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EU insists: post Brexit deal conditioned to UK offer of further concessions

Saturday, November 25th 2017 - 08:10 UTC
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UK Prime Minister Theresa May has been given 10 days to offer further concessions on issues including the Brexit divorce bill and the complex matter of the Northern Irish border if she wants European Union leaders to agree to trade talks. Read full article


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  • The Voice

    I note from a letter in The Times this morning that my assertion that immigration is driving the housing crisis is supported by the Emeritus Professor of Demography at Oxford University. To quote him he asserts that “for as long as net immigration continues at about a quarter of a million per year, Britain will be trapped in a treadmill of housebuilding without limit”. Its only common sense and nothing whatsoever to do with readership of the Daily Mail. Whether is worth adding forty billion to the national debt I couldnt say? Another article says we have one of the highest birthrates in Europe adding to the affordability problem. Now wishing I had never voted yes.

    Nov 25th, 2017 - 10:24 am - Link - Report abuse +1
  • LEPRecon

    Quite frankly the EU should be told to foxtrot oscar. We don't need them, they need us, and if we just walk away they'll be the ones to suffer most.

    Yes there will be a period of hardship, but at least we'll only have ourselves to look after, not have to cough up to support other countries in the EU.

    Come on Mrs May, grow some balls and tell the EU where they can shove their 'deals'.

    Nov 25th, 2017 - 11:16 am - Link - Report abuse +2
  • DemonTree

    Unfortunately the letter is behind a paywall so I can't read it. It's obvious that if the population is rising then more houses will have to be built to house them. However, as long as house building kept up with demand there would be no crisis. So why aren't enough houses being built where they are needed?

    The population was also rising quickly in the 60s, I believe. So what happened then and when the baby boomers reached the age where they wanted homes of their own? Was there an earlier housing crisis when you were young due to population growth?

    Nov 25th, 2017 - 12:17 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Clyde15

    One thing that has not been mentioned is the number of one parent “families”. When a relationship splits then two houses are now required. This takes a chunk of houses out of the market for people looking for homes.

    As I have said before, the EU are demanding concessions without any indication of how they would look at trade deals. So, we give them what they want and they will give us what THEY want to give. A rather one -sided set of negotiations, Rather reminiscent of unconditional surrender terms.

    The housing market in the 50's was, in the main, local authority and private landlord based.
    In the 50's and 60's,huge housing estates were built in large cities to move the population out of slum housing conditions. However, they were
    The average “punter” did not buy his house...there were plenty of rents available MOST areas.
    When council houses were sold in the “right to buy scheme” they were not replaced.

    Also,as the economy was pushed down to the S.E., more homes were needed but not built resulting in prices spiraling beyond the pockets of many workers.

    There is still reasonably priced housing available in other parts of the country BUT no jobs in the area. Commuting seems to be the way of life.

    My son has been travelling to London a couple of days a week from Stafford. He tells me that there are many commuters from Stoke on the train before he even gets on. That is a 300 mile round trip made on a daily basis. I used to moan about having to go 2 miles to my office !

    Nov 25th, 2017 - 01:39 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • The Voice

    Yes, there was a huge housing crisis after WWII. Many homes had been destroyed, returning forces personel like my wifes parents in Pompey had to be housed in prefabs. There was a population explosion, the Boomers. SuperMac's government was all about building more homes. Immigrant families, many young are producing babies at a higher rate than almost any other place in Europe. Divorce is producing more and more one person households. Controlling immigration to a level we can handle should go hand in hand with extra housebuilding and efforts to help young people get a decent affordable home. On a new estate in our village 2 bedroom 'starter' homes cost £400 grand...£316 grand with help to buy, ridiculous. That £40 billion could be spent better helping our youngsters not lining the pockets of Europe.

    Nov 25th, 2017 - 01:52 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Clyde15

    This is what you will get for £950,000 in Ayr.
    or if you wish to slum it
    My favourite which I pass quite regularly. The views over to Arran and the ruins of Dunure Castles are spectacular

    You can see why a lot of retired English people are selling their houses in the south and exchanging them for these.

    However, you can still get a 3 bed-roomed semi between £90k and £140k area dependent .

    I see in my last post I started a sentence then did not finish idea what I was going to say. I find typing in a letter box almost impossible without being able to see the post in total, checking it for sense and continuity before hitting POST.

    Nov 25th, 2017 - 05:50 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • DemonTree

    So last time the population grew rapidly there was also a housing crisis, and the government solved it by building a lot of houses. This time they seem desperate to avoid that obvious solution, but tinkering with stamp duty just doesn't cut it.

    I remember people talking about the dramatic house price rises before 2004, and wondering whether it would still be a problem by the time I wanted to buy. Some of the reasons suggested for this were the rise in divorced couples, and the sell off of council houses. Obviously a rapidly rising population makes the shortage worse, but it didn't cause it.

    The Voice, I would like lower immigration, but not enough to leave the EU over it. Besides, the fact non-EU immigration has remained so high shows there is something else going on which the government is failing to deal with.

    The area I live is still relatively cheap, but similar to the areas Clyde mentions it's not brimming with good jobs. A lot of the problem is due to uneven development that forces people to live in the same few areas.

    I write my posts in notepad so I can see what I am doing and then paste them into the comment box afterwards. Much easier.

    Nov 25th, 2017 - 06:03 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • The Voice

    Clyde, on my various cycling and mountain walking/climbing adventures in your neck of the woods I was surprised by the number of English people living there and on the islands. Most of the hotels I stay in have Eastern European staff. The properties look stunning and would easily be £1 or 2 million plus here. For many people, the clean air, scenic beauty and the gentler pace of life is obviously a big draw. We are very lucky to live here, the high prices shut most people out. Lots of quiet stunning empty countryside and woodland here, we are so lucky. Coach from our village to London on Wednesday to an Art Gallery and a gig at the Roundhouse in Camden a couple of weeks ago, so its a very convenient but expensive location. Looking forward to Celtic Connections soon though. Dont envy your weather though.

    DT I wish the Germans would let us control immigration and let us remain in the EU but they wont.

    The concentration of jobs is in the South, its a honey pot that draws talented and ambitious people here in droves, and its a big problem.

    Nov 25th, 2017 - 06:34 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Clyde15

    If we didn't have the rain, then it would not be so green. Weather, not so good for weeks. We have not had any frost but plenty of rain squalls. Today, I hung out the washing as I felt I had to do some household chores. Brilliant sunshine and ten minutes later the sky was black as pitch and it bucketed down, ten minutes later , back to sunshine. It continued like this all day. Looking N. I could see snow on Ben Lomond and the hills towards Argyll.
    Arran has a light covering on the top 300 feet.

    I agree with you about the immigration. If there was a rise of right wing parties in Germany, what is there to prevent a translocation of Turks. to the UK. I have nothing against Turks, they would have a right to come here and work BUT where are the houses to accommodate them. The same could be said of any EU country.

    Which is the lesser of two evils, downturn in the economy or put up with further overcrowding of a small island. It looks as if the former will win.

    Nov 25th, 2017 - 10:17 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • The Voice

    Clyde, this morning -4 here, bitter cold wind and clear blue skies all day. Should have gone out on my bike but couldnt face it, I am getting soft snuggled up by the fire.

    I dont think overcrowding will affect you up there too badly. I believe the present economic downturn is mainly due to uncertainty. No sign of it hereabouts except that housing sales have halted and prices are slipping a bit which is no bad thing. When things are clearer the economy will recover. A 1% fall in growth for a couple of years is being seized on by the press and the remoaners as a story supporting their miserable view of things. All the emphasis on technical training at long last is very good and will help things along in the future. I am pleased my kids and those of my friends are all doing well. The grandkids do face a housing challenge though. Has your son bought a house in Stoke, I believe its one of the less expensive areas? My grandkids brought up here are looking at Nottingham etc for jobs and affordable homes.

    Nov 25th, 2017 - 11:23 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Voice

    Yup Clyde that's my snow you was covered and deeper up the hills...winter is here....
    Was thinking of taking the dirt bike up in the snow...
    End up flat on my back making snow angels though.......Yay...;-)

    Nov 26th, 2017 - 12:36 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jolene

    The question is why is this piece appearing in Mercopenguin, a British government propaganda organ supposedly devoted to America, South America and the “South Atlantic”?

    Nov 26th, 2017 - 04:00 am - Link - Report abuse -5
  • DemonTree

    “I wish the Germans would let us control immigration and let us remain in the EU but they wont.”

    It's not up to the Germans. I know it's fashionable to say they run the EU but you know it's not literally true, right? The Eastern European countries would NOT be happy if free movement was limited generally, and the other Western European countries would not be happy if Britain was given advantages they didn't get, again.

    ”what is there to prevent a translocation of Turks to the UK?

    Only EU citizens have the right to work in other EU countries. If you mean Turkish immigrants with German citizenship, then there is nothing stopping them, although I doubt Britain would be their first choice in the current climate.

    If the EU stopped expanding for a while then the number of immigrants would gradually equalise. We'd still have a lot but they wouldn't increase so fast. But I think there are still some countries waiting to join so that won't happen for a while.

    My area has lots and lots of immigrants from Eastern Europe, probably far more than where either of you live. They are pretty unobjectionable and house prices are still very reasonable. A lot of Polish and Baltic shops have opened on the high street, replacing the many shops that have closed as a result of the recession and rise of internet shopping. Much of this area was in decline before they came, but people don't like having foreigners around anyway.

    TV, I used to work in Nottingham and it's a nice enough city with decent jobs and much lower cost of living than the south. I'd recommend it if your grandkids are really looking there. There are some bad areas like any city but they can avoid those.

    Nov 26th, 2017 - 10:23 am - Link - Report abuse -1
  • Clyde15

    They were renting in Stafford and then bought the house ten years ago. Within 2 years it had doubled in value and they would find it difficult to buy it now.
    The problem with Stafford, to me, is access. The M6 passes very close but using the motorway is a nightmare. From the Thelwall Viaduct south it is pure congestion with the volume of traffic. The distance is approx 50 miles and it has taken me up to 3 hours for this stretch plus the 4 hours for the bit before. Ten years ago I could do the journey in 5 hours.

    For continuing south, it is best waiting until 09:00 before accessing the Motorway. You may as well sit in the house than sit in a traffic jam in your car.

    I can remember going down to Plymouth in 1998 and taking 9 hours for the 530 mile journey. The last time I went there in 2015, it needed 2 days OR 14 hours driving.

    Nov 26th, 2017 - 10:39 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • The Voice

    DT “he who pays the Piper calls the tune” a reality that seems to escape you?
    What I remember about Nottingham is the surpus of girls, a fact that obviously hasnt escaped my grandson.

    Clyde, if I leave S Oxon at 0930 I usually arrive at Helensburgh with two short stops at 1700 via the M6, I do use the toll road though. Often I travel long distances late evening, late Saturday afternoons are good too. I once did Aloa to here in 5 1/2 hours in my old Merc listening to the amusing Scottish Footie teatime commentary. I have a daughter in Devon and a son soon to be in N Wales, a fact of modern life I guess. The answer is, as you are retired choose your time carefully.

    Nov 26th, 2017 - 11:33 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    People are always moaning on here about how much money Britain gives to the EU; if you are right that should give us a big say in how it is spent.

    I hear plenty of contradictory complaints about the EU. On the one hand it's an autocratic body that forces policies on members, but on the other it's paralysed with indecision and can't form trade agreements because they are vetoed by every Ireland, Belgium and Luxembourg.

    People complain the EU interferes too much with Britain's laws, and then complain again when it doesn't take over Spain or Malta's internal issues.

    They also complain Britain never gets what it wants, when in reality we have all kinds of opt-outs and benefits that other counties don't get.

    I'm afraid they will still have the same mindset when it comes to making trade deals with other countries, and refuse to compromise on anything, resulting in no deals.

    I haven't noticed any surplus of girls, but perhaps that's due to the area I work in. What does your grandson do?

    Nov 26th, 2017 - 12:14 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • The Voice

    My grandson is in his final year at Uni in Nottingham, he is looking for jobs there at the moment. Perhaps the male population has increased, the girl surplus used to be famous, or is it a myth? Do I take it you work there, doing what? Promise I wont take the mickey ;-)

    Nov 26th, 2017 - 01:26 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Voice

    Don't be fooled...he will eventually...

    Nov 26th, 2017 - 04:44 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    Makes sense to look for jobs in the area then. What's he studying?

    I used to work there, I didn't say I work there now. Can't solve the clue I gave you?

    Nov 26th, 2017 - 08:15 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • The Voice

    When you tell me, I'll tell you..

    Nov 26th, 2017 - 08:46 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    Give me a clue then, I gave you one.

    Nov 26th, 2017 - 09:23 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • The Voice

    I would rather not, I dont want him bothered

    Nov 26th, 2017 - 09:27 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    Were you lying when you said you'd tell me if I told you, then? I was going to see if there were any jobs at my company, but there's probably nothing he'd be interested in anyway.

    Nov 26th, 2017 - 10:08 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • The Voice

    Sorry I just hadnt thought it through properly. I dont believe that what he is studying will qualify him for any decent sort of job in Nottingham. He was very good at Maths and Physics but he didnt do a degree involving that. I did have a look for jobs for Engineers both in Nottingham and around here. Tempting to go back to work, some excellent salaries being offered! friend Ben gas a spare Porsche engine and keeps on about us putting it in my VW T25 Camper!

    Nov 26th, 2017 - 10:32 pm - Link - Report abuse +2
  • Clyde15

    “No Irish border deal before EU trade agreement: British minister”

    “Ireland may threaten to use its EU veto to prevent Brexit talks from moving on to trade because of issues around its border, its EU commissioner has warned.”
    No agreement on divorce bill.

    No agreement on citizen's rights.

    So. should we just cancel Christmas and wallow in watching pig ignorant politicians making their usual arse of our lives.

    I think I will just hibernate and wake up when the dirty deeds are done

    Nov 26th, 2017 - 10:51 pm - Link - Report abuse +2
  • The Voice

    Clyde, there seem to be so many unqualified negative stories around from journalists and naysayers I am just taking no notice, keeping calm and carrying on. A bloke on ITV News was parroting the EUs position as though it was a done deal, it isnt. Its just a tough negotiation.

    Nov 26th, 2017 - 10:59 pm - Link - Report abuse +2
  • DemonTree

    Okay. Shame he didn't do either of my subjects but I hope he's at least learning something useful.

    As for the Brexit negotiations, it's bloody ridiculous. The EU has been saying since the beginning that the Irish border must be decided first, if our government aren't willing to do that then what is the point of all these talks they've been having? I've never seen such a mess, they're all as stupid as each other.

    Nov 26th, 2017 - 11:13 pm - Link - Report abuse -2
  • The Voice

    DT, you didnt expect the negotiations to go smoothly did you? The EU are highly agitated and scared of a rush for the door, its all flouncing and punishment beatings for effect. It will get sorted eventually.

    What subjects? are mine. Maths, Strength of Materials, Theory of Machines, Fluid Mechanics, Thermodynamics, Workshop Technology, Work Study, Production Engineering Electrical Engineering, Electronics, Metallurgy, And post grad Computer Science, Computer Aided Design and Welding Technology at Cranfield.

    Nov 26th, 2017 - 11:47 pm - Link - Report abuse +2
  • DemonTree

    Of course I didn't, you know what I think of the current government and you can hardly accuse me of optimism about Brexit. They are still going worse than I thought they would though. It's remarkable that a group of 27 different nations has managed to be more consistent in the negotiations than our one; I'm not seeing any notable signs of agitation in the EU.

    We can't do much about the EU's unhelpful stance, but you'd think we could get our own government on the same page, at least publicly, and they could have prepared their plans *before* starting the negotiations rather than still be arguing about it now.

    My degree was in joint Maths and Physics, I'm sure you're not interested in which modules I did. What did you learn in Computer Science? Surely there wasn't much *to learn* back in the dark ages of computing?

    Nov 27th, 2017 - 12:03 am - Link - Report abuse -4
  • The Voice

    Cranfield wasnt in the dark ages it was in the 80s. Enough to write programs to predict the acceleration of various very large pumps in power stations, 20MW, critically important when everyone puts the kettle on simultaneously.

    Nov 27th, 2017 - 06:22 am - Link - Report abuse +3
  • DemonTree

    Oh, yeah, the 80s wasn't the dark ages. You must've gone college very late, or gone back  to university to learn it? Those surges in use caused by kettles are quite famous. What language were you using?

    Nov 27th, 2017 - 10:47 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • The Voice

    It was C. We made hydrokinetic drives and gearboxes for startup and standby power station boiler feed pumps and very big mine conveyors. Predicting performance was important. One of my Engineers was much more capable than me of writing the software. I went with him on that particular course. At that time it was the dawn of the IBM PC. Previously we had used Fortran. The trouble with Maths and Physics is they are very general, difgicult subjects at higher level but not specific enough to be immediately useful. Are you in IT?

    Nov 27th, 2017 - 11:29 am - Link - Report abuse +2
  • Clyde15


    The group of 27 nations are not negotiating as individuals, technically it is the Commission.

    They are in the driving seat and wish to keep an united front in negotiations...or demands.

    What each individual member state wishes is just conjecture.

    Nov 27th, 2017 - 11:57 am - Link - Report abuse +2
  • golfcronie

    I think the UK should say audit your accounts and then talk about exit fee.

    Nov 27th, 2017 - 05:39 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • The Voice

    The 27 nations are letting the Germans and French lead the negotiations abetted by the Mayor of Trumpton, Junkner who obviously hates the UK. Whilst of the other natuons have their own concerns the Germans and French are the paymasters, as simple as that.

    Nov 27th, 2017 - 06:02 pm - Link - Report abuse +2
  • DemonTree

    Kind of, yes. I'm using C# but it's really quite different to C, although the syntax is very similar obviously. I did a couple of Fortran courses at university; that's a very old language that's been updated several times. I'm pretty sure the original version they showed us had line numbers, and some weird arrangement with columns, but they'd got rid of that stuff by the time I used it. What did you think of programming and which did you prefer? It must have been interesting to live through the beginning of computing when all the things we have today were being invented. And back then it was possible for one person to produce cool games. Nowadays they take as many people as a movie, what with all the graphics and voice acting.

    True, but the commission still need to take all their wishes into account, as the countries have to vote for any deal that is made. Just look at the trouble they are having getting an agreement with Mercosur thanks to a few countries objecting.

    Nov 27th, 2017 - 09:35 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • golfcronie

    Come on Teresa, tell the EU that is what the UK is offering and that will have to do until they start talking about a trade deal.

    Nov 27th, 2017 - 10:47 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • The Voice

    DT, the first program I wrote was at the RAE - Mercury Autocode. Then a bit of Fortran, Basic, BBC Micro, Spectrum, C, C++ I think, a grapple with assembler. But, programing never really interested me, others were much better at it. Very interesting times and fascinating to be able to quickly do complex iterative calculations, model heat transfer, analyse stresses and fluid flows. Then CAD, automated design macros, finite elements, stereolithography etc etc. And then came the Internet - do you rememember JANET? Its all come a lot further since I retired but its all still underpinned by the basic mechanics dynamics, thermodynamics and fluid mechanics and the vital bit is to get that all correct because if its wrong everythings wrong. The stuff that really fascinated me was innovative and elegant design. Hard to teach, and more of an artistic gift. One of my Engineers a Chinese Malayan guy did all the calculations. A very competent programer. My son is an IT Director for a group of companies, he was an Engineer once too.

    Nov 27th, 2017 - 10:58 pm - Link - Report abuse +3
  • DemonTree

    Ah well, we can't all be good at everything. I suppose the ability to easily perform those calculations and model processes was quite revolutionary back then.

    Interesting you say design is more of an artistic gift; I have two friends who did engineering degrees and one ended up becoming a teacher and the other a graphic designer.

    Anyway, I hope your grandson manages to find a good job when he graduates.

    Nov 28th, 2017 - 06:30 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • The Voice

    BC before computers! We got along fine, but probably overdesigned things. Too many people who study Engineering end up doing something else.


    Nov 28th, 2017 - 08:14 pm - Link - Report abuse 0

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