609. The LEP MeetUp in London / Brexit / Talking to my Daughter

Here’s an end-of-summer ramble, including details of what happened at the LEP meetup in London in July and some recordings of LEPsters who attended the event. There’s also talk of Brexit and some interviews with my daughter who is beginning to speak.

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Episode Notes and Transcriptions

The world appears to be burning

No-deal Brexit

Hello, Luke. I’ve got a question related to the latest podcast. What is the word combination that appears from time to time and sounds like NO DEAL? What does leaving the EU ‘without a deal’ mean?

 

To explain the whole ‘no deal Brexit’ thing:
The EU is our largest trading zone. Most of our stuff is bought and sold there. It’s an extremely beneficial position to be able to trade freely, help create laws, be part of close collaboration, be a gateway to investment and so on. Leaving that union would mean cutting ties and access to the market without any defined terms in an agreement. The UK would end up paying extremely high export tariffs while low import tariffs would allow our market to become flooded. That’s the way it would be set out in WTO terms.
The UK would face losing access to its biggest marketplace while having to create new agreements with other markets from scratch. International trading agreements take years to put together and within the EU we are in a much more advantageous position for creating trade deals with other countries while working as a bloc.
But with no deal in place for things like trade, customs, tariffs, security and so on, the UK would be in a weaker position I think.
Leaving with no deal would also bring up the Northern Ireland problem because it would create a hard border on the island of Ireland. We are very aware from recent history how things can flare up badly in that region when there are border posts.
Leaving the EU with a deal is something that has been made possible due to several years of negotiating with the EU for a withdrawal agreement, which would mean a total withdrawal from the union – no MEPs or other officials taking part in lawmaking, not being subject to standard EU laws, but would also include details for things like access to the single market or the customs union. There is the shaky Northern Ireland backstop which would put northern Ireland somehow in the customs union, with a border in the sea between Britain and Ireland.
So, basically, leaving with a deal means leaving the legal framework of the EU, but making an agreement setting out terms for membership of the single market or customs union like the Norway model.
But leaving with no deal would mean having no agreements in place with our nearest and largest marketplace for both goods and services.

Weekend in London

Music

LEP Meetup

Questions from the Meetup

Pick a question, answer it, then say anything else you want for 2 to 3 minutes.

Which of these would you choose?

  • To be able to grow plants faster and better than anyone else
  • or to be able to fly

Which of these would you choose?

  • To be one of the best stage musicians
  • To be the world’s videogame champion

Which of these would you choose?

  • To be the strongest person in the world
  • To write the funniest play ever

What would you miss more if it ceased to exist?

  • Live concerts
  • Role playing games

Whom do you consider worse?

  • Those who get drunk to avoid dealing with their problems

Which of these would you choose?

  • To never need to use the toilet
  • To be the best football player in the world

Which of these would you choose?

  • To invent faster-than-light travel
  • To conclusively prove the existence or non-existence of god

What do you consider worse?

  • Destroying posters put up by rival political parties
  • Trolling a forum where people want to discuss their hobby

What would you miss more if it ceased to exist?

  • Bicycles
  • Television series

Which of these would you choose?

  • To be the richest person in the world
  • To write the best-selling novel of all time

Which of these would you choose?

  • To be able to read wifi signals with your mind
  • to discover something that extends life expectancy by one year

Which of these would you choose?

  • To age half as fast from now on
  • To need no food or drink

Whom do you consider worse?

  • Someone who offers a cigarette to a friend who has just quit smoking
  • Someone who knows a friend’s spouse is cheating on him but doesn’t say

Whom do you consider worse?

  • Someone who claims anything they don’t understand is stupid nonsense
  • Someone who steals a handful of coins from a blind pan-handler

Which of these would you choose?

  • To write the most beautiful song ever sung
  • To be the fastest runner in the world

Which of these would you choose?

  • To be able to read minds
  • To be able to comfort anyone sad

What would you miss more if it ceased to exist?

  • Hot showers and baths
  • Comic books

Which of these would you choose?

  • To be the best martial artist in the world
  • To have a pet unicorn

Which of these would you choose?

  • To be able to instantly sober up when you want
  • To be able to see any map you want in your mind’s eye

Which of these would you choose?

  • To be able to see through the eyes of any nearby animal
  • To be able to play any musical instrument perfectly

Meetups

What you can do, how you can organise them (set up an event, let me know about it and I’ll give you some publicity. Choose a place with space where you can perhaps get a drink, bring some board games or question points, speak and relax!) The LEP Meetup page on the website. Exchange ideas and contact details. Check in every now and then.

My daughter’s English

Photos and Videos from the LEP MeetUp

There’s a video as the bonus file in the app for this episode