imploded in1949. All these fallen “moderate” governments promised much, but weren’t able to deliver and often made the same mistakes that the more legitimate governments that they replaced had. The current elite have de-legitimised their governments. If strong reformers like Fillon and May don’t succeed in establishing at least a palatable muddle, all hell will break lose.
And no, Obama was a better candidate for Anti-Christ than Trump.
Interesting that so many interim ‘reasonable’ governments of bourgeois intellectuals couldn’t hold on, all to be replaced by far more extreme bloodthirsty tyrants. My point about atavism exactly.
No I don’t suppose revolutions did a lot of good in the long run, but they had two good results. They killed a lot of people which we could do with these days in our overpopulated world and they replaced snouts in troughs with a new set, never a bad thing!
One good thing about Syria, it’s going to be good and empty for them all to return, hopefully!
I’m not sure Fillon and May have the balls to do what is needed, sod the talking it to death, just need to tear up the lot and let the chips fall where they may. Both would be forgiven by their populations were they seen to round up gimmigrants by force and ship them out by the thousand. One might even be able to get to see the doctor! Got to be a plus. What frustrates is the endless talking it to death whilst they are still pouring in.
Nah, don’t fancy Obama for it, couldn’t foam at the mouth in the appropriate way! Far too reasonable whilst being misguided. Now Trump’s another matter.
Yes, but the Antichrist promises all things to all people and was a calming, reassuring presence — hence so many falling for him. He was polished and was the embodiment of the hopes of many. Obama fits that so much better than the loud, bombastic, boorish Trump.
Revolutions did accomplish some things… Among them was instilling a distinct fear of the people into the hearts of the powers that be. France had its useless politicians since the Revolution, but few dared to defy public will like the Ancien Regime. When governments became too useless, they were scuppered.
Your point about May and Fillon only strengthens the argument that things are becoming very dangerous. Their support comes from those who want things to be sorted out. If they fail, things might well spiral out of control. There is no way that France can return to the days of “multiculturalism” and stagnation. There is no way that the UK can remain a Satropy of a failing EU Project without massive popular discontent.
Interestingly, Sweden is doing a fairly good job of deporting unwanted gimmegrants and making life so passive-aggressively difficult for others that the number of non-Swedes emigrating is increasing. The German government is also set to deport 100,000 people in short order! Germans are being telephoned by charities asking for donations of used suitcases for failed “refugees” to use. I am cautious about calling for everyone to go home, however, as I’d still quite like to live in England despite having warmed to Hunland’s charms.
Surely charm like humour is hardly a Hun quality? 😏
Janus: One can always apply for a sense of humour at the Humoramt. It only takes 3,000 pages of forms to fill in, a 500-euro-fee and 6 months of official review.