Is Brexit just about Paperwork?

CCarter

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Looking at it as an outsider looking in, things just look like they are complaining about paperwork. I feel like it will take 2 weeks to a month at most to re-negotiate the tariffs, taxes, and border stuff at maximum with the EU and then life will move on.

So why are people up in arms on either side? For YEARS.

The people that want to leave want more control of their situation, and the people that want to stay want the benefits of being a member of the EU (European Union). But really the only benefits I see is they don't have to do as much paperwork.

Every single other country outside the EU has to do these taxes, tariffs, and negotiations with other countries and with dealing with the EU - or am I missing something very obvious?
 
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These kinds of negotiations take much longer. Most large trade deals take like 5-10 years to negotiate. There are so many areas to cover and so many parties with different interests. Trade deals between two individual nations already take a long time, let alone those where one party is actually 27 countries grouped together, each with their own demands. These deals go into extreme detail for every industry, e.g. guaranteed protection for brands of Parmesan cheese, specific tariffs for a specific kind of fish, can you export chlorinated chicken or not.

The other thing is bargaining power. Yes, other individual nations make trade-deals too (also, they did this over the last 50 years, while Britain now has to make all of them at once). But they get significantly worse deals than the EU as a whole gets. The US and China pretty much dictate the terms of any trade deal with a small country because they hold all the cards. Now the UK will go from being the biggest economic bloc (EU is still larger than China & US economically) to just another country.

This is of course just the economic side of brexit... there are many other aspects that make it even more complicated. So I would say it is more complex than you suggest.
 

CCarter

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there are many other aspects that make it even more complicated. So I would say it is more complex than you suggest.
That's what I want to understand. What's the more complicated stuff? Cause so far it's just paperwork. Even if it takes years to negotiate, it's not un-reasonable to get something on the table that's mimic's the EU's old terms with other countries to get things moving.

Edit: According to The Balance - Largest Economies in the World the USA is the largest economy in the world. EU is a bit behind. There seems to be some discrepencies on how people are calculating these numbers caues of office exchange rate:


--

But - what does it matter whether someone is #1 or #2?
 
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Well, in one way leaving isn't so complicated. There is actually already a negotiated deal, but the British among themselves can't agree on whether to go with it or not (although they sort of accepted it now, but now they will first have the general election).

Your month of renegotiation is overly optimistic, but you're probably right that these negotiations and paperwork are not the fundamental problem.

The complicated stuff comes from the fact that the British want some mutually exclusive things, primarily regarding Northern Ireland. They do not want A: a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, because that could lead to serious civil unrest, IRA reviving etc. and B: They do not want to stay in some form of customs union with the EU.

This means they want both NOT a hard border, and DO want a hard border at the same time, which is obviously impossible. Now in the new deal Northern Ireland actually stays in the customs union with the EU, while the rest of the UK will be out of it, so there will be a hard border between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

And then there's all kinds of internal political problems in the UK itself: The government needs the support of the Northern Irish DUP, which opposes the deal I just mentioned. The Conservative party itself is split between people who actually want no deal at all and people who want a soft Brexit. Then there is Labour, which is also extremely divided and nobody knows what their leader really wants. Basically a big mess.

So I guess it's more a political problem in the UK that's complicated than the economics/negotiations/paperwork.

EDIT: One thing to add, Brexit is a very emotional thing and among people in the UK it's probably comparable to discussing Trump in the US (as I understand it as an outsider, correct me if I'm wrong). Very few young people (<40) want to leave the EU, while a large majority of pensioners want to leave, so there's a big divide.
 
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CCarter

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IRA reviving
So the IRA revival is probably the biggest "lethal" threat. Other than that - it's bickering. I just don't understand "what" people are so angry about? In the USA I can understand - liberals lost the election and have a ton of time on their hands, but even then I don't get why even they are so angry like the world is coming to an end.

But why are the younger people (<40) against leaving and why do the pensioners want to leave? I assume the younger generation wants the stability their parents had, but the older folks seem to think they are getting screwed over by the EU?

Here is my thing - in the EU and USA - and for a good chunk of the world, we are living in the best economic times than in the past. Yeah there are wars and all sort of problems here and there, but for the most part we are all better off than 100 years whether Trump is in or out of office, or The UK stays in and leaves the EU.

So why are people so outraged? I guess as a marketer I know Why, cause we created the red versus blue team scenarios around the world, but a lot of this seems silly in the grand scheme of things.

But back to Brexit - outside of the politics - what's the reasoning of the old people versus young people situation? or is it the stability versus "we are getting screwed over" scenario?
 
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Why would anyone want a bunch of bureaucrats from other countries (or you own, 1 more layer of politicians is good?) taking decisions that affects your economy?

Or anything else for that matter.

I'm not from the UK but I can totally understand the brexit movement.

The UK can make bilateral trade deals. They were smart enough to stay out of the EURO so it should be much easier for them.

But back to Brexit - outside of the politics - what's the reasoning of the old people versus young people situation? or is it the stability versus "we are getting screwed over" scenario?
I guess young people are more "Globalist" and older generations more nationalist probably
 
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One thing about the young vs old people is that the UK is a bit of a peculiar country. Many old people grew up with the idea that the UK was an 'empire', and slowly they've lost everything and now they're just a regular country. If you think of yourself as an empire, you expect to be a dominant power and not just one country needing to cooperate with other countries.

I think young people are a bit past that and can see the benefits of working closely together with neighbors. Also, with the freedom of movement these days many young people have travelled and lived/worked in other EU countries. When Britain leaves, this is bound to become much more difficult (at least moving permanently). Currently an EU citizen can quite easily work in any other EU country.

Add to that a combination of many lies peddled by UK media (UK tabloids are on another level really), and you get this kind of 'taking back control' sentiment. There are understandable reasons for not wanting to be in the EU I think, but I don't think people voted based on those genuine reasons, more on some underbelly sentiment.

Then of course there is the same background of how Trump got elected. People seeing jobs move to China, government seen as not caring about 'common people' and suddenly any vote becomes a protest vote against the ruling elite (which is another special thing in the UK, where they have much stronger class divisions, rather than just based on income, just check how many Prime Ministers came from Eton, then studied PPE at Oxford or Cambridge).
 

CCarter

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People seeing jobs move to China
That's the thing - jobs move to China or other places because of more bureaucracy to the point where it costs a lot less to make steel in China than our own backyard. Again politicians are to blame for regulations and a ton of businesses moving out. The last big coal company just went bankrupt in the USA - problem is it was supplying a lot of retired coal miner's pensions. Now the pensioners were sold a bag of lies by politicians that "coal money will last forever", but nothing lasts forever.

We don't see now a days companies giving out pension programs to retirees cause that's not a sustainable model. It assume the company will never pivot or go bankrupt or will always be #1 or at the top of the food chain. Now a days you can't even guarantee a company will be in business in 5 or 10 years let alone be around long enough for their retirees' spouses to live to 100 years old.

As well, realistically does it make sense for super power countries and advanced economies to have their citizens doing jobs their grandparents were doing? We're in the digital age and now most of the jobs center around the computer.

In the USA, there are places that were known for automobile production, steel factories, and other old industries that have moved away, those places need to update with the times. It's like people don't want to change - but if you don't change you get left behind. That's what those blighted areas around the country are doing getting left behind.

No matter how much shouting people do - Steel jobs and coal jobs aren't coming back, just like people don't buy candles to light their houses cause of electricity, candle making isn't going to come back in mass production. What's the point of doing manual labor like our grandparents 100 years later? When will we advance?

It feels like everyone is complaining about nostalgia - when the good old days weren't really that great.

government seen as not caring about 'common people'
I've always been confused about this one. Why do common people think the government has the answer to their problems? On top - if the government is mostly funded or controlled by non-common people, why would they care about the common people's problems? The people at the bottom of the pyramid ALWAYS get crushed, it's been like that since the dawn of time.

It sort of seems like people want someone to take care of them for life and not be responsible for their own decisions and life goals. Whenever there is a problem - the government will bail me out. Why would they? When in the history of the earth has that ever happened?
 
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It sort of seems like people want someone to take care of them for life and not be responsible for their own decisions and life goals. Whenever there is a problem - the government will bail me out. Why would they? When in the history of the earth has that ever happened?
Exactly. I see Brexit as a "less government movement".

The EU is all about regulation, they want to regulate everything because they need to justify their existence and more regulation equals more power to them.

GDPR is a good example. It makes no sense, it's just annoying to the internet user.
 

bernard

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I've always been confused about this one. Why do common people think the government has the answer to their problems? On top - if the government is mostly funded or controlled by non-common people, why would they care about the common people's problems? The people at the bottom of the pyramid ALWAYS get crushed, it's been like that since the dawn of time.
It's not quite that simple.

None of these people asked to have millions of immigrants move into their neighborhoods, driving down wages, rising crime, rising real estate prices.

That was not something you can do anything about as a common person. That's, imo, rightfully seen as a betrayal from the elites and something the EU was instrumental in.
 

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The real issue is how this effects Scotland and N. Ireland. If not handled properly you could end up with independence referendums for both area's.

For example if they crash out you could end up in a situation where both N. Ireland and Scotland leave the UK. A crash out could also pull GBP into parity with the Euro which would make it optimal for both N Ireland and Scotland leaving since their debt is in Sterling.

The EU is bullshit anyway as it only exists to prop up a bunch of shitty countries via the Euro. That being said the UK had one of the better deals with its special status and is pretty much fucked no matter what happens.
 

CCarter

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None of these people asked to have millions of immigrants move into their neighborhoods, driving down wages, rising crime, rising real estate prices.
The people in power aren't common people again. Why do the common people think the government will help them fix this new immigration problem? Why would the people in power, the elites, give a shit or even ask what the common people want for their common people neighborhoods?

That's, imo, rightfully seen as a betrayal from the elites and something the EU was instrumental in.
I don't get it, the elites were NEVER on the common people's side. What betray? It's like a mouse that get chased by a cat gets eventually caught by the cat and then claims the cat has betrayed it's nature - a nature and relationship that they have had since the dawn of time.

The mouse was ALWAYS the lowest rung of the ladder - when in the world was it promised the cat would not chase and catch the mouse? There is no betray - it's the common people deluding themselves that the elites and government had their best interest in mind - when that has NEVER ever happened in history, like ever.

Governments have never helped the common people, their politicians might say they WILL, but they never have. It's been like centuries - why are the common people still believing this lie?
 
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Governments have never helped the common people, their politicians might say they WILL, but they never have. It's been like centuries - why are the common people still believing this lie?
I think this is overly cynical. Elites tend to help themselves more than the common people, but the fact that we've got (semi-)functioning democracies with (in Western Europe) welfare, affordable healthcare, pensions, proper infrastructure, is convincing proof that (certain) governments do good things for common people.

Of course there are plenty of governments that are corrupt to the core and full of self-serving politicians, which is why only a limited set of countries have all these facilities. And even if you think (again overly cynical imo) that all Western governments are also full of purely self-serving politicians, then at least our systems work well enough to give the average person a pretty good living standard.

Of course some of these achievements are now under pressure, but the fact that all these things have been achieved up to now is evidence that governments do work some of the time.

EDIT: One thing I would add is that if 'average' people don't speak up and put pressure on governments, then over time it will become more and more self-serving. The things I mentioned (pensions, labor rights etc.) were achieved primarily because there was massive pressure from unions etc. Maybe that's what we're seeing nowadays, everything seemed great early 90s and people stopped caring too much about politics, and so the 'elite' was more free to do what it wanted.
 
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bash

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lol @ believing post-Brexit is going to lead to a crackdown on immigration into the UK. I bet people still think the NIH is going to get all that money as well.
 

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Well, if you believe that the elites are always fucking the common people over, then the common people have made a good decision in Brexit, right?

It's a solid rational choice.
 

bash

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Yes the common people who brought you brexit.

Brexit campaign was largely funded by five of UK's richest businessmen


Again I have no issue with Brexit and I welcome anything that may lead to the destruction of the EU. The real issue with Brexit is it kind broke traditional political party mores in the UK. Which is why you see so much dysfunction, you have large swaths of both Labour and Tories who are Pro and Anti Brexit.
 

CCarter

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then the common people have made a good decision in Brexit, right?
I don't have an strong opinion on it. Britain probably SHOULD exit cause it'll bring more control to "them", but who "them" are is the question.

Personally it looks like people crying about not wanting to do a bit of paperwork. Cause in the end really - no one is going to directly die or starve to death if the UK leaves or stays.

There are always crazy people that have a reason to murder, I think some politician got killed, but overall the UK's people aren't going to stop eating cause of some paperwork.
 
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I definitely get what @CCarter is really saying: Depending on government is a losing game, period.

Take it from me, the guy living in Canada, never underestimate how stupid and incompetent both the elites and the "commoners" can be.

Now, about Brexit...

It's probably the best choice to leave, as countries all around the world are becoming more populist and nationalistic. It's not just the USA who has gone country-first, as Hungary, Poland, Italy (until recently) are all examples of countries putting their interests ahead of other countries (with good reason).

(Don't even get me started on the realities of mass, illegal immigration).

As for why the decision to leave the EU or stay has taken so long to be made, I believe that this is due to a select group of career politicians not wanting to give up power. Also, with how tribal people have become, anything the right side does is now opposed from the left side, regardless of how good the idea coming from the right side is (as an example).

It's a mess honestly. Britain should have just left when they were supposed to- imagine how far they'd be into the process of running their own affairs by now.
 

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My impression is that it's "remainers" who are more emotionally involved. Brexiteers just seem to want to get out and get on with it.

What I hear you ask CCarter is actually why remainers are so bothered about Brexit, just some extra paperwork right?

And the answer to that is that Brexit is about a lot more than the practical aspect. It's about ideology, religion even, about a generation of people used to feeling entitled to the world. Used to being able to jump on cheap flights everywhere, cheap hotels, google maps, airbnb and facebook. It's the selfie generation.

They don't like being told to get in line. They don't like having boundaries set for them.

For those of us who are old enough to have travelled pre-internet, well, we're not bothered.
 

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Politically, I'm a centrist, probably slightly right leaning. I have voted for labour under Blair (when it was a centrist party), then Cameron, when Brown seemed to be talking labour back towards the left, then Lib Dems since. (My vote has been largely useless though, since I live in a staunchly conservative area.). I only bring this up to give some background.

The Brexit referendum was never designed to give people a say in a fundamental change to the country, it was designed to close down an old debate, with the belief being we would vote to stay.
For this reason, it was not well designed at all. The options where stay, or leave, with no consideration given to what leaving actually ment. Consequently, after voting to leave, it's been impossible to get a consensus on how we should do it.

To make matters worse, the vote was very close (52% 48%), so you were always going to have nearly half the country pissed off with the result. Add in the proportion of leave voters that imagined some kind of Brexit other that the one subsequently negotiated, and you have a minority in favour of the deal, leading the cluster fuck we are in now.

Back to the actual merits of leaving, as @CCarter points out, non tariff barriers are the largest economic issue.

Businesses across the EU (which currently includes the UK) have operated for the better part of the last 40 years on the basis of frictionless movement of goods and people (staff). The idea that this can somehow be ripped up and replaced in a few short years without huge economic costs is ridiculous.

That 'little bit of paperwork', and the customs delay that accompanies it, will completely destroy the car manufacturers in the UK, along with a number of other industries that rely on just in time production, but it will effect a lot of other industries as well.

Sure filling in a form and waiting an extra day to move goods through customs doesn't seem like a huge deal, but if you are doing that millions of times a week, the costs for you and your customers add up real quick. If your competitors don't have to shoulder those costs, and can supply goods quicker to boot, you are going to lose business real quick as well.

Let's imagine that some daft state government decision means that SerpWoo now has to require their customers to log in every single day and give consent for the software to continue tracking their keywords. They also have to pay 1 cent at the time consent is given. Now that's only 30 cents a month, and a single button click a day. No way SerpWoo would lose customers right? They certainly wouldn't decide to relocate to a neighbouring state would they?

The non economic arguements are far harder to diagnose, being tied up with cultural identity, immigration, and a whole lot of other issues that people simply don't change their minds on.

The biggest worry for me is the fact that the UK, with no written constitution, has no higher order rights if we leave the EU.
This means that literally any of me and my family's rights (to life, to a fair trial, to property) could be overturned by a simple majority.
That's absolutely petrifying, and something I would hope the American right can identify with.

Brexit gives the government of the day huge control, without enough checks and balances.
There is every chance that the economic fallout from Brexit sees a hard left government in power in the next 5 years.

What a cluster fuck.
 

CCarter

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Let's imagine that some daft state government decision means that SerpWoo now has to require their customers to log in every single day and give consent for the software to continue tracking their keywords. They also have to pay 1 cent at the time consent is given. Now that's only 30 cents a month, and a single button click a day. No way SerpWoo would lose customers right? They certainly wouldn't decide to relocate to a neighbouring state would they?
It's the same situation with GDPR - just because some organization makes some rule or law doesn't mean they can enforce that. If the state of Hawaii makes some ridiculous law, it can only impact their jurisdiction - they can't do anything to me if I'm not in their jurisdiction. I didn't vote for their politicians. I also cannot get them thrown out of office. So if I can't vote for them - their laws cannot impact ME.

There is no difference in Europe making GDPR or Somalia making up some crazy law that asks me to put a banner on MY website stated to donate to that government's charity efforts.

I'm in the United States of America - we don't give a fuck about the laws or rules other countries make. Why would we? We're not under their jurisdiction at any level. I'm baffled as to why American companies are even wasting time attempting to comply with GDPR if they don't have offices in the EU. IF they did, then they would be under that jurisdiction. Since I don't have an office in Hawaii nor Europe nor Somalia - I don't have to comply with their laws. That's how it works. There is no world government - if there was, then it would make sense if the law came from that organization - I would comply. What do they think they can do extradite me to Europe? Fine me? HOW? Through what organization? How would they enforce that?

will completely destroy the car manufacturers in the UK
This can be solved though - build a warehouse in France or Europe right next to the border. That way you can group all the cars or other goods in one go for customs. These problems are easily solvable since there are similar solutions in the USA and other countries. For example Toyota HAS to make cars in the USA to be in the USA market - turns out it's a lot cheaper to make the cars here instead of shipping them across the pacific each time.

There are easy solutions - they will require CHANGE, but the world is not going to come to an end cause companies have to build an extra warehouse to store goods that went through customs. That's how a lot of companies around the world already operate.

The non economic arguements are far harder to diagnose, being tied up with cultural identity, immigration, and a whole lot of other issues that people simply don't change their minds on.
That's the stuff I'm really interested in, cause everything else is just logistics. The part that there is no higher court system - well that's seems problematic cause then any government left or right can take over for a while without checks and balances.
 

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To put it Brexit in Marketers terms, brand identification > specs+savings.
 

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I think it's probably easier for an American to view the UK as a state in the EU. Yes we are a major economy, but we have developed in recent years as part of a far larger one.

Those logistics issues are certainly solvable, but the solutions are unlikely to be in the UKs favore, certainly in the short (10/20years) term.
Take the car industry example - currently cars are built in the UK, using components from all over the EU, using a just in time production method. The car companies have a choice - relocate many components factories to the UK, or relocate a single production facility to mainland Europe.
If a trade deal is agreed, then there is no cost beyond relocating the production facility. If there isn't, then it's far cheaper to be on the mainland and 'pay' tarrifs on the exports to the smaller market.

Thats what I was getting at with the rather daft SerpWoo analogy - if the state your business is currently located in introduced those rules, even though it's only 'a bit of paper work' you can see it would cripple your business, so you would almost certainly relocate your business to a neighbouring state.

That will happen in the UK, with certain industries leaving, at least in the short term.

Yes change is inevitable, and no not all change is bad, but this particular change isn't driven by innovation, or competition.
I will probably be personally better off, at least in the short term, as the current front runner in the upcoming elections look likely to reduce corporation tax to try and reduce company relocations. But this will certainly damage the economy in the short term, with a knock on effect for infrastructure, public services and crime, which will effect me negatively.
As an added bonus me and my family lose the right to live and work wherever we choose throughout the UK.

Re GDPR, yes it's daft.
So are a lot of other poorly though out regulations.
I'm not a flag waving EU devotee, I'm just against economic upheaval and a loss of rights, with no obvious benefits, beyond giving more power to an unknown future government.
 

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My guesses for what happens in a post-Brexit UK.

Immigration between EU countries will likely stay the same because you have a considerable amount of UK citizens living abroad in other EU countries. Without reciprocity you are going to have headaches with UK citizens being asked to leave other EU countries.

Immigration from non EU countries will stay the same and you will still take in refugee's. Why? Because even a conservative UK majority is fairly liberal on non-economic refugee issues.

UK will bleed out on certain financial industries as London will no longer be looked upon as the Financial capital of the EU. This probably reverses over the next five years as agreements are put in place. The London of 2030 is still probably the Financial Capital of Europe.

Scotland fucks off on a referendum vote to leave and joins the the EU. They take advantage of a post Brexit lower Sterling to clear their substantial debt to the UK.

N Ireland makes a whole lot of noise about leaving but stays because its what they do.


I make a fuckload of money because the UK loses its right to forget protection and I have already spent the last two years planning for it.
 

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I don't agree on the financial hub.

If the UK leaves , London is dead.

The financial industry has been preparing for this moment for the last year (with estimations of up to 2/3rd of employees on this subject) and is leaving within the hour.