danieldwilliam: (machievelli)
I was corresponding with a USian colleague about the impact of Brexit on our business and offered him some Brexit Buzzwords that he could drop in to conversations in the US so as to appear knowledgable and on the ball.

I offer 15 of them below. Feel free to add your own



  1. Article 50 (has not been invoked)

  2. Corbynista (#JezzWeCan - equivalent to #FeelTheBern)

  3. £350 million

  4. Cornwall (voted for Brexit, would like the UK goverment to guarrantee its EU funding)

  5. Sewell Convention (the memorandum that lays out the process for changing the devolution settlement for Scotland)

  6. Dundalk - Newry crossing - (the bit of the Northern Ireland / Republic of Ireland border with the most traffic - if I recall correctly this is where a senior IRA commander had a farm that literally straddled the border.)

  7. Wiff Waff is Coming Home.

  8. "Actually I've got €50 onTeresa May becoming PM"

  9. The pound, oh my god, the pound.

  10. Kubler Ross Grief Cycle

  11. "Nicola Sturgeon is perhaps the most astute politician in the UK."

  12. #IndyRef2

  13. "Actually I've got €50 on Tom Watson becoming Labour Leader."

  14. Guardian reading metropolitian liberal elite (you say that as if it's a bad thing)

  15. Unwritten constitution.

danieldwilliam: (machievelli)

A serious thought about the EU Referendum and the possibility of a second Scottish Independence referendum.

I was, and am, in favour of Scottish Independence within the EU.

I was, and am, in favour of the UK remaining part of the EU.

I wish I could have both. If we can not have both I think we should pick the EU over the UK.

Ideally, for me, Scotland would become independent from the UK whilst both were in the EU. There would be a natural and pre-existing trading arrangement. We (Scotland) would have to ride out a few years adjusting to running our own country, getting a workable currency and setting our tax rates right. It would be difficult in the short term but I think, on balance, probably, better economically and politically in the medium term. This is a guess not a promise and I might be wrong. Other people thought so and I respect their thought processes and their right to their own values and risk preferences.

But we don't live in an ideal world. There appears to be no sweet spot where we can have easy trading relationships with both the rest of the UK and the other 27 members of the EU. The next few years are going to be economically challenging in exactly the same way as Scottish Indepdence was always going to be. Avoiding the sunk cost fallacy we have to make the best of the situation we are in today, not the best of the situation we thought we were in a week ago. We have to go forward from where we are. Where we are, today,  is in flux, with both peril and opportunity on all sides.

And so, it might now be the case that Scottish Indepedence as  part of the EU is the best option for my country even if it wasn't when the rest of the UK was an EU member state.

If that is the case I think we should do it quickly. To quote the first and greatest British playwright

"Thereis a tide in the affairs of men, Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of theirlife is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures."

and

"If it were donewhen 'tis done, then 'twere well It were done quickly"

The position of the SNP before the EU referendum as I saw it was a) to reserve the right to hold a second referendum to Scottish people, and b) to actually wait until there was a pent up demand for independence. Fair and resonable under the circumstances in my view. But slow, so slow, so flat footed.

I think those circumstances have changed. We have a very strong vote for Remain in Scotland. Is that a proxy for a vote for Independence? Maybes Aye, Maybes Nay. There's only one way to find out soon. And find out soon we must. There is an opportunity for Scotland to profit from England's error. If we move quickly, quickly to establish a firm invitation to remain in the EU, quickly to hold and win an independence referendum and then quickly to set our trade and taxation policy so as to predate on England's uncertain future by encouraging international businesses currently located in England who want an Anglophone location in the EU to relocate to Scotland rather than Ireland. Which if they are going to do, they will do sooner rather than later.

Are the people of Scotland up for this? Only one way to find out. If we wait until we are certain the opportunity to walk away from the implosion of the UK with at least our own country and economy and people intact will be gone.

So I think Sturgon should get on a plane and fly round every European capital and ask them to jointly and severally invite Scotland to stay in the EU. If successful she should announce a referendum to be held before Christmas. If that is for independence then we negotiate SExit alongside Brexit and stay in the EU.

If unsuccessful we are not any worse off. If we wait to see how damaging Brexit will be and how that actually affects public opinion the damage to us will be done and the opportunity to ameliorate that damage with some prudent, sharp business will be lost.

To be clear - I am absolutely advocating that we (Scotland) conspire to stab our closest ally and dearest friend in the back. Et tu Scotus. We should not stand with them whilst they try to work out how to be a non-European nation. We should take advantage of their distress to prosper ourselves. What choice have they left us? What choice have we left ourselves.

I vote for #IndyRef2 within six months.

danieldwilliam: (machievelli)
This isn't a prediction but more of a prior or a baseline.

As you sow, so shall ye reap and sometimes you are not the harvester but the harvest.

If Scotland is to become independent and pick up any benefit of businesses wanting to keep an Angolphone office inside the EU it will need to become independent within the EU pretty fast. I'd be disappointed if Sturgeon wasn't on a plane to Brussels and Bonn today.

Indyref Part 2 within a year. Yes wins by a narrow margin. Scotland opens popcorn but realises it actually has some work to do so sells the popcorn. Watch the predatory corporation tax rate and the subtlely lax banking regulation. (Let's hope we have the sense to keep some of the tax revenue back for the next crash.)

Chaos in the Tory Party. They either need to back off the central plank of their economic policy of reducing the deficit through spending cuts or they need to magically make the economy not be affected by the referendum result or admit that their economic credibilty is worth about as much as the pound. So, the emergency budget will be devisive - for them - and brutal for the working classes in the North of England and the Midlands. I'd expect May to emerge at Tory leader and the next PM.

Chaos in the Labour Party. Corbyn is utterly pish. Essentially backed Leave.  I thought he'd manage to communicate with people and shift the Overton Window a bit but it feels like he's sitting at his desk writing strident blog posts, filing his paperclips and gazing at the pin-ups in the Morning Star. However, the Labour right hasn't re-organised in to a coherent post-Blarite grouping and, to be honest, doesn't have much in the way of quality to offer either.

I think we probably avoid a snap general election. Jeez, that would be messy.

Plan A - we (they) end up having a second EU referendum post exit negotiations on the question "Do you want to stay in the EU or take the actual deal on offer?"

Plan B - Britain (aka England) gets left to dangle for a year or more and ends up in the European Economic Area but on pretty strict terms, probably including Schengen. (I personally won't be sorry about this. I like the EU, I like free movement, I like every closer union and being forced to join the EEA will be a much needed punch to the nuts of post-imperialist little Englanders. Also, I'll be living in a post-independence Scotland.)

Those are not our Plans A and B but the German's Plans A & B.

Ten or twenty years after England joins the EEA it votes to rejoin the EU finally shorn of its illustions that the rest of the world owes it any favours.

The working class of the North of England and the Midlands continues to be slowly evicerated by the Conservative Party. If you want a vision of the future, imagine a hand-made Italian brogue stamping on a face, forever.

But not I think in my country.
danieldwilliam: (machievelli)
With negotiations to secure Britain's future in Europe due to conclude Any. Day. Now. No. Honestly. This. Time. We Mean. It. and flush from out unimpeachably correct predictions about what life in Scotland will be like following the Independence Referendum of 2014 Next Year the Shortbread Institute for the Study of Scotology offers this handy primer for the conduct of the upcoming EU Referendum.

1. The Yes / Remain / Stay / Be In campaign will be named "Stay! in Europe for Britain in Europe Not Out of Europe.vote." The three campaigns for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union will be named "Brexit - True Patriots for England", "Leave.NotSureHowTheInternetWorks.EU" and "Farage. Nigel Farage!” The respective leaders of the campaigns will be Angela Merkel, Boris Johnson, Jeremy Clarkson and Donald Carswell.

2. The theme tune for the Yes / Remain / Stay / Be In campaign will be a mash up of Ode to Joy, Whatever You Want by Status Quo and 500 Miles by the Proclaimers sung (i) by a reformed Smiths. The three Remain / Out / Go / Breville Toasted Sandwich Maker campaigns opt for respectively, the Dam Busters March, the Great Escape and Two World Wars and One World Cup Do Dah, Do Dah. The actual theme tune for the referendum will be the Hokey Cokey (ii) sung by the ghost of David Bowie. Is that what you want? Because that’s what’s going to happen!

3. Upon conclusion of the negotiations in [insert name of second tier European city] the outcome will be simultaneously hailed as a triumph and a Victory in Europe for Britain in Europe Not Out of Europe and denounced as a near treasonous capitulation to the dastardly Huns by each of the Out / Go /No / Don't Stay / Exit / Leave campaigns. One week after the document is agreed not one single person other than William Rees-Mogg will know or care what the content is and the referendum campaign will continue to be fought on the grounds of immigration, jobs, free movement of goods, Britain’s failed relationship with its own post-imperial past and whether that nice David Cameron performed a sex act too disgusting to mention in a family blog with That Pig . Do Dah. Do Dah. (iii)

4. Ex pat gangsters on the Costa de Colombo concerned at the impact of a leave vote on hard working British pensioners living in tax exile in Spain will make the East End of London an offer it can't refuse to vote In / Stay / Status Quo. Barbara Windsor will declare them to be wonderful people really, the salt of the earth.

5. The referendum will in no way be fought on the grounds of whether Britain won the Second World War or the brilliance of Russian linesmen. Clarkson and Corbyn will clash over whether Hurst’s second goal crossed the line or not.

6. Donald "the Evidence" Trump will tweet "Britain" alongside a picture of a German Panzer III and Jeb Bush looking mystified. The actual relevance of this to anything will be hotly disputed by media commentators, the Literati, the Twitterati and He, Himself, The Donald for decades to come.

7. The real reasons that Ola Jordan and Christina Rhianoff left Strictly Come Dancing will be discovered to be concerns that they will be affected by the revocation of the free movement of workers and replaced by British Dancers for British Jobs and both Ola and Christina are dirty, dirty, dirty foreigners. Dirty. Oh, so dirty.

8. Farage! Nigel Farage will be the main loser. If the vote goes against the EU his entire political raison d'etre will be extinguished in a Phyric victory of Ozymandian proportions. If the vote is for the Stay-tus Quo a career founded upon the promise but not the delivery of a decisive EU referendum will flounder. In either case he will be revealed to be an utter cock.

9. The EU flag will be revealed to be #blackandblue and #whiteandgold

10. Following his Defeat-Victory Nigel Farage will lock himself in an Edinburgh pub and issue a Unilateral Declaration of Independence and lead the pub out the EU. The saloon bar, citing a material change in circumstances, will issue its own declaration of independence from the pub. (iv)

11. Polish workers in the UK will stage a 48 hour strike in support of the EU, recognition of their crucial contribution to the UK economy and their rights under Article 45 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The strike will be 100% effective. So effective in fact that the entire economic activity of the UK will be shut down for a two day period, including all media outlets attempting to report on the referendum, the strike or Nigel! Nigel Farage! The period will become known as the Lost Weekend or Stracony Weekend.

12. Millions of Europeans will “Love Bomb” South East England with a flood of phone calls begging them not to Leave. Baffled residents of the Home Counties will be unable to cope with being loved by an actual human being who is not being paid. Enterprising Indian call centres will adopt unconvincing French or German accents in an attempt to connect with British citizens to ask them a few market research questions. (v)

13. Gordon Brown will be rolled out at the last minute with a Vow on the front page of the Daily Mail. By 2030, Vow still undelivered, the readers of the Daily Mail will begin to realise that Gordon Brown as former Prime Minister, former Leader of the Labour Party and former MP for Central Belt North and The Town Nick Robinson Can’t Pronounce actually has no constitutional status whatsoever. IndyRef Zoomers will chant “We Told You So” in George Square. This will be blamed on BritNats and skinheads.

14. The Apprentice will be reconfigured as a competition between In / Stay / Remain / Yes / Och Aye candidates and candidates from Out / Leave / Nay / Avaunt. Key tasks, such as the day trip to Calais to buy things, the task where different international items have to be purchased, the task where British products are sold at an international product fair and the task where London property has to be sold to foreigners will highlight what a totally and utterly insane idea it is to leave our largest export market, the largest market in the world and rely for our economic prosperity on the good will of a bunch of poor countries who don’t like us because we conquered and enslaved them 200 years ago. Jeremy Clarkson will counter this by attempting to drive a Land Rover Defender across the English Channel. He will be rescued by a Spanish fishing boat. Baroness Karren, Lady Brady will never receive so much exposure before or since. Anyone who doubts that this is a good thing will be invited to move to the EU member state of their choice forthwith. Or the member state of the European Economic Area if they are prepared to accept EU rules and standards.

15. Norway will once again become the European country most people claim to want to emulate.

16. The Tory Party In Wing will unleash on the Tory Party Out Wing exactly the same sort of post-truth evidence-free vitriolic hate campaign that they traditionally reserve for the likes of Kinnock, Miliband and Corbyn. After being on the receiving end of that the Continuity Euro-sceptics will declare “Never Again” and, crying manly tears of grief and noble despair lay wreaths annually at a memorial to Our Glorious Monstered on the 13th hour of the 13th day of the 13th month.

17. No one will see or hear from George Osbourne for the entire duration of the campaign. He will be too busy plotting to become the leader of the victorious wing of the Tory Party and praying that the wheels don’t come off his economic “plan” until he’s been Prime Minister for 18 months. This sort of behaviour has never been seen before in a British Chancellor.

18. There will be a moment in the campaign where Channel Four send Cathy Newman to fact check a claim that the Romanian shoe industry is being kept afloat by the wearing out of British EU referendum campaigners’ shoe leather.

19. The media will constantly refer to 1066, 1966, 1945 and 1688. No one with any sense will reference 409 despite it being the most useful comparator.

20. During the last week of the referendum campaign de facto acting Prime Minister Teresa May will announce the third runway at Heathrow, an extension of HS2 connecting the Lake District with Blenheim Palace, the mandatory fitting of surveillance cameras inside all social housing, the building of seventeen city centre nuclear reactors as part the Northern Power House programme, a free immigrant with every UKIP membership renewal, the handing over of Port Stanley to the Greater Argentine Co-Prosperity Sphere, the repeal of the minimum wage, the Sex Discrimination Act, the Racial Discrimination Act, the Reform Act of 1832 and the Married Women’s Property Act 1882. Rumours that Jimmy Savile is to be deified will be hotly denied.

21. After crashing the last remaining operational Sptifire in to the White Cliffs of Dover and being rescued by a Spanish trawler half owned via a Cayman Islands Holding Company for the Russian mafia, Jeremy Clarkson will marry Katie Hopkins in a small, private ceremony in Liverpool Cathedral.

22. The most widely signed petition of the referendum campaign will be a Green Party initiative to have Natalie Bennet excluded from the debates.

23. UKIP will No Platform the BNP. The BNP will No Platform George Galloway. George Galloway will No Platform his own hat. Other notable campaign low lights will include the Sun’s Tits Out for Europe campaign, Jeremy Corbyn being asked if he is for Britain or against it and answering, a crowd baying “Jump! Jump! Jump!”at Farage! Nigel Farage! after his German wife locks him out on the balcony of his four story town house in Royal Tunbridge Wells and Nick Clegg.

24. The No / Leave / Go / Out / Not In For Britain / Nigel Nigel Nigel Out! Out! Out! Campaigns will conduct an increasingly bitter social media war against each other. Policy will be ridiculed and personalities vilified on Twitter and Facebook. A cesspit of crude, foulmouthed, misogynistic, racist, homophobic abuse will be unleashed by the Leave campaign against itself (Tumblr will still largely consist of second rate Harry Potter slash fic and George Osbourne will buy Instagram and flood it with pictures of his Michelin starred lunch and a pig helixing.) CyberNats will blame JK Rowling for this.

25. After hundreds of international firms have patiently explained to their employees that if the UK leaves the EU they will all be sacked and Rupert Murdoch has patiently explained that if the UK votes to leave he will put tits back in the Times the vote will be a dead heat. Nicola Sturgeon will have the deciding vote.

In the coming weeks we will explore life After Brexit, Britain’s Currency Choices Post Brexit and What Staying In Means for Your Family.

i In Gaelic
ii W. Poza. W Poza. Trzęsą to całe o
iii Not anal.
iv Alex Salmond will be sworn in as Pub Landlord of the newly renamed People’s Dispensary for Irn Bru.
v It will turn out not to be possible to leave the India Call Centre Union no matter how many referenda we hold.

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