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Jennifer1984 On about 12 hours ago
Returner and proud





Penzance, United Kingdom
#1New Post! Dec 12, 2020 @ 13:34:27
As we draw towards the end of 2020 and UK's self inflicted train crash becomes the reality that we all dreaded..... a No Deal Brexit.... things aren't looking good, are they...? The conclusion of the British government's bogus trade negotiations...... all the possible outcomes..... look both painful and expensive for the UK.

Before it all happens, I have to ask: How did we get here? Well, at the root of the problem has for the last two years, been the British government’s definition of sovereignty.


The British idea of what constitutes sovereignty is closer to that used by North Korea than that of any other free-trading western nation. It is focused above all on absolute physical control of borders, laws and money, rather than effective control of the things that will protect Britain’s interests.

It is the Conservative government's definition that will make Britain’s separation from the EU so painful and expensive, and effectively reduce Britain’s sovereignty not increase it. This has impacted directly on the negotiations, and explains why the government has consistently sidelined Britain’s economic interests (except fishing) in the interests of what they declare to be Britain’s ‘sovereignty’, rather than the national interest.

During the referendum campaign, Remain failed to challenge Leave’s definition of sovereignty and explain that the reality of Brexit meant throwing control away, not taking it back. That was a major mistake on our (the remainers) part. It was part of our general mistake of taking the opposition too lightly and also of believing that the British people would be sensible enough to see through the leave campaign and reject it.

So.... how, in the real world, does sovereignty work in trade negotiations...?

Trading across borders means regulating across borders, and the more you want to trade, the more regulation you need. This goes for services and data as much as for goods: ‘sovereignty’ in this context means having influence not only of regulation in your domestic market but also in the markets you sell to and buy from.

In the 1960s, Britain suffered from having no control over the European market and too small a domestic market to provide a secure base for its manufacturers. EFTA (European Free Trade Agreement) did not provide what was needed, so only membership of the EEC (European Economic Community, now the EU) would enable Britain to defend its national economic interests effectively.

It was less a case of giving sovereignty away than, by sharing it, extending our sovereignty to mainland Europe.

It was less absolute than the North Korean variety, but more effective in protecting British interests because it provided greater influence over the shape of regulation in our main market, as well as on the position of Europe in international affairs – issues that matter more and more in an increasingly unstable world. It provided a de facto veto on both.

In effect it meant that you won’t always get your own way, but you can prevent your neighbours going the wrong way.

Ultimately, real sovereignty means having a seat at the table, a voice in the debate and a vote on the outcome.

Brexit threw all that away: we are left with a paper sovereignty that sounds good but has no effect. We become a rule taker from countries and unions bigger than us, rather than a rule maker. As John Major recently underlined, in global terms, Britain is really not that big.

Brexiters argue that their definition of sovereignty, physically controlling borders, laws and money, nevertheless reflects the ‘national interest’. But this reveals that their understanding of British national interest is in reality confined to their party political interest.

Four key points arise:

First, the British economy needs immigration if it is to grow: if people don’t come from Europe, they will come from elsewhere.

Second, European laws will still affect all our exports to Europe, but we no longer have any influence over them.

Third, the money we save from not paying membership is far less than the additional costs of separation. Brexit makes us financially worse off.

And fourth, the fact that Scotland and Northern Ireland both needed membership of the EU to make the United Kingdom work for them was excluded from this interpretation of national interest.

The Brexiters’ definition of sovereignty will come back to bite them when – as we have already seen – they argue that Scotland’s interests dictate that it should stay in the British Union. The party political interest of the SNP dictates otherwise and therefore – using the Brexiters own argument – they declare that Scottish sovereignty demands separation from an English nation that gives them no say in fundamental decisions affecting their future. The Brexiters will be hanged with their own sovereignty petard.

This definition of sovereignty – most clearly expressed in David Frost's lecture in Brussels last February – has also critically skewed the negotiations, making a deal to protect British interests all the harder. In defence of this paper sovereignty, the UK set its red lines in a place that breached the two fundamental issues on which the EU could not, and would not, budge – the integrity of the Single Market / Customs Union, and the preservation of the Good Friday Agreement.

The Brexiters did this on the grounds that British ‘sovereignty‘ demands it. In reality, sovereignty does no such thing. This is pure politics.

Setting a hard 31 December deadline made the task all the harder. Besides Boris Johnson's nature, to take no decisions until they become unavoidable, both he and Conservative MPs held unfailingly to a belief that the EU only makes concessions and cuts deals at the very last minute, so it is essential to hang tough on all key issues until the very end.

These two approaches misunderstood both the EU’s purpose and its methods. Cutting last minute deals may be what they do at European Councils, but not in external negotiations.

The EU is a cumbersome beast, and though on trade the Commission has sole competence, and therefore some freedom to negotiate, it still needs to be able sell the outcome to member states, many of whom have serious political interests at stake. Any trade deal is therefore built up through painstaking agreements on the components of a balanced overall package which can be sold to both the member states and the European Parliament on the EU side and domestic constituents in the UK. This is a process of building consensus, not a fight to the death.

In that process, the Internal Market Bill has been a spectacular own goal. To renege on the Withdrawal Agreement and propose to break international law undermined the one thing that might have softened the EU negotiating position – trust.

The EU exists as a community of law, something the UK used to respect and defend vigorously, so to play fast and loose with it on departure has inevitably been taken as a sign of bad faith and has made getting concessions all the more difficult.

Ultimately, the mantra of ‘taking back control over our borders, our trade and our money’ is therefore not only wrong, but leading the UK into a blind alley of its own making.

It's only a matter of time before Scotland and Northern Ireland cut and run back to the main road. And sooner or later, England will have to follow, dragging its precious sovereignty behind it.
gakINGKONG On January 17, 2021




, Florida
#2New Post! Dec 12, 2020 @ 15:41:38
I hear you loud and clear. Unfortunately, it may be time to abandon hope, at least for this life.

On the Great and Terrible Day of Judgement, the books will be opened and all evildoers will be held to account.

It's a nice polemic against Brexit though. We could have used someone like you ten years ago in the fight against gay marriage.
Jennifer1984 On about 12 hours ago
Returner and proud





Penzance, United Kingdom
#3New Post! Dec 12, 2020 @ 18:23:48
@gakINGKONG Said

I hear you loud and clear. Unfortunately, it may be time to abandon hope, at least for this life.

On the Great and Terrible Day of Judgement, the books will be opened and all evildoers will be held to account.

It's a nice polemic against Brexit though. We could have used someone like you ten years ago in the fight against gay marriage.


You think I'M going to campaign against gay marriage...???

Would somebody else like to tell him or shall I...??
Jennifer1984 On about 12 hours ago
Returner and proud





Penzance, United Kingdom
#4New Post! Dec 12, 2020 @ 18:37:08
As for "Abandon all hope", well, Brexit has happened... Britain is officially out of the European Union. What we have been going through in 2020 is the "Withdrawal Period" where Britain retained free use of the single market and customs union while the two sides attempted to come to an agreement over the future relationship. This has been referred to throughout as "The Deal".

The Withdrawal Period ends on 31 December and then it will be final. All over. Kaput.

Unfortunately, no "deal" has been agreed and is unlikely to be agreed. The EU have stated that tomorrow (13 December) is the very final date whereby an agreement could be reached and then ratified by the member states of the EU in order to come into force on 1 January.

The principle difficulties have been Britain's insistence that the EU fishing nations cannot have any access to British fishing waters, and that they must have unrestricted access to the Customs Union and Single Market.

The EU insists that fishing rights are essential, and that Britain must agree to conform to EU regulations in exports to the EU, and that the Good Friday Agreement be respected.

Neither side is prepared to compromise on these issues. Britain will not give the EU access to fishing waters and will not agree to regulatory controls. It has also reneged on a legally enforceable treaty which would seriously affect the Good Friday Agreement.

The EU will not give Britain access to the Single Market and Customs Union without their conditions being met. It will not be possible to sign a deal without them.

There will be other very serious consequences over this. Britain will lose access to EU intelligence and crime data which will seriously affect our national security. We will no longer be able to issue the European Arrest Warrant, which in effect means that Britain no longer has an extradition treaty with the EU. We will have no intelligence from EU sources on criminals attempting to come to Britain, and criminals here will be able to escape to the continent without fear of being returned to UK.

Be in no doubt, this is an extremely bad situation. Sure, the EU will take a financial hit, but that hit will be spread over 27 countries. Britain will take a much larger hit to its economy and will have to bear the entire cost.

And all this because of the "sovereignty I wrote of above.
Leon On about 9 hours ago




San Diego, California
#5New Post! Dec 12, 2020 @ 23:40:50
Hi Jen, is it feasible to just move to another EU-friendly country at this point? Or, better yet, is Scotland leaning towards secession, and, if so, is moving there feasible?

Here in the U.S., there is already talk of secession by the South (again). While this is highly improbable, both in gaining enough support and in legality, I wouldn’t actually be against it, especially if Biden can’t bring everyone back together. It’s the South itself that would suffer the greatest from it, not the rest of us. I would imagine everyone living in the South who is against it would just move before it occurs.
Jennifer1984 On about 12 hours ago
Returner and proud





Penzance, United Kingdom
#6New Post! Dec 13, 2020 @ 00:11:16
@Leon Said

Hi Jen, is it feasible to just move to another EU-friendly country at this point? Or, better yet, is Scotland leaning towards secession, and, if so, is moving there feasible?

Here in the U.S., there is already talk of secession by the South (again). While this is highly improbable, both in gaining enough support and in legality, I wouldn’t actually be against it, especially if Biden can’t bring everyone back together. It’s the South itself that would suffer the greatest from it, not the rest of us. I would imagine everyone living in the South who is against it would just move before it occurs.



It is perfectly feasible to move to another EU member state, or even one that isn't a member. The usual processes of migration would apply though. Freedom of movement for Britons ends on 1 January.

Many English citizens are frantically searching back through their family histories to find any connection to the Irish Republic. The Irish government has stated that applications for Irish passports have been flooding in in vast numbers from England in the last four years. The expected backlog of applications will take many years to consider and process.

Scotland and Northern Ireland are expected to secede from the United Kingdom as soon as they can. Such a move requires a favourable public vote and Boris Johnson is refusing to allow those countries to have such a vote. And he said Remainers were undemocratic..!!

The Scottish National Party have a massive electoral mandate for leaving the United Kingdom and there will be a new Scottish Parliament election in May 2021 which is currently predicted to increase their majority. It is still unlikely that Johnson will allow a referendum though so they will have to wait until the Tories are voted out of office. But be under no illusions, both countries want out of the Union with England.

The United Kingdom will then cease to exist. The Union Jack will cease to exist. Instead, there will be the newly created nation of England and Wales with a flag that would possibly look something like this (or a similar variation):





The old UK that you have known is dead in the water now. It's break up is inevitable. The question isn't "if", it's "When".
Leon On about 9 hours ago




San Diego, California
#7New Post! Dec 13, 2020 @ 03:15:25
@Jennifer1984 Said

It is perfectly feasible to move to another EU member state, or even one that isn't a member. The usual processes of migration would apply though. Freedom of movement for Britons ends on 1 January.

Many English citizens are frantically searching back through their family histories to find any connection to the Irish Republic. The Irish government has stated that applications for Irish passports have been flooding in in vast numbers from England in the last four years. The expected backlog of applications will take many years to consider and process.

Scotland and Northern Ireland are expected to secede from the United Kingdom as soon as they can. Such a move requires a favourable public vote and Boris Johnson is refusing to allow those countries to have such a vote. And he said Remainers were undemocratic..!!

The Scottish National Party have a massive electoral mandate for leaving the United Kingdom and there will be a new Scottish Parliament election in May 2021 which is currently predicted to increase their majority. It is still unlikely that Johnson will allow a referendum though so they will have to wait until the Tories are voted out of office. But be under no illusions, both countries want out of the Union with England.

The United Kingdom will then cease to exist. The Union Jack will cease to exist. Instead, there will be the newly created nation of England and Wales with a flag that would possibly look something like this (or a similar variation):





The old UK that you have known is dead in the water now. It's break up is inevitable. The question isn't "if", it's "When".


Why is Boris afraid of letting Scotland and Northern Ireland go?

Good to hear you have options and aren’t stuck with Brexit if it all goes to s***. I myself may move to Europe after I retire in 15 years if all goes to s*** here, back to my heritage so to speak. Any ideas of where I should live?
Jennifer1984 On about 12 hours ago
Returner and proud





Penzance, United Kingdom
#8New Post! Dec 13, 2020 @ 08:31:51
@Leon Said

Why is Boris afraid of letting Scotland and Northern Ireland go?



I'll deal with this question first then go on to your second question:

You have to understand the English mindset. The United Kingdom isn't like the United States which is a federal set up. The United Kingdom came about by an Act of Parliament forced upon Scotland because the Scots had got themselves into a financial situation where their country was broke. The Act of Union (1707) joined the two kingdoms, but it wasn't a fair deal. Scotland would, in return for being bailed out, accept becoming subject to the English monarch and ruled by the Westminster Parliament. The English got by far the better half of the deal.

The Scots were led to believe they would be part of an equal relationship but it very quickly became clear to them that they had been absorbed into the British Empire. England treated Scotland like an African colony.... or even an American one. And we all know how that ended.

Northern Ireland is different. Had it not been for the Protestant enclave in the north east of the island of Ireland taking the English side, the whole country would have gained independence in 1922, but because of religious divide created by the Protestant settlers that the English had moved to Northern Ireland from Scotland, and their abhorrence of Catholicism, the agreement struck was for the area known as Northern Ireland to remain a part of the United Kingdom "Until such times as the people of that province state a desire to join the Republic." The English were convinced that there would never be any meeting of minds over religion, given the fierce differences between the two.

Northern Ireland has retained its British identity almost solely on the grounds of its abhorrence of the south's Catholicism. It's purely a sectarian thing. The Good Friday Agreement subtly changed that. Since the agreement was made, the sectarian distrust and dislike of each other has been greatly reduced. Northern Irish protestants are coming to see themselves as primarily Irish rather than protestant. There is a genuine - and growing - shift towards a majority that desires union with the south. Britain's grip on the territory is slipping and Brexit is hastening that shift because the English are being seen to have shafted Northern Ireland for its own political purposes.

Teresa May's grubby, squalid deal with the DUP in 2017 wasn't a betrayal, but it was England getting what it wanted with greasy money. Thirty years ago we would have gotten away with it. Now, the people of Northern Ireland see things differently.

England has always - and still does - take the mindset that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are territorial possessions. They are not a part of a union of Equals. This has always been known, but denied by Westminster and largely tolerated by the people of those countries because Westminster has always done enough - but only just enough - to keep those countries financially viable, politically stable and in the case of Northern Ireland, Protestant.

But just think of this. Scotland didn't get it's own Parliament until 1999. And Boris Johnson wants to now take away a lot of their powers and give them back to Westminster. Scotland is being reabsorbed into England again.

How do you think, say, Texas would respond to being told that their own State independence was being taken away and in future they will be run entirely by the Federal government, from Washington...? I don't think that would go down too well in the Lone Star State, do you..?

The EU however, is seen to offer a better form of Union to be a part of. One where they would have a genuine seat at the table of democracy. A veto...!!!! Something they don't have under the rule of the English. They would get genuine financial support, not scraps off the English table. They would have a voice that is listened to, not patronised and then ignored. They would have the four freedoms as of right, not only be allowed whatever the English give them as a favour that can be taken away if they get too uppity.

They would be genuine sovereign nations in their own right.

The Scots see this as an attractive option. The English see one of the last remaining outposts of the Empire crumbling through their fingers. That's why they oppose Scottish independence.

It's all about how the English see themselves as rulers. Scotland, Wales and Ireland were, historically, defeated countries. England were conquerors either militarily or politically and to this day, the English believe that the victors deserve the spoils. It's a mindset we won't - can't - let go of.

It's the mindset of a dead Empire that doesn't know, or won't accept, that it's day is over.
Jennifer1984 On about 12 hours ago
Returner and proud





Penzance, United Kingdom
#9New Post! Dec 13, 2020 @ 13:16:25
@Leon Said


Good to hear you have options and aren’t stuck with Brexit if it all goes to s***.



The option to rejoin the EU is always there and already, a movement is growing to achieve that aim. I'm a part of that myself. We are recruiting and the numbers joining are rising steadily.

Now is not the time to start an active campaign though. The current political situation in the country is against that. It would be foolish to jump into something we couldn't win too soon. Suffice to say the building blocks are being put into place and we are recruiting from the young of the country. We are becoming active in the universities and among those who have recently attained majority age or will do so by the time of the next general election.

It is unlikely that there will be a change of government in 2024, but hey... Trump was defeated this year. America has set a great example of what can be done and that's heartening to us. We are not optimistic for next time around, but there is hope and that gives you something to fight with.

If we can take away a big chunk of the Tories huge majority at the next election it will weaken them before the coup de grace at the one after that.

After we have a Labour government, hopefully led by Sir Kier Starmer - a dedicated European - we can then come out into the open and begin the process of changing the mindset in the country.

Firstly though, we have to allow Brexit to happen and the s*** show that it will become. There will always be a hard core of anti-Europeans who will never give Brexit up, but there were a very significant number of voters who only voted for it in 2016 because of the promises that were made. Promises that it is already obvious are not going to materialise. We will have plenty to work with in a country led by a Labour government that - even if it doesn't actively embrace us at first for political reasons - won't oppose us.

Starmer will probably fight the 2029 election on a political reform ticket. He will want to change our voting system from "First Past The Post", which is always likely to return a Tory government, sometimes with the sort of majority it has now, to a Proportional Representation system which is more likely to return coalitions.... and with coalitions comes a return to consensus politics, and the moderate, centre left majorities that would favour our cause.

A centre-left coalition government under Starmer would want to forge closer relations with the EU again and with that, the campaign to rejoin can really get under way. When it seems the time is right, a rejoin referendum can be confident of getting a rejoin vote.

It will take time, but time is what the young people of Britain have. The ageing Boomer generation who were a major factor in taking us out of Europe will demise. They've had their day. The young people of Britain will take us back.

For sure, the Tories and the Brexiters would fight it every inch of the way, but the very thing they want to retain will be the thing that defeats them. Brexit is going to be horrible. And we will be pushing every bad thing that happens while reminding people what they've lost..... but could have again.

The carrot will be too attractive to resist for enough people to swing the vote our way, and once there, the political reforms... and memories of what happened under Brexit.... will prevent any future movement to leave again resurfacing.

The "Remember what happened the last time we left" message will never be far away. Once bitten, twice shy.

To rejoin the EU will require Britain to join the Euro.... Join the Schengen agreement.... lose our rebate.... The EU will put a price on our return, but it will be a price worth paying.

It's a long way off yet and the obstacles will be enormous, but it is do-able.
Jennifer1984 On about 12 hours ago
Returner and proud





Penzance, United Kingdom
#10New Post! Dec 13, 2020 @ 13:32:34
@Leon Said

I myself may move to Europe after I retire in 15 years if all goes to s*** here, back to my heritage so to speak. Any ideas of where I should live?



You may find some very attractive properties coming on the market in Spain and Portugal in the not too distant future.

British retired ex-pats are already up in arms about losing the rights they've had in those countries for many years, and the bureaucracy they're now having to go to just to apply for dual nationality.... without any guarantee that they'll get it.

It's long been a feature that many retired Britons go to live in, say, Spain during the winter months to avoid the cold, miserable English winters. They spend September to March in Spain and April to August in England.

For them, retirement means endless summer. Until Brexit.

After no-deal Brexit they won't be able to stay in Spain for more than 90 days at a time and won't be able too obtain another visa for at least another 90 days. It rather screws their life of constant warm weather. Some are already saying they will sell up and move somewhere else, but that comes across as a knee-jerk reaction. All the other warm-weather places they would want to move to are also in the EU.

There is also the financial aspect for them. In the EU, they could come back to England in April having had six months worth of their state pension accruing in a UK bank account, tax free because they have been out of the country for six months continually. When they can only live in Spain for three months at a time, they lose that tax free status on ALL their income, both state and private pensions. Ouch.

But that's their problem. They voted for it.

You won, get over it.

With Spanish and Portuguese property far less attractive to expat Britons they may be forced to sell to either other EU nationals or North Americans who I am no doubt are quite capable of driving a hard bargain and getting a very favourable price.

Ireland is also a lovely place to retire, so I'm told. It doesn't have the warm weather, but the country is beautiful, the people are warm and welcoming, prices are OK and there is no language barrier.

I don't advise Italy, Greece or anywhere else on the Meditteranean coast. Too politically unstable and the economies can be quite fragile at times.

England..? Stay well away. I wouldn't recommend coming here for obvious reasons. Not unless you want to live in a nut house.

Good luck in your search. I hope it goes well for you. Let us all know how it goes.
Leon On about 9 hours ago




San Diego, California
#11New Post! Dec 13, 2020 @ 16:05:11
@Jennifer1984 Said

The option to rejoin the EU is always there and already, a movement is growing to achieve that aim. I'm a part of that myself. We are recruiting and the numbers joining are rising steadily.

Now is not the time to start an active campaign though. The current political situation in the country is against that. It would be foolish to jump into something we couldn't win too soon. Suffice to say the building blocks are being put into place and we are recruiting from the young of the country. We are becoming active in the universities and among those who have recently attained majority age or will do so by the time of the next general election.

It is unlikely that there will be a change of government in 2024, but hey... Trump was defeated this year. America has set a great example of what can be done and that's heartening to us. We are not optimistic for next time around, but there is hope and that gives you something to fight with.

If we can take away a big chunk of the Tories huge majority at the next election it will weaken them before the coup de grace at the one after that.

After we have a Labour government, hopefully led by Sir Kier Starmer - a dedicated European - we can then come out into the open and begin the process of changing the mindset in the country.

Firstly though, we have to allow Brexit to happen and the s*** show that it will become. There will always be a hard core of anti-Europeans who will never give Brexit up, but there were a very significant number of voters who only voted for it in 2016 because of the promises that were made. Promises that it is already obvious are not going to materialise. We will have plenty to work with in a country led by a Labour government that - even if it doesn't actively embrace us at first for political reasons - won't oppose us.

Starmer will probably fight the 2029 election on a political reform ticket. He will want to change our voting system from "First Past The Post", which is always likely to return a Tory government, sometimes with the sort of majority it has now, to a Proportional Representation system which is more likely to return coalitions.... and with coalitions comes a return to consensus politics, and the moderate, centre left majorities that would favour our cause.

A centre-left coalition government under Starmer would want to forge closer relations with the EU again and with that, the campaign to rejoin can really get under way. When it seems the time is right, a rejoin referendum can be confident of getting a rejoin vote.

It will take time, but time is what the young people of Britain have. The ageing Boomer generation who were a major factor in taking us out of Europe will demise. They've had their day. The young people of Britain will take us back.

For sure, the Tories and the Brexiters would fight it every inch of the way, but the very thing they want to retain will be the thing that defeats them. Brexit is going to be horrible. And we will be pushing every bad thing that happens while reminding people what they've lost..... but could have again.

The carrot will be too attractive to resist for enough people to swing the vote our way, and once there, the political reforms... and memories of what happened under Brexit.... will prevent any future movement to leave again resurfacing.

The "Remember what happened the last time we left" message will never be far away. Once bitten, twice shy.

To rejoin the EU will require Britain to join the Euro.... Join the Schengen agreement.... lose our rebate.... The EU will put a price on our return, but it will be a price worth paying.

It's a long way off yet and the obstacles will be enormous, but it is do-able.


Thank you for explaining this to me. If they were to leave, would Scotland suffer economically? I guess the same could be asked in regards to North Ireland, but that would depend on how stable Ireland is. Or does it matter if they become members of the EU? After all, they bailed out Greece from what I can remember.
Leon On about 9 hours ago




San Diego, California
#12New Post! Dec 13, 2020 @ 16:16:27
@Jennifer1984 Said

You may find some very attractive properties coming on the market in Spain and Portugal in the not too distant future.

British retired ex-pats are already up in arms about losing the rights they've had in those countries for many years, and the bureaucracy they're now having to go to just to apply for dual nationality.... without any guarantee that they'll get it.

It's long been a feature that many retired Britons go to live in, say, Spain during the winter months to avoid the cold, miserable English winters. They spend September to March in Spain and April to August in England.

For them, retirement means endless summer. Until Brexit.

After no-deal Brexit they won't be able to stay in Spain for more than 90 days at a time and won't be able too obtain another visa for at least another 90 days. It rather screws their life of constant warm weather. Some are already saying they will sell up and move somewhere else, but that comes across as a knee-jerk reaction. All the other warm-weather places they would want to move to are also in the EU.

There is also the financial aspect for them. In the EU, they could come back to England in April having had six months worth of their state pension accruing in a UK bank account, tax free because they have been out of the country for six months continually. When they can only live in Spain for three months at a time, they lose that tax free status on ALL their income, both state and private pensions. Ouch.

But that's their problem. They voted for it.

You won, get over it.

With Spanish and Portuguese property far less attractive to expat Britons they may be forced to sell to either other EU nationals or North Americans who I am no doubt are quite capable of driving a hard bargain and getting a very favourable price.

Ireland is also a lovely place to retire, so I'm told. It doesn't have the warm weather, but the country is beautiful, the people are warm and welcoming, prices are OK and there is no language barrier.

I don't advise Italy, Greece or anywhere else on the Meditteranean coast. Too politically unstable and the economies can be quite fragile at times.

England..? Stay well away. I wouldn't recommend coming here for obvious reasons. Not unless you want to live in a nut house.

Good luck in your search. I hope it goes well for you. Let us all know how it goes.


Thanks. Little confused about where the 90 day rule comes from. Is this a rule Spain or the EU put in for British expats? Or that Great Britan imposed on themselves? And why would Americans be exempt from this rule?

In my situation, we’d have our pensions and (hopefully) hefty Roth IRA accounts that our 401(k)/403(b)s will be poured into upon retirement that would be growing tax free indefinitely, so money wouldn’t be an issue, just where we’d be most comfortable. I’ve heard good things about Spain and Portugal. There would be a language barrier of course, but we’d manage, and have each other (wife and I). I don’t mind cold weather really, so I’m open to other places as well. My wife is Asian, so Europe isn’t the only option either. We’d probably spend a few years traveling and getting a feel of places first of course, and may end up enjoying that and just doing that perpetually as a way to escape America if things get really bad here. At least until we are too old to travel.
Jennifer1984 On about 12 hours ago
Returner and proud





Penzance, United Kingdom
#13New Post! Dec 13, 2020 @ 16:42:31
@Leon Said

Thank you for explaining this to me. If they were to leave, would Scotland suffer economically? I guess the same could be asked in regards to North Ireland, but that would depend on how stable Ireland is. Or does it matter if they become members of the EU? After all, they bailed out Greece from what I can remember.


For sure, Scotland would have a difficult time establishing their country as a financially viable state, but ever was it thus so for any country becoming independent. It's nothing new and wouldn't come as any surprise.

In England, much is made of the amount of support that they draw from the British exchequer, but what is never mentioned is how much Scotland contributes to that exchequer in terms of tax revenues. It's always argued "Britain gives X to Scotland. How would they manage without that..?" Well, a big hunk of it would come from not having to contribute to the British economy for a start.

There is also forever the English argument that Scotland would lose all of it's north sea oil and gas revenues, and again there is a valid argument for saying that they would lose access to SOME of the oil and gas fields. But according to the London based National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), who conducted an evaluation of that very question, the revenues would have to be divided up according to The Geneva Agreement On Natural Resources Under The Sea. According to NIESR, Scotland would have a legal claim to 91% of the remaining revenues, so actually, it would be England who were the major losers.

And then there is fish. You only have to look at where the best fishing areas in the North Sea, and Atlantic around Scotland lie. And as an EU member state, that fish would be on sale to the EU, a market England will no longer have from January if there is no deal.

Scotland has a significant tourist industry, could revive its shipbuilding and steel industries and a significant part of Britain's electronics and technology industry is based in Scotland.

For sure, there would be lean years to start with, but with membership of the EU and access to the Single Market and Customs Union, there is no reason to believe that it could not be a viable economy in a relatively short space of time.

Should Northern Ireland integrate into the Republic, the whole island of Ireland would benefit from the heavy industry in the north that the south lacks. The north would become less reliant on mainland Britain for food and materials. It would be a mutually beneficial arrangement. By merging with the Republic, the north would automatically become a part of the EU and enjoy the benfits of that from the very start.

It has to be said that Scotland would have to meet all the EU conditions for joining and be subject to a vote, but the Scots are quite amenable to that and would be prepared to join the Euro, the Schengen area and pay their contribution. The Scottish people are overwhelmingly pro-Europe and are aware of what the obligations are.

One word of warning though.

The Scottish National Party (SNP) who govern Scotland are profoundly anti-nuclear and it has been their stated aim to remove all nuclear weapons from Scotland on independence from England.

The US nuclear missile submarine base at Holy Loch would be under threat of closure from the very start, as would the British base just down the coast at Faslane.

For England, this is a serious problem. If Faslane is closed, England has nowhere to base its nuclear missile submarines. The two major naval bases at Portsmouth and Devonport (Plymouth) are not deep enough for the subs to get in and out of, they do not have the infrastructure, the expertise or the security that Faslane has.

There is also the problem of public acceptance. Neither city would want these weapons on their doorstep. Putting them there would be guaranteed to meet with massive opposition. Remember back to the 1980's when USA put Pershing and Cruise missiles at Greenham Common in the south of England. The protests and civil unrest eventually caused them to be withdrawn.

To build a nuclear submarine base in England..... assuming they could overcome civil opposition.... the legal challenges alone could tie things up for ten years or more..... would cost hundreds of billions of pounds and take another five years on top of that to become operational.

Nobody says much about the future of Faslane, but it's a massive problem for England waiting to happen.

How USA would deal with Holy Loch is for them to decide. There would have to be one massive carrot on offer and even then I can't see the Scottish government going with it. You're gonna need another place to put your nukes.

There is one hell of a mess waiting to happen but the Scots seem happy to accept the consequences. It's difficult for me to explain in words, but in Scotland, the detestation of the English government goes so deep that any price is worth paying to be rid of it.
Jennifer1984 On about 12 hours ago
Returner and proud





Penzance, United Kingdom
#14New Post! Dec 13, 2020 @ 17:21:30
@Leon Said

Thanks. Little confused about where the 90 day rule comes from. Is this a rule Spain or the EU put in for British expats? Or that Great Britan imposed on themselves? And why would Americans be exempt from this rule?

In my situation, we’d have our pensions and (hopefully) hefty Roth IRA accounts that our 401(k)/403(b)s will be poured into upon retirement that would be growing tax free indefinitely, so money wouldn’t be an issue, just where we’d be most comfortable. I’ve heard good things about Spain and Portugal. There would be a language barrier of course, but we’d manage, and have each other (wife and I). I don’t mind cold weather really, so I’m open to other places as well. My wife is Asian, so Europe isn’t the only option either. We’d probably spend a few years traveling and getting a feel of places first of course, and may end up enjoying that and just doing that perpetually as a way to escape America if things get really bad here. At least until we are too old to travel.


I'm not entirely sure whether the 90 day rule is of Spanish origin or is an EU regulation. I also think I didn't make it entirely clear that it applies to those expats who don't obtain dual nationality, but what we do know is that the noises coming from Spain are that a significant proportion of those who are now applying, won't.

I don't know what sort of agreement the USA has with the EU. Perhaps you could contact the Spanish Embassy and ask them. Any EU member state embassy would be able to supply the information for you. They all co-operate with each other and operate under the same rules.

The language barrier in Spain and Portugal isn't too difficult a hurdle to overcome because of the close connection those countries have had with Britain since Franco's dictatorship ended. Most Spaniards and Portuguese speak at least some English and they are very welcoming countries.

If you are amenable to a more Alpine climate, I can thoroughly recommend Austria, if only by virtue of my own personal experience of holidaying there and having friends who live there.

Again, it is an EU member state so the same rules that apply to Spain would apply to Austria.

My friend Wendy and her Austrian partner Gretel lived and worked as school teachers in the south of England until their relationship became known and they were outed. Because of the hostility they faced, they decided to move to Gretel's native Austria to live and work where they have happily been since 2004.

We have visited them in Wien a number of times when we have gone to Austria to ski at Innsbruck. Wendy has nothing but good things to say about the country and they are happy. It does get very cold in the winters but the summers are mild, the economy is sound, the country is stable and as far as I know, the Austrian people bear no ill-will to Americans. It might be a good place to consider. Who knows..... if you did move there, we may all meet up one day for a weekend of skiing and perhaps a little Jagertee to warm us up. <wink>

I hope my posts help. I'm sorry if I don't know enough about specific questions, but I hope I give the impression that Europe is a very welcoming, stable, benign and friendly continent.

I wish you luck in finding somewhere nice to retire and if I can be of any more help, please feel free to ask.
Leon On about 9 hours ago




San Diego, California
#15New Post! Dec 13, 2020 @ 18:12:31
@Jennifer1984 Said

For sure, Scotland would have a difficult time establishing their country as a financially viable state, but ever was it thus so for any country becoming independent. It's nothing new and wouldn't come as any surprise.

In England, much is made of the amount of support that they draw from the British exchequer, but what is never mentioned is how much Scotland contributes to that exchequer in terms of tax revenues. It's always argued "Britain gives X to Scotland. How would they manage without that..?" Well, a big hunk of it would come from not having to contribute to the British economy for a start.

There is also forever the English argument that Scotland would lose all of it's north sea oil and gas revenues, and again there is a valid argument for saying that they would lose access to SOME of the oil and gas fields. But according to the London based National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), who conducted an evaluation of that very question, the revenues would have to be divided up according to The Geneva Agreement On Natural Resources Under The Sea. According to NIESR, Scotland would have a legal claim to 91% of the remaining revenues, so actually, it would be England who were the major losers.

And then there is fish. You only have to look at where the best fishing areas in the North Sea, and Atlantic around Scotland lie. And as an EU member state, that fish would be on sale to the EU, a market England will no longer have from January if there is no deal.

Scotland has a significant tourist industry, could revive its shipbuilding and steel industries and a significant part of Britain's electronics and technology industry is based in Scotland.

For sure, there would be lean years to start with, but with membership of the EU and access to the Single Market and Customs Union, there is no reason to believe that it could not be a viable economy in a relatively short space of time.

Should Northern Ireland integrate into the Republic, the whole island of Ireland would benefit from the heavy industry in the north that the south lacks. The north would become less reliant on mainland Britain for food and materials. It would be a mutually beneficial arrangement. By merging with the Republic, the north would automatically become a part of the EU and enjoy the benfits of that from the very start.

It has to be said that Scotland would have to meet all the EU conditions for joining and be subject to a vote, but the Scots are quite amenable to that and would be prepared to join the Euro, the Schengen area and pay their contribution. The Scottish people are overwhelmingly pro-Europe and are aware of what the obligations are.

One word of warning though.

The Scottish National Party (SNP) who govern Scotland are profoundly anti-nuclear and it has been their stated aim to remove all nuclear weapons from Scotland on independence from England.

The US nuclear missile submarine base at Holy Loch would be under threat of closure from the very start, as would the British base just down the coast at Faslane.

For England, this is a serious problem. If Faslane is closed, England has nowhere to base its nuclear missile submarines. The two major naval bases at Portsmouth and Devonport (Plymouth) are not deep enough for the subs to get in and out of, they do not have the infrastructure, the expertise or the security that Faslane has.

There is also the problem of public acceptance. Neither city would want these weapons on their doorstep. Putting them there would be guaranteed to meet with massive opposition. Remember back to the 1980's when USA put Pershing and Cruise missiles at Greenham Common in the south of England. The protests and civil unrest eventually caused them to be withdrawn.

To build a nuclear submarine base in England..... assuming they could overcome civil opposition.... the legal challenges alone could tie things up for ten years or more..... would cost hundreds of billions of pounds and take another five years on top of that to become operational.

Nobody says much about the future of Faslane, but it's a massive problem for England waiting to happen.

How USA would deal with Holy Loch is for them to decide. There would have to be one massive carrot on offer and even then I can't see the Scottish government going with it. You're gonna need another place to put your nukes.

There is one hell of a mess waiting to happen but the Scots seem happy to accept the consequences. It's difficult for me to explain in words, but in Scotland, the detestation of the English government goes so deep that any price is worth paying to be rid of it.

I’m sure the US, like they do everywhere, would be able to work out an agreement on where to set up base militarily, especially if Scotland is hungry financially. Take it as you will, for better or worse, and unfortunate as it may sound.

Regardless, I’m happy to hear Scotland would have a lot going for it to grow long term success independently. I would hate for things to deteriorate there, for personal reasons as much as non-personal, as part of my heritage is from there (as well as England, Wales, Northern and Southern Ireland, Germany, Denmark, France, and Norway ).

@Jennifer1984 Said

I'm not entirely sure whether the 90 day rule is of Spanish origin or is an EU regulation. I also think I didn't make it entirely clear that it applies to those expats who don't obtain dual nationality, but what we do know is that the noises coming from Spain are that a significant proportion of those who are now applying, won't.

I don't know what sort of agreement the USA has with the EU. Perhaps you could contact the Spanish Embassy and ask them. Any EU member state embassy would be able to supply the information for you. They all co-operate with each other and operate under the same rules.

The language barrier in Spain and Portugal isn't too difficult a hurdle to overcome because of the close connection those countries have had with Britain since Franco's dictatorship ended. Most Spaniards and Portuguese speak at least some English and they are very welcoming countries.

If you are amenable to a more Alpine climate, I can thoroughly recommend Austria, if only by virtue of my own personal experience of holidaying there and having friends who live there.

Again, it is an EU member state so the same rules that apply to Spain would apply to Austria.

My friend Wendy and her Austrian partner Gretel lived and worked as school teachers in the south of England until their relationship became known and they were outed. Because of the hostility they faced, they decided to move to Gretel's native Austria to live and work where they have happily been since 2004.

We have visited them in Wien a number of times when we have gone to Austria to ski at Innsbruck. Wendy has nothing but good things to say about the country and they are happy. It does get very cold in the winters but the summers are mild, the economy is sound, the country is stable and as far as I know, the Austrian people bear no ill-will to Americans. It might be a good place to consider. Who knows..... if you did move there, we may all meet up one day for a weekend of skiing and perhaps a little Jagertee to warm us up. <wink>

I hope my posts help. I'm sorry if I don't know enough about specific questions, but I hope I give the impression that Europe is a very welcoming, stable, benign and friendly continent.

I wish you luck in finding somewhere nice to retire and if I can be of any more help, please feel free to ask.


Thanks. I looked it up, as I was curious. It looks like, for the most part, the 90 day within 180 day rule would apply to Americans as well, as with all foreigners, so that would limit options. Yes, there are a few exceptions with US agreements with individual countries, such as those with France, Portugal, and Italy, but most of those just extend the period and don’t allow for permanency either.

Oh well, I guess we’d just be travelers then.
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