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Brexit discussion thread XIV (Please read OP before posting)



  • So does this have a result for GPS systems in the UK? If so is there a backup or some way to avoid the country's Garmins shrugging their collective shoulders?

  • Isn't GPS the American system and in any case uses non military precision - when what is at issue is unrestricted access to the military precision data?

  • GPS isn't encrypted but this means it is vulnerable to 'spoofing' so it is fine for the likes of personal navigation and Internet of things, but you wouldn't want an airliner or military mission to be relying on this as bad actors could jam or spoof the signal pretty easily

    One of the main benefits of Galileo is that it has an encrypted version that is more secure and less vulnerable. The other is that global navigation and time keeping are critical infrastructure that you don't want to become locked out of if international relations turn frosty

  • To be fair, much manufacturing was always going to either disappear, be automated or just relocated to other countries but there was nothing stopping successive governments investing in high tech manufacturing which is still a sector in the UK. I think the fact that the UK lost out on the Intel superconductor plant over Brexit is devastating and it's a disgrace that Johnson has not been called out for it.

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  • The oneweb thing was just plain corruption and funnelling money to their buddies

    there was a good video on YouTube explaining how those satellites were entirely unsuitable to a gps type system


    Fiscal watchdog says Brexit would cut GDP by around 4% long term, while Covid impacts would hit output by a further 2%

  • If only Britain could produce another John Harrison, born in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Despite being a Northerner, and a Yorkshire, he solved the most pressing problem of his day - the Longitude Problem - which was equivalent to GPS of today. He was a carpenter who amused himself repairing clocks. He built the first marine chronometer.

    Of course, the Gov bounty for solving the Longitude problem was denied to him, probably because he was a Northerner, but he was eventually recognised.

    Now they have a history of giving away or abandoning their inventions. The code breaking work of Bletchley Park was shredded at the end of WW II, despite it being hugely valuable in the development of computers. The had three different but successful V bombers for delivering their A bombs - all work just stopped and they settled for USA options. All their technical lead in fighter aircraft just frittered away - TSR2 just cancelled, which had a severe impact on the Concorde project - again just abandoned.

    Long history - all explained by a severe problem with balance of payments, dodgy currency, and lack of exports, plus over spending domestically. They were broke. Add in their two party system of feuding politics that could not agree with any national plan to get out of the cycle of boom and bust, and strikes and anti-trade union legislation to combat those strikes. All it needed was sound economic governance accepted by both parties.

    Well, they are where they are. An very expensive aircraft carrier, paid for by the UK, currently in the South China Sea, carrying a detachment of USAF aircraft and USAF pilots and crew - enforcing the British influence in the region. Of course, they are currently picking a fight with a major power in that region - that should help.

    How far they have fallen - a bit like the man who jumped off the Empire State building and was heard to shout as he passed the tenth floor - 'All OK so far!'

  • Tony Benn called the Falklands War "The last kick of a dying empire" but I'd say that description is more aptly applied to Brexit, which Benn didn't live to see.

  • John Harrison was only mentioned as an example of selective honours given to the worthy, while the rougher part of society were ridiculed unfairly. You could add Alan Turing to that list.

    Adding to the list of British advances being flung aside, it would include the Harrier jump jet that could be considered to add the flexibility of the helicopter with the capability of a fighter aircraft. The British knew the value of the Spitfire, but not the Harrier. They also had the English Electric Lightening, which could take off and immediately climb vertically at the speed of sound. Unfortunately its reliability left a lot to be desired, plus its ability to fly at subsonic speeds meant its range was severely limited. At the time it was deployed, the Russian Bear bombers were all subsonic, and they left the lightening with a large problem trying to shadow them over the North Sea.

    Still, it will be a while before the current Gov can fund any real advances in science.

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  • I don't think it's just about funding. Modern technology is much more intricate and complex than before and is only going to get more so as AI advances. Innovation is now about solving global problems so erecting trade barriers and embracing xenophobic nationalism just mean that talent and investment may just go elsewhere.

  • Case in point, the recent Covid vaccine effort. I thought I saw somewhere that nearly 100 countries were involved

  • Mostly it's because it was going broke with the loss of Empire.

    After WWII half the Royal Navy's fuel came from Iran alone, so as such places fought for more return for their assets Britain had to reign in its spending. Suez was confirmation that the nation could no longer afford its fantasies.

    All the way through the ruling class preserved their wealth whilst detracting blame on others like immigrants, communists, women etc...

  • It is not just about funding. It is about talent, and the climate for turning talent into innovation.

    Brexit robs the UK of much that is needed for a Silicon Valley type business structure. The proposers of Brexit look not for Silicon Valley as their example, but Singapore on Thames. A type of economy built on arbitrage and disaster capitalism.

  • These retaliatory measures are now set to start next Tuesday, 02 November, unless the UK grants the balance of fishing licenses to which it agreed contractually by that deadline.

    This is not a good development: the timescale looks too tight for Johnson & Frost to manoeuvre this away by the deadline and, as France just seized a ‘British’ fishing trawler operating in its waters without a license today, they don’t have a quiet room to do that manoeuvring either.

  • I think Johnson's oven ready turkey is coming home in time for Christmas. This will unseat the NI Protocol as the No. 1 issue facing the Brexit cabal in his cabinet.

    As has been pointed out for some time, the NI Protocol will be played out in France, with Dover getting a bit part or should that be a bitter part.

    Of course fish is a big issue, coupled with electricity, which is rising in the contention stakes.

    Next year is election time for Macron.

  • The OBR, a financial advisory board to the UK government, said yesterday that the long term effect of Brexit will be far worse than the impact of Covid.

  • Goodness knows how historians will assess Brexit. Arguably much worse than the Suez Crisis (or the self inflicted Irish financial crash of 2008-12). They've almost certainly voted to hobble themselves and all on the back of something as ridiculous as an advisory referendum of dubious legal standing.

  • Well, there was no (dubious or otherwise) referendum on the Suez expedition. There were few referendums in UK history. They do not believe in asking the people. They are quite happy (well the victors are) to have a ruling Gov formed by a single party with less than 45% of the popular vote - but not just occasionally but every time - since 1932.

    Their belief in democracy is deep - but misplaced.

  • It's simply a consequence of inventing a new red line and shooting down very generous proposals before they had even been proffered. Why would France not do this if it sees that the UK wants a fight regardless. It's not like it could possibly damage progress anywhere else.

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  • Nice post

    What is not at all worrying, is that the Johnson government will likely keep their Trident nuclear program going, but are skimping on the ability to guide those missiles, or even accurately measure where their submarines are in relation to contested borders with foreign adversaries

    What cuts are they making to the safety of these other systems that aren't being announced? During the decline of the soviet union, there are lots of horror stories about lethal chemical and biological weapons being discarded in shallow and wholely unsuitable holes in the ground, and nuclear missiles being left unguarded and having security systems switched off for lack of maintenance

    When once great military powers go into decline, they first spend huge resources pretending that they're still powerful, even bluffing that they're getting more and more powerful, and then they quickly collapse when they can no longer maintain such an expensive facade anymore.

    Johnson announcing an increase in Trident warheads this March, this, along with an admission that they cannot afford the means to defend and guide them to their intended destination is a worrying sign, existing nuclear infrastructure needs to be maintained, and upgraded over time. These become very expensive problems indeed. Johnson allowing raw sewage to be pumped into the UK waterways might seem like nothing compared to the danger of breached nuclear waste containment facilities if necessary investments are delayed in favour of grand populist expensive wasteful posturing

  • I’ve warned about Macron’s upcoming electoral posturing before, and that was considered duly in the light of his consistent “bad Brexit cop act” throughout the WA & TCA negotiations.

    I can’t see France backtracking on that 02 November threat, by reason of same.

    So the burning question is whether the UK will backtrack itself (never mind by the deadline), given Frost’s intent of the past few months, his direct messaging about these threats, and British papers and media are drumming the seized British trawler story. I can’t see it either.

    Fish (well, the FR/UK jostling over fishing rights) isn’t a big issue in France, nowhere near the scope of popular awareness as it does in the UK. But Macron will absolutely not want to give LePen, Zemmour, Barnier et al a stick to beat him with, by not making good on the threat.

  • at the end of the day this is all bread and games stuff employed by the 2 sites

    very childish or populistic however you want to see it

    on one hand its maybe good to use the same tactics the brits use, on the other hand playing games everybody is losing and the only people that win are the countries that like the fact that europe destabilises itself.

    as an aside and not a reply to quoted post , do we really need to talk about the british election system and the british culture every 3 or so pages... it does become rather tiresome.

  • The British voting system is the prism through which British politics should be viewed. There is no voting for the House of Lords, who are hereditary or are political appointed holders. The other house is voted by a system that is unrepresentative of the popular vote.

    The consequence of this is that the regimes formed are all majoritarian in nature - winner takes all.

    That is Brexit - no consultation between May or Johnson with any opposition party. That is typical of all British Governments for the last 50 years so no surprise. This is why the British electoral system is relevant for Brexit.

    What contribution has Keir Starmer or Corbyn made to British policy on any matter?

  • The UK has finally integrated into the EU Covid Cert system, long after countries such as Israel and Morocco did so:

  • Interestingly, where the last NI poll had a narrow majority against the Protocol, now a net majority of 11% favour it:

    Also want Stormont to retain the measure in 2024, and disapprove of Article 16 being triggered:

    Finally, opinions on the various actors in the process:

  • It strikes me that their rigid FPTP system coupled with an advisory referendum was a disastrous mix. Every other country in Europe is used to the idea of compromise and consensus and the need to have everyone on board. A tight referendum result alongside their FPTP system ('we won, you lost, get over it pal') was only ever going to lead to bitter division.

  • So, Britain backs down again and Macron gets the win he was fishing for. Typical.

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  • Well, technically, Jersey & Guernsey backed down, not Britain (i.e. Johnson / Frost)…which is how Downing Street can conveniently save face and message out, that it was always thus. Naked opportunism of course, and one has to wonder how many Downing Street phone calls to Jersey it took.

    I still think we’ll see more of this, though. The pattern is setting, I think Macron will have at that missing £54m in border enforcement budget again before long.