I’m so American, I can’t even tell if this British speech is parody

Here is the story, the speech appears in a box in the corner:

Brexiteer Tory MP has urged the government to let his dogs keep their freedom of movement rights after Britain leaves the EU.

Bob Stewart, the MP for Beckenham, said his “French-speaking” hounds crossed the Channel regularly on their EU “pet passports”.

Millions of Britons are set to lose the ability to live and work freely on the continent at the end of the year as a result of the UK’s departure from the bloc.

I am an advocate of canine cosmopolitanism, rather than canine nationalism.  Is everyone?

Speaking in French, Mr Gove added: “We always defend the rights of dogs.”

Is that true?  Under the previous pre-Brexit regime, a pet passport was sufficient.  But now:

Under the worst case-scenario of a no-deal Brexit, taking a pet to the EU will likely require a four-month advanced process that includes microchipping, a rabies vaccination, a blood test and a three-month wait to travel after the blood test.

Developing…

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Before 2012 the UK had much stricter rules on pets arriving from abroad (see e.g. https://www.dfordog.co.uk/blog/pet-travel-rules-2012.html). These rules, and the fact the Britain is an Island, meant that rabies was almost unknown in the UK at a time when it was still a concern in France. More generally, apparently pettifogging rules on biosecurity reduce the risk of damage to agriculture from the introduction of disease.

Damage to agriculture - by importation of disease or by competition? There is a real question about whether the West generally imposes unrealistic quarantine regulations to keep out the competition. It is probably true of foot and mouth where a cow that has been vaccinated is automatically excluded because no one has bothered to develop a test that distinguishes between those that have it and those that just have the antibodies.

The thing to look for will be horses. Horse racing takes place on both sides of the channel - and the Gulf Arabs are keen these days. The more horses take part in racing, the better the racing is. The opposite of the beef market (for the producers anyway). So will there still be free movement of horses across the Channel? I am willing to bet they will, miraculously, find no scientific reason to stop them.

The Asian long-horned beetle was introduced to North America from East Asia in the mid-90s by burrowing into wood that was used to make shipping pallets that were used in international shipping. Yes, invasive species that are transported across shipping routes are a problem and have been for centuries.

Naturally, rules designed to prevent the introduction of invasive species have a tendency to be captured by special interests and used to squelch competition, just like every other rule. We live in an imperfect world.

I am willing to bet that the steps taken to prevent the introduction of this or other similar pests since this one, have been roughly zero.

Globalization demands sacrifices. Sacrifices that governments are usually happy to make. When they don't, it is suspicious - and likely to be a sign of a powerful domestic lobby looking for protection.

Not from The Onion by Tyler Cowen February 27, 2019 at 12:52 am

The UK government is due to hold emergency talks with industry leaders on Tuesday after discovering that the country doesn’t have the right pallets to continue exporting goods to the European Union if it leaves without a deal next month.

Under strict EU rules, pallets — wooden structures that companies use to transport large volumes of goods — arriving from non-member states are required to meet a series of checks and standards.

Wood pallets must be heat-treated or cleaned to prevent contamination and the spread of pests, and have specific markings to confirm that they legal in EU markets.

Most pallets that British exporters are using do not conform to these rules for non-EU countries, or “third countries,” as EU member states follow a much more relaxed set of regulations.

I am also sure that facts make zero difference to you.

The fact you just linked shows how 'biosecurity' regulations are all too often just anti-competition in a guise.

The fact that the EU says that extra steps must be taken for pallets from non-EU countries is necessary to protect the EU but they're not necessary to protect EU countries from other EU countries - despite the EU covering all the way down into Greece - is just evidence that the EU doesn't really think the biosecurity is necessary but its a convenient excuse to pile a cost up on non-EU imports, giving EU products a leg up.

Its not about stopping the importation of pests - Europe is not one homogeneous ecology.

No, but it is a contiguous landmass which means the problem of invasive species is not as severe as it is for islands or for intercontinental trade. Greece, of course, has been trading along the Mediterranean coast for thousands of years and is probably a minimal threat for the introduction of new invasive species.

Hawaii, on the other hand, regulates what you can bring in even from the mainland U.S. due to its vulnerable island ecology.

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When I was in Australia a few years back, we crossed state lines and were warned about a potato quarantine. No potato shall pass. (Crisps were OK). We even ran into a soapy foot wash on a coastal hiking trail to wipe potato germs off of our boots.

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Humans didn't even freedom of movement in the continent one month ago. As A.G. McDowell says, it is about keeping the U.K. rabies-free by quarantining animals arriving from other countries.

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Yes, unfortunately this is a completely serious example of British exceptionalism combined with the eccentric love for their dogs. Here there is nothing problematic in demanding that a pet retains the right for freedom of movement whilst people lose theirs...

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As obvious as a dog humping your leg.

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My best bet: not a parody at all. Dogs are underrated as a meta-partisan topic. I truly don't think it's just me.

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For many brexiters, leaving the eu means keeping all of the rights of membership, but none of the obligations. Diring the referendum, any objection to that idea was dismissed.

Actually no. For many Brexiters, they were and are classically liberal in their approach. So they think of trade as something both sides benefit from. There is no reason why the French should cut off exports of their cheese in order to spite British lamb producers.

But for the supporters of the EU, trade across borders is kind of dirty and disgusting. Not in a good way either. It is something to be kept to a minimum, strictly for unavoidable purposes only, which neither side enjoys but has to suffer for the sake of the Party.

It is not unreasonable to think that if the French want to continue to buy British fish, they could consider making trade as easy as possible.

The rights of EU citizenship are what the British are losing. Dogs have nothing to do with trade, in the same fashion that having health or vehicle insurance as an EU citizen throughout the EU is about trade. British citizens are about to be treated as if they were not also EU citizens - it is about much more than trade, even in the abstract sense,

This is correct. The EU is a package of rights and obligations. The UK is moving towards a reduced rights and reduced obligations situation. I can't comment on if the overall package is right for most EU members, but for me the UK's move makes sense. The EU bundle only really makes sense if most people in a nation feel its democratic processes work for them, and if there's broad consent for the package-making process. Many UK citizens, for whatever reason, didn't feel this way. Therefore the obligations seemed relatively more onerous than the resulting benefits.

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At this point, the Brexiters don't care anymore what happens, as long as they can declare they are free from Brussels.

I seem to recall that by now the UK was supposed to be starving and beset on its borders by murderous Irishmen. You wrote vast testaments about myriad regulatory incompatibilities that were going to grind the British economy to a halt, exactly none of which came to pass. I think the Leavers are justified at this point in discounting everything they hear from the Remainers as trolling and politically-motivated nonsense.

We are still in the phoney war period so I will not berate brexiteers for the non-arrival of the sunny uplands

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'exactly none of which came to pass'

Which considering that the UK will not actually be out of the common market before Jan. 1, 2021 at the earliest (and this time, for real, the UK government will really, really finally be gone, cross their heart and hope to die), this is no surprise to anyone actually aware of what is happening. "The UK has left the EU and is now in a transition period, before new rules come into place from 1 January 2021.

There will be new rules in many areas. For example, if you have a business, travel to Europe or sell your goods abroad.

Preparing your business
From 1 January 2021 you will need to make customs declarations to move goods into and out of the EU. You should:" www.gov.uk/transition

Let us know how things look in February 2021, won't you?

Be fair. The direst of events, including the economy collapsing, were supposed to happen fairly soon after the polls indicating a Brexit victory closed. They didn’t.

That's not actually fair. All the serious predictions were made for 2030, i.e. they assessed the long-term loss of competitiveness due to decoupling from the EU, roughly 15 years out (data at the referendum ended in 2015). Some outfits, like the IMF, tentatively projected loss of potential GDP out as close by as 5 years after Brexit actually happened (i.e. by now that's 2026).
Only the Treasury was forced to come up with more detailed and inherently nonsensical projections for a shorter timeline. Which Osborne then hyped up even further.
The brexiters seized on Osborne's nonsense to discredit the whole lot, which is unfair.

In reality, the UK's performance is already 2% to 3% down from its expected potential. That's an annual cost of 40 to 60 billion in lost GDP, and Brexit hasn't happened yet.

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But they haven't left.

Brussels has spent billions preparing to impose customs controls on goods from the UK, plus putting in parking for the long backups from the UK customs being overwhelmed.

Maybe Boris will just open the borders to everything in trucks and containers while the EU checks and taxes everything from the UK, but the voters voting for Brexit didn't travel outside the UK, but lost their jobs from all the imports from the EU.

There are other places to import from. There's a whole world out there.

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The regulations also apply to ferrets

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Conflating "freedom of movement rights" with visa free travel is pretty American of you, Tyler.

Brexiteers have never suggested imposing visa controls on short term travel <6 months in either direction for people. Removing FoM is about removing the right to work in Britain and live on a long term basis, without a visa. Just as they are not imposed on Japan, developed former commonwealth nations, the US and Australia, etc.

Similarly, on the EU side, there is never really any talk of short term travel visas on post-EU Brits. Macron for one described this as a fantasy. Just as, again the EU does for developed nations outside the EU. It's not a one sided wish that Brexiteers are asking for, inconsistent with the non-EU member status.

"Dog passports" is arguably a more consistent position with enabling visa-free short term travel and tourism than the absence of them.

The Indy had the excuse of being a rabid Remain rag here, TC, but you're more sophisticated surely than to accept their base pleasing or frightening dreck.

What's really weird for me is how the US debate about illegal immigration gets conflated with UK debates about legal immigration regimes.

Support for illegal migration is very small in the UK. The debate is around the legal migration regime, and only because for a long time a large portion of it was not amenable to UK legislation.

Some of that conflation is the responsibility of the Brexiteers, who tried to falsely imply that EU membership meant the U.K. was somehow being forced to be open to immigration from the Middle East and refugees from Syria.

Worse yet, I saw the argument that Brexit was not going to be disruptive because the U.K. could always negotiate a Norway-style relationship with the EU, without acknowledging that Norway's agreement with the EU included freedom of movement and an acceptance of most EU regulations.

Then, you add the unique status of Northern Ireland on top of this and how could it not be a cluster****?

I think there was one poster by Farage's subgroup of Leave campaigners, which is making a little into very much.

Even then, what was really associated to it was that EU membership effectively ties together European and British immigration policy; The idea that should "Frau Merkel" welcome refugees in their millions and then grant them citizenship, a good sized proportion of them will probably migrate on to the most cosmopolitan parts of the "European Empire". Which is going to be more likely to be Southern England than it is Poland.

I think it's a bit overdone, but certainly you do see quite a big uptick in Syrians who are very recently German using the Freedom of Movement to settle in the UK and the like. So it's not crazy or purely imaginary.

On "Brexiter heterogenity", some did argue genuinely that EEA member status was the right move. It's less of a change of stance than heterogenity among pro-Leave groups, just as there is heterogenity among pro-Remain groups...

Please read about the conditions for obtaining the German citizenship.
If some immigrant goes through all that, you should be happy to accept him as an immigrant after 10 years.

Well, no, it's not really a guarantee of character.

A member of Sinn Fein who is a citizen of the Republic of Ireland retains the right to live and work in the UK after Brexit. Cheers. Or tiocfaidh ár lá, as the case may be.

Once again: prior, get psychological help.

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Strictly speaking though, yes, the filter through of chain migration of refugees dispersing through Europe is not so much from the Syrian conflict as generally too recent for full citizenship rights, but earlier conflicts and some extent chain marriage.

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", who tried to falsely imply that EU membership meant the U.K. was somehow being forced to be open to immigration from the Middle East and refugees from Syria."

How is it not? It is my understanding that once you are an EU citizen then you are free to move *and settle and work* anywhere inside the Treaty Zone. So as a ME immigrant, all you need to do is find an accommodating EU country (such as, say, France or Germany), get permission to immigrate there (or be taken in as a refugee), and then get them to offer you French or German citizenship. Bam, the whole EU is now available to you.

". . .meant that the UK was somehow being forced to be open to immigration from the Middle East and refugees from Syria"

Wasn't there just on 2 April a ruling by the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union saying that Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic have failed to fulfill their obligations under European Union law by refusing to "comply with the temporary mechanism for the relocation of applicants for international protection"

How would the case of the UK be any different than those countries if they said the same as Poland, et. al.?

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"What's really weird for me is how the US debate about illegal immigration gets conflated with UK debates about legal immigration regimes."

in the u.s., the elite harvard leftist sociologists deliberately conflate illegal immigration with legal immigration as a strategy. most of the media has self censored the words "illegal" and "undocumented"
in the u.s. if one uses the word illegal next to the word immigrant the leftist shaming cultists will start shrieking shaming and canceling.

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If Americans and Australians have the right to work in the UK visa-free for 6 months, why is my passport stamped in multiple places with "Leave to enter for 90 days, work and recourse to public funds prohibited"?

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As an Englishman, I can inform you that it's not parody- he's concerned with the issue, but feels able to make jokes like 'French-speaking dogs', because he's addressing a member of his own party. Questions by ruling party members in parliament are often used to 'set up' a speech by the PM/ person taking questions, and are generally congenial and non-confrontational.

'French-speaking dogs' may even have involved an allusion to the old joke about why you must never buy a collie from a Welshman.

It's my impression that Americans generally have no idea - why should they? - of the extent to which conversation in these islands is a game of allusions, jokes, and irony.

The earnestness of American conversation was perfectly bearable in the days when Americans spoke a good, terse English of their own. Now that they speak wordy management bullshit and woke drivel it must be very hard to listen to them.

ok, we will bite
why should one never buy a collie from a welshman

Because it will only speak Welsh.

not a very impactful joke
are you sure that wasn't an illusion of a joke

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It's my impression that Americans generally have no idea - why should they? - of the extent to which conversation in these islands is a game of allusions, jokes, and irony.

Evidently Mr. Dearieme fancies no one across the pond makes allusions or makes jokes, or speaks with irony.

Oh I know they sometimes make allusions because they seem to feel compelled to explain them to you.

well then
the m.p. fellas dog speech would probably meet our higher american standards for parody because he sounds a lotta like John Cleese

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As Dzlodzaya says, not parody. Rather, a light and rather English way of making a more serious point. English dogs going to the Continent has never been much of a problem. But as an island, and long rabies free, Britain long had restrictions upon dogs - any animal that can carry rabies actually - coming the other way. The decline of rabies as an edamic disease, better vaccines and so on, mean that it's possible to gain that "pet passport" to show that it's vaccinated and so gains free movement.

But, of course, the paperwork for this is subsumed in all the other agreements with the EU. No one's quite got around to sorting it out as yet. And it's really a domestic UK issue anyway.

As to "free movement" in the other sense, no one is about to insist upon visas to visit either way. It's the "right" to live and work that is under discussion. The difference between a visa and a work permit that is. Noth can be described as free movement but only the second is "free movement" when discussing Brexit.

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Maybe constituent research showed a majority of pet owners.

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I'm old enough to remember how freely I travelled around on the Continent before we joined the Common Market, as it then was. I vividly remember entering Switzerland and not even being asked to show my passport. I remember as an under-18 entering Belgium and Germany using a mere Identity Card.

In the referendum campaign Remainers tried to hoodwink the young with yarns about how hard it had been to wander the Continent and how it would be again in the future if they voted Leave. The young, being gormless, probably fell for it.

Fortunately after Brexit you will once again be able to wander across the country without even having to bother with a passport! O, wait...

https://www.etiasvisa.com/

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The old fell for fear of Poles and Turks. Now go back to protecting statues.

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Taking a dog across national borders generally does (or did, I haven't checked in recent years) involve a lot of paperwork attesting to vaccinations and test results. I hadn't realized that the EU had created those dog passports but one can imagine it makes sense to do so -- and with Brexit, it becomes yet another one of those details that need to be hammered out.

We had a local veterinarian smuggle in a few rabid puppies from Thailand. No one was really happy about it.

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What's even more hilarious is that white MP getting involved in America's stupid cultural wars by taking a knee.

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>microchipping, a rabies vaccination, a blood test and a three-month wait to travel after the blood test.

/Yawn. A good dog owner had already done the first two, and does the 3rd regularly anyway.

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