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Source: (consider it) Thread: Shake it all about: Brexit thread II
Alan Cresswell

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# 31

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There needs to be a democratic decision made - there are three options IMO

1. A debate and vote in Parliament, allowing our elected representatives to act on our behalf. The major draw back being our MPs (with the possible exception of Douglas Carswell) were not elected on the basis of their position on Brexit since Brexit (or not) was not part of their manifestos at the last election.

2. Call a General Election so that we have a Parliament of members who have been elected on a particular Brexit position. The major draw back being that the resulting government will also have to make policy on a lot of domestic issues, and it's plain daft to elect anyone on a single issue.

3. Take the question of what sort of Brexit back to the people in a follow-up referendum.

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PaulTH*
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# 320

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cesswell:
There needs to be a democratic decision made - there are three options IMO

1. A debate and vote in Parliament, allowing our elected representatives to act on our behalf. The major draw back being our MPs (with the possible exception of Douglas Carswell) were not elected on the basis of their position on Brexit since Brexit (or not) was not part of their manifestos at the last election.

2. Call a General Election so that we have a Parliament of members who have been elected on a particular Brexit position. The major draw back being that the resulting government will also have to make policy on a lot of domestic issues, and it's plain daft to elect anyone on a single issue.

3. Take the question of what sort of Brexit back to the people in a follow-up referendum

I agree that a democratic decision is needed, but I don't agree with your options 1 or 3. I disagree with 1 because I don't trust the present parliament, with its 70% bias in favour of Remain, to carry out the democratic will of the British people. As you said, no party included this in their election manifestos.

I disagree with 3 because most politicians, including Jeremy Corbyn in his recent leadership contest have ruled out trying to gainsay the result we already have. That leaves option 2. I don't imagine that the SNP will lose any seats, and we know their view. UKIP will want a hard Brexit. The Lib Dems will campaign to reverse the vote. If Corbyn is true to his word, he'll have to tell us if he favours the EEA or whatever. And the Tories will have to sort out among themselves whether they go in to the election on Ken Clarke and Anna Soubury's terms, or those of Theresa May. In any event we will know what we are voting for.

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Paul

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TurquoiseTastic

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# 8978

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I think 3 is a terrible idea. It undermines further the idea of representative democracy. And how would one phrase the options? They'd all still be liable to interpretation after the event. And if there were more than two of them, would one, for example, allow second preference votes?

1 would be reasonable, had the referendum not already been held.

2 is probably the way to go.

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
The "Stay" option was fairly simple, because it was more or less the status quo everyone knew (with the exception of very minor tinkering in the 'deal' Cameron cooked up). The "Leave" option was, and is, incredibly complicated with a vast range of options for the preferred relationships between the UK and EU, and between the UK and the rest of the world.

This seems to be based on the very dubious assumption that the UK gets to dictate the terms on which it leaves the EU.

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Alan Cresswell

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# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
The "Stay" option was fairly simple, because it was more or less the status quo everyone knew (with the exception of very minor tinkering in the 'deal' Cameron cooked up). The "Leave" option was, and is, incredibly complicated with a vast range of options for the preferred relationships between the UK and EU, and between the UK and the rest of the world.

This seems to be based on the very dubious assumption that the UK gets to dictate the terms on which it leaves the EU.
No, it only assumes that the UK gets to decide what terms it would try to obtain. No one imagines that the UK would get exactly what it asks for. At least, no one with a brain.

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
And no, Alan Creswell, you can't say that the voters did not support that. They did. The electorate was asked a simple question, Stay or Leave, and votes by a substantial majority (of those voting) for Leave.

But, it was not a simple question. The "Stay" option was fairly simple, because it was more or less the status quo everyone knew (with the exception of very minor tinkering in the 'deal' Cameron cooked up). The "Leave" option was, and is, incredibly complicated with a vast range of options for the prefered relationships between the UK and EU, and between the UK and the rest of the world. The only way the vote could have been simple was for that range of options to be narrowed down to particular negotiating position that the Leavers would adopt if they won the vote. By not requiring the Leave campaign to produce such a policy document Cameron created an almighty mess that it's still very unclear how the UK gets out of.
No, the practicalities of the Leave vote are complex, with so much legislation to be examined and requiring amendment/repeal. But the question itself was simple.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
No, the practicalities of the Leave vote are complex, with so much legislation to be examined and requiring amendment/repeal. But the question itself was simple.

That is kinda what people mean when they comment that a question is not simple.

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Rocinante
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I think that the best that can be hoped for from exit negotiations is protection of the rights of Britons living in the EU (residence, healthcare etc.), in return for reciprocal protection of EU citizens already in Britain. There might also be scope for continuation of academic collaborations and similar programmes. It is becoming increasingly clear that wanting any sort of ongoing membership of the single market is unrealistic.

Therefore, with a heavy heart, I think that the govmt should trigger A50, conclude negotiations ASAP (leaving EU laws & regs in place to be dealt with later when they have a mandate for changing them) and thereby end the uncertainty which is a very large part of the problem. We've made our bed, we should get into it.

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Alan Cresswell

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# 31

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The question was simplistic, it took a very complex issue and gave a yes/no question. That sort of question is only appropriate after considerable discussion of the options, culminating in a substantive manifesto for leave.

I've got no particular objection to putting such a question to the British public (my support for a Scottish independence referendum at the right time reflects that). But, it has to be the right question at the right time. The right time is after considerable discussion within the public sphere - years of discussion if not decades, with regular gauges of public opinion with political parties standing for (and gaining) seats in the Commons on a Brexit platform. A few months of discussion, with a lot of people only really engaging in the last couple of weeks, doesn't cut it (OK, you probably can't escape people ignoring the discussion until the last minute). The right question is one that has been clearly defined - that means a manifesto agreed by the campaign to change the status quo detailing what they would attempt to accomplish if the vote goes their way, and for that campaign to be in a position to actually attempt that (ie: the proposal to be coming from government, or from a group sufficiently well represented in government to carry it through anyway). What we got in June was the wrong question, at the wrong time, proposed by the wrong group.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
I think that the best that can be hoped for from exit negotiations is protection of the rights of Britons living in the EU (residence, healthcare etc.), in return for reciprocal protection of EU citizens already in Britain. There might also be scope for continuation of academic collaborations and similar programmes. It is becoming increasingly clear that wanting any sort of ongoing membership of the single market is unrealistic.

I'm not sure that's going to happen. Of course, logic suggests that if British pensioners want to continue living in the EU then EU workers should be allowed to continue in the UK - but in practice it is hard to see how most of the EU workers would be welcome post-Brexit.

I'd imagine the government will be trying to pull a rabbit from the hat to keep all the "good" foreigners whilst excluding all the "bad" ones, which might be a crumb of comfort to the universities and others who employ skilled workers. But I'm just not sure how many EU workers will want to continue in the UK when xenophobia has become official government policy.

The nightmare scenario is that May bodges things so badly by focussing on the EU workers in the UK that the EU replies "bugger it, you can have all your pensioners back then", and the sudden influx of sick, angry and poverty-stricken formerly lazing in the sun pensioners adds to the pressure on the NHS and local services.

If the British pensioners are to stay in the EU, I think the British government are going to be expected to pay for the divorce for many years to come into EU coffers. To the extent that the value of leaving the EU will become much smaller than some of the idiot Brexiteers suggest.

quote:
Therefore, with a heavy heart, I think that the govmt should trigger A50, conclude negotiations ASAP (leaving EU laws & regs in place to be dealt with later when they have a mandate for changing them) and thereby end the uncertainty which is a very large part of the problem. We've made our bed, we should get into it.
I'm not sure it matters, we're screwed either way. The chances of negotiations being concluded within 2 years to give the UK what it wants and nothing it doesn't want (ie on freedom of movement) are negligible to none.

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Barnabas62
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:

.. we're screwed either way. The chances of negotiations being concluded within 2 years to give the UK what it wants and nothing it doesn't want (ie on freedom of movement) are negligible to none.

Spot on. I think Donald Tusk has a very clear grasp of the real choice the UK government now faces.

Trouble is, Theresa May has now nailed her colours to triggering Article 50 even if her own Chancellor advises that Hard Brexit is unaffordable. Article 50 is so set up as to weaken the negotiating position of the Leaver, and there is a very strong political argument in favour of doing the UK no favours.

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anteater

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I'm late to this thread, so apologies if I repeat things.

I think it is interesting to look back to when leaving the (then) EEC actually was part of a political manifesto, viz the 1983 Labour manifesto:

quote:
Geography and history determine that Britain is part of Europe, and Labour wants to see Europe safe and prosperous. But the European Economic Community, which does not even include the whole of Western Europe, was never devised to suit us, and our experience as a member of it has made it more difficult for us to deal with our economic and industrial problems. It has sometimes weakened our ability to achieve the objectives of Labour's international policy.

The next Labour government, committed to radical, socialist policies for reviving the British economy, is bound to find continued membership a most serious obstacle to the fulfilment of those policies. In particular the rules of the Treaty of Rome are bound to conflict with our strategy for economic growth and full employment, our proposals on industrial policy and for increasing trade, and our need to restore exchange controls and to regulate direct overseas investment. Moreover, by preventing us from buying food from the best sources of world supply, they would run counter to our plans to control prices and inflation.

For all these reasons, British withdrawal from the Community is the right policy for Britain - to be completed well within the lifetime of the parliament. That is our commitment. But we are also committed to bring about withdrawal in an amicable and orderly way, so that we do not prejudice employment or the prospect of increased political and economic co-operation with the whole of Europe.

We emphasise that our decision to bring about withdrawal in no sense represents any weakening of our commitment to internationalism and international co operation. We are not 'withdrawing from Europe'. We are seeking to extricate ourselves from the Treaty of Rome and other Community treaties which place political burdens on Britain. Indeed, we believe our withdrawal will allow us to pursue a more dynamic and positive international policy - one which recognises the true political and geographical spread of international problems and interests. We will also seek agreement with other European governments - both in the EEC and outside - on a common strategy for economic expansion.

I see hardly any difference here between this and what we had in the referendum. Warm words with no details. We will get as good a deal as we can (emphasis on the last three words).

This, to me, is the weakness of Alan C's, third point. The (one?) good thing about the refeyendum (as I believe we now have to call it) was that it asked about something that the UK Government could achieve. We don't need EU permission to leave. What's the point of putting a referendum question when we don't know if it can be achieved? And how complicated would it have to be? That just won't work.

I was, and remain, slightly surprised that May refused an early election, but perhaps the reason could be that there would be an expectation in any manifesto of a degree of detail which she is just not able to give.

Even so, I would feel better taking option 2.

Full disclosure: Typical Tory marginal remainer.

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Jane R
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Alan:
quote:
A few months of discussion, with a lot of people only really engaging in the last couple of weeks, doesn't cut it (OK, you probably can't escape people ignoring the discussion until the last minute).
You're forgetting the 40 years or so of anti-EU propaganda from the tabloids and the hostility of most of the national newspapers to the Remain campaign. The 'few months of discussion' did not take place on a level playing field.

I think the real problem was that most people thought there was nothing to discuss. I said to one of my neighbours when the campaigns kicked off that holding the referendum was a waste of money because it was a no-brainer. He agreed with me.

I didn't realise he was planning to vote for Brexit until referendum day...

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PaulTH*
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# 320

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quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
I was, and remain, slightly surprised that May refused an early election, but perhaps the reason could be that there would be an expectation in any manifesto of a degree of detail which she is just not able to give.

I am advocating an early election, but it isn't quite as simple as it once was. Under the Fixed Term Parliament Act of 2011, stitched together by Cameron and Clegg, the next general election is fixed for 7th May 2020. I agreed with it at the time, because I was tired of Prime Ministers calling early elections when the opinion polls gave them a big advantage. So I agree, in principle with the fixed term parliament. But these are extenuating circumstances. We're in a political and economic crisis that nobody knows how to, or agrees how to resolve. It would need a parliamentary vote to call an early election, but I don't see that as insurmountable.

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anteater

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PaulTh:
Totally agree. But the sense I get from the media is that it is quite doable given that she would get cooperation from Labour.

But she has to wait for it to be impossible for her to govern, I think. Were it me, I would be unwilling to do anything that implied that I secretly agreed that the referendum was not a sufficient mandate.

Long term the legislation needs changing or scrapping, and that could be started now. Changing it is a bit tricky. I've tried a number of changes that would allow an earlier election, but none are convincing.

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Schnuffle schnuffle.

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Alan Cresswell

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# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Jane R:
Alan:
quote:
A few months of discussion, with a lot of people only really engaging in the last couple of weeks, doesn't cut it (OK, you probably can't escape people ignoring the discussion until the last minute).
You're forgetting the 40 years or so of anti-EU propaganda from the tabloids and the hostility of most of the national newspapers to the Remain campaign. The 'few months of discussion' did not take place on a level playing field.
If that 40 years of propaganda had resulted in more than a few rolling eyes at the latest headline I'd agree with you. But, it didn't. Where was the discussion of the EU over coffee in the office, over a few beers on Friday night? Where were the questions on EU membership raised regularly on Question Time, or the debates in the chmabers of Parliament? Where were the political parties standing with a clear position on Europe in election after election (and, for those positions to be a significant factor in their electability)? Even in the early days of the referendum campaign the question of EU membership was second to whether to call a new ship "Boaty McBoatface".

I've contrasted the EU referendum with the 2014 Scottish Independence referendum before. I'll do so again. Independence has been a big political question in Scotland for 50 years. For decades the SNP has had members elected to Parliament, with Independence a constant element of discussion around election time, and between elections. The strength of that movement was enough to bring about devolution, and within the Scottish Parliament, and the wider public, the debate continued, the arguments were made, disputed, refined in a cycle over many, many elections. And, when the Scottish government finally got the go ahead from Westminster for a referendum the first thing they did was to distill those refined arguments into a white paper describing what the Scottish Government would attempt to obtain if given the opportunity by a Yes vote in the referendum, and then campaigned on that very solid platform. And, the Better Together campaign also knew what they were arguing against, which resulted in some very good discussions at all levels of society (despite a certain amount of "Project Fear" which basically attempted to paint aspects of the white paper as unachievable).

I've said before, I was out of the country in September 2014. But, I took the opportunity to organise a wee party, open some whisky with colleagues, and celebrate a well-managed exercise in democracy - even though the result wasn't what I wanted. In June this year I just wanted to drown my sorrows over the farcical, mismanaged exercise in mob rule and, frankly, un-democratic nonsense we had endured. And, it wasn't just the result (awful though it was), the last few weeks of the campaign had left me despairing over the lack of any serious debate of the issues - partly because Leave couldn't agree on what the issues were, partly because Remain had little better than "Project Fear: The Return". At least in Scotland we had the SNP running a positive "this is what is good about being in the EU" campaign - which is the only campaign they could run, since they were never going to hit the ever moving target of the latest position of the Leave campaign, and they were trying to distance themselves from the Project Fear approach coming up from down south.

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fletcher christian

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I remember watching the 'big debate' live on tv. While the remain side made good and solid arguments (and to my mind actually won the debate) the leave side made all manner of both weird and wonderful claims, many of which are downright lies. The problem was that the chair of the debate should have called them out on that and pressed them. That would have made for a balanced debate. A debate is not in any way balanced if one side can drone out lies in order to win. Equally the leave side didn't really pick up on much of them. Now I know there was a whole fog of notions, so tackling even one was an almost titanic struggle. But I do think if they had even drilled down on one of them they would have revealed a side that could not be trusted. Ultimately something of democracy died in that debate and Britain is far the worse off for it.

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Gee D
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# 13815

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
No, the practicalities of the Leave vote are complex, with so much legislation to be examined and requiring amendment/repeal. But the question itself was simple.

That is kinda what people mean when they comment that a question is not simple.
I'd be very surprised if more than a handful on either side thought of the complexities of the divorce. For most, the vote was what it asked: do you want to remain in the EU or not. It is still not clear to me how it could have covered all the matters Alan Cresswell discusses. It could not have because there is no way of building into that the detailed positions of the other EU members.

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
It is still not clear to me how it could have covered all the matters Alan Cresswell discusses. It could not have because there is no way of building into that the detailed positions of the other EU members.

It would be easy. Well, relatively. A few simple steps:

A. Form a campaign group to leave the EU. Within which there would be a wide range of positions of what they would consider to be would they would like to achieve through Brexit.

B. That campaign group to actively engage in discussion, both within their group and the wider political community, and in society at large. The result being a winnowing out of the various positions that either have very little support, or are clearly so unrealistic as to be impossible to achieve.

C. That campaign group to gain sufficient influence within the political system for their position to be credible - that means several MPs elected, positions in government etc (this step could easily be concurrent with B).

D. That campaign group to produce a manifesto for Brexit, that will be the plaform on which they a) campaign for a referendum and then b) campaign in the referendum.

E. If they win the referendum they then form a government that will use that manifesto as a starting point for negotiations with the rest of the EU, and the wider world, with the intention of achieving deals that are as close to that manifesto as possible. If step B was done properly then they shouldn't be starting such negotiations with an impossible hand.

That is a relatively straight forward process. It's what we've seen in Scotland in relation to Independence. It is nothing like the process adopted in the EU referendum, where A-D was squashed into a few short months (and, as a result D never happened and a lot of the campaign was conducted over points that with more time and effort would have been shown to be either unpopular or impractical). With the result that E is a shambles.

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Citizen of the world

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quetzalcoatl
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The current idea being floated to leave the City in the single market is quite strange really, as you seem to end up with a Brexit, that is partly soft, and partly hard. Curate's egg comes to mind.

There are also suggestions that other sectors might be protected from the hard Brexit, whether by paying their tariffs or not, I don't know.

It is becoming more and more peculiar.

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Tubbs

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
It is still not clear to me how it could have covered all the matters Alan Cresswell discusses. It could not have because there is no way of building into that the detailed positions of the other EU members.

It would be easy. Well, relatively. A few simple steps:

A. Form a campaign group to leave the EU. Within which there would be a wide range of positions of what they would consider to be would they would like to achieve through Brexit.

B. That campaign group to actively engage in discussion, both within their group and the wider political community, and in society at large. The result being a winnowing out of the various positions that either have very little support, or are clearly so unrealistic as to be impossible to achieve.

C. That campaign group to gain sufficient influence within the political system for their position to be credible - that means several MPs elected, positions in government etc (this step could easily be concurrent with B).

D. That campaign group to produce a manifesto for Brexit, that will be the plaform on which they a) campaign for a referendum and then b) campaign in the referendum.

E. If they win the referendum they then form a government that will use that manifesto as a starting point for negotiations with the rest of the EU, and the wider world, with the intention of achieving deals that are as close to that manifesto as possible. If step B was done properly then they shouldn't be starting such negotiations with an impossible hand.

That is a relatively straight forward process. It's what we've seen in Scotland in relation to Independence. It is nothing like the process adopted in the EU referendum, where A-D was squashed into a few short months (and, as a result D never happened and a lot of the campaign was conducted over points that with more time and effort would have been shown to be either unpopular or impractical). With the result that E is a shambles.

You’re thinking about this with your rational brain. Most people don’t do that. As the Ref showed, logical arguments and economic realities are nothing compared to a natty marketing slogan.

The Eurosceptic wing of the Tories and UKIP did some of what you’re suggesting, but there was never a coherent picture of what Leave would look like. Probably because no one can actually agree.

If the UK reverted to the position it was in before the 1973 Referendum, it would just re-join ETFA, remain part of the EEA and the Customs Union. It would accept the 4 freedoms, contribute to the budget, have access to the Single Market but go its own way in other areas. That doesn’t seem very likely unfortunately.

Tubbs

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Tubbs:

The Eurosceptic wing of the Tories and UKIP did some of what you’re suggesting, but there was never a coherent picture of what Leave would look like. Probably because no one can actually agree.

Yes, and one could argue that the cleverer strategy would be to force them into a situation where they had the produce an actual manifesto of what Leave would consist of; knowing full well that this would leave to civil war within the Leave movement.

As it is; that would have required a politician of considerably greater skill and wiliness than Cameron, who was able to manipulate the press as opposed to the other way around. As it is, the Leavers are going to fight with each other - but after the vote rather than before.

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Callan
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I think this analysis misses the whole point of nationalism. The whole point of nationalism is to get rid of the foreigners and then worry about the precise details later. If your problems are complicated and intractable like the British economy after 2008 this sort of thing becomes strangely plausible.

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quetzalcoatl
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That's a very good point, (by Callan). It explains quite a lot of things, for example, the lack of detail in the Brexit proposals, and the strange emotive responses by Brexit people. I guess they are not all English nationalists, but quite a few are. And also white nationalists.

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Tubbs

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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
That's a very good point, (by Callan). It explains quite a lot of things, for example, the lack of detail in the Brexit proposals, and the strange emotive responses by Brexit people. I guess they are not all English nationalists, but quite a few are. And also white nationalists.

Whilst it may be true that racists would vote for Brexit, not all Brexit voters are racists. And I don’t think that it’s exclusively an English thing either. * Cough * Wales and the Unionists in Northern Ireland * Cough *. And 2 in 5 Scottish voters.

Or, if you want to take the data from Lord Ashcroft Polls:

White voters voted to leave the EU by 53% to 47%. Two thirds (67%) of those describing themselves as Asian voted to remain. as did three quarters (73%) of black voters. Just under half of white voters voted remain whilst one third of Asian voters and one quarter of black voters voted Leave.

But, essentially Callan is right. The narrative is that all our problems would be solved if we got rid of those pesky X who are holding us back. It’s just the identity of the pesky X that is different.

Tubbs

[ 17. October 2016, 18:37: Message edited by: Tubbs ]

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quetzalcoatl
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Now that is a useful stat, that nearly half of white voters, voted Remain.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Tubbs:

But, essentially Callan is right. The narrative is that all our problems would be solved if we got rid of those pesky X who are holding us back. It’s just the identity of the pesky X that is different.

Yes, but even in this case forcing a plan would force those involved to make the narrative clearer - distancing oneself wouldn't work as a strategy.

The likes of Hannan et al would find it harder to claim that the essence of the vote had been misunderstood.

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mr cheesy
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I know it isn't a very fashionable thing to say, but I agree with Nick Clegg in his new paper on threats to British food production.

Indeed, he's looking a lot more forward thinking about a lot of things that we've all given him credit for - not least the impact on the Tories of having Lib Dems in coalition.

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by Tubbs:
The Eurosceptic wing of the Tories and UKIP did some of what you’re suggesting, but there was never a coherent picture of what Leave would look like. Probably because no one can actually agree.

Yes, and one could argue that the cleverer strategy would be to force them into a situation where they had the produce an actual manifesto of what Leave would consist of; knowing full well that this would leave to civil war within the Leave movement.
The big problem with this is that, as anyone with a brain realizes, is the UK doesn't have the power to decide "what Leave would consist of". The only thing within the power of the UK to determine unilaterally was the Leave/Stay option. Having a referendum stating "Brexit, but only on conditions of X, Y, and Z" is deceptive in that it's implicitly making the claim that the UK has the power to demand X, Y, and Z of the EU, or that a Brexit could be revoked if X, Y, and Z are not forthcoming. Neither of those is an accurate reflection of reality.

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quetzalcoatl
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Also, some of the Brexit people seem to be getting very steamed up that there should be any debate about what kind of Brexit; as the Mail said, this is unpatriotic. Brexit means exactly what the editor of the Mail says it does, but maybe he isn't all that clear either.

Some UKIP people are definitely saying that the vote was for hard Brexit, which it obviously wasn't. They are just pushing for no brown people, I guess.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
The big problem with this is that, as anyone with a brain realizes, is the UK doesn't have the power to decide "what Leave would consist of".

I completely agree with you - however, in the absence of any movement to push the Leavers for a clear plan, Leave became a kind of Rorschach object onto which each Leaver could project their fantasies. Something which now persists after the vote.

quote:

The only thing within the power of the UK to determine unilaterally was the Leave/Stay option. Having a referendum stating "Brexit, but only on conditions of X, Y, and Z" is deceptive in that it's implicitly making the claim that the UK has the power to demand X, Y, and Z of the EU, or that a Brexit could be revoked if X, Y, and Z are not forthcoming. Neither of those is an accurate reflection of reality.

Absolutely, but having had the vote, the first of those scenarios is indeed the fantasyland currently inhabited by the government (with the nonsense of 'secret' negotiations accompanying it).
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Callan
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Originally posted by chris stiles:

quote:
I completely agree with you - however, in the absence of any movement to push the Leavers for a clear plan, Leave became a kind of Rorschach object onto which each Leaver could project their fantasies. Something which now persists after the vote.
How do you do that, though? Short of giving a speech which says "we are a representative democracy, those who wish to leave the EU should join UKIP and campaign for them to win a majority of seats in the House of Commons".

Once you have a referendum you have a coalition of people who want to leave the EU for a variety of reasons and, when Leave wins, they will have to fight among themselves as to how to implement this. This was apparent at the time. Whatever happens Giles Fraser and the Lexit halfwits and (probably) the 'liberal leavers' but (possibly) the angry nativists are all going to be saying "but this is not the Brexit I campaigned for. Woe and thrice woe unto Illium!" and blaming the Remainers. This was apparent when we saw the cast list for Leave.

People who think we should have had a grown up Referendum which involved Leave having a plan are really saying that issues of this nature should not be decided by Referenda which, as Margaret Thatcher and Clement Attlee were quite correct in describing as the preferred method of demagogues and dictators. I think that the demerits of Mr Blair's administration are somewhat overstated by his detractors but his "Hey fellow kids! Let's have a Referendum!" attitude to devolution and peace in Northern Ireland has served us poorly. He should have just said: "Hey Tories! If you don't like my plans, you can beat me in the next General Election!" And, whilst Nick Clegg is also in my pantheon of people who I, rather unfashionably, have a lot of time for he should have told Cameron that he had a choice between STV and confidence and supply and let himself be negotiated down to AV.

The only people who should support referenda are Celtic Nationalists who, for understandable reasons, are unlikely to command a majority in the House of Commons and Fascist Dictators who want an imprimatur for their enabling act. Which, not entirely coincidentally IMO, appears to be how Mrs May is treating the Brexit vote.

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
Once you have a referendum you have a coalition of people who want to leave the EU for a variety of reasons and, when Leave wins, they will have to fight among themselves as to how to implement this. This was apparent at the time. Whatever happens Giles Fraser and the Lexit halfwits and (probably) the 'liberal leavers' but (possibly) the angry nativists are all going to be saying "but this is not the Brexit I campaigned for. Woe and thrice woe unto Illium!" and blaming the Remainers. This was apparent when we saw the cast list for Leave.

A variation on this was popular with American pundits who supported the Iraq War. After it became obvious that the Iraq War was becoming a giant cluster of fuck, a lot of folks who had been advocates of the war before it happened said essentially "This isn't the war I wanted. I wanted the war without civilian casualties, where we were greeted as liberators and destroyed a whole bunch of WMDs and democracy bloomed in our wake!" A lot of ostensibly smart people were amazed that for some reason reality did not live up to their expectations, despite the fact that this was fairly obviously going to be the case ex ante.

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
Originally posted by chris stiles:

quote:
I completely agree with you - however, in the absence of any movement to push the Leavers for a clear plan, Leave became a kind of Rorschach object onto which each Leaver could project their fantasies. Something which now persists after the vote.
How do you do that, though? Short of giving a speech which says "we are a representative democracy, those who wish to leave the EU should join UKIP and campaign for them to win a majority of seats in the House of Commons".

Once you have a referendum you have a coalition of people who want to leave the EU for a variety of reasons and, when Leave wins, they will have to fight among themselves as to how to implement this. This was apparent at the time. Whatever happens Giles Fraser and the Lexit halfwits and (probably) the 'liberal leavers' but (possibly) the angry nativists are all going to be saying "but this is not the Brexit I campaigned for. Woe and thrice woe unto Illium!" and blaming the Remainers. This was apparent when we saw the cast list for Leave.

Alan Cresswell this really is the case against your argument. The question was not "Do you want to leave and if so how" but simply to ask Remain or Leave, and then let's work out how it's to be done. As to the last, those voting would never really have had a say in the how, given that the EU was always going to be in a much stronger position than a departing UK.

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
Alan Cresswell this really is the case against your argument. The question was not "Do you want to leave and if so how" but simply to ask Remain or Leave, and then let's work out how it's to be done.

Yes, that was the question. Which is a) a bloody stupid way to go about things, and b) (as I've said repeatedly) an extremely complicated question precisely because the how wasn't defined.

There is no reason at all why the question couldn't have been defined prior to the campaign, that a manifesto for how the Leavers wanted to leave be written, except for the lack of time that would have been needed to do that. That is how it was done in Scotland in 2014, and I can't see how the difficulty of getting others to agree to the wish list of the Scottish Government would be fundamentally different to getting others to agree to the wish list of the Leave campaign - had they ever written something more substantial than a slogan on the side of a bus.

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Callan
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IIRC, the 'Yes' camp held that there would be a common currency between RUK despite the Chancellor of the Exchequer saying that the wouldn't happen and that Scotland would be automatically introduced to the EU despite the EU saying that wouldn't happen. Based on that I'm going to say that the SNP position wasn't a great improvement on the Brexit position.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Callan:

How do you do that, though? Short of giving a speech which says "we are a representative democracy, those who wish to leave the EU should join UKIP and campaign for them to win a majority of seats in the House of Commons".

I am not sure I really know, but then it doesn't appear that anyone really tried.

And yes, calling a referendum was a stupid thing to do under the circumstances, because even if Leave lost, unless it was an absolutely crushing defeat they would go on making mischief till the end of time, fortified by a sense of victim-hood.

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Alan Cresswell

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The white paper said that if there was a "Yes" vote the Scottish Government would seek to retain the pound as our currency and continue our membership of the EU. But, like any manifesto, I don't think anyone expected that everything the Scottish Government would seek would be achieved.

Just because, in the context of campaigning for the Better Together side in the referendum, one Chancellor said that an independent Scotland couldn't continue using the British pound didn't mean that once the result was in and people were at the negotiating table that there wouldn't be more options available.

Same with the EU, once the reality of an independent Scotland came to be and the Scottish government put on the table a position of wanting to remain in the EU as one of two successor states from the UK, there would be more options than might have been evident before. Besides, we all know the value of the promise of Better Together that remaining in the UK would be the only way of ensuring that Scotland remain in the EU.

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Gee D
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Alan Cresswell I think there are a few problems with your approach. The first is that it is far too cerebral for many, if not most, electors. The next is that it assumes that a joint position and plan could be worked out. I suspect that there is no such position. The electors were united in their wish to leave the EU, but for many reasons. Indeed, probably the most common was the perception that "Brussels", or for the more intellectual the EU, had too much say in day to day British life; indeed if something were not done and done soon, steps would be taken to ban real ale. Lastly of course, your approach is too cerebral, or did I say that.

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
Alan Cresswell The next is that it assumes that a joint position and plan could be worked out. I suspect that there is no such position. The electors were united in their wish to leave the EU, but for many reasons.

You're right - there is no joint position, and the entire Brexit strategy is a consequence of this. There is no single post-Brexit vision of the UK that would have come close to getting a majority of the vote. The Brexit people knew this, and so were purposely vague: they didn't want to scare of any Brexit voters by saying that their preferred kind of Brexit was a non-starter.
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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:


Just because, in the context of campaigning for the Better Together side in the referendum, one Chancellor said that an independent Scotland couldn't continue using the British pound didn't mean that once the result was in and people were at the negotiating table that there wouldn't be more options available.

Same with the EU, once the reality of an independent Scotland came to be and the Scottish government put on the table a position of wanting to remain in the EU as one of two successor states from the UK, there would be more options than might have been evident before.

I'm English and therefore properly agnostic about Scottish independence, however surely the brave Scexiteers recognise they sound exactly like the brave Brexiteers when they say things that boil down to:

"Enough of your objections, when the vote goes our way things we're being told aren't on the table will be on the table"?

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mr cheesy
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The UK was daft to vote to leave the EU, the Scots are mad if they think voting to leave the UK will make their situation easier.

Cast out of the EU and then facing import duties from England? That'd be like cutting of their ear to spite their face.

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
Alan Cresswell I think there are a few problems with your approach. The first is that it is far too cerebral for many, if not most, electors.

In that case, why do parties bother producing manifestoes prior to every election? (or, rather, every other election except the EU referendum). It's the normal, indeed the right and proper, way to approach the electorate - th clearly lay out the position you are campaigning on.

Just because many, if not most, electors don't bother to read the manifesto and find the details of fiscal policy (and all the rest of the stuff there) too cerebral doesn't mean that parties and candidates shouldn't produce a manifesto.

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Gee D
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But given the disparate views on the reason to Leave, who would prepare the paperwork? There was no equivalent to a proper political party (I exclude UKIP) to do that.

An example where what you suggest did work was the vote in the 6 Aust colonies on Federation. A series of conferences, discussions and so forth had led to the writing of a draft constitution. I don't think you could put the Leave movement in the same position.

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Alan Cresswell

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The Leave movement, as it currently stands, is not in that position. But, there had been no single organisation until one was formed by Cameron when he called the referendum. There has been plenty of time over the last decade or two, as Eurosceptics gained influence in the Conservative party and other political parties, for cross-party groups to be formed where the work of defining both the vision for Brexit. And, for that group (or alliance of groups) to engage people beyond the political parties.

If that had happened then we probably wouldn't be in the mess that we are. It also says a fair bit about the Brexit movement that that hadn't happened. It suggests that the actual support for Brexit wasn't sufficient for people to get organised, to talk about the various options, to consider the costs and benefits of different approaches, to begin the processes of producing a manifesto for Brexit, etc.

As I've said before, the referendum was at the wrong time, it was called too early and hadn't allowed the Leave campaign the time needed to get organised. Beyond a faction within the Tories and UKIP, there hadn't even been an obvious movement for Brexit to justify a referendum.

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Gee D
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Alan, given the multitude of explanations (many of them not reasons) given for voting Leave, how could the process you urge have been followed?

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Tubbs

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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:


Just because, in the context of campaigning for the Better Together side in the referendum, one Chancellor said that an independent Scotland couldn't continue using the British pound didn't mean that once the result was in and people were at the negotiating table that there wouldn't be more options available.

Same with the EU, once the reality of an independent Scotland came to be and the Scottish government put on the table a position of wanting to remain in the EU as one of two successor states from the UK, there would be more options than might have been evident before.

I'm English and therefore properly agnostic about Scottish independence, however surely the brave Scexiteers recognise they sound exactly like the brave Brexiteers when they say things that boil down to:

"Enough of your objections, when the vote goes our way things we're being told aren't on the table will be on the table"?

I think that’s my problem with the whole thing as well. Essentially, UKIP and the SNP are nationalist parties telling people that all their problems will miraculously be solved if that nasty big thing stops telling them what to do and they can make their own decisions and control their own destiny.

As the UK is discovering and Scotland could discover, not everything bad is “Project Fear".

It would be far more honest to tell people that you can have X but it’ll cost Y. You can’t have both and you have to decide what you want more.

At the moment people think they’ll be getting everything they want at no cost. The moon on a stick. Either a British one or a Scottish one depending on what version of nationalism you’re selling.

Tubbs

[ 18. October 2016, 11:43: Message edited by: Tubbs ]

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
Alan, given the multitude of explanations (many of them not reasons) given for voting Leave, how could the process you urge have been followed?

Because the process relates to the mechanism of organising a fair and democratic vote. It's the same process as is followed in any other election. What reason could there be for not following such a process?

The ideal is for the electorate to turn up at the polling station and make an informed decision about how they will vote. Therefore, the information needs to be available for them to make that decision - what will each candidate seek to do if elected, or in this case what the two options on a referendum mean. Without the due process of the candidate/party/campaign producing a manifesto there is a sigificantly reduced basis for making an informed decision.

Of course, at the end of the day people have a variety of reasons why they vote the way they do. Many will vote on the basis of matching their priorities to the manifestoes (none of which are likely to be exactly what they would like to see). Some will vote for the person they recognise. Some will vote out of party loyalty, regardless of the candidate. Some will put in a protest vote. But, I don't see why the fact that some people, even if that's a majority, vote regardless of the content of a manifesto that it follows that there should not be a manifesto.

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Eirenist
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Be careful,shipmates! According to The Times, a petition is circulating asking Parliament to legislate to make post-Brexit advocacy of rejoining the EU an offence of High Treason. Volunteers for being hanged,drawn and quartered please take one pace forward.

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Baptist Trainfan
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Sorry to spoil your fun - but, by section 36 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, the maximum punishment for high treason was changed from execution to life imprisonment.
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