Brexit (to whom it may concern)


I'm really only starting this thread so that people can say something about it if they want to without intruding on other topics. Hmm, now... Tough topics? Emotional wellbeing? Caregiver Burnout? Nope! - Family and Relationships it is...

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Maybe we'll get to see pictures of Boris Johnson and Donald Trump together. Their photos would be classic.
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The initial hysteria is definitely an overreaction. The sun rose and set as normal, my daughter's frightened 13 year old Romanian students have been reassured by her that she will fight to the last piece of chalk before she lets anyone take them out of their English state school, my other daughter's gay Irish roommate (I confidently predict) will not resign and will not be required to resign his medical training post, and even my son has cheered up to the extent of sighing 'well we'd better try and make it work, that's all.'

I'm not quite sure what people are afraid will happen. That British scientists will no longer be permitted to join their American, Canadian, Indian and Japanese colleagues at the European Space Agency? That our import of Kenyan, Colombian, Chilean and Egyptian produce will be restricted? That the Channel Tunnel will be blown up and anyone wishing to travel to Europe will be forced to swim? That trade in manufactured goods with the US and Far East will suddenly become more difficult?

Trade is not carried on by governments. It is more or less hindered by them, according to political priorities. Small companies will now be freer to take advantage of the sales and communications infrastructure provided by modern technology to find customers and suppliers wherever they please.

Cultural exchange is not carried on by governments. It takes place between people. I do not think Milan will bar us from La Scala. I do not think Spain will be happy to introduce tourist visas. I'm as certain as I've ever been of anything that Greece will have a pink fit if the EU does anything to affect tourism in its country, and I don't think Mrs Merkel could face another head-to-head with that lot.

I heard a lady on the radio worrying that our young people would lose opportunities for education abroad. Really? Why? Can she name a European academic institution that does not welcome non-EU students? - because I certainly haven't noticed any lack of them in ours.

The medical personnel point is an interesting one, Pam. One of the many figures bandied about is that there are currently 110,000 non-UK EU citizens working for the NHS - doctors, nurses, allied professionals. My dentist is Romanian, come to that. I checked him out on the GDC website (I do that to anyone I'm entrusting with my body parts, it was nothing to do with his nationality) and was touched to see that he and his wife had both qualified in Bucharest and had consecutive registration numbers from the date of their arrival in Britain - his'n'hers certificates, awww cute! These people are competent, hard-working and vital to the continuous running repair of our rickety health system, I agree.

But there is the other side to that coin, which raises two important issues. One, Romania, e.g., is now short of two dentists whose training it paid for because we have pinched them - not to mention the 109,998 others enticed from their home countries. Two, that makes 110,000 people we in the UK have failed to educate and train adequately to do this work. 110,000 potential careers we couldn't be arsed to develop. It's a disgrace.

So. Doing without them will be very hard, should they leave (they won't). But in any case, even if they do, and we are forced to educate and train our own... GOOD.

Britain is in for a shock. Our productivity has been atrocious for decades. We are now going to have to pick our own fruit, take care of our own elders, invest in manufacturing, learn the meaning of customer service, force our children to learn mathematics - oh, wait, no, not that last one. We can still pinch software engineers from India so that's a relief. Still, overall we will have to stop whining about the EU and start doing some work. I'm not completely sure that everyone who voted to Leave quite thought it through this far. But I am pretty sure we will end up a lot healthier in the long run.
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My take on Brexit is a bit different than many here. I'm not in the UK, but I have several friends who own small businesses in England. They are worried, because the majority of their products are sold to the Continent. How will it affect trade? Will they go broke before it all gets sorted? They voted to remain because they were afraid for their livelihood. They were concerned about UK citizens living and working on the Continent and about students attending universities there. Right now there is looking to vetoing (Scotland) and definite attention to the vague Article 50, hoping it will make the transition less painful.

Small businesses in the US are also worried about Brexit. Many are already barely holding on. If the effect on the stock market and spending mood of people continue through the summer, many small businesses may have to close their doors. If that happens, it will be a time when the less tough shops will be loss.

We'll just have to see how it pans out. I hope that the initial hysteria is an over-reaction and that things will go smoothly for all the businesses in the UK. And I hope the UK doesn't split. They have more stability as one.
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I said this on another thread when as expats we had "only" lost 6% of our pensions, well it is now up to 8%.
Now we are faced with the prospect of Hilary or Donald milking us over here too.
As retired professionals once we have paid our medical expenses we are not too much over the poverty line.
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FF, here's one of the things over the last few weeks that made me draw in a breath, hold it, and sigh...

Somebody commenting that it would now be much more convenient for the big banks to base themselves in Frankfurt rather than London, seeing as Frankfurt is in the EU.

Well, now. And in what way was that not more convenient last week, when Frankfurt was just as much in the EU as it is now? How was it ever *more* convenient to have your offices offshore on a small, overcrowded and expensive island instead of in a clean, spacious, centrally located German city with excellent transport links worldwide?

I couldn't tell you why or how London has continued to annoy Frankfurt for some decades by being clearly inferior and yet, and yet... more successful. But it's not our handy location. And it's not because the UK is in the EU.
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[whisper] Between you and me, I wouldn't be that amazed if the Queen wasn't sipping a modest buck's fizz from about 4.30 am onwards.

The murder of Jo Cox was horrifying. The sham eulogies from people who can't possibly have known the lady - she'd only been in Parliament since last year - and yet muscled in on her family's private grief were nauseating. How dared they. Vile.
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Ha Ha Ha

Yes Friday morning was the funniest morning ever - especially imagining how early the Queen must have been woken up by a phone call from Cameron, as it was about 8.30 am when he was addressing the nation in tears.

Corbyn was at least honest when he said he didn't like the EU. I disliked the shameless way the government used every trick in the book, including milking the murder of an M.P. to try to get the end result they wanted.

The stock exchange will bounce back given time - our quality of life would not have done if we had had to remain SHACKLED in the EU.
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Regarding that stock market, if I was much younger I would turn a blind eye to the stock market, but being that I am pushing 70 that I need to sell my mutual funds that contain foreign stocks as they are now too risky, and put the money into low risk or fix funds.

I had turned a blind eye after 09/11 and stock market crash... but I was horrified to see that it took over 8 years to recover what I had in value prior to 09/11. I am a basket case as it is dealing with an elderly parent, I don't need to worry myself crazy over my retirement funds. I will need to call my Dad's stock broker and chat with him, as Dad needs all the money to help pay for his assisted living.

I will keep stock such as Caterpillar because of the global weather situation, products made by Caterpillar will be needed for those areas around the world damaged by all the floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and wildfires.

On the world news, U.S. companies that have branches in England are concerned that they would need to close up and return to the U.S. or move to another country for their global work. And British citizens who are working in European countries are concerned they would lose their jobs. I hope that doesn't happen for everyones sake.
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Well I'd better put it on record - I voted Leave. My problem is not with Europe, or European peoples. My problem is with an organisation so bloated, so detached from democratic principle and so shamelessly corrupt that its response to its own chief auditor's refusal to sign off on its accounts is to fire her *on disciplinary grounds.* That organisation being the European Union, which is an operational political organisation and in fact, if not in the minds of its officials, not synonymous with Europe.

I was going to be flippant and voice my suspicion that the real reason the large majority of English and Welsh people voted Leave is that we thought it would be funny. And it's true that I did spend quite a lot of Friday morning cackling evilly. Few things are more pleasurable than telling the liberal (small l) establishment to go and f*** itself.

Slightly more seriously (only slightly), here is my list of what I suspect were the top ten reasons that Leave won the referendum.

10. Somebody accidentally let Tony Blair speak in public for the Remain side.

9. Jeremy Corbyn is clearly unfit for major political office because when he is asked a direct question he gives a truthful explanation: in this case, that because the free movement of people is a founding principle of the EU it is not possible to limit the number of EU citizens coming into Britain while we remain a member. This is obviously true. But Mr Corbyn, who is leader of our main opposition party, for the time being anyway, is now blamed for lack of leadership and poor political judgment. Apparently the correct answer, the one he ought to have given, was that we would limit migration by working with our fellow member states. Right, 'cos that's working really well...

8. All the economists who told us not to leave were the same people who told us it would be a disaster if we didn't give up the pound and join the Euro. Oops!

7. Not even the most ardent Remain campaigners could spin the figures to make it look as though being in the EU doesn't cost the UK billions annually. Not as many billions as the Leave campaign were claiming, sure, but still billions. There are two net contributors to the EU: Germany, by miles. And us, by inches. Only the rest of the EU is in serious hock to Germany, and that big a creditor can't afford to let its debtors go bankrupt. We just don't want it to become our problem.

6. British people have better memories than their politicians would like to think. And they remember what they were told the last time they were asked about this, in 1975, and how much of it turned out to be whopping, barefaced lies.

5. Ghisella Stewart MP (Labour) is calm, humane, truthful and practical. And German by birth. And she's been saying Leave for years.

4. David Cameron becoming increasingly hysterical and roping in more and more improbable endorsements. David Beckham? Seriously???

3. We don't like being bullied.

2. We don't like being patronised.

1. It was really funny.

When the BBC has run out of breath and stopped flapping about screaming 'the sky is falling the sky is falling' I hope we can all settle down and make this work. My one reservation was anxiety about the effect of the UK's exit on Europe, because we do have a responsibility to our neighbours. But if we handle it well, and Mrs Merkel - wouldn't she just, such a good woman - has got things off to a promising start by appealing for calm, then I hope for reforms which will in the long run benefit everyone.

Meanwhile, to borrow Chairman Mao's reply when he was asked what consequences had followed the French Revolution in 1789: "it is too early to say."
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I could see a snag where medical personnel cannot freely move about from UK to EU. Specialists will just close up shop if the business atmosphere is unfriendly, supplies are tariffed and staff need visas.
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