A poetic reflection on the man who’s done more than anyone to set back progress in my home and adopted countries, written post-EU-referendum. More than I would ever actually advocate, but it sure was cathartic to write.
Read More · 12 July 2016 · Comment · Politics
A threaded comment on Twitter highlights another nightmarish aspect of the prospect of being left out in the WTO cold for several years post-Brexit. Not only would WTO tariffs on UK exports kill our markets within the EU (which take almost half of UK exports), but:
In order to enter the EU, goods must conform with EU regulations. As you’d expect. At the moment, this isn’t a problem because the bodies which regulate conformity in this country are recognised by the EU. Upon ejection from the EU, this recognition would cease. Which means that UK goods entering the EU would be held up at every border point, while their conformity to regulations was tested. This would make selling to the EU virtually impossible unless our regulatory bodies could be certified by the EU. And they’ll be in no hurry to do that.
Read More · 1 July 2016 · 1 Comment · Politics
BBC Newsnight staffer Mark Urban is tweeting some terrifying stuff on the prospect of a Brexit Britain striking a trade deal with the EU:
@MalmstromEU tells me EU/UK trade talks won’t start until Art50 exit complete then UK will trade on WTO terms until a deal is done
That’s Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner in charge of trade policy.
Read More · 30 June 2016 · Comment · Politics
Sunset at Gullane Bents, June 2016. Mouseover for more sea.
I’m in Gullane for the week on a writing retreat with colleagues. This was the view a few minutes’ walk from the house we’re staying in.
29 June 2016 · Comment · Journal
Four working days into life in Thethickofitstan, I can’t shake off the fear that all parties need to proceed extremely cautiously or risk Britain becoming a quasi-fascist state; not the full Third Reich, perhaps, but potentially Pinochet’s Chile. The fact that polls are suggesting that Regrexit is a statistical blip suggests that a large population in England and Wales would be perfectly happy if a strongman (or woman) emerged from the political chaos to enact Brexit in Full come hell or high water. And not any soft Brexit that keeps freedom of movement intact: something that closes the borders and sets the timer ticking on when EU citizens who are already here must leave.
Read More · 29 June 2016 · Comment · Politics
If I read the phrase “pour encourager les autres” one more time, I’ll... I’ll... briser mon ordinateur in impotent rage.
The only hope now is that Parliament votes immediately to reject the referendum result as having been secured under false pretenses and ban any PM from triggering Article 50, to take us back to the status quo ante-February. Yes, the UK would never be seen the same way in Europe again, which is true either way. Yes, the UK would have drastically weaker influence over the development of future EU regulations, as opposed to none if we’re in the EEA. Yes, we would lose some businesses to Europe, which is already happening. None of that is worse than what we face if we stay on this path. We’re three working days into this mess, and look at where we are already. Britain’s latent racism has already been unleashed. At least we’ll be fighting it out in the open.
Read More · 28 June 2016 · 1 Comment · Politics
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