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HelenaExMachina

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

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15 minutes ago, kiko said:

She didn't read a lot of newspapers for the last couple of years, did she?

Lol. It’s funny on so many levels

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There WAS one way to stop no-deal Brexit, and that was to elect an anti no-deal leader of the Tory party. So now I think no deal is the most probable outcome. I think the only way that won't happen is if the EU steps in and saves the UK by offering a deal that is substantially more attractive to the UK. I think the odds of that is the real million:1. I think the odds on no deal is now something like 1.5:1.

What are the bookies saying?

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1 hour ago, The Anti-Targ said:

There WAS one way to stop no-deal Brexit, and that was to elect an anti no-deal leader of the Tory party. So now I think no deal is the most probable outcome. I think the only way that won't happen is if the EU steps in and saves the UK by offering a deal that is substantially more attractive to the UK. I think the odds of that is the real million:1. I think the odds on no deal is now something like 1.5:1.

What are the bookies saying?

Why are you totally ruling out Parliament stopping it somehow, either by VONC and caretaker government to call an election, or legislative means/revoking article.50? These ways might not work but we hardly know that at this stage - the mood may change quite a bit when September starts. 

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8 minutes ago, Chaircat Meow said:

Why are you totally ruling out Parliament stopping it somehow, either by VONC and caretaker government to call an election, or legislative means/revoking article.50? These ways might not work but we hardly know that at this stage - the mood may change quite a bit when September starts. 

I did say no-deal is 1.5:1, so I'm not totally ruling anything else out. I just have no confidence that voices of opposition to no-deal will unite. As that one opinion piece says, everyone opposed no-deal Brexit, is more strongly opposed to a compromise they'd need to make to avoid a no-deal. And some of the options don't actually prevent a no-deal, they just delay it. If a GE returns BoJo to power, then regardless of securing a delay for a few months (assuming the Eu agrees in order for there to be a GE + formation of a new govt, no-deal would remain firmly on the cards.

Best case scenario: VONC, BoJo loses, formation of a govt of national unity with a remainer as a figurehead PM. Revocation of Art 50 before 31 Oct, and then immediate dissolution of the national unity govt and calling a GE. The GE will more or less come down to a single issue which means it's a quasi-second referendum: Remain and drop any future intention to leave, or re-invoke Art 50 with everyone clearly understanding that no-deal is a real possibility, and start the 2-year doomsday clock again. If Brexiteer parties regain power with everyone's eyes way more open than they were in the 2016 referendum, people will have to resign themselves to Brexit happening come hell or high water.

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5 minutes ago, The Anti-Targ said:

I did say no-deal is 1.5:1, so I'm not totally ruling anything else out. I just have no confidence that voices of opposition to no-deal will unite. As that one opinion piece says, everyone opposed no-deal Brexit, is more strongly opposed to a compromise they'd need to make to avoid a no-deal. And some of the options don't actually prevent a no-deal, they just delay it. If a GE returns BoJo to power, then regardless of securing a delay for a few months (assuming the Eu agrees in order for there to be a GE + formation of a new govt, no-deal would remain firmly on the cards.

Best case scenario: VONC, BoJo loses, formation of a govt of national unity with a remainer as a figurehead PM. Revocation of Art 50 before 31 Oct, and then immediate dissolution of the national unity govt and calling a GE. The GE will more or less come down to a single issue which means it's a quasi-second referendum: Remain and drop any future intention to leave, or re-invoke Art 50 with everyone clearly understanding that no-deal is a real possibility, and start the 2-year doomsday clock again. If Brexiteer parties regain power with everyone's eyes way more open than they were in the 2016 referendum, people will have to resign themselves to Brexit happening come hell or high water.

The EU has already said they will agree to an Art. 50 extension if so requested by the UK. 

You put your finger on it when you say: "I just have no confidence that voices of opposition to no-deal will unite. As that one opinion piece says, everyone opposed no-deal Brexit, is more strongly opposed to a compromise they'd need to make to avoid a no-deal."

This is indeed the real challenge.  The solution (in my mind, although I am not opposed to others) is Cooper-Letwin 2.0.  It's both the simplest and the most unifying because it does not tie up this issue in party loyalties, and does not require anything more of its adherents than to oppose No-Deal.  The government will be required to give effect to an Act that requires them to request an Art. 50 extension and prevents no-deal Brexit (and its failure to do so can be promptly enforced by judicial review, although I doubt it will come to that because they will be suitably legally advised). 

of course, BoJo can and will call an election in that scenario and no outcome can be ruled out or in after that election.  Best case scenario for Remainers like me is that we have a majority in Parliament for a second referendum. 

It is also possible, even likely, that the EU and the UK will have further negotiations on a without preconditions basis this month and next.  I would not be shocked if the EU offers a time limit on the backstop with conditions as a last-ditch offer, as a gesture of solidarity to Ireland, and to avoid being blamed for the outcome. They would make those conditions as tight as the proverbial mouse's arsehole, mind you. 
 

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Posted (edited)

The problem isn't the Bill itself, is the path that needs to be opened to put the Bill before parliament. While BoJo is in charge he won't let that Bill come to a vote before 31 Oct, so you either have a VONC followed by a GONU, in which case you might as well just request an extension without passing a Bill (since requesting an extension is an executive action not a parliamentary action it can be done more quickly). And any Act that requires the govt to request an extension whenever the Brexit deadline hits without a deal being passed still requires the EU to be willing to indefinitely play ball. Maybe the EU is willing got play kick the can forever but I doubt it. They might be willing to grant an extension without a clear plan this one last time, but if the UK votes back in a bunch of Brexiters whenever the next GE happens I don't see the EU continuing to play the game,m which means a bill requiring the UK govt to request an extension is probably pointless.

The EU saying no to a mandatory extension request allows Bojo and his ilk to more easily convince the gullible that no-deal was the EU's fault. Not sure if the EU cares enough about the stupid opinions of the ignorant to take that into account when deciding whether to grant an extension.

I tend to agree with this analysis

If it came to the 11th hour and the only options were to vote to revoke or let no-deal happen, most MPs will just let no-deal happen. They'd rather let something bad happen that they can try to blame on others than to vote for something that would get them into trouble either with their party or with voters.

Edited by The Anti-Targ

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On 8/11/2019 at 10:48 AM, Chaircat Meow said:

I liked this bit:

"There's plenty of options. Remainers seem a bit lost in a strange kind of defeatism this summer, as if they're certain they've already been outmanoeuvred. But look at the people they are admitting defeat to: A Cabinet made up of the worst collection of political non-entities ever witnessed at the height of British politics. A special adviser who seems perpetually indignant at the world in a manner that suggests he is really trying to work through some deep-seated personal problems. A prime minister who floats around on a bad-smelling bubble of arrogance and indifference. They're hopeless. It's like thinking you'll be defeated at chess by a field mouse."

 

Harmless. Dunt's rants about May and Corbyn were way more angry and stinging. Otherwise, you can hardly call that cabinet an elite collection of supreme talent, can you?

I have assembled cabinet's from IKEA with less loose screws.

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Can anyone show me the Leave campaign literature promising the imposition of martial law?
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/...the-law-under-no-deal-brexit-llx3t3v7v?fbclid

How about the establishment of a "ministry for truth" complete with its own Goebbels
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politic...es-brexit-fake-news-new-rapid-rebuttal-unit/?

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12 hours ago, The Anti-Targ said:

If it came to the 11th hour and the only options were to vote to revoke or let no-deal happen, most MPs will just let no-deal happen. They'd rather let something bad happen that they can try to blame on others than to vote for something that would get them into trouble either with their party or with voters.

Totally agreed.  If the government was successful in framing the issue in terms of that choice they would win.  It's worth noting that would be the only basis on which they could win a (passive) majority in Parliament for No-Deal.  That's why the focus should not be on revoke, but simply opposing no-deal. 

The procedural mechanisms for a new Act of Parliament get technical but there is a basis on which the standing orders could be used to push through Cooper-Letwin 2.0: http://www.democraticaudit.com/2019/08/05/is-it-too-late-to-stop-a-no-deal-brexit/.  Bercow will do his bit to ensure Parliament gets a say on whether it wishes to proceed in this direction. 

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19 hours ago, Gaston de Foix said:

It is also possible, even likely, that the EU and the UK will have further negotiations on a without preconditions basis this month and next.  I would not be shocked if the EU offers a time limit on the backstop with conditions as a last-ditch offer, as a gesture of solidarity to Ireland, and to avoid being blamed for the outcome. They would make those conditions as tight as the proverbial mouse's arsehole, mind you. 

I'd be shocked. EU, Ireland (Varadkar) and pretty much everybody on the EU's side of the table: "That won't be happening."

The UK would need to come up with a workable alternative to the backstop for the EU to change its mind on that. A workable alternative that makes sure, there's no hard border in Ireland, and which unfortunately doesn't exist. If the UK goverment actually assumes that's just empty talks and a negotiation tactic, then they are in for a rude awakening. If there were a backdoor out of the backstop, it would not be much of a backstop. ROI is taking a very strict position on this. 

I think the VONC and a caretaker Goverment is your best bet to avoid no-deal. 

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Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

I'd be shocked. EU, Ireland (Varadkar) and pretty much everybody on the EU's side of the table: "That won't be happening."

The UK would need to come up with a workable alternative to the backstop for the EU to change its mind on that. A workable alternative that makes sure, there's no hard border in Ireland, and which unfortunately doesn't exist. If the UK goverment actually assumes that's just empty talks and a negotiation tactic, then they are in for a rude awakening. If there were a backdoor out of the backstop, it would not be much of a backstop. ROI is taking a very strict position on this. 

I think the VONC and a caretaker Goverment is your best bet to avoid no-deal. 

Varadkar's been keeping up the pressure on this. The bit I particularly noted was when he said that in the event of a No-Deal Brexit, the very next day the EU and the UK could start discussions on a free trade deal, and the first things that will be up for debate will be the Northern Irish border, the UK's debt and the disposition of EU citizens already in the UK and vice versa.

Anyone who has the notion that any of these problems magically vanish on the stroke of midnight on 31 October when we are "free" is in for a very rude awakening. They will remain issues and we will simply be negotiating them from a position of even greater weakness.

Edited by Werthead

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Posted (edited)
56 minutes ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

I'd be shocked. EU, Ireland (Varadkar) and pretty much everybody on the EU's side of the table: "That won't be happening."

The UK would need to come up with a workable alternative to the backstop for the EU to change its mind on that. A workable alternative that makes sure, there's no hard border in Ireland, and which unfortunately doesn't exist. If the UK goverment actually assumes that's just empty talks and a negotiation tactic, then they are in for a rude awakening. If there were a backdoor out of the backstop, it would not be much of a backstop. ROI is taking a very strict position on this. 

I think the VONC and a caretaker Goverment is your best bet to avoid no-deal. 

I think it's conceded by the UK that there's no workable alternative right now. The question is whether a time-limited backstop + undertaking to develop a workable alternative to the EU's satisfaction within a certain period might be the basis of a possible compromise.  I agree with you that ROI will not accept a meaningless promise but a No-Deal Brexit will damage the Irish economy too.  Both sides are going to have pressure to go through the motions of negotiation and explore alternatives. 

 Varadkar's right, of course.  The UK government wants a no-deal Brexit only so they can say they've Brexited and have a general election.  No-Deal Brexit solves the political problems faced by the Tory party who are terrified of facing an electorate without delivering Brexit.  Self before party, party before country and power uber alles.  

Edited by Gaston de Foix

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11 minutes ago, Werthead said:

Anyone who has the notion that any of these problems magically vanish on the stroke of midnight on 31 October when we are "free" is in for a very rude awakening. They will remain issues and we will simply be negotiating them from a position of even greater weakness.

Pretty consistent theme from this side of the table. If it's no-deal, we will wait for the UK to come back and sign up to the backstop in some shape or form, pays its debts and gives assurance towards the rights of EU citizens within the UK. Once that is settled we can talk about the future trade relationship. That's also the time when other stuff like fishery pops up again.

 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Gaston de Foix said:

Totally agreed.  If the government was successful in framing the issue in terms of that choice they would win.  It's worth noting that would be the only basis on which they could win a (passive) majority in Parliament for No-Deal.  That's why the focus should not be on revoke, but simply opposing no-deal. 

The procedural mechanisms for a new Act of Parliament get technical but there is a basis on which the standing orders could be used to push through Cooper-Letwin 2.0: http://www.democraticaudit.com/2019/08/05/is-it-too-late-to-stop-a-no-deal-brexit/.  Bercow will do his bit to ensure Parliament gets a say on whether it wishes to proceed in this direction. 

Good article. Both tactics - naming the next PM in the event of a successful VONC as well as an exact repeat of a Letwin-Cooper bill mandating extension in case no deal has been agreed and passed by HoC - require the opposition/Tory backbenchers seizing the agenda via this 'standing order'.  The speaker's role is only in allowing a debate on such a proposed amendment once it is tabled.

Is there a chance that an adminstration sharper than May's fairground circus simply don't allow that opening? I was reading something to that effect today, but forget where and the entire reasoning, will try to find the article again. I guess it would be like government just filibustering their way through the session without proposing any bills, or perhaps something more sophisticated along those lines.

Edit: It cannot literally be filibustering, there are motions to be debated:

A senior government source said Downing Street expects the first showdown to happen on 9 September because the government is bound by law to provide a report on Northern Ireland on 4 September and to then debate it in parliament within five days.

(The Guardian)

Edited by Ser Hedge

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Cooper-Letwin will probably get one more extension out of the EU, and that will be on the basis that the govt goes back to the people either in a GE, or referendum, or both. I wonder what happens if Brexit is still wanted by the majority, though hopefully with a clear message that there must be a deal?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Ser Hedge said:

Good article. Both tactics - naming the next PM in the event of a successful VONC as well as an exact repeat of a Letwin-Cooper bill mandating extension in case no deal has been agreed and passed by HoC - require the opposition/Tory backbenchers seizing the agenda via this 'standing order'.  The speaker's role is only in allowing a debate on such a proposed amendment once it is tabled.

Is there a chance that an adminstration sharper than May's fairground circus simply don't allow that opening? I was reading something to that effect today, but forget where and the entire reasoning, will try to find the article again. I guess it would be like government just filibustering their way through the session without proposing any bills, or perhaps something more sophisticated along those lines.

Edit: It cannot literally be filibustering, there are motions to be debated:

A senior government source said Downing Street expects the first showdown to happen on 9 September because the government is bound by law to provide a report on Northern Ireland on 4 September and to then debate it in parliament within five days.

(The Guardian)

The simplest tactic the government can employ to delay a showdown is to negotiate with the EU.  Parliament will be loathe to interfere if there are ongoing negotiations that might avoid no-deal (however small the chance) and the Govt gets to run down the clock for a while...

It sounds like Northern Ireland will be front and center - as it should. 

Edited by Gaston de Foix

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6 hours ago, Gaston de Foix said:

I think it's conceded by the UK that there's no workable alternative right now. The question is whether a time-limited backstop + undertaking to develop a workable alternative to the EU's satisfaction within a certain period might be the basis of a possible compromise.  I agree with you that ROI will not accept a meaningless promise but a No-Deal Brexit will damage the Irish economy too.  Both sides are going to have pressure to go through the motions of negotiation and explore alternatives. 

....

The thing is, a time-limited backstop doesn't work.  The UK has every incentive to develop an alternative anyway, and as soon as they do and its implemented the backstop disappears.  A time limit does not add anything, and just raises the spectre of the UK sneakily getting around the requirements because they ran down the clock.  Which appears to be a favourite past time of Torries.  

Any time limit is a meaningless promise.  It is either the UK trying to get around the EU, or trying to move control of who determines if the conditions are met from the EU to themselves.  

I think the pressure on the EU will be to not go through the motions.  There are plenty of EU countries getting fed up with the UK's antics.  

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11 hours ago, Gaston de Foix said:

I think it's conceded by the UK that there's no workable alternative right now. The question is whether a time-limited backstop + undertaking to develop a workable alternative to the EU's satisfaction within a certain period might be the basis of a possible compromise.  I agree with you that ROI will not accept a meaningless promise but a No-Deal Brexit will damage the Irish economy too.  Both sides are going to have pressure to go through the motions of negotiation and explore alternatives. 

 Varadkar's right, of course.  The UK government wants a no-deal Brexit only so they can say they've Brexited and have a general election.  No-Deal Brexit solves the political problems faced by the Tory party who are terrified of facing an electorate without delivering Brexit.  Self before party, party before country and power uber alles.  

The whole point of the backstop from the EU side is that it's what happens only if there is no workable alternative - if the EU put a time limit on it and then the UK government run down the clock on that limit because they continue to be unable to agree on anything, what happens? From my understanding, the backstop or at least the NI-only version of it, is the minimum required, in the EU's opinion, to abide by the terms of the Good Friday Agreement. Any time-limited thing would always have a question of what happens next if the time-limit runs out, and since the backstop is supposedly the answer to that question, it can't be time-limited itself.

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I also don't think a time limited backstop is a great solution, but it is a solution which could prevent No Deal, because let's all be honest, the backstop in its current form will never get through parliament. 

It would give us time to put 'alternative arrangements' in place whilst also not allowing the EU to unilaterally decide whether the UK can leave the Backstop or not. It would also put a deadline on that decision and focus minds on making it happen. 

What the EU should be worrying about is preventing no deal, because of its damage to Ireland, which apparently is its main concern here. 

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