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 If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.

Well, it is indeed a near impossible political needle that the Cons have to thread.

On the less rosy side of the analysis George Monboit's current assertion appears to be that brexit was, all along, an extreme right plan to make us the minor partner in a free trade bloc with the US.
https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...

I'm beginning to think that Corbyn is either so ideologically wedded to the exit from the EU that he is perpared to go ahead with it at any cost or is he a Putin stooge on the left like Jill Stein. Maybe even both. This is the worst post-War leadership Britain has seen. What happens from here is anyones guess.

On wider front, unless something seismic occurs, this is going to end badly. It's also patently clear given the voting down of the amendment to protect the Good Friday Agreement that the Tories do not care about what occurs in Ireland.

It's okay the "real fight start now." https://www.theguardian.com/politics... So everything is fine because the thing everyone no-one says about Corbyn is he's successful at bringing people around to his point of view.

I think it's a bit harsh to suggest Corbyn might be a Putin stooge though I'd not be surprised to see it on the front page of the Mail. He's always been an isolationist who was for leaving the EU and NATO, so his attitude here has been in keeping with his principles. I'm tired of his principles though, I think Labour has lost it's best chance to influence whatever is going to happen.

At this point the exit of the UK from the EU is going to be entirely down to May and the EU. I don't think there is a single check in the UK "constitution" that can change anything short of a vote of no-confidence and a general election. Labour isn't going to win the next election unless we're all eating dog food and hoarding shotgun shells.

DoveBrown wrote:

Labour isn't going to win the next election unless we're all eating dog food and hoarding shotgun shells.

On the upside the way the Tories manage the economy we could be there quicker than you think

Actually my worry is, much like what will happen under Trump, is it will get very good before it collapses. Deregulation and deficit spending on non productive assets will provide a boost.

What happens after that worries me greatly and makes me think that us in the remaining EU states may need to have a open discussion over defence and other military capabilities.

Nice look at the mind bending complexity of Article 50 negotiations, the likely negotiating stances and how the Tories will attempt to spin their inevitable failure
http://www.politics.co.uk/blogs/2017...

Just heard on Bavarian news radio that HSBC will be relocating a portion (up to 1000 positions over 2 years) of its operations to Paris, citing Brexit as one factor, in addition to a profit slump and allegations of wrongdoings.

HSBC warns on Brexit challenge amid profits slump and new FCA probe

Free trade paradise ahoy: EU thinks it'll be easier to get Free Trade deal with India without UK This is jives with May's post referendum commonwealth tour where her meeting with India was stalled on the Indians wondering why the UK had to be such dicks to skilled Indian migrants.

I wonder if they are also thinking about the China deal, I've heard but can't find a link that the EU-China free trade deal was being held up on the City of London's access to the Chinese financial market.

That's actually good news for the UK, if the EU has two really nice reasons there to get the UK to leave, that will give them incentive to smooth the UKs deal to actually get them out successfully. Since current thinking is that Article 50 probably actually can be reversed the EU won't want to give them a bad enough deal that the UK actually reverses it and stays in the EU if it means they lose an India and/or Chinese deal.

It really does seem like everyone on the frothing pro-brexit side is completely oblivious to the fact that there are other countries and brexit is just as much an opportunity for them.

After several hundred years of its economic and social and military consequences, you need to really be ignorant of history to support strong nationalism as a diplomatic and economic agenda. Not to mention that you're basically tearing everything trade-related down in the belief that under pressure and will ill-will from other countries, you can put together better deals all around.

But I guess The Leader will make it all better...

I stand to be corrected on this, Robear, but as much as I'm looking forward to meeting all my old English friends at the upcoming Ireland vs England Six Nations game, you do notice that generally they have a very poor grasp of their own history and how it relates to others. It's not really their fault either. The BBC will regularly have documentaries extolling the virtues of certain aspects of British history completely unaware that Scottish or Irish, to name a few, viewers are watching the same show with an utterly different context.

For example, Dan Snow presented an excellent documentary on the Royal Navy. He, with some validity, argues for the impact that the Royal Navy has had on the modern liberal democracy that we live in today. Unfortunately he completely ignores the fact that the Royal Navy was ran by literally bleeding Ireland and Scotland dry of wood and food. The famine of 1850 is directly linked to the policy of providing for this infrastructure. You can find similar views related to other subjects such as Cromwell and Churchill.

All in all, I suspect the majority of British people and even greater majority of English view the British Empire as an unquestioned good in history. I have a theory that the benchmark is the Third Reich and the Soviet Union and as long as the British Empire didn't assail those heights of terrible than it has to be good.

Like a said, it's a pure notion I have so I'd love to hear a view from the British Goodjers on this.

Not that I'm suggesting other nations don't have their own collective skewed mindset. The Irish have their own set of delightful collective idiosyncrasies. But that is for other thread

Axon wrote:

All in all, I suspect the majority of British people and even greater majority of English view the British Empire as an unquestioned good in history. I have a theory that the benchmark is the Third Reich and the Soviet Union and as long as the British Empire didn't assail those heights of terrible than it has to be good.

I think you're probably right here, with the caveat that there's plenty of us who are horrified by the history of the Empire. But yeah, a vast majority of Middle-Englanders are just dandy with it.

When I lived in Bristol, I could never quite bring myself to visit the Museum Of Empire, in the same way that when I lived in Munich, I never went to Auschwitz. I probably ought to have, but both experiences seemed like they'd be great ways to have my faith in humanity dinged.

Strong nationalism as a national policy (or political movement, say) has contributed repeatedly in the last few hundred years to warfare, authoritarianism and the mass migration, if not outright extermination, of minority populations in countries. That's what I'm referring to, Axon. It's not strong patriotic feelings. As the dictionary puts it, it's *extreme* patriotism, often coupled with a feeling of superiority to others. It's typically used by those in power to unite (and subdue) the population of a country, and direct it towards particular foreign and domestic policies that might not otherwise be universally appealing. And it generally requires an enemy, internal or external or both, to motivate it and make clear what the patriots stand for, and oppose.

I don't think that Scotland has given in to the Nationalist impulse in modern times. Ireland, I'm not sure, I need to brush up on the modern history of the Republic. I'm not sure how Nationalist it was outside of Northern Ireland. Britain, however, had that culture for a looong time before loosing (as much as losing) the Empire, and from everything I've seen, they've maintain some of the cultural aspects of an Imperial power since then. Much as Americans have done, although certainly not to the degree we've seen in the Trump Age in the US. However, I think there are some parallels with the US, especially in the worries about immigrants and their effects on society in the last few decades. I guess I'd say England is moving back towards Nationalism, while the US is already there and moving towards an actual police state at a surprising clip.

The dangers are obvious, I think.

So I hope I've drawn the distinction that I meant, and that patriotic feelings for a country, or even a wish for independence, is not Nationalism. And that I have not mortally offended any of our English friends.

Nationalism is a con perpetrated on credulous electorates by scoundrel politicians, scapegoating the weakest in our society for the betterment of the scoundrels. I don't think we should dignify it with a term that gives it that much dignity.

The problem with the term Nationalism is that it means two very, very different things.

There is a nationalism of superiority and exceptionalism that all too often spills over in to xenophobia and racism which authoritarians love to play up to. And on the flipside there is the nationalism of civic pride rooted in the positive drive to share your culture and it's achievements with others.

As a rule I'd say the English and US politics plays on the former and Scots politics plays to the former.

No small part of this that the Scots and Irish have a diaspora of émigrés in a way that the English do not. Most Scots and Irish will have an aunt, uncle, cousin, whatever who left to make a new life elsewhere so both countries have to be outward looking in a way the English are not.

DanB wrote:

And on the flipside there is the nationalism of civic pride rooted in the positive drive to share your culture and it's achievements with others.

Patriotism - devoted love, support, and defense of one's country; national loyalty.

Nationalism - the policy or doctrine of asserting the interests of one's own nation viewed as separate from the interests of other nations or the common interests of all nations.

There are other definitions out there, but I think we need to draw this line clearly if we're going to discuss it. Nationalism is more than patriotism. It's either extreme patriotism, or its derivative, the translation of patriotism into "Our Country First" policies.

When I was at school (admittedly >20 years ago) there was next to no mention of how much the English were complete sh*ts to the other UK members (and Ireland) (and no small number of other countries)

Robear wrote:

I don't think that Scotland has given in to the Nationalist impulse in modern times.

They have their own way.

The ability to laugh at ourselves ( instead of always at others) and not take everything too seriously should not be underestimated

Robear wrote:
DanB wrote:

And on the flipside there is the nationalism of civic pride rooted in the positive drive to share your culture and it's achievements with others.

Patriotism - devoted love, support, and defense of one's country; national loyalty.

Nationalism - the policy or doctrine of asserting the interests of one's own nation viewed as separate from the interests of other nations or the common interests of all nations.

There are other definitions out there, but I think we need to draw this line clearly if we're going to discuss it. Nationalism is more than patriotism. It's either extreme patriotism, or its derivative, the translation of patriotism into "Our Country First" policies.

I do understand your distinction and there is a difference between both. I'm a deeply patriotic Irishman who has no time for Nationalists from his own country. However the problem with Britain (England mainly) is the complete lack of awareness of where they are in that spectrum.

For example, Dr. Liam Fox, is a prime example of it. He is utterly clueless to his own countries history and is a Minister in the current government. And I don't for a second think he is alone either. This is the mindset you are dealing with. While there is a distinction between patriotism and nationalism, unfortunately for quite a bit of Britain the complete lack of self awareness means they veer into nationalism without even knowing it.

Edit: Case in point. The arrogance is astounding. Have they even asked the other nations involved? And calling it "Empire 2.0". Sweet. Jesus.

In other tangental news, Unionists have lost their majority in the Northern Ireland Assembly. Brexit has just handed Sinn Fein the best reason to run a poll on unification and they just might win it. That could lead to a whole host of other problems. I'm going to discuss it over in the European catchall.

Totally agree with you there, Axon. I just wanted to make sure we're drawing the distinction, or conversations will get very confused very quickly.

Axon wrote:

In other tangental news, Unionists have lost their majority in the Northern Ireland Assembly. Brexit has just handed Sinn Fein the best reason to run a poll on unification and they just might win it. That could lead to a whole host of other problems. I'm going to discuss it over in the European catchall.

Theresa May has to choose between a united GB or leaving the EU, she simply can't have both.

Axon wrote:

Edit: Case in point. The arrogance is astounding. Have they even asked the other nations involved? And calling it "Empire 2.0". Sweet. Jesus.

This is just amazing. I have making jokes about how the June vote was a vote to restore the Empire but I didn't think anyone in government seriously thought it might be a good idea.

You're right that the English don't have much of a cultural feeling for how horrible the Empire was for native populations. Neither do they have the lived experience of fighting on the other side of a modern war of independence. They avoided an Indian War of Independence through the luck of having a Labour government at a time when the Royal Indian Army could not be relied upon, had Churchill been returned after the war you could see a bloodbath. By avoiding a French style decolonisation nightmare of Vietnam or Algeria, the British have been able to tell themselves the Empire was benign and good.

The truly horrific stuff of the Empire we don't know as it happened behind closed doors. I'd put the Mau Mau operations as being somewhere on the scale of the Soviet Union or Third Reich which I believe was your benchmark.

To bring this back on point of Brexit, these people massively overestimate the good will that exists between the UK and the former colonies. The UK would be making trade deals with equals, which isn't what Fox and co. seem to understand. There is no suggestion that it would require give and take.

Read Le Carre.

Not especially about brexit but this article on Melanie Philips (one of our more loathsome social commentators) touches on some issues from up thread

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archi...

I really wish people wouldn't react to that garbage. That's the entire purpose of the article.

In other news, the Lords have place a serious spanner in the works. Hard to know how this will pan out but it complicates things for the UK.

Right, Article 50 for Tuesday (we think). Predictions folks. I assume the Tories will whip enough of their MPs along with a good number of Labour MPs to make this a formality. I'm just hoping that we have somebody loose the plot and perhaps a front bench Minister resigns from both sides of the House. At least that'll be entertaining.

Prediction, Article 50 is triggered this week.

Nothing meaningful will happen in the Commons with the Lords' amendments being voted down and the original legislation returned to the Lords as is. The Lords will then accept it having done their duty to try to protect the government from itself. I'm looking forward to the Walloon regional parliament having a meaningful vote on the EU-UK deal.

There is a very interesting article on Theresa May in the current LRB: https://www.lrb.co.uk/v39/n06/david-...
It's interesting how doggedly she has attempted to achieve goals that she has inherited. It would have been interesting to see how she would have done had she been given the health or education briefs rather than the home office. Could she have made academies work?