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 If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.

Axon wrote:

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

What worries me is that the leader of every major mainstream party AND 'government' in general is extremely unpopular, and the major opposition leader most of all. This leaves the door wide open for less savory types in the political realm.

Yeah.

And Theresa May completes her journey to ‘worst Prime Minister in living History’ as her party once again Turns on her

This is getting beyond a joke now.

So John Oliver covered Brexit again on LWT, and I must admit, in all the wrangling about a hard/soft border between Ireland/Northern Ireland, I'd completely forgotten about the "sectarian violence" angle of it.

In the meantime, this appears to be, from this American's view, a bad idea executed terribly.

Labour has also apparently decided not be left out in the UK's first Clusterf*ck Sweepstakes.

dejanzie wrote:
Axon wrote:

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

What worries me is that the leader of every major mainstream party AND 'government' in general is extremely unpopular, and the major opposition leader most of all. This leaves the door wide open for less savory types in the political realm.

Oh, I can think of several wonderful, terrifying ideas for the next PM.

This sounds like the beginnings of something interesting:

Disgusted by Brexit hard-liners, three lawmakers abandon Theresa May’s Conservative Party

The three Conservative members of Parliament who resigned will now join a new “Independent Group” of lawmakers formed earlier this week by eight legislators who resigned from the Labour Party.

The creation of a small but potentially powerful independent bloc of 11 — now composed of moderates from both parties — suggests that seismic forces are at work in British politics.

Jolly Bill wrote:

This sounds like the beginnings of something interesting:

Disgusted by Brexit hard-liners, three lawmakers abandon Theresa May’s Conservative Party

The three Conservative members of Parliament who resigned will now join a new “Independent Group” of lawmakers formed earlier this week by eight legislators who resigned from the Labour Party.

The creation of a small but potentially powerful independent bloc of 11 — now composed of moderates from both parties — suggests that seismic forces are at work in British politics.

We could use some of that over on this side of the Atlantic.

They might be able to influence things now, but with your election system (US too) won’t they get eliminated as soon as the next election is over?

Jolly Bill wrote:

This sounds like the beginnings of something interesting:

Disgusted by Brexit hard-liners, three lawmakers abandon Theresa May’s Conservative Party

The three Conservative members of Parliament who resigned will now join a new “Independent Group” of lawmakers formed earlier this week by eight legislators who resigned from the Labour Party.

The creation of a small but potentially powerful independent bloc of 11 — now composed of moderates from both parties — suggests that seismic forces are at work in British politics.

Just to clarify what's going on here a little - 7 Members of Parliament (MPs) from Labour, and now 3 from the Conservatives have left their parties and are now classed as independent MPs not affiliated to any political party. This is important to note because at this moment, "The Independence Group" IS NOT a political party. You can't sign up to it and you can't vote for it. It's just a name. It seems to have been planned for a while, but right now they are actually registered as a private company, which allows them to neatly side-step some parliamentary requirements, like naming who's funding them. It's a little cloak and dagger and all a little below board.

Essentially, all of them are unhappy with the pro-brexit stances of the respective leaderships of their old parties. There are clearly some personal issues as well (Anti-Sematism for at least one or two) but for the others they have been repeatedly targeted by the more extreme elements working at the grassroots level of both Labour and the Tories to unseat or deselect anyone who doesn't support Brexit. I also think for at least one (Chucka Ummuna) there is some personal power trip going on here. His path to senior party official/member was being actively blocked by various elements within Labour, and I think he'd probably had enough and gambled this is a better way to achieve it.

At the moment, it's mostly all posturing. What will be interesting is seeing what happens next. All of them have serious credibility issues, because none of them are offering to stand for re-election within their constituencies. That's understandable and probably entirely sensible at the moment, because they'd probably all get voted out of Parliament if this were to happen at the moment. All of their constituents can say with a serious level of justification, "I didn't vote for you not to represent Labour/Conservatives in Parliament" which they are now no longer doing.

In the end, if they can form a political Party, with a manifesto that appeals to pro-remain moderate centrists in the electorate, they may get serious traction and a whole load of other MPs from both sides might well join them (and possibly form a merger with the Lib Dems). But now they are trying to merge Labour and Conservative ideologies on a single platform - brexit - and I can only see it ending in lots of tears when they have to start coming up with Education/Health/Economic policies.

Right now I think it achieves 2 things:

1. A second referendum is now dead
2. I think May might take a look at calling another GE and seeing if she can't get a majority. Right now, I think she might. Ditching the DUP would give her a tremendous advantage.

From what I understand, Shadout, these people are in seats with overwhelming majorities and the view is that they would remain the favourite in a three way vote as neither the Tories or Labour would be in a position to mount a serious challenge.

They would have to gather some serious momentum before others would feel safer defecting. And it appears there are more who would if they could. With that in mind, the Tories defections seemed to be planned to keep the group in the headlines. Or maybe I'm being cynical but we'll see.

Sorbicol wrote:

All of them have serious credibility issues, because none of them are offering to stand for re-election within their constituencies.

Just to be clear, they are not offering to stand down now as MPs and fight a bi-election. As far as I know most of them have not ruled out fighting their seat in the next GE.

If hard, no-plan Brexit turns out to be the expected clusterf*ck, or worse, is there any possibility of the UK or its subsidiary nations reapplying for full EU membership? Would they have to surrender the Pound to make it happen?

Sorbicol wrote:

Right now I think it achieves 2 things:
1. A second referendum is now dead
2. I think May might take a look at calling another GE and seeing if she can't get a majority. Right now, I think she might. Ditching the DUP would give her a tremendous advantage.

Why does this make a second referendum dead?

Jolly Bill wrote:
Sorbicol wrote:

Right now I think it achieves 2 things:
1. A second referendum is now dead
2. I think May might take a look at calling another GE and seeing if she can't get a majority. Right now, I think she might. Ditching the DUP would give her a tremendous advantage.

Why does this make a second referendum dead?

I think the suggestion is that for senior leadership of either party to now back a 2nd ref would be to be seen to be giving in to the splitters.

Although considering The Independent Group doesn't have a manifesto and their mission statements don't mention a 2nd ref it isn't clear that is what they are after. I guess so but... I suspect if they are to become a new party their manifesto will just cynically be "whatever we think will get us votes"

Tanglebones wrote:

If hard, no-plan Brexit turns out to be the expected clusterf*ck, or worse, is there any possibility of the UK or its subsidiary nations reapplying for full EU membership? Would they have to surrender the Pound to make it happen?

In theory NI, Scotland or Wales could hold an independence referendum, leave the UK and then apply to join the EU. Applications to join the EU from new members currently require new member states to join the Euro currency, so yes any former UK country would eventually have to give up its own currency.

From all the posturing around the last Scottish referendum the EU has strictly ruled out UK nations applying to the EU before they have achieved independence from the UK. This is largely because Spain doesn't want the Basques or Catalonians trying to get some kind of statehood by petitioning the EU and bypassing the Spainish gov't.

In practical terms a new nation state joining the Euro would take a while. There are various fiscal, economic and currency strength requirements states have to match before they're allowed to join so it would likely take a little while for a country like Scotland to adopt the Euro even after joining the EU. The most probable path would be something along the lines of

1. Country leaves UK
2. Country floats own new currency pegged to sterling
3. Country applies to join EU and is accepted and joins
4. As economy stabilises currency is unpegged from sterling
5. Country matches fiscal targets and joins The Euro

Out of all the subsidiary UK states that would probably be most painless for Scotland. Odds are that Scotland's economy is self-sufficient (lots of partisan arguments about that mind) and Scotland has currency issuing powers with 3 scottish banks printing their own currency.

DanB wrote:

In theory NI, Scotland or Wales could hold an independence referendum, leave the UK and then apply to join the EU. Applications to join the EU from new members currently require new member states to join the Euro currency, so yes any former UK country would eventually have to give up its own currency.

As I recall, Northern Ireland also has the right to vote to join the Republic of Ireland, in which case they'd be de facto part of the EU as the Republic of Ireland is and will remain an EU member.