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03 June 2019

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joanna

I am sorry Pat, no doubt a perfectly planned part of the regal protocol.

I'll try to behave.

turcopolier

joanna

Don't you understand human spontaneity at all?

John Bald

Company Sergeant-major rather than RSM, but agree that it was nice.

turcopolier

Another Baldy - Thanks. So, I guess a company sergeant major is an OR-2? As you may know US Army,Navy and USMC have warrant officers but if I am current they mess and are quartered with the officers when they are above WO-1. A CWO-5 is paid I think at the level of a field officer.

Joseph Moroco

He hasn't started a war as dumb as the one Bush-Cheney gave us. Gravitas ain't everything.

English Outsider

Colonel - thank you for putting up that video. A hearty welcome to your President!

English Outsider

Don't be so sure. We may decide to keep him.

English Outsider

Begob - that's the mistake I made at first. To think of the affair as no more than a trade deal.

It doesn't work like that. Trade integration within the EU is not comparable to a normal trading relationship. It is integration within a network of rules that do facilitate trade, but that also keep those inside that network locked in.

As we in the UK are finding, it is difficult to stay locked in within that trading network without also becoming politically locked in. Since the aim of the EU is "ever closer union" this means that those who join it for the convenience and benefits of trading within that network gradually find themselves absorbed.

It is as if Canada were to enter into into a close trading relationship with the USA and were then to find that decisions hitherto made in Ottowa were increasingly made in Washington. Maybe that would suit the Canadians. Maybe it wouldn't. If it didn't suit them the Canadians would have a devil of a job getting free of Washington politically were the USA to use the trading links to keep it locked in.

So it's better to think of Brexit as an odd sort of war of independence, but one in which the weapon is trade, not guns.

If you think of it as a struggle for independence then the whole becomes easier to understand. And in fact the closest parallel I know is the Irish struggle for independence, though there it was guns not trade that finally settled the matter.

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