Sunday, 12 March 2017

Forward planning?

When I was working as a teacher in a sixth form college I had to make plans. Formal lesson plans for individual lessons only needed to be submitted of observations and inspections were taking place but schemes of work for the year had to be in place and subject leaders were expected to give five year development plans to their head of department. So why, I wonder, is there such a lack of planning for what the country will do after Brexit?

Political parties produce manifestos but these are not the same thing as specific, concrete plans. We have all heard the ambitious list of things that Donald Trump promises to get done but, once again, that list is not really a plan of how he intends to do it all.

And so we stagger along, with the letter of withdrawal, article 50, probably being signed this week and no real idea of what happens afterwards.

Meanwhile, here are a couple more quotes from the Forum for EU Citizens:

"I think it's safe to say that the moods amongst Europeans have shifted from ' please,please, let us stay' to actually ' fuck it,stuff it,enough is enough, we won't be beggars,we got our pride,we got where to go, see how well you do without us,see who'll have the last laugh', as this been dragging on for too long and upsetting too many. How long is a peace of string?"

"I just heard that a Dutch citizen who has lived and worked in the U.K. for over 40 years has been advised by the Dutch embassy that, if he is told to leave, they will require him to be fully compensated for any financial loss, fully reimbursed for all the NI he has paid and all of his expenses paid. In his case this will be about £500k. If this applies to all EU nationals, it will be quite a hefty bill. Worth bearing this in mind."

Also, I was reading about the Pret a Manger chain of restaurants ... no, not really restaurants, more food outlets, cafes or even what used to be called snack bars. Anyway, whatever they are, they employ a lot of EU nationals in their places in the UK. This despite being rather better employers than other similar places. Still not the best place in the world to work but better than some.

They would really like to employ more UK nationals but very few apply. One of their employees said that the British find the work too hard and leave after a few weeks, probably at the point where they are about to learn how to make a coffee really quickly and deal with a rapid turnover of costumers. So it goes.

It's not just Pret though. Huge numbers of employers in the hotel and catering industry say that they would find it really hard to replace the EU nationals who work for them. If they managed it, the replacement employees might not be so highly qualified; there are economics graduates and other quite highly educated people among those employees.

People in the know reckon it could take about ten years to sort out that bit of employment anomaly. And by then, if Jean Claude Juncker's predictions are correct, we might well be applying to rejoin the EU in some form or other.

Just another of life's little ironies!

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