Brexit (The return of....)


It’s not all that, it’s also fuckwhits that don’t like fuckwhit govt. Yet the hand has been played and now they are out.
All that is left now are money-grubbers on all sides



Embarrassing and clueless idiot.


Cue Benny Hill theme music


I think we are well past Benny Hill. The Laurel and Hardy theme ‘The Cuckoo Song’ is probably apt, and dates to an era we are likely to return to post-Brexit.


Good call


Playing devil’s advocate, the government are between a rock and a very hard place here. This negotiation is very asymmetric.

It is in the interests of Barnier and the Commission to set their stall out loudly and firmly in advance. They are on the side of the status quo. The remainder of the EU should be very much the same for those states still in it, qualitatively at least, after Brexit as it is now. Most of their position consists of saying ‘These are the rules and we will not change them to accommodate you’. Which is easy. It also supports their most important objective which is to snuff out any spark of rebellion in other disgruntled states. If they do decide to make any compromises during the negotiations then they will find a way of twisting the language such that they can pretend to have maintained their starting position. And in the end the Commission is not directly elected. So if they do end up coming second in the negotiations they will not have to explain themselves to an angry electorate.

The UK government, on the other hand, is having to come up with all the new ideas. It’s the one which is in the impossible position. Anything it says now is an absolute hostage to fortune. The absolute best they can hope for any statement they make is that they get close to delivering on it. All changes to it will be changes for the worse. The only way is down. And the more notice they give the EU of their opening position, the more time the EU will have to prepare a counter-attack. Revealing nothing of our opening position is the only sensible course of action (unless we’re banking on the EU taking pity on us and conceding on the basis that we’ve made a public promise and if they scuttle it then our government might fall). The government’s other problem is that they very much will have to face an electorate, sooner or later. The opposition will point to every single aim they stated and then had to concede on. So they’d be fools to state any.



Yes - the EU has a set of rules and needs to keep to it. It can’t deviate much, as it needs to (1) stop other states from thinking of exiting, as you say, and (2) know that it has a good chance of getting approval from all states, or the whole thing gets voted down.

We can try to come up with ideas, but I don’t think there is much chance of any of then coming to fruition. Even if we had any.


We keep hearing loads of different positions re the negotiations. But I think it’s really quite simple.

We are currently in a club, we pay money to be in that club. We get many benefits from said club and possibly some not so good things depending on your POV. We’ve decided to leave the club. Therefore we can’t have any of the benefits.

This is the EU position. Expecting them to rewrite the club rules for us is foolish.


That is a good analogy. We needed somebody who was sufficiently good at negotiation to be able to wriggle out of a family membership at a David Lloyd Tennis Club. Instead we got David Davis.



Presumably he was the only one daft enough to accept the mission.

ANYBODY with an ounce of sense would know instantly that it is a no win position. Therefore if we didn’t have Davis we would have someone equally stupid and inept.

I’ve met a hundred DDs in my (thankfully deceased) career. Full of words, empty of substance. A blowhard with a massively high opinion of himself. They’re ten a penny.


Unless I’ve read that wrong it basically means that most areas would take an extra year or so to achieve the growth they would otherwise have achieved in 15 years? That’s if the forecast is anywhere near accurate.


It had to be one of the leading Brexiters, so by definition it would be a deluded imbecile.

Having seen how the Greek negotiations went it was clearly hopeless. Syriza had a clear mandate to tell the EU to fuck off, but still they caved in, and I don’t know how that happened. The EU will first and foremost protect the EU. Anyone who thinks otherwise is another of those deluded imbeciles.


While I agree with pretty much all of the above I’m not entirely convinced the EU side is quite as impregnable as they would have us believe. Getting the wrong outcome, while being horrifically destructive for the UK, will also be seriously expensive for the EU & they definitely won’t want a No Deal outcome either.

I think there was a moment, where the DUP nearly scuppered the Phase 1 stage, that they too glimpsed the awful reality of not getting past that point.



Couldn’t have put it better myself.


I’ve not read the actual reports Bob so I don’t know anything about the methodology, model or object of forecast. The media are very confused about the whole thing. Some are reporting these losses as growth losses and others as GDP losses. The growth losses should , under certain circumstances, cumulate to yield a level loss, but as ever the point forecasts are absolutely meaningless without a measure of the forecast uncertainty, which is not provided.

Imagine, for example, that the confidence interval about the point forecast of 16% was 8% - 24%. A 16% cumulated growth loss over 5 years is a pretty savage and sustained recession for any region only growing at 1-2%. On the other hand if the loss of growth is only 8% over the 5 years then you basically stagnate (ignoring an increase in inflation which is a nailed on certainty in the face of tariffs and increased costs). Finally, a 24% loss would be economically and socially catastrophic, as that would be coincident with the losses occurring during the Great Depression.

Now, if the forecasts are from a linear system then each of the outcomes in the 8%-24% confidence interval is equally plausible. If the system is non-linear, or the forecasts are based on calibrations from a DSGE model then without a serious set of robustness tests your point forecasts are best treated with some caution.

I really wish they would publish the report and allow us to replicate the results and stress test the assumptions. I can only speculate as to why they are not doing this.


The problem with these economic models is that they model a set of assumptions, but there is never any certainty that the set of assumptions is complete - they are simply the ones that the forecasters could come up with. The government and ONS has a lamentable record with its forecasts of national GDP growth, and I see no reason why these will be any better. Quite the opposite, really.


That is probably a little harsh Adam, but it is a commonly held view. The model comes first and then the forecast, so let me deal with both briefly.

A model by definition is always wrong as it is an approximation to a truth that is unknown. It is a framework about which we can make inference, decisions and forecasts. The basic assumptions are common to all models (the model should fit the data and the residuals should be i.i.d… Should the residuals deviate from normality then one can take appropriate steps when making inference or forecasting). Model building is an art/science in itself.

A measure of forecast uncertainty is very, very important, as is the variable being forecast. Here are three forecasts of the same thing with different range of uncertainty:

  • It will rain tomorrow.
  • It will rain tomorrow. There is a 75% chance of this happening
  • It will rain tomorrow. There is a 75% chance of this happening. There will be 0.25mm of rain

The least informative forecast is the easiest to do and yet the least useful. A single forecast will almost certainly be ‘wrong’, but often this will be the result of events that occur after the forecast was made. For instance, consumption is about 60% of GDP, but we will not have a final estimate of this quarter’s consumption for 13 quarters as the data is regularly revised. The object is to have a forecast error that is unbiased, that is centered on zero on average. A consumption forecast that is ‘wrong’ may turn out to be ‘right’ when we have the final vintage of consumption (or vice-versa).

Just because this stuff is hard to do, and very hard for the layman/innocent bystander/politician to understand, does not mean we should not do it. The current penchant for slagging off the forecaster is ill-advised and reveals much about the depth of the commentator’s understanding and willingness to be publicly untruthful at worst and misleading at best.


When negotiating something, it’s always better if you have a plan and a structure of what you want. In our case, it’s being invented on the fly and the EU know it. At every stage the EU have set the agenda and the limits, May and her tory wankers have failed 100% to stop this, all should be sacked, but it won’t happen.