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Brexit? Part 3

This is a continuation of the topic What is Brexit? Part 2.

This topic was continued by Brexit! Part 4.

Pro and Con

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1margd
Nov 14, 2018, 8:32am Top

David Frum @davidfrum | 4:51 AM - 14 Nov 2018:
American presidents historically favored UK membership in EU precisely so that UK could veto French fantasies of an EU army in place of NATO

David Frum Retweeted The New York Times @nytimes:

Merkel Joins Macron in Calling for a European Army ‘One Day’
Katrin Bennhold and Steven Erlanger | Nov. 13, 2018

...“The days where we can unconditionally rely on others are gone,” Ms. Merkel said in a speech televised around the Continent. “That means that we Europeans should take our fate more into our own hands if we want to survive as a European community.”

...“We should work on a vision to create a real European army one day,” Ms. Merkel said. Such an army, she said, would show the world “that there will never again be war between European nations.”

Stressing that such an army would not be “against NATO” but complement it, the chancellor also proposed a European Security Council with rotating seats for member states that would make speedy foreign policy decisions without the need for unanimity.

...an opportunity for Germany to escape its traditional unease about taking on a leadership role in foreign and defense policy by rooting such a role firmly in a collective European effort.

...Ms. Merkel is said to have been deeply moved by the weekend centennial events for World War I in France, much of it spent by the side of Mr. Macron. He has regularly supported the idea of a European army and a European intervention force, designed to handle sudden conflict outside of NATO.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/13/world/europe/merkel-macron-european-army.html

2margd
Nov 16, 2018, 4:51am Top

The president encouraged Britain to leave the EU—but now that things are falling apart, he’s abdicating his responsibility to help.
David Frum | Nov 15, 2018

...For all the anguish, Brexit still has not happened yet. Britain has filed formal notice of its intention to leap off the precipice, but its feet as yet still touch the ground. The EU authorities have accepted the notice, but paperwork does sometimes get postponed, revised, lost, or forgotten. By now, the U.K. and EU alike would likely welcome a face-saving compromise—one that spares the U.K. the humiliation of asking to be released from the exit process it triggered, one that protects the EU from the disruption of losing its most economically dynamic and militarily capable member state. The EU's own rules offer no obvious off-ramp from the looming crunch—but American help and American pressure might possibly construct such an off-ramp just in time.

Maybe the solution is postponement followed by a second British referendum on the choice between the new renegotiated deal and the pre-2016 EU status quo. (Under present EU rules, (the British) cannot simply give up Brexit after having formally initiated the departure process. They would now legally have to apply for readmission to the European Union—and as a newly admitted state, they would theoretically be obliged to submit to the Euro currency and to the Schengen rules on free movement of labor. The pre-Brexit U.K. had been exempt from those rules.)

To date, though, America has played no role, raised no voice...

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/11/brexit-crisis-trump-abandoning...

3margd
Edited: Nov 16, 2018, 10:12am Top

Economic options of Brexit
1. no Deal,
2. Mrs. May's deal,
3. Single Market and Customs Union,
4. abandon Brexit.

What’s the deal?
Alasdair Smith* | 16 November 2018

The UK Cabinet has signed off the draft EU Withdrawal Agreement (WA) and the Political Declaration (PD) about the future UK-EU trade relationship. The WA has had such a rocky reception in the Conservative Party that the future path of decision-making is a bit uncertain, but it is likely that these documents will also be agreed by the EU summit later this month. The decision-making then passes one way or another to the UK Parliament. Politics has dominated this week’s debates, but decisions need to be informed by economic assessment. Let’s consider the economic costs and benefits of the choices which Parliament will have to make.

1. The first option is No Deal: Parliament rejects the Prime Minister’s proposal and no alternative proposal commands a majority.

...without a post-Brexit Free Trade Agreement with the EU might lead to a 5.5% reduction in UK manufacturing output; other estimates of the long-term effect on the whole UK economy of trading on WTO terms range between 3% and 7.5% of GDP compared with EU membership. All these estimates, however, assumed a managed and planned exit from the EU. The costs of tumbling out of the EU without a WA would be much greater. The huge costs of short-run disruption have to be added in. Short-run disruption will also have long-lived negative economic effects.

...even if the UK managed to sign Free Trade Agreements with all other countries in the world, the mitigating benefits would be much less than the costs of No Deal.

2. The next option is Mrs May’s Deal

..If one supposed that Mrs May’s Deal lies somewhere between the hard and soft Brexit options modelled in other studies, a long-term reduction in UK GDP in the area of 1-2% might be a reasonable estimate.

...little freedom to “strike new trade deals” around the world; limited freedom from EU regulation; little scope for an independent agricultural policy; and it comes at a significant economic cost including a substantial EU exit bill.

...Mrs May’s Deal...creates the prospect of a prolonged period of uncertainty about the UK’s trade arrangements...By the end of 2020, only the bare bones of a UK-EU FTA could be agreed, and only if it includes a solution to the Irish border issue...

...These choices are political, not economic. Economists can just point out that the choice is not between two options, No Deal with its disastrous costs and Mrs May’s Deal whose costs are high; it’s a choice between four options of which the last two, 3. remaining in the Single Market and Customs Union or 4. abandoning Brexit, have low and zero cost. (Staying in the EU is the least costly option. Mrs May this week noted that it is on the table.)...

* Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of Sussex and a member of the UK Trade Policy Observatory.

https://blogs.sussex.ac.uk/uktpo/2018/11/16/whats-the-deal/

4lriley
Nov 16, 2018, 7:46pm Top

There are a couple major issues with 4. I think--because it would seem to me that there would need to be another referendum which might even take down the May govt.--which might happen soon anyway and the British govt. would be kind of throwing themselves on the EU's mercy for instance if the EU made austerity demands to take Britain back into the fold. The European Union can leverage Britian and probably will in some way or another if they decide to remain.

5margd
Nov 17, 2018, 9:44am Top

Why Britain Needs Its Own Mueller
Carole Cadwalladr | Nov 16, 2018

...Britain and America, Brexit and Trump, are inextricably entwined. By Nigel Farage. By Cambridge Analytica. By Steve Bannon. By the Russian ambassador to London, Alexander Yakovenko, who has been identified by Special Counsel Robert Mueller as a conduit between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. The same questions that dog the US election dog ours, too.

There is one vital difference on this between the US and the UK. America has the Mueller investigation. And Britain does not...

https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2018/11/16/why-britain-needs-its-own-mueller/

6margd
Dec 10, 2018, 9:18am Top

U.K. Can Cancel Brexit, Confirms EU Court
Laurence Norman | Dec. 10, 2018

U.K. can reverse its decision to leave the EU without approval from other bloc members, says European Court of Justice

https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-k-can-cancel-brexit-confirms-eu-court-1544431228

__________________________________________________​

>5 margd: contd.

David Frum @davidfrum | 5:57 AM - 10 Dec 2018:

Russian bot account illustrated with phony photo of US Air Force serviceman tweets a photo of a demo in Cairo as a "BrexitBetrayal" march.
Putin badly badly wants hard Brexit

Billy @pjonesbilly | 6:11 AM - 9 Dec 2018:

Massive crowd gathered for the BrexitBetrayal march in London. MSM won't want you to see this.

7lriley
Dec 10, 2018, 12:22pm Top

I really cannot see Teresa May surviving this. She's between a rock, another rock and another rock and a hard place. And more than almost anyone else the very smug David Cameron (who has fucked off to who know's where) is responsible for this debacle. However it turns out in the end the older, more conservative voters who May and her tory party depend on and who make up a prime % of the leave base are going to be come out of this feeling absolutely betrayed---and even going forward with it which is going to thoroughly going to piss off everyone else besides.

If you're doing something like this---the time to have a plan is before you do it--not put up a referendum and figure out the planning afterwards.

8margd
Edited: Dec 10, 2018, 12:58pm Top

David Cameron--he of the Brexit AND the Scotland referenda? :(

Could Theresa May be laying path to a second referendum being put to voters to confirm or reject original Brexit vote?

9proximity1
Edited: Dec 11, 2018, 9:12am Top

True. Britain's political order is both dysfunctional and schizoid.

The Prime minister is an incompetent moron, trying and failing spectacularly to get Parliament to follow her disastrous lead.

Parliament, which asserts its formal primacy as supposedly both the de facto and the legal "sovereign" actor in government--the monarch's roles are purely decorative ones-- has made it abundantly clear that it is incapable of settling the "Brexit" morass. So, what does it do? It 'punts' the ball ( and would like to try to do so once again! adding insult to injury!) back to the general electorate to "decide" (LOL!) on a matter already voted on and decided in a clear-cut way. At the same time, Parliament won't be bound by any referendum result which doesn't suit it. Thus, it insists that referrenda votes are strictly non-binding unless the Parliament chooses, after the fact, to be "bound" by a result.

So let us keep holding referenda on the same issue/question until Parliament gets a vote-result it approves--though this be one which it somehow cannot manage to produce by its own "authority" (LOL!)

This is a farcical and disgraceful situation. British "government", done by the wealthy, for the wealthy, is a fucking laughing-stock.

Parliament doesn't want "Brexit" and has just been informed that it could, on its own sole initiative, reverse course by simply voting by a majority to annul the Brexit decision--effectively "cancelling" the activation of the E.U. treaty's Article 50. This would nullify the referendum vote of June 2016-- but Parliament doesn't have that much guts. That's why they 'punted' the issue to the voters in the first place.

Parliament: "Let the voters decide!"

Parliament: "We're Parliament! --and we're in charge!

Parliament: "Let the voters decide!"

LOL!

10margd
Dec 11, 2018, 9:57am Top

A merry Moscow Christmas, and for Poutine elves everywhere (except maybe Butina) a very happy New Year:

constitutional crises loom in US as faith in system declines
Brexit woes in Britain
Macron done in by crowds who aren't sure what they want
migration does in Merkel
altrightie!
wedge between traditional western allies (NATO)
Iranian treaty undone, sanctions (bonus Huawei brouhaha)
DPRK sanctions undermined, nuke development proceeds
China trade war about to bring down stock market
Russia and Saudi Arabia oil allies as OPEC falls apart
Earth overheating, people slaughtered and starving in Middle East but, hey, Russian oil untouched and ports are ice-free.

Poutine must be smiling: clever trolls and bots could fashion all these developments into a Russki Christmas carol to entertain him?

11jjwilson61
Dec 11, 2018, 12:10pm Top

It seems silly to resolve something as momentous as EU membership with a single 50%+1 vote. We don't allow divorces to be finalized before a 1 year separation period (from what I've heard, not having gone through one myself). Why not have to vote on it twice a year apart, or require a higher margin, say 60%?

12konallis
Dec 12, 2018, 5:15am Top

>11 jjwilson61: Officially, the 2016 referendum was advisory rather than legally binding. Partly for that reason, partly because the government at the time didn't expect to lose, there wasn't a minimum threshold or other safeguards appropriate to such a constitutionally significant vote. However, politically the vote was (and is) treated as binding despite not being legally configured as such. Bit of mismanagement really.

13proximity1
Edited: Dec 12, 2018, 6:29am Top

>12 konallis:

"Why not have to vote on it twice a year apart, or require a higher margin, say 60%?"

Because "doing so is undemocratic" would be my answer.

Why twice rather than six votes or sixteen? What's is magic about two votes? Are two votes separated by a year's *cooling off* period somehow more dependable than four votes or eight or ten?

Your theory implies that voters simply don'r really know what the hell they're doing when they mark a ballot and the best or only way to deal with that is to have them vote much more often and look for trends, patterns, significance, to show up.

That is deeply insulting and also fails as sound reasoning.

Why is the judgment of an electorate to be deemed satisfactory when asked, "Which party (or, in other words party-candidates for office of member of parliament) should be placed in position to govern in Parliament?"

but not satisfactory when asked, "Should Britain remain a member-state within the European Union--'Yes', to remain, or 'No', to leave--?"





... "Majority rule is the only decision rule that completely satisfies political equality. May(1952) shows that majority rule is the only positively responsive voting rule that satisfies anonymity (all voters are treated equally) and neutrality (all alternatives are treated equally).If we use a system other than majority rule, then we lose either anonymity or neutrality. That is to say, either some voters must be privileged over others, or some alternative must be privileged over others. With super-majority voting, the status quo is privileged–if there is no alternative for which a super-majority votes, the status quo is maintained. Following Rae’s(1975) argument, given that the status quo is more desirable to some voters than to others,some voters are effectively privileged. It is certainly the case that super-majority rules can privilege (protect, if you prefer) some voters. Unfortunately, it is not possible to privilege every group over every other group. If super-majority rules create a privileged group, there must be a corresponding under-privileged group." ...



The Tyranny of the Super-Majority: How Majority Rule Protects Minorities | (2002) | Author(s): McGann, Anthony J. (University of California, Irvine )

14proximity1
Edited: Mar 1, 10:03am Top

ORIGINALLY POSTED and edited : 3 December, 2018

(B) : added 15 December, 2018
_______________________________________

Now, expect a second referendum vote-- that is, what the "REMAIN" Camp wanted all along ever since they failed to get their way. (emphasis added)

May's Plan "A"/"B"

1) Royally fuck-up the "negotiations"(LOL!) over "Brexit"
-- Brussels is only too happy to help in this as the E.U. leadership
want it to go as badly as possible. Check ✔

2) In the process of doing (1), drive the British public beyond the limits of their patience for nonsense and idiocy from the government. Check ✔

(CORRECTION)

This next, as I now understand:

3) With matters (deliberately) arranged to make it appear that there are no alternatives available,

(3a) Unilaterally revoke E.U. Treaty Article 50, the membership-withdrawal count-down clock

& (3b) Call for a second public referendum on the same issue: (but try to eliminate any CLEAR "LEAVE" option).

won't be a likely course for the simple reason that Article 50 cannot be conditionally revoked; it may only be revoked unconditionally; this means that, by unilaterally cancelling the Article 50 invocation, this same act completely annuls, rather than "pauses" the Exit procedure. Revoking Article 50 takes us back to the circumstances prior to the referendum--basically, it annuls the referendum's result and is a tacit declaration that Britain shall remain in the E.U. under the terms as they existed before the referendum of June 2016.

That means that the "Clock" keeps ticking down, it cannot be "paused" to gain more time during which a second referendum might be held. That vote would have to be organised and held between now and, say, March 28, 2019 at 11 PM GMT -- that is, a full day prior to the deadline at the very latest.


But this still holds for all practical purposes, in the absence of a popular vote--

But it is the incompetent and currently-paralyzed Parliament which must choose since they have no practical option of passing the buck once more to the voting public. That course is foreclosed.

So, e.g.,

Proposed: PICK ONE:

"Crash" out on March 29th,

or "Remain in the E.U." (as per former terms)

or "Accept (Ratify) the Prime Minister May - Brussels E.U. 'Withdrawal Agreement' "

Or, in other words, as Theresa May & the E.U. establishment would put it:
" 'Heads' WE Win, 'Tails' YOU (British public) lose."

And, British youth, please note: if you think your futures depend on Britain's remaining in the E.U., you've indicated that you don't know shit about the real-world political circumstances concerning Britain-E.U. relations. It's while Britain remains trapped, a prisoner inside E.U. programme run amok that your futures are well and truly fucked. If you don't understand why that is, you haven't been paying attention or done sufficient study on these issues--or you're a political moron and cannot even recognise where your own interests lie.

(UPDATE) :


(Opinion | The Guardian, (London)) Instead of rerunning 2016 we should choose between May’s deal and staying in a reformed EU | Fri 14 Dec 2018 18.06 GMT | by Jonathan Freedland


... " a bleak clarity is emerging from the Brexit fog. There is no majority in the Commons for May’s deal. And yet the deal will not be substantively improved by the EU. So Brexit is stuck, parliament’s minimum falling short of Brussels’ maximum. No deal is possible, which surely makes “no deal” possible."

... "Except that MPs and ministers alike insist they will not allow the country to fall off a cliff, crashing out with no deal on 29 March." ...

... "Which is why the probability of a second referendum, once the quixotic goal of a handful of unreconciled remainers, is increasing with each passing day. May doesn’t need to be persuaded by the democratic logic of seeking popular approval for Brexit as it actually exists, as opposed to the slogan-on-a-bus version the public voted on in 2016. All she needs to decide is that a referendum is her only way out of the current impasse." ...

... " Such a process would also take time, though that’s true of any move to a referendum: if this is the path May takes, she will have to rescind or extend article 50." ...

... "a couple of Westminster’s more thoughtful figures have been trying to work out how a second referendum, if it comes to that, can avoid being a simple rerun of 2016," ...

... "what I have in mind is an effort to make the referendum exercise itself both legitimate in the eyes of leavers and substantively different to the first one. On the first count, it will help if the ballot is seen as a move by May, rather than a demand successfully pressed by the People’s Vote campaign. Much as I admire the latter, leave voters are likelier to accept a plebiscite called by a Tory prime minister seeking to make Brexit happen than one effected by remainers bent on halting it.

"But it will also help if the two competing propositions on the ballot – and let’s make the hopeful assumption that no parliament would present a no-deal crash-out as if it were a viable option, since that would be criminally irresponsible – are both significantly different from the leave v remain choices of 2016. It’s easy to see how leave would differ this time around. In place of the abstract, wishful idea of leave – which Brexiteers cast as a pain-free cash bonanza and panacea for all Britain’s ills – would be a concrete, detailed plan for leaving: May’s plan, more or less." ...


( Bold-face emphasis added above)


LOL! Disingenuous, asshole mother-fucker Jonathan Freedland has proposed just what I predicted would be proposed by the "Remain" Camp

(B)
__________________________________________

It's the old story of your adolescence--

After dinner, the parents direct you to do the washing-up (U.S. "do the dishes"). You hate having to do the dishes and so you do the worst job you can and try to pass that off, hoping that the parents will be frustrated and dissatisfied and, rather than having you do the washing-up again--then or ever--they resume doing this chore.

Think this is amusing!? This is supposedly a major world nation in flagrant default as concerns every single essential part of its social and political institutional order. A complete and general abdication of responsibility. Check ✔

As the Conservative Party shrugged off a confidence-vote in the Prime Incompetent Minister, Britain remains in a Limbo called "WE'RE FUCKED" (so let's watch Strictly Come Dancing & I'm a Celebrity! Get Me Out of Here! ) Check ✔

15DugsBooks
Edited: Dec 14, 2018, 1:57am Top

Virgin Galactic's Richard Branson expresses his view on Brexit - right after expaining his space ship's first flight to space today. 7 minute film, his opinion Brexit about 5 minutes in. He is against Brexit and explains how it has effected affected Virgin Airlines.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/13/richard-branson-hopes-to-be-in-space-next-year-w...

16proximity1
Dec 14, 2018, 5:28am Top


Fuck Richard Branson.

He ought to be stuck forever waiting for or riding aboard one of his late, over-crowded, miserable trains--never arriving at his destination. And all around him there ought to be people talking non-stop in loud voices on their cell-phones.

17DugsBooks
Dec 14, 2018, 12:48pm Top

>16 proximity1: A lower rung of hell he probably has nightmares of! ;-)

18proximity1
Edited: Dec 17, 2018, 11:22am Top

More discussion --also-- about Brexit prompted by this post:

https://www.librarything.com/topic/241018#6650311

which I'd have intended to have posted here in the first place. It was an oversight.



Posts From a side thread
an argument against the fatalism of "Remain":

https://www.librarything.com/topic/241018#6659177

https://www.librarything.com/topic/241018#6659272

https://www.librarything.com/topic/241018#6659287

https://www.librarything.com/topic/241018#6659303

19margd
Jan 15, 9:20am Top

Brexit: MEPs pen letter urging Britain to reverse decision to leave EU
Monday 14 January 2019

The letter, from 129 MEPs, says: "We want you to stay. Together, we are stronger and together we can build a stronger Europe."

...The message, organised by Austrian MEP Josef Weidenholzer and signed by 129 colleagues, says they believe there is support for a second referendum as they have "growing anxiety at the unfolding of Brexit disaster".

..."We are reluctant to intervene in your domestic politics, but we cannot help but notice that the opinion polls show a growing number of voters who want an opportunity to reconsider the Brexit decision, now that it is clear that Brexit is very different to the promises made by the Leave campaign nearly three years ago."

..."Any British decision to remain in the EU would be warmly welcomed by us and we would work with you to reform and improve the European Union, so that it works better in the interests of all citizens."

..."Indeed, should the UK decide to withdraw the article 50 letter received by the President of the European Council, then we as Members of the European Parliament would support it.

"We have greatly appreciated the enormous impact British politicians and citizens have contributed to the European project over the last 40 years. We would miss the extraordinary expertise of our British colleagues.

"We ask you to reconsider to leave our Union in the interest of the next generation of young people, British and Europeans, who will lose out on the opportunities of living, loving and working together. Brexit will weaken all of us.

"We want you to stay. Together, we are stronger and together we can build a stronger Europe."

https://news.sky.com/story/brexit-meps-pen-letter-urging-britain-to-reverse-deci...

20proximity1
Edited: Jan 15, 9:49am Top

Belated appeals, part of the internal parliamentary games, do not change a damned thing.

The letter is disgustingly insulting.

Imagine Slave-trading despots ruling in Africa and the Near East writing to Congress just after the American Civil War and advocating that the people and government of the U.S. reconsider the abolition of slavery and the emancipation of people held in bondage?

21margd
Jan 15, 10:22am Top

Besides, Poutine wants the EU to break up.

22johnthefireman
Jan 15, 10:26am Top

>20 proximity1:

What's the connection between slave-trading despots, and a collection of elected representatives from European democracies?

What's the connection between slavery and people held in bondage, and an economic bloc which owes its roots to bringing European nations closer together in order to avoid another world war?

23proximity1
Jan 15, 11:06am Top


>21 margd:

and you, hating Putin, reflexively favor anything he opposes and oppose anything he favors. So you make of yourself his easy play-thing--just the way that he makes play-things of Americans who are unconditional opponents of Trump.

24proximity1
Edited: Jan 16, 7:37am Top

(from The Daily Telegraph (London) )

"The pound has rallied strongly against its rivals as the City (i.e. the financial district) digests the crushing defeat of Theresa May's Brexit deal and braced for the looming vote of no confidence."

The only way that makes sense is to suppose--as this market-indication does--that the defeat of May's "deal" makes it more likely, rather, makes it virtually certain, that Parliament's members--a cross-party coalition of them--shall now go on to engineer a betrayal of the 2016 U.K. referendum on the flagrantly dishonest premise that, the government's best efforts to make a deal with Brussels, having been offered to the House of Commons and rejected by a record-breaking vote of 432 opposed versus 202 in favor, there is now 'no option' left but to hold a second referendum--the disingenuously titled "People's Vote"--as though people hadn't already voted in the 2016 referendum which Parliament is determined to betray and ignore.

Only with the consent of Brussels could the Article 50 deadline (of March 29th) be extended. There is no conceivable way that such consent would be granted by Brussels unless it was in exchange for a firm promise by the May government to hold a second referendum--on the expectation that the result would reverse the results of the 2016 referendum.

These kinds of political shenanigans expose Britain as a political laughing-stock for posing and so spectacularly failing as a so-called "democracy."

This is not new. Rather, it's merely the additional confirmation of what has been clear for decades. Britain is a two-bit little nation run by a corrupt oligarchic business-elite whose fraud upon democratic governance has long since lost any shred of deserved credibility or respect.

"Brexit" shall be betrayed and reversed, And that is precisely what Mrs. May and Barnier and Juncker have been working to produce all along.

"Where will doth mutiny with wit's regard."

... "That England, that was wont to conquer others,
Hath made a shameful conquest of itself."

25johnthefireman
Edited: Jan 16, 6:56am Top

>24 proximity1: to engineer a betrayal of the 2016 U.K. referendum

As one Labour MP from Wales pointed out on BBC this morning, democracy does not end on a particular date. Votes were cast in good faith based on the situation at that time (and the information available at that time), and to give credit to Theresa May she has at least tried to offer the country a deal for leaving, flawed though her deal may be, in large part due to the intransigence of a minority of her own party who would not accept any realpolitik negotiations. To have another democratic exercise in today's new situation, a situation where a government motion has been defeated in parliament by by far the biggest margin ever in British history, is not a betrayal, it is, er, an exercise of democracy. If the government and parliament have been unable to deliver what the voters voted for in 2016, let those same voters decide how to resolve that impasse.

26johnthefireman
Jan 21, 12:36am Top

>25 johnthefireman:

And much as I hate to praise Tony Blair for anything, he has also weighed in with the same point - holding another democratic vote is not anti-democratic.

On another tack, Al Jazeera zeroes in on an aspect which is not getting much attention in UK:

Brexit: Trouble in paradise for Britain's overseas territories?

Some 250,000 Britons live in 14 territories, with many reporting fear and confusion as the Brexit deadline nears.

27margd
Edited: Jan 21, 4:35am Top

Can expats vote in Britain? In Canada, non-resident citizens' right to vote in national elections has varied, but just confirmed by Supreme Court. The Brexit example shows how expats do indeed have a stake in decisions made by their mother country.

28-pilgrim-
Jan 21, 5:01am Top

>28 -pilgrim-: No, they cannot. Members of Parliament are elected by the residents of their constituencies, and there is no constituency for overseas residents. (The situation of 1773 still applies.)

EU citizens, resident in the UK, are eligible, however.

29margd
Edited: Jan 21, 6:32am Top

I have US and Canadian citizenship, reside in US, have summer place in Canada. The last gives me vote in Cdn municipal elections.

I used to be able to vote in Cdn national elections--maybe because I worked for US-Cdn entity located in the US--but in a riding where I lived decades ago, not summer place. I rarely did as issues became more and more remote, but still Cdn decisions can affect me, e.g., NAFTA, tax treaty, Huawei arrest, my adopted kids' status.

A big reason for applying for US citizenship was just to be able to vote on issues that affected me, how my tax dollars were spent. Also, to serve on a jury, though once was enough!

30johnthefireman
Edited: Jan 21, 5:34am Top

UK citizens can vote overseas for 15 years, by re-registering each year for a postal or proxy vote in the last constituency in which they were resident in UK. Unfortunately I'm long past my 15 years so I no longer have a vote.

Mind you, I'm not sure how or whether that applies in British Overseas Territories.

31proximity1
Jan 21, 5:43am Top


>28 -pilgrim-: "No, they cannot. Members of Parliament are elected by the residents of their constituencies, and there is no constituency for overseas residents. (The situation of 1773 still applies.)"

Just one more reason to deplore the idiotic and malign official treatment of U.K. citizens living abroad--or, indeed, returning to Britain after long absences.

"Leave" the E.U. means LEAVE the E.U.! —no "ifs," "ands" or "buts".

32lriley
Jan 21, 12:28pm Top

Not sure why a second referendum couldn't or shouldn't be held. Brexit is obviously not as popular as it was a couple years ago. If the majority of the public want out now---now is more important than then. Government should work for the people's will which is not always a static thing. When the will changes the govt. should be flexible enough to at least try to accommodate that change.

33jjwilson61
Jan 21, 12:39pm Top

>32 lriley: It seems like the big sticking point is the Irish border, an issue that wasn't raised during the campaigning running up to the Brexit vote. Since this huge issue wasn't debated it seems like a new debate and vote is called for.

In the case of an exit with no deal the border with Ireland will become a hard border, right? Since the no-deal exit seems more likely now the Northern Irish delegation must be having a fit.

34lriley
Jan 21, 4:45pm Top

#33--Ireland is an EU country but there are people going back and forth over that border every day. The tories remained in control largely because of their alliance with Unionist politicians--really hard right neanderthals. I have no idea what's going to happen there but I wouldn't be surprised if those Unionist pols make it a lot harder to move from one side of the border to the other. The birth control rate is working against them though--eventually they are not going to have the political control they've enjoyed up til now.

But a lot of Scots at the moment are probably second guessing themselves about not separating from the United Kingdom too.

The thing is the Prime Minister has no deal and has no time to work out a deal. What they have straight ahead of them is a looming disaster. You don't punish your people just because they made a bad decision or at least you should give them an out if you can. Two years ago is not now--both the public and the pols know a lot more now and they also know they're not prepared for the fallout of not being ready and not having a plan.

35margd
Jan 21, 5:34pm Top

There were at least two votes in Quebec re sovereignty, I believe. Will probably be more, but for the time being, they seem to be happy with accommodations (?) which pleases me because I can't conceive of Canada without them. (Never mind my BF's inability to feel anything but contempt for the Queen...)

36reading_fox
Jan 21, 5:42pm Top

With hindsight the biggest failure was not to put a supermajority requirement into the initial referendum. And as usual the irish wisdom always applies. 'You want to go where? well I wouldn't start from here!'

Quite how we get out of the heavily divided mess we've managed to talk ourselves into I don't know. Preferably without re-igniting the Troubles. I don't know how likely that actually is given the hard border was only a proxy fro the justified resentment felt on both sides, and they've now had 20 years to get used to each other.

Given the statistics apparently even if no single person changes their mind at all and the demographics remain unchanged, sufficient elderly from 2 years ago have died, and been replaced by younger votes that the vote would now go the other way.

37johnthefireman
Jan 22, 12:34am Top

>33 jjwilson61:

I was in Belfast last month at a conference whch included former combatants, former prisoners, politicians, church leaders, activists and others. The two sides, Republican and Loyalist, seemed absolutely united in their fear of Brexit.

One issue is the Good Friday Peace Agreement between two sovereign governments (UK and Ireland) and the paramilitaries. The open border between the two nations has nothing to do with the EU per se and is a requirement of the peace agreement. If the UK closes the border, it is in breach of the peace agreement, which could lead to renewed instability and even violence in Northern Ireland.

The other issue is the economy. Northern Ireland's economy is already poor, but if Brexit drives it even further downhill, there is the fear that a new generation of disadvantaged and disillusioned youth who did not experience the terrible violence of the Troubles will resort to violence.

>36 reading_fox: With hindsight the biggest failure was not to put a supermajority requirement into the initial referendum

Precisely. Major constitutional changes which are virtually impossible to undo once done should require more than just a 50%+1 majority. There's also the question of regional consent. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is, as the name suggests, a union of four nations (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) all with their own national assemblies, and it seems wrong to make such a major change without the consent of all four entities, or even a majority thereof.

38margd
Edited: Jan 23, 11:11am Top

OTOH, Quebec's indecision and yearning for sovereignty may have cost it:

The City must oppose Brexit purgatory or end up like Quebec
Dave Morris | January 21, 2019 Updated: January 23, 2019

Montreal’s cautionary tale of falling from financial services dominance shows why indecision is worse than no decision

In their darkest moments, City financiers imagine a post-Brexit London that is a shell of its former self, transformed from a contender for the title of world’s premier financial hub into an also-ran dotted with shrunken regional offices. That is unlikely but not impossible, and with the UK still stuck in Brexit purgatory, the City needs to make its voice heard in Westminster as loudly as it can, or risk ending up like Montreal.

Quests for greater sovereignty can be ruinously expensive, and exhibit A in the case of how badly they can turn out is Montreal in the 1970s. Quebec’s dream of being an independent country and “masters in their own house” led to many head offices and much of the Canadian financial sector upping sticks and fleeing the province for Toronto.

...Some degree of damage from Brexit has already been done, but it can get far worse. To appropriate the language of bankers, doing business in the City has been repriced. Where it was once risk-free, guarded by the strongest legal protections and a favourable regulatory environment, London is now a place where there is the possibility of international agreements suddenly collapsing, or, worse, the rise of a hard-left government keen on bringing finance to heel with transaction taxes and forced renationalisation of industry. This makes continuing to locate key operations here a risk that could prove very costly. Until that is settled, we are on a path to a branch-plant financial sector...

https://www.fnlondon.com/articles/the-city-must-oppose-brexit-purgatory-or-end-u...

39johnthefireman
Edited: Jan 25, 12:32am Top

Queen's speech calling for 'common ground' seen as Brexit allusion (Guardian)

Monarch urges Britons not to miss bigger picture at event for Women’s Institute centenary...

The Queen has called for “common ground” and “never losing sight of the bigger picture”... which is likely to be interpreted as a veiled reference to the toxic debate around Brexit.

She spoke of the virtues of “respecting” the other person’s point of view, as parliament remains deeply divided over the issue of Britain leaving the EU.

The Queen, who as head of state constitutionally remains publicly politically neutral, reflected in her speech on a year of change...

She added: “The continued emphasis on patience, friendship, a strong community-focus and considering the needs of others are as important today as they were... all those years ago.

“Of course, every generation faces fresh challenges and opportunities. As we look for new answers in the modern age, I for one prefer the tried and tested recipes, like speaking well of each other and respecting different points of view; coming together to seek out the common ground; and never losing sight of the bigger picture. To me, these approaches are timeless, and I commend them to everyone.”

It echoed her Christmas address when she touched on the same theme, telling the nation: “Even with the most deeply held differences, treating the other person with respect and as a fellow human being is always a good first step towards greater understanding...”


Queen makes plea for Britons to find 'common ground' (BBC)

41margd
Jan 26, 7:06am Top

And Putin smiles.

42margd
Jan 28, 11:11am Top

David Frumt @davidfrum | 2:37 PM - 26 Jan 2019:
9 weeks before exiting the EU, quite likely at this point with no transition in place at enormous human cost - the British public still dont know, and the UK govt still doesn't seem to want to know - whether Leave campaign was illegally funded by Russia

Arron Banks and the mystery Brexit campaign funds
Robert Wright in Thornbury | November 5, 2018

UK crime agency probing whether executive was true source of £8m donation to Brexit backers...

https://www.ft.com/content/4610a4be-dde2-11e8-9f04-38d397e6661c

43davidgn
Edited: Jan 28, 9:11pm Top

Ireland dismisses suggestion it should quit EU and join UK
BBC’s John Humphrys criticised for putting ‘Brexit solution’ to Irish minister

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jan/26/john-humphrys-suggests-ireland-...

BBC's Humphrys asks Dublin minister why Ireland doesn't dump EU and 'throw lot in' with UK
https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/bbcs-humphrys-asks-dubl...

Clearly we have hit peak insanity at the BBC. "Barking mad" doesn't begin to describe it.

44lriley
Jan 28, 10:12pm Top

#43--because after two years Britain still hasn't worked out a plan of how to get out and the Irish don't want to go down the toilet with them?

45davidgn
Edited: Jan 28, 10:34pm Top

>44 lriley: Well, that's one point...

https://hotair.com/archives/2019/01/26/bbc-irish-minister-not-just-rejoin-uk/

Ahem. Does Humphrys mean, “Except for the 800 years of oppression and famine the last time Ireland’s lot got thrown in with the UK, why not try it again?” That’s even more amusing than the oft-repeated grim joke, “Except for that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?” Granted, it’s a very different UK and Ireland these days, but that’s in no small part because of Irish independence 97 years ago. And even at that, it’s not all that much different, as the UK seems not to care overly much about Irish input on their foreign and economic policies — otherwise, they wouldn’t be stuck in their current Brexit morass.

It does put quite a different spin on reunification, I’ll grant Humphrys that. Otherwise, count me in amongst the “gobsmacked”

46jjwilson61
Jan 28, 10:34pm Top

Why doesn't Northern Ireland quit the UK and join the rest of the island?

47davidgn
Edited: Jan 28, 11:18pm Top

48johnthefireman
Jan 28, 11:12pm Top

Why is the UK goverment apparently so reluctant to honour a binding international peace agreement which it signed with the sovereign Republic of Ireland a mere twenty years ago to bring to an end an awful longstanding armed conflict?

Why were UK voters not even reminded of this agreement during the Brexit campagn prior to the referendum? Why did so-called Brexiteers not provide any guidance on how they planned to deal with this complex issue if they were to win the referendum?

Those are rhetorical questions, incidentally. Sadly we already know the answers.

49lriley
Edited: Jan 28, 11:14pm Top

#45--well my last name is Riley--I'm well aware of Irish antipathy for the British. I got that drummed into me in my childhood. I'm also aware that a lot of British and particularly from the upper classes have very short memories in that regard. They just like to see things just from a today-ish kind of perspective and all that past stuff is just water under the bridge--no hard feelings to them.

Added to that that partition 97 years ago when the North had all the major industry was a main cause of a civil war because to a lot of Irish many of their Northern Irish brothers and sisters were pretty much taken hostage and became pretty much second class citizens for a very very long period of time. Now their economy is not nearly as good as that in the South but the Unionist hard right very conservative politicians still have the political leverage....

which is kind of an answer for jjwilson's #46. The Unionist politicians more than anyone else are going to stop the two parts of Ireland from joining together. Teresa May was only able to maintain a very slim majority in Britain's last election by making a deal and an alliance with those Unionists and she's the politician that owns Brexit more than any other--Cameron having fucked off into obscurity. Those Unionists have thrown in their lot with her and there is a strong likelihood that their deal is going to go very badly for the people who elected them. So maybe in the relatively near future the people of Northern Ireland will make them pay because it looks like the people there are going to be in for a shitload of misery. Would that the two parts come together sometime in the future because of Brexit that would be pretty cool as far as I'm concerned but the Unionists are going to have to be defeated at the ballot box first.

50lriley
Jan 28, 11:18pm Top

#48--Cameron put it to a referendum thinking there was no way that Brexit would happen---which shows what an arrogant shit he is. So there was no pre-planning of anything--let alone any thought of the Irish peace agreement.

51proximity1
Edited: Jan 29, 9:32am Top

"Cameron put it to a referendum thinking there was no way that Brexit would happen---which shows what an arrogant shit he is. So there was no pre-planning of anything--let alone any thought of the Irish peace agreement."

The same could be said about the political hack and walking-disaster who, as nominee for the "other" (LOL!) major U.S. political party, complacently ran against Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

The (U.K.) Northern Irish don't want to leave Ireland—and would remain in an independent Ireland if Britain ever ceded the territory back to the Republic of Ireland—any more than the Irish of the Republic are keen to "join", "throw in their lot" with Britain.

..."Britain still hasn't worked out a plan of how to get out and the Irish don't want to go down the toilet with them?"

But none of this has anything to do with some fear that Britain is going "down the toilet." As shitty and disgusting as is contemporary life in Britain for so many, the country is simply not going to "go down the toilet" in any of the conceivably meaningful senses that this phrase suggests in this context; nor would leaving the E.U. be any reason why Britain's prospects would, over the long term, worsen or decline from where they are currently.

All of the most serious problems in Britain can be ameliorated, to the extent that this is possible, by Britain and only by Britain.

Fuck the fucking E.U. and its henchmen, Jean-Claude Juncker, Michel Barnier and the rest of these disgusting fools.

52margd
Jan 29, 9:53am Top

UK retirees in EU will lose free healthcare under no-deal Brexit
Lisa O'Carroll | 29 Jan 2019

British nationals who have retired to EU countries including Spain and France will no longer have their healthcare covered by the NHS in the event of no deal, the government has said.

The confirmation will come as a blow to around 190,000 British citizens retired in the EU in the Spanish Costas, Provence in France and Tuscany in Italy, all popular with British pensioners.

It could also add to the burden on the NHS if pensioners believe they have no option but to return to the UK for treatment. The government has previously admitted it is cheaper to pay Spain and France to look after Britons’ medical bills than have them fly home.

Currently pensioners can get treatment reimbursed by the NHS under an EU-wide body of reciprocal arrangements...

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jan/29/british-pensioners-in-eu-will-l...

53proximity1
Edited: Jan 29, 11:21am Top

>52 margd:

"British nationals who have retired to EU countries including Spain and France will no longer have their healthcare covered by the NHS in the event of no deal, the government has said."



Fucking "Duh".

Any voting observer who hadn't very well grasped that as a near-certain consequence of the initiative to leave the E.U. back at the time of the June 2016 referendum simply lacked the good sense to cast an informed vote in the first place.

I certainly took it as a 'given' that, in the event of a referendum victory by the "Leave-advocates," it would follow logically that, IF the vote's result was actually respected and put into effect, a BIG "If", then the reciprocal health-care arrangements would sooner or later be annulled.

If this "comes as a blow to around 190,000 British citizens retired in the EU in the Spanish Costas, Provence in France and Tuscany in Italy," (where I lived at the time of the referendum, and, thus, wasn't eligible to cast a "leave" vote, as, otherwise, I'd have done from Italy) then all I can do is ask where these people ever got the sense to earn (or steal) the wealth which has afforded them the occasion to buy summer or retirement homes in these places.

The way things are headed, in or out of the E.U., the NHS is clearly in the cross-hairs of conservatives who'd like nothing better than to leave it an empty, worthless husk—a state not far or long off if the current course is allowed to continue.

It's laughable to voice concern for access to quality health-care in one breath as, in the next, one advocates remaining in the clutches of the vicious globalizing juggernaut of the E.U. which has no use for public health-care in the first place. Ask Frenchmen, Greeks, Spaniards, or Italians about their health-care systems.

Want quality health-care to have a sporting chance to be recovered one day in the U.K.? Then you'd better pray that, one way or another, Britain gets the fuck out of the E.U.

55margd
Feb 3, 3:18pm Top

EU-Japan trade agreement enters into force
Brussels, 31 January 2019

The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the EU and Japan enters into force on 1 February 2019. Businesses and consumers across Europe and in Japan can now take advantage of the largest open trade zone in the world.

President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said: "Europe and Japan are sending a message to the world about the future of open and fair trade. We are opening a new marketplace home to 635 million people and almost a third of the world's Gross Domestic Product, bringing the people of Europe and Japan closer together than ever before. The new agreement will give consumers greater choice and cheaper prices; it will protect great European products in Japan and vice-versa, such as the Austrian Tiroler Speck or Kobe Beef; it will give small businesses on both sides the chance to branch out to a completely new market; it will save European companies 1 billion euro in duties every year and turbo-boost the trade we already do together. More than anything, our agreement shows that trade is about more than quotas and tariffs, or millions and billions. It is about values, principles and fairness. It makes sure that our principles in areas such as labour, safety, climate and consumer protection are the global gold-standard. This only happens when you work with the most natural of partners, separated by thousands of kilometres but united in friendship and values."...

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-19-785_en.htm

__________________________________________________​

Nissan cancels plans to make X-Trail SUV in the UK, in a blow to Theresa May
Feb 3 2019

Nissan announced Sunday it has cancelled plans to make its X-Trail SUV in the UK — a sharp blow to British Prime Minister Theresa May, who fought to have the model built in northern England.

Nissan said it will consolidate production of the next generation X-Trail at its plant in Kyushu, Japan, where the model is currently produced.

...Nissan's change of heart comes just days after Britain's carmakers issued a stark assessment about Brexit's impact on the industry, warning that their exports are at risk if the U.K. leaves the EU without an agreement.

Investment in the industry fell 46 percent last year and new car production dropped 9.1 percent to 1.52 million vehicles, in part because of concerns over Brexit, the Society of Motor Manufacturing said.

...He says the drop in investment is only a foreshadowing of what could happen if the U.K. leaves the EU on March 29 without a deal.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/03/the-associated-press-nissan-cancels-plans-to-mak...

56margd
Feb 9, 9:02am Top

A dear one in the US needs this drug to prevent his seizures (frequency at worst every 30-40 minutes, now completely controlled),
so I am especially sympathetic to this story. Apparently it's not the only drug that may be affected.

My pharmacist told me he couldn’t get my crucial epilepsy medication due to ‘problems caused by Brexit’
Chaplain Chloe Chaplain | February 8th 2019

A young woman was told that there have been issues with supplies over the last month due to Brexit and that 'it will probably get worse'

In brief Chantel suffers from a rare form of epilepsy and takes medication daily
She was told that there were problems getting hold of her prescription
The pharmacist said it would only 'get worse' and blamed Brexit...

https://inews.co.uk/news/brexit/brexit-medicine-shortage-epilepsy-pharmacy-warni...

57-pilgrim-
Feb 11, 3:03am Top

>56 margd: This is a "potential problem" that has been known for at least 6 months. GPs have been requested by the government not to 'collude' with anxious epileptics and diabetics, who have been asking foe advance prescriptions in order to stockpile supplies.

cf. also https://www.bbc.com/news/health-46597425?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/ne...

58margd
Feb 11, 5:56am Top

So sorry for the worry and bother that ordinary folks must be feeling. Bad enough the shortages and price hikes that we see without trade difficulties--EpiPens, insulin, blood pressure meds...

59margd
Mar 1, 8:45am Top

US negotiating objectives make gentle arms of EU look much more desirable?

US takes tough line with UK on post-Brexit trade talks
James Politi | Feb 28, 2019

The Trump administration has taken an aggressive posture towards the UK on post-Brexit trade talks, demanding greater access to the UK market for its agricultural products and guarantees that London would not manipulate its currency.

...Another provision that could raise eyebrows would constrain the UK’s ability to secure a trade deal with a “non-market economy”, such as China, by creating a “mechanism to ensure transparency and take appropriate action”. This could allow the US to ditch its trade deal with the UK if it does not like the terms of any agreement London strikes with Beijing.

...The US negotiating objectives for the UK deal are similar to the wish lists published in recent months by Mr Lighthizer’s office for talks with the EU and Japan.

On industrial goods, the US said it was aiming for “comprehensive duty-free access” and stronger “disciplines to address non-tariff barriers” from the UK.

In digital trade, which is rapidly expanding, the US wants “secure commitments not to impose customs duties on digital products”, such as software, music, video and ebooks, and “non-discriminatory treatment” of content.

In commercial partnerships, the US is asking the UK to “discourage politically motivated actions to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel”.

https://www.ft.com/content/09bfe7ca-3bae-11e9-b72b-2c7f526ca5d0

61johnthefireman
Mar 14, 3:58am Top

Britain's political system is at the breaking point (Al Jazeera)

So how did Theresa May, and Britain, end up in this mess?

It all started back in 2013, when May's predecessor David Cameron promised an in-or-out of the EU referendum were he to win the upcoming general election. There was no pressing demand to hold such a vote from the wider British population, only an obsession about the EU within Cameron's own Conservative Party. When Cameron unexpectedly won the 2015 election and had to organise the referendum, neither he nor the government had a plan as to how to actually do Brexit, nor any clear idea what the role of direct democracy should be within the British system. The June 23, 2016, referendum had no turnout threshold or special majority requirement as is normal for referendums on such important matters elsewhere in the world. The result was 52 percent to 48 percent in favour of exit, on a turnout of 72 percent.

This lack of vision and preparation, which were evident long before the vote, have dogged May's government ever since, and culminated in her monumental parliamentary defeats.

Moreover, in the years since Cameron's ill-fated referendum, May's government made some moves that made an already hopeless situation worse: Rather than reaching out to the 48 percent that voted against exit, May systematically ignored their concerns. When pro-Leave campaigns were shown by the Electoral Commission to have broken campaign finance rules, May's government once again ignored the problem. When the unimplementable promises made by the Leave campaigners before the referendum turned to dust, May's government still persevered in trying to make Brexit happen. When seeking to solve the Northern Ireland border issue, May listened to the Democratic Unionist Party rather than seek a solution acceptable to all.

While all these moves appear counterproductive - and even illogical - on the surface, one can make sense of it all by looking into the internal dynamics of Britain's political parties. ..

62margd
Mar 14, 8:59am Top

David Frum @davidfrum | 5:12 AM - 14 Mar 2019:
President Trump has since 2016 urged the UK into a no-deal Brexit with a view to wrecking the European Union and forcing an isolated, vulnerable UK to accede to US trade demands. He has hit the UK with steel tariffs. Trump may be @piersmorgan 's friend, but he's not Britain's

(David Frum Retweeted Piers Morgan @piersmorgan)
I've given this a lot of thought & come to the conclusion that only one person can now sort out this ridiculous Brexit mess: @realDonaldTrump.
He'd take no sh*t from the EU, or Parliament, or anyone.…

63margd
Mar 15, 11:05am Top

So, so sorry, Ireland, UK, EU...
"at the traditional St Patrick's Day shamrock ceremony at the White House", Trump displays his empathy in deft diplomacy (NOT!):

Trump tariff threat to Irish trade adds to Brexit chaos
US president clashes with Varadkar over Brexit but gives backing to peace process
Cormac McQuinn | March 15 2019

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/trump-tariff-threat-to-irish-trad...

64sirfurboy
Mar 15, 11:20am Top

>63 margd: I was amused by Trump's claim that he would have negotiated it differently. If he had been negotiating Brexit I suppose the government would have shut down for a few months and then he would have declared a state of Emergency and called in troops.

Hmm... not so different to what we have seen actually!

Also, I love the way Trump says he "called it" by citing his visit to Scotland the day after Brexit. In his recollection that was the day before and he told everyone how the vote would go. In public record, it was the day after and he said he was in Scotland where they had voted to "take their country back" (Scotland actually voted remain in every single voting constituency in the country!)

65davidgn
Edited: Mar 15, 10:30pm Top

Gobsmacking. No fig leaves anymore. (eta cf. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/mar/13/erg-signals-it-could-back-may-b... -- well, they asked...)

Geoffrey Cox’s New “Legal Advice” on Brexit Incentivises Unionist Violence
https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/03/geoffrey-coxs-new-legal-advice-o...

Alternatively, if agreement were not forthcoming, it could respectably be argued, if the facts clearly warranted it, that there had been an unforeseen and fundamental change of circumstances affecting the essential basis of the treaty on which the United Kingdom's consent had been given. Those facts might, for example, be that the prolonged operation of the Backstop was having a socially destabilising effect in Northern Ireland, contrary to its objectives.
Brexit has revealed further the rottenness of the British political Establishment, but I am still truly shocked now to see the Government of the United Kingdom negotiating a major international treaty on the acknowledged, discussed and now published basis that it has every intention of breaking that treaty once it is in force. Officially published by the Attorney General, no less.

The Westminster Government’s contempt for international law was fully demonstrated just two weeks ago when it repudiated the International Court of Justice – an act which is the ultimate disavowal of the rule of international law – over the decolonisation of the Chagos Islands. So in one sense it is no shock that they are prepared to sign a treaty with no intention of honoring it.

But what is quite astonishing is that the discussions with the DUP and ERG on how to sign up to the backstop and then dishonour it, have been carried out fully in public, and with the potential other party to the treaty looking on.

I simply do not see how the EU can now sign the Withdrawal Agreement which was negotiated with May, when they have been given firm evidence that the UK intends to cheat on that Agreement.

I especially cannot understand the pusillanimous attitude of the government of Ireland to this development. The UK has published in advance that it is taking Ireland and the Irish people for fools and has no intention of keeping to the Irish backstop. The reaction of the Government of Ireland is to pretend not to notice. That is an astonishing dereliction of its duty to the people of Ireland, North and South.

The more so as Geoffrey Cox’s “advice” is an unsubtle hint to the DUP, should the backstop become effective, to restart the Loyalist violence with which they were for decades so closely associated, in order to provide the pretext for cancelling the backstop. In reading this, it is essential to remember that this legal advice was written, as a matter of definite fact, directly for the DUP audience to try and influence the DUP in the next “meaningful” vote. To signal to an organisation as steeped in blood as the DUP that the way out of the “Backstop” arrangement which they so hate, would be to demonstrate it is having a “socially destabilising effect in Northern Ireland”, clearly gives a very direct incentive to Loyalists to restart violence.

Anybody who knows anything about the history and politics of Northern Ireland must be aware that what I have just written is true. At the very best reading, Cox’s “advice” is grossly irresponsible and reckless.

66johnthefireman
Mar 16, 12:50am Top

>65 davidgn:

I was in Belfast three months ago and met a wide variety of representatives of different interests, including both sides in the former conflict. There is no doubt in my mind that all sides in Northern Ireland fear Brexit, as indeed was shown in the referendum where Northern Ireland voted to remain, and for good reasons.

67davidgn
Edited: Mar 21, 10:37pm Top

Yves Smith has a Brexit update. (Opening with Revelations 5:1-2, if that gives you the tenor).

Brexit: Opening the Seals
https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2019/03/brexit-opening-the-seals.html

cf. https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/03/how-theresa-may-botched-brexit.html

eta:
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-nuclear-bunker-no-deal-mil...

NB: I get the impression that these troops would be needed not only in the event of a no-deal exit, but also (perhaps a fortiori) if Article 50 were to be revoked.

68davidgn
Mar 23, 1:55am Top

But of course, there's this. Everybody grab your spoons.

Uri Geller promises to stop Brexit using telepathy
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/mar/22/uri-geller-promises-to-stop-bre...

69-pilgrim-
Edited: Mar 23, 3:15am Top

A petition to revoke Brexit had accumulated over 2 million signatures by yesterday. At one point, signatures were being added at a rate of 2,000 a minute. The site went offline repeatedly as it struggled to cope. (Note: signatures are verified by email address and postcode.)
BBC News - 'Cancel Brexit' petition passes 2m signatures on Parliament site
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-47652071

By the rules of the government's website, any petition that receives over 100,000 signatures has to be debated in Parliament.

By evening, the petition had reached 3.6 million signatures.

And Teresa May announced that it did not matter, remaining in the EU is not an option.

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/petition-to-cancel-brexit-altogether-hi...

Obviously, this is not as representative as a second referendum would be, but at least the petition is open to all British citizens, thereby giving a voice to those disenfranchised in the original referendum, and who are arguably most closely affected by Brexit: British citizens who currently reside outside the UK.

So much for "listening to the will of the people".

It seems clear that the British people want this option debated. The terms of the government's own website require it. But hey, let's go back to playing "I dare you " games with the EU instead.

ETA: Pstition now over 3.9 million signatures.

71lriley
Edited: Mar 23, 7:40am Top

The British govt. at the very least should try to get an extension from the EU. They are clearly not ready for withdrawal. They have no plan and without a plan there should be another referendum.

72johnthefireman
Mar 23, 7:00am Top

>69 -pilgrim-: the petition is open to all British citizens, thereby giving a voice to those disenfranchised in the original referendum, and who are arguably most closely affected by Brexit: British citizens who currently reside outside the UK

And about time too. I have just signed the petition, having been disenfranchised in the original referendum.

73-pilgrim-
Mar 23, 4:02pm Top

The "revoke Article 50" petition has now over 4.6 million signatures.

And the woman who started it has been receiving death threats.
BBC News - 'Cancel Brexit' petition woman receives death threats
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-47678275

>71 lriley: Teresa May has been trying to get an extension. Unfortunately, although Britain can legally unilaterally revoke its withdrawal, a change in the time frame requires the agreement of all EU member states.

Donald Tusk, the EU president, has stated this will not happen, unless the British Parliament has already agreed to the deal Teresa May negotiated with the EU, and the Speaker of the House of Commons has ruled that this deal (which MPs have already rejected) cannot be voted on again in the lifetime of this parliament, unless the terms have substantially changed.

Since Parliament has also voted to reject leaving without a deal, the result is a constitutional mess.

74lriley
Mar 23, 4:44pm Top

#73--that sucks and there's no time left to do anything. They should revoke Article 50.

75johnthefireman
Mar 24, 2:08am Top

Calls grow for public inquiry into Brexit

One thing now unites Britons – a sense of national humiliation

Both from the Grauniad.

As a Briton who lives overseas and moves in international circles, it is indeed embarrassing and, yes, humiliating, to be British at the moment. Leave aside the referendum decision to leave the EU, which very few people in an increasingly connected world can fathom (where I live, Kenya is about to start issuing new East African Community passports, and where I work, the new state of South Sudan sees the benefits of membership of the EA Community), but the amateurish manner in which the UK government has gone about negotiating the exit, and the blatant internal Tory party struggle which has dominated (and sabotaged) the negotiations, makes us the laughing stock of the world.

76davidgn
Edited: Mar 24, 2:32am Top

>75 johnthefireman: Just in passing...how's that AU passport coming? An impressive project.

77johnthefireman
Mar 24, 2:40am Top

>76 davidgn:

Not sure about the AU, but I believe Kenya is planning to replace all existing passports by September 2019.

78davidgn
Mar 24, 2:59am Top

79johnthefireman
Edited: Mar 24, 3:20am Top

It's very patchy. As a Kenyan resident I'm supposed to be able to travel visa-free between East African Community member states. I can do so to Uganda, simply by brandishing my Kenyan foreign resident ID, but not Tanzania, where I still have to cough up USD 50 for a visa at the border, nor South Sudan, where visas are more expensive but where I have a residence permit which allows me to travel in and out.

I look forward to the day when the world will succeed in abolishing borders and visas, but not in my lifetime I'm afraid.

80margd
Edited: Mar 24, 6:19am Top

>75 johnthefireman: Not a laughing stock, except perhaps in the Kremlin. More an object of puzzlement, worry for those who may be hurt, and concern for future of international cooperation per Non-zero: The Logic of Human Destiny.

81johnthefireman
Mar 28, 10:11am Top

From The New Humanitarian:

Following a tumultuous year around the globe, Cameroon, Brazil, the United Kingdom, and Venezuela are among the countries that have fallen furthest down the Fragile States Index (FSI), an annual ranking...

Would that be connected with something called Brexit, perhaps?

82bnielsen
Mar 29, 5:45am Top

>81 johnthefireman: For some reason I read that as: Following a tumultuous year around the globe, Cameron, ... :-)

83proximity1
Mar 29, 8:53am Top


The E.U. changes decades-long semi-annual seasonal clock-changes in the Union's member-states requiring, instead, that its members choose one year-long orientation of the nation's clocks.

Elsewhere,

British parliament votes to take all alternatives 'off the table'-- the May/Brussels (sell-out) plan, (the statutorily default case of) "No-Deal," and, even, disingenuously, the revocation of Article 50---and tomorrow's sun-rise---all "off the table."

LOL!

I.e.: Expect Article 50 to be revoked in some manner.

84sirfurboy
Edited: Mar 29, 10:44am Top

>83 proximity1: Although the Daily Express reported in hysterical terms that the EU was forcing an end to daylight savings, that is not what is happening. In fact, this is an example of the EU removing an existing regulation that required all states to observe daylight savings time. The EU is not mandating a change - that is up to the states to negotiate between themselves. The EU is removing a barrier to them doing so.

The fact they are doing this is because it is likely that the states do want to change - but the proposal here is that the EU remove a regulation that prevents them from doing so. There would be nothing to stop a state - particularly one already sitting in a different timezone from the other member states - from retaining its current arrangements.

Elsewhere: If you are referring to the indicative votes, you either did not notice that these were envisaged as a two stage process, or else you just decided to ignore that fact for rhetorical effect. On Monday (assuming the vote in a few minutes time does not yield a major surprise) there will be another attempt at finding an actual consensus in the sovereign UK parliament.

And as to your prediction that article 50 be revoked: I just don't see that happening at this stage. I think May's plan B is to push for hard Brexit. I believe that is unacceptable to parliament, but I would be foolish to attempt a prediction beyond that.

ETA: Nothing unexpected happened today!

85Carnophile
Edited: Apr 2, 9:47pm Top

If I can put an end to all this frivolity and get the discussion back on a serious track...

Pounded By The Pound: Turned Gay By The Socioeconomic Implications of Britain Leaving the European Union

86sirfurboy
Apr 4, 7:27am Top

Here is an excellent book I have just finished. Balanced, fair, but merciless in its analysis of the mistakes that brought us inevitably to the current Brexit impasse.

9 Lessons in Brexit - Ivan Rogers



If I had any criticism, it would be that the author's lessons tell us what we did wrong, but perhaps do not tell us how we get out of it. he is quite right, however, in his call for greater honesty from politicians.

Ivan Rogers is the former UK ambassador to the EU. He has no rose tinted glasses, when it comes to looking at the EU, but he understand the institution better than almost anyone in the UK, and puts to bed plenty of misinformation being promulgated by all sides.

87bnielsen
Edited: Apr 4, 7:39am Top

88bnielsen
Edited: Apr 4, 7:42am Top

This one, I guess:

89proximity1
Edited: Apr 4, 9:28am Top

>88 bnielsen:

There has so far been no negative consequence ensuing from a British departure from E.U. membership. None. Zero.

Nothing has happened.

The reason is simple: Britain is still an E.U.-member state and so, good, bad or indifferent, there have so far been no consequences of leaving the trading-bloc.

Rather, there has been no end of scare-mongering fuelled, over years of effort, by the wealthiest individuals and groups in Britain who tried and failed to prevent the democratically-determined vote on the question of leaving the E.U. and then, when the referendum went ahead, tried everything in their considerable powers to convince voters that they'd be stupid, insane, crazy, not to do as these wealthy groups and individuals wanted them to do and vote against "Leave."

In this, too, these uber-wealthy failed. The "Leave" vote prevailed at the ballot-box.

Now, the same groups and individuals have been trying, ever since then, to kill the referendum's outcome and prevent "Brexit" from coming about--by, again, all the means in their considerable power but, above all, by whipping up fear and convincing people that the world (for Britain) shall end if Brexit is not "stopped."

Every bit of these claims amounts to sheer fear-mongering conjecture--coupled, indeed, with concerted efforts to manipulate the workings of corporations so that, in advance of "leave," businesses panic and do wildly irresponsible things to suggest which can seem to suggest to some that the sky is about to fall--in other words, to engineer a self-fulfilling prophecy: to make a disaster where, before, there was only the "Remain" camp's electoral loss and its insufferably-sore sore losers.

You lost. Get over it. Life not only goes on, it can and it should be better once Britain is out of the serial-train-wreck which is known as the "European Union."

90sirfurboy
Apr 4, 7:55am Top

>89 proximity1: "There has so far been no negative consequence ensuing from a British departure from E.U. membership. None. Zero."

I know what you are trying to say, but still, you are neglecting to mention that there have been some very substantial negative consequences of Brexit thus far. See this for instance:

https://www.independent.ie/business/brexit/brexit-chaos-costs-uk-economy-600m-a-...

Also, if you were to read Rogers' book, you would see the point he makes about the softest benefit of a currency devaluation in British history. You also must surely be aware of the flow of jobs out of the country, and the negative supply shock being experienced by British industry.

So yes, we have not left yet and there are no negative effects of having already left, but there are plenty of negative effects of Brexit.

91johnthefireman
Edited: Apr 4, 8:34am Top

>89 proximity1: scare-mongering fuelled, over years of effort, by the wealthiest individuals and groups in Britain

I don't think the people I met in Belfast a few months ago - ex-combatants, ex-prisoners, victims of the Troubles and their families, church leaders, peace activists and others from both sides of the conflict between Loyalists/Protestants and Republicans/Catholics - can be described as "the wealthiest individuals and groups in Britain", indeed quite the opposite. Yet they are terrified of Brexit and what it will do to their already depressed economy and their fragile peace agreement.

Neither do I think that my own colleagues, friends and family, nor indeed myself, while certainly not amongst the poorest Britons, are amongst "the wealthiest individuals and groups". Bog standard lower middle class, most of us.

92johnthefireman
Edited: Apr 4, 8:17am Top

>89 proximity1: the serial-train-wreck which is known as the "European Union."

A contrary view from members of Pax Christi (an international Catholic peace movement) in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, Belgium and the UK who participated in the crafting of a manifesto entitled "The Europe We Want". These organisations reiterate their belief in the continuing viability of Europe.

"We, the Pax Christi organisations linked to the Catholic peace movement across Europe, reiterate our faith in the European project:

- Yes, 'Europe' is still very necessary for achieving the goals of peace, prosperity and sustainability in a world shaken by inequalities, conflicts, cataclysmic climate change and geopolitical imbalances;
- Yes, 'Europe' should remain a beacon of hope and humanity for all those stripped of their dignity and the right to decent living conditions, and
- Yes, 'Europe' has the resources and courage to adjust itself to a changing world without reneging on its fundamental values, such as respect for human dignity, democracy and human rights."

While celebrating all that the European peace project has achieved since its inception, the manifesto acknowledges the work still to be done and the challenges that Europe faces, including the impact of the refugee crisis and climate change. The manifesto states that the future of Europe is at stake in this election.

"While populists and nationalists are strongly making their voice heard in the run-up to the European Parliament elections, let's take action and convince people to participate in the elections and support the Europe we want: a peaceful, fraternal, forward-looking Europe for all women and men of good will."

93proximity1
Edited: Apr 4, 9:35am Top

Job-losses to immigrant labour , whether that is because these people have left or shall leave Britain or because they don't come into Britain in the first place because, again, they are acting on some expectation as yet unrealized means more employment possibilities for British people and, thus, is a net positive.

If there is native-talent or local-talent lacking, that can be addressed by training people, offering better compensation, etc. Again, all these are to the benefit of people who are already in and are remaining in Britain.

The idea that Britain faces economic collapse or other serious social and economic harm because it suddenly doesn't have imported low-paid and low-skilled labour is ridiculous scare-mongering.

For highly-skilled and trained employment, those in Britain for whose work there is already a shortage would, in any case, be eligible, under existing law, to obtain a work-visa and remain and work indefinitely. Only with the eventual end of a need would there be an end to such imported skilled labour.

The claimed horrors are sheer nonsense. There is ample demand on the part of foreign skilled workers to get employment in Britain--and, so, enter, work and remain there, in all those fields where British talent is temporarily in short supply. In the meantime, native talent can be trained up, given places in university to study and obtain the degrees needed for these positions.

The claims to the contrary are intellectually insulting.

94sirfurboy
Edited: Apr 4, 10:27am Top

>92 johnthefireman: Thanks for that. All I can say to it is "hear, hear".

>93 proximity1: Not sure what this was in answer to, but if in answer to my post, the job losses are in things like car plants, not in areas traditionally filled by immigrant labour. It is often skilled manufacturing labour being lost. In any case, much of your post appears to be about a loss of labour rather than a loss of jobs.

In any case your analysis is economically naive. You say:

"If there is native-talent or local-talent lacking, that can be addressed by training people"

Even if it were as simple as that, there are three obvious problems to the training issue:

1. You must find people willing and able to be trained.
2. Training costs a lot of money.
3. Training takes a lot of time.

None of these problems actually make your suggestion wrong, of course. We can probably say that more training in suitable skills is definitely a good thing, but it is not a quick fix to a sudden loss of labour. If Brexit were happening in 10 years, we could get going on this now... except for the other major problem with what you suggest.

Britain may be trying to cut itself off from the world, but the world is still there. So let me tell you about just one area where we are suffering labour shortages as a result of Brexit, and explain why training is not going to solve this. That area is the NHS.

If you or anyone you know has tried to get on a course to study medicine in the UK, you will be aware it is a very competitive field. There are a very limited number of spaces available, and as a result there are a limited number of doctors qualifying each year. As EU doctors pack up and leave, we have a shortfall, so your solution would be to increase the number of training places.

The problem is this will not work. The reason we have a limited number of places available is because (1) the training is expensive and (2) because increasing the numbers we train does not translate to an increase in the number of doctors in British hospitals.

The reason for that is that these qualified doctors are then qualified in a global marketplace, and the British NHS does not pay doctors as much as private medicine or medicine in many countries overseas. So we train just enough doctors for our needs, knowing that we lose many of them when they qualify, but we make up the shortfall by importing doctors from other countries.

Now if you cut off the imported doctors, and you cannot prevent the export, you are left with a deficit.

The only way you can retain doctors would be to massively increase their wages, but then we could not afford as many doctors as before, so either way, we have a shortfall.

*

The above is just one example. It is, in fact, well attested that immigrants are good for an economy. This is something Germany has known for many years, much of its success built on the back of immigration. It is something the UK used to know too, but the message has been shouted down of late.

Consider the demographics. Europe has an aging population and falling birth rates. We are simply not replacing our own workforce as quickly as it is retiring, and as the average worker age increases, the cost of the workforce also increases on average. The solution, in an economy, to any shortage is to import what you need. In this case we need to import people. Even China has come to realise that the problems of a rising population are not nearly as great as the the problems caused by an ageing population.

So we should import people. If we do so, we also receive benefits. Immigrants coming to the UK to work bring skills they acquired in their countries of origin. We are getting an educated/skilled economically active and usually young worker without paying for their education. We benefit from the educational spending in those other countries.

Those immigrants also generate economic activity. They receive a wage and even if they are frugal, they still spend much of it in our economy. They rent or buy houses, they furnish them, they eat, they go to the cinema, they drive a car or use public transport, and yes,if they have children, the children go to school.

Many people complain about the cost of educating these children, but these people are paying taxes in Britain and that tax pays for the school. If there is pressure on the school places, that is because the government is not investing enough in schools, not because the immigrants are stealing places. They are paying taxes to cover that schooling.

And if the government does open more schools then this is more economic activity driven by the immigration. Time and again this has been looked at by economists, and the analysis repeatedly shows an overall positive benefit to an economy from immigration.

95proximity1
Apr 4, 11:44am Top


>94 sirfurboy:

SO, third and fourth-rate nations, from which the immigrant labor comes, by definition, already sufficiently trained to U.K. standards--otherwise, they would not be able to qualify and take the positions in the first place-- these nations are able to do what Britain apparently cannot do-- is that your contention?

It seems to follow from what you've tried to argue. And it's patent nonsense.



If there is native-talent or local-talent lacking, that can be addressed by training people"

Even if it were as simple as that, there are three obvious problems to the training issue:

1. You must find people willing and able to be trained.

(Right. Other, smaller, poorer, less competitive nations accomplish this same. So can Britain.)

2. Training costs a lot of money.

(Right. Other, smaller, poorer, less competitive nations accomplish this same. So can Britain. It's far wealthier than the poorer nations from which this immigrant labour comes.)

3. Training takes a lot of time.

(Right. Other, smaller, poorer, less competitive nations accomplish this same. So can Britain. Take the time. In the meantime, keep those already here in these positions. DON'T MAKE ME REPEAT MY POINTS BY YOUR IGNORING THEM!)

None of these problems actually make your suggestion wrong, of course. We can probably say that more training in suitable skills is definitely a good thing, but it is not a quick fix to a sudden loss of labour.

(No one said it was a "quick fix"; that's a straw-man argument. DON'T MAKE ME REPEAT MY POINTS BY YOUR IGNORING THEM!)

If Brexit were happening in 10 years, we could get going on this now... except for the other major problem with what you suggest.

Britain may be trying to cut itself off from the world, but the world is still there.

(Bullshit. That's a straw-man argument. No one claimed that Britain "may be trying to cut itself off from the world." DON'T MAKE ME REPEAT MY POINTS BY YOUR IGNORING THEM!)

So let me tell you about just one area where we are suffering labour shortages as a result of Brexit, and explain why training is not going to solve this. That area is the NHS.

If you or anyone you know has tried to get on a course to study medicine in the UK, you will be aware it is a very competitive field. There are a very limited number of spaces available,

(So? If we need more M.D.s, make more "spaces available" FFS! Don't tell me, in effect, that we can't solve the problems merely because we refuse to take the obvious steps which we could take ijn order to do just that. You insult your readers' intelligence with such bullshit.)

..."and as a result there are a limited number of doctors qualifying each year.

(See above. This is an entirely manufactured "problem" of our own making. So Britain can "fix it." To say we can't is a blatant lie.)

"As EU doctors pack up and leave, we have a shortfall, so your solution would be to increase the number of training places."

They needn't. DON'T MAKE ME REPEAT MY POINTS BY YOUR IGNORING THEM! Skilled labour in short supply is already legally able to apply for and obtain full residence and work visas which are open-ended. If you deny that, cite the law which indicates otherwise.)

The problem is this will not work. The reason we have a limited number of places available is because (1) the training is expensive and (2) because increasing the numbers we train does not translate to an increase in the number of doctors in British hospitals.

"The reason for that is that these qualified doctors are then qualified in a global marketplace, and the British NHS does not pay doctors as much as private medicine or medicine in many countries overseas. So we train just enough doctors for our needs, knowing that we lose many of them when they qualify, but we make up the shortfall by importing doctors from other countries."

(You're claiming that there are no decent M.D.s which can and would work for NHS pay. And yet, when we need them, somehow they're imported. You say so yourself.

Make up your mind: either we can get the temporary M.D.s while we train local talent--which is there. You don't show that it isn't. Or we can't find it. But, since we have been finding and hiring it, it exists. You're trying to have things both ways at once. Typical of "Remain" voters.

"Now if you cut off the imported doctors, and you cannot prevent the export, you are left with a deficit."

( If M.D.s want to train in the U.K., they can sign a binding agreement to work IN BRITAIN, as a condition of their accepting training, for a fixed time after their training ends. )

"The only way you can retain doctors would be to massively increase their wages, but then we could not afford as many doctors as before, so either way, we have a shortfall."

This implies that all M.D.s and esp. the best of them are solely in their professions out of pure financial greed. I don't believe this and no one I've heard of has ever presented a convincing case for believing it. You're just making up convenient bullshit, pretending that, outside of your vision of things, it's all just impossible. That's deeply insulting to the intelligence of your readers and another example of why "Remain" lost the referendum. Stop treating your readers like they were morons!

*

The above is just one example. It is, in fact, well attested that immigrants are good for an economy. This is something Germany has known for many years, much of its success built on the back of immigration. It is something the UK used to know too, but the message has been shouted down of late.

"Consider the demographics. Europe has an aging population and falling birth rates. We are simply not replacing our own workforce as quickly as it is retiring," ...

You obviously haven't been in Tower Hamlets in the past several years--where Muslim women of child-bearing age are all pushing prams and trailing one, two, or three other children besides. Britain has a population EXPLOSION, ALL Muslem, just around the corner. Will that "do" for labour needs?

... "and as the average worker age increases, the cost of the workforce also increases on average. The solution, in an economy, to any shortage is to import what you need."

(See above. Stop treating your readers like they were morons!)

In this case we need to import people. Even China has come to realise that the problems of a rising population are not nearly as great as the the problems caused by an ageing population.

So we should import people. If we do so, we also receive benefits. Immigrants coming to the UK to work bring skills they acquired in their countries of origin.

(Like what? Reading the Qur'an in Arabic? An inability to speak comprehensible English? Praying five times a day?)

"We are getting an educated/skilled economically active and usually young worker without paying for their education. We benefit from the educational spending in those other countries."

(LOL!)

I don't have time at the moment for the rest of this contentious idiocy:

"Those immigrants also generate economic activity. They receive a wage and even if they are frugal, they still spend much of it in our economy. They rent or buy houses, they furnish them, they eat, they go to the cinema, they drive a car or use public transport, and yes,if they have children, the children go to school.

"Many people complain about the cost of educating these children, but these people are paying taxes in Britain and that tax pays for the school. If there is pressure on the school places, that is because the government is not investing enough in schools, not because the immigrants are stealing places. They are paying taxes to cover that schooling.

"And if the government does open more schools then this is more economic activity driven by the immigration. Time and again this has been looked at by economists, and the analysis repeatedly shows an overall positive benefit to an economy from immigration."

96sirfurboy
Apr 4, 12:37pm Top

>95 proximity1: Proximity1, I have said before, and I must say again, that your quoting style makes your messages extremely difficult to follow. You appear to quote me without attribution, inserting your responses to me in brackets for some of the above message, but later you use quotation marks around my words, even though previously you copied my own quotation marks verbatim, and then you partially jump back to the brackets, before abandoning that again.

I have some sense of what you wrote to me, only because I wrote the original to which you reply. Anyone else attempting to unravel that will surely become very confused.

Could you take more care with quotations, please. It may be easier if you actually quoted a little less. This is not USENET.

*

You start off your reply to me with: "SO, third and fourth-rate nations, from which the immigrant labor comes..."

I have made no such aspersions on the nations from which immigrant labour comes. Immigrants labour comes from all over the world, and regardless of where they come from, dismissing a nation as "fourth rate" is always going to be too simplistic. You question whether other nations could be supplying us with sufficient numbers of suitably trained doctors. The answer is yes, and they do. If you want to understand why that is so, you might wish to look at the demographics, education systems, history etc., of those nations that supply our NHS with doctors.

You dislike that I suggested that training is not a quick fix. We are talking about Brexit and you have consistently been advocating no deal. The need, then is now. That is the context of the discussion.

You say: "You're claiming that there are no decent M.D.s which can and would work for NHS pay."

I did not say that. I said that doctors qualifying in the UK can work privately in the UK or abroad. I did not say they all do. In fact, most start in the NHS, but many do not stay there. that is simply the facts on the ground.

Then you say: "If M.D.s want to train in the U.K., they can sign a binding agreement to work IN BRITAIN, as a condition of their accepting training, for a fixed time after their training ends."

Indentured servitude is generally frowned upon in the modern age. In any case, that does not fix the issue when many do work here for a while but they do not stay here.

Incidentally, I understand that as an American, there is no reason why you should be familiar with the British political process, the functioning of the NHS or the process of training doctors, but I should point out your use of the term M.D. is an American term that means something different in the UK. In America, an M.D. is just a medical doctor (yeah, I know it is Latin, but it translates the same way). In America an MD is a graduate of a medical school, but in the UK it refers to someone who has a higher medical degree, a research doctor. In the UK the holder of an MBBS is just referred to as a doctor, not as an MD.

You twice bring up Islam/Muslims, which - in the context of Brexit - seems obscure. There are no majority Islamic countries in the European Union, so leaving the EU and ending free movement of people as a result appears to be irrelevant to that point. Other points you make appear to be ad hominem in nature.

97proximity1
Edited: Apr 5, 6:50am Top

>96 sirfurboy:

This : >96 sirfurboy: constitutes "attribution," genius.

What follows it, within quotation-marks, is a citation attributed to the member related to the link, in this case, >96 sirfurboy:.

Don't pretend to be stupid. You don't need to pretend.

"You dislike that I suggested that training is not a quick fix. We are talking about Brexit and you have consistently been advocating no deal. The need, then is now. That is the context of the discussion."

Bullshit.

I objected in this way to your doing this:

"DON'T MAKE ME REPEAT MY POINTS BY YOUR IGNORING THEM!"

For the third time,

Skilled labour in short supply is already legally able to apply for and obtain full residence and work visas which are open-ended. If you deny that, cite the law which indicates otherwise.)

"Incidentally, I understand that as an American, there is no reason why you should be familiar with the British political process, the functioning of the NHS or the process of training doctors"...

Blah, blah, blah.

Your posts are Ass-hole-ery.

98sirfurboy
Apr 5, 7:11am Top

>97 proximity1:

Saying the post reference constitutes attribution ignores the fact that what you placed after the post reference was not a quotation. Moreover, as I said, sometimes in your post you quoted me with quotation marks, sometimes you quoted me by placing my words in round brackets, and some of the things you placed in quotation marks were not my quotes, or they were quotation marks I had used myself. The result, I am sorry to say, was an impenetrable mess. I had to read it three times to untangle what you had put in there, and anyone else will have been utterly lost as to what was original content and what was quoted content.

This is something of a theme with your posts. It can be very hard to unravel what you are saying from what others are saying, and in reading your posts on other subjects in other threads, I have sometimes assumed your position was opposite to what I finally realised it to be, because I had assumed that material you were quoting was in fact your opinion.

Your intention is surely to communicate your position and views to a wider audience when you write these posts. I am just pointing out that the way you are setting out your posts is probably running counter to that intention. You may wish to consider how you write messages going forward so that others will understand them.

Remember that people will not usually read a thread start to finish, so they may have forgotten or may not have had the benefit of the context of previous posts. Summarising thoughts before replying to them, or quoting relevant context in a way that is clear that this is context to your own words will pay dividends in the readability of your messages, and that would also lead to more people actually reading them (at least if you could lay off the name calling).

*

The only point of substance in message 97 is this line:

"Skilled labour in short supply is already legally able to apply for and obtain full residence and work visas which are open-ended. "

Not quite as simple as that:

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/jun/12/uk-visa-applications-doctors-tho...

So under the current rules that does not really work, nor does it work under the proposed rules that would have denied visas for those earning below a certain salary which ruled out all junior doctors. However post Brexit rules can be changed and I would expect they would have to be. So to be clear, if we ended free movement for British and other European citizens, we could and would be likely to make up for the shortfall by allowing more immigration from the rest of the world. We would have to, of course.

Your point was that no, we would pay more and employ more Britons (see message 93, and this line: "If there is native-talent or local-talent lacking, that can be addressed by training people, offering better compensation, etc. Again, all these are to the benefit of people who are already in and are remaining in Britain.").

I have explained why that won't work and now you appear to accept that yes, we need immigration and so we will have to offset immigration from the EU with immigration from outside the EU. Is that a fair summary of your position?

99proximity1
Edited: Apr 5, 7:58am Top

>98 sirfurboy:

"an impenetrable mess"

I leave it to others to penetrate what you're unable to parse.

If you regard my posts as an impenetrable mess, then just skip reading them. Don't bother reading what you're going to ignore in any case. My posts are addressed to other readers here, not to you.

When I refer to "you" in a post referencing the crap you post, I mean to be understood to address other readers here, directing their attention to your posted bullshit commentary as "yours."

thusly: Example:


If you (he) regard(s) my posts as an impenetrable mess, then you (he can) just skip reading them. Don't (He needn't) ... bother reading what you're (he's) going to ignore in any case. My posts are addressed to other readers here, not to you (him).


Your comments are inane when they aren't simply shameless lying bullshit.

You have nothing interesting to contribute here. Morally, your posted views are the rhetorical equivalent of an open-sewer.

And you certainly have nothing to teach me --and especially nothing to teach me about posting-etiquette or clarity in expository writing.

"(at least if you could lay off the name calling)."

Oh! I do!: You're protected here by the damned-fool idiocy in rules which prevent my telling you and others what I really think of you. I refrain from that because I'm obliged to do so.

That obligation on me leaves you free to be the things you so clearly are which, under the house-rules, I'm prohibited from naming explicitly.

Consider yourself fucking lucky on that score.

100lriley
Edited: Apr 5, 8:44am Top

#99-- LOL! WTF! Not very open to a critique of your communication skills, are you? Who exactly the 'other readers' you write for? are is the biggest question I have after reading this. Continue on creating your impenetrable forests though--I thought #98 was right on the mark.

101johnthefireman
Apr 5, 12:29pm Top

>100 lriley:

I confess to both being one of those "other readers", because I am always interestied in seeing what other people think, even when I disagree fundamentally with them, but also one who fully agrees with sirfurboy that proximity's posts are incredibly diffcult to follow and tedious to read.

103margd
Edited: Apr 6, 8:11am Top

Count me in the concerned and confused column. Also, worried that we in US have something in common with the Brits’ misfortune.
Hell, meet handbasket:

Rightwing press and social media;
Russian mischief;
Constitution creaking under the strain of the challenge;
Elite/leaders less interested in general good than in their own and that of their party (in US at least); and
Inability to discern and focus on real threats (in our case climate/treason/incompetence).

--------------------------------------------------​

Excerpts from Guardian article in #102:

…“How could a modern, educated and open society … have got it so wrong?” asked Subir Roy in an editorial in the Hindu. The answer, he said, was that Britons “were deluded by their popular, lowbrow, chauvinistic, rightwing press”.

…After the 2016 Brexit referendum, Russia’s most recognisable television host, Dmitry Kiselyov, enthusiastically hailed a result delivered by “the bold British”.
Now even the veteran propagandist is looking a bit bored, barely needing to twist the facts to achieve his main goal: making the UK appear a complete basket case.

“Our ideas of a certain civilised way of doing business in the west are once again being challenged,” he said last month.

“Everything that’s happening testifies to the irresponsibility of the British elite, their inability to correlate Britain’s capabilities with its reality, its ideas about the world with what its people want, and simply to answer our modern challenges.”…

104-pilgrim-
Apr 6, 7:50am Top

>103 margd: Elite/leaders less interested in general good than in their own and that of their party (in US at least)

Definitely in the UK too. Government ministers briefing the press have made it clear that the great disaster to be avoided all costs, as they see it, is not Brexit/no Brexit/the wrong sort of Brexit, but the possibility that the Conservative party might lose power - and that all their voting on the Brexit motions is determined by how they think will best evade that "catastrophe".

Meanwhile Labour spokespersons seem more interested in whether a given result will increase the chances of Jeremy Corbin "getting in", than on getting the right relationship with the EU that is best for the country.

It's a shambles, and the rest of the EU is quite understandably losing patience.

105sirfurboy
Apr 8, 6:23am Top

An interesting article from the ever insightful Robert Peston:

Is cancelling Brexit the Prime Minister’s new default?

106johnthefireman
Apr 8, 6:55am Top

>105 sirfurboy:

More grist for the mill of the conspiracy theorists who believe that far from being incompetent, Theresa May is a brilliant albeit machiavellian strategist who from the start has deliberately cocked up the negotiations so that in the end there is no choice but to cancel Brexit, bearing in mind that she voted against Brexit in the first place. If only...

108sirfurboy
Apr 8, 7:09am Top

>106 johnthefireman: Yes, I could understand that some will say that.

Personally I don't think it, though. And as for Machiavellian politics: she has nothing on Gove and Johnson et al.

110johnthefireman
Apr 11, 1:04am Top

I post this for one single quote in it:

History will recall that Britons did not value their power in Europe until they lost it.

So true. From being the third most powerful actor in what is probably the third or fourth most powerful economic entity in the world, we will become just a small nation trying to make its way alone.

The EU’s new October extension finishes off May and her deal (Guardian)

111sirfurboy
Edited: Apr 11, 6:34am Top

>110 johnthefireman: Indeed. Moreover where the UK ranked is a matter of debate. The UK was a larger economy than France and perhaps had more influence, both because its interests were strongly aligned with Germany, and also because many other states looked to the UK for leadership. Also because English had become the de-facto working language of the EU. Our influence was huge and probably not reducible to a mere ranking.

Additionally, the economic entity of the EU - that is the single market - is the second largest single market in the world by measures of economic activity. If the UK leaves, it will fall behind America (in third place) but with the UK in it, only China beats it. Even then, not on all measures, but on the measure of economic output it is. China's output was $23.1x10^12, the EU $19.9x10^12 and the US $19.4x10^12 in 2017. Figures for 2018 are not yet available.

As the UK accounts for a large chunk of that, both the EU and the UK will be weakened if the UK falls out of the single market.

112proximity1
Edited: Apr 11, 7:31am Top

In the ultimate irony, out-doing any other recent case of adding insult to injury that I can cite, the British press, accurately portraying this latest humiliation of Prime Minister May's feckless government by Brussels, now thoroughly in full control of Britain's terms and conditions of departure--since May is too foolish to take the obvious, sane and only remaining self-respecting course and simply leave with do deal-- and can play with, as a cat plays with an injured mouse, the prime minister, as she goes on pursuing her grovelling requests for mercy at Brussels' Council's hands, ----this same British press that can see and report all of that, also places the responsibility for this humiliation --where?!-- you guessed it!: on the advocates of "Brexit", the "leave" camp.

So, it's all our fault that May is incompetent, that Brussels mocks and humiliates her--and the people of Britain along with her; our fault that May doesn't take the completely open course of exiting with no deal. No, ignoring that this course is, just as it always has been, entirely open to Britain to use of its own initiative, "Leave" are being blamed for these serial humiliations.

Now, the stubborn "Remain-ers" posting here might pretend that they don't notice this point but, take note: many in Britain-- we know this because more than 17 million of them voted to leave the E.U.--will certainly not fail to grasp where the real responsibility lies for the present set of circumstances: with "Remain's" childish fears of walking past the graveyard at night, without Nanny Brussels to hold its wittle hand, and with the May government's incompetence.

There needn't be any more delays or any more grovelling and pleading from May.

Britain can exit just as soon as the government summons up an iota of self-respect.

113sirfurboy
Edited: Apr 11, 9:31am Top

>112 proximity1: There has never been a majority anywhere for leaving with no deal. However, as you say, leaving with no deal is a solution. All you need do is put it to the people. A vote: Would you like to leave with no deal or remain after all?

A simple solution. If you are confident that this is what people want, then you should be arguing for a public vote. That would be the only way to bypass the sovereign British parliament after all.

As to whose fault it is? Well come on, the ERG must surely take some responsibility. After all, Conservative remainers and pro-Europeans voted for May's Brexit deal. It was the Economic Ruin Group who voted against. last night we had the remarkable sight of Mark Francois on France 24, arguing that it was the EU's fault that there would be an extension. It wasn't Europe that voted down the deal, it was Mark Francois and his ilk.

This is all just playing to the gallery. They know that Europe is not the problem here.

And now we have Andrew Lilico blaming the Queen for giving royal assent to a bill that had been passed in both houses of parliament. So who is to blame for Brexit going wrong, in the eyes of Brexiters?

1. Remainers
2. Theresa May
3. the EU
4. the media
5. economists
6. The Queen!!

Who is not to blame?

1. Themselves

Some self reflection may be required.

114sirfurboy
Apr 11, 7:19am Top

Robert Peston is not always right, but this thesis of his is interesting:

Why the Brexit delay may reposition Labour as the Referendum party and Conservative as the hard Brexit party.

115lriley
Edited: Apr 11, 7:29am Top

All the leavers are asking for is a consequence free exit. That's all.

116proximity1
Edited: Apr 11, 7:46am Top

>113 sirfurboy:

"There has never been a majority anywhere for leaving with no deal."

LOL!

Right, but, then, of course, you don't give a shit about democracy or its principles---

Thus, the majority of the voting public, solemnly voting in a national referendum on a topic commonly described as one of the most important political matters since the end of World War II, that majority, you simply disregard; you don't even consider it. Typical of you since, for you, these voters are just so much 'chopped-liver,' expendable stuff.

" If you are confident that this is what people want, then you should be arguing for a public vote. That would be the only way to bypass the sovereign British parliament after all."

LOL!

" However, as you say, leaving with no deal is a solution. All you need do is put it to the people. A vote: Would you like to leave with no deal or remain after all? "

LOL! The treaty Britain had signed and which was operative at the time of the referendum makes that completely unnecessary since it already stipulated that, by law, under the terms of the treaty, Britain (or any other similarly situated member-state), by invoking Article 50, would undertake to depart from the E.U. by default and automatically upon the expiration of the waiting-period in the event that no other agreed terms of departure had been signed and sealed.

Voters who participated in the referendum could not possibly have been unaware of this. Why? Because you fucking lot drummed on it over and over! That's why.

BUT EVEN YOU ALREADY KNEW THAT!

117johnthefireman
Apr 11, 9:21am Top

>116 proximity1: Voters who participated in the referendum could not possibly have been unaware of this.

Why couldn't they? Many of them were clearly unaware of a lot of other major issues relating to the EU and the leaving thereof.

118sirfurboy
Edited: Apr 11, 9:48am Top

>116 proximity1: You say: "Right, but, then, of course, you don't give [two hoots] about democracy or its principles---"

Run this one by me again please. How does my argument that we should ask people to vote on a proposition demonstrate that I do not care about democracy? This is one of those old leaver canards that literally makes no sense! None!

So the ad hominem dispensed with, your argument is:

"Thus, the majority of the voting public, solemnly voting in a national referendum on a topic commonly described as one of the most important political matters since the end of World War II," [chose to leave membership of the EU].

But, you see, they did not choose to leave with no deal because:

1. The proposition on the ballot paper was to leave membership of the EU. The legislation says the same. All that they voted on was leaving membership, so what does that mean?

2. The government provided an official document explaining what that meant. A vote to leave would be a vote to establish a new relationship as non members based on one of several existing country models, which were described as Norway, Switzerland, Canada. "No deal" was never mentioned. So did people warn that no deal could be possible?

3. Actually the government and leave campaigns were all very clear that there would be a deal. Many suggested it would be very easy to get a deal but the official government document was clear. It stated that there was a 2 year article 50 period for negotiating a withdrawal agreement, but that this 2 year period could be extended if all members of the EU agreed in the event that a deal had not been agreed.

So no one who voted in the consultation on membership could possibly have expressed a view that they were voting for "no deal". Some may always have wanted that, but the option was not on the ballot paper. The only proposition was to leave membership of the EU, empowering the government to negotiate a new deal that would take at least 2 years and could be extended.

So - as you seem to think that a majority now want to leave with no deal - which is quite contrary to the claims of the leave campaign - it follows that (if, and only if you believe in direct democracy) you must believe that this new and different question should be put to the British people, in a referendum that supersedes the last (which empowered the government and parliament to negotiate the relationship with the EU as non members).

So do you? Do you think that this question should be put to the people? or do you argue that the UK should be forced out on no deal, against the wishes of the people and parliament, and in direct contravention of every claim made by both sides in the referendum campaign?

Because, you know, if that is what you think, then it is not me who doesn't give two hoots about democracy or its principles (one of which is "informed consent").

119sirfurboy
Apr 11, 9:58am Top

>117 johnthefireman: Indeed, arguments that people were aware what they were voting for are often laid bear when it becomes apparent that they still don't know. For instance, some did not even know they were voting away their European citizenship rights. See for instance, proximity1 scoffing at the very notion of EU citizenship:

https://www.librarything.com/topic/241018#6769187

and my reply in message 187 :

https://www.librarything.com/topic/241018#6769279

and also again in message 206, when he continued to deny it and the associated citizenship rights existed until I showed him the treaty:

https://www.librarything.com/topic/241018#6769452

120proximity1
Edited: Apr 11, 10:11am Top



"How does my argument that we should ask people to vote on a proposition demonstrate that I do not care about democracy?"

as they say in the courtroom, when some disingenuous shit-ass moron keeps asking a question already disposed of:

"'Asked-and-Answered!,' Your honor."

..................... >13 proximity1:

..................... >89 proximity1:

because, you see, repeatedly asking questions already answered is a long-standing fault, a dilatory tactic. It needlessly delays trial process and tires the court's personnel and only a fucking jack-ass uses this. Those who repeatedly do this are liable to be held in contempt of court and fined.

121sirfurboy
Apr 11, 10:05am Top

>120 proximity1: "because, you see, repeatedly asking questions already answered is a long-standing fault,"

Whereas pretending a question is answered by the answer to a different one is... oh... what's the name? It's on the tip of my tongue.

Time for a song while I think about it...

I could while away the hours,
Conferrin' with the flowers,
Consultin' with the rain.
*walks off humming*

122proximity1
Edited: Apr 11, 10:14am Top

There are no "European citizenship" rights!

Only nation-states afford their legally-recognized "nationals" "citizenship." "Europe" is not and never has been a nation-state and there has never been European "citizenship"!

BUT YOU ALREADY KNEW THAT!

123johnthefireman
Apr 11, 10:13am Top

>122 proximity1: Only nation-states afford citizenship. "Europe" is not and never has been a nation-state and there has never been European "citizenship"!

Whatever the technical term, there are rights akin to citizenship afforded to people who are nationals of an EU state, including the UK. We will be losing many of those.

I can add that a whole generation of young people has grown up just assuming that they are European citizens, and with a strong feeling that this is being taken away from them. Actually I feel the same, and I am not a young person.

An anecdote which I may have told before. Two old friends of mine, a married couple, my age (mid-sixties), both voted remain, as did their children, young adults, but they learned in the run-up to the referendum that both my friends' elderly mothers were in favoir of Brexit. They had a family meeting where they respected the views of their mothers but asked them whether they really wanted to vote in a way which would disadvantage their grandchildren, who wanted to remain. Both mothers decided to abstain rather than vote against the future of their grandchildren.

124sirfurboy
Edited: Apr 11, 10:26am Top

>122 proximity1: You say: "There are no "European citizenship" rights!"

Don't take my word for it. Here are the words of the European Council:

"The Maastricht Treaty also made other significant changes. One of the most important is the formal creation of the European citizenship."


https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/maastricht-treaty/

And here I quote directly from the treaty:


PART TWO
CITIZENSHIP OF THE UNION
Article 8
1. Citizenship of the Union is hereby established.
Every person holding the nationatity of a Member State shall be a citizen of the
Union.
2. Citizens of the Union shall enjoy the rights conferred by this Treaty and shall
be subject to the duties imposed thereby.


The rights are then set out in articles 8a to 8e.

https://europa.eu/european-union/sites/europaeu/files/docs/body/treaty_on_europe...

Treaty rights under international law are rights. I am an EU citizen with the citizenship rights afforded to me under Articles 8a to 8e of the Maastricht Treaty.



125proximity1
Edited: Apr 11, 11:43am Top

>124 sirfurboy:

"The Maastricht Treaty also made other significant changes."

LOL! "Significant" my ass! The European Council can claim that "Tuesday" is "Saturday" if it likes.

So what!?

Your citation is pure word-play. "European 'citizenship' " is a figment of the Brussels bureaucrat's imagination.

Stuffing a text with empty jargon does not constitute substantive rights.

The "European 'citizen' " is, obviously, a poor, puny contingent thing which cannot feed itself, cannot walk about on its own and cannot even breathe independently. It depends on its mother-nation citizenship for air, food, water and mobility. If the umbilical-cord were severed, or even seriously damaged--witness the pathetic appendage, "Britain" 's "European 'citizenship,'" -- the scrawny little creature would quickly die.

___________________________________

https://ijrcenter.org/thematic-research-guides/nationality-citizenship/

126sirfurboy
Edited: Apr 11, 10:55am Top

>125 proximity1: What has it to do with the council?

Surely, "European citizenship" is indeed wordplay in exactly the same way as "right to a private and family life" is. No more, no less.

127proximity1
Edited: Apr 11, 11:41am Top

>126 sirfurboy:

Not at all.

The "European Union" is a purely voluntary and occasional administrative association of nation-states and, as such, has no functions, powers or authorities independent of these states' acting in concert. Like a country-club, one only belongs to it by an application and acceptance process. Those nation-states which are accepted become "members" under and according to the "club's" rules and they remain members as long as they conform to the rules and don't resign their memberships voluntarily.

The "European Union" in and of itself cannot even make a cup of coffee.

It has no independent army, navy, police-force, no autonomous income, no airline--and certainly no airport!, no passport, no roadways, waterways. It has office-space, bank-accounts, bureaucrats, secretaries, printing presses, phones, lights, office furniture--chairs, desks, tables-- but unlike the states which comprise its members, its origin and existence are purely contingent and paper-based.

The very idea that the European Council or the Union's membership could effectively hold the United Kingdom in a kind of hostage-state, determining when, how and under what terms the U.K. may remain in temporarily or exit --this is truly a "Twilight Zone" kind of "Tail-wagging-the-dog" circumstance.

And no nation which had a leadership which was better or more than simply gutless and pathetic would ever put up with such treatment.

You and others like you have brought this state of affairs to pass with your incredibly idiotic notions which have no place in genuine statecraft and international politics.

128johnthefireman
Apr 11, 11:57am Top

Proximity, you make it sound as if this is all about semantics, with pedantic arguments over words such as democracy and citizenship. I think others are trying to find a way forward for a divided and confused UK, given what (I think) everyone agrees, that Theresa May and her governing party have made a mess of the negotiations, which leaves UK in a precarious position.

129sirfurboy
Edited: Apr 11, 3:53pm Top

>127 proximity1: this argument: "The "European Union" is a purely voluntary and occasional administrative association of nation-states and, as such, has no functions, powers or authorities independent of these states' acting in concert. "

Adds "international law" as another area that Proximity1 knows nothing about.

Then this: "The very idea that the European Council or the Union's membership could effectively hold the United Kingdom in a kind of hostage-state..."

Of course, none of us have argued that, so another straw man. It was always clear that any state could leave the EU if it wished, even before the Lisbon treaty (which gave us the article 50 process), but to do so, a state would have to repeal legislation and revoke treaties - an unsatisfactory state of affairs that would have led to a run on their currency and a terrible loss of business confidence, which is why the Lisbon treaty proposed a mechanism by which the two parties (the EU and the departing state) could reach a withdrawal agreement and leave in an orderly manner.

If the UK had voted to leave with no deal, of course, we could have just dispensed with article 50 and repealed the European Communites Act and other such legislation. That was open to use. Although we were promised in the referendum that the article 50 process would be followed and a new relationship would be negotiated, resulting in a withdrawal agreement, we could have just dispensed with that and left at once with no deal.

The resulting economic carnage, of course, would have made Suez look like a trip to Disneyland.

In any case, there is no idea that the EU will hold the UK hostage. The UK is still in the EU right now because our parliament failed to approve a withdrawal deal, and that because there probably never was a Brexit of any sort that a majority could sign up to. Therese May's deal was sunk, ultimately, by the hard brexiters. The chequers daytrippers. The Economic Ruin Group. They voted against the deal but as a consequece they don't get to blame anyone but themselves. Statecraft, you say? These people are employed to be parliamentarians. Finding a way foward was their job. So where did the statecraft fail?

130johnthefireman
Edited: Apr 12, 1:25am Top

An interesting development in Switzerland, a country which governs by referendum and, unlike the UK, has vast experience of referenda.

Court overturns referendum as voters were poorly informed ... in Switzerland (Guardian)

In a ruling that may resonate in Britain, where remain campaigners have long argued that voters in the 2016 Brexit referendum were not adequately informed, the court said incomplete detail and a lack of transparency had violated the freedom of the vote, which could now be re-run. “Given the tight outcome of the vote and the seriousness of the irregularities, it is possible that the result of the ballot would have been different”...

131proximity1
Edited: Apr 12, 5:59am Top

This message has been flagged by multiple users and is no longer displayed (show)
>129 sirfurboy:



... Then this: "The very idea that the European Council or the Union's membership could effectively hold the United Kingdom in a kind of hostage-state..."

"Of course, none of us have argued that, so another straw man. " ...



Not every point I make here is supposed to be read as being in refutation of some claim of yours (or anyone else's, for that matter).

I'm making the observation about Brussels E.U.-leaders' tactics as analogous to holding Britain hostage, not imputing that view to you.

Is that too difficult a concept for you?!

Go away and learn to read, for fuck's sake!

____________________________________

"If the UK had voted to leave with no deal, of course, we could have just dispensed with article 50 and repealed the European Communites Act and other such legislation."

Assinine bullshit!

Article 50 itself provides for a member-state's leaving the group's membership by default, in case of the absence of any agreement on terms of departure prior to the expiration of a fixed delay for negotiating those terms.

Which prompts me to post this observation (with question) of my own—get that!?—


Jeremy Corbyn :
“Mr. Speaker, yesterday, E.U. leaders agreed to grant the United Kingdom an Article 50-extension to the thirty-first of October. This means that Britain will now have to start the process of holding European elections in the extraordinary situation of not knowing whether the new M.E.P.s will take their seats or for how long. This has come just three weeks after the prime minister told the House she was not prepared to delay Brexit any longer than the thirtieth of June. The second extension in the space of a fortnight represents not only a diplomatic failure but is another mile-stone in the government’s mishandling of the entire Brexit process.”


How is this extension—any of them—even lega!? By extending the run of Britain’s Article-50 invocation, the terms of the treaty are violated. By what legal ground can the E.U.’s members or leadership simply set aside the terms of the treaty’s specifications on the operation of Article 50—no matter how many of these members or leaders are agreed in doing that?

____________________________________________



"Although we were promised in the referendum that the article 50 process would be followed and a new relationship would be negotiated, resulting in a withdrawal agreement, we could have just dispensed with that and left at once with no deal.

The resulting economic carnage, of course, would have made Suez look like a trip to Disneyland."



Says you. You, however, make 'Homer Simpson' look like a world-class genius. More of your fucking nonsense in sooth-saying.

132sirfurboy
Edited: Apr 12, 6:36am Top

>131 proximity1: You say: "I'm making the observation about Brussels E.U.-leaders' tactics."

And yet the refutation is the same. EU leaders are hardly holding the UK "hostage" by granting an extension that the UK requested, and allowing that extension to continue for six months, but where that extension can be terminated at any time sooner that the UK reaches its own internal agreement on leaving the EU.

Indeed, President Macron's concern was precisely the opposite: that in granting the UK this flexible extension, it would allow the UK to take the EU hostage. He seems to trust that May will not do that, but he knows that the next Tory leader may be just the kind of person to rip up any agreements and do just that. That is why he did not want a long flexible extension. You have your analysis backwards.

You say: "Article 50 itself provides for a member-state's leaving the group's membership by default, in case of the absence of any agreement on terms of departure prior to the expiration of a fixed delay for negotiating those terms."

Unless all parties agree to an extension - which is specifically provided for in the article, and was made clear to the electorate during the referendum. As the article 50 process is designed to facilitate a withdrawal agreement, it makes sense that all sides would agree to an extension unless the negotiations had irrevocably broken down. That is where we are now. The UK requested and the EU granted an extension in line with article 50, as neither the EU nor the UK believe that talks have irrevocably broken down.

Your question: "How is this extension—any of them—even lega!? By extending the run of Britain’s Article-50 invocation, the terms of the treaty are violated."

Is answered simply by quoting the Lisbon treaty:


Article 50

1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.

3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.

(emphasis mine).

So again, you do not seem to even understand the process under which we are leaving? Let me quote a little more of article 50:


4. For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it.

A qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with Article 238(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.


This provision describes the extent to which a withdrawing state is prevented from participation in the decisions of the EU. It does not prevent us electing MEPs, and because of that, we in fact must elect them, or else the European Parliament would not be legally constituted. Until we leave membership of the EU we remain members of the EU, and may participate in the EU in all the ways we did before, except that we may not participate in the discussions in council regarding the UK withdrawal from the EU.

I hope that clarifies the legal position for you.

Your last point is, once again, ad hominem so I shall not reply on that one.

133proximity1
Apr 12, 6:42am Top


>132 sirfurboy: "And yet the refutation is the same."

No, it isn't. Since my observation doesn't impute this opinion to you as yours, it doesn't constitute a "straw-man" argument---which you denounced it as:



... Then this: "The very idea that the European Council or the Union's membership could effectively hold the United Kingdom in a kind of hostage-state..."

"Of course, none of us have argued that, so another straw man. " ... (emphasis added)



"LIE MUCH!?"

134proximity1
Edited: Apr 12, 6:59am Top

>132 sirfurboy:

"3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period."

To suggest that the extension--above all, this latest one-- was in some manner done "in agreement with the Member State concerned" does violence to the meaning of "agreement" just as what's known as a "Shot-gun wedding" does violence to the idea that the parties concerned have entered into wedlock by mutual consent.

So, in fact, by the letter of the Treaty, which stipulates that extension of "this period" is to be done "in agreement with the Member State concerned" we see that this last extension, by its duration, blatantly imposed on Prime Minister May and her government--indeed, an ultimatum: Take it or face immediate expulsion (which she ought to have preferred!)-- violates the treaty's own plain language.

as I cited, above, Corbyn's remarks to the Commons, he pointed out that the latest delay has placed May in the position of accepting a duration which goes long beyond her promised limit:

"This has come just three weeks after the prime minister told the House she was not prepared to delay Brexit any longer than the thirtieth of June."

Your claims and arguments are disgustingly, vilely and viciously dishonest.

135johnthefireman
Apr 12, 6:58am Top

>134 proximity1: To suggest that the extension--above all, this latest one was in some manner done "in agreement with the Member State concerned" does violence to the meaning of "agreement"

I don't understand your point here. The Prime Minister of the Member State concerned requested an extension. She got one.

136sirfurboy
Edited: Apr 12, 7:28am Top

>133 proximity1: The refutation was not in recognition of the straw man but in the argument that we are not (and no one thinks we are) hostage to the EU when they gave us an extension we asked for and that we can terminate whenever we like.

>134 proximity1: You say: "To suggest that the extension--above all, this latest one was in some manner done "in agreement with the Member State concerned" does violence to the meaning of "agreement""

How so?

Theresa May requested the extension to 30 June. The EU said they will grant an extension that can be terminated at the end of any month after the UK has agreed its withdrawal arrangements itself, up to the end of October. This includes 30 June, so is specifically in line with the Prime Minister's request, but goes further than that.

And Article 50 allows that the UK could have turned that agreement down. That was an option, but the UK asked for a specific extension, and obtained that, and additional flexibility it did not request. The UK did not turn this down.

If everyone has agreed, then it does no violence to the meaning of "agreement". That is exactly what agreement means and has always meant.

Of course, you might listen to Theresa May saying things like the longer extension was not in line with her wishes. Of course, she has to say that. This is politics. The fact is, she got what she asked for and more, and did not turn down the offer. She agreed it.

Don't pay too much attention to what politicians say in public. Remember they are all acting a part. It can be rather harder to work out what they actually think in private - but the fact is that Theresa May could have turned down the offer of this extension and did not. had she done so, we would be leaving on No Deal today. You are then invited to read into that what you will.

ETA:

You have added additional material to your post after I began the above reply so to the additional material, you say:

" we see that this last extension, by its duration, blatantly imposed on Prime Minister May and her government--indeed, an ultimatum..."

So the previous extension she requested was of a shorter duration than she requested, but this was for a very simple reason: at the time, Theresa May was refusing to allow the UK to take part in the European elections. She asked for an extension to 30 June, so as to get her withdrawal agreement through.

The EU, correctly ascertained that Parliament was never going to (or, at best, extremely unlikely to) vote for May's withdrawal agreement. That meant they could not offer any delay beyond one that would not require UK participation in the elections in law.

The 12 April was the last date when a decision could be made to participate, so the extension to today allowed time for May to get her withdrawal agreement agreed in parliament. Had it been agreed, a further technical extension was allowed so that parliament could enact the required legislation to leave on that withdrawal agreement. Again, the date of the technical extension was determined by the importance of not requiring participation in the elections.

Theresa May agreed to this extension. It was shorter than she wanted but would still have been possible had her withdrawal agreement been agreed. In the absence of agreement on the PM's deal, the technical extension lapsed and the 12 April remained the deadline either to acknowledge that a longer extension was required which would require participation in the elections, or else we could leave on No deal (rejected by parliament).

So Theresa May chose to request an extension, and got what she asked for and more.

Was 12 April an ultimatum? Well yes, in a way. It was a legally constituted deadline. The UK had to choose one of two courses - leave without a deal or request an extension that would require us to participate in the European elections. We chose the latter.

However this was not the EU holding the UK hostage: it was a deadline imposed by legal necessity.

137proximity1
Edited: Apr 12, 11:16am Top

>136 sirfurboy:



"Was 12 April an ultimatum? Well yes, in a way. It was a legally constituted deadline. The UK had to choose one of two courses - leave without a deal or request an extension that would require us to participate in the European elections. We chose the latter.

"However this was not the EU holding the UK hostage"...



"We chose" ...

You're a laughing-stock!

The fact is, if I understand things correctly, that Britain is obliged to either

1) remain in the E.U. under current terms, at most, up until the end of this extra-legal extension of Article 50 by formally accepting and adopting--by act of parliament--the Withdrawal Agreement, now three-times rejected by large majorities in parliament, as it stands.

or

2) Leave via a "No-Deal" departure.

And you're also quite wrong, as I understand it, to assert that the terms of this extension provide that the "Brexit" becomes effective from ..."the end of any month after the UK has agreed its withdrawal arrangements itself, up to the end of October. This includes 30 June,".... (See below: (*) )

These are imposed terms:

"The UK must now hold European elections in May, or leave on 1 June without a deal."

"The EU has ruled out any renegotiation of the withdrawal agreement."

( BBC Report)
____________________________________

"Mrs May spoke at 02:45 local time (01:45 BST). She said that, although the delay extends until 31 Ocober, the UK can leave before then if MPs pass her withdrawal deal." ( BBC Report) (emphasis added)

(* "The EU said they will grant an extension that can be terminated at the end of any month after the UK has agreed its withdrawal arrangements itself, up to the end of October. This includes 30 June, "... ( BBC Report) )

(*) … “If the Withdrawal Agreement is ratified by both parties before this date, the withdrawal will take place on the first day of the following month.”

Thus, the terms provide for anything from a minimum of one-day to a maximum of 30 days from the day the Withdrawal Agreement is accepted by Britain. But there is no provision for any other course than the acceptance of the Withdrawal Agreement as “negotiated” (LOL!)

In other words, as press pundits have commented, this extension changes nothing materially—the fact remains that Britain now has until the end of October to accede to the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, failing which it is out per an Exit via“No-Deal”.

... "This could, although I hate to say it, just make way for months of extra gridlock before the UK and the EU find themselves back here in a similar situation in the autumn." ... —Laura Kuenssberg, political editor, BBC ( BBC Report)

..."all that happened here is that the threat of a no-deal Brexit has been postponed for another six months." —Katya Adler, Europe editor, BBC ( BBC Report)

138sirfurboy
Edited: Apr 12, 10:28am Top

>137 proximity1: Despite my having quoted to you the actual text of the Lisbon Treaty, you still call the article 50 extension "extra legal"?!

Come on, man. Engage brain before mouth. The extension is legal. It is not illegal, it is not quasi legal, it is not extra legal. It is a legal extension under the terms of article 50 of the Lisbon treaty. It is legal in international law.

You throw around accusations in every message. Did you stop to consider whether the hat you are flinging around might rest snugly upon your own head? The extension was requested by the UK and unanimously agreed in council and by the UK. It is a legal extension and in no way akin to a hostage situation.

So what does it mean? You head off down that track by saying:


Britain is obliged to either

1) remain in the E.U. under current terms, at most, up until the end of this extra-legal extension of Article 50 by formally accepting and adopting--by act of parliament--the Withdrawal Agreement, now three-times rejected by large majorities in parliament, as it stands.

or

2) Leave via a "No-Deal" departure.


Actually no. On point 1, it is not "at most" because it would be legal for the UK to request another extension and for the council to agree it. However, under this extension, we may remain a member until 31 October, or sooner should parliament agree the withdrawal agreement. As you say, leaving under No Deal is available at the end of this time or earlier if we wish. We don't wish, though. That route has been blocked by parliament.

What you call "imposed" terms, I dealt with quite clearly above, and I think you only don't acknowledge that because you have determined to oppose everything I say, not because that is your considered position. Surely you can see that if it is necessary for us to hold elections so that our European parliament is legally constituted, then any imposition here is an imposition of the law, and the law alone. You cannot blame the EU for upholding the law.

To be clear: the EU don't want us taking part in these elections. They are forced to allow it by legal necessity now that they agreed to the extension to article 50.

You also quote this:

"The EU has ruled out any renegotiation of the withdrawal agreement."

Yes. And?

You see, again, you have perhaps forgotten that the withdrawal agreement only really covers three things: Money, Citizen rights and the Irish backstop. yes, there is a bunch of technical stuff in there, but those are the three broad issues. What it does not do is it does not tell us anything about the future relationship. trade deals etc. That is all to be negotiated. This was the easy part.

As I mentioned to you before, the Chequers proposal and all other proposals on what relationship we have with the EU remain to be decided. We have barely started on those (and the Chequers agreement was already flatly rejected).

So if parliament now chose for a different flavour of Brexit, such as one with a customs union, there is nothing in the withdrawal agreement that would prevent that happening. The sticking point of the Irish Backstop goes away in a customs union, too, because the backstop *is* a customs union.

So if that version of Brexit were agreed in parliament, the withdrawal agreement can be approved without renegotiation. A small change to the political declaration sets out the intended destination of a customs union, but no renegotiation is required.

Only if you want to tear up the backstop do you need to renegotiate the agreement - but as I have said elsewhere, even before the Cooper bill passed parliament, that was already illegal. The UK has an international binding treaty that provides a binding guaranty that there will be no hard border in Ireland, so leaving on No Deal would lead to an immediate legal challenge (and that would not be the only such challenge. There would also be a challenge as to whether No Deal even was the legal default, and there would be several other legal cases too). No Deal would tie the UK up in litigation for years - except that the judgement of the EU, which is probably sound, is that the UK would reverse course before that, and would re-enter negotiations.

So this is not a trap by the EU. The EU has, in good faith, given the UK space to explore what kind of Brexit we actually want. Something that ought to have happened before article 50 was invoked, of course - but we are where we are.

139proximity1
Apr 12, 11:20am Top


>138 sirfurboy:

"We don't wish, though. That route has been blocked by parliament."

LOL! YOU (and parliament) "wish" !

There'll be no further "extensions" beyond 31 Oct. 2019, like it or not. After that, without a "deal" agreed, it's what you lot disingenuously refer to as a "crash-out"--which is what the referendum's majority voted for by implications when they chose to prefer "Leave" over "Remain."

Your damnable lies to the contrary here notwithstanding.

140johnthefireman
Apr 12, 11:28am Top

>139 proximity1: a "crash-out"--which is what the referendum's majority voted for by implications when they chose to prefer "Leave" over "Remain."

Where is the evidence that this is what those who voted "leave" wished for? That question wasn't asked, so we don't know.

141sirfurboy
Apr 12, 12:14pm Top

>139 proximity1: I would have thought you might be more circumspect about making predictions after your last one. You said, of the March 29 deadline:


We're getting "No-deal" by default, as this was the baked-in plan for such a scenario as this back when the E.U. treaty's terms were drawn up.

...

Prime Minister May, the E.U. Commission, and the Remain-camp are all trying to play "chicken" with the British public.

They're all going to be handed their heads.

http://www.librarything.com/topic/241018#6768311

Because you apparently were not aware, despite being told, that Article 50 could be extended, and that there was no majority in parliament for "no deal".

So, is there any reason I should give any credence to your prediction that there will be no deal after 31 October?

142johnthefireman
Apr 13, 12:21am Top

>139 proximity1:, >140 johnthefireman:

Telegraph forced to correct false Brexit claim by Boris Johnson (Guardian)

The Telegraph has been forced to correct a column by Boris Johnson after the Brexiter MP and potential Tory leadership candidate falsely claimed a no-deal Brexit was the most popular option among the British public...

An online correction said: “In fact, no poll clearly showed that a no-deal Brexit was more popular than the other options. This correction is being published following a complaint upheld by the Independent Press Standards Organisation.”

143proximity1
Edited: Apr 13, 5:14am Top



The remain-camp so dreads Britain's renouncing, without any agreed "deal," its E.U. membership that the Remainers have used the scare-words, "Crash-out" to describe such a case.

But, we're told, that just can't even happen--- huh?--because, get this: "there's 'no majority in parliament which favours that.'" and, so, the implication goes, it can't happen.

LOL!


Clutch your security-blankets really, really tightly, "Remainers." And keep repeating the words printed on your blanket, "Revoke Article 50! Say it with me: Revoke Article 50!, Revoke Article 50!, Revoke Article 50!" and maybe mummy and daddy shall come and tuck you in and tell you a bedtime-story.

"Once upon a time, the world was full of goddamn fucking hypocrites and liars, scheming to cheat fair-minded people of their rights; yes, the world was teeming with these vile people. And, even worse, everywhere one looked, these lying fuck-tards were in charge ..."

"Daddy?"

"Yes, sweet-heart?"

"What's 'teeming'?"

144johnthefireman
Apr 13, 12:40pm Top

>143 proximity1:

I can't say I really understand this post at all. What is your point?

146johnthefireman
Apr 15, 12:58am Top

The Good Friday agreement is under threat – but it’s key to resolving Brexit (Guardian)

We achieved peace in 1998 by involving people on all sides. May and Corbyn must see why a confirmatory vote is so essential

By Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern, former Prime Minister of UK and former Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland respectively

147margd
Apr 22, 5:23am Top

Facebook's Role in Brexit and the Threat to Democracy (15:00)
Carole Cadwalladr

In an unmissable talk, journalist Carole Cadwalladr digs into one of the most perplexing events in recent times: the UK's super-close 2016 vote to leave the European Union. Tracking the result to a barrage of misleading Facebook ads targeted at vulnerable Brexit swing voters -- and linking the same players and tactics to the 2016 US presidential election -- Cadwalladr calls out the "gods of Silicon Valley" for being on the wrong side of history and asks: Are free and fair elections a thing of the past?

https://www.ted.com/talks/carole_cadwalladr_facebook_s_role_in_brexit_and_the_th...

148johnthefireman
Apr 27, 12:59am Top

In the Brexit era, Britain is more Mr Bean than James Bond (Guardian)

If there’s any film character Tory Brexiteers identify with it’s tool of empire Bond. In reality, they’re more slapstick than sexy

149johnthefireman
Apr 28, 12:38am Top

Public thinks EU referendum was bad idea, says poll (Guardian)

Opinium finds even Conservative voters on balance think it would have been better for UK not to have held vote

150proximity1
Edited: May 9, 9:07am Top

(Youtube) “The opportunities (in Britain) for a poor person to become less poor are about the same as when we were sending (children) up chimneys.” -- “Socially immobile” —‘Jonathan Pie’ (Tom Walker’s reporter-character in his off-mike monologue.)



...

... “A few years later, fresh from the palace, and looking like someone had shoved an ironing-board up her ass, Theresa May stood outside ‘No. 10’ and promised the nation that she would do everything in her power to tackle the burning injustices facing the country. A year after that, the entire Social-Mobility Commission resigned, en masse, saying the government was too focused on “Brexit” to do anything about the burning injustices facing the country. It’s almost as if spending all of Parliament’s time attempting to rail-road Westminster into a Brexit deal that everyone hates, and creating a fairer Britain, are mutually-exclusive!

"Do you remember that “Burning injustices”-speech, Tim? Yeah? If you’re at a state school you’re less likely to reach the top-professions than if you’re educated at privately.

"Well, 'ye-e-e-ea-a-a-h-h-h!' :

"So what are you going to do about it, Theresa?

"The Tories have in real-terms cut education investment by seventeen percent whilst the costs of further education has skyrocketed. What do you think is going to happen to inequality!? A report this week recommended kids from poorer backgrounds should be allowed into Ox-bridge with lower grades. No-o-o-o-o-o-o-o! How about providing kids from poorer backgrounds a decent education? How about that?" ….



"Brexit" now!

_________________________________





("Theresa May said there was 'more to life' than individualism")
(Press Association photo.)



"Prime Minister Theresa May has promised to introduce wide-ranging social reforms to correct what she calls the "burning injustices" in modern society.

"Writing in the Sunday Telegraph (London)
, she said the UK had voted for Brexit to change the way the country works.

"Mrs May proposed a 'shared society' where the government has a duty to intervene, including in markets not giving consumers the best deal." ...




BBC website


__________________________________


LOL!!!!!!

151sirfurboy
Edited: May 9, 9:15am Top

>150 proximity1: Britain has poor social mobility, therefore Brexit. This argument appears to be a non sequitur.

It would make more sense if the other EU27 were equally inequitable societies, but of course, they include some of the most egalitarian societies in the world, so it is not clear to me how you think the EU is to blame for British problems.

It would seem to me that: Britain has poor social mobility, therefore cancel Brexit would be a more rational argument, because as long as Britons hold European citizenship, they can achieve social mobility by living and working in any EU country they wish.

ETA:

I see you have changed your one line comment "Brexit now" placed after the Pie reference, and replaced it with something fuller. Still, your argument is substantially the same and thus still a non sequitur for the same reason.

152johnthefireman
Edited: May 10, 12:26am Top

The Lib Dems’ ‘Bollocks to Brexit’ is crass, but it might just work (Guardian)

The party of moderation has found a novel, if slightly risky, way to tap into how remainers feel about Brexit...

It’s also an old, familiar and decidedly British term. (For foreigners and non-native English speakers, the Bloomberg news service helpfully reported: “Perhaps an unfamiliar term outside of the UK, ‘bollocks’ is a slang word meaning both rubbish and testicles.”)

153StormRaven
May 10, 10:31pm Top

144: I can't say I really understand this post at all. What is your point?

The key to understanding proximity is to realize that he doesn't actually understand any of the material he talks about. Here he is talking about Brexit and the EU without having any real knowledge of the contents of any of the EU treaties or how international law works.

Basically, any time you deal with proximity, do it with the understanding that he has no more knowledge on the subject at hand than any random drunk shouting on the street would.

154johnthefireman
May 13, 12:15am Top

Brexiteers want us to glory in isolation. Their vision is introverted and selfish (Guardian)

By former Prime Minister Gordon Brown

Two competing views of what it is to be British in the world are at the root of the Brexit deadlock. Until we reconcile them we can’t move on

155Taphophile13
May 24, 9:49am Top

Prime Minister Theresa May announces she will step down June 7 after repeatedly failing to garner support for her Brexit plan.
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-48395905

156proximity1
May 28, 9:48am Top



Parliamentary parties: "Parliament is sovereign."

LOL!

Bwah ha ha ha Ha ha hah ha hah ha ha ha hah ha ha ha ha ha Ha ha hah ha hah ha ha ha hah ha ha ha ha haHa ha hah ha hah ha ha ha hah ha ha ha ha haHa ha hah ha hah ha ha ha hah ha ha ha ha haHa ha hah ha hah ha ha ha hah ha ha ha ha haHa ha hah ha hah ha ha ha hah ha ha ha ha haHa ha hah ha hah ha ha ha hah ha ha ha ha haHa ha hah ha hah ha ha ha hah ha ha ha ha haHa ha hah ha hah ha ha ha hah ha ha ha ha Ha ha hah ha hah ha ha ha hah ha ha ha ha haHa ha hah ha hah ha ha ha hah ha ha ha ha haHa ha hah ha hah ha ha ha hah ha ha ha ha haaHa ha hah ha hah ha ha ha hah ha ha ha ha haHa ha hah ha hah ha ha ha hah ha ha ha ha haHa ha hah ha hah ha ha ha hah ha ha ha ha haHa ha hah ha hah ha ha ha hah ha ha ha ha haHa ha hah ha hah ha ha ha hah ha ha ha ha hah!

Parliamentary parties just got a lesson in "Politics 101!

LOL!

157sirfurboy
May 28, 10:14am Top

>156 proximity1: Parliament is sovereign. That is the British system.

In what way is a massive swing to the Liberal Democrats in the elections for the European Parliament at odds with that statement?

158proximity1
Edited: May 28, 11:20am Top

When asked (in a way and on a matter that really counts )--which is only too rare in Britain-- the electorate demonstrates that it can do what the government and, LOL!, the supposedly "sovereign" Parliament show themselves laughably incapable of doing: promptly determining the resolution of a disputed issue.


Take that, "Sir" Furbee! LOL!

159johnthefireman
May 28, 11:26am Top

>158 proximity1:

I wouldn't say that the electorate has "determined the resolution of a disputed issue". I would say they have demonstrated that the UK is still as divided as ever on the issue. They have also given strong messages to the two main parties that they are not happy with the way they have tried to resolve the issue. They have also supported moderate, centrist, progressive and smaller parties more than ever before, again arguably demonstrating that two-party polemics is not the solution to this particular dispute.

160sirfurboy
May 28, 2:59pm Top

>158 proximity1: I agree with >159 johnthefireman:. There is a clear divison. The anti-EU parties this time around edged forward on 2014. In 2014 UKIP had 26.6% of the vote, An Independence from Europe, the BNP and a couple of others took this up to over 30%. This time around UKIPs and the other smaller Brexit parties vote collapsed in favour of the Brexit Party Ltd. Combined, the two parties (UKIP and Brexit Party Ltd.) made a small gain to 33%, so +3% in all. Of the anti Brexit parties, Greens and Lib Dems alone gained more votes than the Brexit party and stormed ahead (19.6% for Lib Dems which is +13% on 2014. Greens gained 11.8% in England and Wales, +4.9%) and in Scotland, the SNP swept the board, Alliance doing the same in Northern Ireland.

2014: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_European_Parliament_election_in_the_United_Ki...
2019: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_European_Parliament_election_in_the_United_Ki...

What this tells us is, as johnthefireman said, that the country is as divided as ever. It is a clear rejection of Conservative and Labour approaches, but most of the movement is clearly towards the pro referendum or pro remain parties. The hard Brexiteers are still there. One third of the country appear to want Brexit at any cost (although to be sure, it was only 5 million people, less than signed the petition to withdraw Article 50). 40% voted unequivocally for a party wanting second referndum, and then we really don't know what those remaining Labour and Conservative voters want.

So what resolution do you think the people have demonstrated for this disputed issue?

161proximity1
Edited: May 29, 8:41am Top

Still not satisfied with the extent of their manifest stupidity, the morons of the British political elite who set new records for disgusting the British electorate are, now that their asses got soundly kicked in the Euro Parliament elections, joined in a chorus, blessed and propagated by their official scribes, the so-called "mainstream press," to declare that, 'The only course now is to hold a second referendum on Brexit!"

No sane person could make this shit up!

We just had a ballot. Many voters, much more intelligent than the average member of parliament, reasoned quite astutely that the best thing to do was to make of this vote a referendum on the Brexit issue; they voted accordingly, giving the "leave" side of the matter the clearest, most resounding victory possible--short of a fucking unanimous vote.

This is democratic practice in action. To now insist that the only way out of the (phony) dilemma is to "go back to the 'people'" in a "people's vote," LOL!, is utterly, desperately preposterous.

Uh, we just had a "people's vote," FUCKTARDS. Who else do you suppose went to the polls and kicked your collective useless asses?!

Are these people masochists?

I actually came across a woman on Sunday, pushing her baby-carriage along, and, stopping me, she inquired,

"Do you know why the streets are closed off?"

"Yes," I answered,"there's a foot-race going on." (a fund-raiser for cancer-research--one more matter the government leaves to the tender mercies of private fundraising for its support).

"Oh," she said, "I thought maybe it was a protest about the election result," referring to the whupping which voters gave Tories and Labour and others who were part of the effort to annul the first referendum through a campaign of lies, foot-dragging and double-cross-ery.

Protest!? Really!? A street protest against a democratically-run vote? Nothing so clearly demonstrates the prevailing idiocy of our times. If the election results don't suit the losing minority, they go into the streets to protest. Did such protesters bother to take up the most effective 'protest' and cast a fucking ballot?! They did?!

Well, then, the result ought to inform them--if they're even susceptible to information at all: being in the minority of those present and voting, they lost--there are not enough of them to carry off a democratically-determined vote on the matter.

That really ought to suggest something to them: their arguments, having been heard, were not convincing; so they are, in effect, protesting the fact that their fellow citizens aren't buying what they're selling.

—"Lui chi ha a far con il suo vicine, non vuole esser losco.”—

_________________________________

(The Guardian (London)) " A people's vote is now the only way out of the Tories' toxic mess, says Guardian columnist Owen Jones."

(The
Times (London) "Committing to a people's vote might be the only way to avert no-deal Brexit ..."


162sirfurboy
May 29, 6:55am Top

>161 proximity1: "We just had an ballot. Many voters, much more intelligent than the average member of parliament, reasoned quite astutely that the best thing to do was to make of this vote a referendum on the Brexit issue; they voted accordingly, giving the "leave" side of the matter the clearest, most resounding victory possible-"

Did you read >160 sirfurboy:?

Point 1: the EU Parliament elections are not a referendum on membership - they are the election where we democratically elect our representation in the EU legislature.
Point 2: As my analysis of the votes in >160 sirfurboy: shows, there was no resounding victory. Nigel Farage's latest party gained a few percent. The parties for a Peoples Vote gained more votes and made much greater gains.

So, if anything, the one thing this election does show is that we do need to go back and ask the public, in a referendum, whether they wish to leave on whatever terms the next PM dictates, or whether they would prefer to remain after all.

The analysis you deride is right. We are as deadlocked as ever. We need either a new parliament or a new referendum. There is no other resolution to the impasse. Either way, it is back to the people.

163johnthefireman
Edited: May 29, 7:28am Top

>161 proximity1: giving the "leave" side of the matter the clearest, most resounding victory possible

No, they didn't. Firstly, as explained to you above, the vote is by no means as clear as both sides would like to claim. Secondly, neither legally or morally was it an explicit vote on Brexit, although that was obviously a major influencing factor.

to "go back to the 'people'" in a "people's vote,

In a carefully-worded "people's vote" which is explicitly about the issues in question, not simply anyone's perception of what the vote meant on those issues. A vote which asks the questions do you want to leave the EU with a deal? Do you want to leave with no deal? Do you want to cancel the whole exercise and remain? Now that we are all aware of the implications* of those three options (not the simple two options in the first referendum) we can give the politicians a decision which doesn't leave them the wiggle-room which they carved for themselves out of the first referendum result.

Incidentally, I note you are still obsessed with "victory". I think there are is an increasing number of moderate people on both sides of the issue who are also concerned with rebuilding a divided nation and a damaged political system rather than fighting a zero sum winner-takes-all battle.

* NB: Boris Johnson is currently in court facing charges over the lies he told during the first referendum.

164johnthefireman
May 30, 1:03am Top

Forgive me for quoting rather a large chunk from The Guardian view on defending democracy: honesty over simplicity:

In the aftermath of Sunday’s European election results, and as the ranks of Tory leadership contenders swell, every MP should be in a state of alarm about the condition of British democracy. The problem is not that people are denied a voice – millions of opinions have been freely expressed in polling booths – but that parliament looks incapable of satisfying voters’ conflicting demands.

Brexit, as it was sold to the country in 2016, cannot be delivered. The view asserted by Nigel Farage and much of the Conservative party that pro-Europeans are refusing to deliver it is false. It is true that parliament prevented the UK from leaving the EU without a deal, but that outcome would have betrayed promises made by the leave campaign three years ago. The offer of that campaign was an easy glide into a brighter future where Britain would have “taken back control”. But the reality of unilaterally breaking treaty ties with the EU would be a surrender of control. Within weeks, possibly days, the prime minister, whoever that might be, and regardless of their preferred Brexit outcome, would be seeking emergency agreements in Brussels to avert chaos and restore severed links. The balance of power that favoured the EU during article 50 talks would be weighted even more heavily. The UK would be reduced to a supplicant.

Pro-European and moderate Eurosceptic MPs have so far been successful in averting that disaster, but not in explaining why it needed averting. As a result, a substantial minority in the country feels cheated. The Conservative party is close to being captured by a faction that indulges that view. Likewise, those who believe the best available deal between the UK and the EU is one of membership on the current terms have failed to communicate its benefits much beyond the pool of voters who backed remain in 2016.

The fundamental nature of the political impasse is that a decision made in an exercise of direct democracy has proved impossible to organise through institutions of representative democracy. That will be the case regardless of who succeeds Theresa May. It is part of a trend that predates Brexit...

This is dangerous because the Commons has supreme authority in guaranteeing constitutional order. When it is in decline, the whole system is made vulnerable to extremism. Representative democracy also plays a vital role in mediating between competing interest groups. For all the inefficiencies and frustrations of parliamentary deadlock on Brexit, it reflects the intractability of the underlying issue. Anyone who claims to have simple solutions to the crisis is a charlatan.

MPs must listen when voters cry out in frustration at the failure of Westminster to address their anxieties. But they also have a duty to find ways to communicate uncomfortable truth... MPs – and especially candidates for the Tory leadership – must at all costs resist the temptation to sustain the pretence that easy answers are available.

166sirfurboy
May 31, 10:55am Top

But to return - as alas we must - to Farage; he's made a big mistake. By refusing to publish a manifesto, or even to announce any policy decisions other than on Brexit; by choosing to run TBP Ltd as a single position on a single issue 'party', he made these elections a proxy vote on no-deal. And by coming in at 31%, he lost. Badly.

The figure of "17.4 million voted to Leave" will still be trotted out by Brexiteers on a tiresomely regular basis but it's going to ring rather hollower given that, offered the chance to reaffirm their position, 12.2 million of them, for whatever reason, chose not to.

Neither Farage nor his cheerleaders will ever admit it, but somewhere in that sclerotic heart of his he knows he's blown it.
Mitch Benn, writing in The New European.
https://www.theneweuropean.co.uk/top-stories/mitch-benn-nigel-farage-one-trick-p...

167johnthefireman
Jun 1, 12:16am Top

Donald Trump says Boris Johnson would be 'excellent' Tory leader (BBC)

That's good news. I imagine an endorsement from Trump is like the kiss of death, even for mainstream Tories

168davidgn
Jun 1, 12:47am Top

>167 johnthefireman: A profoundly follicular empathy between these two.

169johnthefireman
Jun 1, 2:05am Top

>168 davidgn:

Indeed. Mind you, I have read opinion pieces suggesting that Boris as Prime Minister might in the long run be the best bet for all of us, as he will pursue a no-deal Brexit fanatically and single-mindedly, and there is not a cat in hell's chance that Parliament would let that pass, as mainstream Tory MPs and moderate Brexiteers would join the opposition to block it at all costs. But it would continue to be a painful period for the UK.

170davidgn
Edited: Jun 1, 2:57am Top

>169 johnthefireman: Makes sense. Still, the problem with such worse-is-better analyses is that they neglect to consider that sometimes, worse is simply worse.

I suppose one could make a similar argument with respect to Trump's DOJ's decision to charge Assange under the Espionage Act as opposed to the previous, fig-leafed charges. It's the sort of thing that, if it goes to trial, conventional wisdom would suggest the Supreme Court is likely to overturn in the end. However, emphasis on likely and in the end. And what, by then, will remain of the man?

171johnthefireman
Jun 1, 2:52am Top

>170 davidgn:

Indeed. It's risky.

172sirfurboy
Jun 1, 5:15am Top

>169 johnthefireman: and >170 davidgn:

In the article I posted a link to yesterday, Mitch Benn argues Boris is the best candidate to win, because one thing we know for sure with Boris is that he lies. He has made a career of lying (and been sacked a couple fo times for it). He lies to get elected and then he betrays people. In this case, the next conservative leader needs the votes of the extremely right wing party membership, so someone argung for no dea will get the post. In that scenario, you want Boris the liar.

But yes, still a risky strategy. Also, I think I would feel physically ill if that mendacious buffoon was ever PM. Then again, it is hard to see any candidate for the job that would make me feel any less ill! :)

173johnthefireman
Jun 1, 6:52am Top

>172 sirfurboy: I would feel physically ill if that mendacious buffoon was ever PM. Then again, it is hard to see any candidate for the job that would make me feel any less ill!

Well said.

174johnthefireman
Jun 2, 12:25am Top

Brexit too complicated for referendum says historian (Guardian)

Why did Britain not look to other countries for examples of best practice, asks expert...

Brexit was too complex to be decided by referendum and should have been left in the hands of elected representatives, not voters...

Britain had “little experience” with national referendums before the 2016 vote, he said, having only held two: the 1975 vote to remain in the European common market, and the 2011 vote on the UK’s parliamentary voting system. However, he said, in 2016 Britain could have looked overseas for examples of best practice, including Wisconsin and California in the US, two states that regularly hold referendums, and Italy, which has held more than 70 national referendums since 1946. Some of these have included divisive social issues...

“From these, we have experience – we know subjects that are suitable for referendum and not, and we know how to run a referendum and not,” he said. “Subjects that are suitable for referendum are issues of society values that do not involve complicated questions of economics”...


Well the answer as to "why did Britain not look to other countries for examples of best practice" is simple. It's because it was not intended as a serious referendum, it was simply part of the political manouevring within the Tory party, which went horribly wrong for its instigator, David Cameron.

175StormRaven
Edited: Jun 16, 10:58pm Top

163: proximity is desperate, as he knows that his preferred position is shared by only a tiny minority of the U.K., so he continually points to the dishonest referendum at the final word on the issue. The problem is that every time his preferred position has come up for an honest vote, it has been roundly rejected, so he resorts to increasingly shrill screaming coupled by drunken conspiracy theories.

176davidgn
Jun 16, 4:22am Top

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jun/14/brexit-corbyn-under-pressure-to...

Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet is set to debate Brexit on Monday, as the prospect of a Boris Johnson premiership accelerates Labour’s drift towards supporting a second referendum.

Corbyn is coming under renewed pressure to set out his backing for a fresh public vote more clearly, as the shockwaves from Labour’s catastrophic performance in the European elections continue to reverberate.

Shadow ministers will be shown the second part of a presentation on polling which began at last week’s meeting, and according to one person present showed Labour was being “squeezed from both sides”.

Corbyn said in the aftermath ofthe European elections that any Brexit deal would now “have to be put to a public vote” – though that could include a general election, and he subsequently suggested a referendum remained “some way off”.

Corbyn 'listening very carefully' to Labour calls for second referendum

One shadow cabinet member and Corbyn loyalist described Labour’s Brexit policy as “in a state of transition”, saying they expected it to shift towards a clearer stance in favour of a referendum in the next “two or three weeks”, rather than wait for their hand to be forced by restive grassroots members.

177-pilgrim-
Jun 21, 6:40am Top

>174 johnthefireman:
Britain had “little experience” with national referendums before the 2016 vote, he said, having only held two: the 1975 vote to remain in the European common market, and the 2011 vote on the UK’s parliamentary voting system.


England
may have experienced only two prior referendums, but Britain has experienced rather more (notably in 2014).

It is the blindness of the political classes to the fact that the United Kingdom is constituted of more nations than England that has enabled them to ignore the obvious problems arising over the possible creation of a "hard" border between northern and southern Ireland, and the current Government's alliance with the DUP prevents them squarely addressing the issue.

Negotiations with the EU will be at an impasse until Westminster comprehends that the aspects of withdrawal that it considers so trivial as not to have raised in its referendum proposal to the British public are of vital importance regarding future relations with a neighbouring member state, and thus cannot be relegated to "minor details to be discussed after a basic agreement has been made".

A hard Brexit will have significant political, as well as economic, consequences within the United Kingdom.

178johnthefireman
Jun 21, 7:24am Top

>177 -pilgrim-:

No, the point is that the UK has had little experience of referendums for the whole UK as there have only been three such referendums. There have been other referendums in individual countries within the UK, as you correctly point out, but not for the whole UK. If you are referring to the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, it was not for the whole UK, or even the whole of Great Britain, but only for Scotland.

If there had been any real concern for the wishes of the four individual nations which make up the UK, then presumably there should have been a provision whereby all four of them would have had to achieve a certain percentage within the referendum, whereas in fact two voted for Brexit and two voted remain, so the wishes of Scotland and Northern Ireland as nations have not been taken account of.

Of course I agree with you completely that the Irish border issue "cannot be relegated to 'minor details to be discussed after a basic agreement has been made'". Apart from anything else, it is the subject of a binding international treaty (the 1998 Good Friday Agreement) between two sovereign states and it stands independently of those two states' membership of the EU.

179johnthefireman
Jun 21, 8:30am Top

Crossing Divides - Immigration: Is Britain becoming less anxious? (BBC)

Interesting findings given that immigration was apparently a major factor amongst pro-Brexit voters.

These D-day heroes evoked a glorious shared purpose. It’s now under threat (Guardian)

The anniversary events were in stark contrast to the totalitarian spirit again polluting politics, this time across our own land...

The speeches honouring peace and international co-operation were powerful and dignified, against a backdrop of veterans stressing “never again”...

There was a particular moment that he talked about more than once. He had temporarily been put in charge of a prisoner-of-war camp of German tank crews after the battle for Caen. The very young men the other side of the barbed wire, he said, looked indistinguishable from his own men. They weren’t Nazis. They were Europeans caught up in the same terrible events as he was, but unlucky to be born in the wrong country. Never, never again. Europeans had been fighting each other too often. Were our arguments and differences so deep that there was no other solution than killing each other on such a scale? It had to stop. The members of the wartime generation, what the US journalist Tom Brokaw called “the Greatest Generation” in his book chronicling their experiences, were unique. Nobody escaped the dreadful pall of the 1930s depression and the fear of unemployment. Having lived through the privations of a capitalist system that palpably did not work, they found themselves locked in a world war against fascism. It seemed that the good life would never come their way. For them, it was about belt-tightening, facing any hardship, pulling together and, ultimately, coming through.

The searing experience incubated a collective purpose: to build so that it could never happen again. Their legacy – the mixed economy, the welfare state, European and global institutions designed to promote trade, collaboration, peace and help for developing countries – has been resilient enough to offer my generation what they did not have.

Above all, the D-day celebrations signify a shared purpose now lost. What was so painfully won is being put insouciantly to one side, from crucial values to the tools of economic management, and a society absent of an overriding shared purpose is unable to muster resistance. Contemporary capitalism, left too much to its own devices by the rightwing proposition that the state must keep out of the economy, does not work. The inequalities it has thrown up are, as in the 1930s, provoking powerful societal protests. And, as in the 1930s, a new wave of demagogues, of whom Nigel Farage is a prime example, is blaming an out-of-touch elite for misgoverning a population needy of change.

Foreigners must lie at the root of our ills and there is no greater or more intrusive foreign agent than the European Union. Vote Brexit – it offers a purpose otherwise lacking.

Incredibly, there are even British rightwing politicians using exactly the same language as Hitler and Mussolini. For both dictators, the popular will, expressed in referendums manipulated to produce the right result, had to override parliaments and democratic assemblies, which must be suspended or prorogued if they oppose it. Yet Tory leader hopeful Dominic Raab, deranged by the religion of Brexit, proposes just such a suspension of parliament this autumn to deliver a no-deal Brexit. It is crazed and totalitarian in its spirit, the antithesis of what the millions, including my father, fought for 75 years ago. The feebleness of the reaction – no such man should ever be entrusted with the prime ministership of Britain or even a position in its government – betokens how far we have sunk...

The wartime generation were so shaped by what they lived through that they created the institutions that have served us so well. Maybe the British will have to live through a suspended parliament and the mayhem of a no-deal Brexit to learn that the ultra-populist right, with all its hatred of the other and of international collaboration, offers no worthwhile answer.

Rather, our purpose lies in rebuilding the values and institutions bequeathed to us by that wartime generation. If the D-day celebrations made any contribution to promoting again a collective way of thinking, they will have been worth their weight in gold.


Incidentally I was in UK the other day and I watched the TV debate amongst the Tory leadership candidates, one of whom will soon be our new Prime Minister. It's a frightening thought.

180johnthefireman
Jun 21, 10:23am Top

Any cricket fans following this thread?

“Welly is my contribution,” says Richard Harris, “but I would like to know if there is a term for a batsman setting off for a run then stopping, starting to go back, then changing his mind and going again, stopping, looking at his equally uncertain partner, gesticulating, retreating desperately but too late and crashing out through thorough incompetence? Brexiting is the only one I can think of.”

181johnthefireman
Jun 22, 12:59am Top

Donald Tusk: Johnson may make Brexit more exciting, but we won't budge (Guardian)

EU chief says member states are united in rejecting further talks on the withdrawal deal

182johnthefireman
Jun 24, 12:41am Top

Brexit viewed with incredulity overseas, says ambassador (Guardian)

British ambassadors have been sending messages to the Foreign Office describing Brexit as a political shambles that is destroying the UK’s reputation...

The comments are likely to alarm ministers as they seek to persuade their European counterparts that the country is united behind the Conservative plan to take the country of out of the EU in October...

183johnthefireman
Jun 26, 9:55am Top

Brexit: Survival of UK in doubt, Gordon Brown warns

Gordon Brown has warned the future of the union between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is "more at risk" than at any time in 300 years.

The ex-prime minister said the United Kingdom risked "unravelling" due to Brexit and the "narrow nationalism" of the Conservative and SNP governments...


It often appears to be forgotten, not least within the Tory party, that its full name is in fact the Conservative and Unionist Party, and that one of the core values for which it supposedly stands is, er, the union of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (as it says proudly on the front of my passport).

Perhaps they have also forgotten the meaning of the word "conservative", which would seem to imply the opposite of sudden radical change?

185sirfurboy
Jun 26, 10:49am Top

>183 johnthefireman: From time to time parties can so radically change their position that they are no longer the party they used to be, but its opposite. This has happened for the Conservative and Unionist party which is now neither Conservative nor Unionist:

186johnthefireman
Jun 27, 1:53am Top

Boris Johnson’s full English Brexit could rip the union apart

If Boris Johnson becomes prime minister, Britain will be sleepwalking towards the break-up of the United Kingdom. The minority who want this to happen are rubbing their hands at the prospect. The separate minority who say they don’t care if it happens seem beyond reasoned debate at present. But the majority who don’t want it to happen aren’t being much more attentive either. Unless this changes, they could be in for a shock more lasting than Brexit...

Yvette Cooper or Hilary Benn should lead unity government to halt Brexit

The Liberal Democrat leadership candidate Ed Davey has suggested his party could back Yvette Cooper or Hilary Benn as head of a government of national unity, to be installed instead of a general election if the government lost a no-confidence vote.

The Lib Dem contender admitted he had not spoken to Cooper or Benn about the plan and said the unity government’s sole purpose would be to oversee a second referendum and then dissolve parliament and hold a general election.

Davey said the plan would “take some persuasion” but could be a way to attract Conservatives to vote down their own government if they were wary of their actions leading to Jeremy Corbyn winning an election...

"Only a national government can deliver Britain from its Brexit nightmare"


Both from the Grauniad.

Ed Davey's plan is unlikely to happen, but the suggestion of a National Givernment, as happened during World War II, highlights the scale of the crisis which is not only Brexit itself but also the potential dissolution of the United Kingdom and the toxic polarisation within UK politics and society.

187johnthefireman
Jun 29, 12:48am Top

EU and Mercosur agree huge trade deal after 20-year talks (BBC)

Ironic that one of the slogans of the Brexiteers was for Britain to be able to negotiate better trade deals, when the EU has just negotiated, er, a better trade deal, variously described as "historic" and "one of the most important trade deals of all time", which took 20 years to negotiate. So if Johnson or Hunt crashes us out of the EU in October 2019, perhaps we can expect them to have negotiated a better trade deal by, er, 2039?

188johnthefireman
Jul 5, 12:43am Top

At last!

No-deal Brexit risks breaking up UK, warns Theresa May (Guardian)

PM tells audience in Scotland ‘a lot of people have taken the union for granted’

189johnthefireman
Jul 6, 6:09am Top

Can a Corbyn-Sturgeon alliance save Brexit Britain from itself? (Al Jazeera)

A Labour-SNP coalition could reorder the UK's economic landscape, end free market orthodoxy, and even reverse Brexit...

190margd
Jul 6, 10:09am Top

>188 johnthefireman: And Putin smiles.

191-pilgrim-
Jul 6, 10:24am Top

192margd
Edited: Jul 6, 11:57am Top

NATO, EU, UK, US disputes and misfortunes are played, if not instigated, by Putin's trolls, e.g.,

Bogus Brexit murder plot and other lies planted online by Russian accounts: study
Jack Stubbs | June 22, 2019
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-disinformation/bogus-brexit-murder-plo...

Why:
Magnitsky / Crimea / Ukraine sanctions?
Perceived meddling in Russian elections?
e European members of NATO and EU?
Perceived meddling in Russian elections?
Obama dismissing Russia as "regional power"?
Sochi?
etc.

193johnthefireman
Jul 6, 11:51am Top

>192 margd:

Well, the bogus assassination plot passed me by completely - I had never heard of it.

194-pilgrim-
Edited: Jul 7, 2:49am Top

>192 margd: I strongly suspect that most of the rest of the world is laughing in disbelief at the mess Britain is making of itself over Brexit.

I didn't realise you were just dealing in vague generalities. I assumed you thought Putin really had an opinion one way or the other on whether the break-up of the Union would be a good thing or a disaster for its constituent parts.

ETA: FWIW, I think it a fallacy to assume that any competent statesman wants another country to be in an unstable condition. Sudden structural changes, leads to erratic behaviour which is harder to predict and plan for, or to negotiate with.

Aiming to negotiate from a position of strength, by encouraging the election of a compliant puppet is a viable strategy (and one that the U.S. has attempted many times, sometimes successfully), but not having anyone firmly enough seated to negotiate with, or a country run by an unstable personality whose deals vanish with their mood swings, is every statesman's nightmare.

195johnthefireman
Edited: Jul 7, 12:44am Top

>194 -pilgrim-: I strongly suspect that most of the rest of the world is laughing in disbelief at the mess Britain is making of itself over Brexit.

I couldn't agree more. I live outside UK and work in an international setting with people from all over the world, and that's certainly the impression I get. But it's a laughter also tinged with sadness, and even sympathy, as you might have for anyone who has dug themselves into a hole they don't know how to get out of.

196-pilgrim-
Jul 7, 2:51am Top

>195 johnthefireman: I hope you are right. I fear tolerance for our current obsessive insularity is running out.

197johnthefireman
Edited: Jul 7, 4:03am Top

And in deference to this being a book website, let me note that foreign writers are apparently now having a field day writing novels about dystopian post-Brexit Britain.

German sci-fi fans lap up dystopian tales of Brexit Britain (Guardian)

198bnielsen
Jul 7, 5:25am Top

>198 bnielsen: Thanks for the link! I have a couple of dystopian tales set in England, but they are rather old, so I'll consider somer newer fiction. (Or just wait for Halloween while sipping tea from my "Nightmare before Christmas" mug :-)

199sirfurboy
Jul 7, 6:24am Top

>194 -pilgrim-: "ETA: FWIW, I think it a fallacy to assume that any competent statesman wants another country to be in an unstable condition. "

You think it is a fallacy? or you think it is false?

I think it is quite clear that Putin has followed a policy of deliberate destabilisation in Europe, in the US and elsewhere. Your argument is that a destabilised country is harder to negotiate with. Well yes, the law of unintended consequences always pertains, but a destabilised country always is easier to negotiate with in the sens that it is less powerful than it was when it was stable.

It is hard to sustain an argument that Putin would not seek destabilisation when all the extremely strong evidence from multiple countries and multiple quarters is that this is exactly what he is doing.

200margd
Jul 7, 10:46am Top

Cables from UK's ambassador to the US blast Trump as 'inept,' 'incompetent'
Michelle Kosinski, Schams Elwazer and Stephen Collinson | July 7, 2019

..."inept," "insecure" and "incompetent,"

...Trump's "career could end in disgrace," and described conflicts within the White House as "knife fights,"

...while he believed Trump can't afford to lose much support, he thinks there's still a "credible path" for his reelection.

...speculation that the leak of Darroch's memos was a politically motivated act by someone in London to clear space in Washington for an outspokenly pro-Brexit ambassador.

...Trump has never felt constrained from criticizing the British government.

Several times, he has embarrassed May after criticizing her handling of Brexit negotiations. He plunged into Britain's internal affairs in June by openly rooting for various Conservative candidates in the leadership elections. And he has waged a long-running feud with London's mayor Sadiq Khan.

Trump also raised some eyebrows in the UK by repeatedly praising Nigel Farage, one of the most prominent campaigners for Brexit.

Trump has in the past suggested Farage, whom he called "a friend of mine," should become the UK ambassador to the US. That idea was quickly ruled out by Downing Street.

Farage rushed to Trump's defense on Sunday, tweeting: "Kim Darroch is totally unsuitable for the job and the sooner he is gone the better."...

https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/06/politics/uk-ambassador-cables-donald-trump/index....

201-pilgrim-
Jul 7, 4:38pm Top

>199 sirfurboy: I have not seen evidence that Putin wishes to destabilise Europe, which would be counterproductive with an important trading partner.

I think it highly likely that he favours Brexit, as that weakens the EU's negotiating position, without destabilising it or preventing it concluding deals with Russia.

I agree that there is significant evidence to suggest that Russian intervention in the US has destabilised America, but not that that was the goal; it is quite plausibly simply a by-product. The hawkish attitude of the alternative candidate, Hilary Clinton, towards the Russian Federation, is quite sufficient reason to see why President Putin would prefer Donald Trump in office.

But an unstable nuclear power is a nightmare scenario.

Former relationships probably led President Putin to expect a closer relationship with the current American president than is in fact the case. There is a persuasive argument for attempting to install a compliant puppet, with whom one can trade, but not for an unpredictable incumbent, who reneges on his deals.

As for a goal of destabilising Britain - unfortunately, outside the EU, I just don't think we are a significant enough issue to rate attention. (And I reiterate my point about the need to be able to co-exist successfully with any fellow nuclear power. An unstable personality at the helm of a nation with nuclear capability is still our highest risk for global disaster.)

202johnthefireman
Jul 8, 10:19am Top

>194 -pilgrim-: I think it a fallacy to assume that any competent statesman wants another country to be in an unstable condition

Trump apparently wants Iran to be in an unstable condition... but then few would call him a "competent statesman".

203margd
Edited: Jul 8, 11:15am Top

#194 instability + erratic behavior = opportunity for such as Putin. And others, according to Bannon. Multilateralism, stability, are not necessarily good for Putin, the MAGA crowd, etc. Crash out of Brexit? They see a fire sale...

204-pilgrim-
Edited: Jul 9, 9:58am Top

>202 johnthefireman: Quod erat demonstrandum

205-pilgrim-
Jul 9, 10:02am Top

>204 -pilgrim-: A "fire sale" implies that there is a way, as well as the will, to profit from this. You still haven't demonstrated where you think the profit lies. Random destructiveness is the perogative of naive politicians, and President Putin is far from that. Politics is not a zero-sum game.

206LolaWalser
Jul 9, 12:49pm Top

Heard yesterday a Brexiteer telling a French reporter they want out so they can fight France. The unhingeing is near 100% completion...

207margd
Jul 9, 2:05pm Top

Sky News Breaking @SkyNewsBreak | 9:31 AM - 9 Jul 2019

U.S. Commerce Department says the meeting between secretary of commerce Wilbur Ross and International Trade Secretary Liam Fox has been cancelled

208margd
Jul 11, 4:12pm Top

#200, contd.

U.S. allies hold breakfast for departing British ambassador — and ‘the message is clear’
Karen DeYoung | July 11, 2019

In what one European diplomat called a subtle but “pretty clear” message of solidarity with departing British Ambassador Kim Darroch, his German counterpart hosted him and the French and European Union ambassadors for breakfast at her official residence in Washington on Thursday.

“I’m honored to host my colleagues and friends,” German Ambassador Emily Haber tweeted, along with a photograph of the four of them smiling together in the morning sunshine.

The posted picture, even more than the bacon and eggs, appeared to be the point of the event. It quickly appeared on the Twitter accounts of French Ambassador Philippe Etienne and E.U. Ambassador Stavros Lambrinidis, and of the British Embassy. Most retweets and replies echoed @JockGlasgow, who wrote: “A reminder of who our true friends are.”...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/us-allies-hold-breakfast-for-de...

209johnthefireman
Jul 14, 12:12am Top

Hard Brexit would be 'detrimental' to peace process, says PSNI chief (Guardian)

The chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has warned that a hard Brexit would have an “absolutely detrimental” impact on the peace process...

“Because we know there is a small number of people... intent on disruption and causing really serious harm.”

Byrne also said he wanted answers from London as to how the PSNI was supposed to police the 300 border crossings in the face of the dissident republican threat that could increase with a hard Brexit.

“I think we are worried that in the short term a hard Brexit will create a vacuum which becomes a rally call and recruiting ground for dissident republicans and clearly any rise in their popularity or their capability would be very serious”...

210johnthefireman
Edited: Jul 15, 2:05am Top

Not cricket: Jacob Rees-Mogg criticised for World Cup comments (Guardian)

Brexiter says England beating New Zealand shows ‘we clearly don’t need Europe to win’

As was quickly pointed out to this leading but ignorant Brexiteer, the England captain Eoin Morgan is an Irishman, four other members of the squad were born outside UK (Tom Curran and Jason Roy are originally from South Africa, while Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer were born in New Zealand and Barbados respectively), and two others (Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid) are the grandchildren of Pakistani immigrants. All qualify to play for England either by birth or by length of time they have resided there. But politics aside, what an amazing World Cup final it was.

Edited to add: I suppose most of those foreign-born cricketers would be described as "economic migrants", as would many of the famous and popular footballers who play in the Premier League. Thank God for immigration.

211margd
Jul 22, 9:40am Top

Ian Dunt @IanDunt | 4:06 AM · Jul 22, 2019
So to summarise, he worked for Banks' Westmonster site and Tice's Brexit party,
but the leak was nothing to do with Brexit.
He's an ambitious 19-year-old journalist who leaves his byline off the biggest piece of his life.

--------------------------------------------------​

Why I helped expose ambassador's embarrassing cables:
Journalist, 19, behind Trump scoop comes forward to reveal his motivation and fears he’s being targeted by security services

Steven Edginton | Updated: 02:06 EDT, 21 July 2019

Journalist Steven Edginton, 19, fears he is being targeted by security services
The person who leaked the explosive Washington Files was his trusted source
In April, he began working as a digital strategist for Nigel Farage's Brexit Party
Mr Edginton says his story was not a 'Brexiteer plot to topple Sir Kim Darroch' ...

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7268519/STEVEN-EDGINTON-19-journalist-e...

212-pilgrim-
Jul 23, 10:03am Top

>211 margd: Of course his source is of interest to the security sources. And, of course, the issue of whom he is really working for..

213Molly3028
Edited: Jul 23, 10:12am Top

Now, the planet has two blonde whack jobs leading major countries. What could possibly go wrong???

214Carnophile
Jul 24, 11:33am Top

BOOOOOOORRRRRRRIIIIIIISSSSSSSSS!!!!

215davidgn
Jul 24, 11:34am Top

So, that "worse is better" analysis? It's starting to look pretty appealing right now.

217margd
Edited: Jul 26, 8:24am Top

Lucy Wainwright @Whoozley | 6:01 PM · Jul 24, 2019

Johnson became PM with 92,000 votes.
Boaty McBoatface got 124,000 votes & was overruled for being plainly a bloody stupid fucking decision.
Just saying.

(OTOH, Boaty the sub has been doing some significant scientific exploration!)

218johnthefireman
Jul 26, 8:17pm Top

Brexit: Political will of the people 'must be in question' as 55 per cent now want to stay in EU, poll finds (Independent)

Brexit has ceased to be the “will of the people” and in a second referendum 55 per cent would vote Remain, analysis of British Social Attitudes Survey respondents has suggested.

The new National Centre for Social Research data also found that just six per cent now think the UK will secure a good Brexit deal - a massive reduction from the 33 per cent who were optimistic about the outcome of negotiations when the Article 50 process was triggered in March 2017...

It found that only 79 per cent of those who voted Leave in the 2016 referendum said they would vote for Brexit again. The analysis found that nearly two-thirds of ex-Leave supporters now thought Brexit would be bad for the British economy.

The researchers also found that another factor in the apparent swing to Remain was the tendency of those who didn’t vote in the 2016 referendum to say they would now vote to stay in the EU. Fully 56 per cent of the previous non-participants said they would now vote Remain...

the 52-48 Leave vote registered in the 2016 EU referendum had now become a 55-45 majority in favour of Remain...

the new data clearly showed a “potential frailty of arguments that leaving the EU is necessarily the ‘will’ of a majority of the British public.

“It is enough to raise doubts about whether, two and half years after the original ballot, leaving the EU necessarily continues to represent the view of a majority of the British public.

219lriley
Jul 29, 3:12pm Top

Before it all plays out we could end up with an United Ireland and a separated Scotland. What would Wales do then? United Kingdom could just go back to being England.

220bnielsen
Jul 30, 6:39am Top

>219 lriley: This matches my current reading perfectly :-)

Five million can still be a nation. Why, damn it, there were no more of us than that in the time of the first Elizabeth. We made ourselves count then, and, by God, we can do it again.

221johnthefireman
Jul 31, 6:51am Top

We'll block trade deal if Brexit imperils open Irish border, say US politicians (Guardian)

Johnson-Trump plan could fall foul of Congress if Good Friday agreement is threatened

A welcome bit of bipartisan common sense from the Friends of Ireland caucus in the US Congress. The Good Friday agreement has nothing per se to do with Brexit or the EU, but is a treaty between two sovereign states (UK and Ireland) as well as the belligerent parties in Northern Ireland. For the UK to unilaterally abrogate an important part of such a peace treaty ought to be unthinkable - but to Boris and his merry band of Brexiteers it apparently means nothing.

223lriley
Jul 31, 7:52am Top

The DUP party leaders will stick with Johnson. I just wonder about the rank and file and business leaders--how solid they are. It's certainly going to hurt a lot of them economically.

As far as the Friends of Ireland Congressional caucus--it is mostly Democrats but I'd be surprised if republican Peter King who is one of the more influential members of the caucus and goes back to the Good Friday agreement didn't oppose this and bring along a few other republicans as well. There's no way that a trade deal is going to be made without the House voting for it and I don't see that happening--even without King though.

224johnthefireman
Edited: Aug 14, 12:56am Top

Brexiteer says we didn’t need academics to win WW2 and the internet responds (Independent)

A Brexiteer has made the “point” that we didn’t need academics to win World War II and he’s been on the receiving end of some pointed history lessons from his fellow concerned citizens.

Facts are in increasingly short supply when it comes to Brexit-related discourse but a new low was reached when Stanley White tweeted the following:

"Remoaners keep going on about academics and scientists. Well academics didn't help us on the beaches or in the trenches. That was down {sic} the Great British spirit, grit, determination and strength. Academics would be shit in the trenches. Brexit needs heroes.

F*** experts."

It almost reads like a parody of the kind of thoughtless rhetoric we’ve become accustomed to in the last few years but unfortunately this is no work of satire.


Even more ignorant that the leading Brexiteer who said we didn't need foreigners to win the cricket world cup (>210 johnthefireman:).We could certainly do with a few more now in the Ashes test series against Australia. But back to academics and World War II, names which were immediately posted in response to the historically-challenged Brexiteer included household names such as Alan Turing (and his team), Barnes Wallis (the Dambusters' bouncing bomb and the Tallboy and Grand Slam bombs, as well as the Wellington bomber), aircraft designers (including RJ Mitchell of Spitfire fame), those who invented radar (which played a major role in winning the Battle of Britain) and the jet engine, etc, etc. It was also pointed out that many academics fought in the trenches of World War I, and the names of two literary figures, Wilfred Owen and JRR Tolkien, came up. It should perhaps also be remembered that Winston Churchill thought very highly of the 'backroom boys' and 'boffins'.

225johnthefireman
Edited: Aug 14, 12:57am Top

No-deal Brexit would be a betrayal, says Philip Hammond

Boris Johnson has been warned by Philip Hammond that leaving the EU without a deal would be a betrayal of the referendum result...

“The hardliners may make the most noise but they are not the most numerous. Most people in this country want to see us leave in a smooth and orderly fashion that will not disrupt lives, cost jobs or diminish living standards, whether they voted leave or remain in 2016. No deal would be a betrayal of the 2016 referendum result. It must not happen”...


Bercow will 'fight' to stop Johnson closing parliament for no deal

“The one thing I feel strongly about is that the House of Commons must have its way,” he said. “And if there is an attempt to circumvent, to bypass or – God forbid – to close down parliament, that is anathema to me.

“I will fight with every breath in my body to stop that happening. We cannot have a situation in which parliament is shut down. We are a democratic society and parliament will be heard.

“Nobody is going to get away, as far as I’m concerned, with stopping that happening. Nobody should be afraid to say what he or she thinks.”

Asked by an audience member if parliament was able to stop a no-deal Brexit, Bercow replied: “Yes.”


Both from the Guardian. For those from outside the UK, Hammond is former Chancellor of the Exchequer (aka finance minister) and Bercow is the Speaker of the House of Commons.

226johnthefireman
Edited: Aug 14, 10:10am Top

Brexit: No chance of US trade deal if Irish accord hit - Pelosi (BBC)

A US-UK trade deal will not get through Congress if Brexit undermines the Good Friday Agreement, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives has said.

Democrat Nancy Pelosi, whose party controls the House, said the UK's exit from the EU could not be allowed to endanger the Irish peace deal.

Her comments came after the US national security adviser said the UK would be "first in line" for a trade deal...

227lriley
Aug 15, 7:05am Top

#226--John Bolton again? The guy is a menace.

Anyway I'm thinking they're not getting it through congress without figuring out Northern Ireland because there will even be some Republican resistance. For now though Trump and his administration are going to act like that doesn't even matter because well---it's a clown show he's running. Literally about 99% of the adults in the United States and a good 90% of children and teenagers between the age of 5 and 18 could do a much better job than Trump is doing---we could probably get over 50% of 3 to 5 year olds. At least they're capable of listening to someone even if it's only their parents.

228johnthefireman
Edited: Aug 19, 12:59am Top

UK to end freedom of movement for EU citizens on day one of Brexit, under new government plan (Independent)

Free movement for EU citizens will end on day one of a no-deal Brexit, under new Home Office plans – despite warnings of chaos and of people trapped in legal limbo.

Priti Patel, the new hardline home secretary, is pressing for border restrictions to be imposed immediately on 31 October, even though no replacement system is ready...

“Are the government seriously suggesting an NHS nurse who is an EU national may not be allowed to return to the country if they happen to have been on holiday? It is absurd”...


No 10 furious at leak of paper predicting shortages after no-deal Brexit (Guardian)

Downing Street has reacted with fury to the leak of an official document predicting that a no-deal Brexit would lead to food, medicine and petrol shortages...

Those campaigning against a no-deal Brexit said the official Cabinet Office document confirmed all the warnings about the risks of crashing out without an agreement...

229lriley
Aug 25, 5:48am Top

Trump backslapping Boris at the G7--promising the US and Britain would work out a big trade deal--post Brexit.

Delusional Donald does seem to think he's the 'chosen one' and that he can just enunciate a wish and abracadabra it's made real. Any trade deal has to go through congress though and speaker Pelosi amongst other democratic lawmakers has made it clear that Boris is going to have to give up (as in surrender) on the Irish border issue in some significant way to make it happen and there are republican lawmakers in the House who are very likely to throw support to her on this. Boris is going to have to bend over to make such a deal happen and dipshit Donald is not going to be able to live up to his promise otherwise.

Such an agreement will also take a lot of time to work out. Trade agreements don't happen overnight. Trump will almost certainly need to be re-elected to have a trade agreement with Britain happen on his watch. Right now he's promising shit he can't deliver on.......but I guess when you're the second coming of Jesus Christ.......but wait, didn't he live his life as an ordinary man?.....never mind.

230margd
Edited: Aug 25, 10:42am Top

Johnson - Trump meeting: will both have feet on the table at their meeting, as Johnson did meeting Macron in palace? That little table was probably a priceless antique!

2312wonderY
Aug 25, 10:57am Top

>230 margd: No telling how much it cost, but it's not an antique - very modern.

This topic was continued by Brexit! Part 4.

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