A Yorkshire Lad Turned Norwegian!
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This website – like its sister blog – WAS based on the uniform
of the former Adwick School. However, due to the distance that the author feels has arisen with Brexit between himself and where he came from, this peculiar feature of this blog has sadly been discontinued. You can nonetheless see the school theme when you view content on the Blog Archive.

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I have admiration for what this young person is doing. Indeed, it breaks my heart to think that her next birthday may be a sad one (if Brexit cannot be stopped).

Still, you tried, and you did more than most – and more than anyone could reasonably expect of you.

Well done! And from someone who grew up in your country, thank you from the bottom of my heart for fighting on for the values I thought I shared… and have been disappointed to find that that is not the case (so many of my generation voted Leave where I came from).

I Told You So

During the God awful referendum campaign in the United Kingdom, I was often corresponding with my erstwhile friends and compatriots, people among whom I had grown and should now be living had fate not brought me here to Norway nearly three decades ago, and I despaired over their prejudices. They had decided the issue. Facts didn’t matter. Forty years (or so they thought; actually it is at least sixty) of what it meant to be a country were going to be ripped up in an angry protest. Strangely enough, it was not the successive governments that had done the diverse things with which they were dissatisfied, but the European Union that was from day one singled out to be the scapegoat for everything. OK, I’m going over old areas again.

Well now hard information – I shall not say “facts” because it seems my generation cannot understand “facts”, or else the word clearly means something very different to how I have always understood it – has finally started to come out. My former school pals assure me they always knew that the hype about £350 million for their health service was just that, but that they (as pointed out above) had predetermined how they were going to vote beforehand, and as we have already seen regardless of any “facts” or other information that “experts” might tell them. Who indeed can forget that you were all so “tired of experts”…

So information – facts – is now starting to be available at hand. Not, I’m sure, that the people I once grew up with are yet interested in it. Yet they ought to be: within a few more months, it will be their own reality. It won’t be something that they need to read here or anywhere else. Brexit is going to be extremely damaging just as I told you it would be.

On False Pretences!

Readers of my blog will already know what I think about the British referendum.

This isn’t going to be a long post. It’s about deceit, and a special type of deceit my late father used to call “false pretences”.

There are people who say that, however small the victory, the British voters had their “democratic” contest – I think I’d rather characterise it as some grand “tug of war” – and that is it. Those who protested from the start that the referendum was expressly legislated as not binding are simply not playing “fair”, or so the argument goes.

Yet all I am going to do here is juxtapose two videos. In the first we see that many of those who now complain actually did try to put a reasonable safeguard into the process (that is to say a “supermajority” or a threshold). In most countries you cannot bring about a huge constitutional change on a slim majority. Their amendment was rejected, but these same people were assured then that this was no big deal: the referendum was not binding. That one could argue, was an assurance crucial to the passing of the bill in the first place. Some of the MPs probably would not have voted for the referendum if they had not got this assurance.

So without further ado, the two videos. Firstly, there is THIS from BEFORE the referendum:

and then there is THIS now that Article 50 has been served:

See the problem? My late father would have undoubtedly have said that the referendum bill passed on false pretences.

Both of the above videoes are embedded from Twitter. You can find them here https://twitter.com/brexit_sham/status/972239717281554432?s=19 and here https://twitter.com/estwebber/status/973967483823706113

REPOST: Brexit Has Ground to a Halt

This blog will no longer be available in the UK after 29th March 2019

Whatever your opinion of Brexit, if you are a reader of this blog you will know that I see it as a cataclysmic change. That is true even though I now live in Norway, and indeed have spent half my life here. The catastrophic vote of June 23rd 2016 was a very black day. Through this blog I had cultivated that identity I used to think that I shared with the community I grew up in, through common values taught in my formative years. The very colour scheme of Yorkshire Viking was a living memorial to a bye gone age, and the defunct school uniform of the former (now demolished) Adwick School. Yet, as I have written previously, Brexit marked the permanent break; it was a “before and after” like none I had ever experienced. Brexit has broken up the last bonds that bind.

Of course, I follow developments in the UK every day. Today I read this blog post by John Fitzgerald. With his permission, I am reposting it here. You can find the original at https://johngfitzgerald.blogspot.no/2018/03/brexit-has-ground-to-halt.html

Brexit has ground to a halt!

Amid all the sound and fury of conflicting opinions about Britain’s future relationship with Europe, one startling fact stands out: Brexit is going nowhere. Secretary of State for Exiting the EU Davis has not attended a single meeting in Brussels this year. There are no negotiations going on about the transition period or the future trade relationship because the exit agreement, which must come first, has stalled on the difficult issue of the Irish border. Draft heads of agreement were exchanged between London and Brussels in December 2017 but Sec Davis disowned these terms within 24 hours of the agreement in principle. He subsequently backtracked his backtracking and the issue was generally assumed to have been resolved. In fact it was parked by HMG, in the hope some magical solution would be found and nothing was resolved, as is now obvious.

There is no agreement on the Irish border issue, post Brexit, which can be spelled out in a legally binding text. The EU issued a draft text in line with the terms agreed in December recently, for considered by the member states. The UK government instantly disowned this proposal but has declined to put forward an alternative proposal of its own. This impasse means there is now no realistic possibility of an exit agreement being signed at the March EU summit, when this was supposed to happen. Failure to conclude an exit deal means there can be no agreement about a transition period and no talks about a longer term relationship.

Meanwhile in London, government plans to move the next stage of Brexit legislation have been postponed because of a threatened rebellion by Tory MP’s. The House of Lords is also making difficulties with numerous amendments to the EU exit bill being debated, and hundreds more under consideration. As if all that wasn’t enough to give Mrs Mayhem a headache, the Home Office is struggling to define a workable system for registration of EU citizens in the UK after Brexit. A complex set of proposals has been circulating but there are several fundamental problems, most notably how to identify eligible EU citizens when they apply for work, NHS treatment or when signing rental agreements. The only realistic way of dealing with this is an ID card system which has been considered in the past, by the Blair government, but was shot shown largely at the behest of libertarian Tories, notably the same Sec Davis who now sees no point in going to Brussels to negotiate.

There is a long list of other issues backed up, not even being considered by ministers at present, because of lack of time and resources. Prominent items include the need for a replacement for the open skies agreement, governing air transport, of which Britain will no longer be a member after Brexit. Also on the list are international agreements relating to membership of the World Trade Organisation, international nuclear safety, regulation of design rights, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, shipping , data protection, environmental controls and at least a hundred other issues. The fact is HM government is already overburdened by a massive Brexit workload and cannot take on any more legislation or international negotiations.

All the agreements and negotiations mentioned above would have to be signed, sealed and delivered by March 29th 2019 if Britain is to exit the EU in good order. There is not the slightest chance of this happening. The option of leaving the EU with no deal has also evaporated because Britain simply can’t put all the necessary agreements in place with the WTO, open skies, nuclear safety bodies etc, in the limited time left.

In plain English Brexit has ground to a halt and there is no prospect of it moving forward for a very long time. The most sensible move would be for Mrs Mayhem to ‘fess-up at the next EU council meeting and ask the other EU governments to agree to an extension of the Article 50 timeline. That would preserve Britain’s current rights and privileges and allow time for proper consideration of the massive backlog of issues. This will not be easy but it is clearly what the national interest demands. Even the arch Brexit zealot Rees-Mogg said as much in an exchange with Sec Davis at a committee hearing, in parliament recently.

The government is trapped by its own statements and commitments, to deliver a frictionless transition to the brave new world of Brexit. None of this is possible but the government dare not say so in public without serious loss of credibility with its core supporters. The search is now on for a credible means of pinning the blame on someone, Juncker, Merkel, Macron, Varadkar, Corbyn, anyone. Attacking these people is hardly a good plan, however, as most of them will eventually be asked to show considerable goodwill to help Britain through this mess of its own making. Attacking your rescuers is never a good idea when you’re stuck in the mud and lack the honesty or humility to admit it.