Author Topic: Brexit - Will it happen  (Read 48654 times)

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Offline rocket_scientist

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Re: Brexit - Will it happen
« Reply #160 on: June 03, 2019, 11:22:32 PM »
An incredible effort considering they are both dead.

Some are debating the reality. You favour pedantry and oneupmanship and choose not to participate.

That's fine. That's your choice. I apologise for omitting to add the words "in the modern era". It must have offended you greatly.

Were you aware of the significance of May's timing? Do you agree that it was directly related to the half-blind Fife fuck?

Isn't it tragic that "not a mother" Theresa acted from personal ego issues over the best interests of the country? Even you had seen that she was a lame dead duck a long time ago.
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Offline rocket_scientist

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Re: Brexit - Will it happen
« Reply #161 on: June 04, 2019, 01:42:35 AM »
The most prophetic and important argument against the EU...

Maastricht and All That

8 October 1992
1,954 words

Wynne Godley

A lot of people throughout Europe have suddenly realised that they know hardly anything about the Maastricht Treaty while rightly sensing that it could make a huge difference to their lives. Their legitimate anxiety has provoked Jacques Delors to make a statement to the effect that the views of ordinary people should in future be more sensitively consulted. He might have thought of that before.

Although I support the move towards political integration in Europe, I think that the Maastricht proposals as they stand are seriously defective, and also that public discussion of them has been curiously impoverished. With a Danish rejection, a near-miss in France, and the very existence of the ERM in question after the depredations by currency markets, it is a good moment to take stock.

The central idea of the Maastricht Treaty is that the EC countries should move towards an economic and monetary union, with a single currency managed by an independent central bank. But how is the rest of economic policy to be run? As the treaty proposes no new institutions other than a European bank, its sponsors must suppose that nothing more is needed. But this could only be correct if modern economies were self-adjusting systems that didn’t need any management at all.

I am driven to the conclusion that such a view – that economies are self-righting organisms which never under any circumstances need management at all – did indeed determine the way in which the Maastricht Treaty was framed. It is a crude and extreme version of the view which for some time now has constituted Europe’s conventional wisdom (though not that of the US or Japan) that governments are unable, and therefore should not try, to achieve any of the traditional goals of economic policy, such as growth and full employment. All that can legitimately be done, according to this view, is to control the money supply and balance the budget. It took a group largely composed of bankers (the Delors Committee) to reach the conclusion that an independent central bank was the only supra-national institution necessary to run an integrated, supra-national Europe.

But there is much more to it all. It needs to be emphasised at the start that the establishment of a single currency in the EC would indeed bring to an end the sovereignty of its component nations and their power to take independent action on major issues. As Mr Tim Congdon has argued very cogently, the power to issue its own money, to make drafts on its own central bank, is the main thing which defines national independence. If a country gives up or loses this power, it acquires the status of a local authority or colony. Local authorities and regions obviously cannot devalue. But they also lose the power to finance deficits through money creation while other methods of raising finance are subject to central regulation. Nor can they change interest rates. As local authorities possess none of the instruments of macro-economic policy, their political choice is confined to relatively minor matters of emphasis – a bit more education here, a bit less infrastructure there. I think that when Jacques Delors lays new emphasis on the principle of ‘subsidiarity’, he is really only telling us we will be allowed to make decisions about a larger number of relatively unimportant matters than we might previously have supposed. Perhaps he will let us have curly cucumbers after all. Big deal!

Let me express a different view. I think that the central government of any sovereign state ought to be striving all the time to determine the optimum overall level of public provision, the correct overall burden of taxation, the correct allocation of total expenditures between competing requirements and the just distribution of the tax burden. It must also determine the extent to which any gap between expenditure and taxation is financed by making a draft on the central bank and how much it is financed by borrowing and on what terms. The way in which governments decide all these (and some other) issues, and the quality of leadership which they can deploy, will, in interaction with the decisions of individuals, corporations and foreigners, determine such things as interest rates, the exchange rate, the inflation rate, the growth rate and the unemployment rate. It will also profoundly influence the distribution of income and wealth not only between individuals but between whole regions, assisting, one hopes, those adversely affected by structural change.

Almost nothing simple can be said about the use of these instruments, with all their inter-dependencies, to promote the well-being of a nation and protect it as well as may be from the shocks of various kinds to which it will inevitably be subjected. It only has limited meaning, for instance, to say that budgets should always be balanced when a balanced budget with expenditure and taxation both running at 40 per cent of GDP would have an entirely different (and much more expansionary) impact than a balanced budget at 10 per cent. To imagine the complexity and importance of a government’s macro-economic decisions, one has only to ask what would be the appropriate response, in terms of fiscal, monetary and exchange rate policy, for a country about to produce large quantities of oil, of a fourfold increase in the price of oil. Would it have been right to do nothing at all? And it should never be forgotten that in periods of very great crisis, it may even be appropriate for a central government to sin against the Holy Ghost of all central banks and invoke the ‘inflation tax’ – deliberately appropriating resources by reducing, through inflation, the real value of a nation’s paper wealth. It was, after all, by means of the inflation tax that Keynes proposed that we should pay for the war.

I recite all this to suggest, not that sovereignty should not be given up in the noble cause of European integration, but that if all these functions are renounced by individual governments they simply have to be taken on by some other authority. The incredible lacuna in the Maastricht programme is that, while it contains a blueprint for the establishment and modus operandi of an independent central bank, there is no blueprint whatever of the analogue, in Community terms, of a central government. Yet there would simply have to be a system of institutions which fulfils all those functions at a Community level which are at present exercised by the central governments of individual member countries.

The counterpart of giving up sovereignty should be that the component nations are constituted into a federation to whom their sovereignty is entrusted. And the federal system, or government, as it had better be called, would have to exercise all those functions in relation to its members and to the outside world which I have briefly outlined above.

Consider two important examples of what a federal government, in charge of a federal budget, should be doing.

European countries are at present locked into a severe recession. As things stand, particularly as the economies of the USA and Japan are also faltering, it is very unclear when any significant recovery will take place. The political implications of this are becoming frightening. Yet the interdependence of the European economies is already so great that no individual country, with the theoretical exception of Germany, feels able to pursue expansionary policies on its own, because any country that did try to expand on its own would soon encounter a balance-of-payments constraint. The present situation is screaming aloud for co-ordinated reflation, but there exist neither the institutions nor an agreed framework of thought which will bring about this obviously desirable result. It should be frankly recognised that if the depression really were to take a serious turn for the worse – for instance, if the unemployment rate went back permanently to the 20-25 per cent characteristic of the Thirties – individual countries would sooner or later exercise their sovereign right to declare the entire movement towards integration a disaster and resort to exchange controls and protection – a siege economy if you will. This would amount to a re-run of the inter-war period.

If there were an economic and monetary union, in which the power to act independently had actually been abolished, ‘co-ordinated’ reflation of the kind which is so urgently needed now could only be undertaken by a federal European government. Without such an institution, EMU would prevent effective action by individual countries and put nothing in its place.

Another important role which any central government must perform is to put a safety net under the livelihood of component regions which are in distress for structural reasons – because of the decline of some industry, say, or because of some economically-adverse demographic change. At present this happens in the natural course of events, without anyone really noticing, because common standards of public provision (for instance, health, education, pensions and rates of unemployment benefit) and a common (it is to be hoped, progressive) burden of taxation are both generally instituted throughout individual realms. As a consequence, if one region suffers an unusual degree of structural decline, the fiscal system automatically generates net transfers in favour of it. In extremis, a region which could produce nothing at all would not starve because it would be in receipt of pensions, unemployment benefit and the incomes of public servants.

What happens if a whole country – a potential ‘region’ in a fully integrated community – suffers a structural setback? So long as it is a sovereign state, it can devalue its currency. It can then trade successfully at full employment provided its people accept the necessary cut in their real incomes. With an economic and monetary union, this recourse is obviously barred, and its prospect is grave indeed unless federal budgeting arrangements are made which fulfil a redistributive role. As was clearly recognised in the MacDougall Report which was published in 1977, there has to be a quid pro quo for giving up the devaluation option in the form of fiscal redistribution. Some writers (such as Samuel Brittan and Sir Douglas Hague) have seriously suggested that EMU, by abolishing the balance of payments problem in its present form, would indeed abolish the problem, where it exists, of persistent failure to compete successfully in world markets. But as Professor Martin Feldstein pointed out in a major article in the Economist (13 June), this argument is very dangerously mistaken. If a country or region has no power to devalue, and if it is not the beneficiary of a system of fiscal equalisation, then there is nothing to stop it suffering a process of cumulative and terminal decline leading, in the end, to emigration as the only alternative to poverty or starvation. I sympathise with the position of those (like Margaret Thatcher) who, faced with the loss of sovereignty, wish to get off the EMU train altogether. I also sympathise with those who seek integration under the jurisdiction of some kind of federal constitution with a federal budget very much larger than that of the Community budget. What I find totally baffling is the position of those who are aiming for economic and monetary union without the creation of new political institutions (apart from a new central bank), and who raise their hands in horror at the words ‘federal’ or ‘federalism’. This is the position currently adopted by the Government and by most of those who take part in the public discussion.
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Offline rocket_scientist

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Re: Brexit - Will it happen
« Reply #162 on: June 04, 2019, 01:48:38 AM »
And thank fuck the UK never joined the Eurozone. For this, we need to thank the Eurosceptics, in particular the Labour party in the 70's and Thatcher in the 80's.
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Offline donsdaft

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Re: Brexit - Will it happen
« Reply #163 on: June 04, 2019, 08:22:32 AM »
That doesn't really make sense as an answer to the questions I asked.

We've barely got a steel industry as part of the EU and it's heading in one direction. Do you believe that remaining in the EU would improve our chances of growing our steel industry? If so, why has the opposite occurred?


I can see that we're going to have a problem with "we" and "our"

We (Scotland) don't have a steel industry because the English shut it down.
We (Europe) still have a steel industry
They (England) if they decide not to be us (Europe) are fucked, and the bastards deserve to be fucked.

Online RicoS321

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Re: Brexit - Will it happen
« Reply #164 on: June 04, 2019, 08:56:48 AM »

I can see that we're going to have a problem with "we" and "our"

We (Scotland) don't have a steel industry because the English shut it down.
We (Europe) still have a steel industry
They (England) if they decide not to be us (Europe) are fucked, and the bastards deserve to be fucked.

Really? Diminishing from 16% in 2007 to 10% of world output in 2017 would suggest that Europe's steel industry is only heading in one direction too. The majors being owned by India and the like other than yer Germans.

Offline donsdaft

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Re: Brexit - Will it happen
« Reply #165 on: June 04, 2019, 09:25:33 AM »
That's a completely different argument from letting your own industrial base collapse just because you can temporarily buy stuff cheaper abroad.

I'm not usually one who goes on about defence capabilities but surely the Tories can see that if they want to think that they are sitting at the top table of military powers then they have to be able to build their own tanks and ships, given a blockade on goods.

Offline Kowalski

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Re: Brexit - Will it happen
« Reply #166 on: June 04, 2019, 09:54:25 AM »
And thank fuck the UK never joined the Eurozone. For this, we need to thank the Eurosceptics, in particular the Labour party in the 70's and Thatcher in the 80's.

I completely agree with the above - the Eurozone is a fucking shambles.  Pre-Euro and post-Euro trips to Dublin saw a HUGE difference in the price of things.

So is the Schengen zone from a security perspective.  We're in neither, thankfully.

Offline rocket_scientist

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Re: Brexit - Will it happen
« Reply #167 on: June 04, 2019, 10:34:30 AM »
I don't think tanks and ships and the manufacture of them during warfare is going to make any difference to the outcomes. If there was going to be a fight between the UK and any invading nation, the nuclear capability will settle matters pretty quickly, and probably end life on the planet too.

Ravenscraig got shut because it was uncompetitive. It was losing fortunes. As our coal mines were. Scargill and his ilk, the union mentalities, never anticipated global trade. They only wanted workers rights and considered the capitalist owners as scum exploiters, something to fight with and be a pain in the arse to, rather than negotiate and compromise. Our shipbuilding on Clydeside followed the exact same pattern, inevitably really. When workers elsewhere can live on a fraction of the wages we pay, the longer term outlook was terminal. Commercial aeroplane manufacturing will eventually go east too, once their technologies catch up. Boeing and others are creating demand for their own extinction given recent fuck ups.
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Offline rocket_scientist

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Re: Brexit - Will it happen
« Reply #168 on: June 04, 2019, 10:44:04 AM »
The ethos behind nuclear war is the same as those sad mad fucks who kill - or throw acid in the faces of - their former girlfriends (or wives). If I can't have her, nobody else is going to.

Mutually Assured Destruction. The spurned lover, or the loser in world conflict isn't going to go away quietly.
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Offline rocket_scientist

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Re: Brexit - Will it happen
« Reply #169 on: June 04, 2019, 10:53:07 AM »
The EU was never created/sold as an imperial force, a superstate, a United States of Europe. It was intended to facilitate trade and promote peace. When a project gets mis-sold, the deceit and the lies will inevitably come home to roost. The English were right to instinctively want out, even though they didn't understand what they were voting for. Sturgeon on the other hand, is either incredibly stupid or is playing politics and lying to us in pursing her main goal.
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Offline donsdaft

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Re: Brexit - Will it happen
« Reply #170 on: June 04, 2019, 11:42:26 AM »
The United States of Europe

Yes, that's the dream, the quicker the better.

With a single currency, something that the yanks have fought hard against.

Online RicoS321

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Re: Brexit - Will it happen
« Reply #171 on: June 04, 2019, 01:38:21 PM »
The United States of Europe

Yes, that's the dream, the quicker the better.

With a single currency, something that the yanks have fought hard against.

But it isn't the dream. Certainly not of the EU. If you read the article above by Rocket then you'd know that. Followed up by the Lisbon treaty and its surplus requirements. Did you complete ignore what happened to Greece? Stripped of everything, accused of being lazy, pension-dwelling scum. Public sector absolutely trashed. Then trashed again. All part of the globalist expansionist neo-liberal carve up. All because they lost the ability to produce the money required themselves. Only an utter moron would suggest a country join the Euro in its current form. It would either destroy the UK, or someone less well off would get destroyed on our behalf (more likely). It's an absolutely disgusting setup, and not even remotely like the USD. The US looks after its states. It recycles its surpluses. The EU is so far removed from that its unbelievable. The fact that you don't understand that, but advocate that position, is just blatant ignorance. A United States of Europe would be absolutely fine, but if you think that's what the EU is, was or will ever be then you're massively wrong.

Offline rocket_scientist

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Re: Brexit - Will it happen
« Reply #172 on: June 04, 2019, 03:20:04 PM »
The reason why USE can never happen where the USA was highly successful is simple. History.

Creating a "coalition of counties" (or of regions) in a new land, framed by natural borders and centralising power with the consent of all the constituent parts was a one-off opportunity that made sense and it worked.

The Southern European countries are too culturally different from the rest of Europe. The laissez faire and manjana attitude to work in Greece, Spain, Portugal etc. is an anathema to every other ambitious country. The non-payment of taxes and the lack of civic duty (and pride) in the south is poles apart from the hard-working and hard-saving Germans in particular, another reason why the EMU was always going to be a failed project and why the Euro will die, already in its latter stages of life, still relatively new and fresh off the mint.

Much as the few would love a United States of Europe and have been pushing us towards it by stealth, the people won't accept it. There are certain lines you don't cross. Trump just crossed one when he said the NHS was on the table in our yet-to-be-negotiated trade deal. He's so thick he can't even disguise his intentions and money is the only priority of him and his ilk, just as it is the central agenda of the unelected bureaucrats, in the pockets of their financier backers.
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Offline donsdaft

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Re: Brexit - Will it happen
« Reply #173 on: June 04, 2019, 03:36:07 PM »
Fuck the queen, the English, the union fuckin jack and most of all fuck any concept of the united kindom.

Europe forever

Offline rocket_scientist

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Re: Brexit - Will it happen
« Reply #174 on: June 04, 2019, 03:44:17 PM »
Fuck the queen, the English, the union fuckin jack and most of all fuck any concept of the united kindom.

Europe forever

I think you're confused and it is your bigotry towards the English that blinds you.

We have more in common with the people of Newcastle, Rotherham, Bristol, Southampton etc. than we do with the Italians and the Swedes for example, the former being accepting of corruption as a "way of life", the latter loving nakedness, shit food and flat pack crap quality characterless furniture.

I spent three days in Leeds over the weekend, well Headingley, a suburb thereof. I met some fantastic people, including of different ethnicities. The Pakistani guy with the perfect Yorkshire accent (and outlook, unsurprisingly having been born there 50 years ago) cracked me up. We don't even speak the same language as the vast majority of Europe far less share a mentality and attitude.
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Offline donsdaft

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Re: Brexit - Will it happen
« Reply #175 on: June 04, 2019, 04:19:13 PM »
I’m perfectly happy to be equal members of the EU with the English.

It’s when they get all dominant and imperialistic ( which is a lot ) that I have a problem with.


Edit : I have absolutely nothing in common with any fuckin Geordie
« Last Edit: June 05, 2019, 06:39:27 AM by donsdaft »

Offline Ten Caat

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Re: Brexit - Will it happen
« Reply #176 on: June 04, 2019, 06:46:56 PM »
USE wouldn't work on language grounds far less monetary. They'd have to establish a "main" language to be the official language  perhaps with one lesser language as an official "secondary language. The USA works because of this....vast majority speaking English with a few pockets of Spanish speakers dotted along the Mexican border in Texas and Arizona.

As things stand English is the preferred global language of business and if the UK stayed in this conglomeration, would probably be the official language. If we were outwith it? Then the fun and games would begin. In the European Parliament right now, the official languages are English and French having equal standing. Although every document is translated into each state's individual language. Thus the French would claim that their language should be the official language. But hang on..

Germany would turn around and say that as the biggest contributors to the finanacial pot that German should be the official language. The Spaniards would claim that globally Spanish is the first language of far more population than even English is, taking into account the Central and South American countries therefore they should take precedence.

The Austrian Empire failed not only because of defeat in WW1...but also because its constituent parts wanted self determination and the right to speak their native tongues....Czech/Slovak/Hungarian/Serbo-Croat/Romanian. The lesser countries of a USE would demand the same rights.

And all this without even delving into the political differences and aspirations of the various regions, not to mention financial disparity of the relatively prosperous north v basket cases of the south.

If anything, assuming the UK leaves the EU, I suspect others will follow within a relatively short time frame. Austria being first I predict. Possibly the Visegrad countries as well. And Germany may decide it's sick of subsidising everyone else an hold an in/out referendum. If they go...the whole shebang collapses

Offline rocket_scientist

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Re: Brexit - Will it happen
« Reply #177 on: September 05, 2019, 08:10:33 AM »
The original question "will it happen?" wasn't one I thought we needed to worry about before. I naively thought that the people had spoken and that Parliament had a duty to implement the will of the people.

Given the stuff since, there is now a danger that it won't. The "deal" that May offered, the one that Yanis described as one that "only a losing nation in a war could accept", the one that Boris was the first to rebel against when presented at Chequers, the one that was rejected repeatedly in Parliament, may have been deliberately offered in full expectation that it would be rejected.

With the expulsion of May and the introduction of the bumbling blond fool, at least the new PM knows that leaving the EU is what should happen - best interests of the UK + it's what we voted for - but he has no idea how to achieve it. Without a majority and consensus, the only guarantee is nothing will happen. The Westminster rhetoric is being confused by the SNP in particular who are mixing messages, uninterested in what the UK voted for and doggedly pursuing independence.

It's a fucking mess and if the Scottish people do now have the appetite to leave England, I would have far preferred the SNP to have delivered a clear vision rather than relying on Tory incompetence to swing 2 or 3% of the remainers. Currency, economy and the type of EU membership are big implications for an independent Scotland and there is no further progress since the last failed referendum on the key issues. The SNP banking on Tory splits is one thing, that they're continuing to sell nothing concrete themselves makes it less likely that they'll get a majority to any indyref that England won't allow us to have so soon anyway.
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Offline Tyrant

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Re: Brexit - Will it happen
« Reply #178 on: September 05, 2019, 11:33:56 AM »
With the expulsion of May and the introduction of the bumbling blond fool, at least the new PM knows that leaving the EU is what should happen - best interests of the UK + it's what we voted for - but he has no idea how to achieve it. Without a majority and consensus, the only guarantee is nothing will happen. The Westminster rhetoric is being confused by the SNP in particular who are mixing messages, uninterested in what the UK voted for and doggedly pursuing independence.

Good. It's literally their job to look after Scotland and Scots. 62% of whom voted to remain as we all know. Although due to us rejecting independence 2 years previously I would and still would accept ending up out of the EU despite that not being what I voted for personally. We made our bed so we should lie in it. And that should apply too to the Tories who voted May as their leader. They made their bed. They elected a remainer who apparently negotiated a shite deal. They then elected a man severely lacking in any sort of diplomacy skills required to bring MPs together. I still think Brexit will happen but if it doesn't it's no one's fault but said Tories.

It's a fucking mess and if the Scottish people do now have the appetite to leave England, I would have far preferred the SNP to have delivered a clear vision rather than relying on Tory incompetence to swing 2 or 3% of the remainers. Currency, economy and the type of EU membership are big implications for an independent Scotland and there is no further progress since the last failed referendum on the key issues. The SNP banking on Tory splits is one thing, that they're continuing to sell nothing concrete themselves makes it less likely that they'll get a majority to any indyref that England won't allow us to have so soon anyway.

I think the SNP will deliver a clear(er) vision. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from the 2014 whitepaper and if those lessons aren't learned then again the SNP will have to take responsibility. I can hardly think of any circumstances in which I wouldn't vote for independence so to me it almost doesn't matter what's in the whitepaper but for others it very much does so they need to get it right. The Tory incompetence will undoubtedly speed up the time between indyrefs but I don't think the SNP are relying on it. Like everyone else they're trying to navigate the political minefield that is the UK at the moment.

Offline Kowalski

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Re: Brexit - Will it happen
« Reply #179 on: September 05, 2019, 12:01:25 PM »
Whilst this whole mess was created (and has been continued) by the Tories, the main issue has always been the Irish border.  It was never properly discussed, or conveniently largely ignored, during the referendum debates.

There are posts in this very thread from 2 years ago saying there are no solutions to this.  Although a unified Ireland is probably the only solution for a clean and orderly Brexit.

I have never believed Brexit would take place.

Oh and I see BoJo's brother can't be bothered with it all now either.