Brexit

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Brexit

Postby Askias » Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:38 pm

Split from the EU referendum thread - Marc

CarrieVS wrote:As you may have heard, the High Court ruled in November that the Government does not have the power to trigger Brexit without passing a vote in Parliament.

The Government appealed against this ruling in the Supreme Court: the case is being heard this week and is expected to reach a verdict on Thursday.

I've been following the case, but I didn't want to necro this thread. Maybe we can have a Brexit thread, like how Trump got a new thread after he was elected president (but with a more neutral name). I lean heavily towards the High Court's verdict on the legal grounds but I understand the distrust towards it. It's not like several MPs didn't blatantly announce desires to vote against it. Here's the file on the case: https://www.supremecourt.uk/cases/uksc-2016-0196.html and the High Court's verdict: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Adm ... /2768.html.

Critism on the verdict has been fierce, and if the Supreme Court follows it, there'll be a lot more. The Justices have already been advised to lay low, and Justice Mance had to cancel a talk on EU law due to fears for his safety. On the flip side, the Justices are pretty much the group the Brexit was a backlash against: highly educated nobility (there's not a single person amongst the 11 without a 'lord' or 'lady' title) who in several cases have relations with EU institutions and I doubt any of them weren't in the Remain camp (several have expressed pro-EU sentiments before the vote), so if they rule against the government it's not hard to view it as just another move of 'the elite' to deny the will of the people.

As the Sun's front page read: "Loaded foreign elite will defy will of Brit voters". Still more respectful than the Daily Mail, which showed portrays of the High Court Judges with names, profile, and the headline "Enemies of the people".

________________________

The EU has repeated its statement "We will not negotiate until article 50 is triggered, but we will not agree to a overly special deal for the UK" ad nauseam. Michael Barnier (The Commission's liason) gave an interview today (he spoke in English, but he answered questions in French, indicating his English hasn't become much better since his stint on the Commission). Barnier has visited 18 countries in preparation and will visit all EU capitals before Januari to complete his team.

Didier Seeuws has his task force complete but he ain't saying anything. As the Council's spokesman, he'll problably keep his lips locked since he doesn't speak until the Commission agrees on something.

Verhofstadt significantly deviated from the norm and toyed with the idea of "assossiate citizenship", a setup where not the UK government, but individual brits could pay a fee to retain their EU status. While he's of course been accused of trying to split the UK further, I'm more surprised he'd acknowledge - though not formally back - a plan that would certainly be an entirely new and very unique deal with the UK.

A group of EU experts made a "Brexit 50" list, ranking various players by expected power level. Theresa May and Angela Merkel share the top spot. Sturgeon gets 3rd for some reason, I don't know why. Barnier ranks 4th. Trump gets the 17th place, one of four non-Europeans I could identify. Full list: http://www.euractiv.com/wp-content/uplo ... xit-50.pdf Hollande is listed, which since he announced he won't be running for re-election, seems wrong also.
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Last edited by Askias on Tue Dec 06, 2016 8:05 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Brexit

Postby cmsellers » Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:44 pm

blehblah wrote:Hey, some good news to cheer you lot up.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-38217040

Nigel Farage has been shortlisted for the title of Time magazine's person of the year, along with Russian President Vladimir Putin and singer Beyonce.


Feeling cheery, yet?

Poor David Cameron. Will nobody give him any credit for Brexit?
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Re: Brexit

Postby blehblah » Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:59 pm

cmsellers wrote:
blehblah wrote:Hey, some good news to cheer you lot up.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-38217040

Nigel Farage has been shortlisted for the title of Time magazine's person of the year, along with Russian President Vladimir Putin and singer Beyonce.


Feeling cheery, yet?

Poor David Cameron. Will nobody give him any credit for Brexit?


As Obama put it:

History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world [which revolves] around him.


*channels Quagmire*

Heh, hehe... hey - how many Farage's does it take to screw-in a light bulb?
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Re: Brexit

Postby Marcuse » Tue Dec 06, 2016 8:56 pm

I feel like the associate citizenship thing is a bit of a red herring. How is the EU going to afford rights and responsibilities to British citizens who pay them to also be EU citizens if they live in a place where EU law isn't in effect? It seems more like an attempt to divide people by creating a false opportunity to purchase something symbolic of support for the EU, that normally isn't a tradable commodity unless you're in Hungary.

As for the EU team, I'm not necessarily concerned by their lack of English or otherwise. I think it's something that international relations should be able to take into account either way and I'm really not that worried by a man known for even handed negotiations being the chief negotiator. UK tabloids always froth about something, but I feel like someone negotiating a complicated deal between 28 nations behind closed doors won't be harmed by that one bit.

I am rather baffled by the premise of the court case against government being able to trigger Article 50 by royal prerogative. The only real reason to have parliament authorise it is to provide an opportunity to prevent it by means other than a popular vote. I don't know how the commons will reasonably override the result of the referendum, and indeed Corbyn has indicated that while he may attempt to amend any Brexit bill to somehow guarantee access to the single market (which is somewhat ludicrous in itself) he and his party won't vote against it. With both Labour and the Conservatives voting in favour I can't see a Brexit bill failing in the Commons.

The more complicated situation will be the Lords, which will have every opportunity to use their overwhelming Remain supporting membership to bounce the bill back to the Commons three times if they really push their luck. I don't know if that would actually happen, but it's certainly possible and the thought of the unelected Lords using their power of review to block or stymie the negotiations seems like the aim of the challenge in the first place.

As such, I can't see why they're allowing a challenge that appears based in a desire to prevent something happening. They even know damn well that's the premise of the challenge, because they made a statement at the beginning of the case reminding everyone that their decisions should be based on their interpretation of what is legal. Now maybe procedurally they're correct that Parliament should authorise treaty changes of this magnitude, but I'm unsure why a general referendum shouldn't override this. If representatives are there to represent the views of the people, they spoke in the referendum.

In terms of the discussion about Brexit, things have been pretty dire. Remainers have been demanding various things be guaranteed before negotiations even begin, and have been trying to act to restrict the ability of the government to discuss the issues in a way that gives them maximum flexibility. It's understandable that people want some degree of certainty in a situation where it's thin on the ground, but asking the government to make guarantees about what they will achieve in negotiations is asking for something they not only shouldn't promise but also cannot give.

That said, I am starting to find the government recalcitrance in refusing to even set out what they think a post-Brexit UK/EU relationship might look like annoying. I think it's the overuse of soundbites like "we're not going to give a running commentary", "get the best deal for Britain" and my personal favourite "a red, white and blue Brexit". We could ask them for a Full English Brexit and they'd probably adopt it as a slogan if they thought it would bring them support. Right now the delay in triggering article 50 is putting the government in the stupid position of having to defend negotiations they haven't even begun yet, and it's absurd that they're not even willing to say what they want from the exit process in the vaguest terms. EU leaders have been pretty clear (with the regularity of a broken record) about issues like free movement and single market access, but our government has appeared cagey and unprepared for the challenge of Brexit and honestly I've lost what little confidence in them I had when Teresa May took office.

I do have a direct question to throw out there. What is the material difference between paying for access to the single market and paying tariffs on good and services?
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Re: Brexit

Postby Absentia » Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:56 pm

As this whole process gets uglier and murkier, I'm increasingly confused as to why the government would hold a referendum without much apparent thought to how they would actually go about doing the thing if it passed. Could some of these legal questions not have been figured out in advance? Because it seems like a weird idea to hold a vote without a clear idea of what is being voted for, and even weirder to get people riled up about a Brexit and then tell them to wait indefinitely.
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Re: Brexit

Postby Marcuse » Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:12 pm

Absentia wrote:As this whole process gets uglier and murkier, I'm increasingly confused as to why the government would hold a referendum without much apparent thought to how they would actually go about doing the thing if it passed. Could some of these legal questions not have been figured out in advance? Because it seems like a weird idea to hold a vote without a clear idea of what is being voted for, and even weirder to get people riled up about a Brexit and then tell them to wait indefinitely.


The simple explanation is that the Brexit vote was never about leaving the EU and nobody, not even Nigel Farage, expected it would result in a vote to leave the EU. The full weight of foreign leaders, establishment figures, economists and business was arrayed against UKIP and the rump of the Tory party, and this was meant to be the thing to defang them for a generation.

I've increasingly come to the conclusion that the terms of the referendum were fatally flawed as a direct result of the casual and self-centered way it was brought about. The only reason DC held it was to shut up his rebellious backbenchers, and as such no appropriate controls were placed on it, like turnout limits and specific winning conditions. So we have a referendum won by a 51.9% vote to 48.1%, based on a lowish turnout that's divided the country and turned us on each other even while we now are forced by commitment to respecting the result to engage in the largest and most complicated negotiation of our generation.
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Re: Brexit

Postby CarrieVS » Tue Jan 24, 2017 12:56 pm

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Re: Brexit

Postby Marcuse » Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:53 pm

Well that's both significant and meaningless. If we want to take a negative viewpoint, Parliament is strongly pro-Remain, and could theoretically block the government from invoking Article 50. Jeremy Corbyn can't truly control his party and his situation might mean the government suffers a big enough rebellion that they lose the vote. The SNP will be all against it, 90 of Labour is against it (though many will follow Corbyn's lead in not overturning the result of the referendum), and plenty of tories are pro remain too.

But realistically, they won't. If they ignore the referendum result, then they'll be confirming the suspicions of everyone who voted to leave in the first place: that politicians are out of touch with the people they claim to represent, and have an agenda that doesn't align with the interests of British people as British people see it they will push regardless of consent. The majority of MPs who will vote against invoking article 50, like the SNP, see themselves as speaking for their constituents, and there's enough MPs in enough areas that did vote to Leave that they can't vote against it without committing electoral suicide.
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Re: Brexit

Postby CarrieVS » Tue Jan 24, 2017 2:05 pm

I have no doubt about it getting through the Commons (but then I had no doubt about the outcome of the referendum). The Lords can't block a bill entirely but they can hold it up and if I understand correctly force further votes or at least debate, which would be vexing but probably not significant in the grand scheme of things.
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Re: Brexit

Postby Marcuse » Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:45 pm

Spoiler: show
Image
Image


On a more serious note, Teresa May has officially delivered Britain's notification of intention to leave the European Union, invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. Here's a link to the full text of the letter:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/p ... icle50.pdf

May strikes a more conciliatory tone, and Donald Tusk's response statement was very downbeat. It seems like Brexit is now under way, and hopefully we can get some answers about questions that have been sat waiting to be answered since June.
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Re: Brexit

Postby FieldMarshalFry » Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:00 pm

BREXIT!
Brexit.jpg
Brexit.jpg (58.09 KiB) Viewed 2101 times
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Re: Brexit

Postby Marcuse » Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:22 am

Normally don't post updates here because Brexit is basically a flame war generator. But this one is important:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-42277040

Jean Claude Juncker has stated that the UK and EU have made "sufficient progress" to move on to trade talks following the EU summit this month. Agreements have been made on reciprocal citizen's rights, the "divorce bill" (rumoured to be around £35-40 billion) and the final agreement has been made on regulatory alignment for the whole of the UK sufficient to uphold the terms of the Good Friday agreement and maintain the open border between ROI and NI.

While the UK appears to have compromised heavily on things like the bill and the "regulatory alignment" which is still a nebulous term denoting some kind of parallelism between the EU and UK in order to keep the soft border in Ireland, the EU does seem to have budged on the issue of UK courts administering the rights of EU citizens in the UK, which it was initially insisting the ECJ should have jurisdiction over.

Realistically, I think that while the EU has been difficult to negotiate with, the end result is more or less what I expected from this kind of compromise. The electorate chose to give the Prime Minister a poor hand, and really people who voted against her to vote against Brexit don't have anyone else to blame when we had to make concessions we otherwise may not have had to. In the circumstances, given the relative positions of the two groups and the utter braindead hysteria surrounding the issue, it's been about as sensible as it probably could have been.

I think the thing we need to watch out for is what this "regulatory alignment" actually means. I'm not paranoid enough to think this is an agenda to keep the UK in the EU by stealth, mainly because I personally cannot see an alternative solution to the Irish border issue that would work and be acceptable to all parties. But it may end up with NI being left behind while devolved governments in Scotland and Wales make their own decisions, and England hides behind devolution to move further away from NI over time, and I worry where that might leave the Union if NI is going to be notionally cut loose over time. Then again, after the embarrassment of how the DUP stymied the talks on Monday, I wonder if this might be May's long term revenge.
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Re: Brexit

Postby Marcuse » Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:06 pm

Here I am again.

Last week, the UK government agreed its Brexit plan to bring to the EU. Today, both the Brexit Secretary (and a junior minister from DEXEU) and the Foreign Secretary (he of the Boris fame) have resigned from the government because they can't support the plan, which is said to include preferential treatment for EU citizens when moving to the UK, and serious regulatory alignment between the UK and EU which mean basically the UK will be a rule-taker without having a say in those rules. The UK would leave the ECJ but express some vague "pay regard" to ECJ judgements when deciding their own cases. I have no idea what this means in practice.

This seems to be because time is getting short and we have spent the last two years agonising over the prospect of "no deal" to the point where we have no time and have to be willing to concede major elements of policy in order to get some symbolic separation which masks the fact that the UK will be practically under the rule of the EU without any of the advantages of membership.
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Re: Brexit

Postby gisambards » Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:27 am

I am concerned that we are being put in a position that would be worse than full Brexit, and this is from someone who would rather we stayed in the EU (albeit with an effort to actually change the way the EU operates from within). I suspect this position would have been hard to avoid, however, as I think the new Brexit plan suggests that as well as all the bickering within our government, the EU must have been, as one would expect, playing very hardball.

But this whole thing does rather sum up a lot of the issues with Brexit - David Cameron clearly had no plan for what to do if Leave won the referendum, and Theresa May has been stuck negotiating for something she doesn't want at all. The Conservatives that actually supported Leave (e.g. Davis, Johnson) are acting all high and mighty now but one gets the distinct impression they don't actually know what they want from leaving the EU beyond vague concepts. The other parties, sensing that May is looking weak, are acting similarly high and mighty about the whole thing, but the Lib Dems just want to ignore the referendum result completely and, if they did somehow win a hypothetical upcoming election, would probably just kowtow to the EU in the way Tony Blair did, which helps nothing, and Labour still can't work out whether their leader is pro- or anti-Brexit, and given that he doesn't let his cabinet dissent, none of them know what they are either, so I don't see how they can possibly be expected to handle the situation any better. Divided as they are, at least the Conservatives individually all know which side of the divide they're on.

I genuinely believe that, as a direct result of the way Brexit has been handled, the nation now just isn't prepared to leave the EU, and this is the fault of those in charge. I think Britain could function perfectly well outside the EU, if the exit was handled properly, but Brexit has been fucked to such a degree that I really do think we'd be better off temporarily giving up and then trying again a few years later, when our politicians are willing to actually take the issue more seriously.
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Re: Brexit

Postby blehblah » Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:03 pm

gisambards wrote:
But this whole thing does rather sum up a lot of the issues with Brexit - David Cameron clearly had no plan for what to do if Leave won the referendum, and Theresa May has been stuck negotiating for something she doesn't want at all. The Conservatives that actually supported Leave (e.g. Davis, Johnson) are acting all high and mighty now but one gets the distinct impression they don't actually know what they want from leaving the EU beyond vague concepts.


I have a similar impression of Quebec separatists. They paint a picture of sunshine and lollipops, but when pressed on exactly how separation would work (debt, currency, defence, services not covered provincially, laws not covered provincially - you know, those wee details) they would resort to a lot of arm waving (often figuratively grasping a flag).

Fortunately, since 1995, which featured the high-point of Quebec-nationalist rhetoric, that tide has ebbed. The ebb is likely because, (as a parallel with Brexit, but with different timing) hard-core Quebec separatists trend toward those who are increasingly non-voting, on account of death via the scourge of age.

Side note of repeating the obvious - if Cameron had held-off of the Brexit vote for a few years, the demographic would have shifted, but that is, as they say, now in the past.

On defence, has anyone in the British government openly discussed what might happen if Trump wrecks NATO? Some countries, like Finland, have been fine without NATO. However, I tend to believe there has been a tacit understanding that if, say, Russia tried to pull a Crimea maneuver on Finland, NATO would be (or now would maybe be) unanimous in strongly pushing-back. If the EU needs to take the place of NATO in such a situation, would Britain - as one of the three major EU military powers, along with Germany and France - take part?

That is a ham-fisted example; of course Britain would have to, but it's to get at a wider point. As concern about the future of NATO increases, scuttlebutt, verging on outright rumour, about an EU defence force - something viewed as redundant in the pre-Trump days - also increases.

To me, this is another example of how Britain might be able to pretend it has exited the EU, but can't. The Chunnel can be bricked-up to prevent zee Germans invading, by way of bureaucrats from Brussels, but it's not going to get Britain anywhere.

I digressed into standard arguments against Brexit, and those arguments are the past.

What is happening now is Britain is attempting to negotiate with a much larger, and pissed-off, block of governments, while simultaneously experiencing paralysis by analysis of how to go about negotiating with a pissed-off block of governments.

The champions of Brexit are absent, and appear to have no clue now, despite the benefit of generous time, of how to go about this thing, because they didn't think it through. They rode a wave of nationalism because they could. There were likely some true believers (who could not answer simple questions about "what do we do, should this happen?") and hangers-on (looks like this is a thing, I couldn't get elected otherwise, slap my hand on the bible of Britain, because I'm all in - weeeeeeeeeeeeee!).

I can boil it down further; Britain used to be an island, back when ships were powered by wind and crossing the English Channel was best done on a calm day. Today, it is clearly a part Europe. Just as Canada is inextricably tied to the US, Britain is tied to Europe. Geography does not respect politics.

On that, let's break-down how negotiations might work:

- Trade: EU versus Britain
- Borders: EU versus Britain
- Defence: EU versus Britain
- Law: EU versus Britain

It doesn't take Vegas odds to predict the winner. This is why everyone is stalling on the British side; either they capitulate on just about everything the EU mandates (especially against the backdrop of Trump-ism), or brick-up the Chunnel and starve.

Essentially, Britain moved itself from a primary player in the EU, to an opponent of the EU.
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