Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 31, 2020

Happy BREXIT Day - Now For The Hard Part

Tonight Great Britain will leave the European Union.

Then comes the hard part.

Britain has until the end of this year to make a new trade deal with Europe, with the U.S., and with other countries.

But it does not have much negotiation power. Nearly 50% of Britain's exports go to the EU where 27 national parliaments will have to sign off any new deal. No deal means that Britain would lose a big chunk of that trade. In the U.S. Congress must also agree to a new trade deal with Britain. Lots of lobbyists will ask for open access to Britain's markets.

Those deals will make Brexit much less favorable than envisioned. One often heard argument for Brexit was that Great Britain would regain exclusive fishing rights within its economic zone. But some EU countries will likely ask for additional fishing rights in British waters in exchange for something Britain urgently needs.

The U.S. will want access to the British markets for its agricultural and healthcare industries. That will conflict with Britain's own farmers, food regulations and its much liked National Health Service.

Britain will have to negotiate two very large and complicated deals under severe time pressure. The EU might offer to extend the deadline under some conditions but Boris Johnson has promised not to ask for it. Comprehensive trade deals normally take several years to make. Negotiations about access for Britain's financial service industry to the EU market will be extremely complicated.

There was a time where Britain ruled the seas and where headlines like "Fog in Channel; Continent Cut Off" were not only funny but somewhat justified. But neither is still the case.

It is Britain that needs the deals not the other countries. The choices the Tory government will make throughout the negotiations are unlikely to be in favor of the average British citizen.

The economic damage all this will cause will not be felt at once but will most likely creep in through no or low growth, increased unemployment and higher prices.

There are also the national issues. Northern Ireland will economically be integrated with Ireland and may over time consider leaving Great Britain. The Scottish people had preferred to stay within the EU. They may again try to secede.

Five to ten years from now Great Britain will likely be much less great than it is today.

The EU can do well without Britain. The country was never really committed to the union and often played a negative role.

But the EU will also need to change its urge to centralize and regulate everything. If it continues on its path other countries may want to follow the British example despite the damage it will cause to them.

Posted by b on January 31, 2020 at 18:19 UTC | Permalink

next page »

In 10 years Britain might look pretty good for not being over run with "escoria" from African and the ME.

Posted by: erik | Jan 31 2020 18:24 utc | 1

I have to wonder how it will effect Germany's economy. From what I've read they are two of the largest trading partners in Europe. If that is true, it could have a global knock-on effect. This combined with with the Corona outbreak could really mess up supply chains.

Posted by: Michael | Jan 31 2020 18:31 utc | 2

Article 13: UK will not implement EU copyright law


But the EU will also need to change its urge to centralize and regulate everything.

Unable to swim, a scorpion asks a frog to carry him across a rising river.

The frog worries that the scorpion could sting him. The scorpion argues that if he stung the frog, the frog would sink and the scorpion would drown as well.

Convinced, the frog agrees and lets the scorpion climb on his back. Halfway across the river, the scorpion does in fact sting the frog, dooming them both.

“But why?” asks the frog.

“It’s just my nature,” says the scorpion.

Posted by: TJ | Jan 31 2020 18:33 utc | 3

I don't disagree with the gist of the article, but I am less clear on the outcome be certain.
Among other things:
1) the British 90% will have far fewer Eastern European competitors in the wage market.
2) the City will have less worries about the EU bureaucrats sticking their noses into bankster affairs
3) The UK's top 10 imports from the EU include German cars, various pharma products from multiple EU countries, oil and machinery including airplanes/airplane parts. I don't see that changing.
4) The UK's top 10 exports to Europe are pretty much the same thing.
Northern Ireland - it seems odd to me that the English settler descended, Protestant Northern Irish would want to become a bigger fish in a small pond in Ireland as opposed to the only fish in the UK's part of Ireland. But maybe economically they're better off. I will say that this is very unclear: a lot of Irish prosperity is based on companies using Ireland's low tax rates to funnel EU revenues out of the EU. The Northern Irish would be really late to that game, if that's the idea.
5) Scotland may well try again to leave - and may well get militarily oppressed. London alone has something like 50% more people than Scotland.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 31 2020 18:36 utc | 4

The eu is an antidemocratic step towards fascistic globalism. Hopefully more countries will soon leave. Or perhaps reform is possible for the eu, though that seems the least likely development.

Posted by: paul | Jan 31 2020 18:43 utc | 5


Posted by: Circe | Jan 31 2020 18:49 utc | 6

I think b. Underestimates England's negotiating leverage. It is still an important export market for Germany and France.

If thlhe trade issues are resolved, then the hysteria over brexit will be shown to be just that.

The main worry as b. mentioned is the integrity of the english union. But the alternative is not great since the EU is only one financial crisis away from imploding on itself; it is not as if the EU is a stable entity that can last long. The structure of its financial system and capital flows is not equitable, sustainable or resilient.

The most concrete damage of brexit is the long uncertainty that has hung and continues to hang over english politics. Exposing its dysfunction. It cripples attempts to deal with any other pressing issue.

Posted by: occupation | Jan 31 2020 19:00 utc | 7

I think you have it backwards. "The economic damage all this will cause will not be felt at once but will most likely creep in through no or low growth, increased unemployment and higher prices." On the contrary, I think most of the pain will be felt right away, as established firms, relationships, and supply lines are disrupted by the new setup and lack of clarity. Over time they will get reorganized and get back to their current levels. Perhaps slightly higher prices as some replacements will be inferior, but small in the grand scheme of things.

It is all game theory. When the other party wrongs you, you have to be willing to accept costs in order to punish them. Otherwise, they have no incentive for good behavior. My opinion (others disagree) is that the EU has shown itself to be incompetent, and unwilling to address the concerns of members through the normal processes. Therefore leaving is the only tool UK has left, even though it will be painful.

The real issue for the UK is that its own government is quite poor as well. Nothing illustrates that better than the ridiculous drama about whether they would or would not leave, the limp-wristed negotiations and inability to come up with a detailed plan. But at least they have a CHANCE of a brighter future, if they can get their own house in order. The EU showed itself extremely unwilling to change.

The headline is apt: "now comes the hard part." UK may well be worse off in 5-10 years than it would have been, but in 50-100 years I think it will be much better.

Posted by: sabre51 | Jan 31 2020 19:06 utc | 8

Freedom in the neo-liberal lexicon means freedom of the strong to predate on the weak. Free Trade is a particular example of this. A rational person must expect the UK to be brutally savaged in dealing with the EU, US and China.

@1, It is true that at present not having a Mediterranean coast is an advantage. But an optimist might hope that the defeat of the US in Eurasia will bring new peace along the Belt and Road, and Africa and the ME will see the greatest boom.

Posted by: Tim Glover | Jan 31 2020 19:07 utc | 9

The batter's now inside the cake pan, and it's now going into the oven. The quality of the cake can only be judged once its removed from the oven, iced, decorated, and only then tasted. Fixing an already baked cake is essentially impossible as most bakers know. IMO, BoJo and his crew are novices when it comes to the sort of cake they're trying to bake, so I don't expect a very good product once its declared done and served to the nation. If I were a member of that nation, I'd prepare for a severe case of indigestion.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 31 2020 19:08 utc | 10

Britain has until the end of this year to make a new trade deal with Europe, with the U.S., and with other countries.

The UK already had more than 750 bilateral deals around the world. The argument used by the brexiters that EU membership was "isolation" is a complete farce.

Nothing significant will change in this front after Brexit.

But the EU will also need to change its urge to centralize and regulate everything. If it continues on its path other countries may want to follow the British example despite the damage it will cause to them.

The issue is not between "centralization vs decentralization", but the historical process of the development of the productive forces.

Before the creation of the Euro, it was economically advantageous for the little poor countries from the European Peninsula to seek EU membership. After its creation, the economies begun to diverge: Germany begun to siphon the wealth from its poorer members.

Add to that the worldwide capitalist meltdown from 2008 and you have the toxic mixture for what is essentially a neoliberal union in the EU.

Centralization and decentralization, in abstract, mean nothing. It's always the historical context that counts. It's not the quest for centralization that menaces the dissolution of the EU, but the fact that the EU was already economically declining for two decades that resulted in its smaller members to complain about its perceived quest for centralization. This vicious cycle generated a dialetical contradiction which impelled the EU to actually try to seek more centralization in response - in a classic "self-realizing prophecy" case.

This must be the case, since it explains why Brexit happened in 2016 and not in 2000; why the Scotish referendum happened in 2015 and not in 1708; and why similar movements are happening more or less at the same time in Italy and Greece. It also explains why there is not "exit" movements in Poland and Hungary, even though there are anti-EU movements there.

Posted by: vk | Jan 31 2020 19:09 utc | 11

IMO, this leaves GB more susceptible to the influences of the empire. I fully expect the U$A to attack the British National Health Service with pressure to privatize.

Posted by: ben | Jan 31 2020 19:11 utc | 12

Spot on vk! Your analysis of EU dynamics is a pretty succint summary.

Those who think that Brexit will reduce immigration to the UK are fantasists (as well as racists - at this point UKIP and Farage have an undeniable track record one could plausibly claim not to know about in 2014). The current UK economic model relies on a large inflow of immigrant labour to underpin fanciful "growth" statistics, depress wages, and keep up pressure on the housing market, among other "schemes" in the worst sense of the word, and the government has already said that it will seek to increase non-European immigration to make up for decreases in EU immigration. Bye bye Polish plumber, hello ???...

Posted by: ErGmb | Jan 31 2020 19:20 utc | 13

Bilateral, un-hypercentralized all the way.

Victoria Nuland said it best, "Fuck the EU."

When will European people come to their senses and trust the ability of their own local leaders? B isn't quite there yet.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jan 31 2020 19:21 utc | 15

Another Trotskyist attempt at convincing people they don't need nations anymore. No need to feel proud in your cultural difference which makes the world a beautiful and ineffable place.

Instead, they want monoculture ruled by Technocrats. How "eastern."

I don't mind, because I know that in Christianity's early days, many converts had to hide to preserve the faith.

Indeed, Philip K. Dick had fever dreams about being a Christian in ancient MENA and hiding himself amongst the Romans. Jews, similarly, I am sure, felt something akin during the war in Germany and occupied territory.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jan 31 2020 19:31 utc | 16

Boris wants Britain to be "Singapore on the Thames". A one party,authoritarian state.
Instead,one generation from now, England will be America's European Puerto Rico.

Posted by: David Goodrich | Jan 31 2020 19:33 utc | 17

To add to TJ's post @14:

17 Million Fuck-Offs (2020 Update) by Dominic Frisby [Youtube]

Posted by: Ian2 | Jan 31 2020 19:34 utc | 18


He'll be singing a different tune in the not too distant future when Ziofascism overruns the U.K. completely and Brits become beggars who can no longer be choosers.

Brits rejected Corbyn for that Zionist ass kisser, Boris, I have no pity for what awaits them.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 31 2020 19:35 utc | 19

Brexit is the Boston Tea party. Good riddance.

What's not to applaud exiting the rules and regulations imposed by unelected commissioners? Who needs mind-numbing directives on butter, cheese, bananas or to be told how dark your morning toast can be done?

a few of the silly directives:

- Bananas cannot be too bendy-no malformations and abnormal curves allowed.
- Illegal to make Stilton cheese in the village of Stilton.
- Water does not hydrate you and cannot be sold as preventing hydration.
- Tampon Tax - a sanitary product is treated as a luxury non-essential item. Takes effect 01.Jan.2021.
- Fishing directives - if fish of wrong species was caught accidentally, it had to be thrown overboard. Result, tons of dead fish.
- Halogen light bulbs banned, replaced with expensive LED lighting which is attributed to damaging vision (retina) and other environmental concerns. {lighting our way into darkness}
- Inches and pounds banned as measurements (this directive really irked the Brits).
- Prunes are not a laxative.

Scotland will stay put. Which currency will Sturgeon use? And, can Scotland afford the EU's annual dues? No.

In terms of trade, Trade negotiations will end in No-deal. WTO.

UK will seek deals with former colonies. Also, modern India and China beckons - notice two days ago, Bojo bucked Trump on Huawei. He wants a deal with the world's foremost economy and a share of the BRI.

Posted by: Likklemore | Jan 31 2020 19:35 utc | 20

@ Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jan 31 2020 19:31 utc | 16

Nations are not determined by culture. They are geopolitical entities, not cultural ones.

The myth that nations should reflect cultural barriers was invented in Europe in the aftermath of WWI. In the occasion, they had to create a narrative that could legitimize the balkanization of the old Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires.

And your example was very unfortunate, because the Roman Empire became less - and not more - multicultural after the rise of Christianism. Christianism destroyed uncountable cultures and religions.

Posted by: vk | Jan 31 2020 19:39 utc | 21

Julian Assange's European Parliament defenders just lost their juridical relevance.

Posted by: Bertrand Russell | Jan 31 2020 19:40 utc | 22

In response to 16:

Another Trotskyist attempt at convincing people they don't need nations anymore

Trotskyist? Communists have proudly been declaring the brotherhood of the international working class since before Trotsky was a glimmer in his father's eye. Of course, we don't need nations, and we never really did, either. The sentimental attachment to British "culture" (which in its living form is what exactly, memories of the Sex Pistols and a pedophile protecting monarchy?) ignores that the monoculture has already been achieved in the West and the "beautiful", "ineffable" "cultural difference" between nations has already become marginal as all nations have adopted the capitalist mode of production and generalized it to form a capitalist society, buying and selling culture to each other as standardized and substitutable commodities.

Posted by: Fnord | Jan 31 2020 19:50 utc | 23

I like Moon aka Bernard or whatever but he says the EU needs slightly less regulation. This stupid giant politically correct police state has like 66,000 laws and they pass 5,000 new ones a year. Nanny police state fascism and all they do is steal money from the taxpayers of Europe. It is a Central Bank ponzi scheme that is going to implode.

Most recent joke today is the EU Army which has pretty much no working tanks, planes or ships. Who are they going to fight anyway? The Russians? God help Europe - maybe Russians and Putin might reinstate Christianity in Europe and throw off the yoke of the CIA/MIC/Operation Gladio-Mockingbird from USA.

Posted by: Jerry | Jan 31 2020 19:51 utc | 24

Escoria says one, good not to have a Mediterranean Coast says another.... boy, is that ever "have been" imperial thinking. What's really good is to get rid of the permanent brake called UK. I would not change the Mediterranean Coast for anything in that soon to be Atlantida, and neither would a lot of british expats that live around here.

Posted by: Paco | Jan 31 2020 19:57 utc | 25

@21 vk

Once again, VK, you are right only in theory or as a textbook would explain it.

However, national boundaries whether artificially opposed or not do offer, over time, a people the opportunity to develop independently and galvanize as a nation.

Syria is attempting to maintain this as we speak, and how could we argue that its efforts are not grounded in peace and order and protecting minorities.

No...your theory is of course wrong. You should take a look outside a textbook every now and then.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jan 31 2020 19:57 utc | 26

*artificially imposed

Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Jan 31 2020 19:59 utc | 27

Britain has finally made the Orwellian Pivot. Brazil is Bolsonaro-fied, Mexico and Canada are USMCA-ed, Venezuela will be MAGA-cized. The Monroe Doctrine is growing carnivorous incisors. Oceania is born!

Posted by: FSD | Jan 31 2020 19:59 utc | 28

@24 Jerry

They will fight their own people, case in point the Yellow Vests. Remember EU Defence Union merges law enforcement and military under a single EU command, protests will be put down by the military.

Posted by: TJ | Jan 31 2020 20:01 utc | 29

The EU can do well without Britain. The country was never really committed to the union and often played a negative role.

Really? The EU hasn't had a new policy for 40 years. Everything since then is simply a continuation of ideas that started before then. For example it hasn't come close to reaching a policy on immigration to EU from Africa, though this has clearly been a big issue for 20 years. Huawei, Nordstream2, Russia, Catalan independence, an EU defence body - the EU is simply incapable of making decisions or policy.
The departure of UK will not change that.

What it did really very well (with a lot of influence from UK) was the single market. Eventually - it was a core aim of the EU from 30 years earlier.

Posted by: Michael Droy | Jan 31 2020 20:10 utc | 30

When is the EU going to do well even with Britain in it? Or are we just concerned about the Germans and French? Ask the Italians, the Spanish, and Greeks how well they are doing. Screw the EU. The last thing Europe needs is a European style Washington DC and Wall street bank to run things. Screw these trade agreements. What exactly is the point of these negotiations? So the banks and bureaucrats can leverage access to empower and enrich themselves? Who does that really help? Do you really want to prop up these types of criminals? How are ordinary people really doing in the EU? Are things getting better or worse for ordinary people? It was sold as open borders, single currency, free trade. That sounds great to me... so why are people unhappy in Great Britain? Is that really what it was all about or was that just the carrot to get the donkey moving? Why did they vote to leave? What really happened in Greece? What happened in Iceland in 2008? Why didn't they cave in like Greece? How come they are better off outside the EU? How come they were better off jailing their bankers than worshiping them as Christ like saviors. Oh... how will England ever survive without the EU and their wise overlords?

Posted by: goldhoarder | Jan 31 2020 20:11 utc | 31

I have always figured the GB can only succeed with its Brexit from the medium run onwards if
-They abandon a big part of the current globalism and navigate on a firm nationalist path, t least on specific issues.
- They get rid of the US malicious 'partnership' and build up and alliance route towards China, russia and India. I.e. towards the future.
But we clearly see this is demanding too much of the brits continous brainwashing of the last 70 years.

Posted by: augusto | Jan 31 2020 20:22 utc | 32

Too bad the UK does not take with it all the wrong policies that so strongly promoted as a member, like NATO and UE expansion among others.

Posted by: Paco | Jan 31 2020 20:42 utc | 34


"Boris Johnson has renounced his US citizenship, ending years of ambiguous loyalties and probably ridding himself of a hefty tax bill.

A list released by the US Treasury department showed the UK foreign secretary was one of 5,411 individuals to renounce his American citizenship in 2016.

Johnson was born in New York when his parents worked there, but has not lived there since he was five years old. His decision does not appear to be an attempt to distance himself from the politics of Donald Trump, but may instead be a move to ensure he is out of reach of America’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

In 2014 he publicly said that the US was trying to hit him for tax on the sale of his home in Islington, north London, something he said he regarded as “absolutely outrageous”, although he later reportedly paid the demand. The US tax authorities have been mounting a campaign to crack down on the earnings of dual nationals."

Another curious episode in the life and times of a dual citizen Sheepdog.

Posted by: Bubbles | Jan 31 2020 20:45 utc | 35

The last sentence does not follow from anything the author has written before that. Quite a bizarre pro-EU perspective, reminiscent of Macron, perhaps.

Posted by: Tony Lawless | Jan 31 2020 20:46 utc | 36

- One of the reasons why Brexit was so popular was that then the UK was able to regulate / limit immigration from the rest of the EU. But already now there is a new propsosal that would encourage immigration to address the socalled "skill shortages" in the UK.

Posted by: Willy2 | Jan 31 2020 20:46 utc | 37

- The trade negotiations with the US will be like a steamroller trying to crush the UK. That's why it was good to have the EU negotiate the TAP. And the EU was able to withstand the US pressure.
- Perhaps the US will try to sell some of those boeing 737 MAx planes to the british for a cheap price.

Posted by: Willy2 | Jan 31 2020 20:50 utc | 38

I think Diane Johnstone's piece sums it up the best:

UK Came & Went, Leaving Europe in a Mess

30 January 2020 — Consortium News
As Great Britain returns to the uncertainties of the open sea, it leaves behind a European Union that is bureaucratically governed to serve the interests of financial capital, writes Diana Johnstone


From the start, the question of British membership appeared as a thorn in the side of European unity. Initially, London was opposed to the Common Market. In 1958, Prime Minister Harold MacMillan assailed it as “the Continental Blockade” (alluding to Napoleon’s 1806 European policy) and said England would not stand for it. But as the project seemed to take shape, London sought accommodation.

De Gaulle warned from the start that Great Britain didn’t belong in a unified Europe, geographically, economically or above all psychologically.

Posted by: Barovsky | Jan 31 2020 20:57 utc | 39

Random points and counterpoints:

· Harbors, existing seriously big harbors in England already in use for freight dispersal to Europe (from giant ships to smaller ships) and that's not going to change in a few years because they take a long time to build and involve a lot of investment. The EU will freak with no deal, it's going to cost them not to be nice.

· Factories, big factories exporting food made from South American produce into the EU. The EU doesn't want silly amounts of food any more? Okay, the Chinese renting the productive parts of Ukraine not all that far away will be very interested. For the EU it's going to take time and a lot of money to reproduce such factories in the EU and unless the popular brands are willing to license duplicate factories it will be generic only.

· Wheat, wheat, and more wheat, the crop England is perfect for and produces large amounts of. The EU don't want it? Okay they can go to Russia after dropping all sanctions (finally!) while Britain will find buyers just about everywhere else (the Near East will love it! No excuse not to buy all they want).

· Immigration? Maybe more, maybe less, but likely in different forms as the Commonwealth regains more importance to Britain.

· Fishing or aquaculture is close to potentially make another leap with open sea farming, the Norwegians and the Chinese (neither in the EU) are already building these hefty structures together and testing them. The economic impact will be larger than coastal aquaculture/salmon farms and lessen the coastal or littoral pressure a lot (including making coastal salmon farms rarer) to the benefit and improved health of aquatic life in general. Spain and Portugal as well as Britain and Ireland won't be so worried about needing any additional fishing rights "somewhere" when this becomes normal and all have plenty enough of sea.

· Britain is "only" two countries away from China, granted one is a very long one with lots of nasty weather and the other is the world's geographically largest country but they're still only two. Britain can make nice with Russia (overdue in my opinion) and use their northern sea route to China. Of course so can the EU too. Back to better times when people more openly loved Russia both in Britain and elsewhere.

· US chlorinated frankenfood is a very hard sell in Britain and Europe in general, so much so that it might possibly be given as a trading "concession" because it will fail anyway.

· Any fiddling with the NHS making it worse is political suicide. Maybe the Tories are that dumb but if so it's a self-solving problem.

· Scottish independence from who or what? Let's say they leave the UK, now who are they going to tease, chide, and gently threaten for sport? Belgium? Okay, that's gong to feel very weird, too weird for me :P

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jan 31 2020 21:16 utc | 40

Moon, don't miss the point: The UK is an ancient, completely shafted tax dodge.

Posted by: Ben McDonnell | Jan 31 2020 21:43 utc | 41

It would appear the UK's jumping from the frying pan into the fire. This new interview given by Dr. Hudson to German media doesn't specifically deal with Brexit but does go into detail about the EU--the frying pan. Just because the UK escapes the EU doesn't mean its escaped the policies of either as Hudson describes:

"The bank models predict that Germany’s population must fall, living standards must fall by 20 or 30 percent and your lifespans must shorten, your suicide rates must go up and your skilled labor must emigrate in order for your real estate market to provide the revenue to the keep banking system solvent as private-sector debt increases at today’s rates. That will make your banking system look like the American and British banking system, where eighty percent of bank credit goes into real estate. It’s a circular flow, pushing up the price of housing, causing an umbrella for rents to go up. Germany will end up looking like Greece. That is the “business as usual” economic plan. Your economic leaders of all your parties except the Linke want Germany to end up looking like Greece.. They say that that’s progress, but it’s only progress for the banking class. This is the implicit war, which somehow is not being discussed in Germany."

IMO, Thatcherism was imposed on the EU, which is why the situation's bad whether in or out. The only promise for something better was with Labour, but that was mucked-up massively. The only way forward is for the Union to expire with Britons revolting in the end to try and regain what they once had before ingesting Neoliberal snake oil.

Yes, few will like the cake as it will lack sugar, be dry and rapidly crumble into dust.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 31 2020 21:51 utc | 42

Copyright is the legal right that allows an artist to protect how their original work is used.
the link says copyright is artist protection, but what it does not say is that the protection comes at the
cost of everyone else in the governed society. monopoly powers created by law, to protect not the
inventor or software writers, but the companies and private investors who make their bread and butter buying and
sell Monopoly power in inventions that come from the human mind. Remember if the school system did not
teach language, reading and writing and arithmetic, there would be no market for books, software, and the like
because the market is created by public funds, the inventors of the mind are public; governments should not be
empowered to make monopolies in ownership for these inventions.
These monopolies include software and all kinds of mathematical algorithms and things everyone needs
to do their jobs. A very large part of inventions are job related. I hire joe to do a job, joe makes the job a little
more efficient, and his company gets a patent on that efficiency so no other company can use it, the entire
economy is impacted negatively, but joe's company gets richere.

The essence of databases of information awae software to analyse and use the DBs is protected as they
call it by rule of law. From thin air, the power of government is imposed on the use of the invention
and that power of government is transferred to a few to make them richer.

The essence of the global unfairness 92 % of the wealth in just 12 people in the world.. is embodied in copyright and patent law.
The monopolies are extractions from the public as I explained a few days ago. Maybe UK will decide not to implement any
copyright or patent law.. That would make most people in England equivalent . in wealth.

Uk can grow massively strong as an independent if it does not impose copyright and patent law against its people.
what an opportunity It’s just my nature,” says the scorpion <=to use the rule of copyright and patent to screw you..

thanks for the like TJ @ 3

Posted by: snake | Jan 31 2020 22:12 utc | 43

karlof1 | Jan 31 2020 21:51 utc | 43

IMO, Thatcherism was imposed on the EU, which is why the situation's bad whether in or out. The only promise for something better was with Labour, but that was mucked-up massively. The only way forward is for the Union to expire with Britons revolting in the end to try and regain what they once had before ingesting Neoliberal snake oil.

Read the Johnstone piece. The EU was a neoliberal project from the getgo. It was about monopolies and containing the USSR.

Posted by: Barovsky | Jan 31 2020 22:12 utc | 44

Happy Brexit day! This is an important step in the right direction, even if there is much more to do. I hope this is just the beginning of the inevitable dismantling of the anti-democratic "EU".

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 31 2020 22:13 utc | 45


'Copyright is the legal right that allows an artist to protect how their original work is used.'

No it's not, it defines what the right to copy consists of, eg, all, some or none. Copyright is no longer about individual ownership, it's about corporations and intellectual property rights. So copyright no longer protects individual creators but corporations, not even publishers, just corporations.

Posted by: Barovsky | Jan 31 2020 22:17 utc | 46

A few countervailing points:

1. 50% of UK exports do not go to the EU. The "Rotterdam Effect" - whereby UK goods transported to the rest of the world go via Europe's largest container port and are counted in Eurostat land as exports to the EU.

2. The net balances of trade is massively in favour of the EU - ie the EU exports much more to the UK than vice versa. Thus its the EU which desperately needs a trade deal. With Germany a blink away from recession the last thing they need is tariffs on Mercedes, Audi, VW etc..

3. Don't underestimate the value of old Commonwealth (Australia, NZ etc) ties

4. The sole ECB guarantor, in reality, is now Germany. When the Euro banks go tits up it will be devastating for Germany.

5. The UK is a major financial hub, and will not be replaced by Frankfurt or Paris.

6. The UK could very easily do a Singapore by slashing business taxes and becoming the gateway to Europe.

7. The world does not end when the transition period ends with no deal. See 1 & 2 above. WTO trade terms then apply. Its how the rest of the world trades with the EU, and I don't see the likes of China or the US complaining.

I could go on. But the over-riding factor is that the UK gets back its sovereignty, and at last a democratic vote has been respected, albeit belatedly. This will have many positive effects for the UK. Oh, and the UK won't be the last to leave the EU.

Posted by: cdvision | Jan 31 2020 22:38 utc | 47

I regularly read Paul Craig Roberts, Dmitri Orlov, and Gerald Celente, and others who agree totally on one thing. Which thing is -- that the entire Western economy, encompassing The US, Europe, The UK, Japan, et al. is definitely going to totally crash. Their only questions are about when, and how quickly this will come about. So.

If you look at things this way, this Brexit thing will soon begin to not amount to so very much. People living in tents in the woods probably do not spend a lot of time discussing the color of the tents, I would imagine.

Posted by: blues | Jan 31 2020 22:50 utc | 48

I'm endlessly amused by the Brexiteers' enormous stupidity, and I'm really looking forward to the misery that this will bring unto them. But hey, England has always been the place where things went wrong so why not another round of this?

Posted by: Emil | Jan 31 2020 22:59 utc | 49

Hello Everyone, Hello b

I think b that you got it all wrong. The European Union has no advantage whatsoever since it's institution are flawed. Just like Occupation put it "The structure of its financial system and capital flows is not equitable, sustainable or resilient". We saw that very fact unfold with the Greek crisis where the European union institutions and member states and countries refused to support Greece in any way whatsoever (Germany, mainly.). Greece is almost a third world country now to where the government has shortage of drugs and is selling some of his major islands to billionaire like Warren Buffet.Add to that the rise of anti European, German and globalist sentiments coupled with like minded terrorist groups such as the Popular fighter Group and the revolutionary Struggle since the 2008 crisis and we have pretty much a country in decay , very unstable and about to implode. I could go on and on adding the so call PIGS country economic and social state therein it wouldn't make a difference.There is unity in European union but in name only.
Furthermore the European Union while not being democratic (since its parliament has not the power and freedom to introduce bills of law and the European commissioners can put any law they deem so necessary into effect without parliament consent ) has however a tremendous amount of legal power ,when it comes to societal changes and free trade, that can overrule any member states and countries judicial systems (Let's Think of the introduction of GMO products and destructive and unhealthy agriculture in spite of states and people opposing them). This may very well be one of the reasons why England and part of its ruling elite are keen to get out of the European Union.

Lets be in honesty and speak truth here,countries and member states of the European Union are ancient countries b, some having more than a thousand year history. Even if they truly wanted to make an efficient European union, their differences, different interests and mostly languages, cultural, practical and natural organizations of society inherited from years past make the European union way too hard to achieve . Such a dream will take at least a couple of centuries to happen if it ever does and will require unprecedented sacrifices and a denying of people long established habits, behaviors, and so on only history can overcome.You, b, better than anyone knows how politic even with great vision must be based on practical means and understanding of realities or else its result can be catastrophic. That isn't the path undertook by the European union.

Talking of economy, I wholeheartedly disagree with your statement on England weaknesses after the Brexit.
First, it will be easier for great Britain to protect its main industries and tax big corporations such as the GAFAM and the FANG.
Second, Britain is a very well educated and able country and there is nothing she cannot mostly (or at least partially) do and achieve on her own in the possibility that she lacks significant imports from other European countries. If anything,the refusal from other European countries of importing some products via trade deals will boost inner production and force Britain to re-industrialize segments of its economy which is very good for employment and salaries. Britain may take a few years to recover but in the end she will come out of the European union stronger and richer than she was in it.
Finally lets not fool ourselves England will certainly increased ties with the commonwealth, the united states and china without major issues. Africa as a whole is not far behind and I doubt France will ever stop selling cheese and wine to England and Germany stop selling Cars and machine tools to it.

Posted by: lebretteurfredonnant | Jan 31 2020 23:11 utc | 50

@ Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jan 31 2020 19:57 utc | 26

No. Nation-States are not born from cultural isolation: economic development develops culture, not the inverse. The problem with the "cultural genesis" hypothesis is that it is completely arbitrary: you could come up with an infinite combination of nation-States at every time, at any stage. It is a hypothesis that explains everything without explaining anything. It is, therefore, a scientifically useless hypothesis at best; a logical fallacy at worst.

My observation about the development of the productive forces come from the objective reality. It is the most scientifically precise description of human societal development in a historical frame. This is not an opinion of mine: it's a fact. So, let's not waste time with this anymore, as it would only bother the people who visit this blog.


@ Posted by: cdvision | Jan 31 2020 22:38 utc | 48

1. Maybe. But, as you state at #5, the UK is basically a rentier economy, so the battle won't be won by the UK in the exports front.

2. This could be because the UK's productive sector is weak, not that the EU's productive sector is strong. Besides, we live in a capitalist world, where there are not one, but two balances: trade and capitals. The UK has a massive surplus in the capitals balance - massive enough to cut by 7% its entire deficit per year.

3. Well then...

4. True.

5. True. But it will lose its Euro swap services monopoly - not enough to break the bank, but a minus nevertheless.

6. You know you're desperate when you begin to resort to fucking Singapore to try to search from some light at the end of the tunnel. First of all: Singapore is tiny. Very tiny. Actually, it is a city. Second, the UK's tax rates are already very low, and it already controls the main tax havens, so there isn't much to lower anymore. Third: as mentioned here in my first comment, the UK already had more than 750 bilateral free trade agreements with the rest of the world; the UK was already "free" while it was in the EU. True, it won't be the total collapse the Remainers have been touting - but it won't be that boom the Brexiter are preaching too. Basically nothing will change in the UK in terms of trade agreements. Fourth: did I mention you're literally comparing a nation-State of 70 million people to a city-state?

7. True. Europe simply isn't that relevant anymore.

But the most funny thing I find about this Brexit debate is how amplified it is: Remainers think the world will end; Brexiters think the Empire will come back. People, Brexit only makes things go as they were before. Did the world end when the WTO ruled trade? No. Did the UK become a superpower again when Thatcher rose to power? No. Was the UK a superpower before the EEC and after WWI? No.

So, in other words, almost nothing will change. UK will strike some Norway-type deal with the rest of the EU (is Norway collapsed? No.), it will probably renegotiate its already existing trade deal with the USA - under unfavorable terms, for sure, since the USA is infinitely richer and stronger than the UK - and the other one gazillion bilateral deals it already had before will continue to exist.

The only notable thing I find about Brexit is its symbolism: it represents the inexorable fall of Europe as a significant world player. In its history, Europe only became a world player on two short lived occasions: when the Roman Empire was at its apex (the "High Empire", from Augustus to Marcus Aurelius) and when the British Empire led a coalition of second-rate empires essentially at the 19th Century (i.e. when capitalism became global). That's only 350 years in more than 12,000 of human civilization history. During the rest of it, Europe not only wasn't a world player, but it was probably one of the most peripheral and poor regions of the planet.

It should bo back to its place.

Posted by: vk | Jan 31 2020 23:19 utc | 51

I think MA outlook for Britan is too shadowed in sorrow. Britain strength in fishing waters and import of germany cars are too underestimated. Britain with there connection to former colonial countries make them sustainable. In the end germany will bend down to any toll on cars. Britain has the upper card. Meanwhile the whole french spanish portuguise fishing industry can wish they where british.
Still you wounder, the Illuminati outpost recommended brexit, what are they planning? Hope it's a struggle between Illuminati and not a plan to extinguish common people. Eu will fall like Rom, but the timeline is quit quick. Farage the city of london citizen talking to the people convinced to leave eu what can be wrong? The world is no democracy and you can just observe Illuminati decisions.

Posted by: Sveno | Jan 31 2020 23:21 utc | 52

@ 49 blues... it can be a long wait in the meantime....

@ 43 karlof1 quote from michael hudson on germany sounds like canada and a lot of other neoliberalized places.. - "That will make your banking system look like the American and British banking system, where eighty percent of bank credit goes into real estate. It’s a circular flow, pushing up the price of housing, causing an umbrella for rents to go up."

Posted by: james | Jan 31 2020 23:22 utc | 53

My position still is that the primary goal of Brexit is to keep the City of London Corp and all those UK associated offshore havens away from prying eyes. Mission Accomplished!

The Central Bank for the EU, the ECB, is meant to be a more public focused system but it has been compromised by the global private finance system, part of which is the UK/City of London Corp. Will Brexit really change the relationship of the ECB and the City of London Corp.? Too soon to tell.

If the ECB were to evolve more toward a MMT and public banking structure, they could probably learn a lot from what China has done and continues to do in this area....they have banned usury!

The civilization war continues. It is like a chess game where the pieces can change their color over time. We are transitioning from an almost all one color board into one with pieces that are evolving their color.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 31 2020 23:36 utc | 54

We should not underestimate the importance of today from the viewpoint of sovereignty and democracy.

The principal of sovereignty must apply both to the countries we here defend as the targets of the Empire, and even to the Chief Poodle of the US Empire itself, the UK. It is of course unlikely, but if Britain is to be free of Brussels it should be free of Washington too. Hard to imagine when the CIA and MI6 seem to be the same thing.

One of the reasons I voted Leave was to remove the toxic Chief Poodle influence of Britain from Europe. If the EU becomes less Russophobic with MI6 removed, then this is a win for Brexit.

The democracy thing is huge though. Here we have had for three and a half years almost the whole coalition of forces who constitute the ruling-class narrative control (minus a few Tories) demonise Brexit and portray Leavers as knuckle-dragging racist xenophobe chauvinist nazi fascist bigoted hateful morons who were duped by a gross rather than net figure on the side of a bus.

Despite this Leavers have quietly, peacefully and patiently voted in three elections since the referendum with outcomes favouring Leave. In the 2017 GE both Tory and Labour promised to respect the referendum and Labour did well. The Lib Dems ran on reversing Brexit and got nothing. In the EU Parliament elections (there are no elections for the EU commission - now there's a thing) the Brexit Party basically smashed it and won most of the seats. Then in the 2019 GE Labour was forced by the Blairites (and probably not opposed by the Corbynistas who are also pro-Eu, contrary to their guru's long-held Tony Bennite Left Euro Scepticism) to campaign on a rejection of the referendum, and the so-called Red Wall of sold, traditional Labour working-class constituencies voted Tory because Labour had betrayed them.

And so, after FOUR polls, and the majority of the elites trying to crush the popular will, finally The Thing is done - at least symbolically - there is more to come.

The future is uncertain, but tonight this is a victory for democracy, and a blow for the elites who instructed the proles to Remain. The proles refused.

Posted by: Ash Naz | Jan 31 2020 23:51 utc | 55

Taking the long view, this is the Empire's white dwarf moment before collapsing into a black hole—a brief attempt at recapturing a lost identity, then... pfft, like a damp squib on cracker night. A victory for misplaced, parochial, insular, narrow-minded and self-important nationalism. The UK is like that friend we all have with narcissistic personality disorder—a toxic relationship we're relieved to see lapse out of contact, but which gives us chills when we recall it. And this is just an Australian's perspective. I can only imagine what the French think.

Posted by: Patroklos | Jan 31 2020 23:53 utc | 56

The englanders refused to accept that the primary issue was never about brexit stay or go, but what philosophy would underpin england for the next decades.
The picked the mean, racist, classist & regionalist (only the south east matters) Tory Party so it won't be pretty. Yep the tories won seats in the working class areas of the midlands & further north in addition to the seats in the bourgeois areas up there they already held and yep Johnson did make noises about spending up large up there. However since the remainers in the south east didn't desert the tories, I doubt much will be diverted outside the south east, represented by long-standing MP's who don't 'talk funny' ie have a regional accent unlike the new largely inexperienced northern representatives.
It was M Thatcher who introduced the heroin addict traineeships for miners & factory workers in place of their jobs and I do not see the lobbyists who have worked so hard to ensure that the financialisation of everything industry grew to be the major component of the englander economy, countenancing anything more than token funds being diverted from them, not least because that industry is going to take a major hit.
There is no way the EU is going to agree to england's banks & finance corps getting anything like the same deal england had in the EU which means that the tax avoidance rorts are going to be harder to implement whilst being more transparent to regulators.

Already stockbrokers, accountancy firms and a couple of the bigger banks are checking out the weather in frankfurt now.
If the EU's shift to 137 governments international tax rules for tech giants idea remains as minimal & toothless as it appears to be, most corporate CFO's are going to see the notion of doing business in another jurisdiction & another currency expensive & pointless, when the job can be done easier within the EU.

I'm sure that those banksters who cannot or will not shift their operations outta London have some big strategy for persuading the EU to give way and treat the City as if it is still in the EU, but that price will be high for all other englander industries, leaving Jo/Joe Blow and the rest of the 99% in worse crap than they were before.

Posted by: A User | Feb 1 2020 0:00 utc | 57


'We should not underestimate the importance of today from the viewpoint of sovereignty and democracy.'

Democracy? Are you kidding! There's absolutely NOTHING democratic about the UK. The system is fixed in favour of the two parties and always has been and for well over 100 years. And now it's totally broken, the Brexit farce proved that effectively, policy is now decided by the BBC and the corporate pres.

Posted by: Barovsky | Feb 1 2020 0:08 utc | 58


" Brexit farce proved that effectively, policy is now decided by the BBC and the corporate press."

The same BBC and majority of corporate press who have worked against Brexit since the referendum?

In the run-up to the referendum the BBC's flagship debate prgramme Newsnight had twice as many Remainers as Leavers on the panel and all four 'serious' newspapers editorialised for Remain.

Posted by: Ash Naz | Feb 1 2020 0:16 utc | 59

The last sentence does not follow from anything the author has written before that. Quite a bizarre pro-EU perspective, reminiscent of Macron, perhaps.

Posted by: Tony Lawless

Glad somebody said it... just a bizarre article B .. What's motivating you?

Posted by: Augold | Feb 1 2020 0:17 utc | 60

Martin Jay disagrees with the conclusions of this article and believes GB has the advantage.

Posted by: SteveK9 | Feb 1 2020 0:20 utc | 61

@56 Ash

Great post. Thank you. I think you nailed it.


Wrt "ripping the band-aid off," when people here clamor for the U.S. to take a fall, which is indeed what we need as a country, do I as an American think it will be painless? Hell, no. But I do desire it and find it necessary. Just as Russia had to go through the dredges of its neoliberal looting after the fall of the USER, can we all agree that Russia made it out the other side, and for the better? I think we can.

If I was an Englishman, I would be acknowledging the pain to come, as a surgeon has to wound in order to heal.

@55 Psycho

If that was the case and the Bigwigs in London wanted Brexit, then why was it that everyone and their mother IN London voted remain while the rural, "less-financialized" sector outside London voted leave?

There is an incongruity in what you posit, I would think.


Furthermore, does the continued existence of the EU signal that London will not be able to reclaim its tax-haven, financialized rot that if was perhaps once known for? In other words, why does big money need London, when the EU will suffice for all their clandestine money-moving? Brussels is the least regulated and least transparent place in all of Europe one would think. Far more so than London could ever be again.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Feb 1 2020 0:41 utc | 62

"b" - we're sitting here with a dram to celebrate and I thought I'd check out your assessment on Brexit. Looked about right to me - very realistic.

I don't buy the meme "It'll damage the UK seven times more than the EU if the UK doesn't play ball". Both economies are fragile and there are no winners in a suicide pact.

For that reason I supported a leaving plan called "Flexcit", devised by the UK Brexit authority, Richard North. He also runs a blog called eureferendum - called that for the moment anyway - in which the technical side of the affair is examined. I followed that as closely as I could and am convinced that a gradual and non-disruptive disengagement would be best. May not happen. Probably won't.

I see you give Brussels a pasting in your assessment. Charitably, you do not go into the absolute shambles we in the UK have made of the thing. I have no great opinion of the negotiators on either side. Probably "No Deal" would now be best.

"Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully", said Dr Johnson, and if those negotiators, both sides, were forced to it they'd soon sort out some sort of transitional fudge that wouldn't disrupt things too much. My view.

I do hope that the practice of referring to the EU as "Europe" doesn't catch on. My Europe, which I value greatly, is not a political construct. It's my homeland.

Posted by: English Outsider | Feb 1 2020 0:42 utc | 63

Wow, a lot of nastiness from the ‘globalists’. Maybe the Brits don’t want to live in a country where no one remembers who Alfred the Great, William the Conqueror, Henry II, Edward I, Newton, Maxwell, ... etc. were. That might now Adele, but maybe even that will be too ‘English’. For that matter I wound’t want to think of an Italy where the average ‘citizen’ can’t tell you Galileo was, or ... well you get the point. Hurray for the English nation.

Posted by: SteveK9 | Feb 1 2020 1:02 utc | 64

Whoops, sorry for the typos...

Posted by: SteveK9 | Feb 1 2020 1:03 utc | 65

@ Posted by: Ash Naz | Jan 31 2020 23:51 utc | 56

The irony of your comment is that it is a correct analysis... from the point of view of the USA.

For the USA, the dissolution of the EU is a geopolitical disaster. Notwithstanding the fact the Americans are seeing their vassals bicker against each other and thus weakening its iron curtain against China-Russia, they are now facing the threat of crazy nationalists like Boris Johnson, whose main quality is behaving randomly by international relations' standards. Just see yesterday's news: Johnson surprisingly didn't block Huawei outright, instead choosing a middle of the way solution so as to use it as leverage against the USA in the soon-to-be new free trade agreement negotiations. Surely, Johnson will end up doing the American biding, and Huawei will end up being banned - but this is definitely not the 1950s anymore, when a POTUS could topple a British PM by just sneezing.

This is also ironic because the Westerners lost so much time and resources in propaganda warfare and hybrid warfare trying to balkanize Russia and China - only to forget their own backyard. They ended up losing the UK - which may lose Scotland and Northern Ireland. They will also have to face balkanizing movements in Catalonia, Valonia, Bavaria and Northern Italy.

Posted by: vk | Feb 1 2020 1:09 utc | 66

Sunny @ 41

Thanks for this good rundown, and I hope you are right that these assets can be developed for the good of the UK and its people.

Something else that I think deserves a mention is the European Marine Energy Centre, in the Orkneys.

OK, it is in Scotland.

It is a "real world" lab to test technology for different types of ocean-derived alternative energy, a fascinating subject. One of which many alt-energy mavens are oblivious.
Scotland especially has oodles of potentially tappable ocean energy with the waves that hit her shores and the incredible tides that race back and forth between the islands, from the Atlantic to the North Sea and back again."
"The UK government estimates that wave and tidal energy have the potential to supply 20 percent of the country’s electricity needs."

Britain isn't the only country to have vast ocean energy potential, but it has the scientific infrastructure at the EMEC and the track record of already producing viable prototypes.

Posted by: Really?? | Feb 1 2020 1:21 utc | 67

Splitting the artificially created results of empires long fallen into individual culturally distinct units has nothing to with 'balkanising' especially when those units will still be joined by the over-arching support of the EU.
b is correct tho that the tendency of politicians pretending to be technocrats to centralise in order to build a trade-able power base must be halted. otherwise the national devolution movements become superseded by a Brussels top down pyramid management structure where citizens are too removed from decision makers and the decision makers are too removed from the results of their decisions.
Just about no one in europe wants to live in under the same anti-human undemocratic fiefdom as amerikans already do, yet that will be the result if the concentration of decision making in Brussels isn't wound back.

Posted by: A User | Feb 1 2020 1:47 utc | 68

@ 56 ash naz quote "The future is uncertain, but tonight this is a victory for democracy, and a blow for the elites who instructed the proles to Remain. The proles refused."

that sounds pretty rich to me ash naz... generally it's been my observation is the little guy gets screwed either way.. i would like to be optimistic that this isn't the case, but history isn't convincing... and the uk has never been much for democracy as i see it - more like imperialism and after that has cracked significantly - a type of joining of forces with the usa imperialist role has been adopted for the most part.. there is never any war that the usa wants that the uk is only too happy to rubber stamp immediately... surely you don't think of that as democratic... they had a vote and it was fairly evenly divided.. brexit has been and continues to be quite divisive as i see it - reflected in your comment next to barovsky as an example here at moa..

but this idea that it is a blow to the elites, while it sounds very positive, it was my impression the city was very much in favour of brexit.. what is the city if it isn't the home of the elites??

for what seems like a long time to me, the euro currency has been a punching bag for the financial elites.. they created it as some type of trojan horse to take it down at the convenient time.. this seems to be part of the take down.. so, i also tend to share psychohistorians viewpoint as contrasted by nemesis calling with regard to the set up here.. i really believe we are in one gigantic financial bubble - a grand ponzi scheme if you will - and i suppose it is a coin toss who is going to be standing with the bubble bursts.. this more then anything - finances - seems to be driving everything today including whether to stay or not in the european union.. all in all it is quite divisive with no end in sight... scotland and ireland also have a say which hasn't been properly heard just yet as i understand it... bozo the clown has said scotland can't separate, or something to that effect... that doesn't sound all that democratic to me either, but then boris has never struck me as anything more then a completely fool... he is very much the uk's equivalent to trump, although maybe not quite as bad...

Posted by: james | Feb 1 2020 3:09 utc | 69

The most encouraging aspect of the BREXIT SNAFU is that it confirms the suspicions/ wishful thinking of many observers that fissures are appearing in the fabric which unites the Masters Of The Universe/ the 1%.
With China's Belt & Road Initiative gaining momentum, the weaponisation of the USD, and many countries looking East, it won't be difficult to cook up wedge issues to further erode the "unity" of the EU.
When the recession starts biting and politicians begin prattling about "Austerity" (for the 99%) it'll be time to instigate a thorough investigation into the Tax Haven Network, and a vigorous debate about how and why they should be closed down, the assets therein redistributed in a Fair & Balanced way, and the perps imprisoned or executed for Tax Evasion, Greed and Perjury.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 1 2020 3:13 utc | 70

ZeroHedge banned from Twitter after BuzzFeed accuses it of coronavirus conspiracy and ‘doxxing’ a Chinese scientists. The Washington Post is the Democrat/Cia paper while zerohedge does the work for the Republican/Cia.
Don't worry they'll be getting their twitter back real soon.

Posted by: Nick | Feb 1 2020 3:26 utc | 71

When Sir Billy Mackie Snedden, KCMG, QC and high profile senior member of the Liberal party croaked in 1987, aged 61 his offspring fought an unseemly public legal battle over the funds in his Swiss Bank Account.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 1 2020 3:32 utc | 72

Nigel Farage's final speech in Brussels is really something to behold.

Seek it out on YouTube. Hilarious and optimistic.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Feb 1 2020 4:22 utc | 73

No surprise at all naysaying Brexit, on this site.

Britain just untied its hands from Big Mommy and Big Daddy.

Never should have joined up into that Globalist Crap enterprise.

Good for Britain.

Let the rest of them suck .
Europe is soon going down anyway. Maybe Britain will survive now.

Posted by: Joey | Feb 1 2020 4:31 utc | 74

Can someone tell fake news purveyor b who continue to deny there were casualties at the US base in Iraq, casualties have risen to 64? He banned me for telling him he's a mouthpiece to Pentagon/Langley.

Posted by: Panopticon | Feb 1 2020 5:13 utc | 75

Thank you for posting, Ash Naz @ 60. Your post @ 56 is heartfelt and that resonates with me. I honor the vision and tenacity of the Brits as I do those in the US who resist elite propaganda in the hope of restoring democracy to this nation. We know whereof you speak.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 1 2020 5:33 utc | 76

Posted by: SteveK9 | Feb 1 2020 1:02 utc | 65

"Hurray for the English nation."

Indigenous populations around the world might think differently. It's easy to trot out a couple of select culture heroes to serve as the alibi for the horrors that emanated from that damp cold miserable island. The Europeans will be grateful for the Channel. Maybe the French will build a wall. All that remains to do is AusExit—where we grow up and terminate our Oedipal fixation with the motherland forever. Patronising, whinging, pommy bastards—keep your bleak hole, your watery tea and your cold chips and enjoy the dustbin of history. The Continent was always too good for you.

Posted by: Patroklos | Feb 1 2020 6:24 utc | 77

ICYMI, or were not ever told:

The island nation of Great Britain created a loose federation of 53 independent countries, calling itself the the Commonwealth of Nations.
Compare the European Union to Britain's Commonwealth Of Nations:

Land mass EU:--------1,670,000 Sq Miles (28 countries)
Land Mass C of N:-- 11,567,000 Sq Miles (53 countries)
Population EU::-------510,000,000
Population C of N:--2,328,000,000

Great Britain has excelled at long-range planning since 1500s. That covers the last 400+ years.

That planning vitally includes world surveys of all resources, dating from the Hakluyt compendia beginning late 1590s [fifteen-nineties!]to current collections via hoovering from Five-Eyes and unlimited other sensory data. [The modern "Hakluyt" companies are a throw to distract u from knowing about the early team 400 years ago.]

Not a joke.

Posted by: chu teh | Feb 1 2020 6:28 utc | 78

Might be a nudge OT -- or not . . . but I find myself wondering if it's time yet for anyone to think of singing this?

Posted by: jalp | Feb 1 2020 6:35 utc | 79

Bye bye Britain, Russia, you're welcome. That is a couple of centuries old nightmare -for the anglosaxos- come true. After all that fancy Bistro is a russian word, and it means quick¡¡¡

Posted by: Paco | Feb 1 2020 7:22 utc | 80

Driving on the wrong side, measuring with the wrong stick, and worst of all, after so many centuries and countries raped, ¡they have not learned how to cook!
See you later guys.

Posted by: Paco | Feb 1 2020 7:30 utc | 81

Posted by: chu teh | Feb 1 2020 6:28 utc | 79

I can't take that seriously. The Commonwealth long since ceased to have any meaning for the UK other than as a vestige of an expropriative empire, which has been a caricature since 1942. The elephant in the room is that the real power of the British Empire was ceded to the US around 1919 (if not earlier). If you think that the land mass of the Commonwealth represents a kind of control comparable to the EU then you need to study the last century again, this time with your glasses on.

Posted by: Patroklos | Feb 1 2020 7:35 utc | 82

No wonder banker boy Macron has been nice to Vlad lately, time to go east. Sorry Lead Zeppelin, gravity is finally working as it should.

Posted by: Paco | Feb 1 2020 7:36 utc | 83

Ash Naz #60

Right on. Thank you for all those words. If EU has any sense they will embrace Eurasia but I guess the European Commission would veto that. And then there is The Polish Problem of course.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 1 2020 7:41 utc | 84

Britain continues to defy Project Fear
Bill Mitchell - Modern Monetary Theory (Macroeconomic research, teaching and advocacy)

Posted by: c | Feb 1 2020 8:03 utc | 85

Brexit is Titanic II, not a ship but a whole island going down, as with the jerry built ship they'll make a great legend of it, a Hollywood blockbuster with Sex Pistols soundtrack.

Posted by: Paco | Feb 1 2020 8:08 utc | 86

Psst - Achooo! ahh I've still got some scotch ticklin me sinuses from chokin' over a comment about how the englanders still had the commonwealth. Somehow I doubt the person who wrote that knows jacksh1t aboit the politics of those nations which belong to the commonwealth but are not england.

Everyone moved on a long time ago. There is still considerable ill-feeling towards england from people in those sectors which were england's pre EU trading partners. Fortunately very soon after the referendum an EU delegation visited Aotearoa & Oz to letus know that all the EU deals which gave us guaranteed minimums of sales into europe would remain.
Hardly surprising when both German & French industries have been investing heavily in those sectors which have good EU quotas for decades.
The delegation went on to Africa where I'm sure similar arrangements were underwritten.

Pols in Aotearoa & Oz have been blathering about bein eager to do a post Brexit deal with england cos any other approach would get citizens wonderin why their govt was playin down potential business but even a casual examination of either nations accounts would reveal that China is the #1 business partner and apart from buyin goods england could not (eg Oz coal) China is across the board payin us top dollar for our goods.
They are buying more than the goods, they are buying a relationship and yes there are some , some hell plenty, negatives which go with that, it isn't as if england hasn't has Aotearoa & Oz pols & senior public servants in the employ of MI6 or some other englander spy operation - so what's the diff? Keep an eye on all the arseholes and steer yer own course - same as always.

Posted by: A User | Feb 1 2020 8:16 utc | 87

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jan 31 2020 19:57 utc | 26

You are right only because you believe it...but the concept of nation has nothing cultural in it.

Posted by: LuBa | Feb 1 2020 8:51 utc | 88

While the British may be giving the middle finger to the Europeans, they don't quite seem to realize that the feeling is mutual, and the Europeans are giving them the middle finger right back.

If there is one thing that these Anglo nations in general cannot stand, it is to get a deserved taste of their own medicine.

Open up; it's going down your Anglo-Saxon throat!

Posted by: ak74 | Feb 1 2020 9:27 utc | 89

But b how will it not be "Same procedure as every year"?
The englisher influence remains!

Posted by: tucenz | Feb 1 2020 11:01 utc | 90

"They will also have to face balkanizing movements in Catalonia, Valonia, Bavaria and Northern Italy.

Posted by: vk | Feb 1 2020 1:09 utc | 67"

What are your sources for balkanization of Bavaria?

Posted by: Really?? | Feb 1 2020 12:24 utc | 91

Re vk "balkanization" I assume what you actually mean is secession.

Posted by: Really?? | Feb 1 2020 12:46 utc | 92

From George Galloway, a true British patriot and one of the smarter guys on the planet?

Posted by: SteveK9 | Feb 1 2020 12:49 utc | 93

The impression I'm getting from comments here is that there are still many Europeans (in the broad sense, both EU and British) in complete denial.

Europe is in decline, not in ascension. The numbers just came out yesterday: 0.1% for the EU (with France and Italy in recession); UK's number for Q4 are still one month away, but Q3 was also pathetic.

World trade (globalization) has grown to a halt. It's all maxed out already, there are no more free trade deals to be made.

Germany is in de facto recession. Most worryingly, its industrial output is plummeting - with only its services sector keeping the whole thing afloat. And we know that's not how the German economy should work.

The UK is still a capitalist economy - free from the EU or not. It will not invest in those fabled renewable energy sources from tide, wind etc. etc. if the profit rates are not high enough. And they are not high enough. The only way, then, for those investments to happen is if energy prices spike up - very bad news for the British people (which, fair to say, could happen in or out of the EU, so this is not a Brexit question).

Many countries in Europe tried to invest in those renewable, but apart from insignificant micro-nations such as Denmark, most failed to supplant the old sources. It was reduced to a complementary source.

The only reason to think the European Peninsula can rise from the ashes is that it rose from the ashes before (post-war miracle). But the post-war miracle was a very exceptional historical period, where a lot of improbable variables aligned. It will certainly not happen again.

The European peoples should stop with their dellusions of grandeur and accept a treaty of Eurasian integration, with a subordinate status to Russia and China. You did it before with the USA in 1945, you can do it again now with Russia/China. That is unexceptional in European History, and can certainly happen again.

Posted by: vk | Feb 1 2020 13:35 utc | 94

Posted by: Patroklos | Feb 1 2020 7:35 utc | 83

The Commonwealth long since ceased to have any meaning for the UK other than as a vestige of an expropriative empire, which has been a caricature since 1942[.]
If you think that the land mass of the Commonwealth represents a kind of control comparable to the EU then you need to study the last century[.]

In that comment you have attracted Her Majesty's displeasure. Suggest a read up of the 53 Commonwealth countries' property ownership in common law - in fee simple>radical title >The Crown's underlying title in common law. Oh, add the thirteen colonies prior to the American revolution found unpalatable.

Posted by: Likklemore | Feb 1 2020 14:06 utc | 95

Fun read from George Galloway @RT. Lot's of things independent minded folk can agree with but pay particular attention to the conclusion / ending and give it a 1 to 10 reality rating.

Eloquent words of inspiration and Hopium are so nice to read in the morning.

Posted by: Bubbles | Feb 1 2020 14:09 utc | 96

@89 LuBa

No, I don't think so.

Think of the absolutely absurd straight line that separates Canada from the U.S. West of the great lakes.

Now think of that artificially imposed boundary and ask yourself, "What a stupid line, surely that line wouldn't be able to instill any cultural differences between two artificial constructs (nations)?"

(Anecdotally, I live in the Pac NW and every time I have ever crossed the border into Canada it literally feels like you are entering a retiring, European state.)

And then ask yourself how it is possible one country has a national healthcare system while the other abhors the idea. Or why the U.S. has the worst gun violence in the First World while Canada has a 1/10th of that number.

Face it, regardless of lines on a map, a national identity still gives a people the choice to galvanize and develop independently.

Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Feb 1 2020 14:30 utc | 97

Posted by: SteveK9 | Feb 1 2020 12:49 utc | 94

Apologies to Steve as I didn't see you had already posted the link to Galloway's story and should have referenced your post.

Posted by: Bubbles | Feb 1 2020 14:35 utc | 98

I think the EU is in for more trouble in the future than the UK. By the end of this decade, several central and eastern European countries economies will have grown sufficiently that their EU yearly subsidies will now become EU payments. In other words, the EU cash cow will suddenly become a cash drain for some countries. In the meantime, France and Germany will have the pick up the financial slack caused by Brexit. Put it all together and it seems to me some trouble ahead for the EU.

Posted by: Russianasset | Feb 1 2020 15:08 utc | 99

A User @ 58

I believe you have stated the underlying facts here -

"b is correct tho that the tendency of politicians pretending to be technocrats to centralise in order to build a trade-able power base must be halted. otherwise the national devolution movements become superseded by a Brussels top down pyramid management structure where citizens are too removed from decision makers and the decision makers are too removed from the results of their decisions."

That's the reason we have to leave the EU.

The next question is how.

The central fact here is that on a key point Brussels is absolutely in the right.  Frictionless access to the Single Market - what we have now - can only go with Dynamic Alignment - continuing adherence to EU regulations.  This fact was obscured during the vacillations of the May Premiership and may still be being obscured.

Me, I think the "regulatory ecosystem" that the EU has evolved is unsound.  It also goes well beyond the technical setting of standards (most of which are set outside the EU in any case) and affects matters far removed from the purely technical.  But it's what they have and it's not for us to attempt to change it.

Much of the hostility from the EU derives from the belief that as we leave we are trying to change their system, and for our own benefit.  All the fears of "Cherry picking" and the rest.  But it's not that they won't change.  They can't, not without an entire recasting of that regulatory ecosystem.  That would cause chaos if they attempted to do it.  Engrenage is their watchword, the gradual accumulation of regulation and prescription, not demolition or radical rebuilding.

In short, for the reasons you have given above, we have to leave.  When we consider the "how", we see that there is no magic solution that allows us to leave while continuing trading as if we have not left.  Out really does mean out.

So where's the problem?

We've built up a good many trade links with the 27, the EU countries.  They are vulnerable links, particularly the JIT links.  It's going to take time to run down these links and replace them with new.  We have other links as well - through the agencies - that will also take time to replace.  

Such changes could take several years.  If Brussels insists on that process happening overnight the result is serious disruption.  On the principle that the EU is so much larger the calculation is that that disruption would hurt the UK much more than the EU.  That is Brussels' bargaining counter.

Whether Brussels is using that counter for punitive reasons or whether it is using it in order to retain at least some control over the UK is irrelevant.  The threat is there, however you look at it.

Some think we should face the threat down.  I do - I think it is bluff.  Others think we should not face it down - they fear it is not bluff.  We wait to see which course the Johnson administration will adopt, not forgetting that the previous UK administration, and certainly the previous Parliament, didn't much like Brexit anyway - they wanted to stay in or close - and we're not yet sure what Johnson's position is.


(Note - engrenage as it works in practice explained here)

Posted by: English Outsider | Feb 1 2020 15:17 utc | 100

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