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Everything posted by L00b

  1. Simon Coveney is briefing the 'Friends of Ireland' caucus of the US Congress on Brexit today, so don't worry about the border between the UK and the EU27. Germany's federal statistic body advised some days ago, that UK exports to Germany fell by 56+% in January 2021 relative to last year's performance. German exports to the UK dropped 29%, to be contrasted with a 6% drop in import-export with other EU countries. Guardian article yesterday, has links.
  2. ...so then, as I was saying: loyalist paramilitaries have withdrawn support for the GFA after a couple decades, as a direct consequence of Brexit. Any advances on "you said 'sponging', therefore you are emotionally biased, you do not speak the truth, you use lazy tropes, you have no credibility"?
  3. Meanwhile, away from the same (6 years-) old debate about whether non-British residents in the UK contribute to the average UK quality of life or sponge off it, UK loyalist paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland have reportedly told the British prime minister that they are withdrawing support for the 1998 Belfast Agreement.
  4. It's par for the "perfect storm" that is the mix of Brexit and Covid. It's difficult and stressful for her. Just mildly inconvenient for us, Saturday with a 3AM start and the day wrote off ; and potentially expensive if we get fined for breaking curfew/travel restrictions (we should not, since there is a specific exception for assisting travel/connections of relatives, especially elderly ones with assistance requirements...but well, famous last words and Murphy's Law and all that). 3 of us in the car one way, 2 on the return, and the fine is €135 a head each time (not 'way'), with the certainty that there will be checks/controls at toll booths on the A4 there and back. But as a warning, ooh yes, absolutely. If you do not *have to* go anywhere, then don't. Because with the current panic about Covid variants and the measures taken off-the-cuff at ultra short-notice here, there and everywhere, that 'bargain week in Majorca' could just end up into a forced month or two there, costing many multiples of the holiday, besides your job that you can't return to, and what else. Latest local example, as it happens: Germany closed its border to the French Moselle department this morning, you're only allowed through with a negative PCR test less than 48 hours old, no exceptions. That was first announced 72 hours ago, i.e. leaving 24 hours to sort out and get tested, ready for this morning. If you live in France and work in Germany (crossborder workers doing that daily, tens of thousands concerned), tough: no PCR test, no going through to your place of work. Likewise if you're e.g. holidaying in that neck of the woods and are due to fly back from a nearby German airport, say Sarrebrück. No PCR test, no going through to the airport to catch your flight.
  5. Some assistance could be had through informing people about how life can become quite difficult once they get there, if Covid circumstances end up shifting the logistical goalposts time and again, that they cannot come back. We're driving my mother in law to Paris for catching a return flight to the UK this weekend. 200 miles, then return. Curfew notwithstanding. This will be her 3rd attempt to "get back home" in about a month, now. The previous 2 flights were cancelled by the airlines at short notice, due to shifting confinement policies/new measures, either in the UK and/or Netherlands. If that one gets cancelled too (e.g. because Paris ends up getting red zone-rated this week due to Brit/Brazilian variant surge there, and the UK then nixes flights inbound from Paris), it's return to start and do not collect £200 (in fact, this time, lose £210 because that UK test kit purchase is non-refundable). Technically, her tourist Visa expires at month end (90 days from 1st January are up) and she becomes an illegal immigrant.
  6. The same form as provided to EU27 residents in the UK to prove their settled status: a line entry in a government database. Sauce, goose, gander, etc.
  7. I think how the EU26 consistently maintained solidarity with Ireland over the last 5 years, likewise how quickly Brussels corrected its wayward way about Art.16 after getting that warning call from Dublin, won't have escaped the attention of many in Scotland.
  8. I welcome that tweaking perspective (noting that mine wasn't an assessment as such, rather it was agreement with Mr Esler's own assessment). But there is relatively little point to that tweaking, in the context of a Brexit discussion post-01.01.21: whether the UK endures notwithstanding its nationalistic fevers, or eventually fragments into independent constituent nations (or regions, or etc) according to same, only influences the balance of negotiating power in further trade agreement talks with the EU27, likewise in (re-)accession talks (<which was my point above). Beyond that, it's an internal UK issue, as relevant to other EU members states under the UK-EU TCA-based relationship that is now in force, as nationalism(s) in e.g. Russia, Belarus or Morocco.
  9. I have little doubt that they are. But that reality is irrelevant. If the Brexiteers you mention are the politicians, then these economic consequences count for nothing: the worse they are, the better for their victimhood complex-based politics (excellent article in the Guardian about this, recently...but years after Fintan OToole wrote the definitive book about it (Heroic Failure, worth your time)). If the Brexiteers you mention are the voters, posting in here or not, you're unlikely to ever get them to admit publicly (...semi-publicly under a Forum alias) that they got conned by Farage, Johnson and co. 5 years ago. So you should not expect any reaction from either type of Brexiteers, as the Digby Jones index continues to chronicle the unfolding of long-forecast Brexit consequences. Nor from the political opposition, which is continuing to give the Tories a full pass over it all, in the mistaken belief that the Tories will wear Brexit at the voting booths in 4 years. That is why Brexit isn't going to get reversed or mitigated in any way, anytime soon and, if Gavin Ester is even half-right in his latest book (How Britain ends), any notions of getting close with the EU again will be by freshly-independent nations that used to form the UK.
  10. The UK is currently waving through anything and everything coming in, because its customs agents and procedures are not ready to fully process inbound freight. That is normal (agreed with the EU27 as part of the TCA) and due to end by 1 July as the UK gets up to speed. The reason why truck are returning empty, is because the EU27 is not waving through anything and everything arriving from the UK. The lack of preparation on the UK side has resulted in so much freight getting stopped and turned around (especially because lorries include consignments from different exporters with respective customs decs/forms for each individual load, and 1 wrong form for 1 load means the whole artic gets stopped, even if everything is fine for the other loads), that hauliers are not accepting UK exporters' orders until and unless every last form is checked and correct, and they can fill an artic with enough correct loads, and it makes economical sense to do so from a logistical point of view. The reason why the EU27 is not waving through anything and everything, is because it does not want to see trade disputes arising with other countries at the WTO under the MFN rules (under the MFN rules, if the EU27 waved everything from the UK through, it would have to do it for everyone else). All this was previously long-explained and debated ad nauseam in previous iterations of the "Brexit consequences" thread, there is nothing remotely surprising or unexpected about any of it.
  11. Full Fact's page is not clear on that particular issue. Note how 'vehicle' is missing from the second half of the sentence which defines indicating what this 100% is: Then note the explanatory note at the bottom: "Freight" is not the same as "vehicles", vehicles carry the freight. So the 100% is either the total number of outbound vehicles, or the total number (volume?) of freight. It cannot be both. Beyond that, whether the RHA's 68% is accurate or flaky or <...> is just some vacuous argument over statistics. The take-away point remains the same: UK exports, being goods leaving the UK for the EU (as opposed to lorries carrying them, or not carrying anything) are well down. There's little to argue about that fact, nor much point to arguing about it: it is what it is, namely the shock of transitioning to third party country status at extremely short notice and with insufficient preparations. The sooner UK exporters and UK freight and customs services get up to speed on the new "third party country" normal, the sooner this systemic shock should dissipate. That should then leave normal market competition as the deciding factor, i.e. whether EU27 importers continue (/resume) to import from the UK with extra customs red tape and costs, or source an alternative in the EU27 or from elsewhere.
  12. I'm not aware of universities de-platforming any others, than extremists à la Tommy Robinson? I am aware however, of universities cancelling events (i.e. de-platforming everyone) to avoid a (potential) civil/public disturbance. In this day and age of de-balancing debate, de-rigouring editorial integrity and de-facting information, wherein people get taken in by rethoric into denying life-saving science, storming parliamentary buildings and just-about-book-burning-like-it-was-the-1930s-all-over-again, the world needs a lot less extremists and assorted other snake oil peddlers, and a lot more fact-led, objective and consensus-seeking discourse. Freedom of speech is a right, but "platforming" is not: it is a privilege, that should be earned on merit (of content, character, expertise,...) rather than popularity.
  13. That political notion of popular 'support', and who and/or what was actually supported by 'the People', is completely moot now: Brexit has been delivered, the entry into force of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement last 1st January concluded it fully, once and for all. There is no going back, no easements to expect soon for fishermen/pig farmers/artists/etc, no rejoining within a good number of years. Don't expect the EFTA 4 to welcome the UK into the club, either. Not with the current team in no.10 and domestic politics. That was a populist trope, that was never grounded in reality. It was certainly catchy, though. The biting irony is, now this trope is grounded in reality, as the UK stands alone in the big wide international trading world, and must take others' rules if it wants to carry on any business overseas. The situation is what it is, and that is that.
  14. It's expensive (and complex) enough, that our local British foodstuffs importer, Home from Home, is turning into an Irish foodstuffs importer (tiny bit of Brexit in today's local news, use Google translate). Admittedly that's foodstuffs, paradoxically much harder to import into the EU now than a laptop. Edit: couriers might be sending invoices afterwards to businesses, but looking at recent news and the volume of tweets in January/recently, the norm with private persons seems to be to request payment on the doorstep (or even in advance)?
  15. It's a good trolling effort from Johnson. Spaffed against the wall, like, but well. Sadly, this appointment is likely not conducive of any improvement for UK plc. Frost is part of the Cummings/ERG political movement and, as such, less likely to progress matters with the EU constructively, than Gove was (whom Frost is effectively replacing). It's easy enough to observe this right now: the TCA, all "teething problems" included, is his baby after all. He might have more 'real life' experience than Patel, Raab and others, but that counts for beans in the context of Brexit, which is an ideological development wherein economic consequences and collateral damage are deemed irrelevant.
  16. At least the laptop physically made it to Spain. Close to a couple decades ago, I recall buying an MP3 player from a Canadian online seller, that was due to be couriered by DHL, but never made it to Ireland (DHL eventually confirmed to me that they had lost it -somehow- between the seller and the airport). Yet DHL's VAT & customs bill (computer-generated-from database-records) certainly made it to my doormat just fine, for €12.something. I refused to pay it of course. That eventually ended up with debt collector letters (Intrum Justitia, no doubt still computer-generated-from database-records) . Those ended abruptly after my reply letter by recorded delivery, cc'd to DHL and some Irish Commissioner or other at the time. Oh, the fun I had...and now you've got it all to rediscover, you lucky sods 😆
  17. Sure, seemingly nothing is concerning anyone much, as suggested by the poll results that I posted earlier. Least of all City financial types, with specialist skills and networks in high demand the world over. Meanwhile, the consequences of Brexit (indeed!) are playing out just the same, and as foretold.
  18. EU says no (to Gove looking for extensions/arrangements). Amsterdam has now overtaken London in terms of European share trading volume (Financial Times).
  19. YouGov poll data, based on the same question asked every week, about how well or badly the government is negotiating/handling Brexit, shows that this propaganda is working: Very Well/Fairly Well December average: 27% Very Well/Fairly Well January average: 39% Very Well/Fairly Well February 3rd poll: 42% Clearly, more and more people believe the government is doing a good job of managing Brexit, with the undecideds continuing to hover about the same 12% as always. So the only thing you should expect, is more of the same propaganda. Seeing as the EU27 is done with negotiating anything (there's just no appetite left now that the deal is signed, and the EU has plenty other stuff to do), and isn't going to engage English rethoric any time soon(-er now, than it ever did before), that propaganda should continue to work fine for Johnson (since the teething problems are anything but, and aren't going to improve anytime soon - in fact they'll get far worse by summer when the full-fat customs checks kick in).
  20. 1.3m Europeans left the UK last year, reportedly. About half of those out of London alone, and mostly due to the forced closures of hospitality businesses under Covid. Considering the hostile environment and the visa criteria now in force in the UK, I very much doubt that they will go back. So there should be plenty of vacancies to fill, once pubs and restaurants are allowed to re-open.
  21. Belgium is an outlier. Coalitions work just fine, and have long worked just fine, elsewhere. Germany is the opposite example in that respect. But, and of course, that supposes a predisposition for consensus-led politics and, but for the degree of divergence in political beliefs and/or principles that underpin the disparity of parties involved, a common design to strive for the best interests of the entire electorate (-and other residents not entitled to vote), however diverse. Never is a long time.
  22. That is wrong. The greens and the libdems (e.g.) have long been credible-enough voting alternatives. But so long as you, as a voting collective, fail to coordinate enough to end the phenomenon of safe seats under FPTP system, of course nothing is going to change. The electorate has been given that choice with every election. It's only apathy that maintains the status quo, and it is in the interest of neither the Tories nor Labour to change it.
  23. Seriously: if UPS don't know any better than DHL, and you can't get through (or an answer from) HMRC, try the Chamber of Commerce. British chambers have been running seminars all month with European audiences about Brexit and customs, so someone there might know (-more), even if this isn't a business/commercial call.
  24. The Joker, just send it as you usually would. If anyone asks you to fill in a form, refer them to Mr Johnson at no.10 Downing Street, wherein they will be told to throw that form in the bin. 🙂 Because the UK is not in the Single Market or Customs Union. That red tape has not been “agreed between the UK & EU”, it is the standard red tape for import/export between third party countries. This is what ‘exiting’ always entailed (unless the UK stayed within the Single Market).
  25. This is another lie. Again, prove it, or retract it.
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