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Brexit Unfolded: How no one got what they wanted (and why they were never going to)

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Brexit Unfolded is a must-read for anyone who cares about what happened following the momentous decision Britain took in the 2016 referendum. That same report shows how the government does not even have a consistent or logical approach, so that, having dropped the general requirement on UK firms to adopt the UKCA mark rather than continuing to use CE, the construction sector is still supposed to do so by 2025.

And what of David Maddox, Political Editor of the rabidly pro-Brexit Express, who this week penned possibly the most dotty commentary on the Post Office scandal so far, opining that: “the real big picture story here is that this was once again an example of the establishment circling in to protect and reward itself while dumping from a great height on the little ordinary people – aka the decent hard-working folk who keep this country ticking over. Unfortunately, I didn’t keep a record of it, but the interviewee talked about how, before joining the EEC, the area had been dominated by steel and coal industries, and so leaving the EU would bring them back. Less comfortably, it includes the role of those who disdained the victims as criminals and those, comprising almost all of us, who didn’t give very much care or attention to what was happening, at least until we saw it depicted on TV. Inevitably, Brexiters were quick to try to rubbish it, such as in a ‘Briefings for Britain’ article (curiously, written in the first person but credited to Briefings for Britain collectively, so we’ll never be able to assess the author’s credentials). Above all, it’s a searing account of the deep failure of political leadership in our country at a moment when it was so desperately needed.Meanwhile, Michael Gove, speaking directly to a Port Talbot steel worker, again at least implied that post-Brexit state aid freedoms would benefit the industry. But it does not follow that the practice was widespread, and in that interview (which also features Brexit dunderhead ‘Sir’ Tim Martin getting all moist about Churchill), de Billy also explains that this bottle size was already dying out from the 1940s. The latest trade figures show that the percentage of UK trade done with the EU is now higher than before the referendum, at about 53. In 2015 he was made a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS) in recognition of outstanding contribution to social science.

And, in any case, whilst being in the EU assists trade with the rest of the EU, it does not preclude trading outside the EU. I originally studied Economics and Politics at Manchester University, where I also gained a PhD on the regulation of financial services. Such linkage is something which might, in fact, be achievable via the existing Trade and Cooperation Agreement, and it is probably something that the next government, especially if it is a Labour government, will do.So this is a story about the market power of Britain when it was the wealthiest country in the world and (probably) the biggest importer of wine. But, more fundamentally, it is the fault of the Brexiters, in both politics and the media, who have made honest discussion so difficult and toxic as to be impossible. But, timing aside, such deals just don’t, and can’t, make a massive difference: CPTPP membership is expected to lead to a 0. This book confirms Chris Grey’s status as one of the most acute and authoritative analysts of Brexit. That was partly predicated on the anti-London sentiment that continues to define populist politics, but it was also a recognition of legitimate grievances about regional inequality and about the consequences of decisions, many taken by the Thatcher governments, to prioritise services, and especially financial services, as the key to future national prosperity.

Non-UK producers have little incentive to take on the extra costs of producing pint bottles, since they will probably only be sellable in the UK (or, possibly, though I am not sure, only in Great Britain). These include the fiasco of the original ‘permanent residence’ scheme and highly prescient concerns about the then emergent EUSS scheme, concerns which relate to all of the individual cases mentioned above, including the problems of a digital-only certification system. We await Maddox’s fulminations on behalf of the “little ordinary people” and “decent hard-working folk” being ‘dumped on’ by the EUSS. There are some clear and direct parallels between this scandal and the Post Office, most obviously in the role of technology, where the flaws in the Horizon system can be compared with those in the EUSS View and Prove system.However, that scheme has now closed and although it still accepts late applications on ‘reasonable grounds’, a change of rules in August removed lack of awareness of the scheme from the list of such grounds. And, on the other hand, even when it was in the EU the UK was sometimes in breach of EU regulations, suggesting that recent discharge scandals are not simply caused by Brexit [3]. Building on these myths, ever since the referendum the idea of restoring imperial units of measurement has regularly been dangled in front of leave voters, almost half of whom supported it according to a 2017 opinion poll*. One myth in play here is that metrication was something imposed on the UK by the EU, whereas in fact it was a process which had begun long before joining, and the Metric Martyrs case arose within a confused mélange of EU and domestic law.

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