Europe's Brexit negotiators will offer Britons the right to opt into EU citizenship

Despite your avatar? But I agree. I think Dovetail was the real utopia.


I think that Dovetail was supposed to be taken as being too insular for a proper utopia.

They basically make a living off of the excessive lifestyle of the Vickies. They could probably survive on their own, but they wouldn’t prosper.

If there was a utopia presented, I think it would be the Mouse Army. It’s basically an enormous family of orphaned sisters, organized systemically and by true merit, and with an almost fanatical devotion to a benevolent “Queen.”

I wouldn’t want to live there (I would prefer Dovetail or, more likely given my lack of a suitable trade, New Victoria), but I think it was the most self-sufficient, stable, and equitable of all of the states presented.

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The avatar is Thomas Starr King - a Unitarian minister in California during the Civil War. His preaching is credited with keeping California on the side of the Union. His statue used to be in the US Capitol statuary hall. He was, alas, replaced by Ronald Reagan.


Not sure why you are misreading what I wrote.

My point is that the Scots and the Scottish Government are doing their best given the situation BUT that English Politicians are avoiding their responsibility by keeping things / the terms of devolution and its implication on Brexit ambiguous.

I do think it is and was the responsibility of the Westminster Parliament to debate and explore the legal and political implications of a Leave vote on devolution BEFORE the referendum legislation was passed. Not doing so was politically irresponsible. And in this English MPs dominated because they are the majority in Westminster. The reality of the UK in its current make up is that English MPs will always outnumber those of the other nations.

Westminster did exactly the same before the Scottish referendum–leaving everything ambiguous to be negotiated later. That time around they were lucky (from the English point of view) and didn’t need to deal with the fallout of their own ill considered, ill-thought-out actions. Second time it didn’t work and the fallout for the ill considered referendum has huge implications for Europe–and no surprise if they are fed up.

Surely, you can see the irony, that if the Article 50 case ends up in front of the European Court of Justice (which is a realistic possibility) Scotland and Northern Ireland will take their devolution argument to the EU in the process of the UK leaving same EU. In effect taking an internal matter to be fought out in front of the very organisation you are trying to leave.

The situation is complex. But I have not yet heard a single EU politician who said otherwise.

The only people who pretend it’s all simple are the Leave Cheerleaders.


The only people who pretend leaving isn’t utterly insane are the Leave Cheerleaders.


Yep. And through some magic formula the majority of the British press keeps up the pretence that the Europeans’ are being difficult–rather than calling out the Leavers for their ill thought out non-ideas.

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Then we are mostly in agreement, but your far more reasonable response is in sharp contrast to ‘Europe is fed up, so roll over and face the consequences, that’ll teach ya’.

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I thought so.

Not sure whether you have any parenting experience, but my 21 years as a parent has taught me, that when you are dealing with a stomping toddler, there is a point when all you can do is wait for them to give up exhausted.

I think that is the stage most of Europe is with the UK atm. The tragedy is that the devolved nations / English Remainers (i.e. mostly London) and the EU are held hostage to this toddler temper tantrum.

But the EU seems to be pretty level headed in its dealing with our Brexit Toddlers.

This morning, on the same day that a leaked memo from the UK Ambassador to the EU revealed that the UK Government has been warned in October to expect a decade of negotiations over Brexit, we had another deluded Toddler lecture us on BBC Radio 4, that really, truly the EU is going to come to Britain with a begging bowl because they are so dependent on UK trade.

He actually said that the German car industry will fund Brexit through tariffs, because the German car industry (which has been recording two figure growth in China with a billion population) are so completely reliant on the UK market that they would do anything to keep the UK sweet-- Thereby completely misreading the situation.

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plausible. like the self-financing Iraq invasion. Wolfowitz said so and who am I to call him a liar?


The clear problem for Britain is that when WTO trade tariffs are imposed, Britain loses free access to 27 countries, whereas each of the 27 EU countries lose free access to just one market. It may be true that Germany exports more to Britain than Britain exports to Germany, but the total loss for Germany will be ~5% of the total loss for Britain

I expect the EU to take a hard line and insist that negotiations on a free trade deal with the U.K. cannot start until after the UK has left. The negotiations for the next two years will just be on how to round off existing business, how to repatriate the UK citizens living overseas.


…let me attempt to toddle back through this and summarise.

FFabian suggested that the people of the UK (they say ‘majority’ but their whole statement implies everyone in the UK) should have to face the consequences of their actions, voting leave.

My reply was to say this is simplistic, not only because it implies that the slight minority in the UK would have to experience this comeuppance along with the majority but because whole nations have themselves voted no.
I can imagine if it were the case that the result was still a slight majority for leave but the differing voting regions were spread around the UK without a strong tendency to fall within the borders of particular member countries, this would not be an issue.
However, this is obviously not the case, and Scotland in particular had no voting regions siding with leave (although one region in particular was a very close call).

So, to experience the consequences of our actions, up here in Scotland, is exactly what these discussions entail. I hope that’s clear, as I can be no more perspicacious.

You reply to me then asked if I thought it was fair that "the rest of Europe… [had] had enough of UK politics being played out on their backs."
Apart from being beside the point, and apart from being non-specific (do you mean the people of Europe, the law-makers, both?), I do not think it’s a consideration that pulls much weight. What has happened has happened and people, or law-makers, politicians or party-members, the man on the street or his dog have to deal with it and the difficulty of the situation notwithstanding, I am of the view that it should be dealt with. Bringing being fed-up into it, and then asking if it’s fair is a nonsense discussion and has no place in the conversation other than to unfairly bias people into perceiving the situation through a lens of emotional reactivity. It is not helpful or germane to the discussion. Leave it for the tabloids.

Now, perhaps you didn’t mean this to be a statement in defence of FFabian’s comment or a criticism of my subsequent reply but you did inject the statement directly after quoting our exchange. Later going on to caricature my stance as being the whole of Europe (there’s your syntactical (and attributive) drift again) punishing us.

Assuming you probably did mean it in defence of the suggestion that we should all face the consequences without further discussion because people are fed up doesn’t seem like too much of a leap to me and so I based my criticisms of your argument, or what I assumed was your argument, on what you had apparently stated in defence of an aggressive, simplistic view. I’m still not sure if you’ve attempted to back out of this but it is the particular point I am taking exception to.

The stance is simplistic and aggressive and your attempt to defend it through appeals to emotion echoes that sentiment. Tell me I’m wrong or how I’m wrong but let’s not sweep it under the rug with further appeals to emotion or a massaging of the conversation into more specific issues, which really do need to be discussed, be they dealt with before or after the result of the vote.

I’m a little confused as to why you are bringing the Scottish referendum into a conversation about weighting of a countries vote within the UK…

Are you aware that the referendum is not legally binding?

I’m assuming, on the political level, member countries of the UK were expecting exactly this kind of conversation to emerge from the proceedings, once the non-legally binding result (which apparently few were expecting) emerged.

You’re quite right when you talk about petulant, self-important, political deafness on the part of the Tories although I assume this is not due to incompetence but rather by design… but that’s exactly why we need to be having this kind of conversation… and this is all beside the point - whether we agree or not is ancillary to my original point that emotional and punishing sentiment of ‘facing the consequences’ is unhelpful and simplistic, aggressive and emotional.

These are trying times and dealing with the crypto-fascism emerging in English (and I guess Welsh) politics, enabled by a propagandised voter base, and how it pertains to membership negotiations in the context of Europe seems to me to be the very crux of discussion. Whether people are fed up or not is so totally beside the point as to require upbraiding, IMO.

I have to say, I’m usually all for the use of over-the-top inflammatory language, and perhaps I should allow you more leeway before bringing this kind of criticism but the issue is close to my heart and cutting through the usual pejorative, manipulative language I see surrounding this issue has become, IMO, very necessary if the conversation is to progress in any meaningful way whatsoever.

On the topic of weighting and further discussions pertaining to the enactment of the ‘will o’ the people’ etc I suspect that appeals to emotion probably are part and parcel of the propaganda pushing for the long term goal of the destruction of the social safety net and the return of power in the UK to its small cadre of old boys. Which is another reason why I’d very much like to leave appeals to emotion out of the discussion.


Many aspects of this issue are close to the hearts of different people, even if they are not always exactly the same ones. I honestly think you are underestimating the feelings of many outside the UK.

I don’t doubt it.

I’m not sure what you mean. the same people or the same hearts? Sorry, confused.

What leads you to think that?

Your reaction to admittedly hostile but nonetheless unremarkable positions. How can you at this point expect the UK not to face hostility? I know that you personally did not want any of this and it isn’t fair. In a way your situation reminds me of how I have never met an Iranian who wasn’t an exceptionally nice person, but unfortunately to some degree they all had to pay the price for things their compatriots did.

Sorry, could you be more specific? How is it that you are characterising my reaction? Or is it more your point that I am reacting at all?

Iran? Uh… I don’t know what to do with that, let me think about it.

[quote=“miasm, post:57, topic:91074”]
Sorry, could you be more specific? How is it that you are characterising my reaction? Or is it more your point that I am reacting at all?[/quote]
You seemed to object strongly to emotional or aggressive rhetoric. It is true that it isn’t exactly helpful, but emotions are running high on the continent, too.

[quote]Iran? Uh… I don’t know what to do with that, let me think about it.
[/quote]In both cases the perception of the country is shaped by some who are ruining it for many who don’t personally deserve that.

Less the rhetoric and more the suggestions for proceeding forward being promoted through that rhetoric. I’ve nothing against emotion. It is exactly because it is an issue so dear to our hearts that I believe we should treat it with such careful respect. And to introduce emotionality into the discussion of legal procedure seem like a terrible idea. Specifically the procedural aspect.

We may be charged with and even driven by emotion but if law is an exploration for justice then it will not be found in an emotional entreaty but in a logical one.

Your comparison to Iran is a bad example specifically because of the structure and politics of the UK as a multi-part entity, currently in the process of renegotiating that structure.

Of course that was not meant to be comparable in all details. It was just meant to illustrate how sometimes it can be very difficult to escape the things “your country” does even if you had no part in them.

Well, that’s exactly my point. It’s a different kind of country here.

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