Brexit

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Re: Brexit

Postby cmsellers » Mon Apr 01, 2019 12:24 am

That's because they still haven't tried my "Britain in, Ulster out" proposal.
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Re: Brexit

Postby Marcuse » Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:20 pm

Parliament voted on four options tonight:

1. Kenneth Clark's Customs Union plan
2. Nick Boles' Single Market 2.0 plan
3. A plan to have a confirmatory public vote on any deal
4. A plan by Joanna Cherry of the SNP to force the government to either agree an extension or cancel Brexit if it gets within a couple of days of Brexit day with no deal in place.

All of them failed. Again.

The closest to a majority was the Customs Union plan which failed by three whole votes. Of course the problem with that is that it means we wouldn't actually leave the EU, but who cares about actually doing something we said we would do?

Nick Boles dramatically resigned the Tory whip following the result. He'd already resigned from his local party because his constituency overwhelmingly supports leave and he is really a remainer. The SNP are angry that Scotland's opinion isn't held to be more important than the rest of the UK put together as usual.
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Re: Brexit

Postby Marcuse » Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:23 pm

Teresa May has now said she will seek a "short" extension to article 50 in order to meet with Jeremy Corbyn to agree a way forward they both agree on. This is realistically what should have happened a long time ago; Brexit is bigger than any one party and having both largest parties whipping their MPs to vote in favour of a particular option is highly likely to produce a majority.

So what's the problem with this? The "way forward" is on the future relationship, and Teresa is still of a mind that the deal she agreed with the EU will be part of this. This matches the EU opinion that the deal is the only deal they'll consider, but I think enough damage has been done to political discipline in the Conservative party, and Corbyn is so weak on party discipline having been such a rebellious backbencher, that it may not pass even despite this. It's nearly inevitable that the many acrimonious and unsuccessful votes have convinced many opinionated MPs that even voting against their own whips is acceptable when they feel they're voting against something they think will do harm to the country. With party discipline being so weak (the Tory chief whip actually made public statements about how poor it is), it might be that case that even such a grand coalition might not produce a majority.
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Re: Brexit

Postby cmsellers » Tue Apr 02, 2019 11:57 pm

I mean, I get why in this particular case, it's frustrating, but I've always found the idea that parties should be able to control how members vote in a FPTP system utterly ridiculous. The whole argument in favor of keeping FPTP is that people get to elect their representative on local issues. I mean, in the modern era this doesn't actually happen, which is why if keeping local constituencies is a concern, mixed-member proportional is lightyears better, but that's the idea behind it.

The Tories and Labour both are overrepresented in relation to the votes they actually got, the Tories substantially so. And the DUP, propping up May's government, nearly doubled its share of seats compared to its share of the vote. So while I'm sympathetic to your frustration, and the fact that the most likely results seem to be no-deal Brexit or a customs union, I'm not nearly so sympathetic to your complaint about how difficult it is for the parties to whip their members.

Back on the main subject, though:
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Re: Brexit

Postby Pedgerow » Fri May 24, 2019 11:46 pm

In a totally unexpected twist today, the thing people have been predicting for years has finally actually happened: Theresa May has announced she is stepping down as Prime Minister. She hasn't called a general election or anything, though, so we're unlikely to see any changes to the parliamentary arithmetic and so my prediction is that Brexit will not see too many changes. It will be the same old shambles, just even more humiliating.

The current hot favourite to replace Theresa May is Brexit-supporting Boris Johnson, the jokey mascot of the Conservative Party, the Hamburglar of British conservatism. This is despite my own gripe against him, that everyone loved him immediately after the referendum and everything was set for him to take the top job, only for him to shite it and run away because it might be a bit difficult. He's a coward; he's nothing. He should have been laughed right out of Westminster after that, so I find it profoundly insulting that he is being offered another chance. It's like if Arsenal's new star striker was Gunnersaurus.

Luckily, I heard someone say on the news that when a politician is the favourite to take over at this early stage, they almost never actually wind up being Prime Minister. The second-favourite, then, is Jeremy Hunt, who seems to have been a pretty decent Foreign Secretary, but who will forever be tainted as the abysmal Health Secretary who brought the NHS to its knees, failed at everything he tried, and who arguably killed thousands of innocent people in the process. But he's a Remainer, so I'm torn. And that really probably shows why Theresa May had an impossible job.

Personally, my favourite Conservatives are Ruth Davidson, leader of the Scottish Conservatives (and therefore a figure in Scottish Parliament rather than Westminster, so she's not even technically an MP and so she has zero chance) and chancellor Philip Hammond, who has been an outstanding chancellor. He's so good as the chancellor that if he becomes Prime Minister, he won't be able to be chancellor any more and we'll probably get some absolute bonehead in to faceplant our economy straight into a puddle. So maybe he shouldn't get the top job either. Coincidentally, Ruth Davidson and Philip Hammond are both Remainers too.

For those of you marking your calendars, whoever takes over from Theresa May will become Prime Minister in July at the earliest, plus members of parliament all get the summer off anyway. We don't have time to arrange a new general election, nor a new referendum, before the Halloween deadline. As a result, the Remainer dream of avoiding the cliff edge might already be unattainable: we might already be in Wile E Coyote "running on air" mode, and it might just be a question of when we realise it and look down.
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Re: Brexit

Postby gisambards » Sat May 25, 2019 12:52 am

I've been amazed that people have been so celebratory over Theresa May's resigning. We already have Nigel Farage leading in the polls and Jeremy Corbyn instead of a leader of the opposition, and now there's the spectre of adding Boris Johnson as Prime Minister to that. That would be an actual nightmare scenario for this country.
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Re: Brexit

Postby cmsellers » Sat May 25, 2019 1:18 am

There was an Atlantic article in 2016 that said that polling was close enough that by 2019, President Donald Trump could be meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a UK that had left Europe.

That scenario came so close to coming true, and then Johnson fucked it up by noping out of the leadership contest. Now, though, we have another chance to make the nightmare come true!
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Re: Brexit

Postby Marcuse » Sat May 25, 2019 1:21 pm

Right now, as of the declared candidates, I'm seeing a lot of media fervor about Boris, but nothing from politicians I have seen speaking about the issue. As weird as it sounds, I feel like everyone is hyping Boris to scare the Conservative party into choosing literally anyone else. The person I would choose to take over out of the declared candidates (Boris Johnson, Esther McVey, Rory Steward, Jeremy Hunt and Matt Hancock) would be Rory Stewart.

Out of them all he seems to be someone who can take a setback on the chin. I saw him on the Andrew Marr Show after the disastrous local election results and he didn't try the usual politician tricks of deflecting or blaming others, he admitted the Tories had failed and went on to speak about what to do about that. He's also gone on record saying he won't serve in a government led by Boris because he wants a no deal Brexit, but still supports a managed exit from the EU. I'm not keen on Jeremy Hunt, he seems like an enthusiastic amateur who means well but doesn't tend to perform too well. His real skill seems to be in getting what he wants, such as when he was due to be sacked by Teresa May and came back out with an expanded brief for Health and Social Care. Esther McVey is too lightweight, and isn't currently even involved in the government. Matt Hancock hasn't had enough time to prove he can do anything, being Health Secretary for a short time.

chancellor Philip Hammond, who has been an outstanding chancellor.


I'm not sure that Spreadsheet Phil is the best person for the job right now. He's well known as a safe pair of hands that doesn't rock the boat, but like many people he seems better suited for a subordinate role where he's not in the public eye all the time and can just quietly get on with his job. I don't disagree that he's done well enough as chancellor, without all the reverse ferrets Osborne ended up getting into. He's also an arch-Remainer who likely would seek some way of subverting or reversing Brexit which for me wouldn't be a good thing.

The really important thing to remember though is there's no time to renegotiate the deal we struck with the EU. If we open that we have to go back and look at everything, and there's no telling what additional concessions the EU will insist upon if we have to try to come up with an alternative to the Irish backstop arrangement. No PM is going to be able to achieve meaningful change to the deal without renegotiating the deal and if they do that it won't look better than the crappy one we have now.
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Re: Brexit

Postby Pedgerow » Sat May 25, 2019 2:36 pm

cmsellers wrote:There was an Atlantic article in 2016 that said that polling was close enough that by 2019, President Donald Trump could be meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a UK that had left Europe.

That scenario came so close to coming true, and then Johnson fucked it up by noping out of the leadership contest. Now, though, we have another chance to make the nightmare come true!


I have been holding on since about 2015 for the Trump-Corbyn Special Relationship. Make diplomacy watchable again!
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Re: Brexit

Postby cmsellers » Sat May 25, 2019 3:49 pm

Pedgerow wrote:I have been holding on since about 2015 for the Trump-Corbyn Special Relationship. Make diplomacy watchable again!

One hates the Jews. One hates everyone else. Between them, they can take on the world.
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Re: Brexit

Postby Krashlia » Sun May 26, 2019 2:29 am

cmsellers wrote:
Pedgerow wrote:I have been holding on since about 2015 for the Trump-Corbyn Special Relationship. Make diplomacy watchable again!

One hates the Jews. One hates everyone else. Between them, they can take on the world.


Actually, correct me if I'm wrong, but Donald Trump in particular has been rather generous tow,andIjustrealizedyouweretalkingaboutJeremyCorbyn...

The Trump family is weird, and I'm pretty certain that John G. Trump was the only worthwhile Trump.
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Re: Brexit

Postby Marcuse » Sun May 26, 2019 9:43 am

Dominic Raab (the second Brexit secretary), Andrea Leadsom (the former Leader of the Commons whose resignation appears to have precipitated May's resignation) and Michael Gove (current Environment Secretary) have all joined the leadership contest. All are leavers, but Gove in particular stands out for stabbing Boris Johnson in the back last time leading him to withdraw from the race. I don't think we'll see anything like that here, but Gove in particular despite seeming an intelligent minister, has a habit of incisive but dirty political maneuvering which will probably rule him out.

There's now eight contenders for the Conservative leadership. This is swiftly becoming a war with far too many leader wannabes and not enough people to lead.
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Re: Brexit

Postby gisambards » Sun May 26, 2019 1:36 pm

I think Rory Stewart is the preferred option as of right now. I worry that if a hard Brexiteer gets in, they may just force a no-deal Brexit right off the bat without allaying, or possibly even outright dismissing, the concerns the actual majority of the population (both Remainers and those who'd prefer a deal) have about that, which is going to lead to just as much if not more unrest as forcing a second referendum would. Stewart seems a good compromise between the two sides of the debate, and appears conscientious enough that he'd be sure to address the concerns of the side that ultimately ends up losing out.
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Re: Brexit

Postby blehblah » Wed May 29, 2019 2:44 pm

gisambards wrote:I think Rory Stewart is the preferred option as of right now. I worry that if a hard Brexiteer gets in, they may just force a no-deal Brexit right off the bat without allaying, or possibly even outright dismissing, the concerns the actual majority of the population (both Remainers and those who'd prefer a deal) have about that, which is going to lead to just as much if not more unrest as forcing a second referendum would. Stewart seems a good compromise between the two sides of the debate, and appears conscientious enough that he'd be sure to address the concerns of the side that ultimately ends up losing out.


At this point, it doesn't matter. The EU is tired of dealing with uncertainty. It's better to rip the band-aid off than suffer the non-exit exit that Britain is slow-walking around. The irony is in leaving, the EU gets to dictate terms in ways which they could not if Britain had stayed within the EU. Their only concern, so far as I understand it, is that you guys don't become a (yet another) tax haven for the ultra-rich and global corporations. And by-the-by, the Brexit crew are going to rob Britain... it's nothing personal, just conservative business-as-usual.

May was a 'stay' who shifted to trying to get leave done with some semblance of order, and that didn't work-out. There is not middle in this. It's either a full-throated leave type, or a do-over remain type, who will push something through (though, probably not).

I figure a decision will be made via paralysis by analysis.

https://www.reddit.com/r/lordbuckethead ... years_ago/

Fabulous quote, "It will be a shitshow". Indeed, Lord Buckethead.... indeed.
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Re: Brexit

Postby Marcuse » Fri May 31, 2019 2:06 pm

Having given it a few days to digest, the European elections have passed by and the results are about as predictable as could be expected. The Brexit Party (a party which literally didn't exist six weeks prior to the election) gained the largest single share of the vote, at 32%. This gained them 29 of our 73 MEPs. A big victory for the Leave vote, one might think. However, the situation is more complicated than that. The second largest party is now the previously destroyed Liberal Democrats, who campaigned explicitly to "stop Brexit". They got 20% of the vote and 16 MEPs. Labour lost almost half of its overall vote share, gaining only 14% and 10 MEPs. The Green party came fourth with 12% of the vote and 7 MEPs. The Conservatives were destroyed, gaining a mere 9% of the vote and only 4 MEPs. Aside from regional parties like the SNP (3), Plaid (1), Sinn Fein (1), DUP (1) and Alliance (1) (this is generally because they only run in one region, so their overall vote is usually in single digit percentage but concentrated in one region it's enough to win seats), they're the smallest party in the European parliament from the UK. Change UK and UKIP gained 3% of the overall vote and no MEPs.

So what does this mean for the country? Well, it's hard to take this as a proxy referendum on the question of leaving or remaining. Turnout was a mere 37%, meaning that the respective percentages could be roughly reduced by a third to equate to some idea of what amount of the total electorate voted for something. Really only about 10% of the electorate voted for the Brexit Party, and similarly for the Lib Dems and Greens.

Nevertheless, both sides have claimed victory. The Brexit Party, despite only getting 32% of the vote, was the largest party so it claims this means they should be involved in the Brexit negotiations and that the UK still wants to leave the EU. The Liberal Democrats, Green and Change UK have been claiming victory thanks to a kind of complicated arithmetic whereby they add up all the votes for Remain supporting parties and claim because together those parties received more share of the vote than the Brexit Party alone, this means they "won". It also involves ignoring the (admittedly miniscule) Conservative vote, which is for better or worse a party with a policy to leave the EU even if it's shockingly bad at it.

I'm honestly dubious of both claims. If a clear statement can be made about the results of the election is that the UK is still hopelessly divided between leavers and remainers. If you add up the Lib Dem and Green vote it amounts to the same as the Brexit Party, as well as UKIP and Change UK adding up to nearly the same too. What this shows is continuing division. The Conservative party have utterly failed to deliver any kind of managed Brexit, and don't look like they're going to be in a position to do so in future. Electorally, their woes have as much to do with their complete inability to unify as a party as it does their failure on Brexit.
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