Brexit at long last!

Well, it’s finally happened! The event that I never thought would come about in my lifetime has happened. In spite of the best and worst efforts of the Remainers, Remainiacs, Remoaners, scaremongers, Eurocrats, industrial and political elites, insufferable, condescending buffoons who think they know what’s best for us, not to mention out-and-out liars and bullies, the United Kingdom has officially left the European Union.

Ever since the UK joined the European Economic Community in 1973 (along with the Irish Republic and Denmark), British relations with Brussels and Strasbourg have been anything but smooth. Over the past half century the EEC has mutated from a loose grouping of countries which shared a common market into a monstrous entity, one that is not only economic but political and is starting to become more federal and military. Being a part of that monstrosity does not suit the UK at all.

Where do I stand in all this? Well, I was born in 1971, two years before the UK joined the EEC so I have no memory at all of what life outside the EEC was like. I gradually became aware of this entity called the European Economic Community as I was entering adolescence in the early 1980s. At first I saw it as an alternative way of life and government to what I had known before. Northern Ireland, with all its troubles, a growing dole queue and an economy heading further and further down the plughole, was anything but a utopia. I learned of the benefits that membership of the EEC brought and the millions of pounds they gave to regenerate Belfast.

After 1990, however, I began to see the EEC in a different light. I already knew of their agricultural policies which had led to gross overproduction of food, especially meat, butter, milk and wine. I also knew of how overfishing was depleting stocks of fish in the North Sea. Now I was learning of their plans to become more politically cohesive, more federal, more like the USA. And the UK and Ireland were going to be sucked into it willy-nilly.

This vision of a United States of Europe did not appeal to me. Looking at the EU in its present form, all I can see is a lot of nobodies that somehow got elected as Members of the European Parliament blowing volumes of hot air. The most important of them are mostly nameless, faceless and totally unaccountable to the common folk like you and me. For every practical and sensible piece of legislation they pass there are who knows how many more that are quite pointless.

Now the UK is not entirely free of EU rules just yet. There is still a transition period which will run until the end of 2020 where politicians on all sides hammer out all the deals and deal with all the paperwork necessary and unnecessary.

How will Brexit affect me? It won’t, not directly at any rate. I’ll simply dot and carry on as I always have while being amused at all the scary predictions and worst case scenarios that failed to come true.

Brexit: confusion and disappointment

Friday 29th March 2019 is the day the United Kingdom was supposed to quit the European Union with secure deals on future trade, relationships and everything else. Now I wasn’t expecting this to be anything like a smooth transition. There were bound to be snags and snares along the way. When trying to disentangle a whole country from the web- actually it’s more like a manky ball of steel wool- that the E.U. the government of the U.K. had a monstrous job on its hands.

    Well, it’s a job that Theresa May and her goons have botched. Summit after summit, debate after debate and vote after vote later and it has all come to nothing. The Daily Mail, on its front page, called this period “1000 Wasted Days”.

    What I was expecting was for the U.K to be completely free of the E.U., free to set its own trade and tariffs, free to pass its own laws and free to deal with the world without any of the arbitrary rules set by faceless, unaccountable and unelected pen-pushers. But thanks in no small part to the innate self-serving nature of the buffoons we’ve elected to represent us, the U.K. s position in Europe is neither in nor out. Yes, the U.K. is still officially a member state of the E.U. and will be there until the 12th of April. But it is like a child’s milk tooth that been forced out of the gum and is hanging by a single thread.

    I’m probably being churlish and idealistic here, but I’m hoping that my version of the U.K. s future will come true. My worst case scenario is one where everything is irredeemably fudged and the U.K. is shackled to the E.U. indefinitely, still shelling out millions in dead money while enjoying none of the benefits.

    Brexit: 29 days later

    So this is it. The United Kingdom is on the way out of the European Union. Some are hailing Brexit as a victory for the common people against the monolithic government of the EU with its plethora of faceless, unelected and unresponsive bureaucrats. Some among them see it as a poke in the eye for the forces of “globalism” and “multiculturalism”.

    However, the supporters of the “Remain” campaign have for the most part fallen silent. Most of them have realised the situation is not going to change no matter how much they protest. They realise also that we’re on our way out because not enough of them got off their idle backsides to cast their votes when they had the chance. Perhaps, most importantly, there is no sign of the economic disaster that the leaders of the “Remain” campaign were predicting.

    It’s true the Pound and the FTSE-100 index dropped sharply when the vote was announced, but the Pound has been stable against the Dollar since then, (up slightly from its low point of £1=$1.2887 on 7th July to £1=$1.3101 today). The FTSE-100 recovered from its jitters of 24 June within a few days and today closed up 30.59 points at 6730.48.

    Indeed, Britain’s industry is performing as well as ever and there has been a decline in the unemployment rate.

    Now one would think that quitting the EU would be a fairly straightforward matter, one of just clearing your desk and warehouse and saying goodbye. Unfortunately this operation is run by politicians and bureaucrats and it will be a costly and convoluted affair, one which neither our new Prime Minister Theresa May, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel nor anyone else is looking forward to.

    Digital One is here at last

    Digital One is a clutch of radio stations on DAB, or multiplex, that has been broadcasting to Britain for more than ten years. It includes Classic FM, TalkSport and Planet Rock. But because of “frequency scarcity” and “regulatory issues”, two arcane and abstruse reasons which I can’t be bothered to investigate, Digital One was not available in Northern Ireland until last month.

    Of the fourteen stations in this multiplex, BFBS is the one I tune into most often. That’s not to say I can’t pick it up on FM;  I can, but the signal from Ballykinlar is very weak in Downpatrick. It takes very careful positioning of the radio and the extended aerial for the signal to come through and even then there’s still a lot of hissing. With DAB I have no such hassle. I don’t have to be close to an army base to get decent reception.

    100,000 remaniacs

    It was two years ago today that the electorate of the United Kingdom voted to quit the European Union.  The vote, admittedly, was quite narrow — 51.9% voted to leave — but it was still a majority.

    This afternoon something astonishing happened in London.  About a hundred thousand people descended on the centre of the city in a protest.  Some were demanding a second referendum, some were calling for the Brexit process to be halted and all were voicing their displeasure at the government for caving in to the majority.

    To these remoaners and remaniacs I have this to say: You as U.K. citizens have a right to voice your displeasure but you’re wasting your time.  The Brexit process is too far advanced and, as I’ve said in previous posts, there would be no need to do this if more of you had actually got off your backsides and cast your votes two years ago.

    Brexit: Nine Months On

    This afternoon, after many delays, negotiations and calls from many to “get on with it” the Prime Minister Theresa May has sent a document to European Commission President Donald Tusk informing them of the U.K.’s intention of quitting the European Union. After this will be two years of political and bureaucratic wrangling, the basic details of which can be found in this clipping from the Daily Telegraph.

    By 29th March 2019, if everything goes to plan, the U.K. will be free of all the rules and restrictions of the European Union.

    Now I don’t normally take much interest in politics and I didn’t think I’d be rebooting my blog with political posts, but the U.K.’s exit from the European Union is a major milestone. I always knew the U.K. was a member state of the E.E.C., an organization which would morph into the European Union. I was also aware of how sometimes U.K. law could be overruled by the European Court in Strasbourg. I was further aware that many people, especially conservatives, disliked the way things were vis à vis Europe and believed that Britain was better off outside. What I didn’t know until quite recently was that the U.K. was dragged into the E.U. in 1973 by the government of Edward Heath with none of the people being asked. (To be fair, the people did get a referendum in 1975 and they voted by roughly two to one to stay in the E.U.)

    I must also mention the monolithic bureaucracy, the waste of time, money and paper that keeps it running and the unnumbered Eurocrats who are accountable to nobody. And what of the seventy-three M.E.P.s who represent the U.K.? Did they ever have any influence at all in Brussels?

    Now there’s the single currency and all the problems that have come with it and I thank all the politicians on our side who kept the U.K. of it.

    All in all the E.U. is a vast sinking ship and the U.K. is the rat deserting it.

    P.S. I said in a previous post that Iceland had applied to join the E.U. In fact, although they began talks for their accession to the E.U. in 2010, they shelved plans in March 2015.

    Brexit: 29 days later

    So this is it. The United Kingdom is on the way out of the European Union. Some are hailing Brexit as a victory for the common people against the monolithic government of the EU with its plethora of faceless, unelected and unresponsive bureaucrats. Some among them see it as a poke in the eye for the forces of “globalism” and “multiculturalism”.

    However, the supporters of the “Remain” campaign have for the most part fallen silent. Most of them have realised the situation is not going to change no matter how much they protest. They realise also that we’re on our way out because not enough of them got off their idle backsides to cast their votes when they had the chance. Perhaps, most importantly, there is no sign of the economic disaster that the leaders of the “Remain” campaign were predicting.

    It’s true the Pound and the FTSE-100 index dropped sharply when the vote was announced, but the Pound has been stable against the Dollar since then, (up slightly from its low point of £1=$1.2887 on 7th July to £1=$1.3101 today). The FTSE-100 recovered from its jitters of 24 June within a few days and today closed up 30.59 points at 6730.48.

    Indeed, Britain’s industry is performing as well as ever and there has been a decline in the unemployment rate.

    Now one would think that quitting the EU would be a fairly straightforward matter, one of just clearing your desk and warehouse and saying goodbye. Unfortunately this operation is run by politicians and bureaucrats and it will be a costly and convoluted affair, one which neither our new Prime Minister Theresa May, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel nor anyone else is looking forward to.