Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
As you know I am no admirer of May. But at least the EU have been able to come to some agreements with her. It is the House of Commons which is completely dysfunctional with no majority for any positive proposal. Ultimately there are only two solutions to this:

  1. Take it out of the hands of the Commons and have a "people's vote" on May's deal.

  2. Have a general election fought on the specifics  of her deal, no deal, and no Brexit and hope the results throw up a clear majority for one of the above.

Either is a perfectly rational solution to the problem whereas a delay simply to prolong existing EU/UK negotiations will get absolutely nowhere.

I would imagine the EU Council would agree an A.50 extension only if the UK commits to 1. or 2. above.  So absent one of those two options, the EU Council could end up booting the UK out on 29th. March despite any requests for an extension that might have come from the UK.

Would May agree to hold a General Election/Second referendum if the UK was on the point of being booted out of the EU with no deal? Would Corbyn support a second referendum if he can force a general election?

I suspect those calls will only be made in the days/hours leading up to 29th. March. A general election might actually be the best option, because voters would have the choice of voting for parties supporting No deal (UKIP and half the Conservatives), May's Deal (half the Conservatives) or No Brexit (Lib Dems).

Labour would presumably try to have it both ways and campaign on the basis of giving voters a choice between a better (softer) Brexit deal (which they would negotiate) or to Remain in a subsequent referendum.

However the bottom seems to be falling out of the middle ground in UK politics. Is there a danger Labour could disappear down the middle? The winner might well be determined by which vote - Remain or Leave - is split least badly. My worry is the Remain vote would be split quite badly between Labour and the Lib Dems, while the Tories gain the lion's share of both the May's deal and no deal vote.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Mar 12th, 2019 at 07:41:57 PM EST
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