The Fiasco That is Brexit - What are Your Thoughts?

Well, there are 34 days left to go until Brexit. Since the June 2016 referendum, the UK and EU have had 2-years and 9-months to iron out how Brexit will actually manifest. In that time, literally, nothing has happened.

The Brexit deal tabled by Teresa May, is essentially a joke. It does nothing but limit the movement of UK nationals on the European continent and relinquish UK power over EU decisions (which will continue to have a direct effect on the UK) while agreeing to pay $39 billion to the EU as part of a divorce settlement.

The alternative is to exit the EU with no deal. Hardline Brexit supporters prefer this option. However, there is no real logic behind such a move. Proponents like to advocate a kind of wartime Blitz “we can do it” national spirit. However, this doesn’t address logistical problems which make a no deal Brexit potentially catastrophic for the real-world, happening right now, UK economy.

To demonstrate, most UK supermarkets and retailers are served by just-in-time supply chains. New inventory is ordered as and when needed, with little inventory being held on-site. More importantly, most UK supply chains are served by EU companies or international companies based in territories with which the EU has existing trade arrangements.

At face value, it’s fine to say that in the event of a no deal Brexit, supermarkets and retailers will start stocking British made products. However, supply simply won’t meet demand. This is largely due to the fact that absolutely nothing has been done over the past 2-years and 9-months, to create the kind of UK manufacturing and distribution infrastructure required to serve closed system (UK) just-in-time supply chains.

Of course, it will still be possible to trade with the EU in the event of a no deal Brexit. However, businesses will be hit with new import and export tariffs, bank charges (as the £ will no longer be considered an EU currency), taxes, and transportation costs. (As EU and UK freight carriers will also be hit with new costs associated with doing business.)

To demonstrate how catastrophic a no deal Brexit could be, imagine you are a local florist. By and large, you import all your flowers from Holland and North Africa. Overnight. your costs of doing business will dramatically increase. You, therefore, will only be able to stay in business if you pass increased costs onto your customers. i.e. People who are already paying more for non-luxury everyday items like food and energy.

In short, a no deal Brexit effectively means sudden death to many small businesses. (However, this wouldn’t have been the case if the UK hadn’t have waited until the last minute to start preparing.)

That said, Britain could survive a no deal Brexit with significant help from the US. Moreover, I personally believe that this might have been part of the plan all along. Sadly, this is not to say that this would be in any way beneficial to UK individuals and small businesses. In fact, I see this a potential backdoor strategy to implement a UK-US version of something similar to the now defunct 2016 Trans Atlantic Trade Partnership (TTIP).

If you don’t know what the TTIP was, it basically would have opened the door to free US EU trade, with several caveats attached. Chief among these was a clause which would make local EU governments and businesses prosecutable in US courts if they threatened to undermine the profitability of US corporations. In practice, this would have meant that governments who refused to allow the likes of US GMO crops to be cultivated in Europe or specific member states, would have to pay hefty fines to the US and eventually, crops would still get cultivated anyway.

At present, EU and UK health and environmental safeguards. prevent big agricultural firms from the US pushing things like mega livestock factory farming and GMO crops on the UK and EU agricultural market. The UK NHS is also not compatible with the US healthcare system. However, current dependence on the EU for medical equipment and the provision of certain healthcare services could easily open the door for Americanization of the British healthcare system.

All in all, increased trade with the US wouldn’t save your local florist or favorite local restaurant. It would simply wait for these to go bust, before replacing these with U.S. big-brand chain stores, while implementing a host of other British industry killing Americanizations.

In short, Brexit as I see it is likely to happen in one of three ways:

  • A deal with EU is struck which does nothing but relinquish fee movement of British citizens in Europe and UK say over EU affairs, while continuing business as usual. (Hardly what anyone who voted leave voted for)
  • No deal occurs, British small businesses are wiped out, Britain enters a sustained period of economic decline, and is used as an example by the EU to deter other states from leaving the bloc. (As well as potentially encourage new states to join and existing members to relinquish more sovereignty)
  • A no deal Brexit manifests but America saves the day and the UK steadily becomes more heavily Americanized for the benefit of a few major corporations. (Absolutely not average Brits)

To make matters worse, whatever kind of Brexit manifests, Brexit will likely soon also open the door to significant social unrest in the UK. In 2014, the strongest argument against Scotland voting to become independent; rested on the fact that an independent Scotland would not immediately become a recognized member of the EU. Scotts then later voted by a landslide majority to remain in the EU during the 2016 referendum.

Things like the above matter, as In times of economic upheaval, it is always places like Scotland, Wales, Northern England, and Northern Ireland which suffer first.

At the end of the day, it’s all a big mess.

Now, by reading my interpretation of Brexit, one might assume that I am Pro-EU. However, I am absolutely not. The EU, as far as I am concerned, is a criminal organization. This can be easily evidenced by the fact that no one has signed off on the EU’s accounts for over 20-years. They can’t because billions disappear every year due to endemic corruption. Logically, this should be enough for every member who pays into the EU to withhold tax contributions and demand meaningful economic and political reform.

Sadly, facts like this never make their way into the mainstream media Brexit narrative. Neither, does any reporting or political discussion surrounding Brexit, ever address the real potential impact of Brexit on the UK or EU economy. For me, Brexit is, therefore, nothing but an example of the worst kind of political theater, stage-managed by politicians and media outlets who have gone completely AWOL as far as public accountability is concerned.

All that said, what’s your opinion?

How much time do you have? I will return to this later, as I am currently doing battle with a financial services document edit :slight_smile: For now, I would add another f-word in front of fiasco (at the very least), and I want to moan about the Gang of Idiots.

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I’m free all day. I just have cleaning the house to attend to. It would also be nice to hear what you know of how Brexit might affect Brits in Greece. Malta is issuing new ID cards for expats which will last for 10-years and mean that peoples status remains unchanged. (If they apply before 29th of March.) There is just one potential spanner in the works.

It looks like expats need to apply for the new card, and won’t get automatically upgraded or issued with one. This is a problem, as to apply, you have to apply in person at one of 2 offices which are only open for four hours a day three times a week. A lot of expats could, therefore, miss out, by not having new cards issued until after March 29th.

Like with everything on Malta, it’s a bit Catch 22.

Honestly, my assessment of Brexit is very much the same as yours, albeit with less focus on the economic side of things and more the dreadful parliamentary incompetence that has marked the sorry saga from the first moment David Cameron put together his Election 2010 campaign, through to Clegg’s betrayal of the party, to Brexit campaign (lies, corruption, and incomptence) whereupon UKIP go “er” and quit. I mean, I could just go on, but it’s just one huge and unending list of idiocy.

The Gang stuff is really just the icing on the cake. With the FPTP system still in place (thanks Clegg) it simply waters down any future votes, which means the bloody conservatives are likely to win the next election, while getting an even smaller overall vote: May must be only a few seats, if not already, in charge of a minority government - but I think Clegg also helped to solve that problem with Cameron - some law about minimum parliamentary terms. He didn’t want the LDs to get shafted, see :roll_eyes:. That’s before even going inot the fact that most Labour Gang splitters are Blairites (I expect him to crop up soon - and his children must be eyeing a proud generational legacy seat in the near future), who rather more to the point are very closely affiliated with the ongoing anti-semite row nonsense. I don’t know if you’ve watched The Lobby (UK version), but ultimately, this move is simply to kill Corbyn off. The reality of Corbyn’s policies, I believe, is that he’s not a red under the bed - but more of a German-style social democrat with green leanings. God forfend… and while I like Corbyn better than the others, he cannot be PM; his party is a shambles. Then again, doesn’t seem to affect Terry May, so perhaps party unity is a myth of governance after all.

It’s an absolute shambles - and I can all but guarantee you the revival of Begum, Letts, and other returning teenage “jihadis” is little more than a badly cooked-up secret service plot to distract the country with how nasty the foreign world is. It’s working, too - but honestly, I see nothing but a lot of chaos for Britain in the coming decades, including devolution, riots on the street, and plenty more ugliness.

All of this in full view of the public thanks to a colluding media that barely knows what journalism anymore. An absolute disgrace. That doesn’t make the EU better: it’s just as bad, if not worse - Greece is not likey to recover any time soon from its own dance with the EU, and everything of any value has been sold off to other nations and companies. If it wasn’t for the tourists…

Britain should stay. It makes no sense to inflict needles misery and chaos and millions just to appease conservative coffin-dodgers, racists, and people who were led up a fantasy garden path of independence by incompetents and liars.

What a mess - but this is only just the beginning :slight_smile:

GREEK SITUATION (for now)

Brexit could work out okay here, primarily due to the fact that Greece is way up the brown creek with a exorbitantly-priced rented paddle from the EU. As such, the rosy-cheeked, bar-and-restaurant frequenting expat who buys overpriced homes and is happy to renovate ruins are very much welcome as walking moneybags, along with quite a lot of residual “you helped us during the war, unlike those nasty Germans” (a nation, of course, according to your average Greek, which is behind the current misery of Ellas, so just reverting to type). So, news like this is not unexpected:

The ambassador has also done a great job of going around the country on a pitstop expat-soothing tour with the impossible task of trying to explain the mess that the government is creating (#1 phrase used: “we just don’t know, unfortunately”). As a result, most of us here - at least the ones I personally know - have relaxed considerably despite facing a future of unknowns. I do need to go and visit the local bureaucrats, but I’m putting it off because it’s just red tape Hades with Satan’s most disinterested handmaidens.

You know, behind all the endless headlines and dramas, it really just boils down to one thing:

Greed and abuses of power, connected to incompetence. OK, that’s 3 things. Either way, I can only hope that one day all involved will be held to account for their crimes against the people, rather than get lucrative job positions cushty places on the dinner party circuit for charidee (presumably to add a little light to their black little souls).

/rant

Yep. That’s the plan. The most egregious part of Brexit and UK politics as a whole at present, is that Joe public is less informed than ever. It’s also pretty diabolical how people like Farage, Clegg, Cameron, and likely May, get to exit the stage before facing the consequence of their actions.

The more I think about it, I see Brexit likely going the hard no deal route with Captain America coming to save the day with lots of day-go orange. This ties in nicely with Orwell’s 1984 predictions for Britain as Airstrip 1. That might seem like a reach, but he was right about immigration, mass censorship, giant flat screen TV worship, and helicopters (drones) being used to keep tabs on everyone. All he really got wrong was the timeline.

As for Brits in the EU after Brexit, I see a world of misery looming. If there is a hard Brexit, there are lots of potentially nasty caveats concerning the pound and things like the cost of transactions when using UK bank cards overseas. In the event of broader economic Brexit chaos at home, all that could create a perfect storm of woe for expats living off UK pensions abroad.

That likely wouldn’t happen instantly. However, I can see retired expats in the Med starting to have a hard time if their cost of living goes up. If that happens, expats might start to be appreciated as more of a potential burden than an asset in future years post Brexit.

Greed is definitely a driving force. The incompetence I see as planned. What would be better for everyone is some kind of new political accountability act. Right now, I think there also needs to be a new referendum where choices and their repercussions are made clear. I doubt this will happen, but I do hope that a future worst-case Brexit scenario sees those responsible held accountable.

It is worth looking to Greece for some of the potential effects; the reason Greece didn’t leave the Eurozone was simply because many people didn’t want to lose the Euro. When that was introduced, costs went up. A lot. What used to cost, let’s say 40 cents overnight became 50 cents.

That’s more on the businesses and their “canny eye” shall we say; this did put tourists off, but Greece was still cheap. Then the Athens Olympics came (do check out how the entire Olympic Stadium area looks now; it’s essentially the actual ruin, as opposed to, um, the ancient stuff which is well maintained. LOL!) However, that is another organization’s corruption and topic, so I’ll leave that there. Basically, Greece couldn’t affort it, tourist numbers weren’t what was expected – many stayed away because they didn’t want the crowds, and then it was just a amchine gun of problems.

Since then, prices have spiralled because of austerity and taxes – yet much of this tax goes to banks in Northern Europe. Pensioners freeze, sick people die, young people are emigrating en masse because there’s no future, you get the idea. You won’t see this in the tourist resorts and destination islands: people in these zones are fine. Go to the more boring “normal” parts of Greece (ugly cities with nothing of note – that kinda place) and it’s another story.

There is another story masked behind this: that Greece cooked the books to get into the EU, well aware of the benefits that it offered. Or did it? This is a pithy account of that saga from Quora (top answer). Taxes are astronomical, with no benefit to the average perso on the street: this is the work of politicians and banks colluding with each other – and the only way they could have succeeded is with a compliant media not doing its job (Greece has a slight journalism problem in that its main media sources are owned by a very small oligarchic few; not very different from the US or the UK, I suppose).

Now, this is arguably a different situation to Brexit, and I agree. The point in mentioning all of this is how little power the average person on the street has. This is true in Britain. As soon as Brexit is done, prices will magically rise. In a country where people are far less self-sufficient than Greece, that represents a very real threat to the peace. It does not take long for empty stomachs to lead to crime, discontent, riots, and worse. I’m not saying that Britain is going to turn into a third world country overnight, but it does not take much external pressure and internal corruption to crumple a nation completely in a short space of time. Sadly, that is what Britain is faced with now.

Readers will note that even in countries where chaos reigns – Syria, Venezuela, to name two current such states – there is a fantastically wealthy upper class which is unaffected by it all. The same will be true for Britain should it get that bad.

Still though, it would never happen to us, would it? It’s not like the EU would want to show other failing member states what happens when you cross it, and Britain is a fine sacrificial lamb. Can’t accuse us of being workshy tax dodgers like the Greeks, after all. We’re not foreign.

I wouldn’t like to be a pensioner though – I know a few here and they’re watching this very nervously. What was a nice nest egg has already been decimated enough, and not everyone relishes the idea of going back “home.” I think even the staunchest conservative among them is finally starting to see the light over what a prize village idiot of a prime minster we have. So, even in these dark days, a light shines through.

But it’ll probably be fine after a bit of a hairy start (to use some understatement). I just like doom and gloom predictions. One can never be disappointed if one expects the worst, after all, just pleasantly surprised that everything turned out better than expected.

And I do think that Greece and Britain have a special bond: this should only deepen it (I am SUPER 101% BIASED here, mind you).

EDIT: The Olympic 2004 venues in 2014; they are not in a better state of repair today, put it that way. I believe that some may be occupied by refugees from the Middle East and further afield, as it is the sort of space you’d dump people like that in, isn’t it?

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I agree with this. Before all of the austerity measures, Thessaloniki was a shoppers paradise, awesome prices, plus tax-free shopping, a lot of brands and stores to chose from. Now outside of the city center - and the area near the white tower the city looks deserted. A lot of empty storefronts, with no traffic at all. Another exception is the Cosmos shopping mall - which is still full of life.

My dad used to buy all of his motorcycle parts from Thessaloniki as their Suzuki store used to have all of the parts in stock. While in contrast, in Macedonia you should wait at least 2-3 weeks for the parts to be delivered. Now it’s the same thing in Greece as well. This is not limited to motorcyclist parts only, but for everything else on the market.

Nowadays, it’s not worth it to travel to Thessaloniki if your only purpose is shopping.

I find the main problem regarding the tourists is the place from where they originate. The majority of the tourists in Greece come from poorer countries (Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania…). I know what those tourists do, we don’t spend enough as our western counterparts.

When I was on a vacation near Katerini, the owner of the tour boat complained that in the past. When Germans used to be the largest portion of tourists in the area. He used to charge 20-30E for the cruise - and when Macedonians and Serbians started coming - he couldn’t charge more than 12E. He also said the same thing for his apartments, Germans used to pay around 60-80E a night, while the Balkan people pay 35-40E for the same apartment.

Of course, in your area and on the islands it is a completely different thing.

It’s also worth noting that UK food bank dependency is on the rise. Stories like the below were unheard of in 2010. Basically, because no one had needed food banks before.

Costs will rise whichever way Brexit goes. Moreover, just adding 5p here and there will push a lot of UK families over the edge. Of course, you can guarantee that black market supplies of Spice, Cannabis, Cocaine, and all other funky bad things won’t be affected by Brexit in any way. If anything, drugs might become more prevalent and the excuse of poorer collaboration between EU and UK law enforcement will be used to explain why.

In short, yes. It won’t take much to whip the hungry post-Brexit UK masses into a frenzy. Moreover, Brexit could then open up some nasty nationalist sentiments. Let’s not forget, after all, that when most Brits think of ‘immigration’ they think of immigrants from generally non-white, non-Christian countries, who are perceived as opportunist ecconomic immigrants, not starving war victims.

Basically, it wouldn’t take long for your average struggling working class Brit, to start feeling put out by the immigrant family around the corner with free housing, food vouchers, and you name it. Roll on Bradford Riots Part Deux.

Of course, I’m sure Jacob Rees Mog will save us all eventually…

You’re exactly right! In recent years, we have had more Eastern European tourists (mainly from Czech Republic and Slovakia - I think a couple of hotels signed deals with a tour company). The main grumble here is that they never go out (restaurants, bars, etc) and only go to the beach and supermarket. Not like the Western world drunken moneybag gluttons, who are a healthy boon to all sectors of the tourist economy. With that said, things are OK on the tourism front here, thanks to terror worries in other, nearby destinations. I still think overall profits are down though with people in general not being able to afford as much, various taxes, and all the other stuff.

Thessaloniki is OK. Been there a couple of times. If you want to see a really run-down part of Greece, go from Thessaloniki down to Halkidiki, but don’t go to the tourist areas, there’s some places that are ghost towns in a terrible state. I did ask, and it turned out that these were (in better times) summer homes for city residents to escape the heat. With new property taxes and everything else, it’s just one giant deteriorating For Sale sign now. It’s quite sad. Also, the homes looked like a coked-up architect from 1985 designed them, which didn’t help much.

@henryboyd, I think there will be a certain “blitz spirit” to start off with if things start off badly, but… yes. I believe that incidences of racism have seen an uptick since the referendum, but can’t really be bothered to look it up (there’s also the whole PC culture to consider as being a part of that rise, rather than just “thick people being racist”). Throw in simmering resentments from Scotland, Wales, and NI, and we’ve got a wonderful stew boiling.

You mean the royal family? Couldn’t resist that dig, but with Meghan having upped the Marie Antoinette stakes with a baby shower (no banana edition), I think there’s quite a good possibility that the royal family may find themselves in the firing line sooner or later. The metaphorical one, I mean.

It would be quite funny if Westminster politicians suddenly magically regained the ability to behave like competent statesmen the day after B-Day, but I ain’t holding my breath. Perhaps the Queen could storm Westminster and throw the bauble thing about and throw everyone in jail for treason where Philip can walk up and down being rude to them. It would keep him out of trouble and make him very popular, solving the seatbelt PR issue too.

[Prince Philip] to Lockerbie residents after plane bombing, 1993: “People say after a fire it’s water damage that’s the worst. We’re still drying out Windsor Castle.”

#savage

Well, that’s because they live far away. We Macedonians, because Halkidiki and Pieria are so close to us, we usually bring everything from home. There is the occasional trip to Lidl to buy bread and other essentials though. Personally, I don’t find Greece to be super-cheap, but it is cheaper than a lot of other places.

I know of a person, that doesn’t want to spend not even a single dime in Greece because he is a nationalist. He found a way to do that, he is camping on far-away beaches, he brings canned food from home, and etc… Plus the Bogorodica/Evzoni border crossing is always swamped, so the Greek customs officials only take your passport and stamp it, no questions asked. Meaning you can take anything you want with you.

I have seen those. A lot of ‘rich’ Macedonians that have Bulgarian citizenship (it is so easy to get one) buy property in those parts of Greece - and use it as their vacation home. Especially, in the are that you mentioned.

Hmmmmm, I see a good smuggling opportunity for e-cigarette dealers. Greece is breaking the EU import/export law wrt to personal importation of e-juice (etc) so they can pay tax - back to the EU, of course, which is why this hasn’t raised much of a murmur.

It was merely coincidental that Patastratos, the Greek subsidiary of Philip Morris donated a €2 million customs x-ray gift to the Greek government in 2016 to help this along. This then allowed Philip Morris to more confidently invest €300 million in Papastratos’ development of IQOS, which is basically a fancy cigarette rather than super-dangerous e-cigarettes, according to rather biased studies funded by… fancy that! :slight_smile:

This also murdered a lot of small Greek businesses from young entrepreneurs in the budding e-cig sector, but screw them, amrite guys! So, corruption at just about every level there I would say - and an example of how a weakened country - such as Britain, post-Brexit - can be leveraged by multinational powers and riches.

The easiest way to smuggle anything is to be a fisherman or private yacht owner. No annoying customs checks, not even any passport controls. :slight_smile: When you become successful, you just need to remember to pay some unfortunate to carry a dodgy suitcase or two through airport security. That way, you keep the whole idea alive that everything illicit gets smuggled at 30,000ft.

Whatever Brexit is or will be, I’m past the stage of caring and just want it to be done and gone.

It’s monopolized Parliament for far too long now, to the detriment of everything else in the country.

The idea of a second referendum makes me feel physically ill - the first one was bad enough. If they go through with having a second one, we can say goodbye to democracy as it would make voting on anything irrelevant in the future. Best of 5 anybody? :wink:

This is all a part of the masterplan! Drag it on for so long that normal people are fed up to the back teeth with the complete idiocy of it all that they tune out! That’s when people stop watching and not-so-nice things get slipped into legislation :wink:

Yep. See above.

You could argue that the snap general election of 2017 was a kind of referendum - one for “the country” to show whether it wanted Brexit (albeit via a FPTP system that renders a lot of votes wasted). You’ll see from the link that Labour had the largest share of the vote (per head) - despite Corbyn being smeared in the media daily.

What saved may from the embarrassment of a hung government that was a (wasted!) £1 billion bribe to the DUP, one of Northern Ireland’s more sectarian parties. Not to mention two terrorist attacks (Manchester, London Bridge) which made national security a talking issue - both of which, like Salisbury, have more than a little MOD secret fingerprint work on them. But that’s going off into conspiracy.

Then there’s the local elections - I made this at the time as I was so appalled at the reportage. I realize this might be a bit dull, but it was a very good set of results for Corbyn; many of those new Labour seats were won at the expense of C and LD areas, while many C gains were, as the Sun noted, at the expese of UKIP: this was to be expected after Farage & Co. revealed their full incompetence and duplicity:


I made this for FB shortly after results were announced…

So yeah, I reckon best of 3 with May’s “surprise” capitulation. As for democracy, I don’t believe it exists in the UK; it’s just a mirage everybody pays lip service to as it keeps the peace. The reality is that none of us have a choice - we just think we do. One excellent way to undermine democratic minds is simply to wear them down to the point of not caring.

In any case, I still reckon there’s a chance Brexit won’t happen. The key is to make it the will of the people so whatever happened, it was all their fault. That’s exactly what May’s “democratic” blahs have been about lately.

(PS: I don’t think Corbyn would be a good PM either; nobody could be, too much party chaos at the moment for "strong, stable gov’t in any of them - so hand it over to the austere Victorian gentleman in the top hat - time he got a good shoeing from everyone!).

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Well, regarding this bit of my kind of Brexit prediction:

It seems like I might be right:

Discussions like this have been going on in the background of Brexit with the US for some time.

Snippets like this are also alarming:

Mr Trump’s administration is also demanding full market access for US drug firms and a block on state institutions - such as the NHS - discriminating against American companies when purchasing goods and services.

In short, the UK looks set to replace selling out to the EU with a new deal where the country sells out to the US with a lot more strings attached…