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I just had a thought. What if the Brexit schism (or blowup that we hope for) in the Tory party doesn't really happen? What if the Brexiteers swallow the phase two agreement, anything to just get the government over the March 2019 finish line and then declare victory?

During the transition period (status quo without vote) they may be tempted to say 'See, nothing changed! Everything is the same unlike what project fear said. And total sovereignty is just around the corner'. Then, in the medium-term, when Brexit really starts to bite, it's due to someone else's incompetence. 'Nothing to do with Brexit' even.

Schengen is toast!

by epochepoque on Mon Jan 29th, 2018 at 12:58:22 AM EST
This is more or less what I expect to see happening. The Brexiteers in Government have already shown an amazing willingness to accept almost anything the Commission proposes as long as they get their Brexit at the end of the day.  So we may have the UK as part of "a new" customs union, not "the" Customs Union... same with the Single Market - "access to" rather than "membership of"... Cosmetic changes, rather than changes of substance.

And yes, any damage to the UK economy will be largely incremental, cumulative, and long term, and can therefore be blamed on near term events as it manifests itself. The media aren't interested in causes which take longer than a few media cycles to manifest themselves. It will be whoever is in power at the time who will cop the blame - mostly when the leading Brexiteers have already retired "having done their job and freed GREAT Briton from foreign domination".

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jan 29th, 2018 at 02:30:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the thing that confuses me is that there is huge great kerfuffle in the Tory party right now over an issue that is fundamentally decided.

If we have the open customs border with Ireland, which we are more or less legally obliged to do under the terms of the Good Friday agreement, then Hard Brexit, about which so much froth is currently being expended, is simply not available.

I suspect that both Theresa May and Phillip Hammond, the UK Chancellor, both know this, but have different priorities. May, for the sake of party unity, is playing this down. Hammond for the sake of business and financial continuity, is talking this up.

So, we have the current Tory psychodrama that is currently being played out across the pages of right wing newspapers, ie nearly all of them. Either calling for Hammond's head as betraying brexit or calling for May's head cos she can't lead the party properly (which is code for not calling for instant brexit and the possible nuking of Brussels).

This is mixed in with the House of Lord's beginning to sharpen their knives over the messs that is the "leaving the EU" bill that was cobbled through the Commons. The Lords is filled with the old hands, the legal and political wonks whose primary purpose is to slice and dice all sloppily constructed legislation to make it fit for purpose.

They know this bill is rubbish and have made great sport at salivating about what they're going to do with it. The Lords is also predominantly filled with Remainers, being the current House of Realism. So the bresiteers are already talking about the Constitutional problems involved in the Lords eviscerating their wilder flights of lunacy.

It's all mad fun and keeps the hacks reporting on it in wine and caviar, but I rather suspect that there's a path through this mess that will leave more or less everything in place as it is now.

Unless there really is a Commons backbench rebellion, May is deposed, Ree-Smogg is installed as PM. At which point I think we're back to nuking Brusssels

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jan 29th, 2018 at 05:31:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure that an unelected Rees-Mogg as PM is going to last long enough to figure out where the nuke button is.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jan 29th, 2018 at 07:55:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He's an elected MP, if the Tory party makes him leader, he's PM.

You can argue about the lack of legitimacy, but there's nothing to say they can't. Unless the DUP say that their deal was with Theresa and back out, but I can't see why they would.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jan 29th, 2018 at 09:21:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's plenty of historical precedent for unelected PM's.  Winston Churchill, anyone? (First time around). (Also Alexander Frederick Douglas-Home, Baron Home of the Hirsel, 1963, who wasn't even a member of the House of Commons at the time).

And my guess is the DUP quite like Rees-Smogg.  He's their sort of guy (even if he is a Catholic). It would show people they aren't really bigoted. Just delusional.

In any case pressing the nuke button is much easier than conducting a complex negotiation. You just have to wait until March 2019 without agreeing a substantive deal or you can even leave immediately, by concluding a cursory agreement to do so with the Council (and EU Parliament), if you want, and there is probably not much anyone in the UK can do about it, unless Parliament can vote no confidence in you beforehand...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jan 30th, 2018 at 12:44:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It turns out that a large number of Tory MPs are ignorant of pretty much everything. See that WhatsApp chatter about Nadine whats-her-name clearly not understanding anything about CU/SM despite being very clearly agin it.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jan 29th, 2018 at 07:57:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd love to, but I have no idea about whatsapp so wouldn't have a clue how to search it

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jan 29th, 2018 at 09:19:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Although if it's Nadine Dorries, she has replaced Louise Mensch as the Westminster village idiot.

A lunatic of no fixed braincell whose eyes occupy different orbits in the vicinity of Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann. Nobody pays her any attention cos she's mad and stupid.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jan 29th, 2018 at 09:29:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do they call her "Fog" because she's thick and wet?
by rifek on Tue Jan 30th, 2018 at 03:13:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure UK conservatives would agree that that issue is decided at all at all. OK - due to some arm twisting by the Irish and in order to get the talks to move on to the substantive issue of trade, the UK government kind of, sort of, agreed there would be no hard border in Ireland, and if necessary it would maintain regulatory alignment with EU rules to avoid the need for one.

But no one really agreed to stay in the Single Market/Customs union as this would imply - it was just for the rubes - and anyway, that inter-governmental agreement isn't legally enforceable. A hard or no deal Brexit could still overturn this draft agreement, and I expect the Smoggers to rebel at some stage if we get to what they will see as BRINO - Brexit in name only. This one will run for a while yet...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jan 30th, 2018 at 06:08:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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