What will the UK do wrt Brexit?

I know there have been threads on this, but we seem to be coming down to the wire with no agreement in sight, so was wondering what 'dopers thoughts on this, especially our UK or EU 'dopers. I was watching the latest from John Oliver where he was discussing this, and one of the things he mentioned is that the UK government could, even at this late date, call the whole thing off. Is that actually a possibility? I don’t mean politically, I mean just is it possible in their system? I’m guessing that, politically, this would be the equivalent of putting a gun to ones political head and pulling the trigger, but if one was willing to take one for the team, is this even viable…and who would have to be the one(s?) taking it for the team?

If it doesn’t happen and they just go along until the automatic Brexit (next month?), what then? I understand there are some fundamental issues that are just hanging and that this would or could be the worst possible course…yet that seems to be what is happening. What are the other options?

They will struggle along with an economy that’s suddenly reduced by almost 10%. This will last until they can negotiate trade agreements sufficient to make up the shortfall. During this time there will be seething recrimination and finger-pointing. Two major political parties will fall into disrepute, leaving but one to rake in the chips. It’s sort of like asking, “After the man shoots off his own foot, what will happen?”

The UK government sent an A50 notice to the European Union to withdraw from that organization–which the UK Parliament approved. This notice can be unilaterally withdrawn according to the European Court of Justice. And the UK Parliament can do this up until the date of withdrawal. So technically it is still possible. The problem is the majority of Parliament favor leaving.

So, legally they could…it’s simply not viable politically?

Pretty much, but even more, I wager, are against being blamed for having thousands of their constituents laid off for for zero benefit. I still feel No Deal won’t happen. On my optimistic days (hah) a delay to Brexit and a second referendum is called. But I reckon it’s going to be May’s Deal, even though nearly everybody hates it.
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As a matter of fact, yes. The UK could have another referendum and vote stay and pull the plug on the whole thing. In fact, the Labor Party is agitating to do just that. They’ve threatened their leader, Corbyn, and vowed to either get their referendum or they’ll leave the Labor Party - the majority this, presumably to attempt it on their own.

Guess another what…the way the EU constitution is written all it takes is ONE no vote from one member country to sh*tcan any negotiated settlement PM May may have managed to reach. As you can see, there’s been a lot of lying going on in the UK.

My previous post may seem terse, but it’s true. The UK would then have to negotiate trade deals. All their trade arrangements at present are based on being an EU member, not as an individual state. There will be an estimated 9.42% reduction in the overall size of their economy and however long it takes them to make other arrangements to meet this shortfall. NOT TO MENTION the displacement of EU citizens living in the UK, and UK citizens living in other EU countries.

It will be an economic debacle the magnitude of which will leave them wondering for decades to come about the wisdom of believing things they see painted on the sides of large buses.

As a matter of EU law, they can.

As a matter of (the current state of) UK law, they can, but it’s complex and arguably there isn’t time. There’s academic debate about whether this is something the executive can constututionally do on its own authority, or whether the approval of Parliament would be required. There’s also the awkard fact that Parliament has already legislated for EU law to cease to apply in the UK with effect from 29 March; if the UK revokes its departure notice, but that law is not amended or repealed, then the UK will remain a member from 29 March but will be in massive breach of its membership obligations, leading to chaos not much less than if they had left without a deal.

So, realistically, if they wanted to revoke the Article 50 notice, they’d either have to move protty sharply, and with the backing of a comfortably majority in Parliament, or they’d have to request an extension of time.

But it’s all academic. Politically, a decision to revoke seems very, very unlikely.

No. The withdrawal agreement requires a qualified majority in the Commission and approval of the European Parliament. Anything within the exclusive competence of the EU requires the same (most aspects of trade deals). Thus one no vote will not kill such agreements.

However for issues which competence is shared with member states, these deals have to be approved by all members.

So you see the recent agreement with Japan split into two deals because of these two separate types of ratification requirements.

As to UDS comment there isn’t enough time, Parliament has the ability to Fast-track legislation. For example Parliament has done this with certain anti-terrorism measures.

Yes, but this requires a solid majority in Parliament that wants to fast-track the legislation, and no obstructive minority standing in the way. How likely do you think that is for an Article 50 revocation?

Not quite. In their heart of hearts the majority of Parliament favour staying, but recognise that the referendum result didn’t go that way. Moreover, a majority of Parliament opposes leaving without an agreement on both the legacy consequences of leaving and a clear future relationship.

But there is no majority for any particular form of agreement, above all, for the deal which the government has secured, which is opposed by diehards on both sides of the leave/remain debate. Which is why there are so many different ideas floated about how best to try to break the deadlock.

We’re essentially in a big game of chicken. As Patrick says, a majority of MPs recognise that No Deal is the worst outcome. They know they can prevent No Deal by voting for some alternative. But for e.g. Labour MPs that would mean voting for May’s deal against the wishes of their party and thus helping out the Tories. For Tory MPs it would similarly mean betraying their party to back Labour’s preferred option. That will come at a political cost to the individual MPs.

So right now, there are lots of MPs saying to themselves, “We’re heading for disaster and somebody is going to have to step up and do what it takes to stop it, even if that costs them personally.” But what’s needed is for them to go on to say, “And by golly, that someone is me.” (To paraphrase political commentator Stephen Bush)

As we get closer to the deadline, and pressure mounts, perhaps some will. That is May’s plan. But it’s a hell of a stake for a dodgy bet.

At the moment, I’m pretty pessimistic. It’s been obvious since May’s deal failed in parliament that the UK is out of options. Nobody wants May’s deal, and a majority in congress are seriously saying shit along the lines of “go renegotiate it”. This helps underline the degree to which nobody in parliament has a goddamn clue how any of this shit works. You cannot simply unilaterally renegotiate a deal made in two years in a span of months. The EU has cleanly rejected changing that deal, and there’s no way for the UK to force their hand. (They’re not about to budge on the backstop, either, because the party that wants the backstop is, y’know, a member of the EU.)

So our options largely boil down to:

  • Parliament changes its mind on May’s brexit deal and votes for a treaty that was rejected in a record rout
  • Parliament changes its mind on leaving the EU
  • Parliament does nothing and the UK crashes out of the EU without any new trade deal in place

Given that parliament has shown itself to be utterly incompetent and unwilling to take either of the two first options, and that the third will happen by default if they don’t get their shit together… Yeah. Color me pessimistic.

I don’t understand how MPs are thinking mid-to-long term. Utter incompetence isn’t a satisfactory explanation. Why are both the Tory and Labour parties insisting on delivering Brexit at any cost? Why is a referendum suddenly a sacred thing when the outcome was 48.1% for one clearly-defined outcome and 51.9 were split among various paths for a nebulous concept of Brexit? I keep hearing that MPs could never face their electorate if they failed to deliver Brexit, but do they reckon they will be any better off once the UK crashes out with no deal, the economy contracts, and trade and tourism with the EU gets huge immediate roadblocks? Why does this Westminster decision take precedence over the feelings of the electorate in Scotland and Northern Ireland - does devolution only matter in unimportant things?

I’m expecting the UK to crash out with no deal, even though it’s idiotic and would likely lead to real chaos in Ireland and Scotland. I can sort of sympathise with some of the thinking behind wanting to leave the EU - I left the EU myself - but the approach, expectations, and execution are completely cack-handed. It just looks like the MPs are trying to turn a hung parliament into a hanged parliament. Or maybe it’s because all the decision-makers are coffin-dodgers ready to retire at the end of this parliament, or rich enough that they feel they won’t be affected beyond being a slightly smaller fish in a much smaller pond.

Stanislaus has pretty much nailed it. My personal summarisation of the political commentary I’ve read is that May is delaying a decisive vote for as long as possible in order to force MP’s to choose between her Brexit plan and a no-deal Brexit. She’s trying to force a vote against a no-deal Brexit where the only other choice is her deal. Laura Kuenssberg had a pretty good write-up of the delaying tactic.

The question is whether May will hold her nerve. If she gets more scared of a no-deal Brexit than parliament, then her only option is to ask the EU for a delay. And then you have to wander what the EU will demand in exchange for a delay.

I have enough time wondering what’s up with America to prognosticate about the equally confused British situation. It’s so confusing that I don’t even know what the major parties in England stand for (as opposed to the other national parties and Lib Dems).

I can’t rule out a hard Brexit even though it seems unthinkable: an election of an evil incompetent seemed unthinkable in America but it happened nonetheless. (And, unlike the finger-waggers who say I shouldn’t have thought that: the world is a huge place, and you are a small part of it. It does not care what you do, let alone what you feel. My attitude had nothing to do with the final outcome. What should I have done, bought airtime in the swing states myself with my paltry amount of money? The same goes for complacent Remainers: one person’s lack of fear would ulitmately not have made a difference unless it caused them to stay at home instead of voting Remain.

I expect them to apply the quintessential British reaction to something that has become embarrassing - ignore it.

Several airlines, including Iberia and its little sister Vueling, could lose most if not all of their current EU operating licenses. And, although the articles always focus on Iberia, so would British Airways. These airlines are part of a group which must keep a certain % of its ownership EU; the group has already been shifting the distribution of which routes are covered by each airline, but if the group doesn’t meet ownership requirements, those of its airlines which are based in EU-member countries will be grounded.
This may seem like something which is way above most people’s worries - until they try to vacation to Tenerife.

And when ignoring it doesn’t work they’ll employ the next favourite tactic, they’ll ‘muddle through’

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It’s a combination of a lack of leadership clout from party leaders and also from independent-minded MP’s, and commitment to party. Theresa May promised to deliver Brexit and is minded to deliver the softest meaningful Brexit she can, but she’s unable to get the Conservative party behind her. There are hardline Tory Brexiteers such as Jacob Rees-Mogg who oppose May’s soft Brexit and tried to bring her down, but they failed and nobody else in Parliament is willing to work with them. And even they weren’t committed enough to their position to vote against May in the Parliament-wide vote of no confidence.

On the Labour side, Jeremy Corbyn wants some ambiguous soft Brexit that maintains the customs union but opposes the Irish border backstop in May’s plan, protects workers’ rights, is definitely not the same as May’s plan, and he’ll tell us more about it after a general election is called. Theoretically, he could force some sort of compromise bill by building some sort of temporary cross-party coalition, but nobody’s going to cross party lines for a proposal that doesn’t exist. Not to mention he also has his own problems with getting his party behind him. Even so, the Labour MP’s who would be willing to back May’s plan won’t do so out of fear they’ll lose their jobs.

The next leader is Vince Cable, the leader of the Liberal Democrats. He’s firmly in favour of a second referendum and has his party behind him. He could also probably get the Scottish National Party to work with him, but even together they’re too small to have influence with the government or with opposition. Instead, he’s been trying to do a grassroots campaign for a second referendum but it’s been going nowhere. Probably, there’s a silent majority in parliament that would back a second referendum if they could do so anonymously, but they’re not going to cross party lines and back Cable. Instead some MP’s are making declarations within their party, but there’s no sign of a coalition supporting a second referendum.

TLDR: It’s a mess. It’s a mess that’s solvable by compromise, but that would require agreement among leaders, or MP’s crossing party lines and neither is happening.