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Monthly Archives: August 2020

Know your enemy

From Adrian Ekins-Daukes.

One of the key Brexit texts is “Change, or Go: How Britain would gain influence and prosper outside an unreformed EU.” written in 2015. Highlights summarised below by Jennifer Rankin (Guardian):

  • UK/Irish relations scarcely get a mention.
  • The EU would agree to negotiate a new trading relationship before the triggering of Article 50. The UK would have a new deal in its back pocket before the formal process of leaving the EU even began.
  • The UK could enjoy “a common market relationship with EU even if it did not sign a special deal after exit”.
  • The authors were relaxed about the UK losing the benefits of EU trade deals, because “the EU underperforms at managing trade policy”. It doesn’t have a trade deal with the US and China. Anyway, it is “highly likely” EU FTAs “could be photocopied”. The UK could quickly do its own deals.
  • It obsesses on tariffs, but pays scant attention to non-tariff barriers. In revealing language, it saw limits to the EU’s ability “to penalise Britain” and inflict “malicious harm”.
  • Easy transport links for firms and citizens: “there would be no significant disruption or inconvenience for UK firms or passengers”. UK travellers can keep the EHIC insurance card when visiting the EU. The Change or Go report provided the underpinning for Michael Gove’s “We hold all the cards” 2016 speech.

Taken together, Gove’s speech and the Change or Go report make it clear that Brexiteers believed:

  • The EU was about to implode sometime soon or, at the very least, be severely weakened.
  • Brexit would trigger a domino effect and other countries would follow the UK out.
  • After the Brexit vote, the UK would hold all the cards and be the centre of a new, anti-EU European alliance.
  • The UK could dictate terms because the EU would desperately need UK trade.
  • The UK could have customs union and single market benefits without the commitments and obligations of membership.
  • Travel to the EU from the UK would continue without interruption and with no new requirements.
  • It was all about the trade in goods, tariffs and borders.
  • The UK would quickly be able to negotiate trade deals with all the major powers to compensate for any loss in EU trade.

Incredibly, Leave Voters still seem to believe much of this nonsense in the face of all the evidence and the passage of time. In particular they cling to the to the idea that Merkel will come to the rescue of the negotiations at the last moment and that the obstructive Barnier will be sacked (editor’s note, we have seen the Cummings and goings of many UK trade negotiators and whipping boys whereas Barnier has remained in place all through this process). Our Government believe that all that we have to do is to continue to allow David Frost, our negotiator, to continue repeating idiotically “we are now an independent country”, and the EU will finally concede.

Write to your MP using this material to set out the case as to why the unicorns of Brexit MP’s have been shown to be fatally flawed. Call for a suspension of Brexit pending a full public enquiry and consultation.

Read Anand Menon’s recent paper on the subject.

Michael Gove’s lies and various other lies are captured in this piece of music which is prophetic in terms of our sleepwalk into a banana republic and a fascist state.

Britastrophe

Britain officially slid into what looks like an L-Shaped recession today (L stands for LONG). Whilst Corona undoubtedly provided the tipping point into recession, we must also look longer into the past for the underlying reasons. The FT reports that UK is the worst performing nation in Europe regarding our decline into recession under Corona. Brexit must therefore be added in terms of how deep and rapid our plunge into recession has been. Brexit uncertainly has laid the table for our Britastrophe, making Britain especially vulnerable in terms of resilience. The term resilience is essentially our ability to ride out tough times. Longer term, adding a man made disaster in slow motion (Brexit) to the Corona crisis offers us a “Britastrophe“. We have to endure Corona, but we need not have Brexit.

In March 2020, we made some socio-economic and political forecasts about the coming 6 months. Prediction is largely a dangerous game, but it turns out we were mostly right. We would be very badly advised to add Brexit to our list of problems in 2021 under this analysis:

But here at Rage Against Brexit we look deeper at the underlying economics and today we can report that it seems that Britain’s problems have been caused by … cheese ….

Taking back control … of our Stilton

Liz Truss has made the protection of Stilton a red line in the Brexit talks with Japan. In case you are not familiar, Truss is a massive defender of cheese and has made it her personal mission to defend her “blue veins” against what she considers the “yellow peril” in Brexit talks.

In case you are wondering about the benefits of the “Stilton Clause” as it is referred to in Whitehall, here they are:

Our trade with Japan was worth £31.6 billion last year

The Stilton Wedge is worth £102 million

In case of doubt, a billion is more than a million – a lot more

70% of Japanese people are unable to eat Stilton due to lactose intolerance

Liz Truss: [furiously] “Tell the yellow midgets that they’d better start liking Stilton or they can make their fucking cars in their own country”

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The easiest deal in history

You may well ask, why is Liz standing up for cheese? Well, it may have escaped your attention, but we have not done a significant trade deal since we “left” on January 31st, 2020, although we all know that Liam Fox said that getting trade deals was to be the easiest thing in history. Liz needs to bring in the bacon (and brie) pronto, so that we can say we did a better deal with Japan than the EU did … because Stilton is included. Makes sense, eh?

The Stilton Clause” is said to include unlimited supplies of Cheesy Wotsits in exchange for the ceremonial inclusion of a Torii at Cheddar Gorge and its use on premium brand Cheddar:

Moveable Feast

In other news, the much vaunted moveable barrier for the M20 gridlock in Kent promised for 31 December 2020 by Grant Shapps is not going to be ready until 2022. Shapps was heard to say that this would not be a problem, as we would improvise with wedges of cheese in the two year intervening period. Here is an artists’ impression of the SS (Stilton System) in action during the Brexit food shortages.

As Boris will say:

The British Government is crumbling

Sadly Corona, Flu and Flooding are natural phenomena. Brexit is a man-made disaster and we don’t need to add it to the Winter of Discontent. We must avoid a BRITASTROPHE.

Join us to collaborate every WED at 8 pm on ZOOM.

Join us tonight on ZOOM to collaborate to stop a Britastrophe

The Chemistry of Brexit

It’s just a trifle between friends, but our Russian connection Irina reports that the UK Chemical Industry faces a loss of up to £7 billion from Brexit. The chemical industry contributes £18 billion to the country, employs 500 000 people and contributes £50 billion in exports. Not exactly a trifling matter.

The Royal Society of Chemistry undertook a comprehensive survey on Brexit and found that only 4% of 5000 respondents felt positive about the impact of Brexit on science.

I started life as a Chemist, working on breakthrough treatments for HIV / AIDS and human insulin. We have already seen the relocation of the Medicines Control Agency away from London. So what, you might say? Well, the UK is currently part of the first tier for novel drug approvals as our standards are aligned with Europe. After Brexit divergence of standards, the UK will move towards the back of the queue for novel drug registration approvals with the rest of the world. Boris Johnson has been told that he needs to deal with medicine shortages under Brexit. Given his responses to Corona, we think it unlikely he will act and this will result in “death by Brexit”:

Brexit enthusiasts such as Jacob Rees-Mogg talk in vigorous tones about the notion of a bonfire on standards. Sadly Jacob studied Latin at school and does not realise that standards have a purpose for safeguarding etc.

Brexit … a bonfire on standards …

When I worked at the pharma company we occasionally used to source new suppliers of chemicals. I recall receiving a shipment of paracetamol from a new supplier. On opening the keg, it contained a large amount of straw. This is why we have standards.

Coming closer to recent times, Peter Daws was discussing Brexit with a hairdresser in Chatham. She said she wanted Brexit as the EU were preventing her from using toxic dyes on her client’s hair. She demanded the right to poison her customers! Is that in any way sane? By the way, the EU have banned a number of ingredients used in hair dyes and there are plenty of viable alternatives. Write to me if you demand the right to poison your customers and we can talk.

I experienced the same issue when collecting some printed materials from a local print shop. The printer complained that he had to buy new equipment, because the existing machines produced dangerous emissions. I calmly explained that we had to remove toxic dyes from our pharma products in the 1980’s and it was the nature of all progress to act when new knowledge was available. He shrugged. In my long experience of business and management, it does not do anything for profitability and performance to poison your staff. Call me a snowflake if you wish.

Write to your MP and make these facts known to them.

It’s not too late to suspend Brexit so please join us on ZOOM every Wed at 8 pm.

Do you work in the Chemical or related industries? Have a story to share? Write to us via brexitrage@academy-of-rock.co.uk

Schools Out

This is a kind of “end of term” report for Boris Johnson and the Conservative party. The Prime Minister has gone off for another summer rest. Well deserved? Adrian Ekins-Dauke’s invites you to judge for yourself:

THE RUSSIA REPORT: FUNDING AND MISINFORMATION

Ex-Russian intelligence staff say 85% of their work is not spying, but “political funding and misinformation”. Since 2012, the Tory party has received almost £3m in donations from members of Putin’s cabinets and 14 current ministers have had donations from individuals or companies connected to the Russian leadership

The government delayed the release of the Intelligence Committee’s report on Russian interference in Brexit for 9 months. The reasons given for the delay were described as “simply not true” by the Committee. Our Home Secretary, Priti Patel said the Russia Report could be ignored because it was now 9 months old and “out of date” (One wonders whether she takes a similar view of unresolved murder, rape and other serious cases which become “out of date” after 9 months).

COVID 19

Matt Hancock boasted he had met the targets on his “six tests” on COVID-19. In fact 4 of the 6 targets were missed, one target couldn’t be met because it had never been defined, and one “relied on a definition [that] does not reflect practice”.

The cross-party Public Accounts Committee found there was an “astonishing failure to plan for the economic impact” of COVID-19. It also said the policy of discharging patients into care homes was a “reckless and appalling policy error”. It called the government “slow, inconsistent [and] negligent”. The Committee chair said “A competent government does not run a country on the hoof”

DIRTY DEEDS

Now for PPE contracts …

£252m to Ayanda Capital, registered in Mauritius for tax purposes. PPE not delivered.
£186m to Uniserve. PPE not delivered.
£116m to P14 Medical Supplies, with assets of just £145. PPE not delivered.

£108m to PestFix, with just 16 employees. PPE not delivered.

£107m to Clandeboye Agencies, a sweet wholesaler. Yes, a sweet wholesaler. PPE not delivered.
£40m to Medicine Box Ltd, with assets of just £6000. PPE not delivered.
£48m to Initia Ventures Ltd, which registered itself as “dormant” in March. PPE not delivered.

£28m to Monarch Acoustics, which makes shop furniture. PPE not delivered.

£25m to Luxe Lifestyle, which has no employees, no assets, and no turnover. PPE not delivered.
£18m to Aventis Solutions, which has total assets of £332. Not a typo, £332! PPE not delivered.

£10m to Medco Solutions, incorporated just 3 days after lockdown, with share capital of (not a typo) £2. PPE not delivered.

In all, approx £1 bn to inexplicable suppliers for PPE that hasn’t been delivered. This of course costs lives.

A Nuffield Health study found after 10 years of “chronic underinvestment”, UK is at the bottom of the league table for health resources, diagnostics and surgery by the NHS will take 4 years to return to pre-COVID levels.

The government’s “world beating” test-and-trace programme was described as “scandalous” by the British Medical Journal, and found to miss its 80% target in every COVID hotspot announced last week

Finally, Boris Johnson refused a public enquiry into government handling of COVID-19.

BREXIT

A report from London School of Economics has shown a WTO Brexit will shrink 16 out of the UK’s 24 industry sectors by up to 15% each. Permanently. A Tory MP tweeted:

“? WTO here we come!”

Another pro-Brexit Tory MP with a grasp of what’s to come tweeted:

“my strong advice is: “take the chance to live abroad”.

MISCELLANEOUS

The cross-party Media & Culture Committee has reported that “government has consistently failed to recognise scale of challenge facing culture, sport and tourism and had been ‘too slow’ to respond to their needs during COVID-19.

Boris Johnson launched a “Fix Your Bike” voucher website. It broke within an hour. The editor applied and found that the website did not work. I called the people and was promised vouchers. On following up I was told the scheme was closed.

Johnson also said we should all lose weight. This is certainly true in his case at 17 Stone. However, Johnson is still issuing vouchers to help us buy burgers.

Boris Johnson would not get a job as a WeightWatchers coach

It was revealed the government spent £400m buying a bankrupt satellite company, OneWeb, to replace the Euro GPS system we have lost due to Brexit. Months before, a study by MIT found that OneWeb’s tech is 6 times less efficient than the EU solution: the worst of the technologies studied.

In June, the government guaranteed that there would be no cuts in overseas aid when the Foreign Office and International Development Dept merged. It announced cuts of £2.9 bn in aid on the day Parliament broke up for the summer, thus avoiding questions on broken their promises.

The government has permitted your health records to be given to Palantir, a large US data-mining company and to Faculty, owned by an associate of Dominic Cummings and said to have worked with Cambridge Analytica on Brexit.

Our overall assessment of the Government is 2/10. What’s yours?

Write to your MP and make these points. Ask them not to add the man made disaster of Brexit to Corona Crisis.

Join our network to Re-Boot Britain.

Fool Britannia

Some Remainers hold the view that Britain rules the waves and that we can rejoin the EU at some point in the future. The assumptions on which they base their predictions are that nothing changes in Britain or in the EU after Brexit. Yet this is fundamentally unlikely to be true and our chance to reverse Brexit is therefore time limited. Consider the effects of change over the next 5-10 years in socio-economic and cultural terms:

INFERNAL COMBUSTION

Scotland will have a legitimate case to leave the UK if Brexit happens. This will be followed by movements towards re-unification of Ireland, then the separation of Wales and so on. It is not too fanciful to suggest that England will gravitate towards The People’s Republic of Thurrock over the long term, as atomisation becomes fashionable. After all, Brexit is really about the creation of Singapore on Thames for a few people, the realignment of Britain with the worst of what the US has to offer and a narrow islander’s outlook on world affairs and racism.

In terms of economics, we have had a first wave of companies leaving the UK in 2017 – 2018 then another after it became clear that tariffs and a customs union will be a Brexit reality. The third wave will follow if Brexit happens, once companies understand that Brexit means No deal, No trade and No hope. The Russian experiment to destabilise Europe will be complete.

These economic and social changes will be accompanied by a consequential brain drain by people with portable skills in the 4th industrial age and a transition to a low skills / low wage culture. Brexit is Jacob Rees-Mogg’s wet dream of a return to an upstairs downstairs society of servants, serfdom and the workhouse. Quite why working class people voted for Brexit, apart from as a protest, still escapes me as someone who began life in a working class family but who now works globally as a knowledge worker. Brexit will make little impact on me personally, but I cannot understand why those who will lose most still seem to want it just because they “won”. Read what the University of Oxford has to say about our brain drain, which has increased by some 30% in recent times with Brexit being the dominant driver of “cerebral migration“.

According to the study, the numbers of UK citizens obtaining EU member state passports provides evidence that an increasing number of UK immigrants are making long-term migration decisions to protect themselves from some of the negative effects of Brexit

The net effects of these socio-economic and cultural changes will be deep and long lasting. They may result in the UK being unfit to re-join the EU as “Little Britain” may not even be able to meet the joining criteria. In any case, Britain may find itself in a queue behind Albania. Queuing is at least something that British people understand!

EXTERNAL CHANGES

At the same time, the EU will not remain static across a 5-10 year period . Some of the likely effects on the EU side of things include:

The EU experience of our continuing desire to “have our cake and eat it too” may well persuade Brussels that Charles De Gaulle was right about Britain. De Gualle warned his five EEC partners that Britain had a “deep-seated hostility” to European integration that could bring about the end of what was then referred to as the “common market.” He also worried that in crunch times, Britain would always side with the United States over its continental neighbours. Britain has attempted to do just that by trading hormone fed beef and chlorinated chicken against our food supply from Europe and even our own farmer’s livelihoods. A nation that puts food before wellbeing needs to have a word with itself.

Over the last four years, as well as Britain’s decline as a nation, the EU has had time to mitigate the worst effects of Brexit for themselves. For example they have struck trade deals which will allow industries and countries to make up any losses from Britain’s involvement in the EU. This will lower their need to deal with us, especially if our trajectory is towards lower standards and US domination of our trade.

Given the atrocious way in which the UK has handled negotiations with Brussels, using table thumping techniques and inept negotiators such as David Frost, any such re-entry would likely be accompanied with a “terms and conditions” apply clause. For example Schengen, the Euro and so on. Europe will also learn from Brexit and not wish to have a repeat performance of the petulance and adapted child behaviour that has bedevilled Brexit.

Britain may even fail the criteria for being a democracy in 5-10 years, which is a pre-requisite of joining the EU. Important signifiers of our decline into a banana republic include:

  • Stuffing the legislature with cronies
  • Directing hundreds of millions to other cronies
  • Removing checks and balances from Parliament
  • Putting Civil Service departments under political control

The EU is no longer interested in wasting their time on Britain and this has consequences for any future relationship with Europe. Donald Trump will not rescue Britain, apart from asset stripping the NHS and killing our farmers.

The current migrant fiasco is a current example of our appalling behaviour towards others. Priti Patel attempts to suggest that people voted to kill migrant children by voting Brexit in 2016. She also argues that our inability to handle migration is France’s fault. This is a potent example “arrested development”. Three year olds in a playground arguing about who should have a piece of chocolate may actually demonstrate more advanced behaviours that our present political masters.

We cannot therefore rely on the idea of re-joining the EU. We must push for a suspension of Brexit in the wake of Corona, or just because Brexit is one of the most stupid and dangerous ideas of all time.

Things to do:

Write to your MP using this article to inform your letter.

Write to the media.

Brexorcise your friends.

Support our continuing project to Re-Boot Britain.

Join our movement every Wednesday at 8 pm on ZOOM.