Brexit thread III

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Comments

  • It irritated me that a couple of times news bulletins today said that in the Euro elections the Brexit Party had "Won", which is quite misleading.

    If purpose of the contest was to gain the largest number of seats (like a General Election) that would be correct. They did get the largest number of seats ... and... that IS the result, there is no 'winning'.
  • ThunderBunkThunderBunk Shipmate
    But if this country had any sanity left, a party that is no more than a slogan would have been laughed out of contention within the first 30 seconds of putting itself forward. We are a broken country that elects puppets on sticks and expects them to dance, purely because they have a name.
  • More to the point - they expect other parties' puppets to dance to their tune!
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    Farage’s shower got the most seats, because the remain vote was splintered all over the place.
    The split of the Remain vote was entirely appropriate. Whereas the Brexit "Party" had a non-manifesto for the UK leaving the EU asap, the remain parties had manifestoes of "stop Brexit +", where the '+' indicates what they would favour as policies that they would work for if elected. On that the LibDems, Greens, ChangeUK and SNP/PC have different priorities, and those who were looking beyond a pseudo-referendum would take that into account when casting their vote.

    I understand that, but it is distorting the public narrative somewhat. Some are presenting a Brexit win - though that is not what the majority voted for. Problematic for a second referendum, is that it is not clear which way the rump Labour and Tory votes are split - and there are considerably more votes there than the size of the gap between the leave/remain vote.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited May 27
    Scotland has confirmed that it is pro-Remain - with just the Western Isles to declare (they regard counting votes as Sabbath-breaking, so started counting this morning) it's 37.9% SNP, 13.9% LibDem, 8.3% Green and 1.9% Change, matching the 62% in favour of Remain in 2016.

    Interestingly, the second person on the SNP list, Christian Allard, is a French citizen. He came to Scotland 30 years ago to work for a company which exported Scottish seafood to France and has lived here ever since. He's been an MSP, and was sworn into Holyrood in both English and French.

    Christian Allard neatly underlines the long-standing close connection between Scotland and France - Scotland is indeed a European country these days. Long may it remain so, whether independent of those awkward cusses south of the Border, or not!
    :wink:

  • Well, since a "Scottish Thatcherite" (isn't that a contradiction) who lives in the south of France has also been elected as an MEP for the NE England region, it's clear that many people consider the whole UK to still be European. Minor problem that he was elected as a Brexit "Party" MEP.
  • Ah, but how many who voted for him actually know that he lives in Foreign Parts (where dwell People Not Like Us)?
  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    edited May 27
    Farage’s shower got the most seats, because the remain vote was splintered all over the place.
    The split of the Remain vote was entirely appropriate. Whereas the Brexit "Party" had a non-manifesto for the UK leaving the EU asap, the remain parties had manifestoes of "stop Brexit +", where the '+' indicates what they would favour as policies that they would work for if elected. On that the LibDems, Greens, ChangeUK and SNP/PC have different priorities, and those who were looking beyond a pseudo-referendum would take that into account when casting their vote.

    I understand that, but it is distorting the public narrative somewhat. Some are presenting a Brexit win - though that is not what the majority voted for. Problematic for a second referendum, is that it is not clear which way the rump Labour and Tory votes are split - and there are considerably more votes there than the size of the gap between the leave/remain vote.

    Everything is distorted by the low turnout. In terms of actual numbers, Brexit + UKIP got 5.8m, which, lest we forget, is less than the total on the 'Revoke A50' petition. Lib-Dem + Green + Change UK got 5.9m, which rises to 6.7m when we add SNP and Plain Cymru. All of which is, on either side, about a third of the 17.4m who voted Leave and the 16.1m who voted Remain.

    The media story is that the country is full of either angry Remainers or angry Leavers, with the more important camp being whichever one agrees with the editorial line - whereas in reality, I think the majority vote is for Please Make It Go Away.
  • Doc TorDoc Tor Hell Host
    Ah, but how many who voted for him actually know that he lives in Foreign Parts (where dwell People Not Like Us)?

    It was written on the ballot paper. No one said Brexit Party voters were smart.
  • RocinanteRocinante Shipmate
    edited May 27
    //
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited May 27
    I'm not sure quite why the Brexit 'Party' is so jubilant - after all, all they've really done is to replace UKIP*, and there'll always be that sort of element in UK politics.

    (*Well, not quite, perhaps - 24 UKippers out, 29 Brexiteers in, so some gain, I admit).
  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    Ricardus wrote: »
    Farage’s shower got the most seats, because the remain vote was splintered all over the place.
    The split of the Remain vote was entirely appropriate. Whereas the Brexit "Party" had a non-manifesto for the UK leaving the EU asap, the remain parties had manifestoes of "stop Brexit +", where the '+' indicates what they would favour as policies that they would work for if elected. On that the LibDems, Greens, ChangeUK and SNP/PC have different priorities, and those who were looking beyond a pseudo-referendum would take that into account when casting their vote.

    I understand that, but it is distorting the public narrative somewhat. Some are presenting a Brexit win - though that is not what the majority voted for. Problematic for a second referendum, is that it is not clear which way the rump Labour and Tory votes are split - and there are considerably more votes there than the size of the gap between the leave/remain vote.

    Everything is distorted by the low turnout. In terms of actual numbers, Brexit + UKIP got 5.8m, which, lest we forget, is less than the total on the 'Revoke A50' petition. Lib-Dem + Green + Change UK got 5.9m, which rises to 6.7m when we add SNP and Plain Cymru. All of which is, on either side, about a third of the 17.4m who voted Leave and the 16.1m who voted Remain.

    I think the media story is that the country is full of either angry Remainers or angry Leavers, with the more important camp being whichever one agrees with the editorial line - when the majority vote is for Please Make It Go Away.
    It irritated me that a couple of times news bulletins today said that in the Euro elections the Brexit Party had "Won", which is quite misleading.

    If purpose of the contest was to gain the largest number of seats (like a General Election) that would be correct. They did get the largest number of seats ... and... that IS the result, there is no 'winning'.

    I agree. There's something very parochial about claiming any British party 'won' a European election. The actual winners, the European People's Party, have no British members. The Socialist group, which includes Labour, came second and will probably continue to be in a grand coalition, so technically, Labour was the best performing British party ...
  • O, and I see from BBC News that the pro-Remain Alliance Party in Northern Ireland seems to be doing well, with UKIP absolutely nowhere.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    *Well, not quite, perhaps - 24 UKippers out, 29 Brexiteers in, so some gain, I admit.
    By my calculations, they've replaced 1 Labour seat and 4 Conservatives. The Conservatives have lost 7 seats to the Greens and Liberal Democrats. Labour has lost 9 to the Greens, Liberal Democrats, and SNP.
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    The specialist on the news this morning says the country is split. Really? I would never have found Essex. Trying to see this as indicative of a referendum or anything really is silly but hey.
  • alienfromzogalienfromzog Shipmate
    Those of us who are anti-Brexit should be encouraged by the European elections for the following reasons:

    1) The fact that they happened at all is a big win. Remember that it's only very recently that the Prime Minister said this was unacceptable.
    2) Remain got the largest vote share
    3) the Brexit Party took its support from UKIP but apart from that gained only a few percentage points
    4) the mood music from the Labour party is that it is moving to a proper Remain position

    Of course I would prefer never to see Farage's smug grin again but this is all good progress.

    AFZ
  • The story that the EU are investigating Farage for not declaring funds received from Aaron Banks - story from Independent here together with the Electoral Commission investigation into party funding makes me live in hope that Farage might get stopped one way or another.
  • The problem is that they only get fined. If the total of money spent on campaign + fine exceeds the money they received then it's not cost them anything. It's just a means to spend donated money. What would hurt parties far more is for the consequences of cheating to lead to disqualification with the second place candidate given the seat, but that's not going to happen (for a start, there's a question about whether that's democratic since it would be very difficult to prove the cheating resulted getting enough people to vote for them to secure a victory - in this case, given that the bulk of Brexit 'Party' votes were transfers from UKIP those votes were for the Brexit 'Party' regardless of the campaign they ran).
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    edited May 27
    Lord Ashcroft has been tweeting out polls about which way and why trad Tory and Labour voters voted for other parties. Worth a look. I have seen the polls on twitter - here’s a link to his site https://lordashcroftpolls.com/2019/05/my-euro-election-post-vote-poll-most-tory-switchers-say-they-will-stay-with-their-new-party/
  • quetzalcoatlquetzalcoatl Shipmate
    Well, the euro-polls are being interpreted everywhichway. Leave won, no remain won, no legacy politics has been smashed, no it was a protest vote. It's rather like Brexit, an abyss in which you can see your own reflection. I don't see a way ahead, do you?
  • alienfromzogalienfromzog Shipmate
    Well, the euro-polls are being interpreted everywhichway. Leave won, no remain won, no legacy politics has been smashed, no it was a protest vote. It's rather like Brexit, an abyss in which you can see your own reflection. I don't see a way ahead, do you?

    There really is a way out. None of this is easy but the country breaks down to the following groups: roughly....

    1) People who want to leave at any cost.
    2) People who want to leave with 'No Deal' because they believe (wrongly) that would mean Brexit was 'over' - it would actually mean at least a decade of work to sort out various trading arrangements.
    3) People who have had enough of all this Brexit nonsense
    4) People who want whatever is the best overall - i.e. some voted remain believing it would be better economically and socially and some voted leave for the same reason.
    5) People who want to remain.

    Now, whichever poll you look at, there is definitely not a majority for 1. There probably isn't even a majority for 1+2 and as I pointed out, a huge chuck of those who support leaving with 'No Deal' misunderstand what 'No Deal' means.

    Therefore there is no doubt that the only way forward is to find some way to remain in the EU. This is the best policy for the national interest, this is also the democratic thing to do.

    It is a matter of political courage. Nothing more, nothing less.

    AFZ
  • It is a matter of political courage. Nothing more, nothing less.
    I think the only thing rarer than that right now in the UK is a Brexit unicorn.

  • I don't see a way ahead, do you?
    I wouldn't start from here.

  • I suggest that the obvious next step would be to have a General Election. That is historically what has happened when the government cannot make progress with its policies due to being voted down in Parliament.

    I am not at all sure that I would be happy with the result of such a General Election but it seems like the Right Thing To Do (TM).
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    A General Election at this stage could be very scary indeed - you might end up with Farage as Prime Minister.
  • I was going to post that but then decided I was a victim of tabloid propaganda. There's a big difference between winning what most people in the UK seem to have seen as a pointless exercise relating to a single issue and mobilising enough candidates and support in enough constituencies to command a majority of MPs.
  • alienfromzogalienfromzog Shipmate
    Eutychus wrote: »
    I was going to post that but then decided I was a victim of tabloid propaganda. There's a big difference between winning what most people in the UK seem to have seen as a pointless exercise relating to a single issue and mobilising enough candidates and support in enough constituencies to command a majority of MPs.

    Indeed.

    Farage has some devotees on Twitter who seem to believe this is about to happen.

    The good news is that it is not going to happen.

    The bad news is that 8 out of 10 of the candidates for Tory leader plan to out-Farage Farage.

    We really are in trouble.

    AFZ
  • Piglet wrote: »
    A General Election at this stage could be very scary indeed - you might end up with Farage as Prime Minister.
    Eutychus wrote: »
    I was going to post that but then decided I was a victim of tabloid propaganda. There's a big difference between winning what most people in the UK seem to have seen as a pointless exercise relating to a single issue and mobilising enough candidates and support in enough constituencies to command a majority of MPs.
    For anyone within either Conservative or Labour leadership a GE at this time will be scary. Because the chances of either getting a majority are practically zero, and there's no guarantee that either will be the largest party and get to try to form a government. It will be an enormous risk for both parties, but especially for the Conservatives. Whoever takes over the Tory leadership will need to rebuild the party before there's any chance of not being decimated in, let alone winning, an election, and that would need to start by "delivering Brexit".

    On the other hand, at the moment the Brexit "Party" isn't a position to fight a GE, and forcing them to rush through the process may break the 'party' apart. Farage will almost certainly get sufficient supporters to fund a campaign. Where he'll struggle is to find 650 candidates, he doesn't have a membership to call upon and no local groups from whom candidates can be drawn and who will pound the streets in support of them, and even if he did have 650 candidates the majority will have no experience and (hopefully) struggle against candidates from existing parties with experience as councillors etc. (the same would be true of ChangeUK). He would also need to develop a manifesto for domestic politics, and again without a party and membership behind him it's not clear how he will do that in a manner that retains the support he has, I would expect very few of those who supported him would agree on anything in domestic politics beyond leaving the EU.

    So, a snap GE before the end of October will lead almost inevitably to a hung Parliament but with (probably) the LibDems holding the balance of power and significant SNP/PC/Green representation. The Brexit "Party" may get a few seats, but beyond leaving the EU have no clear policies and hopefully insufficient numbers to be able to control anything. Of course that will solve nothing with regard to Brexit, but the timescale allows it as there can't be any further progress on negotiations with the EU until October anyway, and I suspect that if there is to be another extension and re-negotiation (to a softer position) the EU would be more amenable to grant that to a new Lab-LibDem government, with a different approach including a confirmatory referendum, than the current government under a new leader - though that's still very unlikely.
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    I am unsure a GE would solve anything. I also think the public don’t want one. That is what cost Labour in the EU elections. They appear to be moving towards a referendum. Som of their voters won't like it but Brexit is not really achievable.
    Meanwhile The EU has said the deal is the deal take it or leave it.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    The current government will not revoke Article 50. The EU will not renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement. The current House of Commons will not pass the Withdrawal Agreement. So I guess those are the starting points in any political calculations.
  • alienfromzogalienfromzog Shipmate
    Barnabas62 wrote: »
    The current government will not revoke Article 50. The EU will not renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement. The current House of Commons will not pass the Withdrawal Agreement. So I guess those are the starting points in any political calculations.

    Absolutely. Yet several of the candidates for Tory leader and thus Prime Minister have publicly said that they will renegotiate the Withdrawal agreement without the backstop.

    Are they delusional or mendacious? Either way that's deeply worrying in someone seeking the highest political office in the land and concerning the biggest issue affected our nation.

    AFZ
  • Barnabas62 wrote: »
    The current government will not revoke Article 50. The EU will not renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement. The current House of Commons will not pass the Withdrawal Agreement. So I guess those are the starting points in any political calculations.

    Absolutely. Yet several of the candidates for Tory leader and thus Prime Minister have publicly said that they will renegotiate the Withdrawal agreement without the backstop.

    Are they delusional or mendacious? Either way that's deeply worrying in someone seeking the highest political office in the land and concerning the biggest issue affected our nation.

    AFZ
    Fools, knaves, or both?

    We can list the four categories of action quite easily:

    1. A "clean break" or "no deal" Brexit. It gets the UK out of the EU quickly, but will then result in ongoing negotiations with the EU to restore a working relationship for decades. A Brexit, but both a massive hit on the UK economy and society, and also a route that leaves the UK Government and Parliament talking about the EU for 20 years, at least. Great for political pundits, but the diametric opposite of the wishes of the "get it done" crowd.

    2. Negotiation of a different deal with the EU. The EU are very unlikely to engage with this, and given the process of re-appointing EU officials there won't be anyone to negotiate with until the autumn anyway - so, therefore there will also need to be a further extension of A50 to allow this. Even in the very unlikely instance of this happening, it will be an even longer period before Brexit is "delivered", even more time with Farage and his smug grin on the TV.

    3. Accept the withdrawal agreement on the table. It won't get through Parliament, but it's probably the quickest route to "delivering Brexit" providing the final deal at the end of the transition period is basically acceptable to Parliament (a big provision I know, as avoiding an Irish border will need a customs union of some form, which will limit the ability to strike trade deals elsewhere).

    4. Revoke A50. By far the quickest route to get out of the Brexit quagmire, but not without costs (it won't, for example, bring the EU institutions that are leaving the UK, nor the various businesses that have relocated) and a political disaster for the Conservatives. It will also mean we have to endure the smug grin of Farage for years more.

    I'd still like to see the people involved in any of the above through some formal, proper democratic process. At the very least a general election with parties defining their positions within their manifesto, preferably followed by a referendum to confirm our agreement at the end of the Parliamentary process. But, that's a wish as full of unicorns as the Brexit dream.
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    Surely if we revoke article 50. We will have to endure an unhappy Farage face. After all he would no longer be needed. I could cope with that.
  • I live in hope that one of Farage's recent financial irregularities will have him prosecuted for fraud. There are two - the European Parliament are pursuing him for the receipt of upwards of £4.5 million from Aaron Banks for what Farage describes as support while he was out of work. The European Parliament doesn't see it that way as they were paying Farage's MEP salary during that period. In addition, the Electoral Commission are querying the Brexit Party funding.
  • quetzalcoatlquetzalcoatl Shipmate
    Farage cleverly avoided political policies during the euro election, even immigration was ignored. But the Tory candidates may well swing to the right, and Labour are all over the place. Shtuck.
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    1. A "clean break" or "no deal" Brexit. It gets the UK out of the EU quickly, but will then result in ongoing negotiations with the EU to restore a working relationship for decades.

    Furthermore, the parameters of the initial steps of such a relationship will be the same as the limits of the current WA (re payment of finances, respecting the GFA and so on), so all that would have been achieved would be a lot of drama and then the UK would be back to square one.

    Though there's always full juche.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Alan Cresswell, I can see the HoC in its present silliness voting against all 4 of your courses of action - and any others proposed. That leaves time to run its course.
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    I live in hope that one of Farage's recent financial irregularities will have him prosecuted for fraud. There are two - the European Parliament are pursuing him for the receipt of upwards of £4.5 million from Aaron Banks for what Farage describes as support while he was out of work. The European Parliament doesn't see it that way as they were paying Farage's MEP salary during that period. In addition, the Electoral Commission are querying the Brexit Party funding.

    I was going to say this is unbelievable but it isn’t
  • sionisaissionisais Shipmate
    Hugal wrote: »
    I live in hope that one of Farage's recent financial irregularities will have him prosecuted for fraud. There are two - the European Parliament are pursuing him for the receipt of upwards of £4.5 million from Aaron Banks for what Farage describes as support while he was out of work. The European Parliament doesn't see it that way as they were paying Farage's MEP salary during that period. In addition, the Electoral Commission are querying the Brexit Party funding.

    I was going to say this is unbelievable but it isn’t

    I'm sure the taxman will be interested in that £4.5 million. If he was being paid his MEP salary and receiving that cool sum while he was unemployed then the DWP might have a look too. Just to be sure you understand.
  • Curiosity killedCuriosity killed Shipmate
    edited May 29
    That story about funding from Aaron Banks comes from the Independent of 21 May 2019 and sorry, I misplaced a zero, it was only £450,000 he received in gifts.
  • Wet KipperWet Kipper Shipmate
    and sorry, I misplaced a zero, it was only £450,000 he received in gifts.

    a typical politician's answer - I suppose that makes it all okay then :wink:
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    I live in hope that one of Farage's recent financial irregularities will have him prosecuted for fraud.

    I think that one has to admit at this point that UK law isn't going to be systematically applied in these kinds of areas because to do so would involve opening a can of worms that too many people have a interest in keeping closed.

    Same with electoral law - outside measures mainly aimed at voter suppression, and a few cases of individual veniality.

    Parts of the state swing instinctively to the right - in ways that haven't changed since the original Mayfair Set - which is another reason why Farage/UKIP won't be targeted.
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    There has been a private crowdfunded action brought against Bojo. It concerns the figure on the bus. They say he knew it was wrong but kept using it. It is going to the courts.
  • Perhaps BoJo and Nigel could be banged up in the same cell in Jug?

    They could then :grin: or perhaps :grimace: at each other...
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    Hugal wrote: »
    There has been a private crowdfunded action brought against Bojo. It concerns the figure on the bus. They say he knew it was wrong but kept using it. It is going to the courts.

    This really shouldn't rely on private prosecutions, and its a bad precedent to set when that vehicle is used in that way. Besides, even if he is found guilty, it doesn't really change anything does it.

  • EirenistEirenist Shipmate
    He will be entitled to a jury trial, won't he? Can anyone see the average jury convicting old Bojo? And anyway, his fans will forgive him anything, like Trump.
  • Breaking BBC News regarding BoJo and the Brexit Bus...
    https://bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-48445430
  • Breaking BBC News? What is it?
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited May 29
    Eh? Click on the link, and you will see what was reported on BBC News a short while (40 minutes or so) ago.

    'Breaking' news is that which is being reported now (or very recently).
  • quetzalcoatlquetzalcoatl Shipmate
    I thought this will probably make Johnson more popular, as with Trump.
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