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The Brexit Fuster Cluck

Written By: - Date published: 12:32 pm, March 29th, 2019 - 97 comments
Categories: uk politics - Tags: ,

Watching from the opposite side of the world it is hard to imagine how badly the Conservative Party has handled it.

I mean we are days away from the end and the UK now relies on the whim of shifting temporary alliances to determine how it will finish.

Theresa May is finished.  No matter what happens her days as leader are limited.  I suspect she is counting them down.

Her position is that tenuous she is offering to resign if her negotiated deal passes.  Who knows what she will do if it fails.

And it shows how compromised the tory party is, successors will change their earlier position opposing a soft Brexit because their prospects of attaining the top job will increase if a soft Brexit occurs.

The Guardian in this editorial puts the case in more gentle language:

There is not much logic in supporting a plan on the condition that the one person who thinks it a good plan resigns – except in the Conservative party. In a bid to win hardline Eurosceptic support for her Brexit deal, Theresa May has signalled that she will stand down before the next phase of negotiations with the EU begins.

The prime minister’s calculation is that the most zealous Brexiters will only support her in a third meaningful vote if they think there will be a leadership race soon afterwards. That way, Mrs May might get a legacy of sorts and the hardliners would have a chance to install one of their own in Downing Street. But nothing about this bargain would serve the wider interests of the country. The deal itself is unchanged. The prospect of a different Tory leader would not fix its deficiencies and its opponents would not really have changed their minds. Their support would be dishonest, given only with the intention of reneging on commitments made by Mrs May in the Commons and in Brussels. And since the DUP is still withholding support, a third meaningful vote looks futile in any event.

As an indication of how broken the system is the successors look like they may be one of Michael Gove, Boris Johnson or Jacob Rees-Mogg.

And the DUP is holding out and says it will not support May’s deal.  It is very ironic that Northern Ireland should be the reason that the UK is facing such a crisis.  That hard border that Brexit will require is going to cause havoc in Northern Ireland.

Yesterday Parliament voted on a number of different options and voted them all down.

The BBC reported that the rejected options included:

  • Leaving the EU with no deal on 12 April
  • Unilaterally dropping the plan to leave the EU if no deal is reached by 12 April
  • A new referendum on any deal/s to leave the EU
  • Leaving the EU but staying in a customs union with the 27 EU states
  • Two variations on leaving the EU but staying in the European Economic Area (EEA) and rejoining the European Free Trade Association (EFTA)
  • Negotiating changes to the Withdrawal Agreement more in line with the Labour Party’s position
  • Agreeing with the EU a period of two years in which UK goods have full access to EU markets

Maybe the UK Parliament is engaging in a huge amount of brinkmanship with the intent of getting a better deal out of Europe, maybe not.

The EU has set a deadline of April 12, and has said that a further extension beyond 12 April is only possible if the UK agrees to hold European elections on 23 May.  The Conservatives are opposed to this.

The United Kingdom appears to be blundering towards a hard brexit with the prospect of May’s head on a stake being the only thing that may avert this.

Interesting times …

97 comments on “The Brexit Fuster Cluck ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Hard to avoid seeing her signal as `May day! May day!’ If her bribe works, though, it could be May’s day. The three contenders will be mulling over the poisoned chalice. “Am I tough enough? Clever enough?” Ambition and narcissism will prompt them to answer yes, prudence and caution to answer “yes, but the timing isn’t right!”

  2. RedLogix 2

    If another referendum was held today, Remain would canter home.

    All the rest is a pantomime to avoid confronting that truth.

    • soddenleaf 2.1

      Even if it did not, a strong P.M. could still argue that remaining in for now so that the brexit camp could unify around what it actually wants. I.e there is no rush, Europe can wait ten years for the UK to leave. Of course the Tories would be trash.

      • RedLogix 2.1.1

        Wait 10 years and a lot of the Brexit camp will have passed on. Most young Britons grew up feeling they were Europeans and feel terribly betrayed by this debacle.

        • soddenleaf 2.1.1.1

          yes and there’s the rainbow. eu would not let Britian back partially, it would be the end of the pound. And therein lies the truth, people voted brexit as they weren’t getting ahead, too many in the south weren’t trickling down, nothing directly to do with the eu.

        • cleangreen 2.1.1.2

          100% red logic.

          Thanks for telling the real backstory here as EU would love to wait until the young have no memory as us elders do as to haw the totalitarian Europe run by the same countries today tried to kill Britannia dead then those two world wars.

          UK; – get out now before the EU folks entirely.

          • WILD KATIPO 2.1.1.2.1

            Good on ya mate.

            But just as a reminder to all the young un’s thinking somehow they are the bees knees and just that cut above … there’s THIS :

            The Veterans – There Ain’t No Age For Rock N Roll (1980) – YouTube

      • mikesh 2.1.2

        They would then need to negotiate the terms for staying in. There is no certainty that parliament would agree to whatever terms the EU insisted on.

        Many think that the terms agreed upon in the early seventies was in fact a very poor deal for Britain.

        • soddenleaf 2.1.2.1

          Staying in would require negotiations! Is it like the personal banking, all those fees and charges for breaking the contract. Britian became a way into Europe as international firms could hit two birds so to speak. And it’s clear any pain in the UK will match with similar disruption and cost in the eu. So everyone has a reason to turn around, yes even parliament.

          As for positioning. If we had any idea what they are or are not agreeing with. nobody does news anymore. So I don’t see how anyone’s insistance won’t be just hot nonsense media talking points. I.e they will agree or they won’t. eu vs parliament in some media brawl, is more your wishlist. If there were a winner we all be the last to know.

    • Anne 2.2

      If another referendum was held today, Remain would canter home.

      Lesson No 1.
      Never put complex issues like Brexit to the populace by way of a referendum.

      • greywarshark 2.2.1

        Lesson No. 2
        Do not proceed with basic matters vital to the country without the appropriate legislation. How come that no-one ever has noticed that simple majorities are not very convincing at ordinary times. For something to be indicative of great agreement as to the move of getting out of EU, this type of voting should require say 80% of the voting public.

        As for the Conservatives, and probably Labour also, they are too busy dodging journalists checking on their assignations and emoluments to come together in a double page spread when they have enough inside info, for the pollies to be paying proper attention to their leaders. Anyone with half a brain can see that neither the UK or the USA political scene is a working system fit for purpose.
        I just loved that rant by Jonathan Pie No.8 and No.9 is good too.

        They need to get MMP to sharpen up their brains, it does not stop the toadies getting in but it is inclined to stop them melding with their fleecy armchairs. Though I don’t know in their Parliament has anything but green
        leather/plastic to sit on.

        • Anne 2.2.1.1

          Though I don’t know in their Parliament has anything but green
          leather/plastic to sit on.

          I’ve often thought how uncomfortable it must be… all packed in like sardines on “plastic/leather” benches. Where do they put their gear? At least our pollies have comfortable seats and desks and can get on with the work of governing the country and looking after their constituents while some toss-pot is ranting and raving. 😉

          • Obtrectator 2.2.1.1.1

            Actually, they’re hardly ever “packed in like sardines”. This only happens for major votes or Question Time. Most other occasions, attendance in the House is barely above the quorum level.

        • mikesh 2.2.1.2

          Presumably staying in should then require an 80% vote. Fairs fair.

          • greywarshark 2.2.1.2.1

            Well the thing is it was an indicative vote, supposed to be. But if 80% of the voters, amounted to the equivalent of 65% of the eligible voting public, I would guess it would be reasonable to go forward with that. What do you think – that they should look at who would be eligible to vote so that a small turnout didn’t skew the numbers?

      • KJT 2.2.2

        Never let people have a say in their own future? Eh!

        • Macro 2.2.2.1

          The problem was – and I got this answer from a number of different people around the UK when I was there in 2017 – they had no idea on what they were voting for* – and obviously they still don’t.

          * All well and good to have a simple remain or leave option – but the implications of just what that meant was very poorly understood, not only by the voters, but also by the parliamentarians of the time. And there were many lies perpetuated by the Leave campaigners ,which have not stood up to scrutiny eg – the 350 million quid a week bullshit wrt to the NHS.

          • KJT 2.2.2.1.1

            Consider, that the people knew what they were voting for.

            And the bullshit from both sides largely cancelled out.

            The young Londoners who wanted to remain, and the Northern workers who wanted to leave, both voted from their own equally valid, experience of the EU.

            The Tories had NFI.

            • Macro 2.2.2.1.1.1

              Individual voters might have thought they knew what they were voting for. The reality of what they voted for has still to be determined.

              • Pat

                Isnt that always the case?

                • Macro

                  No it isn’t!

                  • Pat

                    Im thinking of the dozen or so elections ive been involved in and that has been my experience to date…I doubt its different anywhere else

                    • Macro

                      Pat this wasn’t an election it was a referendum on whether or not to leave the EU. In some sense it appeared to be a simple choice yes or no. The outcome for a no vote was simple enough. Britain would remain in the EU. And that was what Cameron had in mind when he arranged the referendum. It had worked in Scotland and he thought that it would work again. Ie the voters would reject the complex decision and go for the simple solution to remain. Unfortunately the leave campaign funded by large amounts of money from Russia told enormous lies and narrowly won the vote. The way out of Europe, as has been evidenced over the past two years, is complicated and costly, not only economically, but also personally. Many millions of people are personally affected by this. Europeans living in the UK and British people living in Europe. None of this has been settled. The huge effects that was the result of the yes vote were not forseen by the voters, nor were they informed properly by the politicians, who themselves had little idea of what the true consequences were.

                  • Pat

                    “Individual voters might have thought they knew what they were voting for. The reality of what they voted for has still to be determined”

                    referendum or election the premise is the same

        • Anne 2.2.2.2

          Referendums have an important role in the governance of a country but there has to be a limit as to how and when they are conducted. Something so dramatically defining as Brexit always had the potential to end in anarchy and it seems to me that is exactly what has happened.

          There has been much anecdotal evidence that many people did not really understand how a Brexit outcome would affect them. Add to that, one side of the argument was streaming false information to the voters (not dissimilar to what happened in the US in 2016) and it is surprising the result was as close as it was.

          Imo, there should have been a 70% threshold before Brexit could be triggered.

          Edit: Oops… Macro has already said what I said. Oh well, I’ll leave it here as a support comment.

        • greywarshark 2.2.2.3

          That’s taking a simple-minded approach KJT. The idea is to give the people full and factual information before presenting them with something to vote on that they had no clue on how swingeing it would be. And I agree never put such a complex matter to the people as anything but a testing of opinion, not a decision to break long-held treaties. Madness.

          Where is that Cameron now? If he isn’t in hiding he should be. And May reminds me of the Frenchwomen knitting up the nobility getting it in the neck in the Revolution with a single-minded determination.

          • mikesh 2.2.2.3.1

            They couldn’t present the full facts to the public until they had ascertained what the EU’s reaction would be to Britain’s activating Article 50. They should have discussed the matter with the EU before holding a referendum.

      • Incognito 2.2.3

        Lesson No. 3.

        Self-interest particularly that of political parties always trumps the public interest.

        I cannot decide whether it is the epitome of arrogance or self-delusion to dig a hole, pretend there isn’t one, promise to lie in it as long as nobody mentions the hole and you get to write your own eulogy.

    • mikesh 2.3

      If parliament can’t resolve this issue then the crown should bypass parliament and send own representative to the continent to reach a binding agreement with Brussels.

      • greywarshark 2.3.1

        That’s interesting. I wonder if the Queen is having kittens about the disruption
        to the nation this is causing, and wondering what will be left after all the handles have dropped off.

        • mikesh 2.3.1.1

          The Queen is supposed to act on the advice of the PM; but what should she do if she sees brexit fast approaching and a PM who apparently is unable to advise her.

  3. Phil 3

    Given that (1) there is no deal which seems likely to meet the approval of a majority of commons and (2) the EU has no reason or appetite to go easy on the Brits, I find it really difficult to see any outcome other than a hard Brexit, a snap election, and a 2nd referendum.

    May’s offer to resign if she gets her deal through is utterly absurd. The resistance to her deal is because she seems to be a lousy negotiator and has come up with a bad deal (however you choose to define ‘bad”). There’s literally no incentive for anyone to come around on that basis.

    • Cinny 3.1

      Agree, it’s almost like emotional blackmail…. if you want May to leave, vote for her deal.

      • WeTheBleeple 3.1.1

        But in reality the only done deal is May leaving.

        How long has this been dragging on (checks) June 2016 referendum, May 2015 the act for the referendum comes in as part of Tory manifesto.

        The Tories certainly don’t appear to be the movers and shakers they imagine themselves as. Intransigent, ineffectual, incontinent…

        Poor England having that lot in charge.

        • Pat 3.1.1.1

          Brexit for all its shenanigans may well be prescient…the chances that the EU will still be a functioning entity in a decade are not i would suggest high.

          • WeTheBleeple 3.1.1.1.1

            Maybe, but I don’t fancy the chances of Tories managing a cup of tea after their trainer wheels have come off.

          • Phil 3.1.1.1.2

            the chances that the EU will still be a functioning entity in a decade are not i would suggest high.

            I’ve heard this comment regularly from a lot of people, at least since the day the EU adopted the Euro, and am reminded of the (apocryphal?) quip from Mark Twain that “rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated.”

            The bottom line is, the nations of Europe became progressively more and more intertwined after the cold war such that the EU organisation we know today was more of an inevitability than a step change in direction. While each nation retains a strong sense of unique cultural identity, from an economic/trade perspective there is little to no benefit from leaving the EU and I can’t see any nation being in a hurry to repeat the Brexit experience.

        • Phil 3.1.1.2

          Poor England having that lot in charge.

          Labour haven’t covered themselves in glory either. They have the same problem as the Conservatives; a leader who doesn’t actually believe in the majority position of the party (i.e. Corbyn’s pro-Brexit but Labour isn’t, May and the Conservatives vice-versa)

  4. Ad 4

    Brexit plus the US debt renegotiation plus next US budget negotiation are three big waves in the global economy within 2 months.

    I’d be happy if by end-2019 we are around 5% unemployed, 2.5%gdp per year, and had just reasonable access to fresh debt.

    In fact I’d be grateful.

    • cleangreen 4.1

      Yes Ad; – I would concur with your suppositions.

    • Macro 4.2

      Yeah the world economy levers are all being pushed in the wrong direction right now. Brexit is an absolute disaster, and the UK are in for a nasty time of it ( the effects of which will flow on world wide) and it won’t go away quickly. Farage, Cameron and friends have a lot to answer for. In some ways I pity May – she was given a hospital pass by Cameron – but then she called for it.
      The latest White House Budget you refer to is an abortion – t.Rump wants 62c in every dollar for the Military for gods sake! Then he wants to cut Affordable care to the bone leaving 21 million Americans without Health care, and the Education budget etc is so drastically reduced they can’t even find 17 million for special olympics. But not to worry Donnie can go fly down to Florida whenever he likes.
      Meanwhile the US deficit is skyrocketing, because the Repugnants have given themselves and all their mates a tax cut of millions if not billions (I guess this is why “Space Force!” – so they can keep track of it.)
      I guess if you have Billions hidden away you might ride it out – but even they are facing one almighty whack. Meanwhile the rest will suffer as per normal.

    • lprent 4.3

      …three big waves in the global economy…

      Plus the underlying one of the Chinese economy flipping from production to consumption. That gets interesting because it means the main saver country for the last few decades stops financing others debts.

      • Pat 4.3.1

        main saver?…you mean main enabler surely? Consider the Chinese response post GFC…massive infrastructure spend that required what?

        https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2014/12/05/china-used-more-concrete-in-3-years-than-the-u-s-used-in-the-entire-20th-century-infographic/#da79994131a7

        • Pat 4.3.1.1

          Bad I accept for CC and ‘growth ‘if you accept that growth is a negative (which largely i do) but surely supported the world economy when the others were in decline

          • lprent 4.3.1.1.1

            Oh it did. But for the Chinese economy, like global downturns, ‘supporting’ the world economy was largely a matter of being able to pick up resources more cheaply than had previously been available.

            Think of the buyups in the european commercial empires that happened by US companies after WW1/WW2. Or the japanese buying up the US economy in the 1970s/80s when the US had its oil based stagflation.

            Or the gold rush into eastern europe after the USSR + associated states economy fell in the 90s.

            All classic economic patterns.

            • Pat 4.3.1.1.1.1

              The ability to pick up resources however dosnt necessarily equate with the desire (or need)…and consider that demand placed a floor under those resource prices and returned them to growth….how low may those prices gone without that support and what consequent damage?

              And it was done at a price….although Chinas debt to GDP is officially around 50% it is estimated to be in reality in excess of 300% (there go those unreliable figures again)…all without the advantage of being the reserve currency.

              It was a favour, even if a self serving one

              • lprent

                Yeah, but what you have to remember is that debt to GDP is largely been debt within China requiring repayment at pretty low interest. It has been in an economy that has consistently been growing at or above 7% per annum for decades. Both are largely done at the discretion of the government.

                Every expanding economy grows on debt. The trick is to make sure that use of the debt is to enable a reasonably productive use of the resources inside the economy.

                Generally I’d say that China has been doing that – because their only really large renewable resource is their people and a few things like hydro power. They have been using debt to move people from subsistence on farms to being more productive in manufacturing, while also lifting the skill levels.

                If you contrast it with countries like Argentina where the productive benefits of external debt has largely been squandered over the last century, it has been a remarkable performance.

                But as they succeed in doing that, each next step winds up being a bit heavier. I think that they’re starting to find that.

                • Pat

                  still has to be serviced…or then again not, maybe default. But either way it is a drag on the economy which (depending on your view) is a negative… but either way its a problem for us (and Aussie)….unless of course they decide that it dont matter…and the markets to date seem to be taking that view….but then the markets are divorced from reality

                  • lprent

                    The problem in NZ and aussie is that we lack the depth of savings that the Chinese currently have. We just don’t have the population required to accumulate small savings into ones that are large enough to really matter.

                    Offhand I can’t think of a moderate to large size projects that have been done here with internal funds. I do know of quite a few small ones – worked in quite a few. But usually to scale up, they have needed overseas funds and ceded control to get them.

        • lprent 4.3.1.2

          The interesting thing about the Chinese economy since the 1990s is that it both:-

          1. massively increased their own economy
          2. carried on saving which funded the expansion, and started to spill capital over into the rest of the world hunting for resources.

          So at GFC time the Chinese economy effectively had a vast pool of ‘capital’ made up of small bits that could be applied to boosting the economy, started with relatively little owing to other economies, and still had underutilised capacity inside their economy. That was why they were able to productively boost their economy while they spent large on infrastructure.

          Effectively they would up doing exactly what the UK and Germany did in the 19th century, US and USSR did in the early 20th century, Japan did in the mid 20th. The only real difference was that, because of the size of the economy, they were able to do more of it with internal resources/savings. Essentially concentration of ‘spare’ resources is what is required to trigger investment in new growth areas in the economy.

          But like each of these other economies (and others) it did it on the back of a large underutilised relatively youthful workforce. As the working population ages and their kids got more used to affluence, the saving and investment falls off and the consumption per capita increases.

          Plus of course the available low-hanging fruit in the economy diminished, so the investment cost relative to return increases and the growth in the economy just slows from that as well.

          To me, it looks like China is heading in that almost classic path.

      • Pat 4.3.2

        Think about it …there are basically 3 economies (of import) in the world, US, europe and asia…GFC and us and europe says, whoops we fucked up , please keep the game going asia…and they did,but the thanks they got was Trump.

  5. cleangreen 5

    Micky;

    What nags at me all this time was this;

    “When the EU membership was setup, did every country joining know in writing; – how difficult it would be if they wanted to exit?

    • Sabine 5.1

      yes, they know.

      in fact one must call article 50 to leave. So its not as if they did not know.

      the thing is that the Brits who want to brexit, don’t mind any of the good stuff, like owning houses in Spain and France without needing a residence permit :), or working the boats in Antibes without needing a working permit. Or working in the building sector in Germany without a working permit, or owning Pubs in Praque all legally n shit, they just don’t like that these privileges that they like also apply to Polish worker who want to live and work in England.

      What the Tories want is the privileges of Europe but none of the responsibilities, and so far not one Brit or Brexit supporter has been able to tell all the non British Europeans why they should give a special status to the Brits.

      Yes, they know it was not gonna be easy, but they really believed their own bullshit.

      • Dukeofurl 5.1.1

        The reality is that 3.8 million of EU citizens live in UK , 1.3 mill of British live in Europe.
        Both sides dont want existing residency rights to change. Europe isnt going have a hard line on mostly older UK citizens in its countries as they will find they have to deal with 3x the number of their own may be given a hard shoulder

        Having a holiday home isnt an issue.

        • Sabine 5.1.1.1

          Having a holiday home isnt an issue. – that’s is a bit blasee innit?l

          there is a bit more to that then just that.

          an interesting articles with numbers from Jan 2019

          https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-46632854

          “The most recent official figures suggest 784,900 British citizens live in EU countries, excluding the UK itself and Ireland.

          Published by the Office for National Statistics, they show nearly three-quarters are aged 64 or under. Seven out of 10 are living in Spain, France and Germany.

          But these figures only count those who have been in a country for more than 12 months.”

          “Those living and working overseas for a relatively short period of time – often younger workers – are undercounted. Many are seasonal workers, people on short-term contracts and students studying abroad.

          Even those settled abroad for a longer time can be missed, as registration is not always compulsory. For example, an official at the UK consulate in Spain said there were “tens of thousands at least under the radar”.

          Coming up with a precise figure for the true number of Britons in Europe is difficult, but it could be 1 million to 2.25 million. This includes estimates for temporary residents, those currently not registered and dual nationals.”

          The European Commission has urged its 27 remaining member states to take a “generous” approach to the residency rights of UK citizens in the event of a no deal Brexit, “provided that this approach is reciprocated by the UK”.

          Nevertheless, concerns have been raised about how these arrangements will be put in place and documents issued by 29 March, when the UK is due to leave.

          A number of countries have already announced plans:

          UK citizens in the Netherlands can apply for temporary residence before 29 March and a residence permit at a later date
          Germany will exempt UK citizens from having to have a residency title for three months in the event of a no deal
          Spain says the rights of 300,000 Britons there are secure, as long as the same is offered to Spanish people in the UK
          France will guarantee the residence, employment and welfare rights of the 160,000 UK residents, if French expats get the same guarantees
          The UK government says it will protect the rights of EU citizens who have made their homes in the UK and is expecting about 3.5 million applications.”

          so if i look at these numbers you could argue that it is a peoples exchange 1-1.

          so really, no England is not hard done by. I would also point out that just for fun England could count the Irish as ‘Europeans’ 🙂

          Nah, England voted to pull out, and now they should. That does not mean they can’t go back and negotiate something that will work for them, with the partners that care.
          But what Brexit has shown us that all these People with their expensive education, and their expertise are unable to sit down and negotiate a deal, and above all agree on it.
          Nah, all they give each other is a bullshit kabuki theater production and the knowledge that they only ones making bank on this crap production is them. The rest of the country can go to hell.

      • greywarshark 5.1.2

        I think that’s it to a ‘t’ Sabine from what I can understand.

        I probably have mentioned it before. But the upper Brits seem great at holding onto ideas of imperial style and ‘dash’ and superiority. That is what was behind downing Lord Dowding after he had engineered, literally really, the defence that was truly the Battle for Britain; but at the end got the cheapest gold watch in the selection. What they really wanted was a big show of British gumption and verve with the sky black with attacking planes giving the Luftwaffe? what-ho old boy. Only Dowding was too cautious and said that they didn’t have planes to waste and he needed all the skilled pilots he had, and that if they waited to get the mass of them together they would be bombed sitting on the ground in their planes queuing up to take off; getting picked off as they waited.

        This is the same, dreams of grandeur and to hell with reality though Biggles is dead, and so is Dowding. Just the beguiling incense lingers on in the halls of the armchair warriors, and drifts into the Commons and that modern incense is so much stronger than it used to be.

    • KJT 5.2

      Tony Benn, and others who opposed entering in the first place, reasoning was, apart from the lack of democracy, the difficulty/ impossibility, of leaving.

      • greywarshark 5.2.1

        Cripes words fail me over what is happening now but poetic bits keep describing it better than anyone can.

        The Eagles from Hotel California.

        Mirrors on the ceiling
        The pink champagne on ice
        And she said “We are all just prisoners here, of our own device”
        And in the master’s chambers
        They gathered for the feast
        They stab it with their steely knives
        But they just can’t kill the beast

        Last thing I remember
        I was running for the door
        I had to find the passage back to the place I was before
        “Relax,” said the night man
        “We are programmed to receive
        You can check-out any time you like
        But you can never leave!”

        https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/eagles/hotelcalifornia.html

  6. SPC 6

    When the question of the Irish border was raised back in 2016 none of the Brexiteers wanted to discuss it.

    The Easter Agreement ended the hard border, any Brexit means it returns in some form or other. Either in Ireland or between NI and Britain – and they aint called Unionists for nothing.

    Quite the irony that the Tories later ended up in a coalition with DUP to form their Commons majority while negotiating Brexit.

    There remains no better option for NI than Remain – and Brexit will increase sentiment for unity in Ireland (first in the rush for Irish passports and then more as GDP per capita grows ahead further relative to the UK) and usher in the end of days for the DUP Unionists.

    The DUP will vote against, May will increase the vote from her caucus – but she needs quite a few Labour MP’s alongside to make her own exit.

    • Dukeofurl 6.1

      hard border wont happen under Brexit.

      Even in NZ we probably only inspect 1 in 50 containers. Most of Irelands trade is with UK direct , much smaller amount with the North.

      The regular shippers will have their paperwork and inspections in container depots before they reach the border. No one is going to be worried about a small truck of potatoes heading North.

      of course Ireland is outside the EU Schengen border agreement, as is the UK.

      What does the rush for Irish passports mean? UK has said that Ireland citizens will still have work rights in UK ahead of EU citizens.
      Likely access to EU for British citizens will be barely affected by Brexit – they will have similar arrangements that EU has with a range of countries that are non EU already.

      Britain has of course 3x more EU citizens living there than the other way round.

      • SPC 6.1.1

        Tell it to the DUP.

        Residents in NI and Britain are seeking Irish passports at record levels. The “British” are allowed dual citizenship and thus can have Irish passports.

    • mikesh 6.2

      Biggles dead? And Algie and Ginger too? Surely not.

  7. SPC 7

    There are three sensible options left, given a no deal Brexit has been rejected by the parliament so heavily, and the governments position does not have the support of the Commons.

    1. May’s deal of the Tory government
    2. Labour’s plan
    3. Remain (Liberal Democrats and SNP)

    They should put this to the people in a referendum, using preferential voting.

    The UK tied to the Customs Union and place in the single market (and budget contribution for the period of delay) until the result. If its 3. then late elections for the UK seats in the European parliament.

    • Dukeofurl 7.1

      Had two votes allready .
      The referendum originally
      The General election where the major parties had Leave in their manifestos. ( and remain parties didnt do very well -SNP, LDP)

      • SPC 7.1.1

        Most New Zelanders think the government should do more on global warming, does not mean they vote Green though.

        A Brexit vote does not authorise the how, and given the Commons cannot back any option, it needs to return to the people. And if the people decides neither of these options is preferable to Remain, so be it. That is real democracy.

    • mikesh 7.2

      Or the crown could step in, bypassing parliament. If a ‘constitutional crisis’ resulted I’m sure the crown could weather it, given the circumstances.

  8. Peter 8

    A summary for all:

    • greywarshark 8.1

      Thanks for that Peter. A jesting word spoken in truth I think. It is one of those make a decision times – are you going to laugh or cry. Well make up your mind, not long to go before Brexit 2 or 2 and a half, 3? I would love to say what a lot of hyperbole, and I do but it’s not about Jonathan Pie.

    • Macro 9.1

      I’ve been following the Irish Border on Twitter I can’t find the actual tweet but I think it really sums the whole thing up.

      “I’m not a fan of Brexit – but I do admire it’s ability to divide a country”

      Only a border could say that!

      Here is one of its latest musings.
      Yeats would love it 🙂

      • greywarshark 9.1.1

        The Dubliners know how Irish feel about England.

        The words show up in case you can’t catch the lingo.

  9. Craig Stephen 10

    The Little Englanders of the Brexit Brigade have given no thought whatsoever to the Irish backstop, and are fuelled by polls that show that most Leave voters would sacrifice the relative peace in the six counties for a full English Brexit. Nor do they give a John Bull for Scotland, which voted against Brexit and whose autonomous Parliament is controlled by the pro-EU Scottish National Party. In fact most of the Tory Party can’t think of any other peoples beyond King’s Lynn.
    This chaos has years to go.

  10. RedLogix 11

    And May’s third vote got defeated last night. So that’s off the table.

    Not many options left, and no good ones.

    • Matiri 11.1

      It’s a fourth vote next week or a General Election says Theresa May. But it’s not in her power to call a GE, it has to be by 2/3 majority vote of sitting MPs.

  11. Macro 12

    Following the 3rd defeat of the May deal last night a very good summation of where it is all at is here:
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/mar/29/what-now-for-brexit-after-theresa-may-deal-turned-down-for-third-time

    Well worth a read.

    With parliament having already voted down a “No Deal” Brexit in the past It would seem unlikely that the 28 “Hard Brexit” MPs would gain enough support for that to happen.

    Fact is – if the English (and it is primarily the voters in England who want to Brexit) can’t sort themselves out – then the best thing they can do is to remain.

    • RedLogix 12.1

      David Liddington exposes the luancy well:

      In an interview with the Observer during the referendum campaign in 2016, Lidington criticised Conservative colleagues who wanted to leave the bloc. “I do find it extraordinary that those who want Britain to leave the EU seem to hold to two utterly contradictory propositions at the same time,” he said.

      He continued: “Their first belief is that inside the EU we cannot achieve any meaningful change and that too often the other countries are in some sort of nefarious conspiracy against our interests.

      “But their second belief, which they hold equally firmly, is that outside the EU these very same countries and governments would rush to give us some new deal that has all the benefits of EU membership with none of the things that apply to others.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/mar/24/mr-europe-david-lidington-the-obscure-remainer-who-could-replace-may

      It was always my view that when the Brexit camp finally ran into the brick wall of reality … Britain would remain. And Europe may in the end decide it’s better to let them crawl back than have a failed state festering on their border.

      • Andre 12.1.1

        Can’t help wondering if the price of allowing them to crawl back will be giving up the pound and adopting the euro.

        • Pat 12.1.1.1

          only if they wanted to force another referendum that they knew they would lose…Brexit either way in that scenario

          • Andre 12.1.1.1.1

            They may think it’s worth it to reinforce the idea that if you want to be in, you gotta be all the way in, no more of this half-pregnant stuff.

            • Pat 12.1.1.1.1.1

              London had the highest remain vote in England at around 60%….remove the Pound and watch that dissapear….and the EU know it

        • RedLogix 12.1.1.2

          Yup. Another probable consequence of this egregious failure of the Westminster political system is going to be a demand for significant reform. Moving away from FPP is one obvious change that could be up for grabs.

          The descent into hyper-partisanship across the Anglosphere is tearing us apart; and claiming that ‘it’s all the other guy’s fault’ merely perpetuates it.

      • mikesh 12.1.2

        In the referendum campaign Varoufakis campaigned on behalf of the Remainers, arguing that, rather than leave, Britain should remain and work towards reforming the EU from within. I think the problems that Varoufakis was seeing were the problems of neoliberalism. Britain could perhaps have presented a better case for leaving if she had made it c!ear that, going it alone would give her a better chance of abandoning those policies, and that that was her intention.

        If a snap election were to produce a Corbyn led government perhaps something like this could come into play.

  12. Macro 13

  13. Anthony Rimell 14

    For me this theme song has been running through my head for the past three years. May as Clink, Boris as Schutlz. Unfortunately for UK, no hero…

  14. Observer Tokoroa 15

    Treacherous Britons

    It amazes me that the EU wishes to invite Britons to remain within its flexible Band.

    Not just because the English in their own twisted minds regard themselves as vastly superior in every way to every one on Earth. They ignore their recent history of barbaric Slave Capture, women and children trafficking. Much of it under the encouragement of Elizabeth 1 who invested serious money in their dark evils. They hid the wicked devastation they caused Ninety different Nations over a period of over four Centuries and more.

    The current great Savior of Britain, Boris Johnson, is the living example of the real pom. Self centered to the bone. Not one bit interested in anything or any person – other than himself.

    You might think he has good intentions. In fact, he is the very epitome of British desertion. Master of the “Briton Stab in the Back”.

    In World Wars 1 and Two – Britain dragged hundreds of thousands of Colonials into wars that could not be won because of British Generals who could not match the military talent of the Turks or the Germans. Mere Fodder soldiers.

    Immediately following the wars, The Britons abandoned any trade with its far flung Colonials. That includes New Zealand.

    The EU currently has 508 million population. It has a valuable tendency towards Democracy.

    I have failed to discover a genuine tendency towards Democracy within Britain. They are saturated with Excessive Wealth going back to the 1100s. They have total Disregard for the working Poor. And they Disdain every other person on the Planet.

    In brief. Britain must pay back its horrible past and become mildly human before you take a punt on it.

  15. joe90 17

    The uncomfortable truth.

    Channel 4 News has apologised after its presenter Jon Snow said he had “never seen so many white people in one place”, referring to the pro-Brexit protesters who flooded the centre of London on Friday.

    The 71-year-old frontman was broadcasting live from outside the Houses of Parliament when he made the unscripted remarks while wrapping up the programme.

    Snow said: “It’s been the most extraordinary day. A day which has seen … I have never seen so many white people in one place, it’s an extraordinary story. There are people everywhere, there are crowds everywhere.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/mar/30/channel-4-apologises-for-jon-snows-white-people-remark

    • Macro 17.1

      OMG! And he was only telling the truth.
      Perhaps Channel 4 had better look at themselves and wonder why they thought it necessary to make such an apology.

    • Anne 17.2

      Why am I not surprised? Because… a huge portion of the Brexit supporters are racist. We dun not wont those blacks and browns from the other side of the Channel. Nah, we’s got too many of those dumb a***s already.

      I hope the accolades will start pouring in re- Jon Snow for having the guts to say it.

  16. joe90 18

    Oh good, the wheels are falling off.

    Dozens of moderate Tories, including senior cabinet ministers, have signed up to a powerful new party group in an attempt to stop the Conservatives lurching further to the right during the race to replace Theresa May.

    Work and pensions secretary Amber Rudd, already a key figure in the search for May’s successor, is one of the leaders of the newly formed One Nation Group, said to comprise 40 MPs desperate to find a candidate committed to blocking a no-deal Brexit.

    The move comes as MPs, including some in government, warn that they believe entryism by pro-Brexit supporters at local Conservative associations risks delivering a leader willing to back a hard break with the EU.

    And it follows an outcry after Dominic Grieve, the pro-Remain former attorney general, lost a confidence vote held by his local party.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/mar/30/moderate-remainer-tories-one-nation-group-rudd

  17. Macro 19

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