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Brexit process
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UndercoverElephant



Joined: 10 Mar 2008
Posts: 8548
Location: south east England

PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lord Beria3 wrote:
Sadly Merkel never did understand British politics, otherwise she would have shown greater flexibility to Cameron on immigration which would have probably prevented the Leave victory in the first place!


It wasn't just Merkel, and it isn't just British politics "they" don't understand. It is the entire EU machine, as well as some elected European leaders. The problem is that they don't actually care what is going on at the grass roots level in member countries. They don't care what is happening in Greece, or Bulgaria, or in Dudley, England. All they care about is constructing a grand EU that is powerful enough to rival the US or Russia in terms of resources, military power and economics. And that means bigger is always better, and the more power that is centralised, and the greater the level of integration, the better. Nothing else matters. Yes, they don't understand, but more to the point they aren't even trying to understand. They don't care.

They also seemed to have learned nothing at all from the Brexit vote.

Personally I think a "no deal" is a very real possibility. I suspect that even when things start moving, the EU will not make enough concessions to make it worth the UK striking a deal. And yes it is partly because they don't understand internal British politics - they don't understand the level of support there would be for a government that was brave enough to go down the "no deal" path if the alternative is also pretty bad.

By the way - wouldn't you agree with me that having a "revoke Article 50 unilaterally" option on the table would be a good thing? Imagine you're there at those last minute talks, and the EU negotiators still don't know whether the UK is just going to pull the rug under the entire process and decide to stay for a while? Long enough to make sure the rules on leaving get changed, for example?
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Little John



Joined: 08 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2017/oct/12/still-puzzled-by-the-brexit-vote-take-yourself-off-to-blakenall-heath?CMP=share_btn_fb

Quote:
The phone went one Sunday evening. It was the bishop of Wolverhampton, my then boss. There was this job he couldn’t find anyone to do. Would I go and look after a parish to the north of Walsall called Blakenall Heath? Big barn of a church, no money, struggling. Just for a bit, he said. I’d like you to pack up and go there in a couple of weeks. We did, with a new baby and no idea what we were letting ourselves in for.

People generally didn’t go to Blakenall Heath unless they came from there. Unemployed men would sit around in their front gardens on discarded sofas, looking bored. Some of my parishioners spent all day in their dressing gowns. Burned-out cars decorated the roadside. Back then the vicarage was ringed by flats whose residents would frequently shoot at each other with air rifles. At night, the pellets would ping off our roof. Even the local police didn’t like going into Blakenall Heath. It was treated as a ghetto.

Blakenall Heath seethed with the anger of the unheard. And that anger found its way into my bones. It wasn’t just about the poverty. It was deeper than that. As the months went by, I began to get some sense of what it felt like when nobody listened to or cared in the slightest about what you said. It felt like no one gave a shit. Every now and again the place would show up on some list of crap towns for posh people to snigger at. Other than that, you weren’t noticed.

In Blakenall Heath my politics changed. Both theologically and politically, my student liberalism had few answers for a place like this. Indeed, I began to suspect that the broadly progressive version of capitalism that I had accepted might even be a part of the problem. These weren’t the “left behinds” – a term that implies that with a quick hop and a skip they might just catch up. This place was the inevitable byproduct – waste product, even – of market forces, and the price that more prosperous parts of the country had secretly accepted as worth paying for the many other benefits that capitalism delivered to them. The problem was systemic.

In Walsall, 67.9% voted leave in the referendum, on a huge turnout. And then, this year, they voted out Walsall North’s longstanding Labour MP, David Winnick, who had campaigned to remain in the EU. Remainers will never understand what went on here if they think it’s just about money. Homo economicus – who seeks to optimise their economic prospects through rational self-interest – doesn’t live in Blakenall Heath. Homo economicus doesn’t buy his cooker through weekly instalments at BrightHouse at 69.9% APR. A remain campaigner told me about a doorstep encounter he had on a bombsite of a council estate in the Midlands. “You have a lot to lose financially if we leave the EU,” he explained, rationally.

“Oh, yes,” she gestured to her run-down surroundings, sarcastically. “I could lose all of this?” Which is why Brexit pub logic goes something like this: so what if the country collapses economically? At least then they will know what it feels like to be us.

Remain still don’t get why so many people voted leave. They keep repeating that it is the poor who will lose out the most, appealing to Homo economicus. They keep believing that it was stupidity or gullibility that made poor leavers side with dangerous fools like Boris Johnson. But that is not going to cut it. The people who really hate the way Brexit is going are the people who have got something to lose. When you have nothing to lose, being told you could lose it all doesn’t really count for much. Which is why the more Nick Clegg and his Waitrose friends speak of the coming apocalypse, the more some will feel: fine, bring it on.

This logic has understandably panicked the progressive middle classes. But the language of the cliff edge offers little fear to those well practised at falling off it. And until we find a radical way to rebalance our economy, such that all share in its benefits, the middle classes will find that democracy will sometimes hand power to those who are perfectly prepared to play chicken with economic failure.
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fuzzy



Joined: 29 Nov 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Powerful stuff, and that's without mentioning the 65 years of immigration that have made Walsall, Tipton, Handsworth, Smethwick etc. what they are today.
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fuzzy



Joined: 29 Nov 2013
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Location: The Marches, UK

PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another angry old man - JW, tries to get to get a handle on the slime of politics/economics.

In 1, 2 order:

https://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2017/10/12/slog-special-the-truth-about-data-lies-laid-bare-at-last/

https://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2017/10/13/fake-news-is-a-matter-of-opinion-fake-data-is-a-matter-of-fact/

John is usually on to something, but it's not always clear what that is [a bit like reality I suppose].
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fuzzy wrote:
Another angry old man - JW, tries to get to get a handle on the slime of politics/economics.

In 1, 2 order:

https://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2017/10/12/slog-special-the-truth-about-data-lies-laid-bare-at-last/

https://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2017/10/13/fake-news-is-a-matter-of-opinion-fake-data-is-a-matter-of-fact/

John is usually on to something, but it's not always clear what that is [a bit like reality I suppose].


More powerful stuff. "Internauts" indeed!
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fuzzy wrote:
Powerful stuff, and that's without mentioning the 65 years of immigration that have made Walsall, Tipton, Handsworth, Smethwick etc. what they are today.


In the early 50s the population of the UK was circa 42 million and starting to drop. Alarmed at this threat to the UK's economic growth the government instituted a policy of mass immigration. Since then the population has soared to 64 million. So, on that basis nearly a third, 33% of the population are either immigrants or children of immigrants.

No wonder poor indigenous people are feeling insecure.
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emordnilap



Joined: 05 Sep 2007
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Location: Houǝsʇlʎ' ᴉʇ,s ɹǝɐllʎ uoʇ ʍoɹʇɥ ʇɥǝ ǝɟɟoɹʇ' pou,ʇ ǝʌǝu qoʇɥǝɹ˙

PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fuzzy wrote:
Another angry old man - JW, tries to get to get a handle on the slime of politics/economics.

In 1, 2 order:

https://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2017/10/12/slog-special-the-truth-about-data-lies-laid-bare-at-last/

https://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2017/10/13/fake-news-is-a-matter-of-opinion-fake-data-is-a-matter-of-fact/

John is usually on to something, but it's not always clear what that is [a bit like reality I suppose].


Quote:
Financialisation of our everyday lives is apparent to the older generation


One of my gripes. Good, it's not just me then.

Quote:
Three years ago, the UK Think Tank New Economics Foundation (NEF) showed that the true impact of inflation on the poorest 50% in Britain had been woefully understated by official measures. It highlighted an eye-popping 15% real drop in spending power by the bottom half from over one year beginning late in 2012. The NEF report stated:

“A key difference is that poorer households spend proportionately more on essential goods and services – housing, food and utilities – than the richest. Because CPI is based on average for everyone, it ignores this effect. And with the prices of essentials rising so much in recent years, with food up 46% and gas and electricity 73% since 2005, this income effect matters.”


Yeah, inflation indexes are fundamentally inaccurate and have simply propaganda value these days, no real meaning.
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Susukino



Joined: 08 Aug 2007
Posts: 157
Location: Tokyo

PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:46 pm    Post subject: Obstinacy Reply with quote

UndercoverElephant wrote:
And yes it is partly because they don't understand internal British politics - they don't understand the level of support there would be for a government that was brave enough to go down the "no deal" path if the alternative is also pretty bad.

Agreed. I think the EU elite fail to understand that, whether or not it can be seen as rational in the short term, the British have a long history of digging their heels in when they perceive that others are trying to coerce them. For better or for worse, Brits are not as malleable as many other nations.

This will end in tears for the EU. As for the UK, it will end up bloodied (so yes, pain for us too, undoubtedly) but unbowed, still snarling defiance, while a certain segment of Guardian readers clutch their pearls and shriek at the uncouthness of it all.

It also seems to me that, slowly, almost imperceptibly, even the pro-EU media are starting to realise, and comment, that the real intransigence is to be found on the EU side, not on the side of the UK. Whatever moral high ground the EU thought they had, they are gradually ceding.

It's looking a lot like no deal.

Suss
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Little John



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Obstinacy Reply with quote

Susukino wrote:


....This will end in tears for the EU. As for the UK, it will end up bloodied (so yes, pain for us too, undoubtedly) but unbowed, still snarling defiance, while a certain segment of Guardian readers clutch their pearls and shriek at the uncouthness of it all....

Suss


You just made me laugh my tits off at that.

Thanks.

I needed that.
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cubes



Joined: 10 Jun 2008
Posts: 540
Location: Norfolk

PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:14 am    Post subject: Re: Obstinacy Reply with quote

Susukino wrote:
Agreed. I think the EU elite fail to understand that, whether or not it can be seen as rational in the short term, the British have a long history of digging their heels in when they perceive that others are trying to coerce them. For better or for worse, Brits are not as malleable as many other nations.


British exceptionalism? (rofl)

Quote:
This will end in tears for the EU. As for the UK, it will end up bloodied (so yes, pain for us too, undoubtedly) but unbowed, still snarling defiance, while a certain segment of Guardian readers clutch their pearls and shriek at the uncouthness of it all.


The EU may be badly damaged but the UK will be destroyed by this. We'll have to bend over and become the USA's bitch (even more than we are now).
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Susukino



Joined: 08 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:20 am    Post subject: Every country is exceptional Reply with quote

cubes wrote:

British exceptionalism? (rofl)

I'm not so much arguing exceptionalism for the UK, as exceptionalism for everybody. I once (when I was in my teens and early 20s) believed that all nations and peoples are essentially the same. With the benefit of a few decades of experience, and having lived, worked and travelled overseas for many, many years, I see that I was incredibly naïve to believe that.

I now think that there is a massive chunk of truth in many national stereotypes. Yes, Germans do tend to be very organized. Yes, the Italians - again, just anecdotally - do tend to take a seat-of-the-pants approach to life. And so on. I should add that this is not an issue of ethnicity so much as culture, and I'm talking about a tendency rather than an iron rule that must apply to all individuals.

The flipside is that the organization and attention to detail in, for example, Germany and Japan seems to me to have resulted in a much stronger sense of deference to hierarchy. I find both those nationalities far less likely to rock the boat than Brits, who I find quite willing to stick two fingers up at the authorities, whether that be in the context of a company or society. Whether this is a positive or not is hard to say. I'm inclined to think it is often a negative.

I think there is much we could profitably learn from both Germany and Japan - the apprenticeship system from the former, for instance. But we have to accept that the journeyman system as it exists in Germany is the product of centuries of custom and cannot simply be bolted on to the UK.

Quote:
The EU may be badly damaged but the UK will be destroyed by this. We'll have to bend over and become the USA's bitch (even more than we are now).

"Destroyed"? You see, this is the kind of hysterical response makes it difficult to have a rational argument. Are you truly suggesting that as of, say 2025, the UK will be some kind of Mad Max-style wasteland simply because we change our trading terms with the EU and end up with a 3% tariff on some products, when the exchange rate has already offset a much larger tariff? You need some perspective.

The British Isles have been trading with other countries since before the birth of Christ. That is not going to stop now. The UK was doing fine before the Maastricht Treaty and it will certainly survive, and I think there is a good chance of continuing to prosper outside the EU.

Our trade with the EU will continue, certainly on different terms, but it will continue. We will remain an important trading partner for our existing partners (as an example, we are the largest market for German cars in Europe, excluding Germany itself), and our existing partners will remain important for us. Yes, there will be some short-term volatility, some winners, some losers. But we will be fine. The reality will be far more boring than the predictions made by either remainers or Brexiters.

(For those of you with longer memories, the current furore is very reminiscent of the decision by the UK not to join the Euro, which caused similar, totally erroneous predictions of doom by economists in the late 1990s. "How do these little Englanders think they can go it alone the big bad world?! What fools they are!")

For me, one key question is, longer term, whether we wish to cede more and more power to the EU as it integrates further, or not, because I believe that is the way things are gradually moving. At some point the EU will deliver an ultimatum to the UK: "If you're not going to integrate you need to get out or accept inferior status within the EU". Then we will either have to accept a disadvantageous position, or become part of a European superstate, or leave. So we might as well leave, while we still have a chance to influence the terms.

Another issue is whether we wish to continue to allow hundreds of thousands of economic migrants every year, or not. We may indeed wish to do that, but it is a decision of which we should have complete control, in my opinion. The current free movement principle of the EU makes that difficult to achieve without dramatically reconfiguring our welfare and social systems, such as introducing ID cards.

Of course, a large chunk of those immigrants come from outside the EU, but as somebody who is married to a non-British, non-EU person, I am keenly aware that getting permission to live in this country is actually not at all easy. Those controls are already in place, and we can expect similar controls for Europeans.

Yes, control over free movement from the EU is likely to cause problems for people planning to come to the UK who do not already have work, a firm job offer, or a strong and provable family connection. Nevertheless, I think it is entirely rational and sensible to demand that we have control over who gets to work and live in this country.

It is all very well for the Germans to talk about allowing more immigration: their population was unchanged from about 1995 to 2015 at roughly 81 million people. Over the same period the population of the UK increased from 58 million to 65 million - a thumping 12% in just 20 years. That kind of growth is unprecedented in our history, and (given that it is based on volatile flows from outside its borders that could easily reverse) it is very difficult to plan for in terms of infrastructure. Change as substantial and as rapid as this was only ever going to cause problems - and indeed it has. (Hence UKIP.)

Anyway, you must excuse me if I do not respond further in this thread. Like most people here, I have an interest in energy policy and pricing over the long term, although I have always taken the view that things are not as bad as a certain vocal segment of the power-down movement suggests. (Matt Savinar for one is probably making more accurate predictions now that he is an astrologist; you couldn't make up.)

Ten years ago there were some pretty wild projections being made in this forum, which looked to me to be highly unlikely to come true. Sure enough, they did not. And while I share some of the entirely reasonable concerns expressed here about many aspects of modern society, I choose to limit the amount of obsessively negative, "glass half-empty" hysteria I deal with. For that reason I gradually withdrew from participating in this forum, and now I only drop in once a year to see whether anything has changed.

It will be interesting to talk again in 12 months and see how things are going. I suspect that by this time next year tensions will have ratcheted even higher, the rhetoric (and the hysteria) will be even stronger. In three years' time, assuming that Brexit actually happens, things will probably have calmed down a little. Just as the earth has somehow survived despite talk of the mysterious planet Nibiru wiping out life this year, we will find that life persists after Brexit...

Suss
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UndercoverElephant



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes to all that!
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree to that, Sus. Do drop in more often so that we can have a more varied input. I do appreciate that there are better things to do in life than to try and convert the inconvertible but some input can be good for both sides especially when it is so eloquently put.
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cubes



Joined: 10 Jun 2008
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Location: Norfolk

PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Every country is exceptional Reply with quote

Susukino wrote:
"Destroyed"? You see, this is the kind of hysterical response makes it difficult to have a rational argument. Are you truly suggesting that as of, say 2025, the UK will be some kind of Mad Max-style wasteland simply because we change our trading terms with the EU and end up with a 3% tariff on some products, when the exchange rate has already offset a much larger tariff? You need some perspective.


Ah, a politician's answer, take an extreme view of the question and answer accordingly. You know perfectly well what I meant.

Quote:
The British Isles have been trading with other countries since before the birth of Christ. That is not going to stop now. The UK was doing fine before the Maastricht Treaty and it will certainly survive, and I think there is a good chance of continuing to prosper outside the EU.


And will continue afterwards no doubt, but we're just swapping one set of rules mainly outside of our control for another imo. In fact, I'd say we have more control in the EU than outside.

Quote:
Our trade with the EU will continue, certainly on different terms, but it will continue. We will remain an important trading partner for our existing partners (as an example, we are the largest market for German cars in Europe, excluding Germany itself), and our existing partners will remain important for us. Yes, there will be some short-term volatility, some winners, some losers. But we will be fine. The reality will be far more boring than the predictions made by either remainers or Brexiters.

(For those of you with longer memories, the current furore is very reminiscent of the decision by the UK not to join the Euro, which caused similar, totally erroneous predictions of doom by economists in the late 1990s. "How do these little Englanders think they can go it alone the big bad world?! What fools they are!")

For me, one key question is, longer term, whether we wish to cede more and more power to the EU as it integrates further, or not, because I believe that is the way things are gradually moving. At some point the EU will deliver an ultimatum to the UK: "If you're not going to integrate you need to get out or accept inferior status within the EU". Then we will either have to accept a disadvantageous position, or become part of a European superstate, or leave. So we might as well leave, while we still have a chance to influence the terms.


You talk as if a european superstate is a bad thing? I don't believe it is, it's the only way europe can compete with America and China economically and Russia militarily imo. We're stronger together and fall divided.

Quote:
Another issue is whether we wish to continue to allow hundreds of thousands of economic migrants every year, or not. We may indeed wish to do that, but it is a decision of which we should have complete control, in my opinion. The current free movement principle of the EU makes that difficult to achieve without dramatically reconfiguring our welfare and social systems, such as introducing ID cards.

Of course, a large chunk of those immigrants come from outside the EU, but as somebody who is married to a non-British, non-EU person, I am keenly aware that getting permission to live in this country is actually not at all easy. Those controls are already in place, and we can expect similar controls for Europeans.

Yes, control over free movement from the EU is likely to cause problems for people planning to come to the UK who do not already have work, a firm job offer, or a strong and provable family connection. Nevertheless, I think it is entirely rational and sensible to demand that we have control over who gets to work and live in this country.


I can't see the problem with inter-european immigration - they're doing the jobs many unemployed british people don't want or cba to do. The government had the power to limit to some degree immigration from europe already, it decided not to. I can still see significant immigration from europe even after brexit unless the government wants to cut the nose off some british industries to spit their face.

Quote:
It is all very well for the Germans to talk about allowing more immigration: their population was unchanged from about 1995 to 2015 at roughly 81 million people. Over the same period the population of the UK increased from 58 million to 65 million - a thumping 12% in just 20 years. That kind of growth is unprecedented in our history, and (given that it is based on volatile flows from outside its borders that could easily reverse) it is very difficult to plan for in terms of infrastructure. Change as substantial and as rapid as this was only ever going to cause problems - and indeed it has. (Hence UKIP.)

Anyway, you must excuse me if I do not respond further in this thread. Like most people here, I have an interest in energy policy and pricing over the long term, although I have always taken the view that things are not as bad as a certain vocal segment of the power-down movement suggests. (Matt Savinar for one is probably making more accurate predictions now that he is an astrologist; you couldn't make up.)

Ten years ago there were some pretty wild projections being made in this forum, which looked to me to be highly unlikely to come true. Sure enough, they did not. And while I share some of the entirely reasonable concerns expressed here about many aspects of modern society, I choose to limit the amount of obsessively negative, "glass half-empty" hysteria I deal with. For that reason I gradually withdrew from participating in this forum, and now I only drop in once a year to see whether anything has changed.

It will be interesting to talk again in 12 months and see how things are going. I suspect that by this time next year tensions will have ratcheted even higher, the rhetoric (and the hysteria) will be even stronger. In three years' time, assuming that Brexit actually happens, things will probably have calmed down a little. Just as the earth has somehow survived despite talk of the mysterious planet Nibiru wiping out life this year, we will find that life persists after Brexit...

Suss


Yup, in a year's time we'll have a better idea (hopefully) on what brexit will look like. As much as I'd like to see it stopped I can't see the EU wanting us back now. My personal prediction is that the government will throw everything it needs to under the bus to save the city and it's financial centre and everything else will just have to survive as best they can. Farmers will be particularly badly hit with subsidy withdrawls.

Be interesting to see how wrong I am in 2 year time.

See you next year!
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UndercoverElephant



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Every country is exceptional Reply with quote

cubes wrote:
As much as I'd like to see it stopped I can't see the EU wanting us back now.


I don't think they have a choice. If the UK revokes Article 50, it would be legally as if it had never been issued in the first place. Politically everything would have changed, but the EU could not stop the UK from remaining a member. If this were to happen, I think it is extremely difficult to predict what would follow.
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