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Discussion > EU must be joking

Entropic man on Jun 26, 2016 at 8:50 PM
The Leavers promised that we would be better off outside the EU. To maintain the same level of public spending our block grant would need to be doubled.

Have you ever thought that you might be more prosperous because you earned it and had less taken away in taxes?

‘UK’s economy will now be stronger’ Ex-CBI chief says Brexit has opened UK up to the world

Jun 26, 2016 at 9:08 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

Robert Christopher

Northern Ireland is not in a position to take advantage of the opportunities you refer to. Our main trading partner is the Republic of Ireland and such trade will be restricted by a closed EU border.

Teresa Villiers is wrong about keeping the border open. Any migrant wanting to enter the UK would only need to enter the Republic of Island on a tourist visa and then hitch a lift to Belfast. If the. Leavers want immigration security, each major road across the border will need to look like Calais.

Note that our difficulties have already started. Consequent on the Brexit vote Ryanair has suspended plans to expand its operations from Belfast International Airport.

Jun 26, 2016 at 9:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

EM - it seems to make sense for NI to leave the UK and unite with Eire.

And for Scotland to leave the UK and remain in the EU as an independent nation.

Are either of those realistic prospects?

Jun 26, 2016 at 9:50 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

EM: "The Leavers promised that we would be better off outside the EU. To maintain the same level of public spending our block grant would need to be doubled.

That would require that £50 billion of the £350 billion saved from Brexit would need to go to Northern Ireland."

Since the UK is a net contributor to the EU, ALL of the funds NI receive come from the UK anyway.

The 350 figure is still not verified as we do not keep reliable figure of what we pay into the EU and what we receive back.

The miriad of ways monies flow, make it difficult for the civil servants to follow!

Jun 26, 2016 at 10:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Richards

Martin A

The Leave voters in Northern Ireland are the extreme DUP Unionists who regarded Brexit as building a big wall between North and South; and damn the cost!

The moderate Unionists and Nationalists voted Remain because we are heavily dependant on trade with the Republic of Ireland and aid from the EU. There are no realistic alternatives.

Gerry Adams is now asking for a border referendum and, for the first time, has a good chance of getting one. Given the choice, many moderate Unionists will choose the EU over the post-Brexit UK.

Jun 26, 2016 at 10:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

EM - so a union between NI and the Eire, remaining in the EU and leaving the UK are realistic prospects, then.

I'm currently on a trip in Eire and my impression is that the Irish are mightily unsettled by the outcome of the referendum.

Jun 26, 2016 at 10:22 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Entropic Man. It occurred to me late in the day after encouraging you to give your opinions here that, if your blogging and real identity were known, a commentary from you might not be the wisest course of action for you at this time. If friction over the EU exacerbates any existing tensions could there be a return to the "troubles"? Are you sure you would be perfectly safe to comment?

Jun 26, 2016 at 10:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan kendall

Entropic man on Jun 26, 2016 at 9:41 PM

Our main trading partner is the Republic of Ireland ...
But in the future, there will be more opportunities to exploit, especially in the growing 'Rest of the World', outside the EU.

... each major road across the border will need to look like Calais
Like the UK, Ireland isn't in the Schengen Area now, so why would it be any different in the future?

Consequent on the Brexit vote Ryanair has suspended plans to expand its operations from Belfast International Airport.
If there are more passengers than seats, I expect someone will oblige and offer more services.

The EU Referendum Act was passed with the support of the Conservatives and Labour, but the SNP opposed it:
EU referendum: MPs support plan for say on Europe

I can therefore understand why the SNP will oppose any consequences of the referendum result, but both the Tories and Labour voted for the bill. At the time, none of them said anything about WWIII, or that it would be the worst day of their lives, or that there would have to be an emergency budget to balance the books that are, in fact, very unbalanced at the moment.

Cameron ensured that the Brexit team were fragmented, with ministers forced to endure purdah until the publicly financed, and the 'mistake' ridden, Remain document was delivered to every household. And they received no help from Civil Servants, who would have some very useful information to hand as well:
Civil servants banned from helping EU out campaigners

Also, Britain’s most senior officials were permitted to “think” about a Brexit, but not allowed to write anything down. (see last page for source). A very 'Yes Minister' scenario!

That is not a very level playing field, so no wonder the Brexiters don't have the detailed information that you require.

It is normal for a political party to be elected, with a manifesto, so that the policies have an implementor attached.

This approach was abandoned by a Remainer Prime Minister, probably because the Tories' support was being damaged by UKIP. To stop the damage, and an increase in UKIP MPs and maybe even a UKIP government, who would have been held to account in parliament, Cameron chose to offer a referendum, which is why we are where we are.

It does appear that Europe has reacted very positively to our referendum result. An awareness of Demos is returning to Europe:
Italian journalist destroys anti-Brexit arguments and blasts "rubbish" EU

It might even reach Greece, where it was created, discovered, invented, or is it just first acknowledged, as far as we know?

Jun 26, 2016 at 10:48 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

Robert Christopher So I'm proven correct. You don't know the first thing about UEA, all is prejudice. You write "The UEA spent a load of our money". It didn't, CRU was essentially funded by soft money, almost all from the USA. CRU was not UEA although it is still being treated as if it were.

You wrote ..." its [UEA] work has detrimentally influenced our national energy industries". Wrong on every count. It was CRU's work, not UEA; CRU's work duplicated two USA based organisations so even without CRU the same detrimental influence would have occurred, and changes in our energy industry have also been substantially damaged by requirements to close coal power stations because they couldn't meet pollution requirements and governments' flabby response to installing new nuclear stations (again nothing to do with UEA).

You admit not knowing what happened within UEA at the time, but you have repeated written as if you did. Prejudice in, prejudice out.

Jun 26, 2016 at 11:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan kendall

Alan kendall on Jun 26, 2016 at 11:10 PM

Come on, what is this article all about then?
What has emerged this week, though, is just how much UEA paid the Outside Organisation for its services during this period. A Freedom of Information request by Graham Stringer MP (pdf) has finally forced this figure out of the university, which had tried to resist releasing it citing the commercial interests and confidentiality of the Outside Organisation. The Information Commissioner's Office indicated that it disagreed and, as a result, we now know this figure to be £112,870.71.
University of East Anglia spent £112,870 on 'climategate' PR

Jun 27, 2016 at 12:55 AM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

My earlier post explained how both the Tory and Labour parties agreed to the EU Referendum Act of Parliament, yet evidence is mounting that they won't abide by the result:
Daily Mail:
Now a plot to block Brexit: Bitter losers gang up to scupper EU pull-out 17 million voted for

David Cameron told to get out NOW to stop Remain MPs blocking Brexit

Jun 27, 2016 at 1:03 AM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

Robert Christopher. £112,870 on trying to protect UEA's good name, trying to protect a very small part of it (CRU) that was still touted by the good and mighty of the land as a significant asset, one that was worth protecting from the consequences of a "possibly criminal but certainly illegal hack". Viewed in that light, spending £112,870 was a pittance. For any other organization of comparable size, that sum would have been considered totally insufficient. Please remember I was there at the time, communicating with most of the lead actors and so am in a position to inform you about the overall mood and thinking of the University.

So you feel aggrieved that your money was wasted. How much - a fraction of a penny perhaps? Let's round it up to a full, whole 1p. Because as a former employee of UEA I feel partially responsible I will reimburse you for your loss. I won't even ask you to prove that you've been harmed. Just supply me with your bank details and my cheque will be in the post. Don't demand an apology to go with it!

Jun 27, 2016 at 6:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan kendall

I'm always playing catch-up with the comments, as I visit this site maybe once or twice a day at most, and not at all if I'm busy doing other things. So, apologies for the fact that my comments are almost always belated.

Sandy S - yes, I do think the petition is a mistake, and I also find it ironic that it was started by a leave supporter. Had the result gone the other way, I would not have signed the petition in an attempt to force a 2nd referendum.

Alan Kendall raises some very interesting points about the nature of democracy in general, and of the nature of democracy in the UK in particular, subjects I think are well worth discussing. Although I'm not a UKIP supporter, I did find it nauseating for Salmond on Question Time yesterday to lecture Paul Nuttall quite so smugly, as though the SNP somehow represent more people than UKIP. the truth is that, like it or loathe it, 3 times as many people voted for UKIP at the last election than voted for the SNP; come to that, more people voted Green than voted for the NP, but our first past the post system punished UKIP and Green supporters and gave the SNP an astonishing windfall in terms of seats gained. Not very democratic.

As for Alan K's specific point - if the petition gains more signatures than the number of people who voted to leave, (assuming it could be established that the number of signatures on it were genuine, which seems unlikely) then it would raise a dilemma. However, I don't think such informality should trump a formal democratic procedure, at least at this stage in the development of technology, and people's comfort with it. For those young people complaining about the result, I would observe that apparently 60% of under 25s couldn't be bothered to vote (though it seems they can manage to stir themselves to press a button their computer, tablet, smart 'phone or whatever). We're also told firmly as a fact that 75% of young people who could be bothered to vote, did vote remain. How do we know? I thought it was supposed to be a secret ballot?

Anyway, while it is of course the democratic right of people to petition Parliament (and I would rather they did that than riot) I am still disappointed how many people don't respect a democratic vote. I do agree, however, that our democratic system is far from perfect, and we need an intelligent debate about that. Question Time disappointed me because it never occurred to anyone on the panel to observe that so many people might have voted as they did in the referendum because our electoral system leaves them feeling effectively disenfranchised, and this was their opportunity to protest.

Jun 27, 2016 at 8:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson


I think your numbers are off. Northern Ireland receives around 5 billion from the UK directly and has received 3.5 billion over 7 years from the EU. You can check wiki and a few other sources.

The EU money is UK money redistributed through EU programs.

The province also has net exports of 200 million.

But yes the biggest customer is the Republic.

Jun 27, 2016 at 8:59 AM | Registered CommenterMicky H Corbett

Mark Hodgson & Alan Kendall

I am not suggesting either of you are involved in campaigns for or against a second referendum!

The democratic processes of the UK and EU have been serially abused and/or circumvented by the pro-EU political establishment for decades. In an open Democratic competition, they have failed to get their own way, and are screaming that it is not fair.

Jun 27, 2016 at 9:08 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Also Ireland is not Schengen so you can't get into the place without a passport or identity card, which you cannot get unless you have residency or a visa.

It is actually easier to get into the UK as a non-EU and travel south to Dublin than coming into Ireland. My wife needed a visa a while back because she's Filipina.

The real controversy is that the EU may insist on implementing the border whereas between the UK and Ireland it will be a local arrangement. Then we'll have the case of the Republic being forced to do what Brussels wants rather than what they want.

A foreign power telling them what to do. Again and after the bailout issues?

Jun 27, 2016 at 9:22 AM | Registered CommenterMicky H Corbett

There is a distinct split between the noises coming from EU leaders and leaders of EU countries. The leaders of the countries are aware that there's a lot less EU superstate support amongst the public than the EU wants there to be. They're feeling a bit of 'there but for the grace of God it could be me." They're a lot more sympathetic with delaying the Article 50 notice to allow for a leadership election and informal departure talks.

As predicted, there are a raft of schemes that were put on hold for the Brexit referendum that are now coming out into the open. eg an EU wide tax to pay for unemployment. Working people are going to love that /sarc.

Jun 27, 2016 at 9:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Alan kendall on Jun 27, 2016 at 6:12 AM
"Please remember I was there at the time, communicating with most of the lead actors and so am in a position to inform you about the overall mood and thinking of the University."


I worked with a manager who was reprimanded for 'informing' his customer when a meeting was to be held.

Jun 27, 2016 at 9:45 AM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

Martin A Jun 26, 2016 at 9:50 PM
I was talking to my brother in Scotland last night. His suggestion was that England and Wales (excluding London) should do the decent thing, Cede from the UK and leave the EU leaving the rest to get on enjoying the benefits of EU membership.

He was joking before anyone gets upset.

Jun 27, 2016 at 9:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

The more I think about it the more I have come to the conclusion that we were doomed from the outset. The EU referendum was always hopelessly entangled with the split that has bedevilled the Tory Party for decades.

The situation was that
A) the referendum was part of the Tory Manifesto, and belatedly supported by Labour.
B) the majority Conservative government had within it a majority (of cabinet ministers and MPs) supporting a Remain position.
C) Our parliamentary system insists upon joint responsibility for the Cabinet.
D) With an internal majority the government was by definition pro-EU
E) When the referendum was called the ministers supporting Leave acted against joint responsibility but were allowed to remain in Cabinet.

Thus we have a total mess. What should have happened is that pro Leave ministers should have resigned. With the pro EU rump government defeated in the referendum it would have had to call an immediate general election. We would then have a legitimate reason to delay dealing with the EU and have a new government with a proper mandate. There would be bloodbaths in parliamentary constituencies yes, but better that than our present in limbo position.

What we have now is the internal division within the Tory Party now grown to incorporate the entire country. We are adrift, rudderless with no one at the tiller.

Jun 27, 2016 at 9:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan kendall

Post the referendum as much depends on what we think not what the facts are. Many years ago I read something about someone well known, possibly Lord Mountbatten but I can't really remember who.

Story goes if I remember rightly, this person as a child doesn't want to go to bed because there are wolves (possibly tigers) that come out in the dark. Father says it's all right there are no wolves in your room. Child says "but daddy I THINK there are".

I always remember that people make decisions about voting because they think there are wolves in the bedroom, persuading that there are no wolves is very difficult.

Perhaps someone can refresh my memory about the story.

Jun 27, 2016 at 9:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Jun 26, 2016 at 9:08 PM | Robert Christopher
Possibly true but not mentioned on the side of a bus as far as I recall.

Jun 27, 2016 at 9:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Robert C. I'm just claiming first-hand experience, what do you have?

Jun 27, 2016 at 10:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan kendall

SandyS on Jun 26, 2016 at 9:58 PM
"Possibly true but not mentioned on the side of a bus as far as I recall."

I don't recall any directive that all requires all campaign material to be plastered on the side of a bus.

Jun 27, 2016 at 10:12 AM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher