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Warnings over Brexit from the big powers

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    (Original post by Observatory)
    This is very uncharitable.

    It is clear that what people mean by "points based system" (wait don't we have one now?) is application of data analysis methods to choose immigrants who are unlikely to commit crimes and likely to be net tax payers. There's nothing impossible about that or even particularly difficult and the establishment, though it seems to oppose it for nebulous reasons, cannot morally justify that opposition.
    I don't think the people meant that at all. I think the people conflated the Australian system for handling asylum seekers (camps on remote islands) with the Australian system for voluntary migrants (ie the points system) and added in a little bit of panacea and a little bit of grass being greener.

    We do indeed have what is called a points based system. We are on our second version of it but that is smoke and mirrors because the points serve no purpose in the system. In the UK system, we no longer say that to get a visa you must achieve English language level B2 to get a particular visa. We say you must get 40 points for English language. You get 40 points for having language level B2. You get nil points if you have B1 and you only get 40 points is you have C1. Occam Razor's would remove the reference to points.

    I am not aware that Australia uses any kind of data analysis to determine points values. As far as know they are an impressionistic governmental decision.

    The essential weaknesses with points systems are that it is the immigrant, not the government, who decides how the points requirement is met. All the government can do is set the points awarded for a particular desirable characteristic and the overall points score for getting admission.

    Governments are constrained by politics in setting the overall points score. Employers, in-laws and others with an interest in visas being awarded aren't interested in the points system. They just want the system to work so that the people they are interested in are admitted. The UK as a nation might be interested in giving visas to science PhDs but the middle class family in Maidenhead want a visa for their would-be daughter in law who is an American with a liberal arts degree and a pleasant personality and works in a bookshop. Your overall points score tends to be set to not exclude people like her.

    The problem then is that the Azerbaijani with very poor English, no cultural links to the UK, a non-working non-English speaking wife and three kids, gets enough points on the back of his PhD in physics and the £10,000 capital in his bank account.

    Of course we know of a points system for admission because UCAS runs one. I appreciate that individual universities do not set the points score for each qualification but they do so collectively by comprising the UCAS board.

    I want admission to Cambridge to read maths. I have grade 8 flute and grade 8 piano. I have A* A levels in Latin, history and English and grade A in maths. If Cambridge was a "points" rather than a "grades" university, I would be in, wouldn't I?

    Our present immigration system is a "grades" system. The government decides precisely what you need to get in. If that is B2 English language, B1 isn't good enough and if you have C1 that doesn't give you a compensating pass in some other aspect of the process.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    I don't think the people meant that at all. I think the people conflated the Australian system for handling asylum seekers (camps on remote islands) with the Australian system for voluntary migrants (ie the points system) and added in a little bit of panacea and a little bit of grass being greener.

    We do indeed have what is called a points based system. We are on our second version of it but that is smoke and mirrors because the points serve no purpose in the system. In the UK system, we no longer say that to get a visa you must achieve English language level B2 to get a particular visa. We say you must get 40 points for English language. You get 40 points for having language level B2. You get nil points if you have B1 and you only get 40 points is you have C1. Occam Razor's would remove the reference to points.

    I am not aware that Australia uses any kind of data analysis to determine points values. As far as know they are an impressionistic governmental decision.

    The essential weaknesses with points systems are that it is the immigrant, not the government, who decides how the points requirement is met. All the government can do is set the points awarded for a particular desirable characteristic and the overall points score for getting admission.

    Governments are constrained by politics in setting the overall points score. Employers, in-laws and others with an interest in visas being awarded aren't interested in the points system. They just want the system to work so that the people they are interested in are admitted. The UK as a nation might be interested in giving visas to science PhDs but the middle class family in Maidenhead want a visa for their would-be daughter in law who is an American with a liberal arts degree and a pleasant personality and works in a bookshop. Your overall points score tends to be set to not exclude people like her.

    The problem then is that the Azerbaijani with very poor English, no cultural links to the UK, a non-working non-English speaking wife and three kids, gets enough points on the back of his PhD in physics and the £10,000 capital in his bank account.

    Of course we know of a points system for admission because UCAS runs one. I appreciate that individual universities do not set the points score for each qualification but they do so collectively by comprising the UCAS board.

    I want admission to Cambridge to read maths. I have grade 8 flute and grade 8 piano. I have A* A levels in Latin, history and English and grade A in maths. If Cambridge was a "points" rather than a "grades" university, I would be in, wouldn't I?

    Our present immigration system is a "grades" system. The government decides precisely what you need to get in. If that is B2 English language, B1 isn't good enough and if you have C1 that doesn't give you a compensating pass in some other aspect of the process.
    I appreciate all of this.

    What I am saying is that when you point this out to people who support immigration restrictions their response will not be, "Oh well in that case let's have ten billion African asylum seekers.". Their response will be, "Let's come up with a different system that can achieve my goals.".

    What are those goals? I argue to select only immigrants who will observe social harmony and be net contributors to the country. You have said that there are political pressures to do otherwise. That is true, both here and in Australia. The people who have voted for Brexit to send a message on immigration are saying that they want those political pressures to be removed.

    The establishment for instance does not want to openly favour white English-speakers with English-speaking parents in immigration. The population, frankly, does. The fact that you have phrased your example in the way you have suggests that on some level you do too.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    I appreciate all of this.

    What I am saying is that when you point this out to people who support immigration restrictions their response will not be, "Oh well in that case let's have ten billion African asylum seekers.". Their response will be, "Let's come up with a different system that can achieve my goals.".

    What are those goals? I argue to select only immigrants who will observe social harmony and be net contributors to the country. You have said that there are political pressures to do otherwise. That is true, both here and in Australia. The people who have voted for Brexit to send a message on immigration are saying that they want those political pressures to be removed.

    The establishment for instance does not want to openly favour white English-speakers with English-speaking parents in immigration. The population, frankly, does. The fact that you have phrased your example in the way you have suggests that on some level you do too.
    First of all "Brexit means Brexit" but nothing more.

    The point about an election is that you can apply an artificial device to say that anyone who voted for a politician voted for every line of that politician's manifesto even though that, as a matter of fact, is untrue. With the referendum, there was a single question. Having had an answer a lot of people are saying what it "really means" which in many cases is different from the campaign they ran. There is no doubt that virtually all racists voted Brexit. It does not follow that all Brexit voters were racist, despite what certain parts of the Remain camp were arguing.

    The British are conflicted and inconsistent on immigration and that is not just a consequence of electoral arithmetic; individuals have logically inconsistent positions. The British as a whole are very committed to "fair play" and any perception of bias in our immigration system would be seen very poorly by the public.

    Phil Woolas found this when he was outflanked as immigration minister on the Gurkha issue by what amounted to the Daily Express campaigning for more immigration!

    You commented on my personal position in the previous post. In my view it is obvious that the Azerbajani (and I chose that nationality to because it had little or no cultural baggage in the UK) should not be let in and I would consider letting him in a failure of a points system.

    The American needs to be part of a debate that we are not having. Since May's cap on tier 1 "work permits" was introduced in 2010 we only hit the 20,000 or so annual cap for a few months in 2015. For the rest of those five years, the UK was under-subscribed for work permits. Yet we were letting in 300,000 plus non-EU immigrants a year. The vast majority of immigrants to this country are not coming in by the routes we are trying to heavily restrict. Likewise over 90% of asylum seekers do not claim asylum at the border. Asylum is almost entirely claimed on arrest by overstayers and illegal entrants.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    First of all "Brexit means Brexit" but nothing more.

    The point about an election is that you can apply an artificial device to say that anyone who voted for a politician voted for every line of that politician's manifesto even though that, as a matter of fact, is untrue. With the referendum, there was a single question. Having had an answer a lot of people are saying what it "really means" which in many cases is different from the campaign they ran. There is no doubt that virtually all racists voted Brexit. It does not follow that all Brexit voters were racist, despite what certain parts of the Remain camp were arguing.
    Granted, I'm also wary of conflating Brexit with immigration, not least because I voted for Brexit for reasons other than immigration.

    The American needs to be part of a debate that we are not having. Since May's cap on tier 1 "work permits" was introduced in 2010 we only hit the 20,000 or so annual cap for a few months in 2015. For the rest of those five years, the UK was under-subscribed for work permits. Yet we were letting in 300,000 plus non-EU immigrants a year. The vast majority of immigrants to this country are not coming in by the routes we are trying to heavily restrict. Likewise over 90% of asylum seekers do not claim asylum at the border. Asylum is almost entirely claimed on arrest by overstayers and illegal entrants.
    In reality almost all immigrants are economic immigrants. Proponents of the points system want economic immigrants to be selected on grounds of social and economic use. Opponents of the points system reply that most immigrants, even if they are economic immigrants, do not enter via an economic route on paper, and therefore wouldn't be be captured by this system.

    This is not an objection at all. Permitting economic immigrants to come in via non-economic routes is not an amendment to our constitution. We can simply apply the economic criteria to everyone.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    In reality almost all immigrants are economic immigrants. Proponents of the points system want economic immigrants to be selected on grounds of social and economic use. Opponents of the points system reply that most immigrants, even if they are economic immigrants, do not enter via an economic route on paper, and therefore wouldn't be be captured by this system.

    This is not an objection at all. Permitting economic immigrants to come in via non-economic routes is not an amendment to our constitution. We can simply apply the economic criteria to everyone.
    We can't simply do anything without it being on the political agenda. As the public doesn't understand the impact of non-economic immigration routes, public reaction is almost always in terms of the favourable facts of a particular case, not on immigration as a whole.

    The public at present think they can reduce big numbers by tightly restricting small sub-classes.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    But how much do you recall India being mentioned in Dickens or Bronte?


    OK, I have thought of an example! It was gnawing at me, and I have remembered.

    The Savage in Dombey. He is only a very minor character, appearing maybe a dozen times in the whole novel, and then only in passing, but typically of Dickens he is fantastically drawn and you never forget him.

    He reminds me of the Avenger in Great Expectations.

    His nationality is never mentioned, but he is "dusky" so I think he must have come from India.

    Also what about Mrs Jellyby's great colonial causes? Not India, but still the Empire.

    So there are a few mentions. But not many...
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    We can't simply do anything without it being on the political agenda. As the public doesn't understand the impact of non-economic immigration routes, public reaction is almost always in terms of the favourable facts of a particular case, not on immigration as a whole.

    The public at present think they can reduce big numbers by tightly restricting small sub-classes.
    The public doesn't know that most people are coming in by the back door and would be outraged to learn that they are.

    I agree that this is not simple and it is not really "we". This, like the death penalty, is an issue on which elite opinion has diverged so drastically from popular opinion that policy is not really being formulated democratically. The Brexit referendum is the result.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    The public doesn't know that most people are coming in by the back door and would be outraged to learn that they are.

    I agree that this is not simple and it is not really "we". This, like the death penalty, is an issue on which elite opinion has diverged so drastically from popular opinion that policy is not really being formulated democratically. The Brexit referendum is the result.
    The public is very aware of the ways in which immigrants arrive, how can they not be, given the 24/7/365 coverage of it going back years in the tabloid media, not to mention numerous TV shows?

    It isn't a question of elites-vs-the people. That is just they hype that the organised right, especially the UKIP end of it, wishes to portray. Most areas where large numbers of migrants live are stable and accepting. Highest numbers supporting anti-immigrant agendas are concentrated in traditionally Tory areas where the right wing tabloids have a high degree of penetration. It is a struggle between elites - between the lying, deceitful, very rich elite who control parties like UKIP and parts of the Tory Party and the rest. The current anti-migrant hysteria is entirely fabricated by that group, regardless of the facts.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    The public is very aware of the ways in which immigrants arrive, how can they not be, given the 24/7/365 coverage of it going back years in the tabloid media, not to mention numerous TV shows?
    Does the tabloid media give a detailed breakdown of visa types etc? People know that there are a lot of people coming, but not who or how.

    It isn't a question of elites-vs-the people. That is just they hype that the organised right, especially the UKIP end of it, wishes to portray. Most areas where large numbers of migrants live are stable and accepting. Highest numbers supporting anti-immigrant agendas are concentrated in traditionally Tory areas where the right wing tabloids have a high degree of penetration. It is a struggle between elites - between the lying, deceitful, very rich elite who control parties like UKIP and parts of the Tory Party and the rest. The current anti-migrant hysteria is entirely fabricated by that group, regardless of the facts.
    A majority of voters want immigration to be dramatically reduced. Almost no one in parliament does.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    The public doesn't know that most people are coming in by the back door and would be outraged to learn that they are.

    I agree that this is not simple and it is not really "we". This, like the death penalty, is an issue on which elite opinion has diverged so drastically from popular opinion that policy is not really being formulated democratically. The Brexit referendum is the result.
    Democracy presupposes an informed debate. Popular opinion isn't of value if it isn't informed. If it isn't informed, we call it a mob and send in hussars. Revolutionary tension occurs when one group says it is fit to participate in government and another group says it isn't.

    The public's usual cry when an outcome is not how they expected it to be is "they never told us" and of course that has long been the cry about the 1975 European referendum.

    The death penalty debate in the UK is shaped almost entirely in terms of morality, wrongful convictions and deterrent value. In a sense that is an "easy" debate. Lawyers however know that where support for the death penalty is not wholehearted, the principal effect of introducing the death penalty will be to reduce convictions. If the death penalty is reintroduced, its supporters will not accept the blame, when (not if) this occurs.

    There are a catalogue of policies; unit fines, the CSA, the Dangerous Dogs Act, Indefinite Sentences for Public Protection that were massively popular measures when introduced but which when they turned into fiascos for reasons that were entirely predictable to the informed resulting in the cry of "they never told us".

    If I ask a question "do you think burglars should be locked up for longer?" it is obvious that the answer that the public will give is "yes". However it should be obvious that this entails "but that means fewer criminals will go to gaol or those, other than burglars, who do go gaol will serve less time"; but the public doesn't think that unless a lot of time and effort is spent explaining this to them.

    Can you really blame the elite for thinking they simply can't be bothered to explain this to those who don't "get it" spontaneously. The opposition understand it. The think tanks and the "industry" understand it. Why should we waste our breath explaining the bleeding obvious to those who don't get it.

    And then sometimes you will get politicians who get beguiled by the populist cry and the CSA happens; or you will get events running out of control and the Dangerous Dogs Act or the Institutional Child Abuse Inquiry happens.

    Very, very occasionally you get something like Brexit..
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    A majority of voters want immigration to be dramatically reduced. Almost no one in parliament does.
    But since he majority of voters do not understand who those immigrants are, why they are here and what the consequences would be if they were not here, their views are utterly informed.

    What has happened for 40-50 years is that what you might call elites but this is much wider than the country's power-brokers, educated opinion might be a better term, haven't bothered to explain this because it is self-evident. What you are seeing now is a cry of regret from those people that they did not take the time to educate the public that their health service would collapse, their buses would not run and their pensions would not be paid but for immigrants.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    Democracy presupposes an informed debate. Popular opinion isn't of value if it isn't informed. If it isn't informed, we call it a mob and send in hussars. Revolutionary tension occurs when one group says it is fit to participate in government and another group says it isn't.
    We do not send hussars to kill people for being ill-informed. We sent hussar to kill people who were actually in the process of carrying out a violent overthrow of the government.

    Democracy does not presuppose an informed debate. Democracy is a peaceful way of overthrowing the government. If the government is allowed to decide not to be overthrown because it disagrees with the reasons for which it is being overthrown, it is not a democracy, and we are back to coup and counter-coup.

    The public's usual cry when an outcome is not how they expected it to be is "they never told us" and of course that has long been the cry about the 1975 European referendum.

    The death penalty debate in the UK is shaped almost entirely in terms of morality, wrongful convictions and deterrent value. In a sense that is an "easy" debate. Lawyers however know that where support for the death penalty is not wholehearted, the principal effect of introducing the death penalty will be to reduce convictions. If the death penalty is reintroduced, its supporters will not accept the blame, when (not if) this occurs.

    There are a catalogue of policies; unit fines, the CSA, the Dangerous Dogs Act, Indefinite Sentences for Public Protection that were massively popular measures when introduced but which when they turned into fiascos for reasons that were entirely predictable to the informed resulting in the cry of "they never told us".

    If I ask a question "do you think burglars should be locked up for longer?" it is obvious that the answer that the public will give is "yes". However it should be obvious that this entails "but that means fewer criminals will go to gaol or those, other than burglars, who do go gaol will serve less time"; but the public doesn't think that unless a lot of time and effort is spent explaining this to them.

    Can you really blame the elite for thinking they simply can't be bothered to explain this to those who don't "get it" spontaneously. The opposition understand it. The think tanks and the "industry" understand it. Why should we waste our breath explaining the bleeding obvious to those who don't get it.

    And then sometimes you will get politicians who get beguiled by the populist cry and the CSA happens; or you will get events running out of control and the Dangerous Dogs Act or the Institutional Child Abuse Inquiry happens.

    Very, very occasionally you get something like Brexit..
    I think you are unreasonably credulous about the elite's claim to be an intellectual as well as just power-elite. The power elite has a religion; they always do. Religion is a brain-fog into which the most intelligent disappear without a trace.

    On the grammar school thread I have pointed out that all the scientific evidence shows that your 46 chromosomes have much more effect on your performance in the job market than your 12 years in education, and tried to formulate some school policy based on that knowledge. The conclusions I arrived at were horrifyingly politically incorrect, and that was me trying to be moderate. If I were a politician who said those things publicly I would be purged. But I am better credentialled and probably more intelligent than pretty much everyone in politics, and the evidence is on my side.

    But since he majority of voters do not understand who those immigrants are, why they are here and what the consequences would be if they were not here, their views are utterly informed.

    What has happened for 40-50 years is that what you might call elites but this is much wider than the country's power-brokers, educated opinion might be a better term, haven't bothered to explain this because it is self-evident. What you are seeing now is a cry of regret from those people that they did not take the time to educate the public that their health service would collapse, their buses would not run and their pensions would not be paid but for immigrants.
    So the elite believes, and I do not doubt that their belief is genuine.

    But Japan does not have immigrants, and it does have public transport - better than ours - and it does have a healthcare system - better than ours - and there is no doubt that the pensions in Japan will be paid, the only question is how expensive they will be for the young. The elite is simply wrong.

    What's more, even accepting their claims their logic does not support their conclusion. Raising Western birth rates would also be an acceptable solution. But the elite has no interest whatsoever in raising Western birth rates. There was even a period of 10-20 years between the collapse in Western birth rates and the emergence of immigration as a major driver of Western demographics, and they had no interest in raising Western birth rates then either.

    The elite are religious fanatics. They want immigration because it is a way of showing they are among god's anointed.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    .

    But Japan does not have immigrants, and it does have public transport - better than ours - and it does have a healthcare system - better than ours - and there is no doubt that the pensions in Japan will be paid, the only question is how expensive they will be for the young. The elite is simply wrong.
    And to achieve this, Japan has had a "loss decade" which has now extended for a quarter of a century. Japan has had what, only one quarter in the last 25 years when its economic growth has exceeded an annual rate of 2%.

    Japan is living on the wealth generated in the years 1945-1990.

    In 1990 the Japanese economy was three times the size of ours. It is now less than twice the size and per head we are now substantially richer than Japan having been substantially poorer in 1990.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    And to achieve this, Japan has had a "loss decade" which has now extended for a quarter of a century. Japan has had what, only one quarter in the last 25 years when its economic growth has exceeded an annual rate of 2%.

    Japan is living on the wealth generated in the years 1945-1990.

    In 1990 the Japanese economy was three times the size of ours. It is now less than twice the size and per head we are now substantially richer than Japan having been substantially poorer in 1990.
    Is the evidence that the defining factor in our differential growth rates during the previous cycle was immigration (the difference being about 1.5% per annum).
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    And to achieve this, Japan has had a "loss decade" which has now extended for a quarter of a century. Japan has had what, only one quarter in the last 25 years when its economic growth has exceeded an annual rate of 2%.

    Japan is living on the wealth generated in the years 1945-1990.

    In 1990 the Japanese economy was three times the size of ours. It is now less than twice the size and per head we are now substantially richer than Japan having been substantially poorer in 1990.
    It is true that Japan's declining working age population has had negative consequences for Japan. You said that a declining working age population meant that there would be no public transport and no health service; Japan has not experienced those negative consequences. Japan still has the full spectrum of services of a high quality. Japanese may have somewhat less disposable income than they would have done with immigration but that isn't what you said.

    Many people in Britain when offered the choice of no cultural change and a 10% lower GDP per capita will take it. The elite doesn't want to but that is not a more correct answer, it is a different value judgement.

    What's more, as I pointed out, immigration is not the only way to replenish the working age population. Sub-replacement birth rate has been a problem a lot longer than immigration has been a solution. Sub-replacement birth rate was not considered a problem at that time. Economics is a pretext for immigration, not the primary reason it is supported.
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    (Original post by Observatory)

    Many people in Britain when offered the choice of no cultural change and a 10% lower GDP per capita will take it. The elite doesn't want to but that is not a more correct answer, it is a different value judgement.
    This goes to the root of Brexit. It is something that the elite don't get, the media doesn't either, and the Remainers on this thread also simply don't understand.

    This revolution is not about money. Everything isn't about the wallet. It is about culture and identity. About Englishness and Welshness (the Northern Irish and Scottish nationalisms find different outlets) and about the threat that the double whammy of incredibly high immigration for years and the dogmas of multiculturalism and
    cultural relativism make to it.

    The sad thing about it though is that it won't succeed. Government's are unable to stop legal immigration let alone illegal immigration. This government can't do it. Previous government's haven't been able to do it.

    So what we have had is a sort of cognitive dissonance. A post hoc rationalisation. We can't stop it, but we didn't want to anyway. Because diversity is an abstract good in itself and immigration brings economic growth. It makes us richer.

    But the people have said they want immigration stopped. Brought down from the net 300,000 it is running at (not counting illegals). So you can't say how wonderful it is any more. You have to stop them coming in, Do it government!

    Brexit voters still, in their naivety think it will done. But it won't be, it can't be, even if we get a deal of free movement of labour.

    When that becomes clear the disillusionment will be huge, and I think trouble lies ahead, I am sad to say.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    Obama says there won't be a separate trade deal with the UK for a long time to come
    Good, we can do without TTIP undermining our civil liberties/health and wellness. Obama has absolutely shamed himself, and undermined the integrity of his office, in making empty, bully-boy threats in an attempt to interfere with the Democratic processes of another country. Wouldn’t be the first time the US has done so of course, but they usually have the decency to do it rather more covertly, if murderously :rolleyes:

    The EU is demanding to know if we intend to stay in the Single Market
    They can demand till they're blue (already blue) purple* in the face. We'll signal our intention at the appropriate juncture e.g. once we've had a chance to negotiate with the petulant children

    direction of travel is to leave. As soon as that is announced, the UK economy will plunge down
    Will no doubt take a hit, but unlikely to crash and burn. You assume the global economy won’t be dragging us down by then, or perhaps that the bail out bills that will inevitably come from the EU wouldn’t sink us were we to stay in that utterly shambolic and failed project

    a deal put to the nation in another referendum
    If the answer came back that the public rejected the terms of Brexit, then what? We’ll have had a decade of uncertainty associated with Brexit and referendums, absolutely no point putting us through more of it, particularly not when the ‘direction of travel’ on the continent is highly suggestive of EU social/economic implosion within a few years
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    Given he's (essentially) out of office in 2 months - and that numerous other US politicians have said that they will definitely want to deal with the UK very quickly - I think we can all agree his comments are pretty irrelevant.
    It depends on what other countries the US are making deals with and what the US can gain most from. They will be at the front of the queue.
 
 
 
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