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 If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.

Just as an add, because saying it might not be possible to stop Brexit is a kind of incendiary thing to say in my circles. Ivan Roger's speech to the University of Liverpool has kind of convinced me that something has to change with the UK's relationship with the EU. The majority did vote, they did vote to leave. Something has to be done. It's definitely going to be worse but as someone once said "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."

DoveBrown wrote:

It looks stupid because it is stupid:
May runs a minority government that can't face the fact that it is. She's made her red lines and won't budge on them. I read something this morning that talked about because she is so bland with such robotic delievery people just assume that she must be rational, rather than the fanatic her actions show her to be.

Yup.

DoveBrown wrote:

Corbyn and the Labour leadership are 100% focused on the post-Brexit world. They don't believe that Brexit can be halted (and there are good reasons why that might be). Their entire focus is making sure that everyone knows they didn't partake in the Tory running of Brexit, but they also aren't the reasons the Tories screwed it up.

I get why people see corbyn/labour as ineffective but there's really been no point in this whole sorry process when you run the numbers that they've been in a position to stop the Tory/DUP coalition.

The argument seems to be that they should have come out as anti-brexit or pro-2nd ref two years ago. But neither of those positions made it through the Labour party conferences. And, like it or not, if Labour had settled on those from the off the Tories and Press would have spent the last 2 years blaming Labour for causing brexit to fail. Which would make Labour an even less effective opposition than people are blaming them for now.

So I think Corbyn has been ineffective. I'm not expecting him to stop the Tory/DUP coalition. No Opposition Leader ever has the power to bring down the government outside of a Motion of No Confidence (which DUP and Tories are rock solid on). From outside it does seem like his "Jobs First Brexit" which still has the no Freedom of Movement in it is as much of a No-Reality position as May's. The Opposition's job is to hold the government to account and make it really really obvious that the Government is full of it. I don't see enough of a bright line between May's position of Corbyn's for my liking, but I don't think it matters. Corbyn hasn't played his hand well. Refusing to talk to May gave the Tory press a week of "Corbyn will talk to Hezbollah but won't talk to the us.", ever other party went to talk to May and then gave a statement outside No. 10 about how she was unwilling to budge on anything. He could have done the same.

DoveBrown wrote:

From outside it does seem like his "Jobs First Brexit" which still has the no Freedom of Movement in it is as much of a No-Reality position as May's.

There's no practical way for Labour's six tests to be resolved and to not remain in the SM and CU. So the six tests position is a BINO position that retains freedom of movement.

DoveBrown wrote:

I don't see enough of a bright line between May's position of Corbyn's for my liking, but I don't think it matters.

Possibly

DoveBrown wrote:

Corbyn hasn't played his hand well.

I don't see what other hand they had to play.

DoveBrown wrote:

Refusing to talk to May gave the Tory press a week of "Corbyn will talk to Hezbollah but won't talk to the us.", ever other party went to talk to May and then gave a statement outside No. 10 about how she was unwilling to budge on anything. He could have done the same.

I think "we'll talk if you take no-deal off the table" was a perfectly reasonable political position. And lets not forget that Corbyn met May in December, she made all sorts of assurances about her actions and then immediately volte faced. So I'm unclear on what the benefit of meeting May to hear her read off a script is?

I really don't like Labour's six tests. You and I can both argue whether Single Market and Customs Union membership is required to pass them but it leaves a huge fudge factor for people to read into them anything they want.

So the benefit of meeting May is that you get to stand outside Downing Street and say "I came to sort this out and May just read her script at me". You are doing it for photo op afterwards. The perception of this is important, it's not just fluff, it's how you convince people who aren't paying attention that you're doing the best you can for the country and not just to set up the next election.

As for whether or not Corbyn has played his hand well, I have a hard time believing that with May being this unpopular and the Tories being so completely internally divided that this is the best a Labour leader could have done.

DoveBrown wrote:

but it leaves a huge fudge factor for people to read into them anything they want.

I think that is pretty deliberate tbh.

DoveBrown wrote:

As for whether or not Corbyn has played his hand well, I have a hard time believing that with May being this unpopular and the Tories being so completely internally divided that this is the best a Labour leader could have done.

The problem here is that even with the Tories being so "divided" they almost always come together at the last moment and pick that path that maintains party unity. I find that shocking, terrible and despicable but I'm not clear what more Labour can do in that face of that.

DanB wrote:

The problem here is that even with the Tories being so "divided" they almost always come together at the last moment and pick that path that maintains party unity. I find that shocking, terrible and despicable but I'm not clear what more Labour can do in that face of that.

Corbyn is significant part of labours problems - along with the grassroots supporters and the FPTP electoral system. The majority of labour MPs don’t really support Brexit, and they certainly don’t support a hard or no deal Brexit. Corbyn however does, and he knows that the majority of labour supporters do as well, despite the fact it will damage them disproportionally for any type of Brexit. As the Labour MPs don’t want to lose their seats (thanks to FPTP) they are very coy about making any sort of move to tell their voters that maybe they’ve got this wrong on the one hand, or giving Momentum any ammunition to get them deselected on the other.

Corbyn is playing a game of just trying to get elected. I don’t think he really cares how, so long as he does even if that means a terrible Brexit he can fully blame on the Tories while also being able to show he had very little to do with it (e.g. ‘the Tories completely ignored all my suggestions and requirements, hence we’re in this mess!’) to enhance the probability of a Labour majority in the next election. He gets what he wants - to be PM - and then he can try to ‘save the county’ according to his socialist utopian idealism. That country might not be savable is entirely immaterial as even he probably wouldn’t make things much worse (although I suspect he might be surprised on that score)

He should have sat on his vote of no confidence until the last possible moment when all that was left was the extreme probability of a no deal Brexit. I think he’s still banking on that a little hence the lack of enough support for Cooper’s legally binding ‘No-deal is not an option’ amendment last night - this being about as low as I think Labour can get to be honest.

IfMay cannot get any movement on the backstop (probable) that she suggested as a solution in the first place, he’d probably regard that as justification for another vote of no confidence. As I said before, that’s pretty much the only circumstance he can get an election before then end of the current term because if no deal looks inevitable, he might get the DUP and enough remain Tories to vote with him. However he’s also manoeuvring himself to be in prime space to get elected at the end of the current term if he can’t get that.

Calling and losing 2 VoNC would be extremely damaging to him individually so he might not risk it in any case. He’s playing a long game, and so long as Labour grassroots supports him, there’s not a lot his MPs can do about it.

Corbyn's messaging quite clearly does not indicate that he (or the Labour party) support a hard or no deal brexit. What part of refusing to meet May unless she withdrew the No Deal option indicates that? Labour's position can only be resolved with some kind of soft or BINO brexit.

Sorbicol wrote:

Corbyn is playing a game of just trying to get elected.

If your political calculus is that brexit is going to happen regardless what else would Corbyn/Labour do? And, really, not being drawn in to the Tory's failures seems sensible/reasonable.

Which is not to say that I think any of this is fine and dandy I just fail to see what actually practical alternative political master stroke would prevent the Tory party driving this nation off a cliff edge.

DanB wrote:

Corbyn's messaging quite clearly does not indicate that he (or the Labour party) support a hard or no deal brexit. What part of refusing to meet May unless she withdrew the No Deal option indicates that? Labour's position can only be resolved with some kind of soft or BINO brexit.

Neither does he rule it out. That’s a political calculus as you say. He had ample opportunity to do so last night, and he quite deliberately chose not to do so. Regardless of what Labours conditions are for Brexit (their 6 tests and all that) choosing quite deliberately not to support an admendment that specifically rules it out is - to me at least - extremely telling.

DanB wrote:

If your political calculus is that brexit is going to happen regardless what else would Corbyn/Labour do? And, really, not being drawn in to the Tory's failures seems sensible/reasonable.

The ‘reasonable’ path to avoid Brexit would be whole hearted support for a second referendum. It would bring all the opposition parties together and present a united position against Tory party Brexit. It wouldn’t be easy to achieve for sure, and would also be one without a forgone successful outcome, but it would provide unity.

That Corbyn has chosen not to do so is -again to me at least - also extremely telling. Once might be oversight, twice is deliberate. He’s banking on a Brexit so bad he’ll be the only direct political beneficiary - again thanks to FPTP. If he backs a second referendum, he might not get Brexit, or he might get a terrible Brexit he’s complicit in.

He’s being just as political as the Tories. I also find the position the Labour Party allowed itself to get into with momentum’s ‘power behind the throne’ mechanics to be just as bad as the Tory party’s internal machinations. Both parties are only looking out for themselves now, the country and the state it’ll be in post Brexit is almost collateral damage.

Edit: I’m fully aware I might well be over thinking this and giving Corbyn considerably more Machiavellian ability than he really credits. The alternative is that he’s just incompetent at it, and considering he blew his first vote of confidence (which I was particularly scathing off at the time) I supposed it’s more likely he really doesn’t know what he’s doing. Which is a monumentally depressing thought to be honest. There is no voice in the UK Parliament for the 16 million people who didn’t vote for Brexit. I think that’s the thing I find most depressing, despite that being the political norm for this country since I was born (let alone been able to vote)

Sure slightly more people voted to leave, and I guess on that basis we should be leaving but I don’t think that means Brexiters alone should have been allowed to choose the terms - or completely ignore the obvious repercussions of a bad Brexit.

Today's parliamentary insanity was mind blowing.

May removes the backstop to be replaced by "alternative arrangements". So they all vote for that. No idea what they might be but sure, vote for a fantasy resolution to the problem that will fall from the sky.

Utterly delusional.

Still seems to me like hard brexit is the most likely outcome. Nobody wants to walk back on their stupidity.

Shadout wrote:

Still seems to me like hard brexit is the most likely outcome. Nobody wants to walk back on their stupidity.

Yep. I'm not sure how it can be stopped at this point.

Shadout wrote:

Still seems to me like hard brexit is the most likely outcome. Nobody wants to walk back on their stupidity.

Someone will blink. Either they blink and take May's deal, or they blink and withdraw A50, but someone blinks.

Because right now, everyone still thinks something will work itself out. But come March, if there's no deal in place, markets are going to start tanking, people are legitimately going to start worrying about and acting on reports of shortages, there are going to be rumblings of the IRA rearming if a border goes up... and someone is going to blink.

Maybe I'm wrong and just don't have a good read on all of it, but I don't see how hard Brexit actually happens without a lot of civil unrest, and I don't see anyone in power there actually holding firm if that kind of unrest starts to happen.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
Shadout wrote:

Still seems to me like hard brexit is the most likely outcome. Nobody wants to walk back on their stupidity.

Someone will blink. Either they blink and take May's deal, or they blink and withdraw A50, but someone blinks.

It does kind of feel that way

This piece kind of argues that it'll be some set of Labour, SNP and Lid Dems that'll blink:
https://mainlymacro.blogspot.com/201...

IMAGE(https://www.economist.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/640-width/images/print-edition/20190202_WWD000_0.jpg)

England are over to play Ireland on the opening of the Six Nations. Paddy Power couldn't help themselves

I love the passport office one.

Background: Rugby tournament. 2nd plays 3rd in the world. 2nd can go 1st if they win. Kicks off at 16:45 GMT. Should be freely available if anyone the other side of the Atlantic is curious.

Here's hoping we do actually win and this stuff doesn't backfire...

Oops...

And keeping things relevant, Nissan looks like they might cut car production in Sunderland (a very pro-Brexit area) thanks to Brexit:

https://www.theguardian.com/business...

Zelos wrote:
Here's hoping we do actually win and this stuff doesn't backfire...

Oops...

Pride before a fall.

Ah Well. Can’t wait til you kick our froggy butts.

Axon wrote:

England are over to play Ireland on the opening of the Six Nations. Paddy Power couldn't help themselves

I love the passport office one.

Background: Rugby tournament. 2nd plays 3rd in the world. 2nd can go 1st if they win. Kicks off at 16:45 GMT. Should be freely available if anyone the other side of the Atlantic is curious.

Wow! The 798 years one might be a bit much...but overall, that's hilarious.

You sure that isn't a euphemism for deporting the German benefit seekers?

Eleima wrote:

Ah Well. Can’t wait til you kick our froggy butts. ;)

Scots first. That should be easy enough

As we near the big day here is a helpful guide for those that are lost.

Brexicon: a bullsh*tter’s guide to the UK leaving the European Union

Axon wrote:
Zelos wrote:
Here's hoping we do actually win and this stuff doesn't backfire...

Oops...

Pride before a fall.

As much as I enjoyed watching that, I think you still win seeing as you get to stay in the EU.

‘Special place in hell for those hard Brexiters without a plan for No Deal’ says Donald Tusk.

Don’t worry Donald, that’ll be the UK should we crash out without a deal. It’s just the rest of us will be stuck here too......

Yeah, on that note, I wonder if this whole debacle has made anyone think "maybe we *shouldn't* take back our sovereignty from the EU?" Like, if domestic politics turned into this much of a poopshow just trying to get out the door, maybe the faceless bureaucrat in Brussels sounds better than rule by the clowns behind Brexit?

cheeze_pavilion wrote:

Yeah, on that note, I wonder if this whole debacle has made anyone think "maybe we *shouldn't* take back our sovereignty from the EU?" Like, if domestic politics turned into this much of a poopshow just trying to get out the door, maybe the faceless bureaucrat in Brussels sounds better than rule by the clowns behind Brexit?

Not really - in fact it’ll probably harden opinion on both sides. Some conservative MP in parliament today has asked about making for formal complaint (for which the speaker John Bercow shot him down in flames)

It’s sort of the problem really. Brexit has never been about hard facts and figures. It’s been about ideology from the start. History will tell you that once you start making major decisions based on ideology, you’re probably going to come out a lot worse than you went in.

Damn.
IMAGE(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dy4Z917W0AAf9Kv.jpg:large)

Thing is, you can win a majority in the House of Commons with 33%. That’s what worries me.