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A general election would not be fought on the Brexit/Remain point alone, though. It would have the normal mix of Labour and Conservative policy issues mixed in as well. I don't see the point of it.

A referendum would be based on updated information about the Brexit reality, but it's not obvious that the updated information is any more accurate, or the voters more involved or educated, than they were last time around. There would be tremendous squealing if Remain won this time around. I'm not sure about the point of a referendum, either.

Seems to me that the best approach would be a vote on all three of the major and realistic options, Brexit vs May vs Remain. That goes against a few hundred years of voting tradition, though.

My money is on delay, delay, and hope the problem is solved by being overtaken by some other catastrophe. Which seems fairly likely given the US versus the world thing that is also going on. But the delay strategy depends on the EU allowing it...

by asdf on Mon Jan 14th, 2019 at 12:57:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
colloquially, "kicking the can down the road"?
or "NO-EXIT"
< wipes tears >

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Mon Jan 14th, 2019 at 01:09:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Given that the uncertainty created by Brexit has resulted in the transfer of quite a lot of economic activity and investment from the UK to the EU, there is an argument that allowing that uncertainty to continue is in the EU's interests.

There is also the argument that allowing the status quo to continue for another few months - with European elections in June, older voters dying off, younger voters joining the rolls, and generally getting everyone bored with the whole Brexit thing could allow the status quo to persist almost indefinitely.

"Kicking the can down the road" has a long and honoured tradition in politics of postponing difficult decisions, allowing general apathy to sink in, and allowing for some quiet deal making behind the scenes for taking some of the bitterness and sting out of the situation - much to the frustration of partisans on both sides.

So if the EC wants to let everyone off the hook, they could "graciously accede" to a UK government request for an A.50 extension, even if there is as yet no clear resolution of the issue. The unanimity requirement could become problematic, however, if some EU Members start asking the question "what are we getting for our forbearance in this matter?"

If unanimous agreement is not forthcoming, the UK government could threaten to revoke A.50, only to invoke it again once they have decided on a clear course of action - in line with the ECJ ruling. That would really piss everyone off, although not much could be done about it. I suspect the EU would then simply move onto the next order of business, and leave the UK to ruminate or smoulder on their options on their own.

Any attempts by the UK to re-open negotiations would be resisted, and it would become simply a case of "take it [May's deal] or leave it, we have other fish to fry". The UK's standing in the EU, and the world, would plummet, but most people in the UK would be oblivious to that. Eventually the political impasse in the UK would resolve itself, one way or another, and a decision would be made to a great yawn of indifference elsewhere. Sometimes it is best for politics to become boring for a whle.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jan 14th, 2019 at 10:31:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
although in this case I'm not sure kicking the can down the road for several months is an option. Not because the EU wouldn't allow it, but because the UK economy is on the brink of collapse.

Internal and inward investment has ceased, which means that we are stagnating economically. Brexit has sucked all the oxygen out of domestic politics to the extent that NOTHING is being done and everything is decaying.

We've had 30 months of this, I'm not sure how much longer we can keep this going.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jan 14th, 2019 at 03:05:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
All the more reason for the EU to kick the can down the road - if asked?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jan 14th, 2019 at 10:21:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not if there is no light down the tunnel.

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Mon Jan 14th, 2019 at 10:48:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
walp, May has started the week dissembling her ass off.

She speaks, again, to simultaneously
reject the EU offer to extend "the negotiating period" (the "NO-BREXIT" option)
and
elect "her deal" (the EU-UK WITHDRAWAL AGREEMENT option),
while
surrogates (watch word of the month) flog
the "NO No-Deal" vote by parliament forthcoming.

EU Council will regret this appeasement. I told you (pl.) to let it go. ubn warned.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Jan 14th, 2019 at 10:54:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If unanimous agreement is not forthcoming, the UK government could threaten to revoke A.50, only to invoke it again once they have decided on a clear course of action

Do we really think any PM would do this, given what it'll have done to the previous ones?

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jan 14th, 2019 at 03:10:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That would really piss everyone off, although not much could be done about it.

Additionally, would it not trigger the EU to change the Article 50 rules to prevent that sort of gyration?

by asdf on Tue Jan 15th, 2019 at 01:06:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
let's just say I think it would be a good idea if they did.

But the A50 process was designed to be hard as a deterrent to prevent the Greeks from escaping the clutches of the ECB.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jan 15th, 2019 at 02:15:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It really wasn't. It was just cocked up. It was never intended to be used.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 15th, 2019 at 02:17:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Changing an EU Treaty is not for the faint hearted. It requires unanimous agreement of all EU members and a referendum in some states (such as Ireland) if it involves devolving additional powers onto the EU. The Lisbon Treaty (which includes A.50) was the last time it was tried, and it was a watered down version of the Constitutional Treaty rejected by referenda in France and the Netherlands. Not going to happen any time soon.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jan 15th, 2019 at 09:01:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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