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HelenaExMachina

UK Politics: It's Life Pfeffel but not as we know it

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You know, if Brexit does happen on October 31st, out of morbid curiosity I wish I could be there in the streets of London when the clock strikes midnight. There will be images on TV screens of the stock market crashing, New Year's eve style countdown parties in bars but hopefully not people jumping out of windows of multi-story buildings.

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1 hour ago, Ordos said:

You know, if Brexit does happen on October 31st, out of morbid curiosity I wish I could be there in the streets of London when the clock strikes midnight. There will be images on TV screens of the stock market crashing, New Year's eve style countdown parties in bars but hopefully not people jumping out of windows of multi-story buildings.

Well the stock market won't crash at the stroke of midnight, since it would have allready closed for the day.  There may well be extra fireworks.  Since it is firework month yes it's supposed to be on the 5th, maybe the weekend before and after, but it's been a long while since we didn't seem to set them off nightly for a whole month before and after.  I do predict a higher amount of Boris "guys" this year.

 

For the record I was invited to a brexit firework party that was supposed to happen in March.  

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Man, I keep forgetting the detail. Does parliament need to affirmatively vote either to request an extension (which the EU may not give), or to pass a negotiated deal (the May deal is the only one there is right now), or vote to revoke Art. 50 to prevent a no-deal Brexit? Parliament can't just vote to stop a no-deal Brexit.

Are any of those votes likely to pass? Doesn't seem so to me.

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5 hours ago, Which Tyler said:

Rhat depends.

If you mean nationalism as in "yay Britain" then no, not at all; the opposite in fact.

If you mean nationalism as a stand in for racism, then absolutely yes. I've gone form nevernhaving directly witnessed overt, hostile nationalism/racism to doing so or the immediate aftermath once or twice a month.

Same experience here, although probably with slightly more “we’ve taken our country back!” flag waving

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8 hours ago, The Anti-Targ said:

Does parliament need to affirmatively vote either to request an extension (which the EU may not give), or to pass a negotiated deal (the May deal is the only one there is right now), or vote to revoke Art. 50 to prevent a no-deal Brexit? Parliament can't just vote to stop a no-deal Brexit.

It's the Government who has to request en extension, while also explaining to the EU why they need the extra time. The Government is also the interlocutor between the EU and the UK, and the one in charge of negotiating trade deals, withdrawal agreements, future relationship agreements, etc.

Parliament could conceivably vote to reject No-Deal Brexit and order government to request an extension if no deal has been reached by a certain date, but said move is not likely to be effective. Parliament can't negotiate a deal and Boris Johnson is not willing to, so said extension would be pointless, and the EU would likely reject it. Parliament could also hold a vote of no confidence (VONC) on Boris Johnson's government. If it passes, Boris Johnson would have to hold a General Election. Under said circumstances, the EU might feel more inclined to approve an extension and see what way the election goes. The result of said election would likely be inconclusive, though.

If it really doesn't want a No-Deal Brexit, the UK Parliament should either revoke Article 50 or pass May's Deal.

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41 minutes ago, Mentat said:

If it really doesn't want a No-Deal Brexit, the UK Parliament should either revoke Article 50 or pass May's Deal.

Technically, the UK parliament can't revoke Article 50. That's again the UK Goverment, that has to formally do it. They can task the Goverment (the PM int his case) to do it, or vote in a caretaker Goverment to do it. But parliament itself is not representing the British State internationally, that's the Goverment.

Legilasture (parliament) passes laws, controls the goverment, and has control over the budget.

Executive (Goverment) executes/enforces them. Triggering Article 50 or revoking it, falls into their domain. Whether they can do so without the authorization of parliament is another issue (a domestic/legal one if you will). That was what the Gina Miller case was about, I think.

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39 minutes ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

Technically, the UK parliament can't revoke Article 50. That's again the UK Goverment, that has to formally do it. They can task the Goverment (the PM int his case) to do it, or vote in a caretaker Goverment to do it. But parliament itself is not representing the British State internationally, that's the Goverment.

Legilasture (parliament) passes laws, controls the goverment, and has control over the budget.

Executive (Goverment) executes/enforces them. Triggering Article 50 or revoking it, falls into their domain. Whether they can do so without the authorization of parliament is another issue (a domestic/legal one if you will). That was what the Gina Miller case was about, I think.

I'm not saying you're wrong, as I may be slightly out of my depth here, but are you sure? Didn't Parliament have to vote to apply A50 and initiate the whole Brexit process? Wouldn't the same principle apply to a revocation?

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4 hours ago, Mentat said:

I'm not saying you're wrong, as I may be slightly out of my depth here, but are you sure? Didn't Parliament have to vote to apply A50 and initiate the whole Brexit process? Wouldn't the same principle apply to a revocation?

That was what the GIna Miller case was about.

Article 50 was triggered with that infamous letter the English PM (May) sent to the President of the EU Council (Tusk). Gina Miller then suit her country on the grounds that such an act needed parliamentary approval (at least that's my lay understanding of it). The HoC then gave their consent post mortem. But it didn't cha(llen)nge the fact, that the Goverment was in charge of the process. Conversely you can argue that an act of parliament (to pick up on the outcome of the Gina Miller case) is required for the goverment to revoke Article 50.

BY the same logic, the EU did not negotiate with the HoC, but with British Goverment officials.

In practical terms, it makes usually very little difference in parliamentary democracies. As in the Goverments have to command a majority in parliament to form a goverment in the first place. But formally, I am pretty sure the UK goverment has to revoke Article 50.

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13 minutes ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

I am pretty sure the UK goverment has to revoke Article 50.

So, if I understand you correctly, what you're saying is the EU wont accept revocation from anyone else than the Government, but that according to UK legal process the government would need previous authorization from the HoC (but that whether they have it or not the EU might well consider as an internal UK matter and not their problem)?

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A bit simplified, but basically yes.

The UK is represented by its Goverment on an international level. The goverments negotiate and sign treaties. So the UK chosen representatives have to revoke Article 50. The reception of the notification letter started the process, not the post-mortem approval of parliament.

Thus whatever happens within the UK is really not the EU's business.

The UK goverment seems to require a parliamentary act for revocation. Which is the implication of the Gina Miller case. Of course the UK has never revoked Art. 50 before, so whether that actually needs parliamentary approval is open for legal interpration. So if a Goverment revokes Article 50 without an act of parliament (a mere motion seems to be enough), and is then subsequently sued in a UK court, well I'd think it would make life pretty interesting. My guess is, the HoC would again give its consent post mortem to fix that.

Altho, I must admit, I find the idea, of Brexiters ending up in the ECJ to argue their countries revocation of Article 50 to be illegal, pretty funny.

Anyway, that was just my lay-person reading of the legal situation, here are enough UK legal professionals to give their more well founded opinions.

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Is it fair to say at this point that BJ has no intentions of changing what he'll accept, thus all but assuredly resulting in a hard no deal Brexit? Everything I'm reading indicates that both sides are deeply entrenched in their stances.

 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

A bit simplified, but basically yes.

The UK is represented by its Goverment on an international level. The goverments negotiate and sign treaties. So the UK chosen representatives have to revoke Article 50. The reception of the notification letter started the process, not the post-mortem approval of parliament.

Thus whatever happens within the UK is really not the EU's business.

The UK goverment seems to require a parliamentary act for revocation. Which is the implication of the Gina Miller case. Of course the UK has never revoked Art. 50 before, so whether that actually needs parliamentary approval is open for legal interpration. So if a Goverment revokes Article 50 without an act of parliament (a mere motion seems to be enough), and is then subsequently sued in a UK court, well I'd think it would make life pretty interesting. My guess is, the HoC would again give its consent post mortem to fix that.

Altho, I must admit, I find the idea, of Brexiters ending up in the ECJ to argue their countries revocation of Article 50 to be illegal, pretty funny.

Anyway, that was just my lay-person reading of the legal situation, here are enough UK legal professionals to give their more well founded opinions.

That's not going to happen on BoJo's watch. So the real question while he's at the helm is whether a vote in Parliament to revoke Art 50 is all that's needed, or does the govt need to act, by sending a letter or something? In which case could BoJo simply defy the will of Parliament and let Brexit happen anyway?

Edited by The Anti-Targ

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53 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Is it fair to say at this point that BJ has no intentions of changing what he'll accept, thus all but assuredly resulting in a hard no deal Brexit? Everything I'm reading indicates that both sides are deeply entrenched in their stances.

 

No, that's not assured at all. 

1) Parliament might stop him.

2) He might flake out as the deadline approaches - he apparently still thinks the EU will blink first. 

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4 hours ago, Chaircat Meow said:

No, that's not assured at all. 

1) Parliament might stop him.

2) He might flake out as the deadline approaches - he apparently still thinks the EU will blink first. 

1) If I'm reading the tea leaves correctly only a no-confidence vote can stop him in his tracks. No other vote can actually make him fall into line. He may foment a constitutional crises by, for instance, failing to act on a vote to revoke Art. 50 and let Brexit happen "because it's what the people said they wanted in 2016 and so I am obeying a higher authority: the will of the people"

2) there are people who think his strategy is to call the EU's bluff, believing that even though the EU, correctly, concludes the UK suffers worse with a no-deal, the EU will still suffer, hence it's in the EU's interests to go an extra km or 2 to have a withdrawal agreement. The EU will need to blink pretty soon if any substantially different WA is to be concluded before 31 Oct. The May deal can be tweaked a bit within a short span of time to give it the semblance of being a not-May deal, but I don't know if a tweak would be enough to get a majority in parliament. Though it may be enough to get the remainers to blink and settle for the lesser of 2 evils. If I'm not mistaken remainers + soft brexiteers commands a majority in parliament. Maybe he's trying to bluff the EU AND remainers.

For Bojo, what's important is he maintains his reputation as a hard brexiteer, so anything other than a hard Brexit he needs to be  able to blame on someone else putting him in a no other choice situation. I don't know how that works if he personally puts up a Clayton's May deal and it passes.

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The problem BoJo has though, with passing off a version of May's deal as his own, is that the part he doesn't like is the backstop - and that's precisely the part that the EU will never agree to change. Some other stuff could theoretically get cosmetic changes to help it pass, but not the backstop. If the backstop is removed then the EU will open a free flow of goods into the customs union, which would render the whole system useless. It'd be like having a boat that's watertight everywhere except for one hole. It's enough to sink the whole boat.

Having spent so much time publicly deriding the backstop, I think it would be hard for Johnson to pass any kind of deal that still has it.

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Quote

The UK's domestic election had very little impact on the EU's negotiation. 

As George Osbourne said, the election put the chance of any Hard Brexit into the rubbish bin, and even Junker noted May had screwed herself with the election. May even said she was calling the Election to give herself "the strongest hand" in the negotiations. And she got the opposite. It was quite obvious how weak her position was from the start and that it would be almost impossible to push through anything resembling "hard brexit" and so she didn't. 

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/08/03/dominic-cummings-tells-mps-missed-chance-stop-no-deal-brexit/

Anyway a story coming out in the Telegraph is that Dominic Cummings plan seems to be that even if Boris loses a vote of no confidence he won't resign and will delay an election till after the 31st Oct deadline, force through no deal brexit and hope that simply achieving Brexit will cause a voter bounce. 

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1 hour ago, Heartofice said:

......

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/08/03/dominic-cummings-tells-mps-missed-chance-stop-no-deal-brexit/

Anyway a story coming out in the Telegraph is that Dominic Cummings plan seems to be that even if Boris loses a vote of no confidence he won't resign and will delay an election till after the 31st Oct deadline, force through no deal brexit and hope that simply achieving Brexit will cause a voter bounce. 

Wow. He’d have to believe every prediction around the immediate impact of a hard brexit is wrong. Imagine campaigning after leaving while if there isn’t food on the shelves. 

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, ants said:

Wow. He’d have to believe every prediction around the immediate impact of a hard brexit is wrong. Imagine campaigning after leaving while if there isn’t food on the shelves. 

It does seem crazy from this side of the fence, and possibly all this is a poorly thought out game of chicken with the EU. But at the same time if we go to No Deal, and it turns out that the world doesn't end, then it will only help the Tories and Boris. 

Anyway, it might all be a ruse, Chuka Umunna seems to think he can stop a no-deal.. though not sure anyone is listening to what he has to say any more.

Edited by Heartofice

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5 hours ago, Heartofice said:

As George Osbourne said, the election put the chance of any Hard Brexit into the rubbish bin, and even Junker noted May had screwed herself with the election. May even said she was calling the Election to give herself "the strongest hand" in the negotiations. And she got the opposite. It was quite obvious how weak her position was from the start and that it would be almost impossible to push through anything resembling "hard brexit" and so she didn't. 

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/08/03/dominic-cummings-tells-mps-missed-chance-stop-no-deal-brexit/

Anyway a story coming out in the Telegraph is that Dominic Cummings plan seems to be that even if Boris loses a vote of no confidence he won't resign and will delay an election till after the 31st Oct deadline, force through no deal brexit and hope that simply achieving Brexit will cause a voter bounce. 

I respectfully disagree with a few assumptions there.

First The Brexit she negotiated was/is on the harder side of things. That was always going to be the case, once she made freedom of movement her unmovable red line. So the implication of your post that, her deal is soft is wrong.

Second. The election weakened her position domestically, so that her chances of getting any deal thru were diminished. Furthermore her own party felt emboldened to take shots at her, that were more stinging than those of the leader of her travesty's most loyal opposition. However, that did not change the objective realities surrounding the EU-UK negotiations. That the UK would be economically far worse off in a no-deal scenario than the EU. The row of the summer about the sequencing of talks between the EU and the UK would've ended the same way. The problems with the Irish border would've been the very same etc. May's snap election and her depending on the votes of the DUP effectively put an Ireland only backstop off the table. Would an Irish only backstop have passed in the old parliament? I doubt it. Her ERG wing would have voted that one down, too - at least IMHO. So we would roughly be in the same place now.

4 hours ago, ants said:

Wow. He’d have to believe every prediction around the immediate impact of a hard brexit is wrong. Imagine campaigning after leaving while if there isn’t food on the shelves. 

Immediate is the key word there. I think the political calculus behind it is, that it will take a few weeks before the impacts are felt in everyday's life on the street. So he is aiming for that electoral sweet spot between the proverbial shit hitting the fan, and everybody around being covered in it. This is of course a deeply cynical strategy (even by my standards), and a huge gamble. In other words, very Etonian, so what he is probably after.

However, even if that's the idea, there's still a chance, that that uneasy fractured remain alliance in parliament gets its act together and elects a caretaker PM to put a stop to that nonsense. Spoiler, it won't be Corbyn, or Cooper, or Chuka, or Swinson. It will probably be somebody who is on his way out and has no designs to remain as a party leader and stand in a new GE. Clarke comes to mind. Would he (or somebody else) get a majority to be PM for the mere purpose to foil no-deal, apply for an extension and then vanish into the night after a pending GE? No, idea. However I think this is the best bet for the remainers at this point. A lot depends on conservative MPs being willing to bring down their own goverment and accepting that their political career are over and that they will be deselected, and the second big factor in this will be Corbyn acting like an adult and not throwing a tantrum about Labour not voting for any other candidate for PM. I thnk those will be the two (quite) big obstacles to overcome to stop Cummings and Pfeffel.

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What are the remain / soft Brexit lot thinking? They are in such disarray that the minority who want a hard / no-deal Brexit are going to get what they want because those who could stop them can't get their act together and form a united coalition to avert disaster. Maybe those who failed to stop no-deal Brexit should be most harshly punished by voters because they were too incompetent and too blinkered to prevent it.

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