[Discussion] Brexit means Brexit

Discuss the political fallout and other issues around Britain's exit, Brexit for short, from the EU.

For the sake of clarity, I'm including the full text of Article 50.

Article 50 wrote:

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.

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.

5. If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.

When I said it’s the end of May, I was saying mostly that she’ll get through the vote of no confidence and step down. At this point her position is untenable, and she knows it.

Corbyn is a f**king useless cretin. The Tories will not vote themselves out of power no matter what, unless it is the only option left on the table. He needed to wait until the no deal default was the only available option left. He would have had that next week I think, after May came back and said ‘plan B is the same as plan A you all rejected. Or default no deal’. Once that was clarified the DUP would probably have conceded and votes against May along with enough ‘we’re absolutely not having a no deal brexit’ Tories with no other option to prevent it.

This will damage him as much as it has the Tories I think. All the while the British electorate is left with a choice between two utterly incompetent parties. f*cking hell.

DanB wrote:
Shadout wrote:

Does Corbyn actually accept staying in the customs union and EU citizen rights, or is that too tactics?

Axon wrote:

Corbyn has only called the motion of no confidence due to the pressure from his membership and MPs.

Whatever Corbyn thinks of the EU, for both these points, all he is doing here is executing Labour party policy that the Labour members voted for, which is what he's said he was going to do all along.

For all the hand wringing in the press about Labour's stance, Corbyn and Starmer have been quite clear all along that the Labour party would always vote against any Tory deal that didn't fulfill Labour's tests. And that if that vote was a great enough defeat they would push for a new General Election (i.e. vote of no confidence). And if they are unable to secure another GE they will throw their weight behind a 2nd ref.

This has always been the plan, they've stated it repeatedly, it is written down. There is no mystery here. The idea that something nefarious is happening or there is any subterfuge is... well I don't know, looking for bad acting because you don't like Corbyn.

Now you could argue this is tactically naive (perhaps) but it is kind of playing out how they said it would. And you could argue they should have always been pushing for a 2nd ref. Personally I think Labour would have been eviscerated by the press for backing a 2nd ref from day one. But really Labour party members didn't manage to make that party policy at the last Labour party conference(s). And I think this plan has worked out well for Labour in that it makes the Tories own every little bit of the failure, there's been little chance for the Tories to try and claim Labour have been working against leaving.

So what happens next? If Labour can secure a GE and win it then they get their chance to renegotiate a "better deal". Lots of punditry seems to reckon the better deal would be some kind of Tory-lite cakeism but I suspect it would be little more than returning to the EU and saying "we'd like to stay in the CU and maintain EU citizens rights". And I can't imagine the EU would do anything other than wave that through. In the end of the day it is the most sensible first step towards fully leaving at some future point or seeing the error of our ways and fully returning.

And 2nd referendum I think would be a much more chaotic path, the press would go crazy, what options would be on the ballot, what happens if Leave win it again given we now know there is zero political will for actually leaving.

I take your points about Corbyn and how I and others view him. Let's put a pin in that for now and see what he actually does over the coming weeks. But time for platitudes like Norway Plus or Custom Arrangements are over.

Sorbicol wrote:

All the while the British electorate is left with a choice between two utterly incompetent parties.

i.e., modern neoliberal politics. Kind of feels like we've all dead-ended ourselves by increments over the last 3-4 decades, and now all we're left with are Friedmanesque automatons and zealots swinging from either end of the pole. How long until the best parts of North-Western Europe, Canada, and New Zealand unify and save us all from ourselves?

My friend who has fairly astutely called what is going to happen for a while now reckons the following:

May passes any no-confidence vote as the Tory party would rather cling on to power than give anyone else a shot. Some Labour or Tory bill amendment permanently blocks 'No Deal'. This leaves May stuck with what to do, and either she calls a second referendum or is pushed by some backbenchers to do so. At which point Art50 either gets an extension (via EU grace) and if not the Tories are forced to retract Art50 so they have the time to organise said referendum.

Then his next predictions I think are a little more fanciful: that Remain win the referendum which triggers a Tory party split and Labour end up in government before the year is out.

I think your friend has a good read on it.

From across the pond, it looks like there's not really much political will or interest in actually following through on a no-deal Brexit at this point, which means trying to back down from Brexit as a whole while saving face. Being able to unilatery revoke A50 makes that a lot easier. A second referendum seems like the only realistic path to get away from Brexit, as it's the best way to push that responsibility off on the electorate. And you have to figure that a second referendum seems likely to result in a Remain victory, if only because I can't imagine that the sh*tshow of the last couple years have changed the opinions of anyone who voted Remain, but it likely will have shifted opinions of Leavers. Brexit has been tried out, now, and it's a f*cking mess, at least with everyone currently in charge.

But is the reactionary anti-European, anti-immigrant side of things enough to actually split off from the Tories? That seems unlikely, but I'm used to American politics, where everyone always keeps their devils in their bed.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

I think your friend has a good read on it.

From across the pond, it looks like there's not really much political will or interest in actually following through on a no-deal Brexit at this point, which means trying to back down from Brexit as a whole while saving face. Being able to unilatery revoke A50 makes that a lot easier. A second referendum seems like the only realistic path to get away from Brexit, as it's the best way to push that responsibility off on the electorate. And you have to figure that a second referendum seems likely to result in a Remain victory, if only because I can't imagine that the sh*tshow of the last couple years have changed the opinions of anyone who voted Remain, but it likely will have shifted opinions of Leavers. Brexit has been tried out, now, and it's a f*cking mess, at least with everyone currently in charge.

But is the reactionary anti-European, anti-immigrant side of things enough to actually split off from the Tories? That seems unlikely, but I'm used to American politics, where everyone always keeps their devils in their bed.

The Attorney General stated in the debate earlier that any revocation of article 50 had to be "genuine" - i.e. we couldn't revoke it, figure out what we want and then re-enact it 2 months later for example. I have no idea whether that' accurate from what I was lead to believe about the EU ruling, but he is the Attorney General, so he should know.

I still think we're headed for a second referendum. No idea what the choice will be, (Probably not "no deal" at this point) but if we all vote for "A Deal" we're still no further forward. A remain vote will at least put the country on a stable footing while we work out what the hell we are doing as a nation, but it resolves nothing else.

The only resolution I can conceive personally is ditching FPTP and going to PR. That will allow both the Tories and labour to form their natural splits, and at least lead to governments that should, broadly follow more or less the opinions of the majority of the electorate. It would at least go some way to allowing people to express their opinion without all the internal party political fighting that got us into this mess in the first place.

There is no way that is going to happen though. The Tories are pathologically adverse to letting anyone else take power, and Labour only like the idea when they are in opposition......

The last time the UK had a General Election where over 50% of the electorate voted for one party was....... 1931.

Sorbicol wrote:

The Attorney General stated in the debate earlier that any revocation of article 50 had to be "genuine" - i.e. we couldn't revoke it, figure out what we want and then re-enact it 2 months later for example. I have no idea whether that' accurate from what I was lead to believe about the EU ruling, but he is the Attorney General, so he should know.

From what I remember, the ability to unilaterally revoke it was itself pretty much just something made up as a last ditch effort to prevent this disaster, so I'm thinking the whole 'genuine' thing is 'as genuine as it needs to be to prevent a Brexit disaster'.

Sorbicol wrote:

The Attorney General stated in the debate earlier that any revocation of article 50 had to be "genuine" - i.e. we couldn't revoke it, figure out what we want and then re-enact it 2 months later for example. I have no idea whether that' accurate from what I was lead to believe about the EU ruling, but he is the Attorney General, so he should know.

I only meant that it makes backing down from Brexit easier because no one has to go hat-in-hand to the EU and ask to be let back in. It's a lot easier to back down from something it you don't have to get anyone's permission for it.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

A second referendum seems like the only realistic path to get away from Brexit, as it's the best way to push that responsibility off on the electorate.

In the short term yes. But I think a second referendum that only narrowly goes for remain would keep the whole EU issue tediously alive for at least another generation. And a win for leave would put us through another 2 years of political paralysis. Remain would have to win by a significant margin to cause a referendum to put this all to bed.

I'd almost prefer a GE and for Labour to deliver the BINO option, that would somewhat shut everyone up and then we can argue the toss about 'is this worth it or should we rejoin?' at some later stage. And longest term the EU probably would prefer that as a UK asking to be let back in wouldn't be allowed all the concessions it currently enjoys.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

And you have to figure that a second referendum seems likely to result in a Remain victory, if only because I can't imagine that the sh*tshow of the last couple years have changed the opinions of anyone who voted Remain, but it likely will have shifted opinions of Leavers.

Maybe. As we know now the Leave campaign are willing to lie and cheat (campaign finances), and that tips some of the odds in their favour.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Brexit has been tried out, now, and it's a f*cking mess, at least with everyone currently in charge.

I think the Leave camp would, somewhat rightly, argue that Brexit wasn't tried out in so far as we didn't actually leave. But they also aren't willing to concede that leaving is a 10 to 20 year project and not a case of having a referendum, invoking art50 and crashing out with no deal.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

But is the reactionary anti-European, anti-immigrant side of things enough to actually split off from the Tories?

Maybe, that's essentially what UKIP were and a Brexit failure would reinvigorate UKIP. I don't think you'd see a split down the middle to give 2 somewhat viable right wing parties. The Brexit mob are a minority in the Tory party so you might see them leave to join something that merges them and UKIP in to something new. Who knows really? Maybe the brexiters would leave to make some minority party like the Labour-SDP split in 1981.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

I only meant that it makes backing down from Brexit easier because no one has to go hat-in-hand to the EU and ask to be let back in. It's a lot easier to back down from something it you don't have to get anyone's permission for it.

Oh I completely agree with you there. It was rather nice of the ECJ to rule that.

Sorbicol wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:

I only meant that it makes backing down from Brexit easier because no one has to go hat-in-hand to the EU and ask to be let back in. It's a lot easier to back down from something it you don't have to get anyone's permission for it.

Oh I completely agree with you there. It was rather nice of the ECJ to rule that.

In fairness the guy who wrote Art50 did say he didn't intend for revocation to require EU permission.

Sorbicol wrote:

The only resolution I can conceive personally is ditching FPTP and going to PR.

Ah, my hobby horse.

Isn't it interesting that the two countries in the developed world that use plurality voting are now riven by partisan politics. Not saying the rest of us don't have our extremes but at the very least they are contained in their own parties.

DanB wrote:

In fairness the guy who wrote Art50 did say he didn't intend for revocation to require EU permission.

I have a really hard time believing that he was honest. If he was, I *really* hope he didn't write anything other than Art50 with those drafting skills.

Axon wrote:

Isn't it interesting that the two countries in the developed world that use plurality voting are now riven by partisan politics. Not saying the rest of us don't have our extremes but at the very least they are contained in their own parties.

According to Wikipedia, Canada does too. Not sure how much FPTP has to do with it in the US, especially if we're talking about recent extremism.

cheeze_pavilion wrote:
DanB wrote:

In fairness the guy who wrote Art50 did say he didn't intend for revocation to require EU permission.

I have a really hard time believing that he was honest. If he was, I *really* hope he didn't write anything other than Art50 with those drafting skills.

Well to my understanding Art50 was kind of tacked on to the end of a very long and detailed negotiating session as something of an afterthought. A kind of "shouldn't we add something about leaving?" situation. I doubt anyone at the time seriously considered it would be invoked.

DanB wrote:
cheeze_pavilion wrote:
DanB wrote:

In fairness the guy who wrote Art50 did say he didn't intend for revocation to require EU permission.

I have a really hard time believing that he was honest. If he was, I *really* hope he didn't write anything other than Art50 with those drafting skills.

Well to my understanding Art50 was kind of tacked on to the end of a very long and detailed negotiating session as something of an afterthought. A kind of "shouldn't we add something about leaving?" situation. I doubt anyone at the time seriously considered it would be invoked.

Wow, out of the frying pan, into the fire.

cheeze_pavilion wrote:
Axon wrote:

Isn't it interesting that the two countries in the developed world that use plurality voting are now riven by partisan politics. Not saying the rest of us don't have our extremes but at the very least they are contained in their own parties.

According to Wikipedia, Canada does too. Not sure how much FPTP has to do with it in the US, especially if we're talking about recent extremism.

Bloody Canada ruining my point. They make The List now.

Axon wrote:
cheeze_pavilion wrote:
Axon wrote:

Isn't it interesting that the two countries in the developed world that use plurality voting are now riven by partisan politics. Not saying the rest of us don't have our extremes but at the very least they are contained in their own parties.

According to Wikipedia, Canada does too. Not sure how much FPTP has to do with it in the US, especially if we're talking about recent extremism.

Bloody Canada ruining my point. They make The List now.

I have friends from Toronto who has pretty strong words to say about Stephen Harper, definitely a partisan politician pandering to his base.

What ever happened to the idea that a representative democracy existed both to execute the will of the people but also let their representatives learn details that might cool things that otherwise would have the worst results of mob rule. Isn't the whole Brexit exercise basically a test case of this idea? The referendum seems to have been based in part on the votes being either mislead or willfully misinformed and as the true consequences became clearer the representatives in government should be able to recognize that. Especially since the vote was so close.

(And yes of course I'm also asking because I wish the Republican leadership in my country would do this as well to limit the worst impulses of Trump and his deepest, darkest base.)

Rahmen wrote:

What ever happened to the idea that a representative democracy existed both to execute the will of the people but also let their representatives learn details that might cool things that otherwise would have the worst results of mob rule. Isn't the whole Brexit exercise basically a test case of this idea? The referendum seems to have been based in part on the votes being either mislead or willfully misinformed and as the true consequences became clearer the representatives in government should be able to recognize that. Especially since the vote was so close.

(And yes of course I'm also asking because I wish the Republican leadership in my country would do this as well to limit the worst impulses of Trump and his deepest, darkest base.)

That idea is nice, but we've only been paying lip service to it for quite some time. Nearly everyone driving the government (from local on up) is a paid chauffeur for the elite. They ensure enough is done to keep the general population busy and under control, but that's not necessarily their day job.

But aren't the elite potentially some of the most negatively affected by Brexit in the No Deal scenario?

Rahmen wrote:

But aren't the elite potentially some of the most negatively affected by Brexit in the No Deal scenario?

It just changes which stocks they have to short and which stocks they have to buy.

Rahmen wrote:

But aren't the elite potentially some of the most negatively affected by Brexit in the No Deal scenario?

Most negatively as in what? They're not going to be destitute. Some will be hurt while others will profit. There's a whole new money vs. old money, globalists vs. nationalists, traditionalists vs. progressives thing playing out. The way the vote on Brexit turned out, as with Trump, threatens to drop the curtain and ruin the illusion because the powers behind both are more blatant in their methods and motives. These are delicate times, so it's probably best for the elite to hedge their bets, take advantage of the distraction, and seek what advantages they can in the resulting changes.

Rahmen wrote:

But aren't the elite potentially some of the most negatively affected by Brexit in the No Deal scenario?

In terms of currency and percentage of wealth lost, probably, but this is kind of a "Betsy DeVos and I own an average of five yachts" scenario. The wealthy might lose millions of dollars and half their wealth from No Deal, but they'll still be staggeringly wealthy. The less wealthy could lose the equivalent of a single paycheck, and it could be disastrous.

If you can watch the debate at the moment. The House of Commons at it's best.

Edit: By the skin of her teeth. On we go.

Axon wrote:

If you can watch the debate at the moment. The House of Commons at it's best.

Edit: By the skin of her teeth. On we go.

SNP, Labour and Lib Dem’s telling her that she must rule out a no deal before they’ll negotiate on a new deal. Tom Watson eviscerated May in his closing speech, Michael Gove made his starting pitch for leadership.

She has no authority left anymore. I wouldn’t be surprised if she stood down over the weekend.

Tom Watson took her to pieces. Going to find it on YouTube and post it. I almost felt sorry for May near the end. Almost.

By the by, I’ve heard/read several journalists report or hint at the theory that once May returns with her plan B, Bercow will ignore a centuries long standing order in order to allow backbenchers take control of the timetable. Once there, they will introduce and pass several admendments that prevent a no-deal Brexit.

Once that is done the outcome is either May’s deal or revoke. At that point, having avoided the worst outcome, the least worst outcome is debated on.

And I agree with DanB, either revoking article 50 or going through with May’s deal, however it’s achieved, will have lasting damage to wider UK society.

Axon wrote:

Tom Watson took her to pieces. Going to find it on YouTube and post it. I almost felt sorry for May near the end. Almost.

By the by, I’ve heard/read several journalists report or hint at the theory that once May returns with her plan B, Bercow will ignore a centuries long standing order in order to allow backbenchers take control of the timetable. Once there, they will introduce and pass several admendments that prevent a no-deal Brexit.

Once that is done the outcome is either May’s deal or revoke. At that point, having avoided the worst outcome, the least worst outcome is debated on.

And I agree with DanB, either revoking article 50 or going through with May’s deal, however it’s achieved, will have lasting damage to wider UK society.

The damage has already been done unfortunately.

Hammond conference call to CBI and business leaders leaks (Evening Standard). So the Telegraph (paywalled) got their hands on a transcript of the Treasury conference call after May lost her deal vote and unless there is a clean plan to do a deal Article 50 will be revoked (by a bill being written by a backbencher).

When May became PM, Hammond was considered one of her closest friends but it seems like that he was always a stalking horse for Soft Brexit in Cabinet so they didn't seem to be all that friendly anymore. People have been briefing the press against him almost constantly.

I’ll believe it when I see it honestly.

Sorbicol wrote:
Axon wrote:

Tom Watson took her to pieces. Going to find it on YouTube and post it. I almost felt sorry for May near the end. Almost.

By the by, I’ve heard/read several journalists report or hint at the theory that once May returns with her plan B, Bercow will ignore a centuries long standing order in order to allow backbenchers take control of the timetable. Once there, they will introduce and pass several admendments that prevent a no-deal Brexit.

Once that is done the outcome is either May’s deal or revoke. At that point, having avoided the worst outcome, the least worst outcome is debated on.

And I agree with DanB, either revoking article 50 or going through with May’s deal, however it’s achieved, will have lasting damage to wider UK society.

The damage has already been done unfortunately.

This is true. Regardless of outcome.