1. An oft-repeated lie is no less a lie. I’m so tired of this inane “the majority of our trade is outside the EU” nonsense, I’m going to do a short thread about it. TLDR version: it’s bollocks. Feel free to share it.
2. The statistics quoted by people claiming that “the majority of UK trade is outside the EU” almost invariably make the mistake of confusing the EU countries as a market with the EU as a trading framework. Only by doing so, is such a claim sustainable.
3. In fact, the trade for which Brexit removes all basis, is not only trade with EU members, but all trade done with third parties through EU trade agreements - from Norway to South Korea. By exiting, the UK will simply no longer be a party to that entire legal framework.
Could Brexiters please decide between the narratives of “we hold all the cards, they need us more than we need them” and “evil disrespectful EU is bullying poor UK”, since those two notions are - how do I put this diplomatically? - absolutely mutually cocking exclusive? Thanks.
In short, either Brexit was a disastrous overplaying of a weak hand allowing your opponent to take you to the cleaners or it was a disastrously poor management of a great hand which allowed your opponent to take you to the cleaners. Which is it?
Seriously. If you genuinely think the UK holds the balance of power in these negotiations, then May threatening “no deal” means we are bullying the EU. And if the UK is in a weak position, it means May is a fucking moron. The UK cannot simultaneously be both mighty and a victim.
No organisation could get away with how @lb_southwark behave. I paid them for a bully item collection, they haven’t done it and now they say that department (which has not responded to my email) can only be contacted by email and there’s “nothing we can do”. It’s theft, really.
And when I asked to file a complaint, Jodi, the “team leader” of the @lb_southwark environment services, put me on hold for ages and then hung up on me. No other entity can take a payment and then go “sorry, them’s the breaks” like this. None.
Thanks @lb_southwark for your ignoring this, as you have ignored every other method of communication.
Hi, @SteveBakerHW. You’re in the news demanding a Hard #Brexit. Your briefing before the #EUref considers EFTA/EEA acceptable Brexit outcomes with “advantages and disadvantages” and WTO the “worst case scenario”. Can you explain why you now claim this isn’t “proper #Brexit”? Ta.
And while you’re at it, can you explain your thinking on the democratic implications of securing a referendum mandate on one basis and then reinterpreting it after the vote to mean something much narrower and very different? I look forward to your response. Thanks @SteveBakerHW.
Why have percentages of Leave vs Remain have stubbornly stuck so close to each other for eighteen months and now we’re suddenly seeing such a dramatic shift in poll after poll? Well, I have a little theory. #Brexit THREAD.1
Bear with me. One of the intellectual difficulties with Brexit has always been that, by virtue of offering two such distinct and mutually exclusive paths, the counterfactual would always be difficult to prove. This is why experts were attacked. 2
You say “See? Brexit didn’t bring economic ruin.” I point out “Economy is showing worrying signs and we haven’t left yet.” Similarly, in the event of a post-Brexit economic collapse, there will be no way to prove it wasn’t due to other factors and would have happened anyway. 3
For two feckin years UK position has been “we want to have our cake and eat it” and the EU’s response is “bitch, please”. This has not changed one iota. We still persist in submitting permutations of it and blaming the EU for being inflexible, while we’ve shown zero flexibility.
But how can we show flexibility when our idiot of a PM set her “red lines” at the start of the process as “by the end we will definitely have all our cake” and then proceeded for two years to ask if there was a clever way to nibble bits of it? It ain’t Schrödinger’s F’kin Sponge.
I am sitting in this cafe. I think it’s affecting my tweets.
Symptomatic that after 40yrs Brits still DO NOT GET how EU works. It’s a rules-based legal body. It’s future relationship with a departing member will not be resolved over coffee and pastries. It needs detailed written proposals that resolve legal issues.
It’s a sad state of affairs to be living in a country whose future now depends on someone from the opposite side of the negotiations being the “adult in the room” in order to save us from our own stupidity and incompetence.
Discussing contingency planning on #r4today, @DominicRaab persisted with the lie that a No-Deal “will affect the EU as much, if not more in some areas, as they will affect us”.
Name some of those areas, please, Mr Raab or perhaps @DExEUgov. I am really curious.
We’re not talking about loss of trade, but about disruption of critical supply chains and a regulatory void. Name an area, like medicines, in which EU face disruption to supply. Name an area, like aviation, in which EU step into a similar legislative abyss. @DominicRaab@DExEUgov
Isn’t it high time you cut the lies and stopped peddling the notion that facing tariffs on a few products representing 3% of trade to the EU is equilibrant to food shortages or grounded planes or hospitals running out of insulin? @DominicRaab@DExEUgov
The one “card” the UK truly held was Art.50 timing; the only bit in the negotiation’s legal framework entirely within our control. We squandered it. ALL this guidance, issued weeks before we hurtle over the cliff with no time to implement, should have been done pre-notification.
Timing of notification is the bit of the entire negotiation the government got the most wrong, succumbing to the lunatic fringe within the Tory party and the right wing media who demanded it. This river of shit flows from it.
There was a legitimate argument for getting all our ducks in a row, recruiting necessary staff, doing the risk assessments, issuing notices, and then notifying. But nobody made it. And since Labour whipped the vote for this, they must take their share of blame for this disaster.
One can be both accurate AND disingenuous. Your camp’s line, for years, was “why should the UK pay to bail Greece out”. You have consistently used my country’s misery to strengthen your anti-EU cause and cynically rediscovered “solidarity” when it boosted your nationalist agenda.
When an exemption to all future bail outs after Ireland’s was negotiated you posited it still wasn’t enough, because the UK would still pay indirectly, and continued to use the image of the lazy feckless PIIGS leeching off the British tax payer. Where was your solidarity then?
When Greece struggled under the weight of a million refugees in a single summer, when bodies were washing up in our beaches, from a war Greece did nothing to create (and the UK was instrumental in), Eurosceptics shrieked to “close the borders”. Where was your solidarity then?
Unis offering cash bonuses for students because, as BBC put it, “this year it’s a buyer’s market”. If you’re looking for why the country is going backwards, start at the monetisation of education. No Aristotelian improving the self to improve the world. Just a path to a salary.
In Greece, my parents’ generation used to tell us: “να σπουδάσεις να γίνεις άνθρωπος”. It means “you study to become human”. And, no, this is not elitism, because it doesn’t mean degrees or letters after a name. It means a curiosity about and interrogation of the world around us.
Until education is seen as a worthwhile thing with inherent personal and societal value, we will continue to drown in this tsunami of proud ignorance, lack of critical thinking and anti-intellectualism; continue to struggle against the notion that opinion is equilibrant to fact.
The gov’t plan on tackling homelessness and rough sleeping has zero chance of working because it seeks to deal with the effects while every other one of its policies exacerbates the causes. No strategy has a chance of working until this is treated as a national issue. 1/THREAD
My own experience of homelessness and rough sleeping is not atypical. I’ve campaigned in this area for a decade and spoken to hundreds of people sleeping rough. The fundamental issue is that homelessness is treated as a “local” issue. The result is that local authorities 2/THREAD
see homeless people not as people in need, but as a drain on their siloed resources and a drag on their local statistics. Their first and primary instinct is to not allow you onto their books in the first place. They do this by asking people to prove “local connection”. 3/THREAD
Why do people find it so hard to get that wearing the burqa can be both a symbol of oppression - in a country where women are forced to wear it - and of rebellion - in a country where they’re prohibited from wearing it. In both cases the male state is telling women what to wear.
It’s not a difficult point. Is the mental block on this down to cultural dysphoria with people visibly identifying as Muslim. Use another garment if it helps. Imagine a state that compels women to wear minis and one that forbids it. Both are expressions of patriarchal oppression.
In short: stop telling women what to wear and stop being thick.
Ancient sages believed that molten lava was the hottest substance on earth. But then scientists heated a bit of aluminium to 3.6 million degrees Fahrenheit. Scientific understanding evolves. Today we know the hottest substance on Earth is, in fact, the filling of a Greggs pasty.
Here is a man who tried to look directly into a Greggs cheese and onion slice.
This is not Pompeii, but outside the Greggs in Rotherhithe, where a hapless mother attempted to shield her teenage son from a steak bake.
Just spent hours meticulously avoiding eye contact with the man across the train table - in his 60s, dressed like an accountant, proceeded to guzzle several beers, while listening to AND SINGING Death Metal, in full Death-Metal/Exorcist voice, playing air guitar and fist pumping.
And not in a cute it’s-sweet-he’s-so-into-his-music way. More in a huh-so-this-is-how-my-life-ends-never-saw-that-coming way.
Sometimes my existence feels like the longest running clip ever on You’ve Been Framed.
This is the extraordinary @MarcusFysh on #Newsnight. This is how a Conservative MP treats business nowadays, even trade associations, trying to explain the potential risks of hard Brexit - with arrogance, smugness, and impenetrable stupidity, calling them silly and unpatriotic.
NB The food industry representative @MarcusFysh is responding to never mentioned tariffs and never mentioned a “blockade”. He merely said that when it comes to fresh produce like lettuce, tomatoes, avocados or dairy, even small border delays would disrupt supply critically.
I vacillate between wanting people like @MarcusFysh to disappear from public life and wanting him to be on the news every day. I mean there MUST be a small but significant proportion of Brexiters (and constituents who voted for him) who look at this and think “What have I done?”
Nobody will "withhold medicines". As with aviation, radioactive isotopes, and a thousand other areas, we simply lack the domestic regulatory framework. International trade is rules-based and after 40 years of conducting it cooperatively our structures for it have atrophied.
It doesn't mean it can't or won't happen. It means that, for it to happen WITHOUT a disruption in supply, a huge amount of preparation and structural reform needed to have happened ALREADY and the government have simply not done it.
In aviation, for instance, look beyond the "EVIL EU TO GROUND UK FLIGHTS" bollocks. The UK has no claim to being part of the European Aviation Safety Agency in a no-deal scenario. It's the insurance companies that will ground flights outside a safety framework. AND QUITE RIGHTLY.
This is simply astonishing. Facebook ads provided to the parliamentary investigation with absolutely NO connection to Brexit, and no markings identifying them as political in any way, used to harvest data for Vote Leave and shape the precise lie then offered to each user. THREAD
If you clicked on this link to stop the hunting of whales, for instance, Vote Leave harvested your data, identified you as a particular type and then, presumably, bombarded you with straight up “Vote Leave Or The Bear Gets It” bullshit. WOW
If you were concerned about floods, again with nothing identifying this as a political message, guess what you were targeted with. You know that £350m a week? Well, it would all go to flood defences.
What I would love to know is why the BBC does not get guests like Patrick Minford - ever feckin present before the referendum - to come back now and defend their statements that we would do a trade deal in months because the EU would beg us for one. That could make a difference.
They have all been simply allowed to scuttle under their rocks, having lied to the country about how simple, easy and brilliant for the country Brexit would be. Drag them into the light and get them to admit they fucked up. THAT would change hearts and minds.
THAT would be public service broadcasting. Not twelve hours of chatting to people in parks and on beaches saying "yeah, it's really hot, innit".
Part of me thinks “wow, they look amazing” but another, bigger part of me thinks “artisanal, schmartisanal, the only way I could justify paying a fiver - yes, FIVE BRITISH POUNDS STERLING - for a single doughnut called Captain America, is if it included actual Captain America”.
It seems a price so horribly overpitched I had to check it wasn’t for a box of four or something.
“But they’re all hand filled and finished in the store...” BY WHOM? PIERCE BROSNAN? How do you think the ladies at my local bakery fill and finish their 70p doughnuts? Using their feet?
Fabulously awful Hallmark romcom. She’s a career woman who left her home town and high school sweetheart to do career things. Back home for Spring Festival, she’s having second thoughts. Her current bf is SO unthreatening I thought he was her gay best friend for the first hour.
Her high school sweetheart seems to chop a lot of wood in a leather jacket, gaze at a lot of stars in a leather jacket and fix a lot of engines. Oh, yes, in a leather jacket.
Yup. She just gave up her job. “What’s the plan?”, he asks. “I don’t have a plan”, she replies - WHICH IS LIKE REALLY FUNNY COS SHE’S A PLANNER - “I just want to be with you.” His response? “I don’t know what’s prettier; this lake or you.” Pick the lake, Wayne. It’s less dumb.