Is Brexit meaningless?

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  • Hi - first post here. :)

    Has anyone wondered if Brexit is meaningless? Put it another why, name one aspect of your life that is ruled over by the EU? Name one EU law or directive that has had a negative impact on your life?

    I can't think of anything.

    Another aspect of Brexit which is meaningless is the fact nearly every law that governs our lives is determined by the UK Parliament. Here's a list:

    Income tax

    National Insurance

    Inheritance Tax

    Social Security Benefits

    Cigarettes and alcohol tax
    Fuel tax
    Car Road Tax
    Stamp Duty

    Corporation Tax

    Capital Gains Tax

    Council Tax

    Criminal Justice Acts

    Welfare Reform Act 2012 (austerity programme)
    Value Added Tax is part of the EU but the rate is determined by member states. Under EU law, the standard rate of VAT in any EU state cannot be lower than 15%. The EU Council must approve any temporary reduction of VAT in the public interest.
    National Spending - the police, civil service, military, hospitals
    MPs salary
    Gay Marriage

    Common Law is determined by UK courts.



    When we joined the US in two Gulf wars we didn't ask the EU for permission. Margaret Thatcher didn't beg the EU for permission to send ships to the Falklands to stop Argentina.


    When Amazon or whoever pay little tax it's not due to the EU, it's to do with UK tax law.

    So what's the big deal about Brexit? Remain or leave, every major law is already decided by the UK Parliament. If we leave and get some of our coastal waters back, that's good, more fish in the fish shops ;) and if we can control our own borders (which I'm sure we already do to a great extent - ever arrived at Heathrow and no-one checks who you are? No, not happened to me neither!) and if there's some EU employment laws that need to be changed back to UK law, fair enough, but on a day-to-day basis, what is the big deal about Brexit? If you work for a British company that never trades with the EU - Brexit or Bremain is meaningless. And even if we do leave the EU all the EU based companies selling products/services to the UK are not going to stop, are they? They'll lose money!


    Is Brexit or Bremain all a bit meaningless? If we remain in the EU or leave and join the WTO, who cares. It's not going to give me a pay raise, it's not going to stop my energy providers raising their tariffs, it's not going to make my local council fill up more pot holes, it's not going to stop more repeats on BBC, it's not going to change much at all. Perhaps we need to look at the bigger picture and think of Brexit or Bremain as transitory concepts, rather than deep meaningful events.

    If you still doubt my post, consider this....

    Prior to the referendum had you heard about/or knew anything about the following?

    The Customs Union
    The European Court of Justice

    The Single Market
    The Irish Border


    Most people didn't know anything about that. They were too busy living their lives to care and I suspect that is the real truth behind Brexit. We're just pretending this is all important when the reality is life - the everyday chores of life - is far more important.




  • That's a great first post here, welcome forumfan.8):thumbup:


    I'll answer some of those points later. I was just mowing my lawn and got all wet and now I want lunch!:)

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  • Has anyone wondered if Brexit is meaningless?

    No. It's very relevant. It's about who we are today as a country and who we want to be tomorrow. And for one thing, I still want our country to remain a country in the future, which will become increasingly unlikely as the EU morphs into a defacto country bit by bit.

    Put it another why, name one aspect of your life that is ruled over by the EU? Name one EU law or directive that has had a negative impact on your life?

    I don't want to turn this bit into a major discussion on immigration as we have a thread for that already here: The Great Debate on Immigration, Race and Religion in the UK, but uncontrolled imigration affects many people and weakens our infrastructure.


    As but one example, I attended my local A&E last Monday (now renamed to the Americanised ER) and I couldn't even get in the front door. The queues were huge. 80% of those queuing were foreigners.


    Another aspect of Brexit which is meaningless is the fact nearly every law that governs our lives is determined by the UK Parliament. Here's a list:

    But even in your own list you talk about the EU having the final say on VAT. Also from your list, criminal law is widely affected by human rights law which is ultimately decided at EU level.


    You leave our loads of laws on trade, fisheries and food, agriculture, data protection etc and as I'm sure you know, the EU has been calling for tax harmonisation for many years now, so even some of those items on your list like corporation tax could be affected in the future.

    When we joined the US in two Gulf wars we didn't ask the EU for permission. Margaret Thatcher didn't beg the EU for permission to send ships to the Falklands to stop Argentina.

    True, but with the EU considering forming a EU army, how long would that situation carry on? Ultimately, if we stayed in the EU, defence and foreign affairs would be handled at EU level.

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  • When Amazon or whoever pay little tax it's not due to the EU, it's to do with UK tax law.

    True, but the American companies use the hodge podge system of the EU to avoid tax, by sheltering it in the EU country that has the lowest rate.


    So what's the big deal about Brexit? Remain or leave, every major law is already decided by the UK Parliament. If we leave and get some of our coastal waters back, that's good, more fish in the fish shops ;) and if we can control our own borders (which I'm sure we already do to a great extent - ever arrived at Heathrow and no-one checks who you are? No, not happened to me neither!) and if there's some EU employment laws that need to be changed back to UK law, fair enough, but on a day-to-day basis, what is the big deal about Brexit? If you work for a British company that never trades with the EU - Brexit or Bremain is meaningless. And even if we do leave the EU all the EU based companies selling products/services to the UK are not going to stop, are they? They'll lose money!

    We don't control our own borders. We are not permitted under EU law to stop EU citizens from entering this country. They have a absolute right to do so.


    I think your point about smaller companies is a fair one. If they don't trade with the EU, then they are affected less. and as you say, they will still trade with us, so no reason to remain.:)


    Is Brexit or Bremain all a bit meaningless? If we remain in the EU or leave and join the WTO, who cares. It's not going to give me a pay raise, it's not going to stop my energy providers raising their tariffs, it's not going to make my local council fill up more pot holes, it's not going to stop more repeats on BBC, it's not going to change much at all. Perhaps we need to look at the bigger picture and think of Brexit or Bremain as transitory concepts, rather than deep meaningful events.

    No need to join the WTO, we are already a member, in fact we helped to create the organisation in the first place.


    The examples you cite are interesting becuase take the energy companies for example, many of these are European state run companies who control our energy systems. We're not allowed to control theirs.... Similar sort of thing with pot holes, European companies are allowed to tender for jobs to fill these up and can undercut our own companies, but its hard to compete with their state run companies.


    If you still doubt my post, consider this....

    Prior to the referendum had you heard about/or knew anything about the following?

    The Customs Union
    The European Court of Justice

    The Single Market
    The Irish Border

    You must be pretty young,:) Nothing wrong with that, I wish I was.^^


    The European Court has featured heavily on the news over the last 3/4 decades and with increasingly frequency as its reach goes way beyond its remit. Same with the Single Market, always talked about.


    The Irish border was always on the news. We suffered from decades of Irish terrorism and the border was always mentioned as many of our troops died there.


    Can't say I've ever heard of the customs union before the vote though.


    Most people didn't know anything about that. They were too busy living their lives to care and I suspect that is the real truth behind Brexit. We're just pretending this is all important when the reality is life - the everyday chores of life - is far more important.

    As per my first set of remarks to you, this is all about who we want to be as a people, it's central to our very core.

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  • I'm not going to go through the whole referendum arguments again, but I will mention a couple of things.


    VAT: is the most stupid (and complicated) taxation system on the planet. Name another tax where you can get a tax refund into your bank BEFORE you have paid the tax? It's a fraudsters dream. Likewise with the VAT regime that allows VAT free aftershave, but won't allow VAT free female sanitary products. If we were a sovereign country we could make our own decisions about taxation.


    Which brings me onto loss of sovereignty: many people have been pushing for an end to live export for slaughter, but the EU prevents us. What difference does it make to the EU, or it's countries? That should be for each country to decide. Likewise with labelling of unstunned Halal and Kosher meat.


    Just for forumfans possible interest, my main reason for voting Leave was for reasons of sovereignty and having the decision makers answerable to the UK electorate with the option to kick them out at the next GE if they do a bad job. I have other reasons too, but sovereignty was the main issue.

    Mark Twain — 'Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.'

  • Brexit is not meaningless if you are a builder being undercut by cheaper Eastern European labour.

    Brexit is not meaningless if you are a British fishermen.

    Brexit is not meaningless if you do not want the European Court of Justice to stop interfering ie their insistence that British criminals get the vote.

    Brexit is not meaningless.... for many other reasons, it all depends on one's own interests.

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  • We have had over 5000 laws enforced on us by the EU , source is John Pienaar , BBC journalist , the EU's slogan is ever closer union , even the most stupid remainer must realise what the ultimate end goal will be.

  • Some people, Nigel, may want a United States of Europe and if that is so, that is their opinion, just not one I share.

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  • Maybe we have imagined it all or it's some kind of shared dream and we will wake up at some point and the referendum and Brexit wont have happened. :P:D

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

  • In a way yes it's meaningless as our leaders will enact the policy in a way that they see fit, rendering the point moot.


    A true Brexit is not meaningless. It would give allot of control back to the UK. Many people think it would not effect them but immigration,court policy,tax legislation all effect everyone in some way.


    But if this control is taken back it would then still be up to our policy makers to enact change, which they are unwilling to do. So all in all the soft,hard or no Brexit is of little consiquence as if Brexit where to happen it wouldn't happen in any meaningful way

  • For me, weedkillers, passports.

    How much of my tax gets spent on foreign aid.

    How much of my tax gets spent on a lot of things.

    How many foreign nationals I have to compete with for a job.


    I think I crippled myself over a 6 month period to beat 300 much much younger people from abroad for my last placement for example.

    Taxes are high, rents are high. Tariffs are high on imports I like.


    How often my elected representatives tell me they can't do as they are told "because the EU".


    My Japanese girlfriend is less welcome in this country that a random criminal from Romania.


    And worst of all, some random a=holes tell me I am their "citizen" that I must do as they say and pay them royally to tell me what to do.

    They fudging insult me daily.

    But I am not. And I will have my revenge.

    I will sack those fools. Please help me to do so.

  • Until the luvvies are also competing against others from abroad for their lucrative law, teaching and financial careers they will see no problem with the EU , the fools cannot see that "ever closer union " will eventually mean that even they will join us minions ,this will be too much ,even for them.

  • What Brexit! I am absolutely furious!!!!!!!! See the latest 'offer' from May. She should a yellow stripe painted down her back and put in the stocks so we can all throw rotten tomatos and eggs at her!


    U.K. to Drop Brexit Demand on Irish Border to Ease Deal


    I am getting my pitchfork out ... right now!

    Mark Twain — 'Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.'

  • What Brexit! I am absolutely furious!!!!!!!! See the latest 'offer' from May. She should a yellow stripe painted down her back and put in the stocks so we can all throw rotten tomatos and eggs at her!


    U.K. to Drop Brexit Demand on Irish Border to Ease Deal


    I am getting my pitchfork out ... right now!

    This was something I mentioned the other day that I believe the so called transitional period/implementation period is the customs policy in all but name and its something which will never end, if May has her way.


    They should not get too cocky thinking its all going their way. Cameron was cocky too and looked what happened.

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  • Farage has been cracking on about it on his radio show for months.

    I fully agree that it's an obvious trap.


    I get the need for implementation time. But I don't trust the government enough to want it.

    I think they need to seal the deal instantly. And then spend the next 6 months implementing as much as they can.


    For the cheapest exit bill, I hope they argue until March 28 and then leave with nothing.

    I think if they agree No Deal today.... Chancellor Quisling has just offered to pay them £36 billion anyway as part of Project Fear.


    For things to work best...lol.... it all has to stay out of their ability to control.

  • As Heero pointed out to me recently, we voted in 2016, the business' have had plenty of time to prepare.


    I said I think in reply to Rob the other day, that I'm not prepared to say that May is being deceitful over these EU negotiations, but when the goal posts keep moving, its hard not to think these negotiations are nothing but a delaying tactic to try and keep us in the EU.


    I still couldn't believe that the first thing May said to the EU last year, was that she was committed to the UK's budget commitments into EU coffers, even though we're leaving. She should've said, no deal, no money.

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  • I just think the negotiations are deliberate acts of obstruction.


    Their aim is to make us rethink our decision. To make leaving as hard as possible, and to punish us if we actually do.



    I don't think they are honest in the intent to deliver a smooth transition.

    So it's OK to just play act until the end. And then say "no thanks".


    My advice to UK negotiators has from day one been to get pissed very day at the EU.

    Drink as much as you can eat as much as you can and have 2 years of maximum perks.

    Turn up as Drunk as Junncker.

    Farage's job is to make sure you do.


    It's all just theatre.


    Negotiations took place before the referendum. Not after.

  • I just think the negotiations are deliberate acts of obstruction.

    That wasn't originally my view, but not so confident now.


    When a British prime minster says they will do all they can to carry out the wishes of the people, I believed May. But the evidence is mounting up against her now.


    And I agree its all theatre, they're not serious about negotiating with us because they know full well that May is not serious, so why should they bother?


    Negotiations took place before the referendum. Not after.

    Hmmm. It does make you wonder what Cameron was talking to them about, doesn't it?

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  • Same stuff exactly.


    What Cameron wanted was the Golden Goose.

    The mythical good deal with Europe.


    Why we joined and what we will never get.

    A single market for goods and services.


    All services. Even ours.


    So the EU has tariff free goods into the UK.

    Earns them loads and in exchange, to get a balance of trade, we need tariff free services into the EU.


    But they won't do it.



    And this is why.


    Banking and insurance work on very tight margins.

    The bigger the bank. The more money and customers you have, the lower the overhead you have.

    Economies of scale.


    So a London Bank or insurance company can out bid any European rival because they are so much bigger.


    In just one year, using price comparisons all EU rivals would go out of business.

    The London whale would dominate every domestic European insurer and bank and wipe them all out.

    In about 12 months flat.

    People would simply accept the cheapest insurer or mortgage on offer. And that would be one of ours. Every single time.


    And so they just won't agree it.



    And so we have been stuck in a bad deal. A welched deal.

    What was promised was never delivered and we pay through the nose for what we haven't been getting.


    That is the deal Cameron went for. The Holy Grail. The mythical Good Deal With Europe.


    He came home with... Tampon Tax. (Maybe).


    That was the concession the EU was possibly wiling to give for us to stay in.



    And negotiations with the EU cannot be flexible today either. Because you can't get 27 countries to agree any changes.

    So EU red lines are inflexible. They can't be expected to be able to pass any changes. Their parliament is way more divided than ours.


    We can't and they can't and so good bye.

  • It's why they will never do a deal on pass-porting arrangements with us. Our City is far bigger than anything they have, and they want it weakened to benefit themselves. They can try!

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  • They have done the deal on passporting already.


    They have no choice.

    No one else is able to lend them that kind of money.


    They did the deal last week. Deal or No Deal, please can the UK continue passporting arrangements.


    It was in the financials. I'll see if I can find you a link.


    Edit, here's one.

    I haven't read it.

    Should be OK.


    https://expertinvestoreurope.c…2022-in-event-of-no-deal/

    25 Jul 2018 - EU firms will be able to continue passporting into the UK if the Brexit transition period is canned, according to the UK's Financial Conduct ...


    The tail does not wag the dog.


    Almost all EU governments depend on UK banking to stay afloat. They run deficits.



    A little bit of "can do" is all you need for all these fake problems to go away.

  • I remember an online seminar I watched pre-referendum. They said no matter what the result, we would not be allowed to leave the EU because others (of power and influence) have too much at stake to allow it. I have tried really hard to find it so I could watch it again (with hindsight) but cannot find it. Maybe it got removed from Youtube.

    Mark Twain — 'Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.'

  • Youtube likes to censor stuff.


    And thanks Baff for that link. I will read that article tomorrow.

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  • I remember an online seminar I watched pre-referendum. They said no matter what the result, we would not be allowed to leave the EU because others (of power and influence) have too much at stake to allow it. I have tried really hard to find it so I could watch it again (with hindsight) but cannot find it. Maybe it got removed from Youtube.

    I still need to refer back to the EU Withdrawal Act, but I'm pretty sure that one of the first paragraphs repealed the original 1972 European Act and subsequent acts. If that's the case, I don't understand, even with May's tactics, how we can stay in the EU after 29th March next year. If we stayed in the customs union etc after this time, we'd be braking own own law, unless I'm missing something??:/

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  • I still need to refer back to the EU Withdrawal Act, but I'm pretty sure that one of the first paragraphs repealed the original 1972 European Act and subsequent acts. If that's the case, I don't understand, even with May's tactics, how we can stay in the EU after 29th March next year. If we stayed in the customs union etc after this time, we'd be braking own own law, unless I'm missing something??:/

    That's how I understand it too, that the 72 act will be repealed on exit day. Also, the Lisbon Treaty does not cater for the withdrawal of Article 50, but does say we can reapply. I dread to think what the terms of re-entry would be, but I now try never to underestimate the treachery that is being conducted by our PM.


    There is a lot of discontent over EU membership (has been for decades), and I can only imagine it increasing, especially if we get tied in to even less favourable terms. Our kamikaze PM seems not to care about the wishes of UK citizens, just as the EU cares not one jot for the wishes of EU citizens.

    Mark Twain — 'Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.'

  • She believes what she believes, it's just the exact opposite of what the majority of the electorate believe and voted for.


    It will be like a house of cards and I don't expect the EU will survive in its current for the long term, but there will be one hell of a fight to keep the status quo. We're having our little tiff in the UK over this, but others will follow.


    The French no more want to be merged with the Germans, than the Germans do with the Greeks etc. Something has to change and Brexit will be the start of it, assuming the Italian debt crisis doesn't overtake and ruin our party. They bloody better not!:)

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  • Hi - first post here. :)


    While in morose search for a "Brexity thread that doesn't seem like Groundhog Day I have just come across yours.


    Belated mega thanks for a thought-provoking post. I've printed it out and shall sleep on it and reply tomorrow. Meanwhile my fingers are twitching to adda few first thoughts:


    At the beginning I thought the same way as you do now, which is that Brexit was never going to make much difference. I read Neil Woodford's report which I recall was written before Article 50 was set in motion and I agreed with his prognosis that it was much ado about (next-to) nothing. I'm inclined to take a bet with him and invest in some British equities which have taken a pasting recently.


    What I hadn't allowed for (and I guess neither had Mr Woodford) was that we had a Government with 2 consecutive lousy prime ministers (the first was bad enough, the second is something else again), plus a bunch of self-seeking careerist Tory MP's arguing among themselves, and an arrogant incompetence to negotiate a happy or at least amicable parting with the EU.


    So when you pose the rhetorical question as to whether Brexit is meaningless, my short off-the-cuff answer was that I thought it wouldn't matter one way or the other. But clearly it has mattered - and I'm talking diagnosis rather that prognosis. I say that because the economy is already starting to run on a lean mixture, investment is being deferred, budgets trimmed, decision-paralysis is infectious and the EU is hellbent on making an example of us and eager to feed itself on the spoils.


    It shouldn't have mattered.


    Granted, in the long run, this doomsday prognosis might prove to be a temporary set-back (or, as you euphemize it, "transitory") and Britain might learn to cease its ridiculous unnecessary self-harming. The current Government might come to its senses and haul away Theresa May in a straight-jacket and find a leader who is the economic equivalent of Churchill in those darkest hours. If they can do that before popular/mob democracy adds another zero to the 700,000 protesters a day or two ago, and if the Government remembers soon enough what they are on this planet for, it might just prevent a Marxist-orientated Government waltzing into Number 10, hellbent on a massive re-distribution of wealth which will plunge Britain down to the lowest common-denominator. To put it another way, in the short to medium term it could be worrying. And in long term, many of us will be dead.


    Those are just my off-the-cuff first thoughts.


    Goodnight!

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