Brexit

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Re: Brexit

Postby gisambards » Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:06 pm

I am sure that there is some poor intern at whatever public relations firm Johnson uses who has had to spend most of today building one.
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Re: Brexit

Postby Marcuse » Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:02 am

Then Hunt should challenge him to a televised bus make-a-thon. Even if Jeremy sucks at it, it wouldn't matter because if Boris isn't any good he pokes enough of a hole in his fake "pastime" that he can probably get away with calling him a loser either way.
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Re: Brexit

Postby Krashlia » Sun Jun 30, 2019 9:52 pm

Ritual-Cleromancy is still on the table guys.

Chant "God save the Queen", lay your hands on the sacrificial bull before cutting, then roll die and see what turns up.
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Re: Brexit

Postby CarrieVS » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:07 pm

At this point, I feel like the UK is a toddler, sitting at the table, crying that it's hungry but refusing to eat any of the meals offered.

I don't want this to be read as me suggesting either that the toddler should go to bed without food (personally, I'm not hungry, but we had a democratic vote and slightly more of us wanted dinner than not), or that any of the possible meals are palatable.

But I feel like we're sitting here, having declared every conceivable version of Brexit unacceptable, and the EU are just waiting until we either decide we aren't hungry after all, or eat up their agreement, or swallow no deal. It feels absurd, even surreal.


Regarding no deal, it's apparently being claimed that a hard border in Ireland can be avoided even if we have no deal. I don't see how that can possibly work - without some kind of agreement, the EU is going to impose border checks.

"Technological solution" is thrown around a lot for the Irish border but as a software engineer I get a distinct "indistinguishable from magic" vibe here. I'm getting the same feeling from the people saying that and how they use the term as I get from a client wanting me to develop something that seems simple to a human, but the client has absolutely no concept of what the problem looks like to a computer.
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Re: Brexit

Postby Pedgerow » Tue Jul 23, 2019 8:07 pm

Madness is getting predictable: Boris Johnson will be our next Prime Minister. In classic Boris fashion, his first speech after the news was announced featured him declaring, "Dude! We are going to energise the country!". Interestingly, Chancellor Philip Hammond said he would resign if Boris became Prime Minister, but he now seems to have walked that back a bit. Technically, he said that he would not be willing to be in the cabinet of a Prime Minister who demands that no-deal Brexit be a possible outcome, so maybe Boris hasn't made that rule after all? That would be an interesting development. Of course, he's not even Prime Minister until tomorrow, so there's still plenty of time for more exciting developments over the next few days.
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Re: Brexit

Postby Deathclaw_Puncher » Tue Jul 23, 2019 8:57 pm

Congratulations, UK! You have your very own Trump! May God have mercy on your souls!
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Re: Brexit

Postby cmsellers » Tue Jul 23, 2019 11:32 pm

I think what you mean to say is: "Make the United Kingdom Great Britain again."
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Re: Brexit

Postby CarrieVS » Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:04 am

cmsellers wrote:Make the United Kingdom Great Britain again.


That is much funnier than it ought to be.
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Re: Brexit

Postby Krashlia » Sat Jul 27, 2019 5:15 am

Okay, I'm just going to be open about it: I have a huge hate-on for Europe, particularly France and Germany.

Maybe it was the hate speech laws and "hateful content" laws coming from one or two of those places, maybe it was that one guy on twitter who couldn't tell the difference between a pistol or a revolver, or maybe it was Gary from Birdbox. But, I hate Europe, especially really Germany and France.

I hate the EU. I resent the clout it gives at least two of its member states. And I want it to burn. I want its parliamentary members to be in pain and to taste the bitterness of once holding titles that once meant something. Screw them. Screw their power mongering. Screw their false peace. Screw their milksop attempts at moral superiority. But, most importantly, F*** Germany and France, and their manipulative attempts against personal liberties, and their even stupider citizens and too-clever-by-half leaders. They brought at least two good things into the world, but it hardly makes up for the three Mount Everests load of absolute garbage.
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Re: Brexit

Postby gisambards » Sat Jul 27, 2019 12:39 pm

The EU as it stands is deeply flawed, and absolutely one of its prime issues is the way it divests so much power towards Germany (France often benefits and was top dog when the precursor EEC started (pre-German unification), but if those two come to disagreements today, Germany usually gets its way). It's a shame the debate about Brexit has never really been allowed to be about that, with both sides making it far too much about vague concepts of national identity instead. I actually would probably prefer a soft Brexit at this point, but what I can't support is the current nationalist hard-line Brexit, burning bridges not just with the EU but with Europe itself, we seem to be getting instead.
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Re: Brexit

Postby cmsellers » Sat Jul 27, 2019 3:58 pm

The EU brought the common market to Europe, and that was great, but the cost has been more than I think I'd be happy with as a Western European citizen, in terms of the ridiculous regulations, especially when it comes to emerging technologies, like GMOs or the Internet. If I were a former Eastern Bloc citizen, the gains in standard of living I saw from the common market might outweigh the cost in freedom and innovation in the short term, though I'm a lot less sure about the long-term.

OTOH, I did and still think unilateral Brexit is a terrible idea. From Obamacare's individual mandate to Africa's colonial borders, there are a lot of things that I think should never have been done, but also think that undoing them unilaterally is going to make things way worse in the long run, and Brexit falls in that category.

The biggest problem, of course is Northern Ireland. An Irish Sea border would make the most sense, but Theresa May couldn't get that deal through, thanks to her dependence on the DUP, who rejected it. A customs union has almost all of the drawbacks of membership with none of the benefits. A Celtic Sea border has been ruled out by both the EU and government of Ireland, and it's unreasonable to expect the Irish to accept a huge diminution in their standard of living to solve a political problem the UK made for itself. Any other deal will result in a rise in sectarian tensions.

But even if you could get the DUP to accept an Irish Sea border, unilateral Brexit was still pretty obviously going to reduce Britain's economic and political clout, which is not a tradeoff I'd have made if I were a British citizen, even though I've come to see the EU as a cancer.
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Re: Brexit

Postby Pedgerow » Thu Aug 29, 2019 12:10 am

We are now entering the final act of the Brexit saga, and things feel like they are really coming to a head: Boris Johnson has asked the Queen to prorogue parliament, and there are protests and all sorts. Ruth Davidson, leader of the Scottish Conservatives, is expected to step down very soon. It's all becoming very srs bsns indeed. In theory, there's nothing strange about a new Prime Minister pausing parliamentary proceedings before getting stuck into running the country, but a) that usually applies only to Prime Ministers who won a general election, which Boris did not do, so parliament doesn't really need the reset he's imposing on it, b) Boris Johnson could absolutely have waited a few more weeks until after this monumental period for the country, and c) there has been fearmongering for months about how this is absolutely the very worst thing a Prime Minister could possibly do regarding Brexit, and yet Boris thinks it's a good idea to push ahead with it anyway.

Theoretically, it might still be possible for opposition MPs to get together and successfully stop this, because Parliament will only be closed for about four out of six weeks, but nobody is optimistic about that happening since Jeremy Corbyn wants to be the interim Prime Minister, but he's too divisive to get the necessary support, but also he's popular enough that anyone who points this out, like Jo Swinson, is despised as a wicked traitor of the Remain movement, and accused of kowtowing to the devious schemes of evil Brexit scum or whatever. Much like the Brexit movement, the Remain movement is now in the unfortunate situation of being popular enough that it suddenly really matters that they don't actually agree on anything.

Remember that old Chinese curse? "May you live in interesting times"? These are, politically, probably the most interesting times of my entire life. It's nerve-wracking, sure, but it's also kind of cool. I will definitely watch the news less once this is all over, however it ends. But I should also say that I do feel like my side might win this, so it almost feels like a film, where they're exciting times but you know Captain America will win in the end. If you're less optimistic than me- or if you're predicting what I'm predicting but you support Brexit- then it must be agony to live in these interesting times.

Also, obviously it would be terrible for anti-Brexit protests to become violent, and nobody wants that, but if it does happen, can I suggest the name "Remaintifada" for them? I'm a peaceful guy, but I am so proud of that name that it would be a shame to waste it.
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Re: Brexit

Postby Marcuse » Thu Aug 29, 2019 7:27 pm

Cat, meet pigeons.

There's so much to unpack here with this one. I'm going to go through it just stating the things I have learned and leave the opinions for later.

So Boris has prorogued parliament, from around the 10th September until the 14th October. This is so he can deliver a new Queen's Speech and legislative program. It also happily coincides nearly entirely with the remaining time before the legal default of a "no deal" Brexit on the 31st October. The Queen has assented to this, though it's largely accepted there would be no way for her to have refused to do so.

With the prorogation being for five weeks, this appears to be an excessively long time. Previous prorogations prior to a Queen's Speech have lasted a matter of days, at least since the 1980s. However, it was planned that for three of those weeks, parliament would be in recess for conference season and wouldn't have sat anyway. The primary difference between a prorogation and a recess is that parliament controls a recess, having to vote on it and agree the length. A prorogation is performed by the Queen on the advice of the government (where "advice" really means instruction), and cannot be prevented by parliament.

In addition, it's notable that the current session of parliament is the longest for the last 400 years. There is call for a new session, not least because the primary reason the Withdrawal Agreement with the Political Declaration was refused a third hearing in the Commons was because the Speaker refused to hear the same motion within the same parliamentary session. A Queen's Speech removes this by ending the old session and beginning a new one.

On top of that, parliament has the power to vote on the legislative program the government presents in the Speech. While strictly, this is not a vote of confidence, every time (about four, I read) the program has been defeated in Parliament, it has resulted in the collapse of the government presenting it. This is because the motion has been amended to state that the house has no confidence in the government. As such this means a Queen's Speech debate following the Speech could in theory bring down Boris' government before Brexit.

However, senior officials have been quoted as stating that in those circumstances, Boris won't nominate someone else to form a government from the existing parliamentary setup, but will call a general election, which will involve dissolving parliament. See where this is going? Jeremy Corbyn has been eager for a new GE ever since he did better than expected in 2017, so to dangle the prospect of one at the cost of allowing the passage of a "no deal" Brexit is almost cruel in a way.

Curiouser and curiouser, the Chancellor and government have suddenly decided that austerity is for chumps. The spending taps have come back on, and the government has presented multiple messages of increased funding to the tune of billions for policing, healthcare and education. Many people are interpreting this as a buildup to election as well, tying into the theory that if a confidence vote collapses the government, they will fight a new GE hoping for a majority by buying voters with spending increases.

The DUP have said that a new session will mean a renegotiation of their confidence and supply agreement with the Conservatives. The planning for an election may be a way of heading this off, as a majority Conservative government would suddenly have no need to appease the far right DUP any more. Given they've proved a major blockage in passing a deal, this seems to make sense from the Conservative end.

So what does this tell us? One of two things will likely arise. Either the Conservatives manage to pass their Queen's Speech, and we have a surprise revelation that the Withdrawal Agreement is back on the table, possibly with some cosmetic concessions from Europe to make it seem new enough to stop anyone complaining. Or we have a situation where if Remainers want to disrupt Boris, he wins because he gets an excuse to close down parliament for a general election long enough for Brexit to pass. It's an extremely risky gamble, which may or may not pay off. The concern is that Boris has positioned himself as the winner in any scenario, and it's difficult to see what the Remain Alliance can do to make this their victory now.
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Re: Brexit

Postby Pedgerow » Wed Sep 04, 2019 10:21 pm

Top laffs all round in the first two days of Boris Johnson's government: yesterday morning, at the start of his rule, his government had a majority of one person in parliament. So if all his MPs, plus the DUP who made that deal with him, all vote for his laws, and all opposition MPs vote against him, he would manage to pass laws by the narrowest margin possible. And then, yesterday, Phillip Lee defected to the Liberal Democrats. So that's that; anything Boris Johnson proposes is now expected to be defeated.

Then, there was a vote put forward by the opposition to seize control of the running of parliament, so they'd talk about what they wanted rather than what the government wanted (so they can remove any threat of a no-deal Brexit, which is now a distinct possibility given Boris Johnson's earlier decision to prorogue parliament in a couple of weeks). The Conservatives busted out the three-line whip: their MPs had to vote against this motion, thereby keeping no-deal available, or they would be deselected, AKA expelled from the party. But 21 MPs voted against their own party anyway, including numerous big names like former Chancellor Philip Hammond, and indeed, out they went.

So the Conservatives, as I write this, are trying to run the country with a parliamentary majority of -43. For them to pass any laws at all, they will need to hope that vast numbers of opposition MPs decide to vote for them too. This won't happen, to be clear.

You can't run a country with a minority government. And Boris Johnson has repeatedly refused to ask for a further Brexit extension, which is what he will be compelled to do by the now-dominant opposition. There's only one thing for it: call a general election, and hope that it delivers a parliamentary majority for a party which can then govern effectively. But: to have an election, you need to dissolve parliament first. And this would make it impossible to stop a no-deal Brexit on the 31st of October. So the opposition, who traditionally always want a general election so they can have a chance to be in charge, voted against it or abstained. And the Conservatives voted for the election, effectively voting for the possibility that they would lose power. This motion was defeated just now.

So now we're in the utterly comical position that the government wants to no longer be in power, but the opposition don't want to be in power either. Nobody wants to preside over this shitshow right now. This has led to some fabulous speculation about the weird things that might now happen. For example, Boris might be able to get an election if he submits a motion of no confidence in himself. Alternatively, he could refuse to obey the law that demands he ask for an extension, and then be a criminal. I don't know what would happen then. Thirdly, he could go to the EU and ask for the extension, as he is now going to be legally compelled to do. But for a Brexit extension to be granted, it must be agreed to by the heads of government of every EU country...including the UK. So Boris Johnson could ask for the extension, and then veto himself.

Isn't politics wonderful? Here's the laughing Thunderbirds gif.
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Re: Brexit

Postby Absentia » Thu Sep 05, 2019 5:58 am

I question the logic of having "Support us on this vote, or continue to not support us forever" as your big ultimatum. Particularly when there are already MPs breaking ranks, so it's not as if loyalty to the party is at an all-time high. Now they just look silly.

Also, I saw this video of a terrifyingly old Tony Blair talking about Brexit, and I know he really fucked up the whole Iraq thing, but I can't help feeling like he sounds a lot smarter than any of the current leadership and maybe you should give him another chance and also do something about the witch's curse that aged him 40 years in the last decade.

Spoiler: show
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