Brexit (1 Viewer)

RobF

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2019
Messages
97
Reaction score
243
Location
Warrington, UK
Offline
We should have a thread for the ongoing mess that is Brexit.

Current state: Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his government are continuing to insist the UK will leave the EU by October 31st, "do or die", despite Parliament having already passed a law requiring Johnson to request an extension to negotiations with the EU by October 19th if Parliament hasn't approved leaving otherwise. It's unclear how they intend to get around that, or if they're just bluffing wildly in the absence of anything better to do. Johnson's government has no majority at this point, after several of his MPs have switched parties and others have been expelled. He's called for an early General Election, but that requires two-thirds of Parliament to approve it, and, particularly as it wouldn't be possible to have one before October 31st at this point, they're not inclined to do that without an extension to the negotiations with the EU having been approved.

Meanwhile, Johnson is facing calls to resign, after the Supreme Court found he illegally prorogued (suspended) Parliament. He's also facing criticism after dismissing MPs receiving death threats using the same inflammatory language used by him and his supporters as 'humbug'. He's also being investigated for allegedly misusing public funds to support the business of a model 'friend' of his while he was Mayor of London. And he's been accused of groping a journalist in 1999 too.

So, it's all going great.
 

Taurus

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2019
Messages
136
Reaction score
255
Age
51
Location
Yacolt, WA
Offline
Surely there's some answer as to how absolute shirtbags likes Boris and Donald rise to political power. I mean, at its heart, politics is a popularity contest and these two are the most popular kids on the block? Really?
 

Dragon

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2019
Messages
191
Reaction score
283
Age
57
Location
Elsinore
Offline
Surely there's some answer as to how absolute shirtbags likes Boris and Donald rise to political power. I mean, at its heart, politics is a popularity contest and these two are the most popular kids on the block? Really?
Yes - it is called education and critical thinking....

As I noticed on that liberal or conservative test obedience apperently is a conservative trait and the opposite seem to be a liberal trait.(at least by the makers of that test - I played with it a bit lol)

It is imperative that schools start to focus more on critical thinking/information source evaluation than just base rote learning. With every "fact" available at your fingertips aka smart phone - the ability to evaluate information becomes far more important than just memorizing facts
 

Sharon

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 7, 2018
Messages
49
Reaction score
67
Location
La
Offline
How are candidates funded? Can they accept corporate money and sign secret pledges?

Politicians can say all the right things, and still not work for the public good. With the system of checks and balances eroded or infiltrated by corporate-bought policy-makers, who can tell what's really going on behind the scenes? Who has the time and access to keep track of the foolishness? I would argue the time involved to decode the "politician talk" is more an obstacle than a person's critical thinking skills. The messages are tailored to certain audiences and 100% believable from the voter's perspective. Big money can afford to flood the airwaves and pinpoint the message to the target.
 
Last edited:

Hatakikomi

New member
Joined
Oct 3, 2019
Messages
7
Reaction score
2
Location
You'll figure it out
Offline
Surely there's some answer as to how absolute shirtbags likes Boris and Donald rise to political power. I mean, at its heart, politics is a popularity contest and these two are the most popular kids on the block? Really?
Johnson didn't lead his party to an election win - he won the Tory Party leadership race on the votes of 66% of 160K members. Only one moderate/centerist made it through the first round, Rory Stewart, and he's just resigned from the party. Johnson is a polarizing candidate, who would be a liability in a normal election, but brexit skews things so far away from normal party lines that he's probably an asset for now, more so with Labour unable to pick a side.

Leadership election results

Rory Stewart quits Tories
 

JimEverett

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 30, 2019
Messages
942
Reaction score
584
Location
Nashville
Offline
So what is customs border down the irish sea mean? That Northern Ireland no longer has free movement with rest of UK?
 
OP
OP
RobF

RobF

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2019
Messages
97
Reaction score
243
Location
Warrington, UK
Offline
So what is customs border down the irish sea mean? That Northern Ireland no longer has free movement with rest of UK?
Good question. It's not entirely clear.

To briefly recap, one of the many problems with Brexit is that both the UK and the EU agree there should be no return to a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. A problem with this is that if the UK and EU have different regulations, then there by necessity has to be a border between them. The UK doesn't want to have the same regulations as the EU, because freedom, but also doesn't want to be seen to be putting a border back, and so has spent a significant amount of time repeatedly proposing fantasy solutions of invisible borders powered by magic technology. The EU's offer - of a backstop of temporary regulatory alignment until someone invents all this magic technology - was rejected, because the same people who claimed we already have the magic technology also saw that as a trick to keep the UK aligned to EU regulations indefinitely. Go figure.

One of the things the EU also suggested considering early on was having a border not between Ireland and Northern Ireland, but down the Irish Sea instead. This was rejected, because Unionists saw it as separating Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK and hence unacceptable. But now it seems it's somehow back.

What this would involve is the UK enforcing EU customs rules and tariffs on goods going from Britain to Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland would technically have left the EU customs union along with the rest of the UK in this proposal, and yet, it would still be effectively in the EU customs union because all goods entering it from the rest of the UK would be compliant. Presumably goods produced in Northern Ireland would also have to be compliant with EU regulations, but I haven't seen this explicitly stated anywhere.

It's not completely clear what this would mean for freedom of movement of people, but when the discussion was about a border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, the insistence was that the Common Travel Area between Ireland and Northern Ireland would be maintained. That's an open borders agreement with minimal checks (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Travel_Area). So my best guess is that's also the intent here, i.e. the border in the Irish Sea would only apply to goods, and movement of people would continue between NI and the UK as now.

Brexiters may not be happy with that. But Unionists wouldn't be happy with any additional restrictions. It strikes me as yet another kludge that will cause a lot more problems than it solves, and that no-one will be particularly happy with. It remains to be seen whether enough MPs are daft enough to vote it through.
 

JimEverett

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 30, 2019
Messages
942
Reaction score
584
Location
Nashville
Offline
I keep reading that the EU will probably not agree to an extension of the October 31st deadline.

Does that mean if this new deal is not approved by Parliament that there is essentially a "no deal" Brexit?

I understand Junker's statements might just be posturing to put pressure on PArliament to approve this deal, but assuming he is correct.
 
OP
OP
RobF

RobF

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2019
Messages
97
Reaction score
243
Location
Warrington, UK
Offline
I keep reading that the EU will probably not agree to an extension of the October 31st deadline.

Does that mean if this new deal is not approved by Parliament that there is essentially a "no deal" Brexit?

I understand Junker's statements might just be posturing to put pressure on PArliament to approve this deal, but assuming he is correct.
Talking hypothetically, no. If the 'new' deal isn't approved and the EU wouldn't agree to an extension, Parliament would be faced with a choice of leaving with no deal or remaining in the EU via revoking article 50.

But it is hypothetical, because it's highly unlikely that's anything other than posturing. If, for example, Parliament passes the deal subject to a confirmatory referendum, it's very hard to see the EU rejecting the extension necessary for that to take place. Or if Parliament rejects the deal and requests an extension while a General Election takes place, again, it's hard to see the EU rejecting that.
 
OP
OP
RobF

RobF

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2019
Messages
97
Reaction score
243
Location
Warrington, UK
Offline
Or if Parliament rejects the deal and requests an extension while a General Election takes place, again, it's hard to see the EU rejecting that.
This is essentially what's happening now. Boris Johnson requested an extension as he was compelled to do by Parliament's legislation, and the EU granted it. So the new exit date is 31st January (or sooner if a deal is approved in the meantime).

Now there's a push for an early General Election in December. Johnson's government tried to call for that under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act yesterday, but that failed as it needs two-thirds of Parliament to approve it, which they didn't, in part because the exact date of an election called under those terms is set by the Prime Minister, and the opposition don't want Johnson to be able to do that (for a couple of reasons: it's speculated the timing of the election could affect the student vote, and a later date potentially leaves a small window for Johnson's government to try and get their Brexit bill through again).

So right now a simple bill is going through Parliament to call for a general election, and set a specific date for it. As a bill, this only requires a simply majority, so in principle it should pass. The complications are that, as a bill, it's subject to amendments. The government tried to limit that with a business motion, but that was voted down. So there are now opposition amendments on the table to extend voting to 16/17 year olds, and to EU nationals resident in the UK, for example. These won't necessarily be selected for a vote (and may well not be if they're considered to be 'in order' with regard to the purpose of the bill), but the general risk is that an amendment passes that the government dislikes and it pulls the bill accordingly.

That probably won't happen, so most likely we'll be looking at an election in December. We'll know after the voting on the amendments and bill today.
 
OP
OP
RobF

RobF

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2019
Messages
97
Reaction score
243
Location
Warrington, UK
Offline
Confirmed, the UK is having a General Election on 12th December.

Prediction: it will be a mess. The bill was passed 438 to 20 but a lot of MPs are looking at tough fights to keep their seats and weren't really that keen on it, especially in December. There'll be some pretty desperate campaigning, which could easily head towards the nasty side of things.

As far as Brexit goes, the Conservatives will be running on delivering Brexit via Boris Johnson's slightly tweaked version of Theresa May's Deal.

Labour will be running on putting a Brexit deal versus staying in the EU to the people in a referendum, but will try to make the election about domestic issues (NHS, education, policing, ending Conservative austerity policies).

The Liberal Democrats will be running on just remaining in the EU.

And the Brexit Party will be running on delivering Brexit, but not Boris Johnson's Brexit, because that's not a real Brexit.

And that's just the significant parties in England.

With the first past the post electoral system the UK has, it's a highly unpredictable situation. There'll be a lot of vote splitting, tactical voting along different lines (e.g. stopping the Conservatives winning, or stopping Brexit). It'll be an... interesting six weeks.
 

JimEverett

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 30, 2019
Messages
942
Reaction score
584
Location
Nashville
Offline
Would Labour, Lib Dems, and SNP form a government if they had enough votes, or are they too far apart?

That might be a dumb question, but I am just looking at polls and it seems those 3 parties are close to 50% of the vote.
 
OP
OP
RobF

RobF

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2019
Messages
97
Reaction score
243
Location
Warrington, UK
Offline
Would Labour, Lib Dems, and SNP form a government if they had enough votes, or are they too far apart?

That might be a dumb question, but I am just looking at polls and it seems those 3 parties are close to 50% of the vote.
I think probably not, but it's hard to be certain.

To start off with, Labour insist they won't go into coalition with anyone and would run as a minority government if they were the largest party but short of a majority. Take that for what it's worth (probably not that much).

Labour and the SNP are pretty close in terms of policies generally, and should, in principle, be able to work together. The SNP have previously indicated they'd be willing to form a coalition, but whether Labour would is another question. They disagree on the question of Scottish independence and Labour wouldn't want to be seen to be enabling it (the SNP would most likely demand another referendum as part of any coalition agreement). Labour also probably have a "you have to vote Labour to get Labour" attitude, which is a problem with a de facto two party system.

Labour and the Lib Dems are further apart. The Lib Dems previously went into coalition government with the Conservatives in 2010. They then got absolutely hammered by the voters in the general election in 2015 (they went from 23% of the vote to 8% of the vote). The Lib Dems haven't ruled anything out, but they seem to be quite aggressively targeting Labour in the general election campaigning so far, and it's hard to say what they'd do. Especially if there's a scenario where they could form a coalition with Labour or the Conservatives. In principle the Lib Dems should be more easily able to work out an arrangement with Labour on Brexit, where there's some common ground (the Lib Dems want to remain, Labour want a referendum with the choice to remain) than with the Conservatives (who want to Brexit).

So that's the outline of things as they stand. No clear answer, but maybe a 'stop Brexit' coalition or similar arrangement might be possible?
 

TxSaintFan

New member
Joined
Nov 19, 2019
Messages
9
Reaction score
2
Age
62
Location
Edmond Oklahoma
Offline
I asked my friend in Newmarket yesterday if she was keeping up with the impeachment hearings.

She said they had enough problems of their own to keep up with haha.
 

JimEverett

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 30, 2019
Messages
942
Reaction score
584
Location
Nashville
Offline
So if the early polls are right and the conservatives get somewhere in the neighborhood of an 86 majority what does that mean for Brexit? Does this mean that "deal" that Johnson presented will get done?
 
OP
OP
RobF

RobF

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2019
Messages
97
Reaction score
243
Location
Warrington, UK
Offline
So if the early polls are right and the conservatives get somewhere in the neighborhood of an 86 majority what does that mean for Brexit? Does this mean that "deal" that Johnson presented will get done?
Very probably, yes.

In principle, Johnson has a large enough majority that he can do basically whatever he wants. So he'll presumably bring his withdrawal deal back as it is and try to get it through Parliament.

However, it'll still go through scrutiny, and as it's a pretty messy deal with a number of problems, in theory it still might not go through smoothly without amendment. But the Conservatives do have a large majority and it'd take a lot of them to rebel. It also has to go through the House of Lords, but there's a convention (the Salisbury-Addison convention) that the House of Lords won't reject at second reading any legislation passed by the House of Commons that carries out a manifesto commitment of the current government. And the Conservative's manifesto has a commitment to put their deal through Parliament and leave the EU in January.

It's possible Johnson might decide not to do that; he could just say, actually, we're in a position to get a better deal now, let's do that, and go back to the EU. But he probably won't, since it'd be a blatant contradiction of what his manifesto said, and he probably likes the idea of saying, "Look, I did Brexit!" (and then hoping no-one pays any attention to the months of Brexit negotiations that attempt to establish a permanent deal with the EU before the transition one finishes).

So, as far as Parliament goes, it should now be smooth sailing for passing his pretty awful withdrawal deal and then attempting to establish a permanent deal with the EU.

Nationally though, it's still a mess. The Conservatives have got their large majority with around 43.6% of the vote. Over 50% of the population voted for parties opposing Johnson's deal and wanting at least a vote on the deal or remaining outright. In Scotland, the Conservatives only won 25% of the vote and lost seven seats and the SNP - who want to remain in the EU and independence for Scotland - took 45% and gained 13 seats. So they'll be pushing for another independence referendum. Johnson's government will most likely look to simply refuse that, but they'll be doing so at the same time as imposing Brexit on a Scotland which very clearly rejects it.

Rationally, you might think the Conservatives would moderate their position a bit in recognition of that. Johnson was previously seen as centrist and liberal (when he was Mayor of London), and only started shifting to the hard right of the party when Brexit came along. But I can't help thinking that's a bit, "Trump used to be a Democrat, he'll start being presidential and dial down the Tea Party rhetoric now he's won"...

So I largely expect Johnson to proceed full steam ahead. And he can do that. But in the longer term, I don't think this mess is at all stable, and sooner or later, I think it's going to collapse.
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top Bottom