Shake it all about: Brexit thread II

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  • World renowned journal of record "The Sun" has published a remarkably comprehensive admission that their article on price benefits of Brexit was - well, bollocks really. Jacob Rees Mogg was delighted to tweet his thanks to The Sun for the original article, so keep an eye on his twitter account today when he gives due prominence to their retraction/correction.

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/uncategorized/5897269/clarification-vote-for-bargains
  • The danger is that the border is spoken of as if it is to do with a concept of the mind (which it is of course, technically speaking) but this ignores the vast sums of Irish and European money currently being pumped into Northern Ireland. I mentioned it on this thread before, that there is a vast network of cross-border and peace initiatives, funding regarding farming, construction, industry and arts and sports that with Brexit (soft or hard border) will literally come to an end on a specified night. The idea that the British government is somehow going to find the money to keep all of that going is sheer fantasy and Ireland might find itself in a position where it simply isn't allowed to do it or can't technically manage it. Ireland and Europe recognised that Northern Ireland as a province was critically under-funded and always got the bum deal as part of the UK. Britain never wanted to truly deal with it - which I fully understand from the perspective of the troubles, it's been a profound embarrassment. But the possible loss to the economy and social fabric is hugely significant and the UK has simply not got to grips with this aspect at all.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    But the possible loss to the economy and social fabric is hugely significant and the UK has simply not got to grips with this aspect at all.
    I assume we can cover the current EU spending out of that £350 million pounds per week; it's a special £350 million pounds per week off the magic money tree that can be used for several different things at once.
  • On this matter of the French printing your passports: What could possibly go wrong?
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Today NPR (USA) is reporting that there is a direct link to the Brexit vote and Cambridge Analytica--the the pro Brexit people were using data supplied by CA to move the vote their way. If so, and the data was collected illegally, would that put into question the validity of that vote?

    I know this is coming very late in the game.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    edited March 2018
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    Today NPR (USA) is reporting that there is a direct link to the Brexit vote and Cambridge Analytica--the the pro Brexit people were using data supplied by CA to move the vote their way. If so, and the data was collected illegally, would that put into question the validity of that vote?

    I know this is coming very late in the game.

    Here is a lengthy Twitter thread of someone live-tweeting whistleblower revelations in realtime.

    The main items of concern seem to be:
    1. Cambridge Analytica worked for UKIP and other Leave-supporting factions, despite the fact that both denied it at the time.
    2. Cambridge Analytica did work for Russian companies [with ties to / which were fronts for] the Russian FSB at the same time its parent corporation was doing contract work for the British Ministry of Defense and the American Department of Defense. Needless to say, from a security perspective this raises more red flags than a 1950's Mayday parade in Moscow.
    3. There was enough concern about these revelations that one of the whistleblowers was outed as gay by the British government, causing a lot of potential problems for his parents living in Pakistan, to whom he was not out at the time.

    At least that's my interpretation of the significant aspects of recent revelations.
  • That took a lot of reading. It really is hard to fathom; truly an entering into the Twilght Zone.
  • Gramps49 wrote: »
    Today NPR (USA) is reporting that there is a direct link to the Brexit vote and Cambridge Analytica--the the pro Brexit people were using data supplied by CA to move the vote their way. If so, and the data was collected illegally, would that put into question the validity of that vote?
    There are lots of reasons to question the validity of the vote. Start with it bypassing British democratic practise in a dubious fashion, throw in some dubious spending by the official Leave campaign (still being investigated by the Electoral Commission), a few blatant lies on the side of a bus, promises of violence if the result didn't go the way Leave wanted, a dead MP and the use of Cambridge Analytica (or, at least, a Canadian subsidiary) to manipulate social media potentially using stolen data. Just to get started.

    So far, the government have refused to state that the referendum was invalid. I can't find the link, but I'm sure when the £625k was brought up at the weekend there was an announcement to the effect that even if the Electoral Commission rules it was illegal there wouldn't be a re-run of the referendum.

    It makes you wonder whether the UK is still a functioning democracy.

  • The BBC News at Ten just gave a grand total of seven seconds to this story...seven seconds! You may as well be annexed into Russia.
  • EutychusEutychus Admin
    edited March 2018
    Bearing in mind my mantra that Russian foreign policy can be summed up as "destabilise", it's my view that rerunning the Brexit referendum so long after the first go would be more destabilising than pressing on and learning some lessons.

    Indeed, if you really want eleven-dimensional tinfoil-hatted rabbit-hole levels of conspiracy, you could speculate that Chris Wylie's whistleblowing at this stage (without any hard evidence that I'm aware of so far) is just further Russia meddling to destabilise.
  • The UK is already destabilised. Is it any worse to say (at the point where the evidence has been assessed) "Vote Leave broke the rules, the result of the referendum is void" and then organise a second referendum - this time done properly with the electorate asked to vote on a defined government policy already approved by Parliament. Of course, the UK would need to convince the rest of the EU to suspend Brexit negotiations and the A50 clock until the question of whether the referendum result was valid and a new referendum (if needed) has been held - which may not be simple (slight understatement!).

    Or, we follow the model from sport (and, our TV news last night had a lot more than 7s devoted to the Australian cricket team cheating in a Test against South Africa), Someone who wins a race and is caught cheating loses their title and the runner who came second is declared the winner. If it's shown that Vote Leave cheated simply declare that Remain won the referendum, and don't bother running the referendum again.
  • Too much has been undone following the Brexit vote to go back. Even if the vote is discredited, we can't go back, just have to agree the best possible options from where we are.
  • Well, obviously we can't go back, but why can't we go forward to a new position within the EU? We'll have lost some stuff (the EMA and other European institutions based here, with the benefits they bring, a heck of a lot of goodwill from other EU nations, any semblance of leadership within the EU, already a lot of people from other EU nations who have left the country etc), but if the referendum is declared void (and/or re-run giving a Remain result) there's no reason the UK needs to ditch more than we have already given up.
  • I think the issue of "taking back control" of democracy is even more important than Brexit. Trying to undo even defective historic results would do far more damage to democracy than trying to things better in future ballots.

    It's like the fantasy of impeaching Trump. Even if impeachment proceedings were to be attempted the narrative on the right is that this is a deep-state witch-hunt. They would create more division, not bring stability. A better bet would be a properly monitored election which Trump loses fair and square. Legal proceedings could be brought after that.
  • So, do we have a properly organised and monitored referendum on EU membership, in which it is unambiguously clear that one side won fair and square, and sort out the legal issues about what was done illegally in 2016 after that?
  • No. That is equivalent of a rerun of the last referendum, which would be even more nationally divisive and destabilising than the first one, irrespective of the outcome. It's far too late now.
  • Eutychus wrote: »
    No. That is equivalent of a rerun of the last referendum, which would be even more nationally divisive and destabilising than the first one, irrespective of the outcome. It's far too late now.
    Except for the part about it being properly organised, rather than the sham and anti-democratic farce of 2016. It won't, can't, be a rerun because the situation is different - we have a vague idea of what the government position would be when leaving the EU. So, those who voted Leave expecting (as many Leave proponents stated) that the UK would remain in the customs union and single market will take that into account when they cast their vote. Those who voted Leave because they considered the forecasts of the impact of Brexit to be just "Project Fear" will now vote knowing that many of those forecasts have been proven accurate. And so on. It's impossible to re-run a referendum, it will always be a different referendum.

    "Divisive and destabilising", yes it probably will be. But the UK is already divided and unstable (claims for a "strong and stable" government being even more illusory than ever). How do we re-unite this un-United Kingdom? Paper over the divisions and try and carry on until we really do fall apart? Or, face the divisions squarely and work through them?

    Or, the next option is for candidates to stand at the next General Election with a manifesto including "rejoin the EU". Perfectly legitimate, and any candidate who does so will get my vote (unless two or more candidates standing in my constituency do so, in which case I'll need to take other factors into account as well). Will that be less divisive? It's called democracy, and democracy by it's nature divides people according to policies they would like to see enacted.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Eutychus wrote: »
    I think the issue of "taking back control" of democracy is even more important than Brexit. Trying to undo even defective historic results would do far more damage to democracy than trying to things better in future ballots.

    I think that saying you can never reverse a defective election would have the consequence of encouraging electoral cheating. If there's no behavior which could cause a vote to be reversed (voter intimidation, ballot box stuffing, selectively discarding certain ballots on spurious grounds, etc.) then such things will come to be seen as valid electoral tactics. This seems like having a greater commitment to the forms of democracy than to its substance.
  • EutychusEutychus Admin
    edited March 2018
    My post should be read in the light of the end of my previous last one, "it's far too late now".

    I would think even you wouldn't consider going back on the results of the 2000 US presidential election, even if Roger Stone brags about having helped to rig the Florida results.

    ETA that is also what I meant by historic results, ie ones some way back in the past.
  • Too much has been undone following the Brexit vote to go back. Even if the vote is discredited, we can't go back, just have to agree the best possible options from where we are.

    To a point - but I think the real problem is that harkening back to some kind of 'normal state' prior to Brexit ignores the fact that it was that 'normal' that led to Brexit.

    On the other hand, I wonder at this point whether destabilisation of the UK is even possible to avoid.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Eutychus wrote: »
    My post should be read in the light of the end of my previous last one, "it's far too late now".

    I would think even you wouldn't consider going back on the results of the 2000 US presidential election, even if Roger Stone brags about having helped to rig the Florida results.

    ETA that is also what I meant by historic results, ie ones some way back in the past.

    That wasn't particularly clear given that you cited a current office holder, Donald Trump, as an example of an electoral result that couldn't (or shouldn't?) be reversed even if egregious electoral deficiencies could be definitively proven. (e.g. it could be proven that enough ballots leaning the "right" way were fraudulently created/destroyed in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin to alter the outcome of the election) Your proposed "solution" in such a case was to simply wait until the next election and see if it happens again. This strikes me as a particularly ineffective deterrent to electoral fraud.
  • Too much has been undone following the Brexit vote to go back. Even if the vote is discredited, we can't go back, just have to agree the best possible options from where we are.

    Once the votes had been counted any moral case for remaining in the Single Market whilst opting out of payments to the EU and workers ‘ rights, including movement was a fantasy. That has strengthened the hardliners case and gives all our trading partners scope to screw us royally, because our negotiating position is appalling - we’re playing two pairs against a full house, we know it and they do too.
  • Crœsos wrote: »
    That wasn't particularly clear given that you cited a current office holder, Donald Trump, as an example of an electoral result that couldn't (or shouldn't?) be reversed even if egregious electoral deficiencies could be definitively proven.
    What? That's not what I said, or meant, at all.

    I was trying to say that impeachment (in my mind, on grounds unrelated to election-tampering) is not the miracle solution that will revert the US situation to normal, given how far the Trump administration has trashed "normal", any more than undoing Brexit will revert the UK to "normal", for similar reasons. In my view the best hope in the long term of the UK and the US reverting to some kind of "normal" is to have better-monitored elections, referenda, etc. in short restoring some kind of credibility to the political process.

    It seems to me that there comes a point where the political establishment on all sides acknowledges the result of a ballot. If and when that happens, I think it's hard to go back on it without doing more damage to the process, even if fraud emerges at a later stage. The indications from recent US elections suggest voters may have learned their lesson, albeit the hard way.

  • Eutychus wrote: »
    I was trying to say that impeachment (in my mind, on grounds unrelated to election-tampering) is not the miracle solution that will revert the US situation to normal, given how far the Trump administration has trashed "normal"

    I'd disagree. Impeachment isn't a solution because - similarly to the UK pre Brexit - it was the US 'normal' pre-Trump that led to Trump.
  • From the post above I think the following is entirely correct:

    "Brexiters themselves seem to have all but given up on claiming that there is any great value in or reason for doing it. ..... the Article 50 letter marked “the moment from which Brexiters are responsible for what happens to this country. There can be no equivocation about this. Brexiters campaigned for years to leave the EU, they won the referendum and they now control the process of leaving”."

    There's a strange kind of Phoney War stage at the moment, with seemingly little happening and very little movement on either side. There's an equal delusion on parts of the Remain side that the entire thing can be saved with a single act (either the formation of a centrist party, or Corbyn 'taking a stand', or the parliamentary vote or a second referendum, or some court case, or or or .....) which doesn't seem to account for how the state of country.

    It appears that most politicians either don't see the point in what they are doing, or don't see a way of changing course and the country as a whole will end up with a mess by default:

    http://archive.is/ggUaD
  • Two good articles there. Yes, phoney war is right, there is a kind of depressed feel about any Brexit discussions now. I noticed that Fox has been trumpeting the 'roll-over' of trade deals from the EU - ironically, giving us the same deals as we have now.

    I keep hearing of companies moving their hub to the EU, leaving a shell in the UK, but don't know how widespread this is.

    What a strange act of self-destruction. It reminds me of working with suicidal patients, and the ones who seem cheerful are the ones in danger, so I suppose that is a good sign, that few people are cheerful now, except a few manic Brexit people.

  • I forgot to say that the Russian poisoning case must be a great relief to Mrs May, as she can dress up in the flag, make lots of speeches about horrible Russia, and so on, and at least get away from the f**** Brexit story.

    Corbyn has been disappointing, as he has dissimulated about the single market, and seems to have backed May's line that it is in effect part of the EU.
  • Is the Norway option creeping back onto the table through attrition?
    Mr Benn said the government had ruled out things before but had to "face reality" and accept them during Brexit negotiations.

    I would certainly welcome such an outcome but it's hard to see how it could be palatable to any Brexiteer.
  • Eutychus wrote: »
    Is the Norway option creeping back onto the table through attrition?
    Mr Benn said the government had ruled out things before but had to "face reality" and accept them during Brexit negotiations.

    I would certainly welcome such an outcome but it's hard to see how it could be palatable to any Brexiteer.

    I think that loss aversion, like that which keeps gamblers in a losing game even when there is less and less of a chance of leaving with anything close to what they came in with, will make the Norway option hard even for many who were lukewarm on Brexit before the referendum to swallow, even if it is the least of all evils at this point. People feel they need to recoup their losses by getting some kind of autonomy in exchange for losing a say in setting EU policy - even when that is not really a rational strategy.
  • Eutychus wrote: »

    I would certainly welcome such an outcome but it's hard to see how it could be palatable to any Brexiteer.

    Yeah, though on the other hand it depends on the percentage of hardliners to those who are happy with a Brexit in name Only, or who are happy to be bounced back into the claim that 'EFTA is what we wanted all along ... see how we cunningly managed to get into it by the superior powers of our negotiation'
  • even when that is not really a rational strategy.
    Considering the lack of rationality behind Brexit, the best we can hope for is the least irrational.

  • Here's the Wikipedia link on Norway-EU relations. I doubt many Brexiteers would be content with this as it includes contributions to the EU budget based on GDP and participation in the "Four Freedoms", save for tariffs on food and beverages (which increases prices for these in Norway).
  • RussRuss Shipmate
    If the EU aim in the negotiations is to ensure that Britain is worse off for leaving the EU (pour encourager les autres) and Britain's aim is to be better off for leaving the EU (to justify the Leave vote) then it seems likely that there can be no agreement.

    Of course, there's plenty of scope for both sides to do better than a failure to agree.

    But maybe it has to come right down to the wire, so that no agreement looks the overwhelmingly likely outcome, before either side will be pragmatic enough to make that mutually-beneficial deal.
  • Russ wrote: »
    If the EU aim in the negotiations is to ensure that Britain is worse off for leaving the EU (pour encourager les autres) and Britain's aim is to be better off for leaving the EU (to justify the Leave vote) then it seems likely that there can be no agreement.
    To think the EU wants the UK worse off is hardline Brexiteer talk. What the EU doesn't want is to be indulgent with the UK so as not to give Catalonia, etc. ideas.

    As for being better off leaving the EU, precisely what solution do you propose that would achieve that, pray? And why should the EU pay the price for manufacturing the unreality generated by those bent on slamming the door on it?

  • Eutychus wrote: »
    To think the EU wants the UK worse off is hardline Brexiteer talk.
    I've almost reached the conclusion that hardline Brexiteers are vindictive bastards who want to hurt others, even at a cost to themselves, and are projecting that onto the actions of others in assuming they're also out to hurt others.

    It's obvious that the EU negotiators are seeking the best of a set of sub-optimal options for the EU and each of the other 27 sovereign nations therein. There's no reason to assume that they're also out to "punish the UK" or otherwise want the UK to be worse off than leaving the EU already leaves us. In most cases, that would be counter productive to the aim of getting the best deal for the EU-27.

  • I've almost reached the conclusion that hardline Brexiteers are vindictive bastards who want to hurt others, even at a cost to themselves, and are projecting that onto the actions of others in assuming they're also out to hurt others.
    Yes, I think this way of thinking is highly prevalent in populism, be it Brexit, Trump, or Front National voters.

    I saw it described before I actually heard it for myself:
    I know voting this way will make everyone suffer more but at least that way the others get a taste of what it's like to suffer too

  • Had to laugh at an Express headline last week, 'punishment for Brexit'. This was about Irish ports preparing for direct voyages for container freight, to places like Rotterdam, bypassing the UK. Who can blame Ireland for seeking some benefit from Brexit?
  • Who can blame freight companies for avoiding border checks at both a UK port and then again at Rotterdam when they can ship from Ireland to Rotterdam without any border checks at all?
  • Who can blame freight companies for avoiding border checks at both a UK port and then again at Rotterdam when they can ship from Ireland to Rotterdam without any border checks at all?

    Brittany Ferries is introducing a new route from Cork to Santander (twice a week) and an extra sailing each week on the Cork-Roscoff route. I'm sure other operators will follow them.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Russ wrote: »
    But maybe it has to come right down to the wire, so that no agreement looks the overwhelmingly likely outcome, before either side will be pragmatic enough to make that mutually-beneficial deal.

    Which "mutually-beneficial deal" is that? Details please!

    As near as I can tell, the pro-Brexit British position is that the UK should be able to retain most of the benefits of EU membership while shedding most of the costs and inconveniences associated with EU membership. In other words, a classic free rider problem.

    As far as your snotty comment about "pour encourager les autres", why shouldn't the EU worry about setting the precedent for an "all the benefits but none of the costs" membership? If you legitimate free ridership everyone else will eventually want the same deal and the system can't sustain itself without the costs that underlie the benefits.
  • More to digest. Note the endpiece, that as with the US Congress and Trump, Ms May's allies have to choose between country and party.
  • On the same day that a letter is received from five former Northern Ireland secretaries warning that Brexit will seriously harm and damage the Good Friday Agreement, Labour's appointed dimwit comes out with this gem:
    "We must also recognise there are real economic reasons why people have played up the issue of the Irish border and the need to have the shibboleth of the Good Friday Agreement,"

    The shibboleth of the Good Friday Agreement. Does he truly believe that this is what the GFA is? The carelessness with which peace is dissolved never fails to shock me.
  • Link?
  • What a plonker. Is he a hard Brexiteer?
  • What a plonker. Is he a hard Brexiteer?

    Does it matter? Northern Ireland always got dimwits when the Tories were in power; politicians they wouldn't let loose in public on the mainland for fear of what they might come out with. They got Northern Ireland as a kind of booby prize or perhaps as a punishment. Labour always sent sensible, good, hard working people who were prepared to really get their hands dirty and get stuck into hard negotiation. Oh, how the tables have turned.

  • Though as secretary of state for culture Karen Bradley vetoed a black, female candidate for the board of C4, approving four white men for the board. That was overturned in Dec 2017 and within a month she was secretary of state for Northern Ireland ... still seems to be in the mould of punishment/out of the way.

    Not so much tables turning as Labour, once again, following where the Tories lead.
  • RussRuss Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    Which "mutually-beneficial deal" is that? Details please!

    Border-free and tariff-free trade between the UK and Ireland looks like a win-win from where I sit.
    As near as I can tell, the pro-Brexit British position is that the UK should be able to retain most of the benefits of EU membership while shedding most of the costs and inconveniences associated with EU membership. In other words, a classic free rider problem.

    It's only a free-rider issue if the costs and burdens are necessary for securing the trade benefits that Britain seeks to enjoy. If the costs and burdens are to do with other projects - ever-closer union, building a superstate with a European-level federal government - that Britain doesn't want to be part of then it's not free-riding to opt out of those.
    why shouldn't the EU worry about setting the precedent for an "all the benefits but none of the costs" membership?

    Seeing the deal that Britain is looking for as a category of low-cost associate membership is the problem. See it instead as a trade agreement between a sovereign nation and the agent negotiating for a group of sovereign nations. A mutual-benefit agreement that should be easy to draft because it's very like how the group already trade between themselves.

  • Russ wrote: »
    Border-free and tariff-free trade between the UK and Ireland looks like a win-win from where I sit.

    ...

    A mutual-benefit agreement that should be easy to draft because it's very like how the group already trade between themselves.
    The only really easy way to have border & tariff free trade between the UK and Ireland is for that to exist between the UK and the rest of the EU. Model it on the existing arrangements and you end up with something that looks very like EU membership, in which case the best option is for the UK to not leave the EU at all. That's looking like a win-win from where I sit.
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