Thread: Shake it all about: Brexit thread II Board: Purgatory / Ship of Fools.


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Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
Theresa May's announcement of a "Great Repeal Bill" to feature in the next Queen's Speech seems like a good time to lay the long-running EU Referendum thread "in, out, in out" to rest and start a new one on the implementation of Brexit.

The article quoted above says
quote:
The repeal of the 1972 Act will not take effect until the UK leaves the EU under the process for quitting the bloc known as Article 50.
From this I understand that May is intending to trigger Article 50 without going to Parliament, but that it needs to be followed up by a Repeal Bill, which presumably needs a majority vote in the UK Parliament to become law. Am I right, and if I am, isn't this likely to be fraught with difficulties?
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
... Am I right, and if I am, isn't this likely to be fraught with difficulties?

I bl***y well hope so, but I had a sickening dread, comparable to my dread about Trump winning the presidential election, that she'll get it through. There seems to be nobody who has both the moral courage and sufficient access to the levers of power in this sorry country to stop this lunacy.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
It looks like a preliminary technical move. So far as I can see, once passed, it will incorporate into UK law all E.U. legislation which has legal effect up to that point in time. So it will change no prior legal impact of the European Communities Act 1972. Presumably that enables the rescinding of any parts of that incorporation which the government wants to rescind. Presumably, this way, it will avoid what I can only imagine would be an endless series of legal cases coming before the European Court about the legality of such changes.

So I think it is more about process than principle at this stage. It does demonstrate just how complex the process of Brexiting may become. The detailed messiness of this divorce is now emerging.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
There seems to be nobody who has both the moral courage and sufficient access to the levers of power in this sorry country to stop this lunacy.

But, it's the "clear will of the people". How can Parliament or the courts overrule the mandate of the masses? May has no choice, the Tory Party is still torn apart by the European question, but now the result from June is in it's clear that those favouring Europe do not have the majority support of Tory voters and members, so her only option to maintain some semblance of party unity is to go with Brexit. I can't see how the outcomes of the various legal challenges currently before the courts would change that. And, she knows putting the question back to Parliament will just rip open the poorly stitched wounds in her party.

Two years after calling Article 50 and the Brexit will be done, and at that point the 1972 Act does become meaningless and I doubt many people would object - we can continue to campaign for a new Act to lead us back into the EU, but we'll have put the 1972 one to rest.

Meanwhile, here's what's really happening
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:

Meanwhile, here's what's really happening

[Killing me]
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
I suppose that hard Brexit is making the running, and presumably, this is a concession to them. At any rate, the right wing tabloids are crowing, that the EU has had a stake through its heart.

It's confusing though. EU law is being absorbed into UK law (or is that English law?), so that the bad bits can be sifted out later. That sounds a pretty big job.

I've also been reading some economists argue that hard Brexit could be very expensive, because of tariffs, and could even outstrip the cost of being in the EU. Now that would be ironic.

The trouble is, there is now so much spin and counter-spin, who can really say?
 
Posted by rolyn (# 16840) on :
 
Just sign the bloomin fing and then Europe becomes our friend without benefits and we can set sail in our wooden ships and rediscover the West Indies.
 
Posted by fletcher christian (# 13919) on :
 
You could always reopen the coal mines.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
... Meanwhile, here's what's really happening

Unfortunately that's a joke too near the truth not to leave a nasty taste in the mouth.


Both the two large parties demonstrate over and over again that they put their own survival above both the national interest and any sort of integrity.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
... Meanwhile, here's what's really happening

Unfortunately that's a joke too near the truth not to leave a nasty taste in the mouth.

As for the three stooges, the only word that can describe them isn't just unfit to be uttered on a Sunday. It's not allowed on weekdays either.


Both the two large parties demonstrate over and over again that they put their own survival above both the national interest and any sort of integrity.


Sorry about this but a draft of this post seems to have appeared as well by a mistake. Would there be any possibility of an administrator removing the earlier one please?

[ 02. October 2016, 13:58: Message edited by: Enoch ]
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
The point by Enoch about their own survival rings true. The referendum itself was designed as a sticking plaster for the Tory party, and all the guff about 'in the national interest' is for the birds.

Labour are now all over the place (what's new), since the MPs from Leave areas are doing a plausible imitation of Enoch Powell on immigration, while Corybn does the opposite.

Brexit seems like a huge wedge driven into the body politic, with unpredictable and largely alarming consequences.
 
Posted by Schroedinger's cat (# 64) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
I've also been reading some economists argue that hard Brexit could be very expensive, because of tariffs, and could even outstrip the cost of being in the EU. Now that would be ironic.

Probably the case, as many people were arguing before the vote.

Leaving the EU will cost us a huge amount of money.
 
Posted by Cod (# 2643) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:

Sorry about this but a draft of this post seems to have appeared as well by a mistake. Would there be any possibility of an administrator removing the earlier one please?

And would the administrator remove them both to the Hell thread where they properly belong? I appreciate that emotions run high on this topic, but it seems to me that everything you have posted on it is more appropriate for Hell rather than purgatory.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
hosting/

As a general rule we only remove posts that are exact duplicates or made redundant by the removal of a duplicate post. That is no longer the case here.

Cod, as far as I can see your post on this thread is more out of place here than Enoch's.

If you have a complaint about hosting then take it to the Styx.

/hosting
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by fletcher christian:
You could always reopen the coal mines.

[note I'm not suggesting that fc was being serious in the above]

The odd thing about the so-called "Hard Brexit" is that there is very little sensible discussion about the reverse ramifications. Yes, ok, so if the UK went back to WTO rules we can opt out of the law courts in Strasbourg (but can we really..?), we can set our own import tariffs and control our own borders.

But we'd also be treated as outsiders by the rest of Europe. How many Brits working in Europe would suddenly/eventually find that they need visas to continue working? What would happen to the large numbers of retired Brits in Spain and elsewhere?

And yes, we could row back on commitments made by the EU on climate change (but then can we really..?) and we could choose to reopen the coal mines.

Which of course is a jokey slogan and is basically impossible for all but a tiny minority of relatively recently mothballed mines. There are none in South Wales which retain the necessary infrastructure.

This whole thing is a trainwreck. It isn't too late to realise that this whole Brexit bollocks is only going to make things worse for the UK.

[ 03. October 2016, 07:36: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
Nothing's impossible. It is possible to recreate the infrastructure to reopen coal mines in South Wales, it will just be hideously expensive and take a long time. It is possible to negotiate trade deals with the EU and the rest of the world that are more favourable than WTO (or, more accurately re-negotiate trade deals, since we're already operating under such deals with much of the world - it's just they were negotiated by the EU), it will just be hideously expensive and take a long time.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Nothing's impossible. It is possible to recreate the infrastructure to reopen coal mines in South Wales, it will just be hideously expensive and take a long time. It is possible to negotiate trade deals with the EU and the rest of the world that are more favourable than WTO (or, more accurately re-negotiate trade deals, since we're already operating under such deals with much of the world - it's just they were negotiated by the EU), it will just be hideously expensive and take a long time.

Well, I suppose that's technically true, but in practice it is impossible. And local people probably wouldn't support it, given the complaints about open cast mines, incinerators and composting sites.

The valleys were filthy for 200 years. For the last 40 they've been relatively clean, not to mention that the mine sites have been built on and the railway tracks taken up. There is no appetite to put it all back.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Mr Cheesy, it isn't too late. It isn't too late until the government serves an Article 50 notice.

And it is stupidly, crassly and unmitigatedly stupid. As stupid as choosing Corbyn.

But we have a government which puts the future of the conservative party, the opportunity to stuff UKIP and the prospect of mopping up some dissatisfied Labour voters ahead of the national interest. And, so much for something that used to call itself the unionist party, its leader is deluding herself that this won't break the union.

[ 03. October 2016, 07:59: Message edited by: Enoch ]
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Nothing's impossible. It is possible to recreate the infrastructure to reopen coal mines in South Wales, ...

Also, the coal in them has been dug out. It isn't there any more.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Also, the coal in them has been dug out. It isn't there any more.

Not sure that's entirely true, it just wasn't economic to dig any more out at the time they closed.

But this amounts to the same thing; if it wasn't economic to send Welsh miners to dig out coal from small coalseams in the 1960s, it surely isn't now.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
There is no appetite to put it all back.

The same could be true of trade. We're in the process of burning bridges. Dismantling trade deals, which often took decades to negotiate, is very much like removing infrastructure. Putting them back into place will require an appetite to do so from both sides. There's a rose-tinted spectacle feel to the Brexit optimism that everyone will want to rapidly sign trade deals with the UK. The US government have already stated that their priorities will be the major trade deals they've already committed a lot of time and effort on, with the EU and with Asia. Australia and NZ are working very hard on developing trade deals with the new economic powers in Asia. We've kicked the EU in the goolies ... and do we expect them to just pretend it never happened to sign a deal with a small island?
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
The same could be true of trade. We're in the process of burning bridges. Dismantling trade deals, which often took decades to negotiate, is very much like removing infrastructure. Putting them back into place will require an appetite to do so from both sides. There's a rose-tinted spectacle feel to the Brexit optimism that everyone will want to rapidly sign trade deals with the UK. The US government have already stated that their priorities will be the major trade deals they've already committed a lot of time and effort on, with the EU and with Asia. Australia and NZ are working very hard on developing trade deals with the new economic powers in Asia. We've kicked the EU in the goolies ... and do we expect them to just pretend it never happened to sign a deal with a small island?

Without being overly negative, the problem is that the UK doesn't actually produce much any more, most money is in the service sector. And in a globalised world, what's the great advantage in having the financial centre in London anyway - if the UK has lost access to the EU market?

I don't think things are totally impossible, but we need a lot more imagination and investment to find something to offer to the rest of the world.

We don't have anything much left to dig out of the ground, we can't just rely on other countries wanting to continue servicing us as consumers - because if we're not producing anything then we have nothing to spend.

One would think that increasing spending on science and tech research would be a good way forward for the economy, but unfortunately the Tory vision seems to be one of wishful thinking - where they can cut budgets on everything without it having any impact on the nation's competitiveness.

I fear that we are facing a deep recession.
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
... and do we expect them to just pretend it never happened to sign a deal with a small island?

A small island that also happens to be the fifth largest economy in the world. I don't understand why so many Remainers persist in referring to the UK as if it's Tuvalu or Kiribati.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
A small island that also happens to be the fifth largest economy in the world. I don't understand why so many Remainers persist in referring to the UK as if it's Tuvalu or Kiribati.

Some silly percentage of that economy is in parts that can easily move elsewhere. Indeed if the UK wasn't in the EU, it'd be rather odd if a large proportion of City banking didn't move inside the eurozone.
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Indeed if the UK wasn't in the EU, it'd be rather odd if a large proportion of City banking didn't move inside the eurozone.

That's pretty much what people were saying when we decided not to join the Euro. It didn't happen then, so why is it so inevitable now?
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
A small island that also happens to be the fifth largest economy in the world.

What percentage of that is financial services, and how much of that would suffer in the event of no "financial passport" being agreed?

(ETA: the issue is not the Euro, the issue is whether there is free movement of currency).

[ 03. October 2016, 09:44: Message edited by: Eutychus ]
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Indeed if the UK wasn't in the EU, it'd be rather odd if a large proportion of City banking didn't move inside the eurozone.

That's pretty much what people were saying when we decided not to join the Euro. It didn't happen then, so why is it so inevitable now?
Despite not adopting the Euro we were still inside the EU and to reinforce what mr cheesy said, a lot of profit can be made through currency trades and if that can be done in the same trading bloc, so much the better for traders in the City, Frankfurt, Paris etc. It's questionable whether that will continue when are are outside the tent.

[ 03. October 2016, 09:53: Message edited by: Sioni Sais ]
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
<snip>

We've kicked the EU in the goolies ... and do we expect them to just pretend it never happened to sign a deal with a small island?

... not to the extent that we've kicked ourselves in the goolies.
 
Posted by Rocinante (# 18541) on :
 
I also have enormous fears for the future. Not so much for myself, but the next generation in this country, who have already born the brunt of austerity, have just been dealt another huge blow to their prospects.

At the moment the brexiteers' answer to our legitimate concerns appears to be "All is well, all is well...fifth largest economy in the world, we are a great nation lalalala".

I've passed through the "denial" stage on Brexit, I'm now clutching at straws trying to convince myself that it might not be so bad. What do shipmates think of the hoary old brexiteer mantra that Europe sells more stuff to us than we do to them, so they'll want to carry on trading freely with us whether it's hard or soft brexit?

Apart from instinctively feeling that our current horrendous balance of payments deficit is not something to put on the positive side of the equation, I don't know enough about how international trade works to critique this belief. I know someone who sincerely believes that we'll "clean up" by charging tariffs on all the stuff coming in from Europe. Instinctively I feel that this is economically illiterate, but I can't really back it up with detailed argument.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
... and do we expect them to just pretend it never happened to sign a deal with a small island?

A small island that also happens to be the fifth largest economy in the world. I don't understand why so many Remainers persist in referring to the UK as if it's Tuvalu or Kiribati.
No one is comparing us to Tuvalu or Kiribati.

But, how long will the UK be in the top ten largest economies? I don't think anyone is expecting anything other than a contraction in the economy over the next few years, the question being how much the economy contracts. Coupled to other economies expanding, that will inevitably shift us below the position the UK currently holds. We already know that a sizable proportion of international investment in the UK is on the basis of free access to the EU market (both to sell goods produced here, and to access goods produced there), any barriers to free movement of goods, services, finance and labour will reduce the attractiveness of the UK to international investment. The currency markets post June have made UK exports cheaper, but at the same time raised the costs of imports - including the materials and components needed for those exported goods.

It still comes down to if the EU has limited resources to negotiate trade deals, why would they spend that on the UK when there are deals to be made with the US and China? Same with Australia and other Commonwealth nations that the Leave campaign were very keen on (without, ISTM, actually asking whether trade deals with the UK were of benefit to them - and, ignoring the existing trade deals through the EU).
 
Posted by fletcher christian (# 13919) on :
 
Posted by Mr Cheesy:
quote:

[note I'm not suggesting that fc was being serious in the above]

There was a serious point underneath. The coal m inning era was really the last vestige of an old Britain that was 'great'. It was just at that moment when all of the manufacturing of steel, cars, machinery and clothing etc was all disappearing to other parts of the world and there was much agonising over the loss of what made Britain 'great'. The Brexit vote appealed to that very old fashioned notion in lots of ways; the time when Britain was white and blue collar, people worked hard and lived well....of course it's all part of the myth of the English country idyll left over from WW2, but the myth had a powerful appeal nonetheless. It is exactly the same thing that is sending the USA off beam; an appeal to the myth of 'the way things were'. What will be interesting is when the country wakes up to the fact that this narrative is in fact a myth. The USA seems to be waking up to it, but I'd never be so foolish as to underestimate the power of such a myth to rally the troops. Ultimately, Britain could come out of it all alright; a bit poorer, but managing. It would seem to be unlikely that it will ever be a central hub again, but much like Brexit, the effects of this won't be felt for another decade (hopefully) and its the generations to come that will wonder why a country voted not to work in co-operation in an increasingly global economy. While the Brexit voters hoped to create a nostalgic Britain again what they will eventually end up with in all likelihood is a Britain that is no longer 'great' and a United Kingdom that is no longer united. This in turn would lead to a major crisis of identity, which could of course be overcome, but the variables make it an almost impossible task.
 
Posted by Jane R (# 331) on :
 
Rocinante:
quote:
I know someone who sincerely believes that we'll "clean up" by charging tariffs on all the stuff coming in from Europe. Instinctively I feel that this is economically illiterate, but I can't really back it up with detailed argument.
The rest of the world will also 'clean up' by charging tariffs on things we export to them. And a lot of the stuff we import is food and raw materials for what's left of our industry; we can't slap huge tariffs on those without shooting ourselves in the foot. The weakness of the pound is going to cause enough hardship on its own, for people struggling to afford food.

The tabloid rhetoric about 'arrogant' EU negotiators is not helping. The EU negotiators have a responsibility to get the best deal possible for the countries in the European Union. If the best deal for them involves throwing the UK under the bus, then they're doing their job by trying to get it. Our interests and theirs no longer coincide; the Electorate Has Spoken.
 
Posted by Tubbs (# 440) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
A small island that also happens to be the fifth largest economy in the world.

What percentage of that is financial services, and how much of that would suffer in the event of no "financial passport" being agreed?

(ETA: the issue is not the Euro, the issue is whether there is free movement of currency).

ETA: Passporting allows a company to set up in one EU country, operate in all the others but only have to report to one regulator. It's the free movement of services.

Clearing, or the free movement of currency, is different. (This Bloomberg article talks about the issues with clearing).

Passporting isn't a great benchmark as there are almost as many UK firms passporting into the EU as there are passporting out of the EU into the UK. There's been a lot of talk about UK based firms needing the passports to access EU markets, but not so much the other way round. Some of the EU entities passporting into London will be trying to access business that only comes to London.

Unless the UK and the EU agree to keep passporting or equivalency, then the EU specific business will move to the EU. (As I'm in insurance, wish me luck!) But other business will either stay in London or move to NY.

At the moment, none of the European hubs currently have the right infrastructure or access to capital that London or NY has. Creating that takes time. Longer than two years. And Europe's banks are wobbling.

I’m just hoping for the best, kind of expecting the worst and getting on with life. There has to be some middle ground between us all getting a unicorn and it all ending in fire. A lot can happen in two and a bit years.

Tubbs

[ 03. October 2016, 11:29: Message edited by: Tubbs ]
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jane R:
The EU negotiators have a responsibility to get the best deal possible for the countries in the European Union. If the best deal for them involves throwing the UK under the bus, then they're doing their job by trying to get it.

To echo the point Sioni made earlier, we've put ourselves under the bus. The question is probably having waited so long for a bus, how many come along at once?
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by fletcher christian:
It was just at that moment when all of the manufacturing of steel, cars, machinery and clothing etc was all disappearing to other parts of the world .

While I generally agree with what you say, in one respect you are actually repeating a different form of mythology where the car industry is concerned. The highest year for production was 1972, with 1.92m cars produced; after a big decline numbers have increased year-on-year with half-year production to July 2016 nearly reaching 900,000, if which nearly 80% were exported. The Society of Motor Manufacturers predicted that, if present trends were to continue, the figures for 2017 would be the highest ever.

Of course much of the British motor industry is foreign owned (but, then, Ford and Vauxhall etc. always were). And, of course, automation means that the total workforce is much smaller. But it shows that Britain does still "make things"; although other traditional products (e.g. ship-building) have indeed virtually vanished we also have a market in precision high-tech engineering products and the like.

Brexit has put this all in doubt.

[ 03. October 2016, 11:14: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
Of course much of the British motor industry is foreign owned (but, then, Ford and Vauxhall etc. always were). And, of course, automation means that the total workforce is much smaller. But it shows that Britain does still "make things"

Another part of the myth is actually that car manufacture, indeed a large part of manufacturing in general, has significantly changed - and it's not just automation. To a large extent, it would be better to say that the UK "assembles" cars rather than "makes" them. First, car manufacturers don't make most of the components of their cars, they are bought in from elsewhere (often elsewhere in Europe) and then put together. The combination of currency exchange rates and potential tarrifs will significantly increase costs for cars assembled in the UK. That is also true of much of modern manufacturing.

Second, another side of manufacturing is the design of the product. Of course, for cars, the UK has virtually no presence in the design of cars - the big manufacturers are non-UK owned and will do most of their design work elsewhere. There are, of course, some smaller UK companies that design and manufacture in the UK for niche markets. There is the potential for a big return on a successful design, but very few inventors, innovators and designers hit gold everytime they start sketching out a new idea.
 
Posted by Tubbs (# 440) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
quote:
Originally posted by Jane R:
The EU negotiators have a responsibility to get the best deal possible for the countries in the European Union. If the best deal for them involves throwing the UK under the bus, then they're doing their job by trying to get it.

To echo the point Sioni made earlier, we've put ourselves under the bus. The question is probably having waited so long for a bus, how many come along at once?
All this assumes that the EU’s future is all fluffy bunnies and rainbows. Whilst UKIP’s gleeful predictions it’s all going to topple over are wrong, the ex-Greek finance Minister at the IoD might be closer to the mark. He thought the EU would eventually reach a kind of gridlock. The Northern economies doing well, the Southern economies doing badly. With everyone sweating the small stuff because they can’t agree on the bigger things.

He didn’t mention Eastern Europe in the accounts of the speech I saw. But Hungary was in breach of EU rules last time I looked and a few others are sailing close to the wind. In the interests of maintaining a united front, everyone seems to be ignoring that. Whether that can continue is anyone’s guess!

Tubbs
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:

Another part of the myth is actually that car manufacture, indeed a large part of manufacturing in general, has significantly changed - and it's not just automation. To a large extent, it would be better to say that the UK "assembles" cars rather than "makes" them. First, car manufacturers don't make most of the components of their cars, they are bought in from elsewhere (often elsewhere in Europe) and then put together. The combination of currency exchange rates and potential tarrifs will significantly increase costs for cars assembled in the UK. That is also true of much of modern manufacturing.

And it's not just about tariffs (or at least tariffs are a much smaller part of the problem) the real issues are around regulations and assessment of conformity, and that really starts to bite when you have international supply chains - a lot of the time the UK is manufacturing precursors and relying on precursors elsewhere.

Additionally, to the point upthread, Britain could move from fifth to seventh largest economy without much of an impact to the living standards in the rest of the world - whose own exporters may well be better off - the consequences for Britain itself would be a lot more serious though.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
Incidentally, I think the X largest economy mantra is a silly argument. China has the world's 2nd largest economy, but that still doesn't mean they get to do trade deals at the drop of a hat, does it?
 
Posted by Eirenist (# 13343) on :
 
No doubt I will be corrected if I am wrong, but common sense tells me that, hard Brexit or soft, a higher proportion of people in the UK will still want to buy EU goods than the proportion of EU folk who will want to buy British,

To me, the truth seems to be that without realising it the Great British Public has voted for natonal castration.
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
A small island that also happens to be the fifth largest economy in the world.

What percentage of that is financial services,
Approximately 4%, according to Wikipedia

quote:
and how much of that would suffer in the event of no "financial passport" being agreed?
Probably not much. London is a worldwide (if not the worldwide) financial centre, so lots of the business it does isn't reliant on such passports anyway.
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
Despite not adopting the Euro we were still inside the EU and to reinforce what mr cheesy said, a lot of profit can be made through currency trades and if that can be done in the same trading bloc, so much the better for traders in the City, Frankfurt, Paris etc. It's questionable whether that will continue when are are outside the tent.

Currencies other than the Euro and Pound exist. Besides which, if they can trade Euros in New York I don't see that London would have any major problem once we're out of the EU.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Marvin, you're not persuading me.
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
I'm not really trying to. That battle has already been fought.

I'm just trying to point out that the result of June's referendum doesn't necessarily mean Britain is going to turn into Somalia. Though I get the distinct impression that there are some who would quite like that to happen, just so they could say they were right.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
Somalia?

Nothing of the sort. But, for the UK economy to decline relative to other nations, certainly - we're already seeing that with the pound losing value against other major currencies, impact on science already documented (mostly uncertainty about EU funding and residence status of EU research staff) and an impact on all sectors through increased xenophobia detering qualified staff from taking up positions in the UK or deciding to quit their jobs to work in other nations who value skilled workers.

How far will the UK economy decline? Difficult to say, but to fall out of the top seven economies is certainly plausible.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
What strikes me is that nobody knows. Brexiteers are naturally enough inclined to give rosy forecasts, and some Remainers are being gloomy. However, this is probably all guesswork. I suppose most of economics and politics is guesswork in any case, but now we seem to be making a fetish of it. Possibly, there is a new industry here which the UK could specialize in.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
However, this is probably all guesswork. I suppose most of economics and politics is guesswork in any case

Forecasting of economic trends (as opposed to specific economic occurrences) is generally on more solid ground.

I don't see why there is any need to pretend otherwise, other than to give succour to those who believe their decision has no consequences.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
Well, if someone makes a guess, it doesn't mean that their decision has no consequences. Example: Suez. Didn't Eden guess that he would succeed in his mad enterprise?
 
Posted by Beeswax Altar (# 11644) on :
 
quote:
originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
The US government have already stated that their priorities will be the major trade deals they've already committed a lot of time and effort on, with the EU and with Asia.

No, Barack Obama has stated that. Barack Obama won't be president after January 20. Trump supports Brexit. Who knows what Clinton thinks? However, Clinton has already repudiated the TPP which Obama and Kerry negotiated. Hard to believe she follows through on punishing the UK for leaving the EU. I say this for two reasons. One, the US doesn't have much of a trade deficit with the UK. Why would disrupting trade with the UK be in our economic interest? Two, the UK is our closest ally. The optics would be horrible. Here, let me spin the narrative for you. The UK stands alone against a united Europe controlled by a Germany seeking to destroy the sovereignty of individual nations. Sound familiar? First poll comes out in support of a deal with the UK, Clinton and May agree to business as usual over afternoon tea and crumpets. Will the EU then try to punish the US? Good luck with that.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
Well, "a united Europe controlled by a Germany" is a nonsense. If there are further moves towards a political union in Europe the control will be with whatever political structures are built for that purpose - a strengthed European Parliament, for example. Which won't be Germany (or France, Belgium or anyone else). I would love for that to happen, and for the UK to be at the heart of it (except there will need to be a coordinated political movement in the UK to reverse the stupidity of the 23rd June first - and, if such a movement is born I'll sign up).
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Beeswax Altar:
quote:
originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
The US government have already stated that their priorities will be the major trade deals they've already committed a lot of time and effort on, with the EU and with Asia.

No, Barack Obama has stated that. Barack Obama won't be president after January 20. Trump supports Brexit. Who knows what Clinton thinks? However, Clinton has already repudiated the TPP which Obama and Kerry negotiated. Hard to believe she follows through on punishing the UK for leaving the EU. I say this for two reasons. One, the US doesn't have much of a trade deficit with the UK. Why would disrupting trade with the UK be in our economic interest? Two, the UK is our closest ally. The optics would be horrible. Here, let me spin the narrative for you. The UK stands alone against a united Europe controlled by a Germany seeking to destroy the sovereignty of individual nations. Sound familiar? First poll comes out in support of a deal with the UK, Clinton and May agree to business as usual over afternoon tea and crumpets. Will the EU then try to punish the US? Good luck with that.
Two problems with this from a British point of view.

Firstly, the Trump scenario relies heavily on the competence and goodwill of Mr Trump. This is not reassuring.

The Clinton scenario is based on the idea that Trade Deals can be sorted out over tea and crumpets. This is rather akin to the idea that the Large Hadron Collider can be replicated with a ten year old's Lego Science Kit. It also implies that a lack of enthusiasm for a US-UK trade deal is related to the need to punish the Brits for leaving the EU, whereas it is more to do with giving larger markets primacy. Do you prioritise a trade deal with the UK or with the much larger EU? Furthermore before doing a deal with the UK, the UK has to leave the EU which takes place two years after Article 50 has been activated. So probably around March 2019. So the idea that we can compensate for leaving the EU and the Single Market by signing a Trade Deal with the US really means losing our membership of the Single Market and then, beginning the lengthy negotiations to set up a trade deal with the US after that.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Beeswax Altar:

Hard to believe she follows through on punishing the UK for leaving the EU.

I think this constant use of punitive language to be very misleading (add 'punishing' to the notion of the EU taking 'revenge' on the UK by not allowing them to have the benefits of EU membership if they leave the EU). These things are generally a simple and rather obvious consequences of a set of actions - to ask for anything else is the exceptional case.

The US has a limited amount of trade negotiators. Trade deals - even when both countries are keen on them - take time and effort to strike, partly because the politicians involved in them are subject to being lobbied.

Furthermore both HC and Trump would have a limited amount of legislative time, and a limited amount of goodwill to spend to pass everything they want passed.

The optics may look horrible if thousands of Brits were starving, but that's not really what we are talking about. The UK could decline significantly in economic terms without particularly impinging on the minds of the US public.
 
Posted by Beeswax Altar (# 11644) on :
 
It's not controlled by Germany? Would the Greeks agree with that? Besides, the truth doesn't actually matter when constructing a narrative. One could build a case that Germany controls the EU using just sources sympathetic to Clinton. All it will take is to convince a majority of the US people that Germany is trying to punish the UK and deprive it of its sovereignty. The Clintons conduct foreign policy by opinion poll. Now, with the right social media campaign, the UK could get the US to form a trade alliance and piggyback off of every trade deal the US makes. You should get something for Afghanistan and Iraq.
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
Furthermore before doing a deal with the UK, the UK has to leave the EU which takes place two years after Article 50 has been activated. So probably around March 2019. So the idea that we can compensate for leaving the EU and the Single Market by signing a Trade Deal with the US really means losing our membership of the Single Market and then, beginning the lengthy negotiations to set up a trade deal with the US after that.

I thought the whole point of the two-year delay was to enable us to negotiate the trade deals that would come into effect once we leave.
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
Furthermore before doing a deal with the UK, the UK has to leave the EU which takes place two years after Article 50 has been activated. So probably around March 2019. So the idea that we can compensate for leaving the EU and the Single Market by signing a Trade Deal with the US really means losing our membership of the Single Market and then, beginning the lengthy negotiations to set up a trade deal with the US after that.

I thought the whole point of the two-year delay was to enable us to negotiate the trade deals that would come into effect once we leave.
The whole point of the two year delay is to negotiate our terms of exit from the EU. Until that happens we can't unilaterally negotiate trade deals with other countries because our treaty commitments to the EU Countries forbid us to do so. The whole point of Article 50 is that it disadvantages the departing country by putting in a time scale, which means that its negotiators are operating against the clock, with the penalty of having to trade with the EU under WTO rules, if a deal isn't reached in sufficient time. Which is another reason, btw, to remain in the Single Market - it would be a lot quicker to negotiate membership of the EEA than it would be to set up the kind of bespoke deal that Theresa May and company think that they can pull off.
 
Posted by Beeswax Altar (# 11644) on :
 
quote:
originally posted by chris stiles:
The optics may look horrible if thousands of Brits were starving, but that's not really what we are talking about. The UK could decline significantly in economic terms without particularly impinging on the minds of the US public.

No, the optics will look horrible period. Clinton is weak on trade. Bill Clinton got the label of moderate in part by coming out in favor of free trade deals. Those deals were never popular on the Left. Now, they aren't popular with a large segment on the right either. Clinton is perceived as being weak on trade and knows it. Every single, country that she tries to prioritize above the UK will have something that makes it less sympathetic than the UK. Send Boris Johnson over the pond to make the case. Americans will love him.
 
Posted by Jane R (# 331) on :
 
Beeswax Altar:
quote:
Here, let me spin the narrative for you. The UK stands alone against a united Europe controlled by a Germany seeking to destroy the sovereignty of individual nations. Sound familiar?
The Second World War was over 70 years ago, for God's sake. Whatever control Germany may have over the EU stems from it being the largest economy in the group, not from having the biggest army and most ruthless dictator.

But while we're on the subject of examples from 20th century history, may I remind you that the USA did not enter World War II until December 1941, as a result of the attack on Pearl Harbor and a direct threat to American territory? Going by past experience, I find it difficult to believe that the USA would leap in to defend Britain against the machinations of the evil EU negotiators; certainly not without expecting something in return. Those Lend-Lease ships were not supplied free of charge.
 
Posted by Beeswax Altar (# 11644) on :
 
You all seem to think this has to be totally rational. I think you underestimate just how popular Boris Johnson will be once the American people discover he exists. One, in the US, World War II remains fresh in our memory. We still don't entirely trust the Germans. For that matter, we still don't take the French all that seriously. Two, we will get a trade deal that won't devastate more Midwestern and Mid-Atlantic cities. That's not nothing. Turn those Northern industrial areas from Democratic to Republican and Clinton serves one term.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Beeswax Altar:
We still don't entirely trust the Germans. For that matter, we still don't take the French all that seriously.

Speak for yourself. I don't know of any research that holds that those stereotypes are common in the UK. There certainly is a lot of noise about Brussels, I don't hear anyone particularly moaning about Berlin. If anything, workers I've heard talking about work are envious of the way things are in Germany (or at least how they were before the recent issues with immigration).
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Well, "a united Europe controlled by a Germany" is a nonsense. If there are further moves towards a political union in Europe the control will be with whatever political structures are built for that purpose - a strengthed European Parliament, for example. Which won't be Germany (or France, Belgium or anyone else). I would love for that to happen, and for the UK to be at the heart of it (except there will need to be a coordinated political movement in the UK to reverse the stupidity of the 23rd June first - and, if such a movement is born I'll sign up).

So will I.
 
Posted by PaulTH* (# 320) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
I suppose that hard Brexit is making the running

Hard Brexit is only making the running because there's an impasse which no one has an answer to. The British government, because of the referendum result, can't concede the point that free movement, in its present form, has been rejected by the British electorate. All voices from the EU seem to be saying that there's no membership of the Single Market without free movement. Hence hard Brexit is inevitable. The EEA model, like Norway's position, can't answer the problem either.

Yet as in so many cases, this is politics winning over economics. The federalist bureaucrats of the EU can't accept that an electorate can reject their very one sided vision. They refuse to see that tariffs and trade wars benefit nobody. Jobs could be lost in the UK, but even more so in the EU. If we are forced into WTO rules, the competitive edge given by the lower value of the pound will more than absorb the tariffs the EU can impose if they deal fairly and only impose WTO MFN tariffs. But things like German cars, French wine and cheese etc, which are already more expensive due to sterling's depreciation, would then be subject to tariffs as well. Everybody loses.

Should the UK go into negotiations saying, which it will, that we have no wish to change the status quo, and that we want to continue to trade freely, it,s up to them if they choose to wreak havoc on all our job markets with petty minded retaliation. I voted to stay in, but I'm no more impressed now than I ever was with the Brussels juggernaut.
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
Originally posted by PaulTH:

quote:
The federalist bureaucrats of the EU can't accept that an electorate can reject their very one sided vision.
I think the real problem is not the unelected federalist bureaucrats but the all too elected-and-vulnerable-to-not-being-re-elected governments of the member states. For a deal to pass it needs the approval of all 27 member states and, spookily enough, the Visegrad Governments (Poland, Hungary, Czechia and Slovakia) don't think that the whole "give GB the same access to the Single Market but with no freedom of movement" thing, beloved of our having-their-cake-and-eating-it politicians is going to play terribly well on the mean streets of Warsaw South or Bratislava West. Particularly not in the context of a referendum where the winning side stoked up hostility towards EU citizens living and working in the UK and where EU citizens have been subsequently attacked and, in one instance, killed. Imaging that Spain voted for Spexit after running a campaign against British retirees and, after which,, UK nationals had been attacked or killed. Would Theresa May be prepared to countenance a special deal in those circumstances? Some of the 27, or the rump EU as the Daily Fail recently described it, will also have to put the resultant deal to their electorates in referenda. The whole business is painfully reminiscent of the Greek referendum on austerity. The Greek government turned up brandishing their popular mandate for the benefits of the other member states only for one of the German politicians to remark: "some of us were elected too".
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
The British government, because of the referendum result, can't concede the point that free movement, in its present form, has been rejected by the British electorate.

As far as I know, by a very small majority, the British electorate voted to reject the status quo. Since no one specified what the question was, we have no way of knowing what that small majority voted for.

The whole process was deeply flawed, since the Leave campaign were not required to specify what they were going to attempt to enact should they win. About the closest we got to a Leave manifesto was a slogan on the side of a bus - which (if not exempt as political) would have fallen foul of advertising standards legislation.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jane R:
Beeswax Altar:
quote:
Here, let me spin the narrative for you. The UK stands alone against a united Europe controlled by a Germany seeking to destroy the sovereignty of individual nations. Sound familiar?
The Second World War was over 70 years ago, for God's sake. Whatever control Germany may have over the EU stems from it being the largest economy in the group, not from having the biggest army and most ruthless dictator.
I rather think that that's the point Beeswax Altar is making. The irrationality of much of the Brexit campaign stems from a failure to understand that WWII has finished, and finished with a German loss. The Brexiters would prefer to be the underdogs of late 1940.

I did not quote your second para, but you may remember the very late (but equally as essential to the Allied victory) entry by the US into WWI. I'm not sure of the relevance of either to the present thread, to be honest.

[ 03. October 2016, 21:01: Message edited by: Gee D ]
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
The war has largely been relegated to history classes. The feeling of animosity towards the Germans was already a minority position that was just something to make fun of when Basil Fawlty said "don't mention the war", the German people were victims of Hitler and national socialism, and certainly the current leadership bears no blame (most weren't even born until after the end of the war).
 
Posted by fletcher christian (# 13919) on :
 
Posted by Beeswax Altar:
quote:

I think you underestimate just how popular Boris Johnson will be once the American people discover he exists.

You must have missed it because it was so cringe inducing and so uncomfortable to watch it would have burned into your memory, but Boris already went to the USA and shared the stage with John Kerry. It didn't go well.

I have no time for Boris whatsoever and I have no idea why a frankly racist and xenophobic buffoon has been given a post that involves international relations. It is almost as tragic as appointing Nigel Farage to Europe. But even though I have so little time for him, even I felt uncomfortable as he blundered his way through a barrage of press heckles and the fact that he blubbered and flustered like a schoolboy who'd been scolded made it even worse. The whole thing was pathetic.
 
Posted by PaulTH* (# 320) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
As far as I know, by a very small majority, the British electorate voted to reject the status quo. Since no one specified what the question was, we have no way of knowing what that small majority voted for.

I speak as someone who has never had a problem with inward migration from the EU, but what precisely the majority voted for is irrelevant. It could be put in the category of making the UK parliament sovereign over issues, including immigration, rather than being told, from a body over which we have no democratic control, that there's absolutely nothing we can do however many people turn up at the doorstep. Not liking the referendum result is one thing. Ignoring it or attempting to overturn it is another. It's contempt for democracy. Keep on asking the question until you get the answer you're happy with.

I don't think the government has any authority to bargain over free movement. The Swiss rejected that issue in a referendum, so the Brussels machine has shut down any meaningful talks unless they vote again to overturn it. It's far more an issue of the sovereignty of an elected body over the dictates of glorified civil servants on fat cat salaries and pensions. As the only potential benefit I can see from Brexit long term is the ability to trade freely outside the customs union, it's these factors that are driving a hard Brexit. We'd all like to retain preferential access to the Single Market, but not at the price of betraying our democratic choice. Also any "trouble" in our trading relationship with the EU is coming from them, not from us.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
but what precisely the majority voted for is irrelevant.

How can it be anything other that relevant? Apart from the fact that the referendum was called before a manifesto for Brexit was written (thus, IMO, making the whole process deeply flawed) so we can't know what people voted for. Thus, we only know they (by a marginal number) rejected the status quo.

quote:
Not liking the referendum result is one thing. Ignoring it or attempting to overturn it is another. It's contempt for democracy.
No, preventing people from expressing their opinions on political issues is an abuse of democracy. While we still claim to be a democracy I've as much right as anyone else to make my views known. At least Remainers didn't state that if they lost they'd be out on the streets committing acts of violence - but, then the Brexit side did that even when they had won.
 
Posted by Uriel (# 2248) on :
 
A perfectly democratic way ahead would be to negotiate with the EU and find out what is and is not possible, and then put three or four options to the electorate under single transferable vote. The problem with the referendum is that it was a very blunt instrument and the Leave vote was a composite of many conflicting desires. What many Leave voters thought they were voting for (more money for the NHS, sending the Eastern Europeans back, arguments over sovereignty, sticking two fingers up to Westminster, etc. etc.) cannot be delivered, certainly not all of it. So negotiate with the EU and then say to the British public "Do you want (1) access to the single market with free movement of people, (2) no access to the single market with restrictions on movement, (3) to remain in the EU". There might be one or two other options.

And if you won't allow that vote, you aren't being democratic. As it stands, however, we are saddled with a wafer thin internally inconsistent vote, any interpretation of which will not be accepted by the majority of the UK public.
 
Posted by Leorning Cniht (# 17564) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Uriel:
A perfectly democratic way ahead would be to negotiate with the EU and find out what is and is not possible, and then put three or four options to the electorate under single transferable vote.

Yes, that would be lovely for the UK. But why on earth would the EU want to do that? What's in it for the EU?
 
Posted by Arethosemyfeet (# 17047) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by Uriel:
A perfectly democratic way ahead would be to negotiate with the EU and find out what is and is not possible, and then put three or four options to the electorate under single transferable vote.

Yes, that would be lovely for the UK. But why on earth would the EU want to do that? What's in it for the EU?
A better ongoing relationship than if the public feel conned into one of three choices by their own government. It's harder to deflect blame when you make the final choice yourself.
 
Posted by Dafyd (# 5549) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
The federalist bureaucrats of the EU can't accept that an electorate can reject their very one sided vision. They refuse to see that tariffs and trade wars benefit nobody.

The electorate are refusing to see that tariffs and trade wars benefit nobody. Why do they get to blame the bureaucrats? (Who are appointed by democratically elected governments, including ours.)

There are strong arguments against freedom of trade without freedom of movement. Freedom of trade means that moveable jobs can be taken by the employers to where labour is cheapest, but workers can't move after the jobs to balance it out.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:

Also any "trouble" in our trading relationship with the EU is coming from them, not from us.

I'm sorry, but this is bollocks, and betrays a very simplistic understanding of what is required in the modern world for trade to be agreed. We are currently on schedule to rip up all the agreements that make trading with the EU possible - in that context we are the authors of our own misfortune, not them.
 
Posted by fletcher christian (# 13919) on :
 
Chris, much as I agree with you I think PaulTH also makes a valid point (albeit factually incorrect) in that Britain will find it difficult to move forward without having the EU to blame every misfortune and difficult decision on. Moving forward they will have to find someone or something else to blame and I suspect they will tear themselves apart in parliament looking for the new scapegoat. I think you're in for a season of very turbulent politics.
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
Freedom of trade means that moveable jobs can be taken by the employers to where labour is cheapest, but workers can't move after the jobs to balance it out.

The whole point of offering to work for lower salaries than people somewhere else is so that you get the job rather than them. If the company is just going to bus in all their workers from elsewhere then everybody loses - the existing workers have to take a pay cut and move to a new area, and the people who were already in the area still don't have jobs.
 
Posted by Leprechaun (# 5408) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Uriel:
A perfectly democratic way ahead would be to negotiate with the EU and find out what is and is not possible, and then put three or four options to the electorate under single transferable vote. The problem with the referendum is that it was a very blunt instrument and the Leave vote was a composite of many conflicting desires. What many Leave voters thought they were voting for (more money for the NHS, sending the Eastern Europeans back, arguments over sovereignty, sticking two fingers up to Westminster, etc. etc.) cannot be delivered, certainly not all of it. So negotiate with the EU and then say to the British public "Do you want (1) access to the single market with free movement of people, (2) no access to the single market with restrictions on movement, (3) to remain in the EU". There might be one or two other options.

And if you won't allow that vote, you aren't being democratic. As it stands, however, we are saddled with a wafer thin internally inconsistent vote, any interpretation of which will not be accepted by the majority of the UK public.

I think the referendum was deeply flawed and would like a rerun. But what you are suggesting is impossible, because the EU have said you can't negotiate till Article 50 is activated.

You can't get the deal which we would supposedly vote on until we have said we are leaving. So your suggestion, which is much like Tim Farron's and Owen Smith's, is impossible.

Which, frankly, someone should have thought of before we started down this foolish and destructive road in the first place.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Leprechaun:
I think the referendum was deeply flawed and would like a rerun. But what you are suggesting is impossible, because the EU have said you can't negotiate till Article 50 is activated.

You can't get the deal which we would supposedly vote on until we have said we are leaving. So your suggestion, which is much like Tim Farron's and Owen Smith's, is impossible.

Which, frankly, someone should have thought of before we started down this foolish and destructive road in the first place.

I'm not sure if this is actually true.

As I understand it, when Article 50 is given, that's a notification that one of the parties to the European Union intends to leave, with a 2 year notice period. I don't think there is any compulsion to actually leave once Article 50 has been invoked, and I don't think there is any reason why the period isn't actually longer than 2 years if the negotiations are not complete.

Therefore it seems plausible that it would be possible to invoke Article 50 to begin negotiations, find out what the positions are from the EU for the UK post-Brexit and then put those options to the electorate before actually leaving.

Maybe Real Politic means that this couldn't happen in practice, but as I understand it, the Article 50 notification shows intention not a formal it-is-definitely-going-to-happen unstoppable chain of events.
 
Posted by lowlands_boy (# 12497) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Leprechaun:
I think the referendum was deeply flawed and would like a rerun. But what you are suggesting is impossible, because the EU have said you can't negotiate till Article 50 is activated.

You can't get the deal which we would supposedly vote on until we have said we are leaving. So your suggestion, which is much like Tim Farron's and Owen Smith's, is impossible.

Which, frankly, someone should have thought of before we started down this foolish and destructive road in the first place.

I'm not sure if this is actually true.

As I understand it, when Article 50 is given, that's a notification that one of the parties to the European Union intends to leave, with a 2 year notice period. I don't think there is any compulsion to actually leave once Article 50 has been invoked, and I don't think there is any reason why the period isn't actually longer than 2 years if the negotiations are not complete.

Therefore it seems plausible that it would be possible to invoke Article 50 to begin negotiations, find out what the positions are from the EU for the UK post-Brexit and then put those options to the electorate before actually leaving.

Maybe Real Politic means that this couldn't happen in practice, but as I understand it, the Article 50 notification shows intention not a formal it-is-definitely-going-to-happen unstoppable chain of events.

Article 50 was often referred to as being poorly defined, because nobody was ever expected to do the deed and invoke it, so it was something of an afterthought.

The definition can be read here


Article 50

The salient point seems to be number 3

3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.

So I think once we give notice, then after two years, we are out, unless everyone agrees we should still be negotiating.
 
Posted by Dafyd (# 5549) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
Freedom of trade means that moveable jobs can be taken by the employers to where labour is cheapest, but workers can't move after the jobs to balance it out.

The whole point of offering to work for lower salaries than people somewhere else is so that you get the job rather than them. If the company is just going to bus in all their workers from elsewhere then everybody loses - the existing workers have to take a pay cut and move to a new area, and the people who were already in the area still don't have jobs.
Why would the company pay money to bus in the existing workers? What's the advantage of cutting pay if it has to spend the savings to bus them in?

If there's a difference in pay levels across an economic area with freedom of movement of labour and freedom of movement of capital, both workers and capital can take advantage of that by moving to lower prices, or alternatively to cut the amount they're willing to work for, or raising the amount they're willing to pay. If freedom of movement is restricted then workers can't take advantage but capital can move then the only options available are for workers to cut pay or for capital to move. There's no advantage to capital to raising wages, since they're not going to attract any more people than they're already getting.

[ 04. October 2016, 11:21: Message edited by: Dafyd ]
 
Posted by Jane R (# 331) on :
 
Gee D:
quote:
I did not quote your second para, but you may remember the very late (but equally as essential to the Allied victory) entry by the US into WWI. I'm not sure of the relevance of either to the present thread, to be honest.

I am well aware of the importance of the USA's contribution to the Allied victory, thanks. My point (which probably is irrelevant, if Beeswax Altar was saying what you thought he was) is that their entry into the war did not happen until there was a direct threat to them, and the assistance they gave before that came with a price tag.

But I agree with you about the irrationality of the Brexit campaign. Depressing, isn't it.
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
Originally posted by PaulTH:

quote:
Also any "trouble" in our trading relationship with the EU is coming from them, not from us.
This is like me cancelling my Amazon Prime Account and then berating them because I don't get free next day delivery anymore. Of course, I don't get free next day delivery anymore. I've just stopped paying for it. In the same way, if we decide we no longer want to abide by the rules of the Single Market we have to trade with the EU on less preferential terms. It's not all about the UK - there are 27 other countries in this discussion and they also have principles, national interests and electorates. What part of this do people find so hard to understand?
 
Posted by Humble Servant (# 18391) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by fletcher christian:
Chris, much as I agree with you I think PaulTH also makes a valid point (albeit factually incorrect) in that Britain will find it difficult to move forward without having the EU to blame every misfortune and difficult decision on. Moving forward they will have to find someone or something else to blame and I suspect they will tear themselves apart in parliament looking for the new scapegoat. I think you're in for a season of very turbulent politics.

Indeed. A lot of unpopular but extremely beneficial laws (agency worker regulations, smoking ban, myriad environmental legislation etc.) is EU law that the UK government has to enact. Without the clout of the EU we'll be subject to the lobbyists who will persuade the UK government of their case and the laws will be unwound, or never enacted in the first place. As things stand, the UK is sheltered from this kind of pressure because our EU membership doesn't give us the right to yield to corporate or electoral whims at the expense of what's in the best interests of our most vulnerable citizens.
 
Posted by shadeson (# 17132) on :
 
I know its a terrible tangent but can someone enlighten me. A relation of mine voted 'out' for 'biblical reasons'. I have vaguely heard of this long ago but anyone know more?
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
Freedom of trade means that moveable jobs can be taken by the employers to where labour is cheapest, but workers can't move after the jobs to balance it out.

The whole point of offering to work for lower salaries than people somewhere else is so that you get the job rather than them. If the company is just going to bus in all their workers from elsewhere then everybody loses - the existing workers have to take a pay cut and move to a new area, and the people who were already in the area still don't have jobs.
Why would the company pay money to bus in the existing workers? What's the advantage of cutting pay if it has to spend the savings to bus them in?
You were the one who said workers following the jobs was a good thing. The company wouldn't be literally bussing them in, they'd just be able to rehire them in the knowledge that the workers would "move after the jobs to balance it out".

quote:
There's no advantage to capital to raising wages, since they're not going to attract any more people than they're already getting.
That's a good situation to be in for the workforce. It means the local workers can demand higher salaries in the knowledge that the companies can't just hire in some cheaper folk from some other country. If they have to hire me in order to achieve their goals, then I have the opportunity to use that situation to my advantage.
 
Posted by TurquoiseTastic (# 8978) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by shadeson:
I know its a terrible tangent but can someone enlighten me. A relation of mine voted 'out' for 'biblical reasons'. I have vaguely heard of this long ago but anyone know more?

Well there is this old Mystery Worshipper report which might offer a few clues.
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
It was the Treaty of Rome which established the European Economic Community - clearly this was centred on the evil Papacy.

Wasn't there something too about numerology and the number of nations in the EU corresponding to something in Revelation n (now there are far more states than that!)

[But then, Anwar Sadat was 'definitely' the Antichrist (this in a book I read shortly after his death!)]
 
Posted by shadeson (# 17132) on :
 
quote:
originally posted by TurquoiseTastic
Well there is this old Mystery Worshipper report which might offer a few clues.

Thanks so much for that. The image really gave me the giggles!
 
Posted by Humble Servant (# 18391) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by shadeson:
I know its a terrible tangent but can someone enlighten me. A relation of mine voted 'out' for 'biblical reasons'. I have vaguely heard of this long ago but anyone know more?

Rev 18:4?
 
Posted by Beeswax Altar (# 11644) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by shadeson:
I know its a terrible tangent but can someone enlighten me. A relation of mine voted 'out' for 'biblical reasons'. I have vaguely heard of this long ago but anyone know more?

Probably this

Related to that is my favorite Christian urban legend about a supercomputer in Brussels affectionately called the Beast
 
Posted by Dafyd (# 5549) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
There's no advantage to capital to raising wages, since they're not going to attract any more people than they're already getting.

That's a good situation to be in for the workforce. It means the local workers can demand higher salaries in the knowledge that the companies can't just hire in some cheaper folk from some other country. If they have to hire me in order to achieve their goals, then I have the opportunity to use that situation to my advantage.
That only applies if the business can't move the job to the other country where the cheaper folk are. If the business can move the more expensive people have no protection.

If they have to work for you in order to earn money, then you have the opportunity to use that situation to your advantage. That applies to the business side just as much to the worker side. The side with the fewer restrictions on what it can do has the opportunity and the advantage.
 
Posted by Tubbs (# 440) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lowlands_boy:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Leprechaun:
I think the referendum was deeply flawed and would like a rerun. But what you are suggesting is impossible, because the EU have said you can't negotiate till Article 50 is activated.

You can't get the deal which we would supposedly vote on until we have said we are leaving. So your suggestion, which is much like Tim Farron's and Owen Smith's, is impossible.

Which, frankly, someone should have thought of before we started down this foolish and destructive road in the first place.

I'm not sure if this is actually true.

As I understand it, when Article 50 is given, that's a notification that one of the parties to the European Union intends to leave, with a 2 year notice period. I don't think there is any compulsion to actually leave once Article 50 has been invoked, and I don't think there is any reason why the period isn't actually longer than 2 years if the negotiations are not complete.

Therefore it seems plausible that it would be possible to invoke Article 50 to begin negotiations, find out what the positions are from the EU for the UK post-Brexit and then put those options to the electorate before actually leaving.

Maybe Real Politic means that this couldn't happen in practice, but as I understand it, the Article 50 notification shows intention not a formal it-is-definitely-going-to-happen unstoppable chain of events.

Article 50 was often referred to as being poorly defined, because nobody was ever expected to do the deed and invoke it, so it was something of an afterthought.

The definition can be read here


Article 50

The salient point seems to be number 3

3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.

So I think once we give notice, then after two years, we are out, unless everyone agrees we should still be negotiating.

I think they're still arguing the toss over whether Article 50 can be stopped once it's revoked. Some legal experts - and the guy who drafted it - think it can. Which could be interesting ...

Tubbs
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TurquoiseTastic:
quote:
Originally posted by shadeson:
I know its a terrible tangent but can someone enlighten me. A relation of mine voted 'out' for 'biblical reasons'. I have vaguely heard of this long ago but anyone know more?

Well there is this old Mystery Worshipper report which might offer a few clues.
Is it just me or does that church look like Albert Speer was on the design committee?
 
Posted by shadeson (# 17132) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Humble Servant
Rev 18:4

I just looked at the 'bible hub' Study Bible quote.
It is wonderfully appropriate. Who says the Daily Rail exaggerates [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by shadeson:
I know its a terrible tangent but can someone enlighten me. A relation of mine voted 'out' for 'biblical reasons'. I have vaguely heard of this long ago but anyone know more?

Here is another example of that sort of thinking. Under what legitimate theology events in countries unimaginably different in place and time and completely unknown to him can be linked to obscure passages in the book of Daniel, I can't imagine.

Broadly, a person who claims that they "voted 'out' for 'biblical reasons' " has either knowingly handed over their moral responsibility to someone else, or found an indefensible excuse to do something they want to do, but know that all the rational arguments are against.


Returning to the subject of the thread, though, remaining or leaving isn't just about economics. It's also about whether we play a part in the world around us, get on with our neighbours and try to co-operate with them, or pull up the drawbridge and hide ourselves away in an obscurantist little foxhole of our own.

The argument that we shouldn't have anything to do with the EU because it is flawed and imperfect could only be excused if our own constitution, politics and politicians were not.
 
Posted by PaulTH* (# 320) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
In the same way, if we decide we no longer want to abide by the rules of the Single Market we have to trade with the EU on less preferential terms. It's not all about the UK - there are 27 other countries in this discussion and they also have principles, national interests and electorates. What part of this do people find so hard to understand?

And who benefits from this? Not the UK. Not the remaining 27 member countries who trade with the UK. In every situation, countries which adopt free trade prosper. Look at Singapore and Hong Kong. Protectionism was the big causes of the Great Depression. As a complete believer in free trade, I see continued free trade with the EU as win win, for everybody. If it's prevented by the rules of the club, then it's those rules which are at fault.
 
Posted by PaulTH* (# 320) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
In the same way, if we decide we no longer want to abide by the rules of the Single Market we have to trade with the EU on less preferential terms. It's not all about the UK - there are 27 other countries in this discussion and they also have principles, national interests and electorates. What part of this do people find so hard to understand?

And who benefits from this? Not the UK. Not the remaining 27 member countries who trade with the UK. In every situation, countries which adopt free trade prosper. Look at Singapore and Hong Kong. Protectionism was the big causes of the Great Depression. As a complete believer in free trade, I see continued free trade with the EU as win win, for everybody. If it's prevented by the rules of the club, then it's those rules which are at fault.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
As a complete believer in free trade, I see continued free trade with the EU as win win, for everybody. If it's prevented by the rules of the club, then it's those rules which are at fault.

The common market is far more than free trade. The reasons for the rules are largely to get rid of the non-tariff barriers to free trade. The rules are there to make free trade possible.

To give one of the most simple illustrations, the rules around limiting state aid to industries help the cause of free trade within the common market, otherwise you end up with subsidy fueled trade wars, and dumping.

The EU/EEA regulations are the 'platform' within which free trade within the common market occurs. In general it's easier to join an existing platform than to create your own from scratch - which takes years of negotiation.
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
In the same way, if we decide we no longer want to abide by the rules of the Single Market we have to trade with the EU on less preferential terms. It's not all about the UK - there are 27 other countries in this discussion and they also have principles, national interests and electorates. What part of this do people find so hard to understand?

And who benefits from this? Not the UK. Not the remaining 27 member countries who trade with the UK. In every situation, countries which adopt free trade prosper. Look at Singapore and Hong Kong. Protectionism was the big causes of the Great Depression. As a complete believer in free trade, I see continued free trade with the EU as win win, for everybody. If it's prevented by the rules of the club, then it's those rules which are at fault.
Hang on a moment, we've basically had a referendum which was won by the side that said we don't like European Immigrants and we don't want to pay anything to the EU budget. Your view appears to be that the other 27 EU states ought just to say: "fair enough" on the grounds that free trade is a good thing. Unfortunately this means that somebody is going to have to pony up the £180m per week to make up the shortfall caused by our leaving and some other people are going to take the view that selling this to their nationals, after said nationals became the targets of the Leavers' Two Minutes Hate, might be beyond the skills of Ronald Reagan, Tony Blair and Nelson Mandela in their respective pomps. Now I agree with you that free trade is a good thing, but if one thinks that free trade is a good thing then voting to leave the bloody great free trade bloc on your Southern coast on one Island and with which you possess a land border on the other is, frankly, a bloody stupid idea. There is a Spanish proverb: "Take what you want. Take what you want, says God. Take what you want and pay for it". Well, we are going to pay for it, and our children and our children's children after them. It's not much use tanking our economy in a fit of nativist spite and then demanding that the rest of the EU behave like high minded Manchester liberals.
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Tubbs:

He didn’t mention Eastern Europe in the accounts of the speech I saw. But Hungary was in breach of EU rules last time I looked and a few others are sailing close to the wind. In the interests of maintaining a united front, everyone seems to be ignoring that. Whether that can continue is anyone’s guess!

Tubbs

There is also a potential faultline in that ISTM the former Eastern Bloc countries joined up for reasons that were at least partially nationalist rather than internationalist - namely, because they wanted to get away from the Russians.

(There is a certain dark irony in hearing Viktor Orbán and Miloš Zeman complaining about British attitudes towards immigrants ...)
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
As a complete believer in free trade, I see continued free trade with the EU as win win, for everybody. If it's prevented by the rules of the club, then it's those rules which are at fault.

In order for Ricardinia and Paulsland to have a free trade agreement for the tariff-free exchange of knockwurst, several rules must be in place. Neither one of us can subsidise our knockwurst-factories to a greater degree than the other (otherwise Ricardinia can just flood the Paulslandic market with cheap state-subsidised knockwurst). We must define what we mean by knockwurst so that we know what we are suspending tariffs on. We must agree at least some minimal production standards so that Paulsland can't flood the Ricardinian market with cheap knockwurst bulked out with sand and cement to save production costs.

The EU had a comprehensive package of rules to make free trade possible. The UK has just voted to reject them. How then is free trade possible without reinstating those rules?
 
Posted by Uriel (# 2248) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by Uriel:
A perfectly democratic way ahead would be to negotiate with the EU and find out what is and is not possible, and then put three or four options to the electorate under single transferable vote.

Yes, that would be lovely for the UK. But why on earth would the EU want to do that? What's in it for the EU?
A good chance that the UK, when faced with the reality of what is possible, instead of the ludicrous rhetoric of the referendum campaign, decides to stay in the EU.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
[aside]
The phrase he wanted was dog's breakfast
[/aside]
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Uriel:

A good chance that the UK, when faced with the reality of what is possible, instead of the ludicrous rhetoric of the referendum campaign, decides to stay in the EU.

Unlikely, because the middle-aged pub bore contingent that props up the Leave vote would never admit they are wrong, and take grim satisfaction in every economic misfortune as long as someone else is feeling the pain more than they are.

[ 04. October 2016, 21:28: Message edited by: chris stiles ]
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by Uriel:

A good chance that the UK, when faced with the reality of what is possible, instead of the ludicrous rhetoric of the referendum campaign, decides to stay in the EU.

Unlikely, because the middle-aged pub bore contingent that props up the Leave vote would never admit they are wrong, and take grim satisfaction in every economic misfortune as long as someone else is feeling the pain more than they are.
Judging from the rhetoric at the Conservative Party Conference this week any blame will be directed in the general direction of European governments, immigrants and 'the Liberal elite'. When the economy goes T.U. and the racists realise that the country is still 'full' of immigrants things are going to get very unpleasant indeed.
 
Posted by PaulTH* (# 320) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
The EU had a comprehensive package of rules to make free trade possible. The UK has just voted to reject them. How then is free trade possible without reinstating those rules?

I think this is a red herring. To sell into any market, a trading nation must comply with the standards required by that market in terms of quality control and fair competition. The UK, as a present member of the EU, complies with those standards. Whether or not we are members of the Single Market, we will need to continue to comply in order to sell there. Other countries, which aren't members of the Single Market, still have access to it. So compliance isn't what this is about.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
I think this is a red herring. To sell into any market, a trading nation must comply with the standards required by that market in terms of quality control and fair competition. The UK, as a present member of the EU, complies with those standards. Whether or not we are members of the Single Market, we will need to continue to comply in order to sell there. Other countries, which aren't members of the Single Market, still have access to it. So compliance isn't what this is about.

Help me get my head around this red herring then.

At present the UK is inside the single market and as such anything produced here is controlled by EU-wide standards. Which means (providing all the checks are being conducted properly and consistently), I can make Welshcakes in Caerphilly and then put them in the back of a van and take them to Inverness or Portsmouth or Seville or Warsaw to sell without further compliance checks.

If the UK is not deemed to be producing everything to the EU standards* then I'm going to have my Welshcakes checked to the EU standards on a case-by-case basis rather than assuming that they're already produced to the standard - and the EU can decide that my van of Welshcakes cannot be driven to Warsaw - perhaps because the UK has rejected exports of Mushrooms from Poland because of the damage to the UK Mushroom industry.

* of course Norway shows that it is possible to continue outside of the EU but to work to the EU standards in order to sell to the market. But the flipside is accepting freedom of movement.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
Going back to the Tory conference for a second, it looks like Liam Fox is playing some kind of linguistic game regarding EU citizens in the UK.

Yet again, the Tories seem to think that the UK can have all the things it wants from the EU but none of the things we don't want.

I don't understand what is so hard to understand here; EU citizens primarily are working and paying tax in the UK. UK citizens in places like Spain are primarily retired.

Do you really want to replace tax-paying workers with disgruntled retirees forced to leave their lives in the Sun? Why would other EU states allow British citizens to continue living there if the UK forced their workers to leave?
 
Posted by PaulTH* (# 320) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Uriel:
A good chance that the UK, when faced with the reality of what is possible, instead of the ludicrous rhetoric of the referendum campaign, decides to stay in the EU

This isn't so easy. While I'm no fan of Theresa May, she is really between a rock and a hard pace due to David Cameron's disastrous mismanagement of this situation. Chancellor Merkel, President Hollande and the EU Commission have all made it clear that they won't enter into any discussions about future relationships until the EU invokes Article 50. Once this happens Brexit is probably irreversible. At the least, it would require the consent of all 27 member states. Some of these countries may resent the special status the UK already has within the EU. We receive a substantial budget rebate. We are eternally exempt from taking the Euro. We don't belong to the Schengen area, and most recently, Cameron negotiated an opt out from "ever closer political union."

If the UK goes into talks with a desperation to remain, you can be sure that some or all of those privileges will be withdrawn. I can virtually guarantee that, in that case, there would be a much larger No vote next time. Perhaps it will be possible to do a trade off between limited access to the Single Market and an immigration policy which gives unlimited access to EU workers who already have jobs to come to and claim no benefits for at least five years. But that's unlikely to satisfy the Visegrad countries. Hungary, with it's vote last week has proved that it's a good neighbour when it comes to receiving handouts and exporting its unemployment, but not so good when it comes to participating in a grand humanitarian scheme.

While there are some Brexit hard cases in the Tory Party, hard Brexit will come from the inability and unwillingness to spend 20 years negotiating something which can never satisfy all 27 EU countries. No one has a crystal ball, but I would predict that the UK economy will contract substantially in the next five years, and it may cause some pain with lost employment etc. But it will find its own level. We are a major trading nation with a long history of entrepreneurial and innovative skills, and we will continue to be a great trading nation. If we adopt radical free trade as an economic way of life, the economy will recover. In the meanwhile the EU has many problems of its own. Nationalism is on the rise in many countries. The Euro will continue to founder as long as the rich north keeps having to send all it money south. Only a political and economic union can save it long term. Europe in ten years from now may be a very different place and the UK may be a member of a looser federation of states.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
But, there's a difference between access to a Single Market and being in a Single Market.

Access simply means goods and services can be sold in the market. It could, for example, mean that to do so an import duty needs to be paid to get across the border to that market. Indeed, to maintain balance across the market that would often be necessary - if, for example, working hours and minimum wages within the market are such that someone outside the market can undercut costs by paying staff less and forcing them to work longer hours they would undercut the market unless some import barrier was present to prevent it.

Being in the market is very different. Obviously, for a start, there are no import duties paid. But, as part of that there would also need to be no significant variation in labour legislation, environmental codes etc that would unbalance the market. So, being in a Single Market also requires working within the regulations of the market. Specifically for the EU, being a member of the EU also means having a say in writing those regulations. Being in the EEA, though having many of the benefits of the Single Market, would mean having no say in what regulations need to be met to trade in the Single Market.

No one is doubting that the UK will continue to have access to the Single Market, the question is the cost of that access. Will it be born by tarriffs, or by adhering to regulations the UK has no control over? And, if tariffs what will they be? Since the UK is not (presently) a member of the WTO there's no reason to assume that any tariffs will be WTO levels, that's something to be negotiated between the UK and the 27 nations of the EU. And, then there will also need to be parallel negotiations between the UK and everyone else. Or, the UK will need to seek admission to the WTO to enable global trade without needing to negotiate terms with everyone individually - I don't think there will be any substantive difficulty with the UK joining the WTO, it will just take some time to get into place.
 
Posted by PaulTH* (# 320) on :
 
Sorry, I meant until the UK invokes Article 50.
 
Posted by PaulTH* (# 320) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Specifically for the EU, being a member of the EU also means having a say in writing those regulations. Being in the EEA, though having many of the benefits of the Single Market, would mean having no say in what regulations need to be met to trade in the Single Market.

This is why EEA access to the Single Market is the worst of all worlds. The Single Market is also a customs union. One of the only potential benefits of Brexit is freedom from that union. I am self-confessed advocate of free trade, and the EU customs union is a barrier to, for example, Third World agricultural products. It's a balance of advantages.
 
Posted by PaulTH* (# 320) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
and the EU can decide that my van of Welshcakes cannot be driven to Warsaw - perhaps because the UK has rejected exports of Mushrooms from Poland because of the damage to the UK Mushroom industry.

Of course the Welshcakes muct still be EU compliant. And if we were still in a free trade situation, we would never be excluding Polish mushrooms. A passionate believer in free trade, such as I, would never want to do that anyway.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
Of course the Welshcakes muct still be EU compliant. And if we were still in a free trade situation, we would never be excluding Polish mushrooms. A passionate believer in free trade, such as I, would never want to do that anyway.

OOookay but I don't think that option is on the table. If we want access to the EU's welshcake market, we must produce them to the standards set by the EU. If we want to benefit from the free trading market, we must accept the free movement of labour.

If we don't want the free movement of labour, we don't get full and unimpeded access to the market.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
This isn't so easy. While I'm no fan of Theresa May, she is really between a rock and a hard pace due to David Cameron's disastrous mismanagement of this situation. Chancellor Merkel, President Hollande and the EU Commission have all made it clear that they won't enter into any discussions about future relationships until the EU invokes Article 50. Once this happens Brexit is probably irreversible. At the least, it would require the consent of all 27 member states. Some of these countries may resent the special status the UK already has within the EU. We receive a substantial budget rebate. We are eternally exempt from taking the Euro. We don't belong to the Schengen area, and most recently, Cameron negotiated an opt out from "ever closer political union."

The sensible political line would be to take the robust position that we will not serve any Article 50 notice until the terms have been worked out.

This is easily defensible as being obviously prudent.

If the Commission stick with the opposite absolute position that they will not discuss anything without Article 50 being invoked first, then negotiations never start, and Article 50 doesn't happen. It remains permanently in limbo.

If the Commission don't like the uncertainty, then they have to do something about it. If our politicians don't like it, 48% of us would.
 
Posted by Eirenist (# 13343) on :
 
Unfortunately Mrs May has indicated, in a context which makes it politically suicidal to back down, that she is not going to do that.
 
Posted by PaulTH* (# 320) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr.cheesy:
If we want to benefit from the free trading market, we must accept the free movement of labour.

I, along with many others, would contend that the referendum result precludes the government from accepting free movement in its present form. It is this, more than anything, which makes a hard Brexit likely. Mrs. May is no hard Brexiteer. She keeps on slapping down Johnson, Fox and Davies for their over exuberance. But is she comes up against the brick wall of no access without free movement, she has no authority to go against the expressed will of the British people.

quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
The sensible political line would be to take the robust position that we will not serve any Article 50 notice until the terms have been worked out.

I think some in the government, especially Mrs May, would have loved to have the luxury of doing things that way. Informally work out the terms and negotiating position before invoking Article 50. But the EU leaders closed the door on that option. They've made it abundantly clear that they won't discuss anything until the article has been triggered. President Hollande made it clear before the end of July that he was impatient for the UK to "get on with it."

quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
If the Commission don't like the uncertainty, then they have to do something about it. If our politicians don't like it, 48% of us would.

This is a democratic deficit, because it overlooks the 52% who voted Leave. Neither they, nor the EU leaders will tolerate the government doing nothing. And nor should they. It smacks of a political elite thinking it knows better than the ignorant masses. Cameron's blunder and the EU's piqued response to it have boxed the UK government into a corner. It must invoke Article 50. It must insist on the red line of immigration control. These things together make hard Brexit unavoidable.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
the expressed will of the British people.

When have the British people been asked about free movement of labour within the EU? Beyond a few polls of a couple of thousand, that is.

Since the question hasn't been asked of the British people, how can you state that that is the expressed will of the people?
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
Hammond will no doubt advise on the short and long term costs of Hard Brexit. Along the lines of "avoid like the plague". I suppose Theresa might play the "we have no choice card" but I reckon that, when push comes to shove, Boris, Liam and David are more expendable than Philip. A third way will be found if the Treasury say what I guess is true. That Hard Brexit may be courageous in some eyes, but the cost is just too high to bear.
 
Posted by PaulTH* (# 320) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
When have the British people been asked about free movement of labour within the EU? Beyond a few polls of a couple of thousand, that is.

OK well we can't hold a referendum on all individual aspects of our relationship with the EU. Opinion canvassed in Boston, Lincolnshire, the town with the largest Brexit vote, suggested that immigration played a big part in that town. But even people at my church, who aren't xenophobes, have expressed the view that immigration policy is a matter for the British Parliament, not something to be imposed by regulation from overseas. For the government to propose a EEA type solution to Brexit would, IMO, be a betrayal of the result.
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
I disagree.

48% of the population believe that freedom of movement is either a positive good or a price worth paying for the benefits of the EU.

The leavers are presumably split between hard and soft brexiteers. Unless more than 94% of brexiteers are hard brexiteers, that puts a majority of the population either in favour of or prepared to accept freedom of movement.

(If 6% of leavers are soft brexiteers, this translates to 3% soft brexiteers among the general population, which gives 51% overall in favour of freedom of movement.)
 
Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Beeswax Altar:
Hard to believe she follows through on punishing the UK for leaving the EU. I say this for two reasons. One, the US doesn't have much of a trade deficit with the UK. Why would disrupting trade with the UK be in our economic interest? Two, the UK is our closest ally.

Your largest trading partner is Canada. Your closest ally is Canada. In terms of shared services and operations, both historically and presently (WW2 to now).
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
When have the British people been asked about free movement of labour within the EU? Beyond a few polls of a couple of thousand, that is.

OK well we can't hold a referendum on all individual aspects of our relationship with the EU. Opinion canvassed in Boston, Lincolnshire, the town with the largest Brexit vote, suggested that immigration played a big part in that town. But even people at my church, who aren't xenophobes, have expressed the view that immigration policy is a matter for the British Parliament, not something to be imposed by regulation from overseas. For the government to propose a EEA type solution to Brexit would, IMO, be a betrayal of the result.
Immigration policy concerns the movement of people, generally between countries. When the movement of goods or capital is to be discussed, these are handled at least bilaterally but mostly, in the modern world, on an international level and the validity of this is rarely questioned. Quite why the movement of people should be treated any different, in a world in which safe and cheap travel is simple can only rationally be explained by economic selfishness or fear of those who are different.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
When have the British people been asked about free movement of labour within the EU? Beyond a few polls of a couple of thousand, that is.

OK well we can't hold a referendum on all individual aspects of our relationship with the EU.
No, we can't. We could have easily had a referendum between the status quo and a well defined manifesto for Brexit - a description of what the Leave side would attempt to obtain in negotiations for exit. That is, afterall, the accepted way for any other election or referendum to be run. But, Hameron didn't insist on the Leave campaign producing a manifesto so we have nothing to judge whether or not the position the government eventually decides to negotiate for is anything like what people voted for. About the closest we have to such a manifesto is a slogan on the side of a bus - and, that's something that can't possibly be on the table.

quote:
But even people at my church, who aren't xenophobes, have expressed the view that immigration policy is a matter for the British Parliament, not something to be imposed by regulation from overseas.
Which is a) an argument for sovereignty of the UK Parliament rather than related to immigration - unless the only regulation people are concerned with is immigration, in which case it's carefully disguised xenophobia

and b) a gross misrepresentation of the way EU regulations come into being - a collaboration of different nations including the UK to come to a mutually acceptable position. But, that's an old argument.
 
Posted by lowlands_boy (# 12497) on :
 
It'll be interesting to see if the "great repeal" bill will lead to us behaving as if we've already left even though we haven't.

The proposal seems to be a blanket adoption of all existing EU legislation into UK law, followed by selectively repealing bits we don't want. It also plans to end the primacy of the European Court of Justice.

Are we just going to start doing what we want and ignoring judgements and new laws from now on? That could further antagonise negotiators...
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
Any new proposed European law would need to be debated and approved by Westminster before it can be enacted anyway. So, I suppose the UK Parliament can simply refuse to do that, or vote against accepting it, should such proposals come before them in the period between now and enacting Article 50 +2 years. I wonder if that means the UK can in that period still veto EU legislation even though it may never be directly enforced in the UK? (may, because depending on the legislation and the hard-ness of Brexit there may be EU laws and regulations that the UK would still need to accept).
 
Posted by Odds Bodkin (# 18663) on :
 
"The proposal seems to be a blanket adoption of all existing EU legislation into UK law, followed by selectively repealing bits we don't want."

How long would that selective repealing take, given just how much EU legislation there is?
 
Posted by lowlands_boy (# 12497) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Odds Bodkin:
"The proposal seems to be a blanket adoption of all existing EU legislation into UK law, followed by selectively repealing bits we don't want."

How long would that selective repealing take, given just how much EU legislation there is?

I think the idea is that blanket adoption was the only realistic option given the sheer amount of EU legislation. I suppose then that once it's all been adopted, selectively repealing it can just go on indefinitely. Of course there'll be some bits that people will be itching to get rid of, but in the longer term, it will surely have to be done by people proposing what to get rid of and why because they have a particular interest in it or whatever.

You couldn't just have a house of commons vote on each bit because it would take forever.
 
Posted by Graham J (# 505) on :
 
I often see statements to the effect that 48% of people in Britain voted to remain in the EU or 52% voted to leave. It is my understanding that the figures above actually refer to the number of people who actually voted, ignoring both those people who were eligible to vote but who did not vote (through choice or circumastances) and those who were not eligible vote (e.g. too young).
In which case we know that around 36% of the population voted to leave. We cannot change the vote - but I don't think we should pretend that the mandate to leave was bigger than it is in reality.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
The mandate is bugger all. But, we do have a system that allows governments to be formed on similarly flimsy mandates, so it has precedent.

At least two cases currently before the courts still have the potential to throw a spanner in the works. One on behalf of people who were denied a vote, if it goes in their favour means that potential several million people (predominantly Remain) should have voted. Another is testing the legality of some of the advertising and campaign literature; the Electoral Commission has the power to call a bye-election if it is found that deliberate falsehoods and slander in election material could have had sufficient impact to affect the result - and, it wouldn't take a lot of impact in favour of Leave for the result to have been different. If either of those can be demonstrated then the only possible outcome (IMO) is for the courts to declare the result void and force a re-run of the referendum (to include any people who should have been able to vote but were not allowed to, and/or for campaign material to adhere to common standards of legality).

I can't help but think about a conversation I had two years ago with a friend from the Ukraine on the subject of referenda, contrasting the Scottish independence vote with the Crimea. At the time (despite disappointment in the result) I was quite proud of how the Scottish referendum was conducted - there was a lot of intelligent discussion building on decades of debate, though maybe a bit too much of "project fear", the question was clearly framed without any doubt about what the Scottish Government would seek if the vote went in their favour (the debate was about the feasibility of those aims), there was a lot of passion on both sides but it didn't break out into violence (excepting a few minor instances - and the largest were after the vote and instigated by unionists). The biggest problem was the sudden shift of goal posts just before the vote with Better Together suddenly offering a load of extra powers to Holyrood - including a promise that the future of Scotland within the EU was safest within the UK (oh, the irony).

I hold no such feeling of pride in the Brexit referendum. It was a disgraceful shambles, barely any better than the Crimea one.
 
Posted by Odds Bodkin (# 18663) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lowlands_boy:
quote:
Originally posted by Odds Bodkin:
"The proposal seems to be a blanket adoption of all existing EU legislation into UK law, followed by selectively repealing bits we don't want."

How long would that selective repealing take, given just how much EU legislation there is?

I think the idea is that blanket adoption was the only realistic option given the sheer amount of EU legislation. I suppose then that once it's all been adopted, selectively repealing it can just go on indefinitely. Of course there'll be some bits that people will be itching to get rid of, but in the longer term, it will surely have to be done by people proposing what to get rid of and why because they have a particular interest in it or whatever.

You couldn't just have a house of commons vote on each bit because it would take forever.

That sounds like a pension plan for lawyers. [Paranoid]
 
Posted by Stetson (# 9597) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Graham J:
I often see statements to the effect that 48% of people in Britain voted to remain in the EU or 52% voted to leave. It is my understanding that the figures above actually refer to the number of people who actually voted, ignoring both those people who were eligible to vote but who did not vote (through choice or circumastances) and those who were not eligible vote (e.g. too young).
In which case we know that around 36% of the population voted to leave. We cannot change the vote - but I don't think we should pretend that the mandate to leave was bigger than it is in reality.

In moral terms, those results give the government as much of a mandate to carry out Brexit, and even to go hardcore on it, as they see fit. They are in no way obligated to consider the opinions of the people who didn't bother to vote.

The realpolitik of it is a little more complcated, however, because if there really isn't a lot of support among the public(voting or otherwise) for Leaving, then the stay-at-home Remainers might show up in the general election to punish a government viewed as being too gung-ho in its pursuit of Brexit. The non-voters may have no right to complain, as the saying goes, but they still maintain the right to vote.
 
Posted by Stetson (# 9597) on :
 
The above "realpolitik" assumes, of course, that among the stay-at-homes, was a signficant number of Remainers.

Which may or may not be a correct assumption. One of the traps partisans sometimes fall into is assuming that, in low-turnout elections, everyone who satayed home would have voted the way the partisans wanted them to.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
And Brexit means whatever you want it to mean, from very soft to very hard.

It's true that Mrs May can choose her own interpretation, and I suppose she will be trying to balance between different factions in her own party and in the country.

Interesting, for example, that the kite being flown for lists of foreigners in companies has met with a less than ecstatic welcome from business and industry. I guess they don't want to end up on a hit list of hard right targets, for harbouring nasty brown people, well, and nasty white people from Lithuania et. al.

But those Brexit people who are saying to opponents, you have to shut up now as the vote has been won, are talking twaddle. They argued for 40 years against the EU!

[ 07. October 2016, 13:33: Message edited by: quetzalcoatl ]
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
David Davis, the Brexit minister, appears to be contemplating the failure of Brexit, and reckons the whole government will go down with him. I disagree: Theresa May is hard and cunning and she will push Davis, Fox and Johnson out of the plane (in that order) and there will be no parachutes.
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
No Prime Minister lasts forever. May will fall in time and the consequences of Brexit will taint her reputation. Getting rid of Fox, Davis and Johnson will no more save her than ditching Norman Lamont saved John Major.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
Some interesting reports that currency markets are nervous because Brexit is being kept so private, or as Mrs May says, no running commentary.

Traders (and algorithms) don't seem to like all this privacy, and it encourages rumours and negative publicity.

You know when politicians 'urge calm', that the ordure is hitting the extractor.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37587085
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
Between Brexit and TTIP (remember that?) everything of any importance is being kept under wraps. It's like the Star Chamber of old.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
Between Brexit and TTIP (remember that?) everything of any importance is being kept under wraps. It's like the Star Chamber of old.

Which is somewhat ironic, as one of the themes Leave were running with was the secrecy of TTIP.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
Rawnsley in the Observer reports that some Tories were telling him that giving up some prosperity would be worth it, in order to control immigration.

Eh? What? Is that going to be the new slogan, poorer, but whiter!

(Can't find it online).
 
Posted by Stetson (# 9597) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Rawnsley in the Observer reports that some Tories were telling him that giving up some prosperity would be worth it, in order to control immigration.

Eh? What? Is that going to be the new slogan, poorer, but whiter!


Poorer, but purer.

Tighter, but whiter.

Slashing the pension chest, but passing the cricket test.

Starving on crud, but no rivers of blood.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
Also hints that the Tories are withdrawing the 'name a foreigner' stunt. So much vitriolic criticism, especially from business. Steve Hilton, former Cameron aide, asked, why not tattoo foreigners' wrists with their number?

There is a basic contradiction here, surely? We are open for business world-wide, but fuck off foreigners. Well, rich ones are OK.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
There were quite a few on the Leave campaign who had said before the referendum that Brexit would be costly in relation to international trade, and at least in the first decade or so would result in a reduction in GDP. But, so they claimed, it was a price worth paying to regain sovereignty and control of immigration. So, basically nothing new.

It was a bollocks argument six months ago, and it's bollocks now. But, at least it was an honest argument unlike claims that there would be no economic impact, or even that we'd enter a golden age of trading with nations who weren't showing any indication of wanting to trade with the UK, or that we'd have £350 million per week extra to spend on the NHS. I think I prefer honest bollocks to dishonest bollocks.
 
Posted by rolyn (# 16840) on :
 
Getting a distinct feeling that UK farmers are in for a culture shock when the final strands of this Gordian knot come to be severed.
I always had grave doubts that any British Government would match the CAP payments without laying down it's own conditions. Our farmers could well discover that it will require a sustained, post Brexit price increase to offset the absence of an EU envelope packed with lolly.
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
Ah, expensive food. The last political party to die in that particular ditch was the Tory faction which opposed the repeal of the Corn Laws. Remind me how that worked out for them?
 
Posted by TurquoiseTastic (# 8978) on :
 
The "poker game" analogy most lately used by Priti Patel (though I'm sure she's neither first nor the last to use it) annoys and depresses me. We shouldn't be trying to conceal our objectives in order to "beat" our opponents - on the contrary, we should be as open and transparent as possible, in order to maximise trust with our negotiating partners. The more trust, the more chance of minimising damage.

On the other hand, perhaps the real reason for the lack of debate is that no-one actually has any idea what our main objectives are. All the more reason to take some time to discuss them then!
 
Posted by Rocinante (# 18541) on :
 
Far from maximising the trust of our negotiating partners, the toxic xenophobic tosh spouted by the brexiteers at the Tory conference has alienated them completely. Now Donald Tusk, who was one of the more sympathetic Eurocrats, is telling us we face a choice between hard Brexit and no Brexit. His recent evisceration of Boris Johnson was hilarious and dismaying in equal measure.

They've also managed to spook the markets and cause foreign business leaders to put new investment on hold pending resolution of this mess.

The Brexiteers meanwhile seem to be blaming the remainers (sorry the Bremoaners) for not talking up the wide cornucopia of opportunities open to a country with a collapsing currency which is rapidly running out of friends. This is classic displacement activity, trying to deny to themselves that everyone else knows - that they don't have a clue what they're doing.
 
Posted by PaulTH* (# 320) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Graham J:
We cannot change the vote

Given that most of on this thread voted Remain, we find the result dismal. But we cannot change the vote other than by subverting democracy. So I'd be interested to know what people really want the government to do. The voices in parliament calling for scrutiny of the government's proposals don't surprise me when we consider that 70% of MP's are Remainers. Yet some of the most vociferous of them, like Ed Milliband represent constituencies which voted Leave. So Ed simply thinks he knows better than his own voters. Andrew Neil on Sunday Politics produced a clip of David Cameron during the referendum campaign making it clear that leaving the EU means leaving the Single Market. He was, of course, against leaving.

Not happy with the vote, the 70% of MP's who opposed it are now trying to scupper the deal in any way they can. The Prime Minister cannot tell them of a negotiating strategy which will only unfold in the negotiations which follow. Their aim is to push to find a way to stay in the Single Market. Nick Clegg said, as Ed Milliband did the other day, that he doesn't seek to negate the vote. The vote was to leave, with the implication, as Cameron said, that we would leave the Single Market. In fact the only way to remain within it would be to get a EEA type deal. It's explained

here why this would almost certainly be a non starter. If taking back control was the motivation for the Leave vote, we would have far less control in the EEA than we have now. We would still be subject to free movement, to paying in to the budget, and to the control of the ECJ, but without having any say in how the rules are made. For example, the EU could admit more countries and we would be bound by the free movement of their citizens without any say over their entry. I simply don't believe that the Brexit vote allows this. Last week Donald Tusk said it's Hard Brexit or No Brexit. No Brexit violates the democratic will of the British people. Hard Brexit is an economic and political shambles. That all this was brought on by David Cameron's incompetence is no consolation. We can't change the vote.

So does anyone have any practical and realistic advice for the government. Personally I'd advise them to call a general election to seek a mandate for a negotiating position. The SNP will campaign on a ticket to stay in. The Lib Dems likewise. The Tories and Labour can campaign on their own vision of the implications of the referendum vote.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
Paul TH, the very real problem that the UK has to face up to is that it will go into the negotiations from a very weak position. The EU leaders have made it clear that there will be no negotiations until the s.50 notice has been given and that the EU's terms will not be foreshadowed. So the UK will be giving a notice which apparently is irrevocable but instead inevitably leads to exit from the EU without knowing the terms which the EU will accept. A far from comfortable position. That is the position for which a majority of the voters at the referendum cast their ballot. The EU leaders can simply say that they accept that result, and simply negotiate the date for the excision; from there, they can turn to talking on an item-by-item basis, setting the terms and the timing.

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.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
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. Not to mention making the referendum practically unique in UK politics (and, for that matter politics in virtually the whole of the western world) - a vote in which there was no manifesto on which to base the decision of who to vote for and to hold the winner of the vote accountable to.
 
Posted by PaulTH* (# 320) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Cameron created an almighty mess that it's still very unclear how the UK gets out of.

Alan I don't think you're going to get much disagreement over this comment, but I'm still interested in opinions of what the government should do about it. As I said, I think it calls for an election, where the parties campaign for what their vision of the way forward should be.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by PaulTH* (# 320) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by TurquoiseTastic (# 8978) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Rocinante (# 18541) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Jane R (# 331) on :
 
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...
 
Posted by PaulTH* (# 320) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by fletcher christian (# 13919) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Tubbs (# 440) on :
 
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
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Tubbs (# 440) on :
 
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 ]
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
Now that is a useful stat, that nearly half of white voters, voted Remain.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
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).
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Leorning Cniht (# 17564) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by betjemaniac (# 17618) on :
 
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"?
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
Alan, given the multitude of explanations (many of them not reasons) given for voting Leave, how could the process you urge have been followed?
 
Posted by Tubbs (# 440) on :
 
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 ]
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Eirenist (# 13343) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Ann (# 94) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eirenist:
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.

I think he's being shown that there are other points of view .
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eirenist:
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.

I can remember well proposals that anyone who advocate leaving the EU after the 1974 referendum was guilty of treason. It's another sign that Brexit is unravelling and the Brexiteers becoming desperate.
 
Posted by betjemaniac (# 17618) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
It's another sign that Brexit is unravelling and the Brexiteers becoming desperate.

It really isn't though is it? Even as someone that didn't vote for it I can recognise that petition as the work of one (now suspended) loony councillor.

Actually, I'm increasingly (as someone in business and in their 30s) of the opinion that we need to get on with it now. All the faffing about, legal challenges, etc are just making it worse.

I'm now fully committed to doing everything I can to make as much of a success as possible of Brexit - because I've got a pension, a mortgage, and (hopefully) a lot of life left to run. I can't afford to hang back and watch from the sidelines.

I'd far rather we all hanged together than separately, and I think we've got a better chance of avoiding hanging at all if we work together.

FWIW that (in a straw poll of my strongly remain office) now seems to be the majority view of people I know my age - love anecdata! Inherited Blitz spirit back with a vengeance.

My mind has also been slightly focused recently by spending some time in the Black Country, with friends and relatives (aged 25-40 and Brexiters to a (wo)man), and touring the less salubrious pubs of the West Midlands. I really think if there's any attempt not to go through with this then parts of the country might become ungovernable.

Genuinely.

Perhaps that makes me the Vicar of Bray, but so be it. I was, am, a Remainer, but I've got no choice now (as I see it) to work hard for as good a Brexit as we can get.
 
Posted by betjemaniac (# 17618) on :
 
Sioni you might remember that I once described my worldview as Baldwin meets Scruton with a dash of Pushful Joe? Let's just say that I was Baldwin before the vote and am now favouring the Chamberlain-Scruton nexus since.
 
Posted by PaulTH* (# 320) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Some UKIP people are definitely saying that the vote was for hard Brexit, which it obviously wasn't

Well it depends what you mean by hard Brexit. Two days ago on Sunday Politics Andrew Neil showed an excerpt from an interview with David Cameron during the referendum campaign. In trying to promote the Remain view, Cameron made it clear that leaving the EU meant leaving the Single Market. I don't see how anybody can now argue that they didn't vote to leave the Single Market unless, of course, they were Remainers.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
Alan Cresswell, your last 2 posts show clearly where I consider that your error lies. In both, you talk of an election. This was not an election; it was a referendum to vote on a single question, whether to Remain or to Leave. How either course was to be followed was not a matter to put before voters in a manifesto.

To take another example from here, where there have so far been 44 or 45 referendums, of which only 8 have been carried. In 1946, the Labour govt put a question to give the Commonwealth Govt power to legislate on social security. Until then that had been the power of individual states, save for old age and invalid pensions. In seeking the power, the Govt did not set out how it would utilise it, what the particular benefits would be and the eligibility to receive them. It simply sought the power to enable it to legislate in the future.

By analogy, a question of similar simplicity was put to the UK electorate. The steps to be taken afterwards were for the government to take, those steps including the negotiations with the EU as well as preparing the legislation necessary to cover the enormous number of statutory provisions which had been introduced as a part of the UK's membership. These post-referendum steps could be envisaged by voters, but quite how each was to be tackled would be a matter for the government.

[ 18. October 2016, 21:14: Message edited by: Gee D ]
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
Alan Cresswell, your last 2 posts show clearly where I consider that your error lies. In both, you talk of an election. This was not an election; it was a referendum to vote on a single question, whether to Remain or to Leave. How either course was to be followed was not a matter to put before voters in a manifesto.

And, I would say a referendum is a form of an election. An election for a representative in Parliament (usually) has more than two options, and a referendum usually has just two options. But, in both cases the question posed to the electorate is "which of these people/parties/options do you prefer?" An election and referendum is closer than you seem to think, IMO.

I still don't see why any question put to the electorate, whether that's a question about who to represent us or a referendum question, shouldn't include a manifesto. If we don't know what the options are how are people to make an informed decision?
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
Alan, I think we shall have to disagree on that. Elections are to determine who is to govern the country/state/local council for the next term. A referendum is to determine a single question. Although I was too young to vote at the landmark referendum in 1967 concerning the counting of aboriginal people in the census, and giving the Commonwealth Govt express power to legislate for them, I remember it clearly and like so many others campaigned in support. There have been a dozen or more referendum questions put since and I've voted at all of them. While there has been campaigning for and against on each, none has had the sort of preparation you endorse.

Let's look back at the social services referendum of 1946 to which I referred above. If your proposal had been followed, one would have expected papers detailing the sums to be provided for all the new benefits (new to the Federal Govt, that is) how those funds were to be raised and so forth. That was not done. The real question - apart from providing support for a power which had in fact been exercised for some time - was whether such a power should be given to the Federal Govt with consequent national uniformity of eligibility and benefit, or whether it should remain with the States.

Agreed that a referendum is an election of sorts, a voter elects whether to vote Yes or No, Leave or Remain. Despite that, I can see real differences between this sort of process and the regular election of members of parliament/presidents/congress members etc.

[ 19. October 2016, 02:44: Message edited by: Gee D ]
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
The level of detail required to make an informed decision will, naturally, depend on the question.

When electing members for Parliament (or other body) we require a reasonably detailed plan of what they intend to do over the term of office (and, personally, some indication that that is part of a longer term plan), that does require a manifesto - and one of sufficient size to accommodate plans for several year in office.

When the question is one of a matter of policy, again the detail needed will depend on the question. "Should aboriginal people be included on the census?" is pretty much self-explanatory, and all that's required is a campaign to explain why they should. "Should welfare be a Federal or State power?" is also quite simple, all that's needed are the few sentences to say that initially there would be a programme of producing a uniform scheme across the country, and all subsequent changes would be made by the Federal government - the only potential hiccup would be to work out what would happen if one State voted to retain those powers and all the others voted to transfer them to the Federal government. "Should we retain FPTP or adopt an AV voting system?" needs nothing more than a clear description of AV. In all these cases, there would be very little in the way of problems with implementing the changes if the vote went that way.

However, when the question is one where the implementation of the change would be very complex and involve negotiations with multiple other parties over multiple issues then, IMO, an informed decision can only be made when a prefered route through those complex issues has been pencilled in - recognising that unless those complex negotiations are done in advance of the vote (and, they won't be) then that can only ever be an intention rather than a path that will be followed no matter what. So, Scottish Independence had questions about currency, membership of EU and NATO, the status of the border, the place of Scotland within the UK defense system (with rUK troops and facilities currently in Scotland, and Scottish troops based in UK facilities around the world), etc to be addressed. The Scottish Government produced an extensive white paper to describe what they wanted to achieve, and the vote was informed by that document (even if most people only read the summaries and key points produced by the media). Brexit has a similar collection of issues that have multiple options available - in or out of the common market, the status of the border, the status of EU citizens currently in the UK, the availability of non-UK workers to fill our skills gaps, availability of opportunities for young people to study abroad, participation in European science and technology projects, farm subsidies, will we need to abide by EU standards and regulations, etc. We were denied the option of making an informed decision since the prefered option of the Leave campaign on these issues was not spelled out, and indeed in several cases different people were giving different answers.

Fundamentally, it comes down to a requirement for a free and fair election is that the people need to be able to make an informed decision. That can't happen if key information is not available.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
No Alan, I'm sorry but I'm not with you. The question of whether to remain or leave is not the same as how any decision to leave will be achieved. The first was one largely (it seems) answered on an emotional response - I agree with your assessment of that, but that does not alter the conclusion. BTW, your latest post suggests that the rational case include setting out the likely position of the EU in the event of a Leave vote. I can't recall if that were known beforehand, or if the general outline were, whether the approach that Article 50 be invoked before any negotiations commenced had been made public, if indeed it had been made at all.
 
Posted by Tubbs (# 440) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Some UKIP people are definitely saying that the vote was for hard Brexit, which it obviously wasn't

Well it depends what you mean by hard Brexit. Two days ago on Sunday Politics Andrew Neil showed an excerpt from an interview with David Cameron during the referendum campaign. In trying to promote the Remain view, Cameron made it clear that leaving the EU meant leaving the Single Market. I don't see how anybody can now argue that they didn't vote to leave the Single Market unless, of course, they were Remainers.
I saw a ton of stuff from people who were proposing various scenarios for the UK post Leave on FB. There were very few fully fledged hard Brexiters.

Most were proposing some sort of deal that would give the UK Single Market access, but not on as good terms as before. The EU's recent record on getting Trade Deals done isn't that great. The US deal has fallen apart and the Canadian one seems to be going the same way.

Others were hoping for a return to EETA / ETA which would put us back on the same footing as we were in 1973.

Others expected that the EU would still give us All The Things after we’d left and nothing would change. But I’ve never believed a man whose biggest achievement was putting bike racks all over London.

And therein lies the problem. There is no “correct” answer to what happens after we Leave. But whatever happens, it will be seen as a betrayal by everyone.

And I can say that I didn't vote to Leave the Single Market [Razz]

Tubbs

[ 19. October 2016, 12:06: Message edited by: Tubbs ]
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
The problem is that the Leavers offered a variety of frankly incompatible things. Someone was always going to get let down. What is interesting is that the Tories have decided to privilege the opinions of angry nativists from Sunderland and embittered pensioners from the shires over the opinions of the City of London and the young and the educated. In the short term, of course, they can do what the hell they want but in the longer term that is going to cause them problems. There isn't going to be a Jeremy Corbyn shaped hole where the opposition used to be indefinitely.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
The question of whether to remain or leave is not the same as how any decision to leave will be achieved.

You are, of course, correct that they are different but related questions. My opinion is that the "how" question should have been answered first, with a referendum on the question of whether to leave on that basis (or, as close to that as would be achieved in negotitations). Of course, it wasn't. So, as second best (recognising the reality of the outcome of a referendum that was a long way short of ideal) the how question now needs to be answered, and that process needs to follow democratic principles - so, for a start our representatives in the Commons being fully involved in the discussions and debates on formulating that answer. And, potentially a further referendum to see if this is agreeable to the country as a whole. It certainly shouldn't be done behind closed doors without public scrutiny and accountability, it's not as though it's somethign as trivial as selecting a new leader of the Tory party.

quote:
I can't recall if that were known beforehand, or if the general outline were, whether the approach that Article 50 be invoked before any negotiations commenced had been made public, if indeed it had been made at all.
It was clearly stated prior to the referendum that Article 50 would need to be invoked prior to any negotiations. It was generally assumed (but without any information to actually base decisions on) that A50 would be invoked practically as soon as the result was known (a little time for the Tories to huddle and select a new PM being the only expected delay).
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
I don't really understand the point of a referendum on a Brexit deal when one is reached. What happens if the general public votes No? Do we just leave the EU without a deal, or do we hope the other 27 countries take pity on us and give our beloved representatives more time to think of a better deal for us (which is quite likely to imply a worse deal for them)?

[ 19. October 2016, 19:49: Message edited by: Ricardus ]
 
Posted by PaulTH* (# 320) on :
 
I'm obviously missing something here. I've just watched former Taoiseach John Bruton on a BBC News Channel Special about Brexit claiming what a disaster border controls along the Irish border would be. Everyone agreed with him, and Lord Lamont suggested that we should be looking to the type of border between Norway and Sweden, which uses a lot of technology to make the border as soft as possible, which doesn't impede the movement of people. John Bruton agreed that this should be looked at.

Next they were talking about the implications of the UK having to fall back on WTO rules. Mr Bruton then said that Ireland would be forced, by its obligations to the EU, to set up customs posts along the border. In that event, it would be Ireland closing its own border, which everyone in the country seems to dread. So why do it? If the EU suggests to Ireland that it must do that, the Irish government should tell them in no uncertain terms that it will not and cannot agree to such a request. I believe that all 27 countries have to agree on any terms of a settlement, so why would Ireland even consider inflicting such misery with all its possible consequences.

Following on from the discussion, I would be interested to see, with regards to the whole EU, how many of these threats it will actually enforce against a country which is threatening nothing, especially not the erection of any barriers to the trade which contributes to all of their prosperity.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
Next they were talking about the implications of the UK having to fall back on WTO rules.

Though, of course, WTO rules only apply to members of the WTO. It would be a bit rich for a country which is not a member of the WTO to think WTO rules would be applicable. Although I suppose it would be possible for the UK to join the WTO before we finally exit the EU.
 
Posted by Dafyd (# 5549) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
No Alan, I'm sorry but I'm not with you. The question of whether to remain or leave is not the same as how any decision to leave will be achieved.

As the EU has repeatedly said that it's not offering a deal with free market but not free movement, there are three broad options:
1) Stay.
2) Leave but keep free movement and access to the free market.
3) Leave and reject free movement and no access to the free market.
It is not at all obvious that everyone voted for either 2 or 3 has 3 or 2 as their second choice. It may well be that some of them have 1 as their second choice.
If only 1 in 20 Leave voters (2.6% of all who voted) have 1 has the second choice, that would make Remain the Condorcet winner. It would require 19 out of 20 Leave voters to agree on either 2 or 3 as the first preference for Remain not to be the First Past the Post winner.

[ 19. October 2016, 21:30: Message edited by: Dafyd ]
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
Alan Cresswell, you seem to be moving towards acceptance of my point, if not all the way. I doubt that you can come any further.

You note the possibility of a further referendum on the deal reached. That seems to me full of problems. What if you like half the provisions but could not live with the balance. How do you vote? More importantly, by the time any deal is reached, Art 50 will have been invoked and the clock will be ticking. The electorate says No to the deal, by a substantial majority; the EU says that that's the deal that's on offer, and there's a month left of your time. Where's the UK then?

That's not to say that there should not be very public scrutiny of the deal. Parliament is the place for that, preferably in stages, regular reports to it from the negotiating team and so on.

[ 20. October 2016, 02:35: Message edited by: Gee D ]
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Though, of course, WTO rules only apply to members of the WTO. It would be a bit rich for a country which is not a member of the WTO to think WTO rules would be applicable. Although I suppose it would be possible for the UK to join the WTO before we finally exit the EU.

Wait, the UK isn't a member of the WTO? According to the WTO the UK has been a member since 1995.

The only question seem to be whether the UK is a member only as a member state of the EU.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
In various discussions I've read I'm sure that the EU is the WTO member, and individual nations within the EU being members by stint of being part of the EU. In trade terms, that makes sense as the EU (almost by definition of the Common Market) is a single trading entity. The question is, would the UK WTO membership as part of the EU automatically carry over as continuing membership after we exit the EU. I assume there's someone in government who has looked into that, and either obtained the necessary assurances from the WTO that membership will be automatic or has started the negotiations to join the WTO in our own right.
 
Posted by Tubbs (# 440) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
In various discussions I've read I'm sure that the EU is the WTO member, and individual nations within the EU being members by stint of being part of the EU. In trade terms, that makes sense as the EU (almost by definition of the Common Market) is a single trading entity. The question is, would the UK WTO membership as part of the EU automatically carry over as continuing membership after we exit the EU. I assume there's someone in government who has looked into that, and either obtained the necessary assurances from the WTO that membership will be automatic or has started the negotiations to join the WTO in our own right.

Not quite. The UK is a member of the WTO in its own right as it was one of the founders. Its tariffs and services obligations are incorporated in the schedules for the EU and these will need to be renegotiated after Brexit. The EU will also have to do renegotiate their schedules as their market size has changed. As the WTO operates by consensus, this may take a while.

Trade negotiations with anyone can't start until the UK has left the EU. Hopefully the Government is contacting holders of existing agreements to see if they're willing to allow the UK to trade with them on the same terms and sounding out other WTO members to see how the land lies. (But it's Liam Fox so who knows!)

Credit where credit is due. I knew sod all about trade before Brexit!

Tubbs

[ 20. October 2016, 09:20: Message edited by: Tubbs ]
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
I would imagine it is a similar situation to other international bodies. For example during several UN negotiations I've followed (yes, I'm that sad), the EU countries sent their own representatives and the EU had a place as a trading block.

One of the countries then spoke on behalf of all of the EU countries - and when any of the individual countries spoke they were careful not to disagree with the EU position.

I'm not familiar with how the WTO works, but I imagine that the EU countries present a united front so that non-EU WTO members get the same deal whoever they trade with inside the EU.

So in practice, I'm thinking the UK probably doesn't have its own individual trading position worked out at the WTO outwith of the EU.

Fundamentally, though, it'd be a bit ridiculous to say that the UK would fall back to the WTO rules if the UK wasn't even a member of the WTO in its own right, AFAIU they're just going to be starting from a clean piece of paper as if we'd just joined.
 
Posted by Tubbs (# 440) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I would imagine it is a similar situation to other international bodies. For example during several UN negotiations I've followed (yes, I'm that sad), the EU countries sent their own representatives and the EU had a place as a trading block.

One of the countries then spoke on behalf of all of the EU countries - and when any of the individual countries spoke they were careful not to disagree with the EU position.

I'm not familiar with how the WTO works, but I imagine that the EU countries present a united front so that non-EU WTO members get the same deal whoever they trade with inside the EU.

So in practice, I'm thinking the UK probably doesn't have its own individual trading position worked out at the WTO outwith of the EU.

Fundamentally, though, it'd be a bit ridiculous to say that the UK would fall back to the WTO rules if the UK wasn't even a member of the WTO in its own right, AFAIU they're just going to be starting from a clean piece of paper as if we'd just joined.

Trade agreements are handled by the EU who negotiates on everyone’s behalf. An EU member can’t negotiate separate agreements.

Normally trade quotas and tariff etc are negotiated as part of a country’s ascension to the WTO. The UK is in an odd position. As it was a founder member of the WTO, it is already an individual member. But because it’s part of the EU the UK doesn’t have any agreements or quotas etc of its own. It's blooming convoluted!

Tubbs
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
Originally posted by PaulTH:

quote:
Next they were talking about the implications of the UK having to fall back on WTO rules. Mr Bruton then said that Ireland would be forced, by its obligations to the EU, to set up customs posts along the border. In that event, it would be Ireland closing its own border, which everyone in the country seems to dread. So why do it? If the EU suggests to Ireland that it must do that, the Irish government should tell them in no uncertain terms that it will not and cannot agree to such a request. I believe that all 27 countries have to agree on any terms of a settlement, so why would Ireland even consider inflicting such misery with all its possible consequences.

Indeed. It's the need for all 27 countries to agree a deal which makes this a possibility. If there is not an agreement on an FTA then the UK defaults to WTO status and the Irish are then obliged both by its membership of the EU and the WTO to reinstate tariffs and, therefore, a border to enforce them. Ireland's treaty obligations to the EU and the WTO would oblige them, in the absence of an FTA, that would allow the UK access to the Single Market.

The EU has its faults but the UK's decision to unilaterally dispense with its existing FTAs and to seek new ones without a clear strategy for achieving them is rather more to blame for the current situation than the EU, Ireland or the WTO.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:

Following on from the discussion, I would be interested to see, with regards to the whole EU, how many of these threats it will actually enforce against a country which is threatening nothing

This is a rather disingenuous argument whether or not you realise it. There is no 'threat'. The UK has unilaterally decided to tear up its existing agreements with the rest of the EU.

Under those circumstances, the EU is forced to treat the UK just like it would any other country with which it has no other agreement.

There is simply no basis for how and why an open border would continue to operate and what and who would be allowed over it.

It's the case that Ricardus outlined so well earlier in the thread:

http://forum.ship-of-fools.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_profile;u=00008757
 
Posted by PaulTH* (# 320) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by chris styles:
Under those circumstances, the EU is forced to treat the UK just like it would any other country with which it has no other agreement.

OK so the UK goes into Brexit negotiations saying that it has no wish to impose any tariffs on the EU.It points out that everyone benefits from free trade, including German car workers and French wine growers. The EU invokes its rule book and slaps tariffs on British goods. Britain retaliates and does the same. As the UK has a large trade deficit with the EU, it makes more out of reciprocal tariffs than the EU. But let's face it. Trade will be lost. Jobs will be lost. Can someone tell me who will benefit from this, because I don't see anyone being better off than they would be if we reciprocally agree not to impose tariffs.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
OK so the UK goes into Brexit negotiations saying that it has no wish to impose any tariffs on the EU.It points out that everyone benefits from free trade, including German car workers and French wine growers. The EU invokes its rule book and slaps tariffs on British goods. Britain retaliates and does the same. As the UK has a large trade deficit with the EU, it makes more out of reciprocal tariffs than the EU. But let's face it. Trade will be lost. Jobs will be lost. Can someone tell me who will benefit from this, because I don't see anyone being better off than they would be if we reciprocally agree not to impose tariffs.

I don't think either side can decide "not to impose tariffs", if the EU decided to allow a state who wasn't following the rest of the EU rules to be part of the tariff free zone then there is precious little point in having an EU.

And the idea that someone is "making more" out of the tariffs than the other seems rather odd. Tariffs are not designed to create revenue but to control imports. If we need their imports more than we need theirs, then if we both impose duties, we're screwed. If they impose duties and we don't, we're screwed.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
You are, of course, correct that they are different but related questions. My opinion is that the "how" question should have been answered first, with a referendum on the question of whether to leave on that basis (or, as close to that as would be achieved in negotitations).

<snip>

quote:
I can't recall if that were known beforehand, or if the general outline were, whether the approach that Article 50 be invoked before any negotiations commenced had been made public, if indeed it had been made at all.
It was clearly stated prior to the referendum that Article 50 would need to be invoked prior to any negotiations.
This outlines the basic problem with the "figure out 'how' before voting for Brexit"; that by the very nature of the EU agreement, "how" could only be determined after the decision to Leave was made. This was, most likely, a very deliberate strategy on the part of the architects of the EU to prevent constant haggling over concessions, backed up by threats of withdrawal.

quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
I'm obviously missing something here. I've just watched former Taoiseach John Bruton on a BBC News Channel Special about Brexit claiming what a disaster border controls along the Irish border would be. Everyone agreed with him, and Lord Lamont suggested that we should be looking to the type of border between Norway and Sweden, which uses a lot of technology to make the border as soft as possible, which doesn't impede the movement of people. John Bruton agreed that this should be looked at.

Next they were talking about the implications of the UK having to fall back on WTO rules. Mr Bruton then said that Ireland would be forced, by its obligations to the EU, to set up customs posts along the border. In that event, it would be Ireland closing its own border, which everyone in the country seems to dread. So why do it?

What you're missing here is a basic understanding of how free trade areas work. The basics are free movement of goods (and, in the case of the EU, people) within the free trade area, which means that there have to be uniform trade and customs regulations between every part of the free trade area and countries outside the free trade area. If Ireland, for example, allowed tariff-free movement of goods between the UK and itself, then it is also effectively allowing the tariff-free movement of goods between the UK and every other EU country, provided the goods are willing to make the trip via Ireland. This is why EU nations give up their ability to negotiate separate trade agreements, because such agreements would completely undermine the free trade area.

quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
Following on from the discussion, I would be interested to see, with regards to the whole EU, how many of these threats it will actually enforce against a country which is threatening nothing, especially not the erection of any barriers to the trade which contributes to all of their prosperity.

As others have noted, the EU is threatening nothing other than to keep on being the EU, with free movement of goods and people within its geographic boundaries and some kind of border and customs control with countries outside its geographic boundaries. The only thing that's changed is the UK has decided that they'd rather be on the outside than the inside.

And from a "game theory" point of view its fairly easy to anticipate that the EU will hold a relatively hard line on the terms of Brexit. What the UK is essentially asking for is a system which gives them all the bits of EU membership that they like (free movement of goods) while opting out of the EU stuff they don't like (free movement of people, uniform product and safety standards, etc.). This is a classic free rider problem, and the big risk for the EU is not the diminishment of trade with the UK, but that the whole system will collapse if it becomes apparent to other countries that they could lobby for a similar "all of the benefits and none of the costs" arrangement like the UK seems to expect to be able to negotiate. This is likely to be even more the case given that while it was in the EU the UK was already allowed to opt out of certain EU projects (like the Euro).
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
quote:
Originally posted by chris styles:
Under those circumstances, the EU is forced to treat the UK just like it would any other country with which it has no other agreement.

OK so the UK goes into Brexit negotiations saying that it has no wish to impose any tariffs on the EU.It points out that everyone benefits from free trade, including German car workers and French wine growers.

You are viewing things too simplistically. I'll quote Ricardus' excellent example again:

quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
"In order for Ricardinia and Paulsland to have a free trade agreement for the tariff-free exchange of knockwurst, several rules must be in place. Neither one of us can subsidise our knockwurst-factories to a greater degree than the other (otherwise Ricardinia can just flood the Paulslandic market with cheap state-subsidised knockwurst). We must define what we mean by knockwurst so that we know what we are suspending tariffs on. We must agree at least some minimal production standards so that Paulsland can't flood the Ricardinian market with cheap knockwurst bulked out with sand and cement to save production costs."

.. and this is where the issues start. Take the most simplistic treatment of the car example, let's assume that a reciprocal arrangement is called for. Cars sold within the EU have to qualify to standards set out by EURO NCAP (incidentally it was originally set up under the Department of Transport) - there are benefits accruing to all sorts of parties here, including consumers. Car manufacturers within the EU will be subject to laws regulating state aid - as will all manufacturers generally. Furthermore where they use parts from countries outside the EU, these will be subject to the same safety standards as parts originating within the EU. The parts may well be tested by some kind of national body which is regulated by an European wide agreement that sets minimum safety standards and in return recognizes each national body.

As you can see this would soon generate a bunch of knock on effects in terms of legislation Britain would have to accept without having any future direction over how it was it evolved.

As you add more and more products to this kind of regime it would start to approximate EFTA, but a very expensive and bespoke EFTA that would take years to negotiate with the trade negotiators the UK doesn't have.

.. and the stickler would be things like services, the export of which is of great interest to the UK. The UK is unlikely to be able to get an agreement on 'free trade' for services, unless it agrees to the free movement of people - because the EU is understandably wary of a kind of race to the bottom where jobs are offshored without any mechanism that allows people to follow those jobs.

.. and then the UK is actually in the situation the Leavers think it started in. In a position where the regulations it is subject to is set by a set of bodies over which it has little if any influence.
 
Posted by Dafyd (# 5549) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
Trade will be lost. Jobs will be lost. Can someone tell me who will benefit from this, because I don't see anyone being better off than they would be if we reciprocally agree not to impose tariffs.

I don't think anyone would benefit, which is one of the reasons I voted Remain. However, it is what we are now being told the Leave campaign voted for.
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
chris styles:
quote:
.. and then the UK is actually in the situation the Leavers think it started in. In a position where the regulations it is subject to is set by a set of bodies over which it has little if any influence.
What about the approach of Richard North, who is an ardent brexiteer (co-author of "The Great Delusion") and, incidentally, an equally ardent proposal of the EEA solution, so a rabid soft-brexiteer.

His argument is that the regulations, to which of course we have to be subject, are increasingly made by global standards organisations working with ISO/WTO and are ratified, as opposed to originated in Brussels. If we stay in the EU we can only influence standards by influencing the EU. If we leave we can influence the global standards bodies directly, and therefore have more, not less influence. To quote:

quote:
Thus the UK will be ideally positioned to help make the laws which will
govern the EU. They are processed by Brussels for implementation by national
bodies, but they do not originate in the EU. If we work with EFTA/EEA, we will
still receive laws from Brussels, but we will have shaped them long before they
become EU law.

Do you see merit in this, or only bullshit?
 
Posted by betjemaniac (# 17618) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
chris styles:
quote:
.. and then the UK is actually in the situation the Leavers think it started in. In a position where the regulations it is subject to is set by a set of bodies over which it has little if any influence.
What about the approach of Richard North, who is an ardent brexiteer (co-author of "The Great Delusion") and, incidentally, an equally ardent proposal of the EEA solution, so a rabid soft-brexiteer.

His argument is that the regulations, to which of course we have to be subject, are increasingly made by global standards organisations working with ISO/WTO and are ratified, as opposed to originated in Brussels. If we stay in the EU we can only influence standards by influencing the EU. If we leave we can influence the global standards bodies directly, and therefore have more, not less influence. To quote:

quote:
Thus the UK will be ideally positioned to help make the laws which will
govern the EU. They are processed by Brussels for implementation by national
bodies, but they do not originate in the EU. If we work with EFTA/EEA, we will
still receive laws from Brussels, but we will have shaped them long before they
become EU law.

Do you see merit in this, or only bullshit?

Well I do see some merit in it, but then I was a reluctant remainer rather than a principled one so I'm open to solutions which involve neither remaining nor full Brexit.* Richard North has been doing a lot of the thinking Alan's been talking about Leavers' lacking for the last 20 years or so. Unfortunately, he's just one man, so his thoughts don't have statutory power, and neither do they have the whole groundswell of the Leave movement behind it.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
I really liked this in today's Guardian - which looks to Ireland to try to solve the "England problem" by talking May's government back from the cliff of Hard Brexit and with the Republic trying to find an impossible third way for the UK to remain in a close tied relationship with Eire without completely pissing off the EU.

It is a wonderfully optimistic idea in the midst of the prevailing misery, I thought - but whether it has any legs whatsoever is probably moot. But what a great world it would be if Eire was somehow able to step up to the plate and pull something out of the flame which was a lifeline for those of us in the UK who see Hard Brexit as a total disaster.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
chris styles:
quote:
.. and then the UK is actually in the situation the Leavers think it started in. In a position where the regulations it is subject to is set by a set of bodies over which it has little if any influence.
What about the approach of Richard North, who is an ardent brexiteer (co-author of "The Great Delusion") and, incidentally, an equally ardent proposal of the EEA solution, so a rabid soft-brexiteer.

His argument is that the regulations, to which of course we have to be subject, are increasingly made by global standards organisations working with ISO/WTO and are ratified, as opposed to originated in Brussels. If we stay in the EU we can only influence standards by influencing the EU. If we leave we can influence the global standards bodies directly, and therefore have more, not less influence. To quote:

There may be some merit in this in that some regulations do come from the WTO and associated bodies, though there is an argument here that as part of a bigger trade bloc (the EU) the UK has a greater chance of influencing them than on its own.

That said, the rules governing a single market (even of the EEA variety) go far beyond those coming from the WTO (especially when it comes to services, and the kinds of complex multi-national supply lines that the majority of british manufacturing is involved in).

Going back to my previous post - part of which appears to have been lost; the trend these days is for countries to negotiate 'trade platforms' rather than multiple bilateral agreements, because of the time (often legislative time) and effort involved. When it comes to the EU there are a number of existing platforms the UK could join, of which the EU and EFTA are currently ruled out by the constraints the current government have placed upon themselves.

It is important to realise that trade negotiators are in finite supply, and such departments will have been staffed based on long term projections of the work involved, and will be pre-committed years in advance on various trade talks. Where legislatures are involved, there is similarly a limited amount of time available to hash out trade agreements. In this context it's complete accurate to say that the UK would be 'at the back of the queue' at least initially - and would remain so, unless there was significant reason to drop other trade talks in favour of talks with the UK.

[ 21. October 2016, 09:28: Message edited by: chris stiles ]
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
Finally, if you want people to do you favours, like dropping/pausing highly advanced talks with other trade blocs in order to concentrate on trade talks with you, then chest beating might not be the best way of making feel well inclined towards you.
 
Posted by Ronald Binge (# 9002) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I really liked this in today's Guardian - which looks to Ireland to try to solve the "England problem" by talking May's government back from the cliff of Hard Brexit and with the Republic trying to find an impossible third way for the UK to remain in a close tied relationship with Eire without completely pissing off the EU.

It is a wonderfully optimistic idea in the midst of the prevailing misery, I thought - but whether it has any legs whatsoever is probably moot. But what a great world it would be if Eire was somehow able to step up to the plate and pull something out of the flame which was a lifeline for those of us in the UK who see Hard Brexit as a total disaster.

I've read that. Fintan hits the nail on the head, there. British and Irish cooperation is enlightened self interest at its very best. Besides, I live in Co Donegal and study/shop in Co Londonderry every day so I have more than a passing interest in this.


I'll give you a free pass on the "Eire" thing, this time

[Paranoid]
 
Posted by fletcher christian (# 13919) on :
 
Posted by Ronald:
quote:

I'll give you a free pass on the "Eire" thing, this time

Well, I guess if the rest of the post was in irish it would read fine. [Biased]

I can't help but notice that the UK's irony meter seems to have broken recently. May arrives in Europe. She's been talking about a hard Brexit. She announces that Britain will continue to be a dependable and faithful partner to Europe after the divorce proceedings are finalised. All the other European leaders are sitting there with this 'WTF are you on about' look on their faces. It all smacks of a 'we have absolutely no idea what we are doing' kind of a policy. It's total la-la land; amusing to watch from the outside but also faintly terrifying.
 
Posted by M. (# 3291) on :
 
Just to go back to the standards discussion for a bit. I don't know about ISO. Howevever, as CEN (Comite Europeen de Normalisation - European Standardisation Committee) is not an EU organisation, we will remain members of it. I think BSI is the member.

M.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ronald Binge:


I'll give you a free pass on the "Eire" thing, this time

[Paranoid]

Eh?
 
Posted by betjemaniac (# 17618) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Ronald Binge:


I'll give you a free pass on the "Eire" thing, this time

[Paranoid]

Eh?
Use of "Eire" is a can of worms. FWIW my Irish relatives were always clear with me growing up in the 1980s that the only people using Eire with any regularity post the 1940s were the British press (aside from stamps and coins).

I'll leave it to an Irish shipmate to give the chapter and verse but I've always steered clear and do wince when it's used.
 
Posted by betjemaniac (# 17618) on :
 
This is one of many hits when googling along the lines of "why don't people like it when Ireland's called Eire."
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
Please accept my apols, I was totally and blissfully unaware that this was a thing.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
It used to be used by right-wing English newspapers, didn't it? I'm not sure if they were being patronizing, or making some point about partition.
 
Posted by M. (# 3291) on :
 
Or perhaps, like many of us, they thought it was the name of the country.

I only found out a lot of Irish people don't like it a couple of years ago.

M.
 
Posted by fletcher christian (# 13919) on :
 
Posted by M.
quote:

Or perhaps, like many of us, they thought it was the name of the country.

It is, if you happen to be writing or speaking in irish. It wold be like insisting that Spain should only ever be referred to as Espania even though you are referring to it in English. It's not in any way insulting (unless you're one of those types that looks to be insulted about anything), it just looks a bit strange. here are some that suggest its a hangover insult from days gone by, but I don't buy that. I think most people use it in blissful ignorance.
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
I wonder what effect the failure of the CETA deal will have if any. Hopefully they'll sort it out but according to politico.eu (which acknowledgement hopefully clears me):
quote:
Canadian Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland said Friday her efforts to reach a deal with the EU on a landmark trade deal with Canada had failed and that she would be returning home empty handed.

“During the last few months we have worked very hard with the European Commission and member states. But it seems evident that the EU is now not capable of having an international deal, even with a country which has values as European as Canada, even with a country as kind, as patient,” she said upon leaving the regional Walloon parliament in Namur this afternoon.

“Canada is disappointed, I am personally very disappointed, I have worked very, very hard. We have decided to go back home. I am very, very sad, really. Tomorrow morning, I will be at home with my three children,” she added, fighting back tears.

This could have many inplications. Brexiteers will say that this reinforces the Lawson argument that though a soft-brexit deal might be preferable, it is very likely that it will fail. These deals require unanimity, and if a deal with a friendly nation can fail because of one region in Belgium, when there is not a scintilla of animus against Canada, it is not paranoid to believe that if we tried we could very well fail and might only find out at the last moment.

Brexiteers will also point to the dys-functionality of the EU in getting trade deals, and I expect a lot of schadenfreude in the Daily Mail.

Like I said, I hope they will sort it out, I have no grudge against the EU. But if they don't, it could have a silver lining, although probably too late, in that it could trigger a move to Qualified Majority Voting for trade deals. Were this now in force, I think it quite likely that May could be persuaded that soft brexit is better. Of course, I would say that because that's what I want and I like May as leader.

But all the signs are negative.
 
Posted by Ronald Binge (# 9002) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Please accept my apols, I was totally and blissfully unaware that this was a thing.

No bother, its only a minor quibble
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
Originally posted by anteater:

quote:
Brexiteers will also point to the dys-functionality of the EU in getting trade deals, and I expect a lot of schadenfreude in the Daily Mail.
It is quite dysfunctional. But it's dysfunctional because all the nations of the EU get a say in these matters not because authoritarian power mad bureaucrats in the EU Commission can't find their arse with both hands, which is how these things are invariably spun.

In any event the choice is stark. Nix the referendum or end up trading with Europe without a trade deal. It was recently suggested that when we change the colour of our passports to blue we do away with the French wording on the Royal Coat of Arms and replace it with something English. I suggest we adopt as our national motto the simple and eloquent phrase: "We're So Screwed".
 
Posted by Jay-Emm (# 11411) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
"We're So Screwed".

Crossing into the other thread, I am grateful to an random American church group person's sympathetic recognition when I observed this. And pointing out that misery had potential company (which I really hope it doesn't).
 
Posted by PaulTH* (# 320) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:

[B]Brexiteers will also point to the dys-functionality of the EU in getting trade deals, and I expect a lot of schadenfreude in the Daily Mail{/B]

Never mind the Daily Mail, but the failure to agree CETA, seven years in the making, is a serious sign of dysfunctionality in the EU. Earlier in the week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said "If, in a week or two, we see that Europe is unable to sign a progressive trade agreement with a country like Canada, well then with whom will Europe do business in the years to come?" It's a good question. Belgium, a country riven with ethnic and economic divisions requires, by its constitution, that all five regional parliaments must agree before the federal government can do so. So CETA is dead unless someone can revive it.

The other big deal, TTIP, between the EU and the USA is also hitting the buffers. President Hollande has aid he will veto it, and some voices in the US, including Mr Trump have reservations with it. When I voted Remain on 23rd June, it was as a reluctant Remainer, on the basis of better the devil you know. But I've never liked the EU or its institutions. I agree with the premise on which it was founded, that this continent, torn apart by wars for centuries, should at last learn to live and work together in a way which makes future conflicts impossible.

This debacle around CETA proves that when the UK leaves, it will be a hard Brexit. Not because we want it to be, but because the sclerotic bureaucracy will never agree anything. As Mr Trudeau asks, with whom can this institution do business? It's quite possible that Brexit will mean that the UK becomes an insignificant offshore island. That the power of the City of London drains away to Paris, Frankfurt or even Dublin. But it's equally possible that Canada and the US, who can't get agreement from the EU, could from the UK alone. That China, India and the Commonwealth could forge deals and that the entrepreneurial spirit which made Britain a great nation is still with us and will reinvent itself as a beacon of free trade. That's what I hope for this land I love.
 
Posted by PaulTH* (# 320) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
It was recently suggested that when we change the colour of our passports to blue we do away with the French wording on the Royal Coat of Arms and replace it with something English.

I wouldn't want that. French on the Coat of Arms and indeed on the passport has a long tradition. Why change it?
 
Posted by Tubbs (# 440) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by fletcher christian:
Posted by Ronald:
quote:

I'll give you a free pass on the "Eire" thing, this time

Well, I guess if the rest of the post was in irish it would read fine. [Biased]

I can't help but notice that the UK's irony meter seems to have broken recently. May arrives in Europe. She's been talking about a hard Brexit. She announces that Britain will continue to be a dependable and faithful partner to Europe after the divorce proceedings are finalised. All the other European leaders are sitting there with this 'WTF are you on about' look on their faces. It all smacks of a 'we have absolutely no idea what we are doing' kind of a policy. It's total la-la land; amusing to watch from the outside but also faintly terrifying.

Actually I can see the logic of this. According to the EU, the UK is subject to all the T&Cs until we leave and a budget contributor ... May has pointed out that this cuts both ways. Until we leave, we have a seat at the table and a say.

Once we leave, we will be a faithful partner in relation to matters of mutual interest. Other things, not so much. Just like the EU and everyone who isn't a part of it.

Tubbs
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
If you can steel yourself to click on the link this is very good.
 
Posted by Dafyd (# 5549) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
I wonder what effect the failure of the CETA deal will have if any.

As I understand it, CETA is rather TTIP by the back door. As such, it includes provisions for private corporations to sue governments for any loss of profit resulting from changes to the law. This is undesirable. For that reason, I'm pleased to see it on the scrap heap.
 
Posted by PaulTH* (# 320) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
For that reason, I'm pleased to see it on the scrap heap.

So you are obviously happy that the regional parliament of Wallonia can hold two continents to ransom. I can't agree with you there!
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
For that reason, I'm pleased to see it on the scrap heap.

So you are obviously happy that the regional parliament of Wallonia can hold two continents to ransom. I can't agree with you there!
Rather disproves the claim that the EU indiscriminately imposes its views on its members though.
 
Posted by Eirenist (# 13343) on :
 
As a national motto in English, wouldn't 'We've screwed ourselves' be more accurate?
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
Callan:
quote:
(The EU) is quite dysfunctional. But it's dysfunctional because all the nations of the EU get a say in these matters not because authoritarian power mad bureaucrats in the EU Commission can't find their arse with both hands, which is how these things are invariably spun.
Well I agree with you on your substantive point, but I have never heard it suggested that the problem of getting trade deals through is due to the Commission, but have always understood it to be due to the fact that they remain outside of QMV.

And I am of the opinion that closer integration is needed for the EU, and Euro to succeed and that QMV should apply to trade deals.

Which was part of my dilemma. For UK to make the best of remaining it needs to be much more closely involved, and though we've gone far enough for me to prefer continuing a rather dysfunctional partnership that breaking it, I truly do not believe that the Brits want the sort of closer integration that we need if we are truly to shape Europe along with the other main players, Germany, France and Italy.

I just see us then as partial outsiders, rejecting the institutions needed to make the EU and Euro work, and standing on the sidelines. And I see it as very doubtful that the EU would survive the failure of the Euro.
 
Posted by PaulTH* (# 320) on :
 
The mistake was in creating the euro as a forerunner of political union, when it should have been the other way round. There is no precedent in history for a currency union which wasn't part of an already existing political union. The problem the euro has is in trying to impose a one size fits all economics on countries as diverse as, for example, Germany and Greece. Germans are hard working and work comparatively late in life. Greeks could always retire at 50 and who can blame someone for being pissed off if they've spent their whole working life expecting to retire at 50, and when 47 they're told they must work another 20 years. Also Greece has very much of a black market attitude to work which Germany doesn't in the same way.

The net result of this is that Greece can't stay competitive because it, and Italy as well, have lost their traditional safety valve of currency devaluation to compensate them for their lack of competitiveness when compared to Northern Europe. So money flows south in bail outs that are never likely to be repaid. Only a political union involving tax harmonisation and basically allowing a financially sound regime like Germany to manage the economies of the less competitive countries, which is likely, as well as having big political consequences, to involve permanent stagnation and austerity. But I don't believe that anyone can change Mediterranian culture to make it conform to what the Germans think is the right way to run an economy.

Brexit or not, the UK could never have been part of such a project. Although there were many Remainers in the recent referendum, there's only a handful of Britons who genuinely share that integrated federalist view of Europe. Many like myself voted Remain out of fear of the world outside, but I would never have wanted to take the euro of join Schengen. I just felt that Britain had secured enough opt outs, even from ever closer union, as to not seriously fear the power of Brussels. To be part of that "ever closer union" is not in the British character, and any attempt to impose it would have been met with a much larger Leave vote. Mine included.
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
Originally posted by PaulTH:

quote:
The mistake was in creating the euro as a forerunner of political union, when it should have been the other way round.
I agree with this. The problems the Euro have been experiencing are essentially a re-run of Europe's travails when the Exchange Rate Mechanism was in force without the ability of the currency markets to reassert economic sanity. The Euro should have been confined to Germany, Benelux and France (which are fairly economically integrated anyway) with other countries getting to join when they passed a set of objective tests for economic convergence. Or, they could have gone with the seriously underrated Common Currency proposed by Lawson and Major (Thatcher not going off her head, at that point in history, and trying to make the Hard ECU a thing is, IMO, one of the tantalising might have beens of history, although it probably has to be tied in with our not joining the ERM, which I think is pushing it). But the spectacle of the EU inflicting unnecessary economic pain on itself didn't really help sell continuing membership of same to the British people. Ironically, the spectacle of the British people inflicting unnecessary economic pain on themselves is likely to result in a doubling down, rather than a rethink, by the EU.
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
PaulTh:
quote:
Although there were many Remainers in the recent referendum, there's only a handful of Britons who genuinely share that integrated federalist view of Europe.
It'd be interesting to know how many. We have a sad lack of clear terminology in this debate. The one I would propose (and someone will probably tell me it's old hat) is:
Europhile: Believer in closer union, not necessarily full federalist but even that is thinkable. Would prefer to be in Eurozone as and when institutions are in place to make that work. Around 30%?
Europhobe: Never wanted EU and voted for out in the 1973 referendum. So fixated on regaining nation-state status that, to quote Dr. Fox "I've got what I want and am glad of that whatever the outcome of the negotiations. Again around 30%.
Euroskeptic: Doesn't view EU with any enthusiasm, and certainly does not want any further integration or to touch Euro with two barge-polls tied together. Often assume Euro will fail and probably EU as well. Around 40%, and these could have split roughly into Teresa's who just voted Remain (that's me) and Boris's who just voted out (who'd admit to being a Boris). These are the ones mainly driven by which they think is best economically.

The press tend not to distinguish between the phobes and the skeptics.

We also need an adjective for "Citizen of EU". I rather dislike the Ewers (possible?) trying to hijack Europe(TM). Mind you we're no better not having Yuker for UK citizen. Did NI citizens object to the Olympic Team being Team GB? At least with Rugby the term is fair since NI is in with Ireland and British Lions are British.

Mind you , here we're always arguing about Christian(TM).
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
To be fair, I don't think there are many people who share a federalist vision for Europe within the rest of the EU either. The "federalist EU" was a boggie man produced by the Brexit campaign to scare people with a vision of a loss of UK sovereignty. It's an aspiration for many European politicians, but not widely shared by their electorates. It may happen, but I doubt I would live to see it.
 
Posted by fletcher christian (# 13919) on :
 
Posted by Tubbs:
quote:

Actually I can see the logic of this.

Well, maybe I'm missing something, but I can't see any logic here. I'd concede that nobody wants to punish Britain within the EU for what is about to take place, because it serves nobody's interest to do so. I'd agree also that Britain will in all likelihood fulfil its obligations to the EU until it leaves; but May went to the EU earlier this week with the message that Britain is leaving. There is no partnership in that, that I can see. There was a partnership there on the table, but Britain has chosen to walk away. That isn't to say that some new kind of partnership might not be brokered in the next decade, but in reality it isn't going to be approaching anything that they already had before and decided to throw away. I can't see the loyalty and faithfulness aspect that she spoke of either. Britain's membership of the EU in the last two decades has been tempestuous at best. They've always been dragging their feet, grumbling and knocking about accusation and lies about what the big, bad EU made us do. It has always sought a special, honoured position as if it were still some great empire, that in reality has long gone. The world changed, but Britain didn't and this whole farce is Britain's, 'Let's make Britain great again' routine. Sadly, the people didn't see through it for what it was. So what we have now is May trotting along to the EU and telling them once again, we want this, this and this after we have left and the answer invariably will be 'no', but I guess it will give Britain cause once again to turn around and say, 'Look what the big, bad EU did to us.' There is no logic in that; no logic at all.

[ 23. October 2016, 10:04: Message edited by: fletcher christian ]
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
AlanCresswell:
quote:
To be fair, I don't think there are many people who share a federalist vision for Europe within the rest of the EU either
Well I think that amongst the key decision makers in the EU there's quite a few, but I don't see that strict federalism is the main issue. The question is more: Can the Eurozone continue to work without a common fiscal structure, along with transnational transfers such as we see in USA between states. Many, who are by no means Brexiteers do not believe that it can. So the future would be a much more integrated Eurozone, with an outer ring of countries, of which the only two with a permanent opt-out from the Euro are UK and Denmark. I agree that nobody is going to hassle Sweden et al to get on board until the structures are in place to underpin the Euro, and I imagine that even the most ardently pro Euro person would admit that a lot has to be done, and that the Eurozone does indeed need closer integration.
quote:
The "federalist EU" was a boggie man produced by the Brexit campaign to scare people with a vision of a loss of UK sovereignty.
I think the bogey man was and remains transnational governance in key areas like fiscal policy. It is true that the UK can stand outside this forever, but to some that is not preferable to a divorce, as the Eurozone morphs into Real(TM) EU with a couple of hangers on. And all the animus against the City (which is understandable) would return.
Indeed, I think a better case for Remain would be to accept the Euro still as a future goal, on condition that once the supra-national structures are in place to make it a success that we would join, and accept those structures. That would put UK at the heart of Europe and we could enthusiastically engage in developing those structures, and commit to joining the Eurozone once they were in place.

I would imagine you would be ok with this, so long, of course, that these structures really are fit for purpose. and frankly I think it is a more attractive offer than the current "do what you're told or you'll be mugged by big bad brussels bullies" approach.

But then I'm a bit all-in or all-out.
 
Posted by Tubbs (# 440) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
AlanCresswell:
quote:
To be fair, I don't think there are many people who share a federalist vision for Europe within the rest of the EU either
Well I think that amongst the key decision makers in the EU there's quite a few, but I don't see that strict federalism is the main issue. The question is more: Can the Eurozone continue to work without a common fiscal structure, along with transnational transfers such as we see in USA between states. Many, who are by no means Brexiteers do not believe that it can. So the future would be a much more integrated Eurozone, with an outer ring of countries, of which the only two with a permanent opt-out from the Euro are UK and Denmark. I agree that nobody is going to hassle Sweden et al to get on board until the structures are in place to underpin the Euro, and I imagine that even the most ardently pro Euro person would admit that a lot has to be done, and that the Eurozone does indeed need closer integration.
quote:
The "federalist EU" was a boggie man produced by the Brexit campaign to scare people with a vision of a loss of UK sovereignty.
I think the bogey man was and remains transnational governance in key areas like fiscal policy. It is true that the UK can stand outside this forever, but to some that is not preferable to a divorce, as the Eurozone morphs into Real(TM) EU with a couple of hangers on. And all the animus against the City (which is understandable) would return.
Indeed, I think a better case for Remain would be to accept the Euro still as a future goal, on condition that once the supra-national structures are in place to make it a success that we would join, and accept those structures. That would put UK at the heart of Europe and we could enthusiastically engage in developing those structures, and commit to joining the Eurozone once they were in place.

I would imagine you would be ok with this, so long, of course, that these structures really are fit for purpose. and frankly I think it is a more attractive offer than the current "do what you're told or you'll be mugged by big bad brussels bullies" approach.

But then I'm a bit all-in or all-out.

Within the Commission, there are some ardent federalists. Their solution to any problem is more Europe and more integration. If you look at the original treaties, this is implied as an aim. But the original treaties were signed after WW2 and the world is a very different place. Now, people seem to want less Europe and more national control.

Pretty much everyone, including the guy who designed it, believes the Euro won’t work properly unless fiscal policy is centralised and the kind of transnational transfers you’ve mentioned happen. But as none of the member countries will agree to that, it’s not going to happen. It has self-destruction built in.

For all the chat about opt outs and rebates, the only main net contributor who doesn’t get a rebate is France. Italy and Germany have one too. And, the UK has less infringement cases
against it than most of the “good “Europeans - France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Belgium and Germany

I think both sides have got used to blaming the other for stuff they’d want to do but haven’t got round to yet and built a myth around it.

Tubbs

[ 24. October 2016, 13:39: Message edited by: Tubbs ]
 
Posted by lowlands_boy (# 12497) on :
 
So in one of the first significant decisions post Brexit, Nissan have decided to continue investment in their plant in Sunderland in the north east of England.

Neither Nissan nor the government appear to be willing or able to explain explicitly what undertakings have been made on the government's side, which inevitably leads to various reports circulating based on "a letter seen by the paper" etc....
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
It's fairly typical of Tories to do deals in backrooms.

But, I can't imagine how the deal could be anything other than a promise of tax payer money in the event of Brexit negotiations not securing a deal that allows Nissan to manufacture in the UK without paying tariffs on components imported from elsewhere in the EU and cars exported to the EU. So, it's basically another measure to protect the economy following the June result.

Now, I've no objection to tax payer money being used to support industry and keep people in work (the amount the government may end up paying will almost certainly be less than paying dole for out of work car workers). But, I doubt there will be similar payments to small local businesses hit by the extra costs resulting from Brexit. And, it will be another nail in the coffin of the Chancellors plans to cut borrowing.
 
Posted by lowlands_boy (# 12497) on :
 
quote:
But a senior Nissan Europe executive, Colin Lawther, said the company had received "no special deal".
"It's just a commitment from the government to work with the whole of the automotive industry to make sure the whole automotive industry in the UK remains competitive," he told the BBC.
"We would expect nothing for us that the rest of the industry wouldn't be able to have access to. We see this as a whole industry thing, not a Nissan thing."

So if they have got some sort of tangible export guarantee then Vauxhall, Jaguar Land Rover etc are apparently going to be able to have it as well.

But there are plenty of other industries....
 
Posted by Humble Servant (# 18391) on :
 
I might feel inclined to forgive Tony Blair for his past record if he could follow through on this.

It occurred to be the other day that if the exit from the EU goes through then the Tory party will heal it's rifts and be an extremely power force in British politics. Their Euro-philes are not going to start a campaign to get us back in. The issue with will be finished and the split will be history. We can then expect a Conservative government for ever.

On the other hand, if we really can get this referendum result dismissed somehow, it will split that party and leave us with a more representative European conservative party, and all the fringe elements will end up in some re-imagined UKIP. We'd then have a better level of public debate.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
There's a campaign for pro-EU parties to unite behind a single candidate for the Richmond Park by-election, since Zac Goldsmith was a Leave campaigner in a constituency that voted heavily in favour of Remain. Though, the by-election will be on a single issue (Heathrow expansion) - but if the pro-EU candidate opposes Heathrow expansion that would be negated. The Tories aren't going to stand, the LibDems are closing the gap but if Labour and Greens also stand the pro-EU vote may be split too much to displace Goldsmith.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
Blair's support could fatally damage any pro-EU position.
 
Posted by Leorning Cniht (# 17564) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
To be fair, I don't think there are many people who share a federalist vision for Europe within the rest of the EU either. The "federalist EU" was a boggie man produced by the Brexit campaign to scare people with a vision of a loss of UK sovereignty. It's an aspiration for many European politicians, but not widely shared by their electorates. It may happen, but I doubt I would live to see it.

I agree entirely that federalism is more an aspiration of the Euro-elite than a desire of many European people, but don't buy your argument. It has slippery slope written all over it.

If you (not you personally, of course [Smile] ) oppose a federal Europe, why on earth would you feel comfortable supporting people who want a federal Europe on the grounds that "it won't happen yet"? That's how opinion shifts - in consistent small steps. It's like turkeys comforting themselves that they're just supporting Hallowe'en, which is an enjoyable festival that all sensible turkeys can come together and enjoy.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
Yes, it's a slippery slope. But, one that will take a long time for the EU to reach the bottom. My objection to it being raised as a Brexiteers bogey man is precisely because it is a long way in the distance. By voting to Leave now on the basis of avoiding a future Federal EU including the UK Brexiteers were making a decision that will affect people not even born yet. What right do I have to make a decision for the people of the UK in 50 years when it is not a decision I will ever have to face. Let those who will face the decisions relating to increased political union in the EU actually make that decision.
 
Posted by Leorning Cniht (# 17564) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
By voting to Leave now on the basis of avoiding a future Federal EU including the UK Brexiteers were making a decision that will affect people not even born yet. What right do I have to make a decision for the people of the UK in 50 years when it is not a decision I will ever have to face. Let those who will face the decisions relating to increased political union in the EU actually make that decision.

Voting to remain is also a decision that will affect the currently unborn. All our decisions do. The decision to join the EEC in 1973 laid the groundwork for the current Brexit argument.

Despite the revisionist history put about by the Euroskeptics, the 1975 referendum was never "just about a trade treaty" - the language and goals of closer integration were always there. Nevertheless, for a long time the EEC was more or less a glorified trade treaty, and the prospect of free movement between the UK and France didn't bother anyone.

But still, the slope was there. People almost 50 years ago, many of whom are now dead, chose to put the UK on this slope. By a slim majority, people today chose to step onto a different slope. (And if yo think changing slopes at this point is going to be painful, how much more painful would it be for our children to jump ship in a generation if they didn't like the integration? Every choice we make constrains their choices - not just the choices that you don't like.)

It is in nobody's power to step off all the slopes. Slopes are in the nature of the world - it doesn't have flat spots.

[ 28. October 2016, 15:39: Message edited by: Leorning Cniht ]
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
Why, in the indefinite and distant future, would a federal Europe be such a terrible thing? If the alternative is the collection of warring willy-wavers of 1900-80, it could well be the least-worse option.
 
Posted by Leorning Cniht (# 17564) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Why, in the indefinite and distant future, would a federal Europe be such a terrible thing? If the alternative is the collection of warring willy-wavers of 1900-80, it could well be the least-worse option.

It is possible. I make no judgement here on the desirability of a future federal Europe. I am judging the argument that says that we can let a future generation worry about whether they want that, and that the choices we make now won't have an effect on that.
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
Enoch:
quote:
Why, in the indefinite and distant future, would a federal Europe be such a terrible thing?
Brexiteers don't have to believe it is terrible. One can respect ideas without personally sharing them.

And if the timescale had been much much longer, I would have given it a better chance of success.

But I disagree with your characterisation of the 20th century, as if we are all peaceful people now we're in the EU, as opposed to nasty people who caused all the trouble in the 20th century.

Civilisation develops, sometimes in very painful ways. We need to learn lessons from the past, and if you think that one of the lessons is that large federal states are less aggressive than smaller states, then I simply don't see that at all.

Isn't the argument that the EU brought peace to Europe a version of the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.
 
Posted by TurquoiseTastic (# 8978) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Humble Servant:
I might feel inclined to forgive Tony Blair for his past record if he could follow through on this.

It occurred to be the other day that if the exit from the EU goes through then the Tory party will heal it's rifts and be an extremely power force in British politics. Their Euro-philes are not going to start a campaign to get us back in. The issue with will be finished and the split will be history. We can then expect a Conservative government for ever.

On the other hand, if we really can get this referendum result dismissed somehow, it will split that party and leave us with a more representative European conservative party, and all the fringe elements will end up in some re-imagined UKIP. We'd then have a better level of public debate.

A re-imagined UKIP would lead to a better level of public debate?????

What you would get would be a slanging match about the overturned referendum, forever.

And this "re-imagined" (and re-invigorated) UKIP would then be either the main opposition party, or the party of government. It would probably be more malign than the original UKIP - more BNP-ish.

No no no no no. Accept that Brexit is going to happen and try to get a proper centrist party going. There should be a lot of space in the centre at the moment. It needs some grassroots support though, some "momentum" if you will.
 
Posted by PaulTH* (# 320) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Turquoise Tastic:
Accept that Brexit is going to happen and try to get a proper centrist party going

This is one I'd drink to. Tony Blair's ideas don't surprise me coming from a man like him. He's one of those elitist politicians who believes that he knows better than the voters what they need. Of course, he says, he's not trying to undermine the result of the referendum, but can't the question be asked again when they've had more time to think? Sounds like a typical Irish EU referendum. When you get the wrong answer, by a combination of carrot and stick, you keep asking until the dimbos get it right! No thanks. That is not democracy.

But we do need a centre party. Corbyn's socialism has many zealous followers, but will never win a majority with the British electorate. A one party Tory state is horrendous. Perhaps the Lib Dems are about to expand and fill the vacuum in the centre ground. I don't much like them on their past record, but times, people and problems to be solved change, and something new is essential here.
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
We've had centrist parties and only Blairite Labour ever bore fruit. The old Liberal party, under Jo Grimond and Jeremy Thorpe was eccentric but generally centrist, the Social Democrats was a centrist offshoot of a Labour Party that was going nowhere and when that merged with the Liberals, Labour could see a whole chunk of its support disappearing. So could the Tories for that matter, so they were delighted that a centrist Labour party could maintain the two-party status quo, which is caused by the FPTP voting system.

Britain won't get adequate centrist representation without electoral reform.
 
Posted by fletcher christian (# 13919) on :
 
Posted by PaulTH:
quote:

Sounds like a typical Irish EU referendum. When you get the wrong answer, by a combination of carrot and stick, you keep asking until the dimbos get it right! No thanks. That is not democracy.

Just to clarify. The EU treaty referendum that went through twice in Ireland was due to the government of the time attempting in the initial referendum to tack a side issue onto it that turned out to be a matter of great national significance involving citizens right to privacy and in consequence drew in concerns about 'big government'. It was passed the second time when when the tacked on issue was rejected and dropped. So the 'dimbos' as you put it, were fully exercising their democratic right. I don't know what concepts you have of democracy, but that particular referendum was to my mind a fine example of democracy in action where a government that attempted to treat its citizens like 'dimbos' was given a bloody nose. It was an added bonus that the 'session through recession' government of the time was given the bloody nose to a full European audience. The only 'dimbos' on show were the British reporting rags who decided their readership was too dumb to understand the nuances of democracy in action and who didn't want truth to be getting in the way of great British political spin.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by fletcher christian:
The EU treaty referendum that went through twice in Ireland was due to the government of the time attempting in the initial referendum to tack a side issue onto it that turned out to be a matter of great national significance involving citizens right to privacy and in consequence drew in concerns about 'big government'.

tangent/

That's interesting. I've heard from a Colombian (but not checked) that the referendum proposal approving the FARC peace deal was rejected by the voters for similar reasons (I was wondering why it had been).

/tangent
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
PaukTh:
quote:
When you get the wrong answer, by a combination of carrot and stick, you keep asking until the dimbos get it right! No thanks. That is not democracy
. Well I don't expect one, but I've never been convinced by the anti-democratic argument, which to me would only hold if the result was not carried into effect on the (correct) ground that it is not legally binding.

A lot depends on your view of what is needed to secure legitimacy. So suppose - and I suspect this is true - that a majority of those eligible to vote, and somewhat larger majority of those eligible to pay tax, prefer to remain. It would still be close, but I would take a bet on a majority to remain.

So why would it be undemocratic to ask for a re-confirmation?

Yes, your giving a second chance to the dumbos who got it wrong, but I am only including in this category those who failed, as opposed to consciously chose, not to vote.

However, even better and more likely, would be an election, and because of this I can understand why the EU leaders want to make Article 50 retractable.

I am quite content to work with brexit but can't see why anyone thinks the efforts to reverse it are either unpatriotic or to be deplored.
 
Posted by Leorning Cniht (# 17564) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:

So why would it be undemocratic to ask for a re-confirmation?

Yes, your giving a second chance to the dumbos who got it wrong, but I am only including in this category those who failed, as opposed to consciously chose, not to vote.

I am quite content to work with brexit but can't see why anyone thinks the efforts to reverse it are either unpatriotic or to be deplored.

So the thing that PaulTH is complaining about is the idea that one can keep re-running a referendum until one gets an answer that one likes.

(fletcher christian has made the case that this isn't what happened in Ireland. But let's deal with the idea.)

Polls have a certain amount of uncertainty in them. The purpose of a referendum is to ask the question "what do the electorate think about issue X?" - but on any given day, people's votes are changed based on the weather, whether they got laid last night, whether they had a good week at work this week, and all kinds of irrelevant short-term noise. So if you were to imagine re-running a referendum every week (and assumed that people magically didn't get annoyed with referenda) you'd get a set of answers distributed around the "true" opinion of the electorate.

But when you re-run polls to try to get the "right" answer, you introduce bias. You stop as soon as you get a "yes" vote - you don't find anyone re-running a poll that went their way just in case that was a fluke.

Consider rolling a die. On average, you expect to roll a 3.5. But now roll two dice and pick the highest (that's what you do with a repeated poll), and the average score you expect from your best die is 4.47. The more dice you roll, the higher you expect your best score to be.

The assumption in this discussion is that the true opinion of the electorate hasn't changed. The more reason you have to believe that there has been a significant change in public opinion, the more reasonable it becomes to re-run a referendum. You still have this same bias introduced by taking the best score of repeated samples, but perhaps public opinion has shifted by a greater amount.
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
LearningCnight:
Nobody is suggesting having repeated referenda until you get the result you want. But it is not unreasonable to want to be sure that on major constitutional issues, you have got a result that really represents the majority of the U.K. public.

One frequently used method is to require more than a simple majority. Say 60/40 for major constitutional change, like brexit or Scottish independence.

If you don't like that then how about the need for a reconfirmation, say in three month's.

That doesn't mean you'll get the result that is best all round, but it makes it more likely that you'll get a result that truly reflects the will of the citizenry - which I can't see as anti-democratic.

The only argument against is that the vote of those who couldn't be bothered to get their arse to the polling station is worth less, which though elitist does have some validity.

Won't happen, though, as we all know really.
 
Posted by Leorning Cniht (# 17564) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:

One frequently used method is to require more than a simple majority. Say 60/40 for major constitutional change, like brexit or Scottish independence.

If you don't like that then how about the need for a reconfirmation, say in three month's.

It's not unreasonable for referenda to be biased towards the status quo, and as you say, requiring a supermajority guarantees that a majority of the people are actually in favour of the change (the noise on the polling result is less than the 10 point excess required with a 60/40 split).

It is, explicitly, a bias - you're saying that if the will of the country is close to evenly split, it is right to make no change.

(Consider the 1975 referendum on the EEC. In principle, this is the first time the people have an option to express an opinion, so the "status quo" option should be to not join. However, the UK did join the EEC in 1973. So is remaining in the EEC the status quo? It's not obvious that everyone will agree on what the status quo option is - or even that there is a status quo option at all.)

Requiring a change to be confirmed in a second poll does a similar thing - and has the same bias.

I don't know of any examples of two results being required for a change in referenda, although it happens in other contexts (presumably the expense of a referendum tends to disfavour this idea).

If you want to avoid the status quo bias (and the problem of deciding what the status quo is), you could re-run any referendum that was closer than 60/40, and go with the "best of three". But probably you'd find that referendum fatigue would set in and be a bigger bias than the noise you were trying to avoid.
 
Posted by agingjb (# 16555) on :
 
The best time to vote "out" was 1975, which I did, to the horror of my Tory and Liberal friends at the time.

This time "out" was irreversible. But "in" would have meant that there could be fresh referendums if and when membership of the EU became less popular.

Now, once Article 50 goes in, and the negotiations amount to the single word "goodbye" from the EU, there is no way back. Well, accepting the Euro and Schengen, and getting that past a popular vote, I think not.

There is a lot to said for requiring more than a simple majority of those voting to precipitate an irreversible change, but I wonder if that is in itself a majority opinion.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
So many stories and rumours about the Nissan deal have been going on, but it looks as if the govt are now saying that Nissan were told they would be given 'tariff free access' to EU markets.

It's not clear whether this refers to some version of the single market or customs union.

It seems ironic that Nissan seem to have been told more than MPs, a point made by Keir Starmer (Labour).

Further questions are bound to come up - will other companies be offered similar deals? If not, why not?

It looks as if hard Brexit is softening, but still behind a shroud of secrecy. We don't talk about these things in front of the children, that is, the voters!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-37815864
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
A friend just said to me that Mrs May is worried about the hard Brexiteers, therefore has to conceal any softening, as the Nissan deal might represent. I don't think this will work, as the hard mob will smell a rat.
 
Posted by Dave W. (# 8765) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
So many stories and rumours about the Nissan deal have been going on, but it looks as if the govt are now saying that Nissan were told they would be given 'tariff free access' to EU markets. [...]

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-37815864

I don't see that this is a "softening" at all - haven't all Brexiteers, of whatever consistency, claimed that tariff-free access would be easy to achieve?

The article just says the UK "wants" and "would seek" tariff-free access for the motor industry - but this is nothing new. It's hardly within the UK's power to "give" access unilaterally; Nissan's executives must realize this, and it seems unlikely that they'd make major investment decisions on the basis of such flimsy assurances.

I wonder if they've been promised any special concessions by the UK government (tax rebates?) in the event that the UK fails to negotiate such favorable terms.

[ 30. October 2016, 14:45: Message edited by: Dave W. ]
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
So a hard Brexit includes tariff-free access? I guess that depends on the EU as well, since they may not be keen to give the UK a good deal, and make it too attractive.
 
Posted by SusanDoris (# 12618) on :
 
The 1:0 p.m. BBC Radio 4 News today came from Belfast and the discussion was about the border between NI and the republic of Ireland.
It is so infuriating to wonder - did all the outers in much of England give any real thought to the people in NI, also Scotland where the majority was for remaining in. I'm a reasonable, calm sort of person but at times I'd really like to go and shake a few of the exiters, i.e. the ones whose only consideration appeared to have been too many immigrants.

Ah, well .... *a few more deep sighs to add to those already sighed*!
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
I don't think most English people think about N. Ireland from one year to another, except with annoyance, maybe. The idea that people would actually think about relations with the Republic, and the border between EU and non-EU, seems far-fetched. Keep out the fuzzy-wuzzies is the mantra!
 
Posted by Dafyd (# 5549) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
I don't see that this is a "softening" at all - haven't all Brexiteers, of whatever consistency, claimed that tariff-free access would be easy to achieve?

I'm not sure that any Brexiteers have been of any consistency.

As I understand it, soft Brexit would mean making free trade with the EU a priority even if that meant accepting freedom of movement for EU nationals, and hard Brexit would mean making keeping immigration controls on people from the EU a priority even if that means losing free trade with the EU. It is true that a number of Brexiteers believe that these terms assume that the unpatriotic, moany, and anti-democratic sentiment that we can't have our cake and eat it, and therefore reject them. And of course any term in politics gets used by politicians and journalists to mean what it suits them to mean by it at the moment of use. But I believe the above is the original intention.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
So a hard Brexit includes tariff-free access? I guess that depends on the EU as well, since they may not be keen to give the UK a good deal, and make it too attractive.

EU leaders consistently have said that the UK cannot have tariff free access without also having free movement. So either the PM has lied to them or somehow has offered an inducement payable should tariff free Brexit be unattainable.

Personally I'm not sure I'd believe anything the Tory government says about the post-Brexit future, they seem to be entirely making it up.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
It's like the Delphic Oracle, everything is shrouded in mystery and ambiguity. Or the Rorschach ink-blot, where you see whatever you want.

I keep coming back to Starmer's point that the Nissan management seem to know more about their 'deal' than MPs do. WTF.

[ 30. October 2016, 15:41: Message edited by: quetzalcoatl ]
 
Posted by Rocinante (# 18541) on :
 
I get the impression that May is running around telling everyone what they want to hear about Brexit, hoping that something will turn up. She might want to end the farce by calling a general election, which would presumably return a solidly Tory/Brexit House. However, I suspect that pro-European MPs on both sides of the House will do their best to make sure that this parliament lasts the full 5 years, (blocking any attempt to tinker with the fixed term act), and push for the softest Brexit possible.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
I don't think most English people think about N. Ireland from one year to another, except with annoyance, maybe.

The select committee hearing where the two former taoisigh turn up to tell the MPs - very charmingly - that they are frankly mad if they don't realize they are opening a massive can of worms is interesting to watch.
 
Posted by Dave W. (# 8765) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
I don't see that this is a "softening" at all - haven't all Brexiteers, of whatever consistency, claimed that tariff-free access would be easy to achieve?

I'm not sure that any Brexiteers have been of any consistency.

Both soft and hard, I meant. (Bad choice of words on my part; consistency really means something more like viscosity than hardness. Would have worked better if we were talking about "thick" vs. "runny" Brexiteers.)
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
Would have worked better if we were talking about "thick" vs. "runny" Brexiteers.

Assuming, of course, there are any Brexiteers who are not as thick as two short planks.
 
Posted by PaulTH* (# 320) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Assuming, of course, there are any Brexiteers who are not as thick as two short planks.

Well I voted Remain because Project Fear got to me, not out of any love for the EU and its rotten institutions. It doesn't make a person thick to dislike what Juncker and co stand for. Anyway, there have been items in the news this last week which make me feel more upbeat. First the WTO leader Roberto Azevedo has changed his tune somewhat. He now says ""I will be working hard - I will work very intensely to ensure that this transition is fast and is smooth." He also said, "Trade will not stop, it will continue and members negotiate the legal basis under which that trade is going to happen. But it doesn't mean that we'll have a vacuum or a disruption."

The reality is that he too was part of Project Fear, but he now sees that world trade isn't in the best of places, and doesn't want to make anything worse. Also a

report last week by Civitas shows that, under WTO tariffs, the UK would pay some £5.2 billion, wheras it would receive £12.9 billion. So in the event that the EU leaders don't come to their senses over this, they stand to lose more. This maths can't be wasted on leaders such as Mrs Merkel. Swedish businessman Johan Eliasch spoke to her last week, mentioning three proposals.

Regulatory equivalence for financial services, free movement of highly skilled individuals and the maintenance of tariff free trade. Although she was non-committal, she said, "If we're all sensible, we'll come to a sensible solution." In spite of the sabre rattling and posturing on both sides, there will be give and take, to the benefit of all the EU, not just the UK. When the EU leaders examine the size of the economic hit they'll take if post Brexit tariffs are applied, they will be willing to negotiate.
 
Posted by Rocinante (# 18541) on :
 
I've seen innumerable articles by brexiteers crowing about how much more Brexit will cost them than it will cost us. They all assume that import & export trade will continue at pre-referendum levels, which, after the tanking pound makes imports 30% more expensive and our exports 30% cheaper, is pure fantasy.

The purpose of tariffs is to control levels of trade, not to raise revenue. If we wanted trade to continue at previous levels we would have to find some mechanism for adjusting the tariffs - i.e., a trade agreement.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Assuming, of course, there are any Brexiteers who are not as thick as two short planks.

Well I voted Remain because Project Fear got to me, not out of any love for the EU and its rotten institutions. It doesn't make a person thick to dislike what Juncker and co stand for.
Just to be clear, I'm using "Brexiteer" for someone who campaigned for Brexit, rather than those who voted to Leave. Brexiteers are those who travelled around the country in a bus with a lie emblazoned down the side, who ran their own "Project Fear" by falsely claiming that a) immigration is a problem and b) leaving the EU would solve this non-problem, etc.
 
Posted by Ronald Binge (# 9002) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Assuming, of course, there are any Brexiteers who are not as thick as two short planks.

Well I voted Remain because Project Fear got to me, not out of any love for the EU and its rotten institutions. It doesn't make a person thick to dislike what Juncker and co stand for. Anyway, there have been items in the news this last week which make me feel more upbeat. First the WTO leader Roberto Azevedo has changed his tune somewhat. He now says ""I will be working hard - I will work very intensely to ensure that this transition is fast and is smooth." He also said, "Trade will not stop, it will continue and members negotiate the legal basis under which that trade is going to happen. But it doesn't mean that we'll have a vacuum or a disruption."

The reality is that he too was part of Project Fear, but he now sees that world trade isn't in the best of places, and doesn't want to make anything worse. Also a

report last week by Civitas shows that, under WTO tariffs, the UK would pay some £5.2 billion, wheras it would receive £12.9 billion. So in the event that the EU leaders don't come to their senses over this, they stand to lose more. This maths can't be wasted on leaders such as Mrs Merkel. Swedish businessman Johan Eliasch spoke to her last week, mentioning three proposals.

Regulatory equivalence for financial services, free movement of highly skilled individuals and the maintenance of tariff free trade. Although she was non-committal, she said, "If we're all sensible, we'll come to a sensible solution." In spite of the sabre rattling and posturing on both sides, there will be give and take, to the benefit of all the EU, not just the UK. When the EU leaders examine the size of the economic hit they'll take if post Brexit tariffs are applied, they will be willing to negotiate.

None of that assures me that my everyday life living five miles from the Northern Ireland border will be unaffected. [Mad]
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
Ronald B:
I would take your view and due the situation in the provinces and semi federal structure (and despite it being an idea of Nicola who I heartily dislike) I do think all the constituent nations should have needed a majority pace Belgium in the recent CETA negotiations.

We are where we are - and isn't that profound!

But one semi-reasonable point is that if Sweden-Norway can manage a much bigger border, why can't we?

OK so Swedes and Norwegians have a slightly more harmonious past relationship.
 
Posted by Jolly Jape (# 3296) on :
 
PaulTH,

Your optimistic economic predictions discount seriously the wider economic effects of brexit. We certainly do import more from the rest of the EU than we export to it, but you can't take that fact in isolation. We are so well integrated that the disruption to trade will very likely make everyone poorer, and nothing thst either party can do, short of tearing up the results of the referendum, is going to fix that. The non (direct) trade costs, (loss of the benefits of free movement of people, interference with research programmes, etc) almost certainly will dwarf the direct trade costs, whatever tariff agreements to which we do or do not come.
 
Posted by Ronald Binge (# 9002) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
Ronald B:
I would take your view and due the situation in the provinces and semi federal structure (and despite it being an idea of Nicola who I heartily dislike) I do think all the constituent nations should have needed a majority pace Belgium in the recent CETA negotiations.

We are where we are - and isn't that profound!

But one semi-reasonable point is that if Sweden-Norway can manage a much bigger border, why can't we?

OK so Swedes and Norwegians have a slightly more harmonious past relationship.

Something will be bodged between the EU, the UK and the Republic of Ireland, no doubt. The hopelessly entwined nature of Britain and Ireland demands that, but I don't have fond memories of officious customs on the Irish side, and the administrative contortions pre-1992 my old employers had to go through to sell goods from the Republic to Northern Ireland.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:

But one semi-reasonable point is that if Sweden-Norway can manage a much bigger border, why can't we?

Sweden and Norway are both in Schengen, which simplifies some things. In terms of goods, the Sweden/Norway Sweden/Finland borders are handling by allowing customs police from either side of the border to inspect sites on the other side - given the history of Ireland and the UK, this may not be particularly acceptable to some communities.
 
Posted by Ronald Binge (# 9002) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:

But one semi-reasonable point is that if Sweden-Norway can manage a much bigger border, why can't we?

Sweden and Norway are both in Schengen, which simplifies some things. In terms of goods, the Sweden/Norway Sweden/Finland borders are handling by allowing customs police from either side of the border to inspect sites on the other side - given the history of Ireland and the UK, this may not be particularly acceptable to some communities.
It isn't communitarian to believe any impeding of a hitherto open border is nothing but a damn nuisance, at best.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ronald Binge:

It isn't communitarian to believe any impeding of a hitherto open border is nothing but a damn nuisance, at best.

I wasn't casting judgement necessarily; just indicating that solutions adopted elsewhere may not be acceptable in a specifically Irish context.

We are where we are, and some impeding of the border is on the cards - unless we stay within the Single Market or the EU - both of which seem unlikely.
 
Posted by Leorning Cniht (# 17564) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by agingjb:

There is a lot to said for requiring more than a simple majority of those voting to precipitate an irreversible change, but I wonder if that is in itself a majority opinion.

and we come back to the question of "what is an irreversible change" - you can make a reasonable case that although the Brexit question looked on the surface like a status quo / irreversible change decision, it was really a choice of two pretty irreversible paths.

Because having a "status quo" assumes that standing still is an option, and it often isn't.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
The Nissan deal, if it is that, continues to spread ripples. Most vivid quote is from Clegg, who has protested that it could cost billions to protect other companies. But this is all guesswork, since no-one knows if Nissan will be repeated with other firms, or even how exactly Nissan will be protected. Does the government even know this?

I think it will be raised in Parliament today, but we can expect more stone-walling. "We aim to secure the best trade deals for British companies, and we are not going to reveal ongoing negotiations, and we are certainly not going to discuss this with MPs, who the fuck do they think they are, we answer to the British people. "

I've heard that some of the Brexit comment threads in the tabloids are livid with May, seeing it as a betrayal of a pure and virgin and hard Brexit. Cue Mae West, a hard Brexit is good to find and hold on to.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:

But this is all guesswork, since no-one knows if Nissan will be repeated with other firms, or even how exactly Nissan will be protected. Does the government even know this?

Maybe this was posted already, but Carlos Goshn is a shrewd chap who is sure to have the measure of May. He wouldn't have made the decision unless the guarantees he got were actually worth something.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:

But this is all guesswork, since no-one knows if Nissan will be repeated with other firms, or even how exactly Nissan will be protected. Does the government even know this?

Maybe this was posted already, but Carlos Goshn is a shrewd chap who is sure to have the measure of May. He wouldn't have made the decision unless the guarantees he got were actually worth something.
I agree. It's inaccurate of me to ask if the govt knows, as they must have some scheme to protect Nissan, either financial, or maintaining the customs union, or the like. I suppose May is treading on eggshells, so as not to upset the Big Hairy Brexiteers, who want a white tight and right little country.
 
Posted by Rocinante (# 18541) on :
 
Everyone's focussing on the financial guarantees that may or may not have been given, but AIUI Nissan's red lines for making further investment in GB were continuation of zero-tariff trade and freedom of movement. Therefore ISTM that the government must have promised those.

Something is being cooked up on the Single Market. I would not be surprised if the government asked for UK regions to be allowed to opt in or out of the single market, in exchange for ongoing contributions to the EU, and freedom of movement to those regions. Possibly industrial sectors (Automotive, finance) could make similar arrangements.

The UK already has some of the infrastructure to enable this. Scotland, Wales & NI, London and Bristol are partially self-governing. Other regions are about to be. There could be a series of local referenda on remaining in the single market, and people would have proper information this time around: You will no longer have to hear people speaking Polish in the high street (Oh, the hardship!) but that factory that employs 3,000 directly and 30,000 indirectly will likely close.

This would satisfy the slushy Brexiters because we would be "taking back control", it wouldn't satisfy the Brexit berserkers (Breserkers?), but nothing short of draining the channel and filling it with venomous scorpions would make them happy.

It would have the added attraction of allowing Scotland to effectively remain in the EU, thus taking the momentum out of further moves towards independence.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
Everyone's focussing on the financial guarantees that may or may not have been given, but AIUI Nissan's red lines for making further investment in GB were continuation of zero-tariff trade and freedom of movement. Therefore ISTM that the government must have promised those.

Something is being cooked up on the Single Market. I would not be surprised if the government asked for UK regions to be allowed to opt in or out of the single market, in exchange for ongoing contributions to the EU, and freedom of movement to those regions.

As DaveW points out above, this is not in the power of the UK to give. Furthermore any such deal would have to be ratified by the EU27. Nissan will know this.

Finally, I don't think this could be coherent, which region would you see Sunderland falling into? If it is a region that allows free movement then the Brexiters of the North East aren't going to be particularly happy are they?
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
Something is being cooked up on the Single Market. I would not be surprised if the government asked for UK regions to be allowed to opt in or out of the single market, in exchange for ongoing contributions to the EU, and freedom of movement to those regions. Possibly industrial sectors (Automotive, finance) could make similar arrangements.

The UK already has some of the infrastructure to enable this. Scotland, Wales & NI, London and Bristol are partially self-governing. Other regions are about to be. There could be a series of local referenda on remaining in the single market, and people would have proper information this time around: You will no longer have to hear people speaking Polish in the high street (Oh, the hardship!) but that factory that employs 3,000 directly and 30,000 indirectly will likely close.

This seems massively incorrect. How do you allow "freedom of movement" to just part of the UK? At the moment there is no existing "infrastructure" to prevent someone in Scotland from traveling to England. The only way to accomplish what you're suggesting is some kind of internal check of transit papers. So the argument seems to be that border controls between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland will be onerous and unpopular, but everyone is going to support border controls between Wales and England? (Or wherever you posit the dividing line between "free movement UK" and the rest of the UK to be.)

That seems wrong on a couple of levels.
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
So the argument seems to be that border controls between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland will be onerous and unpopular, but everyone is going to support border controls between Wales and England? (Or wherever you posit the dividing line between "free movement UK" and the rest of the UK to be.)

That seems wrong on a couple of levels.

Sure, it's wrong on a couple of levels. But on the other hand it means the rest of the country might be able to stop those damn cockneys moving in and driving up their house prices, so there may yet be support for it!
 
Posted by betjemaniac (# 17618) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
Something is being cooked up on the Single Market. I would not be surprised if the government asked for UK regions to be allowed to opt in or out of the single market, in exchange for ongoing contributions to the EU, and freedom of movement to those regions. Possibly industrial sectors (Automotive, finance) could make similar arrangements.

The UK already has some of the infrastructure to enable this. Scotland, Wales & NI, London and Bristol are partially self-governing. Other regions are about to be. There could be a series of local referenda on remaining in the single market, and people would have proper information this time around: You will no longer have to hear people speaking Polish in the high street (Oh, the hardship!) but that factory that employs 3,000 directly and 30,000 indirectly will likely close.

This seems massively incorrect. How do you allow "freedom of movement" to just part of the UK? At the moment there is no existing "infrastructure" to prevent someone in Scotland from traveling to England. The only way to accomplish what you're suggesting is some kind of internal check of transit papers. So the argument seems to be that border controls between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland will be onerous and unpopular, but everyone is going to support border controls between Wales and England? (Or wherever you posit the dividing line between "free movement UK" and the rest of the UK to be.)

That seems wrong on a couple of levels.

Yes, I don't know who said what to whom, but I'd be willing to lay pretty good odds that it wasn't what Rocinante has suggested.

It's more plausible that they've threatened to impose reciprocal tariffs and offered to offset out of the difference in the event the EU won't play ball on tariff free access. To be clear, I'm not suggesting that's a great plan, but it's what I think the plan might be.

.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
Yes, I don't know who said what to whom, but I'd be willing to lay pretty good odds that it wasn't what Rocinante has suggested.

It's more plausible that they've threatened to impose reciprocal tariffs and offered to offset out of the difference in the event the EU won't play ball on tariff free access. To be clear, I'm not suggesting that's a great plan, but it's what I think the plan might be.

Clegg seems to think that the Tories have promised some kind of financial inducement with Nissan, which would somehow allow the UK to continue with EU contributions for particular products.

The real issue is therefore what exactly Nissan would get if this odd arrangement was not able to be negotiated with the EU. Presumably some kind of compensation. It is highly unlikely that Nissan would have signed up without some kind of guarantee as far as I can see the situation.

The idea that some parts of the British mainland are in the single market and others are not isn't going to happen. Even Scotland seems trapped between a rock and a hard-place if it has to make a choice between a free-trade area with the EU or with the rUK.

I can maybe/possibly see some kind of new arrangement for Northern Ireland, possibly allowing the province to remain officially part of the UK but at more of an arms length so that it can retain links with the Republic. Geographically that seems to make more sense than trying to split up areas of England/Wales.
 
Posted by Rocinante (# 18541) on :
 
Greg Clark has himself admitted that any financial compensation paid to Nissan would probably contravene WTO treaties - so having pissed off the EU, we'd piss off everyone else as well.

I don't think Nissan would have been happy without something pretty concrete on the single market. I know my proposal above would require a lot of bureaucracy - essentially, a system of regional work visas. But the apparatus to support it exists in embryonic form. There would have to be rapid devolution of these powers to the remaining English regions.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
Of course, the odd thing about N. Ireland is that people there can become Irish citizens. I wonder if that means that they are therefore EU citizens, yet also, not EU citizens.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Of course, the odd thing about N. Ireland is that people there can become Irish citizens. I wonder if that means that they are therefore EU citizens, yet also, not EU citizens.

To the best of my knowledge the EU is not a body that grants "citizenship", so no.
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Of course, the odd thing about N. Ireland is that people there can become Irish citizens. I wonder if that means that they are therefore EU citizens, yet also, not EU citizens.

To the best of my knowledge the EU is not a body that grants "citizenship", so no.
AIUI, to be a citizen of one of the EU's member states is also to be an EU citizen. So, a Northern Irish person who takes out Irish Citizenship will remain an EU citizen after Brexit but I will cease to be one. A number of people are currently seeking dual nationality for themselves or their children to retain the freedom to live or work across the EU including, somewhat ironically, Nigel Farage who had the foresight to marry a German before screwing the rest of us.
 
Posted by Rocinante (# 18541) on :
 
This is a ridiculous problem that Hameron has left us with. It will require an even more ridiculous solution to square the circle and "leave without leaving". I'd be interested to hear anyone else's ideas.

Of course, hard Brexit may be all that's politically possible or that the EU will give us, in which case any discussion of alternatives is entirely moot. But I do not for a moment believe that we can finesse hard Brexit by bribing companies to stay. That's for the birds.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
It will probably require something like this:

S(S(0)) + S(S(0)) = S( S(S(0)) + S(0) )
= S( S( S(S(0)) + 0 ) )
= S(S(S(S(0))))
 
Posted by Rocinante (# 18541) on :
 
Looks as plausible as anything else I've seen.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:

It's more plausible that they've threatened to impose reciprocal tariffs and offered to offset out of the difference in the event the EU won't play ball on tariff free access. To be clear, I'm not suggesting that's a great plan, but it's what I think the plan might be.

Well, offsetting payments of this kind would fall foul of WTO rules. The UK could stay out of the WTO but that would invoke a whole other world of pain.

Again, I want to challenge the background assumption in your post that the natural state of the world is tariff free trade and the EU is somehow violating some kind of natural law by 'imposing' tariffs and somehow refusing to 'play ball'.

The choices are; join the WTO, play by the rules of the WTO and be subject to the tariffs of the WTO; join a platform such as EFTA, play by the rules of the platform and enjoy the benefits of the platform; spend the time and effort necessary to draw up a trade agreement of your own.

[Again, I refer back to Ricardus' excellent post http://forum.ship-of-fools.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=2;t=019952;p=2#000099 ]

[ 31. October 2016, 18:42: Message edited by: chris stiles ]
 
Posted by lowlands_boy (# 12497) on :
 
The government have lost a case in the High Court on whether or not they could use "royal prerogative" to invoke Article 50. The judgement means that it now must have parliamentary approval.

Not surprisingly, leave to appeal to the Supreme Court has been granted, and the government will do so.

Farage is foaming at the mouth on all available media outlets, with other sides also wetting themselves....
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
A victory for democracy, putting decisions about implementing Brexit into the hands of all our elected representatives. Which is where it should be, rather than in the hands of a few making decisions behind closed doors.

Ultimately, of course, it will make no difference - because any vote in Parliament will result in Article 50 being invoked. Too many of our MPs will just tow the "will of the people" line and vote for the government. The SNP may go for trying to get some concessions from the government, and vote against if they don't. Some of the more vocal pro-EU MPs will probably vote against. But, not enough to make any difference.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
If you're right, to my mind this just underscores the detrimental role of the media in over-sensationalising issues, thus fuelling anxiety and drawing contrasts so sharply there is no sensible middle ground.

Scarcely was this news out than the BBC website is awash with articles on sterling jumping, a law drafter saying Article 50 wasn't watertight anyway, speculation about Remainers fighting a grassroots campaign, and so forth; in similar fashion to the treatment of the US election.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
And the rabid right wing will now be growing hair on their chest, and saying that the will of the people is being denied. Hang on, I thought they wanted sovereignty - isn't it Parliament that is sovereign?
 
Posted by Tubbs (# 440) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Of course, the odd thing about N. Ireland is that people there can become Irish citizens. I wonder if that means that they are therefore EU citizens, yet also, not EU citizens.

To the best of my knowledge the EU is not a body that grants "citizenship", so no.
If you're a citizen of an EU country, you automatically have the same rights as a local within the EU. Which explains why some people in the UK are frantically checking their family history to see if there is a connection with an EU country that allows them apply for a passport.

Tubbs
 
Posted by Tubbs (# 440) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lowlands_boy:
The government have lost a case in the High Court on whether or not they could use "royal prerogative" to invoke Article 50. The judgement means that it now must have parliamentary approval.

Not surprisingly, leave to appeal to the Supreme Court has been granted, and the government will do so.

Farage is foaming at the mouth on all available media outlets, with other sides also wetting themselves....

If they lose the Supreme Court case, they could appeal to Europe. [Snigger]

Brexit will pass, but only with checks and balances and it will have to go through due process. Which could take awhile. I'm not seeing why there's such a big objection ... Surely taking back control means that the House is involved in these kind of decisions and is seen as an asset rather than a liability. We don't make other big decisions, like going to war, on the basis of executive powers.

Tubbs
 
Posted by Eirenist (# 13343) on :
 
Am I being unduly paranoid in detecting unpleasantly totalitarian overtones in the constant invocation of 'will of the British people' by the present Government?
On the other hand, if by any chance the Parliamentary vote was to go against the Government and an election was to be called, wouldn't it be likely to result in the formation of the most right-wing Government since 1832? Let's not throw our hats in the air too soon!
 
Posted by PaulTH* (# 320) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
A victory for democracy, putting decisions about implementing Brexit into the hands of all our elected representatives. Which is where it should be, rather than in the hands of a few making decisions behind closed doors.

I can imagine those who passionately support Britain's membership of the EU being jubilant about this. The pound has already gone up by a cent against the dollar since the announcement. But it remains to be seen if it's a victory for democracy. Both in the 2015 Tory Party election manifesto, and in the leaflet which Cameron dropped through all our doors during the referendum campaign, it was made clear that the government would implement the decision of the referendum whatever the outcome. Quite right IMO. But parliament has an 80% pro Remain bias. It will now do what it can to delay and eventually eliminate Brexit in any meaningful way.

What the government should do in the new year, as it's too late this side of Christmas is to repeal the Fixed Term Parliament Act of 2011 and call a general election. I have advocated this all along. We know that the Lib Dems would enter such an election promising to keep us in the EU. UKIP will opt for a total divorce. The Tories and Labour will be forced to set out their stalls as to what they want to happen next. I don't trust the present parliament to honour the democratic will of the people. Let members face their own voters and find out what they want first. Then there's some hope that this will be a victory for democracy.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eirenist:
Am I being unduly paranoid in detecting unpleasantly totalitarian overtones in the constant invocation of 'will of the British people' by the present Government?

Not unduly paranoid at all, IMO.

quote:
On the other hand, if by any chance the Parliamentary vote was to go against the Government and an election was to be called, wouldn't it be likely to result in the formation of the most right-wing Government since 1832? Let's not throw our hats in the air too soon!
If there was another election called, I'm not sure that the rather uncertain "will of the people" over Brexit would be a strong factor. The total collapse of Labour probably would be, and that would favour the right by default. On the other hand, there is a large body of people who voted Remain, also a large number of people who voted Leave who are appalled at the racism and xenophobia demonstrated by the right, and a large number of young people who were unable to vote in June ... all of which might give a politically centralish candidate strong support - and, even return a large number of MPs who stand on an anti-Brexit platform. Such an election would be interesting, but I don't think it's a foregone conclusion that it would return a government even further to the right than the current bunch of wannabe-fascists.
 
Posted by lowlands_boy (# 12497) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eirenist:
Am I being unduly paranoid in detecting unpleasantly totalitarian overtones in the constant invocation of 'will of the British people' by the present Government?
On the other hand, if by any chance the Parliamentary vote was to go against the Government and an election was to be called, wouldn't it be likely to result in the formation of the most right-wing Government since 1832? Let's not throw our hats in the air too soon!

Well - it would either be the most right wing, or if Corbyn's Labour won, the most left wing for donkey's years.

Apparently Ladbrokes have odds of 2/1 that Article 50 doesn't happen before 2021 or at all. You can get the same odds on a 2017 general election.

I'm a Methodist though ;-)
 
Posted by lowlands_boy (# 12497) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
A victory for democracy, putting decisions about implementing Brexit into the hands of all our elected representatives. Which is where it should be, rather than in the hands of a few making decisions behind closed doors.

I can imagine those who passionately support Britain's membership of the EU being jubilant about this. The pound has already gone up by a cent against the dollar since the announcement. But it remains to be seen if it's a victory for democracy. Both in the 2015 Tory Party election manifesto, and in the leaflet which Cameron dropped through all our doors during the referendum campaign, it was made clear that the government would implement the decision of the referendum whatever the outcome. Quite right IMO. But parliament has an 80% pro Remain bias. It will now do what it can to delay and eventually eliminate Brexit in any meaningful way.

What the government should do in the new year, as it's too late this side of Christmas is to repeal the Fixed Term Parliament Act of 2011 and call a general election. I have advocated this all along. We know that the Lib Dems would enter such an election promising to keep us in the EU. UKIP will opt for a total divorce. The Tories and Labour will be forced to set out their stalls as to what they want to happen next. I don't trust the present parliament to honour the democratic will of the people. Let members face their own voters and find out what they want first. Then there's some hope that this will be a victory for democracy.

The problem is, if you have a general election that's just based on the EU position, what do you do if you end up with another hung parliament? How would all those parties ever enter into a coalition?

There'd be so much arguing over what to do that Putin might decide to bring his aircraft carrier back from Syria and sail it down the Thames while the (non) government dither.

OK - the Putin bit it hyperbole, but it could be extremely unstable. At least as it stands we have a modicum of "normal" government with a parliament elected on other positions. Better the devil you know....
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
A victory for democracy, putting decisions about implementing Brexit into the hands of all our elected representatives. Which is where it should be, rather than in the hands of a few making decisions behind closed doors.

I can imagine those who passionately support Britain's membership of the EU being jubilant about this.
As a passionate supporter of Britain's membership of the EU, I wouldn't say I'm jubilant. Because, it's a very small step that will ultimately not change anything - it might slow things down a wee bit, though if the government decides not to go to the Supreme Court they could put a motion into the House, have a debate and vote and still invoke Article 50 at the end of March. I don't expect more than a handful of Tories to vote against the government, and there will be a sizeable number of Labour MPs who will also accept that "Brexit means Brexit". If the government decides to go to the Supreme Court, then they'll presumably have to wait for that decision before invoking Article 50. And if the ruling is still that it needs to go through the House then March may slip into May or June.

More interesting will be the courts decisions relating to the actual referendum. If the courts rule that some people were illegally denied a vote then all bets are off, and it would probably need a re-run of the referendum including those who were excluded in June. I predict a re-run would give a Remain result - I recently saw a study on demagraphics that showed that even if no-one changes their votes (including the choice not to vote) then within 5 years the result would swing to Remain simply by the number of young people turning 18 and the death of the elderly.

quote:
Both in the 2015 Tory Party election manifesto, and in the leaflet which Cameron dropped through all our doors during the referendum campaign, it was made clear that the government would implement the decision of the referendum whatever the outcome.
As a point of information, I never received this mythical leaflet from Cameron. But, that's not really relevant. The point is, that the manifesto commitment is what's going to result in most Tories voting to invoke Article 50 when it goes through the House. The Tory party can't be seen to back down on such a public commitment and to vote against the government - otherwise they're likely to end up in their own version of the mess Labour are in. And, heaven help us, that would mean a load of UKIP MPs next election (even leaving the EU is a better prospect than that).
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
I haven't read the whole decision, but the snippets of the court's reasoning I've seen seem highly questionable.

EDIT: This looks to be the relevant page. https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/judgments/r-miller-v-secretary-of-state-for-exiting-the-european-union/

[ 03. November 2016, 13:41: Message edited by: orfeo ]
 
Posted by TurquoiseTastic (# 8978) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Tubbs:
We don't make other big decisions, like going to war, on the basis of executive powers.

Tubbs

Er... yes, we normally do?
 
Posted by Tubbs (# 440) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TurquoiseTastic:
quote:
Originally posted by Tubbs:
We don't make other big decisions, like going to war, on the basis of executive powers.

Tubbs

Er... yes, we normally do?
Nope, wars are voted on. The UK is not officially in Syria is because Cameron couldn't get military action passed.

Just found out a point in my previous post was wrong. The court case won't go to Europe as European law isn't involved.

Tubbs
 
Posted by betjemaniac (# 17618) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TurquoiseTastic:
quote:
Originally posted by Tubbs:
We don't make other big decisions, like going to war, on the basis of executive powers.

Tubbs

Er... yes, we normally do?
well, the last couple of adventures, eg Syria, have been contingent on a vote, but yes you're right that this is a spectacularly new piece of precedent in the great scheme of things. Was it one of Gordon Brown's ideas? Telling any PM from Blair backwards that they couldn't go to war without a vote if they wanted to would have come as something of a surprise to them.
 
Posted by betjemaniac (# 17618) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Tubbs:
quote:
Originally posted by TurquoiseTastic:
quote:
Originally posted by Tubbs:
We don't make other big decisions, like going to war, on the basis of executive powers.

Tubbs

Er... yes, we normally do?
Nope, wars are voted on. The UK is not officially in Syria is because Cameron couldn't get military action passed.


See my cross post, wars are voted on *now* as a matter of course, but this is a very new development (as in last couple of years), not an age-old precedent.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
Having just read a bit more of the actual decision, I remain quite dubious about its correctness.

It seems to equate alterations to the law of the UK with the results of the application of the laws of (1)the EU or (2) other member states of the EU. And to my mind those are very different things. Changing the text of the law is not the same thing as triggering the application of the law of another country.

It's like saying that the UK loses the right to declare war on another country if that other country has a law that has bad consequences for citizens of enemy countries.

As TurquoiseTastic says, declaring war IS a prerogative power. Unless you've somehow done something to get rid of it. Otherwise, getting the blessing of Parliament is just that: a blessing. And a political move rather than a legally necessary one.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
This article is a fairly clear statement that getting Parliamentary approval of fighting is a political convention.
 
Posted by Tubbs (# 440) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
quote:
Originally posted by Tubbs:
quote:
Originally posted by TurquoiseTastic:
quote:
Originally posted by Tubbs:
We don't make other big decisions, like going to war, on the basis of executive powers.

Tubbs

Er... yes, we normally do?
Nope, wars are voted on. The UK is not officially in Syria is because Cameron couldn't get military action passed.


See my cross post, wars are voted on *now* as a matter of course, but this is a very new development (as in last couple of years), not an age-old precedent.
Thank you. Given all the fuss about who voted for Iraq recently, I assumed that it had always been so.

Frankly, it's a good precedent.

We elect people to run the country on our behalf so they should be all over Brexit. The idea that "taking back control" means that things are discussed and decided in secret by a small committee is just ... [brick wall] That's not saying I want a redo, just that I want the form of brexit to go through proper due process.

Tubbs
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Tubbs:
Frankly, it's a good precedent.

Frankly, court cases aren't about good precedents. They're about legal requirements. I know you were talking about going to war just now, but how we got here was by comparing that to Brexit.

Whether it would be a good look for Parliament to be involved in triggering Brexit isn't the question right now. It's whether Parliament legally need to be involved.

And to my mind it's completely wrong in principle to say that Parliament ought automatically to be involved in "big decisions". Parliament is involved with changes to the law. Not decisions in general if they have significant consequences.

[ 03. November 2016, 14:13: Message edited by: orfeo ]
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Having just read a bit more of the actual decision, I remain quite dubious about its correctness.

It seems to equate alterations to the law of the UK with the results of the application of the laws of (1)the EU or (2) other member states of the EU. And to my mind those are very different things. Changing the text of the law is not the same thing as triggering the application of the law of another country.

I'm not a legal expert, added to which I've not had time to read the court documents you linked to earlier (I'll have a look over them when I'm back home from work).

But, I thought the basic argument was that the UK joined (what became) the EU by an Act of Parliament. Therefore, leaving the EU will be to rescind that Act of Parliament. Scrubbing an Act from the books seems, to my lay eyes, the ultimate in "changing the text". The same would go for any other parts of UK law that derive from and rely on EU membership (if any such laws exist).
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:

<snip>
And to my mind it's completely wrong in principle to say that Parliament ought automatically to be involved in "big decisions". Parliament is involved with changes to the law. Not decisions in general if they have significant consequences.

Legislation is one aspect of Parliament's duty but holding the government to account is another. The courts do that too, but they approach it from the legislative point of view which isn't, IMNSHO, the only valid view.
 
Posted by Komensky (# 8675) on :
 
Is it now the case the we took part in a referendum of which the delivery of one of the possible outcomes now turns out to be illegal?

I'll be happy to see Brexit blocked, I'm already suffering just because of the decision.

K.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:

<snip>
And to my mind it's completely wrong in principle to say that Parliament ought automatically to be involved in "big decisions". Parliament is involved with changes to the law. Not decisions in general if they have significant consequences.

Legislation is one aspect of Parliament's duty but holding the government to account is another. The courts do that too, but they approach it from the legislative point of view which isn't, IMNSHO, the only valid view.
Holding to account for actions that have been taken is not at all the same as having to give prior approval for actions. The difference between these two things is utterly fundamental to the relationship between parliament and government.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Having just read a bit more of the actual decision, I remain quite dubious about its correctness.

It seems to equate alterations to the law of the UK with the results of the application of the laws of (1)the EU or (2) other member states of the EU. And to my mind those are very different things. Changing the text of the law is not the same thing as triggering the application of the law of another country.

I'm not a legal expert, added to which I've not had time to read the court documents you linked to earlier (I'll have a look over them when I'm back home from work).

But, I thought the basic argument was that the UK joined (what became) the EU by an Act of Parliament. Therefore, leaving the EU will be to rescind that Act of Parliament. Scrubbing an Act from the books seems, to my lay eyes, the ultimate in "changing the text". The same would go for any other parts of UK law that derive from and rely on EU membership (if any such laws exist).

Well that's my first problem. I'm not persuaded that the UK joined by an Act of Parliament. Again, it's the EU rules that expected an Act of Parliament, as a condition of accepting the UK. It wasn't an idea that the UK came up with on its own.

Given that the EU requirement for leaving doesn't say that the UK must pass an Act, whereas the EU requirement for entering did say that an Act was required, what basis is there for saying you need an Act to leave? A false idea that the UK unilaterally set up the entry.
 
Posted by Komensky (# 8675) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
<snip>
Given that the EU requirement for leaving doesn't say that the UK must pass an Act, whereas the EU requirement for entering did say that an Act was required, what basis is there for saying you need an Act to leave? A false idea that the UK unilaterally set up the entry.

That's not the language of the treaty. Read it first.

K.
 
Posted by lowlands_boy (# 12497) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Komensky:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
<snip>
Given that the EU requirement for leaving doesn't say that the UK must pass an Act, whereas the EU requirement for entering did say that an Act was required, what basis is there for saying you need an Act to leave? A false idea that the UK unilaterally set up the entry.

That's not the language of the treaty. Read it first.

K.

Article 50 point 1 says

Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

So I think Orfeo is right - the EU don't specify what our constitutional arrangements should be...
 
Posted by Komensky (# 8675) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lowlands_boy:
quote:
Originally posted by Komensky:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
<snip>
Given that the EU requirement for leaving doesn't say that the UK must pass an Act, whereas the EU requirement for entering did say that an Act was required, what basis is there for saying you need an Act to leave? A false idea that the UK unilaterally set up the entry.

That's not the language of the treaty. Read it first.

K.

Article 50 point 1 says

Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

So I think Orfeo is right - the EU don't specify what our constitutional arrangements should be...

' in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.' —that was one of the central points of the High Court ruling. In our case, that means Parliament—unless the Gov't wins on appeal!

K.
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
I think the fact that we can argue about this stuff is proof that the British constitution isn't fit for purpose.

Also it's another item to add to the long list of things Mr Cameron should have thought about before he called the referendum.

I think it's essential that this debate happens, though (even if the Supreme Court sides with the Prime Minister). Can you imagine the alternative, in which on Day 1 of Brexit, the first person to lose out takes the Government to court using the arguments that have just been raised?
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lowlands_boy:
So I think Orfeo is right - the EU don't specify what our constitutional arrangements should be...

Which is why it went the High Court, to specify what our constitutional arrangements are.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
quote:
Originally posted by lowlands_boy:
So I think Orfeo is right - the EU don't specify what our constitutional arrangements should be...

Which is why it went the High Court, to specify what our constitutional arrangements are.
Yes, but my concern is that the court was weirdly selective in deciding how those constitutional requirements related to EU law.

It's very strange indeed to say that parliament has control over treaty decisions. Indeed, it seems that it was accepted that the traditional position is that parliament is not.

But they decided that parliament's intention back in 1972 was to say "we are going to be involved in getting in, so we are going to be involved in getting out". But that seems to completely ignore WHY, back in 1972, parliament said anything at all.

It was because they were told they had to. Which immediately throws the whole "parliament is completely sovereign" line of argument into trouble. The judgment seems to me to be written as if parliament made a bunch of decisions it didn't really make.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Komensky:
quote:
Originally posted by lowlands_boy:
quote:
Originally posted by Komensky:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
<snip>
Given that the EU requirement for leaving doesn't say that the UK must pass an Act, whereas the EU requirement for entering did say that an Act was required, what basis is there for saying you need an Act to leave? A false idea that the UK unilaterally set up the entry.

That's not the language of the treaty. Read it first.

K.

Article 50 point 1 says

Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

So I think Orfeo is right - the EU don't specify what our constitutional arrangements should be...

' in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.' —that was one of the central points of the High Court ruling. In our case, that means Parliament—unless the Gov't wins on appeal!

K.

This potentially descends into circular reasoning where you use an EU document that doesn't say anything about the content of the UK constitution to determine the content of the UK constitution in order to comply with the document.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
I can extract a sentence from this article to neatly illustrate where I think the logic is problematic:

quote:
After all, at its heart the ruling does no more than underscore the point that by triggering Article 50 the Government would ultimately be depriving British citizens of rights they enjoy as a consequence of the European Communities Act 1972, the primary legislation by which EU statutes were given effect in UK law.
So which is it? Did the 1972 Act give British citizens rights, or did it implement EU laws that gave rights?

My money is on the latter being the more accurate description of the situation. British citizens don't have the right to work in France simply because of the 1972 Act. They have the right to work in France because the French implemented EU laws, in just the way that the British did. No British Act could create the right to work in France of its own force.

To me, the court is making an argument that treats gravity as something a falling person decides will happen, not a force that acts on a person who decided to jump.

[ 03. November 2016, 20:28: Message edited by: orfeo ]
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
Sorry, to put it another way briefly:

The accepted fact that triggering Article 50 would (in the long run) remove rights "given by the 1972 Act" without amending the 1972 Act in fact tends to cast doubt on the simplistic assertion that those rights were "given by the 1972 Act" in the first place. They were given by membership of the EU.

If the EU had a mechanism for simply throwing the UK out, then the idea that those rights were "given by the 1972 Act" would quickly be shown to be problematic. The EU would not continue to allow the British to vote in EU Parliamentary elections just because the 1972 Act kept saying that British people had the right to vote in EU Parliamentary elections.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
my concern is that the court was weirdly selective in deciding how those constitutional requirements related to EU law.

I will now read those links, but at first glance haven't you got something wrong there? I thought the courts were ruling on what UK law has to say about constitutional arrangements in the UK, the UK courts would presumably not be able to rule in relation to EU laws.
 
Posted by Doc Tor (# 9748) on :
 
Yes, but. An Act can't be annulled by the Executive under the Royal Prerogative. It can only be annulled by another vote in Parliament. It doesn't matter what Act it is or what it does.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
Yes, but. An Act can't be annulled by the Executive under the Royal Prerogative. It can only be annulled by another vote in Parliament. It doesn't matter what Act it is or what it does.

Who's annulling an Act? Confusing the effect of jumping with the consequences of jumping.

It's EU law that says what EU members get. Neither the UK Parliament nor the UK government says it.

Annulling an Act would involve the UK government doing something to erase the rights in the 1972 Act while the factual basis for those rights, EU membership, still existed.

The logic that says this is annulling an Act would be complete nonsense in other situations. Losing UK citizenship does not annul the legislation that outlines the rights of UK citizens. Graduating from school does not annul the rules about school curriculum or school attendance. Selling a house does not annul the legislation about houses. The rules simply stop applying because the factual situation no longer exists.


EDIT: Indeed, the whole argument that "Parliament is sovereign" misconceives the situation of the UK entirely. When it comes to the EU, the UK isn't the one making the rules to apply, it's the one to whom the rules are being applied.

Which is really the whole point of Brexit. Your Parliament is NOT absolutely sovereign, and in my view the High Court is engaging in the fantasy that it still is.

[ 03. November 2016, 21:14: Message edited by: orfeo ]
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
After the Scottish Parliament voted itself out of existence in the early 1700s, who was supposed to approve any move for Scotland to leave the United Kingdom?

Are people arguing that Scotland leaving was constitutionally impossible until a new Scottish Parliament was created? That would be very odd.

I know that the situation is not exactly the same, but I'm illustrating that the simplistic logic of "they were involved in getting in, so they must be involved in getting out" doesn't hold up.

[ 03. November 2016, 21:19: Message edited by: orfeo ]
 
Posted by Doc Tor (# 9748) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
It's EU law that says what EU members get. Neither the UK Parliament nor the UK government says it.

But it's UK law that says whether we're members of the EU. An Act took us in. An Act is needed to take us out.

In your poorly-thought out analogy, yes, we get to choose whether gravity applies to us or not.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
It's EU law that says what EU members get. Neither the UK Parliament nor the UK government says it.

But it's UK law that says whether we're members of the EU. An Act took us in. An Act is needed to take us out.

In your poorly-thought out analogy, yes, we get to choose whether gravity applies to us or not.

This is like saying that because an enrolment form was needed to get into a school, another form will be needed to leave it. It simply doesn't follow.

An Act of Parliament was needed to take you in because the EU said it was. Not because there is an inherent need for legislation when you sign up to treaties. Think of all the other things the UK has signed up to.

And I repeat: if the EU simply threw you out, it would not take an Act of the UK Parliament!

When an Act of the UK Parliament removes the basis for a regulation, the effect of the regulation dies. It's good form to then get rid of the regulation, but I've dealt with situations where the regulation has stayed on the books after that.

When the EU says that you are no longer a member of the EU, the effect of any UK legislation that relies on your membership of the EU will die. Whether your legislation is still on the books or not.

Any argument that relies on asserting that the UK Parliament is completely sovereign is simply false. EU Membership depends on two things: the country that wants membership, and the EU accepting that membership. Claiming the UK Parliament is completely sovereign on things to do with EU membership completely ignores the role of the EU in deciding who is or isn't a member.

[ 04. November 2016, 00:47: Message edited by: orfeo ]
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
Arguably the biggest problem with the "annulment" argument is that incorrectly identifies who will actually do any annulling. It isn't the UK government, it's the EU. It's the EU that will say when you are not a member of the EU, you can't vote in EU elections or have any of the rights that depend on EU membership.

Again, this is the falsity in complaining the UK Parliament is sovereign. It's pretending that, for example, the UK Parliament created the one in Strasbourg.

[ 04. November 2016, 00:50: Message edited by: orfeo ]
 
Posted by Leorning Cniht (# 17564) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Komensky:
Is it now the case the we took part in a referendum of which the delivery of one of the possible outcomes now turns out to be illegal?

No, it's not. It is perfectly legal for the UK to leave the EU. The question at stake is whether the entity empowered to invoke article 50 is the Queen-in-Parliament or the Queen-in-Council. The EU doesn't have an opinion on that - it's a UK constitutional question.

But it's not illegal for the UK to leave the EU - it just might require Parliament to consent to it.
 
Posted by Doc Tor (# 9748) on :
 
Orfeo, normally I'd defer to you in matters legal and constitutional, but since the noble lords on the bench disagree with you, and agree with me, then all I can say is that your argument is faulty at a fundamental level - the expressed opinion of the court is that the instrument required to disengage from the EU (Art. 50) cannot be invoked by Royal Prerogative.

[old lawyer joke]
How many lawyers does it take to change a light bulb?
How many can you afford?
[/old lawyer joke]
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Arguably the biggest problem with the "annulment" argument is that incorrectly identifies who will actually do any annulling. It isn't the UK government, it's the EU. It's the EU that will say when you are not a member of the EU, you can't vote in EU elections or have any of the rights that depend on EU membership.

Again, this is the falsity in complaining the UK Parliament is sovereign. It's pretending that, for example, the UK Parliament created the one in Strasbourg.

Look, I know nothing, but this doesn't feel right to me. The EU as a thing was set up by a club of nations mutually deciding to delegate some of their powers to central institutions, so in a very real sense it was the British Parliament which had to assent to those powers being delegated.

UK law was changed to reflect the agreed central regulations of the club - also by the UK Parliament - and the UK courts were instructed to enforce the EU regulations.

The issue with Article 50, as far as I can make out, isn't that the EU holds the keys, it is that the UK entered into binding agreements when it joined which are not simple to unwind now Brexit is on the table. Presumably the UK could just announce the intention to leave by formally informing the EU via the Article 50 clause and then do nothing until the time limit is up. At that point, presumably, the UK would continue being liable to all of the costs it is liable from the ratified agreements but would no longer have a seat at the Council and would be excluded from the EU Parliament.

The UK could then change all the EU focussed legislation and engage in trade agreements etc, but would still be liable to the EU as if it was still a member. Hence the whole thing about negotiating terms to leave.
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
Orfeo, normally I'd defer to you in matters legal and constitutional, but since the noble lords on the bench disagree with you, and agree with me, then all I can say is that your argument is faulty at a fundamental level - the expressed opinion of the court is that the instrument required to disengage from the EU (Art. 50) cannot be invoked by Royal Prerogative.

The logic of the governments position was that the Prime Minister of the day could decide to secede from the EU, effectively on a whim. And on Orfeo's logic it was only the EU that required Parliament to pass Acts implementing and amending the UK's relationship with the EU. Presumably Heath could have used the Royal Prerogative to take us in, Mrs Thatcher could have done the same to create the Single Market, Major could have signed up to Maastricht by that route (thus saving the Whips office the mother of all headaches) and Blair could have used the prerogative to sign up to Lisbon and the only objection would have been that it was against EU rules? Effectively it's a claim that the relationship between Parliament and the electorate can be amended without the consent of Parliament.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
In addition to the legal questions (and reading the court decisions last night a) made my head hurt and b) sent me to sleep), there is also one of political expediency.

Assuming that the law/constitution allow the government a free hand to form (and break) international treaties without consent from Parliament. It would still, however, be better for the government to obtain Parliamentary approval even where not necessary. Politically it's sometimes necessary to do more than the minimum that the law requires. The support of the people, expressed through their Parliamentary representative, for a particular action must surely be what any government wants (pushing measures through without that support is the sort of thing that ends up with lack of job security come the next election).

Which, of course, leaves us in this situation where a referendum has shown a slender majority in support of some form of Leave. Does that mean that the government doesn't need to seek the support of Parliament, since the people have given their support for some form of Brexit directly? You'll have all read my arguments that the people didn't vote on any specific question of Brexit, and therefore there is currently a lack of democratic debate on the specific form of Brexit - and, I would say that Parliament is the logical place for that debate to take place (as well as ongoing public debate and discussion).
 
Posted by PaulTH* (# 320) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
I recently saw a study on demagraphics that showed that even if no-one changes their votes (including the choice not to vote) then within 5 years the result would swing to Remain simply by the number of young people turning 18 and the death of the elderly.

Watching Nick Clegg on TV this morning, it's obvious what he has in mind. Parliament, the Commons and the Lords, which has a disproportionate number of Lib Dems, can delay and frustrate Brexit at every turn, hoping that eventually the vote of the 23rd June can be overturned. I can't speak for Alan, but with what he wrote above, I think he'd like that idea. The SNP will obstruct in any way possible. Amendments will be put down by both Commons and Lords, kicking the Bill back and forth until a tanking economy takes over, or enough people die or come of age that the demographic goes in favour of Remain. This is nothing less than what we can expect from our smug political elite.

But it's likely to backfire. For once I agree with Nigel Farage that this will provoke outrageous anger from the Leave voters who've been denied their democratic say. It could even harden support for Leave. I voted Remain, but I won't tolerate that scenario quietly. This is why an general election is urgently needed. Mrs May would go into it seeking powers to do things her way. I'd be interested to hear Jeremy Corbyn's take on it, because he's never been forthright on his view of the EU, although he does support honouring the referendum vote.

But the parties need to have it in their manifestos how they will tackle the issue. And if any individuals within any of the parties disagree profoundly with their party line, they shouldn't stand. But there should be a sobering thought for one such as Ed Miliband. Although a general election will always be about much more than a single issue, if the recent referendum had been a parliamentary election for candidates for Leave or Remain, Leave would have won more than 400 seats. An election will force candidates to take seriously the views of the people who elect them. That's the way to bring this process under democratic control, not having the judiciary throw it back into a heavily pro Remain parliament.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
I recently saw a study on demagraphics that showed that even if no-one changes their votes (including the choice not to vote) then within 5 years the result would swing to Remain simply by the number of young people turning 18 and the death of the elderly.

Watching Nick Clegg on TV this morning, it's obvious what he has in mind. Parliament, the Commons and the Lords, which has a disproportionate number of Lib Dems, can delay and frustrate Brexit at every turn, hoping that eventually the vote of the 23rd June can be overturned.

The problem is that we already have one constitutional crisis (a radical change in our relationship with the EU), with a second looming on the horizon (a potential second independence referendum in Scotland). Does anyone really want a third caused by the Lords delaying Article 50 being invoked (since the consensus is that any Act will go through the Commons relatively quickly)?

Maybe this is time for the government to go by the minimum the law requires - put together an Act that gives the government the authority to invoke Article 50 and form a negotiating platform without further recourse to Parliament. It would be, IMO, a deeply anti-democratic move but should head off the constitutional crisis that would be caused by the Lords frustrating the Commons.

What we really need is the deep and serious discussion on the benefits and costs of different forms of Brexit, so that as a nation we can agree on what that would be. Of course, we should have had that discussion already - it should have preceded the referendum vote (with, of course, before the referendum the option of "no form of Brexit" on the table). The problem, of course, being that such a discussion will last for years, if not decades. The rush to have an early referendum and the requirement therefore to invoke Article 50 has removed the time we need to spend discussing the issues.

quote:
I can't speak for Alan, but with what he wrote above, I think he'd like that idea.
I can't deny I would love it if we could go back and do the referendum properly, have several years of discussion to allow the Leave campaign to form a clear position, so that we could have an informed debate and vote in the referendum itself. But, "I wouldn't start from here" is only a good line in a joke (though 'joke' is a pretty good summation of the way Cameron handled calling the referendum, and all the mess thereafter). The current government has no choice but to go for Brexit. I don't think that same requirement would hold to future governments - which does hold open the door for sanity to be restored if May calls for an election before concluding the Article 50 negotiations. It's not going to endear the UK to the rest of the EU if either the invoking of A50 is delayed to 2018 or there's an election before 2020 and the incoming government is elected on a pro-EU platform and says "sorry chaps, but we don't want to leave the EU afterall", but if that's the government we elect at that time ....

quote:
For once I agree with Nigel Farage that this will provoke outrageous anger from the Leave voters who've been denied their democratic say.
Though, I would say we were all denied our democratic say when no one bothered to even define the question we were answering in June. Since the referendum didn't define Brexit, then we still need to be able to have our democratic say on what Brexit means - through our representatives in Parliament, through public discussion and debate, if necessary through a follow-up referendum. But, I've banged on about that enough already.
 
Posted by Doc Tor (# 9748) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
I'd be interested to hear Jeremy Corbyn's take on it, because he's never been forthright on his view of the EU, although he does support honouring the referendum vote.

Something about this sentence lends me to believe that you weren't paying attention during the run-up to the referendum.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
That is the crux for me - Brexit was not defined, and is now being claimed by various parties, as meaning X, Y and Z. However, I don't recall voting on X, Y and Z.

Mrs May is behaving like a medieval monarch, in trying to determine these things outside Parliament. But I can see her problem, she might want a soft Brexit, but the nutters are at her back.
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
I'd be interested to hear Jeremy Corbyn's take on it, because he's never been forthright on his view of the EU, although he does support honouring the referendum vote.

Something about this sentence lends me to believe that you weren't paying attention during the run-up to the referendum.
Very droll.
 
Posted by Tubbs (# 440) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
That is the crux for me - Brexit was not defined, and is now being claimed by various parties, as meaning X, Y and Z. However, I don't recall voting on X, Y and Z.

Mrs May is behaving like a medieval monarch, in trying to determine these things outside Parliament. But I can see her problem, she might want a soft Brexit, but the nutters are at her back.

She might, but as immigration is her thing, I wouldn't bet on that.

I'd be happier if Brexit became a cross-party issue and everyone pitched in. That way, they all get to take responsibility and no one party owns it.

Whilst I agree with the court case, Brexit should go through due process like anything else, I don't agree with the attempts to undermine it. We had a vote and we are where we are.

I agree with Sir Vince Cable: "I don’t think the second referendum is a panacea to anything ... Which side would we be on if there was a soft Brexit, would we support Theresa May or would we be with Nigel Farage voting it down?” He wants the Lib Dems to put “more emphasis on what it is we want from these negotiations rather than arguing about the tactics and the means.”

Tubbs
 
Posted by PaulTH* (# 320) on :
 
One thing I'm not clear about. Does the court ruling mean that Article 50 can only be invoked following an Act of Parliament, or as Iain Duncan-Smith suggested today on Daily Politics, just a parliamentary vote? That makes a big difference. A vote to trigger it would likely be passed. Unless members want to be seen to thwart the referendum vote. An Act could take forever and get nowhere. It's in the latter case that an election would be the only way to break the impasse.
 
Posted by Doc Tor (# 9748) on :
 
AFAICT: the vote in parliament has to be worded in the order papers. Any such worded order can have amendments tabled to it prior to the vote, which are also voted on. So, any final vote will carry the original proposal, plus any amendments. The Lords will also be able to amend the legislation, and pass it back to the Commons.

It's not the vote that terrifies May, but the amendments.
 
Posted by PaulTH* (# 320) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
I never received this mythical leaflet from Cameron.

I still have it tucked in the bottom of an upstairs drawer. The government controversially spent £9.3 million leafleting every house with its advice to vote Remain. It then says, "This is your decision. The government will implement what you decide." This is what Theresa May is trying to do, remembering that she was herself a Remainer. I see this as the clearest of mandates to pursue Article 50 by Royal Perogative. It doesn't require a parliamentary vote to declare war on another country, though it may be wise to seek approval.

If I were her, I would get a vote on her intention to trigger Article 50, as a vote of confidence in her administration. If sufficient members try to thwart the process she will be required to call an election. It is a serious contempt for democracy if the judiciary or individual members of the Commons or Lords tries to gridlock this process because they disagree with the result.
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
Originally posted by PaulTH:

quote:
If I were her, I would get a vote on her intention to trigger Article 50, as a vote of confidence in her administration. If sufficient members try to thwart the process she will be required to call an election.
That would mean going to the country with a definite proposal for Brexit with red lines and aims and objectives and so forth. I think May's plan is to go to Brussels with a plan to end free movement and to see what she can get in terms of trade deals. When this happens the Tabloids will declare victory and she will win the next election by a country mile. We will then all wake up as to exactly how screwed we all are.

If she has to put her cards on the table first, she will probably still win the election but afterwards Corbyn will have to step down and she will be in the position of having to deliver actual outcomes with a vaguely competent Leader of the Opposition giving a running commentary on the state of the pound and the economy, and so forth whilst the electorate wake up to the biggest case of buyers regret since they elected John Major in 1992. We will still be screwed but there will be an opposition which is in a position to benefit from that.

In the interim being thwarted by The Judges, Nick Clegg, Ed Miliband and other assorted enemies of the people isn't a problem at all as it delays the British economy getting utterly frelled whilst allowing her to pose as Mother Theresa, The Peoples Friend and generally standing up to the Rootless International Cosmopolitan Conspiracy Against Brexit. She waits, patient and potent, knowing that her hour has come.
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
Mind you, if we are talking about leaflets sent out during the Referendum Campaign I distinctly recollect stuff about £350 million for the NHS. If Continuity Leave aren't being held to that one, I don't see why Continuity Remain ought to keep Cameron's promises.
 
Posted by Charles Had a Splurge on (# 14140) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
It then says, "This is your decision. The government will implement what you decide." This is what Theresa May is trying to do, remembering that she was herself a Remainer. I see this as the clearest of mandates to pursue Article 50 by Royal Perogative.

This is another example of sloppiness in setting-up the referendum. The Cameron government should have checked what the legal position was before making this promise. But as they expected to win they were too lazy and arrogant to do this.

In any case, where was the mechanism for triggering Article 50 mentioned? There was no question asking us if we wanted it by Royal Prerogative or by Parliamentary assent. No clear mandate. What was clear was that the referendum was advisory only. It wasn't meant to override normal representative democratic practice.
 
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
 
Politics has become a nonstop TV reality show. Pity the judiciary, it’s been voted off this week.
 
Posted by rolyn (# 16840) on :
 
Politics has become a charade while Globalisation continues unabated.
Is this necessarily a bad thing? The vagaries of the masses getting it's fill, while the job of maintaining peace and prosperity falls to something resembling a World Government.
So says the optimist.
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
Oh do catch up people. The referendum was only put in place to silence the Euro-sceptics in the Conservative party, thereby uniting that party, and put UKIP in its place. The faffing around since June 24th shows that the government never had the slightest idea how it was to go about leaving the EU as that was never going to be necessary. It makes the fiasco in post-Saddam Iraq look well-planned and well-executed.
 
Posted by Humble Servant (# 18391) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Charles Had a Splurge on:
It wasn't meant to override normal representative democratic practice.

However, now MPs have been given the opportunity to restore normal service, it seems like they plan to miss their chance. Even in the pro-EU independent I read an article showing the gap between the referendum result and the MP's view. There seems to be a view, at least on BBC radio, that to represent the people, the MPs must confirm the referendum result from June's 72% turnout vote (even though the £350 million per week for the NHS has been withdrawn since the vote).
 
Posted by Humble Servant (# 18391) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
It doesn't require a parliamentary vote to declare war on another country, ...

We are not declaring war on another country. We are changing the law of the United Kingdom and stripping all its citizens of their EU citizenship. This is a very big deal, not something you can do on a whim and then shout "will of the people" when you get only a wafer-thin majority of a fairly low turnout single question referendum.
 
Posted by Alwyn (# 4380) on :
 
Based on my first reading of the judgment, the court's reasoning seems to be that:-
(1) Triggering Article 50 would remove people's rights under the European Communities Act 1972, since those rights will be lost at the end of the negotiation process;
(2) Triggering Article 50 would involve the government using Royal Prerogative power;
(3) The government cannot use Royal Prerogative powers to take away rights which Parliament gave us in a statute (such as the ECA 1972).

For what it's worth, I think the opposing argument, that prerogative powers cannot remove statutory rights, so triggering Article 50 would not remove statutory rights (therefore the government can lawfully trigger Article 50) is the better view. (I voted remain and would prefer the law to require Parliamentary authorisation for triggering Article 50 - I simply didn't think that the law required that). Mark Elliott's arguments (in his Public Law for Everyone blog) persuaded me. As I see it, the fact that this can be argued either way shows that this is a grey area - something which an alert minister, adviser or MP could have spotted when the European Union Referendum Bill was being written or when it was being enacted.

The court said that, with one exception (EU law), only Parliament can override an Act of Parliament. So I agree with people who are saying that it will take an Act of Parliament to trigger Brexit.

I also agree with people who are saying that blaming the judges for doing their job is unfair. The government (when they wrote the EU Referendum Bill) - and Parliament - could have asked 'what happens if a majority vote leave?' They could have included a clause in the Act, giving the Prime Minister a statutory power to trigger Article 50. Reading Article 50 could have tipped them off that this would have been helpful, since Article 50 says that 'Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements'. As this case shows, the constitutional requirements in the UK were a grey area. Since the government and Parliament did not take the opportunity to decide what those requirements are, they left the grey area for the judges to sort out. The loud accusations by some tabloids against judges for interpreting a grey area of the law puts the blame in the wrong place. The judges were doing their job - because some other people hadn't done their jobs properly.

[ 05. November 2016, 06:52: Message edited by: Alwyn ]
 
Posted by Rocinante (# 18541) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Humble Servant:
(even though the £350 million per week for the NHS has been withdrawn since the vote).

This, to me, is enough to make the referendum result null and void. How many people voted leave because of this nonsense? The brexiteers have now admitted it was a bare-faced lie.

Unfortunately we have no legal process for nullifying the result, as referenda have no clearly defined status in the UK. As Sioni says, the referendum was a tactical move from an inept Prime Minister, not thought through beyond "this could get me out of a fix".
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
Unfortunately we have no legal process for nullifying the result, as referenda have no clearly defined status in the UK.

If it was a regular election and a candidate was found to have deliberately lied about an opponent, and that was considered likely to affect the result, then there are processes to investigate and potentially call a by-election. If we're going to use referenda to by-pass Parliamentary democracy then we certainly need to define what is and is not acceptable campaigning, and the consequences of unacceptable campaigning. I would certainly want to see deliberate lies and threats of violence included in the list of what is unacceptable. If one side of a discussion can't get the result they want without using outright lies and threatening violence if they don't get their way then they don't deserve to win.
 
Posted by PaulTH* (# 320) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
That would mean going to the country with a definite proposal for Brexit with red lines and aims and objectives and so forth. I think May's plan is to go to Brussels with a plan to end free movement and to see what she can get in terms of trade deals.

Establishing her red lines with Brussels was certainly her preferred option, but all parties having to lay out their ideas, which would happen in an election is no bad thing. It would boil down to red lines. Do we put "taking back control" as they love to put it, ahead of membership of the Single Market? Do we put our ability to seek trade deals around the world ahead of membership of the Customs Union? Each party can tell us what they would prioritise and we vote accordingly. It would end this cat and mouse game between the government's Brexit team and the rest of parliament which is clamouring for detail. In reality, nobody can give that much detail, because they don't know what they'll be up against, but at least we can vote on the general direction in which they intend to take us.
 
Posted by PaulTH* (# 320) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
If one side of a discussion can't get the result they want without using outright lies

Like the Remain side threatening everything from World War III to an emergency budget to needing a visa for a day trip to France. In my case it worked. Project Fear induced me to vote Remain.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
The problem is that those 'red lines' don't easily follow party political lines. Which means that a general election prior to Brexit, with the intention of getting popular support for a particular form of Brexit, will result in either parties having to form some form of compromise among their members (and, hence have significant numbers of elected MPs who want something different) or a dissolution of our current political parties to form new "Brexit policy parties" - the "control immigration" party, the "free trade party", the "free movement party", and (I would hope) the "this whole thing is a lot of nonsense and stay in the EU" party. Sticking with current parties makes support for a particular form of Brexit impossible to define, and I don't see new parties happening (even if that didn't then leave us in total limbo on every other issue).

Which basically means if you want another election you're better off with either the government defining what they want, and putting that to the approval of the people in a second referendum, or a multi-choice second referendum.

As has been repeatedly said. A total cock-up by Cameron leaving us in an impossible situation.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
If one side of a discussion can't get the result they want without using outright lies

Like the Remain side threatening everything from World War III to an emergency budget to needing a visa for a day trip to France. In my case it worked. Project Fear induced me to vote Remain.
Well, I was never a fan of Project Fear. But, it's not unreasonable to point out the difficulties and potential problems with the proposals of the other side - though in this case that was impossible since the other side was making a bunch of mutually contradictory proposals.

When it comes down to it, the very hard Brexit options would also include a need for a visa to travel outside the UK. Without freedom of movement then there need to be visas to cross borders. There's no requirement for any nation (or the whole EU) to enter into a visa waiver scheme - although if the UK-EU doesn't produce a visa waiver scheme I would be incredibly surprised.
 
Posted by PaulTH* (# 320) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
(I would hope) the "this whole thing is a lot of nonsense and stay in the EU" party

You already have that in abundance in Scotland with the SNP. In the UK we have the Lib Dems who've already made it clear that's their ticket. But I don't think it's that difficult. We already know that May wants to make control of our borders a red line, and hope for a good deal on trade. We know that her stand will take us out of the Single Market. Jeremy Corbyn has said that the referendum result must be respected, but that he wants to know the details of Mrs May's proposals, but unless I've missed something, he hasn't yet told us how he would go about it. We know the position of the SNP and the Lib Dems.

All the parties would need to have a manifesto and candidates would need to stand, as they do in any election, on what the party is offering. I don't see a problem with this, but I do see a problem with the current state of things.
 
Posted by PaulTH* (# 320) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
although if the UK-EU doesn't produce a visa waiver scheme I would be incredibly surprised.

I would be utterly flabbergasted if anyone in Europe or the UK would sink that low. We could travel in Europe prior to our EU membership without a visa, though we always had our passports stamped on the frontier. As a frequent channel hopper who lives within sight of France, that would break my heart!
 
Posted by Doc Tor (# 9748) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
although if the UK-EU doesn't produce a visa waiver scheme I would be incredibly surprised.

I would be utterly flabbergasted if anyone in Europe or the UK would sink that low.
I hope your capacity for disappointment is unlimited, as populist demagoguery appears to be trumping common sense at every turn.
 
Posted by Rocinante (# 18541) on :
 
Yeah. The way things are going we could end repealing the treaty of Versailles.
 
Posted by Doc Tor (# 9748) on :
 
It's the Treaty of Utrecht I'm worried about...
 
Posted by tomsk (# 15370) on :
 
It strikes me that the Court has intervened in the most intensely political decision this country has made in 40 years.

It's tempting to have a very high view of the courts and precedents (particularly if you agree with the result), but it's a bit more pragmatic than that. For instance, the importance of whether conservative or liberal judges are appointed to the US Supreme Ct demonstrates that there's a lot of subjectivity in the SC's actual decisions.

Judicial review and so court supervision (of the legality of public authority decisions) has grown over the years. This has to be a very high water mark.

FWIW, my bet is the Supreme Court upholds this. Reason. In a rather obscure recent decision about whether the govt or courts had the final decision on the release of the Prince of Wales letters under freedom of information legislation (put simply, an Act of Parliament said it was the government, but the court artificially interpreted it to mean that it was the court). The decision was an assertion of judicial supremacy on interpreting the law and on the finality of its decisions. Slightly different issues here, but the Court wades right in to politics.

I sense a trajectory of greater judicial intervention. Courts are critical to the 'rule of law'. I don't think it's too melodramatic to say that this may overreach itself and end up going into reverse. We live in times of change.

The Refrendum was carried out under parliamentary authority. It seems odd to me that it can't be given effect to.

The 1972 EC Act simply gave effect to EU treaty law in the UK. The treaties are independent of it.

I anticipate Parliament won't block Brexit but will try to set staying in the Single Market as the prime objective (with consequent free movement of people) limiting Brexit.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
Orfeo, normally I'd defer to you in matters legal and constitutional, but since the noble lords on the bench disagree with you, and agree with me, then all I can say is that your argument is faulty at a fundamental level - the expressed opinion of the court is that the instrument required to disengage from the EU (Art. 50) cannot be invoked by Royal Prerogative.

[old lawyer joke]
How many lawyers does it take to change a light bulb?
How many can you afford?
[/old lawyer joke]

It's like you've never heard of appeal courts.

Your level of deference to a particular group of judges is admirable, but I don't share it. I don't share it because I read about judges saying other judges are wrong All. The. Time.

[ 05. November 2016, 14:01: Message edited by: orfeo ]
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
The reason I've come back is because I've suddenly realised at the most fundamental level why I think "Parliament was needed to get in, so Parliament is needed to get out" is wrong.

EU rights are a logical AND circuit. With two elements:

A. UK treaties to be an EU member.
B. UK legislation to give EU rights to UK citizens.

You need A and B to have functional EU rights in the UK, yes?

You needed B.

But it is wrong to say that the only way to turn those rights off is a change in B. Changing A will also turn them off.

And that's where I think the whole argument falls down. The argument is not really "it needed Parliament to get in, so we need Parliament to get out".

The argument is in fact "we needed Parliament to switch on B, so therefore we need Parliament to switch off A".

[ 05. November 2016, 14:07: Message edited by: orfeo ]
 
Posted by Doc Tor (# 9748) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
It's like you've never heard of appeal courts.

It's like you never realised I've been married to a lawyer for 25 years.
 
Posted by Anglican't (# 15292) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
Orfeo, normally I'd defer to you in matters legal and constitutional, but since the noble lords on the bench disagree with you, and agree with me, then all I can say is that your argument is faulty at a fundamental level - the expressed opinion of the court is that the instrument required to disengage from the EU (Art. 50) cannot be invoked by Royal Prerogative.

[old lawyer joke]
How many lawyers does it take to change a light bulb?
How many can you afford?
[/old lawyer joke]

It's like you've never heard of appeal courts.

Your level of deference to a particular group of judges is admirable, but I don't share it. I don't share it because I read about judges saying other judges are wrong All. The. Time.

I've only got as far as paragraph 90-something of the judgment* and, though I'm quite rusty with this sort of thing these days, there does seem to be a lot of material for Jonathan Sumption and his friends to get their teeth into. It'll be a fascinating judgment.

*I got distracted on the internet, but I now know where De Keyser's Royal Hotel used to be.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
It's like you've never heard of appeal courts.

It's like you never realised I've been married to a lawyer for 25 years.
*shrug*. I'm not commenting on your reality. I'm commenting on the fact that you're behaving as if judges are infallible by saying that my view must be "faulty at a fundamental level" just because it's not the same view as that of a judge.

As far as arguments go, that's an incredibly piss-poor one. It's also liable to make the universe implode the moment you get 2 judges who don't agree with each other.

[ 05. November 2016, 14:27: Message edited by: orfeo ]
 
Posted by alienfromzog (# 5327) on :
 
It is a bit ridiculous the way the judgement has been controversial. This is not judicial activism, it is badly written legislation.

Sovereignty of parliament is the cornerstone of the UK constitution. The problem here lies in the original referendum bill. It could have been a binding referendum. But it wasn't. It could have required a super-majority but it didn't. As experts on the law pointed out at the time, to disentangle UK law is not a simple process. In effect it will mean making lots of new law. The point is that the government doesn't have the power to do so. Only parliament does.

None of this is surprisingly. If this had been a genuine attempt to deal with a complicated constitutional and political issues then we wouldn't be here. On the other hand when you play games like this for cheap political reasons, this is the almost inevitable result.

AFZ
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by tomsk:
FWIW, my bet is the Supreme Court upholds this. Reason. In a rather obscure recent decision about whether the govt or courts had the final decision on the release of the Prince of Wales letters under freedom of information legislation (put simply, an Act of Parliament said it was the government, but the court artificially interpreted it to mean that it was the court). The decision was an assertion of judicial supremacy on interpreting the law and on the finality of its decisions. Slightly different issues here, but the Court wades right in to politics.

I would say VERY different issues. You're describing a fight that was court vs government. And saying that the courts have the final say on interpretation of law is thoroughly orthodox.

The current dispute isn't court vs government, it's government vs parliament.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by alienfromzog:
As experts on the law pointed out at the time, to disentangle UK law is not a simple process. In effect it will mean making lots of new law. The point is that the government doesn't have the power to do so. Only parliament does.

But right now we're not talking about changing UK legislation. We're talking about activating a treaty provision.

There is in fact not nearly as much UK law that has to change as some people suppose. There is absolutely nothing to prevent a "fully independent" UK from adopting EU laws if it so chooses.

I know this, because quite a bit of Australian law is based on copying EU rules. I've written some of it. You don't have to be a member of the EU to have EU laws, you just need a Parliament (or delegated legislator) that says "oh, that looks good, we'll have that as well".

Leaving the EU gives you the right to have different laws from the EU. Not the obligation.
 
Posted by Doc Tor (# 9748) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
It's like you've never heard of appeal courts.

It's like you never realised I've been married to a lawyer for 25 years.
*shrug*. I'm not commenting on your reality. I'm commenting on the fact that you're behaving as if judges are infallible by saying that my view must be "faulty at a fundamental level" just because it's not the same view as that of a judge.

As far as arguments go, that's an incredibly piss-poor one. It's also liable to make the universe implode the moment you get 2 judges who don't agree with each other.

You mistake me. I'm well aware that lawyers and judges disagree with each other.

But you're opining that the appeal court judges didn't actually understand the law they were being asked to adjudicate on. I would argue that they do. They just understand it differently from you and, given that they have more experience at UK constitutional law, I'm going with them.

The Supreme Court, with all of the justices sitting, will convene in December. I'm sure they'll take yours, and all counter arguments, into consideration.
 
Posted by alienfromzog (# 5327) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by alienfromzog:
As experts on the law pointed out at the time, to disentangle UK law is not a simple process. In effect it will mean making lots of new law. The point is that the government doesn't have the power to do so. Only parliament does.

But right now we're not talking about changing UK legislation. We're talking about activating a treaty provision.

There is in fact not nearly as much UK law that has to change as some people suppose. There is absolutely nothing to prevent a "fully independent" UK from adopting EU laws if it so chooses.

I know this, because quite a bit of Australian law is based on copying EU rules. I've written some of it. You don't have to be a member of the EU to have EU laws, you just need a Parliament (or delegated legislator) that says "oh, that looks good, we'll have that as well".

Leaving the EU gives you the right to have different laws from the EU. Not the obligation.

Indeed. But the point is that this is literally thousands of decisions about whether we want to follow EU law or do something different. In each case parliament can make that decision not the executive.

AFZ
 
Posted by Alwyn (# 4380) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by alienfromzog:
As experts on the law pointed out at the time, to disentangle UK law is not a simple process. In effect it will mean making lots of new law. The point is that the government doesn't have the power to do so. Only parliament does.

But right now we're not talking about changing UK legislation. We're talking about activating a treaty provision.[...]

Yes, we are talking about activating a treaty provision (Art 50, Treaty on European Union). I agree with you that the better view of existing law would have been for the court to decide that the government could use prerogative powers to trigger Article 50. (I think that the law should require Parliament's involvement - I just didn't think that the law did require that.)

The view of the court seems to have been that they were talking about activating a treaty provision and changes to the effect of UK legislation. I can see where they are 'coming from'. If I interpret them correctly, they said that triggering Article 50 will lead to the loss of statutory rights. After the negotiation process, either the EU and UK will agree a deal, in which case UK citizens will lose at least some of their rights under EU law (if not all) or no deal will be done, in which case all rights will be lost 2 years after Art 50 is triggered. Either way, rights which UK citizens currently enjoy under the European Communities Act 1972 (and other legislation) will be lost. The court's view seems to be that the activation of a treaty provision will lead to a loss of statutory rights. Normally, these two things would be separate, but in this case they are linked.

You might be thinking 'but triggering Article 50 won't immediately cause the loss of those rights. If Parliament needs to pass an Act, this is needed at the end of the Art 50 negotiation process, not the beginning'. If so, I agree - that is why I don't think that the law required an Act of Parliament to trigger Article 50.
 
Posted by Stejjie (# 13941) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Well that's my first problem. I'm not persuaded that the UK joined by an Act of Parliament. Again, it's the EU rules that expected an Act of Parliament, as a condition of accepting the UK. It wasn't an idea that the UK came up with on its own.

Given that the EU requirement for leaving doesn't say that the UK must pass an Act, whereas the EU requirement for entering did say that an Act was required, what basis is there for saying you need an Act to leave? A false idea that the UK unilaterally set up the entry.

The bit I've put in italics isn't the case, though. Article 237 of the Treaty Of Rome simply says that if a country wishes to join, an agreement is drawn up between the EU (or EEC as was in the UK's case) which then "shall be submitted to all the contracting States for ratification in accordance with their respective constitutional rules". The 1972 Treaty Of Accession, signed between the then-EEC and the UK (and Ireland and Denmark, who joined at the same time) simply says that the treaty will be ratified by the candidate countries "in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements".

In neither treaty did the EEC specify to the UK that an Act of Parliament is required; both of them, like Article 50, merely said that the UK are required do so in accordance with their constitutional requirements. There seems to me to be no difference between the two. Given this, and the fact that EEC/EU treaties have always been accepted into UK law by Parliament, why is Parliament now not required to invoke Article 50?

I don't the the relative sovereignty of the UK Parliament vs the EU is the question here either; the question is whether the "constitutional requirements" in the UK's case is Parliament or the government alone via Royal Perogative; whether or not Parliament is sovereign against the EU seems irrelevant.
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
Isn't the issue that royal prerogative powers have to be expressly reserved? In other words, if the Queen wants to do something without the consent of Parliament, it's up to her to prove that it's her prerogative, it's not up to Parliament to prove it isn't.

In practice this proof might be precedent or long-standing convention rather than anything written down. So, the fact that EU accession was achieved via an act of Parliament may not show that an Act of Parliament was necessary, but it means that no precedent exists to prove that it wasn't.
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
Yeah. The way things are going we could end repealing the treaty of Versailles.

We had a politics teacher at school who argued that the European Union was the final resolution of the Treaty of Verdun (AD 843).

The Treaty of Verdun divided Charlemagne's empire among his descendants: Charles got most of what is now France, Louis got most of what is now Germany, and Lothar got a long thin dribbly bit down the middle. According to our politics teacher, most of Western European history can be seen as fighting over the long thin dribbly bit down the middle. The European Union and its antecedents were intended to put an end to such fighting.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Stejjie:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Well that's my first problem. I'm not persuaded that the UK joined by an Act of Parliament. Again, it's the EU rules that expected an Act of Parliament, as a condition of accepting the UK. It wasn't an idea that the UK came up with on its own.

Given that the EU requirement for leaving doesn't say that the UK must pass an Act, whereas the EU requirement for entering did say that an Act was required, what basis is there for saying you need an Act to leave? A false idea that the UK unilaterally set up the entry.

The bit I've put in italics isn't the case, though. Article 237 of the Treaty Of Rome simply says that if a country wishes to join, an agreement is drawn up between the EU (or EEC as was in the UK's case) which then "shall be submitted to all the contracting States for ratification in accordance with their respective constitutional rules". The 1972 Treaty Of Accession, signed between the then-EEC and the UK (and Ireland and Denmark, who joined at the same time) simply says that the treaty will be ratified by the candidate countries "in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements".

In neither treaty did the EEC specify to the UK that an Act of Parliament is required; both of them, like Article 50, merely said that the UK are required do so in accordance with their constitutional requirements. There seems to me to be no difference between the two. Given this, and the fact that EEC/EU treaties have always been accepted into UK law by Parliament, why is Parliament now not required to invoke Article 50?

I don't the the relative sovereignty of the UK Parliament vs the EU is the question here either; the question is whether the "constitutional requirements" in the UK's case is Parliament or the government alone via Royal Perogative; whether or not Parliament is sovereign against the EU seems irrelevant.

Okay, well that is distinctly not the impression I got from what I previously read, which was to the effect that a joining state was obliged to put certain things into its domestic law, and that this is what the 1972 Act was doing.**

Maybe it says that elsewhere, not in the particular article you are looking at? To return to my logical AND circuit, are you looking at the bit about turning on A, and does another bit talk about turning on B?

Or is it not specific article, but a whole series of articles? Isn't the whole point of the EU that the member states are required to align their domestic law?

Please note, I'm not necessarily talking about "ratification". I think half the problem here is that two quite different things are being muddled together. "Ratification" is to do with signing up to a treaty. That's switch A. Switch B is about implementing it, doing what you actually promise to do.

**Section 2 of the 1972 Act as originally enacted certainly gives me the impression that this is what it was about.

[ 06. November 2016, 00:38: Message edited by: orfeo ]
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
But you're opining that the appeal court judges didn't actually understand the law they were being asked to adjudicate on. I would argue that they do. They just understand it differently from you and, given that they have more experience at UK constitutional law, I'm going with them.

You can go with them. That's quite different, though, to what you said, which is that my argument must be fundamentally flawed just because I'm not going with them.

I'm perfectly happy for you to say that they have bigger more impressive qualifications than me and so you find them more authoritative. But that's just a disengagement from actually examining my argument. It's a classic case of looking at the man not the ball.

You don't get to talk about my argument being fundamentally flawed on that basis. If you're going to talk about my argument being fundamentally flawed, pick the fundamental flaw in it. Engage with the actual argument.

[ 06. November 2016, 00:44: Message edited by: orfeo ]
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alwyn:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by alienfromzog:
As experts on the law pointed out at the time, to disentangle UK law is not a simple process. In effect it will mean making lots of new law. The point is that the government doesn't have the power to do so. Only parliament does.

But right now we're not talking about changing UK legislation. We're talking about activating a treaty provision.[...]

Yes, we are talking about activating a treaty provision (Art 50, Treaty on European Union). I agree with you that the better view of existing law would have been for the court to decide that the government could use prerogative powers to trigger Article 50. (I think that the law should require Parliament's involvement - I just didn't think that the law did require that.)

The view of the court seems to have been that they were talking about activating a treaty provision and changes to the effect of UK legislation. I can see where they are 'coming from'. If I interpret them correctly, they said that triggering Article 50 will lead to the loss of statutory rights. After the negotiation process, either the EU and UK will agree a deal, in which case UK citizens will lose at least some of their rights under EU law (if not all) or no deal will be done, in which case all rights will be lost 2 years after Art 50 is triggered. Either way, rights which UK citizens currently enjoy under the European Communities Act 1972 (and other legislation) will be lost. The court's view seems to be that the activation of a treaty provision will lead to a loss of statutory rights. Normally, these two things would be separate, but in this case they are linked.

You might be thinking 'but triggering Article 50 won't immediately cause the loss of those rights. If Parliament needs to pass an Act, this is needed at the end of the Art 50 negotiation process, not the beginning'. If so, I agree - that is why I don't think that the law required an Act of Parliament to trigger Article 50.

Thank your for this.

I can see where they are coming from as well. What I think they've fundamentally missed is exactly what will cause the loss of those rights. It will be the EU no longer recognising them.

The UK Parliament being completely sovereign means that it can write anything it likes in UK legislation. If the UK Parliament wants to keep running "European elections" and giving UK citizens the right to vote in them, it can.

What it can't do - what it could never do - is force open the doors at Strasbourg and make all the other countries allow the people elected in those "European elections" to sit in the European Parliament.

In my view, the Court has correctly identified that various rights will be lost in practice. But it hasn't properly engaged with where those rights come from in legal terms. Saying that they are rights conferred by Parliament (and so only Parliament can take them away again) is, I think, very woolly thinking.

Parliament has control over those rights to the extent that it conferred them. But not more than that.

The Court seems to have fallen into a line of reasoning that says "Parliament is completely sovereign and so that means legislation can't be made practically useless". But when it comes to legislation that relies on the consent and cooperation of other countries, of course it can.

[ 06. November 2016, 00:58: Message edited by: orfeo ]
 
Posted by Alwyn (# 4380) on :
 
orfeo, that is how I think about this, too. As you probably know, UK lawyers are taught that Parliament can make any law, including arbitrary or unjust laws - and, of course, futile laws. Your example of Parliament keeping the law which requires elections for Members of the European Parliament, even if Britain was no longer entitled to any MEPs, is a good example. Your example reminds me of the classic lecture-hall example of the British Parliament passing a law making it illegal for French people to smoke on the streets of Paris (with apologies to any French people reading this - the point of the example is that this would be an absurd, futile law.) If the UK Supreme Court reverses the decision of the High Court, then my guess is that you have identified the reasoning which they will use.

quote:
Originally posted by Stejjie:
[...] Given this, and the fact that EEC/EU treaties have always been accepted into UK law by Parliament, why is Parliament now not required to invoke Article 50?

I don't the the relative sovereignty of the UK Parliament vs the EU is the question here either; the question is whether the "constitutional requirements" in the UK's case is Parliament or the government alone via Royal Perogative; whether or not Parliament is sovereign against the EU seems irrelevant.

I agree, Stejjie, that the issue is not relative sovereignty. My answer to your first point (given that Acts were needed to accept EU treaties into UK law, why isn't an Act needed now) is this: an Act will be needed. It will be needed at the end of the Art 50 negotiation process, not the beginning - just as an Act of Parliament was not needed for the UK to start negotiating to join the EEC. The European Communities Act 1972 was needed after those negotiations ended.
 
Posted by alienfromzog (# 5327) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alwyn:
orfeo, that is how I think about this, too. As you probably know, UK lawyers are taught that Parliament can make any law, including arbitrary or unjust laws - and, of course, futile laws. Your example of Parliament keeping the law which requires elections for Members of the European Parliament, even if Britain was no longer entitled to any MEPs, is a good example. Your example reminds me of the classic lecture-hall example of the British Parliament passing a law making it illegal for French people to smoke on the streets of Paris (with apologies to any French people reading this - the point of the example is that this would be an absurd, futile law.) If the UK Supreme Court reverses the decision of the High Court, then my guess is that you have identified the reasoning which they will use.

quote:
Originally posted by Stejjie:
[...] Given this, and the fact that EEC/EU treaties have always been accepted into UK law by Parliament, why is Parliament now not required to invoke Article 50?

I don't the the relative sovereignty of the UK Parliament vs the EU is the question here either; the question is whether the "constitutional requirements" in the UK's case is Parliament or the government alone via Royal Perogative; whether or not Parliament is sovereign against the EU seems irrelevant.

I agree, Stejjie, that the issue is not relative sovereignty. My answer to your first point (given that Acts were needed to accept EU treaties into UK law, why isn't an Act needed now) is this: an Act will be needed. It will be needed at the end of the Art 50 negotiation process, not the beginning - just as an Act of Parliament was not needed for the UK to start negotiating to join the EEC. The European Communities Act 1972 was needed after those negotiations ended.
Indeed. I guess it turns on the fact that activating article 50 will result in revocation of Acts of parliament but not immediately and exactly how is unclear.

For me it seems quite clear that the government does not have the power to repeal legislation. Only parliament does. All of this could have been avoided if the referendum act had included a clause empowering the executive to act.

But then the referendum act was never about grappling with the issues. It was a cheap political stunt.

AFZ
 
Posted by Anglican't (# 15292) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by alienfromzog:
For me it seems quite clear that the government does not have the power to repeal legislation. Only parliament does. All of this could have been avoided if the referendum act had included a clause empowering the executive to act

How so?
 
Posted by Alwyn (# 4380) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
quote:
Originally posted by alienfromzog:
For me it seems quite clear that the government does not have the power to repeal legislation. Only parliament does. All of this could have been avoided if the referendum act had included a clause empowering the executive to act

How so?
When the EU Referendum Bill was drafted, and when it was being discussed by Parliament, any alert minister or backbencher could have said, 'suppose a majority vote Leave? Do we need to add a clause to the Bill, to authorise the government to trigger Article 50 if that happens?' They could have consulted a lawyer, who could have advised them that (as this case shows) this was a grey area. Having discovered that, they could have inserted such a clause into the Bill. Since the government and Parliament left an unresolved grey area, the judges had to resolve it.
 
Posted by alienfromzog (# 5327) on :
 
Parliamentary sovereignty is a funny thing. Alwyn is much better on this than me (he's the real expert but I listen). It all gets a bit metaphysical in the end by parliament can basically do what it wants and unlike the US constitutional arrangements for example, Acts of Parliament cannot be struck down by the courts.

Let me put it like this. It is case that theft is against the law in the UK. Parliament could pass a bill saying that anyone with red hair could steal apples from Tescos whenever they chose to. Effectively parliament is saying "theft is illegal except in this case"

And parliament remains free to do so about anything. So the Referendum act could have had a clause stating that in the event of a vote to leave the government may trigger article 50 in or even must do so in a specific time frame. As such parliament would have passed a law with lots of potential problems because of the issues with working out what will happen with large sections of UK legislation but it would have the full force of the law and I am certain the courts would have ruled the other way. Given that the referendum was given no legal force by the bill, I think it is not remotely surprising that the courts have taken issue with the actions of the executive.

To step back from the technicalities for a moment, this really matters because how the UK leaves the EU is complicated, has several options and massive implications. The idea that the government can do whatever it wants here is not how our parliamentary democracy works. It is parliament that decides such things. How good parliament is at that job is an entirely different question.

AFZ
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by alienfromzog:
The idea that the government can do whatever it wants here is not how our parliamentary democracy works. It is parliament that decides such things. How good parliament is at that job is an entirely different question.

The evidence is that, in this case, "totally inept" would be a generous description of the ability of Parliament to do it's job (the vast majority of which should have been done in writing the Referendum act, leaving the government the relatively simple task of doing what Parliament and the people had decided - the was no reason why after the result was clear following the referendum that Cameron didn't stand up in the Commons on the Monday morning and invoke Article 50 based on an opening position in negotiations already determined by Parliament, if the referendum had been organised with even a small thought about anything other than internal squabbles within the Conservative Party).
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alwyn:
Since the government and Parliament left an unresolved grey area, the judges had to resolve it.

I realise I am talking to people who know far more about it than I do, but if it is genuinely a grey area (in the sense of unspecified), wouldn't that suggest that triggering Article 50 isn't a prerogative power since AIUI while Parliament can do anything, the Queen unaided can only do what she is expressly allowed to do?
 
Posted by Alwyn (# 4380) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
I realise I am talking to people who know far more about it than I do, but if it is genuinely a grey area (in the sense of unspecified), wouldn't that suggest that triggering Article 50 isn't a prerogative power since AIUI while Parliament can do anything, the Queen unaided can only do what she is expressly allowed to do?

It's a grey area because it can be (and has been) argued both ways and because both sides have decent arguments. The Queen (and the government, who use these powers in practice) can only use existing prerogative powers (so, in that sense, they can only do what they are expressly allowed to do). But the Queen's prerogative powers include the power to conduct international relations, which includes the UK becoming a party to, or ceasing to be a party to, international treaties.

It's a grey area, because triggering Article 50 will lead to UK citizens losing rights which we have under the European Communities Act 1972 (and other statutory rights) - and because prerogative powers cannot be used to deprive people of statutory rights. The people bringing the case have a decent argument that, when Article 50 is triggered, this will lead to UK citizens losing statutory rights. (If a deal is done, then we will lose our rights under EU treaties; if a deal is not done, then under Article 50 we will lose them automatically after 2 years). However, the government also have a decent argument - that triggering Article 50 cannot deprive people of statutory rights and that the loss of rights will happen at the end of the negotiation process, when they will ask Parliament to pass a Bill to implement the deal they do with the EU.

It is a grey area because highly-regarded constitutional lawyers are divided - for example, Nick Barber, Tim Hickman and Jeff King argued, here, that Parliamentary authorisation is needed to trigger Article 50, while Mark Elliott, here, disagrees.
 
Posted by PaulTH* (# 320) on :
 
It seems that Mrs May is less then keen on the idea of an early general election. She prefers to respect the Fixed Term Parliament Act of 2011, and soldier on until 2020. Yet at the same time, she has assured Jean-Claude Juncker and Angela Merkel, who are already impatient with Britain's lack of progress here, that there will be no slippage on her plan to trigger Article 50 by March. Perhaps she is hoping that the Supreme Court will overturn the judgement made in favour of Gina Miller. Perhaps she hopes that getting the necessary parliamentary approval in light of the court judgement, won't be a long or difficult process. I disagree with her on both those hopes.

One big complaint we've repeatedly heard from politicians, in the media and even on this forum, is that nobody has voted for what type of Brexit they want. It remains my contention that an election would give us exactly that vote. Jeremy Corbyn has now made it clear what his red lines are for supporting Article 50. They include full access to the Single Market. As this requires the four freedoms according to our European partners, he is putting access ahead of control of immigration policy. So we now have every possible future represented.

UKIP are off the radar, but may well pick up a lot of votes still. The Tories under Theresa, are for putting control of borders first and seeing what we can get in the way of access to the SM. Labour are for the reverse position. The Lib Dems and the SNP are for continuing to Remain. I don't believe there can ever be any democratic accountability in our future negotiations with the EU, unless the Prime Minister, whoever it would be, can claim a mandate for their own particular approach to Brexit. As an election isn't on the horizon, I'll stop banging on about it, but if this process becomes gridlocked, I can see the idea becoming more attractive to the Prime Minister.
 
Posted by Enoch (# 14322) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
... I don't believe there can ever be any democratic accountability in our future negotiations with the EU, unless the Prime Minister, whoever it would be, can claim a mandate for their own particular approach to Brexit. ...

Our electoral system is as good as guaranteed to give no PM a legitimate claim to have an electoral mandate for anything.

Cameron only had a self-delusory one, yet alone May. Likewise Gordon Brown.
 
Posted by PaulTH* (# 320) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Our electoral system is as good as guaranteed to give no PM a legitimate claim to have an electoral mandate for anything

I agree, but it's all we've got in the present moment. And it may be needed to break a constitutional impasse.
 
Posted by Doc Tor (# 9748) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Engage with the actual argument.

I did here. You started talking about gravity.

Apparently, the government's legal advisers are telling May that the Appeal Court's reasoning is not just sound, but pretty much boilerplated. Again, I'm sure they've considered the counter-arguments, including yours, but they appear to have rejected all other interpretations. You might find their ruling perverse, and maintain that your opinion is correct, but theirs is the one that's going to end up as setting precedent.

You might want to look again at how you constructed your argument and arrived at a very different conclusion to the one that's most likely to stand.
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
PaulTh:

I disagree that we have the approaches of the parties laid out. Nor do I think that this is all that easy.

Firstly, IMHO membership of the Customs Union is more important that the Single Market, since this allows us develop other trade agreements which is only ruled out by CU membership not SM membership. Is Labour's policy on this clear?

It would be interesting, if Labour went for the Norway option (in the SM but out of the CM).

First, would those who prefer this (which I do) vote Labour to get it? Very few, I think, and not me.

What would The Commission do, if anything? Because an argument against a dogmatic Norway approach is that we may not get it. I agree we stand a good chance if we fully accept free movement (with the emergency brake that Norway has), and are very co-operative on the ECJ (I think Norway has some get out but has only rejected one law in about a year) and contribution (Richard North who is expert on this thinks an increase may well be demanded).

The Tories would argue that this is highly risky, because there will be a lot of opposition to it in Europe, and especially if this is seen as just an interim whilst we get our own trade deals and then leave the SM when we have these in place (North's Flexcit option again). So Jeremy would need to come clean on whether he wants SM membership for good, with its downsides, or only as a pragmatic interim whilst we build up strength to do a hard brexit in, say 7-10 years.

He would then be very vulnerable to any noise out of Brussels that they are not interested in such a deal, and also very vulnerable to voter opposition, because I think North is right that we would have to ask very nicely (aka crawl - Daily Mail) to get the deal.

I agree with Paul Goodman's analysis in here that
quote:
May should have called an election as soon as she became Prime Minister, but that having said she won’t, she now shouldn’t unless she has to: the core of her appeal, after all, is that she’s a woman of her word. But if Parliament now either makes Brexit itself or an orderly negotiation impossible, she may have no alternative but to go the country
.
It's an interesting summary of the pros and cons of an election.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
First, would those who prefer this (which I do) vote Labour to get it? Very few, I think, and not me.

Which is the reason why a general election to solve the Brexit problem is a totally bonkers idea. You either insist people vote solely on the single issue of Brexit, ignoring all the other policies of each party. Or, you vote on the complete package and so vote for a party where you agree on their policies on health, welfare, defence, education etc, but where their position on Brexit is not what you want.

The only surefire way of knowing the views of the electorate to gain a mandate for a particular form of exit is to have an election between different options rather than different candidates - ie: a second referendum.
 
Posted by Anglican't (# 15292) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
Apparently, the government's legal advisers are telling May that the Appeal Court's reasoning is not just sound, but pretty much boilerplated. Again, I'm sure they've considered the counter-arguments, including yours, but they appear to have rejected all other interpretations. You might find their ruling perverse, and maintain that your opinion is correct, but theirs is the one that's going to end up as setting precedent.

You might want to look again at how you constructed your argument and arrived at a very different conclusion to the one that's most likely to stand.

On a point of information (that may or may not be relevant, we'll see) my understanding is that R (Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union is a High Court judgment (i.e. a first instance decision) and so not a judgment by an appeal court. The case is going to appeal, leapfrogging the Court of Appeal and going straight to the Supreme Court, which might of course uphold the first instance decision in its entirety. Or reject it completely. Or do something in between. We'll see.

If this ends up going to the Supreme Court then in many ways we're discussing something that is not yet final.

[ 06. November 2016, 18:20: Message edited by: Anglican't ]
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Our electoral system is as good as guaranteed to give no PM a legitimate claim to have an electoral mandate for anything

I agree, but it's all we've got in the present moment. And it may be needed to break a constitutional impasse.
The problem is that the moment she calls for a General Election she has to lay her hand upon the table. As she currently holds the two of Diamonds, a couple of Pokemons, a 1977 Football Top Trumps of Kenny Dalglish and The Fool she is understandably reluctant to do this. Basically, this is a government without a clue, without a plan and without an opposition which has been granted an electoral mandate to shoot the British economy in the foot. If she calls an election she will have to find a clue and a plan and, might possibly find herself with an opposition whilst still being obliged to point a shotgun and blow off one of her kitten heels. So it's not difficult to see why she's stalling.
 
Posted by Doc Tor (# 9748) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
If this ends up going to the Supreme Court then in many ways we're discussing something that is not yet final.

I concur. But in my half-awake state this morning, R4 reliably informed me that the government's own legal advisers were telling May the game was up, and the SC was (I think the phrase was) 'unlikely' to reverse the Appeal Court's decision.

It is, of course, up to May et al to decide whether it's worth to risk another day of terrible headlines, but that's a political decision, not a legal one.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
You might want to look again at how you constructed your argument and arrived at a very different conclusion to the one that's most likely to stand.

No thanks. Back in law school they taught me it was okay to write essays arguing that the very highest court in the land sometimes got it wrong. So I'm good.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
Though, if the highest court in the land says Parliament has to call Article 50, no amount of student essay writing on how it's wrong is going to alter the choices Mrs May has.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
Completely agreed.

The problem I have is that Doc Tor seems to think that students really ought to shut up and just parrot what they were told to say.
 
Posted by Doc Tor (# 9748) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Completely agreed.

The problem I have is that Doc Tor seems to think that students really ought to shut up and just parrot what they were told to say.

Er, no. I think that students should study the work of senior practitioners and learn from it. That is basic pedagogy and, I would have thought, reasonably uncontroversial.
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
You might want to look again at how you constructed your argument and arrived at a very different conclusion to the one that's most likely to stand.

No thanks. Back in law school they taught me it was okay to write essays arguing that the very highest court in the land sometimes got it wrong. So I'm good.
Indeed, that is so, but AFAICR, you have to supply references for the elements of your argument. These courts might get it wrong but you have to take account of the framework they are working within; unless you want to start from a blank sheet of paper that is.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
Sigh. Do you really want me to pepper the message board with citations of all the legislation and cases?

In any case, the starting proposition that it is the Crown, not the Parliament, that has the power to conduct international relations is uncontroversial. Heck, even the High Court agrees with it.

And I don't disagree with the basic law that says Parliament is sovereign either.

What I disagree with is no more, and no less, than the interpretation of a particular piece of legislation and how it supposedly "gave rights" to UK citizens. I don't think I could be much clearer.

Precious few of you seem interested in engaging with what I'm saying simply because it involves saying that that mean nasty Prime Minister has more power than you'd like, but I don't actually give a shit about the consequences, I give a shit about the reasoning process. It's the reasoning process of the judgement that I'm commenting on. I've provided a link to the judgement. What else would you like?
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
Having done a quick cost/benefit analysis, I've decided it's not worth putting any more effort into explaining my view further. Consider it, or don't because you don't find the messenger suitably qualified and that's what matters to you.

Either way, I look forward to watching from a distance as the UK completely fucks up this process for the next couple of years, caught between the demands of its domestic audience and the demands of the other EU countries. I won't be at all surprised if the government finds that it can't get approval for triggering Article 50 without progressing a solid exit position, and it can't negotiate a solid exit position without triggering Article 50.

There will be ample opportunity to consume popcorn.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
At this stage, before any negotiations start, a "Brexit position" can only be where the UK government starts the negotiations - it would be incredible if that's where the negotiations end. At the moment the only reason that starting position hasn't been stated, even in outline, seems to be that the government hasn't managed to work out a compromise between different factions within the Conservative leadership (which range from "no Brexit" through to "drag the entire archipelago into the middle of the Atlantic"). Which is a direct consequence of the balls-up of the referendum question where Leave didn't produce such a starting position before the polls opened. If Leave had produced a manifesto setting out a starting position of (for example) "end freedom of movement, maintain tariff-free trade, exit agriculture and fisheries deals, maintain science and technology cooperation" then the government would have already triggered Article 50 and be working on negotiating on the basis of actually having clearly heard the will of the people on the subject (though, the referendum bill probably should have authorised that executive power, just to cover the legal bases).

Enjoy the popcorn. I think I need whisky (I just won't rely on the UK government to organise any sort of booze up at the distillery).
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
I think one interesting outcome over the weekend has been to see Farage (and presumably a large constituency of people who think in similar ways) suggesting that judges are subverting the will of the people. Others have said that the government shouldn't be forced to "show it's hand" because "it isn't a binary".

To me this just gets to the root of the problem: the referendum was binary so saying "Brexit means Brexit" doesn't really cover the whole breadth of opinions on the topic. It seems like a lot of people voted Leave on the basis of immigration, did they also mean they want to leave the Common Market etc and so on?

Whichever way the Supreme Court rules (and I thank those who've tried to explain a contrary legal opinion), I think we're still in a bit of trouble here. If the SC rules that a Parliamentary vote isn't needed, then arguably Parliamentary Sovereignty has been usurped by the courts (if they can say that a vote is needed, then saying that a vote isn't needed must also show that they've got the final say).

May and co could then negotiate a package for Brexit which almost nobody agrees with - or at least it is impossible to know if a majority of people agree without asking them - for example full access to the Common Market, continued payment of fees to the EU for another 10 years without access to EU structural funds and no way to slow or prevent EU migrants.

On the other hand, giving a Parliamentary vote implies discussion of these issues in public, so even if the vote is overwhelmingly in favour of the Article 50 notification, the other EU nations will have gotten a feel for the weight of feeling in Parliament if not the country for different options.

I can't see that is a good thing either way around in terms of the UK Government's negotiating position or use of political capital. In the former, a large number of people are going to be annoyed whatever is agreed. In the latter, the EU leaders could just tell May to piss off with the golden divorce package the UK Parliament desires.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
Another thing I was reflecting on is that Scotland must have almost zero chance of (re)joining the EU. The UK is a net contributor, Scotland would be a net beneficiary. The EU would be losing money.

If anything this is where the UK has some advantage in the EU discussions. What shockwaves would there be to the EU if a major contributor left?

Which makes me think that if the EU leaders really are committed to giving as little to the UK as they're saying (leaving a trade deal similar to the one with Canada), they're going to be squeeze as much out of the UK in divorce payments as possible.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
I admit I don't understand all this "not showing our hand" stuff - except that it provides a smokescreen to obscure the fact that the government doesn't have a hand to show.

The Scottish government produced a substantial book detailing what they wanted out of independence negotiations prior to the 2014 referendum. No one said it was a stupid idea to have given the details of what they wanted before starting negotiations (or, even getting the go ahead to negotiate through the referendum vote - which, of course, they didn't get).

The first thing that will happen in negotiations is that the UK government will put a package on the table of what they want, what is wrong with first finding out if that's what we, the people, want?
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
Alan Creswell:
quote:
Which is the reason why a general election to solve the Brexit problem is a totally bonkers idea.
For May to call an election having previously said she wouldn't, she would have to be able to say, hand on heart, that her ability to get the brexit process through is being frustrated by the low majority she inherited and so she needs to go to the country. That's not bonkers in my view, but I do basically support the May government which possibly you do not.
quote:
You either insist people vote solely on the single issue of Brexit, ignoring all the other policies of each party. Or, you vote on the complete package . .
Nobody's insisting on anything, but of course whenever an election is held in the context of one issue that dominates, this will be the case. The issue at the next election is likely to be Socialism vs Capitalism, which I think is just as important.
quote:
The only surefire way of knowing the views of the electorate to gain a mandate for a particular form of exit is to have an election between different options rather than different candidates - ie: a second referendum.

First, if you vote for an option that is put by the Opposition and not accepted by the Government, you have effectively made it into an election, (bit like the upcoming Italian referendum) and I'm totally sure that May would immediately trigger an election - indeed I think she should - if the referendum mandate was one that she felt she couldn't deliver. But second, how would you phrase the option so as to make it comprehensible? Assuming you accept the practical difficulty of both options being several hundred words, please could you provide the questions verbatim as you would propose them in a referendum? And as a further condition, you must be able to say, no barleys, that the people to whom the question is directed will really understand it.
 
Posted by Alwyn (# 4380) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
[...] in my half-awake state this morning, R4 reliably informed me that the government's own legal advisers were telling May the game was up, and the SC was (I think the phrase was) 'unlikely' to reverse the Appeal Court's decision.

That's interesting. R4 (and the government's lawyers) might be right. On the other hand, the government's lawyers might be being intentionally pessimistic, like Scotty in Star Trek III, multiplying his repair estimates by a factor of four so that he can keep his reputation as a miracle worker.

You invited orfeo to look again at his argument, in the light of the High Court's judgment. Perhaps you heard James O'Brien's comments on LBC (which went viral and can be found online); he made the government's arguments sound foolish. Maybe you thought that orfeo would look through his argument and spot a mistake, like a software programmer looking back over their code after the failure of the Mars Climate Orbiter in 1999, discovering that a piece of software used the wrong units of measurement.

Lawyers can make mistakes just as easily as anyone else. (I once made a humdinger of an error: discussing a case with a law professor, I relied on a judge's opinion without realising that the judge was dissenting. Talk about embarrassing!). In cases like this one, there are good arguments on both sides (as I said earlier, providing sources). Legal debates at this level are more like historical or theological arguments than scientific ones. Lawyers can lose a case like this one without making a mistake.

The government's argument can be made to look foolish (as James O'Brien showed) but so can the argument which the judges accepted. (For instance, it can be argued that the claimant's case is self-contradictory: their first submission was that prerogative powers cannot remove statutory rights, their third submission was that, by triggering Article 50, the government would use prerogative powers to remove statutory rights - see para 74 of the judgment). orfeo's view (since prerogative powers cannot remove statutory rights, those rights remain in UK law until removed by Parliament), is a valid interpretation of the law, even if it isn't the one which the court preferred.

[ 07. November 2016, 08:29: Message edited by: Alwyn ]
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
how would you phrase the option so as to make it comprehensible? Assuming you accept the practical difficulty of both options being several hundred words

That's the point. There is, and never was, a simple question. The referendum in June had two choices. One was relatively simple, remain in the EU and maintain the current status (which, barring some minor tinkering by Cameron's "deal", is a current known with some uncertainty about the distant future - and, when the EU proposes a major change such as enhanced powers to Parliament, admission of Turkey or whatever, then the UK would have a say on that and maybe then would be a sensible time for a referendum). The other option, to leave the EU, was and still is incredibly complex with a wide range of potential options across multiple policy areas. The only way to distill that option down to a simple question is to produce several hundred words, probably tens of thousands of words - probably with a short list of bullet points for the campaign leaflets: "The Leave campaign seeks to:
1. maintain free trade with the EU
2. continue scientific, technical and security cooperation.
3. end free movement between the UK and EU
4. end participation in EU agriculture and fisheries policies
5. end UK support for EU regional development
etc"
(just an example, it isn't my place to define what Brexit means, that's the job of the Leave campaign)

Trying to put a simple question to the British people was a massive mistake, because it never was a simple question.
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
Alan Creswell: From your reply I do not understand why you would consider an election the most-bonkers alternative. But that aside you raise an interesting question, and I suppose it leads me to ask if you were equally against the Referendum for Scottish Independence.

Because in both cases:

1. There was good evidence that a sufficient percentage of the population, greatly desired independence from a larger association which they had ceased to see as beneficial.

2. There was no chance that any General Election would see a party with a significant chance of winning, offering them what they wanted.

So either you say: Tough, we're giving you no opportunity, or you allow a referendum to take place.

And this is bound to reduce complex outcomes to simple questions, leaving a lot up for grabs. And I can't see any less uncertainty on the Independence for Scotland (only if they can stay in the EU? only if a currency union can be agreed etc etc). As you point out, it is simply impossible to frame a referendum that avoids this.

But in both cases you cannot say that the outcome is vacuous. It is also risky, since as you have well pointed out, you cannot know all the details of what you are getting as a deal.

But for some people, independence is sufficiently important that they are willing to accept that risk. Should they not be allowed that option?
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
The fact that the Government had no real plan for what Brexit would look like was public knowledge before the referendum. This implies one of two things:

1. Leavers didn't care - they thought any alternative was better than remaining. In which case, I'd say the Government has a mandate to adopt whatever form of Brexit it likes.

2. Leavers didn't know - in which case, they are definitely too stupid to be entrusted with a second referendum asking what form of Brexit they'd like (or a general election acting as a surrogate for the same question).
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
Alan Creswell: From your reply I do not understand why you would consider an election the most-bonkers alternative.

Only because an election would be to appoint a Parliament and government for five years. And, to elect those members on the basis of calling article 50 and taking us out of the EU, which will take only a fraction of Parliamentary time over that period, would be to deliver us a government for the wrong reasons. And, it still wouldn't really answer the question of what the UK population wants out of Brexit.

quote:
I suppose it leads me to ask if you were equally against the Referendum for Scottish Independence.

There were significant differences between the two referenda. First, the Scottish independence referendum was called by a government which wanted independence, if the vote was yes in 2014 there wouldn't be a government led by someone who opposed independence negotiating for independence. Unlike the current situation of a government and Parliament strongly opposed to the end that has been forced on them.

Second, as I have said before, the Scottish vote was based on a very detailed opening negotiating position, a white paper based on decades of campaigning for independence, balancing the desires of the Scottish people (at least the 20-30% strongly in favour of independence) and practicality. Although the wording on the ballot paper was simple, there was no pretence that it was a simple question, and no lack of work in advance to lay out a way through the complexity. Far different from a slogan on the side of a bus, which didn't even get the number right.

I've no particular problem with referenda, but they should be the end of the hard work of the first few parts of a process not the very first step. If Cameron was going to insist on honouring the manifesto commitment, then give Leave 3 years to work out what they were going to campaign for, and hold the referendum towards the end of the Parliament. Assuming that is that doing that wouldn't result in the Leave campaign failing the agree anything and be so beset by infighting that they make Labour look like a model of political unity.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
Practically speaking, if the Tories went to a General Election on a platform of delivering a particular kind of Brexit (even if that was "let May get the best deal she can and stop asking questions") she'd likely get an overwhelming and thumping majority. Labour would get a really good kicking, UKIP even in disarray would likely pick up seats.

The Lib Dems might pick up seats in particular areas and might end up being the effective opposition in co-ordination with the SNP. For all the good it'd do - ie essentially nothing at all.

If May goes to the polls, that'd be a very clever not stupid thing to do. And what would the electorate think if Labour MPs voted against repealing fixed-term governments in a situation like that?
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
Though, Theresa May has been making a lot of noise about still being on target to start the process by the end of March. Calling a general election would totally and utterly screw up that time table - how will it go down with the Leave voters if she does something else to slow down calling Article 50 until after an election in May? It's going to be very risky, even more so the longer it goes on before calling Article 50.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Though, Theresa May has been making a lot of noise about still being on target to start the process by the end of March. Calling a general election would totally and utterly screw up that time table - how will it go down with the Leave voters if she does something else to slow down calling Article 50 until after an election in May? It's going to be very risky, even more so the longer it goes on before calling Article 50.

My guess is that it'll depend exactly on what happens in the Supreme Court and the extent to which May is frustrated by long debates and amendments in the Commons. If the SC case generates a lot of other cases and if (somehow) the SNP and others are able to cause significant delays to May's Article 50 timetable, my guess is that she'll throw up her hands and say "soddit, let's just have a GE and get these idiots out of my hair".
 
Posted by betjemaniac (# 17618) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Though, Theresa May has been making a lot of noise about still being on target to start the process by the end of March. Calling a general election would totally and utterly screw up that time table - how will it go down with the Leave voters if she does something else to slow down calling Article 50 until after an election in May? It's going to be very risky, even more so the longer it goes on before calling Article 50.

surely it's the nuclear option she's planning for though? Ie, let the March deadline get screwed over while making noises about how it's all moaning Remainers' fault for thwarting the will of the people. Move a writ for dissolution end of March, election first week of May, thumping majority, goodnight Brussels.

Of course, as the Daily Mash pointed out yesterday, the main reason she doesn't want to do that is that it would be a waste of a perfectly good Jeremy Corbyn from her point of view...
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
Mr Cheesy:
quote:
If May goes to the polls, that'd be a very clever not stupid thing to do. And what would the electorate think if Labour MPs voted against repealing fixed-term governments in a situation like that?
An article in the Indie (sorry can't find link) was definite that there's no need to repeal the Act. She has the power to put a resolution that states, more or less, "notwithstanding the FTG Act, due to the circumstances, the next General Election will be on . .whenever".

It may be a bit cheeky but it appears to be possible.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
Repealing the fixed term act would take us back to all future PMs deciding when to hold an election (until such a time as a new fixed term act is passed, if a future government decides to do that). What's needed is an exception made, without repealing the Act, such that we have a May 2017 election, then the next election in May 2022 sticking to the 5 year cycle.
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
Alan C:
quote:
First, the Scottish independence referendum was called by a government which wanted independence
Well, yes. That is a good point.

Which makes one realise how royally the Labour party has screwed up, even though Cameron is the main culprit.

By self-destructing in Scotland, they made it into a separatist quasi-Quebec territory, allowed Cameron to win in 2015, and are now totaly at 6's and 7's with most of them too scared to continue to back Remain out of fear of losing their seats.

The world's going mad. The Republicans backed about the only person that Hilary could beat, the Labour party elected a muppet followed by more of a muppet.

I'm surprised nobody has launched the conspiracy theory that Len McCluskey is being paid by the Tories!
 
Posted by betjemaniac (# 17618) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:

I'm surprised nobody has launched the conspiracy theory that Len McCluskey is being paid by the Tories!

I know people who think (some more genuinely than others) that Jeremy might be...
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
By self-destructing in Scotland, they made it into a separatist quasi-Quebec territory, allowed Cameron to win in 2015,

Not quite true. Even if Labour had won every Scottish seat the Tories would still have had the same majority.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:

By self-destructing in Scotland, they made it into a separatist quasi-Quebec territory, allowed Cameron to win in 2015, and are now totaly at 6's and 7's with most of them too scared to continue to back Remain out of fear of losing their seats.

To a point. Though the reason the Tories have a majority is because the Lib Dems went from 57 to 8 seats.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
By self-destructing in Scotland, they made it into a separatist quasi-Quebec territory, allowed Cameron to win in 2015,

Not quite true. Even if Labour had won every Scottish seat the Tories would still have had the same majority.
I assume the "separatist quasi-Quebec territory" statement refers to the general election result where Scotland turned almost entirely yellow, largely as a result of the total collapse of the Labour vote (though, several previously strong LibDem seats went as well, so it wasn't all down to the collapse of Labour). Though, not quite reflected in the Scottish Parliament where the SNP didn't quite scrape a majority of seats - but where the Labour collapse let the Tories in as the opposition.
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
What i mainly meant by the reference to Quebec is that Scotland, like Quebec, has a separatist administration. Ok the Tories share the guilt, having a decent Scottish representation pre Thatcher.

As to the last election, i think the scare tactic of demonising a Labour/SDP alliance made a significant difference.

I!m also pissed off by the lack still of unbiassed reporting, particularly on Daily Politics which I've always liked. Fot two days running the statement has been made unchallenged that the Norway opion is the same as not leaving, which is plain false.

But I'm rambling. Time for a break.
 
Posted by Augustine the Aleut (# 1472) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
What i mainly meant by the reference to Quebec is that Scotland, like Quebec, has a separatist administration. Ok the Tories share the guilt, having a decent Scottish representation pre Thatcher.
*snip*

Québec had a separatist ministry-- but not since 2014 (although some would argue that the minority Marois ministry of 2012-4 was not separatist, given that it was in a minority).
*end of Canadian trivia tangent*
 
Posted by alienfromzog (# 5327) on :
 
Here's a controversial thought:

Most people voted to remain part of the EU.

Let me explain. As is now becoming evident, despite the on-going disingenuosness of the government there is not just one 'leave' option but several. For the sake of arugment I will be generous and call it two options. Though in reality the Leave campaign came up with so many...

1) Leave the EU and become members of the EEA and thus accept the rules of the single market and make a contribution to the budget.
2) Leave the EU and not join the EEA. Have no formal relationship with the EU.

It is very dangerous to claim anything about why people voted a particular way. Even if there is polling evidence it is never clear cut in the way and election result is.

However, I will stipulate that at least 5% of those who voted to leave the EU wanted some kind of 'Norway-like' relationship whilst some wanted nothing at all to do with the EU. Hence more people voted to remain than for the other choices.

The problem of course is that the referendum was so bungled from start to finish and the only options on the ballot paper were leave or remain.

However it is a statistical inevitability that less than 48% of those who voted wanted to end up with what is being unhelpfully-termed a 'hard brexit'

This matters simply because I am so fed up of the Leavers who ran a fact-free, completely dishonest campaign with mutually exclusive claims of what a post-brexit Britain would look like claiming they have a mandate from the people.

This is simply bollocks. (My apologies for using the technical term).

[Disappointed]

AFZ
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
I think that there is almost certainly a majority in the country for a soft Brexit. If you add remainers (48%) to liberal leavers you are almost certainly over the 50% mark. One of the many, many vexing things about the Referendum result is that the government are going to try to take us out of the EU in a way that is unacceptable to the majority of the electorate and, by the time the deal has been done and dusted, the electoral majority which voted for Leave will be altered by demographics as the Baby Boomers die off and the younger generation take their place on the electoral roll.

You will note that analysis does not include buyers remorse. After the 1992 General Election polling companies noted something interesting. Attempts to get representative cross sections of the public were foundering on the question: "Who did you vote for in the 1992 General Election". A sufficiently significant number of respondents were lying about having not voted for the Conservatives that the joke was that clearly the result on the night had been the result of an administrative error and that Mr Kinnock should be ensconced in Number 10. I rather suspect that YouGov, et. al. will face a similar phenomenon in the not too distant future.
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
Thanks for the correction, augustine.

Alienfromzog: i think you are right that a majority of the electorate would prefer to stay, and the biggest buyers remorse should be on remainers who couldnt be arsed to vote.

But i dont see the norway opion as equivalent to remaining unless you assume that it would be permanent. I dont know about norway but assume that a big incentive was their fishing industry.

Most soft brexiteers want the same endgame as the hardies, but think doing it quickly is daft, so you end up nearly in, but gradually get out re ECJ which will mean in the endgame out of the single market. EEA also exclude the customs union so it is misleading to equate it with remaining.

I totally agree that going from where we are to EEA in perpetuity is as pointless as melon.
 
Posted by Anglican't (# 15292) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
[T]he biggest buyers remorse should be on remainers who couldnt be arsed to vote.

Presumably there are quite a few voters who voted Remain because of Project Fear and have now realised that we haven't entered recession, there was no punishment budget, house prices haven't collapsed by 18% and World War 3 hasn't broken out.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
Well, we've yet to light the blue touch paper. A 20% reduction in the value of the pound isn't exactly trivial. And, there are already other effects being felt - mostly relating to appointing qualified staff to fill vacancies, since EU citizens are reluctant to come to the UK without guarantees that they'll be here for more than a couple of years.

In addition to those who didn't bother to vote there is quite a large number who couldn't vote. It's been reported a lot of students had difficulties, since they had registered to vote where they study but the vote was after the end of term.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
I guess it will be either a higher level of inflation next year, or stagflation as well. Brexit does not have a zero cost. Right now, we're not sure how much.

Just wait and see what happens when Article 50 is eventually signed. The markets will tell the rest of us just how optimistic they are. And eighteen months later, the general public will realise just how big is the pig in the poke they bought. But by then, it will be too late.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
There's a problem in the above posts that has not been addressed. The EU has made it clear that there are to be no negotiations until the Art 50 notice has been given. Inherent in that is that the EU sees that it will then have the upper hand in the negotiations - and it will. Time starts from the moment that notice is given.

Given that, the most which can be done in a parliamentary vote is to approve giving notice. That notice must be absolute, and can't be worded on the basis that Britain will leave on a particular basis.

(As an aside, and I don't want to go down this path again, but that is also a problem with Alan Cresswell's argument that the referendum should have been conducted along the lines he's presented.)
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
@ Gee D

I think that very point should have been the subject of serious debate pre-Referendum.
 
Posted by Humble Servant (# 18391) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:

Given that, the most which can be done in a parliamentary vote is to approve giving notice.

Or refuse such approval. 17.4 million out of a population of 63.5 million is hardly an overwhelming mandate. It's time someone had the guts to say that.

[ 08. November 2016, 20:45: Message edited by: Humble Servant ]
 
Posted by Anglican't (# 15292) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Well, we've yet to light the blue touch paper.



That's the argument now. At the time it was suggested that merely voting for Brexit would cause catastrophe, hence the punishment budget apparently scheduled for the week following a Leave vote.

quote:
In addition to those who didn't bother to vote there is quite a large number who couldn't vote. It's been reported a lot of students had difficulties, since they had registered to vote where they study but the vote was after the end of term.

They could have applied for a postal vote?

[ 08. November 2016, 20:53: Message edited by: Anglican't ]
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Well, we've yet to light the blue touch paper.



That's the argument now. At the time it was suggested that merely voting for Brexit would cause catastrophe, hence the punishment budget apparently scheduled for the week following a Leave vote.

Perhaps because "Project Fear" was not as evident north of the border I must have missed the Chancellor state that he was preparing an emergency budget in the event of a Leave vote. Though the Bank of England was very quick in cutting interest rates, as though my savings weren't paying a pittance already.

There was a lot of nonsense said in the papers, on both sides of the debate. But, I tended to ignore the more stupid comments.

quote:
quote:
In addition to those who didn't bother to vote there is quite a large number who couldn't vote. It's been reported a lot of students had difficulties, since they had registered to vote where they study but the vote was after the end of term.

They could have applied for a postal vote?

Yes, they could have. Though I guess that since they were also sitting and preparing for exams they might have had other things to worry about than filing the paperwork for a postal ballot - which, of course, wouldn't guarantee them a vote anyway (of three elections while I was in Japan there was only one where the ballot papers arrived in time for me to vote and I assume they got back in time - I know others who are overseas for whom even a 1 in 3 voting rate would be considered high).
 
Posted by lowlands_boy (# 12497) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Well, we've yet to light the blue touch paper.



That's the argument now. At the time it was suggested that merely voting for Brexit would cause catastrophe, hence the punishment budget apparently scheduled for the week following a Leave vote.

Perhaps because "Project Fear" was not as evident north of the border I must have missed the Chancellor state that he was preparing an emergency budget in the event of a Leave vote. Though the Bank of England was very quick in cutting interest rates, as though my savings weren't paying a pittance already.

There was a lot of nonsense said in the papers, on both sides of the debate. But, I tended to ignore the more stupid comments.

quote:
quote:
In addition to those who didn't bother to vote there is quite a large number who couldn't vote. It's been reported a lot of students had difficulties, since they had registered to vote where they study but the vote was after the end of term.

They could have applied for a postal vote?

Yes, they could have. Though I guess that since they were also sitting and preparing for exams they might have had other things to worry about than filing the paperwork for a postal ballot - which, of course, wouldn't guarantee them a vote anyway (of three elections while I was in Japan there was only one where the ballot papers arrived in time for me to vote and I assume they got back in time - I know others who are overseas for whom even a 1 in 3 voting rate would be considered high).

I don't understand this whole "disenfranchised students" argument, since students studying away from home are entitled to be on the electoral register at both their term time address and their permanent home address.
The only disenfranchised student I came across had gone on a rather stereotypical summer travel experience. Nothing to do with the electoral register. And he could have got his parents to vote by proxy for him.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lowlands_boy:
I don't understand this whole "disenfranchised students" argument, since students studying away from home are entitled to be on the electoral register at both their term time address and their permanent home address.

Sorry, I failed to notice a new post on this thread.

Over recent years there has been a laudable movement to encourage and help non-voters to register to vote, and (obviously) put their vote in. A large part of that has been targeting students - for obvious reasons that most come to university never having voted (due to age) and a university can get the message across to a lot of people at one go. The people involved in those university centred voter education have been from the local electoral registration office, and hence students have registered to vote in their university town. Most times that's not a problem, because elections outwith term time are very unusual. In this referendum the message that they would need to either re-register at their out of term time address, arrange to be in the university town on polling day, or arrange a postal or proxy vote was, in many cases, not clearly communicated (communication being two way, involving both talking and listening). I've not seen any detailed study of how many people were involved, but there has been a lot of anecdotes circulating around social media and various academic/university newslists. Personally, all the students I've had dealings with since June are either doctoral students and hence fulltime resident (so not affected) or were not eligible to vote at all (common with most UK universities we have a high proportion of non-UK students - so are likely to face tough times with Brexit and other restrictions on students from overseas cutting available funds and making some courses unviable). Probably not enough people to have made a difference, but part of a larger picture of people who were in various ways denied a vote.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
What I came back to this thread for ...

Trump spoke a lot about a "new Brexit" in his campaign. So, my question.

Did the success of Leave provide support and encouragement for the anti-establishment movement in the US that helped boost support for Trump? Are those who voted Leave partly responsible for Trump being President elect?
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:

Did the success of Leave provide support and encouragement for the anti-establishment movement in the US that helped boost support for Trump?

Well yes in at least one case: Farage. And I'm sure that it was another thing that added to the wave of grievances and "anti-establishment" feelings.

quote:
Are those who voted Leave partly responsible for Trump being President elect?
Are those who voted in another ballot in another country responsible for a presidential result they were not involved in another country? No, that's ridiculous.

What is probably true is that there are deep wells of unease within communities of people in similar situations who appear to be attracted by loud-mouth right-wing cartoon anti-politicians to register a protest at the political establishment which doesn't seem to be doing anything about their situation.

But the USA is not the UK, which is not Italy, which is not France. The fact that fascism is on the rise in all these places is a symptom of something very bad in many countries - it isn't a coincidence that these votes are happening close together, but I think it is a stretch to say the one is somehow responsible for another (other than in the domino effect).
 
Posted by la vie en rouge (# 10688) on :
 
I think I disagree.

The odious Marine Lepen definitely thinks it helps her cause to be able to point to other countries where xenophobic thuggery is also on the rise.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
I think it helps her cause above all by legitimising her stance.

The Overton window shifting or something; if it can happen in the US, the plausibility of it happening here increases.
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
I think Trump helps Le Pen. I'm not sure, though, that Brexit did very much to help Trump.

AJP Taylor wrote in his autobiography that he, and the other original members of CND, thought that if the UK unilaterally disarmed other countries would be sufficiently moved by our moral example to follow suit. He later realised that this was unlikely, ruefully, observing "we were the last imperialists". The point being, that the time when the UK was a great moral exemplar for anyone was long gone. I think the same logic applies to Brexit.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
I think Trump helps Le Pen. I'm not sure, though, that Brexit did very much to help Trump.

AJP Taylor wrote in his autobiography that he, and the other original members of CND, thought that if the UK unilaterally disarmed other countries would be sufficiently moved by our moral example to follow suit. He later realised that this was unlikely, ruefully, observing "we were the last imperialists". The point being, that the time when the UK was a great moral exemplar for anyone was long gone. I think the same logic applies to Brexit.

Great quote from Taylor. I guess that the liberal left still held with British exceptionalism, and this has been slow to erode. Brexit seems imbued with the same idiocy, although more from a right wing point of view. People are bound to want to do trade deals with us, because we are British, and we drive on the left, or something.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
What I came back to this thread for ...

Trump spoke a lot about a "new Brexit" in his campaign. So, my question.

Did the success of Leave provide support and encouragement for the anti-establishment movement in the US that helped boost support for Trump? Are those who voted Leave partly responsible for Trump being President elect?

The rest of the world pays attention to US politics. I don't find it terribly credible that Americans would pay a great deal of attention to international politics.
 
Posted by Leorning Cniht (# 17564) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:

Did the success of Leave provide support and encouragement for the anti-establishment movement in the US that helped boost support for Trump? Are those who voted Leave partly responsible for Trump being President elect?

Not much. I think by far the strongest effect is that Brexit and Trump both got a chunk of support from ordinary working people who felt screwed over by internationalization, and wanted to vote for a big dollop of protectionism.

But I don't think it would have made a difference to Trump's election if Brexit had gone 52-48 the other way.
 
Posted by Leorning Cniht (# 17564) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
I know others who are overseas for whom even a 1 in 3 voting rate would be considered high).

I resemble that remark. I'm 0 for 4 on getting ballot papers on time. The earliest I've received a ballot has been the day of the election; the latest has been two days after the fact.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
I see that there is a growing coalition of MPs seeking to put the final version of Brexit back to the electorate (currently 84 MPs). Perhaps more interesting (given that 84 MPs are not going to get their way), in reporting this The Telegraph includes a readers poll which currently has 56% in support of a second referendum. Yes, that's Telegraph readers wanting a second referendum.
 
Posted by Komensky (# 8675) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
I see that there is a growing coalition of MPs seeking to put the final version of Brexit back to the electorate (currently 84 MPs). Perhaps more interesting (given that 84 MPs are not going to get their way), in reporting this The Telegraph includes a readers poll which currently has 56% in support of a second referendum. Yes, that's Telegraph readers wanting a second referendum.

I had to read that twice.

K.
 
Posted by betjemaniac (# 17618) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Yes, that's Telegraph readers wanting a second referendum.

Except it's not though, is it? Newspaper polling like that is even less worthy of the time of day than the official polling industry - at least they *try* and weight participant samples. These days, every pro-EU social media warrior just needs to share that link around their personal echo chamber and get voting.* Any link between a poll on the Telegraph website and the views of Telegraph readers is likely to be accidental at best.

*not a political point, my contempt for "click here open internet polling on newspaper websites" is universal regardless of subject. If Peter Snow was commentating on that poll he'd be trotting out his election night "remember, this isn't scientific, it's just a bit of fun" line...
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
What I came back to this thread for ...

Trump spoke a lot about a "new Brexit" in his campaign. So, my question.

Did the success of Leave provide support and encouragement for the anti-establishment movement in the US that helped boost support for Trump? Are those who voted Leave partly responsible for Trump being President elect?

The rest of the world pays attention to US politics. I don't find it terribly credible that Americans would pay a great deal of attention to international politics.
Some of us do. I'm working in the financial industry at the mo and believe me, there was and is a lot of attention paid. And of course, lots of us have family there.

I can't tell you about the effect on our election, though, as I don't think anybody has convincingly worked out precisely what happened and why. Lots of theories, of course.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Yes, that's Telegraph readers wanting a second referendum.

Except it's not though, is it?
Yes, I know. It's not exclusively Telegraph readers voting, it's not scientific, etc. It's just a bit of fun.

But, it is quite amusing to have something on the Telegraph website in favour of a second referendum, isn't it?
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
To go back to basics, the most that could possibly go to a second referendum would be the negotiating position of the UK. It can't be the final agreement - that can't be reached until after the Article 50 notice is given.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
Which is what should have been what was on the referendum in June. Except, if it had been put to us in June that position would have been defined by the Leave campaign, whereas now it will be defined by the government and Parliament (the majority of whom campaigned for Remain, and excludes many prominent Leavers).
 
Posted by betjemaniac (# 17618) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
whereas now it will be defined by the government and Parliament (the majority of whom campaigned for Remain, and excludes many prominent Leavers).

with a backward glance to their constituencies (many of which voted to leave) to think about how much they'd like to still be in Parliament after the next general election. Frankly I can't decide if that's better or worse... A hard Brexit enacted by Remainers would be the ultimate irony.

[ 16. November 2016, 07:04: Message edited by: betjemaniac ]
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
Meanwhile the Dutch finance minister has said that Boris' statements about Brexit are "intellectually impossible".

Which I suppose puts us back into post-truth territory. No doubt Boris, May and the others will try to spin these and other recent statements by EU leaders (some of which said that it would be impossible to agree anything other than a "hard Brexit" for the UK) as playing poker in order to get the best possible deal.

Back in the real world, it doesn't feel like that. Those politicians do not appear to be thinking that all will be aOK after Brexit. Indeed, some have said that they're expecting economic pain. They just seem to have accepted that the UK must pay the price of Brexit otherwise the whole notion of an EU is dead.
 
Posted by betjemaniac (# 17618) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
They just seem to have accepted that the UK must pay the price of Brexit otherwise the whole notion of an EU is dead.

and that's what really scares me about all of this. Populism is on the march across Europe. If you wanted to light the blue touch paper under proper separatist movements across the EU I can't think of a better way of doing it than making it clear that leaving is not an option that will be tolerated by the centre/the peoples' betters.

I'd always been dismissive of those who rant on the internet about the EU being the next Yugoslavia, but an iron determination to punish anyone that tries to leave, so as to encourage the others to stay, really feels like kicking the can a bit further down the road in the direction of Belgrade.

Scarily, we might be about to see the idiots mishandling the situation in London being matched by idiots mishandling the situation in Brussels.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
Well, I suppose the problem is that it is hard to see what else they can do, betjemaniac.

If we imagine a scenario where the UK gets a great deal after Brexit, then the far right voices are going to be getting louder in many countries because the advantages of being in the EU are going to be shrinking.

If it is shown to be possible to restrict immigration whilst at the same time enjoying all the benefits of the common market and none of the annoying parts, then the far right will capitalise in many countries.

Just consider France. If the UK leaves and isn't painfully punished, France will be left as one of the few large contributors to the EU project. As Italy and Greece sink with the financial cost of trying to house desperate refugees and with reduced tourists from the north (due to reducing sterling and possibility of visas for Brits), France will have to take more of the strain.

The whole thing becomes an increasing burden and the benefits to France of remaining can increasingly easily be painted as rapidly decreasing. Add in a dose of xenophobia and economic fallout from Brexit and it isn't hard to see the National Front getting increasing support and taking it out on minorities.
 
Posted by fletcher christian (# 13919) on :
 
Posted by Betjemaniac:
quote:

If you wanted to light the blue touch paper under proper separatist movements across the EU I can't think of a better way of doing it than making it clear that leaving is not an option that will be tolerated by the centre/the peoples' betters.

You say this without the slightest bit of irony. As if the Uk hasn't taken the first step in that march. But that aside, you're also claiming that Europe will punish the UK for leaving the EU and make it profoundly difficult for them by ensuring they don't get a good deal. The fact is the EU doesn't owe Britain any deal seeing it voted to leave all on its own. The notion that Britain should be afforded some kind of respect simply because it thinks of itself as important simply doesn't wash anymore. The notion that Britain should be afforded respect and be granted privileges just on the basis of who it is, is frankly deluded. You cannot vote to leave the club house, but take it and its contents with you when you leave; it really is that simple.
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
whereas now it will be defined by the government and Parliament (the majority of whom campaigned for Remain, and excludes many prominent Leavers).

with a backward glance to their constituencies (many of which voted to leave) to think about how much they'd like to still be in Parliament after the next general election. Frankly I can't decide if that's better or worse... A hard Brexit enacted by Remainers would be the ultimate irony.
There's not much point hoping for very much from Parliament. The Tories have decided that the price of staying in the Single Market and Customs Union is civil war and decided to avoid it, Corbyn and McDonnell were never Remainers to start with and are, in any event, the most ineffectual Opposition Leader and Shadow Chancellor of my lifetime, the mainstream Labour Party anticipate an electoral apocalypse at the next election and are trying to limit the fall out by signalling to the constituencies that voted Leave that they are on their side. That leaves the SNP, the Lib Dems and a handful of mavericks like Blessed Ken Clarke (PBUH) to hold the government to account. We are headed for Hard Brexit and no-one and nothing can do anything to stop it.
 
Posted by betjemaniac (# 17618) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by fletcher christian:
Posted by Betjemaniac:
quote:

If you wanted to light the blue touch paper under proper separatist movements across the EU I can't think of a better way of doing it than making it clear that leaving is not an option that will be tolerated by the centre/the peoples' betters.

You say this without the slightest bit of irony. As if the Uk hasn't taken the first step in that march. But that aside, you're also claiming that Europe will punish the UK for leaving the EU and make it profoundly difficult for them by ensuring they don't get a good deal. The fact is the EU doesn't owe Britain any deal seeing it voted to leave all on its own. The notion that Britain should be afforded some kind of respect simply because it thinks of itself as important simply doesn't wash anymore. The notion that Britain should be afforded respect and be granted privileges just on the basis of who it is, is frankly deluded. You cannot vote to leave the club house, but take it and its contents with you when you leave; it really is that simple.
Who is you in this post? Me?

I voted remain.

Thanks for playing.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
The Tories have decided that the price of staying in the Single Market and Customs Union is civil war and decided to avoid it

Which sums up our mess. The Tories internal squabbles dragging the whole nation to God alone knows where. Cameron calling the referendum in the first place, and now May trying to develop a policy, being tossed around by a hundred thousand Tory party members. Were these people elected to Parliament and formed a government to represent their constituents and do the best for the nation, or only to hold the Tory party together?

quote:
Corbyn and McDonnell were never Remainers to start with
Well, I would say reluctant remainers. Probably close to the majority of the population. There are very few people 100% in favour of EU membership (and, for that matter 100% against). The vast majority see a range of benefits, a range of problems, and balance those out to be either on the Remain or Leave side of the line. At "7 out of 10", Corbyn was probably more in favour of EU membership than many people who voted Remain, and not that different from most who campaigned for Remain - he was just honest enough to admit he recognised some of the problems with EU membership. (For the record, I'd put myself somewhere around 9 out of 10).

quote:
That leaves the SNP, the Lib Dems and a handful of mavericks like Blessed Ken Clarke (PBUH) to hold the government to account. We are headed for Hard Brexit and no-one and nothing can do anything to stop it.

And, the fact that the majority of those who voted in June didn't vote for a hard Brexit (if only 10% of those who voted Leave voted for a soft Brexit then the majority voted for staying in the common market and customs union - with the maintenance of freedom of movement as part of that) is irrelevant as the nation is held to ransom by the minority who are members of the Tory party.
 
Posted by fletcher christian (# 13919) on :
 
'You' is Britain.
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
Fletcher Christian:
quote:
The fact is the EU doesn't owe Britain any deal seeing it voted to leave all on its own accord. The notion that Britain should be afforded respect and be granted privileges just on the basis of who it is, is frankly deluded.
The EU owes itself and its peoples the best deal with the UK which protects the interests of the EU citizens to the maximum extent without undermining basic principles. And any country should be accorded respect on the basis of who it is.

I have some trust that good sense will prevail, although I agree with Callan that some variant of hard brexit is looking inevitable. I don't think "Brexit means brexit" is entirely devoid of meaning, and it genuinely would surprise me if the UK Government decides that remaining in the SM and CU is brexit. Norway doesn't even do that.

And much as I would prefer the North Flexcit approach, staying in the SM and swallowing what we have to, whilst exiting the CU, I tend to agree that this option will not be on offer.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
The EU owes itself and its peoples the best deal with the UK which protects the interests of the EU citizens to the maximum extent without undermining basic principles. And any country should be accorded respect on the basis of who it is.

Yes, but the real question is what exactly that means. Allowing the UK access to the bag of sweeties without the requirement for prior handwashing would obviously reduce the experience for everyone else.

quote:
I have some trust that good sense will prevail, although I agree with Callan that some variant of hard brexit is looking inevitable. I don't think "Brexit means brexit" is entirely devoid of meaning, and it genuinely would surprise me if the UK Government decides that remaining in the SM and CU is brexit. Norway doesn't even do that.
For the nth time, Norway is not Brexit. Norway is everything that the Brexiters don't want plus none of the things they do want.

quote:
And much as I would prefer the North Flexcit approach, staying in the SM and swallowing what we have to, whilst exiting the CU, I tend to agree that this option will not be on offer.
It seems to me that the EU countries are standing fairly firm: the EU means certain things. Being out of the EU means a loss of those things.

The UK government has to choose - either it wants the benefits of the EU and has to take the things it doesn't want; or it wants out of the EU entirely. The only other choice is to have Brussels dictate what you have to do, accept unlimited freedom of movement from the EU and all the costs and have no seat at the table.

Pretending that there is somehow a middle way where all these things are up for grabs appears to be a simple fantasy.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
For the nth time, Norway is not Brexit. Norway is everything that the Brexiters don't want plus none of the things they do want.

It's difficult to know what Brexiteers want, since they have failed to give us a description of what they want - and, some of what they have said ("£350m per week for the NHS", as an example) was complete bollocks, leaving us in the dark about what of the other things they said they wanted they actually want, and what they don't.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
I think it is fairly clear that most of the most avid Brexiteers want immigration control plus full access to the EU market without the Europarliament, Strasbourg, etc.

What exactly the less avid Brexit voter wanted is less clear.

But either way, there is going to be trouble if there is an agreement which doesn't "halt" immigration.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:

The EU owes itself and its peoples the best deal with the UK which protects the interests of the EU citizens to the maximum extent without undermining basic principles. And any country should be accorded respect on the basis of who it is.

Sure, but what do these principles actually map to in reality?

In terms of the existing EU, most countries realize that it is in their economic interest to stay within the EU, and so will resist moves to weaken the EU.

At the same time, a lot of the freedoms the UK may want (such as financial pass-porting, the single market in goods and services etc) are only possible because of the things that the UK doesn't want (common regulation, a customs union*, freedom of movement).

Then again there is the fact that all governments are dealing in finite resources - they only have a certain time in office, a fixed number of ministers available to negotiate, a fixed number of trade negotiators able to advise and so on. Understandably they want to achieve something, and may walk away from a potential trade partner that doesn't seem to know what it wants, and is determined to dither.

Most will act in their own best interest - and why not, after all the UK believes it has just done the same.

To collapse all of this down to "they are determined to punish Britain" is so much self-centered cant, and frankly fucking embarrassing.


[*] to a point.
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
Mr Cheesy:
quote:
Norway s not brexit
ok, i think thats bs but you may be able to enlighten me.

Is it your view that Norway is a member of the EU? Those who voted to "leave the EU" voted to cease to be a member i.e. to become a non member. I do not deny that the majority of leavers did not want Norway, although that is not proven.

I just do not see how the Norway option would not fulfill the pledge to respect the referendom.

It might be a guarantee of Tory civil war, but thats not the point.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
ok, i think thats bs but you may be able to enlighten me.

Not a problem, a relative is a Brit who has lived in Norway for more than 20 years, so I'll do my best.

quote:
Is it your view that Norway is a member of the EU?
Nope. It isn't in the EU but is forced to pay as if it was and must have free movement of EU workers. This is how my relative works there.

quote:
Those who voted to "leave the EU" voted to cease to be a member i.e. to become a non member. I do not deny that the majority of leavers did not want Norway, although that is not proven.
OK yes, they voted to cease being a member, but they also voted to leave the shackles of Brussels, to stop being under the authority of the courts at Strasbourg, to prevent EU immigration and to stop paying high EU fees. That's not Norway.

quote:
I just do not see how the Norway option would not fulfill the pledge to respect the referendom.

It might be a guarantee of Tory civil war, but thats not the point.

Norways meets exactly none of the criteria the majority thought they were voting for. The exact opposite.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Norways meets exactly none of the criteria the majority thought they were voting for. The exact opposite.

I would agree that Norways meets exactly none of the criteria the majority of those who voted Leave thought they were voting for. I would also agree that those of us who voted Remain were fairly certain that Norway wasn't the preference of the Leave campaign. However, if a few percent of those voting Leave actually wanted a Norway-like solution, coupled to those of us who voted Remain (since our preference of staying in the EU is currently off the table, Norway-like is IMO the least worse option - whether everyone who voted Remain would agree with me is, of course, unclear), could make that a majority position in the UK electorate.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
Thought I'd copy this across from the post-truth thread.

quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62 in the post truth thread:

In the end, reality bites. More appropriate to the Brexit thread but I rather like this.

Wake up Boris! You really are talking bullshit. Time for sackcloth and ashes. Not just from you but the other Brexit ministers. Listen to Philip Hammond. You know it makes sense. Even if it is humiliating. But after all, humiliation is not so bad.


 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
I would agree that Norways meets exactly none of the criteria the majority of those who voted Leave thought they were voting for. I would also agree that those of us who voted Remain were fairly certain that Norway wasn't the preference of the Leave campaign. However, if a few percent of those voting Leave actually wanted a Norway-like solution, coupled to those of us who voted Remain (since our preference of staying in the EU is currently off the table, Norway-like is IMO the least worse option - whether everyone who voted Remain would agree with me is, of course, unclear), could make that a majority position in the UK electorate.

I'd be surprised if those who voted Remain would be happy with a Norway option.

Least worse? Maybe, although the situation is quite different - for a start, Norway is sitting on a big pile of petro cash (wisely invested for the people).

I just can't see a solution which doesn't address the EU courts, the payment of monies to the EU, the borders etc as being an acceptable solution to a large number of Brexiteers, and I fear what would happen in that scenario.

I'm not saying we should pander to their warped ideas, but I don't see that offering a solution which is technically leaving the EU but in practice isn't significantly different is really going to wash.

Personally, as a Remainer, I'd not support a Norway solution. I think it is a bit of a toss-up whether we'd actually be better off.

To me the only choice is in or out. The other talk is just gravy.
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
Mr Cheesy:
quote:
I just can't see a solution which doesn't address the EU courts, the payment of monies to the EU, the borders etc as being an acceptable solution to a large number of Brexiteers, and I fear what would happen in that scenario
OK and I can see your point, although I would prefer it (having voted to remain anyhow).
First, would you at least admit, that a person can in good conscience, lobby for a Norway option, and still be able to say, honestly, that they fulfilled the mandate?

Second, if we talk flexcit, instead of Norway, it was the official published policy of that wing of Brexiteria bankrolled by Aron Banks, and it is likely that quite a few leavers favoured it.

Third, with flexcit Norway is not intended as a final resting place. The flexciteers believe we can get to the position you described, but in ten or so years, not two or three. So Norway is an interim, and this is why we may find it hard to get agreement on it, since the EU members will see our cunning plot, and so link it with membership of the customs union. And I do agree that Norway + Customs Union would not be on.

Richard North believes he has his bases covered as to what to do to overcome this reluctance, and your support of flexcit does rather depend on how far he would be exposed to trying it, only to get "Non!" at the eleventh hour.

I'm pretty sure that's what Phil Hammond wants and may be what May wants. As I have said previously the Customs Union is the main issue, since once out of that, we can gradually move to a more independent position.

Of course, if we got a LibLab coalition at the next election it would also make it easier to get back in, and easier for the other members states to accept this, just as would accept Norway without much fuss.
 
Posted by Tubbs (# 440) on :
 
The Norway option would take us back to the position the UK was in before it joined the EU. Which is what the Leavers wanted. [Biased] Not seeing a problem. I saw a few articles in the run up and aftermath from people who were voting Leave to get EETA. While the government does have a mandate for Brexit, it doesn’t have a mandate for a specific kind of Brexit. The only person who appeared to do any kind of thinking about what leave would like was North.

One thing that all the Leavers did agree on what they wanted the NHS to have more money. [Big Grin]

Betjemanic:

quote:
Populism is on the march across Europe. If you wanted to light the blue touch paper under proper separatist movements across the EU I can't think of a better way of doing it than making it clear that leaving is not an option that will be tolerated by the centre/the peoples' betters.
If people get the idea during the negotiation that their governments are more interested in protecting the EU project rather jobs and economies in country, it will feed into Le Pen and other’s narrative that the EU is no longer fit for purpose very nicely.

I can’t see the EU breaking up in the short term, but I can see it reaching gridlock with some countries wanting more Europe and others wanting less Europe and more emphasis on national governments. But in the long term, break up is inevitable. History shows that alliances aren’t forever.

Tubbs
 
Posted by TurquoiseTastic (# 8978) on :
 
I can totally see the EU breaking up in the short-to-medium term. It's in that "unlikely but possible" area that both Brexit and Trump occupied.

France is key. The EU can survive without Britain but loses its original raison d'etre without France. A Le Pen victory next year (again, seems unlikely but possible) would raise the odds of EU break-up hugely.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
Then what? Fascism and war? Oh frabjous joy.
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
Why would you assume that the only alternative to the EU is war?
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
Why would you assume that the only alternative to the EU is war?

I wasn't saying that really. I just think that people like Le Pen, Farage, and Trump are not themselves fascists, but could presage it. Fascism often leads to war.
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Just consider France. If the UK leaves and isn't painfully punished, France will be left as one of the few large contributors to the EU project. As Italy and Greece sink with the financial cost of trying to house desperate refugees and with reduced tourists from the north (due to reducing sterling and possibility of visas for Brits), France will have to take more of the strain.

That's true anyway, right now. There are basically three countries (Germany, France, UK) who are taking the strain of propping up most of southern Europe. One of those countries has now said they've had enough of doing so. What a surprise.

I've got to say, though, that I love all the arguments that say Britain has to be severely punished for Brexit because otherwise other countries might want to emulate it. I love them because such arguments are a tacit confession that EU membership isn't in the best interests of those countries, and they would be better off standing alone.
 
Posted by Tubbs (# 440) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Just consider France. If the UK leaves and isn't painfully punished, France will be left as one of the few large contributors to the EU project. As Italy and Greece sink with the financial cost of trying to house desperate refugees and with reduced tourists from the north (due to reducing sterling and possibility of visas for Brits), France will have to take more of the strain.

That's true anyway, right now. There are basically three countries (Germany, France, UK) who are taking the strain of propping up most of southern Europe. One of those countries has now said they've had enough of doing so. What a surprise.

I've got to say, though, that I love all the arguments that say Britain has to be severely punished for Brexit because otherwise other countries might want to emulate it. I love them because such arguments are a tacit confession that EU membership isn't in the best interests of those countries, and they would be better off standing alone.

It’s certainly an admission that the EU in its current form isn’t working. Given that it was set up in the 1950’s with six countries and has grown like Topsy and the world is now completely different, that isn’t a great surprise. But l don’t think anyone currently around the table has the imagination to come up with something better.

[ETA: The main problem is probably the Euro. To make it work you need full economic integration and nobody is going to agree to that. A lot of the Southern economies simply can't afford it. But, as it was designed to be permanent, there is no mechanism for getting out without significant damage].

Tubbs

[ 16. November 2016, 16:06: Message edited by: Tubbs ]
 
Posted by TurquoiseTastic (# 8978) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
Why would you assume that the only alternative to the EU is war?

History Marvin. If the EU breaks up there will be jostling for position as the member countries try to work out what the new rules of geopolitics are. There will also be lots of mistrust and bitterness about - this seems to be happening already. There seems also to be a lot of nationalist sentiment about - this has historically been a major driver of war in Europe. There is stirring of the pot from Russia and a willingness to infringe national boundaries - see Ukraine, and watch the Baltics. None of this helps the cause of peace IMO.

This doesn't mean that war is inevitable. But I do think it - well, let's say "quite possible". I originally wrote "fairly likely" but I don't want to be too pessimistic.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
I also meant that the shift to the right, now seen in Europe and the US, might herald war. Right wing nationalism tends to jostle against other nationalisms, and this can lead to war. True, it's not inevitable.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:


I've got to say, though, that I love all the arguments that say Britain has to be severely punished for Brexit because otherwise other countries might want to emulate it. I love them because such arguments are a tacit confession that EU membership isn't in the best interests of those countries, and they would be better off standing alone.

No it isn't, it is simply saying that Brexit gives more of a stick for those who want to make a case for break-up to use.

It is highly likely that it would be in the best interests of France to stay in the EU after Brexit, but that does nothing about issues on which the Front National are campaigning.

Incidentally, I think it is highly unlikely that a break-up of the EU would cause war between the members, but those at the edges of Europe would get increasingly squeezed out and possibly become an easy target for Russia.

If the Southern European states, left without funds and assistance from the North, were to feel that they had no choice but to close borders and expel refugees, I can see tensions increasing in North Africa causing a massive humanitarian crisis (and I don't mean the refugees in Europe as at present, I mean Sudan style carpet bombing of displaced refugees by goodness-knows-who), possibly spilling over into Europe.

Many things can be said about the EU and the immigration policy, but one outcome of the current impasse has been that the Southern states have not been left to fend totally for themselves and that the North has done much of the heavy lifting once the refugees land. If the EU folded and that form of solidarity was no longer available, the pressure on Italy, Spain etc is going to be huge.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:

I've got to say, though, that I love all the arguments that say Britain has to be severely punished for Brexit because otherwise other countries might want to emulate it.

The 'punishment' line is bollocks - it can only be arrived at by assuming that anything less than exactly what the UK wants is punishment.
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
I also meant that the shift to the right, now seen in Europe and the US, might herald war. Right wing nationalism tends to jostle against other nationalisms, and this can lead to war. True, it's not inevitable.

It is pretty much the cause of World War One: tensions between European nations expressed as the end of Empire-building followed by an arms race ("We want eight and we won't wait!" etc) whereas this looks like economic selfishness and a backlash against anyone who doesn't conform to a racial/national/cultural stenotype.

It doesn't make war inevitable, but it's far more likely as a consequence of the UK leaving the EU. If the UK actually gets round to doing that.
 
Posted by Dafyd (# 5549) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TurquoiseTastic:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
Why would you assume that the only alternative to the EU is war?

History Marvin. If the EU breaks up there will be jostling for position as the member countries try to work out what the new rules of geopolitics are.
I think this is the longest period there has ever been without war waged in Western Europe. I think the previous record is the forty five years between the Franco-Prussian War and the First World War, which we've beaten by twenty five years.
There are other factors: the Cold War was certainly discouraging. But I think it sets a presumption in favour of not breaking anything.
 
Posted by rolyn (# 16840) on :
 
1815 battle of Waterloo finally stops Europe warring
1915 all major European Powers again locked in warfare.
2016 ..... mutterings.

What is it about Europe and 100 yr cycles? Or is it that Global tension comes to home in on Europe?
The US pulling out of NATO could see the apple cart tilted a few more precarious degrees. If not triggering Brexit guarantees Continental peace then most would raise their hand to that.
History has though seen such slides into self inflicted catastrophe before, also the powerlessness of Britain's gestures in preventing them. One does of course hope that nothing like that could ever again befall our European friends and neighbours.

< Dark bout of pessimism alert >
 
Posted by fletcher christian (# 13919) on :
 
Posted by Anteater:
quote:

The EU owes itself and its peoples the best deal with the UK which protects the interests of the EU citizens to the maximum extent without undermining basic principles.

Absolutely, I would whole-heartedly agree but neither can the EU be requested to pick up the mess of a country that of its own accord chooses to leave the group after decades of building distrust, dis-satisfaction and a heap of untruth to the extent that its own citizens no longer really know why they are a part of it. I've said it many times; it isn't in the interests of the EU to punish Britain, but at the end of the day Britain has (at least...it is...might...soon) made this decision of its own accord and the decision was to walk away, to leave, to exit. When Britain joined, it joined a scheme that provided certain benefits and privileges and now it seems to be moaning that it can't leave and take some of those special privileges with it. It is this aspect that is so utterly bewildering to so many in Europe. They understand that deals and negotiations will need to be worked out, but Britain seems to want all the best of what Europe provided for it with none of the responsibilities of being in Europe. It's like asking those in the EU to stump up the cash to grant Britain privileges after it leaves - it doesn't make any sense.

But there will unfortunately and undoubtedly be, the narrative of a continued EU interference, of an EU that desires to punish and make things tough and that won't play ball and won't give us what we want. It has already begun to an extent, but the reality is that nobody wants a failed state or an economic basket case on their doorstep. Even when Britain does leave, the EU will want it to work and continue to be successful.
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
It is pretty much the cause of World War One

The main cause of WW1 was the ludicrously complicated network of treaties compelling various countries to go to war if their treaty partners had war declared on them. Without those treaties the whole Archduke Ferdinand thing would have been a minor skirmish between Austria-Hungary and Bosnia.
 
Posted by TurquoiseTastic (# 8978) on :
 
But governments were only willing and able to follow through on those treaties because they and their populations were nationalistically geared up for confrontation. The German high command, for example, seems to have taken the view that war with Russia was inevitable, and should therefore be encouraged to happen sooner rather than later.
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
It is pretty much the cause of World War One

The main cause of WW1 was the ludicrously complicated network of treaties compelling various countries to go to war if their treaty partners had war declared on them. Without those treaties the whole Archduke Ferdinand thing would have been a minor skirmish between Austria-Hungary and Bosnia.
Without the empire building and the arms race that came with it, the treaties wouldn't have come into being and the War wouldn't have happened. The treaties and alliances were only the immediate cause.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
It is also worth looking at the initial roots of the European Union.

Schuman Declaration

The initial aim of the first moves on unity was 'to make war not only unthinkable but materially impossible'. The dangers of nationalism were to be replaced by the benefits of interdependence and sharing.

I think both the neo-nationalists and the aggressive euro-federalists have lost sight of this. Interdependence must proceed at a pace which takes account of the fissiparous tendencies of nationalism. And it is increasingly clear in Europe that it is the pace of growing federalism which is out of step with remaining nationalist tendencies.

I think the whole EU long term mission to replace the historic warfare with peaceful interdependence is in danger of collapse for these reasons. And that is very bad for the future of the EU nation states.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
The thing that worries me is that we are heading to a repeat of the 30s. At the moment, the various economies are fairly robust, whereas in the 30s, some economies were anything but.

But we have a similar line-up, white nationalism, targeting of minorities (Jews/Muslims), economic nationalism.

I'm hopeful that people are too sensible, and the economy too strong, so here's hoping.
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:

I've got to say, though, that I love all the arguments that say Britain has to be severely punished for Brexit because otherwise other countries might want to emulate it.

The 'punishment' line is bollocks - it can only be arrived at by assuming that anything less than exactly what the UK wants is punishment.
I recently cancelled my Amazon Prime subscription. This allowed me to spend £174 on the NHS. I figured that they would continue to allow me to access the service on the grounds that they sell more to me than I send to them. Amazingly they are insisting on punishing me by sending my stuff by the Royal Mail, limiting my access to Amazon Music and not letting me watch 'Lucifer' unless I pay for it. How unreasonable can you get!
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
Well other than that Amazon Prime costs £79 (£59 in some places at the moment) and you can't give money to the NHS..

... perfect analogue!
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
[Big Grin]
 
Posted by mdijon (# 8520) on :
 
Well if you mean that the part about giving money to the NHS was a lie then that really does perfect the analogy.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
The thing that worries me is that we are heading to a repeat of the 30s. At the moment, the various economies are fairly robust, whereas in the 30s, some economies were anything but.

But we have a similar line-up, white nationalism, targeting of minorities (Jews/Muslims), economic nationalism.

I'm hopeful that people are too sensible, and the economy too strong, so here's hoping.

Hope. Yeah, because an unstable narcissist was not just elected leader of the most powerful country in the world on the premise that it was in pretty shit shape.
 
Posted by Ronald Binge (# 9002) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rolyn:
1815 battle of Waterloo finally stops Europe warring
1915 all major European Powers again locked in warfare.
2016 ..... mutterings.

What is it about Europe and 100 yr cycles? Or is it that Global tension comes to home in on Europe?
The US pulling out of NATO could see the apple cart tilted a few more precarious degrees. If not triggering Brexit guarantees Continental peace then most would raise their hand to that.
History has though seen such slides into self inflicted catastrophe before, also the powerlessness of Britain's gestures in preventing them. One does of course hope that nothing like that could ever again befall our European friends and neighbours.

< Dark bout of pessimism alert >

100 year cycles? Those who had learned the lessons of past conflicts have died in the meantime.
 
Posted by mdijon (# 8520) on :
 
The 100 year cycle theory leaves out the Crimean war as well as a host of other wars involving Prussia and Eastern Europe between 1815-1915.

And leaves out World War II following the War to End All Wars. There have been plenty of skirmishes in Eastern Europe and including Turkey and Greece throughout the 20th Century.

Ken would have reeled off paragraphs of prose describing the historical arc of conflict.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
And the war of German unification (1866-71), the Zulu wars, Vietnam, the series of conflicts in Malaya/Malayasia/Indonesia, the horrors of the Japanese invasion of China. The list goes on and tragically on. What was posited is a very simplistic approach to some much more complex history.
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
I had hoped we could move on from bullshit numerology. Apparently not [Disappointed]
 
Posted by mdijon (# 8520) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
And the war of German unification (1866-71), the Zulu wars, Vietnam, the series of conflicts in Malaya/Malayasia/Indonesia, the horrors of the Japanese invasion of China.

In fairness we were talking about Europe, but your substantive point is nevertheless correct.
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:

I've got to say, though, that I love all the arguments that say Britain has to be severely punished for Brexit because otherwise other countries might want to emulate it.

The 'punishment' line is bollocks - it can only be arrived at by assuming that anything less than exactly what the UK wants is punishment.
It's worth pointing out, though, that the rhetoric of punishment isn't confined to Brexiteers:
quote:
From today's Grauniad
At a dinner in Paris attended by Jean-Claude Juncker, EU commission president, and the EU’s top Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, in October, Hollande said: “There must be a threat, there must be a risk, there must be a price. Otherwise we will be in a negotiation that cannot end well.”

'Threat', to my mind, goes a bit beyond merely not providing services when the customer has ceased to subscribe to those services.

(Granted, François Hollande is a twit.)
 
Posted by MarsmanTJ (# 8689) on :
 
I may not be skilled at maths, but I make it an extra 33 billion pounds of borrowing over the next two years as a result of Brexit, according to Philip Hammond. Thats, um, 317 million pounds a week. That's not far off the supposed amount the NHS could do with an injection, according to our illustrious foreign secretary...
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:

It's worth pointing out, though, that the rhetoric of punishment isn't confined to Brexiteers:
quote:
From today's Grauniad
At a dinner in Paris attended by Jean-Claude Juncker, EU commission president, and the EU’s top Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, in October, Hollande said: “There must be a threat, there must be a risk, there must be a price. Otherwise we will be in a negotiation that cannot end well.”

'Threat', to my mind, goes a bit beyond merely not providing services when the customer has ceased to subscribe to those services.

That's not a punishment for Brexit; that's a punishment not having a plan for what the UK wants, empty posturing, raising economic uncertainty as no one knows where the UK will land, lending succor to extremists within Europe and allowing Farage and Boris to act like twats and go around insulting people.
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
It really does look like after six years of meanness, the need for which was laid at on the previous government, we now have more of the same, for which the net result of pro's and con's of Brexit are largely held responsible.

Can this government stop externalising everything that is wrong and just for once put its hand up and admit it hasn't a clue? The only lesson that has been learnt is that Cameron was a smooth operator who, ultimately, put the party before the country.
 
Posted by Tubbs (# 440) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:

It's worth pointing out, though, that the rhetoric of punishment isn't confined to Brexiteers:
quote:
From today's Grauniad
At a dinner in Paris attended by Jean-Claude Juncker, EU commission president, and the EU’s top Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, in October, Hollande said: “There must be a threat, there must be a risk, there must be a price. Otherwise we will be in a negotiation that cannot end well.”

'Threat', to my mind, goes a bit beyond merely not providing services when the customer has ceased to subscribe to those services.

That's not a punishment for Brexit; that's a punishment not having a plan for what the UK wants, empty posturing, raising economic uncertainty as no one knows where the UK will land, lending succor to extremists within Europe and allowing Farage and Boris to act like twats and go around insulting people.
I read that in the same way as Ricardus - that one of the aims is to punish the UK for voting to leave to discourage other countries from getting the same idea or for voting for one of the parties who has something similar in their manifesto in forthcoming elections. Italy, France, Germany and the Netherlands.

It also puts the EU in a difficult position with countries that are failing to apply the budgetary rules and cultural values. The EU's rules state there should be sanctions, but there's no way they'll do that in the current climate. Spain and a few others for budget and most of the Eastern Europe for the cultural.

It's a mess ...

Tubbs
 
Posted by Rocinante (# 18541) on :
 
AIUI the EU has said that we can have continued access to the single market if we allow freedom of movement. That's them doing us a favour, if only people were not too stupid to see it.

We've said we're leaving. They don't have to do anything for us. Contrary to popular belief, we need them more than they need us. I think they'll consider the loss of our budget contributions as a reasonable exchange for no longer having to put up with our constant wingeing and demands for special treatment.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
Significant economic and cultural problems for the UK will happen. The EU doesn't have to "punish" us for that too happen, all it needs to do is not bend over backwards to do the UK any favours. The whole rose-tinted view presented by the Leave campaign was predicated on basically the whole world bending over backwards to do the UK favours. And, for that to happen very quickly.

The EU isn't going to break it's own rules for our benefit - there's nothing in it for the EU to do that, and indeed a lot of reasons not to do so. So, access to the Common Market without all that entails (including free movement of labour) is simply not going to happen. Letting the UK go without paying contributions towards the costs of projects already agreed is very unlikely to happen (though, quite what recourse the EU might have to stop the UK leaving without paying off outstanding debts I don't know - it's not as though they can send the bailiffs round to seize our assets).
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
I think Marsman was talking about the borrowing cost of Brexit as £33 billion, but I have been reading that the figure is £60 billion.

In any case, these are obviously gloomy figures, no doubt perpetrated by pro-Remain mandarins, lurking in Whitehall, and determined to sabotage our wonderful Brexit.

I prefer those robust figures, such as £350 million a week, to be devoted to the NHS! Now those are real statistics.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Tubbs:

I read that in the same way as Ricardus - that one of the aims is to punish the UK for voting to leave

So, exactly *how* are they planning to punish the UK? By not cutting special deals that undermine the single market (the nature of the four freedoms is directly tied into the nature of the goods and services traded within the market) and by refusing to let the UK continuously delay initiating Brexit ?

That's sounds like business as normal. That's only punishment if you thought the UK was going to get special treatment, because $REASONS.
 
Posted by Tubbs (# 440) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by Tubbs:

I read that in the same way as Ricardus - that one of the aims is to punish the UK for voting to leave

So, exactly *how* are they planning to punish the UK? By not cutting special deals that undermine the single market (the nature of the four freedoms is directly tied into the nature of the goods and services traded within the market) and by refusing to let the UK continuously delay initiating Brexit ?

That's sounds like business as normal. That's only punishment if you thought the UK was going to get special treatment, because $REASONS.

Who knows. Whatever both sides cobble together in the negotiations isn't going to be as good as the current arrangement. A "special deal" for the UK is as big a fantasy as all that extra money for the NHS.

The quote works better with the context. The UK isn't the only country with a Eurosceptic party that's becoming popular with voters. The desire to ensure that none of the other members get any bright ideas is perfectly understandable. (Whether it works or not is another question entirely!)

Tubbs

[ 24. November 2016, 11:55: Message edited by: Tubbs ]
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Tubbs:

Who knows. Whatever both sides cobble together in the negotiations isn't going to be as good as the current arrangement. A "special deal" for the UK is as big a fantasy as all that extra money for the NHS.
[/qb]

Precisely. So the default position would consist of invoking article 50 and then a complete break afterwards. Followed by years of negotiation on a bilateral trade deal between the UK and EU.

Anything else always relied on large amounts of goodwill from the rest of the EU, an ability to compromise on the part of UK politicians, and massive amounts of statement-ship from whoever was appointed to lead the negotiations. In the event, there was no plan, the UKs vacillation and pig-headedness has seen goodwill from the countries most sympathetic to it dry up, and the Foreign Secretary went around crapping all over the place, generating the kind of annoyance seen here:

https://twitter.com/ManfredWeber/status/801468882171019264
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
So, exactly *how* are they planning to punish the UK?

Ask Mr Hollande. Although most of what anyone is saying at this stage is posturing.

I have seen negotiation described in terms of boxes. Your goal is to persuade the other party that they would be happier inside the box (i.e., making the deal) than outside the box (i.e., walking away without a deal). Mr Hollande's talk of 'punishment', in my interpretation, is saying that the British must feel that being outside the box is something to be avoided, and Mr Johnson's otherwise inexplicable comments in Hospodářské noviny are, I think, saying that the British have prepared for life outside the box and are unfazed by the prospect.

The EU's problem is that 'free trade is a good thing' is built into its very fabric in a way that it isn't for any other country. Therefore, by its own logic, if the EU is presented with a box containing free trade, it is always better off inside the box than outside of it (regardless of whether the other party would be even worse off outside of it), unless it can be shown that the box also contains nasty things. Hence the insistence that divvying up the four fundamental freedoms would be a catastrophic attack on the integrity of the EU.

Which I think is also posturing. In reality, TTIP, CETA, EFTA, the various OCTA agreements, the Ankara Agreement, and all sorts of other agreements participate (or would participate if implemented) to a limited extent in some but not all of the freedoms.

(As an aside, while the EU is within its rights to refuse to negotiate before Article 50 is triggered, I don't see how it can then complain that Mr Davis won't discuss Britain's plans with its negotiators.)
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
I think they'll consider the loss of our budget contributions as a reasonable exchange for no longer having to put up with our constant wingeing and demands for special treatment.

I think the idea that Britain is somehow uniquely obstructive to the European ideal is the mirror-image of the Daily Mail's myth of barmy Brussels bureaucrats being responsible for every bit of daft legislation.

Let us not forget that the French and the Danes rejected the Constitution, that the Germans and the Czechs were the last to sign the Lisbon Treaty, that the French and the Germans have been breaking Eurozone budget rules for yonks, that nobody comes out of the Greek crisis with much credit, that most of south-eastern Europe is merrily putting up border fences, that the National Front won the last European elections in France, that Austria is on course to elect a fascist for its president, that the Hungarian government is dismantling freedom of speech with little protest, that the Slovaks appointed a president who wants to send tanks into Budapest, and that everyone except Britain, Ireland and Sweden restricted free movement from the EU-2004 states when they first joined.
 
Posted by Rocinante (# 18541) on :
 
I'm not turning a blind eye to the failings of the other EU states, but I think what is unique about the British attitude to Europe is that we just don't think of ourselves as European, which lead to a fundamental lack of commitment to the EU on the part of most of our politicians, which has lead to our present situation. We are the first and so far only state to leave, which kind of proves the point.

De Gaulle's assessment of Britain as aligned to America rather than Europe, and his consequent obstruction of British EEC membership, has in the end, proved to be correct.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
We are the first and so far only state to leave

We haven't left yet. There's still time for sanity to prevail (though with the current shower occupying the government front bench sanity is in short supply).
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:

Hence the insistence that divvying up the four fundamental freedoms would be a catastrophic attack on the integrity of the EU.

Which I think is also posturing. In reality, TTIP, CETA, EFTA, the various OCTA agreements, the Ankara Agreement, and all sorts of other agreements participate (or would participate if implemented) to a limited extent in some but not all of the freedoms.

The EFTA does not, and all the rest cover a lot less than either the EFTA or the Single Market, specifically there is a reason for tying together free movement of services with free movement of people.
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
EFTA states do not participate in a completely free market with regard to agricultural products and fish. They also have the right to impose 'emergency brakes' on migration, although so far this has never been invoked. So, partial but not total participation.

Don't get me wrong, I think we are better off in the EU, but I think some of the 'all or nothing' claims are a bit overstated.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:

They also have the right to impose 'emergency brakes' on migration, although so far this has never been invoked. So, partial but not total participation.

Don't get me wrong, I think we are better off in the EU, but I think some of the 'all or nothing' claims are a bit overstated.

I do not think that a heavily qualified clause is equivalent to a heavily bespoke deal (let alone one that was better than that the existing UK membership - EFTA states are, after all, still subject to EU regulation, and pay a financial contribution to the EU - both presumably anathema to the hard core Brexiter).

So I absolutely do not think that the 'all or nothing' claim is overstated in the context we are operating in - which is one where Brexiters imagine they can take ETFA/Single Market membership off the shelf - whipping out all the bits they object to. Even if such a route was available, the UK can't get to it from where it is currently - and not being able to do so does not amount to 'punishment' by any stretch of imagination.

What is left is a fresh deal; at which point we have 27 different parties considering whether they want to prioritize a deal with the UK above a number of things they could do; given it'll tie up their Foreign Minister for XLARGE% of time, and require Y number of months in discussions, debates etc in their parliament and so on. That's not 'punishment' either, just a reflection of the fact that other countries will have a number of different things they could do to improve their trade situation, and that all their governments will have been voted in for a limited period of time and will have half an eye on their legacies, given re-elections in Z years hence.

[ 27. November 2016, 18:26: Message edited by: chris stiles ]
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
This is an intriguing possibility: arguing, AFAICS, that voting to leave the EU does not automatically entail leaving the EEA.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
There was a suggestion I read somewhere over the weekend that there is zero change of a Brexit agreement being hammered out within 2 years, so the whole process could take up to 10 years. Imagine that.

On the other hand, if it does get tangled up in impossible red tape (which does seem quite likely given - it appears - everyone would have to agree exit terms, including various parliaments in Belgium etc) then we could be hurtling towards another British General Election, which could be an opportunity for a pro-EU party to stand on a "stop this Brexit nonsense" platform. And by that point the British public might be heartily sick of a plunging pound and the uncertainty stretching into the future.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
This is an intriguing possibility: arguing, AFAICS, that voting to leave the EU does not automatically entail leaving the EEA.

At the very least it's yet another example of the farcical nature of a referendum in which the complexities of what Brexit would entail had not been thought through and the relevant provision placed into the Referendum Bill.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
we could be hurtling towards another British General Election, which could be an opportunity for a pro-EU party to stand on a "stop this Brexit nonsense" platform. And by that point the British public might be heartily sick of a plunging pound and the uncertainty stretching into the future.

Perhaps, but as I never tire of pointing out on these threads, even if Brexit were somehow to be overturned tomorrow, I don't think the UK is going to be returning to its pre-referendum bargaining position at the EU table.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Perhaps, but as I never tire of pointing out on these threads, even if Brexit were somehow to be overturned tomorrow, I don't think the UK is going to be returning to its pre-referendum bargaining position at the EU table.

That is possibly true with regard to the British rebate at least - I'm not sure how exactly that was agreed or when it is due to end. But presumably things like access to the EU trading zone etc can't be taken off the table. Presumably the other EU countries could impose harsh exit clauses but couldn't make remaining worse than the current deal...

Of course it would be tempting, given the unnecessary crisis that the Brexit decision has thrown into the EU.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Presumably the other EU countries could impose harsh exit clauses but couldn't make remaining worse than the current deal...

That's my whole point. There is no current deal. There is limbo.

As I understand it, UK ministers and officials are not attending EC meetings, or not taking part in decisions. In the meantime, the EU grinds on. Negotiations between Member States are constantly evolving on a whole host of issues and the UK is not at the table.

If the UK were ever to come back, it would not start at the place it left off.

Even if one were to assume it had exactly the same arrangements on paper, the psychological position would be far worse.

If only because the trust in any decision enacted in the UK remaining binding would have gone out the window.
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
I'm beginning to see a glimmer of light that May may get lucky, and if she plays her cards right, we could exit the EU in a reasonably sensible way.

Of course I would have preferred to remain, but I think too much water has passed under that bridge, so now I would not campaign for remaining.

If, legally, Triggering Article 50 does not take us out of the EEA, then she could fairly go with the soft EEA route on the basis "sorry chaps, I've done what I can" but we are out of the EU and importantly, we do now have the legal right to negotiate trade deals, which we will continue to do.

Then, the Tories will have up to 2020 to work on this and other aspects of Brexit, and the election could then be fought, with each party making clear what they would do. The Tories would probably campaign to get out of the EEA, and would by then be in a better position to do so, although even then not for several years. I don't know what Labour would do.

I'm fairly sure that this is where she would like to be, but there are the neo-Bastards who will get stroppy. But I think she could manage it.

Why anyone reacts with shock at the idea it could take up to 10 years to exit the EU fully is beyond me.
 
Posted by betjemaniac (# 17618) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
I'm beginning to see a glimmer of light that May may get lucky, and if she plays her cards right, we could exit the EU in a reasonably sensible way.

Of course I would have preferred to remain, but I think too much water has passed under that bridge, so now I would not campaign for remaining.

If, legally, Triggering Article 50 does not take us out of the EEA, then she could fairly go with the soft EEA route on the basis "sorry chaps, I've done what I can" but we are out of the EU and importantly, we do now have the legal right to negotiate trade deals, which we will continue to do.

Then, the Tories will have up to 2020 to work on this and other aspects of Brexit, and the election could then be fought, with each party making clear what they would do. The Tories would probably campaign to get out of the EEA, and would by then be in a better position to do so, although even then not for several years. I don't know what Labour would do.

I'm fairly sure that this is where she would like to be, but there are the neo-Bastards who will get stroppy. But I think she could manage it.

Why anyone reacts with shock at the idea it could take up to 10 years to exit the EU fully is beyond me.

completely agree - we're leaving, and the above is what I think will happen.

[ 28. November 2016, 09:25: Message edited by: betjemaniac ]
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
Of course I would have preferred to remain, but I think too much water has passed under that bridge, so now I would not campaign for remaining.

Too much water has passed to remain in the EU with the same relationship with other EU nations we had a year ago. I still hope that common sense will prevail, that May will come to Parliament and say "we took the advise of the electorate that they would prefer some form of Brexit, however there is no form of Brexit that would satisfy even a large majority of those who voted for Leave, let alone be universally acceptable to Leave voters, therefore since by far the largest vote of the public was to Remain that is what we will do". And, then try and rescue as much goodwill and favoured treatment she can from the rest of the EU nations.

It still seems absurd that the government seems determined to take us down a route (whatever exit route that is) which the mojority of people in a non-binding referendum did not vote for.
 
Posted by mdijon (# 8520) on :
 
It sounds like electoral suicide at the moment Alan. I'd love for what you say to be possible, but I think it would open one up to vicious attack from political opponents who wouldn't hesitate to describe it as undemocratic, arrogant and elitist.

If we've learnt anything from voting patterns recently it is that populist mud sticks and complicated explanations don't get it off. (By complicated explanation I mean anything that needs punctuation).
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
I agree with both mdijon and betjemaniac.

quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
"...therefore since by far the largest vote of the public was to Remain that is what we will do".

I sort of see what you mean, but there is absolutely no way you can prove that the Remain vote was any more monolithic than the Leave vote. And again, "Remain" as the options were when the referendum was held is no longer on the table.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:

I'm fairly sure that this is where she would like to be, but there are the neo-Bastards who will get stroppy. But I think she could manage it.

Not sure she can, so far the pattern is a gradual movement in one direction and then a quick scuttling back when the usual right wing back-benchers go on the radio/tv and party unity seems like it might be marginally threatened.

I think there is a high chance that there'll a default exit due to complete inaction and paralysis.

30% of the country think that Boris is doing a good job, that's the constituency she is playing to.
 
Posted by betjemaniac (# 17618) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I agree with both mdijon and betjemaniac.

quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
"...therefore since by far the largest vote of the public was to Remain that is what we will do".

I sort of see what you mean, but there is absolutely no way you can prove that the Remain vote was any more monolithic than the Leave vote. And again, "Remain" as the options were when the referendum was held is no longer on the table.
Agreed - "Remain" was no more monolithic than "Leave"; split as it was between at least of the top of my head:

1- I'm a massive Euro-enthusiast, remain and deepen co-operation
2- I like things as they are, remain and keep things as they are (this probably isn't on the table any longer)
3- I think on balance we're better off staying in, remain and work to reform the EU in a direction I want (probably as many different varieties of this one as there are leavers in terms of what a reformed EU looks like)
4- I'm scared of life outside the EU, remain so I don't have to face the unknown
5- I've believed the Remain propaganda rather than the Leave propaganda, remain so we don't face WW3 and an emergency budget
6- I'm sitting on the fence, remain because that's where I am on voting day
7- I don't like the EU, but I don't want the Tories in charge unfettered by EU roadblocks

I'm sure there are others. Essentially 46.5 million people voted 46.5 million ways.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I sort of see what you mean, but there is absolutely no way you can prove that the Remain vote was any more monolithic than the Leave vote. And again, "Remain" as the options were when the referendum was held is no longer on the table.

Yes, but highlighting your opinion in bold doesn't actually make it true. I'm inclined to believe you, but I've yet to hear from you in exactly what way the EU has changed so that a decision now to stay would mean that the deal was materially different to the one that existed before the Brexit referendum. If the UK decided to stay, what actually has changed so that the deal is worse?

If you don't know, then stop being so pissy about it.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I agree with both mdijon and betjemaniac.

quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
"...therefore since by far the largest vote of the public was to Remain that is what we will do".

I sort of see what you mean, but there is absolutely no way you can prove that the Remain vote was any more monolithic than the Leave vote.
Well, I suppose the range of options for "Remain" being very much smaller than "Leave" would suggest a greater degree of agreement between Remain voters. The options for Remain being the status quo, and probably a small minority who would favour greater European integration as and when that becomes possible (eg: UK participation in the Euro and Schengen).

When you're proposing a major constitutional change that proposed new situation will be uncertain, the certainty will always be on the "no change" side. Therefore, it is essential that the proposed changes are clearly spelt out to reduce those uncertainties. With hindsight it was obvious that Cameron didn't understand this simple concept at all, given that he abandoned the "no change" option for Scottish voters at the last minute in 2014.

quote:
And again, "Remain" as the options were when the referendum was held is no longer on the table.
Agreed. Cameron in his infintile stupidity has doomed the country. Though legally all the agreements in place a year ago would continue, the political goodwill (such as there was) and willingness to cut the UK some special treatment will have totally evaporated - and, in international politics that's a big issue.
 
Posted by betjemaniac (# 17618) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
The options for Remain being the status quo, and probably a small minority who would favour greater European integration as and when that becomes possible (eg: UK participation in the Euro and Schengen).

And *at least* the other 5 options I suggested above. I'm sure there are others I haven't thought of...
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
I think even the most ardent Remainers recognise that there are problematic about the EU, £millions that are apparently wasted and so on.

The thing is that those who voted Remain presumably decided that it was better to keep the devil that they're used to rather than to be cast into the Brexit unknown.

If Eutychus is correct and the deal has indeed changed so that the UK would not now be on the same EU footing as it was, then I'm not sure it is possible to say that Remainers have voted for that EU deal either.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
The options for Remain being the status quo, and probably a small minority who would favour greater European integration as and when that becomes possible (eg: UK participation in the Euro and Schengen).

And *at least* the other 5 options I suggested above. I'm sure there are others I haven't thought of...
OK, but if the vote had gone the other way with 52% Remain and 48% Leave, do you honestly think that there would be highly vocal, and somewhat nasty, campaigns that the UK should therefore be taking a lead in reforming European institutions? Or, that we should "just get on with it" and join the Euro or Schengen?
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
If you'll forgive the analogue, it does feel a little like physics - we can guess what a vote to Remain would have resulted in, but as we didn't, we can't know. By setting the experiment we've jinxed the outcome.
 
Posted by betjemaniac (# 17618) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
The options for Remain being the status quo, and probably a small minority who would favour greater European integration as and when that becomes possible (eg: UK participation in the Euro and Schengen).

And *at least* the other 5 options I suggested above. I'm sure there are others I haven't thought of...
OK, but if the vote had gone the other way with 52% Remain and 48% Leave, do you honestly think that there would be highly vocal, and somewhat nasty, campaigns that the UK should therefore be taking a lead in reforming European institutions? Or, that we should "just get on with it" and join the Euro or Schengen?
Nasty? Probably not. Highly vocal? Yes actually, on the reforming front certainly. I do think that the out and out federalists would have been emboldened too.

FWIW I think the bulk of opinion lies somewhere on the spectrum of "it can't be reformed, we need to leave" to "we need to work really hard to reform the EU." The philosophical "ourselves-aloners" and outright federalists are minority pastimes. I'd certainly put myself in the "one last try at reform and devolution back down to the nation states" camp.

But I'd recognise that I personally would slide quite quickly into Leave if/when it became clear that that wasn't going to happen. Rightly or wrongly, some (many?) people have already reached the position that it won't.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I've yet to hear from you in exactly what way the EU has changed so that a decision now to stay would mean that the deal was materially different to the one that existed before the Brexit referendum. If the UK decided to stay, what actually has changed so that the deal is worse

I have already said several times that aside from anything else, the deal is worse because of the psychological position Brexit puts the UK in.

From this side of the Channel I am utterly bemused by the way many in the UK appear to imagine that the EU-27 simply went into suspended animation on June 23 and will only return to life once the UK has sorted itself out.

This to me appears to be a delusion similar to the one that somehow imagines Britain to have some sort of leverage in the much-fabled "Special Relationship" with the US.

This disconnect typefies the UK's short-sightedness on Europe ("Fog in Channel: Continent cut off") and is now simply making a bad situation worse.

But since you ask for specifics, consider the EU-27 summit on Brexit in September to which the UK was not invited, and the moves afoot to ensure UK MEPs do not occupy key committee positions for various forthcoming pieces of legislation, quite rightly I would suggest.

The actual written terms of treaties and other major agreements have not changed, but the way ongoing deals are done most surely has, if only because the UK's influence is being sidelined.

These are just two examples gleaned in a few minutes' Googling; I am sure they are illustrative of how things are playing out throughout EU institutions.

The EU-27 got a stinging rejection from the UK on June 23. Don't imagine that can simply be erased.

[ 28. November 2016, 11:42: Message edited by: Eutychus ]
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I have already said several times that aside from anything else, the deal is worse because of the psychological position Brexit puts the UK in.

Riiight. That's not really anything tangible at all then. At present the UK is a full member of the EU and as it stands could continue as a full member. Nothing has changed.

quote:
From this side of the Channel I am utterly bemused by the way many in the UK appear to imagine that the EU-27 simply went into suspended animation on June 23 and will only return to life once the UK has sorted itself out.

This to me appears to be a delusion similar to the one that somehow imagines Britain to have some sort of leverage in the much-fabled "Special Relationship" with the US.

Not really, because the EU is set up by treaty and the part the UK plays within the EU is agreed and set by legislation. As far as I know there is nothing comparable between the UK and the USA.

A tangible change with regard to the UK's position within the EU (in the scenario where it decided to stay) would involve treaty change, not just psychological positions. Now, it might be the case that some of the UK's positions with regard to the rebate is now weaker - I don't know how that works. If it was up for renewal and the UK did try to say it should have the same deal, the other EU countries might indeed say no. But that's not a given, at some point in the past there must have been an EU-wide decision that the costs of the rebate was a price worth paying to have the UK a member. The other status changes would need treaty change - unless you can point to something tangible that has already changed.

quote:
This disconnect typefies the UK's short-sightedness on Europe ("Fog in Channel: Continent cut off") and is now simply making a bad situation worse.

But since you ask for specifics, consider the EU-27 summit on Brexit in September to which the UK was not invited, and the moves afoot to ensure UK MEPs do not occupy key committee positions for various forthcoming pieces of legislation, quite rightly I would suggest.

Not really changing the status of the UK, though, are they. The first is the equivalent of asking an interested party to leave the room to avoid a conflict of interest, the latter is just sensible given Brexit seems now all-but inevitable. MEPs are not the British government, so the lack of British MEPs in "key committee positions" doesn't really change anything about the UK's status in the EU. And the European Parliament is but one leg of the EU project.

I'd agree that the current uncertainty and detachment from all-things EU will certainly make any proposal to Remain somewhat strained and difficult. But to state that the EU has already changed so that the UK would not be "rejoining" on the same deal seems to be an exaggeration.

quote:
The actual written terms of treaties and other major agreements have not changed, but the way ongoing deals are done most surely has, if only because the UK's influence is being sidelined.

These are just two examples gleaned in a few minutes Googling; I am sure they are illustrative of how things are playing out throughout EU institutions.

The European Parliament is not a direct EU institution, though. These are shite examples.

quote:
The EU-27 got a stinging rejection from the UK on June 23. Don't imagine that can simply be erased.
I'm not imagining anything can simply be erased, but I am clearly stating that the EU states cannot somehow say that the deal has changed with regard to the UK without treaty change. Like it or not, the UK is still a party to the EU treaties until such time as it isn't.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
And *at least* the other 5 options I suggested above. I'm sure there are others I haven't thought of...

Though the majority of those options don't lead to any other action than acceptance of the status quo - in practical terms they are indistinguishable from each other.

The federalism and reform options (1&3) do lead to action, but I suspect that the former would be a minority sport at best, and the latter would fall prey to the same dynamics that we have currently, where 'Brexit means Brexit' and any attempt specify what this means ends up falling prey to a mythical best being the enemy of the good (except more so, as in this alternative world Farage would still be leader of UKIP and constantly doing the rounds of the TV stations calling for a second referendum).
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Like it or not, the UK is still a party to the EU treaties until such time as it isn't.

Of course it is. But do you seriously think politics or business is done simply by woodenly and mechanically applying treaty or other rules?

Goodwill has a monetary value in accounting - is that tangible enough for you? - and the UK has lost a ton of it since June 23 in the eyes of the EU-27.

It is ludicrous, nay, perilous to imagine that nothing substantive has changed. And from the perspective of the UK's 27 barganing partners, it is arrogant.

[ 28. November 2016, 12:03: Message edited by: Eutychus ]
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:


It is ludicrous, nay, perilous to imagine that nothing substantive has changed. And from the perspective of the UK's 27 barganing partners, it is arrogant.

[Paranoid]

I see. So it is arrogant for the UK to think that it could carry on as before given that no treaties have yet been rewritten, yet it isn't arrogant for the other EU countries to point to the treaties and state that the UK has no alternative than a hard Brexit.

I guess we'll see (or more likely never know as I think the chance of the UK remaining in the EU is vanishingly small).
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
But since you ask for specifics, consider the EU-27 summit on Brexit in September to which the UK was not invited, and the moves afoot to ensure UK MEPs do not occupy key committee positions for various forthcoming pieces of legislation, quite rightly I would suggest.
Not really changing the status of the UK, though, are they. The first is the equivalent of asking an interested party to leave the room to avoid a conflict of interest, the latter is just sensible given Brexit seems now all-but inevitable. MEPs are not the British government, so the lack of British MEPs in "key committee positions" doesn't really change anything about the UK's status in the EU. And the European Parliament is but one leg of the EU project.
The EU project has three formal legs - the Parliament, the Commission and the Council. So, Eutychus has given an example of the Parliament sidelining UK members, and the Council excluding May from discussions. Would the Commission be filling vacancies with people nominated by the UK government (even should our government actually nominate people at the moment)? I doubt it - so that makes all three legs of the EU project sidelining UK interests. All without anyone actually altering a letter of any treaties.

On less formal levels, the EU project relies on movement of people and cooperation internationally. There have been bus loads of examples of UK universities and research groups getting frozen out of EU funding for research. If you were in charge of research coordination at a British university, would you recommend that someone applies for a 3-5 years funding from one of the European funds in collaboration with other universities across Europe? Would you say the risk of the funding disappearing in two years mid-project, with the probability that the EU staff you want to employ (and, your staff you want to move to work with your collaborators) would need to obtain visas, would be worth it? The same would go for assorted businesses wanting to work with European partners (though the EU money wouldn't usually be part of the equation).

In summary: I agree with Eutychus. International diplomacy is much more than the words of treaties. Whether it's governments dealing with governments, businesses with businesses, academics with academics, or all the other varieties of international relations, there are lots of other factors involved. And, those have all changed, and in some cases there's probably no way to put them back the way they were.

[ 28. November 2016, 12:18: Message edited by: Alan Cresswell ]
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I see. So it is arrogant for the UK to think that it could carry on as before

Yes it is.

It would be arrogant of the UK to imagine that it could present its treaty partners with an exit referendum billed as binding and then, should it have second thoughts after the fact, believe it could - nay, is positively entitled to - come back to the table, while everyone else simply pretends that none of it ever happened, and extends the same amount of trust and goodwill to the UK as before the exercise.

Transpose this to any situation in which you personally are one of the parties - with a building contractor, for instance - and see if you get my point.

quote:
yet it isn't arrogant for the other EU countries to point to the treaties and state that the UK has no alternative than a hard Brexit.
You might need some of these. We're talking about the UK's behaviour here, not any other nation's. Certainly there has been arrogance and posturing in other EU nations - indeed, that rather underlines my point that things are not as they were pre-Brexit.

However, none of these nations (so far) are in the embarrassing position of having conducted a national referendum on EU membership whose result they appear to be clueless about implementing.

(oh, and what Alan said)

[ 28. November 2016, 12:22: Message edited by: Eutychus ]
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
Chris Styles:
quote:
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:

"I'm fairly sure that this is where she would like to be, but there are the neo-Bastards who will get stroppy. But I think she could manage it".

Not sure she can

Well I did say glimmer. But I think these legal challenges are all working for the good, enabling a delay to Article 50 ("not my fault 'guv") and the possibility that an Act is further needed to trigger exit from the EEA, which cannot be forced.

Some have suggested that if this is the case, May could negotiate with this is her back pocket. I hope she doesn't and assume that if a whiff of this got to our EU partners, nothing would be forthcoming.

But if she adopted a two-phase approach, do you really think that the neo-Bastards would try and wreck it if it was made plain that it is only a matter of time. Some undoubtedly would, but those like Hannan and even Boris (who has been quote open to EEA at times) could accept this.

And that's disruption enough. We still have the hassle of proving point of origin, plus CAP and fisheries are out of the agreement.

Much harder without the fig leaf of the legal decision about EEA not stpping with Brexit. Don't knock fig leaves. Remember May was for remaining.
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
Oh, and also . . .

Whilst I think Labour would vote for triggering Article 50, I'm sure they would vote against triggering EEA exit. So she knows she would very likely lose that vote.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
Just looking again at Ashcroft's poll of Leave voters matched with age. God, it's depressing, the young are sacrificed on the prejudices of a load of old gits. Maybe we can either deport old people somewhere sunny, or euthanize them.

http://lordashcroftpolls.com/2016/06/how-the-united-kingdom-voted-and-why/
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Just looking again at Ashcroft's poll of Leave voters matched with age. God, it's depressing, the young are sacrificed on the prejudices of a load of old gits. Maybe we can either deport old people somewhere sunny, or euthanize them.

http://lordashcroftpolls.com/2016/06/how-the-united-kingdom-voted-and-why/

No change there. In the past the young were sacrificed in war. This time it is, if anything, something even less honourable.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Just looking again at Ashcroft's poll of Leave voters matched with age. God, it's depressing, the young are sacrificed on the prejudices of a load of old gits. Maybe we can either deport old people somewhere sunny, or euthanize them.

http://lordashcroftpolls.com/2016/06/how-the-united-kingdom-voted-and-why/

No change there. In the past the young were sacrificed in war. This time it is, if anything, something even less honourable.
Good point. My nephew has a Lithuanian girl-friend, who lives here, and he was hoping to live there for a bit. God knows if that will be possible now.
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
Quetzalcoatl:
As a voter to remain I am sad that this may lead to me being bracketed with purveyors of hate.

Am I allowed to say this in Purg.

Anteater (aged 70)

[ 29. November 2016, 08:17: Message edited by: anteater ]
 
Posted by Stephen (# 40) on :
 
Well you're not the only one anteater.......( age 67).......
To be honest my generation makes me feel embarrassed - let's be honest we've been very fortunate and young people these days I think are quite hard done by
We seem to be too quick to throw ladders away, sadly
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
Quetzalcoatl:
As a voter to remain I am sad that this may lead to me being bracketed with purveyors of hate.

Am I allowed to say this in Purg.

Anteater (aged 70)

But hang on, I am hearing on the grapevine that old gits are able to avoid deportation and/or euthanasia if they are willing to write a 5000 word essay, saying why they should be exempted. You need to state hobbies, any useful contributions you have made in the last 60 years, Post Office Savings a/c amounts, contributions to Bob a Job, that sort of thing.

In triplicate, please.

Quetzalcoatl, aged 82.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
Perhaps it would be a good idea to get pensioners to write an essay on what their grandchildren or great grandchildren (or other school age children they may know) think before each election. I think we could all do with a reminder of what our votes mean to others before we walk down to the polling station. Even more so when, like this referendum, the decision is over something that can't be readily corrected in 5 years - and when (if) the UK leaves the EU three years after the vote many of the old timers who voted leave will have died and lots of teenagers who wanted to remain are old enough to vote.
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
Queztlcoatl, Alan Cresswell:

I don't buy the idea that any group needs to establish it's legitimacy to vote. It is a given.

I admit I was reacting in considerable annoyance to the anti-old-people post, and I am surprised when this type of stereotyping and disrespect to a whole group of people is found on these boards.

I see a real danger here, because it is doubtless true that identifiable groups do have overall biasses, so that it is easy to scapegoat groups because they have statistical measurable tendencies. And then one can come to dislike the group as a group and forget about individuals.

I thought of a separate thread to discuss the ethics of this but I have no time for Hell, and since this is very much about one person's post, and think that is where I would have to raise it.

So there my protest rests. And for what little it may be worth I (hand on heart) did take the issue of the greater effect on the young into consideration and I would support the enfranchisement of anybody old enough to pay tax.

But I'm still an old person. And the only way to change this is, indeed, to die.

[ 29. November 2016, 14:57: Message edited by: anteater ]
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
I don't buy the idea that any group needs to establish it's legitimacy to vote. It is a given.

I wasn't attempting to establish a legitimacy to vote - you're right, that is a given (although there were various groups excluded from voting in the referendum who one might expect to have been given a chance - but, that's a different discussion perhaps).

What I was highlighting was that it would be better if all voters took some time to consider their vote carefully (would be better, not should). Especially when the impact of a vote on us is minimal, but the impact on others could be significant - in the case of the EU referendum the impact of the vote on people who are unlikely to live for a long time after Brexit will be very much smaller than the impact on those who should have a long life ahead of them. I just ran with the essay idea as a way of considering the views of others.

quote:
I admit I was reacting in considerable annoyance to the anti-old-people post, and I am surprised when this type of stereotyping and disrespect to a whole group of people is found on these boards.
I hope I haven't been guilty of such stereotyping. Of course it isn't true that all older people voted Leave and all younger people voted Remain. There were plenty of older people (including many here) who voted Remain, and younger people who voted Leave. Which is certainly something I have acknowledged before in discussion of the demographics of the vote.

I may have been guilty of some disrespect (hopefully only confined to threads in Hell) for older people who voted Leave (that specific subset of older people) - but if so it was probably part of a general disrespect to anyone who voted Leave.
 
Posted by betjemaniac (# 17618) on :
 
where do you stand on old people who voted leave because they gave it a lot of thought and decided it was in "the youths"/nation's best interests to have the UK removed from the EU regardless of what younger people think now?

Incidentally, have you seen the ICM poll in the Torygraph today?

If I were Mrs May, engineering that early election somehow would be *very* tempting....
 
Posted by MarsmanTJ (# 8689) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
where do you stand on old people who voted leave because they gave it a lot of thought and decided it was in "the youths"/nation's best interests to have the UK removed from the EU regardless of what younger people think now?

I consider such people be much the same as people who force arranged marriages on their children. The similarities are striking, actually...
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
where do you stand on old people who voted leave because they gave it a lot of thought and decided it was in "the youths"/nation's best interests to have the UK removed from the EU regardless of what younger people think now?

Actually, I respect the decisions people make if they have given it a lot of thought. Even if I think their thinking was mistaken. Far too many people (on both sides) didn't give things a lot of thought. And, from what I've seen reported (I personally don't know anyone who voted Leave) there was an awful lot of very superficial thinking (at best) among people who voted Leave "to make a protest", "because there are too many foreigners", "because the EU dictates everything we do", "£350m per week for the NHS" etc.

quote:
Incidentally, have you seen the ICM poll in the Torygraph today?

If I were Mrs May, engineering that early election somehow would be *very* tempting....

Conversely, on a pro-EU ticket the LibDem candidate standing against Zac Goldsmith in Richmond has closed a very large 20% lead in 2015 to within the uncertainty of the polls. And, a similar pro-EU candidate came in strong in Witney. If that swing was seen across the country a General Election could very easily result in a block of MPs elected on a "stay in the EU" ticket, quite possibly more than enough to result in a hung Parliament. Which would be the absolute nightmare for Theresa May with (probably) the largest number of MPs being forced to govern with a minority or form a coalition with the LibDems/Greens/SNP who will insist on remaining in the EU as a condition of such a coalition (with the support of those who elected them). The option of forming a strong coalition or not will solidify how strongly she wants to hold onto the fiction that Brexit in any form has the support of the UK electorate.
 
Posted by betjemaniac (# 17618) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Conversely, on a pro-EU ticket the LibDem candidate standing against Zac Goldsmith in Richmond has closed a very large 20% lead in 2015 to within the uncertainty of the polls.

I must confess I'd forgotten it was Twickenham this week - a quick trip over to Lib Dem supporting Mike Smithson over at Politicalbetting.com finds him not exactly
falling over himself to endorse those numbers in the Observer at the weekend.

We'll know soon enough.
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Conversely, on a pro-EU ticket the LibDem candidate standing against Zac Goldsmith in Richmond has closed a very large 20% lead in 2015 to within the uncertainty of the polls.

I must confess I'd forgotten it was Twickenham this week - a quick trip over to Lib Dem supporting Mike Smithson over at Politicalbetting.com finds him not exactly
falling over himself to endorse those numbers in the Observer at the weekend.

We'll know soon enough.

I think we'll see a Lib. Dem. revival of sorts over the next couple of years - potentially, if there was an election tomorrow, according to one poll with the Lib Dems running on a platform of a second referendum they could score 22% (with Labour on 20%). I don't think that's outwith the bounds of possibility but it wouldn't make Tim Farron the Leader of the Opposition even if it did happen, which strikes me as unlikely. More generally, I expect the Lib Dems to increase their share of the vote in Twickenham, just as they did in Witney but even if they win it you can't really generalise from a couple of by-elections in leafy Remain areas to the whole of the UK.

The most likely outcome of an immediate General Election, as things stand, is a Tory landslide somewhat mitigated by Remain voters in Remain areas turning to the Lib Dems. UKIP might possibly win a couple of extra seats but they would mostly be there to cheer on a Brexit Tory Government.
 
Posted by betjemaniac (# 17618) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Conversely, on a pro-EU ticket the LibDem candidate standing against Zac Goldsmith in Richmond has closed a very large 20% lead in 2015 to within the uncertainty of the polls.

I must confess I'd forgotten it was Twickenham this week - a quick trip over to Lib Dem supporting Mike Smithson over at Politicalbetting.com finds him not exactly
falling over himself to endorse those numbers in the Observer at the weekend.

We'll know soon enough.

I think we'll see a Lib. Dem. revival of sorts over the next couple of years - potentially, if there was an election tomorrow, according to one poll with the Lib Dems running on a platform of a second referendum they could score 22% (with Labour on 20%). I don't think that's outwith the bounds of possibility but it wouldn't make Tim Farron the Leader of the Opposition even if it did happen, which strikes me as unlikely. More generally, I expect the Lib Dems to increase their share of the vote in Twickenham, just as they did in Witney but even if they win it you can't really generalise from a couple of by-elections in leafy Remain areas to the whole of the UK.

The most likely outcome of an immediate General Election, as things stand, is a Tory landslide somewhat mitigated by Remain voters in Remain areas turning to the Lib Dems. UKIP might possibly win a couple of extra seats but they would mostly be there to cheer on a Brexit Tory Government.

Yes, don't disagree with any of that.
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
I'd like to open up a slight tangent, not to grind an axe, but because I am interested, and think some on the Ship may have expertise here, mentioning no names!

So the tangent is on drilling down a bit into the effect of Brexit on scientific research projects, where I believe EU funding plays a big role. So my questions are:

1. To what extent is research funding dependent on EU membership? I have heard that a lot of the collaboration is mediated throughout structures outside the EU (a bit like defence being co-ordinated by NATO). Is this true to a significant extent.

2. Are Swiss research institutions (or Norway's) seriously disadvantaged by non-membership?

3. Is there little serious co-ordinated research between, say EU and USA? Is it significant?

4. As regards existing research involving centres of excellence across Europe, co-ordinated by EU, would the UK component be expelled? Could the UK Government make up the funding gap, or is this so complicated as to be implausible?

5. Is the concern that although the UKG could make up the gap, is it more neo-liberal and so less likely to invest government money into research, that the institutionally Centrist EU?

6. How much is up for grabs in the Brexit negotiations?

I know this sounds like a questionnaire but I think answers can be brief. But I'll understand if nobody has the time.
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
1. To what extent is research funding dependent on EU membership? I have heard that a lot of the collaboration is mediated throughout structures outside the EU (a bit like defence being co-ordinated by NATO). Is this true to a significant extent.

Research funding from EU Government sources was approximately 13% of the total research income for Russell Group universities in the 2014/15 academic year, with other overseas funding (from industry, non-EU governments, etc.) making up at most another 10%. The rest comes from UK-based industry, charity or government sources. [Data sourced from the Higher Education Statistics Agency]

It's reasonable to assume that most of the EU government funding will go away when we leave the EU, though there may still be a few projects run by UK institutions with EU funding - these would presumably be on a similar basis to existing projects funded by non-EU government bodies. I'm reasonably confident that EU-based industries will still fund UK institutions, again on a similar basis to industries based outside the EU.

I think the drop in EU government funding will be felt more in some subject areas than others - politics, international development, languages, etc. will probably feel the pain more than areas such as engineering and medicine where a much higher percentage of research funding comes from private industry.

I don't really know enough to confidently answer the other questions you asked.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
I know researchers in Greenland working as a partner on a large EU grant, so it can't be the case that only researchers in EU countries can apply.

Reading between the lines, it seems UK researchers are reported as being "frozen out" from EU grants more because of a perception of what might happen by other academics.

I suspect what might be happening is that UK researchers were often the main partners in EU research grants, and there is some touchiness about awarding the main bulk of research money to a non-EU country.

So I think in the long run, UK researchers might be able to join research groups as a junior partner, but will probably not be awarded the big bucks as they would have before.

Incidentally, did anyone notice that a UKIP Welsh Assembly member asked the Welsh government if it was possible to have the Republic of Ireland apply for EU grants to improve the M4?

[Killing me]
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
I've worked on several EU funded research projects which included Norway and Switzerland. And, I know people working on a large EU project that also includes Japan.

The situation is that EU research money will not be provided for non-EU participants (there may be opportunities for non-EU participants to access EU money through overseas aid routes - which won't apply to the UK or other developed nations), nor can institutions in non-EU nations manage or lead EU-funded projects (in part because the EU will usually provide some financial support for administration of projects). Non-EU participants in EU funded projects have to be entirely funded from other sources (their own national research budgets, private industrial sources etc), but can participate on an equal basis with other partners thereafter.

What the EU provides is a structure for research prioritisation and funding streams which is very much more efficient than what could be achieved otherwise. Bi-lateral cooperation happens frequently between organisations in different countries, but it takes a lot of work to agree budgets, identify funding sources, put everything into a contract etc. That work becomes more and more difficult as you increase the number of institutions, and particularly as you increase the number of nations those institutions are in. Setting up an ad-hoc collaborative agreement between 20 institutions in 12 countries would be next to impossible - but it happens frequently for EU projects, and it is quite straight forward for non-EU based institutions to slot into the structures.

In addition to the funding of collaborative research projects the EU also has a range of fellowship schemes which make the movement of researchers between institutions in different countries relatively easy (though, with a lot of competition to get those fellowships), and other mobility schemes - all of which is, of course, helped by freedom of movement within the EU. For colloboration, a young researcher from institution A moving to institution B for a few years is by far the most effective.

Collaboration is, and always will be, the best way of improving research output. I can try and find the data, but recently I read a report summary showing that the added benefits of collaboration with other institutions in EU nations is far greater than collaboration with institutions in other nations - and that the UK has done disproportionately well out of that, adding more value to UK research through EU funded work than achieved by most other countries in the EU.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
I have been a provider for an EU project and worked on several others and can confirm what Alan's saying.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
I should add, though UK institutions would still be able to participate in EU funded research projects if they could obtain equivalent financial support from UK sources (research councils or direct from government departments) that isn't the whole story.

First, of course, they would be participants and the added prestige of leading a research project would go elsewhere.

More importantly, the EU (like everyone else) works with research priorities. The secret of successful EU funding is to have the ear of the people who establish those priorities, and to get them to recognise that there is a need for European-wide research in your research area. Of course, people from outside the EU will find it very difficult to have their voice heard in such quarters, and hence will not be involved in setting the research agenda in Europe. That means that UK institutions outside the EU would be able to follow someone else's research agenda, but won't be setting the European research agenda.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
It appears that's not quite true for the Horizon 2020 programme, Alan. There is a list of "Associated Countries" who can apply to receive funds from the programme like an EU country.

It appears that these countries, which include Norway and Iceland, have this status because they're contributing to the EU's science budget as if they were EU countries.

Other countries, including Switzerland, have signed agreements with the EU to access certain parts of the budget (and therefore have contributed to that budget), and there is a longer list of countries who can be partners of H2020 projects providing they find other ways to pay for their part of it.

So it appears that the UK would only have full access to the H2020 funds if it continued to pay in a full contribution to the EU science budget.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
So, the government needs to get paying money into an EU budget past the Barmy Brexit Brigade. I won't hold my breath over that.
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
Alan C:
quote:
So, the government needs to get paying money into an EU budget past the Barmy Brexit Brigade. I won't hold my breath over that.
I did rather think that the situation could be bettered in the negotiations.

But both major parties have a barmy wing (sadly including the leader and shadow chanceller for Labour). Given that Theresa May was a Remainer, and have more hope than you that she will deliver a sensible exit plan.

I am not aware of any Brexiteers who have a principled stance against remaining in programmes set up under the EU umbrella, given that to do so would not violate any aspect of Brexit that I know of.

Sadly, there seem to be few (if any) Brexiteers on this ship who could argue the case for hard brexit.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
According to today's dribble of news from the government, the Brexit Minister is contemplating the option of paying to remain within the EU single market.

Even if this was possible, why wouldn't the other EU countries charge a high price for access? Why would they allow the UK to join at anything other than the price we've been paying?

And if we have access to the market, why wouldn't we have to conform to the European courts etc?

And if we've paid a high price for entry to the single market and have to conform to the courts and other rules.. then what exactly is the advantage of Brexit?
 
Posted by TurquoiseTastic (# 8978) on :
 
I think it's a very positive sign. It may well not be possible, but at least we might be prepared to think about it. That's the sort of pragmatic thinking that's been in short supply recently.
 
Posted by Rocinante (# 18541) on :
 
It's quite courageous (in the Yes Minister sense of the word) for Davis to even admit that such a thing is being contemplated. I expect that at the age of 67 he's planning to step down at the next election anyway.

The Brexit supporters I know won't like it.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
Strange how these little leaks and disclosures are being done, I suppose to stop the general frustration at the opacity of the process.

I guess that the sticking point is going to be nasty foreigners, or in fact, even nice foreigners. The single market might be OK, but wogs begin at Calais.

Although I wonder if there'll be special exemptions e.g. for agriculture, for those awful 6am shifts in freezing weather, pullng up daffodil bulbs, etc.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
It's quite courageous (in the Yes Minister sense of the word) for Davis to even admit that such a thing is being contemplated.

I think it's far more likely to be the latest in the hodge-podge 'strategy' that has been adopted so far. Probably what happened is was something like; a call to keep the UK in the single market, brief consideration of the EFTA, dismissal of the EFTA for various reasons, suggestion from the minister of "Can't we just pay for access ?"

[Incidentally the 'pay for access' strategy undermines the reasoning around 'they will fall over themselves to give us a free trade deal because they sell us more than we sell them'].

I suspect that in reality the more like EFTA they want the trade side of the agreement to be like, the more of the structures of EFTA they'll have to take on. Something piecemeal isn't likely to be achievable by this current set of politicians, so the only thing left is EFTA as a package, which wouldn't be acceptable to the Brexit element of the Tory party (and let's face it, this is all about party unity rather than what might be good for the country).
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
Mr Cheesy:
quote:
. . . , why wouldn't the other EU countries charge a high price for access? Why would they allow the UK to join at anything other than the price we've been paying?

And if we have access to the market, why wouldn't we have to conform to the European courts etc?

And if we've paid a high price for entry to the single market and have to conform to the courts and other rules.. then what exactly is the advantage of Brexit?

I still don't see why people can't see what I can. So no change there, then . . .

As must be obvious, I am impressed by the Flexcit option proposed by the arch-Brexiteer Richard North, and the official plan backed by Leave.UK.

The point is that the EEA arrangement is not the destination, but an essential step on the way, due to the risk of doing hard-brexit, and the fact that there is no reason to rush at this.

The HUGE difference between this and being in the EU is that we are out of the Customs Union and so free to negotiate trade deals with whoever we choose. Gives us added (fair) bureaucratic costs as a downside.

Also the fact that both CAP and Fisheries are not included is significant.

Why does anyone see it as equivalent to membership?

There has to be acceptance that initial contribution for access will and SHOULD be more or less what we are paying now (North believes we may have to pay a bit more as a face-saver), and yes we cannot remove ourselves from the court which is the means to adjudicate trade disputes. But even there, it's not all or nothing. As we gain strength, we could, if we chose to, renege on some aspects of ECJ ruling which would lose us access to that part of the single market. E.g. if there was a sector with a huge domestic market and timy EU market and we wanted to ditch some regs. I suspect it's not worth bothering.

The Brexiteers get what they want. In time.

It's also interesting how many Europhiles, who presumably don't believe that our partners are both muppets and vindictive bastards, seem to assume that this is how they will behave. Whereas most Brexiteers assume they'll behave like reasonable people.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:

It's also interesting how many Europhiles, who presumably don't believe that our partners are both muppets and vindictive bastards, seem to assume that this is how they will behave. Whereas most Brexiteers assume they'll behave like reasonable people.

Brexiters seem to assume that these countries have no interests of their own, that they will prioritise a trade agreement with the UK above everything else they could possibly do, and that they have infinite amounts of legislative and other resources to do so.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
I still don't see why people can't see what I can. So no change there, then . . .

As must be obvious, I am impressed by the Flexcit option proposed by the arch-Brexiteer Richard North, and the official plan backed by Leave.UK.

The point is that the EEA arrangement is not the destination, but an essential step on the way, due to the risk of doing hard-brexit, and the fact that there is no reason to rush at this.

The HUGE difference between this and being in the EU is that we are out of the Customs Union and so free to negotiate trade deals with whoever we choose. Gives us added (fair) bureaucratic costs as a downside.

Mmm. Which is coded language for saying that we don't have to allow those jonny foreigners in, I suppose.

Yes, OK, I suppose we'd have the freedom to negotiate trade deals without the rest of the EU. And we'd not have to allow those jonny foreigners in.

quote:
Also the fact that both CAP and Fisheries are not included is significant.
Is it? Are you suggesting that the costs of supporting agriculture in the UK would be less than we're currently paying towards the EU agriculture budget?

quote:
Why does anyone see it as equivalent to membership?
Oh I don't know - might it be because we'd be paying the same amount and getting less out of the EU - even in the rosy-coloured future where the other EU countries allow this kind of arrangement?

quote:
There has to be acceptance that initial contribution for access will and SHOULD be more or less what we are paying now (North believes we may have to pay a bit more as a face-saver)
Wait.. so the Brexiteer idea is that we should be paying even more to receive less from the EU. How does that work?

quote:
and yes we cannot remove ourselves from the court which is the means to adjudicate trade disputes. But even there, it's not all or nothing. As we gain strength, we could, if we chose to, renege on some aspects of ECJ ruling which would lose us access to that part of the single market. E.g. if there was a sector with a huge domestic market and timy EU market and we wanted to ditch some regs. I suspect it's not worth bothering.
Yah, whatever. We can't have it both ways - either we want to trade freely with Europe, in which case we've effectively got to carry on producing everything to the EU specifications, or we're on our own. If we're on our own, I'll grant you that we no longer have to produce to the EU specifications. But if we don't want the spec, we can't then trade freely in the EU.

quote:
The Brexiteers get what they want. In time.
It seems to me that the Brexiteers have absolutely no idea what they want - except that they don't want to be worse off by leaving the EU than they were in it. I can't see that there are many "save the NHS" votes in paying even more for an EU we're not even in.

quote:
It's also interesting how many Europhiles, who presumably don't believe that our partners are both muppets and vindictive bastards, seem to assume that this is how they will behave. Whereas most Brexiteers assume they'll behave like reasonable people.
Sorry, what exactly is unreasonable about setting a higher barrier for those who want access to a private club without the restrictions that are impicit in being a member? It isn't about "being vindictive bastards" it is just common sense that there must be some benefit in EU membership, otherwise there isn't much point in having an EU rather than a loose common market without any of the other stuff.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:

It's also interesting how many Europhiles, who presumably don't believe that our partners are both muppets and vindictive bastards, seem to assume that this is how they will behave. Whereas most Brexiteers assume they'll behave like reasonable people.

It's reasonable to give a two-finger salute to everything someone stands for and expect to be welcomed to the table as a favourite child? To undermine the very existence of the EU and smiled upon?

From what imaginary planet do you gather the wisdom you share here?


Vindictivel
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
The HUGE difference between this and being in the EU is that we are out of the Customs Union and so free to negotiate trade deals with whoever we choose.

Assuming, of course, that they want to negotiate a trade deal with us. There's little benefit being able to negotiate a trade deal with, say, Australia if Australia are putting all their effort into trade deals with China, S.Korea and Japan and aren't interested in a trade deal with the UK.

quote:
Gives us added (fair) bureaucratic costs as a downside.
Did you see the report leaked the other week which suggested that the number of additional civil servants needed to take up the work currently done by the European Commission would be almost the same as the number of people in the Commission. An interesting perspective on the supposed inefficiencies of the European structures when the Commission can work on behalf of 740 million people (with a large number of different languages, cultures, legal systems ...) but the UK needs the same number of civil servants for 60 million people (and, only a few languages, cultures and two legal systems).

quote:
It's also interesting how many Europhiles, who presumably don't believe that our partners are both muppets and vindictive bastards, seem to assume that this is how they will behave. Whereas most Brexiteers assume they'll behave like reasonable people.
I think everyone is assuming that our European partners will behave like reasonable people. The difference is what we think is reasonable. Brexiteers seem to think that they will act in the best interests of the UK, personally I think they will act in the best interests of their own nations, then in the best interests of the EU and only take consideration of the interests of the UK at the bottom of that list.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
The HUGE difference between this and being in the EU is that we are out of the Customs Union and so free to negotiate trade deals with whoever we choose.

Assuming, of course, that they want to negotiate a trade deal with us. There's little benefit being able to negotiate a trade deal with, say, Australia if Australia are putting all their effort into trade deals with China, S.Korea and Japan and aren't interested in a trade deal with the UK.
And quite frankly, that it what Australia will continue to do. Admittedly out PM made sounds of interest when visiting the UK recently, but they will not get much further. The prime purpose was to be kind to a Tory PM.

Britain ditched its former trading partners when it joined the EU. It was right to join but should have taken more care about the consequences. The NZ economy was very badly battered, as was that of the small Aust state of Tasmania. Each took years to recover and redirect resources. Memories are not that short.
 
Posted by Dafyd (# 5549) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
I think everyone is assuming that our European partners will behave like reasonable people. The difference is what we think is reasonable. Brexiteers seem to think that they will act in the best interests of the UK, personally I think they will act in the best interests of their own nations, then in the best interests of the EU and only take consideration of the interests of the UK at the bottom of that list.

Fortunately, we have Johnson, Davis, and Fox on the case using all their combined charm and diplomacy to win the EU round to our way of thinking.
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
otherwise there isn't much point in having an EU rather than a loose common market without any of the other stuff.

Sounds good to me.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
otherwise there isn't much point in having an EU rather than a loose common market without any of the other stuff.

Sounds good to me.
But not to any of the people you are trying to make an agreement with.
 
Posted by Rocinante (# 18541) on :
 
Looks like the people of Richmond Park dislike Brexit even more than they dislike Heathrow expansion. Not sure this means much for national politics, but maybe people will decide the Lib Dems have been punished enough for the Coalition.

It's also Karma for Zac Goldsmith's disgraceful mayoral campaign.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
Looks like the people of Richmond Park dislike Brexit even more than they dislike Heathrow expansion.

Irrelevant comparison as the LibDems also oppose Heathrow expansion. AFAIK, the candidates didn't provide much in the way of options for a pro-expansion vote.

quote:
Not sure this means much for national politics, but maybe people will decide the Lib Dems have been punished enough for the Coalition.

It does mark a step towards a resurgence of the LibDems. I don't think it says much about Labour, who've never had a hope in Richmond Park.

In terms of Brexit, it's difficult to say. Both contested by elections since June have resulted in strong votes for a pro-EU candidate. But, as previously noted, both were in areas which voted Remain in June, so it doesn't really put the cat among the pigeons. Also the LibDems are only relatively pro-EU - they've also bought into the fiction that the referendum result compels the UK to leave the EU, and are working for the softest possible Brexit rather than oppose Brexit completely.
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
Alan C:
quote:
Brexiteers seem to think that [the EU institutions] will act in the best interests of the UK, personally I think they will act in the best interests of their own nations, then in the best interests of the EU and only take consideration of the interests of the UK at the bottom of that list.
I think that's just silly.

All Brexiteers I know believe they will behave exactly as you state. I seem to be the closer to Brexit than most on this Ship, and I would expect politicians in the member states to do exactly what you said.

The Brexiteers are saying, rather, that in a lot of areas, the interests of the UK and EU are in line. And what they are against is the idea that even where this is the case, the EU institutions will go for a deal that is worse on all sides, just to stick one up the UK.

Which if course, they might, but I don't think they will.

Mr Cheesy:
quote:
Mmm. Which is coded language for saying that we don't have to allow those jonny foreigners in, I suppose.
Maybe you could decode it then. FWIW the Flexcit option (which is available publicly) states in words of one syllable that there would be no significant reduction in EU immigration. Maybe a small bit at the edges. Without free movement you can't get full and uncomplicated free market access. As I rather thought you knew. I agree that this will be difficult politically since the more I read about the campaign (now reading "All out war") the more I see that it was the immigration issue that swung it. This is the major risk, that although literally you have fulfilled the pledge by exiting Norway-style, you "really know" that immigration was what done it. Which is why I hope rather than am confident that good sense will prevail.

quote:
Yes, OK, I suppose we'd have the freedom to negotiate trade deals without the rest of the EU.
Here we get to the nub of my point. Clearly, if the UK has no real success in making these bilateral trade deals, then Brexit will be seen to have been a failure economically (which doesn't invalidate it for the Bennite/Foxy "no vote no tax" fundamentalists).
And so, yes, it is a risk. But my point, which you seek to minimise, is that this is significantly different from staying in.

If we agree that grown-up politics is about dealing with the world as it is, not as we wish it were, I can see these alternatives for remainers:

1. Go all out to reverse the referendum decision.
2. Go all out for a soft brexit.
3. Say whatever the brexiteers do makes no difference so we may as well go for a hard brexit.

Personally, from what I have read, I do not see the attraction of option 3. I really can't decide whether too much has happened to campaign for option 1.

So if the Libs are joining Labour in going for option 2, I think that is worth supporting. Although if I were a Lib I'd stick to my guns and go with 1. It gives them a very powerful electoral USP, given that I consider it beyond reasonable doubt that a majority of the electorate would prefer to stay in the EU, and they've done too many U-turns (like Student grants) that a bit of stubborn "here we stand" stuff would go down quite well.
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
Anteater: agree 100%.
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:

It's also interesting how many Europhiles, who presumably don't believe that our partners are both muppets and vindictive bastards, seem to assume that this is how they will behave. Whereas most Brexiteers assume they'll behave like reasonable people.

It's reasonable to give a two-finger salute to everything someone stands for and expect to be welcomed to the table as a favourite child? To undermine the very existence of the EU and smiled upon?

From what imaginary planet do you gather the wisdom you share here?


Vindictivel

If the EU takes offence at Britain's actions, and allows that offence to colour their negotiations, then that might be an understandable reaction, but it's not a rational one.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
Alan C:
quote:
Brexiteers seem to think that [the EU institutions] will act in the best interests of the UK, personally I think they will act in the best interests of their own nations, then in the best interests of the EU and only take consideration of the interests of the UK at the bottom of that list.
I think that's just silly.

All Brexiteers I know believe they will behave exactly as you state. I seem to be the closer to Brexit than most on this Ship, and I would expect politicians in the member states to do exactly what you said.

The Brexiteers are saying, rather, that in a lot of areas, the interests of the UK and EU are in line. And what they are against is the idea that even where this is the case, the EU institutions will go for a deal that is worse on all sides, just to stick one up the UK.

First, just to clarify, I wasn't talking about EU institutions (at least, not primarily) but the governments of 27 sovereign nations. And, I would say it's a bit silly to think that they will all agree on what is in the best interests of their own nations, much less on the best interests of the EU as a whole.

But, just to take free trade. We may all agree that in isolation free trade is a good thing. But, it's not a question in isolation. The EU is losing a net financial contributor. Therefore, either EU programmes will be cut (forcing nations to pick up the slack within their own borders) or contributions from other nations will need to rise - in both cases, all the other 27 nations will see a cost. One way of recouping that cost would be to charge a tariff on goods imported from the UK. Of course, their businesses then pay to export to the UK - the balance of whether that's good or bad will vary by nation (and, by sector within each nation). Can we honestly say that all 27 nations will agree that the free-trade that's good for the UK is also going to be good for them, especially if there isn't some other recompense for the added costs that they will incur because of Brexit? Some nations in the EU will support what the government wants (whatever that will be), others won't. And, that will all be down to different interests in each nation. There won't be agreement that "this is in the best interests of all", because it's impossible to form such a consensus with the number of players at the table - especially in just two years.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
The only way of avoiding a loss of tariff advantage will be to pay to get it back. That's if we get an offer to do that, rather than further repetition of the policy that free movement of labour is a non-negotiable part of the deal.

But if we are lucky, and do get an offer, don't be surprised if the financial cost to the UK turns out to be remarkably close to the current annual contributions.

There is no such thing as a free lunch. When it comes to international horse-trading, the Brexit position was, is, and always shall be, trustingly optimistic. If you place yourself, voluntarily, at a negotiating disadvantage, you get screwed. Why should others forego that advantage?

But you don't have to take my word for it. Just watch David Davis wriggle.
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
Looks like the people of Richmond Park dislike Brexit even more than they dislike Heathrow expansion. Not sure this means much for national politics, but maybe people will decide the Lib Dems have been punished enough for the Coalition.

It's also Karma for Zac Goldsmith's disgraceful mayoral campaign.

I think at this moment a solemn tribute to Mr Goldsmith is in order.


[Killing me] [Killing me] [Killing me] [Killing me] [Killing me] [Killing me] [Killing me] [Killing me]
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
Wait.. so there are seriously people arguing for a Brexit which includes free trade and free movement? Whaaaat?
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
There's an argument that this will stop May calling an election, but as you might expect, there is also the reverse argument. Now what was it? Oh yes, that since her majority is shrinking, she might as well reinforce it, and pulverize Labour. Dunno.
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
I think everyone is assuming that our European partners will behave like reasonable people. The difference is what we think is reasonable. Brexiteers seem to think that they will act in the best interests of the UK, personally I think they will act in the best interests of their own nations, then in the best interests of the EU and only take consideration of the interests of the UK at the bottom of that list.

Fortunately, we have Johnson, Davis, and Fox on the case using all their combined charm and diplomacy to win the EU round to our way of thinking.
Moreover, David Davis (Brexit minister) appears to be treading on Liam Fox(International Trade minister)'s turf regarding membership of the single market.

Cabinet must be a bundle of fun today.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Wait.. so there are seriously people arguing for a Brexit which includes free trade and free movement? Whaaaat?

[Killing me]

"When you've got them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow".

Sooner, or later, there will be a reckoning. Basically, some farsighted and courageous politician will stand up and say to the British Electorate. "You goofed. You shot yourselves and the country in the foot. You believed a whole load of fairy tales. And now we're all screwed. And what's more, most of you now realise that. Time for a change of mind."
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
It'll take time, though. The next by-election is in Sleaford, home of the Sleaford Mods, where they voted for Brexit by 63%. Tim Farron isn't going to pull off a by-election victory there. The Tories are running on Brexit means Brexit and more money for the Boomers.

I have a horrible feeling that the most likely scenario is: Crash and burn out of the EU. Wait for the Boomers to die. Re-enter under Generation X et. seq. As Theresa May's role model might have said: It's an old wall, Avon, it waits...
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
If the EU takes offence at Britain's actions, and allows that offence to colour their negotiations, then that might be an understandable reaction, but it's not a rational one.

The UK voted on the premise it could have the benefits without any of the responsibility. It isn't vindictive to not allow this. And it is arrogant, ignorant and irrational to think this is a fair and proper thing to achieve in the first place.
As evidenced as the pols who pushed Brexit didn't really want it.

[ 02. December 2016, 17:53: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]
 
Posted by ThunderBunk (# 15579) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:



"When you've got them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow".


This is more or less the basis for my feeling that the future is not as straightforward as assumed. I grant you that my grounds appear shaky, but I don't think the idea is without merit.

Parliament simply cannot validly approve the triggering of article 50. They are elected to act in the best interests of their electorate and ultimately the country, and have effectively been handed a double barreled shotgun aimed at the country's testes (for the purposes of the image, the country is assumed to wear its genitalia on the outside). They have been instructed to pull the trigger, but would still be committing GBH if they were to carry out the instruction.
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
If the EU takes offence at Britain's actions, and allows that offence to colour their negotiations, then that might be an understandable reaction, but it's not a rational one.

The UK voted on the premise it could have the benefits without any of the responsibility. It isn't vindictive to not allow this. And it is arrogant, ignorant and irrational to think this is a fair and proper thing to achieve in the first place.
As evidenced as the pols who pushed Brexit didn't really want it.

I think discussing Brexit exclusively in terms of what its most stupid proponents believe is probably not terribly helpful.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
It'll take time, though. The next by-election is in Sleaford, home of the Sleaford Mods, where they voted for Brexit by 63%. Tim Farron isn't going to pull off a by-election victory there. The Tories are running on Brexit means Brexit and more money for the Boomers.

Ah, but what if UKIP really bollocks up the Tories. If half the 60% think the government is making a mess of things an delaying Brexit and vote UKIP, the rest stick with the Tories. Then LibDems run on a pro-EU ticket and pick up the 40% ... now, that would well and truly put the cat among the pigeons.

It's not going to happen though.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
Not very likely, Alan. But I think the penny has dropped. The government hasn't the foggiest idea how to make Brexit a success. Probably because there is no way of making it a success and a million and one ways of making it a failure. Shotgun aimed at genitalia indeed.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:

I think discussing Brexit exclusively in terms of what its most stupid proponents believe is probably not terribly helpful.

The problem at this moment is that the most stupid proponents are the loudest and most vocal, and have managed to give the impression (real or imagined) that they have the power to tear the conservative party apart.

Prior to the vote it was quite common for some figures to drop in mention of EFTA or EFTA like arrangements post Brexit (usually intermixing it with other scenarios depending on the audience), Hannan did it, Farage made numerous references to the positions of Switzerland and Norway as models for the UK to follow, and as examples of countries that did well out of the EU.

Now to a certain extent this wasn't realistic as a platform for them, as would have been seen by the fact that they were alternating between different scenarios depending on the audience. So one wonders whether they were stupid, or assumed the hard core Brexiters - who were their constituency - were stupid.

Over the last few days there have been plenty of people willing to cry betrayal over any whiff of an EFTA or EFTA-lite arrangement - helped by the usual loony tendency like Redwood, Rees-Mogg and so on. Absent a politician who is willing to take them on, the loony tendency will continue to set the tone - because they have the votes of the middle aged pub-bore contingent.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
The problem at this moment is that the most stupid proponents are the loudest and most vocal, and have managed to give the impression (real or imagined) that they have the power to tear the conservative party apart.

As I recall, Cameron's reasoning for holding a referendum in the first place was to attempt to prevent the Conservative party being torn apart... it doesn't seem to have worked.

[ 03. December 2016, 06:50: Message edited by: Eutychus ]
 
Posted by rolyn (# 16840) on :
 
Damned if he did and damned if he didn't.
I suppose even a narrow Remain victory wouldn't have been without it problems for the Tories.

If the the Conservatives are going to tear themselves apart, Labour having already torn itself, the Liberals come 2020 may indeed have to "Prepare for Government [Razz]
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
It'll take time, though. The next by-election is in Sleaford, home of the Sleaford Mods, where they voted for Brexit by 63%. Tim Farron isn't going to pull off a by-election victory there. The Tories are running on Brexit means Brexit and more money for the Boomers.

Ah, but what if UKIP really bollocks up the Tories. If half the 60% think the government is making a mess of things an delaying Brexit and vote UKIP, the rest stick with the Tories. Then LibDems run on a pro-EU ticket and pick up the 40% ... now, that would well and truly put the cat among the pigeons.

It's not going to happen though.

No it's not. A few things to watch for though.

Does UKIP's vote share rise appreciably? - this will indicate that Leave voters want their revolution to be carried through and don't trust the government to do it.

Do the Lib Dems do better than expected? A notable swing to them will indicate that they are becoming the party of Remain or, at least, soft Brexit.

How do Labour do? If they are squeezed this might indicate that there isn't a gap in the market for another Leave party. I wouldn't expect Corbyn to change tack on account of this, however. If their vote share holds up or improves it might indicate that left behind voters begin to see Corbyn as the solution to their problems. I think this prospect is vanishingly unlikely but it is a potential outcome, so I felt, in fairness bound to mention it.

Do the Tories lose votes and, who to? If Labour, Theresa is not cutting through with the JAMs, if UKIP, they don't trust her to deliver Brexit, if the Lib Dems, remain voters are deserting the party. On the other hand, if the Tories do better than in the General Election or, given the lower turn out, nearly as well it will mean that, in Sleaford at least, in Theresa we trust. For now.
 
Posted by Rocinante (# 18541) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:

Sooner, or later, there will be a reckoning. Basically, some farsighted and courageous politician will stand up and say to the British Electorate. "You goofed. You shot yourselves and the country in the foot. You believed a whole load of fairy tales. And now we're all screwed. And what's more, most of you now realise that. Time for a change of mind."

Tim Farron would love to be that politician, I'm sure. When you're stuck at 6% in the polls, the temptation to roll the dice is very strong. He might be tempted to make a more nuanced version of that pronouncement on the back of another strong by-election performance, which in Sleaford could mean coming in a strong second.

I don't think the country's ready yet, though. At the moment I'm feeling despair at what's happening from remainers (myself included), but "la-la-la fingers in the ears/The EU will give us everything we want 'cos we're great" from leavers. Give it another year or so, with brexit negotiations going nowhere (and probably descending into farce), and the time may be right for a remain insurgency.
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
Originally posted by Rocinante:

quote:
Tim Farron would love to be that politician, I'm sure. When you're stuck at 6% in the polls, the temptation to roll the dice is very strong. He might be tempted to make a more nuanced version of that pronouncement on the back of another strong by-election performance, which in Sleaford could mean coming in a strong second.
It's a fine line. There need to be someone to articulate Remainers discontents and to assure them that the cause is not entirely lost without giving the impression that you merely want to disregard the views of the majority. I'm not sure that Tim Farron is up to it, but God knows, he's giving it his best shot.
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:

Sooner, or later, there will be a reckoning. Basically, some farsighted and courageous politician will stand up and say to the British Electorate. "You goofed. You shot yourselves and the country in the foot. You believed a whole load of fairy tales. And now we're all screwed. And what's more, most of you now realise that. Time for a change of mind."

I think what disturbs me about this line of argument is that it contains an implicit hope that the Brexit negotiations will founder so that such a farsighted and courageous politician becomes necessary.

In any case, I think it's more likely that we will thrash out a deal that isn't as good as the one we've got, but which isn't so bad that it causes a widespread plea for a return to the fold. I think the Brexiteers are correct that it is in the EU's interests to cut a deal.
 
Posted by ThunderBunk (# 15579) on :
 
The EU has to be able to demonstrate that countries can't leave unscathed. Otherwise, Denmark, Italy, Belgium (?) and Iceland will be out on the next train, and the whole thing will fall to pieces irretrievably.

Of all the various centres of power within the EU, the Commission have the most to lose, and also the highest value of time to concentrate on making the UK's leaving the EU as painful as possible and power to influence it. The European Parliament has even more time but far less influence.

Anyone who thinks it's in the EU's interests for the UK's departure to be orderly is dreaming. Dangerously so.
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
I'm fairly sure it's not in anyone's interests for the fifth largest economy in the world to crash and burn. Unless you think the Commission regard loss of face as more serious than economic meltdown - which then comes back to the question of just how vindictive are they?
 
Posted by ThunderBunk (# 15579) on :
 
Just how vindictive are they?

Hang on a second, that's anglo-saxon mind all over.

Turn on to this. They have a project they have to see work. They have pushed it a very long way, and the ECB and the Commission between them are at full stretch and therefore primed for a fight. We are attempting to hole their project below the waterline to save our self-obsessed, over-confident, sorry, shrivelled arses.

You just try and see.
 
Posted by balaam (# 4543) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ThunderBunk:
The EU has to be able to demonstrate that countries can't leave unscathed. Otherwise, Denmark, Italy, Belgium (?) and Iceland will be out on the next train,

I think we can be certain that Iceland will not be out on the next train, or boat.
 
Posted by ThunderBunk (# 15579) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by balaam:
quote:
Originally posted by ThunderBunk:
The EU has to be able to demonstrate that countries can't leave unscathed. Otherwise, Denmark, Italy, Belgium (?) and Iceland will be out on the next train,

I think we can be certain that Iceland will not be out on the next train, or boat.
Granted. I was sure Iceland was a member, but my memory was clearly defective.

Nevertheless, I believe the basic point to be sound. If the UK leaves in reasonable order, the door will be left open, and the whole babel tower is liable to collapse.
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ThunderBunk:
Just how vindictive are they?

Hang on a second, that's anglo-saxon mind all over.

Turn on to this. They have a project they have to see work. They have pushed it a very long way, and the ECB and the Commission between them are at full stretch and therefore primed for a fight. We are attempting to hole their project below the waterline to save our self-obsessed, over-confident, sorry, shrivelled arses.

You just try and see.

The fact that this post is composed almost entirely in emotional terms kind of makes my point.

If no deal is reached and the British economy collapses, then it's likely that the EU economy will shrink as well, with all the attendant social problems.

Your assumption seems to be that those social problems in Europe would be a price worth paying for the integrity of the European project. My question is: why? What benefits does the European project bring that would outweigh those problems?
 
Posted by ThunderBunk (# 15579) on :
 
You continue to make my point for me. Neither the EU Commission nor the ECB is a pragmatic institution. The British are pretty much alone in valuing their pragmatism; to the rest of the world, it is pretty contemptible hypocrisy. It is a serious error to expect it to be universally replicated, and to expect others to deride commitment to an ideal after the standard British model.
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
What ideal?
 
Posted by ThunderBunk (# 15579) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
What ideal?

The model of European unity to which a flame is kept in the European Commission building in Brussels.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ThunderBunk:
The British are pretty much alone in valuing their pragmatism; to the rest of the world, it is pretty contemptible hypocrisy.

That's a pretty idiotic statement - the vote was one in a long line of not particularly pragmatic things that was done.

To Ricardus' point - it is not in their interest to see a trading party crash and burn, but firstly they may have very few mechanisms to avoid it, and secondly that still doesn't mean that individual sectors will not (purely pragmatically) wish to capture certain markets.
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ThunderBunk:
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
What ideal?

The model of European unity to which a flame is kept in the European Commission building in Brussels.
I would suggest that the social problems attendant on economic contraction are more likely to dampen that flame than to fan it.

I agree with you to a certain extent; the British have generally seen the benefits of the EU as primarily economic, whereas at least some of our European partners see it as a vehicle for European brotherhood. My point is that something which is bad economically is also likely to be bad from the perspective of promoting European brotherhood. On the most basic level, if you care about European brotherhood, you should presumably care about the welfare of Europeans, which would imply trying to avoid anything that would make them poorer.

[ 03. December 2016, 21:30: Message edited by: Ricardus ]
 
Posted by ThunderBunk (# 15579) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
]That's a pretty idiotic statement - the vote was one in a long line of not particularly pragmatic things that was done.


But if you listen to a lot of Brexiteers, they're endless banging on about how "they" will need to trade with the UK. That may or may not be true (I think it's a pile of self-regarding bollocks which ignores the size of the EU and its capacity for internal trade), but it also completely overestimates the extent to which pragmatic considerations will determine the outcome.

The negotiations are being led by the Commission, and they will work hard to ensure that they outcome defends the project which is their goal. The UK is not the prize and not the point of their efforts.

[ 03. December 2016, 21:35: Message edited by: ThunderBunk ]
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ThunderBunk:

But if you listen to a lot of Brexiteers, they're endless banging on about how "they" will need to trade with the UK. That may or may not be true (I think it's a pile of self-regarding bollocks which ignores the size of the EU and its capacity for internal trade), but it also completely overestimates the extent to which pragmatic considerations will determine the outcome.

No, that's not a pragmatic argument by Brexiters at all, at best it's a pragmatic argument that is based on a completely misunderstood version of the actual facts.
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:

To Ricardus' point - it is not in their interest to see a trading party crash and burn, but firstly they may have very few mechanisms to avoid it, and secondly that still doesn't mean that individual sectors will not (purely pragmatically) wish to capture certain markets.

On your first point - the list of EU trade agreements I posted earlier suggests there are many different permutations that the EU can use to ensure a relationship with a trading partner.

On the second point - AIUI that would be risky. Common sense suggests that if British widget production collapsed, that would create a gap on the market for French widgets. AIUI the economics is a bit more complicated - it could happen that way, but equally the collapse of British widgets could send shockwaves through the whole widget economy that ultimately disadvantage French widget makers too.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
To expand a bit on the above; the EU have a number of different set of trade deals that are available off the peg, EEA, EFTA membership, and EU membership. [*]

Ignoring the conditions required for each of those - because we will assume for now that the UK alreadymeets them; there are people in the Brexit camp who have fundamental objections to all of these.

In which case what is left is a custom agreement of sorts. Okay, so let's just assume a free trade deal that covers agricultural products - so we'd then be looking at standardisation of regulations on safety and welfare, an agreement on state subsidies, agreements on dispute resolutions, agreements on trading with third parties, agreements on verification of country of origin and so on.

So you are the Italian PM, you are in power for another 3 years. You have 30 months of work you can get out of your trade secretary, most of which is already allocated to working on EU level trade deals with China, Nigeria, India and so on, he has a staff who are similarly allocated. One of your other trading partners decides to withdraw from their existing trading agreements and is in a complete dither as to what should take its place. Do you; re-double your efforts on other trade deals, or allocate precious time to this partner gambling that somehow your trade secretary working in partnership with his EU counterparts will be able to pull a rabbit out of the hat?

Of course, this is a gross simplification, nevertheless this is the kind of calculation a lot of the rest of the EU will be making.

[*] a simplification of sorts, but it will be an extension of the options do not fundamentally divert from the point of this post.
 
Posted by ThunderBunk (# 15579) on :
 
But you're doing it again. No individual member state is driving the negotiations. The European Commission itself is doing so, supported by the ECB. The European Council comes a distant third in the race to escort the UK to the exit, and over the precipice.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
On your first point - the list of EU trade agreements I posted earlier suggests there are many different permutations that the EU can use to ensure a relationship with a trading partner.

Except that subsets of Brexiters can be found who object to each of these.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ThunderBunk:
But you're doing it again. No individual member state is driving the negotiations. The European Commission itself is doing so, supported by the ECB.

Even if they were, and assuming they were operating by your much vaunted principles of pragmatism the same constraints would still apply just at the level of the Commission (and in actual fact in this case they aren't setting the direction of travel anyway)

.. and if you honestly believe the caricature of 'irrational foreigners', then getting out of an existing agreement in the hope that you can make another one is not a pragmatic thing to do
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ThunderBunk:
But you're doing it again. No individual member state is driving the negotiations. The European Commission itself is doing so, supported by the ECB. The European Council comes a distant third in the race to escort the UK to the exit, and over the precipice.

Except that whatever deal they cook up will have to be agreed by the other nations in the EU. The Commission can't force an agreement on the sovereign nations that make up the EU. So, common sense suggests that the negotiations will be conducted in consultation with those national governments so as to avoid anything that will get the deal killed, or significantly delayed, after all that talk.
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:

So you are the Italian PM, you are in power for another 3 years. You have 30 months of work you can get out of your trade secretary, most of which is already allocated to working on EU level trade deals with China, Nigeria, India and so on, he has a staff who are similarly allocated. One of your other trading partners decides to withdraw from their existing trading agreements and is in a complete dither as to what should take its place. Do you; re-double your efforts on other trade deals, or allocate precious time to this partner gambling that somehow your trade secretary working in partnership with his EU counterparts will be able to pull a rabbit out of the hat?

All the considerations you mention are real, but there are a few others:

1. If a trade deal with India collapses, then all that happens is that the status quo is maintained; no-one is actually any worse off. But failing to reach a deal with the UK will harm Europe.

2. It will also harm the UK a lot more. Now on the one hand this puts the UK at a severe disadvantage, but on the other hand it does mean the UK is less likely to walk away from the negotiating table - unlike, say, Mr Trump from TTIP.
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
On your first point - the list of EU trade agreements I posted earlier suggests there are many different permutations that the EU can use to ensure a relationship with a trading partner.

Except that subsets of Brexiters can be found who object to each of these.
True, but I was addressing the willingness of the EU, rather than the Daily Express, to make a deal. Anyway I think (naively perhaps) that the ability of any individual subset of Brexiteers to scupper a deal is limited at this point.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
There need to be someone to articulate Remainers discontents and to assure them that the cause is not entirely lost without giving the impression that you merely want to disregard the views of the majority. I'm not sure that Tim Farron is up to it, but God knows, he's giving it his best shot.

There is a perfectly valid position that says that the referendum was not phrased and conducted in a manner that would allow anyone to know what the view of the majority actually is. Which leaves two options:

1. Decide that whatever you think is the views of the majority - the approach of the government and UKIP, as well as the less savoury groups who have decided that the referendum result supports attacks on immigrants.

2. Find out what the majority actually want - which would need a second referendum with a carefully considered question, either a yes/no to a particular model of Brexit as a starting point for negotiations, or a multi-option ballot (with some form of preferential voting).

I'd also be perfectly happy with an option 3 - that Cameron balls it up, Parliament got it wrong to call a hasty referendum without first defining what Brexit means, and state that the whole farcical thing couldn't possibly determine the will of the people and should be disregarded. But, I don't see that ever being a realistic option.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
Anyway I think (naively perhaps) that the ability of any individual subset of Brexiteers to scupper a deal is limited at this point.

We live in a world where no member of the government will tell the Express where to go - and where plenty of their colleagues will play up to the columnists in the hope of gaining temporary advantage. The pattern of the last few months has been of indecision and timid indications in one direction followed by rapid back pedaling when faced by criticism.


quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
All the considerations you mention are real, but there are a few others:

1. If a trade deal with India collapses, then all that happens is that the status quo is maintained; no-one is actually any worse off. But failing to reach a deal with the UK will harm Europe.

What you say is true - to a point. The problem is that each country is already faced with negative consequences regardless of which agreement is reached (i.e due to falls in contributions to the common budget, cuts that may result, reduction in free movement and so on). In the position where they have to optimize effort to ameliorate a set of consequences, they are likely aim at a bare minimum and be resistant to much else [and remember to factor in the lack of experience on the british side].
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
Thunderbunk:
quote:
The EU has to be able to demonstrate that countries can't leave unscathed. Otherwise, Denmark, Italy, Belgium (?) and Iceland will be out on the next train, and the whole thing will fall to pieces irretrievably.
I think I should switch to Brexit, then.

So you admit that the EU is a sort of Warsaw pact, where the peoples of the member states really want freedom from it, and can only be kept on the leash by punishment threats. If so, frankly, let it collapse.

quote:
Just how vindictive are they?
At the level of face-saving politicians I think they can be pretty unpleasant. If you doubt that read Paul Krugmans account of how they treated Greece in his book on the Euro. The hope of Brexiteers is more that the business communities of the member states will lean on the Eurocrats to get them to think actually about the people of Europe which at present is not seemingly high on their agenda, in your view. I much much prefer pragmatism to ideals. How many pragmatic stalinists, or maoists do you find. Plenty of ideologues.

I think I detect in many POR (pissed of remainer) posts a projection of their own anger and desire to punish the brexiteers, and in a way this leads them to want the EU to punish them, since the PORs don't have the power. Politically, though, it plays badly, since it comes across as unpatriotic, and generally denigrating to the UK, as well as projecting a view of the EU which is extremely unappetising.

[ 04. December 2016, 08:34: Message edited by: anteater ]
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
Alan C:
quote:
There is a perfectly valid position that says that the referendum was not phrased and conducted in a manner that would allow anyone to know what the view of the majority actually is.
So, as I have previously challenged you, please supply a proposed wording? Which I think you admitted was impractical.

Yes, you are against the referendum, which was approved in a ration of 6:1 in favour, by the UK parliament. But to say that an answer to the question: "Should we leave the EU or remain?" does not indicate whether they should leave or remain, is a bit far fetched. Of course, the implications of either choice require crystal balls.

So it is true that the referendum did not spell out the details. But to me it is reasonably held as implicit that the (unnecessary) clarification would have been "on the most favourable commercial terms possible".

I can see clearly the limitations of referenda, but IIRC opinion polls showed about 80% of the population in favour of having one, and when parliament voted 6:1 to have it, it did have the wording in front of it. Of course, most people expected Remain to win, including Boris and Nigel.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
As I've said before, there were two options should a referendum be held:

1. A clearly defined Leave position, a manifesto for what Leave wished to achieve in detail addressing the prefered position on free trade, movement, access to EU research funding, fisheries, agriculture, environment etc. Then you have a simple yes/no on leaving the EU with a defined opening position. In a sensible world Parliament would have written into the Referendum Act a statement on what the actions of government would be - ie: on the Monday morning after the vote send a letter to Brussels formally declaring we're leaving - so as to leave no room for legal challenges over the role of Government and Parliament. Also, ideally, the proposal would have the support of the government so that there wouldn't need to be any faffing about electing a new party leader, appointing a new cabinet etc.

2. A multi-option preferential voting ballot where the electorate get to say how important different options on leave are. It would probably look similar to all those internet quizzes - "on a scale of 1 to 10 (where 1 is unimportant and 10 very important) how important is it to you that the UK has free trade with the EU? How important that we have freedom of movement?" etc. That would also need some careful thinking about - and likely to produce conflicting positions that are mutually incompatible. But, would give the government the data needed to draw up a Brexit package that is as close as possible to the majority position. I would prefer that to be a precursor to the actually yes/no on a defined negotiating position referendum (option 1 above).
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:

I think I detect in many POR (pissed of remainer) posts a projection of their own anger and desire to punish the brexiteers, and in a way this leads them to want the EU to punish them, since the PORs don't have the power. Politically, though, it plays badly, since it comes across as unpatriotic, and generally denigrating to the UK, as well as projecting a view of the EU which is extremely unappetising.

I'll take the amateur psychology of such prognosticators more seriously when they make a hue and cry about this kind of thing being national sabotage:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/nigel-farage-brexit-speech-european-parliament-full-transcript-text-a7107036.ht ml
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
Alan Cresswell:
quote:
1. A clearly defined Leave position, a manifesto for what Leave wished to achieve in detail addressing the prefered position on free trade, movement, access to EU research funding, fisheries, agriculture, environment etc.
This is a rerun of an exchange about the Scottish referendum. You're most valid point there was that the Leave side was being championed by the major political party in Scotland, and this is indeed significant.

But the lack of certainty as to the outcome was just as great. Both as regards their status within the EU and the status of any monetary union with the rUK. And all you do by saying: "This is exactly what we want" is loads of people shouting "Not a chance", which is why the main Leave campaign left it open. Oddly the group generally thought as more whacky did officially support Flexcit which gave a blow by blow account, which I thought reasonable.

I suppose my point is that in both cases, a vote to Leave was a vote to accept risk. And, frankly, I don't think this needed stating.

As to (2), yes it would have been a good idea. But I have never denied that the whole referendum thing was a total balls-up, and DCam should be have been made to where a large hat with his initial upon it.

We all know that if Leave had put up such a detailed proposal they believe they would have lost, and I think they are right. And that is annoying, because a significant national decision has been made on sub-rational grounds.

An interesting sideline is: Do you judge a decision by the process that arrived at it, rather than just by its intrinsic (de)merits?


Chris Styles:
quote:
I'll take the amateur psychology of such prognosticators more seriously when they make a hue and cry about this kind of thing being national sabotage
Well obviously it's amateur, although I suggest displaced rage is not that controversial an idea.

But who is "they" in your reply. I'm not being thick deliberately. It's natural.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
Alan Cresswell:
quote:
1. A clearly defined Leave position, a manifesto for what Leave wished to achieve in detail addressing the prefered position on free trade, movement, access to EU research funding, fisheries, agriculture, environment etc.
This is a rerun of an exchange about the Scottish referendum. You're most valid point there was that the Leave side was being championed by the major political party in Scotland, and this is indeed significant.
My comparison to the Scottish referendum was two fold, and both aspects were vital.

First, as you said, independence was proposed by a major political party, a party that was united in wanting independence. But, much more important, it was championed by the government, the very people who would have to enact the decision of the referendum - in contrast to the current farce where a government that doesn't want Brexit feels they have to deliver Brexit and many in the Leave campaign have no involvement at all.

The second part was that the Scottish government produced a substantial and detailed description of their vision for independence, about what they wanted to achieve. And, the independence campaign were singing from the same hymn sheet. That white paper was the product of decades of political discussion within the SNP and the wider population of Scotland. Of course, it was obvious they were not going to achieve all of it, but we all knew what we were voting for and were hoping that the various negotiations would get us something close to that.

In contrast the Leave campaign was never unified. There was no substantial discussion of the issues to develop a consensus position, indeed much of it seemed to be invented on the fly. There still isn't a unified vision for Brexit that the Leave campaign agree on.

quote:
I suppose my point is that in both cases, a vote to Leave was a vote to accept risk. And, frankly, I don't think this needed stating.
Yes, there was risk in voting Yes or Leave. And, I agree that both campaigns had too strong an emphasis on "Project Fear" - repeatedly stating that there were risks. The difference is that we still don't know what the risks for Brexit are. We knew that there was a risk that Scotland couldn't retain the pound, or remain in the EU. Do we know whether or not there's a risk that the UK won't remain in a free trade zone? We don't even know if that's what Leave want - if they want to leave the free trade zone then there is no risk that the UK would be forced to stay in. Just as one example.

quote:
We all know that if Leave had put up such a detailed proposal they believe they would have lost, and I think they are right.
More significantly, if Leave had to develop a detailed proposal they would have never made it to the starting blocks. The Campaign would have splintered over all the options - some wanting free trade, others not, etc. And, to be honest, a campaign that can't even agree on what they want deserves to loose. I think that Leave could have produced such a proposal, but they would have needed to have engaged in serious discussion of it, with the various options tested by the public through several rounds of Leave candidates standing in general elections with all the associated questions in hustings and on the door steps, as well as Question Time and the like. That is the work of decades, not months. Had Leave campaigners been doing that for the last 20-30 years then a) they would have already worked out their position and b) that position would have had significant popular support (because they would have produced their position knowing what the electorate think).

But, I think we both agree that Cameron and Parliament made a colossal cock-up over the whole thing.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:

In contrast the Leave campaign was never unified. There was no substantial discussion of the issues to develop a consensus position, indeed much of it seemed to be invented on the fly. There still isn't a unified vision for Brexit that the Leave campaign agree on.

Which gets back to what we have discussed before. The referendum question was whether to Remain or Leave, not how to do either. The majority of those voting (and the failure to adopt a system of compulsory voting for elections and the referendum is another question) chose Leave probably for a multitude of reasons. They were not concerned with the how, but with the go.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
Which gets back to what we have discussed before. The referendum question was whether to Remain or Leave, not how to do either.

I'm not sure what "how to Remain" needs much clarification. The "how to Leave" certainly does. And, IMO, Parliament made a complete balls-up of things by trying to pretend that "remain or leave?" is a simple question that can be answered without knowing what leave means.

quote:
The majority of those voting (and the failure to adopt a system of compulsory voting for elections and the referendum is another question) chose Leave probably for a multitude of reasons. They were not concerned with the how, but with the go.
There are, of course, two ancillary questions to leave - why and how? That the majority didn't ask those questions, if indeed they cast their vote without asking those questions, is a sad indictment on the quality of political discourse in this country. And, therefore a great reason to stick with representative democracy where we should expect something more intelligent from our representatives - though their failure to vote through a sensible Referendum Act and instead follow Cameron down the worst possible road doesn't hold up much hope for that either.

But, actually, I think the majority of people had thought about those questions. Certainly the "why". We've got exit poll data that show people voted for greater Parliamentary sovereignty (clearly not an issue for those who subsequently complain about the courts saying Parliament should be involved), against immigration, against agriculture and fisheries policy, against wasting money with an inefficient European political structure (clearly efficiency isn't an issue for a government that will spend as much on running the re-acquired powers as the Commission spends for the entire EU), or as a "f*** you" to politicians. There are going to be a lot of people disappointed that they're not going to get a change that addresses why they voted as they did. And, it would have only taken a few people, if they had known what the plan for Brexit was, to say "that doesn't address the issues I have with the EU" and vote Remain to have swung the vote.

And, approaching 6 months after the referendum we're still waiting to be told what is going to happen. At present the clearest statement we've had is "Brexit means Breakfast".
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
This week's Economist describes Brexit as a car without accelerator, brakes or steering. Not exactly road safe.

[ 04. December 2016, 21:01: Message edited by: Eutychus ]
 
Posted by Eirenist (# 13343) on :
 
Brexit means dog's breakfast, I think.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
Alan Cresswell, I don't want to go through it all again, but it is obvious to me that a majority of those voting wanted to leave the EU, and that they did not express either a particular reason or how they saw it occurring. That is because the simple question was whether or not they wanted to remain or leave. Any other would have been too difficult for any process which relies upon a a simple vote, even a parliamentary vote which comes after lengthy debate. Any other runs the very real possibility of no answer at all.
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
Alan Cresswell:
quote:
Parliament made a complete balls-up of things by trying to pretend that "remain or leave?" is a simple question that can be answered without knowing what leave means.
But Alan, it is a simple question. Leave means "cease to be a member of the EU". What is so hard to understand about that?

Because the constant carp of the brexiteers is that the remainers insult the Great British Public by saying that they are incapable of undestanding what is meant by the phrase "leave the EU". It is no more conceptually complex than "remain within the EU", and both options represent futures with a range of possible outcomes, although I do not deny that "leave" is riskier.

It is also held to be a bit insulting to assume that leavers thought it would be no more difficult than leaving a party early. As I have previously said, the Brexiteers I have spoken to assume it will be a long and difficult process, and fully expect to be less well of, at least in the short term - which is all a lot of them have got.

I am really torn about referenda. Probably Matteo Renzi is now. I am reading a good book by Martin Jacques which (amongst other things) is about the fact that trusted administrative elites actually produce better outcomes that populism. And I expect just about all on this ship would agree.

But the danger of disenfranchisement of a major sector of the citizenship is real whenever there is no electable option for a viewpoint that is widely held. And if over 50% of the population of the UK do not want to be the EU, do you not think they should have a voice, and assuming (as I do) that you think they should, then how?

My suspicion is you might say that they should organise around a UK Nationalist Party like the Scots did around the SNP. But I really do not like parties whose basis is national identity, so rather than that, I actually prefer the route that was chosen.

Yes, I would have preferred it a lot more if the remain side had won. But I do get a bit fed up of people criticising the GBP when there is zero probability of us having to cope with an ultra-right party, which is what we might have had if we'd never had a referendum.

[ 05. December 2016, 09:56: Message edited by: anteater ]
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
But Alan, it is a simple question. Leave means "cease to be a member of the EU". What is so hard to understand about that?

That is a simple question. But, tied in with that is the question of "and, then go where?". Do we leave the party early to go home for an early night, go to the pub, go to a club, go to another party?

To answer the simple question "shall we leave?" without any clue about where we go afterwards is just plain daft.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
But Alan, it is a simple question. Leave means "cease to be a member of the EU". What is so hard to understand about that?

If one has voted for Brexit believing that it would save the UK a whole lot of money which could then be spent on the NHS - but then it turns out (a) that money is not available for the NHS and (b) that the UK might in fact have to continue paying the same (or more!) to access the free market, it is fair to ask whether the thing that they were voting for is not the thing that is being discussed, never mind delivered.

It is clearly quite bloody hard to understand what they were voting for given that nobody clearly understands what they were voting for other than a bunch of lies which can't be delivered.

[ 05. December 2016, 10:37: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Eirenist:
Brexit means dog's breakfast, I think.

It's going to be one hungry dog.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
But Alan, it is a simple question. Leave means "cease to be a member of the EU". What is so hard to understand about that?

That is a simple question.
Correction. That should be simplistic question.
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
Alan: (You can call me Ant):
quote:
To answer the simple question "shall we leave?" without any clue about where we go afterwards is just plain daft.
But at that rate, you never go out of your front door.

I'd be the first to agree that risk taking is over valued (hence so many psychopaths running businesses like Enron). But zero-risk? Not for me. I'm sure this argument was a powerful factor in the loss of the Italian referendum, which I think was a real pity, since Renzi was IMO the best politician they've had - not that that's saying much.

The democratic process does rely on people making some attempt to understand the issues, watch the debates, read the press, discuss. And if after all that, you think the GBP has not the foggiest idea what Brexit would mean, then you must think they are all as thick as two short planks.

We were faced with a range of options, ranging from a really good trading relationship with Europe (best outcome) to having to fall back of WTO rules, which was always accepted as a possibility, and was generally recognised as Not a Good Option. So there was and still is, a risk that it will work out badly, and we will end up, as many eurocrats no doubt hope, coming cap in hand resulting in upheaval, probably the a re-alignment in British politics, which a resurgent centre party and ( . .this is not looking to bad . . ) and a lower standard of living ( . .so not quite so good . .).

No doubt these considerations weighed heavily on the Scots, and I'm glad, because I don't want breakup of the UK. But I'm not as risk averse as you, and though I regret Brexit, it's not because of the uncertainty of the outcome.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
Alan Cresswell, I don't want to go through it all again, but it is obvious to me that a majority of those voting wanted to leave the EU, and that they did not express either a particular reason or how they saw it occurring. That is because the simple question was whether or not they wanted to remain or leave. Any other would have been too difficult for any process which relies upon a a simple vote, even a parliamentary vote which comes after lengthy debate. Any other runs the very real possibility of no answer at all.

And, again, I agree that by a small majority there was a vote to leave, and we don't really know the why or how of those voting leave - because the vote wasn't devised in a manner to determine that.

But, again, that wasn't the only process available. I'll point again at the example of Scotland where decades of political debate and campaigning resulted in a detailed description of the reasons for Independence and a vision of what independence would look like, expressed as a lengthy white paper describing how the Scottish Government would enter negotiations for Independence if they got a Yes vote. A white paper approved by the Scottish Parliament. That was a process that lead to a simple questions "Do you want Independence?" with the clear caveat that the Scottish Government would seek to negotiate terms as close as possible to the white paper.

Put simply, if you want to put a simple question on a referendum (and, I don't see any realistic alternative) then the only way to do that is to put in a considerable amount of effort to define the parameters of the question - an effort that the Leave campaign monumentally failed to do. We should have had the decades of work that goes into building a coherent and relatively unified campaign to leave the EU, probably with an electable party championing it. All that work of talking to constituents about their concerns and visions. Parliamentary debates, Parliamentary Committees, building support in Parliament for Brexit with a clear vision of why and how.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
quote:
To answer the simple question "shall we leave?" without any clue about where we go afterwards is just plain daft.
But at that rate, you never go out of your front door.
Eh? Can you explain that a bit more?

I wasn't trying to say "never go out of your front door", but rather to say "never go out of your front door without an intention for where you are going". And, make some reasonable preparation for the excursion.
 
Posted by TurquoiseTastic (# 8978) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
Yes, I would have preferred it a lot more if the remain side had won. But I do get a bit fed up of people criticising the GBP when there is zero probability of us having to cope with an ultra-right party, which is what we might have had if we'd never had a referendum.

This is far too optimistic. I think we are still very likely to have to cope with an ultra-right party. In fact I reckon ultra-right poeple and parties in the UK have received a good shot in the arm from the result of the referendum.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
Aren't UKIP ultra-right? I notice their new leader saying that the NHS should be dismantled, sounds pretty right wing to me.
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TurquoiseTastic:
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
Yes, I would have preferred it a lot more if the remain side had won. But I do get a bit fed up of people criticising the GBP when there is zero probability of us having to cope with an ultra-right party, which is what we might have had if we'd never had a referendum.

This is far too optimistic. I think we are still very likely to have to cope with an ultra-right party. In fact I reckon ultra-right poeple and parties in the UK have received a good shot in the arm from the result of the referendum.
Given that UKIP appear to be cheering on the Fash in Austria and France, Trump in the US and Mr Putin generally, I'd say we have a far-right party and the government is committed to it's major policy commitment.
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
quote:
Originally posted by TurquoiseTastic:
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
Yes, I would have preferred it a lot more if the remain side had won. But I do get a bit fed up of people criticising the GBP when there is zero probability of us having to cope with an ultra-right party, which is what we might have had if we'd never had a referendum.

This is far too optimistic. I think we are still very likely to have to cope with an ultra-right party. In fact I reckon ultra-right poeple and parties in the UK have received a good shot in the arm from the result of the referendum.
Given that UKIP appear to be cheering on the Fash in Austria and France, Trump in the US and Mr Putin generally, I'd say we have a far-right party and the government is committed to it's major policy commitment.
Farage was always trying to prevent UKIP's right-wing populism spilling over into something much nastier, and spent quite a bit of effort keeping the worst of it in check. Some of his supporters, including councillors and MEPs were way beyond him and now that Farage isn't in charge we'll see just how nasty UKIP really is.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:

Farage was always trying to prevent UKIP's right-wing populism spilling over into something much nastier, and spent quite a bit of effort keeping the worst of it in check.

This seems to have been largely a tactic about plausibile deniability and maintaining a certain level of electability.

I expect there are many on the right who feel that post Trump the calculus has changed.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
At last, we can tell the Pakis to go home, and let's smash the NHS, what a relief.
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
Alan C:
quote:
Eh? Can you explain that a bit more?
Sure. If you really really believe that the GBP were "without any clue about where we go afterwards" then I think you under-estimate them considerably.

If, when pressed, you would admit that they did have a clue, but lacked a lot of the details then I think you are too risk-averse.

My niece-in-law and family are emigrating to France to start a sort of activity centre. So if you asked if they have a clue where they're going, then yes: France to run a sort of activity centre. Do they have details beyond that: No. Could it fail: Actually I think it's quite probable. But I don't think they're being plain daft - they're taking a risk.

Of course, it you have no clear motivation in doing something risky, like leaving the EU, the issue of risk becomes a bit irrelevant. But to a lot of Brexiteers, this means a lot to them, and they find the degree of risk acceptable to achieve what they want. You don't, neither did I, but that doesn't make them plain daft.

Mind you the biggest risk never happened. Boris.

My reasons for voting remain were in no particular order:

- Countries within the UK especially Ireland, where the fact that the Republic is likely to be badly hit will add to the tensions. That is a large risk, but not primarily or exclusively economic.
- The Donald - and that one came true. That's really shorthand for Geo-political security.
- Boris. Or even worse - Gove. We escaped that.
- Yoof. Although the fact that they could get of their arse to vote tempers that a bit. They should've won it.

BTW and forgive me for being intrusive - but are you, by any chance, Scottish? If so you're opinion on the SNP would be interesting. My Scottish rellies are v. anti - solid Labour - and mention SNP in the same breath as UKIP.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
Alan C:
quote:
Eh? Can you explain that a bit more?
Sure. If you really really believe that the GBP were "without any clue about where we go afterwards" then I think you under-estimate them considerably.

If, when pressed, you would admit that they did have a clue, but lacked a lot of the details then I think you are too risk-averse.

I would say that probably for the majority who voted Leave (excluding the protest voters) people did have a clue about where they wanted to go - but, there was no consensus about where to go. Some voted to leave the single market, others for greater sovereignty within the single market, some for increased controls on immigration, others for keeping Spanish fishermen out of British waters, some to have more control over the miniscule amounts the UK sends to Europe ... all sorts of different ideas about what they wanted. Though I do think there was a large vote for "just get out, and we'll sort it out afterwards".

I do believe that the British people were denied crucial information about where the UK was aiming to position itself post Brexit. Not just the public, the government is flailing around at the moment without a clue for exactly the same reason - they've decided that a purely advisory referendum has compelled them to an action that very few in government want without the basic information of what the Leave campaign wanted in the first place.

Is that just a question of risk? Well, no. Whatever form of Brexit would have had risks - the biggest being that negotiations with the rest of the EU, and other nations, would fail to achieve the desired form of Brexit. The specific risks would be different depending on what the intention was. But, to have no plan whatsoever takes risk to a whole new level.

It's like setting out for a car journey. If I'm going to visit my mum I know I will need to fill the car with petrol, and plan to top up along the way (or, take the petrol can). I will plan to stop at particular places. I will have a clue about how long it will take. But, there are risks. A lot of road, delays which mean I stop at different places and get there late. And, there's always a small risk I won't make it at all. Those are risks, but we take them because visiting mum is a good thing and worth it. Conversely, we could just decide it's time to get the car out of the garage and drive into the wilderness, with no map or sat nav, no plan to go anywhere in particular, and a quarter tank of petrol hoping it will be enough. Add in a car full of back-seat drivers giving conflicting instructions whether to turn left or right at the junction and it's a recipe for disaster, and most would say totally stupid.

quote:
My niece-in-law and family are emigrating to France to start a sort of activity centre. So if you asked if they have a clue where they're going, then yes: France to run a sort of activity centre. Do they have details beyond that: No. Could it fail: Actually I think it's quite probable. But I don't think they're being plain daft - they're taking a risk.
Exactly, they have a plan for what they want to do. They've presumably done some preparation - learnt French, scoped out what sort of activities there is a market for, identified approximately how much it will cost to buy/rent a centre and equip it, how many staff they need - and, made sure they have a budget to cover that and some contingencies. Good luck to them. Hopefully they won't find themselves shipped back to the UK or needing to obtain work and residence visas in a couple of years.

That is only sensible. Of course, we've probably all heard stories of people who feel called by God to missionary service overseas, so take the bus to the airport with the cash in their pocket and get a ticket for the first plane they can get on. Some would call it incredible faith in God, others stupidity. But, that's effectively what this country has done. Got on the first flight out of the EU and trusting that it'll land somewhere nice.

quote:

BTW and forgive me for being intrusive - but are you, by any chance, Scottish? If so you're opinion on the SNP would be interesting. My Scottish rellies are v. anti - solid Labour - and mention SNP in the same breath as UKIP.

Actually, I'm English. Born and raised near London. But, I've lived here more than 20 years. I have a lot of time for the SNP, they've grown in political stature over the last 20 years. There is much that they have done in government that I like. I arrived here as a LibDem supporter, but any chance of voting LibDem vanished with the coalition (if I move back to England then the LibDems come back onto my radar). I also vote Green when there is a candidate - especially the top up seats for Holyrood. I keep thinking about joining the SNP, or the Greens, but never quite get around to it. It is obvious to me that much of the policy from Westminster is not fit for purpose in Scotland (actually, a lot of it makes no sense for the rest of the UK too, IMO. But then I'd never vote Tory and recently Labour have been adopting Tory policies too). I believe Scotland would be far better off independent of Westminster, within the European Union. Of course, the UK as a whole would be a lot better off staying within the EU.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
But Alan, it is a simple question. Leave means "cease to be a member of the EU". What is so hard to understand about that?

That is a simple question. But, tied in with that is the question of "and, then go where?". Do we leave the party early to go home for an early night, go to the pub, go to a club, go to another party?

To answer the simple question "shall we leave?" without any clue about where we go afterwards is just plain daft.

I don't disagree with that , save for what follows - and this is going to be my last post on this, I promise.

Alan, you're arguing for a rational approach. The Leave side was never rational, but was purely emotional. It started with the appreciation that by and large, the UK has never accepted that it is a part of Europe in any sense. From that starting point, the catchy slogan "Let's Make Britain Great Again" was adopted. While it has absolutely no content it served its purpose of getting the Leave supporters to the polls,.

So those who campaign for Real Ale (similarly romantic and irrational), who worship every nut and bolt of Great Western locos, thought Morgans and HRGs were the only real cars after WW II (while the rest of the world wondered if they were cars at all, rather than the left-overs from a Meccano set), and all the others voted to Leave. No thought but lots of emotion. Indeed, does Boris Johnson have any capacity for thought?

So that's the first reason that your campaign for your approach was never going to get anywhere. The second is that any programme for negotiations put to the voters would have had little force afterwards. Let's assume that the Leave campaign had been able to work out a detailed programme to argue. What effect would that have had on the UK negotiators? Would they have been bound to follow that and go no further?
Then here's the EU line, vey simple and for the UK negotiators very worrying - no negotiations until and unless there's the Article 50 notice. Time then runs, and the EU has the upper hand. 2 years later, and the UK is out.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
[QB]


So that's the first reason that your campaign for your approach was never going to get anywhere. The second is that any programme for negotiations put to the voters would have had little force afterwards. Let's assume that the Leave campaign had been able to work out a detailed programme to argue. What effect would that have had on the UK negotiators? Would they have been bound to follow that and go no further?
Then here's the EU line, vey simple and for the UK negotiators very worrying - no negotiations until and unless there's the Article 50 notice. Time then runs, and the EU has the upper hand. 2 years later, and the UK is out.

This makes it sound like the EU could force the UK to leave after 2 years. I'm pretty sure that's not the case. 2 years is the minimum time allowed for exit negotiations who then have to be agreed by everyone.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
AIUI, it is not that the EU can ten force the UK to leave - the 2 years day is reached and the UK then automatically ceases to be a member. It is a consequence of the treaty.

[ 05. December 2016, 19:38: Message edited by: Gee D ]
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
A formal limit over the negotiations period might be enforced or threatened if the negotiations got bogged down. Realpolitik suggests that a rigid enforcement is unlikely. But it feels that it will be a messy divorce.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
I think there was a precedent set with Greenland. In any case, 'stopping the clock' has been used before in EU negotiations.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
I think there was a precedent set with Greenland. In any case, 'stopping the clock' has been used before in EU negotiations.

Again, while that may be true of negotiations, the Treaty is not something that can be altered on the run as it were. The notice is given and membership then ends on the second anniversary regardless of any negotiations. There's a difference between negotiations and status, as it were. Indeed, the parties could agree to continue negotiations after the 2 years has passed, should they choose.
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:

So those who campaign for Real Ale (similarly romantic and irrational)

[Mad]

Among the many, many reasons for loathing Mr Farage, near the top of the list is the fact that real ale will now forever be associated with UKIP.
 
Posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider (# 76) on :
 
Aye. I don't understand what's irrational about CAMRA.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
Real Ale is as bad as any English beer, flat and warm. Best not drunk, may help clear blocked drains (and now add any other insults you like). The point is that CAMRA really is romantic, in the same manner as making Britain Great again in the revival of an imagined 1950s. That totally ignores the fact that economic power had swum the Atlantic by 1914 at the latest; the effect of WW I was to complete the swim and make the US a creditor rather than a debtor nation.
 
Posted by Leorning Cniht (# 17564) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
Real Ale is as bad as any English beer, flat and warm. Best not drunk, may help clear blocked drains (and now add any other insults you like). The point is that CAMRA really is romantic [..]

CAMRA is romantic because we should all drink the cold fizzy product of the leader of the Western World? All Hail Budweiser, King of horse toilets?

(In fairness, my adopted country makes a considerable range of tasty (and mostly cold and fizzy) beers, not just the mass-market swill. I assume you lot make something better than Fosters and Castlemaine XXXX?)

CAMRA is a campaign for beer with flavour, and character, and individuality. And taking off the rose-tinted spectacles, one of the things about character and individuality is that sometimes it's shit. If you want to drink mass-market lager and eat at MacDonalds, be my guest. Every meal you have will be exactly the same as every other meal, and you can eat it on a plastic seat sculpted to the shape of the average buttock.

I'll pass. I'll take real ale and real food over ersatz and eating-by-numbers every day. And the price I pay for that is that, every now and then, a pint of Old Man's Todger tastes like, well, you see where I'm going.

But it doesn't happen very often.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
I knew that I should not have referred to CAMRA - as I had feared, that may well take away from the real substance of my post, namely that the Leave argument was devoid of any substance and fell back into simplistic sloganeering,
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
Alan C:
quote:
I believe Scotland would be far better off independent of Westminster, within the European Union. Of course, the UK as a whole would be a lot better off staying within the EU.
We (maybe just I) are going around in circles a bit, and maybe I should take a vow of silence on this thread for a bit. But . .

I think the quote above gets near the problem of pursuing a vision in the face of risk.

I can't see how you could hope that the Scottish people would ever be in a position to have a referendum to leave the UK where the subsequent accession to the EU was known to be at the very least highly likely, and preferably certain, no matter how committed the SNP would be to it. You must know that everyone would downplay this possibility, especially those countries which have similar situations, like Catalonia in Spain (not even to mention Belgium(s)).

If this is true, you either give up the vision or go with it despite a considerable risk. Which is what was done by those who believe UK would be far better off independent of Brussels, within a remaining close relationship with the EU.

I think I may have sort of said this before. I believe that it is better that the EU stay in the EU and Scotland in the UK, but I fully understand those with a different view who are prepared to see it realised despite the inevitable risk.

BTW. Here's a real referendum question.
"Do you approve the text of the Constitutional Law on 'Provisions for exceeding the equal bicameralism, reducing the number of MPs, the containment of operating costs of the institutions, the suppression of the CNEL and the revision of Title V of Part II of the Constitution' approved by Parliament and published in the Official Gazette n° 88 of 15 April 2016?" (c) Matteo Renzi 2016

[ 06. December 2016, 08:25: Message edited by: anteater ]
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
Alan C:
quote:
I believe Scotland would be far better off independent of Westminster, within the European Union. Of course, the UK as a whole would be a lot better off staying within the EU.
We (maybe just I) are going around in circles a bit, and maybe I should take a vow of silence on this thread for a bit. But . .

I think the quote above gets near the problem of pursuing a vision in the face of risk.

I can't see how you could hope that the Scottish people would ever be in a position to have a referendum to leave the UK where the subsequent accession to the EU was known to be at the very least highly likely, and preferably certain, no matter how committed the SNP would be to it. You must know that everyone would downplay this possibility, especially those countries which have similar situations, like Catalonia in Spain (not even to mention Belgium(s)).

Which is why the independence White Paper was for independence from Westminster with the aspiration to retain membership of the EU (or, plan B to seek re-admission if the existing membership could not be continued). I don't think anyone pretended that there was any certainty. Generally "Project Fear" overplayed the risks to the point of saying it wouldn't happen, and the Yes campaign probably painted it as an easier process than it would be.

quote:
I believe that it is better that the EU stay in the EU
Yes, that would seem to be a good idea.

quote:

BTW. Here's a real referendum question.
"Do you approve the text of the Constitutional Law on 'Provisions for exceeding the equal bicameralism, reducing the number of MPs, the containment of operating costs of the institutions, the suppression of the CNEL and the revision of Title V of Part II of the Constitution' approved by Parliament and published in the Official Gazette n° 88 of 15 April 2016?" (c) Matteo Renzi 2016

Absolutely. A "yes or no" question that relates to a particular Act of Parliament, that has already been extensively discussed and passed by Parliament, seeking approval of the electorate. That's how to organise a referendum.
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
Ho ho. I corrected my EU in EU slogan, but somehow it didn't get through.

Mind you, would Cameron have won that referendum?
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
A formal limit over the negotiations period might be enforced or threatened if the negotiations got bogged down. Realpolitik suggests that a rigid enforcement is unlikely. But it feels that it will be a messy divorce.

That appears likely. The EU's chief negotiator has set a date of October 2018 for the conclusion of negotiations, and also warned against "Cherry picking" on issues like the single market.

Supreme Court or not, the government is going to have an uphill struggle getting any kind of deal.
 
Posted by rolyn (# 16840) on :
 
It'll be interesting to see how much energy the government has left once it has surmounted that hill. It still might try and sneak an Election first.
I notice we are still getting the odd Theresa crowd pleaser coming from the radio news. Will the Brexit mob be a soft touch for a Tory victory next Spring she wonders.
 
Posted by Eirenist (# 13343) on :
 
Boris for Trump's Secretary of State?
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
No cat among the pigeons delivered by the people of Sleaford. Even doubling their share of the vote wasn't enough for the LibDems to make an impact - though, a turn out almost half that of the general election was also very disappointing.
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
A by-election in December is a recipe for low turnout.

Remain voters swinging to Lib Dems, albeit not in large enough numbers to have much impact (they were the only party to increase their numbers, although given their abysmal showing in 2015, the only way was up),. otherwise a general verdict of "in Theresa May we trust". A bad night for UKIP, who lost votes and came a poor second and a really bad night for Labour who look likely to shed such swing voters as they retained in 2015 to the Tories, Leave voters to UKIP and Remain voters to the Lib Dems.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
The EU's chief negotiator[/URL] has set a date of October 2018 for the conclusion of negotiations, and also warned against "Cherry picking" on issues like the single market.

Supreme Court or not, the government is going to have an uphill struggle getting any kind of deal.

And it seems they aren't interested in a transitional deal anyway (and believe they know the needs of business better than the business community) :

http://twitter.com/ftwestminster/status/807156000394395648

Article is paywalled, but going via the twitter link seems to work.
 
Posted by Humble Servant (# 18391) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
No cat among the pigeons delivered by the people of Sleaford. Even doubling their share of the vote wasn't enough for the LibDems to make an impact - though, a turn out almost half that of the general election was also very disappointing.

A really disappointing result. The people of England have given up. Brexit will go through after all. The banks will leave the City and we'll have no income. Low productivity will keep foreign investors away and we'll have to sell our labour cheap and slash corporation tax to have any income whatsoever. If the millionaires won't accept higher taxes, the rest of us will be on starvation wages within a few years. Forget a lost decade - we're heading for far worse than that.
But I mustn't say these things because I'm just talking the country down.
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Humble Servant:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
No cat among the pigeons delivered by the people of Sleaford. Even doubling their share of the vote wasn't enough for the LibDems to make an impact - though, a turn out almost half that of the general election was also very disappointing.

A really disappointing result. The people of England have given up. Brexit will go through after all. The banks will leave the City and we'll have no income. Low productivity will keep foreign investors away and we'll have to sell our labour cheap and slash corporation tax to have any income whatsoever. If the millionaires won't accept higher taxes, the rest of us will be on starvation wages within a few years. Forget a lost decade - we're heading for far worse than that.
But I mustn't say these things because I'm just talking the country down.

I'm looking on the brightside. Now that Farage has gone UKIP look utterly broken, not to mention pointless. They were always going to get votes in Lincolnshire: it's that kind of place. The LibDems and Labour now have two years to show that they have something better to offer.

Labour don't have a pro- or anti-Brexit position whereas the LibDem position is resolutely anti-Brexit, so they have a better chance of putting something in place, and can add that to the "Things would have been a damn sight worse between 2010 and 2015 without us" line, which is more apparent as the days go by.

Frankly I don't see Brexit happening. Davis, Fox and Johnson will fall on their swords (I think Boris must have been shown a yellow card by now). The government then comes up against the most serious problem, namely that the talent pool is desperately shallow.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
It's not a surprising result. This is prime Brexit country - I can look out my window, and the nearest Remain area is Norwich, across acres and acres of red, white and blue English men and women.

Labour are in danger of being squeezed. The Lib Dems could attract Remain voters, and obviously Tories will vote Tory, and UKIP will attract those who think it's not good enough. Labour has a more nuanced, or perhaps confused, position, but this is tricky in a polarized situation.
 
Posted by Rocinante (# 18541) on :
 
Labour are the only party without a strong narrative on Brexit - the Tories have "we're getting on with implementing the will of The People", UKIP have "we'll make sure it happens", and the Lib Dems have "it's a terrible mistake".

Labour have to finesse their position to avoid losing the metropolitan lefties if they come out in favour, or the working class core vote if they come out against. "We're going to hold the government to account but then back them anyway" isn't a great vote winner. Until Brexit moves off the top of the agenda (and how many years will that be?) Labour are going to have problems getting heard.

I don't think Sleaford tells us anything much, it's solid Tory country. The Lib Dems will be disappointed not to have scored another big shock, but they can take comfort that their recovery seems to be continuing.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
The Tories have a kind of Schrödinger's Brexit at the moment, as nobody knows what it is, including them. This has an advantage, as they can keep spinning it out, appearing to hold the keys to the kingdom, yet it is also full of hazard in the long term, as when it actually becomes real, some people will be disappointed.

Labour are in a bad position. They seem caught between leaning towards UKIP, immigration is bad for our white people, and leaning towards LibDems, we need soft Brexit. I think Starmer looks articulate and competent, but that ain't enough.
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
The Tories have a kind of Schrödinger's Brexit at the moment, as nobody knows what it is, including them. This has an advantage, as they can keep spinning it out, appearing to hold the keys to the kingdom, yet it is also full of hazard in the long term, as when it actually becomes real, some people will be disappointed.

Labour are in a bad position. They seem caught between leaning towards UKIP, immigration is bad for our white people, and leaning towards LibDems, we need soft Brexit. I think Starmer looks articulate and competent, but that ain't enough.

The two main parties are in similar positions but in one case it's obvious and in the other it's only apparent. Both are divided over Brexit, both have weak leadership, neither really has a coherent plan and both are torn between sections of their base which want radically different outcomes (embittered but comparatively wealthy boomers vs. the City in the Tories case, metropolitan lefties vs. working class northerners in Labour's). The difference is that Mrs May has hit upon the expedient of governing through enigmatic slogans that would do credit to Ambassador Kosh - Brexit means Brexit, We want a red, white and blue Brexit, We will meet in Red 3 at the hour of scampering.

This is all fine, as far as it goes, but cometh the hour of negotiating Mr Rubber is going to have to make the acquaintance of Mr Road. When the negotiations begin in earnest they will happen against the backdrop of withering commentary as the gulf between aspiration and reality hits home on the one hand, and Mr Farage, and the Tory Leavers on the other, operating as a kind of Greek chorus crying out "Woe! Woe! I See Brexit Betrayed". At which point her commanding lead in the polls will look distinctly less commanding, I should imagine.
 
Posted by TurquoiseTastic (# 8978) on :
 
But who will the lead be over, Callan?
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
Yes, good analysis. If I was her, I would time an election (if she can engineer one), before the heady fumes of coulda woulda shoulda Brexit have dispelled. But I would think that she will win anyway, even if the hard-liners go over to UKIP.

I think Labour could hammer at issues like the cuts and the NHS, and the dangers of hard Brexit, but I don't know if they can withstand the hysteria over Brexit. The shouts of 'traitor' are going to get louder.
 
Posted by Rocinante (# 18541) on :
 
Labour may be trying to keep their hands out of the blood as far as being pro or anti Brexit is concerned, then they can be in a position to benefit from any backlash. Seems to be about the only option open to them anyway, also one not open to the Tories. As Callan says, being in the driving seat the Tories will eventually have to decide which road to take.
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
It's almost as though Labour members and friends voted for the guy with no leadership skills, without the confidence of his MPs, and without a consistent position on Europe, in place of the guy who wanted Labour to lobby unambiguously for Britain to remain or rejoin the EU.
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
Also I noticed that the Richmond Labour Party has more members than actually voted for their candidate ...
 
Posted by Rocinante (# 18541) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
Also I noticed that the Richmond Labour Party has more members than actually voted for their candidate ...

I don't think we can read too much into that, the usual by-election caveats apply. Labour members may have lent their votes in order to register a protest against Brexit in this well-heeled pro remain area. If they defect permanently here and elsewhere then Labour clearly has a problem, but we need more evidence before we can say that is happening.
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
Also I noticed that the Richmond Labour Party has more members than actually voted for their candidate ...

I don't think we can read too much into that, the usual by-election caveats apply. Labour members may have lent their votes in order to register a protest against Brexit in this well-heeled pro remain area. If they defect permanently here and elsewhere then Labour clearly has a problem, but we need more evidence before we can say that is happening.
Add to which that the local MP ran a horrible campaign against Sadiq Khan in the Mayoral Election. It's understandable if people put giving Zac Goldsmith a kicking ahead of voting against Sarah Olney.
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
Wot? Voting for the triangulating neoliberal Tory-cuts-enablers on the grounds of electability? Surely the Corbynistas are above such ideological compromises ...
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
All that Labour can do right now is wait out this period of collective insanity. I think that opposing Brexit would be suicidal, especially in some areas.

If some ex-Labour voters think that voting Tory/UKIP/Brexit will bring them prosperity or whatever, then they have to test that out.

2020 is a long way off, and we don't know what will have happened, to Brexit, to the Tories, or to Labour. I can't see any alternative.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
I have just discovered that my speech-to-text software transcribes "Brexit" as "breaks it".

(It often seems to be some sort of Delphic oracle).
 
Posted by Rocinante (# 18541) on :
 
The latest YouGov poll makes good reading for the LibDems:

CON 42%, LAB 25%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 12%, GRN 4%

Fieldwork was done shortly after the Richmond Park result, so they probably got a boost from that, but they are trending up. If they can start consistently polling ahead of UKIP, that will be significant IMO - the main anti-Brexit party beating the main pro-Brexit party. Indeed, if you include the Greens as an anti-Brexit party, we are already there.

The Tories have been on 40+ for nearly 2 months now, which is stunning given the almighty mess they've made of governing the country, but this surely represents a ceiling for them from which the only way is down.

Pretty dire for Labour, and no doubt there'll be the usual "Labour unelectable under Corbyn, yada yada", but if Owen Who had won the leadership, Labour would have come out strongly against Brexit, which would not be a good move given that 70% of Labour-held constituencies voted to leave. The problems with Brexit will become all too apparent over the next year or so, and then the Tory's aura of all-seeing competence will start to fade.

Conversely if Labour came out for Brexit they'd lose the metropolitan vote and people would doubt their sincerity. Getting out of this hole will take patience and guile, qualities which are in rather short supply in today's Labour party.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
the main anti-Brexit party beating the main pro-Brexit party. Indeed, if you include the Greens as an anti-Brexit party, we are already there.

And, the SNP who already have a larger parliamentary presence than the LibDems and Greens combined.
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
The Tories have been on 40+ for nearly 2 months now, which is stunning given the almighty mess they've made of governing the country

The almighty mess you think they've made of governing the country. Obviously a lot of people disagree with you on that point. Don't mistake your opinions for facts.
 
Posted by Rocinante (# 18541) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
The Tories have been on 40+ for nearly 2 months now, which is stunning given the almighty mess they've made of governing the country

The almighty mess you think they've made of governing the country. Obviously a lot of people disagree with you on that point. Don't mistake your opinions for facts.
David Cameron was by common consent one of the worst Prime Ministers of modern times, if not ever. I certainly don't know anyone who has a good word to say about him, or Osborne or their misguided austerity policies. And yes, I know quite a few leave voters.

Mrs May has managed to make herself quite popular by not being Cameron, by not saying anything about Brexit beyond obscure Delphic slogans, and by deploying the occasional dead cat (see grammar schools). As said in posts passim , once she has to decide what sort of Brexit to pursue, the fragile coalitions that are the Tory party and the Brexit vote will start to fragment.

I think that the Tory lead is soft, consisting largely of a new leader bump assisted by an opposition in disarray. At the moment a plurality of people regards the current government as the least worst option, but it is not well-loved.

I'm sure her inner circle are screaming at her to go for an early election.
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
The Tories have been on 40+ for nearly 2 months now, which is stunning given the almighty mess they've made of governing the country

The almighty mess you think they've made of governing the country. Obviously a lot of people disagree with you on that point. Don't mistake your opinions for facts.
The cornerstone of the Cameron's Prime Ministership was George Osborn's "Austerity" policies which were designed to reduce the deficit. The basis was to get people back to work, but all that did was create a lot of part-time, zero-hours and casual jobs, which was exactly the work that EU migrants snapped up! Moreover, it didn't cut the deficit at all, because the tax revenue on those jobs was minimal, and the persistent revisions to Osborn's projections (it'll all be sorted in five years time, repeat annually at every Autumn Statement) were rumbled such that Philip Hammond consignedit to the Round File (you know, the tin one in the corner of the office) before he even sat down.

The only reason the Tories are on 40+ is that UKIP has collapsed, Labour is in the doldrums and the LibDems are still tarred with the Coalition brush. Against that background the Tories should be on 60+.
 
Posted by Dafyd (# 5549) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
Pretty dire for Labour, and no doubt there'll be the usual "Labour unelectable under Corbyn, yada yada", but if Owen Who had won the leadership, Labour would have come out strongly against Brexit, which would not be a good move given that 70% of Labour-held constituencies voted to leave.

How many Labour-held leave constituencies care more about Brexit than an appearance of economic competence and having some solution to their problems?
I can believe that Disgusted from Tunbridge Wells puts Brexit in his top three political issues that determines how he votes. But he's voting Tory or UKIP whatever happens.
 
Posted by rolyn (# 16840) on :
 
The Tories won't even mention the word Election until well into the New Year. At the moment there is voter fatigue after the referendum and general bewilderment over events in America.

There are though two massive incentives for TM to go to the Country in 2017
1/ No one really knows how ugly the EU pullout will look come 2020
2/ Labour is in depleted condition and the Electorate simply don't know what to make of JC.

Put like that she'd be plain stupid not to pull a quickie. The Omens are way too uncertain for any politician to try and play around.
 
Posted by Rosa Gallica officinalis (# 3886) on :
 
Since the legislation was changed to give fixed term parliaments the PM can't just call an election when it suits their party. Presumably there would need to be a vote of no confidence or similar, which other parties may have the wisdom not to support until they've got themselves in a better position.
 
Posted by Rocinante (# 18541) on :
 
The fixed term parliament act was put in place to stop either of the Coalition partners pulling the rug from under the other one. It was very much of its time and is no longer required. Parliament enacted it and parliament can repeal it.

Labour would make themselves a laughing-stock if they tried to delay an election because of unfavourable polls - it's the opposition's raison d'etre to fight and win a general election as soon as possible.

What might frustrate attempts to call a snappie is a cross-party alliance of remainers worried about the large and very Brexit-ey Tory majority that would probably be returned.
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
I'd have thought the main objection to calling a snap election is that if Ms May is determined to have a plan in place to trigger Article 50 by the end of March then she simply doesn't have time to abolish the Fixed Term Parliament Act and fight an election campaign as well.
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
David Cameron was by common consent one of the worst Prime Ministers of modern times, if not ever. I certainly don't know anyone who has a good word to say about him, or Osborne or their misguided austerity policies. And yes, I know quite a few leave voters.

Common consent of whom? I could equally say I don't know a single person who would agree with you, including a number of socialists who would at least put him below Thatcher.

As for leave voters, why are you assuming they correlate to Tory supporters? There were a lot of safe Labour constituencies that voted to leave.
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
How many Labour-held leave constituencies care more about Brexit than an appearance of economic competence and having some solution to their problems?

The one I'm in for sure. Can't have a conversation about politics round here without brexit being mentioned as a good thing. And I'd wager most of the Labour seats in the old industrial areas of the Midlands, Lancashire and Yorkshire would be the same.
 
Posted by Rocinante (# 18541) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
David Cameron was by common consent one of the worst Prime Ministers of modern times, if not ever. I certainly don't know anyone who has a good word to say about him, or Osborne or their misguided austerity policies. And yes, I know quite a few leave voters.

Common consent of whom? I could equally say I don't know a single person who would agree with you, including a number of socialists who would at least put him below Thatcher.

As for leave voters, why are you assuming they correlate to Tory supporters? There were a lot of safe Labour constituencies that voted to leave.

I have pointed out above that the reason Labour can't come out against Brexit is that a lot of their own voters and members supported it. I referred to leave voters as they would be more likely to think well of Cameron, since he gave them the referendum that allowed them to realise their heart's desire to fuck up our international relations for a generation. But IME they all consider him an incompetent twit too.

Are you trying to argue that Cameron was not a terrible PM? Leaving aside the wasted years of the coalition - all those grotesquely unfair cuts and all that economic stagnation for no gain whatsoever - when was the last time a PM resigned so suddenly and in such ignominious circumstances? Even Eden staggered on for a few months after Suez.
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:

quote:
Common consent of whom? I could equally say I don't know a single person who would agree with you, including a number of socialists who would at least put him below Thatcher.
I'm sure that's not your view, and I dare say that there are socialists daft enough to believe that, but it's frankly bonkers. At the very least she was a much more effective Prime Minister than Mr Cameron. I would say of her that she was a good Prime Minister but that the human cost of her policies was, IMO, unacceptably high. Mr Cameron was a mediocre Prime Minister who achieved very little and, I suspect, will be seen to have caused great harm to the country to the end of keeping himself in office for another twelve months.
 
Posted by Leorning Cniht (# 17564) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
At the very least she was a much more effective Prime Minister than Mr Cameron.

It depends on what one means by a "good Prime Minister", doesn't it? A Prime Minister who successfully builds support for his or her agenda, and enacts significant change during his or her tenure is an effective PM. You may or may not like the results, depending on how your politics aligns with the PM's.

On the other hand, a PM who spends his or her tenure fannying about, fighting pointless battles, and generally pissing away any negotiating points he or she had, whilst not actually accomplishing any significant part of his or her aims is a pretty useless PM. If you are opposed to the PM's politics, perhaps you'd like a useless one.

On these standards, Thatcher scores highly, and Cameron scores pretty low, but the only person to score negative points is probably Deputy PM Nick Clegg.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
Nick Clegg was quite effective at moderating many tory policies (eg: welfare reforms) and so IMO scores positive points for effectiveness.

He scores incredibly massive negative points for abysmal PR, because he never told anyone what he was doing so we only became aware of it when he was no longer there to influence government policy. Which, for a politician, is practically unforgivable. And, more than enough to offset all the positives.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
As for leave voters, why are you assuming they correlate to Tory supporters? There were a lot of safe Labour constituencies that voted to leave.

And, good evidence that in at least some cases there has been a massive Bregret swing. Sunderland with 61% for Leave in June now polling a complete u-turn with the majority saying that if they had the chance to vote again it would be to remain.
 
Posted by betjemaniac (# 17618) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
As for leave voters, why are you assuming they correlate to Tory supporters? There were a lot of safe Labour constituencies that voted to leave.

And, good evidence that in at least some cases there has been a massive Bregret swing. Sunderland with 61% for Leave in June now polling a complete u-turn with the majority saying that if they had the chance to vote again it would be to remain.
do I need to flag why an internet poll in a newspaper which anyone in the world can vote on (which AIUI this was) is in no way "good evidence" again?
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
Though, one wonders about how many people from outside Sunderland would bother reading the local newspaper website to know there was a poll to vote on. Which should make it better than a poll on a national newspaper with a high social media presence that would get a lot of people voting who have no particular connection to that paper.

But, ultimately no worse an exercise in determining what people think than an un-defined question in a referendum.
 
Posted by betjemaniac (# 17618) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Though, one wonders about how many people from outside Sunderland would bother reading the local newspaper website to know there was a poll to vote on. Which should make it better than a poll on a national newspaper with a high social media presence that would get a lot of people voting who have no particular connection to that paper.


I don't know if you use twitter, but my timeline is permanently stuffed with remain campaigners sharing links and exhorting their followers to vote on every poll they can get their hands on. That and animal rights activists flooding polls on bringing back foxhunting in eg the Cornish Herald.

It's just now a thing.

Frankly, I barely take much notice of proper polling, but this sort of stuff would be laughable if it wasn't actually seriously used as ammunition for one point of view or another.

[ 11. December 2016, 12:41: Message edited by: betjemaniac ]
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
How many Labour-held leave constituencies care more about Brexit than an appearance of economic competence and having some solution to their problems?

The one I'm in for sure. Can't have a conversation about politics round here without brexit being mentioned as a good thing. And I'd wager most of the Labour seats in the old industrial areas of the Midlands, Lancashire and Yorkshire would be the same.
I'll agree that you can't have a conversation in a pub without Brexit being mentioned as a Good Thing, but that says more about Saloon Bar Man and his pals than it does about the merits of Brexit.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
I wonder how many want a Brexit which (a) would not immediately leave them financially better off (b) does not leave extra cash for the NHS (c) does not have a significant impact on overall migration (d) increases the cost of trips to the EU and/or (e) has a personal financial cost.

I appreciate that there are different understandings of Brexit and people may think different things about each of those points, but my guess is that few who voted Leave actually wants a deal which substantially leaves things economically the same or makes things worse. There are ideologs who want it at any cost, but I don't believe that is a majority.

I also read that as young people overwhelmingly support Remain and older people Leave, if we are not to leave until 2019/2020 by that stage there may well be a majority of Remain supporters as more young Remainers get to voting age and some older Leavers die.

Which appears to be a likely mathematical calculation if not something provable without a ref by when the time comes.

[ 11. December 2016, 15:12: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
I think we can account for the 17 million Leave voters by putting them into three camps (with some overlap)

One-third believing that everything wrong with the UK is due to interference from the undemocratic institutions that govern the EU.

One-third believing statements that there would be economic benefits, eg, the £350 million per day for the NHS

One-third who are, to a greater or lesser degree, xenophobic.

The first two are false (we are quite capable of fucking things up for ourselves thank you, we are no more democratic than the EU and the purported economic benefits were retracted as soon as the votes had been counted) while the third is one of those things you find pretty much everywhere: it's part of human nature to prefer people more like oneself, even if one is a tosspot, although it really doesn't benefit anyone.

eta: in May 2020 there should be an election. If it is a straight "in/out" fight, which isn't out of the question if invoking Article 50 is delayed to 2018 then the downsides of Brexit will be more obvious.

[ 11. December 2016, 15:35: Message edited by: Sioni Sais ]
 
Posted by betjemaniac (# 17618) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I wonder how many want a Brexit which (a) would not immediately leave them financially better off (b) does not leave extra cash for the NHS (c) does not have a significant impact on overall migration (d) increases the cost of trips to the EU and/or (e) has a personal financial cost.

I appreciate that there are different understandings of Brexit and people may think different things about each of those points, but my guess is that few who voted Leave actually wants a deal which substantially leaves things economically the same or makes things worse. There are ideologs who want it at any cost, but I don't believe that is a majority.

I also read that as young people overwhelmingly support Remain and older people Leave, if we are not to leave until 2019/2020 by that stage there may well be a majority of Remain supporters as more young Remainers get to voting age and some older Leavers die.

Which appears to be a likely mathematical calculation if not something provable without a ref by when the time comes.

Sure, but that's not going to happen in a vacuum. There will also presumably be people going in the opposite direction.

I voted Remain, primarily motivated by fear of the unknown rather than because of any particular pro-EU sentiment. In the past 6 months, my firm has had to work flat out to work out how we deal with the new reality and to be honest I've quite enjoyed it. It's scary but there are really interesting possibilities too. I'm actually being won over to it - so soft Remainers might end up switching sides just as much as the soft/protest Brexiters. I have to say if there was another referendum tomorrow I'd be more minded to give Leave a chance than I was in June.
 
Posted by betjemaniac (# 17618) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
I think we can account for the 17 million Leave voters by putting them into three camps (with some overlap)

One-third believing that everything wrong with the UK is due to interference from the undemocratic institutions that govern the EU.

One-third believing statements that there would be economic benefits, eg, the £350 million per day for the NHS

One-third who are, to a greater or lesser degree, xenophobic.

The first two are false (we are quite capable of fucking things up for ourselves thank you, we are no more democratic than the EU and the purported economic benefits were retracted as soon as the votes had been counted) while the third is one of those things you find pretty much everywhere: it's part of human nature to prefer people more like oneself, even if one is a tosspot, although it really doesn't benefit anyone.

4 camps I think - the 4th being the people that would quite like the idea of some sort of alliance, but think the one we've got is utterly incapable of reform and are so exasperated with the whole thing that they'd rather walk away on balance. That's probably the one I'm closest to, and have got closer to it since the referendum. I wouldn't put myself in any of the 3 camps you suggest.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:


I voted Remain, primarily motivated by fear of the unknown rather than because of any particular pro-EU sentiment. In the past 6 months, my firm has had to work flat out to work out how we deal with the new reality and to be honest I've quite enjoyed it. It's scary but there are really interesting possibilities too. I'm actually being won over to it - so soft Remainers might end up switching sides just as much as the soft/protest Brexiters. I have to say if there was another referendum tomorrow I'd be more minded to give Leave a chance than I was in June.

I think is highly unlikely that voters understand more today about what Brexit actually means than they did in June. But then see suppose many voted in a daft way in June, there is no telling what they'd do now - vote Leave just for the lols I suppose.

I have to say that I do wonder about the tailspin which Brexit has caused the EU and whether it is even possible for the thing to climb out. I honestly don't know if I would vote Remain today, both because the EU looks increasingly irreparably damaged and because the UK should have to face up to the consequences of what we've done.

There maybe little economic British interest in remaining in the union that we've already holed below the waterline.

If that's not totally mindblowing, I don't know what is.
 
Posted by MarsmanTJ (# 8689) on :
 
My current theory is that Brexit is going to force the EU to reform in such a way that the UK is going to be desperate to be a part of it again, and yet will have squandered the political capital to be able to do so.
 
Posted by Rocinante (# 18541) on :
 
Rejoining will only be possible once we have a new generation of politicians who aren't worried about what the right-wing press says, and a new generation of voters who are prepare to back them if that seems to be in our best interests. We may also need a new generation of EU politicians who are prepared to let bygones be bygones. If that happens at all it will be in 20 years' time or so, and God knows what state the world will be in by then.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
I expect the 2020 election will return a significant number of explicitly pro-EU MPs. I predict more than 20 LibDems, over 50 SNP, probably a Green or two, and some Labour and Conservative pro-EU MPs. That will result in a similar number, if not more, to the number of MPs wanting to Leave elected in 2015. Which, if that number of MPs was enough to pass a bill for an in/out referendum it should be enough for a rejoin referendum - though, I hope that they do it properly and have the extensive Parliamentary discussion, then with Parliamentary approval determine the terms for readmission and all the rest of the work needed before putting it to the people.

Assuming the idiocy of the current government hasn't totally wrecked the EU (though, to be honest, if the EU is that fragile it would have broken in 2008 with the economic crash and the problems faced by Greece and other nations, or over Syrian refugees) I can see a strong movement to rejoin having ascendency by 2030. I hope to live long enough to see the UK back in the EU.
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:

I voted Remain, primarily motivated by fear of the unknown rather than because of any particular pro-EU sentiment. In the past 6 months, my firm has had to work flat out to work out how we deal with the new reality and to be honest I've quite enjoyed it. It's scary but there are really interesting possibilities too. I'm actually being won over to it - so soft Remainers might end up switching sides just as much as the soft/protest Brexiters. I have to say if there was another referendum tomorrow I'd be more minded to give Leave a chance than I was in June.

FWIW my thoughts are similar, although I would probably still vote remain. The things which have struck me are:

1. Many of the economic reasons why we should stay are also reasons for thinking the EU will make a deal. Many of the reasons for thinking the EU won't make a deal are also reasons for feeling sceptical about it.

2. I'm not particularly sold on the non-economic aspects of the EU, and in this I think I reflect a lot even of the Remain camp. Since we're told that the EU is about more than economics, ISTM more honest for Britain to be out of it, and better for the EU to be able to pursue its non-economic objectives without being held back by a bunch of moaning Brits.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
Rejoining will only be possible once we have a new generation of politicians who aren't worried about what the right-wing press says, and a new generation of voters who are prepare to back them if that seems to be in our best interests. We may also need a new generation of EU politicians who are prepared to let bygones be bygones. If that happens at all it will be in 20 years' time or so, and God knows what state the world will be in by then.

Rejoining will only be possible if the UK is able to satisfy the rest of Europe that there has been a proper change of heart and mind, that the UK accepts that as a part of the EU it will not be entitled always to special deals or treatment, but rather is prepared to work with the other members.
 
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
I'm not particularly sold on the non-economic aspects of the EU, and in this I think I reflect a lot even of the Remain camp.

Whereas, for me the non-economic are more important - though the importance of the EU to reducing poverty among other nations in Europe is important as well.

The benefits of European cooperation in science and technology. The richness of cultures across Europe, and the benefits of sharing those cultures through other EU nationals coming to the UK and UK citizens moving elsewhere in Europe. Cooperation in security and policing. Our common recognition of human rights. That I admire the German government for being open to refugees, and ashamed of our borders closed to people in need. That Scandinavian welfare systems are something we should be emulating, rather than letting more and more people slide into poverty and reliance on food banks.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:

1. Many of the economic reasons why we should stay are also reasons for thinking the EU will make a deal. Many of the reasons for thinking the EU won't make a deal are also reasons for feeling sceptical about it.

I think for me the reasons for feeling sceptical about the EU's ability to make a deal are the same reasons that the fears of Federalism are overblown and silly.

Conversely, a deal that 10% worse than the current deal would be a good deal, but would still leave the UK severely out of pocket (currently the cost of the deal we have is essentially 100m a week, and 10% of the current deal is a figure quite a bit bigger than that).
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by MarsmanTJ:
My current theory is that Brexit is going to force the EU to reform in such a way that the UK is going to be desperate to be a part of it again

Most of the current travails of the EU are a manifestation of the general secular (in the economic sense) crisis that is hitting developed economies across the globe.

[ 11. December 2016, 22:31: Message edited by: chris stiles ]
 
Posted by Jane R (# 331) on :
 
Ricardus:
quote:
I'm not particularly sold on the non-economic aspects of the EU...
You think international cooperation is a bad thing? [Disappointed]

Oh, and what Alan said.

[ 12. December 2016, 07:48: Message edited by: Jane R ]
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
Rocinante:
quote:
The fixed term parliament act was put in place to stop either of the Coalition partners pulling the rug from under the other one. It was very much of its time and is no longer required. Parliament enacted it and parliament can repeal it.
According to an article in the Indie (do we trust it?) May does not have to touch the Act. All that is required is for Parliament to pass an Bill saying, sort of, "notwithstanding the Single P Act . . blah blah . . the next election will be on xx/xx/2017 due to <various reasons>", on the basis that the other parties would not oppose it, which I think is correct.

This means that the Act really would be saying, the party of the day cannot spring an Election at will without the consent of parliament. Which has some limited use.
 
Posted by anteater (# 11435) on :
 
Chris Styles: