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UK Politics: Austerity has ended - More cuts to come.

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8 minutes ago, SeanF said:

You can't have an arrangement that gives you all the benefits of EU membership and none of the costs.

But, you can take the view that the costs of membership outweigh the benefits (which is my view).  The EU is not just about harmonising widget standards, or lowering roaming charges (in which case, membership would not be an issue).  But, it is about creating a new State, which I want no part of, and feel no attachment towards.   From my point of view, EFTA/EEA membership would be preferable to the present situation., as indeed is the kind of relationship envisaged in the Political Declaration.

I'd be happy to take EFTA/EEA in the short term with a view of a longer term, more organised exit from the EU. The backstop is clearly the most troubling aspect of our current situation.

 Most of the issues around leaving the EU seem to centre around the complexity of leaving and the rushed nature of our withdrawal , rather than the actual benefits of staying.. which not many people seem to be able to sell.

 

Edited by Heartofice

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25 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

The backstop is clearly the most troubling aspect of our current situation.

Not really, no.

The most troubling aspect of our current situation is that the referendum was held for internal party political reasons without any proper preparation under circumstances that allowed one side to ignore inconvenient facts, tell complete and utter lies and promise impossible things which an under-informed electorate decided they'd like to have and now nobody in government has the intestinal fortitude to admit that those things don't exist and cannot be delivered, instead preferring to set up a variety of weird, ill-advised and entirely self-inflicted obstacles designed to pander to right-wing voters because nobody in this whole affair cares one shit about the country or anything except their own political ambitions. 

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3 minutes ago, mormont said:

Not really, no.

The most troubling aspect of our current situation is that the referendum was held for internal party political reasons without any proper preparation under circumstances that allowed one side to ignore inconvenient facts, tell complete and utter lies and promise impossible things which an under-informed electorate decided they'd like to have and now nobody in government has the intestinal fortitude to admit that those things don't exist and cannot be delivered, instead preferring to set up a variety of weird, ill-advised and entirely self-inflicted obstacles designed to pander to right-wing voters because nobody in this whole affair cares one shit about the country or anything except their own political ambitions. 

While all of that is true, and I would prefer to not be in this situation, I would also prefer to be outside the EU for a variety of reasons. When the main reason to stay seems to be how impossible it is to leave then that in itself is quite troubling. 

But we are here, and the backstop is troubling. 

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7 minutes ago, mormont said:

Not really, no.

The most troubling aspect of our current situation is that the referendum was held for internal party political reasons without any proper preparation under circumstances that allowed one side to ignore inconvenient facts, tell complete and utter lies and promise impossible things which an under-informed electorate decided they'd like to have and now nobody in government has the intestinal fortitude to admit that those things don't exist and cannot be delivered, instead preferring to set up a variety of weird, ill-advised and entirely self-inflicted obstacles designed to pander to right-wing voters because nobody in this whole affair cares one shit about the country or anything except their own political ambitions. 

If the Referendum had not been held in 2016, it would have been held at some point.  In 2015, most voters backed parties that supported such a referendum.  It was not something that was inflicted on an unwilling population.

But, what it really needed was a government that was elected on a manifesto commitment to Leave, with a plan to put to the voters for ratification, rather than offering a referendum in the belief that the voters would endorse the status quo.

Edited by SeanF

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1 hour ago, Heartofice said:

When the main reason to stay seems to be how impossible it is to leave then that in itself is quite troubling. 

It isn't impossible at all. It's just that nobody up to now has been honest with the population about the costs of leaving. But at the same time, Brexiters either dishonestly claim the result is an endorsement of these costs, or maintain - long past the point of absurdity - that those costs can be avoided by thumping the table harder when talking to the EU. It's a simple refusal to face facts that is the problem here.

We can drop the backstop. It is not impossible. But the price is more than any sane person would be willing to pay. That's why the backstop exists. Yet Brexiters spent the referendum and most of the time since scoffing at any mention of it as an potential problem.

1 hour ago, SeanF said:

If the Referendum had not been held in 2016, it would have been held at some point.

Did anyone say it wouldn't?

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Britain finds itself in a ridiculous and untenable position. There seems to be growing support for a second referendum but there's also no time to organise one. There's been some talk of holding a crash referendum on a 30 day timeframe like a general election because - for once - everyone is familiar with the issue at hand, but there'd need to be a lot of horse-trading and a determination of the wording of the deal. The electoral commission also seems committed to the position that you need around 6 months between agreeing to hold the referendum and doing it, which of course is outside our current window for leaving the EU. Article 50 would need to be revoked or extended first, so that's two fairly challenging mountains to climb rather than just one. Interestingly, though, the Leave campaign appears to be making contingency plans for a second referendum, planning various pithy slogans like "TELL THEM AGAIN" and so forth.

That said, the amendment that there is no support for No Deal means that us crashing out of the EU is also effectively impossible, so something will need to be done between the vote failing (as it almost certainly will) and the exit date in March.

What a shitstorm.

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44 minutes ago, Werthead said:

Britain finds itself in a ridiculous and untenable position. There seems to be growing support for a second referendum but there's also no time to organise one. There's been some talk of holding a crash referendum on a 30 day timeframe like a general election because - for once - everyone is familiar with the issue at hand, but there'd need to be a lot of horse-trading and a determination of the wording of the deal. The electoral commission also seems committed to the position that you need around 6 months between agreeing to hold the referendum and doing it, which of course is outside our current window for leaving the EU. Article 50 would need to be revoked or extended first, so that's two fairly challenging mountains to climb rather than just one. Interestingly, though, the Leave campaign appears to be making contingency plans for a second referendum, planning various pithy slogans like "TELL THEM AGAIN" and so forth.

That said, the amendment that there is no support for No Deal means that us crashing out of the EU is also effectively impossible, so something will need to be done between the vote failing (as it almost certainly will) and the exit date in March.

What a shitstorm. 

And then, from the Remain point of view you've actually got to win the referendum. So that's like three ...

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1 minute ago, Chaircat Meow said:

And then, from the Remain point of view you've actually got to win the referendum. So that's like three ...

The same for Leave though. The polling is so close that neither side would be guaranteed victory, and either side winning by a slender majority again is going to cause the same problems.

That's why I don't think the People's Vote "vote on the final deal" thing is worthwhile, and I think a second vote should proceed strictly on the basis of a No Deal versus Remain (and the moronic idea I've seen to have a three-way question with two Leave options is preposterous).

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5 hours ago, SeanF said:

But, it is about creating a new State, which I want no part of, and feel no attachment towards.   From my point of view, EFTA/EEA membership would be preferable to the present situation., as indeed is the kind of relationship envisaged in the Political Declaration. 

Ah that superstate again. You either have a very "special" concept of a state, or you really bought into the leave press on that one. I am fairly certain I won't live to see that supposed European superstate in my lifetime.

It is the envisaged relationship? It is a envionsed relationship (to brrow from Corbyn here). If it is EFTA/EEA membership you want, I guess that can be arranged (you have to convince Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and I think there's a 4th state I am forgetting). I am not sure how taxation without representation is better than the status quo, but if you feel that is an improvement, please go ahead. How you square that with taking back control will be interesting.

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As much as I'd love a second referendum, talk of another one - especially some sort of crash referendum - just makes me nervous. Depending on what was on the ballot, of course.

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27 minutes ago, Werthead said:

That's why I don't think the People's Vote "vote on the final deal" thing is worthwhile, and I think a second vote should proceed strictly on the basis of a No Deal versus Remain (and the moronic idea I've seen to have a three-way question with two Leave options is preposterous).

It seems to me that a two part question of: 

1.  Leave vs Remain

2.  If a majority of the UK votes to Leave, which of the two possible Brexit options would you support more

a.  Some sort of Norway model

b.  Hard Brexit

 

If the majority of voters pick Leave for Option 1, then whichever of the two possible Brexits got more votes would be the official position.  This would guarantee that you avoid a Hard Brexit, since it is certain that virtually all Remainers would prefer a Norway option vs a Hard Brexit.  However, I think that is a good thing, because Remain voters should also have some say in what sort of Brexit should occur. 

This also helps eliminate the problem where a huge portion of Brexit voters seem to want an imaginary Brexit that was never remotely possible. 

EDIT: clarity

Edited by Maithanet

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1 hour ago, Maithanet said:

It seems to me that a two part question of: 

1.  Leave vs Remain

2.  If a majority of the UK votes to Leave, which of the two possible Brexit options would you support more

a.  Some sort of Norway model

b.  Hard Brexit

 

If the majority of voters pick Leave for Option 1, then whichever of the two possible Brexits got more votes would be the official position.  This would guarantee that you avoid a Hard Brexit, since it is certain that virtually all Remainers would prefer a Norway option vs a Hard Brexit.  However, I think that is a good thing, because Remain voters should also have some say in what sort of Brexit should occur. 

This also helps eliminate the problem where a huge portion of Brexit voters seem to want an imaginary Brexit that was never remotely possible. 

EDIT: clarity

That's not a bad idea actually. Sort of applying Proportional Representation to the referendum model.

I don't see it flying, although it would be a reasonable compromise.

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How about instead of asking for a unilateral exit clause of the current backstop we ask for a unilateral exit clause for the all-UK backstop and a reversion to the NI backstop. Remember, the all-UK backstop which is proving so objectionable is actually the UK's demand, the EU was only asking for the NI backstop originally. The DUP have already fucked off anyway and if we go for this idea Parliament will know that if the backstop is activated and if it does become intolerable they at least they have the choice between applying it to the whole UK or just to NI. Even if they do not use the exit clause the very fact they do have it should reassure people and reduce EU leverage.

Now obviously I am not saying the backstop for NI is not very bad, it is, and it endangers the GFA, but there are no good options here. 

Edited by Chaircat Meow

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12 hours ago, Heartofice said:

.....
Most of the issues around leaving the EU seem to centre around the complexity of leaving and the rushed nature of our withdrawal , rather than the actual benefits of staying.. which not many people seem to be able to sell.

 

12 hours ago, Heartofice said:

While all of that is true, and I would prefer to not be in this situation, I would also prefer to be outside the EU for a variety of reasons. When the main reason to stay seems to be how impossible it is to leave then that in itself is quite troubling. 
.... 

Um, what?  There are plenty of damn good reasons to stay in the EU:

  • Trade power: the EU has considerably more trade power than the UK, and will be able to negotiate much better deals than the UK can on its own.
  • Stability: the european exercise has helped maintain peace for 70 years, something never before experienced in the EU.  The UK's leaving may assist the disintegration of the EU and lead to future war.
  • Stability (2): the plans to currently leave are likely to lead to the troubles in NI to flare up again, and may directly lead to the break up of the union.  As well as reducing your power over Gilbratar. 
  • Shared services: The UK currently benefits from a range of services which are performed on a Europe wide basis.  The costs of all of these will go up, or the access will stop after leaving.
  • Trade costs: Without being in the EU system, trade costs will go up as you have to examine far more items yourselves, and have restrictions from other countries.  
  • Political power.  You are one of the USA's most important allies, because you have a seat in the EU and NATO.  Leave the EU, and your value to the USA and your world influence takes a nose dive.  You become a relatively minor player in world affairs. 
  • Banking: there is a strong chance you will lose a big chunk of your financial services sector, which provides a huge chunk of your tax revenue.  So you will have lower services, higher taxes or both.  
  • Inflation: As a minor player without much in the way of services to the world, you're likely to see the pound drop significantly in value.  This means the cost of everything you buy will go up.
  • Ageing population/employment: Currently a big chunk of the low cost employees in a range of areas (NHS, farming, imigration vets) are sourced from the EU.  You will lose this pool of resources, driving up costs and reducing services.  This will exacerbate your current issues with an ageing population, leading to likely cuts in services or pensions for the elderly, or more likely (given who votes) higher taxes on the working population and cuts to services aimed at these people (e.g. welfare).  
  • A weaker EPL: many now consider the EPL the best league in the world.  The weaker pound and poorer English will result in less overseas players, and a lower standard of football.  

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16 minutes ago, ants said:

Um, what?  There are plenty of damn good reasons to stay in the EU:


What HoI really means is that leaving the EU is damaging, and that this is something the EU does on purpose like it's some sort of protection racket.

It's really quite a brilliant argument if you're just pure Team Brexit with no care for actual reality, because it now means that once the Project Fear argument is untentable you can just accept all the bad things that go with Brexit but use them as proof of their nefarious nature and how it's morally the right thing to go it alone.

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2 hours ago, ants said:

 

Um, what?  There are plenty of damn good reasons to stay in the EU:

  • Trade power: the EU has considerably more trade power than the UK, and will be able to negotiate much better deals than the UK can on its own.
  • Stability: the european exercise has helped maintain peace for 70 years, something never before experienced in the EU.  The UK's leaving may assist the disintegration of the EU and lead to future war.
  • Stability (2): the plans to currently leave are likely to lead to the troubles in NI to flare up again, and may directly lead to the break up of the union.  As well as reducing your power over Gilbratar. 
  • Shared services: The UK currently benefits from a range of services which are performed on a Europe wide basis.  The costs of all of these will go up, or the access will stop after leaving.
  • Trade costs: Without being in the EU system, trade costs will go up as you have to examine far more items yourselves, and have restrictions from other countries.  
  • Political power.  You are one of the USA's most important allies, because you have a seat in the EU and NATO.  Leave the EU, and your value to the USA and your world influence takes a nose dive.  You become a relatively minor player in world affairs. 
  • Banking: there is a strong chance you will lose a big chunk of your financial services sector, which provides a huge chunk of your tax revenue.  So you will have lower services, higher taxes or both.  
  • Inflation: As a minor player without much in the way of services to the world, you're likely to see the pound drop significantly in value.  This means the cost of everything you buy will go up.
  • Ageing population/employment: Currently a big chunk of the low cost employees in a range of areas (NHS, farming, imigration vets) are sourced from the EU.  You will lose this pool of resources, driving up costs and reducing services.  This will exacerbate your current issues with an ageing population, leading to likely cuts in services or pensions for the elderly, or more likely (given who votes) higher taxes on the working population and cuts to services aimed at these people (e.g. welfare).  
  • A weaker EPL: many now consider the EPL the best league in the world.  The weaker pound and poorer English will result in less overseas players, and a lower standard of football.  

Well what I was getting at here was more that those in favour of Remain have rarely been able to consistently come out and sell the EU to the general public, instead focus is usually on the pains of leaving. There were very few good arguments for staying made during the referendum and there still haven't been many now either. That is not a good look and it should be far easier to sell the benefits of the EU to the public. 

I think you have done a much better job than much of what I have seen from the media to be honest. However I think a good case could be made against almost all of your points as to whether they are actually correct, or that the UK would need to be part of a large political body in order to achieve the same outcome


 

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11 hours ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

It is the envisaged relationship? It is a envionsed relationship (to brrow from Corbyn here). If it is EFTA/EEA membership you want, I guess that can be arranged (you have to convince Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and I think there's a 4th state I am forgetting).

Iceland, methinks.

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13 hours ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

Ah that superstate again. You either have a very "special" concept of a state, or you really bought into the leave press on that one. I am fairly certain I won't live to see that supposed European superstate in my lifetime.

 

I take the view that Ever Closer Union means what it says on the tin, and that when prominent politicians in France and Germany call for such things as an EU army or EU foreign minister, they mean what they say.

 

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Just now, SeanF said:

I take the view that Ever Closer Union means what it says on the tin, and that when prominent politicians in France and Germany call for such things as an EU army or EU foreign minister, they mean what they say.

 

Its also one of the only real solutions to fix the Euro.

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7 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

Its also one of the only real solutions to fix the Euro.

Now, would this be the Euro that we were all confidently told could not survive the Greek economic crisis? Just wondering.

I kind of think fixing the pound is going to be a bigger issue in the coming years. But not to worry, we can just tie its value to the dollar, its new parent currency. It'll make life easier for the US healthcare insurers and food manufacturers who'll be running the newly 'independent' Britain. 

In other news, apparently the Tory party don't appreciate that the optics of British people disrupting Irish food supplies are, to say the least, problematic.

https://www.thejournal.ie/brexit-threat-food-shortages-ireland-4381228-Dec2018/

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