Monday, September 23, 2019

My latest brexit prediction

Thought I'd better make a prediction before tomorrow's verdict: the Supreme Court will rule the matter justiciable, it will furthermore conclude that Johnson lied to the Queen, but it will not demand a specific solution such as reopening parliament or declaring that the prorogation was null and void. This option was not even discussed on the "Talking Politics" podcast I listened to over the weekend, and since they've reliably got everything else wrong about brexit for the past three years, it's a slam dunk.

No, honestly, though I do think it's a plausible outcome I wouldn't attach a very high probability to being right on this. The story of brexit has been one of unpredictable twists and turns, even if the final outcome is amply summed up in this pie chart:

And here's some more twitter fun:

Probably takes a click to make the gifs/videos play. [Oh, the second one doesn't seem to work. That's a shame. Well, it was just a long list of brexiters pretending everything was going to be great a couple of years ago, and now pretending that they never claimed it was going to be great. Just the usual lying liars lying.]

Oh how I long for the days when a PM syphoning off 100k of public money to one of their mistresses qualified as a proper scandal. These days it barely rates a mention on the BBC, and only then after people have baited them for a day over why they haven't covered it.

Meanwhile the Labour party conference has managed to create an outcome that is even worse than anyone imagined possible, not merely sitting on the implausible brexit unicorn fence but choosing to do so through a show-of-hands vote that many think was called the wrong way or at least too close to call without a proper count. What a shambles.

At least the LibDems have got there finally. I can snark at how long it took them to get there but they are still well ahead of the other two parties.

Monday, September 02, 2019

Bracing for brexit

So, the Govt has decided to splash £100m of our money on telling us to do what it has signally failed to do for the last 3 years - get ready for brexit. Of course the main aim of this marketing campaign is really to soften up the population for the supposed inevitability of brexit at the end of October, and hoodwink them into thinking that if it "happens" then that would be the end of the matter, rather than the start of decades of negotiation, argument and recrimination over the subsequent arrangements.

I had a look at the govt site, and for a small and simple company such as BlueSkiesResearch, there are pages and pages of vague verbiage that mostly miss the point and nothing that explains whether or not we would be able to travel to the rest of the EU to work there as we did in Hamburg and Stockholm over the last few years. Probably the best strategy will be to just lie and pretend it's a holiday. Of course there's no guidance for that either but we can be fairly confident that this would be sorted out in time for our next trip (probably the EGU meeting in Vienna if any Austrian immigration officials are reading).

More consequentially, I've also applied for - and received - Estonian e-residency (jules has also applied, but a bit later so hers has not come through yet). This will enable us to establish a business over there within the EU and hopefully allow easy participation in such things as Horizon2020 and its successor funding programmes. I know the govt had promised to support existing grants but the point is to be able to apply in the future.

Of course an inevitable consequence of this - on top of the time and money wasted, which will amount to a few hundred pounds by the time it's done and dusted - is that our company will be paying corporation tax in Estonia rather than the UK. Just one more bit of pointless self-harm by the idealogues.

I've still got to go to London to pick up the id card, that's more time and money down the drain. Perhaps after visiting the Estonian Embassy I'll take a stroll along Downing Street and chuck a few petrol bombs at No 10. Only joking, I'll probably take a milkshake.

Of course the most likely outcome - as I have said consistently for over three years now - is that we actually remain in the EU after all, when this colossally stupid act of self-humiliation collapses under its own dishonesty and idiocy. In the meantime, the damage mounts up and whatever happens now, the harm will take decades to recover from.