Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
When May first proposed a June 30 exit date, the Council spent an entire sitting lasting maybe 7h and spanning their working dinner explaining to her why June 3p didn't work and coming up with the April 12/May 22 scheme. They also said in case the WA were rejected the UK must indicate a way forward by April 12. And now the WA has been rejected May is asking for an extension to June 30 again and not indicating a way forward. No way her letter didn't go down well in Europe. My own reaction was "is she taking the piss?"

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Apr 6th, 2019 at 10:30:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The reason June 30th. didn't work was because May was proposing that date without committing to participating in the EP elections, meaning the UK would be in breach of the Treaties from May 23rd. onwards. In her current proposal she concedes the UK would have to participate in the elections if it is still a member on 23rd. May, and indeed that preparations for those elections would have to start on April 12th.

So it boils down to whether EU leaders think the UK participating in the EP elections is a good idea or not. Austrian Chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, previously said it would be "beyond strange" for a country leaving the EU to participate in the elections (and indeed have a say in the nomination of the next Commission). May has sought to address this concern by promising to act with "sincere cooperation" and not adopt the disruptive tactics as threatened by Rees-Mogg.

The UK's education minister Nadhim Zahawi has said that for the UK to take part would be "equivalent to a suicide note for the Conservative Party", and it seems likely that extreme Brexiteer parties would do well - mainly at the expense of the Conservatives. But would Remain and second referendum supporting parties do better than Brexiteer parties?

The EP elections could become, by default, a proxy for the the General Election and Second Referendum May is so desperate to avoid. A disastrous performance by the Conservatives would put added pressure on May to step down but would Corbyn fare much better if Remainers abandon him for the Lib Dems?

So the looming EP elections could put a lot of pressure on both leaders to resolve their differences and agree a deal, and, failing that, go some way towards demonstrating where the balance of public opinion lies.

Either way, it could be an advance on the current logjam in the HOC. I'm not sure the EU has a lot to lose by allowing this process to run its course. 30th. June is not a long time away, and if the situation is not clarified or resolved by then, the EU Council can always allow the UK to leave, one way or the other, on 30th. June, by refusing any further extension.

In some ways this is now becoming more and more like a hostage situation where the police are desperately trying to open up and maintain a line of communication with the hostage taker - firstly to buy time, and secondly to avoid the situation spiralling out of their control. At the moment the EU holds all the cards. Why play them before you have to?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Apr 6th, 2019 at 11:55:48 PM EST
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Reading Guardian headlines at the weekend, the situation there is pretty psychotic -- TIG of Tories election to MEP as "referendum" on UK government? They'll be in Brussels with fat pensions. Meanwhile the islanders each have a plan to antagonize the other, and nothing but, so long as the EU extends UK A.50 "membership" for sales of beef and German NOx-mobile sales forthcoming. If Council still expect constructive outcome from a long kiss good-bye, they had better a quick consult with the Norwegians on or before 11 April.

Javid: new passports;
May: no votes scheduled by 12 April but "offering to enshrine in law a plan that would hand parliament a say in future trade talks with the EU" ... after she's replaced;
Lavery: determined to split Labour over persistent referendum demand;
Varadker: encouraging "flextension" rather than "rolling extensions every couple of weeks, every couple of months."

## Mental disorder ... you know the rest

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Apr 7th, 2019 at 01:53:13 AM EST
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The EP elections would be a godsend for parties like the The Independent Group and Farage's new Brexit party because the list system means they actually have the chance of winning some seats and establishing their credentials as a serious party. The bipolar FPTP single seat constituency system used in general elections would confine them to the role of spoilers picking up some protest votes.

I suspect the Tories would do disastrously, and Labour not much better so the EP elections could upset the whole apple cart of UK politics and bring some new realities into play. In Northern Ireland Sinn Fein traditionally top the poll with the DUP and Ulster Unionist Party sharing the final two seats. I don't see that changing, but It will be interesting to see how the DUP do and whether the SDLP can launch a serious challenge for the final seat.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Apr 7th, 2019 at 08:22:46 PM EST
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One of the expat Brits I know is very big on the idea of the EP election as a proxy for a second referendum. I can't really follow the logic. EP elections usually have relatively low participation and if there is a depressed turnout from people who think that, or want that Brexit happens I can readily see very middling results.

As to the results: I wouldn't expect anything drastic. I assume the Tories will lose some support since their whole strategy of absorbing UKIP is on fire. How much the TIGllers will cut into Labour's support I couldn't guess. From where I'm sitting they are too blatantly an anti-Corbyn outfit to run as a single issue anti-Brexit party.

by generic on Mon Apr 8th, 2019 at 12:45:27 PM EST
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See Off the reservation for a different take...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Apr 8th, 2019 at 02:08:09 PM EST
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My own reaction was "is she taking the piss?"

She has been all along, long on bluff and bluster, short on any plan, tone-deaf and stubborn as a mule.

If she wanted to remain, she couldn't have done a better impersonation of a humble servant of the people's democratic will to leave, as expressed via Brexerendum.

Corbyn, if he wanted to leave, could be going for an Oscar too.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Apr 7th, 2019 at 12:03:41 PM EST
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