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 If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.

"We can't very well let the people vote on Brexit; the people voting on Brexit is why we're in this mess in the first place!"

Well, they voted to delay. Any idea if the EU will actually let them kick this can down the road?

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Well, they voted to delay. Any idea if the EU will actually let them kick this can down the road?

I asked something similar upthread and people a lot better informed than me said "yes".

Well this Conservative MEP thinks the EU will offer a 4 year extension!

https://twitter.com/oflynnmep/status...

I'm not sure I can cope with another 4 minutes of this

As terrifying as it sounds, it isn't even that stupid. There are really only 2 choices (well, 3 if you include No extension).
Either a very short extension that does not interfere too much with the upcoming EU election, where UK does not elect new members for EU parliament (honestly, the short extension should end before May 20, which is even shorter than what May is asking for).
Or a long one, where UK elect new EU parliament members for the next election period, and acts as full EU member during that time.

If they make a long extension, it would make sense to make sure that UK can't possibly leave before the time runs out though, to avoid a constant stream of "are they leaving tomorrow" every single day for 4 years.

How does a 4 year extension solve anything? They’ve already proven incapable of figuring anything out and reaching agreement. This seems like just another kicking of the can down the line. Using the UK slang of Punter is aptly fitting.

DanB wrote:

Well this Conservative MEP thinks the EU will offer a 4 year extension!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA JESUS H. CHRIST

Y'know, maybe the Brexit was just all the political polarization and government gridlock we made along the way.

This is starting to sound like that couple who have been "on the outs" for almost two years now.

EDIT: Also, wait, did Theresa May vote against herself?

British Goodjers, be honest. Is this all just a gigantic put on, a prank you're playing on the rest of the planet, like Cricket?

JC wrote:

How does a 4 year extension solve anything? They’ve already proven incapable of figuring anything out and reaching agreement. This seems like just another kicking of the can down the line. Using the UK slang of Punter is aptly fitting.

The only way it solves anything is if enough brexiteers retire or die off in the meantime

Prederick wrote:
DanB wrote:

Well this Conservative MEP thinks the EU will offer a 4 year extension!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA JESUS H. CHRIST

Y'know, maybe the Brexit was just all the political polarization and government gridlock we made along the way.

This is starting to sound like that couple who have been "on the outs" for almost two years now.

EDIT: Also, wait, did Theresa May vote against herself?

British Goodjers, be honest. Is this all just a gigantic put on, a prank you're playing on the rest of the planet, like Cricket?

I deeply wish this were true so we could go back to laughing at the US political sh*tshow. Instead it's clear our political class and system is just as broken as the American one. If anything you guys were doing better than us since the new raft of people who won in the midterms seem quite promising. At least until the Washington machine breaks them and they become like all other politicians everywhere.

No! You've lost faith in the political system!

Prederick wrote:
DanB wrote:

Well this Conservative MEP thinks the EU will offer a 4 year extension!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA JESUS H. CHRIST

Y'know, maybe the Brexit was just all the political polarization and government gridlock we made along the way.

This is starting to sound like that couple who have been "on the outs" for almost two years now.

EDIT: Also, wait, did Theresa May vote against herself?

British Goodjers, be honest. Is this all just a gigantic put on, a prank you're playing on the rest of the planet, like Cricket?

I wish.

Jonman wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:

Well, they voted to delay. Any idea if the EU will actually let them kick this can down the road?

I asked something similar upthread and people a lot better informed than me said "yes".

The EU does seem to be good at whipping members into voting unanimously in the negotiations so far. My guess is they will allow a long extension. The UK will be a pain in the arse for the EU but think of the money paid in over a long extension, the UKs divorce bill if a deal is agreed and the benefit of keeping free trade flowing after the UK leaves. There is also the chance that events in the meantime will mean the UK stays in or delays again.

Prederick wrote:

British Goodjers, be honest. Is this all just a gigantic put on, a prank you're playing on the rest of the planet, like Cricket?

I really wish it was. It's pathetic at all levels - the brexiteers can't agree on a strategy that won't utterly screw the entire country over, and the remainers can't get a single co-ordinated plan together to save themselves. It's absolutely rank incompetence at all levels from all sides.

As for the 4 year thing - I think you'll find that was Donald Tusk's suggestion, not the British suggestion. Parliament only voted for an extension to the end of June.

I guess the EU thinking is: a lot can change in 4 years - it might well be the UK does change it's mind.

I think UK Parliment should vote to guarantee that they'll get the eggs back out of the cake by a certain date. That way it'll just happen and no-one needs to worry about this anymore.

They should also simultaneously vote to bring back dragons and unicorns, and never bring back dragons and unicorns. That'd be about as helpful as anything else that seems to be going on at the moment.

yregprincess wrote:
Jonman wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:

Well, they voted to delay. Any idea if the EU will actually let them kick this can down the road?

I asked something similar upthread and people a lot better informed than me said "yes".

The EU does seem to be good at whipping members into voting unanimously in the negotiations so far. My guess is they will allow a long extension. The UK will be a pain in the arse for the EU but think of the money paid in over a long extension, the UKs divorce bill if a deal is agreed and the benefit of keeping free trade flowing after the UK leaves. There is also the chance that events in the meantime will mean the UK stays in or delays again.

Well, Tusk doesn't have any power and all the EU27 weren't going to give a member leaving the group a better deal then they have. And the the thinking that the EU27 would force a current member (Ireland) to take a hit to suit a leaving member was never going to fly. In the end this was going to play out almost exactly like it has regardless of PM in the UK. It was real politick that kept the EU27 together, nothing else. It's seems the UK government completely miscalculated on that reality.

The problem is now how does that real politick play out with an extension. I'm a little worried about that. The extension requires an unanimous vote. You could have some very dirty stuff going on in the background.

Axon wrote:

Well, Tusk doesn't have any power and all the EU27 weren't going to give a member leaving the group a better deal then they have.

EU do want to give UK a much better deal. UK just don't think its a better deal

Sorbicol wrote:

I guess the EU thinking is: a lot can change in 4 years - it might well be the UK does change it's mind.

Are any UK politicians wondering what businesses are thinking and what the economic impact of their idiocy is going to be?

I know from our orange idiot screwing around with trade agreements that businesses *really* don't like politically induced instability and uncertainty. I image a lot of businesses have already made preparations for a non-EU UK and even a four year extension isn't going to get them to change their minds.

OG_slinger wrote:
Sorbicol wrote:

I guess the EU thinking is: a lot can change in 4 years - it might well be the UK does change it's mind.

Are any UK politicians wondering what businesses are thinking and what the economic impact of their idiocy is going to be?

I know from our orange idiot screwing around with trade agreements that businesses *really* don't like politically induced instability and uncertainty. I image a lot of businesses have already made preparations for a non-EU UK and even a four year extension isn't going to get them to change their minds.

I think some of the demands that have come from said orange idiot have actually probably made a lot of UK Politicians take a step back and realise that just because we can make our own arrangement in a "clean" brexit, doesn't mean that we're going to be better off. Trading in a block is preferable when you don't really have all that much to trade with.

Of course as the majority of our politicians appear insane, it's not a majority of them.

and yes, a lot of businesses (the company I work for has regular updates on the impact of brexit. Thankfully we've managed to properly minimise the impact) have spent a lot of money on doing what they can in a no deal scenario, there are many that just can't, and many who have spent a serious amount of money to mitigate, and still come out of it a lot worse off.

And in the end, it might well all not be necessary. No matter what happens over the next couple months - hard brexit, soft brexit, remain - I really hope that serious electorial reform will be the eventual outcome. Our current First Past the Post system is the root of so much of what has happened here (and I would say in the US as well) that it really is time it went. Preferably sooner or later.

Axon wrote:

The problem is now how does that real politick play out with an extension. I'm a little worried about that. The extension requires an unanimous vote. You could have some very dirty stuff going on in the background.

Spain in particular doesn't seem to be feeling... charitable about the situation.

You know, if there's an extension for more than six weeks or so, Britain's going to have to field candidates for the EU parliament elections at the end of May. That's going to be super awkward.

Sorbicol wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:
Sorbicol wrote:

I guess the EU thinking is: a lot can change in 4 years - it might well be the UK does change it's mind.

Are any UK politicians wondering what businesses are thinking and what the economic impact of their idiocy is going to be?

I know from our orange idiot screwing around with trade agreements that businesses *really* don't like politically induced instability and uncertainty. I image a lot of businesses have already made preparations for a non-EU UK and even a four year extension isn't going to get them to change their minds.

I think some of the demands that have come from said orange idiot have actually probably made a lot of UK Politicians take a step back and realise that just because we can make our own arrangement in a "clean" brexit, doesn't mean that we're going to be better off. Trading in a block is preferable when you don't really have all that much to trade with.

Of course as the majority of our politicians appear insane, it's not a majority of them.

and yes, a lot of businesses (the company I work for has regular updates on the impact of brexit. Thankfully we've managed to properly minimise the impact) have spent a lot of money on doing what they can in a no deal scenario, there are many that just can't, and many who have spent a serious amount of money to mitigate, and still come out of it a lot worse off.

And in the end, it might well all not be necessary. No matter what happens over the next couple months - hard brexit, soft brexit, remain - I really hope that serious electorial reform will be the eventual outcome. Our current First Past the Post system is the root of so much of what has happened here (and I would say in the US as well) that it really is time it went. Preferably sooner or later.

It is kind of hilarious that First Past the Post is supposed to prevent the formation of weak governments.

Well, John Bercow has once again lit the fuse for a massive constitutional crisis. He does pick his moments.

He has told Theresa May that unless her deal has undergone "substantial change" he will not allow it come back for a third vote.

She's either going to have to find proper concession from the EU (not going to happen) on the backstop (her idea in the first place), find a completely different deal (like Jeremy Corbyns) or just move to do something like extend article 50, and hope the EU let her.

Otherwise we are out in 10 days, with no deal.

I'm trying to imagine being the person in the EU who is waiting to find out if he's going to be in charge of rapidly setting up a hard border in Ireland in ten days.

Yonder wrote:

I'm trying to imagine being the person in the EU who is waiting to find out if he's going to be in charge of rapidly setting up a hard border in Ireland in ten days.

Meet Niall Burgess Secretary General of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, one of the 17 Government Departments of the Republic of Ireland.

Honestly I don't know that it is him personally but he's definitely on the committee. ^_^

Edit to add, I don't actually know there is a committee but the EU doesn't have border guards or customs agent, it's the members states responsibility. My assumption is that this will fall on the Irish Civil Service

Do you think he's staffing and drawing up plans for roadblocks and whatnot? Or just hoping nothing happens ten days from now? I feel like you don't want to be that guy all psyched about setting up that border security, but you also don't want to be that guy that doesn't have any preparations whatsoever. What do you do if you've started higher a couple thousand people and then all the sudden Brexit is cancelled? Do you think you could bill the UK parliament for jerking you around.

His is the most violence and tragedy prone example, but there have to be tens or hundreds of thousands of people who have massive and expensive To-Do lists that need to be done before Brexit and they still have no earthly idea if they need to actually do them.

This whole thing is just bonkers.

I assume with the border and other things that they're drawing up emergency-style plans that focus on a rapid reallocation of existing resources with a subsequent plan to hire into those new roles. It's easier to ramp up for a lot of potential overtime than it is to hire people you may not need.

But still, that this is all ten days away without an answer is absurd.

Yet another example of why climate change is going to end the species. We don't do anything until the last minute.

Yonder wrote:

I'm trying to imagine being the person in the EU who is waiting to find out if he's going to be in charge of rapidly setting up a hard border in Ireland in ten days.

Under the terms of the Good Friday agreement (an international deal between the UK and Ireland, I believe guaranteed by the US) there can't be a hard border between The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

This is of course incompatible with any Brexit that would leave such a hard border. This is one of the major reasons why (among other things) the Backstop was suggested by the UK in the first place.

It's also something all the hard brexiteers clear ignored when they all suggest a hard brexit.

Sorbicol wrote:
Yonder wrote:

I'm trying to imagine being the person in the EU who is waiting to find out if he's going to be in charge of rapidly setting up a hard border in Ireland in ten days.

Under the terms of the Good Friday agreement (an international deal between the UK and Ireland, I believe guaranteed by the US) there can't be a hard border between The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

This is of course incompatible with any Brexit that would leave such a hard border. This is one of the major reasons why (among other things) the Backstop was suggested by the UK in the first place.

It's also something all the hard brexiteers clear ignored when they all suggest a hard brexit.

The issue is that the EU is notably not a signatory of that agreement. If No Deal happens there needs to be a border somewhere. Ireland will quite probably say "it can't be in between us and Northern Ireland, that violates the Good Friday agreement". Unfortunately I also think it will be quite probably that the UK will then say "it can't be between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK because f*ck you. Also we're incompetent and unprepared and in abject denial of reality in several key areas."

So... what happens then? Seems like that ends up being an unregulated border between two different trading markets, which will cause all sorts of hell. If member nations are responsible for their own borders does that mean that Ireland will be on the hook for penalties and reparations from EU for this? It seems unlikely that the EU will be able to seek damages from the UK directly, how can they argue that a non member country is culpable for not enforcing an internal border line?

Maybe the EU could assign damages to Ireland, and then Ireland would have standing to seek damages against the UK?

The Good Friday agreement says that this border can't happen, but that doesn't actually make it impossible. The whole problem is that there are a lot of pieces of paper floating around that say a lot of things can't or have to happen, and at the end of the day they can't all be right. Ten days from now some of those pieces of paper will have to be crumpled into a ball and thrown in the basket.

(Personally I don't think the Good Friday agreement will be one of them, now that I know that member nations are responsible for their own borders. If the EU had it's own trade and customs division on EU borders then that gets less certain, because the EU isn't part of that agreement.)

As a random sidenote, speaking as a ill-educated American watching this casually from the sidelines, the only person I seem to like in this entire thing is John Bercow, who appears to be the only adult in the room.

Prederick wrote:

the only person I seem to like in this entire thing is John Bercow, who appears to be the only adult in the room.

Words I thought I would never hear. His reputation is not great but he's not wrong on re-voting on the same thing until you get the answer you want.