Well, yes, quite so

The Guardian’s view of Brexit:

All of these are iterations of a deeper truth: that we shall never cease to be Europeans and will never cease to engage with Europe.

In his novel The Stone Raft, the Portuguese writer José Saramago imagines the Iberian peninsula breaking physically away from Europe at the Pyrenees and drifting across the world’s oceans in a fruitless search for a new home. Today, Britain can feel a bit like a metaphorical stone raft too. Except that the real Britain will remain anchored in perpetuity across the Channel from the European continent, its peoples, economies and cultures, of which we shall always be part – and to which we hope one day, in some way, to return.

The gross error here is to assume that it’s necessary to be in political union with a place – country, group of them, whatever – in order to cooperate, trade, deal with, get on with them.

It isn’t.

Therefore this bleating about leaving Europe is just wrong. We’ve left one, specific – and terrible – political structure, that’s all.

51 thoughts on “Well, yes, quite so”

  1. …and to which we hope one day, in some way, to return

    Best not to think too long term, dear grauniad reader, because the EU will not be there that much longer.

  2. the Portuguese writer José Saramago imagines the Iberian peninsula breaking physically away from Europe at the Pyrenees and drifting across the world’s oceans in a fruitless search for a new home

    Imagine if your home went floating off searching for a new home. Deep stuff and I can’t wait for the Netflix adaption.

    We have expelled ourselves from a union that was good for this country and the world.

    Citation needed.

    The role of the anti-European press in making this happen was decisive

    Sure, the EU might’ve received billions of pounds worth of relentless propaganda from the overwhelming majority of the mass media including the state broadcaster, HM Government, the FTSE100,
    Academia, Big Charity, St. Obama, and hordes of idiotic slebs. But the Daily Mail is allowed to exist and this confused the proles’ tiny racist minds into wanting to leave the most wonderful and amazing distant transnational bureaucracy there has ever been.

    Yet two of the most striking consequences of the vote were the unity of the EU27 in the face of Brexit compared with the growing disunity of the UK4 over the issue.

    The EU establishment class continuing to do EU establishment class stuff somehow means the EU is popular.

    The breakup of Britain rather than the EU is now the more likely prospect. It would be a terrible price to pay.

    Dunno. I don’t think it actually is more likely – the underlying trends in Scotland and NornIron weren’t going to disappear either way, and anybody who thinks Nicola Sturgeon wouldn’t currently be crying and lying into her makeup-caked moustache if we’d voted to submit to the EU is wronger than Derek McKay singing Teenage Kicks at a school disco.

    Brexit has removed the rationale for SNP style I Can’t Believe It’s Not Independence, but voters aren’t rational. The breakup of Britain would be a terrible outcome… for Scotland and Ireland, but we probably don’t want to be a union held together at gunpoint or Continuity Remain type democratic suppression.

    Theresa May’s warning from those benches posed a far more real question. We must never allow ourselves to think that sovereignty means isolationism or exceptionalism, said Mrs May.

    What a stupid cow.

    Happy New Year to everyone, including the haters and losers!

  3. Brexit changed my view on Unionism. Self-determination means that if Jockland wishes to turn itself into Atlantic Belarus then we should allow, nay encourage it. Hopefully Nicola will then close the borders with her own Anti-Fascist Protection Wall. As far as NI is concerned my Unionism there was based on reaction to the violence of the IRA. I suspect that an united Ireland is inevitable – but if Brexit works, when it eventually happens its capital will be in Belfast, because that’s where the economy will be based..

  4. Theresa May’s warning from those benches posed a far more real question. We must never allow ourselves to think that sovereignty means isolationism or exceptionalism, said Mrs May.

    Oh, it’s “Mrs” May when she’s a useful stooge to them. Anyway, Strawman alert – can they name anyone who claimed sovereignty WAS isolationism or exceptionalism? Negotiating trade deals seems to suggest quite strongly that it isn’t about ‘isolationism’. What is ‘exceptionalism’ anyway?

    The breakup of Britain would be a terrible outcome… for Scotland

    Even with a rational political class an independent Scotland would struggle. With genuine lunatics in charge, it will be a catastrophe.

  5. They always wheel out this strawman. No one thought we were leaving Europe nor ever suggested it outside the deranged insanity of Guardian Towers. Not being in a political union does not preclude cooperation or trade. Never did.

  6. I thought we would all starve if we left the EU. Seems like nothing fundamental has changed (unsurprisingly).

  7. Self-determination means that if Jockland wishes to turn itself into Atlantic Belarus then we should allow, nay encourage it.

    Not from up here in Mac-Pomorshina, we’re not.

  8. “Except that the real Britain will remain anchored in perpetuity across the Channel from the European continent, its peoples, economies and cultures, of which we shall always be part – and to which we hope one day, in some way, to return.”

    There’s no way we’re going to return. Forget the BS and focus on money. Exports to the EU are declining every year as a share of total trade. The value of throwing money at that club, or playing by that club’s rules are declining every year.

  9. There’s no way we’re going to return.

    How have you managed to retain that amazing optimism in the intelligence, common-sense and ability of our political and social elites? Rejoiner twatter has been full of it, this morning. A C Grayling, as expected amongst the worst. Will Hutton and Alastair Campbell joining in too.

  10. Does it mean we will never again have the opinions of Michael Heseltine dragged out in front of us as if they meant something? Will the Guardian and the BBC NEVER get on board with the rest of the country?

  11. So Much For Subtlety

    Britain will remain anchored in perpetuity across the Channel from the European continent, its peoples, economies and cultures, of which we shall always be part –

    Its peoples and cultures? I think not. When France finally becomes Northern Algeria, we will very much not be part of that Europe any more.

  12. A C Grayling, as expected amongst the worst.
    Excellent. As long as that fatuous old loser keeps whining they’ll keep losing the argument.

  13. The creatures outside looked from AC Grayling to Michael Heseltine, and from Michael Heseltine to AC Grayling, and from AC Grayling to Michael Heseltine again; but already it was impossible to say which was which

  14. . . . because the EU will not be there that much longer.

    I wouldn’t write them off so soon. The slowly part of slowly-then-suddenly declines can go on for a long time.

    BTW, Jo Biden is prioritising the EU over the UK, and we are to wait 2 years for a trade deal. Given what the Dems will do to that place it’s probably not worth that much anyway.
    .

    I suspect that an united Ireland is inevitable – but if Brexit works, when it eventually happens its capital will be in Belfast, because that’s where the economy will be based.

    Quite possible. Northern Ireland remains in the EU single market, and goods from Britain to there will require more paperwork and checks than those from Eire. Businesses are already aligning themselves south. I suspect politicians will follow.

    Funny how the whole internal border / break up of the union issue went quiet in the latest propaganda. Not that I mind; being free of the EU and Ulster is win-win.

    Happy New Year!

  15. ” Rejoiner twatter has been full of it, this morning. A C Grayling, as expected amongst the worst. Will Hutton and Alastair Campbell joining in too.”

    I think that counts as ‘The lamentations of their women’.

  16. SE,

    “How have you managed to retain that amazing optimism in the intelligence, common-sense and ability of our political and social elites? Rejoiner twatter has been full of it, this morning. A C Grayling, as expected amongst the worst. Will Hutton and Alastair Campbell joining in too.”

    Firstly, because money talks. Voters care about money, health and security. If you’re a guy trading internationally and most of your money comes from USA or Japan, how much do you care about being in the EU? When political elites get away with stuff, it’s mostly that government is so bloated that no-one notices, but public attention is on this.

    Secondly, these are just losers from a previous generation, out of touch with a changing world. They still think the EU matters because it did in the 80s and 90s and they haven’t noticed the change. Like, it baffles me when people talk about trade gravity without noticing all the new world wines on our shelves.

  17. PJF: Not that I mind; being free of the EU and Ulster is win-win. Not if the majority in Ulster what to remain British. By your logic the Falklands should be given to Argentina, perhaps?

  18. “By your logic the Falklands should be given to Argentina, perhaps?”

    If the Falklanders were to start killing each other and the UK garrison over which foot should be used to dig up potatoes, then Yes.

  19. TMB, as I recall the Good Friday agreement requires a border poll before any possible unification. Or re-unification remembering that the ONLY time Ireland has been united it was as a part of the UK.

    So there won’t be a majority of unionism in the North if re-unification comes. There may however be a sufficiently large armed minority to keep the troubles going for a few hundred years more.

  20. Surreptitious Evil

    BoM4,

    Voters care about money, health and security.

    May run true in Reading (although I don’t think so – not when they are selecting who to vote for), definitely less obvious in the Scottish Central Belt.

    I believe the apposite quotation is along the lines of “Think how stupid the average person is. Then remember that, statistically, half of them are stupider than that.”

    If us leaving suddenly led to an obvious rise in living standards, okay, I’d get your take on it. But we are going to have a long slow slog, imnsho, of weakening the EU imposed controls, stopping our idiots (elites? meh, not much difference) from imposing similarly restrictive but stamped with the union flag controls, and then businesses exploiting the new freedoms to make money. Which will then trickle down in to greater prosperity for nearly-if-not-all. The work of years, if not decades.

    In the mean time, the Owen Jones’s of the world will be pointing to the amazing (if not exactly real) ‘unity of Europe’ (forgetting, as noted above that Europe =/= the EU), to the outcomes of the German and French health systems (forgetting that it is the delivery mechanism of the sainted NHS that makes it prone to producer capture and fundamentally crap at curing people. The funding mechanism does cause problems but not on the same scale as single-provider.) and all of the other [email protected] they already whinge about.

    Sorry. Pessimism speaking.

  21. Not if the majority in Ulster what to remain British.

    Indeed, my preference is irrelevant to their desire. But I think they’ll eventually (10 years?) lean south, especially if the south leans north. If we can be free of that mess, great – the “win-win” is purely personal preference.

    By your logic the Falklands should be given to Argentina, perhaps?

    Other than reiterating that it’s my preference being stated, not logic being used, I’ll decline that distraction.

  22. “as I recall the Good Friday agreement requires a border poll before any possible unification. Or re-unification remembering that the ONLY time Ireland has been united it was as a part of the UK.”

    Do the voters in the RoI get a vote on re-unification? Because if I was a RoI taxpayer the last thing I’d want would be to be lumbered with a dead weight like NI, plus a hefty population of sullen referendum losers, some of whom have guns. My back of a fag packet maths suggests that the net cost of NI to the UK Exchequer (c.£9bn pa) works out at around €2000 each for every man woman and child per year in the Republic (pop. 5m).

    Why is it always assumed that the Republic would accept the North like the prodigal if they voted for re-unification? Has anyone considered what would happen if the North votes to join the South, but the South says ‘Sorry, we don’t want it now’?

  23. Absorbing NornIron would be a financial disaster for EU-controlled Iron. Currently runs at a £10Bn annual deficit.

    T’would also have some rather interesting implications for the Doily – there currently aren’t any right wing parties in Eire, but the Unionists aren’t going away you know. If they were smart about it (I know, but…) there’s no cosmic law that says Southerners will never vote for a rebranded Ulster conservative party.

  24. We indeed not only need to watch Remainiac scum but to take a programme of action against them. Rejoin will get weaker as time goes on but is still part of the war against the globo elite and their mug troops of middle class Marxists (who labour under the error that THEY are included in said elite and their lifestyles will therefore be maintained for ever).The battle against Rejoin will merge slowly with the battle against both virus-freaks and green-freaks.

    We cannot afford to be lazy or complacent. Remainiacs/leftist scum need to become targets and Johnson out on his fat arse a priority.
    Economic bad news will be with us this year. I don’t think Spewknacks handouts can keep it away much longer. Blaming it on Brexit wont wash even with the dimmest. But we have to get out of economic malaise not make it a permanent condition via the shite useless socialism of the UK state.

  25. @pjf “Jo Biden is prioritising the EU over the UK”

    I wouldn’t be too bothered about that. There will be the mother of all trade rows between US and French farmers, US and German manufacturers. It will take years to agree compromises between the EU vested interests. The US will soon switch to a much simpler deal.with a single party and a narrower range of goods and services.

  26. I wouldn’t be too bothered about that. There will be the mother of all trade rows between US and French farmers, US and German manufacturers. It will take years to agree compromises between the EU vested interests.

    How long did the EU/Canada trade deal take to negotiate? 7 years wasn’t it? Can’t see an EU/USA trade deal getting negotiated within the timeframe of Dementia Joe’s half-presidency or under Kamala when she pushes him into the nursing home using the 25th Amendment.

    Sure, Dementia Joe might well say he’s going to do an EU trade deal and the UK has to go to the back of the queue, but that’s just a re-run of the Obama line on BRExit. I’ll start believing it when EU/USA trade negotiators actually start siting around a table and getting sniped at by Macron just as we did. That’ll demonstrate the value of such a proposition.

  27. I’m enjoying bockwurst (currywurst), home-made potato salad and ham macaroni salad ie a very 70’s theme. Washed down with, I have to admit, Paulaner Hell Lager because I am not an isolationist.

    I have been enjoying Finnish newspapers and reader comments this morning, oh the bitterness, malice and butt-hurt.

  28. SE,

    “May run true in Reading (although I don’t think so – not when they are selecting who to vote for), definitely less obvious in the Scottish Central Belt.

    I believe the apposite quotation is along the lines of “Think how stupid the average person is. Then remember that, statistically, half of them are stupider than that.””

    They want all the same things, but they just see different ways to get them. You’re average Glaswegian on benefits wants more benefits, and that means voting SNP, who are promising them a magic money tree, and they’re pro-EU.

    And yes, they’re above averagely bad, because most successful people leave a cold, wet place like Scotland.

    “If us leaving suddenly led to an obvious rise in living standards, okay, I’d get your take on it. But we are going to have a long slow slog, imnsho, of weakening the EU imposed controls, stopping our idiots (elites? meh, not much difference) from imposing similarly restrictive but stamped with the union flag controls, and then businesses exploiting the new freedoms to make money. Which will then trickle down in to greater prosperity for nearly-if-not-all. The work of years, if not decades.”

    Even if we did nothing, trade outside the EU is growing every year. If they couldn’t win a referendum in 2016, when trade was at 45%, how is that going to be when it’s below 40% in a few years? And where’s the sell of culture and wine to people that joining originally had in the 1970s? That’s shifted globally with Korean movies and Chilean wine.

    “In the mean time, the Owen Jones’s of the world will be pointing to the amazing (if not exactly real) ‘unity of Europe’ (forgetting, as noted above that Europe =/= the EU), to the outcomes of the German and French health systems (forgetting that it is the delivery mechanism of the sainted NHS that makes it prone to producer capture and fundamentally crap at curing people. The funding mechanism does cause problems but not on the same scale as single-provider.) and all of the other [email protected] they already whinge about.”

    Most people don’t care about “unity”. People are generally ambivalent in England about Scotland leaving and that’s been a union for 300 years. People care about money, safety etc, whether real or perceived. And the likes of Owen Jones have about zero influence on a welder in Northampton. He’s only on the BBC so much because of how much bias they have towards giving The Guardian a voice (far above their 100,000 circulation). Guido Fawkes probably has a larger audience. Maybe even Sargon of Akkad now.

  29. I hope everyone is enjoying a celebratory cheese sandwich

    Around here there were plenty of fireworks going off at 11pm as well as midnight. And the midnight ones were the biggest New Years home displays I’ve seen, easily rivalling Nov 5th.

  30. Ecksy
    So can we take it that you now renounce your previous predictions that BoJo would deliver only Brino and/or an extended transition period?

  31. O/T but has anyone else seen the video taken in an apparently deserted Gloucester Royal Hospital and read about the subsequent unceremonious home arrest of the lady who posted it to Facebook?

    As well as showing empty wards and deserted corridors and waiting areas she also went off on one at the sight of a Macmillan cancer table and seemed to blame the woes of the nhs on big pharma and big charities. I fail to see how either of them could have made the decisions leading to the current situation.

  32. Bloke in North Dorset

    How have you managed to retain that amazing optimism in the intelligence, common-sense and ability of our political and social elites? Rejoiner twatter has been full of it, this morning. A C Grayling, as expected amongst the worst. Will Hutton and Alastair Campbell joining in too.

    They’ll continues to sneer at the working class and calling them thick, racist, bigots, they can’t help themselves. So we’re unlikely to get a pro EU re-join government any time soon. By the time that happens that EU will have further integrated or be falling apart, making advocating ever closer union even harder to se..

  33. Bloke in North Dorset

    Bloke on the A303

    @pjf “Jo Biden is prioritising the EU over the UK”

    I wouldn’t be too bothered about that. There will be the mother of all trade rows between US and French farmers, US and German manufacturers. It will take years to agree compromises between the EU vested interests. The US will soon switch to a much simpler deal.with a single party and a narrower range of goods and services.

    Added to that the Dems aren’t usually in favour of trade deals, being supported by the big unions and the French in particular like kicking some of their biggest corporate paymasters in the nuts as well.

    It won’t be popcorn time, but it will be an amusing side show if they do ever try to get serious about a deal.

  34. As far as I can ascertain Scotland can only survive financially if a) it continues to be subsidised by billions of pounds from England. It’s fairly obvious that without the payments for Covid relief from England then Scotland would have gone bust if it had to finance the payments.
    b) the price of oil skyrockets despite major economies trying to reduce the demand for oil by making everyone get rid of their ice cars and using public transport or electric milk floats.
    I’m sure that the EU is desperate to attract another freeloading state after their second biggest contributor has fucked off, and thats before the veto from Spain.

  35. Jussi – Can you link to any English language articles of the European press butt hurt? I had a look on Helsinin Sanomat and it is full of news about immigrants and asylum seekers not integrating and burning detention centres.

  36. @ SMFS:

    ” When France finally becomes Northern Algeria, we will very much not be part of that Europe any more.”

    In the meantime the UK, or at least England, will have been turned into the westernmost province of Pakistan. Apart from the bits that still resist the Pak takeover on behalf of Greater Nigeria of course….

    Happy New Year.

  37. “it baffles me when people talk about trade gravity without noticing all the new world wines on our shelves”

    Don’t mention the gravity theory of trade… It’s an article of faith amongst economists. It basically amounts to “people trade with people who pay. Sometimes they are far away but it’s easier when they are close by”. Which is why Germany’s trade with China and the US is bigger than with Italy, Russia and all those other countries much closer to them. “Gravity” in economics is a meaningless word

  38. Battery, I’ve read Helsingin Sanomat the UK correspondent’s stuff and comments, Kauppalehti comments (this is Finnish equivalent of the FT) and the Finnish BBC ie YLE.fi. It’s all in Finnish but the whole paper I think you can read in English by clicking a button. The Helsingin Sanomat person Ms. Sipila quickly forgot how many years years if not decades the trade deal was supposed to take. Reverse-ferret they call it. There’s also Taloussanomat in which one euro-wanker the other week predicted no deal and the worst political decision of all time – brexit.

    I usually take the high road and restrain myself from commenting. 17 million fuck-offs should do it.

  39. Is there something special about Finns that makes them believe that food prices in the UK will rise? Don’t they realise that the EU makes food more expensive? Is this some Finnish equivalent of Stockholm Syndrome?

  40. I reckon if Putin read that article, he would instantly invade. Finland is no longer the nation that fought the Winter War

  41. Diogenes, hasn’t been for a long time. The Foreign minister is bringing ISIS brides in illegially, lying and trying to sack disagreeing civil servants, then giving an interview where he is worried about Brexit and the exchange of info on terrorism which will deteriorate, apparently. The fucking twat who is bringing in terrorists is worried about the increase of terrorism! There’s a fucking cunt commie green for you!

    Christmas in Finland
    https://youtu.be/lMUuxrI3yOc

  42. Another point to remember with regards to relations with America is that Britain is a core member of the 5 Eyes intelligence group.
    Menwith Hill in Yorkshire is one of the biggest satellite intercept stations on the planet and our bases in Cypress do a lot of intercepts of radio and other data concerning the Middle East.
    I can imagine that offers a fair bit of leverage with the Yanks. Anyone know how Brexit is going to affect our police and intelligence cooperation with Europe in the future? Also whats happening wrt. European arrest warrants and the like?

  43. Theo–Blojob has delivered 1000 + pages of shite with 1 day for mouth breathing MPs to read and digest. It will be full of minor traps.

    I have always thought that Tory scum –the ones whose exps mugs like you pay for– would sell us out–witness today that its been uncovered Trump offered that cunt Treason May a trade deal in 2017 which she ignored. Cos –like most of the Hier of your rabble she is an EUowned traitor.

    I voted for Blojerk last year because I knew there were too many mugs like you for the Brexit Party to win outright. After the virus caper Tory voting is DONE.

    Blojob supported Brexit ONLY because he calculated –correctly–that it was his ticket to No 10. And that is all that mattered to the scumbag.

    I believe he would like to have sold us out to a far worse extent than his 1000 pages of EU bullshit. But the EU wanted to humiliate both him and us. And Blojob couldn’t afford that on top of the virus freakshow fallout.

    This shite deal doubtless has plenty of traps and creates extra bureaucracy ready to sell us out to rejoin at a later date.

    We could have been out No Deal 4 years ago but for the scum traitor MPs of your scum traitor party. I will NEVER vote Tory again and if that mean ZaNu then I have the satisfaction of knowing that you will be losing a lot more than I.

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