Brexit thread III

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  • BlahblahBlahblah Shipmate
    For clarity: until at least 2021 the UK continues paying into EU coffers and continues following regulations, I think, without making rules or having representation in the EU.

    Which was, unless my tired old brain is deceiving me, a situation described by the Prime Minister, the Chancellor if the Duchy of Lancaster, the Minister for Leaving the EU and/or the Leader of the House of Commons as being in a "vassal state" and therefore a reason to reject the May plan.

    What a bizarre world we live in where we can sit here and look back at the halcyon days of the May Premiership.
  • Tangent/Arlene got another reminder of GB's lack of regard for her positions today, when Westminster decriminalised abortion and legalised same sex marriage in NI. So she made an appeal to people of opposing views to be kind to people who hold her view. Because that's what the DUP do for people who hold different views.

    Oh, wait.../End tangent

  • BlahblahBlahblah Shipmate
    edited October 21
    Still, one thing we can say for certain after today is that Bercow is still an enormous windbag.

    As John Crace accurately observed in his Commons sketch today

    "The Speaker took a huge amount of pleasure in telling the government it was taking the piss and devoted the best part of 40 minutes to his own self-congratulation. Even when he’s doing the right thing by sticking up for parliament, his amour propre doesn’t leave much room for anyone else’s amour. Bercow is going to really miss himself when he’s gone."

    He really is something else.
  • Just to say; here is proof of what I've been saying; this WA does not prevent No Deal.
    https://twitter.com/hilarybennmp/status/1186373549025615878?s=19

    As I have said before, this deal is terrible; the only possible justification for supporting it is to prevent No Deal.

    Thus there is no rational reason to support it.

    AFZ
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Hugal wrote: »
    Yes 52% voted to leave. 48% voted to stay. That is too small a difference to ignore the remain result and expect them not to do anything,
    Absolutely - and Farage was quoted at the time that if the result had been the other way, the fight would have been far from over.

    As others have said, such a fundamental change to a country's constitution should require more than a simple majority.
  • Would it be true to say that the reason we're still in the EU is the behaviour of the Brexiteer MPs? If they had voted in favour of May's deal, then we would have left by now.
    Since the 2016 vote, and especially since the 2017 election, the majority of MPs have supported leaving the EU - either as principled Brexiteers or reluctantly because they mistakenly believed that this is what the people want. Those MPs actively seeking to Remain are the definite minority. As a generalisation, those who want the UK to Leave because they think it's the will of the people have supporting the deal offered (whether that's May's or Johnson's) as the best way to get out. It's been the principled Brexiteers who have held out for their own vision of the True Brexit™ - which, in reality, is a collection of different Brexits - and voted down the deals that have been available.
  • Gee D wrote: »
    A double majority is required here for a referendum - a majority overall and a majority in a majority of States.

    That's one way of doing it. Here the nearest equivalent would be requiring at least three out of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to vote in favour, but as England is so much bigger in population than the others it's not a very exact equivalent. (Such a policy would have prevented Brexit, and avoided the threat to the existence of the UK as a united kingdom from a Scotland which felt itself overruled, although it might have led to an upsurge in English separatism).
    Gee D wrote: »
    But none of you has said what majority you would have accepted, nor really said why a minority ought get its way.

    It seems to me that it's not so much about a minority getting its way as about preventing rash decisions. As a Canadian former colleague said to me in 2017, a country that is divided 52-48 clearly doesn't have a strong basis for making a drastic change.

    I expect people more knowledgeable than me could come up with some examples of referendum requirements in different countries. I think turnout thresholds may sometimes be used, or you could require 50% + 1 (or some other cut-off figure) of the electorate rather than just a majority of those voting.

    Holding two votes some time apart (maybe one on the principle and on on the detail, but in theory they could both be on the same plan) would be another possible safeguard. The UK parliament works a bit like that -- the democratically elected chamber will eventually prevail, but there is a mechanism for making it think again if its initial proposals are not properly thought through.

    It is perhaps worth considering whether we who feel that a simple majority in a one-off referendum is insufficient justification for Brexit would apply the same argument if in future we're facing a decision to rejoin the EU, and if not, why not*. One argument might be that a referendum on rejoining would presumably happen after a government had negotiated terms rather than before, so the situations wouldn't be comparable. Another might be that electing a pro-Rejoin government would represent the first stage of a two-stage decision (although under the first-past-the-post electoral system a government can be elected with a comparatively modest percentage of the vote).

    *(In my case it's complicated by the fact that while I believe strongly that we shouldn't leave, I would have significant misgivings about rejoining if it meant promising to join the Euro -- that's partly why I'm so keen to stay in -- but I think it's worth considering the question independently of that).

  • @Shubenacadie yes, those complaining the loudest here about the unheard 48% are noticeably silent on the terms of a second referendum. Is anybody here prepared to argue that it should carry a two-thirds majority to be binding?
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    Boris wants to push through the legislation in 3 days. SomeMPs are rightly saying that is not a good idea. It is too important an issue to rush
  • Eutychus wrote: »
    @Shubenacadie yes, those complaining the loudest here about the unheard 48% are noticeably silent on the terms of a second referendum. Is anybody here prepared to argue that it should carry a two-thirds majority to be binding?
    Well, I thought I'd been clear. Ideally, we should follow the conventions of the UK in regard to the validity of a referendum - a government elected on a manifesto of making the change, Parliament approving that change (all the usual steps of scrutiny in both houses, with sufficient time), and then putting it to the people (which is then on a simple majority 50%+1 of those who vote). However, since Parliament stupidly decided to ditch those conventions in 2015 (putting us in this mess) and given the time constraints (unless the EU decides to give us 5y to sort ourselves out, which isn't happening) we will have to slip below the ideal. Therefore, as a pragmatic alternative there should be a referendum to confirm whether we agree with Parliament - if Parliament support the WA then the choice is between that vs Remain, if Parliament reject that (ie: accepts the default no-deal) then the choice is between no-deal vs Remain (I accept I might not have spelt out that bit before).
  • EutychusEutychus Admin
    edited October 22
    Therefore, as a pragmatic alternative there should be a referendum to confirm whether we agree with Parliament - if Parliament support the WA then the choice is between that vs Remain, if Parliament reject that (ie: accepts the default no-deal) then the choice is between no-deal vs Remain (I accept I might not have spelt out that bit before).
    Now that you have spelt out that bit, all credit to you. That sounds (inevitably) eminently sensible.

    But as you say it is hard to undo the mess of the 2016 referendum 'fairly'. I would think any new referendum vote will not have a big margin either way and so the deep divisions would endure.

    A lot of my thinking right now is about the best road to overcoming these deep divisions. I think you are onto something talking about more consensus-based government, on the basis of coalitions, but that would involve a huge change in behaviour in the Commons. If, as expected, the government pulls the New Deal if it doesn't like any amendments carried by a majority, it won't help.

    Meanwhile, xkcd has weighed in on the subject (note mouseover text); it turns out that the answer is to be Sundered; (see also here).

  • I expect people more knowledgeable than me could come up with some examples of referendum requirements in different countries. I think turnout thresholds may sometimes be used, or you could require 50% + 1 (or some other cut-off figure) of the electorate rather than just a majority of those voting.
    Well, as I've said repeatedly, prior to 2015 the precedent in the UK (and, our Constitution is built on precedent and convention so there's little else to go on) would be for the proposed change to be a prominent part of the manifesto of at least one party, and for that party to obtain enough MPs in an election to form the government - thus giving a "first public vote" on the issue (for those with good memories, in 2015 after Parliament stupidly chose to hold a public vote I was saying that since they'd decided to skip that first vote therefore an approach would be for the 2016 vote to be an initial vote that could be followed up with a vote on a detailed plan before triggering A50). The UK precedent would then be followed by some form of Parliamentary approval - in the case of devolution for Scotland and Wales following the 1997 Labour landslide this was little more than agreement to hold a referendum and agree wording, the "gold standard" would be the 8 years and 2 Parliaments that the Scottish executive spent defining the question for the 2014 indy ref. If that precedent is followed then a yes vote in the referendum can be immediately enacted without the need for further parliamentary time (of course, the enacting of the decision will need time as there's almost always some level of negotiation involved - possibly something entirely internal such as the proposed change in the voting system to the AV system can be immediately implemented).

    As I've said repeatedly, to the point where many are fed up with it, Parliament in 2015 made a big mistake by deciding to take the unprecedented step of calling a public vote that didn't follow the conventions and precedents for holding a referendum. One thing that needs to happen as a result of this fiasco is for Parliament, media and the public at large to recognise that the 2016 vote is not used as a precedent for holding a referendum, and that any future referendum follows the earlier precedent of being a vote on something that is government policy which already has the support of Parliament. Even if that results in the UK being outside the EU based on something that's recognised as a democratically and constitutionally flawed public vote.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Shubenacadie, I can see what you're getting at - which may have more strength had voting been compulsory. As it was only about 70% from memory voted. The inference must be that 30% just did not care. So I go back to asking what percentage you consider should have been needed.
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    As it was a simple majority that won the 2016 vote it should be a simple majority again. As far as I can see the default position has changed. It was remain it is now leave. To give an advantage to the current default when none was given to the default at the time would be unfair. To give an advantage to remain would be unfair. A simple majority is best. If that leads to leave then I will hate it but as long as it is a proper and fair vote I would live with it.
  • Eutychus wrote: »
    Therefore, as a pragmatic alternative there should be a referendum to confirm whether we agree with Parliament - if Parliament support the WA then the choice is between that vs Remain, if Parliament reject that (ie: accepts the default no-deal) then the choice is between no-deal vs Remain (I accept I might not have spelt out that bit before).
    Now that you have spelt out that bit, all credit to you. That sounds (inevitably) eminently sensible.
    "Eminently sensible", the kiss of death for any idea in the current political climate.
  • I was just wondering whether your proposal might gain any traction as an official petition to Parliament. I'd sign (for once).
  • Hugal wrote: »
    Boris wants to push through the legislation in 3 days. SomeMPs are rightly saying that is not a good idea. It is too important an issue to rush

    It could get stuck in Committee for that.
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    Just from the BBC
    If Parliament don’t approve the 3 day time table and the EU gives an extension Boris will go for an election. I am not surprised. I am sure no one else is.
  • Richard North in his blog writes that a 31 Oct deal is impossible, as the European Parliament cannot now ratify it, and is not sitting next week. Presumably, no deal could still happen.

    However, as above, Boris may just go for an election. No doubt he will use the opposition tactics as election material, say no to the traitors and doomsters. He is ahead in the polls.
  • Richard North in his blog writes that a 31 Oct deal is impossible, as the European Parliament cannot now ratify it, and is not sitting next week. Presumably, no deal could still happen.

    However, as above, Boris may just go for an election. No doubt he will use the opposition tactics as election material, say no to the traitors and doomsters. He is ahead in the polls.

    Even when BoJo was over in the EU last week, it was suggested that ratification might not be possible until into November on the EU side. Which would certainly have required a lot of trust, but also nullifies the argument for rushing...
  • I suppose he might be nervous of missing his 31 Oct deadline. I don't think his fans will mind, no doubt Farage will chortle about it. Why is England so right wing?
  • I suppose he might be nervous of missing his 31 Oct deadline. I don't think his fans will mind, no doubt Farage will chortle about it. Why is England so right wing?

    I'm not sure it is. I think the electoral system possibly gives the impression that it is, An Brexit isn't really a good barometer of whether it is or not given how many Labour areas went for it.

    "Why is England so right wing" could be a whole new thread...
  • Well, English nationalism is a wild horse now, uncertain where to go, but by gum, determined to do some damage. Take cover.
  • Well, English nationalism is a wild horse now, uncertain where to go, but by gum, determined to do some damage. Take cover.

    Anyone who thinks English nationalism is something new should stop kidding themselves. The idea of the English as tolerant and kind has always been bollocks. You can ask the Irish, the Scots and the Welsh for a start.
  • sionisais wrote: »
    Well, English nationalism is a wild horse now, uncertain where to go, but by gum, determined to do some damage. Take cover.

    Anyone who thinks English nationalism is something new should stop kidding themselves. The idea of the English as tolerant and kind has always been bollocks. You can ask the Irish, the Scots and the Welsh for a start.

    Yes, I wasn't implying it is new. It has been disguised in England itself, partly, as you say, because of its virulence elsewhere. But now the farrow is eating her own, (mixed metaphor).
  • Sorry, it's the sow that eats her farrow.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    edited October 22
    I suppose he might be nervous of missing his 31 Oct deadline. I don't think his fans will mind, no doubt Farage will chortle about it. Why is England so right wing?

    Who knows. Island mentality?

    Insel affen - island monkeys.

    The tabloid press also have a lot to answer for.

    If there is an election at least there’s a hope that the Brexit vote will be split.

    If the opposition parties could then co-ordinate ...



  • Boogie wrote: »
    I suppose he might be nervous of missing his 31 Oct deadline. I don't think his fans will mind, no doubt Farage will chortle about it. Why is England so right wing?

    Who knows. Island mentality?

    Insel affen - island monkeys.

    If there is an election at least there’s a hope that the Brexit vote will be split.

    If the opposition parties could then co-ordinate ...



    Not a cat in hells chance. I would think Swinson will go full-bore anti-Corbyn, in order to attract Tories.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    :cry:
  • sionisais wrote: »
    Well, English nationalism is a wild horse now, uncertain where to go, but by gum, determined to do some damage. Take cover.

    Anyone who thinks English nationalism is something new should stop kidding themselves. The idea of the English as tolerant and kind has always been bollocks. You can ask the Irish, the Scots and the Welsh for a start.

    Yes, I wasn't implying it is new. It has been disguised in England itself, partly, as you say, because of its virulence elsewhere. But now the farrow is eating her own, (mixed metaphor).

    I didn't intend that either: my mistake. I could have mentioned that we've had at least two Civil Wars, persecution of Catholics by Protestants and vice-versa, and now we have sundry demonization of foreigners, the unemployed, chronically sick and whose who for no fault of their are simply poor.
  • Just reading the report of parliament today, and Corbyn sounding pro-Brexit, a soft Brexit, to be sure. I always forget that he is. Does it confuse people? The Brexiteers also elide it.
  • Does it confuse people?

    Dunno, but it confuses me (not a hard task).
    :confused:
  • Just reading the report of parliament today, and Corbyn sounding pro-Brexit, a soft Brexit, to be sure. I always forget that he is. Does it confuse people? The Brexiteers also elide it.

    You misread Corbyn here. There is a debate to be had on Corbyn's neutral position which he reiterated but that's beside the point. The key here is to persuade pro-Brexit Labour MPs not to back the business motion. The fact that he is not anti-Brexit under any scenario (regardless of the merits or otherwise of that view) gives him vital credibility here.

    FWIW, Ian Dunt who is a) a very astute political observer and b) more Remain than me, was very strong is praising Corbyn's speech:

    https://twitter.com/IanDunt/status/1186644864575954949?s=19

    AFZ
  • But it's strange how Boris and Co talk about the blocking of Brexit by the opposition parties, but Corbyn wants a soft Brexit. I thought his plan offered a compromise, but maybe nobody wants that now.
  • Sinn Fein saying they want a poll on Irish unity within 5 years. I wonder if the Brexiteers anticipated this, emerging from Brexit.
  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    Sinn Fein saying they want a poll on Irish unity within 5 years. I wonder if the Brexiteers anticipated this, emerging from Brexit.

    If the end results of Brexit eventually include Scottish independence and Irish unity ... wow. What a legacy for David Cameron to be proud of!
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited October 22
    Yes, but not much fun for those of us marooned in Rumpland, with Johnson as Our Great Conductor...
  • Ruth wrote: »
    Sinn Fein saying they want a poll on Irish unity within 5 years. I wonder if the Brexiteers anticipated this, emerging from Brexit.

    If the end results of Brexit eventually include Scottish independence and Irish unity ... wow. What a legacy for David Cameron to be proud of!

    Mind-boggling unintended consequences. Life is what happens while I was making other plans.
  • Brexit has become a cult, with its own heresies and anathema. Thus, the single market was touted in the early days, but is now promulgated as an accursed thing.
  • Yes, but not much fun for those of us marooned in Rumpland, with Johnson as Our Great Conductor...

    Wangland. Led by a Johnson.
  • Hugal wrote: »
    Just from the BBC
    If Parliament don’t approve the 3 day time table and the EU gives an extension Boris will go for an election. I am not surprised. I am sure no one else is.

    Surely those are exactly the conditions under which Corbyn would go for an election himself? Will it be a race between the two leaders to see who can get their election request in first?
  • I suspect that opposition co-ordination in a snap 'in or out' general election, because TBH that is what it will essentially be, may be on the lines seen in the EU elections: Plaid/SNP/Lib Dems/Greens will have a pro-remain pact to not compete against each other
    and split the vote in areas where there is a possibility one of them could actually win.

    I think English nationalism has developed a particularly nasty edge in the last few years in that the football hooligan/current flavour of extreme nationalist political party element has grown bigger in some places and the more pernicious low-level stuff has behaved like a large scale fungus colony in that it has spread out beneath the surface and erupted into 'toadstools' in the general population where those views have become part of some peoples regular discourse-just read the comments/letters pages of the media, particularly the regional versions.



  • Sinn Fein saying they want a poll on Irish unity within 5 years. I wonder if the Brexiteers anticipated this, emerging from Brexit.

    As I’ve said before, I doubt many of them care about NI either way.
  • Government has won the bill for the second reading, voting on the programme motion is happening now - this is perhaps the more crucial vote.
  • They’ve lost the timetable vote.
  • jay_emmjay_emm Shipmate
    And he's sabotaged his own deal, again!
  • He doesn’t want his bill amended - with, for example, a confirmatory referendum attached to it.

  • Sinn Fein saying they want a poll on Irish unity within 5 years. I wonder if the Brexiteers anticipated this, emerging from Brexit.

    As I’ve said before, I doubt many of them care about NI either way.

    Many are probably barely aware that Northern Ireland is 'really' part of the UK. Certainly not properly British! I can still remember the red-top newspapers during the 70's and 80's questioning why British soldiers were in Ireland, and saying that if there were people in NI who wanted to be British, why didn't they just move over to England? I would say, too, that for a certain kind of Brexit voter the opportunity of sloughing off the liability that is Northern Ireland would be a most desirable side effect of Brexit.
  • EutychusEutychus Admin
    edited October 22
    The irony to me here is that the fate of the UK appears to rest wholly in the hands of the EU for the moment - extension or no extension? Although I suppose Johnson will paper over his part in this state of affairs and make capital out of this should an election be forthcoming.

    As I foresaw earlier, he looks depressingly likely to come out on top either way.
  • Interesting tweet from Katya Adler summarised on the BBC live text feed: "PM putting election ahead of Brexit deal' - EU diplomat".

    As it stands parliament has got far enough to show some willingness to make progress on getting a deal but quite rightly made a fuss about having enough time to read the small print. Given that that small print includes decisions we can't get out of in a hurry as it will be impossible to just revoke the WAB, trying to railroad it through in order to be Out by Halloween is contemptuous of both parliament and the country as a whole. After all, he might have snuck an order for a solid gold toilet in there, let alone the fact that technical bits like what happens to fishing rights, which seem to be a rather Cinderella subject in all of this, need reading by people who Actually Understand them.

    At least I don't think I will share my birthday with Brexit day even if it gets pushed back again: not only is St Andrew's day a Saturday this year, which is not a good day bureaucratically to do something as big as this, just imagine the Scottish reaction to that date! It'll be interesting to say what the M1 gantry signs about customs paperwork say over the next few days: will they remove the date or not?

    And Anselmina, that is sad but true. A lot of people in England don't understand Northern Irish politics, especially now things are more stable there and it's not in the news so much.
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