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About alexunterwegs

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  • Location Hamburg
  • Nationality British
  1. Brexit: The fallout

      Its still probably too early for it to have sinked in as to the damage Brexit is doing. A lot will be camouflaged by the Covid damage. Meanwhile the hopelessly over-promoted Liz Truss is proud of doing trade deals with the likes of Colombia and for ever talking up one with Australia, but the truth is, this is small fry compared to a trade deal with Europe, our natural geographical market. Also, I still can't believe that the UK with an eighth the market size of the EU, will have the clout at the negotiating table to impress Biden or the Chinese compared to being part of the EU.   Also, hardly any British will have yet been confronted with the hassles at EU border checkpoints and the new restrictions. Boris is profiting from the vaccine roll out in the UK for the time being, but the tide will start turning when the home truths about his Trade deal start being felt. What we're seeing in Jersey and Northern Ireland is just the thin end of the wedge. 
  2. Brexit: The fallout

     I can agree with a lot of that, but the fact it wasn't binding, and was subject to politicians' interpretation, means the result loses a lot of its legitimacy.  Both legal and moral. If it had spelt out more precisely that it meant leaving the Single Market and CU,  it would have prevented a lot of Brexit politicians talking up the Norway option or stating of course they didn't want to be outside the Single Market.  Also, it would probably have meant people such as myself would have to shut up.    However it was left deliberately vague, and so the issue of how close should the EU-UK relationship be, is still open. This gives a legitimacy for Westminster parties to make it an issue, although so far the Lib Dems or Labour under Starmer seem reluctant. Whilst full EU membership is realistically no longer politically feasible, a new Government could still legitimately re-negotiate the trade deal, so that  most of the restrictions being experienced by UK traders and travellers through EU borders would be removed. And the current Northern Ireland difficulties would be resolved. If a new UK Government were prepared to give EU nationals some special status, then it would also be in the EU's interests to re-open the Trade and Withdrawal Agreements.      
  3. Brexit: The fallout

      That was the argument at the time, that Norway had to agree to certain trade laws from the EU without an input. I have some sympathy for that, but what does 'taking back control' mean in practice? Negotiating more advantageous trade deals with the clout of an economy about an  eighth the size of the EU? Trading with our largest trade partner whilst being subject to piles of extra bureaucracy and redtape? I think that in the coming months, after Covid has faded somewhat,  it will become increasingly clear how little control really is left for a country which relies on trade.   No doubt the ideal world in some people's minds is an island totally self-sufficient with no foreign interference, but its not the real world.    
  4. Brexit: The fallout

      Why wouldn't you take what is says on the ballot paper literally? What happened is that the hardcore Brexiteers interpreted the result to mean leaving the Single Market which was always on their agenda.    Clearly some of the Brexit voters did so to stop EU migration, but only a proportion of the 52% that voted Out.  In fact I've seen surveys showing the sentiment against EU migration was not clearcut. Certainly, when I was working in London and south Bucks I never met anyone who showed hostility to EU migrants. I know there are stories from where large clusters of them were living, about sponging off benefits or taking housing and jobs in short supply, but these were localised hotspots. People like Farage and the Brexit press hyped all these stories up.  Its debateable whether May would have tried to keep us in the Single Market. I think she would, but Boris driven by the Brexit fanatics, never gave that a serious chance.     
  5. Brexit: The fallout

      The Referendum was about membership of the EU, yes or no, not the Single Market. If it had meant the Single Market it would have said so on the ballot paper. I remember a number of Brexit politicians praising the virtues of Norway's arrangement, as an alternative, prior to the vote.  Norway is clearly not in the EU, but it has uncomplicated access to its market, so they won't have all the hassles we hear about for exporters and travellers at the Channel ports. And we haven't even reached a new tourist season yet. As for freedom of movement, I think that was overhyped by the Brexit press. I'm not aware of any studies showing EU migrants had anything but a positive effect on the UK economy. . 
  6. Brexit: The fallout

    Another argument that the UK should have negotiated a Deal similar to Norway's or Switzerland, ie inside the Single Market.  Even if you accept the Referendum result, there was absolutely no mandate to leave the Single Market. That is 100% and entirely down to what Boris and his pals negotiated on our behalf.    So ironic after all the fuss made by the usual suspects about having sovereignty over 'our fish'.  Even when it was pointed out that fishing accounted for 0.05% or whatever of the UK's GDP, (with financial services being ignored),  they couldn't even get it right for the fishing industry.    BTW, while we're on the subject, the UK Trade and Business Commission, is currently looking for anyone able to give evidence about how the UK-EU Trade Agreement is working in practice. Mainly looking for people whose business's are affected, but also open for private individuals with first hand experience to comment.
  7. Coronavirus

      Oh well, I've done the deed and had my inspection, but not until I 'd asked the dentist and her assistant to confirm when they had their jabs. More than 14 days ago was good enough for me.  But I should have perhaps asked about ventilation policy and didn't really think about  previous patients' aerosoles. Smallish room with all windows shut, not good.    BTW, didn't turn out to be an abscess anyway!  Thanks anyway for the comments.    
  8. Coronavirus

      I think the disinfecting and waiting room arrangements are relatively straight forward. Its just getting round the conundrum of having your mouth wide open in front of a potentially infectious dentist.   But which is worse. The effects from an abscess or Corona?        
  9. Coronavirus

    Anyone visited a dentist since the pandemic?  Although they should carry through all the hygiene measures , wear FFP2 masks etc., I don't believe there is any requirement for dentists or assistants to have the vaccine.    I've booked an appointment for tomorrow for someone to have a look at an abscess, but prior to that, I shall be asking if they've had the jab, and when.  And if the answer is no or the jab was less than 14 days ago, I'll be turning on my heels.  For me, it would be pretty unnerving sitting on a chair without a mask with your mouth open and being looked at from a range of less than a metre, not knowing if the dentist can transmit the virus.  
  10. Coronavirus

    Don't want to get too off-topic, but most of Germany would rather have had Soeder than Laschet as potential next Chanellor. By a margin of about 3 to 1. 
  11. Coronavirus

    As a 60+ person, I'm hoping that we get a choice of vaccine fairly soon. Astra is a good vaccine, but the data seems to show BionTech offers slightly better protection. Its obvious the German authorities are trying to use up those Astra supplies available,  but I'd just feel more comfortable having BioNtech as it seems slightly more adaptible to the newer mutations.  Here in Hamburg,  there was a slim chance of getting Astra this week, though the appointments were quickly snapped up. Just difficult knowing when the BioNtech is going to come on stream in larger quanities. Apparently their new factory in Marburg has started producing, so you'd hope we will be offered it in the next couple of months.      
  12. Coronavirus

    Hope nobody actually gets infected in the process of getting the jabs. There are large numbers of people gathering in enclosed spaces, some of whom are likely to be carriers, even if asymptonatic. And its not as if you can turn on your heels and leave afterwards, you have to wait for 15 minutes to see if there are side effects. My instinct will be to just get out of the place after I've had my jab.  A bit like those stories you hear about of people who got killed on the last day of the war!  
  13. Brexit: The fallout

      Yes, the Single Market is about free movement of people as it is about freeing up the movement of goods, services and capital.  The idea is people move to where the jobs are, so its a genuine market.  I still don't see what the problem with it is. If the worry is that migrants are a burden on the state, there are rules to prevent people just turning up and signing on for benefits.  
  14. Brexit: The fallout

    In a nutshell, I think the N. Ireland 'problem'  is due to there being a Hard Brexit i.e. coming out of the Single Market and the customs union.  If the UK had stayed in both, as was suggested by various Brexiteers in the Referendum, then all the issues about where to have the border between the 2 customs regimes would not have arisen. If the UK is out of both, then there has to be a border somewhere.    Whatever you think of Boris and his pals, they are not stupid, so they must have taken a calculated risk. Boris' big priority was to Get Brexit Done. That's what got him his majority. Why the DUP went along with the NI arrangements is a mystery to me. Can only assume Boris or his pals convinced them it would work out fine. Its being unnecessarily provocative to talk about Brexit voters having blood on their hands. The NI issue was just not very high on their agenda, and they probably thought it was all part of 'project fear', such is how the Brexit media manipulated the debate.     No doubt the Government will end up blaming the EU for the current situation (they have nowhere else to go), but ultimately there are only 2 ways the fundamental problem can be solved.  Either the Republic leaves the EU (which some Brexiteers are cheeky enough to suggest), or the UK re-negotiates to stay in the Single Market and customs union, similar to Switzerland or Norway. The latter would be entirely consistent with the Referendum result, although Brexiteers are probably not honest enough to admit it.         
  15. Coronavirus

      I'm hoping for the Biontech jab too, even though as a 60'er I'm supposed to have the Astra one.  As the rules are today.   I phoned up my GP in Hamburg last week, and was told try again in May.    I could just get the Astra jab, but have a feeling its going to get a lot easier to choose in maybe 1-2 months time.  It must depend on when BionTech are seriously ready to deliver in bulk.  They have just opened a new factory in Marburg.  In the meantime new studies are being researched, and we should soon have more information on which vaccines can combat the latest mutations easier.