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UK Politics: The Edge of Destruction

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18 minutes ago, Werthead said:

Worth noting that at one point in the 2015 crisis (when Greece's problems had been isolated and it could not longer bring down the Euro as a whole), France and Germany both agreed that they were going to kick Greece out of the single currency and possibly the EU, and it was only down to a significant intervention by Tusk and the Italians that talked them in off the ledge. That was after five or six years of Greece trying to get its house in order and just failing to do so, though.

The Italians didn't want Greece to be kicked out because of the precedent it would set for other countries that also had economic problems they were apparently unwilling to tackle, for some reason (cough).

"Temporarily" kicked out ;)

And it was because Germany and France had had enough of bailing Greece out (the Euro itself having stabilised by this point).  And then  Greece had a referendum to decide if they wanted to abide by the EU's austerity measures.  And they had an outspoken gasbag of Finance Minister who was winning no friends amongst his EU colleagues.  Tusk calmed both sides down.

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15 hours ago, Ser Hedge said:

So, in the Apr 10th summit, upon the EU's insistence that there is no flexibility around the elections, the UK can offer to make the necessary preparations, but would stand ready to cancel participation at the last minute if WA is passed before then. I don't see why the EU cannot live with that, and this allows an extension into May. The EU, can add, but if you miss this date, then you have to hold elections and the delay is for longer and you pay X more into the budget. 

Yes. That is certainly possible/acceptable. Realistically, I don't see the UK passing a WA by then. However the extension May has to file for is a long one (a year or so), and make preparations to (and possibly actually) hold the European Elections.

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What is exactly is the problem with holding European Elections?
I mean brexiters have spent years telling us everyone in the EU was unelected so they shouldn't have a problem with it.

It would be the first and only chance millions of EU citizens in the UK actually get to use their vote. The people who will be affected the most and who were made voiceless. I can't wait. I hope we all get to vote in them.

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30 minutes ago, Nevarfeather said:

What is exactly is the problem with holding European Elections?
I mean brexiters have spent years telling us everyone in the EU was unelected so they shouldn't have a problem with it.

It would be the first and only chance millions of EU citizens in the UK actually get to use their vote. The people who will be affected the most and who were made voiceless. I can't wait. I hope we all get to vote in them.

Its more of a symbolic problem than a real one.   as in we voted to leave, not have have more involvement in the EU. 

 

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32 minutes ago, Nevarfeather said:

What is exactly is the problem with holding European Elections?
I mean brexiters have spent years telling us everyone in the EU was unelected so they shouldn't have a problem with it.

It would be the first and only chance millions of EU citizens in the UK actually get to use their vote. The people who will be affected the most and who were made voiceless. I can't wait. I hope we all get to vote in them.

Money. It would cost a huge amount of money (I think the lower end figure I saw was about £40 million) to hold the EU elections, which is not a good look if we are supposed to be leaving shortly afterwards.

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1 hour ago, Nevarfeather said:

What is exactly is the problem with holding European Elections?
I mean brexiters have spent years telling us everyone in the EU was unelected so they shouldn't have a problem with it.

It would be the first and only chance millions of EU citizens in the UK actually get to use their vote. The people who will be affected the most and who were made voiceless. I can't wait. I hope we all get to vote in them.

I'd like Remainers to really engage with the European elections. 

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I'm all in favour of both remaining in the EU and of democracy, but one has to admit that European elections in the midst of negotiations to leave are likely to be a recipe for low turnout and high loony factor. Every MEP elected will be a lame duck. The only people voting will be people who feel passionately about either Leave or Remain, and they'll be looking to make a domestic political point, not to elect a good representative. It'll be a circus. 

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11 minutes ago, mormont said:

I'm all in favour of both remaining in the EU and of democracy, but one has to admit that European elections in the midst of negotiations to leave are likely to be a recipe for low turnout and high loony factor. Every MEP elected will be a lame duck. The only people voting will be people who feel passionately about either Leave or Remain, and they'll be looking to make a domestic political point, not to elect a good representative. It'll be a circus. 

True, unfortunately. 

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1 hour ago, Nevarfeather said:

What is exactly is the problem with holding European Elections?
I mean brexiters have spent years telling us everyone in the EU was unelected so they shouldn't have a problem with it.

It's politically. I can see the logic in the argument that: Britain voted leave, thus British citizens should not be forced to paricipate in that election.

And the problem really as often lies within the UK, and Corbyn and May both not being too eager about the EU elections.

1 hour ago, Nevarfeather said:

It would be the first and only chance millions of EU citizens in the UK actually get to use their vote. The people who will be affected the most and who were made voiceless. I can't wait. I hope we all get to vote in them.

Well, there was always the last previous last EU election.

Good news it's not FPTP, so vote whoever you want to vote for. It doesn't have to be Tories or Labour.

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3 hours ago, mormont said:

I'm all in favour of both remaining in the EU and of democracy, but one has to admit that European elections in the midst of negotiations to leave are likely to be a recipe for low turnout and high loony factor. Every MEP elected will be a lame duck. The only people voting will be people who feel passionately about either Leave or Remain, and they'll be looking to make a domestic political point, not to elect a good representative. It'll be a circus. 

I disagree about the low turnout factor. I think this is a good chance for all the remainers to send a message by voting, a high turnout would make a way more compelling argument for staying than abstaining.

And you can make a domestic point by not voting for the three leave parties (Tories, Labour, UKIP). That's why I said, it's not FPTP.

SNP, Plaid Cymru, the Greens, or Sinn Fein for all I care.

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30 minutes ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

I disagree about the low turnout factor. I think this is a good chance for all the remainers to send a message by voting, a high turnout would make a way more compelling argument for staying than abstaining.

And you can make a domestic point by not voting for the three leave parties (Tories, Labour, UKIP). That's why I said, it's not FPTP.

SNP, Plaid Cymru, the Greens, or Sinn Fein for all I care.

PR was what gave UKIP their platform in the EP and so brought about the referendum. If it was FPTP that would never have happened. 

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Just now, Nothing Has Changed said:

PR was what gave UKIP their platform in the EP and so brought about the referendum. If it was FPTP that would never have happened. 

Really, PR is responsible, not shitty domestic policies and blaming the EU for everything, or the British media overrepresenting Kippers?

They have 0 MPs in Westminster, which is less then say the Greens (Caroline Lucas), yet Frogface got the coverage over Lucas...

If FPTP was so wonderful, then you might explain to our US readers how it protected them from the TEA Party taking over the GOP (the ERG TEA comparissions are out there for a reason) and how it made sure Trump never won the presidency.

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2 minutes ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

Really, PR is responsible, not shitty domestic policies and blaming the EU for everything, or the British media overrepresenting Kippers?

They have 0 MPs in Westminster, which is less then say the Greens (Caroline Lucas), yet Frogface got the coverage over Lucas...

If FPTP was so wonderful, then you might explain to our US readers how it protected them from the TEA Party taking over the GOP (the ERG TEA comparissions are out there for a reason) and how it made sure Trump never won the presidency.

It is a bit rum to present PR as some sort of positive thing people concerned about Brexit can be pleased about when it did play a strong role in bringing the situation about. You don't have to like the facts but they are there.

Personally, I see no particular reason to favour one system over the other. FPTP pushes groups to form one party, where PR would enable them to form separate groups and then form a coalition. Either way, the government is going to be a coalition of different interests and perspectives, whether that's internal to one party, or represented more formally by different parties.

The issue in the US regarding the tangerine tribune seems to have come through the primary system rather than FPTP. 

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You can make that argument with regards to the voting system, it's one way to look at it. I agree/disagree with your point there to some degree. Bottom line is, you can make the case the both are equal and it comes down to personal preference with regards to PR vs FPTP. Let's leave it at that.

However, when you claim PR was responsible for this Brexit mess, it feels awfully self-serving as in my party had nothing to do with it. While I can to some degree sympathize with the notion that you want your tribe (for lack of a better word) to have very little to do with it and look for anything else to blame, but it feels as I said really self-serving when you blame it on the European Parliamentary election. Let's be honest, the British public at large doesn't really care for the European Parliament (and European politics in general), most certainly not to the degree they should. To blame it then on the voting system of the parliament Johnny British has no particular interest in...

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57 minutes ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

I disagree about the low turnout factor. I think this is a good chance for all the remainers to send a message by voting, a high turnout would make a way more compelling argument for staying than abstaining.

This what I would hope would happen.

If we do take part in the European elections I hope Remainers take them  seriously.

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5 hours ago, Nothing Has Changed said:

Personally, I see no particular reason to favour one system over the other. FPTP pushes groups to form one party, where PR would enable them to form separate groups and then form a coalition. Either way, the government is going to be a coalition of different interests and perspectives, whether that's internal to one party, or represented more formally by different parties.

If the UK parliament used proportional representation and the government was made up of a coalition of independent parties, there'd be rather more chance of an alternative to May putting together a working majority to take over. Brexit is perfectly demonstrating the woeful inadequacy of FPTP / the two party system, with both major parties committed to a disaster that half the population never supported.

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18 hours ago, Heartofice said:

Anyway, this in the Guardian today is something I wasn’t expecting to see there:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/04/customs-union-soft-brexit-trade-goods

Given that the customs union mostly affects physical trade goods, it might be thought that goods exports to the EU would be the best-performing category of the four. In fact, it is comfortably the worst, not just in recent years but over the past two decades, during which time exports have grown by just 0.2% on average.

And


Those who argue that Britain would be better off negotiating its own trade deals have a point, because the EU is not especially interested in liberalising where it is weak but the UK is strong – services.

That is crazy stupid logic.  He admits that the EU is not interested in liberalising the services sector, he admits UK services to the EU has been growing by 5.2% p.a. (and is a big part of your services base), and his only takeaway is that Britain might be better off doing their own trade deals?  I mean, WTF?  His takeaway should be - getting your service sector shut out of the EU could be a disaster. 

His questioning of the customs union is correct, but his conclusion is totally bonkers.  Even saying that the UK needs to become better at creating goods is kind of missing the point.  

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"Technical talks lasted four and a half hours, but both sides emerged cautious about how much progress had been made.

The Guardian understands the Downing Street team of David Lidington, Steve Barclay, Julian Smith, Greg Clark and Gavin Barwell spent much of their time explaining the details of the withdrawal agreement, rather than proposing movement on any of May’s red lines."

 

I don't intend to criticize the Labour delegation, in fact well done for listening, but in a way this just illustrates how complicated the issues involved in leaving are and actually how little the average MP just voting in line with the party (or party within a party cabal) whip probably understands the WA. The average MP presumably would need way more than four and a half hours of briefing.

The mere fact that the Good Friday Agreement is not compatible with anything other than staying in the EU, a basic customs union or something that is customs union+  (e.g. Norway plus, but just Norway not being enough either) was not highlighted to the public clearly earlier in the process is just infuriating. In fact, it technically makes the question asked in the referendum plainly irresponsible, giving people an impression of something that is  simply not attainable as per international treaty. There was never an option to 'just leave'.

Juncker's speech on Wednesday was pretty clear - even if you were to leave without a deal, the pre-condition to any talks with the EU about a future relationship (free-trade agreement, even a preferential-trade agreement) is you first agree to the terms in the WA first, including the divorce payment and the backstop. You can choose to call that another negotiating strategy, but all attempts to call EU 'bluffs' have so far fallen completely flat on their face in this process. 

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