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

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The BBC has been a disaster zone recently.  Equal pay scandal, publicly shamed in the Cliff Richard case, some of their most popular radio presenters walking out, Gambaccini’s harsh words against them (while still employed by them) and now this debacle.  And since they continue to defiantly defend themselves at every turn they can’t even legitimately sack the (hugely publicly salaried) managers and controllers that have led them here.  To be fair, all this stuff is faithfully reported and criticised from within their own services, which you wouldn’t see on a private broadcaster.

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Slightly concerning that our Brexit Minister today effectively told people that he had only recently learned that Britain was an island, and a lot of our trade with the continent will flow between closest link between the island and the continent.

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15 minutes ago, Werthead said:

Slightly concerning that our Brexit Minister today effectively told people that he had only recently learned that Britain was an island, and a lot of our trade with the continent will flow between closest link between the island and the continent.

I'd always thought it was a pretty well known thing - taught to all 11 year olds who didn't skip that Geography lesson, that the Channell is the busiest waterway in the world?

A matter of national pride nonetheless

Edited by Which Tyler

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I thought the bigger news with regards to Brexit was this The DUP apparently caught onto the concept that May was willing to cut NI loose on the long run in order to get the WA in place. So we have finally reached a point, where May has to abandon one of her irreconcilable positions with regards to Irish Border and Brexit.

Anyway, with regards to Johnson family story. (if anybody can tell me the exact opposite of drama, it'd be much obliged.)

Quote

Johnson, who backed remain, said the mooted deal had united him in “fraternal dismay” with his Brexit-backing brother Boris, who stepped down as foreign secretary in July saying he could not support May’s Chequers strategy.

“My brother Boris, who led the leave campaign, is as unhappy with the government’s proposals as I am. Indeed he recently observed that the proposed arrangements were ‘substantially worse than staying in the EU’. On that he is unquestionably right,” he said.

Boris tweeted his “boundless admiration” for his brother, saying: “We may not have agreed about Brexit but we are united in dismay at the intellectually and politically indefensible … UK position.”

If anybody runs into BoZo, ask him what exactly he thought the outcome of Brexit would be, and please refrain from hitting him before he starts babbling about unicorns.

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5 hours ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

If anybody runs into BoZo, ask him what exactly he thought the outcome of Brexit would be, and please refrain from hitting him before he starts babbling about unicorns.

I think Boris thought the key outcome of Brexit would be him becoming Prime Minister, everything else is unimportant by comparison.

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Just now, williamjm said:

I think Boris thought the key outcome of Brexit would be him becoming Prime Minister, everything else is unimportant by comparison.

Yes, but that doesn't explain his astonsihment (for lack of better word) abotu the choices ahead for the UK.

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I can't even get annoyed about this. Corbyn's said as much before, and since he doesn't want to stop Brexit, naturally he has an interest in making out that it is inevitable.

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I know you are not surprised. But there are still people around who believe that Corbyn is playing a long game with regards to Brexit, without realizing that Jeezer is playing a blinder to keep them onboard to get PM; outside the EU that is. Actually playing a blinder might be given Jeezer too much credit, as they refused to see or believe what is happening right in front of them.

I am not exactly sure what your hope is atm though. Cross party rebellion to force a second referendum, or just holding out and hope for IndyRef II in the not so distant future.

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I have been following these threads for a while to get a handle on Brexit and I feel like I'm still pretty confused about where things stand.  Is a second vote likely?  Given the virtual impossibility of making a Brexit deal that a majority of parliament and the EU can accept, it seems like another vote on "remain or hard brexit" is really the only option.

How quickly could a second referendum be done?  Is there a contingent of Brexit supporters that are just hoping to run out the clock and force a hard brexit? 

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A second vote seems more likely than it did a couple of weeks ago, but the devilish thing about Brexit is that it's so hard to see what might happen next.

And yes, it's been clear for some time that the hard Brexit supporters want to do just that. They'd rather a no-deal Brexit than one that permits any of their pet EU hates to continue.

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1 hour ago, Maithanet said:

I have been following these threads for a while to get a handle on Brexit and I feel like I'm still pretty confused about where things stand.  Is a second vote likely?  Given the virtual impossibility of making a Brexit deal that a majority of parliament and the EU can accept, it seems like another vote on "remain or hard brexit" is really the only option.

How quickly could a second referendum be done?  Is there a contingent of Brexit supporters that are just hoping to run out the clock and force a hard brexit? 

I’ve maintained the whole time that this is the only viable option. I still cannot understand for the life of me why they made the Brexit vote require just a simple majority. It’s among the stupidest things, politically speaking, that I’ve ever heard of.

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1 minute ago, Tywin et al. said:

I’ve maintained the whole time that this is the only viable option. I still cannot understand for the life of me why they made the Brexit vote require just a simple majority. It’s among the stupidest things, politically speaking, that I’ve ever heard of.

Nah.

The May option, involving the UK becoming a rule-taker from the EU in order to avoid a chaotic transition is still the most likely option despite Johnson's resignation. On balance, I think Parliament will vote for the exit deal, following some fresh concessions to the EU. And this was probably always the most likely outcome of the Leave vote, especially given that the victory margin for Leave was narrow. The fact Labour did relatively well in the 2017 general election on the back of anti-Brexit votes helped as well.

As for it being the stupidest thing not to demand a supermajority for leaving you're just wrong. There are constitutional precedents for this, including the 1975 referendum and the Scottish referendum in 2014. A simple majority is all that is required to exit the EU or to exit the UK. There is no comparatively strong precedent for a supermajority being necessary. You can only really insist on a supermajority if you're changing a hallowed document, seen as fundamental to the nation, like the US constitution, and the UK's EU membership just isn't that. 

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1 hour ago, Tywin et al. said:

I’ve maintained the whole time that this is the only viable option. I still cannot understand for the life of me why they made the Brexit vote require just a simple majority. It’s among the stupidest things, politically speaking, that I’ve ever heard of.

Hum, may I point to the Oval Office?

Anyway, with regards to the Brexit referendum, there are two things that win out on a stupid contest.

Interpreting an advisory referendum as binding, And holding that freaking thing in the first place to pacify some backbenchers.

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2 hours ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

Hum, may I point to the Oval Office?

Hey man, not even a plurality of us voted for him. Don't be mad at us cause we still use a totally outdated system to select our leaders! 

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14 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

I’ve maintained the whole time that this is the only viable option. I still cannot understand for the life of me why they made the Brexit vote require just a simple majority. It’s among the stupidest things, politically speaking, that I’ve ever heard of.

OK, I'm going to come back to this after dealing quickly with a minor point:

14 hours ago, Chaircat Meow said:

As for it being the stupidest thing not to demand a supermajority for leaving you're just wrong. There are constitutional precedents for this, including the 1975 referendum and the Scottish referendum in 2014.

Equally, there was also the precedent of the 1979 Scottish devolution referendum, which required not only a majority 'Yes' vote, but that this vote represent at least 40% of all registered voters, the barrier on which it actually fell despite a (familiar-sounding) 52%-48% vote in favour. So it would not have been unprecedented to add a qualifier to a majority vote in 2016. 

The reason that didn't happen is that it would have been politically impossible. The referendum was held primarily in an effort to resolve the Conservative party's long-standing internal problems on EU membership. The anti-EU wing of the party (now called Brexiteers) had been taking over the grassroots for some time and was becoming more and more strongly represented in the parliamentary party. This was taking over the political focus within the party, acting as a constant distraction, and was leading to a push for an in/out referendum. Cameron's strategy, such as it was, was to negotiate a package of concessions from the EU, hold a referendum, win it and put the issue to bed for a while if not for good. 

The problem, though, is that if he had inserted a requirement for a supermajority or minimum turnout or whatever, even if that had got through Parliament (not a given) it would sabotage the primary objective - to shut the Brexiteers up. If they'd got 52% of the vote but failed to get a supermajority, that would have redoubled their intensity, instead of silencing them. 

And Cameron does appear to have been that arrogantly sure that he would win. His preparations for the referendum were amazingly casual for such a serious issue. I've repeated this point over and over, but the fact that there was no official government document properly setting out exactly what leaving the EU meant is so astonishing to me that I still can't get over it. So it's of a piece that he would prioritise the political need to shut the Brexiteers up over the damage that would result if they won. 

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6 hours ago, mormont said:

I've repeated this point over and over, but the fact that there was no official government document properly setting out exactly what leaving the EU meant is so astonishing to me that I still can't get over it. So it's of a piece that he would prioritise the political need to shut the Brexiteers up over the damage that would result if they won. 

You fail to see the genius in that. It was sort of a political Advent calendar. You know, instead of getting a piece of chocolate everyday for 24 days in December till Christmas, you get one tasty bit of Brexit every month for 24 months. And as a special christmas gift, you will know by christmas 2018 how bad it's going to be and whether the UK crashes out or not. Merry Christmas. I'll spare you the image of May as naughty Santa running thru fields of wheat.

Sarcasm aside. The damage projections would have been cheerfully labeled as project fear. so it's debatable whether that would have shut them up. Of course, having made no preparation in case of a leave victory is beyond belief. But then again, you are arguing that May is worse as a PM than Cameron.

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4 minutes ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

The damage projections would have been cheerfully labeled as project fear. so it's debatable whether that would have shut them up.

That seems a misunderstanding - 'shut them up' was not suggesting a proper white paper would have shut anyone up (it wouldn't), but that a defeat without a supermajority or other qualification would have done so. Apologies if that was not clear.

Despite this, I would say May is still a less competent and worse PM than Cameron, because as bad as Cameron's blunder was there, May might still lead us into a no-deal Brexit by her equally terrible decisions - moving too early on Article 50, imposing unnecessary red lines, holding an unnecessary election, all done for her personal political benefit (though none turned out that way). 

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