How many British citizens will likely lose their jobs in European Union institutions & agencies because of Brexit?

‘How many British citizens will likely lose their jobs in European Union institutions & agencies because of Brexit?’ via @whatdotheyknow
Latest request to @DExEUgov
Will they be able to answer this one? (a first)

It seems clear that our Farage / Boris Conservative Party politicians, and the 43.5% that voted for them do not care about the effect of leaving the EU on British citizens who live or work in Europe and want to be able to continue having the freedom to do so. Here are my latest questions to the Quitters and Quislings’ thankless department, the poor slaves of the Department for Exiting the European Union.

An encounter with non-European wide standardisation & regulation.

So all this European standardisation that is forced on us :-). In the UK if I apply for a refund from a company on my card, physically or online, they automotically make the refund. From a French company – a form, two pieces of paperwork, & up to 28 days for them to make the refund of €48 which was charged by their mistake. (Ignoring the several phone calls & emails to work out the system & why they needed the paperwork, which was mainly down to my lack of French).

And Regular reminder, all that health & safety ‘from Europe’. In Northern Ireland (surprisingly), the Republic of Ireland (the bit further north), Spain & France Aug – Nov none of the British health & safety culture. I appreciate our and EU health & safety when I see the shocking absence of it in non-EU countries. But maybe again it’s the UK not the EU responsible for over cautious bureaucracy. And each of those countries I visited were distinctively (Northern) Irish, Spanish and French, very different from England and Wales. No sign of being merged into a European culture

A few snippets for international election observers at the UK election.

Next week a few international independent election observers, and a small number of British ones, will observe the UK General Election. I shared a few points that I thought might be of interest for – lighthearted or serious – background with the team from SDAI, Sustainable Development Assistance International – Aidde International Developpment Durable.
“SDAI-AIDD is a small, independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization (NGO), based in eastern Canada.”

I post some of the points here for easy reading.
At the end I add links explaining the role of tellers – party supporters who sit outside polling stations and ask voters if they have voted. These are not common in other countries I have visited for elections. Those countries also have a 24 hour campaign silence period before E-Day to allow voters peaceful reflection, which we do not have in the UK.

1). Matt election cartoons in the Daily Telegraph.

2). An example of election local news coverage from one constituency – Wrexham.

3). Last minute Voter registration rush.

4). Facebook ads, the BBC and the digital campaign.

5). The role of tellers at polling stations.

Hello everyone,

I look forward to seeing some of you next week and also meeting a few of the team for the first time.

1). I thought you might like the Matt cartoon that I saw on the front page of my Mum’s Daily Telegraph. It’s a very biased Conservative paper (not a tabloid though with as much gossip and scandal, as well as ‘Society’ and business news) but the cartoons are very good

You will probably need to register for a free account to view the links.

2). In addition, while looking at another news story entirely I happened upon an advert for the election coverage by one local news site. I just thought it was a good example of localised election candidate and constituency information, in a public service type way.

This is just for two constituencies around one town, Wrexham, in North West Wales, so gives you a little local picture.

3). As you may know, the UK does not have automatic and continuous election registration. Before each election there is a rush to encourage people to register to vote. Many who want to vote miss the deadline – which is earlier than in the Eastern European countries that I’ve visited on EOMs.
This year more people registered on the last day than ever before. There was much coverage of this on Twitter. E.g. this tweet from the Electoral Reform Society highlights how 1 million more people registered during the election period this time than last time:

2.8m applications to #RegisterToVote since the election was called.

On November 25 they wrote:
There were an estimated 9m missing from the electoral roll as of December 2018 – so there’s still a long way to go to close the gap.

Tuesday is the last day to register before the election – deadline MIDNIGHT. Keep spreading the word #RegisterToVote

4). I’m also attaching a scan from the New European newspaper, from the end of August, which is the only article that I’ve seen before the election analysising the political parties’ spend on social media. This election the BBC is doing a lot of work analysing the digital campaign, more than before. See:

and some more information below.

I’ll also pop these links in the OSCE election observers Facebook group that many of us belong to.

Best wishes,

Kiron, Liverpool.

PS you can set many of the Matt cartoons here:

Unsurprisingly many of the recent ones are political and I don’t think you need to be British to get the jokes. The picture on yesterday’s front page of Donald and Melania outside 10 Downing Street seemed like a joke Christmas card but that one was real.

Online election ads – who is targeting whom?

By Rory Cellan-Jones

Technology correspondent

11 November 2019

Huw Edwards to lead BBC’s Election 2019 coverage
Date: 04.11.2019 Last updated: 08.11.2019 at 14.41

Making sense of the election


The BBC will have its first Digital Election Reporter, Joe Tidy, who will work alongside the BBC’s Media Editor Amol Rajan, focusing on the all-important digital campaigns being run by the parties and the vital role social media will play in the election.

5). Tellers.
As I wrote “You need some explanation of what happens at polling stations – specifically the presence of party tellers, which observers might meet”. The voting, verification and counting procedures in the UK are all pretty simple but different to other countries in North America, Europe and the former Soviet Union where the OSCE observe and international observers with the OSCE (the organisation I work with from time to time) are often not familiar with party representatives being present outside polling stations.

C. The role of tellers.

I attach the guidance poster from the Electoral Commission, 2017 version.

Tellers’ dos and don’ts (PDF)
This document contains a summary of what tellers can and must not do and should be read in conjunction with any guidance issued locally by the Returning Officer

That is one page. I don’t think anyone needs to read the four page detailed guidance for tellers. Which is this one:

Political-ads-social-media-UK-TNE-29-Aug-2019.pdf (102 downloads)


Tellers-dos-and-donts-generic-EC-2017-1.pdf (107 downloads)

Catalan nationalists are wrong but crushing peaceful political dissent is not the answer.

I don’t sympathise with Catalan nationalists at all, and don’t buy all the ‘perfidious Spain’ nonsense. And it’s not Easter 1916. But on the day of the unofficial referendum I thought the heavy handedness (or rather the probably provoked filmed heavy handedness) of the national police would turn people over to the secessionists. Jailing democratically elected political leaders, forcing others into (self-imposed) exile for entirely peaceful political actions is not the way for a confident democratic State to behave. The extreme prison sentences of 14 October imposed on peaceful political leaders are making the same mistake that the British authorities made in Ireland in 1916 – short of killing people – overreacting and alienating the majority who did not sympathise with a minority of extremists or romantic (if violent) nationalists, instead relying on ridicule and horror to undermine the ‘radical’ cause. Though there was an actual war on and armed rebellion at that time, so the British failure to realise they were making a serious tactical error with public opinion was understandable. How the Spanish Supreme Court can think such sentences are justified for peaceful, political illegal acts, is flabbergasting.


Spanish nationalists are as bad as Catalan ones – many nationalists in Catalonia / Catalunya seem motivated only by financial self interest; and taking peace, democracy and quality of life for granted. Spanish nationalists promote intolerance and stifling conformity of thought, ferment nasty petty rivalries and stir hatred with hypocrisy. Their blinkered hatred of Gibraltarians’ self-determination reduces Spanish and Gibraltarian stability and economic prosperity when Spain and Britain, local and regional Spanish authorities and Gibraltar could all work together for the benefit of the whole region. Catalonians stirring secession should look at how disastrous for each statelet the break up of larger units in the last thirty years has been, the pain and suffering – personally, economically and culturally – that has occurred. This is no reason in principle for people not to have self-determination, but it is high high time to stop and be careful what you wish for, and to stop and think you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. A mistake that a majority of voting British public have made in destroying a key basis of our country’s cultural, economic, security and environmental progress over the last forty years, because they – many of the public – have believed lies, blamed others for their misfortunes, and taken a good life for granted.


Spain and Britain, Catalonia, London and Madrid, Barcelona, Gibraltar, we’re all better when we work cooperatively together in a fair and non-exploitative way. Easier said than done perhaps but remember as people we all get on. Politicians and youth who stir difference and divides should remember that. And judges are sometimes advised to use commonsense and judicial discretion rather than following the letter of an unjust law.

You can’t trust anything Boris Johnson’s Tories say. The choice in the election is clear.

The choice in the election is clear. You can’t trust anything Boris Johnson’s Tories say. The Prime Minister is a lying, dishonest trickster. Jeremy Corbyn is a danger to the security of Britain and Europe, ideologically dangerous for the economy, and has a blindspot when it comes to dictators and brutal corrupt leaders as long as they are not the ones that Governments in Britain, America and France usually support. Boris Johnson is far more dangerous to the security of Britain and Europe, utterly reckless & clueless on the economy, and as most Conservative leaders has few morals when it comes to dictators and brutal corrupt leaders as long as there’s a profit to be made. Jo Swinson would make a better Prime Minister than either of them but in our electoral system that is not how you vote. How can people vote against both extremes?

Vote Liberal Democrat in any seat the Liberal Democrats can win and any safe Labour seat or Conservative seat. Vote Plaid Cymru or Green Party in any seat they can win where they are a challenger to Labour or the Conservatives. Vote independent pro-EU Conservative in seats they hold. Vote SNP if it is a choice in Scotland between SNP and Labour or Conservative. If it is a clear Labour v Conservative contest vote for whichever candidate is less extreme on Brexit – if in doubt the Labour Party policy is less destructive than the Boris Johnson party. Any vote for Johnson’s Tory Party is a vote for dishonesty and fraud on an industrial scale against the electorate. Jeremy Corbyn’s ideologically blinkered Labour want to take Britain back to the 1970s in many of their policies. This was a pretty terrible time for Britain. The current vampire Conservative Party wants to take Britain back to the 1930s which was a pretty terrible time for the whole World. They have to be stopped.

Brexit EU passport insurance and Brexit refugees.

How many British citizens have applied for passports of other EU countries since the Brexit vote and how many have moved to other EU countries?

I asked these questions for this important information last year to the UK Government department responsible for making arrangements for Britain to leave the European Union. In response to my request of 25 August 2018 the Department for Exiting the European Union did not have the information requested.

I have just asked the questions again to see if our highly clueless department care any more now about this disruption, cost and inconvenience to British citizens who will lose their rights as EU citizens, than they did a year ago. I don’t blame the civil servants, I blame the political masters who have given them this thankless task. The following request for information has been submitted via the admirable WhatDoTheyKnow site. Many thanks to them for the public service in assisting open government.

Dear Department for Exiting the European Union,

Please tell me how many British citizens have applied for passports of other EU countries since the Brexit vote and how many have moved to other EU countries?

Further to my request in August last year. Your department presumably is responsible for considering the effect of Britain leaving the EU on British citizens. Last year you said that you did not hold information on UK citizens applying for passports of other European Union countries or moving to other EU countries.

This must be a hugely important side effect of the vote in the referendum. I would like to know now what monitoring is the UK Government doing on this issue and what steps the Department for Exiting the European Union is taking to evaluate this effect on British citizens?

Yours faithfully,

Kiron Reid

20 West Albert Road,

My article on the Ukraine elections, and new President, Zelenskyi.

My article on the Ukraine elections and new President was published here in the newsletter of Liberal International (British Group). At pages 13 – 15. With thanks to the editor, Stewart Rayment, and for editing the text to Mark Smulian of Liberator magazine, which is due to publish the article as well next month.
InterLib September 2019:

It is a .pdf file, which you can download, my article is at pages 13 – 15.

I have also put the unedited text of the Liberator magazine article, below.

In the space I didn’t have time to cover in any detail what the election observation involves, or what was and wasn’t done during the election that either broke election law or in inventive and imaginative ways got round the spirit of the election laws. I give some account of why I am sympathetic to former President Petro Poroshenko – I could give rather more reasons and concrete examples – but at the same time I didn’t have enough space to outline my criticisms of him, and more reasons why I am cautiously optimistic about President Zelenskyi. Nor was I able to talk about what living in Ukraine is actually like and the many normal and unusual things (for someone from Britain), huge number of extreme contrasts and paradoxes. I’m always happy to talk about these topics from my own experience to anyone interested.

For those who want some detail about the mechanics and outcome of the election I recommend this blog by my friend and Long Term Observer election colleague, Alex Folkes:
Ukraine’s President gets what he wants out of Parliamentary polls but wants more

July 27 ‘Ukraine’s president gets what he wants out of parliamentary polls but wants more’.

I have also put the unedited text of the Liberator magazine draft article, here:

Ukraine’s Comedian is no comic. Great hope & some chance on democracy’s eastern border.


Article for Liberator magazine (UK Liberal political magazine), published edited in the newsletter of Liberal International British Group. This is a Word .doc document.

What has become of the British Conservative Party?

What has happened to the British Conservative Party. Once a proud party, a broad church, including many ‘One nation’ conservatives, socially conservative but often supporting the opportunity for individuals and businesses, and the ability for a person to better themselves and prosper. A party with some dignity, and intellectual and political heavyweights. Inherently an economically conservative party, noted for fiscal responsibility, it was destructive in its ideological privatising and marketeering for the sake of it under mid and later Thatcher / Major governments, but still had an eye on balancing the books. Now it is fiscally irresponsible, making promises to spend money that would make a Labour Opposition Leader or perhaps Trade Union boss blush. Promising all the plenty from the magic money tree plantation (someone on social media said that).

Now it is a party led by chancers, dishonest fraudsters, and naked opportunists. In hock to a tiny band of bigoted small minded extreme Ulster Unionists who are out of step with the modern world, even where they live. A destructive influence in British society and British and European politics. A mix of ideological and opportunistic, profiteering leaders in Government, very few of whom match the quality of any previous Cabinets in my adult life time, and none of whom meet the ability of the Ministers who were statesmen under Thatcher (or I realised when older, Wilson, Heath or Callaghan), Major, Blair, Brown or even a few under Cameron and May. As I don’t believe any one party has a monopoly on wisdom or good ideas, and as I reject policies based on ideology or economics, it is sad to see the destruction of a party that has done much good, though more bad in its time. At least now hypocrisy and naked amibition are exposed. Their name is Boris, Bannon and Mogg.

My latest short visit to Ukraine & election observation work.

What I was doing last week.
My 11th election observation mission for OSCE / ODIHR on behalf of the UK FCO observing elections in the Balkans & former Soviet Union. Deployed by David Kidger of SOLACE Enterprises as Short Term Observer (STO), and SOLACE / Godfrey Cromwell of BEWC as Long Term Observer (LTO), since February 2007. This time deployed as a Short Term Observer to Lviv. I observed the Parliamentary election with my partner and our local staff in the Peremyshlyani district, south of Lviv.

My 8th visit to Ukraine since 2014, as election observer & / or University volunteer, and occasional tourist, working in my 5th region of the 7 I’ve visited (& many regional level cities, numerous towns and villages).

The OSCE election observation mission final report will be published in a couple of months but it is reasonable to say, from the Preliminary Statement, that people in Ukraine were freely able to vote for who they wanted to, in an election which was largely very professionally run by the many people administering it.

More information on the mission to observe the Parliamentary elections in Ukraine can be found here:

OSCE /ODIHR Election Observation Mission to the Early Parliamentary Elections, 21 July 2019.

Economic and political consquences of Britain Brexit (self)destruction.

(A note that was originally a comment on a friend’s Facebook post). I sympathise with those in the fishing industry who lost out because of joining the EU (though they lost a lot due to losing the Cod Wars with Iceland as well). I understand the concerns of those from Australia and New Zealand and Canada that we shouldn’t have sacrificed closer links with Commonwealth countries, (though the same arguments about India or Asian countries are not put by the same people). I dislike the EU Court of Justice deciding on British benefits or immigration policy (to ensure rules are the same across Europe that were supposed to be the same for free movement of workers). What I rarely hear is any of these arguments logically put by any one spouting off anti the EU. I love the fact that Liverpool, and even immigrant unfriendly Birkenhead (more accurately Birkenhead with immigrant unfriendly Labour MP) or suburbs, has lots of South Americans in it now. I like my Turkish barbers (probably Kurdish, maybe Yazidi), and I love all the new Arab food businesses that have sprung up including Syrian and Iranian and African. Entirely a matter of immigration under the control of Labour / Coalition / Tory governments – nothing to do with the EU. But these anti-EU people who bleat on about money have cost me money every time I travel abroad as the pound has plummeted against the Euro, and most places I go across Europe Euros are the international currency of choice (inside and outside of the EU). My savings have been hit because of the political instability in Britain and the political instability across Europe that the political crisis in Britain has made worse. Most of our Conservative and some senior Labour politicians (and the extremist DUP / Farageist / UKIP groupees) have contributed to this political instability. How we need real statesmen now. Many of the latter currently are women, mostly in the Greens, SNP, Lib Dems and Plaid plus a few dissidents in Labour and Conservative Parties and Change UK / Independents.

I support the EU on grounds of principle and practical reasons, but wish Brexit supporters would lose their own money rather than mine.

A friend, David Ellis, posted the (always brilliant) Matt cartoon from the Daily Telegraph, about post Brexit subsidies being required for the fishing industry if Britain leaves the EU.