Watch the UK's Brexit negotiator explain his frank realization that Britain is an island


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/11/08/watch-the-uks-brexit-negotia.html


#2

Damn, and I thought our educational system sucked!


#3

I think that the biggest problem in the Brexit negotiations is that Ireland is an island too. There is no way that there can be free trade between both parts of Ireland and also free trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK without having free trade between the UK and the EU.


#4

No really, Dominic? Tell me more about the volume of traffic between Dover and Calais:


#5

It’s amazing that you’ve managed to spot that problem but somehow none of the people in charge of negotiating on the UK side appear to have managed it.

Either you’re an economic and legal genius or there’s a lot of UK politicians wandering around with their fingers in the ears shouting “Lalala, Brexit, Brexit , I can’t hear you, nyer, nyer!!”.

To be fair though, the problem with the Northern Irish border was only pointed out about 300 times during the referendum.


#6

Probably the second.


#7

A recurring theme amongst political Leavers is that they have no idea how little they know about the issue of Brexit. They are walking, talking Dunning-Kruger case studies.

Whether it’s international trade or politics, trade law & agreements, what the EU does, how the EU works, how UK companies rely on the EU Single Market for their supply and distribution chains… it’s a long, long list of ignorance and misunderstanding.

I’m trying to think of a suitable analogy for our American friends, and this poor one is the best that I can manage: They’re like those anti-Medicare folks who talk about death panels. They have no idea what Medicare is, what it does, who uses it, why it was created… but they’ve convinced themselves that it’s evil, and that death panels are its natural conclusion.
(Or worse, they know all those things are are just prepared to lie to people to achieve whatever ulterior goal they have.)

Now that the Leavers being asked to deliver Brexit, they keep bumping up against things that they ofte assumed were nothing to do with the EU, and they’ll have to either lose or replicate. The more aware politicians are privately crapping themselves, and the less aware ones are… well… unfortunately a lot of them are in charge of delivering it.

Some context: Dominic Raab’s predecessor is a man who campaigned to leave the EU because whilst in it we couldn’t sign trade deals individually with other non-EU countries. As head of the Department for Exiting the EU, he then stated publicly that we didn’t need to get a good deal with the EU, because he’d negotiate good ones with Germany and France (both EU members) individually.
That’s the benchmark of awareness and intellect we’re dealing with when we talk about the Leaver politicians.


#8

People get complacent. Generations of people before us toiled with great difficulty to make things better in the world. Things indeed got better, but now, here we are, with the betterments they worked toward, and now we take them for granted. It’s very unfortunate.

I’m reading Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations right now (Mornings with Marcus, I call the sessions, ten minutes at a time, if you know what I mean). I find myself re-reading Book 11, chapter 8. Here are a couple parts:

A branch cut off from its adjacent branch must necessarily be severed from the whole tree. Even so a man, parted from any fellow-man, has fallen away from the whole social community.

and

Yet the frequent happening of such separations, makes the reunion and restoration of the separated member more and more difficult. And in general a branch which has grown from the first upon a tree, and remained a living part of it, is not like one which has been cut and reingrafted; as the gardeners would say, they are of the same growth but of different persuasion.

This appears to be true both at an individual level (eg, the family) as well as in a societal scope (eg, brexit).


#9

It takes two to Tango. There is the Leaver politician and then there’s the voter who thinks the politician is fit to run the country …


#10

That bit where he nervously swallows is the exact moment you see the realisation dawn on him. Utterly fucking incompetent, the lot of them. We have no right to laugh at the trump administration when we have these arseholes negotiating something that’ll affect generations to come - still for the worse in my opinion.


#11

Wait, this was A Thing before Brexit was approved by the voters? Or was it established afterward? I’m just curious.

I get your point. That’s just nuts and makes no cognitive sense. Good luck there, my friend from across the pond. Seems you’ll need it as much as we here in the States will need it.


#12

But what about immigrants!?! From foreign countries!! Also the EU was like stealing people’s paychecks or something. Don’t try to confuse the Brexit voters with your confusing details like “what about trade?”


#13

This is funny considering that “Islands are different” was a theme in the UK’s relationship with the EU while it was in it.

(From CGP Grey’s increasingly out of date, but excellent video.)


#14

Oh and I thought the fine people of the UK didn’t like “furriners” meddling with their sovereignty … evil stuff like upholding human rights, preventing government surveillance and stuff. Who needs human rights anyway, eh?


#15

The obvious answer is to raise Doggerland - then get France to pay for a wall.


#16


#17

Yes, of course it was a thing. It was called UKIP back in those halcyon days, of course.

No, it was set up a few weeks after the result and it’s been pretty much a laughing stock ever since, simply because the negotiations were always under the control of Number Ten (meaning the Prime Minister’s Office), but they needed someone to act as the fall-guy.
The funniest part is probably really the Department for International Trade, which was supposed to be negotiating these amazing trade deals (the Secretary of State, Liam Fox*, claimed that they’d be the easiest thing in the world to do) but with about as much effect as DExEU so far.

*he had already been forced to resign from the government once, for allowing one of his advisors into national security meetings, but such is the quality of our current politicians that he’s back.


#18

Ah, this genius again. Anyone still have any doubt there won’t be “adequate food supplies” in the aftermath of Brexit?


#19

Brexit in the press is a good indicator of how important it is on both sides on the channel.

British: front page every other day.

Continent (my small bit of it at least): small bit on page 5.

The EU has bigger problems than brexit, something that maybe seems to be getting through to a few people in Britain, but not those that matter.


#20

What is proven is that conservatives are just as stupid anywhere around the world as they are here in America.