I phoned my mum for mothers day and the discussion moved to sending post to my son who is living in Spain. I said that I have lost one package sent to him already and I have also had one parcel from Spain rejected by a UK courier because it couldn't clear customs. I blamed Brexit. Mum being the Brexiteer that she is said it will all sort itself out "We traded with them before we were in the EU". When I suggested that this will NEVER sort itself out as we will always need this paperwork she then went on with "We never should have joined"
My blood was by now boiling and luckily we said our farewells because she is a complete fucking moron whose mindset is sending the UK back into the dark ages. The final result will be an extremist, authoritarian, facist, racist government. Am I exaggerating? I wish that I was. Check out the list of signs of fascism and you can tick off most of them in the British public and the current British government. Just check the new Policing Bill, but that is the tip of a very fascist iceberg and is evidence that the descent into a failed democracy is speeding up.
But stepping back to be a bit more reasoned does her argument make any sense?
The reason for the delays and the rejection at customs are the new forms that have to be filled in.
For example if your product contains ANY COMPONENT of animal origin then it requires a vet certificate to be imported into the EU. That is because it could have come from another country without the correct quality control and supervision and just be passing through the UK and then on to the EU. While the UK was within the EU the boundary was anything coming into the country. Now the boundaries are between the UK and the EU. This is a massive amount of paperwork. It even applies to a packet of crisps if it contains cheese powder. Basically this means nobody from the UK can take any food to the EU unless they are a commercial supplier because individuals cannot complete all that paperwork.
For commercial suppliers there is a massive burden of form filling that makes exporting much more expensive. Sure there are no tariffs or taxes but the cost in time and manpower of completing the forms makes this hidden cost enormous. Will this ever get better? Yes it will get automated and more efficient as we get more familiar but will this extra burden and paperwork always be there? Yes it will and that means extra cost.
That is why we joined. To get rid of all this paperwork and to create a simple transparent and seamless trade union. That is the entire point of the EU. That is why there are regulations on weights and measures, on quality and standards. The British Conservatives joined precisely for these reasons as it allowed their chums in business access to a bigger market. The only reason that they got in a huff when these rules were extended to cover workers rights. This is to make sure that workers are not exploited in one member country to produce goods more cheaply for the entire market. That would mean that you could have a sweat-shop nation. Business like this as labour is a major cost but at the time the EU has a pre-dominance of social democrats as premiers and so they brought in Labour protections as well as goods protections.
This meant that the Conservatives became less happy about the EU and Labour became more supportive except the far-left who never liked all this free trade thing (they think that living in a cave making your own stone-ground bread is a wonderful thing).
This shows that some of the wrinkles will be smoothed out over time but it cannot get better until we rejoin and ditch the burden of all of this unnecessary paperwork. It is certainly going to be much worse for anyone travelling to the EU as an individual until we rejoin.
What about saying that we traded before the same as the argument that musicians toured before given by that brilliant economist Roger Daltry. Try a thought experiment about transport. Before we invented cars did people travel around? Yes they certainly did. We have shells from the Mediterranean in UK archaeological sites. But do you want to go back to walking/riding from one end of the country to the other?
No I didn't think so either. Yes you could do things in the past but the reason that we joined was because that was better. Cars are better than walking and horses. We should never want to go back to something that is worse.
But that is what 52% of the voters chose in the EU referendum. They chose to ditch the car and start walking and riding again. Why did anyone do this? Well because the liars in the Leave campaign said that we could keep the car and get a turbo-charger and get the money back that we paid for the car. This is an obvious lie to anyone who thinks about it. There are no free cars and no free turbo-chargers.
What they did was disguise the lies by making it about immigration. That is a dangerous genie to use. This is what Hitler used and once you activate the hate of other you divide your country and create a very nasty place. I work a lot with immigrants or children of immigrants and they are the best people I know. I am married to an immigrant which is why my son is in Spain. To play on immigration is to play on a fundamental genetic concept of superiority of some to others. It is to embody the idea of a selfish gene. This is what keeps the Royal Family and aristocracy in place. We have special blood/genes compared to the rest of you. Implicit in this argument is that immigrants are genetically different they are lesser people.
Sorry to break it to you but as someone who works in genetics they are no different. Where they come from is an accident of geography. It was an accident that Boris Johnson was born in the US because his parents were there at the time. It was an accident that Donald Trump's great grandfather went to the US to escape conscription to the German army and so the family became established there. Immigration is meaningless, as meaningless as nationality and passports. They are inventions of wars and dictatorial governments.
There is also no reason to have any special families or to believe that inherited wealth and power does anything useful for mankind. That means that a very high inheritance tax would level out the accidents of birth and we should all be Republics.
After looking at all this reason was I right to argue with my mum on Mothers Day?
Yes completely. Because this is a fight for the soul and future of a country and by extension to humanity. If we cannot get it into our thick heads that our differences are trivial to what we have in common, then humanity has no future. We either learn to work together or we all die fighting one another. We have all the resources, knowledge and technology that we need to create a utopia but we lack the political will.
While lying politicians divide us for their own self-interest then nothing will change. When people and nations work together in unions (not perfect by far) then there can be change.