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  #101  
Old 02-25-2019, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by glee View Post
Sadly we have no political leaders of any quality.
Although my prior impression that Boris Johnson was at least a harmless buffoon has been shown to be wide of the mark, at least he's still funnier than most American politicians.

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  #102  
Old 02-25-2019, 09:42 PM
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This is another interesting layer (but a bit clickbaity): https://www.lbc.co.uk/radio/presente...result-stands/

Basically a lawsuit alleging damages based on the referendum/decision to leave the EU was made based on the leave campaign breaking election law, but because the referendum itself was not legally binding, it can't be legally nullified. Jessica Simor (not sure if she's the plaintiff or attorney) never says that if it had been legally binding her case definitively would have nullified it, but basically implied that the court never her to sue to nullify the result but otherwise that's what she would have sued for, and she thinks that they would have nullified the result.

What she did sue for was some way of demanding that May's government respond to the findings that the leave campaign violated election law, but she lost that despite having evidencei n her favor because she didn't bring the case early enough (despite the fact that in the allotted window people didn't know that leave had broken the law).

Last edited by str8cashhomie; 02-25-2019 at 09:44 PM.
  #103  
Old 02-25-2019, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by glee View Post
Their only point is "We had a referendum and the result to Leave must apply for all eternity."
I'm a Spaniard. I'm completely pro-EU mainly because I believe we're reaching an unavoidable era of giant economic markets and it's better to be inside of one. But once a referendum is made, and a decision taken, it should be given the chance to fail or succeed. Let's say two, three decades. Otherwise it will become a torn on the side of European politics forever.

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Originally Posted by glee View Post
Of course the Referendum was badly flawed. It should have said:

Which of these options do you prefer?:

- Hard Brexit (no agreement on anything)
- Norwegian relationship with the EU
- Canadian relationship with the EU
- negotiated relationship with the EU
- Remain
No, it shouldn't. To begin with, the UK only controls the first and last option. The rest are bilateral agreements, as in, not just up to the UK.


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Originally Posted by glee View Post
Leaving will cause very difficult trade problems on the Irish border (where one country is in the EU and the other isn't. We could even see the resumption of terrorism...)
I doubt it. The version of the IRA that became terrorists wasn't just about Irish Nationalism, it was also a Marxist-Leninist movement supported by the countries inside the Iron Curtain.

There are other issues coming from the Emerald Isle, however. And that'd be the Republic of Ireland considering Brexit a violation of the Good Friday Agreement and using their veto power to essentially take control of the EU-UK relations with their own political agenda.

Last edited by Go_Arachnid_Laser; 02-25-2019 at 09:56 PM.
  #104  
Old 02-26-2019, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Go_Arachnid_Laser View Post
. . . No, it shouldn't. To begin with, the UK only controls the first and last option. The rest are bilateral agreements, as in, not just up to the UK.
This is true. On the other hand the fact that several of these options are not something the UK government can unilaterally deliver doesn’t stop voters from having a preference for (or against) them. And if the purpose of the referendum is not to guarantee a particular outcome but to secure a democratic mandate for pursuing it (and if this purpose is property communicated to voters) then offering those options makes perfect sense.

Which raises the question, of course, of what referendums are for, and what they can and can’t achieve. Which is a question they haven’t really answered to their own satisfaction in the UK.

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Originally Posted by Go_Arachnid_Laser View Post
I doubt it. The version of the IRA that became terrorists wasn't just about Irish Nationalism, it was also a Marxist-Leninist movement supported by the countries inside the Iron Curtain.
Mmm. Not really. When the IRA split in 1969/70, both factions initially pursued militant action, but it was the Marxist-Leninist faction which moved away from this, and towards conventional politics, fairly early on. In 1972 they declared a permanent ceasefire (as against the crown forces) and by the late ‘70s they were opposing all republican political violence, which they regarded as “distracting working class attention from the class struggle”, and urging people to co-operate with the security forces. The more classic Irish republican faction continued its armed activities for another 25 years until the ceasefire of 1997, before eventually disarming in 2005. They didn’t receive any support from the Soviets at any point, and the absence of a Soviet Union to support them now would not be a factor in whether or in what circumstances political violence might resume.

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Originally Posted by Go_Arachnid_Laser View Post
There are other issues coming from the Emerald Isle, however. And that'd be the Republic of Ireland considering Brexit a violation of the Good Friday Agreement and using their veto power to essentially take control of the EU-UK relations with their own political agenda.
The Republic doesn’t have a veto power that would allow it to “essentially take control of the EU-UK relations”. They could probably veto an EU/UK trade deal, though whether they could do so would depend on what was in the deal and, even if they could veto a particular deal, that’s not the same thing as taking general control of the relationship.
  #105  
Old 02-26-2019, 02:39 AM
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Originally Posted by UDS View Post
The more classic Irish republican faction continued its armed activities for another 25 years until the ceasefire of 1997, before eventually disarming in 2005.
And none of the successive iterations of the process of terrorism to unarmed politics-as-usual in that part of Irish politics ruled out the "physical force" enthusiasts splitting into new groups launching their own campaigns. They may be few, but there is already at least one group capable of planting pipe bombs and the like: bung up customs posts along the border (or maybe anywhere in Ireland), and they're a sitting target for potshots or worse. It might be like the campaign of the 1950s, that wasn't taken all that seriously, or it might be worse if Loyalist counter-paramilitaries re-launch themselves and/or London mishandles the situation as badly as it did in the early 70s (and with this shambles of a government, I wouldn't give you odds).
  #106  
Old 02-26-2019, 02:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Riemann View Post
Better late than never. This is what I had long been hoping for. I think Labor pushing for a second referendum is the only path to it happening.

Things are looking up. An extension seems like a formality.

To my mind, the most appropriate way forward is relatively long extension to allow a general election, with Labor laying out a clear manifesto for a second referendum, and specifying exactly what the referendum would look like; and the Conservative party laying out [something else]. This way, any change to the result of the first election has to pass two hurdles of democracy - a general election in which the question of a new referendum is a primary factor, and then (if Labor win) the referendum itself.
Will the second referendum mean anything or will there be a third and fourth until the people reach the "correct" result?

Parliament can do what it wants obviously, but I think it would lose all credibility with the UK public WRT referenda in the future if it acted in this manner.

Cameron played a game and lost. The Eurosceptics and UKIP were gaining a lot of power and Cameron tried to shut them up by holding a referendum that he was certain he would win. He didn't. The Leave campaign won what they were promised fair and square.

Further everyone knew that it would take at least two years and there would be difficulties in negotiation. It is bad faith to say, "Well, it's been two years and negotiations are hard, so maybe the people want something different now."

I agree that Cameron never should have held the vote, and if he did, he should have required a supermajority for such a major change. But he didn't and it is unfair to deny the victors what they earned after following the rules.
  #107  
Old 02-26-2019, 03:12 AM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
Parliament can do what it wants obviously, but I think it would lose all credibility with the UK public WRT referenda in the future if it acted in this manner.
I think a lot of people would see that as a feature rather than a bug at this point.

Last edited by Lord Feldon; 02-26-2019 at 03:15 AM.
  #108  
Old 02-26-2019, 03:15 AM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
Will the second referendum mean anything or will there be a third and fourth until the people reach the "correct" result?
There should be one referendum where the voters are well-informed about the options and can make a reasoned decision, bearing in mind the economic and political consequences.

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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
Further everyone knew that it would take at least two years and there would be difficulties in negotiation
No they didn't!
The Leave campaign talked about how new trade deals could be put in place almost instantly and that the NHS would promptly receive millions each week.

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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
It is bad faith to say, "Well, it's been two years and negotiations are hard, so maybe the people want something different now."
Bad faith?! This coming from the side that saw Boris Johnson lie repeatedly throughout the campaign.
After nearly 2 years, negotiations are still raging on (especially over the Irish border) and there is no majority in parliament for any option.

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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
it is unfair to deny the victors what they earned after following the rules.
And which option did they vote for?
What is your solution to the Irish border question?
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  #109  
Old 02-26-2019, 03:47 AM
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Originally Posted by glee View Post
There should be one referendum where the voters are well-informed about the options and can make a reasoned decision, bearing in mind the economic and political consequences.
This claim could be made of any vote or any election. Let's undo the 2018 Congressional Elections because surely the voters did not appreciate the fact that socialists would be elected, or that there would be a Green New Deal, or these things.

One person's idiocy is someone else' "reasoned decision."



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Originally Posted by glee View Post
No they didn't!
The Leave campaign talked about how new trade deals could be put in place almost instantly and that the NHS would promptly receive millions each week.



Bad faith?! This coming from the side that saw Boris Johnson lie repeatedly throughout the campaign.
After nearly 2 years, negotiations are still raging on (especially over the Irish border) and there is no majority in parliament for any option.
In every campaign there are accusations that one side or the other misrepresented the position. I'm not familiar with all of the ins and outs, but it was up to the Remain campaign to point these alleged lies out and convince the public otherwise.


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Originally Posted by glee View Post
And which option did they vote for?
What is your solution to the Irish border question?
They voted to Leave. That was the option they voted for. I'm continually puzzled by posters in this thread saying that the proper question was not on the ballot.

Suppose the U.S. had a referendum on Trump's wall and the vote was "build it." An objection should not be raised that we need a revote because nobody said how tall it should be, what portions of the border it should cover, what material to use, whether it would be a virtual wall, etc. In any proposal it is up to elected officials to work out the details. That's why they get a paycheck.

In the supposed one fair vote, the people of the UK said that we want to leave the EU. That should be implemented, or simply in the future not mislead the public that you really care what they have to say about things.
  #110  
Old 02-26-2019, 04:56 AM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
This claim could be made of any vote or any election.
Yes, but Boris Johnson et all took lying to a new level. Try googling 'Leave campaign lies' and examine some of the 12 million hits.

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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
One person's idiocy is someone else' "reasoned decision."
Well Donald Trump would certainly agree with you - but that doesn't make it right.

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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
In every campaign there are accusations that one side or the other misrepresented the position. I'm not familiar with all of the ins and outs, but it was up to the Remain campaign to point these alleged lies out and convince the public otherwise.
I am familiar with the facts.
The Remain campaign did point out that Leave were lying.
Have you heard the saying "A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on."?
When caught in a lie, Leave (and Trump) simply say the other side is lying.

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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
They voted to Leave. That was the option they voted for. I'm continually puzzled by posters in this thread saying that the proper question was not on the ballot.
I would like you to state which option they voted for, how the Irish border question is going to be resolved and how long you think it will take to agree new trade deals with the rest of the World (particularly the USA and China.)

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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
In any proposal it is up to elected officials to work out the details. That's why they get a paycheck.
And those officials having examined the details, it is clear that:

- there is no agreement in Parliament for any option
- there is no clue how to deal with the Irish border question
- a 'no-deal Brexit' will be an economic catastrophe

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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
In the supposed one fair vote, the people of the UK said that we want to leave the EU.
Yes, you mentioned that. And that's all the detail you know?
Please answer my questions above.
  #111  
Old 02-26-2019, 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by glee View Post
Yes, but Boris Johnson et all took lying to a new level. Try googling 'Leave campaign lies' and examine some of the 12 million hits.
I will look into that. Really. I'm just not familiar enough now with the issue to comment on it.



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Originally Posted by glee View Post
Well Donald Trump would certainly agree with you - but that doesn't make it right.
What is "right"? Unless God or Jesus comes down and tells us, we don't know. We all look at the issues, debate about them on this board and at work or school and we do the best we can to come up with what we think is right. At the end of the day, you might think that me and my side are a bunch of fools, and I may think the same about you, or we can say that we have an honest disagreement.

But respect for democracy demands that a promised vote means something.



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Originally Posted by glee View Post
I am familiar with the facts.
The Remain campaign did point out that Leave were lying.
Have you heard the saying "A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on."?
When caught in a lie, Leave (and Trump) simply say the other side is lying.
We might as well just have absolute monarchies or dictators since the public can be so easily fooled. Why have any sort of representation at all when "lies" control the day?


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Originally Posted by glee View Post
I would like you to state which option they voted for, how the Irish border question is going to be resolved and how long you think it will take to agree new trade deals with the rest of the World (particularly the USA and China.)



And those officials having examined the details, it is clear that:

- there is no agreement in Parliament for any option
- there is no clue how to deal with the Irish border question
- a 'no-deal Brexit' will be an economic catastrophe



Yes, you mentioned that. And that's all the detail you know?
Please answer my questions above.
Again, the vote was clear. The people did not vote on any single one of those options. But they did vote to Leave. It was left up to the government to provide the exact mechanism. None of this is novel.

When you voted for your MP, did you attach of list of things that he or she must do and the exact way to do them? No, you voted because he or she said things in broad strokes, like cutting taxes, or passing this law, or enacting this social program. You liked what he said and you voted in favor or against that. In no representative democracy are the people tasked with working out every detail.

And because they didn't specify with any detail in this particular referendum, like they never have before or will again, doesn't mean that it is time for a revote.
  #112  
Old 02-26-2019, 07:13 AM
Stanislaus is online now
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A new development, as May announces that she will bring a motion to Parliament on delaying Article 50:

Quote:
MPs will get vote in March on extending article 50 if no deal agreed, May announces
May says she wants to make three further commitments.

First, she will hold a “meaningful vote” on a deal by Tuesday 12 March.

Second, if the government does not win that vote, it will table a motion to be voted on by 13 March at the latest asking MPs if they approve leaving the EU with no deal.

Third, if MPs reject leaving with no deal in that vote, she will give them a vote on 14 March on whether parliament wants a short, limited extension to article 50. If MPs pass that motion, the government will seek to get that extension.
It's worth saying that proposing a delay is a screeching U-turn for May, who has been publicly rubbishing the concept of getting more time for months.

Getting a delay is now a 4 stage process:

1) MPs vote on the existing deal (perhaps with some minor but potentially critical amendments to the non-binding Political Declaration.
2) If that doesn't pass (it lost last time by 230 votes) then MPs will vote to approve No Deal. This won't in itself stop No Deal, but it will give some reason to think that the UK's negotiating position will change.
3) There's no point changing the negotiating position if you're going to leave on 29th March, so MPs will be asked to vote on whether they want to extend the A50 deadline.
4) The EU will decide if they agree to the new deadline.

The last two points contain the detail where the devil lurks. May is proposing a short extension, to July 1st. It's not an arbitrary date - it's when the current EU Parliamentary term ends. Elections for the subsequent term will be in May, with the new term starting July 2nd. Under this scheme, the UK won't participate in the elections as it won't be a member when the new parliament starts. This is important, because due to a new rule, if the EU Parliament doesn't have representatives from every members state, then it won't be a duly constituted Parliament. This would be a legal/constitutional nightmare for the EU. So: if the UK were to get a longer extension, it would need to participate in the May elections and return MEPs to Parliament. Even if only for a day. But: this is a ludicrously short extension and doesn't really give room for any meaningful shift in the UK position. It's hard to conceive of a general election or a second referendum being agreed, conducted, resolved and the resulting shift in negotiating positoin being implemented in three months. As a result, what May is offering MPs is the choice between her deal or nothing by March 29th, or waiting three months to have a her deal or nothing choice by July 1st.

The EU have said that the logical move is a 2-year extension replacing the current agreed "transition period" during which final trade deals would be negotiated. This would give time for the UK to sort itself out, avoid cliff edges and get things moving forward. It would be long enough for the UK's participation in elections for a body it plans on leaving not to be utterly mad. But it won't be on offer unless Parliament takes control of the process (the Cooper amendment which would do exactly that has been rejected once but will come back again) and decides for itself that this makes sense. Both these are poor bets.

So this is almost, but not quite, progress towards some sort of sensible Brexit.
  #113  
Old 02-26-2019, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
Further everyone knew that it would take at least two years and there would be difficulties in negotiation. It is bad faith to say, "Well, it's been two years and negotiations are hard, so maybe the people want something different now."
But...

They do want something different now.

Nobody is happy with the current political situation.
  #114  
Old 02-26-2019, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Wrenching Spanners View Post
Also, there are seven Sinn Fein seats, and those MP's don't sit in Parliament.
I understand why Sinn Fein won't take their seats, but by God it'd be hilarious watching Arlene Foster spontaneously combust if they suddenly decided to.

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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
Will the second referendum mean anything or will there be a third and fourth until the people reach the "correct" result?
This insistence that Remain's request for a second referendum is purely based on grumpiness and sour grapes is yet another bit of Leave bumfodder they've been promulgating in order to ignore the fact that virtually everything they promised leaving the EU would deliver was either wrong or an outright lie and that the reason they don't want a second referendum is because they want to avoid accountability for what they said the first time.

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Parliament can do what it wants obviously, but I think it would lose all credibility with the UK public WRT referenda in the future if it acted in this manner.
These days I'm wondering who thinks Parliament has any credibility NOW.

Quote:
Cameron played a game and lost. The Eurosceptics and UKIP were gaining a lot of power and Cameron tried to shut them up by holding a referendum that he was certain he would win. He didn't. The Leave campaign won what they were promised fair and square.
If by "fair and square" you mean "everything they promised was wrong or false, they were heavily supported by foreign propagandists and they may well have violated campaign financing laws", sure.

Quote:
Further everyone knew that it would take at least two years and there would be difficulties in negotiation.
And yet that's the exact opposite of what we were told by the Leave campaign. So everyone didn't "know that".

Quote:
It is bad faith to say, "Well, it's been two years and negotiations are hard, so maybe the people want something different now."
No, that's democracy.

Quote:
I agree that Cameron never should have held the vote, and if he did, he should have required a supermajority for such a major change. But he didn't and it is unfair to deny the victors what they earned after following the rules.
For a given value of "following the rules".

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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
This claim could be made of any vote or any election. Let's undo the 2018 Congressional Elections because surely the voters did not appreciate the fact that socialists would be elected, or that there would be a Green New Deal, or these things.

One person's idiocy is someone else' "reasoned decision."
Let me bring up an example I've used previously.

You have a house. A real estate agent comes to you and says "If you agree to sell your house, I can get you three times the market value plus moving costs covered." And you agree this is a great deal with obvious benefits and you say yes. Two years later the agent says to you, "Actually, the best deal I can get you is twenty quid and a packet of crisps, and you have to leave 10% of your furniture in the house when you go". Which is an awful deal with no benefits and obvious detriment.

A "reasoned decision" would involve re-evaluating the initial decision to sell your house, based on the actual terms of the deal you will get rather than the unrealistic terms you were originally promised. "Idiocy" would be saying "Nope - house sale means house sale" and popping round to Tesco to see if they have any spare cardboard boxes.

You're advocating for the second option.

Quote:
In every campaign there are accusations that one side or the other misrepresented the position. I'm not familiar with all of the ins and outs, but it was up to the Remain campaign to point these alleged lies out and convince the public otherwise.
Are you sure "It's Remain's fault for not stopping Leave from lying and cheating" is a compelling argument?

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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
I will look into that. Really. I'm just not familiar enough now with the issue to comment on it.
And yet here you are.

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But respect for democracy demands that a promised vote means something.
Yes. An non-binding advisory referendum indicates that a majority of the public wanted the Government to move to leave the EU. It did not legally require the government to do so, and certainly not at any cost.

Quote:
We might as well just have absolute monarchies or dictators since the public can be so easily fooled. Why have any sort of representation at all when "lies" control the day
We have a mechanism for dealing with politicians who lie. It's called "voting them out at the next election". That's democracy, a position you're currently arguing against.
  #115  
Old 02-26-2019, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
I will look into that. Really. I'm just not familiar enough now with the issue to comment on it.
I appreciate that.
When you've done so, I think you'll understand why I (and millions of others) are infuriated by the lying Leave campaign.

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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
What is "right"? Unless God or Jesus comes down and tells us, we don't know.
Sorry, I'm an atheist.

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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
We all look at the issues, debate about them on this board and at work or school and we do the best we can to come up with what we think is right. At the end of the day, you might think that me and my side are a bunch of fools, and I may think the same about you, or we can say that we have an honest disagreement.
The only true debate has happened since the Referendum.
Since then:

- Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal has been rejected by 230 votes - the largest defeat for a sitting government in history
- Labour has said it is prepared to back another EU referendum to prevent a "damaging Tory Brexit"
- the Liberal Democrats will make a fresh attempt to persuade MPs to back a second Brexit referendum
- 8 Labour MP's and 3 Conservative MP's have quit their parties in protest at the way Brexit is being handled
- around 570,000 demonstrators protested in London and called for a new referendum.

The consequences of a no-deal Brexit are described by the Financial Times as 'Trade with the EU would switch to World Trade Organization terms, raising customs checks and tariffs overnight. Capital could flee the City of London, followed by a run on the pound. Food supplies would be at risk because of the uncertainty over certification and standards. The UK’s ports and airports would be thrown into disarray. The list is endless, and no amount of wishful thinking can overcome this reality.'

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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
But respect for democracy demands that a promised vote means something.
Why do you not respect the Referendum result of June 5th 1975, with a 67.4% vote in favour of remaining in the EU?

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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
When you voted for your MP, did you attach of list of things that he or she must do and the exact way to do them? No, you voted because he or she said things in broad strokes, like cutting taxes, or passing this law, or enacting this social program. You liked what he said and you voted in favor or against that. In no representative democracy are the people tasked with working out every detail.
In a UK General Election (as I'm sure you know), each party publishes a detailed manifesto of its proposed policies.
MPs visit voters on the doorstep and hold meetings to discuss issues. Politicians are interviewed in the Press and on TV about what they stand for and intend to do.

However in the Referendum, the Leave campaign simply lied about Turkey, the NHS funding and used meaningless slogans.

P.S. Please give your solution to the Irish Border question.
  #116  
Old 02-26-2019, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Gyrate View Post
If by "fair and square" you mean "everything they promised was wrong or false, they were heavily supported by foreign propagandists and they may well have violated campaign financing laws", sure.
Is there any evidence of Putin meddling in the Brexit campaign?
  #117  
Old 02-26-2019, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
Will the second referendum mean anything or will there be a third and fourth until the people reach the "correct" result?



Parliament can do what it wants obviously, but I think it would lose all credibility with the UK public WRT referenda in the future if it acted in this manner.



Cameron played a game and lost. The Eurosceptics and UKIP were gaining a lot of power and Cameron tried to shut them up by holding a referendum that he was certain he would win. He didn't. The Leave campaign won what they were promised fair and square.



Further everyone knew that it would take at least two years and there would be difficulties in negotiation. It is bad faith to say, "Well, it's been two years and negotiations are hard, so maybe the people want something different now."



I agree that Cameron never should have held the vote, and if he did, he should have required a supermajority for such a major change. But he didn't and it is unfair to deny the victors what they earned after following the rules.


Once more with feeling UV, seeing as seem to keep ignoring it...

The 2016 vote was:

a) narrowly won
b) through lies
c) and undeliverable promises
d) the answer was vague
e) and Brexiters have mangled whatever it was the electorate said by insisting all Leavers demanded one thing, and one thing only (hard Brexit)
f) the economy is slumping and businesses are leaving because of Brexit

Therefore:

The public are now better informed, the choices before them more stark and clear, and the consequences more apparent and difficult to deny. And the situation has changed, with polls indicating a swing against Brexit.

So there's every moral imperative to have a second vote, to get a new steer and clarify what democratic mandate exists.

The only people insisting a second vote would be about 'the people should give the right answer' are Brexiters terrified of losing their assault on the constitution.

You've fallen for the spin.


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  #118  
Old 02-26-2019, 09:00 AM
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Is there any evidence of Putin meddling in the Brexit campaign?
I know it usually isn't the onus to prove a negative, but they've meddled in just about every other "Leave" campaign or movement I can think of in the past 5 or so years, so my default assumption is that they materially supported Brexit as well.
  #119  
Old 02-26-2019, 09:08 AM
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The 2016 vote was:

a) narrowly won
b) through lies
c) and undeliverable promises
d) the answer was vague
e) and Brexiters have mangled whatever it was the electorate said by insisting all Leavers demanded one thing, and one thing only (hard Brexit)
f) the economy is slumping and businesses are leaving because of Brexit
I'd also add
g) non-binding
  #120  
Old 02-26-2019, 09:16 AM
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A new development, as May announces that she will bring a motion to Parliament on delaying Article 50:



It's worth saying that proposing a delay is a screeching U-turn for May, who has been publicly rubbishing the concept of getting more time for months.
So May's bottled it. I guess it's not surprising, but it is disappointing. I'm also guessing the end-of-June extension will be countered by the EU, and May will cave again, which will mean 22-28 months more of this manure processing calamitous farce.
  #121  
Old 02-26-2019, 10:22 AM
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I'd also add
g) non-binding
Wrong. The UK referendum to leave the EU was legally non-binding. The UK referendum to leave the EU didn’t provide a dress code for electoral officials. Both of those statements should have equal weight. Here’s the text of the bill for the EU Leave Referendum. You’ll notice it contains neither the words” binding” or “non-binding”.
http://www.bailii.org/uk/legis/num_a...1536_en_1.html

Because the referendum wasn’t specified as binding or non-binding, it was non-binding by default. It’s a recognition of the sovereignty of Parliament. Here’s a fairly good discussion.
https://www.channel4.com/news/factch...nding-it-wasnt

Against that, there were numerous promises that the referendum would be binding.
Quote:
David Cameron – Conservative Manifesto 2015
“We will honour the result of the referendum, whatever the outcome.”
http://ucrel.lancs.ac.uk/wmatrix/ukm...servatives.pdf (PDF)

Quote:
David Cameron – Chatham House Speech
“You, the British people, will decide.
At that moment, you will hold this country’s destiny in your hands.
This is a huge decision for our country, perhaps the biggest we will make in our lifetimes.
And it will be the final decision.”
https://www.gov.uk/government/speech...eech-on-europe

Quote:
HM Governments EU Referendum Pamphlet:
“This is your decision. The Government will implement what you decide.”
https://assets.publishing.service.go...for-the-uk.pdf (PDF)

Parliament itself felt that the referendum was binding and they chose to enact it into law, and that is most certainly binding.
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/...acted/data.htm

And the Labour Party itself accepted the referendum results in their 2017 manifesto.
Quote:
“Labour accepts the referendum result”
https://labour.org.uk/manifesto/negotiating-brexit/

Stating that the referendum was non-binding is the equivalent of saying “Yes, I promised, and you believed me, but it doesn’t count because I had my fingers crossed.”
  #122  
Old 02-26-2019, 10:30 AM
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I'd also add
g) non-binding
Wrong. The UK referendum to leave the EU was legally non-binding.
Perhaps we're divided by a common language, but you're not using "wrong" the way I'd use that word.
  #123  
Old 02-26-2019, 10:43 AM
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So May's bottled it. I guess it's not surprising, but it is disappointing. I'm also guessing the end-of-June extension will be countered by the EU, and May will cave again, which will mean 22-28 months more of this manure processing calamitous farce.
One thing we've learned recently is that credible threats to resign can be enormously effective. That said, this arrangement still allows May to manoeuvre towards a cliff-edge, just at the end of June rather than end of March.

On the topic of credible threats to resign/actual resignations, it's probably worth pointing out that Labour are now backing a second referendum to ratify (or not) Parliamentary backing of May's deal. After a couple of duelling press conference between different senior figures, they seem to have settled on Remain being one of the options. Quite when they think this second vote is going to happen however is anyone's guess.
  #124  
Old 02-26-2019, 11:44 AM
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Perhaps we're divided by a common language, but you're not using "wrong" the way I'd use that word.
I’m saying it’s preposterous to consider the referendum non-binding after there were several promises from government that it was a final decision that would be honoured and implemented. Parliament considered the referendum as binding. The opposition accepted the result as binding. But you’re proposing it was non-binding because the referendum didn’t contain that magical word “binding”. That’s ridiculous.

Several posters here have complained about Leave lies. The most controversial lie is probably the Brexit bus slogan that asserted £350 million/week would go to the NHS instead of the EU. I could dig up columns arguing that this wasn’t a lie. But I don’t because I believe that slogan was intentionally deceptive. But stating that the referendum was non-binding without using a limiting qualifier such as “technically” or “legally”? Such a statement is either an intentional deception or a signal that the person making it has been deceived.
  #125  
Old 02-26-2019, 11:52 AM
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What will the UK do wrt Brexit?


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I’m saying it’s preposterous to consider the referendum non-binding after there were several promises from government that it was a final decision that would be honoured and implemented. Parliament considered the referendum as binding. The opposition accepted the result as binding. But you’re proposing it was non-binding because the referendum didn’t contain that magical word “binding”. That’s ridiculous.



Several posters here have complained about Leave lies. The most controversial lie is probably the Brexit bus slogan that asserted £350 million/week would go to the NHS instead of the EU. I could dig up columns arguing that this wasn’t a lie. But I don’t because I believe that slogan was intentionally deceptive. But stating that the referendum was non-binding without using a limiting qualifier such as “technically” or “legally”? Such a statement is either an intentional deception or a signal that the person making it has been deceived.


Cameron promised something that he did not have the power to promise, by treating the electorate like idiots. News at eleven.

Besides, government can implement all it likes. Parliament isn't bound by it and constitutionally can ignore it.

And sorry, what columns state this wasn't a lie? Do you actually mean there were people who were sincere in believing something impossible?

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  #126  
Old 02-26-2019, 12:25 PM
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And sorry, what columns state this wasn't a lie? Do you actually mean there were people who were sincere in believing something impossible?
https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2017/1...ure-is-higher/

https://www.iaindale.com/articles/le...e-all-know-why

https://www.theguardian.com/politics...exit-after-all

From the second link:
Quote:
the argument [is] that the £350 million a week “promise” wasn’t in any way a promise. The words on the bus actually said “We send the EU £350 million a week. Let’s fund our NHS instead.” Now you can argue if you want that this is a promise to spend £350 million extra every week on the NHS, but it didn’t actually say that, did it? “Let’s fund our NHS instead” certainly means more money for the NHS but it doesn’t necessarily mean all of the £350 million would be spent on the NHS. And even if it did, Vote Leave was a campaign, it wasn’t an alternative government.
Note that I’m not endorsing this viewpoint. I feel it’s an attempted justification for what I view as a deception.

Boris’s statement, as I recall, was that freed of the EU, the UK would be able to reform spending so effectively that the direct and indirect savings would amount to £350 million and therefore the bus slogan was true. I feel a bit unclean repeating that assertion.
  #127  
Old 02-26-2019, 12:50 PM
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Is there any evidence of Putin meddling in the Brexit campaign?
Wikipedia seems to think so, for example
Quote:
November 2017, it became public knowledge that Matthew Elliott, the chief executive of Vote Leave, was a founding member of Conservative Friends of Russia, and had been a target asset by someone known to be a Russian spy....
June 2018, The Guardian suggested that Arron Banks, the biggest donor to the campaign for leaving, and co-organiser of Leave.EU received the offer of a Russian gold mine, and had had a series of meetings with the Russian Ambassador. On 14 June 2018, Banks appeared before Parliamentary committee hearing, where he appeared to admit to having lied about his engagements with Russians, and later walked out refusing to answer further questions ...
  #128  
Old 02-26-2019, 01:28 PM
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Oh, that. I've seen it before. It's massively disingenuous.

There's nothing in the statement that implies the NHS is one of many options, for one thing.

But it's still false, regardless. The fact is, Brexit cuts into the national coffers deep. We get more back economically from EU membership than that pitifully tiny membership fee costs us.

Brexit has already financially cost us far more than the membership fee.


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  #129  
Old 02-26-2019, 07:11 PM
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I’m saying it’s preposterous to consider the referendum non-binding after there were several promises from government that it was a final decision that would be honoured and implemented. Parliament considered the referendum as binding. The opposition accepted the result as binding. But you’re proposing it was non-binding because the referendum didn’t contain that magical word “binding”. That’s ridiculous.
It's not ridiculous at all. The legally non-binding nature of the referendum means that you can't challenge it in the courts on the grounds of electoral malpractice, etc, as you can with an election or a binding referendum. Since the non-binding referendum has no legal effect, there is nothing for the courts to set aside. With an advisory referendum it's for parliament, not the courts, to assess the nature and quality of the political mandate conferred, and act accordingly. Unqualified commitment to implement the result of the referendum, regardless of such factors, should not be given and, if it is given, the voters should regard it with due scepticism. And it certainly doesn't excuse parliament from discharging its consitutional resposibilties after the referendum by making a decision and accepting responsibility for it.

It should be pointed out that the commitment to "honour" the referendum was not unqualified. While the referendum bill was going through parlaiment an amendment was tabled to the effect that the referendum should require a qualified majority - not just an overall majority of the electorate, but a majority in each country, or in a majority of the countries, making up the United Kingdom. The government opposed the amendment, pointing out that the referendumw was advisory only and Parliament could judge, after the event, whether the referendumr result created a sufficient mandate for any particular action, and in doing so it could make a judgment about whether, e.g., Scotland or Northern Ireland should be taken out of the EU if they had voted to remain.

Of cours3e, Scotland and Ireland did vote against Brexit, but they are being taken out anyway. And while the overall majority for Brexit was very narrow, the government has chosen to hew to a hard model of Brexit, rather that a soft model which might have better chance of commanding assent in a divided country. These are all decisions being made by politicians after the event, and they should have the guts to acknowledge and accept responsibility for their decisions, and not hide behind the entirely bogus argument that they are bound by the referendum result to make these decisions. They are not, and they know it.
  #130  
Old 02-26-2019, 08:21 PM
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The referendum was not legally binding, but is being taken as politically binding (meaning it's political suicide move to oppose the result). The fact that the referendum's sanctity has come into question in courts but not politics (to the same extent) shows that it's easier to prove in a court of law that the election was meddled in than it is to prove to the general public.
  #131  
Old 02-27-2019, 02:47 AM
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Respecting the referendum result is like saying you respect the result of a doped up athlete winning a race. There’s no morally justifiable way to go about it.


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  #132  
Old 02-27-2019, 02:54 AM
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Respecting the referendum result is like saying you respect the result of a doped up athlete winning a race. There’s no morally justifiable way to go about it.
The way I see it, "respecting" the referendum result requires you to respect every aspect of the referendum result, including (a) that it is corrupted by dodgy and illegal practices, (b) that it is a very narrow margin of victory, and not one spread across the constituent parts of the UK, and (c) that it is an endorsement of a vaguely-articulated policy objective, not an actual legislative proposal. And respect for these aspects of the referendum result leads inexorably to the conclusion that it doesn't necessarily confer an adequate mandate for every possible form of Brexit, no matter how ill-advised, how divisive, how destructive or how different from the visions of Brexit offered to the public during the refererendum campaign.
  #133  
Old 02-27-2019, 04:01 AM
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Is there any evidence of Putin meddling in the Brexit campaign?
While there is some evidence of the usual Russian trollery on social media, I was thinking more of Cambridge Analytica and that nice* Steve Bannon.

*and by "nice" I mean "festering moral pustule"
  #134  
Old 02-27-2019, 05:35 AM
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There is still doubt about exactly where a fair chunk of the money came from that was used by the Leave campaign in breach of expenditure rules

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/u...-a8783746.html
  #135  
Old 02-27-2019, 06:38 AM
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The way I see it, "respecting" the referendum result requires you to respect every aspect of the referendum result, including (a) that it is corrupted by dodgy and illegal practices, (b) that it is a very narrow margin of victory, and not one spread across the constituent parts of the UK, and (c) that it is an endorsement of a vaguely-articulated policy objective, not an actual legislative proposal. And respect for these aspects of the referendum result leads inexorably to the conclusion that it doesn't necessarily confer an adequate mandate for every possible form of Brexit, no matter how ill-advised, how divisive, how destructive or how different from the visions of Brexit offered to the public during the refererendum campaign.
I actually agree with you. Parliament had a duty to thoroughly examine the referendum results and any reports from the Electoral Commission. I hope they did. And if Parliament determined that corrupt influences had so heavily impacted the result enough to invalidate it, they should have reported that to the public, and then debated what action to take. Obviously none of that happened.

My position is that the Government promised to respect the results of the referendum. They even sent a pamphlet to every household in the UK promising “The Government will implement what you decide.” My opinion is that the Government was obligated to uphold that promise. It wasn’t an unlimited obligation, but it was a substantial one. I believe the Government and Parliament met that obligation by passing the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017 by a vote of 498-114. At that point, the Government was obligated to design what it believed would be the optimal Brexit plan, and then negotiate a withdrawal agreement with the EU that would be as close to that optimal Brexit plan as possible.

My opinion on Brexit beyond 16 March 2017 when the Withdrawal Act was passed is decidedly mixed. I think Theresa May has been terrible as a communicator and in getting her party behind her, and shot herself in the foot with the 2017 elections. Having two Brexit cabinet ministers resign certainly shows there are problems within Government. I don’t think the negotiated withdrawal agreement with the EU is great. However, I do think it is good enough, and probably not hugely far from the best agreement she could have gotten. At this point, I just wish Parliament would pass the damn thing and stop all the political infighting.

Quote:
Malden Capell
Respecting the referendum result is like saying you respect the result of a doped up athlete winning a race. There’s no morally justifiable way to go about it.
This, on the other hand is just sour grapes.
  #136  
Old 02-27-2019, 09:04 AM
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I actually agree with you. Parliament had a duty to thoroughly examine the referendum results and any reports from the Electoral Commission. I hope they did. And if Parliament determined that corrupt influences had so heavily impacted the result enough to invalidate it, they should have reported that to the public, and then debated what action to take. Obviously none of that happened.
Because the government has resisted all such proposals for a formal parliamentary investigation to take place. Understand?



Quote:
My position is that the Government promised to respect the results of the referendum. They even sent a pamphlet to every household in the UK promising “The Government will implement what you decide.” My opinion is that the Government was obligated to uphold that promise. It wasn’t an unlimited obligation, but it was a substantial one. I believe the Government and Parliament met that obligation by passing the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017 by a vote of 498-114. At that point, the Government was obligated to design what it believed would be the optimal Brexit plan, and then negotiate a withdrawal agreement with the EU that would be as close to that optimal Brexit plan as possible.



My opinion on Brexit beyond 16 March 2017 when the Withdrawal Act was passed is decidedly mixed. I think Theresa May has been terrible as a communicator and in getting her party behind her, and shot herself in the foot with the 2017 elections. Having two Brexit cabinet ministers resign certainly shows there are problems within Government. I don’t think the negotiated withdrawal agreement with the EU is great. However, I do think it is good enough, and probably not hugely far from the best agreement she could have gotten. At this point, I just wish Parliament would pass the damn thing and stop all the political infighting.
Wouldn't we all. The problem is everyone assumes the solution is for Parliament to stop infighting by agreeing with them. Do you see the problem there?

Besides, passing the Agreement won't end the Brexit crisis. We have decades of infighting over our future trade relationship with the EU and with the world to look forward to.

Don't you think that if Brexiters aren't able to agree a Brexit plan amongst themselves, even a month from the deadline, after forty years of moaning in general and two years of power in particular, then there's something rather hollow about insistence on the referendum being obeyed?



Quote:
This, on the other hand is just sour grapes.

Oh, give over. Name one thing of Leave's campaign claims that has survived the past two years to be deliverable with Brexit.

You've already been given indications of serious murky goings on in Leave's campaign finance, too.

Would you blindly support, like a lemming, if the country had had a vote on the existence of climate change and the deniers won?

Your problem is assuming this is all just a game and we're only unhappy because we lost.


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  #137  
Old 02-27-2019, 12:14 PM
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Oh, give over. Name one thing of Leave's campaign claims that has survived the past two years to be deliverable with Brexit.
The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017. Next?

Quote:
You've already been given indications of serious murky goings on in Leave's campaign finance, too.
I’m aware of the campaign finance violations. I agree it’s a concern. Start a petition for a parliamentary investigation. I’ll sign it. What I haven’t seen is competent detailed analysis that 634,751 people had their minds changed from Remain to Leave because the Leave side overspent on advertising. Care to provide that analysis?

Quote:
Would you blindly support, like a lemming, if the country had had a vote on the existence of climate change and the deniers won?
Shouldn’t that be the other way around? Hypothetically, the Government wants to maintain the status quo on its energy policy. A section of the Government’s party disagrees with the status quo and wants energy policy reformed towards energy efficiency. It turns out that a majority of the country want energy policy reform towards energy efficiency. Wouldn’t you agree with energy policy reform towards energy efficiency?

Quote:
Your problem is assuming this is all just a game and we're only unhappy because we lost.
That is rather the point. You lost.
  #138  
Old 02-27-2019, 12:25 PM
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I’m aware of the campaign finance violations. I agree it’s a concern. Start a petition for a parliamentary investigation. I’ll sign it. What I haven’t seen is competent detailed analysis that 634,751 people had their minds changed from Remain to Leave because the Leave side overspent on advertising. Care to provide that analysis?
You want data on how many people in the UK still support Brexit?

If only there some sort of process for getting that sort of information...
  #139  
Old 02-27-2019, 12:32 PM
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REMAIN by 9 points.
  #140  
Old 02-27-2019, 12:37 PM
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From the second link:


Note that I’m not endorsing this viewpoint. I feel it’s an attempted justification for what I view as a deception.

Boris’s statement, as I recall, was that freed of the EU, the UK would be able to reform spending so effectively that the direct and indirect savings would amount to £350 million and therefore the bus slogan was true. I feel a bit unclean repeating that assertion.
I agree that the statement is technically true, but also made with the hope of deceiving some people. I agree that such a thing should not be done in politics, but those types of statements are made during U.S. elections all of the time, and I don't think it should be classified as a "lie."
  #141  
Old 02-27-2019, 12:47 PM
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What will the UK do wrt Brexit?


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Originally Posted by Wrenching Spanners View Post
The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017. Next?
Sigh...

That's not a claim. That's an action. That's like saying a benefit of leaving is to have left it.



Quote:
I’m aware of the campaign finance violations. I agree it’s a concern. Start a petition for a parliamentary investigation. I’ll sign it. What I haven’t seen is competent detailed analysis that 634,751 people had their minds changed from Remain to Leave because the Leave side overspent on advertising. Care to provide that analysis?


The Commons CMS Committee and the earlier inquiry into fake news give some indicators into how the. Likes of Cambridge Analytica were able to target special ads to Facebook users based on their behavioural data. It's all there for you.


Quote:
Shouldn’t that be the other way around? Hypothetically, the Government wants to maintain the status quo on its energy policy. A section of the Government’s party disagrees with the status quo and wants energy policy reformed towards energy efficiency. It turns out that a majority of the country want energy policy reform towards energy efficiency. Wouldn’t you agree with energy policy reform towards energy efficiency?


Why on earth do you assume in this analogy that Brexit=efficiency? If anything, it means returning to steam and coal.

Quote:
That is rather the point. You lost.

We all lost. Democracy does not end with a fraudulent vote, narrowly won, three years ago.

The only reason Brexiters oppose a second vote is because they know they'll lose. Badly. Up to the vote, they were loud in claiming a close result would mean a rerun in a few years. Then, they won, and they clam up. Hypocrites.



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  #142  
Old 02-27-2019, 01:17 PM
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...May is proposing a short extension, to July 1st....this is a ludicrously short extension and doesn't really give room for any meaningful shift in the UK position....what May is offering MPs is the choice between her deal or nothing by March 29th, or waiting three months to have a her deal or nothing choice by July 1st.
I see that Macron is now aligning with Spain in resistance to a pointless extension. While it might be seen as pushing us further towards the brink, I think it's a positive development. It does seem that there's at least a solid majority in parliament to block No Deal, and if that doesn't waver, this increases the probability of a much longer extension.

Last edited by Riemann; 02-27-2019 at 01:20 PM.
  #143  
Old 02-27-2019, 01:22 PM
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But why would the EU agree to a longer extension, a longer period of uncertainty? Their interests would seem to be better served by getting it all over with, now, in whatever manner.
  #144  
Old 02-27-2019, 01:41 PM
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But why would the EU agree to a longer extension, a longer period of uncertainty? Their interests would seem to be better served by getting it all over with, now, in whatever manner.
Indeed. Why would the UK want it as well? Unless there is a path forward from the stalemate for which additional time would be helpful, why not just rip the bandaid off?
  #145  
Old 02-27-2019, 03:12 PM
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Indeed. Why would the UK want it as well? Unless there is a path forward from the stalemate for which additional time would be helpful, why not just rip the bandaid off?


Why not go the whole hog and rip the whole leg off?


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  #146  
Old 02-27-2019, 06:22 PM
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Sigh...

That's not a claim. That's an action. That's like saying a benefit of leaving is to have left it.
Sorry, I didn’t think I needed to detail it out. Your request was:
Quote:
Malden Capell
Name one thing of Leave's campaign claims that has survived the past two years to be deliverable with Brexit.
Paraphrasing, the Leave campaign claimed they would successfully lead the UK out of the EU. They won the referendum. Parliament passed the Withdrawal Act. Those are both successes for the Leave campaign. The UK hasn’t left the EU yet, but it’s arguably likely to happen and inarguably possible. So that claim has survived and is deliverable.

Other deliverable claims are that, post-Brexit, the UK will stop paying a membership fee to the EU, and the UK will be less subject to EU bureaucracy.
  #147  
Old 02-27-2019, 06:35 PM
Wrenching Spanners is online now
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Originally Posted by Malden Capell View Post
Why on earth do you assume in this analogy that Brexit=efficiency? If anything, it means returning to steam and coal.
Because two of the planks in the Leave platform were based on efficiency. The UK sends money to the EU, and a portion of that money is allocated to EU sponsored projects in the UK. UK projects hoping to receive grants apply to both the relevant UK office and EU office. Making a single application would be more efficient, and UK evaluators should be better at assessing UK based grant requests than EU evaluators.

The EU as an entity is not known for cost efficiency. The movement of the EU parliament between Brussels and Strasbourg is a glaring inefficiency. Brexit would mean that the UK would no longer be paying for such EU cost inefficiencies.
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/e...and-strasbourg

The contra to these arguments is that several EU agencies that deliver services across the EU provide better and more cost efficient services than 27 or 28 individual country-based agencies could. I acknowledge that buying into services from these agencies is a win-win scenario that as a whole outweighs the EU inefficiencies.
  #148  
Old 02-27-2019, 07:09 PM
UDS is offline
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Originally Posted by Wrenching Spanners View Post
My position is that the Government promised to respect the results of the referendum. They even sent a pamphlet to every household in the UK promising “The Government will implement what you decide.” My opinion is that the Government was obligated to uphold that promise. It wasn’t an unlimited obligation, but it was a substantial one . . .
I dunno. If somebody has made a commitment which they ought never to have made, are they morally bound to uphold it. Or might they be, in fact, morally bound to repudiate it (and take the resulting flak)?

By choosing to frame the referendum as an advisory referendum, parliament/the government ensured that it was not attended by the controls, protections, etc that would have applied if it had been a self-executing referendum. That imports an obligation on parliament/the government to exercise appropriate caution, judgment, etc when assessing and acting on the result of the referendum. That's not compatible with a commitment to implement the apparent majority outcome of the referendum (if that is the correct interpretation of the "respect the result" promise).

There is a second point here. The "respect the result" commitment was included in the Tory manifesto for the 2015 general election. But the Tories only secured 36.9% of the vote in that election; 63.1% of the electorate did not endorse that manifesto. In Scotland, which voted to remain in the EU, the Tory manifesto committing to honour the (UK-wide) result of the referendum secured the endorsement of just 14.9% of the voters. In Northern Ireland, which also voted to remain, it secured the endorsement of just 1.6% of the voters. Even in England, onlly 40.9% voted Tory at the 2015 general election.

The bottom line is that parliament has a constitutional responsibility here, it can't abdicate that responsibility by an uncritical acceptance of the outcome of an advisory referendum. Had they wanted the referendum to be self-executing, they could have so framed it, but they chose not to. That leaves them with a responsibility which they are not excused from by pointing to an improper commitment made in a manifesto which a substantial majority of the voters in every part of the UK rejected.
  #149  
Old 02-27-2019, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by UDS View Post
I dunno. If somebody has made a commitment which they ought never to have made, are they morally bound to uphold it. Or might they be, in fact, morally bound to repudiate it (and take the resulting flak)?

By choosing to frame the referendum as an advisory referendum, parliament/the government ensured that it was not attended by the controls, protections, etc that would have applied if it had been a self-executing referendum. That imports an obligation on parliament/the government to exercise appropriate caution, judgment, etc when assessing and acting on the result of the referendum. That's not compatible with a commitment to implement the apparent majority outcome of the referendum (if that is the correct interpretation of the "respect the result" promise).

There is a second point here. The "respect the result" commitment was included in the Tory manifesto for the 2015 general election. But the Tories only secured 36.9% of the vote in that election; 63.1% of the electorate did not endorse that manifesto. In Scotland, which voted to remain in the EU, the Tory manifesto committing to honour the (UK-wide) result of the referendum secured the endorsement of just 14.9% of the voters. In Northern Ireland, which also voted to remain, it secured the endorsement of just 1.6% of the voters. Even in England, onlly 40.9% voted Tory at the 2015 general election.

The bottom line is that parliament has a constitutional responsibility here, it can't abdicate that responsibility by an uncritical acceptance of the outcome of an advisory referendum. Had they wanted the referendum to be self-executing, they could have so framed it, but they chose not to. That leaves them with a responsibility which they are not excused from by pointing to an improper commitment made in a manifesto which a substantial majority of the voters in every part of the UK rejected.
With this argument, isn't everything that Parliament passed from 2015-2017 not really legitimate since only 36.9% of the people voted for the controlling party?

I understand your frustration, but the quotes provided by Wrenching Spanners above show pretty clearly that the UK Government made a commitment to follow the results of the referendum.

It wasn't "binding" in the sense that nothing is ever binding from one Parliament to the next. However, I think it is very clear that the people understood that they were promised that the vote mattered and that the winning side would have its wishes carried out.

To hand waive this away as a merely advisory referendum simply does not comport with the facts, unless you want to be hypertechnical and say that no referendum is ever binding in the sense that Parliament is supreme, has the power to change its mind, and the people should have known that.
  #150  
Old 02-27-2019, 09:11 PM
UDS is offline
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
With this argument, isn't everything that Parliament passed from 2015-2017 not really legitimate since only 36.9% of the people voted for the controlling party?
No. The Tories won the election - as in, they secured enough seats in the Commons to form a government - and that gives them a mandate to govern the UK.

That's not the same thing as a mandate which requires them to deliver on a manifesto commitment which the electorate has not accepted and which, properly judged, they should never have made.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
I understand your frustration, but the quotes provided by Wrenching Spanners above show pretty clearly that the UK Government made a commitment to follow the results of the referendum.
Yes. My point is that its an improper commitment. Having chosen to hold an advisory referendum, thereby ruling out the precautions and protections that would apply in an election or a self-executing referendum, it's improper to commit themselves in advance to treat the referendum as binding. If they want a binding referendum, they can have one. If they choose to have an advisory referendum, that gives them certain responsibilities which they can't abdicate simply by pointing to their manifesto commitment and saying "we choose to interpret this as preventing us from discharging our constitutional responsiblity".

Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
It wasn't "binding" in the sense that nothing is ever binding from one Parliament to the next. However, I think it is very clear that the people understood that they were promised that the vote mattered and that the winning side would have its wishes carried out.
Yeah, but by a mechanism which deprives the losing side of the benefit of the rule of law.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
To hand waive this away as a merely advisory referendum simply does not comport with the facts, unless you want to be hypertechnical and say that no referendum is ever binding in the sense that Parliament is supreme, has the power to change its mind, and the people should have known that.
No, no, there's nothing hypertechnical about it. The UK system does accomodate both self-executing and advisory referendums, and there are material differences between them, and for good reasons. A decision to hold an advisory referendum, but then treat it is if it were self-executing, is a really bad decision. It adss up to an attempt to evade the protections that attend a self-executing referendum, while disclaiming any responsibility for doing so.

Sure, if you promise to do that, and then realise that its a bad thing to do and so don't do it, you will get blowback from people who voted for you, in reliance on the promise. But you should take that blowback; you deserve it for having made a promise that you should never have made. Promising to ignore your constitutional responisiblities is a bad thing to do but, if you do it, that doesn't justify you in actually going on to ignore your constitutional responsibilities. You should discharge your constituional responsibilities and submit yourself to the judgment of the electorate for doing so.
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