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Comment Re:Scotland just announced a post-Brexit independe (Score 1) 465

Spain is not going to get Gibraltar back. There is no way that a sitting Tory Prime Minister would ever alter or abrogate the Treaty of Utrecht. Not going to happen, and it is of sufficiently small importance to the EU (technically Gibraltar isn't even part of the EU, or at least the customs union) that I can't imagine Germany even concerning itself with it.

Comment Re:A completely unaccountable governing body (Score 1) 465

I agree that the GE is a major push for getting Brexit completed by 2019. It's optimal, as it means the full effects, whatever they may be, won't be felt until after the 2020 election. But remember, the Tories' have their "bastards" (as John Major so infamously and yet aptly called them), the strong contingent of Eurosceptics in the Conservative Party, and while at the moment May has the chief bastards close to her (except Michael Gove, who is now sitting in a richly-earned political version of the Gulag), she has to stick to the timeline they want as well, lest the current sense of unity among the various Tory factions unravel.

Comment Re:Sure (Score 1) 465

You can't have any kind of customs union without some base level of standards in everything from consumer protections to national subsidies to labour rights. It just doesn't work. Like it or not, you have to create some sort of centralized regime to set and enforce such standards. Why do you think the Founding Fathers through the Commerce Clause in the US Constitution? Their experience with the brief period of the US under the Articles of Confederation showed that if you don't have a strong central government that can overawe the constituent members, you'll end up with an unbalanced and ungovernable union with races to the bottom in all sorts of economic categories.

Comment Re:A completely unaccountable governing body (Score 1) 465

In general, people only "forget" that principle of a Westminster parliament when it happens when the opposing party is in power. I can't recall too many Labour members decrying the undemocratic nature of Gordon Brown becoming PM after Tony Blair stepped down. It's really just an impotent taunt.

As it is, I can't imagine too many sane Labour members wanting to have had a General Election any time in the last year, Brexit or no, since every poll indicates Labour would suffer pretty catastrophic losses, and the last two byelections at Stoke and Copeland demonstrated that. Labour clung on in Stoke, but lost Copeland, a seat it has held since before the Second World War. Only the delusional Momentum types seem to be under any kind of illusion that a GE held right now wouldn't leave Labour even weaker. Like it or not, the majority of British voters may not like the Conservatives (and shouldn't, since Brexit really is the culmination of a forty year civil war among the Tories), they simply do not see anyone else as a reasonable alternative.

Comment Re:Scottish independence (Score 1) 465

Without England, Scotland has nothing to offer the EU except liability.

Scotland is small ,but it has a higher per capita GDP than England, or the entire UK for that matter -- if you count North Sea energy. Scotland as an independent country would be the twelfth largest economy in Europe and almost exactly in the middle of the pack for size in the EU.

Now logically speaking Scottish independence from an independent UK does not necessarily equate to EU membership. Scots could choose independence from the UK on the basis that union with a UK that is not in the EU is not as attractive as union with a UK that is in the EU.

Comment Re:Scotland just announced a post-Brexit independe (Score 1) 465

So far as I'm aware, Spain has made no such statement. It's position is considerably more nuanced:

http://www.politico.eu/article...

Essentially, it means Scotland won't be able to "remain" in the EU if it should secede during or around the time of Brexit, and that Spain might agree to "eventually" let Scotland in. In other words, it is in the Spanish government's best interests that Scotland spend some amount of time out in the cold, simply because Spain cannot afford to be seen to be rewarding any independence movement, lest it light a fire underneath Catalan independence.

Comment The reasons it won't die (Score 1) 115

It's not hard to figure out why email isn't dying and won't die:

* It's not tied to a single provider. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, iMessage and all the others are.
* It's an open, federated system. Companies in particular can take charge of their own email servers if they wish.
* Installed base.
* It is available on all devices from phones to tablets to PCs without the need to install additional software.

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