what you get here

This is not a blog which opinionates on current events. It rather uses incidents, books (old and new), links and papers to muse about our social endeavours.
So old posts are as good as new! And lots of useful links!

The Bucegi mountains - the range I see from the front balcony of my mountain house - are almost 120 kms from Bucharest and cannot normally be seen from the capital but some extraordinary weather conditions allowed this pic to be taken from the top of the Intercontinental Hotel in late Feb 2020

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Chaos Looms - How Brexit impacts on an individual

I’ve been in Scotland this past week – looking for a place to spend winters not least to put some of my personal affairs in order before Britain separates from the Continent. Talk in recent negotiations of a “transition period” had made many of us imagine that time was still on our side but the past week seems to have seen a hardening of positions and an increasingly cavalier (if not positive) attitude by British conservative parliamentarians to the idea of “No Deal”  with the EU.

This raises the very real possibility that the UK will drop out of the EU on 29 March next year. Clearly there are no contingency plans in place to allow such a development – and a fairly immediate result will be total chaos.
Mutual agreements have not been made with the European Aviation Body which manages landing slots – nor with relevant customs and food authorities to ensure the flow of containers at borders. For example, it appears that nothing less than 95% of vets who operate in food production in the UK are EU nationals (British vets prefer to work with pets) and a lot of the EU nationals are leaving the country

No-deal is probably the most demented policy put forward by mainstream British politicians in the modern era. To see how it would work in practice, this piece looks at what would happen on day one. Doing this for the whole economy would take countless pages of Stephen-King-style horror, so it's stripped down to one topic: food. This is the story of how our system for importing and exporting food implodes almost instantly.
You may remember 'Brexit means Brexit' - that nursery rhyme from the bygone days of late 2016. It was false. But no-deal, on the other hand, really does mean no-deal. The withdrawal treaty comes as one package, so if Theresa May fails to secure it, everything falls down. There are no deals on anything.
March 30th 2019 becomes Year Zero. Overnight, British meat products cannot be imported into the EU. To bring these types of goods in, they have to come from a country with an approved national body whose facilities have been certified by the EU. But there has been no deal, so there's no approval.

There’s more discussion of the issue at the excellent Brexit Blog. And the EU Referendum blog gives a great daily commentary on the whole withdrawal process. Its author, Richard North, may have been one of the original Brexiteers but his analysis of government ineptitudes and shallow media reporting is essential reading...... 
I’ve organised a nice flat but now have to contemplate making a trip in late March rather than April/May to ensure I’m able to enter Romania while I’m still a European citizen…..I was planning to drive to Scotland (and back) but have to reconsider that in the light of the nightmares which might face me as I try to cross the various borders (although my number plate is Romanian!)

While I’ve been here, I’ve been reading Tim Shipman’s Fall Out – a year of political mayhem which tells the detailed story of political events in the UK from the immediate aftermath of the June 23 2016 Referendum until the end of December 2017 – including the General Election which was suddenly called in April 2017. It is a frightening story of myopia and. manoeuvring

in the absence of any national strategy to deal with the implications of a No-Deal scenario, local municipalities have been preparing their own.....with horrific results
a Brexit summer reading list 

October -
Why Britain is never prepared
British Ministers hadn't a clue about negotiations with the EU