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Dadsdream

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Any last hopes at stopping BREXIT got buried at the ballot box, it would seem. They're calling it the biggest win since Thatcher.
My only question would be, how does it affect the U.S.?

“We will get Brexit done on time by the 31st of January, no ifs, no buts, no maybes.”
Boris Johnson

 
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RobF

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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.
 
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RobF

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I think it is the other way round. The Scots want independence and the EU is seen as the path to that independence.

Brexit makes it harder for Scotland to break away.
That's debatable. One of the key factors in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum was whether they'd be able to simply stay in the EU if they became independent, or if they'd have to go through a long joining process. If Scotland's already been dragged out of the EU by England, that becomes largely moot.

I do think I made too strong of a point. I don't think it is "clearly" the case Scots are willing to leave the UK over Brexit. But the vote seems to strengthen the hand of those who want another referendum.
Yes. They won 45% of the vote in Scotland and with it a substantial majority of Scottish seats. And with Scotland being heavily in favour of remaining in the EU (62% to 38%), depending on the nature of the Brexit Johnson delivers, it could easily shift overall sentiment in favour of independence. It was 55% against, 45% for in 2014. A hard Brexit would inevitably shift that, possibly across the line.

However, to answer your earlier question, yes, my understanding is that a referendum would have be approved by Johnson's government as the Scottish devolution scheme reserves constitutional matters to the UK government in Westminster. And the Conservative's manifesto stated they were opposed to a second independence referendum.
 
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RobF

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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.
 

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Rob - I don;t want to bombard you with a bunch of question but I was reading some of the reactions from EU countries and I heard the term "Singapore on the Thames" for the first time.

Do some Brexiters see that as a real possibility - sort of having London positioned as having solid access to Europe but without the regs? Was that idea used in the referendum and in this election?
 

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That's debatable. One of the key factors in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum was whether they'd be able to simply stay in the EU if they became independent, or if they'd have to go through a long joining process. If Scotland's already been dragged out of the EU by England, that becomes largely moot.


Yes. They won 45% of the vote in Scotland and with it a substantial majority of Scottish seats. And with Scotland being heavily in favour of remaining in the EU (62% to 38%), depending on the nature of the Brexit Johnson delivers, it could easily shift overall sentiment in favour of independence. It was 55% against, 45% for in 2014. A hard Brexit would inevitably shift that, possibly across the line.

However, to answer your earlier question, yes, my understanding is that a referendum would have be approved by Johnson's government as the Scottish devolution scheme reserves constitutional matters to the UK government in Westminster. And the Conservative's manifesto stated they were opposed to a second independence referendum.
The difficulty for an independent Scotland after Brexit is the imposition of border customs controls between EU member Scotland and the remainder of the Union. That is a costly situation and a difficult obstacle in any independence referendum.

Not insoluble but a definite challenge for SNP.
 

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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.
 
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Rob - I don;t want to bombard you with a bunch of question but I was reading some of the reactions from EU countries and I heard the term "Singapore on the Thames" for the first time.

Do some Brexiters see that as a real possibility - sort of having London positioned as having solid access to Europe but without the regs? Was that idea used in the referendum and in this election?
Bombard away, and yes, some Brexiters absolutely see that as the way to go, primarily in terms of adopting a low-tax low-spend low-regulation model. Some Conservative MPs have explicitly cited it as such ("Let Singapore be our model"), claiming that the approach has "produced living standards well in excess of anything achieved in Britain or the rest of the EU". But that's something of a fantasy (one article expanding on that a bit: https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/...follow-a-singapore-model-it-wouldnt-work-here).

As for the referendum and the election, the idea has certainly been mentioned, but I'd say mostly by those on the edges, not so much in the mainstream. Recently, the Conservatives have pushed the 'low tax' part of the equation, but they've also pushed increased funding for public services and more along the lines of 'better' regulation rather than 'lower'. And the political agreement that's part of Johnson's Brexit withdrawal deal talks about "ensuring a level playing field for open and fair competition", with provisions covering "state aid, competition, social and employment standards, environmental standards, climate change, and relevant tax matters." That would , on the face of it, preclude any kind of Singapore-on-Thames model.

So yes, some Brexiters absolutely see that as a real possibility and have campaigned for it, but as a party the Conservatives aren't pushing that as the direction they intend to go in. The concern some have tends to be that what the Conservatives are pushing publicly isn't what they intend privately; that, for example, they intend to let the UK drop out without a deal at the end of the transition period covered by the withdrawal deal, at which point the UK would not be bound by any of the provisions mentioned above. And that's theoretically possible. Whether it's likely is a lot more debatable.
 
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The difficulty for an independent Scotland after Brexit is the imposition of border customs controls between EU member Scotland and the remainder of the Union. That is a costly situation and a difficult obstacle in any independence referendum.

Not insoluble but a definite challenge for SNP.
Absolutely. They'll certainly be looking to see what permanent arrangements the UK and in particular Northern Ireland ends up with (as of course with Brexit Northern Ireland will be part of the union but out of the EU and the rest of Ireland will be in the EU).

There's definitely a tension there. On the one hand, the more the UK diverges from the EU, the more incentive there is for a Scotland that wants to remain part of it to leave the UK and rejoin the EU, but at the other hand, the more that happens, the more difficult and disruptive leaving the UK becomes.
 
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RobF

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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?
 

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What's going to happen to corbin? I understand he's very disliked in general and though the issues championed by Labour is positively viewed, his party lost by a significant margin. An interview I heard on BBC mentioned at the core of his heart, he is a brexiter based on his past stance. It appears he essentially doesn't know how to juggle that with those various elements of his party. In other words, it seem as though the issues favor his party, the general public associate it with him.


Edit: I should've done more reading. He's stepping down.

 
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lurk

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Thanks for all of your contributions on this issue, Rob (both in this thread and on the World board). I haven't posted in any of those threads because I have nothing to add to the conversation, but your posts have made for very informative reading on an issue that I find rather complex and confusing. (y)
 

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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.
 

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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?
 

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I think Brexit is probably the dumbest thing I've ever heard of a country wanting. Especially since, to continue commerce with mainland Europe, they're still going to need to follow and allow many EU directives and regulations, but now do so without any internal EU government representation. It just makes zero sense to me.
 

Dadsdream

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Like many others, I had hoped that a "United States of Europe" would emerge, to the benefit of all the member nations. For years, the struggles to establish a common currency and resolve trade issues seemed to echo the early U.S. struggles with banking and interstate commerce.

The British people have a long history of stubborn independence, even in the face of overwhelming external forces. I wondered if perhaps the changing demographics, particularly in the larger cities, would allow Great Britain to fully become part of the larger European Union.

For the moment at least, it seems we have the answer. Dare we call it Nationalism? Wales may take exception to that!

Nothing is ever uncomplicated when it comes to British politics.

Professor: "For your final, using as much paper as you need from the back table, name the kings and queens of England, the years that they reigned, the most significant event during their reign and why it was the most significant."
Me (half-joking): "Do you want for us to start with Arthur Pendragon?"
Professor: "Mmmm . . . start with Elizabeth I."
Class: Sigh of relief. None of us wanted to spend an hour or two writing about Henry VIII.
Eight hours later, the professor called time and three of us who remained out of a class of 20 turned in our papers. We got the three A's for the final. Graduation followed a week later. :)
 
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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.
 

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