Watch the UK's Brexit negotiator explain his frank realization that Britain is an island

"I hadn't quite understood the full extent of this," Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union Dominic Raab said, "but if you look at the UK and you look at how we trade in goods, we're particularly reliant on the Dover-Calais crossing." [via James Felton]

Raab hopes to find a "bespoke arrangement" which "recognizes the peculiar, frankly, geographic economic entity that is the United Kingdom."

Islands, Dominic. They're called islands.

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Senate Intelligence Committee is investigating Steve Bannon, including his Cambridge Analytica activities

The United States Senate Intelligence Committee is “pursuing a wide-ranging investigation” into ex-White House adviser Steve Bannon’s activities during the 2016 election, Reuters reports, and looking into what possible co-conspirators George Papadopoulos and Carter Page had to do with those activities. Read the rest

Britain's "nasty party" condemns its MPs' nastiness

As the Brexit deadline draws nearer and the UK Conservative Party continues to fracture over the catastrophic failure to achieve any kind of deal with the EU, Tory Members of Parliament have begun to shower abuse on Prime Minister Theresa May, warning her that she faces a fate similar to Jo Cox, the Labour MP who was assassinated by a racist Brexit supporter before the referendum, and warning May to "bring her own noose" to Cabinet meetings. Read the rest

All levels of UK government have been paralysed by Brexit

The British government has been immobilised by Brexit preparations: hundreds of millions of pounds paid by insurers to the government to rebuild from flooding are sitting idle in savings accounts because no one can spare the time to spend them; ministers won't schedule out-of-London meetings because being away during a key vote would endanger the whisper-thin Tory majority; UK workforce productivity has fallen off a cliff while workers struggle to make preparations for the uncertain future; the government is incapable of legislating because the whole calendar is filled with Brexit bills; junior ministers are barely showing up for work because they don't believe they'll have careers after Brexit; the NHS's overriding priority is Brexit preparation -- everything, from top to bottom, is crumbling. Read the rest

App for UK Conservative Party conference exposes all attendees' private info

The UK Conservative Party's annual conference is about to kick off in Birmingham, and the Tories have distributed an app ahead of time to all attendees: senior ministers, government officials, members of the press, party members, and others. Read the rest

UK Tories created a secret anti-Corbyn Twitter army, which promptly attacked Theresa May

Messages leaked to Buzzfeed reveal the bizarre story of the "Tory First Battalion," a secret Twitter group formed to capitalise on the smear that the Labour party was anti-Semitic by coordinating and amplifying anti-Corbyn messages. Read the rest

Britain publishes Brexit advice guide for the likely event of a "no deal" divorce from Europe

The British government, veering toward a "no deal" exit from the European Union, has published "practical and proportionate" advice for citizens in the event of this taking place. The BBC posted excerpts.

• Pharmaceutical companies have been told to stockpile an extra six weeks' worth of medicine to ensure a "seamless" supply • New picture warnings will be needed for cigarette packets as the EU owns the copyright to the current ones • Britons living elsewhere in Europe could lose access to UK banking and pension services.

The government says the economy will shrink 7.7% under a no-deal Brexit scenario. It's shocking to imagine even in the abstract, but then you realize how unevenly that suffering will be distributed. It's no wonder Prime Minister May had to promise not to put the army on the streets.

I'd like to see a BREXIT SURVIVAL GUIDE along "Scarfolk" lines.

42. How to skin a rabbit43. Unguents and potions...42 (appendix). How to skin a human

UPDATE:

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UK visitors wait 2.5 hours to get through immigration at Heathrow

Official UK government statistics reveal that on 30 days in July the Border Force agency at Heathrow failed to meet its target of processing visitors within 45 minutes; on July 5, visitors had to wait 2.5 hours. Read the rest

The UK's largest estate agency is on the verge of bankruptcy

Countrywide is the UK's largest property agents (they own estate agencies like Hamptons International, Bairstow Eves and Bridgfords), with 900 locations and 10,000 employees, and they're selling off shares at fire-sale prices in a desperate bid to raise £140 million to service their massive debts; the sum is 300% of the company's market cap, their shares are down 60% on the news, and the company blames plummeting London prices and Brexit jitters for their misfortunes. Read the rest

The worse your town was hit by austerity, the more likely you were to vote for Brexit

After the Brexit vote, a lot of people pointed out that the areas that voted most heavily in favour of separating from the EU were also the areas that relied most heavily on EU subsidies, and wondered why British voters would decide to slit their own throats. Read the rest

London luxury housing market bubble bursts: 39% of sales last quarter were to deep discount wholesalers making bulk buys

London's property market continues its implosion, brought on by a combination of tightening capital controls (much of the market exists to help offshore criminals launder their money), Brexit, and a long-overdue correction to a wildly inflated market. Read the rest

New York surpasses Brexit London as the world's second-hottest luxury property market

If you are an oligarch or criminal looking to exfiltrate and launder your money, London property markets have been your go-to asset class: London lux is real-estate that behaves like cash, thanks to the long line of oligarchs and criminals who'll pay cash for your safe-deposit box in the sky on a few hours' notice, should you need to liquidate ahead of a purge or an indictment. Read the rest

Cambridge Analytica data-raid: the number is "much greater than 87 million"

Brittany Kaiser is an ex-Cambridge Analytica employee who gave written testimony and answered questions at the UK Parliament this week in which she revealed that the Facebook apps that Cambridge Analytica used to covertly gain access to millions of users' data went far beyond the ones disclosed to date, and that the number of total users implicated is "much greater than 87 million." Read the rest

Referendums and low-engagement voters produce catastrophic outcomes (but what about corruption?)

The idea of representative democracy is that we pay lawmakers to give serious attention to the nuances of policy questions and cast votes on our behalf in accord with their understanding of our preferences, applied to those nuanced understandings. Read the rest

Facebook insists that Cambridge Analytica didn't "breach" data, but "misused" it, and they're willing to sue anyone who says otherwise

Yesterday's bombshell article in the Guardian about the way that Cambridge Analytica was able to extract tens of millions of Facebook users' data without their consent was preceded by plenty of damage control on Facebook's part: they repeatedly threatened to sue news outlets if they reported on the story and fired the whistleblower who came forward with the story. Read the rest

Brexit is deflating the London housing bubble, with prices down 15% in some neighbourhoods

London's housing bubble has appeared unprickable, stabilised by influxes of offshore money from "investors" who saw property in the capital as a safe, easily liquidated bet even after the 2008 crisis when the rest of the UK saw housing prices tumble. Read the rest

#BrexitStamps: The sarcastic commemorative Brexit stamps of Twitter

MP Andrea Leadsom wants the Royal Mail to commemorate Brexit with a postage stamp. Twitter has run with the idea, shooping and tagging with #BrexitStamps, making sure to tag @andrealeadsom. Read the rest

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