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.


William M. Connolley said...

Still expecting an extension? It's what I'm hoping for but I get more doubtful. Happily, as a rootless "citizen of the world" I think I'll be one of the least affected if it does all happen, but the damage to freedom of movement may annoy. Looking at the idiot govt's idiot site I see "Travel: There may be changes after Brexit." Well, thanks for that; clearly they just haven't got a clue.

James Annan said...

Extension has to be the most likely outcome. Fundamentally nothing has changed since 2016, except a million leavers have died (half as many remainers) and about 2 million new young voters have been added to the electoral roll. Brexit is still as fundamentally unsupportable and undeliverable as ever. The whole foundation of the leave campaign was the understanding that there is no real brexit that a majority of the population would touch with a barge pole. It's not really possible to keep the unicorn fantasy alive when the gory details of its sad death are clearly written down.

Much as it is tempting to think that the EU would dearly love to kick us out, they are primarily technocrats who can afford to take the long view and it's not really in their long-term interests to do so. So they will always offer an extension, more or less freely (they may make a show of attaching some conditions, but nothing serious).

William M. Connolley said...

I buy all that, but I worry that Boris et al. are sufficiently mad to dash for a no-deal exit anyway. Having read some of his blogs I find Cummings quite impressive (this doesn't mean I agree with him on all points of course) and he will take no prisoners.

crandles said...

>Much as it is tempting to think that the EU would dearly love to kick us out

I am more of the opinion they would rather have UK contributions to budget going forward than have a hole in the budget. Bigger EU empire to rule, ....

EU officials saying there are no negotiations / nothing new put forward seems designed to embarrass Boris and make his position weaker. I think this supports the view that they prefer us to stay in.

It was pretty clear anyway that they have no incentive and aren't going to budge much regardless of whether there is/isn't a realistic no deal threat.

Conservatives confirming they are the nasty party and adding stupid to it as well?

Assuming election, I just hope the public can see many more years of negotiations and wrangling if brexit proceeds and that there is no majority for no deal brexit or deal brexit. The danger being lots of brexit party MPs. Doubt they will get a majority and hopefully even if they become biggest party no-one will co-operate with them. Jo Swinson for PM?