PM on Cambridge Analytica scandal and allegations of rule breaking by the Leave campaign: “If anyone is suggesting these claims call into question the referendum, I say to them that the referendum was held, the vote was taken and we will be delivering on it.” #PMQs#Brexit
This is an astonishing response. Valuing political expediency over The Rule of Law and proudly stating it to Parliament.
We are headed for an unprecedented and permanent constitutional upheaval based on a tiny margin. Brexiter arguments for how brilliant Brexit will turn out have fallen away; only remaining one is “democracy”. Evidence that undermines democratic legitimacy of the vote becomes key.
Whether or not you believe the official preliminary conclusion of the Skripal investigation, what is undeniably interesting and hugely revealing is the people who have jumped in to defend Putin: Trumpsters, alt-right, Assange disciples, anti-West far left. Fascinating bedfellows.
For what it’s worth, I think the preliminary conclusion is genuine and based on the best available evidence. This doesn’t make it unbiased or certain, but in my view a politician as risk-averse as May would not pick a fight with Russia on anything other than compelling evidence.
The reaction goes a long way to confirming what I suspect was (and has consistently been) Putin’s message and how it is useful to all the disparate factions he has actively given succour to. It is: liberal democracy is weak and impotent; authoritarianism is strong and masculine.
Here are some samples of what Brexiters were saying before the referendum and what they’re saying now. There are hundreds of examples. Please RT, to counteract the nonsense that “everyone knew what they were voting for”. #BrexitShambles#Brexit
This is the crux of it. We must not allow a small segment of a narrow majority to hijack a result by inferring answers to questions that were never asked. That is what would be completely antidemocratic.
1. It’s extraordinary how UK has ceded any advantage it could possibly have had in its negotiation with the EU from Day 1. First, by triggering Art 50 prematurely, before it had made ANY preparation or even decided its strategy or aims. Then, calling a GE wasting yet more time.
2. The timing of its triggering Art 50 was the thing that kept the UK, de facto, in charge of the process. It lit the fuse before even working out which way the exit was. And it has been on the back foot ever since and never recovered.
3. Incompetent, dithering, indecisive, squabbling, and poorly prepared, the UK has engaged in empty rhetoric, designed exclusively for a home audience, without ever making any concrete, realistic, or in any way detailed proposals, it has given the EU the initiative at every turn.
Liam Fox on #Marr claims the EU couldn't penalise the UK with tariffs under WTO rules and simultaneously that the UK could cut tariffs for developing nations. Profoundly worrying that the International Trade Secretary seems to understand so little about international trade rules.
Firstly, tariffs are a cost, but not an absolute barrier. The Kingom of Exceptionalistan cannot just make toasters, which may or may not explode on plugging in, export them ito the EU and just pay the tariff. The EU could *absolutely* penalise the UK with non-tariff barriers.
Secondly, in the absence of trade agreements, if a country is operating purely under WTO rules, the *one thing* it cannot do is cut import tariffs selectively for some WTO members and not for others. The idea that Kindom of Exceptionalistan would be allowed to do both is fiction.
Our NHS is not perfect, but it’s more equal and efficient than your profits-first travesty of healtcare, gets better results, covers ALL citizens, hasn’t bankrupted millions and costs us LESS THAN HALF.
I know you don’t do reading, so I include pictures.
That third graph astounds me EVERY TIME. The US state pays more for healthcare pp than state and private COMBINED in the UK and then private US contributions pay as much AGAIN on top and a bit more. It’s unbelievable. Private enterprise is always efficient, you say?
I was reading this bankruptcy advice service website today, while researching the above stats, and it included this bit. Chilling and ridiculous in equal measure. So, no Mr President, we’ll keep our system, thanks.
Once more, for the back of the class: a trade deficit does not automatically translate into "they need us more than we need them". A trade deficit - at its most basic - means the UK is not self-sufficient. How that translates into negotiating power, depends on a host of factors:
What do we buy? What do we sell? How substitutable are the products or services in each case? How price elastic is demand for them? How transportable are they? What is our capability to fill the gaps in those markets? And the answers are BLEAK for the UK.
First of all our trade export-import balance sheet is significantly skewed by the fact a lot of gold has been moving through the country in the last few years. This excellent piece by @EdConwaySky explains how and why. news.sky.com/story/how-gold…
Apologies for the short thread, but I think it is necessary to counteract the deliberate and cynical "everybody lied" white noise generated by Brexiters.
Let's look at the five, plain claims on the front page of the official Vote Leave website under "If we vote stay in the EU":
An outright lie and an islamophobic dog whistle;
Not only was Turkey not about to join the EU, but since the Brexit vote it has withdrawn its application, having lost the main big player pushing for it to get membership (which was, of course, the UK).
An outright lie;
Everyone now accepts this was a great big porkie. The same Leavers who spent months defending this figure, are currently touring studios defending the divorce settlement bill, by saying we currently pay £10bn a year. That's £180m a week. Which is also a lie.
1. The basic Brexit flaw is - and always has been - simply this: an unreasonable assumption that, just because the European Project never signified anything other than "business interests" to British Conservative politicians, it signifies nothing else to millions of people.
2. This led to the erroneous assumption that the UK could take a decision fuelled by nationalist pride and jing0istic sentiment, but the allies we just dumped would deal with the fallout as a dispassionate business transaction. But it doesn't work like that.
3. Other countries also think they're great. Other countries also have pride. Other politicians also have domestic audiences watching them. Millions of people who suffered through war after war have a profoundly emotional investment in the European Project.
Of all the irrational lies that were sold by the British ultra right and then, ultimately, the Leave campaign, the most mendacious one is the idea that getting rid of a slice of the population which is a net benefit to the economy, will magically improve public service provision>
>There are two sides to the public services equation: How many people use them AND how many people fund and staff them. You cannot reasonably believe that getting rid of a number of users will ease pressure, when those same users disproportionately fund and staff those services.>
>And since all data shows migrants contribute disproportionately more into the system than we take out, and that our labour is a key component in schools, hospitals, in every public service, the only thing we're responsible for is public services shortages not being MUCH WORSE.>
1/11 Remoaner Traitor Thread Trigger Warning: The UK gov't is being thoroughly dishonest on the Irish border issue in four fundamental ways.
First, this issue hasn't "only now emerged". It was one of the key direct effects of leaving the EU. Entirely predictably so.
2/11 Second, refusal to go on to trade negotiations is reasonable. A month after the UK's Art. 50 notification, on 29 April 2017, the Council agreed a phased approach: Progress would have to be made in key areas, one of them being the Irish border, in order to move on to trade.
3/11 On 19 June 2017, the very first day of negotiations, the UK formally agreed to this phased approach (having, incidentally, prepared no counter-proposal). “It’s not how it starts, it’s how it finishes that matters,” declared glibly David Davis. Well, this is how it finishes.
Okay, then peeps. LONG THREAD. Put down your union flag for a moment and just take some information in. I will try to explain the approaching #Brexit nightmare using a single, calm, factual example, so far largely ignored. I urge you to think, share and talk about this. Ready?
The UK has no structures or agency of its own for approving and licensing medicines. It relies almost exclusively on the European Medicines Agency. The MHRA is an ancillary organisation. In precisely 15 months UK access to the EMA ends; abruptly if the "no deal" voices prevail.
Where are the UK's preparations for replacing this vital framework? The answer is: Non-existent. Not even embryonic. Just a statement by Hunt this summer that the UK "will look to continue to work closely” with the EMA, but we're ready "to establish our own system if necessary".