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  #651  
Old 10-04-2019, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by MichaelEmouse View Post
Let's say Johnson overtly fails to follow the Benn Act or follows it in name only by negotiating in bad faith with the EU so that the UK exits with no deal, what are the recourse(s)? Can the PM be compelled to negotiate in good faith to gain an extension? If the UK exits with No Deal, there might be a legal case to compel the PM using the Benn Act but won't the point be moot by then?
I'm not the expert but AIUI there's a court case going on where this matter might be decided.

Court considers if PM can be jailed over no-deal

Quote:
A Scottish judge is being asked to consider whether Boris Johnson could be jailed if he takes the UK out of the EU without a deal.

A legal challenge is being heard at the Court of Session about whether the prime minister could be forced to delay Brexit if no exit deal is agreed.

However, Mr Johnson has said he would rather be "dead in a ditch" than ask European leaders for another extension.

The court case seeks to establish what might happen if he refuses to act.

This could even include the court clerk signing a letter to European leaders on behalf of Mr Johnson, asking for a fresh extension.
Latest news (AIUI) is that the Gov't intends to follow the Benn Act to the question might be moot.
  #652  
Old 10-04-2019, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by bobot View Post
What are the chances another extension is granted?
Pretty good I think, particularly as it looks like there's going to be a general election soon.

Quote:
Also, what is the nutshell version of events to follow if no extension is granted?
It's possible that, say, Hungary vetoes it. If that happens then no-one knows. It's possible that Parliament could attempt to force a revocation.
  #653  
Old 10-04-2019, 08:58 AM
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Longer Guardian article

Johnson says one thing in court but another thing in public.

Quote:
It states the prime minister accepts “he is subject to the public law principle that he cannot frustrate its purpose or the purpose of its provisions. Thus he cannot act so as to prevent the letter requesting the specified extension in the act from being sent.”

O’Neill told Lord Pentland, the judge hearing the case, that Johnson had repeatedly contradicted that position, including in the Commons on Wednesday, by insisting the UK would leave on 31 October come what may.

As a result, O’Neill said, the court still needed to issue legally binding orders to force Johnson to comply with the Benn act in an interdict, or injunction. If the prime minister refused to do so, O’Neill could return to court to ask for Johnson to be fined or jailed, he added. No 10 declined to comment.
  #654  
Old 10-04-2019, 09:11 AM
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Via Twitter, it seems a "Number 10" source is arguing that the Benn Act simply requires the PM to send a letter asking for extension. The implication being that the PM is also free to undercut that request through other channels, and generally act to ensure there is no extension despite the letter. Hence the promise to court to obey the law, and to Parliament to leave on Oct 31.

The Number 10 view is not widely shared. The analysis I've seen is very much of the view that the Benn Act requires the PM to honestly and actively work towards getting an extension, and certainly doesn't permit any attempts to procure a denial of the request for one - by this view, such attempts would be not just unlawful but criminal.

We are way past the point where I am going to even begin to speculate on how courts would rule on this, but the Number 10 view does smack of the kind of wizard wheeze which seems like a good idea in the 2am brainstorming session. The last such bright idea fared badly in court - one presumes a better class of legal advice has since been sought.
  #655  
Old 10-04-2019, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Stanislaus View Post
The Number 10 view is not widely shared. The analysis I've seen is very much of the view that the Benn Act requires the PM to honestly and actively work towards getting an extension, and certainly doesn't permit any attempts to procure a denial of the request for one - by this view, such attempts would be not just unlawful but criminal.
The actual text of the bill seems not to place any requirements on the PM regarding an extension beyond sending the letter, and all the other requirements assume that the extension will be granted. Perhaps the courts will look beyond just the text, they certainly did with the reversed prorogation.
  #656  
Old 10-04-2019, 09:46 AM
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(re: chances for another extension)
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Originally Posted by Baron Greenback View Post
Pretty good I think, particularly as it looks like there's going to be a general election soon.
This seems to be the consensus, but I don't see it. Surely an extension is predicated on the fact that the British will either shit or get off the pot, but

1) They did not come up with a viable plan in the two years from triggering Article 50.
2) They did not come up with a viable plan during the first extension.
3) They did not come up with a viable plan during the second extension.

In the meantime, they've had elections and leadership changes.

So how many more extensions are available? One? Two? Ten? Fifty? It strikes me as likely that ONE of the 27 is going to prefer the short, sharp shock of No Deal to the endless annoyance of the status quo. Particularly as, less than four weeks out, the British are still making stupid proposals and infighting.
  #657  
Old 10-04-2019, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by bobot View Post
Ignorant American here who can barely follow this.
What are the chances another extension is granted? Also, what is the nutshell version of events to follow if no extension is granted?
In the absence of an agreement approved at the European Council (i.e., all member state governments) on 17 October, or an extension (which requires the approval of all 27 member states of the EU), the legal default is that we are out at 11pm on 31 October, and revert to trading under general WTO rules with the EU and with all other countries with whom the EU has trade agreements. Extra tariffs all round, and no guarantee that our goods would be regarded as meeting required regulatory standards.

The Benn Act requires the government to submit a request for an extension if they can't come back to parliament with an agreement by 19 October.

Not a lot of time for EU member states to confer and decide, and who knows how sympathetic they would be and/or whether they would judge a no-deal to be too harmful to them or something to bear in the name of deciding something at least.

It's relevant to that last point that the agreement we still haven't reached is not the final settlement of whatever future relationship we have with the EU: it simply settles the terms of divorce and starts the process of negotiation for that final relationship (originally envisaged to be settled by the end of 2020, since that is the end of the current EU budget, to which we are legally and morally committed). So they might agree to soldier on with an extension, since crashing out without a deal doesn't really settle the question of the final future relationship either.
  #658  
Old 10-04-2019, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Stanislaus View Post
Via Twitter, it seems a "Number 10" source is arguing that the Benn Act simply requires the PM to send a letter asking for extension. The implication being that the PM is also free to undercut that request through other channels, and generally act to ensure there is no extension despite the letter. Hence the promise to court to obey the law, and to Parliament to leave on Oct 31
What a world we live in!

1) The government is brought to court
2) In court, the government presents its case
3) During the court case, a government spokesman makes remarks to a reporter which appear to undercut the government case. These remarks are broadcast online, again during the court case.
5) The lawyer acting against the government refers to these public remarks as part of their case against the government.

A spectacular combination of technology, modern media processes and short-sightedness there, bringing you the best in politico-legal drama.
  #659  
Old 10-04-2019, 10:20 AM
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The actual text of the bill seems not to place any requirements on the PM regarding an extension beyond sending the letter, and all the other requirements assume that the extension will be granted. Perhaps the courts will look beyond just the text, they certainly did with the reversed prorogation.
I think the relevant text is here:

Quote:
The Prime Minister must seek to obtain from the European Council an extension of the period under Article 50(3) of the Treaty on European Union ending at 11.00pm on 31 October 2019 by sending to the President of the European Council a letter in the form set out in the Schedule to this Act requesting an extension of that period to 11.00pm on 31 January 2020 in order to debate and pass a Bill to implement the agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union, including provisions reflecting the outcome of inter-party talks as announced by the Prime Minister on 21 May 2019, and in particular the need for the United Kingdom to secure changes to the political declaration to reflect the outcome of those inter-party talks.
The question of interpretation seems to be around the extent to which the first part "the PM must seek to obtain from the European Council an extension..." is constrained by the following: "by sending to the President of the European Council a letter..."

The "Number 10" reading is that this requires the PM to send a letter, which will seek to obtain an extension.
The alternate reading is that this requires the PM to seek an extension, and that sending a letter happens to be the mechanism by which he will do this.

Under the first reading, all that is mandated is the sending of one letter. Any further letters, or muttered asides, or text messages reading "Lol jk, ignore ltr" are at the PM's discretion. Under the second reading, the PM is required to seek an extension. Any attempts at undercutting the formal request will amount to deliberate failure to fulfill legally mandated public duties.

I think it can be read both ways. I don't know what principles of legal interpretation might lead one towards one reading or another. Would be interested to hear from lawyers...
  #660  
Old 10-04-2019, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Stanislaus View Post
The question of interpretation seems to be around the extent to which the first part "the PM must seek to obtain from the European Council an extension..." is constrained by the following: "by sending to the President of the European Council a letter..."

The "Number 10" reading is that this requires the PM to send a letter, which will seek to obtain an extension.
The alternate reading is that this requires the PM to seek an extension, and that sending a letter happens to be the mechanism by which he will do this.

Under the first reading, all that is mandated is the sending of one letter. Any further letters, or muttered asides, or text messages reading "Lol jk, ignore ltr" are at the PM's discretion. Under the second reading, the PM is required to seek an extension. Any attempts at undercutting the formal request will amount to deliberate failure to fulfill legally mandated public duties.

I think it can be read both ways. I don't know what principles of legal interpretation might lead one towards one reading or another. Would be interested to hear from lawyers...
Obviously I'm not a lawyer, perhaps someone who is can clarify or correct anything I say here.

My understanding is that in general, especially in criminal law, laws are interpreted as narrowly as possible in terms of what they prohibit. I'm still not sure whether this law (or another) would make it criminal if Johnson were not to comply fully. I'm also not clear if a law compelling an action is treated in the same narrow way as one prohibiting one.

My reading of the text of the bill, as I understand normal English rather than legal phrasing, would agree with the Downing Street interpretation, in that Johnson would not be compelled nor prohibited from any actions regarding an extension apart from sending the exact letter contained in the bill.

So, he could potentially send the letter then immediately send another letter asking the EU to disregard it, for example. I would be surprised if there were any criminal sanction on him for doing so, unless the current Scottish court case were to make it clear that he may not do it.
  #661  
Old 10-04-2019, 11:34 AM
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Legal opinion seems to be that Johnson can't get round the Benn Act by any of the methods mentioned.

e.g.
Brexit, Padfield, and the Benn Act

Johnson doesn't have to comply only with the letter of the law, but with the intention of the law. This is the Padfield principle:

Quote:
Put simply: it is not open to a Minister to do a thing (or not do a thing) that would circumvent or frustrate an Act of Parliament.

This is apart from the two cases in the Scottish courts. One seems be going against Johnson, decision on Monday. The other will be heard on Tuesday.

Johnson will write to EU requesting article 50 extension, court told

If Johnson tries to ignore the Act, he can be fined or imprisoned, and someone else can be designated to make the request to the EU. The Supreme Court would act within days.



Nothing more has been heard of the idea of proroguing parliament again. Common sense seems to have prevailed for once. Or perhaps the Queen indicated she would be out if Mr Johnson came to call.
  #662  
Old 10-04-2019, 01:25 PM
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  #663  
Old 10-05-2019, 08:09 PM
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Johnson to Challenge the Queen to Fire Him, Sunday Times Reports:
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U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is prepared to challenge Queen Elizabeth II to dismiss him rather than resign as he attempts to push through Brexit by the Oct. 31 deadline, the Sunday Times reported, citing senior aides.

Johnson would not step aside if his Brexit proposals were rejected by the European Union, and even if members of the U.K. Parliament declare no confidence in his government and agree to a caretaker prime minister to replace him, according to the report.

Failure to reach a deal would set the U.K. on a course for constitutional showdown with few precedents: Johnson has promised to pull the country out of the EU on Oct. 31 whether the talks succeed, while Parliament has already legislated to prevent him from taking U.K. out of the European bloc without a withdrawal agreement.

“Unless the police turn up at the doors of 10 Downing Street with a warrant for the prime minister’s arrest, he won’t be leaving,” one senior Conservative said in the report.

The last time a British monarch fired a prime minister was in 1834, it said.
  #664  
Old 10-05-2019, 10:07 PM
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Remind me again - this is a Conservative Prime Minister?
  #665  
Old 10-06-2019, 04:56 AM
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On the plus side, if he gets away with the whole thing, it becomes very likely that he will reach a favorable trade deal with America because of Trump's love for dictators.
  #666  
Old 10-06-2019, 08:21 AM
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On the plus side, if he gets away with the whole thing, it becomes very likely that he will reach a favorable trade deal with America because of Trump's love for dictators.
1. A two-thirds approval in the Senate is needed to approve treaties, but the Democrats are opposing a U.S.-U.K. trade deal unless there is a satisfactory resolution of the Irish border problem.

2. It takes many years to complete trade treaties, Trump may well not be President then.
  #667  
Old 10-06-2019, 08:49 AM
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Nothing more has been heard of the idea of proroguing parliament again. Common sense seems to have prevailed for once. Or perhaps the Queen indicated she would be out if Mr Johnson came to call.
Quote:
October 2, 2019. The government has confirmed it plans to prorogue Parliament next Tuesday and hold a Queen's Speech on 14 October.

Boris Johnson's last attempt to suspend Parliament in this way was ruled unlawful by the Supreme Court. But the government needs to bring the current parliamentary session to an end, before it can hold a Queen's Speech setting out its agenda for the next session. It means there will be no Prime Minister's Questions next week.

The only time Boris Johnson - who missed PMQs on Wednesday due to his Conservative conference speech - has taken part in the session since becoming PM was on 4 September.

In a statement, No 10 said the planned prorogation - which must be approved by the Queen - would be "for the shortest time possible" to enable logistical and security preparations for the State Opening of Parliament.
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-49913130
  #668  
Old 10-06-2019, 10:00 AM
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The AP is reporting that Johnson wrote in two of today's newspapers that the UK will be leaving the EU by 31 October.
Quote:
Boris Johnson, writing in The Sun on Sunday and Sunday Express newspapers, is contradicting a government pledge in court to ask for an extension if no withdrawal deal with the EU is reached.

He said “we will be packing our bags and walking out on” Oct. 31.

He added: “The only question is whether Brussels cheerily waves us off with a mutually agreeable deal or whether we will be forced to head off on our own.”
The brief piece notes:
Quote:
A U.K. government document quoted in a Scottish court Friday indicated Johnson intends to comply with a law requiring him to ask for a delay if there’s no deal in place by Oct. 19.
Here's my guess: on the 19th he sends a letter asking for an extension. On the 20th he sends a letter saying "never mind; we're good" and then the UK leaves without a deal on 31 October.
  #669  
Old 10-06-2019, 10:50 AM
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Here's my guess: on the 19th he sends a letter asking for an extension. On the 20th he sends a letter saying "never mind; we're good" and then the UK leaves without a deal on 31 October.
That won't work. See post #661 above.
  #670  
Old 10-06-2019, 11:20 AM
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That won't work. See post #661 above.
You mean it may not work. And let's be realistic, if the courts order the arrest and imprisonment of a Prime Minister who still has the confidecne of Parliament, we have a far greater constitutional crisis than previously, and a far bigger problem to deal with than Brexit.

If Parliament actually wanted to bind the PM to seek an extension by whatever means necessary, they could have passed a bill to do so - but they did not. They passed a bill requiring one specific action to seek an extension, and further actions in the event an extension is passed.

A Supreme Court finding tortuous interpretations of simple laws for political purposes would be far to American for comfort, regardless of whether you agree with the politics of it. There are better ways to deal with this issue, and the most obvious one is for Parliament to install a PM they trust.
  #671  
Old 10-06-2019, 11:41 AM
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Yes, let's be realistic.

If Johnson tried that, it would easily be nullified by any court the next day. Completely straightforward, and no 'tortuous interpretations' needed.

Also, the EU is not stupid, and they are carefully watching every detail of what's happening in the UK. How do you imagine they would react? Laughter, probably, followed by granting the extension.

Johnson's real 'secret plan' may be to persuade Hungary to veto the extension. But good luck to him with that. However sympathetic the current Hungarian government may be to him, the EU has a LOT more leverage over Hungary than Johnson has.
  #672  
Old 10-06-2019, 12:15 PM
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If Johnson tried that, it would easily be nullified by any court the next day. Completely straightforward, and no 'tortuous interpretations' needed.
Nullify what, exactly? You think the Court is going to write to the EU telling them to disregard one, but only one of the letters from the PM? And you think the EU will consider themselves bound by a UK court judgement?

Quote:
Also, the EU is not stupid, and they are carefully watching every detail of what's happening in the UK. How do you imagine they would react? Laughter, probably, followed by granting the extension.
I could be wrong, but I don't think they can unilaterally grant an extension. Indeed, it's far from clear that they will actually grant it anyway, without a clear path forward from an extension.

Quote:
Johnson's real 'secret plan' may be to persuade Hungary to veto the extension. But good luck to him with that. However sympathetic the current Hungarian government may be to him, the EU has a LOT more leverage over Hungary than Johnson has.
Or France, or anyone else who is sick of all this nonsense.

Not that it's likely to be necessary to do any of that, as while Johnson remains PM, he can keep telling the EU that the UK doesn't require an extension, and tie up any disputes in court for the 11 whole days that will be necessary.

If Johnson is still PM on October 31st, we will leave the EU. Much to the delight of the leaders of the two main parties, and idiots everywhere.
  #673  
Old 10-06-2019, 12:17 PM
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Oh, and to add to that, what makes you think that the EU wouldn't be fine with, say, Hungary vetoing the extension? It allows them to put an end to this mess with a convenient scapegoat.
  #674  
Old 10-06-2019, 12:36 PM
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Oh, and to add to that, what makes you think that the EU wouldn't be fine with, say, Hungary vetoing the extension? It allows them to put an end to this mess with a convenient scapegoat.
For some reason, you seem to imagine that the EU wants the UK to leave with no deal. They most definitely don't.

A no-deal Brexit would have a big impact on the EU, though less than on Britain, of course. The EU has already made provision to declare a no-deal Brexit a major natural disaster.

Quote:
The European commission will propose dipping into a solidarity fund created in 2002 to help member states deal with natural disasters such as floods, storms, volcanic eruptions and forest fires.

Brexit is a “singular event” that “could constitute a major disaster and therefore the activation of the solidarity principle, which is the core of the [fund], would be justified,” states a copy of the proposal seen by the Guardian.

Further money will be available from the EU’s “globalisation adjustment fund”, intended to support workers who lose their jobs when factories go bust. If the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal on 31 October, there will be a “significant impact on trade patterns, growth and jobs,” the document states.

EU finances and the Euro are in a delicate state right now, and they will try to avoid a financial shock if they think there is any realistic possibility of doing so. As long as there is a possibility of a general election and/or a second referendum, with Britain taking a different direction, they will grant an extension.
  #675  
Old 10-06-2019, 01:11 PM
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From what I see, the EU would prefer to have a deal that minimizes the financial downsides of Brexit but isn't willing to screw over Ireland to get it. They want to make sure they act ethically before they make sure to act beneficially to themselves. So, the opposite of what's going on with the whole Brexit/GOP civilizational mental breakdown.
  #676  
Old 10-06-2019, 02:12 PM
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From what I see, the EU would prefer to have a deal that minimizes the financial downsides of Brexit but isn't willing to screw over Ireland to get it. They want to make sure they act ethically before they make sure to act beneficially to themselves. So, the opposite of what's going on with the whole Brexit/GOP civilizational mental breakdown.
More to the point, Ireland isn't willing to screw over Ireland to get it. So anything that needs the unanimous 27 needs to convince Ireland. Which has kind of has a history with Britain, and may remember a few of the lessons learned in the last 800 years.
  #677  
Old 10-06-2019, 03:04 PM
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There is no legal requirement that Ireland has to approve the Withdrawal agreement:
Quote:
The EU parliament, including the MEPs from the UK, must consent by simple majority to the Withdrawal Agreement – but does not have the power to amend it. In this case, the Council of the EU needs to adopt it by super-qualified majority. This means it needs to get support of 72% of the 27 participating member states (or 20 member states), and the support must also represent 65% of the population of the 27 member states.
http://theconversation.com/brexit-wh...eements-107127
  #678  
Old 10-06-2019, 03:16 PM
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There is no legal requirement that Ireland has to approve the Withdrawal agreement:

http://theconversation.com/brexit-wh...eements-107127
But they do have to approve the extension that people seem to take for granted.
  #679  
Old 10-06-2019, 07:35 PM
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There is no legal requirement that Ireland has to approve the Withdrawal agreement:

http://theconversation.com/brexit-wh...eements-107127
No legal requirement, no. But as events have unfolded it's unthinkable politically that the EU would by qualified majority conclude a Withdrawal Agreement to which Ireoland objects on the grounds that it will lead to a hard border.
  #680  
Old 10-06-2019, 08:29 PM
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That won't work. See post #661 above.
I read your post and I'm unable to find the part where Boris Johnson would be physically prevented from doing as I outlined. Perhaps you think that laws prevent things from happening? They don't.
  #681  
Old 10-06-2019, 09:52 PM
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I read your post and I'm unable to find the part where Boris Johnson would be physically prevented from doing as I outlined. Perhaps you think that laws prevent things from happening? They don't.
He doesn't say that Johnson can't do it (though, in fact, if given advance notice of Johnson's intention, a court might restrain him from doing it, or invalidate it, if done). What he says is that, if done, it won't work.

If, as the law requires, Johnson sends the first letter, seeking an extension to 31 January, the EU can offer the extension sought and, if it does, the law requires Johnson to accept it. Bang, done, dusted. If the EU offers an extension of a different length to that sought, the law requires Johnson to accept that too, unless he can get parliament to vote to reject it. Sending the second letter will do precisely zero to change Johnson's legal obligations in either of these scenarios.

Johnson might hope that by sending the second letter he can dissuade the EU from offering any extension at all in response to the first letter, but it seems a fairly desperate hope.

Last edited by UDS; 10-06-2019 at 09:53 PM.
  #682  
Old 10-07-2019, 04:53 AM
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Meanwhile, Johnson's attempt to win over the voters continue to work their magic:

https://metro.co.uk/video/angry-voter-pms-constituency-calls-boris-johnson-filthy-toerag-2020638/

Last edited by PatrickLondon; 10-07-2019 at 04:54 AM.
  #683  
Old 10-07-2019, 07:16 AM
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Scottish court rules that there is no need to compel Johnson to send the letter.
  #684  
Old 10-07-2019, 07:19 AM
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And as someone mentioned earlier, Parliament will be prorogued tomorrow.
  #685  
Old 10-08-2019, 09:48 AM
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That's an awfully trusting judge.
  #686  
Old 10-08-2019, 10:09 AM
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It's all grandstanding at this point. I don't think Johnson really wants to leave without a deal, or at least without a deal and without an obvious mandate for leaving without a deal, because he would get the blame for the following shitstorm.

The Johnson plan now is to put up a good show of fighting an extension that is now almost inevitable so that he can go into an election as the champion of the 'the people' and win a majority, since what he mostly cares about is his own political fortunes. To this end I expect they will come up with some ruse that's likely to fail, but makes him look like the champion of the Brexiteers because otherwise the Tories are going to be eaten alive by the Brexit party.

And I do think the EU will grant an extension. It's one last roll of the dice for them and with the Tories imploding and the opposition now solidifying as remainers/very soft leavers its worth a punt.
  #687  
Old 10-14-2019, 08:29 AM
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The consensus from the guys in the pub is that they wish it would all just go away. They assume that the 'deadline' has finally forced "That Lot in Brussels" to finally realise that the UK is off, whether they like it or not and they are scrabbling around to find some compromise that will satisfy nobody, but save their collective a̶r̶s̶e̶s̶ faces.

Last edited by bob++; 10-14-2019 at 08:31 AM.
  #688  
Old 10-14-2019, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by bob++ View Post
The consensus from the guys in the pub is that they wish it would all just go away. They assume that the 'deadline' has finally forced "That Lot in Brussels" to finally realise that the UK is off, whether they like it or not and they are scrabbling around to find some compromise that will satisfy nobody, but save their collective a̶r̶s̶e̶s̶ faces.
The tragedy being that Brexit will never go away.

Even if we get a deal and exit in the next 30 days, we still be mired in Brexit for the foreseeable.

First, the actual real-world consequences will become clear. This will not be a Day One event. Various industries will, at various speeds, be affected one way or the other and this will shake out over time. Then industries will respond to these effects, and those responses will have their consequences. It will be a while before these ripple effects drop below background noise. Whatever euphoria is felt at a deal finally being reached will not last.

Secondly, this is only the Withdrawal Agreement. There remains a long period of negotiation to develop the agreement covering our future relationship. This may not go on forever, but it will take years and feel like longer. Every argument we've had over the WA will be repeated for each industry sector's trade agreement. FTAs take up 100s even 1000s of pages, each of which is the product of tediously hammered out negotiations. And that doesn't count non-trade agreements over minor things like migration, travel, EURATOM material, security, reciprocal agreements on e.g. healthcare, pensions.... The guys in the pub will be chewing over the ramifications of each of these decisions for at least the next decade.

Brexit will never stop.
  #689  
Old 10-14-2019, 11:36 PM
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I understand that the Queen's Speech didn't have the full effect that was hoped for (and promised).

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 10-14-2019 at 11:36 PM.
  #690  
Old 10-15-2019, 12:56 AM
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I understand that the Queen's Speech didn't have the full effect that was hoped for (and promised).
How was it ever going to? It's farcical. The Queen's speech is supposed to set out the goverment's legislative agenda for the next session of parliament, expected to last a year or more. But this government is 43 votes shy of a majority. Since Johnson became PM they haven't got a single thing through Parliament - not just no legislation, but no substantive votes on any matter at all; they have lost ever single vote. Even if they had a legislative agenda nobody would care about it, since it would be irrelevant; they can't get their legislation enacted.

But they have no legislative agenda. Johnson doesn't want a new session of Parliament lasting a year or more; he wants an immediate dissolution and an election, and is whingeing bitterly about the fact that Parliament won't give him one. So he has organised a Queen's speech to lay out a legislative agenda that he cannot get enacted in a session of Parliament that, given his druthers, he would not convene.

This is not a Queen's speech that anybody was ever going to take seriously. In time Johnson will get his election, following which there will be another queen's speech setting out the agenda of whatever government is in office after the election. That's the only queen's speech that anyone of any sense will pay any attention to.
  #691  
Old 10-15-2019, 12:08 PM
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Boris Johnson appears to be on the brink of reaching a Brexit deal after making major concessions to EU demands over the Irish border.

A draft text of the agreement could now be published on Wednesday if Downing Street gives the final green light, according to senior EU and British sources.

It is understood that the negotiating teams have agreed in principle that there will be a customs border down the Irish Sea. A similar arrangement was rejected by Theresa May as a deal that no British prime minister could accept...

“Northern Ireland would de jure be in the UK’s customs territory but de facto in the European Union’s,” one diplomatic source said of the tentative agreement.
https://www.theguardian.com/politics...er-concessions
  #692  
Old 10-15-2019, 01:08 PM
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How on earth does would they expect to get that through parliament? Most of the hard-brexiteers might go for it but any separation of NE from the UK is fundamentally opposed by the DUP. And while there are a number of opposition MPs who would consider voting for a reasonable deal I'm not sure this would qualify.
  #693  
Old 10-15-2019, 01:17 PM
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Cynical as I am I see this as Boris desperate to get any deal even if it gets voted down. It'll be another plank of his 'I did my best and was thwarted by remainers' strategy.

Most of the elctorate won't even know the details of the deal, let alone understand why it's unacceptable to so many people.
  #694  
Old 10-15-2019, 01:44 PM
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Scottish Nationals say they'll never accept Johnson's (or anyone's, maybe) Brexit plan:
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Nicola Sturgeon told her party conference Tuesday that Scottish voters had opposed leaving the European Union during the 2016 Brexit referendum and are unwilling to be dragged out of the EU.

She compared Johnson to U.S. President Donald Trump, saying both leaders use “crude populism” to trample on the rights of minorities.

Sturgeon said “what leaders like Boris Johnson and Donald Trump have in common is this — a belief that nothing should be allowed to stand in the way of their own self-interest. Not facts or evidence. Not the rule of law. Not democracy.”

Sturgeon reiterated plans to try to hold a referendum on Scottish independence next year.
How much does this matter? I don't know how many MPs are from the SN party.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 10-15-2019 at 01:45 PM.
  #695  
Old 10-15-2019, 02:22 PM
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And while there are a number of opposition MPs who would consider voting for a reasonable deal I'm not sure this would qualify.
Remember this is just the withdrawal deal about the financial obligations, rights of citizens and Irish backstop. The future deal is going to be negotiated during the transition period. Anything the withdrawal deal says about the future relationship is purely advisory. So if Labour wins the election they could negotiate a quite different future relationship than the Conservatives would--and nothing in this withdrawal deal would prevent this from happening.
  #696  
Old 10-15-2019, 05:44 PM
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How much does this matter? I don't know how many MPs are from the SN party.
35. They're the third largest party in the Commons. They also control the devolved Scottish Parliament. They're a left wing party that wants Scottish independence, so are entirely opposed to the Conservative And Unionist party (to give it its full name).

They are also strongly in favour of remaining in the EU, more so than any other party apart from maybe the Lib Dems. As to how much this matters, this deal will likely be opposed by MPs from every side, they're not going to hold the balance or be able to make a deal with the Government about this. But should Brexit actually happen, they will push very strongly for another Scottish independence referendum, and likely win it.
  #697  
Old 10-15-2019, 05:47 PM
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How on earth does would they expect to get that through parliament?
I doubt he does, this - like the Queens Speech - is election campaigning not governance. It's becoming very clear that there is no possible deal acceptable to the EU, the UK Government, and Parliament.
  #698  
Old 10-15-2019, 06:06 PM
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35. They're the third largest party in the Commons. They also control the devolved Scottish Parliament. They're a left wing party that wants Scottish independence, so are entirely opposed to the Conservative And Unionist party (to give it its full name).
If/when there's a general election in the next few months they'll be back around 50 seats, I expect. With Ruth Davidson gone from the Scottish Tories, and yer actual Boris Johnson as PM the soft Tory vote in Scotland is gone. Johnson is loathed up here, even by the kinda-sorta probably-a-bit-Conservative folk I know. And that vote will largely go to the SNP, who aren't really all that much of a left-wing party as such.
  #699  
Old 10-15-2019, 07:18 PM
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I doubt he does, this - like the Queens Speech - is election campaigning not governance. It's becoming very clear that there is no possible deal acceptable to the EU, the UK Government, and Parliament.
There is the question of lesser evils. To lots of MPs this is a lesser evil that No Deal. To lots of MPs it is a lesser evil than Soft Brexit. To lots of MPs it is a lesser evil than Remain. The problem is that if this deal is rejected it could easily happen that a worse option will be the result.
  #700  
Old 10-15-2019, 08:22 PM
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There is the question of lesser evils. To lots of MPs this is a lesser evil that No Deal. To lots of MPs it is a lesser evil than Soft Brexit. To lots of MPs it is a lesser evil than Remain. The problem is that if this deal is rejected it could easily happen that a worse option will be the result.
Yes, but exactly the same arguments could have been (and were) made when May's deal was put to Parliament, and yet they were not sufficient to get May's deal ratuified.

I think the best hope for any deal that Johnson does put to Parliament is that a lot of the illusions that enabled people to vote against May's deal in the expectation of something better have by now been burned away, and therefore they may be more actuated by the fear of something worse.

The problem is that the deal that Johnson is shaping up to put to Parliament is itself signficantly worse than May's deal. Economic modelling suggests that it will do much more harm to the UK economy than May's deal would have done. That makes it really difficult for those who voted against May's deal to vote for Johnson's. This consideration doesn't apply to those who have an ideological commitment to hard Brexit and who are simply in denial about the adverse economic impacts. But there may not be enough such people in Parliament to get the deal through.
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