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 If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.

Amber Rudd says she was sent ‘one-page summary’ of attempts to find Brexit deal.

Still don't know if this makes no-deal more likely or Johnson is planning on a GE, DUP out and NI stay in the EU. It does look like it was supposed to be the latter.

Today's developments are basically:

Brexiteers: "We'll take back control!"
Parliament: "OK, we'll do just that"
Brexiteers: "Er, that's not what we meant. We'll now collude with the foreign powers we don't want to have control so that we can prevent parliament taking control of a process we should have control of!"

I'm seriously considering the possibility that Johnson is some kinda of super double agent planted by the remain team to ensure that brexit will actually never happen. It's just bonkers. Even by the standards of the last 3 years.

The Irish Times: Phil Hogan in line for trade portfolio at European Commission: Role key to post-Brexit deals with UK likely to go to Hogan if he is nominated on Tuesday

Irish European commissioner Phil Hogan is likely to be nominated to the powerful trade portfolio when the new president of the commission Ursula von der Leyen names her team on Tuesday.

Might want to figure out your actual plan for the Irish border problem, Boris, because it will be on the test.

Hold on, Black Rod's an actual thing and not a nickname for the guy because he kind of/maybe/sort of looks like Rod Stewart in a black jacket?

Rat Boy wrote:

Hold on, Black Rod's an actual thing and not a nickname for the guy because he kind of/maybe/sort of looks like Rod Stewart in a black jacket?

The Lord (or Lady currently I think) Usher of the Black Rod is an official government position in several Commonwealth countries. I think Canada have one too.

They are primarily responsible for controlling access to the House of Lords (not be to confused with the House of Commons) and it’s environs. They are also responsible for summoning ministers from the House of Commons to the House of Lords when Parliament is being prorogued or opened.

The first Black Rod took his position in 1350. Or about 400 years before the existence of the United States of America.

Gotta love having a Monarch as the Head of State.

The Lord (or Lady currently I think) Usher of the Black Rod is an official government position in several Commonwealth countries. I think Canada have one too.

I had never heard of this before and...yup we have one too. Weird.

I can't make heads or tails of how parliament is supposed to be. Everyone seems to be yelling, loud rumblings, Bercow admonishing and telling people to sit down, leave, or be quiet. It's like I'm watching The Substitute. I'm completely baffled by everyone and everything.

It's part of Black Rod's job to have doors ritually slammed shut in their face.

I'm reminded more and more of a line from the Goon Show...

"I wish to defect! I demand political asylum!"

"Well take a bus to the House of Commons then, it's the finest political asylum in the world."

I'm sorry if this has already been posted. This was posted in the image-quote thread, but I tracked down the text:

Alex Buchanan (by way of Jay Rayner) wrote:

I’m not saying there wasn’t a democratic mandate for Brexit at the time. I’m just saying if I narrowly decided to order fish at a restaurant that was known for chicken, but said it was happy to offer fish, and so far I’ve been waiting three hours, and two chefs who promised to cook the fish had quit, and the third one is promising to deliver the fish in the next five minutes whether it’s cooked or not, or indeed still alive, and all the waiting staff have spent the last few hours arguing amongst themselves about whether I wanted battered cod, grilled salmon, jellied eels or dolphin kebabs, and if large parts of the restaurant appeared to be on fire but no-one was paying attention to it because they were all arguing about fish, I would quite like, just once, to be asked if I definitely still wanted the fish.

Source-ish.

The coverage I saw before heading to work said they didn't overturn it though - is that just a jurisdiction issue, or setting things up for a stronger case to be made for independence? (Or something else entirely?)

I think it paves the way to a Supreme Court challenge to the legality of it which might force it to be overturned.

But I've not seen a huge amount of analysis about it yet. Might just mean the Scottish parliament can continue to sit?

Dimmerswitch wrote:

The coverage I saw before heading to work said they didn't overturn it though - is that just a jurisdiction issue, or setting things up for a stronger case to be made for independence? (Or something else entirely?)

The Supreme Court in London - which is a higher court than the Supreme Court in Scotland for matters that affect the UK as a whole I believe - ruled last week that Boris’s prorogation was legal. The Scottish Supreme Court therefore referred the matter to the Supreme Court in London with a note of their ruling. The Supreme Court will hear that appeal next week on Tuesday.

The actual text of the Scottish ruling is very damaging to Boris. It pretty much out-right states he lied when he told the Queen the prorogation was to bring in a new legislative program, but was in fact to prevent proper Parliament scrutiny over Brexit. Even for our invisible constitution, that’s about as bad as it gets.

If the Supreme Court upholds that Johnson will either have to resign or quite probably be arrested and charge with......... something. Not quite sure what, but anything else would be a total collapse of what currently passes for Democracy in this country.

Other than enormous popularity, does the Queen have any powers to punish that sort of thing?

NathanialG wrote:

Other than enormous popularity, does the Queen have any powers to punish that sort of thing?

Basically no. Sovereignty is solely located in The Crown but the constitution vests all sovereign political/legislative power in the UK to Parliament, with no mechanism for The Crown to reclaim/wield that power.

I guess it would be up to Parliament to decide what happens if you knowingly lie to The Crown for legislative ends. Possibly there is already something on the law books which covers that? Its well beyond what I know about the British constitution at this point.

DanB wrote:

But I've not seen a huge amount of analysis about it yet.

Here's a first legal take on what this all means

https://www.scottishlegal.com/articl...

Seems that unless there is some exceptional additional circumstance The UK Supreme Court will be required to uphold the judgement from the Scottish Court of Session. And seemingly this is quite a watershed judgement with regards what acts of the Executive and/or what types of advice given to The Crown are open to judicial review or not. Interesting also that the Court of Session holds that both the prorougation and the advice submitted to The Crown were unlawful.

NathanialG wrote:

Other than enormous popularity, does the Queen have any powers to punish that sort of thing?

Theoretically yes, in practical terms none whatsoever. The Queen is a constitutional head of state. While all laws are enacted in her name, those laws are set and approved by Parliament. Parliament should punish its own that don’t follow the law (or rather, the judiciary should in accordance with the laws parliament sets to regulate itself) it’s just very bad at actually doing so.

i really, genuinely almost, ALMOST feel very slightly sorry for Boris at this stage of the farce.

....almost.

pyxistyx wrote:

i really, genuinely almost, ALMOST feel very slightly sorry for Boris at this stage of the farce.

....almost.

Everything that's happened is entirely - ENTIRELY - of his own making. There is nobody to blame but himself.

Sympathy is not required under any circumstances!

Also it's hard to feel sorry when I still suspect he's enjoying this.

Agathos wrote:

Also it's hard to feel sorry when I still suspect he's enjoying this.

Yeah, this. Or at least, he understands that even if he does feel like he's being humiliated, the correct answer is never stop f**king posting.

Meanwhile, MAD BERCOW DISEASE

John Bercow has threatened Boris Johnson that he will be prepared to rip up the parliamentary rulebook to stop any illegal attempt by the prime minister to take the UK out of the EU without a deal on 31 October.

In a direct warning to No 10, the Speaker of the House of Commons said he is prepared to allow “additional procedural creativity” if necessary to allow parliament to block Johnson from ignoring the law.

“If we come close to [Johnson ignoring the law], I would imagine parliament would want to cut off that possibility … Neither the limitations of the existing rulebook or ticking of the clock will stop it doing so,” he said, delivering the annual Bingham lecture in London. “If I have been remotely ambiguous so far, let me make myself crystal clear. The only form of Brexit that we have, whenever that might be, will be a Brexit that the House of Commons has explicitly endorsed.”

He also proposed a written constitution to stop “executive malpractice or fiat”, which could potentially have avoided the constitutional crisis that the UK has found itself in over Brexit.

Bercow’s dramatic intervention will be one of his last as Speaker, as he has announced that he will stand down at the end of October just two weeks after parliament is due to return from its current state of suspension.

Johnson faced yet another difficult day on Thursday as he was forced to deny having misled the Queen over his reasons for proroguing parliament, which was judged unlawful this week by a Scottish court. The full ruling of three appeal court judges was published on Thursday, in which they agreed unanimously it was to prevent proper parliamentary scrutiny of his Brexit strategy, and for no other reason.

So this is apparently pretty big news over at the Beeb and The Grauniad:

Former Conservative MP Sam Gyimah joins Lib Dems

Former Conservative MP Sam Gyimah has joined the Liberal Democrats.

Six MPs have defected to the party in recent weeks, including former Tory MP Philip Lee, and ex-Labour MPs Luciana Berger and Chuka Umunna.

Mr Gyimah was one of the 21 Tories who had the Conservative whip removed after rebelling against Boris Johnson in a bid to prevent a no-deal Brexit.

Last December, the East Surrey MP quit as science and universities minister in a row over Theresa May's Brexit deal.

The 43-year-old briefly stood in the race to become Conservative Party leader after Mrs May quit.

The Lib Dems currently have 18 MPs, having been boosted by a victory in the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election and the defections.

That said, the last poll I saw had the Tories 12-points up on Labour at 37%, while Labour remains on 25%, the Lib Dems are at 16% and the Brexit party is unchanged on 13%.

Two months ago, all four major parties (Tories, Labour, Brexit (I can't believe I'm calling these guys major, but we live in interesting times), and Lib Dems) were tied in the low 20's, but recently the Tories have gained at the expense of the Brexit party. I figure with the Tories appointing a pro-Brexit PM that's taking the wind out of the sails of the Brexit party. Perhaps Labour will collapse and the progressive vote will coalesce around the Lib Dems? If not, I fear voting splitting will give Boris a majority if an election is called.

Djinn wrote:

Two months ago, all four major parties (Tories, Labour, Brexit (I can't believe I'm calling these guys major, but we live in interesting times), and Lib Dems) were tied in the low 20's, but recently the Tories have gained at the expense of the Brexit party. I figure with the Tories appointing a pro-Brexit PM that's taking the wind out of the sails of the Brexit party. Perhaps Labour will collapse and the progressive vote will coalesce around the Lib Dems? If not, I fear voting splitting will give Boris a majority if an election is called.

Because of the way FPTP works, for the remain vote to coalesce on the LDs and actually have significant impact, you’d be looking at well over 50% of the electorate to vote for them. That’s just never going to happen. Even in their current state Labour voters are very very loyal. It’s not exactly a religion in some parts of the country, but people are raised never to vote Tory, but Labour. There are generations who will never forgive or forget what Margaret Thatcher did to them.

The big problem now is, what is parliament going to do when Boris refuses to ask for an extension as he is now legally obliged to do? And not just this country but the EU as well? That’s a huge issue that everyone is sort of avoiding.

Yeah to my understanding on polling Labour Leavers will still overwhelmingly vote Labour in another GE. And I assume some Tory remainers will hold their noses and vote Lid Dem, and that might be enough for the Lib Dems to reclaim seats like Winchester. But any dreams of an en mass defection to Lib Dems from both sides of the house is a complete and total fantasy.

Fact remains, Labour party policy is now to hold a 2nd Red, the only chance of that actually happening is if Labour get in to power. The Lib Dems will never, ever have the number to hold whatever ref or Art50 retraction they claim they'd do. That the Lib Dem leadership are now prevaricating on helping a 2nd ref happen tells you they'd rather prioritise the incumbent Tory economic norms than help a 2nd ref come to pass (although that should already be obvious given their 2010 coalition actions).

The big problem now is, what is parliament going to do when Boris refuses to ask for an extension as he is now legally obliged to do? And not just this country but the EU as well?

I guess the PM and executive and maybe the whole Tory party get held in contempt of parliament once again. And then? Another vote of no confidence that actually passes, the Tories surely don't now have the numbers to hold that off.