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  #1501  
Old 06-08-2019, 08:21 AM
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The withdrawal agreement won't be open to renegotiation. There might be room to manoeuvre on the accompanying "political declaration" which in effect outlines the agenda for the next phase of negotiations about the future trading relationship, and includes the Irish backstop. But not much and all dependent on the next PM coming up with a specific proposal that can be shown to be acceptable to parliament - and if it's opposed by the DUP, it won't be, even if it's backed by the entire Tory parliamentary party.

And let's not forget the opposition to being still subject to EU rules in the transition period (e.g. one B A de P Johnson, at least this week).
  #1502  
Old 06-08-2019, 08:40 AM
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Let me try again a different way, in a short punchy statement suitable for modern social media.

It seems to me that given where we are today, once the Conservatives are led by a committed leaver, then it is inevitable that Brexit will happen relatively quickly. The only question is if it will be under a formal withdrawal agreement or without one. Exiting without an agreement seems unthinkable, and the only withdrawal agreement available is deeply unsatisfactory to people of all shades of opinion. Does this mean that Brexit won't happen? No, because there is a relatively minor tweak to the withdrawal agreement which would satisfy the EU, the Conservative Party, the Labour Party, British voters and most Northern Irish voters. That provides a viable way through the morass.

Other outcomes are possible, but none seem likely. No better withdrawal agreement is possible, no deal is deeply unattractive, there is no remainer party which can win a general election if held soon, there is no mechanism to delay exit without a persuasive reason, there is no persuasive reason which is going to emerge before 31 October this year. The Conservative Party has the initiative, and it would be willing to exit on no deal, particularly if it can credibly pin the blame on Labour.

Once you have eliminated all the almost impossible outcomes, the merely unlikely outcome must follow.
  #1503  
Old 06-08-2019, 08:47 AM
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The withdrawal agreement won't be open to renegotiation. There might be room to manoeuvre on the accompanying "political declaration" which in effect outlines the agenda for the next phase of negotiations about the future trading relationship, and includes the Irish backstop. But not much and all dependent on the next PM coming up with a specific proposal that can be shown to be acceptable to parliament - and if it's opposed by the DUP, it won't be, even if it's backed by the entire Tory parliamentary party.

And let's not forget the opposition to being still subject to EU rules in the transition period (e.g. one B A de P Johnson, at least this week).
Oh well, then sadly it is leave on 31 October without a deal, or have a general election in the meantime, with the Conservative / Brexit Party alliance committed to delivering the will of the people against a self-evidently dictatorial EU, with or without a deal, Labour committed to delivering a jobs first Brexit which they will renegotiate with the EU, and the remain vote split between the Lib Dems and Greens. I don't think that turns out well for remainers or soft brexiteers.

Or, just possibly, Labour elect a new leader who successfully campaigns for remain. That's two big hurdles, and the clock is ticking remorselessly.

If the EU won't renegotiate its demonstrably unacceptable withdrawal agreement, then the only options are leave with no deal or remain, and I don't see any way through for remain from here, today.
  #1504  
Old 06-08-2019, 09:46 AM
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You missed the clever bit. If the new Conservative leader offers to Brexit on the current withdrawal agreement but with the backstop reduced to NI only, then that severely reduces scope for Labour to call a no confidence motion. Because the backstop works for everyone if it is limited to NI.

For a start, several northern Labour MPs would see this as an easy way out of their dilemma, representing leaver constituencies.

Second, it calls Corbyn's bluff, since he is a leaver too. Put it another way, something is going to happen, and it isn't Corbyn successfully leading a campaign for the UK to remain in the EU, nor is it Corbyn negotiating a better withdrawal agreement with the EU. (I'm sure Elvis1ives will support me on that! ) So, one way or another, the outcome is going to be the UK leaving the EU, I am merely setting out a way for that to happen without no deal, which no-one wants.

Third, it changes the narrative around a general election, to one that the Conservatives easily win. The process would be, Boris (for it is he) makes the proposal I suggest. Labour says, no, we aren't leaving on that basis, let's have a general election. Boris says fine, and agrees with Nigel that in the constituencies currently held by Labour, half will be fought by a Brexit Party candidate and half by a Conservative, provided no Brexit Party candidates oppose sitting Conservative MPs. The Conservative / Brexit alliance wins the election and either exits with the deal I suggest or, having done all that they reasonably could to avoid it, with no deal.

The Conservatives currently fear a general election, because they will be demolished as a punishment for betraying the will of the people. If they pivot to genuinely trying to leave the EU on the best terms possible, then they win the next general election easily, either under their own brand or in association with the Faragists.
I think you're making too many unjustified assumptions.

Many will see creating a border between the UK and NI as breaking up the UK. You're assuming this will be acceptable, but many Remainers as well as Leavers find it highly unacceptable.

You're assuming that leaving the EU is inevitable, but I think it's fairly likely that Brexit will be cancelled after a second referendum.

You're assuming that the Bexit Party wants a deal, but they would actually prefer to leave with no deal. You say that no one wants no-deal, but that's simply not the case. Both Faragists and the ERG want no-deal.

You're assuming the Tories will make an alliance with the Brexit party, but I greatly doubt that. It would lead to a split in the Tory party if they tried.
  #1505  
Old 06-08-2019, 10:20 AM
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there is a relatively minor tweak to the withdrawal agreement which would satisfy the EU, the Conservative Party, the Labour Party, British voters and most Northern Irish voters.
If there were, the whole thing would have been done and dusted months ago. But there isn't.
  #1506  
Old 06-08-2019, 12:34 PM
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Seriously, the EU cannot and will not reject sensible workable proposals which are in its own best interests and which can easily be implemented.
Perhaps, if Britain can be trusted, both to implement them and then to keep its collective decision made. Can it?

Oh, wait, you answered that yourself:
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The so-called refusal to renegotiate only makes any sense at all in the context of the British government only making pointless impractical offers. Which so far it has done, but my point is that it need not continue to do so.
Unless there's a new and growing national consensus that has so far gone unreported, then yes, those "pointless impractical offers" are indeed all Britain can be expected to continue with - if even that. Your proposal, even if made by the government, would be just one more.
  #1507  
Old 06-08-2019, 01:03 PM
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Well, I guess Gove is out: https://www.ft.com/content/1c9d6202-...d-b42f641eca37

Tories who might have voted for him aren't likely the type who forgive cocaine use. Not that Boris Johnson seems like the clean & sober type but at least he didn't have the unforgivable indecency to get caught!

Quote from the article: "Fellow leadership contender and international development Rory Stewart has also apologised in recent weeks for smoking opium while at a wedding in Iran 15 years ago."

I have a vague memory of autoerotic asphyxiation and gay sex scandals in that same party. Tories seem a little, hard-living or high-strung perhaps? Aren't Mogg and Farage both millionaires from the financial industry?

Do all the Tories get together to watch Wall Street as an inspirational movie?

Last edited by MichaelEmouse; 06-08-2019 at 01:03 PM.
  #1508  
Old 06-08-2019, 01:27 PM
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Well, I guess Gove is out: https://www.ft.com/content/1c9d6202-...d-b42f641eca37

Tories who might have voted for him aren't likely the type who forgive cocaine use. Not that Boris Johnson seems like the clean & sober type but at least he didn't have the unforgivable indecency to get caught!
I doubt it matters very much at all. Even Andrea Leadsom has confessed to being a dope-fiend (for certain values of "dope" and "fiend", of course).

This whole round of confession was kicked of by Rory Stewart saying that he'd smoked opium at a wedding in Iran. The disappointing thing is that he claims to regret it. He should just have said "It would have been very rude to refuse" and leave it at that.
  #1509  
Old 06-08-2019, 01:31 PM
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Well, I guess Gove is out: https://www.ft.com/content/1c9d6202-...d-b42f641eca37

Tories who might have voted for him aren't likely the type who forgive cocaine use. Not that Boris Johnson seems like the clean & sober type but at least he didn't have the unforgivable indecency to get caught!
On the contrary...

Boris Johnson admitted to GQ magazine in 2007 he tried cocaine and cannabis as a teenager at Oxford: "I tried it at university and I remember it vividly. And it achieved no pharmacological, psychotropic or any other effect on me whatsoever."

Among other PM contenders, International Development Secretary Rory Stewart, as you mentioned, has apologised for smoking opium at a wedding in Iran, insisting it "had no effect" on him "because I was walking 25-30 miles a day". Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt has said he might have once tried cannabis in his youth, telling The Times "I think I had a cannabis lassi (drink) when I went backpacking through India."
  #1510  
Old 06-08-2019, 01:50 PM
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They probably think that drug use makes them look 'cool' to the younger generation. It doesn't.

David Cameron was accused of piggish behaviour at the Gaveston Club, a club which specialises in orgies and drugs. And who knows what David Cameron and Boris Johnson got up to while members of the Bullingdon Club, a club that specialises in drink, drugs, and trashing restaurants.
  #1511  
Old 06-08-2019, 01:52 PM
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Sandwich, I've read your posts and I'm trying to understand something, as a distant observer.

My understanding is that the EU's main point with Ireland was no hard border between the Republic and Northern Ireland.

But, that goal could be met by having a hard border in the Irish Sea.

But, the British government opposed that, because that would be seen as the beginning of ceding Northern Ireland to the Republic.

So, what do you think has changed to allow this "simple tweak" as you put it - the British government now agreeIng to an internal hard border between component parts of the United Kingdom?
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  #1512  
Old 06-08-2019, 01:52 PM
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Boris Johnson admitted to GQ magazine in 2007 he tried cocaine and cannabis as a teenager at Oxford: "I tried it at university and I remember it vividly. And it achieved no pharmacological, psychotropic or any other effect on me whatsoever."
Aye Boris, sure. No effect whatsoever.
  #1513  
Old 06-08-2019, 02:01 PM
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Looks like I didn't have the pulse of the Tory party. It can be difficult to find on a cold-blooded animal.

If your conservative party is like that, why is the UK so stuck up when it comes to drug laws?



OP:
Aren't the soft Brexiters the main problem here? The hard Brexiters might be wrong but the EU is a club and you can be in it or not and they've decided they don't want to be in it. I think they're wrong but they get to be wrong. Remainers are also plain enough, either wanting to retain current links with the EU or add to them.

Soft Brexiters, on the other hand, are a continuation of the British tendency to want to pick and choose, to have a custom-made membership just for the UK. There may be tiers to a club but a club that offers individualized memberships won't be much of a club and will probably be constantly tied up in internal politics rather than whatever common project it may have (kinda like Parliament and the Tories right now). If soft Brexiters decided which side of the debate they're on (in or out) instead of trying to sit on the fence, there would be a majority in Parliament.

That tendency to try to be shrewd but in a pretty base way, to try to maximize your individual gains while minimizing your individual contribution, playing it as close as possible to the line like the UK asking for exceptions, Cameron taking that stupid Brexit bet, May taking that stupid election bet and how many others. It seems like people in denial about the choices they have to make, what they can gain and what it may cost.
  #1514  
Old 06-08-2019, 02:05 PM
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Looks like I didn't have the pulse of the Tory party. It can be difficult to find on a cold-blooded animal.

If your conservative party is like that, why is the UK so stuck up when it comes to drug laws?
Oh, it's different when poor people take drugs.
  #1515  
Old 06-09-2019, 08:09 AM
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Sandwich, I've read your posts and I'm trying to understand something, as a distant observer.

My understanding is that the EU's main point with Ireland was no hard border between the Republic and Northern Ireland.

But, that goal could be met by having a hard border in the Irish Sea.

But, the British government opposed that, because that would be seen as the beginning of ceding Northern Ireland to the Republic.

So, what do you think has changed to allow this "simple tweak" as you put it - the British government now agreeIng to an internal hard border between component parts of the United Kingdom?
"...trying to understand...": that's not really the SDMB way now is it?

What's significant is what hasn't changed: half the population is still strongly committed to leaving. I for one didn't expect this. I thought that faced with the entirely predictable reality of the last three years of chaos, nonsense and national humiliation, that opinion polls would now be showing say two to one for remain. This would allow Parliament to organise a 'confirmatory' referendum and for the people to vote overwhelmingly to remain. Some people seem to think that is still a possible path, but I don't see that working any more.

This (apparently) means that a clear majority of Westminster constituencies still have a clear majority for leave, even if there is a small majority nationally for remain.

As we have seen in the European and Peterborough votes, plenty of people are happy to vote for the Brexit Party. This superficially appears to be a problem for the Conservatives, but it's not, provided they don't permanently alienate any Brexit voters, and if in the short term they can avoid having their vote split so that Labour win seats. The Conservatives realise this, and will shortly elect a leader committed to doing all they can to get us out of the EU. If and when that happens, then all their voters come back to them.

Less obviously, the cross party split on Brexit has already broken the Labour party. This isn't just Brexit, there has been a general movement towards the right in England, and the rise of Scottish nationalism, which combined with Brexit means that Labour will struggle to get a majority in Westminster regardless of how badly the Conservatives perform. Today, tomorrow, and into next year, Labour cannot win a general election without both northern working class leave voters and urban remain voters both enthusiastically supporting the party. In the current polarised climate that is not possible.

Overall, I conclude that we are leaving, and that the Conservatives will win the next general election easily unless they take the blame for us crashing out with no deal. So the challenge for the next Conservative leader is how to avoid taking that blame. Note that, if we have already crashed out before the next general election, then we have already crashed out. It seems obvious when you state it bluntly, but a lot of commentary (not just on this board) seems to have an unspoken premise that crashing out somehow validates the remainers and gives them a victory, which is... odd.

Conversely, if the general election is held before Brexit, then it will be quite difficult for anyone to blame the Conservatives for taking us out of the EU with no deal, since we wouldn't have actually left yet. Plus, Labour aren't going to win the next general election anyway, see above.

Note also that the EU's current deadline of 31 October is fast approaching. We may already have passed the point where a referendum can be called before then, and soon a general election will also not be practical, and the procedural default is that we crash out unless something stops us. Of course, the deadline could be shifted, despite EU protestations that this is our last chance, in the same way that further negotiations might take place if the UK says something substantial. But kicking the can down the road doesn't achieve anything unless there is a change in public opinion on Brexit, and it's hard to see what would change that now.

The other significant thing which hasn't changed is that the Labour party is still not advocating remain or a second referendum. As I said in an earlier post, getting a fervent remainer into the leader's role might be enough to get a referendum done and won before 31 October, but the road is fraught with political and procedural difficulties, even if the leadership challenge starts yesterday, which it didn't. And, the Brexit Party won't go away, and would win the next general election and then take us out anyway, because of the concentration of the remain vote in fewer seats than leavers.

The other thing to remember is that my suggestion that the withdrawal agreement be tweaked so that the backstop applies only to Northern Ireland is just one way that a new Conservative leader might successfully navigate the challenge of Brexiting and not taking the blame for crashing out with no deal. It's just possible that a completely new withdrawal agreement could be negotiated, though clearly the EU really doesn't want to do that. But the EU doesn't want the UK to crash out with no deal either, if any sensible alternatives could be proposed.

So, what has changed to make an NI limited backstop more palatable:
- it has become clear to many northern Labour MPs that they could easily lose their seats to the Brexit Party or a revitalised Conservative Party if they oppose Brexit, to the extent that it seems likely that a general election will lead to a hard Brexit government with a clear working majority
- it has become clear to all Labour MPs that EU opposition to renegotiating the withdrawal agreement applies as much to them as to the Tories
- it should have become clear to all Labour MPs that the Labour Party's proposals for their version of a cake-and -eat-it-Brexit is never going to happen
- it should be clear to all MPs that if we are leaving, as it seems we now must, then a negotiated deal is optimal. However, the current proposed withdrawal agreement is not workable, it really is remain in disguise, and won't fly with leave voters
- it seems likely that crashing out with no deal is an option, if the EU won't renegotiate even with a realistic and pragmatic UK government. If so, then in the fullness of time Scotland and Northern Ireland will leave the UK anyway, so we may as well bite the bullet on Northern Ireland now
- a customs border in the Irish Sea between Northern Ireland and Great Britain needn't be the end of the union anyway, if the people of Northern Ireland don't want it to be
- British people have started paying attention to Irish issues. Previously, British opinion on Irish nationalists (and by extension the Republic of Ireland) was viewed through the prism of the Troubles, when the Irish were disgusting and cynical mass murderers of entirely innocent British people. Now, we see and know that Northern Irish unionists vote in some bizarrely bigoted and outlandish political representatives in the shape of the DUP, and that the Republic of Ireland (and by extension Irish nationalists in the north of Ireland) is full of entirely reasonable and charming people with entirely normal political views. Maybe it is time for Britain to finally leave Ireland to the Irish?

TL;DR: it was arguable in June 2016, and even June 2018, that one way or another Parliament would steer the nation back to remain or at least to BRINO (that is, Norway ++). In June 2019 that isn't such a credible position to take, if only because Parliament manifestly has not done so. So the question is, do we crash out with no deal, or is there any workable deal? That is, one which avoids any substantive border in Ireland, while leaving Great Britain free to make wonderful, excellent, brilliant deals with third countries such as Mr Trump's USA. I think there is.
  #1516  
Old 06-09-2019, 09:08 AM
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If there were, the whole thing would have been done and dusted months ago. But there isn't.
This post was made in reply to my assertion "there is a relatively minor tweak to the withdrawal agreement which would satisfy the EU, the Conservative Party, the Labour Party, British voters and most Northern Irish voters."

The irony of all of this, is that we have had months of remainer MPs (allegedly a large majority in Parliament) whining about how they want a close future relationship with the EU after Brexit, and the Labour Party's official policy is for a very close relationship. And yet, not once, not twice, but three times Parliament overwhelming rejected Mrs May's withdrawal agreement, apparently on the grounds that the backstop committed the UK to too close a relationship with the EU. Mrs May had to resign because it was clear that Parliament would reject her proposal for a fourth time if she brought it to a vote. So, even though there was an easy way through for Parliament to have achieved its stated objectives, done and dusted months ago, Parliament chose not to.

Perhaps I should have said 'should' not 'would'?

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  #1517  
Old 06-09-2019, 09:53 AM
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The irony of all of this, is that we have had months of remainer MPs (allegedly a large majority in Parliament) whining about how they want a close future relationship with the EU after Brexit, and the Labour Party's official policy is for a very close relationship. And yet, not once, not twice, but three times Parliament overwhelming rejected Mrs May's withdrawal agreement, apparently on the grounds that the backstop committed the UK to too close a relationship with the EU. Mrs May had to resign because it was clear that Parliament would reject her proposal for a fourth time if she brought it to a vote. So, even though there was an easy way through for Parliament to have achieved its stated objectives, done and dusted months ago, Parliament chose not to.
You seem to think that the withdrawal agreement was an acceptable solution, but it wasn't. It would have left the UK closely tied to the EU and having to follow most EU regulations, but without any say in them, and unable to pursue independent trade deals with other countries. There would have been no any way of exiting that situation unless the EU agreed.

It was far worse than simply remaining in the EU, with a good possibility of being trapped in that situation indefinitely.
  #1518  
Old 06-09-2019, 04:15 PM
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The 'simple solution' doesn't exist, unless the UK goes for ultra-soft Brexit, like EEA + Customs Union - which would be a pointless Brexit. Might as well stay in.

To my knowledge opinion polls show Remain between 55% and 60%, so it's approaching two thirds.

The trouble is many Leavers still think there's some perfect fudgy deal out there that can square the circle. There isn't, except for pointless Brexit.
  #1519  
Old 06-09-2019, 06:27 PM
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The trouble is many Leavers still think there's some perfect fudgy deal out there that can square the circle. There isn't, except for pointless Brexit.
That's one of the dishonest parts. Refusing to remain because of the "mandate from the people" which was pretty chancy while only being willing to deliver a Brexit that's in name only. So they can say: "We delivered Brexit" even though it'll be a worse outcome from the point of view of both remainers and leavers so what's the point? It's like there's a steadfast refusal to consider the conceptual substance of Brexit and only wanting to be able to claim to have obeyed the letter of the people.

Actually, perhaps not the people because it's doubtful the Tories have any problems wielding power over the general population. Perhaps what they crave is having behaved according to the expectations of Tory members, colleagues and each MP's social circle. I can't imagine what kind of dreadful toffs Tory MPs have as friends.

May seemed panicked the whole time, she even cried during her quitting speech. It's like she needed someone to reassure her even though she ran for fucking Prime Minister. When you're PM, you're the captain of the ship. You show humility and consult with others but you also make the decisions yourself and take that responsibility on your shoulders. What positive difference did those 3 years actually make?
  #1520  
Old 06-10-2019, 03:20 AM
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So, we all agree that in our opinions, it would be best if Britain remained in the EU. We can all articulately criticise all the arguments which leavers make and show them to be lacking. It's nice that opinion polls are apparently running at 55% to 60% remain. A second referendum with 60%+ remain would be decisive and would largely put the problem to bed with us all living happily after. However, we should note that the opinion polls overstated the remain vote before the 2016 referendum, that turnout could be decisive, and that enthusiasm will be decisive. Also, we should not assume that because it is all rational and sensible to have a referendum and vote decisively to remain, that that will therefore happen.

"Acceptability" is not relevant.

Firstly, I think there is now a material chance that Britain will shortly exit the EU chaotically, with no agreed deal. This would likely be disastrous. The new and surprising thing is that this could happen with the Tories emerging as the heroes and all the blame falling on the opposition parties, the EU, and the Tory rebels.

Secondly, against received wisdom, I set out a relatively straightforward mechanism for a new Conservative leader to achieve a revised withdrawal agreement and take us out of the EU smoothly. I noted that once we are safely into a long transitional period, then all options remain open for the long term. That wouldn't be a bad place to be. There may be other paths to a managed exit, not just my suggestion, but it is important to recognise that this could happen. Again, the Conservatives have the initiative and seem in a reasonably good place to be.

Thirdly, we have reached a consensus that a very soft Brexit is pointless and demonstrably worse than the status quo ante. Nevertheless, some people seem to be in denial about this. For example, it remains the Labour Party's official policy, despite their being no obvious way to reach it except through Mrs May's repeatedly rejected draft withdrawal agreement. Some remainer commentators seem to be confused on this issue, seemingly arguing for a soft Brexit as a means to somehow not exiting at all. This includes, but is not limited to, dreams that Parliament will somehow prevent a chaotic no deal exit without finding an alternative outcome. Equally, picking holes in other people's analysis of what might happen next, without offering a credible alternative outcome, while seeming to imply that therefore remain must win. The opposition to Brexit, whether the official opposition in Parliament, other parties, or the commentariat, seem to be losing their way, again with the initiative and benefit passing to the Tories.

Fourthly, clearly it is theoretically possible that there could be a second referendum which decisively rejects Brexit. That would be lovely. I believe that the window of opportunity for that to happen is closing rapidly and may indeed have already closed. Again, some people seem to think that this is a likely outcome, which seems unjustifiably optimistic given the current positions of the Conservative Party, the Brexit Party, the Labour Party, the European Commission, the European Council, the European Parliament, and the British electorate. The Europeans, in particular, are not going to ride to our rescue on a silver horse, to save us from ourselves.

Fifthly, I note that any form of Brexit, chaotic, hard or soft, need not be the end of the matter. In particular, any managed Brexit (that is, one with a long transitional period where for most practical purposes it is as if we are still in the EU) could easily be unwound. Tantalisingly, once we are officially out then re-entry would jeopardise the current favourable terms which the UK enjoys in the EU. Personally, that would be my preferred outcome. I am the hardest of hard remainers, and would be delighted if in a few years the UK is a full member of the EU, with no opt-outs from the Schengen agreement, the euro, and social legislation. Personally, I even want the UK to lose its rebate, but that is on condition that the EU's funding is reorganised so that all the rich member states contribute fairly to material fiscal transfers to all the poorer member states. We are all strongest together, and doomed to failure if we stand alone.

The potentially surprising thing, is that this currently seems like a reasonably good position for the Tories, and a bad position for the opposition, despite how it is all presented in the press and discussed online. Perhaps that is why there is so much competition for the Tory leadership? It is easy to mock politicians, but most of them are smarted than average, and all of them are much more political than the average person, obviously, and perhaps they do see through the fog of politics more clearly than the rest of us?

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  #1521  
Old 06-10-2019, 04:30 AM
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Aye Boris, sure. No effect whatsoever.
You appear to be thinking that he was capable of passing for normal, beforehand.
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  #1522  
Old 06-10-2019, 06:41 AM
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So I guess punching yourself in the balls hurts after all -- who knew?

https://www.theguardian.com/business...mw-peugeot-gdp

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According to the Office for National Statistics, gross domestic product (GDP) plunged by 0.4% in April from a month earlier as factories across the country launched a wave of planned shutdowns to avoid any disruption that could have been unleashed by a no-deal Brexit.
  #1523  
Old 06-10-2019, 09:08 AM
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Aye Boris, sure. No effect whatsoever.
From what I've seen, doing coke turns you into a motor-mouthed, over-confident self-centred, opinionated TWAT.

So, in this case. No (noticeable) effect whatsoever...
  #1524  
Old 06-10-2019, 09:13 AM
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Hmm, I think I see a path forward:

Britain leaves the European Union, but keeps all the rights and responsibilities of membership. Thus, on maps, Britain will be colored English red, instead European blue. The star representing Britain on the European flag will be removed (it's the one in the center of the circle). Britain will have it's own Olympic team and will be able to use its own currency. But, despite not being a member, the EU will be forced to listen to British representation on all the policies and rules and laws and such. British farmers and cities will continue to get EU subsidies, less some administrative fees that will be covered by the British treasury.

It's a win-win deal! The Tories can claim victory--Brexit is delivered, without giving up anything!
  #1525  
Old 06-10-2019, 02:45 PM
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May seemed panicked the whole time, she even cried during her quitting speech.
To be fair, that could well have been anger.
  #1526  
Old 06-13-2019, 02:00 PM
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Can someone explain the “Irish backstop”? How is that different from just staying in the EU?
  #1527  
Old 06-13-2019, 02:55 PM
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AIUI, the point of the backstop is to prevent the re-installation of customs posts and border checks if and when there would be tariffs on goods and differing health and safety standards, because the Good Friday Agreement is underpinned by there not being any such differences. Re-establishing them risks arousing all the old resentments and giving sitting targets for extremists.

EU membership involves a great deal more than those practicalities, but leaving means this is one problem for which no-one has offered much of an alternative solution, apart from "computers can do it all" in some vague magical way.
  #1528  
Old 06-13-2019, 04:08 PM
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Can someone explain the “Irish backstop”? How is that different from just staying in the EU?
It's not. The whole of the UK would become outside the EU, but Northern Ireland would be in a customs union with the EU.

A customs union is the most basic of relationships you can have with a trading neighbour.
  #1529  
Old 06-13-2019, 04:51 PM
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Can someone explain the “Irish backstop”? How is that different from just staying in the EU?
The backstop - a UK proposal, accepted by the EU - is a mechanism to avoid border controls on the island of Ireland. It's important to emphasise that the backstop only comes into force if no post-Brexit agreement can be reached.

The original intended timeline was roughly this -

1) Britain votes to Leave,
2) UK and EU negotiate the terms of a Withdrawal Agreement - this defines the shape of EU/UK relations until a future agreement can be negotiated. A holding pattern that pertains from the time that the UK leaves the EU (the deadline for leaving was originally two years after Article 50 invocation) until a new agreement is signed, essentially. The backstop is part of this WA.
3) The EU countries and the UK all agree the terms of the WA and then pass it into domestic law, in whatever way each individual country sees fit (The UK has spectacularly failed to do the latter part of this, which is why things are so fucked at the moment)
4) The UK leaves the EU
5) Future relationship negotiations begin, with the WA governing the transitional period
6) Either a future relationship is agreed by a certain date, or the backstop kicks in

It's not going well.

Last edited by Baron Greenback; 06-13-2019 at 04:52 PM.
  #1530  
Old 06-14-2019, 02:14 AM
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Ahh, thanks.
  #1531  
Old 06-26-2019, 11:33 PM
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It's not going well.
How can you say this? Don't you realize that the chances of a no-deal Brexit are a “million-to-one against” as there is a mood in the EU and among MPs to pass a new Brexit deal?

This from someone who knows:
  #1532  
Old 06-27-2019, 01:41 AM
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The chances of Boris Johnson talking sense are a million-to-one against.
  #1533  
Old 07-23-2019, 07:36 AM
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And now he's PM!
  #1534  
Old 07-23-2019, 08:06 AM
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And now he's PM!
[Cue Yakety Sax]
  #1535  
Old 07-23-2019, 08:10 AM
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It was a nice country while it lasted.
  #1536  
Old 07-23-2019, 08:14 AM
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And now he's PM!
Good. God. Palmerson, Disreali, and Gladstone are spinning in their graves.

from CNN:
Quote:
"Dude, we are going to energize the country, we are going to get Brexit done!" Johnson said.
DUDE apparently standing for Deliver, Unite, Defeat, Energize.

So, England has a new Prime Minister and about 3 months to negotiate a new/revised Brexit deal with Europe.

A deal done by Boris Johnson.

Living in interesting times, Britain; interesting times indeed.

Last edited by The Stainless Steel Rat; 07-23-2019 at 08:15 AM.
  #1537  
Old 07-24-2019, 05:19 PM
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I apologize, Britain; I know you've had a tough few years and massive uncertainty looms. But, as someone who doesn't have to live with him, I look forward to Boris' hijinks and shenanigans.

To quote Kim Fowley (another entertaining jerk) "I won't respect you or love you, but I'll keep you crazies gassed".
  #1538  
Old 07-24-2019, 05:48 PM
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This is a nightmare, not only for Britain but for anyone who cares about the future of the UK and a united Europe. Speaking as someone who's living in a country more than 2 years into a complete and total shit show, I take no delight in what we're about to see with the UK variant.
  #1539  
Old 07-29-2019, 06:04 AM
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Dominic Cummings may find things a little more difficult than he anticipated.

He held a meeting with ministerial aides at which he spoke strongly about leaking. He said that leaking would absolutely not be tolerated. "One strike and you're out. If you leak, you are gone."

All this was promptly leaked to the press...

  #1540  
Old 07-29-2019, 06:10 AM
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It's funny how a no-deal Brexit has suddenly gone from a "million-to-one chance" to the presumed outcome. I guess Boris has adopted Terry Pratchett's view on million-to-one chances.
  #1541  
Old 07-29-2019, 06:14 AM
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Jesus fucking Christ, UK. I mean, Jesus fucking Christ.
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Assume I'm right and you're wrong - we'll both save a lot of time.
  #1542  
Old 07-29-2019, 06:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Stainless Steel Rat View Post

from CNN: DUDE apparently standing for Deliver, Unite, Defeat, Energize.
My understanding is that "Energize" was added after realizing what the first three spelled. I feel really bad for the UK. It's going to take a miracle to prevent a Brexit disaster, and even then, they would still have Boris.
  #1543  
Old 07-29-2019, 06:55 AM
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So what happens with Northern Ireland in a no-deal Brexit? If a hard border is resurrected, would there be a risk of a return to The Troubles?
  #1544  
Old 07-29-2019, 08:06 AM
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So what happens with Northern Ireland in a no-deal Brexit? If a hard border is resurrected, would there be a risk of a return to The Troubles?
Yes, in short. A hard border with customs checks, vehicle inspections etc, or even just with licence plate cameras would provide both a catalyst and a set of targets for the crazies to take action. It can't be stressed enough how much of a pacifying effect the absence of border infrastructure has had in NI.

But there are other potential flashpoints too. Under the Good Friday Agreement, there is a devolved power-sharing Assembly in NI which has power to deal with various policy areas such as agriculture, infrastructure, justice, health etc. The sharing of power between nationalist and unionist parties has always been fraught with tension, especially as the largest parties representing these groups are Sinn Fein and the DUP, respectively. (Sinn Fein being of course the political wing of the IRA, and the DUP being the hardest of the hard-line unionists with their own ties to paramilitary orgs).

In Jan 2017 these tensions reached breaking point, as the two main parties fell to loggerheads after a political scandal. The Assembly was suspended, and hasn't resumed in the 2.5 years since. (One of the reasons the situation is difficult to resolve is that Westminster would be expected to act as an honest broker/facilitator of negotiations and while this would always be a bit difficult for nationalists to swallow, the fact the Westminster Tory government is only in power because of a deal with DUP MPs makes any claim to disinterested arbitration laughably hollow).

Anyhow, NI has been struggling on without a devolved legislature and just about getting by. In the event of No Deal however, there would have to be a great deal of legislation passed affecting e.g. infrastructure and agriculture and there simply wouldn't be time to hammer out a deal that would get the Assembly up and running again. So what would have to happen is that Westminster would have to impose direct rule: a massively retrograde step and, insofar as steps can be inflammatory, an incredibly inflammatory one.

This point was recently made in a paper by the Institute of Government (an independent think tank which analyses policy and politics); when this point has been put to the new Foreign Secretary and to the new PM's spokesperson, both have failed to deny it.

In the Troubles, the basic assumptions were that the people of NI could be Irish, or they could be British, but they couldn't be both and forcing them to pick either one was both the only option and a terrible injustice. The open border and the Assembly presented a new option, which was essentially that you could in fact be both; you could trade and travel freely with Ireland, and while you were still technically ruled by the UK actually a lot of the decisions were being made locally. So everyone could just...chill out a bit and get on with their daily lives without being confronted with harsh dichotomies.

No Deal Brexit risks bringing back not just symbols of the old binary approach, but the on-the-ground realities. It seems quite plausible that some associated factors will return too.
  #1545  
Old 07-29-2019, 08:08 AM
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Here's what the IoG has to say about No Deal Brexit and NI:

Quote:
The other issue that might force the government back to Parliament is the need to cope with the consequences of a no-deal Brexit in Northern Ireland. If the power-sharing Executive is not back in Stormont by the end of September, ministers would need to start their plans for introducing direct rule in order to have a say over Northern Ireland’s departments on the response to Brexit.
A no-deal Brexit would be felt much more acutely in Northern Ireland than anywhere else in the UK. Government ministers have already acknowledged that the sorts of decisions needed in those circumstances cannot be left to the Northern Ireland’s civil servants – who have already been keeping government ticking over in the 900+ days since the Executive fell. That means primary legislation will be required to give ministers the necessary powers, though an initial bill could provide for subsequent legislation on devolved matters to be made through Orders in Council. Introducing direct rule could have immediate and long-lasting political repercussions. It would see the UK government rolling back devolution – and a key part of the Good Friday Agreement – as part of its decision to leave the EU without a deal.
Nonetheless, a responsible government would have a bill providing for direct rule in the event of a no-deal exit on the statute book before 31 October – but as the passage of the Executive Formation Bill this month has shown, such legislation offers a tempting prospect for parliamentary opponents of no deal. So the government might decide to leave the bill until 1 November and rush it through all stages as a response to the ‘emergency’ in Northern Ireland. That would further undermine confidence and add to uncertainty at what will already be a tense time.
  #1546  
Old 07-29-2019, 08:16 AM
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Thanks for that informative post! So if nothing happens, and the deadline passes, does the hard border return?
  #1547  
Old 07-29-2019, 08:19 AM
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Thanks for that informative post! So if nothing happens, and the deadline passes, does the hard border return?
Yup. With a vengeance.
  #1548  
Old 07-29-2019, 08:22 AM
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So, NI declares independence (while retaining allegiance to the Crown for old times' sake), immediately joins the EU and adopts the Euro, and keeps an open border and chill with Eire, rather than hold hands with the UK like Thelma and Louise driving off the cliff?
  #1549  
Old 07-29-2019, 08:29 AM
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So, NI declares independence (while retaining allegiance to the Crown for old times' sake), immediately joins the EU and adopts the Euro, and keeps an open border and chill with Eire, rather than hold hands with the UK like Thelma and Louise driving off the cliff?
NI won't do that - NI can't be assumed to have a unified view on anything. Scotland, however, might take another run at independence, particularly given that they went heavily for Remain and like their links with Europe.
  #1550  
Old 07-29-2019, 08:34 AM
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Yup. With a vengeance.
Thanks. I wonder what the mechanism would be? What officials will start to physically build border infrastructure -- walls and such? ISTM that the motivation from local contractors and builders will be to boycott such efforts.
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