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Source: (consider it) Thread: Shake it all about: Brexit thread II
Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
Man is, by nature selfish and/or stupid. If s/he can't see that we are going to carry on with dumbass populist governments until Trump etc blow us all to kingdom come.

Are you saying we should get rid of democracy? Or that every Party should refuse to give the people what they want and collude to only offer the "right" policies?

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Tubbs:
As for the business of government, you're already living that one out. Pretty all my Scottish friends wish the SNP would put the same energies into fixing Scotland's issues - health, education, social etc - as they do into trying to get IndyRef2 The Re-Run. Whatever their stance on independence.

A select group of friends, obviously. There are of course issues with education etc in Scotland. Though, our education and healthcare is doing better than south of Hadrians Wall. For welfare, the situation is difficult because most of the powers needed are either held in Westminster or only recently transfered to Holyrood. The Scottish government has marginally increased taxation now they have those powers to fund services, but there are limits to what they can do. Put simply, it's entirely possible to address all the needs of government and start the process of holding another referendum at the same time. Which the SNP are doing.

In the meantime the SNP (and Greens who are also in favour of independence) continue to get elected and form a pro-independence government. They must be doing something right, otherwise why haven't the voters rejected them in favour of the unionist parties?

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All I want for Christmas is EU

Posts: 32194 | From: East Kilbride (Scotland) or 福島 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Crœsos
Shipmate
# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
You seem to have missed the point I have been (repeatedly) trying to make. No one (or, at least, no one with brains) expects to be able to put the final terms of a constitutional change on the ballot prior to the start of negotiations. What I've been saying is that an informed vote requires the intention of the government to be defined.

quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Since it was clear more than a year age that EU institutions located in EU nations would have to move if that nation ceases to be in the EU then they have no basis to complain. If they voted Leave expecting the EU to continue operate major institutions in countries outwith the EU then they were stupid. If they didn't realise there are EU institutions in the UK then they're stupidly ill-informed.

How could that possibly have been "clear" if the intention of the government had not been defined? It's almost as if the one thing (the UK leaving the EU) could logically and reasonably be expected to lead to certain easily-anticipated consequences (EU organizations would no longer operate or be based within the UK). Astonishing!

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

Posts: 10506 | From: Sardis, Lydia | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tubbs

Miss Congeniality
# 440

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
quote:
Originally posted by Tubbs:
As for the business of government, you're already living that one out. Pretty all my Scottish friends wish the SNP would put the same energies into fixing Scotland's issues - health, education, social etc - as they do into trying to get IndyRef2 The Re-Run. Whatever their stance on independence.

A select group of friends, obviously. There are of course issues with education etc in Scotland. Though, our education and healthcare is doing better than south of Hadrians Wall. For welfare, the situation is difficult because most of the powers needed are either held in Westminster or only recently transfered to Holyrood. The Scottish government has marginally increased taxation now they have those powers to fund services, but there are limits to what they can do. Put simply, it's entirely possible to address all the needs of government and start the process of holding another referendum at the same time. Which the SNP are doing.

In the meantime the SNP (and Greens who are also in favour of independence) continue to get elected and form a pro-independence government. They must be doing something right, otherwise why haven't the voters rejected them in favour of the unionist parties?

Pretty much. But probably no more selective than yours. We all tend to end up in an echo chamber which means that coming across different opinions OR discovering we're actually in a minority can come as a bit of a shocker. Based on the Ship discussions, Remain was a shoe-in. Based on the conversations I'd had elsewhere, I knew we were screwed before polling even opened.

I suspect that not all SNP or Green voters are pro-independence. It's just they see them as a better alternative than what else is on offer at present. If the opposition parties can get thier act together, things might change.

But, as the SNP have been in charge for over 10 years IIRC, they are sooner or later going to have to stop blaming London for everything and accept that some of the problems are either of their own making or theirs to solve.

Tubbs

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"It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it up and remove all doubt" - Dennis Thatcher. My blog. Decide for yourself which I am

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
You seem to have missed the point I have been (repeatedly) trying to make. No one (or, at least, no one with brains) expects to be able to put the final terms of a constitutional change on the ballot prior to the start of negotiations. What I've been saying is that an informed vote requires the intention of the government to be defined.

quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Since it was clear more than a year age that EU institutions located in EU nations would have to move if that nation ceases to be in the EU then they have no basis to complain. If they voted Leave expecting the EU to continue operate major institutions in countries outwith the EU then they were stupid. If they didn't realise there are EU institutions in the UK then they're stupidly ill-informed.

How could that possibly have been "clear" if the intention of the government had not been defined? It's almost as if the one thing (the UK leaving the EU) could logically and reasonably be expected to lead to certain easily-anticipated consequences (EU organizations would no longer operate or be based within the UK). Astonishing!

Because there are many versions of what "leave the EU" means, and without knowing which version was being proposed before the referendum campaign kicked off we were denied an informed choice.

But, those versions of "leave the EU" have some common features. Top of the list being that the UK would cease being a member of the EU. So, regardless of whether the UK remains in the single market or not, regardless of views on immigration, agriculture, fisheries and all the rest of the issues that are bundled into "what does Brexit mean?" a vote to Leave would mean that EU institutions currently in the UK would have to relocate to remain within the EU. That was not something that was going to happen under some versions of Brexit but not others.

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All I want for Christmas is EU

Posts: 32194 | From: East Kilbride (Scotland) or 福島 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Sioni Sais
Shipmate
# 5713

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
Man is, by nature selfish and/or stupid. If s/he can't see that we are going to carry on with dumbass populist governments until Trump etc blow us all to kingdom come.

Are you saying we should get rid of democracy? Or that every Party should refuse to give the people what they want and collude to only offer the "right" policies?
Nope, just an everyday, heartfelt and considered opinion of mankind. Being good isn't natural IMHO and Christianity doesn't see "natural man" as being in great moral shape either.

Parties are for the most part interested in power, so they have to offer what natural man desires.

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"He isn't Doctor Who, he's The Doctor"

(Paul Sinha, BBC)

Posts: 24055 | From: Newport, Wales | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
Nope, just an everyday, heartfelt and considered opinion of mankind. Being good isn't natural IMHO and Christianity doesn't see "natural man" as being in great moral shape either.

Parties are for the most part interested in power, so they have to offer what natural man desires.

'twas ever thus. As true in the 40s and 50s as it is today.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Sioni Sais
Shipmate
# 5713

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
Nope, just an everyday, heartfelt and considered opinion of mankind. Being good isn't natural IMHO and Christianity doesn't see "natural man" as being in great moral shape either.

Parties are for the most part interested in power, so they have to offer what natural man desires.

'twas ever thus. As true in the 40s and 50s as it is today.
Sure, but in the sixties we had the Race Relations Act, abolition of capital punishment and legalisation of homosexuality which were all regarded as election losers, but approved by both houses. There was some moral courage in Parliament in those days.

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"He isn't Doctor Who, he's The Doctor"

(Paul Sinha, BBC)

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PaulTH*
Shipmate
# 320

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Yes, I want the PM to gain a democratic mandate for her position. But, I don't want a general election to determine that

I don't get this. You and many others, Tim Farron for example, have questioned the PM's mandate for Brexit. I've questioned her mandate full stop. She wasn't elected Prime Minister. There's no requirement to call an election when the ruling party changes leader. Both Labour and the Tories have done that before. But here there is a serious constitutional issue involved with Brexit and the Great Repeal Bill which change the international status of British citizens. So I've always believed she needed a vote to secure her position. Or to lose it according to the will of the British people. So how would you suggest that the PM finds out if there is a democratic mandate for her position? I rather suspect that you fear that she'll get an overwhelming mandate for a position you find repulsive.

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Yours in Christ
Paul

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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I would certainly be disappointed by a clear vote in favour of a position I dislike. But, that's democracy. The problem is that an election doesn't give clear answers on specific questions. When I walk into the polling station and I'm faced with a list of names and their associated parties (or, that they're independent) none of those words on the ballot paper say anything about a specific issue. And, when voting for someone to represent my constituency for the next five years the choice will be directed by a large number of issues. Do I want an MP who has a history of forming political alliances of convenience against conviction, just because he opposes Brexit? Do I vote for someone who opposes Brexit, even if I find all the rest of their policies abhorrent?

If you want to know the views of the electorate on a specific question then you ask us in a referendum. One that has a question we can actually answer.

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All I want for Christmas is EU

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TurquoiseTastic

Fish of a different color
# 8978

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But elections never do that Alan. You seem to be saying that the whole idea of a representative assembly is unacceptable and that what we really need is direct democracy and government by plebiscite. Which would be a terrible idea.
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Clint Boggis
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# 633

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No, he's saying that such a huge issue should be asked in a referendum not a GE. Also that the options are properly defined - unlike the 'leave' option last June.

Last June both main parties were for Remain but both have since changed their position so how can a General Election be fought over something when the two main parties are agreed and stand for essentially the same thing on the issue over which it's been called? Makes no sense.

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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
When I walk into the polling station and I'm faced with a list of names and their associated parties (or, that they're independent) none of those words on the ballot paper say anything about a specific issue.

As far as I can tell, one of the reasons for representative governments is that past a certain point, the issues get so complex that they need representatives with time set aside to examine them and discuss their finer points.

One might elect representatives based on a broad policy platform, but ideally one would elect representatives one believes to be competent and with the character and political entourage liable to help them make wise, informed decisions, rather than ones that match our checklist of hot-button issues perfectly - the latter reasoning is precisely how you get evangelicals voting for the likes of Trump.

Brexit is a screaming example of a complex issue being painted as a simple one for party political purposes, with the electorate falsely enlisted under the pretence of giving them a say.

In today's complex world, referenda almost inevitably give the power to the people who get to set the question, not to the voters.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Anglican't
Shipmate
# 15292

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
In today's complex world, referenda almost inevitably give the power to the people who get to set the question, not to the voters.

In the EU referendum, the opposite appeared to happen.
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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
In today's complex world, referenda almost inevitably give the power to the people who get to set the question, not to the voters.

In the EU referendum, the opposite appeared to happen.
That's because our representatives refused to use their power to set the question, leaving each voter to try and figure out what they were voting for or against.

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All I want for Christmas is EU

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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by Clint Boggis:
Last June both main parties were for Remain but both have since changed their position so how can a General Election be fought over something when the two main parties are agreed and stand for essentially the same thing on the issue over which it's been called? Makes no sense.

Oh and once again, how can you fight a General Election over something that's already happened? Article 50 has been triggered. There's no going back on Brexit.

Even if by some unimagined political means the entire population of the UK were to communicate to the EU tomorrow that "we've changed our minds", that would need to be enshrined in a fresh agreement of which the terms would need to be defined.

The argument now is about how soft or hard Brexit might be. At this point you'd do better gearing up for that argument than trying to decide whether the current position was fairly arrived at.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
In today's complex world, referenda almost inevitably give the power to the people who get to set the question, not to the voters.

In the EU referendum, the opposite appeared to happen.
I didn't say what the outcome of having that power might be. Either getting your way, or stirring chaos.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
When I walk into the polling station and I'm faced with a list of names and their associated parties (or, that they're independent) none of those words on the ballot paper say anything about a specific issue.

As far as I can tell, one of the reasons for representative governments is that past a certain point, the issues get so complex that they need representatives with time set aside to examine them and discuss their finer points.
I agree entirely.

But, at the same time they stand for election on a manifesto which outlines how they are likely to act in relation to a wide range of issues. And, though there may be times when we vote for an individual we know will be an exceptional representative for local people despite disagreements with their manifesto, usually we vote for the manifesto that's closest to our views.

quote:

Brexit is a screaming example of a complex issue being painted as a simple one for party political purposes, with the electorate falsely enlisted under the pretence of giving them a say.

Agreed. The biggest problem is that our representatives failed to put time aside to discuss the very complex issues before calling a referendum (indeed, they have failed to do so after the result as well). Which is why we're still talking about different forms of Brexit, whether the government approach is the best and whether we should hold a general election to further define that. We are still at the start of that discussion, both within Parliament and wider society, and without even asking the people in a referendum whether we want Brexit on the same terms as our government Article 50 has already been triggered - and even if we return a majority of MPs opposed to Brexit and revoke A50 our relationship with the rest of Europe has been irrevocably changed.

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All I want for Christmas is EU

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PaulTH*
Shipmate
# 320

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The question was asked in a referendum last year. Almost 50% of voters didn't get the answer they wanted. But we can't all be like the SNP and ask for another referendum every time the wind changes direction. So now the question for the electorate is do you support the PM and her administration to deliver on Brexit or do you want a change of direction. The voters are getting their say on this. We have very little history in the UK of government by plebiscite, usually reserving it to issues of huge constitutional significance. We can't have a re-run of last year's vote, but the voters have the chance to pass judgement on the government's handling of it. That's appropriate democracy.

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Yours in Christ
Paul

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
The question was asked in a referendum last year. Almost 50% of voters didn't get the answer they wanted.

We had a referendum last year. And, we were denied the option of an informed vote. If we had had an informed vote, a clearly defined vision for Brexit that 52% of the electorate voted for, then I wouldn't still be banging on about this issue. If we had held a referendum that was well thought through, where our MPs had put in the time to discuss the issues and frame the question in a sensible manner (in consultation with the rest of the UK population), then I would have accepted the views of the people ... that would be democracy, and not getting what we each individually want everytime is part of democracy. As it was, we had a farce. And, it's a farce that's continuing as Mrs May continues to play the political game by calling an election at a time that suits her.

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All I want for Christmas is EU

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Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

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quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
But we can't all be like the SNP and ask for another referendum every time the wind changes direction.

Why not?

That's a serious question. If you've already abandoned parliamentary government in favour of popular plebiscite, surely having serial referendums is simply the natural progression. How else can you determine the will of the people?

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Forward the New Republic

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TurquoiseTastic

Fish of a different color
# 8978

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The idea that we can vote for a particular "sort" of Brexit is, I think, mistaken. The outcome of negotiations is not entirely in our hands.

What we can do, I hope, is to vote for a particular attitude to the negotiations, one which sees it as a constructive discussion between friends and not a hostile fencing match against enemies.

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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Obviously you can't vote for a particular outcome for negotiations. You can vote for a particular negotiating position, what is sought with the expectation that the final result is as close as possible to that position - and, part of the considerations that go into deciding whether to vote for that negotiating position in an assessment of the ability of those doing the negotiating to get a deal that is close to their stated prefered outcome.

That does, however, need a clear statement of what that negotiating position will be before you vote, and who will be conducting those negotiations on our behalf. Neither of which were provided prior to the referendum last year.

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All I want for Christmas is EU

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betjemaniac
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# 17618

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:

That does, however, need a clear statement of what that negotiating position will be before you vote, and who will be conducting those negotiations on our behalf. Neither of which were provided prior to the referendum last year.

First bit agree - second bit I'm not sure it would be feasible to go further than the famous "the government will implement what you decide" from last year.

For example Scottish referendum - say the brave Scexiteers get their wish and win IndyRef2. 2 days later Nicola and key friends are wiped out in random bus crash.

Does that invalidate the referendum result, or is it assumed that there is a mandate for *someone* from the party to get on with negotiations?

I appreciate a clear statement of the negotiating position ought to be made, but why is the "who" part so rigid - other than the capacity to swing the vote one way or the other on the day? After the day you can't expect to be able to hold them to the who bit surely?

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And is it true? For if it is....

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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Ultimately it's "the government will conduct negotiations to seek ...", we wouldn't be voted for each member of the negotiating team - we would expect the government to be competant enough to select the competent people for those roles. But, barring unexpected illness or accident, we would know who the leading figures in the government would be - first/prime minister and a few key cabinet members.

We wouldn't want to see the leader of the government who would need to enact the will of the people throw his toys out of the pram and walk away to let someone else pick up the reins.

Of course, it's much prefered if the question is posed such that the government actually wants to see the change enacted. Rather than have a government reluctantly doing something on the basis of a glorified opinion poll, while those who actually wanted it largely sit outside of government sniping away at every decision that is made.

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All I want for Christmas is EU

Posts: 32194 | From: East Kilbride (Scotland) or 福島 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Crœsos
Shipmate
# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Obviously you can't vote for a particular outcome for negotiations. You can vote for a particular negotiating position, what is sought with the expectation that the final result is as close as possible to that position - and, part of the considerations that go into deciding whether to vote for that negotiating position in an assessment of the ability of those doing the negotiating to get a deal that is close to their stated prefered outcome.

Given that terms of the Brexit will be largely out of the hands of British negotiators, doesn't requiring "an assessment of the ability of those doing the negotiating to get a deal that is close to their stated preferred outcome" essentially mean you can never hold a vote on Brexit?

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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quote:
Given that terms of the Brexit will be largely out of the hands of British negotiators, doesn't requiring "an assessment of the ability of those doing the negotiating to get a deal that is close to their stated preferred outcome" essentially mean you can never hold a vote on Brexit? [/QB]
I don't believe that the terms of Brexit are going to be completely independent of what the UK negotiators go in and ask for. Otherwise there would be little point in negotiating, and we just take whatever terms the Commission dictates. We may end up there anyway, depending on whether the UK negotiators ask for the impossible (which appears to be what they've put on the table) and whether they are any good at negotiating international treaties (of which they have no experience).

Since Mrs May has called an election and someone else may be leading the government in June (we live in hope) the options are now re-opened. I would expect that the exit terms will be different if the UK negotiators follow the Tory/UKIP agenda compared to (say) a LibDem-Labour agenda of remaining in the single market. For a start the UK won't be in the single market if our negotiators don't ask for that.

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All I want for Christmas is EU

Posts: 32194 | From: East Kilbride (Scotland) or 福島 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Cod
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# 2643

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
The question was asked in a referendum last year. Almost 50% of voters didn't get the answer they wanted.

We had a referendum last year. And, we were denied the option of an informed vote.
It was every bit as informed as the 2014 Indyref.

Make what you will of that.

I will only add that, like the 2014 Indyref, it was a very long time coming. I remain baffled by the impression given by a good deal of people both on here and those I know in real life, that it all came out of nowhere. I grew up on the edge of London, and went to school in a relatively wealthy working-class Tory area. All totally hostile to EEC. After Maastricht, there were immediate calls for a referendum, and a party was formed to fight the 92 election on that basis. Later that decade I canvassed for the Lib Dems in a couple of elections and became acutely aware of the potential unpopularity of the party's position of Europe. Suffice to say that it was not something that was emphasised.

Opinon polling doesn't indicate that the public would now vote Remain.

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Cod:
It was every bit as informed as the 2014 Indyref.

Bollocks.

By September 2014 we had had a decade of Parliamentary debate and public consultation on independence, a decade of independence being a significant part of the political discourse, an issue on election days etc. We had had a 700 page document detailing the government position on independence - the arguments for independence and the vision for what they wanted to achieve in negotiations if they were given the chance by the electorate. We went to the polls without any excuse for not being informed about the question, without any doubt about exactly what the government would be seeking.

Forward to 2016 and we had practically none of that opportunity to be informed. There was barely more than a few days Parliamentary debate, and most of that on whether to hold a referendum rather than the pros and cons of the different issues, and no public consultation of the issues. We had no unified and defined position for Leave with basically all the options espoused by someone. If we had a 700 page plus document describing why we should leave the EU and the governments vision for Brexit, if we had had that decade of political discourse, if we knew precisely what the government would seek in negotiations then we would have had a vote where we all had the opportunity to be informed and a vote where the result would mean something. If that vote had gone Leave by a very narrow margin I'd have been disappointed but accepted it as the will of the people, I wouldn't have spent a year talking about it - though I would reserve the right to campaign for readmission to the EU in 20-30 years time (just as in September 2014 I was prepared to wait 20-30 years before we started on Scottish Independence again - if it hadn't been very quickly obvious that the Tories in particular were going to keep on side-lining Scotland as a second-class part of the UK).

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
Given that terms of the Brexit will be largely out of the hands of British negotiators, doesn't requiring "an assessment of the ability of those doing the negotiating to get a deal that is close to their stated preferred outcome" essentially mean you can never hold a vote on Brexit?

We were assured by the Leave campaign that the British negotiators would be able to have the moon on a stick and eat it. Are you implying that Boris Johnson does not always adhere to the strictest standards of veracity? Next thing you'll be saying that the US President sometimes tells stretchers.

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Cod
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Alan,

Absolutely not bollocks. Consider the following.

1. Boris and co promised an excellent trade deal. Salmond and co promised an excellent trade deal and shared use of the pound.

In fact both Boris and Salmond's standard response was "something will be worked out" in response to any hard question.

2. Farage & co promised weekly millions for the NHS. Salmond & co promised billions of oil money. Don't be deceived by the fact that one was a slogan on the side of a bus, and the other was part of a lengthy White Paper. All that means is that Salmond & co laboured longer and harder to produce an argument that was just as speculative as Farage's.

3. All manner of matters, pensions, division of assets, citizenship, defence, etc were glossed over by Salmond & co. They had no answer to any of these questions and resorted to saying things liek "there'll be a deal". Sounds familiar? It should do. It's just like how Boris & co had no answer to questions such as financial passporting and so on.

4. Scotland had been discussing independence for ages. However, as I noted in my post above, so has Brexit. Just not in certain quarters it seems.

The difference was that immigration didn't play much part in the indyref, however, Scotland hasn't had anything like as much as England, evne proportionally, so no one should be surprised.

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
Given that terms of the Brexit will be largely out of the hands of British negotiators, doesn't requiring "an assessment of the ability of those doing the negotiating to get a deal that is close to their stated preferred outcome" essentially mean you can never hold a vote on Brexit?

We were assured by the Leave campaign that the British negotiators would be able to have the moon on a stick and eat it.
This is kind of what I was referring to. Let's consider an hypothetical Brexit referendum that specifies that the EU will, when the UK leaves, provide every British household with a free pony. Is a referendum a good place to determine whether or not this is a reasonable position? If the public votes in favor are we to take it as an endorsement of leaving the EU, or as a desire for free ponies? Given that Article 50, once invoked, seems to call for an automatic exit after two years if no agreement on terms can be reached, what recourse is available to the British voter if no ponies are forthcoming? Does the specificity about ponies really clarify the Stay/Leave question?

In other words, I'm not seeing a lot of value in specifying a bunch of details that the UK government has no actual ability to deliver.

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Cod:
Alan,

Absolutely not bollocks.

Still absolute bollocks.

Consider this. We had a detailed white paper on Scottish Independence months before the start of the referendum campaign. We had an outline white paper on Brexit months after the referendum vote. Would everyone who voted Leave have done so if they had known that Brexit was to leave the single market and the other points summarised in that white paper? If they voted expecting negotiations to seek to retain single market (as many Leave campaigners promised) and that wasn't what they got then they voted without information.

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
In other words, I'm not seeing a lot of value in specifying a bunch of details that the UK government has no actual ability to deliver.

It is possible that the referendum question specifies something that the British government has some reasonable prospect of delivering. For example, if it had specified continued membership of the free market on terms similar to Norway then it would be reasonable to assume that the UK could achieve that.

If the referendum question actually specifies free ponies then it is open to the 'no' campaign to propose that free ponies are highly unrealistic. The yes campaign can claim they are entirely achievable and the public can decide which side they consider more credible.

What actually happened was that no criticism of leave campaign objectives was able to get a grip because it was taking aim at a nebulous and moving target. Any given leave campaigner could disavow anything said by any other leave campaigner, or even by themselves, or could evade the question entirely.

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PaulTH*
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Still absolute bollocks.

Alan the level of passion you have against Brexit is unquestionable and you have expressed this very well over these last months. But not everyone agrees with you. Even many people who oppose Brexit don't question the democratic legitimacy of last year's referendum. Gina Miller's court case ensured that the government couldn't circumvent parliament by Royal Prerogative. Now the PM is going to find out if she has a mandate to do Brexit in her way. I really don't agree with you that there is any lack in this democratic process.

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
Now the PM is going to find out if she has a mandate to do Brexit in her way. I really don't agree with you that there is any lack in this democratic process.

The PM had better spell out exactly what her way is, and as far as I know negotiations are not being conducted openly, so how the heck can we have an informed election?

It looks to me that the PM wants to be given carte blanche, with an increased majority to guard against internal difficulties.

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Would everyone who voted Leave have done so if they had known that Brexit was to leave the single market and the other points summarised in that white paper? If they voted expecting negotiations to seek to retain single market (as many Leave campaigners promised) and that wasn't what they got then they voted without information.

And what if that were never a realistic negotiating position - after the Article 50 notice was given, the EU said point blank that that would not be an acceptable outcome.

I think the real answer is that the majority of Britons never thought of themselves as European, wanted to leave the EU for a variety of reasons, but a good majority of those voting agreed that they wanted to exit. Come what may, they wanted out.

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Eutychus
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I broadly agree with Gee D.

I really can't see joe public sitting down studiously reading through a white paper: as I said before, the subject is simply too complex.

(Before voting in the Maastricht referendum, I attempted to read the copy of the treaty thoughtfully provided by the French government; I gave up after about two pages all about coal and steel).

And even if someone did read such a paper right through, it's too much to expect them to come to the "right" conclusion on that basis, just as you couldn't expect somebody to successfully operate a nuclear power plant simply by walking into the control room and reading the manual: it takes practice, experience, teamwork, and focus.

The whole idea of elected representatives, and power plant operators, is to delegate the finicky business of running a complex piece of machinery to people on a full-time basis.

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I really can't see joe public sitting down studiously reading through a white paper: as I said before, the subject is simply too complex.

...

The whole idea of elected representatives, and power plant operators, is to delegate the finicky business of running a complex piece of machinery to people on a full-time basis.

First, I agree that very few people will read through a white paper - personally I only read the summary of the Scottish Independence one. Though, political pundits in the media do (and, with some bias, distill what they see as the key points) as do politicians (or their advisors) on the other side to find the holes they can exploit. But, the opportunity for those so inclined is there.

Possibly more importantly, the existence of a white paper is evidence that our representatives have done their job, that the finicky business of examining the issues has been done on our behalf. There is no doubt that the Scottish Parliament had spent considerable time and effort defining what the Scottish government would seek in independence negotiations. Conversely, there was effectively no time and effort spent by the Parliament in Westminster to define what the UK government would seek in EU exit negotiations - indeed, our representatives still haven't done that even as negotiations start (if they had, why would Mrs May want an election at this stage?).

It also means that there is a defined position with the vast majority of those in favour of the proposal singing from the same hymn sheet, and those opposing the proposal aren't finding themselves arguing against an ever-changing position. Or finding that they have spent time and effort countering points that once the vote is cast turns out to be not part of the proposal (£350m for the NHS ....)

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Gee D
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The hymn was that well-known favourite "Let's leave the Common Market" brought up to date with "We'll leave the stuffed EU" appearing at frequent intervals. No need for a white paper with that.

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Gee D
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Our local bookshop is selling Five On Brexit Island, with the Five (plus dog) appearing as usual on the cover. Very prescient of Ms Blyton.

[ 24. April 2017, 00:57: Message edited by: Gee D ]

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
Our local bookshop is selling Five On Brexit Island, with the Five (plus dog) appearing as usual on the cover. Very prescient of Ms Blyton.

People don't even know who the Famous Five are these days?! O tempora O mores!

(The dog is one of the Five.)

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anteater

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Alan:
quote:
By September 2014 we had had a decade of Parliamentary debate and public consultation on independence, a decade of independence being a significant part of the political discourse, an issue on election days etc. We had had a 700 page document detailing the government position on independence
Generally I think that is valid, and as I have already pointed out, there was such a document (North's Flexcit), interestingly issued by the supposedly loony end of the Brexiteers, and it advocated a rather soft Brexit, basically EEA for at least the next ten years including free-movement, contributions and ECJ, with progressive incremental disengagement. But definitely out of the Customs Union.

From what I have read, Official Leave decided not to endorse any specific plan because it would be rubbished as pie in the sky, and of course this was the case in the Scottish referendum, where goals such as a currency union with rump-UK, continuing EU membership et all, were rubbished as unattainable, fairly convincingly in my view.

As I understand it, if Scots voted to leave the UK, that was no guarantee at all of the future since there was no promised final vote on the terms actually achieved rather than what was hoped for. Am I mistaken on this?

Indeed such a promise would have been pointless. Even now, if May promised a second vote if the terms were bad, guess what? The terms would be bloody terrible. To win the later vote.

So to me, your 700 page document was "of interest" but no more. And going into the vote, I would have simply worked on the basis that Salmond wanted Scottish independence at any cost, but knew he would have to lead people to hope for it to be smooth, and generate the belief that when it happens "good sense will prevail". Just like Brexit, and like Brexit, open to quite a degree of uncertainty.

There is no reason to suppose he would have backed down if the negotiations went badly. And you lose so much face. Nationally not just personally.

Mind you, far be it from you to suggest Alec Salmond could actually have a devious streak.

[Snigger]

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Gee D
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Ooops!

I read Secret Seven to Dlet and he then read the Five series to himself. I don't think he was the only one in his class to do so either.

A mild tangent: Dlet's edition had drawings through the volumes, one showing a parental car. It looks very much like an Armstrong-Siddeley Sapphire. That's a bit of social history.

[ 24. April 2017, 07:58: Message edited by: Gee D ]

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Cod
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I would take a stronger view than anteater, given the Yes camp's claims regarding the pound and Scotland's ability to obtain continued EU membership. Frankly, it was astonishingly speculative and optimistic beyond the point of irresponsiblity.

Not to mention betting the house on the oil price.

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
From what I have read, Official Leave decided not to endorse any specific plan because it would be rubbished as pie in the sky

That may be the case. However, it's also undoubtedly the case that if they tried to produce a specific plan they'd have fallen into in-fighting and that would have resulted in a very large Remain victory - nothing destroys electoral prospects like in-fighting (just ask the current Labour party). The official Leave campaign new that, and carefully avoided anything resembling a discussion on specifics, even to the extent of having mutually incompatible statements. Which, of course, also made any meaningful discussion of the plan for Brexit impossible.

quote:
of course this was the case in the Scottish referendum, where goals such as a currency union with rump-UK, continuing EU membership et all, were rubbished as unattainable, fairly convincingly in my view.
And, others were not as convinced that all the goals were unattainable. Continuing EU membership should have been relatively straightforward, the use of the pound as currency as well - there was never anything to stop that, although having some input to fiscal policy would be more challenging.

But, those are old arguments. Which will be re-run when we hold the next referendum next year.

quote:
As I understand it, if Scots voted to leave the UK, that was no guarantee at all of the future since there was no promised final vote on the terms actually achieved rather than what was hoped for. Am I mistaken on this?
No, you're correct. The vote was to provide the mandate to the Scottish government to enter negotiations with a clear plan endorsed by the people, with the expectation that the government would enter those negotiations to get the best deal possible ("best" being defined as closest to the plan).

Which contrasts with Brexit where there was no plan to vote for. So, we don't know whether the British people agree with what Mrs May proposes - and the result of a general election still won't do that. So, we don't have a plumb line to judge the government against, no basis to define whether or not the final deal is the best fit to the plan.

quote:
So to me, your 700 page document was "of interest" but no more.
A lot more than that. It laid out the detail of the plan, the basis for judging whether we agreed with the plan and whether (if the vote was Yes) the government had done a good job. Those details were essential to an informed decision by the electorate.

And, if the government had failed in the task the electorate gave them, especially if it was considered they hadn't tried hard enough, then they would have found out about that come the next election (which would have been before the end of independence negotiation).

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Cod:
I would take a stronger view than anteater, given the Yes camp's claims regarding the pound and Scotland's ability to obtain continued EU membership. Frankly, it was astonishingly speculative and optimistic beyond the point of irresponsiblity.

As irresponsible as introducing a referendum with no clear plan? Or campaigning for an outcome in that referendum that one didn't truly want?

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PaulTH*
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Am I alone in failing to understand Labour's Brexit strategy? Today Sir Keir Starmer, Labour's Brexit spokesperson, tried to put some clear water between Labour's aims and those of the Government. He said that Labour would unilaterally agree the rights of EU citizens resident in the UK. So far so good. He said that Labour would prioritise access to the Single Market and Customs Union over immigration in order to protect jobs. But he also said that immigration rules must change when we leave the EU. Jeremy Corbyn alose said this on last Sunday's Andrew Marr show.

I'm missing something here. The EU has made it clear that full access to the Single Market only comes with freedom of movement and continued contributions to the EU budget. Neither Jeremy nor Sir Keir have explained how they plan to "change" immigration rules while convincing the 27 members, the Commission and the European Parliament to grant us free access to the SM. Neither have they said whether they would be willing to continue to pay into the EU budget. In other words their position is little different from that of the Government.

The Tories have said they will seek the best possible access to the SM, but that we can't stay as members. Labour say that immigration rules must change, which will automatically exclude us from membership of SM. I don't see the difference. It's only the Lib Dems who have a coherently different position. Labour is in a shambles.

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quetzalcoatl
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Both Labour and Conservatives are in a shambles over Brexit. They both seem to be cherry-picking nice bits of the EU, such as 'regulatory alignment'. There has even been talk of a modified Customs Union kind of deal. Presumably, this is to avoid non-tariff barriers, so that British trucks don't get stuck at Dover or Calais.

I don't see the EU doing a la carte like this; they operate a set menu.

Mrs May has been suitably Delphic about it, which seems to be working. Say nowt, and you are enveloped in veils of mystical allure. I wonder if we are in for a big shock, when the negotiations start.

[ 26. April 2017, 08:52: Message edited by: quetzalcoatl ]

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:

I'm missing something here. The EU has made it clear that full access to the Single Market only comes with freedom of movement

OTOH Freedom of movement doesn't have to be implemented in the way that the UK implements it. The EU directives define freedom of movement of labour, rather than freedom of movement of people. Not heard the entire speech/interview but assume this may have been what Starmer meant when he talked about EU citizens still being able to come here if they had a job offer.
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