art with code

2017-08-29

Brexit - What's going to happen

Brexit is well underway and the shape of the future relationship between the UK and the EU is becoming clearer. There are negotiations, yes, but the positions are very clear and the solutions to achieve those positions are also very clear.

1) EU citizens resident in the UK will get UK citizenship if they want. UK citizens resident in the EU will get a EU citizenship if they want.

2) Northern Ireland will become an independent country with a free movement & customs union with the Republic of Ireland. Ditto for Gibraltar. NI and Gibraltar will retain their UK military bases, perhaps they'll end up called NATO bases as a fig leaf.

3) UK will not be a part of the customs union and will not be part of a free movement arrangement.

4) UK will continue to do 60% of its trade with the neighbouring EU states, because they're next to it. EU will continue to do 15% of its trade with the UK, because it's next to it.

5) After the Brexit is over, UK will rejoin the European research cooperation institutions / Euratom / Europol / whatever.

6) Nigel Farage will be the next PM.

Why?

1) UK doesn't keep track of people after they enter the country. (In Germany and France, you need to register with the local authorities when you move in.) Therefore the UK can't easily send all EU citizens in the UK a polite letter asking them to end their lives in the UK. The easiest and cheapest (hey, austerity government) solution is to give them UK citizenship and require UK citizenship or work visa to take up employment. EU's position has been all along that UK citizens are EU citizens and they can stay if they want (proviso three-month rules etc. free movement limitations.)

2) NI doesn't want to join the Republic. No one wants a hard border in Ireland. There's no realistic soft border solution that doesn't turn NI into the preferred smuggling route to and from the UK. So, soft border in Ireland, hard border between NI and the UK. Ditto for Gibraltar. Legit concerns in NI and Gibraltar about how real their independence is without way to push off RoI / Spain -> UK military bases as guarantee.

3) Non-hard Brexit would bring Nigel Farage back into politics and everyone in the Tory party agrees that even a nuclear winter is preferable to that. So hard Brexit it is.

4) Trade is GDP per distance. Look at Finland for example. Its largest trading partners are Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and Russia. Germany is near and has a large economy. Sweden is even closer. There are sanctions against Russia and yet Finland does more trade with Russia than with the UK / China / US. Distance matters in trade.

5) After the Brexit is over and the Farage threat has been neutralized, the lobbyists in Westminster are free to push the government to minimize the damage.

6) Farage can't be neutralized, only temporarily appeased.

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Built art installations, web sites, graphics libraries, web browsers, mobile apps, desktop apps, media player themes, many nutty prototypes, much bad code, much bad art.

Have freelanced for Verizon, Google, Mozilla, Warner Bros, Sony Pictures, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Valve Software, TDK Electronics.

Ex-Chrome Developer Relations.