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Feb. 2018
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UK's European Union membership referendum 2016 (Brexit).

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  • Originally posted by willem View Post
    The only practical Brexit solution is for Northern Ireland to be incorporated into the Republic of Ireland. Britain cannot have both Brexit and hang on to northern Ireland. Is that what conservatives want? The only alternative is no Brexit, or a very very soft one.
    After the msicalculated British election gamble of 2017 which weakened not strengthened the in-post Conservative government, that government only manages to govern with the electoral support of the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland. Here. Anyone with the slightest acquaintace of politicians in Northern Ireland will attest that that it is easier to negotiate with a lump of granite.

    The Conservative government's need for the support of the DUP, who demand that there is no internal border in the island of Ireland nor a 'border' somewhere in the Irish sea between the UK and Ireland (and rightly so given the history) gives the DUP the power to drive this issue to their satisfaction. Here. Hence, this border issue seems intractible for PM May.

    It was glossed over and brushed aside by the likes of Rees-Mogg et al but is a real issue.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

    Comment


    • From the scene: BBC journalist Charlotte Gallagher

      People gathered on Park Lane for hours before the march. Many held home-made signs and banners with slogans like "the wrexiteers", "Brexit stole my future" and "Even Baldrick had a plan."
      As the crowds began to form, the sheer scale of the protest became clear. Thousands of people stretched in front and behind us, some were singing, others were playing instruments while many plastic whistles blared out.

      There were lots of young families there, some with children wrapped in EU flags. Many told me they'd gone because they were worried about their families' future.

      Some people marched in groups, there were NHS staff, political parties, members of the LGBT community and dog owners. Many took the opportunity to dress up their pets for the protest.

      The start of the march was delayed due to the number of people there. As news and police helicopters circled we set off just after one. It was a good natured and friendly march through some of London's most famous streets before the hundreds of thousands of people arrived at Parliament Square. By that stage the march was so large that not everyone could fit in the square and we spilled out onto nearby streets.

      The marchers are hoping people power will persuade the British government to hold a referendum on the final Brexit deal. They will have to wait and see if the government was listening.
      Here. Also here.

      There is a conundrum that I am unable to reconcile, which is captured in an image in today's march. It's here:

      Click image for larger version  Name:	ETONMESS.jpg Views:	1 Size:	47.6 KB ID:	77459

      For the benefit of overseas readers, the fee-paying Eton School is one of the very best private schools in the country. The annual fees for the three-term academic year, listed here are currently GBP 40,688, approximately USD 53,000.

      The images you see in the poster are of the two primary Brexiteer agitators, Boris Johnson and Rupert Rees-Mogg, both former Etonian pupils, as indeed was former PM David Cameron. Eton mess is the name of a dishevelled desert food dish, here, hence the word play.

      Now consider the report in the Daily Mirror yesterday which I chanced across in a coffee shop in Sevenoaks this afternoon, listing the incomes for some seventy five occupations including carpenters, bar staff, paramedics and so on.

      To follow
      Alan A. Shaw
      Designer, owner
      Harbeth Audio UK

      Comment


      • Holding post (scanner)
        Alan A. Shaw
        Designer, owner
        Harbeth Audio UK

        Comment


        • Lord Sugar: Johnson and Gove should be in prison for Brexit referendum lies
          Apprentice star Lord Sugar has said Brexiteers such as Boris Johnson and Michael Gove should be locked up for the "lies" they told during the EU referendum.
          And the business tycoon said there was a "good argument" for voiding the result of the 2016 poll because people had been misled. The independent crossbench peer made his sensational remarks amid calls during a House of Lords debate for a second Brexit referendum, dubbed a "People's Vote". Lord Sugar initially indicated that he was against another vote, saying: "It would be a complete farce if you could have another crack of the whip."

          But he then added: "However, there is a very good argument to void that vote if it can be concluded that the public were totally misled and it is my belief that a large section of the British public were misled, informing their decision to vote to leave." Drawing on his own business experience, Lord Sugar highlighted the strict rules under which public companies operated "where all comments and forecasts... had to be scrutinised line by line by auditors and lawyers in a very tough due diligence and verification process." He said: "No such process exists for claims politicians make. "In some cases misleading shareholders had resulted in prosecution, imprisonment.

          "Applying the public company principle, it should follow that those people who will be responsible for putting this country into five to 10 years of post-Brexit turmoil based on lies should be in prison or at least prosecuted." To supportive cheers, Lord Sugar said: "Such as Boris Johnson and Michael Gove for the £350m lie they put on the red bus."

          Lord Sugar also revealed that he had been invited by then prime minister David Cameron to take the lead for the Remain side in the televised BBC debate and that he continues to "kick" himself for turning it down.
          Here.
          Alan A. Shaw
          Designer, owner
          Harbeth Audio UK

          Comment


          • Originally posted by A.S. View Post
            "Applying the public company principle, it should follow that those people who will be responsible for putting this country into five to ten years of post-Brexit turmoil based on lies should be in prison or at least prosecuted." To supportive cheers, Lord Sugar said: "Such as Boris Johnson and Michael Gove for the £350m lie they put on the red bus."
            Here.
            Might this imply that your opinion may have changed as to whether or not the red bus messages had a significant influence upon Brexit voters?
            https://www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup/...6907#post76907
            https://www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup/...6909#post76909

            {A.S. - I didn't want to believe the public could fall for such obvious deceit.}

            Comment


            • Sir John Major (former UK prime minister) accuses Brexiteers of being ‘"deaf, dumb and blind’" over Brexit’s impact on young people

              Sir John Major has attacked Brexiteers in his latest Brexit intervention. Sir John Major has issued another stinging attack on Brexiteers following the release of a report that found a ‘no deal’ Brexit will cost young people up to £108,000 by 2050 – the equivalent of £3,000 a year.
              The former prime minister was commenting on a report by Oxford economist Tommy Peto, which has been released by the campaign group Our Future, Our Choice. It reveals that the total bill that teenagers would face from a hard Brexit could amount to more than three times the cost of university tuition fees or twice the deposit to buy their first house.

              The report calculates total lost earnings by the middle of the century resulting from the impact on Britain’s GDP of a no deal Brexit at between £44,000 and £108,000, with the most likely cost amounting to £76,000. The range for a Brexit with a free trade agreement of the kind preferred by former foreign secretary Boris Johnson was calculated at £30,000 - £72,000, with the most likely cost falling at around £51,000. And a “soft” Brexit which resulted in membership of the European Economic Area was estimated to cost each young person £7,000 - £32,000 by 2050, with the most likely outcome at around £20,000.

              The report suggested an immediate loss of income from a Brexit based on Theresa May’s Chequers plan of around £400 a year for 18 to 21 year olds and £500 a year for 22 to 29 year olds, compared with a soft Brexit, rising to £675 for 18 to 21 year olds and £830 for 22 to 29 year olds under a no-deal WTO exit.

              Commenting on the findings Sir John Major asked “how could the UK have voted to enact such a policy of self-harm?” And in another attack on leading Leavers he said: “How can the fervent Brexiteers remain so deaf, dumb and blind to every single warning - even when those warnings seem ever more likely to be true? “History may well judge that - for a time - the world’s most pragmatic of nations took leave of her senses.”

              Femi Oluwole from the group Our Future, Our Choice said: “This report shows that young people will lose the most from any Brexit deal.

              “We are a generation who don'’t want to live with Brexit, yet it will cost us three times more than tuition fees, or double the average deposit needed for a house in lost wages and earnings. “Now that the implications for our generation have become clear, we need a people’s vote on the government’s Brexit deal

              Polling found around 71% of 18 to 24 year olds voted Remain in the 2016 referendum and 84% of 18 to 20 year olds would do so now.”
              Here.
              Alan A. Shaw
              Designer, owner
              Harbeth Audio UK

              Comment


              • Boris/Rees-Mogg/Gove/Fox et all and the waiting open arms of the World Trade Organisation ....

                Click image for larger version  Name:	WTO-sc.jpg Views:	1 Size:	203.0 KB ID:	77523

                Oh. Plan B?
                Alan A. Shaw
                Designer, owner
                Harbeth Audio UK

                Comment


                • Fascinating and long awaited news concerning the self-styled 'bad boy of Brexit' here and here.

                  Arron Banks faces criminal inquiry over Brexit campaign. MPs call for Brexit process to be paused as NCA investigates £2.9m spent by leave campaign.
                  The National Crime Agency is to investigate allegations of multiple criminal offences by Arron Banks and his unofficial leave campaign in the Brexit referendum, prompting calls from some MPs for the process of departing the European Union to be suspended. The NCA would look into suspicions that a “number of criminal offences may have been committed”, the Electoral Commission said in a statement, saying there were reasonable grounds to suspect Banks was “not the true source” of £8m in funding to the Leave.EU campaign.

                  The commission said the cases involve Banks, the insurance millionaire who heavily backed leave; Elizabeth Bilney, one of his key associates; Leave.EU itself; the company used to finance it; and “other associated companies and individuals”. News of the investigation prompted anti-Brexit campaigners to call for a delay to the process of leaving the EU. The Labour MP David Lammy said Brexit “must be put on hold until we know the extent of these crimes against our democracy”.

                  A series of other Labour MPs echoed the call, while the Lib Dems said Brexit could not go ahead based on “a leave campaign littered with lies, deceit and allegations of much worse”.
                  Here.
                  Alan A. Shaw
                  Designer, owner
                  Harbeth Audio UK

                  Comment


                  • An astonishing, quite surreal day in British politics. I've rubbed my eyes in disbelief. Here it is for posterity ....

                    To start: Who (or what) ia Aaron Banks?

                    He's featured in this Blog quite a few times. Famous for his Bad boys of Brexit book available at good bookshops, or in my case in a charity shop for £1 (robbery, had to think long and hard as to that purchase), Messrs. Banks and Farage can be seen in this picture rather pleased with themselves at having masterminded Brexit, here.

                    The caption reads:

                    Outside the world of Westminster and big business, few people will have heard of Arron Banks (right), but his influence on the outcome of June’s in-out vote could not have been more crucial. Pictured with Ukip's Nigel Farage
                    As reported above, things are, as long expected thanks to investigative journalism, finally hotting up for Mr Banks who has the firm hand of UK law on his shoulder. SInceBad boys entire thrust is about how Banks sees himself as an agitator hell bent on destabilising "the establishment", it must be particulalry galling that the very same are hot on his heels, as above. Indeed, in a BBC interview today, Banks was true to his usual combative form, here.

                    Furthermore, there has been an outcry following Banks appearance on the BBC, which is, of course a public organisation, here.

                    Comments:

                    he BBC has been accused of “operating against the public interest” by giving Brexit backer Arron Banks a platform to discuss the National Crime Agency’s investigation into his £8m donation to Leave.EU. Mr Banks is due to appear on Sunday on BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show despite Thursday’s announcement that the Electoral Commission watchdog body had referred him to the crime agency because it had reasonable grounds to suspect him of a number of criminal offences.
                    The announcement of the interview led to angry claims that it would be a “pantomime” allowing Mr Banks to air his views without being robustly challenged by Marr.

                    The BBC was also accused of betraying trust in the national public service broadcaster and “interfering in an ongoing criminal investigation”. Labour peer and leading Remain campaigner Andrew Adonis announced that he had written to Tony Hall, director-general of the BBC, accusing the corporation of “a very serious editorial misjudgement, influenced by a culture of accommodation of extreme Brexiteers now deeply embedded in the BBC”.

                    On Saturday, however, Craig Oliver, formerly David Cameron’s Downing Street communications chief, wrote that Mr Banks “should absolutely be held to account by BBC News and Andrew Marr.”

                    Sir Craig, who is also a former editor of the BBC’s News at Ten, said: “It is vital in a democracy. I want to hear what he has to say in answer to some tough questions.
                    “Let’s judge the interview – not try to stop it happening.”

                    With much of social media disagreeing with him, Sir Craig added: “There seems to be a massive misunderstanding among a lot of people … To be clear: the fact he has been referred to the NCA doesn’t mean all journalism should halt – nor should it.”

                    The BBC defended the interview in a statement saying: “There is strong public interest in an interview with Arron Banks about allegations of funding irregularities in Leave.EU and the 2016 EU Referendum. “The Electoral Commission has laid out concerns about this in public and it is legitimate and editorially justified for Andrew Marr to question Mr Banks robustly about them, which he will do on Sunday morning.”

                    Andy Wigmore, the Leave.EU spokesman and a key ally of MrBanks, announced that bank statements relevant to the £8m donation had been “released in full” to the BBC, and that the Brexiteers were “looking forward to Sunday’s show”. This prompted Carole Cadwalladr, the Observer journalist who has been a leading voice in questioning the sources of Leave.EU funding, to challenge Mr Wigmore to release the bank statements to her newspaper as well.

                    Turning her fire on both the BBC and Mr Wigmore, and hinting at Mr Banks’s controversial contacts with Russians, Ms Cadwalladr wrote: “Great. So we’re going to get the whole Bankski pantomime treatment, is that the plan BBC? Some theatrical pointing at documents? “It’s a magazine show Andy Wigmore. If you’re being so transparent, why not send them [the bank statements] across to [the] Observer?”
                    Here.

                    Now, given the importance of Banks/Farage in shaping public hostility to Europe in the lead up to and post the referendum and their detestation of 'the establishment', here is Bank's position made public today, some GBP 8 million allegedly illegally spent on the Brexit campaign....

                    Arron Banks would now vote to Remain because of Government's 'disgraceful' handling of Brexit...
                    Y
                    es, you read that correctly. The chief architech of the Leave campaign now says that he would vote Remain.

                    A millionaire credited with bankrolling Brexit said he would now vote for the UK to remain in the European Union because of the “disgraceful behaviour of the Government.

                    Mr Banks suggested ministers in the “sewer” of British politics could not be trusted to deliver on the result of the 2016 referendum and said it would have been better to “not unleash these demons”.

                    It came as Mr Banks, the subject of a National Crime Agency probe into the source of £8million of campaign funding in the run up to the Brexit vote, insisted the cash had not come from Russia.
                    Here.

                    One can only speculate that he has spectacularly overestimated his ability to overturn 'the establishment', and that the establishment has had enough. Our democracy relies on the application of electoral law. Perhaps his about-face is engineered to curry favour with the establishement.
                    Alan A. Shaw
                    Designer, owner
                    Harbeth Audio UK

                    Comment


                    • Brexit: Business leaders call for second EU vote..

                      More than 70 business leaders have signed a letter to the Sunday Times calling for a public vote on the UK's Brexit deal. The chief executive of Waterstones and former Sainsbury's boss Justin King are among those saying a "destructive hard Brexit" will damage the UK economy. A group called Business for a People's Vote will launch on Thursday.

                      A Downing Street source told the BBC the Prime Minister was clear that there would be no new referendum. The letter was coordinated by The People's Vote campaign, which wants a ballot on whether to accept the terms of the UK's departure from the European Union.
                      Here also here also here.
                      Alan A. Shaw
                      Designer, owner
                      Harbeth Audio UK

                      Comment


                      • 10 pointers on where we are with Brexit, Laura Kuenssberg Political editor @bbclaurak on Twitter
                        At the risk of writing what I have written on several occasions here before, we are at the stage in the talks where a deal could all suddenly come together. Or it could all, as a couple of weeks ago, fall apart. Until the phone rings or WhatsApp buzzes to say it's suddenly on or off, here are a few pointers on the state of play.

                        Sometimes in a confusing situation, there's nothing better than making a list even though, of course, there's no way all the complexities can be captured here. So…..

                        Ministers are still working for a deal to get done in November. There is a window from about the 17th until the end of the month where a summit could take place to get it signed off. There are logistical reasons that mean a summit can't be planned at the very last minute, but it doesn't have to be huge progress in the next 24 hours, or the next 48. There could be movement towards the back end of next week and a special EU summit could still happen on the 26th and 27th of November......
                        Here.
                        Alan A. Shaw
                        Designer, owner
                        Harbeth Audio UK

                        Comment


                        • World War 1 ended 100 years ago today.

                          It was wonderful to see the German President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, in the official party at the Cenotaph this morning to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the ending of WW1. Here.

                          One can only wonder at what he was thinking about the UK determined to leave the Europe which was founded after WW2 precicely to save future generations the misery of conflict.
                          Alan A. Shaw
                          Designer, owner
                          Harbeth Audio UK

                          Comment


                          • I watched the French ceremony on German television, where there was a lot of very good and profound commentary. Theresa May´s absence was striking, and the wrong signal in my view.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by willem View Post
                              I watched the French ceremony on German television, where there was a lot of very good and profound commentary. Theresa May´s absence was striking, and the wrong signal in my view.
                              Perhaps, but viewed from the British perspective, I beg to differ.

                              Continental Europe was physically invaded and as a result their remembrance is one of liberation. Britain wasn't, and our remembrance was of a volunteer army (our first, pervious wars had relied on a professional army) of youngsters - many under 21 years old - who suffered unspeakable degradation and death. Consequently, our national remembrance of war is not in the slightest one of liberation, or joy, or relief but more akin to a national funeral service, relived annually for the past 100 years. The music is sombre, the look downcast and reflective. Many tears for those who never returned to their villages and families.

                              I think that having the German President here in London, watched by the Queen and nation as part of this 100th anniversary, sharing his private thoughts about the filth and misery or war, is unique and exceptionally symbolic of the shared values of our two nations. He spent a long and poignant moment in private reflection as he laid his wreath. That was not lost on us. Bexit or not, nothing must divide Europe again.

                              Tomorrow, here in Wales with our granddaughter, I will tell her about her great-great grandfather, who as a young man, probably about eighteen years old, suffered a bullet wound in his leg in Belgium during WW1 and was captured and interned in a German POW camp. I only recently discovered that the German surgeon said 'I like you Tommy, and because of that I will break the rules and rather than amputate your leg, according to the rules, I will try and save it'. He did, my grandfather walked with the air of a stick, would near nothing bad said about Germany during WW2, I am here today, and you have your Harbeth speakers. So, a German family somewhere today is intimately entwined with mine. We do not know each other and probably never will, but thank you whoever your grandfather was. His patient survived.
                              Alan A. Shaw
                              Designer, owner
                              Harbeth Audio UK

                              Comment


                              • Alan, that was beautifully said, and it shows that common decency trangresses borders. My country fortunately escaped the horrors of WW1, even if there was still quite some hardship. The message of the French and German commentaries, and perhaps most of all of Macron's profound and moving speech was that we must not allow nationalism to once again create such destruction. It is for that reason that you were also moved by the presence of the German president in London, but equally I thought it may have been good to see Theresa May in Paris.
                                Looking at the conflict in historical perspective, I am struck by the tension between the futility of the so-called causes of the war, and the nationalist lack of constraint by those in power. How could they allow the tensions to escalate this much? To be honest, British politicians were almost as guilty as many others leaders in allowing this to get out of hand. It was thus an ultimately unnecessary war, fought with callous incompetence on the part of most of those in command. The latter also poses the cultural question of why people were willing to see so many lives wasted in unrealistic tactics that treated citizens as mere cannon fodder.

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