Sunday, 24 June 2018

2 years on: what’s happened since the Brexit Referendum?


On 23 June 2016, the British voted in favour of leaving the European Union. After an entirely pointless and deliberately disinformative campaign by both sides - featuring Project Fear against Project Fantasy - 51.9% of the voters chose to leave the EU, 48.1% voters chose to remain in the EU.

Where is Brexit today, two years on from the referendum result?

Activity

UKGov eventually launched its Article 50 process on 29 March 2017. UKGov accompanied the process with no credible plan for a successful Brexit. Immediately having started the process, UKGov then threw away its initial control of the agenda, arrogantly assuming that running the process was something the EU should do, as if the EU is the private secretary of UKGov. As at 23 June 2018, UKGov still has no plan for a successful Brexit.

Instead of a plan, our dizzyingly incompetent Prime Minister Theresa May received a brainwave on the side of a Welsh mountain. She decided to hold an unnecessary general election on 08 June 2017. The result of the election eliminated the slim majority of her Conservative Party in Parliament, and thus required a Parliamentary confidence-and-supply agreement from hardcore Brextremists of Northern Ireland (the DUP) to prop up UKGov.

The island of Ireland and Northern Ireland is familiar with the “double minority” problem (whereby Unionist Protestants are a minority in the whole island, but Republican Catholics are a minority in the jurisdiction of Northern Ireland). As a consequence of May’s unnecessary general election, a government led by the pretend-leaver Prime Minister May needed the support of a hard-Brexit party of Northern Ireland, a province which voted clearly to remain, in order to divide-and-rebalance the ever-lasting splits within May’s own Conservative Party over anything to do with Europe. This is minorities within minorities stuff.

Since the referendum result, UKGov has invested a huge amount of effort in denying the problems that it has inflicted upon itself by choosing to crash out of the Single Market on the same day that UKGov’s membership of the European Union expires on 29 March 2019. UKGov has also gone out of its way to create diversions instead of knuckling down, reading the law up to which its predecessors signed and planning a competent Brexit.

The mainstream media

The mainstream media is just as shit today as it was prior to the referendum. Prior to 1970, to be nearly precise.

A diarrhoea of diabolical diatribes originating from journalists - artists on a deadline - from deep within both Projects Fear and Fantasy spew uncontrollably from every orifice of the mainstream media, in print, in video and in speech. Where there be truths, let us replace them with lies. Where there be relevance, let us replace it with personalities and celebrities. Where there be a competent, empirical impact assessment pertaining to a strategic policy choice, let us replace it with a culturally Marxist panel on Question Time obsessed with identity politics. Not for nothing is the BBC becoming known to some as the Bolshevik Broadcasting Caliphate.

The only useful source of technical detail was then, and still is today, is largely outside the mainstream media. The establishment treats the source as toxin. The source is http://eureferendum.com. The only analyst who correctly extrudes the technicalities of the world’s trading system to domestic British politics is petejnorth. It’s a family affair; Richard and Peter North. The whole country’s sole understanding of Brexit depends upon a father-and-son act acting in absolute defiance of the established media and the established political classes. Only one journalist – one! – is issue-literate: Christopher Booker. By contrast, the establishment does whatever it takes to ignore and to silence the bare technical issues that Brexit presents, to the extent of firing the precious few civil servants who do actually have more than half a clue (i.e. Sir Ivan Rogers).

Even Moneyweek gets it wrong, largely because it tends to recycle other hacks’ garbage (especially on customs unions and “customs checks”). Although Moneyweek is broadly pro-Brexit, it learnt the significance of Booker’s contributions very late (in June 2018).

The mainstream media continues its multi-year mission to peddle its fake news, fake analysis, fake facts, fake opinions, gross incompleteness, wilful inaccuracies, void commentaries, non-existent premises, to perform its tribal penis-waving stupidities, to seek out new falsehoods, to boldly go where no hack has dared mislead before.

The UK Government

UKGov is as shit as ever.

Far from merely having no strategy within the EU, it turns out that UKGov has even less of a strategy out with the EU. The strategy to have no strategy (!!) is borne out of delusional ignorance of both Brextremist and Remainiac alike. UKGov has no single, joined-up, coherent thought about it whatsoever.

Neither UKGov nor mainstream media have understood the first basic foundation of Brexit. Brexit is a process, not an event. 43 years spanned UK’s joining and UK’s referendum to leave. Leaving the EU itself is fairly swift, but leaving the regulatory union (a.k.a. the Single Market) is as hard for a member nation as a fly trying to escape from a spider’s web. Actually, it’s harder than that. Imagine a fly trying to escape from a spider’s web whilst playing a game of chess at the same time. That’s why Brexit is a process that shall involve multiple steps over multiple timeframes. And, by analogy, multiple flies dealing with multiple spiders. Welcome to techno-globalist entrapment, a.k.a. “how to convert the rule of law into a prison sentence.”

Never, in the field of human history, have so few owed so much to so many, has the overwhelming moronicity of the few bewildered so many, have the many foolishly entrusted the few to pick the right policy, on the right evidence, for the right reasons, at the right time, in the right timescale.

UKGov’s policy approach - measured by its actual output - is best summarised as:
Part of UKGov (the Brextremist wing) wants an unworkable Brexit: the Legatum Institute’s “Road To Brexit”.
Part of UKGov (the Remainiac wing) rather likes the vassal state plan, because, to them, a vassal state meets Remainiac objectives better than full EU membership could have achieved.
All parts of UKGov pursue the culturally Marxist policy that seeks to maximise Britain’s failure as a nation state.

The Legatum Institute’s “Road To Brexit”

The Legatum Institute’s “Road To Brexit” of October 2016 is designed to fail, because its vision has no useful, proveable connection to the real world. “Road to Brexit” is politically and commercially illiterate.

For example, it proposes “Prosperity Zones”, without really defining them, but which smell like a regulatory union (a.k.a. Single Market) for only English-speaking countries. The “Road to Brexit” was published in Oct 2016, a month in which President-to-be Donald Trump campaigned around America on a popular protectionist platform. The contradiction would have been obvious at the time. Yet, “Road to Brexit” presumes that UK would be some sort of special case to America. Trump himself hinted at such: Britain would be at “the front of the queue”. Trump’s prima facie support inadvertently revealed the naïvety of “Road to Brexit”.

Unsurprisingly, with effect from 01Jul2018, America will have imposed tariffs on imports from European interests. So much for “Prosperity Zones”. If tariffs represent still how America thinks, then the concept of a regulatory union (a.k.a. Single Market) is a non-starter.

For another example, “Road to Brexit” does not consider the probability of pent-up anger still in Australia and New Zealand about Britain’s betrayal of them when UK joined the EEC in 1971.

For a third example, “Road to Brexit” wrongly ignores (or dismisses) the fundamental importance of non-tariff barriers to trade, in spite of the annual report from the US Trade Representative to measure the impact of non-tariff barriers to trade. Simply put, “Road to Brexit” forms no rational base for any Brexit policy or trade policy, unless you sought to design a scorched earth policy.

Could it be that the Brextremists seek to exterminate all UK-EU trade so as to jump into exclusive trading arrangements with America, even on “America-first” terms? This could be a distinct possibility, but at first glance, it is an innumerate strategy. Sure, the EU’s share of world trade is falling. But the rate of the EU’s relative decline – more accurately, non-EU’s relative ascent – is not so severe to justify sacrificing all UK-EU trade within 24 hours of failing to comply with requirements of the regulatory union (a.k.a. Single Market). Even if the cause of the EU’s relative decline in world trade is down to demographics, then there is still time to transition from being a member of the EU to being a third country, using the EEA as a transitional mechanism (for up to, say, 20 years).

For the Legatum Institute, a scorched earth policy could well be the unwritten ulterior motive. Behind the Legatum Institute are venture capitalists. Perhaps “vulture capitalists” would be a better description; venture capitalists make money out of buying distressed assets on the cheap, putting lipstick on the assets, then selling the assets off quickly (within 2 years) at a premium price to the first sucker that will fall for it. That has worked well over the centuries for private companies, to purge a private company of its incompetent management failing to make money in an otherwise functioning market. But a Brexit policy that crashes out of the Single Market results in total, complete, commercial isolation from everything in the world. Everything. This is because, crudely, UKGov has replaced the UK’s old direct trading connections with the world with a growing, single connection to the Single Market. Even a competent UKGov would take up to 10 years to restore the necessary links to make the UK fully “tradable” again. The current incompetent UKGov might never get close to such restoration within 20 years. Thus, it is hard to see how the Legatum’s “vulture capitalist” strategy could work. Thus, it is beyond belief that UKGov could be so willing (in part) to pursue a “Legatum Brexit.”

UKGov remains wilfully issue-illiterate, not just in matters Brexit

Whether influenced by Legatum or not, UKGov still demonstrates a wilful ignorance of the very same European law that UKGovs since 1971 have rubber-stamped onto the UK statute book. Having delegated huge chunks of law-making to the EU since 1971, UKGov has apparently forgotten how to govern. To describe the UKGov as politically-illiterate feels like a grotesque understatement.

There is no evidence that any part of UKGov has read any of the European Commission’s Notices to Stakeholders. These notices spell out the implications of Brexit (in various flavours) on various sectors. UKGov has probably stupidly dismissed the Notices as propaganda.

UKGov still hasn’t grasped the nature of the “regulatory union” that is the Single Market, let alone the implications that leaving the regulatory union has for the UK’s only land border with the EU (the border between Eire and Northern Ireland). Best exemplified by stalemate on the border issue with Northern Ireland, UKGov instead whitters on with all sorts of childishly stupid alternative ideas that fail to identify the issues, let alone solve them.

No-body has tested UKGov’s grasp of matters outside both the EU and the Single Market. For the most part, the mainstream media has whittered on about customs unions, as if any hack knows what a customs union is, or how customs unions differ from regulatory unions.

To take only one industrial sector out of many, such is the ignorance and complacency of UKGov – and the cowardly quietness of business interests – that no-body in UKGov has bothered to ask whether there is any insurer out there willing to insure an uninsurable air flight. Uninsurable air flight? Yes: in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit, aeroplanes physically present in the UK would be grounded with effect from 23:00 UTC 29 March 2019, until such time, crudely, as the European Aviation Safety Agency would be satisfied that UK can actually manage airspace under an enforceable regime (there’s more to it than that, but you get the jist).

The above legislative reality about aeroplanes appears to prompt leave-voting ordinary plebs to cry, “How did we survive without the EU?” It’s a good question, but a misguided one. We survived prior to the EU because the world’s trading system worked very differently then than now. Prior to the EU, the role of regulation was to prohibit activities within a permissive environment. Within the EU, it’s the other way around: regulation permits a narrow range of activities, but at extraordinary depth through the supply chain, within a prohibitive environment. The EU’s influence and adoption of international standards provide a de facto regulatory platform for global governance – a single, authoritarian, communist world government is the key aim of the cultural Marxist – so the trading world of 2019 is totally, utterly, comprehensively different from that of, say, 1945. There might be a way back from technocracy to liberalism, but it will be a long, hard fight. Until then, UKGov should play the trade game rather than deny the existence of the trade game. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Wither Brexit?

It can be hard to see clearly who seeks to damage Britain the most.

Remainaics continue to fight the referendum, nearly two years after they lost the vote, adamant that democracy isn’t the right way to decide matters in a democracy, because some matters are apparently soooooo important that the masses cannot be trusted to get anything right.

Brextremists are hell-bent on yanking the UK out of the global trading system suddenly at 11pm on 29 March 2019, marching the UK over a cliff edge in a hare-brained attempt to enter a mirage of paradise hovering over an open volcano. (That, at least, is the sketch that emerges from Legatum’s “Road to Brexit”).

There's no evidence that UKGov are deliberately playing dumb just to annoy the EU.  If that were the case, UKGov wouldn't be annoying non-EU entities at the same time.  It just feels like the whole of the UKGov has its whole institutional head buried up its own institutional arse.

The correct Brexit policy – as set out by the Flexcit Plan – is the last such plan that any agent of UKGov wants to know. Flexcit achieves the people’s aims. Such achievement disqualifies Flexcit from consideration of the elite’s aims.

The civil service don’t want Brexit: they are already paid handsomely for doing very little, so the prospect of actually having to do some useful work for their salary is de facto unappealing. As is now apparent, very few civil servants actually understand the basics of policy choice anyway (e.g. Brexit, NHS, education, defence… the Home Office, oh deary me, the Home Office).

So the scene is set for a largely Remainiac UKGov to betray the vote to leave, either revoking the leaving process, or delivering bankruptcy as part of Brexit. England thus looks set to start its inexorable journey towards civil war.

Ergo, UKGov is as shit as ever. Q.E.D.

The EU

With UKGov dissolving itself in a bath of pure stupidity, it’s pitiful to see Michel Barnier at the “negotiating” table with no-body his worth talking to. Or even talking at. The only quote that seems fit for purpose was the line uttered by one of the German guests who had the misfortune of staying at Fawlty Towers: “However did they win?”

That notwithstanding, at one level, the EU doesn’t need to do much about Brexit, because it doesn’t really have the right to do anything. Yes, it can sequence negotiations, and it does a great job of sequencing anything to self-destruction (just ask Yanis Varoufakis). But for Brexit, such effort was clearly wasted on UKGov. The EU could have sequenced a perfect set-up for a UK own goal, and still our dizzyingly incompetent Prime Minister would have called a general election instead of swotting up on the acquis communautaire. I wonder if there is a European standard for headbutting concrete walls?

But, for all of that pious, pompous, prattling, patronising, piffling pity, the EU is still as shit as ever.

The EU’s own future

The EU’s future relationship with the UK is probably of less significance to the EU than the EU’s own short-term survival as a political going-concern. There are lots of self-inflicted problems for the EU to neutralise. Here’s a small sample.
The economic suicide pill that is the Eurozone, which created a massive trade surplus for Germany at the expense of every other member of the Eurozone.
This combined with local financial mismanagement – and a collusive deceit between a government and its bankers! – to result in the sovereign debt crisis in Greece 2009-2016, which in turn required German taxpayers to prop up the Greek state and, by proxy, the Eurozone.
The EU’s share of global trade appears to be falling (most likely a consequence of an aging endogenous population, hence the “need” to import lots of non-Europeans to fund tomorrow’s pension payments).
More recently, the Italian election of 04 March 2018 resulted in the Italian President exercising his constitutional right to veto a proposed non-conformist minister of finance, but did so on grounds that looked unlikely to meet the conditions for such power set out in the constitution. The whiff of the EU meddling in a member state’s democratic affairs - this time via its puppet, the Italian President - is unmistakable.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the EU’s recent policy choices have started to bite. All of a sudden, ordinary plebs are beginning to wonder where some of this legislation came from.

General Data Protection Legislation

The General Protection Data Regulation provides a timely reminder why EU law is as bad as any national law. On 25 May 2018, GDPR came into force. It is a regulation, not a directive, so comprehensively by-passes any direct mechanism for democratic scrutiny or approval. Yet, its antediluvian, ideological rhetoric about “data protection” has created a definition of “personal data” that is so open-ended, that even the most basic and fundamental of data processing is within its scope. This includes a small company whose sole use of personal data is to employ people. Or a family that wants to collate its family tree to include living relatives. Yet, GDPR assumes everybody – everybody! – is a Facebook, slurping up data and spraying it all over the place to make money.

Thus, all over the EEA (not just the EU), employers – especially those in common law jurisdictions that need to prove their innocence well in advance of any data inspector knocking on the door – are having to spell out to their employees the rights that GDPR gives them… including the right for erasure… which would amount to a breach of the employment contract when the employer can longer pay the employee… which, of course, would be the employer’s fault under employment law within most of the EU. Duh.

GDPR reveals a typical, disjointed, idiotic, quarter-baked product of classic European techno-groupthink.

The ulterior motive of EU groupthink that led to GDPR is almost certainly the same EU groupthink that resulted in Key Information Documents: collusive, lobbyist, feudal protectionism. By creating an obligation that consumes overhead resources, the EU effectively creates both technical and financial barriers to entry into, and within, the Single Market (yes: within. The regulatory union protects incumbents from all entrants, whether from within the EEA or out with the EEA, hence why big business likes the Single Market).

And more is to come. Unnoticed by our shit mainstream media (except for the incredible witness of the FT, which appears to have recently, but only briefly, awoken), the next self-inflicted threat to Europe’s economic future is the ePrivacy Regulation.

The ePrivacy Regulation

This act of regulatory stupidity wilfully throttles new methods, new technologies and new processes to protect incumbent economic operators, to hell with our childrens’ future as a consequence of protecting the undeserving and the obsolete.

It does this in two ways: i) by extending obsolete regulation that applies to old telephony technologies onto any entity that offers voice-over-internet (telephone-like) functionality to anybody else; and ii) applying GDPR to the “personal” data of legal artificial persons (e.g. a company). This latter point means that a corporate vehicle used to, say, launder money for the benefit of a European technocrat can exercise its “right to be forgotten” fully in compliance with the law, irrespective of any criminal conviction that it might end up with.

The “level playing field” appears to require artificial costs be imposed on any operation that wisely avoids the expensive infrastructure of legacy technologies. It amounts to a hard socialist equality-of-outcome that preserves the existing elite at the expense of the future.
And even more is to come.

The Copyright Directive

As if the combined effect of GDPR and the ePrivacy Regulation wasn’t enough, there is the Copyright Directive.

This is yet another instance of the EU adopting international standards without due regard for all of the consequences of implementation.

Predictably, the winning lobbyists where those with the deepest pockets, who can afford to provide "later-career opportunities", in this case the copyright mafia.

The copyright mafia has a long, long history of wanting to charge you for even the mere peek of something protected by copyright.  Remember the battle over whether you were entitled to transfer your LPs onto cassettes so that you could play music in your car?  The dream of all copyright agencies is to charge you when passing an advert mounted on a billboard at the roadside for the enjoyment you must have had when you saw the artist creativity that went into the advert, as it zipped through your peripheral vision at 70mph.  This "dream" remains the holy grail of the copyright mafia and their parasitic lawyers.  So what if people feel the need to gouge their own eyes out to avoid paying copyright fees for seeing adverts?  The copyright mafia will then urge their clients to produce audio adverts instead...

The copyright mafia and cultural Marxists should have nothing in common, but the communism that cultural Marxists seek to impose worldwide is a gravy train that the copyright mafia is more than happy to ride.

The original copyright directive of 2001 was bad enough, but in June 2018, the European Parliament started the approval process of additions to the directive to impose obligations on social media providers to pay royalties based on the use of “copyrighted” material by the provider’s users.

It would typically require social media providers to censor their users on behalf of the copyright industry and, by implication, the state. The social media provider ends up doing the work of the copyright industry for the copyright industry.

The economic impact is the same old protectionist thing that forms the basis of the EEA.  Only existing media providers (social media and traditional media alike), with vast wealth, will be able to afford the dead-weight administrative burden to comply with the updated Copyright Directive.  This ensures, as usual, that entrants in the EEA's digital market have massive overheads to fund before they start to trade, which, in turn, prevents entrants into the market.  The law, once again, shall protect incumbents from competition.  Hence why Microsoft, Facebook, Google etc probably won't grumble much: to be protected from competition is probably a net profit after the cost of doing the work of the copyright mafia.

The net result is that the Copyright Directive looks set to become the most extraordinary combination of extortion (a “hyperlink tax”), protection-of-corruption, state-sponsored oligopoly and ideological stupidity.

Media comment is rife, here are a few examples (BitTech, Wired, the Verge).

The Single European Army

The spectre of the European Army approaches.

The Centre of European Reform put together an elegant-sounding case to explain why experience to date teaches all EU members not to waste time playing with the concept of a European Army, but the case is politically-illiterate. The Eurozone had no economic sense whatsoever, but it still happened, because the ideological, Leftist, globalist, cultural Marxists who demanded it got it. Likewise, these are the same people calling for the Single European Army. They will use the same technical bases of bamboozlement and deceit to get their way. That process took a step forward in Nov2017 and the legal framework was adopted at the European Council in Dec2017.

Cunning and sinister.

But at least the EU wants the UK to leave

The EU has at least had the wit to realise that UKGov is certainly not a viable member of its club.

Fleecing the UK for 43 years – having UK taxpaying plebs bail out wilfully inefficient French and German farmers – was nice while it lasted, but, actually, the sheer stress involved in managing UKGov was probably the greater cost to all concerned.

Memories of how the UK agonised over the Maastricht Treaty are probably still raw, so it’s feasible that some operators in the EU consider the UK’s departure to be a “lucky escape”.

Thus, the EU probably will accept commercial losses arising from UK crashing out of the Single Market, irrespective of what European commercial interests actually want. In the immediate-term, the protectionist barriers to entry of the regulatory union (a.k.a. The Single Market) will their job, and hold British exports to EU members at bay.

We can see evidence of this train of thought: the EU has written to the World Trade Organisation to announce the UK’s intention to join the WTO’s Agreement on Government Procurement, as reported by Monckton Chambers (well, the shit mainstream media wouldn’t report it, would it?).

All of which makes Michel Barnier’s comment about the EU accepting an application by the UK to re-join EFTA a remarkably generous comment. I wonder whether Barnier still believes it. Hmm. I wonder whether EFTA hopes that the UK has forgotten it!

The Outside World

Any government outside the EU must be licking its lips at the prospect of “negotiating” with UKGov! Anything that stupid is definitely worth talking to, because, frankly, by 30 March 2019, the UK will sign anything - literally anything! - that will re-stock UK supermarket shelves.

And that is the least of UKGov’s challenges outside the EU. Without the comfort blanket of the EU, from within which member nations can deny the real issues of the world, UKGov will have little choice but to develop coherent policies to the following sample headline issues. I look forward to the day when UKGov takes these issues seriously.
The ageing of western populations.
The sudden ageing of China’s population.
“Peak human population” (Hans Rosling, even Deutsch Bank is forecasting a decline in world population by 2100 as reported by CNBC. UN has said otherwise, as reported by Wikipedia, but might be waking up after all.
The contamination of the United Nations by pseudo-science, especially regarding population growth (too Malthusian to be credible) and “man-made global warming” (wholly unsupported by the correctly-measured and correctly-presented facts).

All of these issues are pervasive. They have been true for decades, and shall remain true for decades to come. Yet, the regionalist technocratic experiment of the European Union has only worsened Europe’s ability to respond to these mega-trends, primarily by entrenching Leftist fakery and denial into policy choices and legislative processes, providing national governments a plausible excuse for inactivity/procrastination/sabotage, and providing corporations a profitable lobbying opportunity. Regionalism is ripe only for eradication, not a success to expand into a global techno-socialist cartel. You don’t feed cancer, you kill it. The solution is – and has always been – local solutions to local issues. Local joined-up government, ideally with the express consent of the governed. This solution is the best self-regulating solution there is.

Yet, two years on, and few people in the British establishment have understood the wider issues at stake.

FAIL.


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