The Tragedy of Brexit



Well here we are with the Tories latest step towards the Abyss that is the EU negotiations. Can there actually be anyone left on these islands that cannot see that by far the best way out of this is to tear up section 50 and get back to being a full member of the EU. Even the loony left must now see the madness of this suicidal mission that is Brexit.


There are two sides to the equation here, as far as the leave side goes and they are naturally, diametrically opposing sides. We have the toffs led by Rees Mog whose real objective is to avoid the coming EU legislation to prevent large companies (and individuals) from moving large sums of money through tax havens, to avoid paying the tax which accrues to profits made in member countries, thus depriving these countries of vast amounts of tax revenue. Money which could be spent on poverty alleviating projects. Now let’s be absolutely clear on this and I am directing this to the misguided left-wing elements of the leave conglomerate and I will put it in big writing so that you do not miss it. THIS MONEY COULD STAMP OUT POVERTY IN PARTICIPATING COUNTRIES WITHIN A VERY FEW YEARS. My question to the lefties is this, are you serious about ending poverty, or do you just like shouting about it?

Now, you might have noticed that this reason is not the reason that the Rees Mog’s of this world have given for pushing the country to the edge of the Brexit precipice, of course it isn’t. No, they have been shouting about bringing back our abilities to make our own laws (although that has really never been in question) and more importantly keeping foreigners out of the country. Now there is the crux of the matter, and the reason for this is that within the left leaning groups in this country there is actually a sizable proportion of racists. Yes , I have said it and you have been led by the noses by the Brexiteer generals in the form of the Rees Mog’s and the Arron Banks’ who were responsible for injecting vast sums of money into the Brexit campaign, much of which was used in twisting reality through both the right wing press and social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, constantly feeding anti-immigration and anti-asylum nonsense day and night to willing recipients. Have you actually heard much about immigration lately, now that the damage has been done?


So, in effect we are where we are because of an unholy alliance between the far right and unwitting but gullible left wingers. Now I am quite sure many of you will be outraged that socialists would hold such racist views, so think of this, Hitler was a socialist, he led “The National Socialist Party” and they came to power because of grievances at the way Germany was being treated after the first World War and the poverty it was causing. They moved from socialists to Fascists, just like that other well-known socialist, Tony Blair, both were responsible for many hundreds of thousands of innocent deaths.

OK, we are where we are, and that is in an unholy mess. This could lead to a general election, but think on this, we are where we are because of the mess caused by Brexit, and it would seem that the only alternative to the circus of clowns we have at present, is a leader of the Labour party who does not realise the value of remaining a member of the EU, and would readily forego any poverty alleviating forthcoming legislation concerning tax havens because of what would seem, latent racist tendencies.


Now all of this aside and addressing the situation Scotland finds itself in and that is nowhere nearer independence than we were in 2014., Nowhere nearer because of the SNP’s blatant refusal to pre-prepare for a future referendum. We have lost countess opportunities because of the ineptitude of Nicola Sturgeon in leading the so called “party of independence”. The only token to preparation she tossed the troops was the economic commission report which was a year late and a complete waste of time as it suggested doing much the very same thing with currency that we lost the last referendum on. Realising (too late) that she had made an utter mess of it, she then kicked it into the long grass along beside all the other “conversations”.


Ok, we could have a General Election in the offing and regardless of the lack of preparation, I think we should go for a one issue mandate., That of independence, like I suggested in 2015 and we know what would have happened with that with 56 out of the possible 59 MP’s being elected. It is not the ideal situation, because of the wilful lack of preparation, but I honestly feel we could do it. I also do not see why we couldn’t have a seamless transition to membership of the EU


I don’t think Sturgeon will do this and instead, will go for an attempt at a coalition with Corbin to “save the UK”. Interesting days ahead.

I append  an internal EU publication on preparation for travel arrangements at the point where the UK exits the EU. Just to give a taste of the delights to come and what we could avoid as an independent country within the EU. The omni-shambles of the fishing give away in connection with the Irish situation would take too long to relate.



between UK and the EU after Brexit — in the event of no deal

The United Kingdom (UK) will leave the European Union (EU) on Friday 29 March 2019 at midnight. This is exactly two years after it notified the European Council of its intention to withdraw.

If the Withdrawal Agreement is ratified before 30 March 2019, most of the legal effects of Brexit will apply as of 1 January 2021, i.e. after a transition period of 21 months, the terms of which are set out in the draft Withdrawal Agreement.

In the absence of a Withdrawal Agreement, there will be no transition period and EU law will no longer apply to and in the UK as of 30 March 2019.

Those who plan to travel between the UK and the EU27 after Brexit, as well as businesses providing travel-related services, should start preparing for the UK’s withdrawal, if they have not yet done so.


Post-Brexit, UK nationals will no longer enjoy the facilitations provided for EU/EEA/CH citizens at the outer borders of the EU – and will not be entitled to use the separate EU/EEA/CH lanes. Persons travelling into the EU will be subject to additional verifications concerning, for instance, duration and purpose of stay.

UK citizens will need travel documents with a validity of no more than ten years, and valid for at least three months after intended departure from the EU.

The European Commission has proposed to the EU legislator to exempt UK nationals from visa requirements for short- term stays.

November 2018


There are limits to the quantities of products (in particular tobacco products and alcoholic beverages) that can be imported into the EU free of customs duties, VAT and excise duties post-Brexit.

Luggage may be subject to customs checks when entering the EU from the UK. Visitors from the UK will be entitled to a VAT refund on departure from the EU.


The EU pet passport will no longer be valid for pet-owners resident in the UK post-Brexit.

Those travelling from the UK to the EU with pets should check, before travelling, which specific requirements will apply to the UK as a third country. They may need either a third country pet passport, or an animal health certificate.


Post-Brexit, the mutual recognition system of driving licences between Member States no longer applies to the UK. Holders of a UK driving licence should verify with the relevant EU Member State whether an additional “international driving permit” is required.

People using a private vehicle registered in the UK are advised to check if their insurance covers both the EU and the UK after withdrawal. A “green card” may be required.


Post-Brexit, access to healthcare in the EU will no longer be possible on the basis of a UK European Health Insurance card, and vice-versa.

People are advised to verify conditions for reimbursement of emergency medical expenses in third countries and consider taking out private travel insurance.


EU passenger rights to information, reimbursement, re-routing or compensation in case of delays and cancellations may no longer apply to UK flights and carriers, as well as ship, bus, coach and rail travels, depending on the point of departure and arrival and the country where the carrier is licensed.


Providers of mobile communication services – voice calls, SMS or data – will no longer be bound by EU roaming rules when operating in the UK.

This means they may apply surcharges to UK customers using roaming services in the EU, and EU travellers using roaming services in the UK.


Import into the EU of certain goods will be restricted or prohibited: for example products of animal origin (such as meat, milk, ham, cheese), cash over EUR 10,000, certain cultural goods, plants, plant products, or certain animals.

EU citizens will no longer be entitled to turn to UK embassies and consulates to seek consular protection in a third country (and vice-versa).

Full information is provided in the “Notice on Travelling between the EU and the United Kingdom following Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU”, published by the European Commission and available online1.


The European Commission’s website has over 70 preparedness notices2 on a wide range of economic sectors. They are meant to help citizens and market participants prepare. It is recommended that you read them and seek advice if you, your family or your business may be affected.

Consult the websites of the European Commission’s departments and agencies3 active in the area that concerns you, your family or your business.

To get additional information and assistance, contact your national authorities.

This document is presented for information purposes only and should not be understood as a legal text. Its content is without prejudice to the negotiations on the Withdrawal Agreement and the discussions on the future EU-UK relationship.

1 2





The World This Week From Mennies

So, another week in and another eventful week it was, with my final move from the home I have lived in for the last 30 years. A sad week, but probably a practical move nearer civilisation in the Autumn of one’s life.
A strange thing happened on the last day. I was finishing up packing and loading the last remnants of my time in Lisheen , I locked the door and had a last walk around the garden.

Now over the last few years there has been a Robin who would sit on the Barbeque in the evening as I was eating and when I saw it, I would always go out and lay out some bread or seeds., At times when I was in the car and turning in the drive, it would appear on a branch adjacent to where the car was and I would always stop ,get out of the car ,go back into the house and get some food for it. That last day, when I had walked around the garden for the last time and went to get into the car, the Robin was perched on the steering wheel, as if to say,” ok let’s go”

When I move into my new home, I will be looking for that wee Robin.


And so, to the rest of the world this week.

Tuesday saw the mid-term elections in the US with the Democrats taking control of the House of representatives which will give a few problems to Trump as they are now in the position to instigate impeachment procedures. On the other side, the Republicans increased their majority in the Senate. Trump of course pronounced this as a great victory, hmm.

We had the embarrassing tantrum by trump at a press conference with a reporter from CNN who was attempting to ask Trump uncomfortable questions. Trump had him silenced and had his press pass cancelled. George Orwell, you wrote a great book, but you got the year wrong, you were 34 years early. 1984 was the year I ran the New York marathon, Trump was just a young gangster then.

Here in the UK we had the utterly embarrassing admission by Dominick Raab, the Tory minister for chaos otherwise known as the lead negotiator for Brexit, that he did not realise that the UK was an island and because of that fine detail, we rely on a huge amount of traffic between Calais and Dover!!! Oops Houston, we have a problem., Our Dom studied law at both Oxford and Cambridge Universities, apparently Geography was not an option. So, on we go with the Brexit madness with a blind and apparently totally thick driver at the wheel. God help us.


Here in Dundee we had the announcement “from London” of Michelin, one the largest employers in the City giving notice that they intend pulling out of the City within two years.  This was followed by the immediate call to arms by the usually comatose, Tory  Scottish Secretary David Mundell whose full time job is to persuade the people of Scotland that they cannot be governed well without a cabinet full of Oxford, Cambridge, and Etton educated members of parliament of the calibre of Dominick Raab, who has difficulty in tying his own shoe laces in the morning without written instructions.

Call me an old cynic (which will probably be better than the names you usually call me) but, this stinks to high heaven and when you add in the fact that Dundee turned out the highest yes vote in the country at the independence referendum in 2014, it becomes putrid. So, let us take a step forward in time to 2020 when the bedraggled SNP who have just lately realised that they have been painting themselves into a corner and in an act of desperation, they announce a referendum. By this time the Brexit madness will have transferred itself into a deal which will include limited access to the single market, removing any Brexit related excuse the SNP will have for a referendum. We, in Dundee, the bastion of independence support, will be told that we have been looked after very well by the Tories who persuaded Michelin to remain in Dundee and not only that, but there was Scotland voting 62% to stay in the EU and our messiah Saint Nicola deciding that they actually voted to stay in the single market and here is the SNP trying to once again drag us out of the limited single market negotiated on our behalf by the (now ) Lord Raab. Mark my words, unlikely as it may seem now, this is a very plausible train of events.


So, now that I have no doubt confused a few more people than just myself, I will move to a more pleasant theme. It is after all, the weekend, the first  weekend for over half a century I can once more call myself a Dundonian as opposed to a cheuchter, which for the unenlightened and Dominic Raab, is the Scots word for someone who is not a City dweller,  to all my friends the World over, and to the people who were my friends before I insulted them or embarrassed them, ( I will get around to the rest in time) to all the good republicans in the US ( there are a few ) to all the good Tories ( there are even fewer of them) to all the good Labour politicians ( there are only two of them one of which I will no doubt ,once again be attempting to put on the path to independence  later tonight) I wish you a pleasant and safe weekend. Take good care of yourselves and I raise my glass to you




PS, I forgot to mention President Macron of France who announced his intention to propose an EU Army, to defend Europe against any possible threat from countries like “Russia, China, or, wait for it, THE US.” Now that is what I call a guy who has got his shit together (as my American friends would say)

The World this week from Mennies

Another week almost to an end and yet again an extremely busy week in business with our latest project, which is the renovation of our 92 seat Skyliner coach coming to fruition with a first time pass at the testing station. Well done Jamie and the team.


Tonight will be the last Saturday evening I will travel home from Mennies to Lisheen, the house I have lived in for over 30 years ,in a village I have lived in for over half a century. It seems like yesterday, when as a young Man of only 19 years I embarked upon what was a massive project for me at the time which was to build my first home in the village of Auchterhouse. A massive project, not least for the reason that I had the princely sum of £10 in the bank at the time. Not much in the bank monetary wise but a huge deposit account of belief and endeavour, in one’s ability to overcome any hurdle that life was to throw in my way, and believe you me, there have been hurdles aplenty during that half century of an interesting and challenging life.


Over the last few weeks I have been clearing out the house in preparation for the move and I have filled to capacity, a 14 cubic meter skip along with burning probably in the region of a ton of papers which contain many memories. I had a few wry smiles as I went through the court documents of the many court cases I carried out myself, as in Scotland it is permissible for ordinary citizens to bring or defend cases in the district or Sheriff courts. The building industry is renowned for bad debt customers, and I carried out many cases on my own account much to the chagrin of many of the Dundee lawyers, who were generally pretty upset when I won against them. Of all the cases I ever carried out on my own behalf I only ever lost one of them. I remember a lawyer once said to me, “I have seen you take these small claims cases and up to now I have never been aware of you losing any, how do you do it?” “Quite simple really” I said “I have never taken out a case that I was not on the right side of the law in “I have many stories of my court wrangles but perhaps that is for another blog.

So, all of this was going through my mind as I bundled these records containing all of these memories into the skip and by the end of this coming week, the Auchterhouse phase of my life will be at an end, a new page will have begun and a favourite saying of mine will be appropriate.


Every day is a new page in your life story

You have a choice

You can simply read it

Or you can write it


I fully intend keeping on writing pages for some time to come.


So not had much time for too many views on the World this week, except a couple.


The Chancellor of the Exchequer presented the budget this week which was in the main a lot of wishful thinking which will have to be revised anyway in a few weeks when the final Brexit deal (or no deal) becomes apparent. However, one thing was to me very important and that was the raising of the upper tax threshold to 50K , meaning that the Scottish governments threshold of 43K  will leave many in Scotland worse off than their equivalent in England. Now there are many people saying that they will willingly pay the additional tax in the hope of better services. Well, I do not believe them, and the problem is that now because of the SNP’s insistence on gaining additional but limited powers through the Smith commission they are playing keep up with the Jones’s and the people most affected by this disparity are the very people we need to turn from no to yes in the fight for independence, that is the middle to upper earners and people with a private pension who have drawdown arrangements in place. I warned against having anything to do with the Smith commission and now it is coming home to roost.


Lastly, there is oor Donald, at it again, trying to out-Fascist the Fascists with his attitude towards a pathetic group of desperate and poor people, hopefully making a pilgrimage towards the border with the US, in the very slim hope of gaining entry and asylum from what ails them back home. So, what does Donald do? Does he arrange for increased border facilities to process these pathetic beings into rightful categories of legality as required under international law? No, he sends an army together with tanks and heavy equipment to confront this throng of human misery.


There is no point in trying to describe the disgust in the World over the action of a man whose own Mother came from a Scottish island which was affected by the Highland clearances. I can but direct Donald to a plaque on the base of the Statue of Liberty.


Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.


Emma Lazarus will be turning in her grave and  lady Liberty will be shedding a tear today.


So enough of the doom and gloom, tonight is the last Saturday I will be going home to Auchterhouse from Mennies so I raise my glass to half a century of endeavour, planning, worry ,fear, victory , defeat, but always excitement and effort. To my friends wherever you be in this fragile planet of ours. Have a good and safe weekend.