UK Labour Party splits

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Re: UK Labour Party splits

Postby cmsellers » Sat Feb 23, 2019 5:13 am

Except, Crimson, from interviews with Leave voters it was very clear that most of them had their own vision of how Brexit was going to happen, and that's what they were voting for. The Leave campaign promised a version of Brexit which the EU was never going to give them, and that's what a lot of Leave voters expected. I imagine the number of people who supported Brexit at any cost are a fairly small portion of the electorate, mostly the kinds of people who voted UKIP in parliamentary elections.

I think it's fair to say that you have a hell of a lot of people who would have voted "Remain" if they'd known the only options were May's deal or no deal, rather than the deal Leave promised or whatever other perfect deal they had in their heads. OTOH, you also have Remainers who think that bridges with the EU are so thoroughly scorched it's not worth trying to salvage. (I might be one of them if I were a UK citizen.) I'd suspect the former group considerably outnumbers the latter, but either way, the way you find out is through a vote.

In normal circumstances, it would be ideal to have a new parliamentary election instead of a new referendum, but the problem is that Euroscepticism cross-cuts party lines in the UK, yet May and Corbyn both support Leave and are whipping their parties to vote with them. Wales and Scotland both have major local pro-Remain parties, but voters in England don't have an option besides the Lib Dems and this new group, both of which will have a hard time winning new seats in a FPTP system even if they enter an electoral alliance. (Remain voters in NI are in a similarly difficult position, because the two main parties are the Eurosceptic DUP and the abstentionist Sinn Fein.) The position Remain voters and MPs are in now is basically the situation that Eurosceptic voters had before the referendum, except on a ticking timeline.

Now, I'm someone who thought the first referendum was a bad idea, but I also think that if you're going to hold a referendum on the abstract concept, you should probably also hold one on the actual deal. It's absolutely ridiculous to insist on treating a five percent margin in a nonbinding referendum on an unnegotiated deal as the final word on Brexit because "the people have spoken," and then insist that the people don't get to change their minds when they know the actual deal.
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Re: UK Labour Party splits

Postby Pedgerow » Sat Feb 23, 2019 2:24 pm

I don't think it's a good idea to say we need to just give up and Remain because 80% of MPs want that. I would imagine that 100% of MPs would support an increase in the salary for MPs, but that doesn't make it a good idea.

I know I support a new referendum because I don't like the result of the old one, so I have to be careful here, but it's worth pointing out how a lot of Brexiteers say, "We can't have another referendum! The first one is the will of the people!" Well, so will the next one. It's like the Brexiteers are, just like I am, campaigning for the outcome that they personally want, and they're rejecting a new referendum because they might lose. But if another referendum came out in support of Remain, then clearly remaining is The Will of the People. You can't use the "Will of the People" argument and then refuse to consult with the actual will of the actual people. And if Brexit is still the Will of the People, then what is everyone so afraid of?

Aaaaanyway, this thread should be about the divide in the Labour Party. Nobody else has left, but three top ministers in the Conservative Party are saying that if Parliament can't agree on a deal, then Article 50 should be extended. This is in direct contravention of their own government's official policy, so it's potentially pretty big news. They haven't quit their own party yet, but this level of obvious division at the very top of the party suggests that we haven't seen the last of the resignations quite yet.
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Re: UK Labour Party splits

Postby Marcuse » Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:42 pm

It's absolutely ridiculous to insist on treating a five percent margin in a nonbinding referendum on an unnegotiated deal as the final word on Brexit because "the people have spoken," and then insist that the people don't get to change their minds when they know the actual deal.


The reason anyone does this is because people who support leaving feel like there's a serious risk of being trapped in the EU against their will for another 45 years or so before anyone thinks to hold a new poll on membership. The Irish backstop is proof positive that there is at least the intention to keep the UK bound to the customs union and single market, and therefore subject to EU courts and laws, and the UK wouldn't even have discretion to withdraw from this without the consent of the people doing the ruling there.

On top of this, there's a serious fear that the result will simply be ignored, overturned, or sidestepped by the political mechanisms we have to rely on to negotiate and create any deal. If they come back with a deal which says if the EU won't agree to a trading arrangement with us, the whole UK has to be kept inside their systems (and by default, inside the EU) until they say we can leave, we more or less can't know that without either reading all the text or having someone point it out to us. Unfortunately, we have to rely on fucking clowns like Boris Johnson or Jacob Rees-Mogg to do that.

There is also a serious concern that with the majority of MPs being pro-remain, it's manifestly in their interests to reject any deal, however advantageous to us, to force a situation where there's no deal or abandon leaving altogether, because then it's easy to argue that "leave voters didn't vote for no deal". The fact they're the ones forcing no deal as the only alternative to remaining isn't mentioned. Of course most leave voters didn't vote for no deal, because it's manifestly ridiculous that two closely aligned political organisations can't arrange a relationship other than the one they have right now without falling to huge infighting and political collapse. But here we are.

But the legacy of utter failure doesn't start there. I've said before on here that I was entirely dissatisfied with the quality of the debate from both sides, the framing of the referendum question and the motivation behind it, and the irregularities from both sides of the argument during the campaign itself. Nothing about it went to plan, and when we realised the public had narrowly chosen leave no forward planning existed for that eventuality. The people responsible fucked off into private life and washed their hands of it. Honestly, I feel that the Conservative leadership of the day should be held responsible for this in some way, regardless of the outcome of Brexit or the particular result I wanted. I agree with the result we ended up with and I still think it was a shitshow that should never, ever have gone down the way it did.

But the problem is, we're here now. The referendum is as old as my daughter and she's old enough to tell me she's a "big girl now actually". We could spend forever going back in time speaking about how we might redo the referendum in a better way, and I would be prepared to accept that if it had been maybe the result would end up different (something in me suggests that the flippant, self-regarding way the Conservative party called it had a hand in the result). But we're not there, we're one month away from Brexit and we have no deal and no plan for creating a deal. The media doesn't even report anything has changed in the current deal Teresa May put before parliament which was rejected to resoundingly, so I can't see how there's any way this will change in the next week so this can be correctly ratified before the leave date. This means that we're stuck in the EU without any say over its rules or laws, but we have economic stability (or at least as much as the EU provides right now with Italy in recession and Germany looking way shakier than it ever did before).
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Re: UK Labour Party splits

Postby NathanLoiselle » Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:07 am

No! But what will happen to the children??
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Re: UK Labour Party splits

Postby cmsellers » Sun Feb 24, 2019 4:41 am

@Marc:
The EU's initial behavior on Brexit changed my views on the EU, and they've only gone downhill since then. I now see the EU an agent of overregulation rather than an instrument of freedom. Unfortunately, leaving the EU is is a collective-action problem. Any country that votes to leave the EU on its own is fucked, partially because of the consequences of unpredictability, partly because the EU chose to make leaving the EU as painful as possible as a disincentive to leaving.

That said, Northern Ireland was always foreseeable problem with Brexit. Either the UK would enter a customs union with the EU or an agreement pretty close to one, or there would be customs between Northern Ireland and the UK, with Northern Ireland subject to EU regulations, or there would be customs on the inter-Irish border and a resumption of violence. I'm not sure what you expected the EU to do here?

Marcuse wrote:There is also a serious concern that with the majority of MPs being pro-remain, it's manifestly in their interests to reject any deal, however advantageous to us, to force a situation where there's no deal or abandon leaving altogether, because then it's easy to argue that "leave voters didn't vote for no deal". The fact they're the ones forcing no deal as the only alternative to remaining isn't mentioned. Of course most leave voters didn't vote for no deal, because it's manifestly ridiculous that two closely aligned political organisations can't arrange a relationship other than the one they have right now without falling to huge infighting and political collapse. But here we are.


It seems to me like Theresa May and the pro-Remain MPs who nonetheless stay in Labour and the Tories are playing a game of chicken. May is hoping that by refusing to request a deadline extension, she can force the MPs to take the deal she offered. Most of the MPs are too afraid to leave their parties, but are, as you said, hoping that by forcing a choice between hard Brexit and remain they can keep Britain in the EU. Pedegrow's news is potentially a way out of this, but I'm still not sure y'all won't wake up in a month to find you've exited with no deal at all.

If you think the majority of Britons would support leaving under the deal Theresa May got, then surely another referendum could establish that? This would either strengthen May's hand or reverse Brexit entirely, and if you think Brexit is really the will of the people, then surely you should expect the former? Given that pro-Remain MPs nonetheless voted to invoke Article 50, I can't imagine them voting against it if the majority of Britons were to vote for May's deal.
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