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

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Fair. I keep hearing from Corbyn supporters on Twitter and FB how Jeremy has 'played a blinder' on Brexit so far, but he's approaching the crunch point just as much as May is. He's been dangling the General Election carrot, exciting his own support about how they can use this to get into power, but if that doesn't work, and the May deal goes down in flames, there's no more wiggle room for Labour, either. Creative ambiguity won't be an option.

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It's fascinating how close to the truth this statement comes. It will be interesting to see what historians make of this mess: maybe there are some patterns that become apparent when you're looking from half a century out, but in real time it looks as though the elites of the UK agreed to an ill-advised referendum that they fully expected to go their way and when it did not, they... basically spent a couple of years imitating a flock of decapitated chickens.

 

Urgh. The term "elites" has become completely meaningless and is totally unhelpful in any kind of adult or rational discussion. The people campaigning for Brexit - the likes of Banks, Farage, Gove, Boris and JRM - were very much members of the "elites", as much or moreso than the likes of Cameon, Blair and Osborne.

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Fair. I keep hearing from Corbyn supporters on Twitter and FB how Jeremy has 'played a blinder' on Brexit so far, but he's approaching the crunch point just as much as May is. He's been dangling the General Election carrot, exciting his own support about how they can use this to get into power, but if that doesn't work, and the May deal goes down in flames, there's no more wiggle room for Labour, either. Creative ambiguity won't be an option

 

Agreed on this. Strategic vagueness, so people don't know what you're planning and you don't have to commit until the decisive moment, can be useful in politics as in other fields, but at some point you do need to commit to a coherent, unified strategy and back it to the hilt. I think most of the rest of Labour are there (if a GE can't be triggered, pursue a second referendum and support Remain, perhaps with a pledge to reform and to invoke the controls on immigration that the EU permits), but Corbyn is not, and he needs to be. This week will be crucial on that. Given how much of Momentum support a second referendum, he could be in danger of turning some of his base (who have so far shielded him against all comers) against him.

Edited by Werthead

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2 hours ago, polishgenius said:

I'm getting really tired of people on every side running about saying 'May's deal is a bad deal! We have a better deal!'

You haven't negotiated with the EU. So it's not a deal. By pretending it's a viable option you are lying.

Especially when some of them can't even explain what their proposal would be.

2 hours ago, mormont said:

Yeah, Brexit as an idea got its start among press barons, bankers,  shady well-funded right-wing think-tanks like the Taxpayers' Alliance, Tory MPs and peers. Support for it cuts across class lines, as does opposition. The idea that it is a class issue is a grade one bit of bullish, underinformed ignorance and it was therefore entirely to be expected that this would be Altherion's take.

It also seems to have been the Brexit-supporting 'elite' that is doing the best impression of the headless chickens that Altherion describes.

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@mormont and @Werthead

I assume this has somehow slipped past you. I'll c&p the key bits here. I hope the quotes are ok with regards to copyright issues, otherwise I will remove it.

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The botched Brexit deal that Theresa May has put to parliament this week is a monumental and damaging failure for our country. Instead of the sensible agreement the prime minister could have negotiated, it is a worst-of-all-worlds deal that works for nobody, whether they voted leave or remain. [...]

But its defeat cannot be taken for granted. In an effort to drag Tory MPs back onside, May is claiming that defeat for her deal means no deal or no Brexit, because there is no viable alternative. That is false. Labour’s alternative plan would unlock the negotiations for our future relationship with the EU and allow us to move away from such a damaging backstop.

A new, comprehensive customs union with the EU, with a British say in future trade deals, would strengthen our manufacturing sector and give us a solid base for industrial renewal under the next Labour government, especially for our held-back communities. It would remove the threat of different parts of the UK being subject to separate regulations. And it would deal with the large majority of problems the backstop is designed to solve.

Second, a new and strong relationship with the single market that gives us frictionless trade, and the freedom to rebuild our economy and expand our public services – while setting migration policies to meet the needs of the economy, not fuelling xenophobia with phoney immigration targets or thresholds – makes far more sense than the prime minister’s dismal deal.[...]

The stakes could not be higher next week. If the prime minister’s deal is defeated, the government will have lost its majority on the most important issue facing the country and lost its ability to govern. The best outcome in those circumstances would be to let the country decide on the way ahead and the best team to lead it. That means a general election.

 

 

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Corbyn does emphasise the second referendum option there, so it might be that he is coming round to that position. As that and Remain are the only ways of being able to influence EU treaties. You can't do that whilst not in the club.

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Just now, Werthead said:

Corbyn does emphasise the second referendum option there, so it might be that he is coming round to that position. As that and Remain are the only ways of being able to influence EU treaties. You can't do that whilst not in the club.

That is not what he is proposing. His A Customs Union With The EU comedy routine is at work there as his declared target (after he gets elected to office that is).

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I had seen the 'we're going to be out of the EU but still have a say in their trade deals' routine, but if I stopped to post about every bit of absurdity about what people claim we can do when we're out of the EU I would never have time to do anything.

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1 hour ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

@mormont and @Werthead

I assume this has somehow slipped past you. I'll c&p the key bits here. I hope the quotes are ok with regards to copyright issues, otherwise I will remove it.

 

I am not british so if possible I would like to ask some questions.

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a new and strong relationship with the single market that gives us frictionless trade, and the freedom to rebuild our economy

How does this make sense? By nature, an agreement will establish rules that both sides have to follow. How can britan have frictionless trade and the freedom to do whatever it wants? And how do they want to have frictionless trade if both sides don t follow the same rules of market?

So the idea is that the UK leaves the EU and keeps having a saying in how EU develops its market rules so that they match what the UK wants? that the UK develop its economy how they please but the trade between the UK and EU won t need cheks or regulations?
 

How can there be frictionless trade without some solution similar to the backstop?

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while setting migration policies to meet the needs of the economy

this sounds realy scary. Like the government can send foreigners that have lived legally in the UK for years away if it is good for the economu?

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Just now, divica said:

How does this make sense? By nature, an agreement will establish rules that both sides have to follow. How can britan have frictionless trade and the freedom to do whatever it wants? And how do they want to have frictionless trade if both sides don t follow the same rules of market? 

So the idea is that the UK leaves the EU and keeps having a saying in how EU develops its market rules so that they match what the UK wants? that the UK develop its economy how they please but the trade between the UK and EU won t need cheks or regulations?

Not British either. But short answer. They can't. That's why May's chequers and Corbyn's a customs Union routine are both nonsense. Any such system can endure a wee bit of divergence (as it is within the EU's internal market). If the divergence gets too big the system becomes unworkable. So let's go with May's chequers plan (Corbyn's A Customs Union runs into the same problems anyway). May's proposal was, we will enforce two different regulatory regimes, one with the EU, and one with our other trading partners (like the US). Now The EU was/is supposed to let Britain handle both regimes, and make sure, no US standard food gets into the EU single market. And the stuff that goes from the UK into the EU is in accordance with the EU rules and standards. It's cray, and unworkable plain and simple.

As for your second paragraph. Yes, that's the nonsense Corbyn is propagating. Ofc the UK won't influence the EU's rules form the outside (d'uh). Corbyn also has another idea in mind, basically state subsidy for the UK industry, which is never ever gonna fly with the EU, as in level playing field regulations, and not giving the UK a competitive edge (why would the EU do it?).

4 minutes ago, divica said:

How can there be frictionless trade without some solution similar to the backstop?

That one makes somewhat sense, if the UK were to stay in the Single Market (or Corbyn's "A Customs Union"), then the same rules would apply to NI anyway, so no backstop required. But of course, his idea falls apart way before we reach that point (see above).

7 minutes ago, divica said:

this sounds realy scary. Like the government can send foreigners that have lived legally in the UK for years away if it is good for the economu?

No, I think that is more to new arrivals in the UK, I presume. But there are rules for inter EU migration anyway, which the UK was just never bothered to enforce anyway. So I give him the benefit of the doubt, that he means something like that.

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12 minutes ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

 

That one makes somewhat sense, if the UK were to stay in the Single Market (or Corbyn's "A Customs Union"), then the same rules would apply to NI anyway, so no backstop required. But of course, his idea falls apart way before we reach that point (see above).

But isn t the backstop the UK staying in the single market? At least what was accorded was that the whole UK would stay in the single market and costums agreement because the UK refused to let only the NI stay in the single market and have to make a border between the NI and the rest of the UK. right?

Because my problem is how can there be trade without probs if the UK doesn t stay in the single market or something similar

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3 hours ago, divica said:

But isn t the backstop the UK staying in the single market? At least what was accorded was that the whole UK would stay in the single market and costums agreement because the UK refused to let only the NI stay in the single market and have to make a border between the NI and the rest of the UK. right? 

Yes, and no. The backstop keeps NI in the Single Market. Plain and simple. It extends the backstop to the entire UK, if the UK does not come up with another satisfactory solution. I think I would start to explain it in another way (werthead or mormont can jump in and correct me or phrase it differently).

After Brexit, there will be two internal markets. The EU's single market, but also a to be somewhat newly created UK internal market (England, Wales, Scotland, NI). What the backstop does is, it keeps NI in the EU's single market, so the flow of goods and services on the Island or Ireland goes uninterrupted (from the EU to NI and vice versa), without custom checks and stuff (regulatory alignment). If the UK single market stays aligned with the EU's the backstop stays then there's little problem. If the UK (at some point) diverges from the EU (to strike a trade deal with the US for instance), May's idea is to give NI unrestricted access to the UK's singlemarket while being in the EU's Single Market then (but that's one way traffic if you will). So NI can offer its goods and services (that's the real boon for NI imho) unilateral to the UK's newly created single market. That's not on offer for any other region of the UK and quite a competitive advantage. That's what Scotland is not particularly happy about, as in, they want the same. Goods going into NI (from the UK) will have to get checked at some point somewhere in the Irish sea. That's what the DUP is throwing a tantrum about, as in, we don't want the lottery jackpot on offer, I want a flag (a Union Jack to be precise). I admit, I find the entire backstop to be somewhat confusing, too.

3 hours ago, divica said:

Because my problem is how can there be trade without probs if the UK doesn t stay in the single market or something similar

Check above. NI will be treated as defacto part of the EU's single market, no matter what. If the UK has other ideas, there will be problems/restrictions with the rest of the UK. If there's no satisfactory alternative to the backstop, that is. So if in 50 years or so, the technology for an invisible border exists, then the backstop becomes obsolete. Also, if NI at some point in the future holds a referendum to join the Republic. But that whole frictionless trade with the Irish border without some sort of customs union was the entire mess that May (or anybody else for that matter) could not solve.

 

Edited by A Horse Named Stranger

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6 hours ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

That is... one way of looking at it. But the very idea that JRM or Rupert Murdoch are not elites is laughable. The British mainstream media has been campaigning against the EU for a good while (and laid the groundwork for this), and if they are not run by elites, then our very definition of elites differs. So that makes that blue collar revolt against the elites somewhat less convincing.

I am not saying that they're not elites -- short of a revolution, you could never organize something like Brexit without support from a substantial part of the ruling class. My point was that nobody had a concrete plan of what to do in case the referendum returns an anti-EU result and they've been unable to come up with an acceptable one in the two and a half years since then.

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3 hours ago, Altherion said:

I am not saying that they're not elites -- short of a revolution, you could never organize something like Brexit without support from a substantial part of the ruling class. My point was that nobody had a concrete plan of what to do in case the referendum returns an anti-EU result and they've been unable to come up with an acceptable one in the two and a half years since then.

That may have been the biggest mistake in the process, not putting a soft Brexiteer in as PM afterwards. Cameron was an ardent Remainer so decided to leave, so the Tories put in place...another Remainer? I can see the logic that the mandate was not for a hard Brexit, at all, so a Remainer who wanted to carry out Brexit and would therefore negotiate a reasonable (ish) compromise didn't sound like too bad an idea, but the result has been this massive amount of confusion.

Putting a hard Brexiteer in would have been even more foolish, but yeah, an argument could be made that putting someone in place to negotiate a deal who fundamentally doesn't agree with it was always going to lead to this situation. But then again what other deal could have been reached? We're leaving the club and we're not going to keep the benefits of being a member of that club. Brexit means Britain being permanently weaker, poorer and less influential on the world stage and any way you cut it, that's a tough thing for a PM to negotiate.

 

ETA: not a mistake per se, but certainly a mistake from the Brexiteers' POV.

Edited by Werthead

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47 minutes ago, Werthead said:

Cameron was an ardent Remainer

I'm not sure what Cameron has said or done in his entire career that makes you think he was more than a slightly wet, wishy-washy Remainer.

Besides, I haven't yet seen this mythical 'soft Brexiteer', certainly none that were a viable candidate as PM. May's approach to the negotiations has not been that of a reluctant Remainer, either, what with setting unnecessary red lines and so on. I'm not sure any 'soft Brexiteer' would have been any different.

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On 12/7/2018 at 6:41 PM, Heartofice said:

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

Two elements here:

  1. I don't think anyone's tried to sell the EU
  2. There is a strong reason to argue the costs of leaving over the benefits of staying. 

On the first point, during the referendum everyone thought Remain would win.  The Tory party members who were "remain" didn't really want to ruin their cred with their own base (or say just how lying scum Boris and other Tory politicians were being), Corbyn was really a leaver and hamstrung labour's side, most of the papers wanted a contest to sell papers, and businesses didn't want to paste a target on themselves when Remain would win anyway.  I don't think there was a major group really pushing the case, and the whole Remain group were fractured by the different groups who were part of it, their opposing goals, and the assumption they would win.  After the referendum the result has meant that the focus is on the costs of leaving, rather than saying what is good about being in in the first place.  

Which brings me to the second point.  Part of the difficulty of explaining what is good about being in the EU is that its the status quo.  And the uninformed public simply assumes it will always be the status quo.  So when speaking of change, it is easier for a Leaver to say "you'll get status quo + X and Y", than for a Remainer to say "A and B (which you already have) is a benefit of being in the EU".  Especially when a heap of the benefits of being in the EU people don't realise is the case, so the EU doesn't get any credit for.  

As a result, it is much much easier to focus on the cost of leaving.  And only peripherally talk about what else will be lost.  Because the reality is the uninformed public doesn't truly believe they'll lose the status quo unless you make it very stark that this is the case.  You see the same issue everywhere from climate change to business who were slow to companies being slow to recognise changing trends that will impact them.  People assume the "status quo" is.  A great example is anti-vaxxers, who argue the diseases aren't that bad, ignoring the status quo is only the case due to vaccines existing and being used for decades now. 

It is a much simpler story to talk about the costs of leaving, as everyone can understand them better. 

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Am I right in getting the impression that the R-word has gone from being a dirty 4-letter word for both Labour and the Tories. But now, aside from the hard Brexiteers, the R-word is becoming the last refuge for sane politicians to salvage something from this whole mess that might stop the UK from possibly fomenting the next big global recession?

UK shitting the bed economically is going to stink up the whole world, and I don't really want that.

Though we're almost certainly headed for a global recession, so at best UK getting its shit together might stop the finger of blame for the recession being pointed in that direction.

The govt is going to ask the people to get them out of the mess they created. I wonder what will happen if another referendum votes to leave. It's still a possibility right? even with lots of anecdata about the regretters.

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